Tuesday, September 3, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
Economic impact expected from SEC home openers
Whether it's "Hotty Toddy" or "Hail State" this weekend, there will be plenty of visitors pouring into both stadiums to take in the first home game of the year for the two SEC schools. Not only are fans of both teams getting excited, but also businesses in Oxford and Starkville are prepared just like the teams for a big turnout. At Harvey's Restaurant in Starkville, they know that a couple of hours before game time, these empty seats will be filled to capacity. "We're expecting a large crowd," manager Catherine Tiffin said. "We've picked up since school's started but football season is like no other season here in Starkville, and we are super excited for it."
MSU ranks in top 10 in ag research for 11th straight year
Mississippi State University's commitment to its land-grant mission and to the state's $7.5 billion agriculture and forestry industry resulted in a top spot in a recently released National Science Foundation report. The National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development Survey for fiscal year 2011 ranked MSU ninth in the nation for research and development expenditures in agricultural sciences among public and private institutions. MSU has ranked in the top 10 in this category for 11 consecutive years. "Our talented faculty members, researchers and Extension specialists address real-world problems that impact people in Mississippi and across the globe," said Greg Bohach, vice president of MSU's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. "Their work inspires the next generation of MSU scientists to look for innovative and practical solutions to the agricultural challenges of producing food, fiber and fuel in the 21st century."
MSU Ranks in Top 10 for Ag Sciences Research
Mississippi State University's commitment to its land-grant mission and to the state's $7.5 billion agriculture and forestry industry resulted in a top spot in a recently released National Science Foundation report. The National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development Survey for Fiscal Year 2011 ranked MSU ninth in the nation for research and development expenditures in agricultural sciences among public and private institutions. MSU has ranked in the top ten in this category for eleven consecutive years. The university spent $96.6 million in agriculture-related research.
Local professor discusses chemical warfare
President Barack Obama is ready to strike Syria for chemical weapons attacks on its own people. One man who developed a device to help the U.S. military detect chemical weapons is Mississippi State University professor Todd Misna. He says the deadly attack had all the markings of chemical weapons. He says U.N. inspectors are gathering samples and taking them to a lab for study in machines like the one in his lab at Mississippi State.
Maroon Alert shooting appears to be false reporting
According to Mississippi State University officials, a Maroon Alert issued around 1 a.m. on Saturday may have been about a false report. Sid Salter, Director of University Relations, said MSU police received a call that a shooting took place at Sprint Mart on Blackjack Road around 1 a.m. on Saturday. Salter said MSU police responded and were told the shooter fled toward campus. Salter said the university issued the Maroon Alert based on this information to warn students and faculty. Twenty minutes later, the police were told the shooter got in a red car and drove away from campus down Oktoc Road. "The crisis action team formed, and when we got the information that (the shooter) fled down Oktoc Road, we stayed at the crisis center until we were sure MSU police had checked to make sure residents halls were secure," Salter said.
Budget cuts create issues across several departments
Fall 2013 has brought an influx of student workers without jobs on campus. Mississippi State University, however, doesn't deal with a uniformed campus-wide budget cut or modifications in the student worker policy. Don Zant, director of budget and planning, said in an email there have been no university-wide budget cuts recently. Any decisions regarding the employment of students would have been made by the employing department. Most graduate students are funded by MSU or an external source, such as the federal government or private assistantships and fellowships. Colin Mahony, senior majoring in mechanical engineering who plans to graduate in December, said he is forced to forgo graduate school at MSU due to the lack of funding opportunities. "Funding is pretty much the one reason why I am not going to grad school at Mississippi State," Mahony said.
MSU researchers aim to breed endangered boreal toads
There doesn't seem to be any way to get endangered toads brought to Mississippi from the Rocky Mountains to breed without letting them chill out, researchers have found. So, in their Deep South lab, boreal toads hibernate in a fridge and then a wine cooler. Like many amphibians, the toads have been devastated by the chytrid fungus. Colorado and New Mexico list them as endangered, and Wyoming protects them. At Mississippi State University, researchers Natalie Calatayud and Cecilia Langhorne work with the endangered animals, through a partnership with the Memphis Zoo.
MSU Library Tech Available to All
Mitchell Memorial Library offers patrons so much more than printed materials: it's the technological center of Mississippi State, housing the latest hardware, software and multimedia equipment. And the best part is–the university library is open to the public. Offering library services to the general public encourages learning and research, which coincides with MSU's mission as a land-grant institution, said Stephen Cunetto, library system administrator.
MSU Architecture Exhibit
Mississippi State University's Tau Sigma Delta architecture honor society is sponsoring the "Sixty-Nine Seventy: International Ideas Competition" exhibit in Giles Gallery, on the third floor of Giles Hall. Open through Sept. 13, this exhibit showcases some of the work submitted for "The 69/70 Competition," an international ideas contest in which more than 200 architects and designers from 48 countries submitted their ideas for enlivening blocks 69 and 70 in the center of downtown Salt Lake City. A public reception will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 5 p.m. in Giles Gallery.
Higher Education Briefs: Magazine issues top 100 college list
Mississippi State once again is listed among the top 100 in Washington Monthly magazine's College Guide and Rankings. In a report released Aug. 26, the university is 71st in the annual ranking of national universities.
Arts Commission Supports MSU Center with Grant
Mississippi State's T.K. Martin Center is receiving another grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission to enable individuals with severe physical disabilities to express themselves through art. Officially known as the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, the university facility works to provide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluations to remove limitations through the application of assistive technology. Enabling individuals to participate in educational, vocational and leisure activities to the fullest degree they choose is its primary mission. As have others in previous years, this year's arts commission award of $3,800 supports "EXPRESS Yourself!," the Martin Center's widely recognized art project.
Rain hurts sod production, but helps farmers meet demand
This year's rainy spring kept grass from growing, but it also kept contractors from building, allowing Mississippi's sod farmers to manage the season's rough beginning. Barry Stewart, turf management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said demand was low at a time that benefitted growers. "As the year has gone on, we've warmed up and dried out. Construction is rolling along, and so is sod," Stewart said. "The abundant rainfall has helped the farmers irrigate less but also has made it difficult at times to harvest sod."
MSU Research May Unravel Reproductive Mysteries
Mississippi State University scientists are working to find out why some pregnancies are successful and others are not. Jean Feugang, a research assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, is studying the reproductive stage that remains one of the most mysterious -- the time just before conception. Feugang is working with two other MSU reproductive biologists, Peter Ryan and Scott Willard. They use nanotechnology to study reproduction issues at the most microscopic level during what Feugang described as the "complex and mysterious biological processes of early life."
Police order removal of exotic pets
Noise complaints in a north Mississippi college town led to the discovery of dozens of rare snakes and other exotic animals, including African cats and birds, at the home of a veterinary student, authorities said Friday. Starkville Police Chief David Lindley said his department served a search warrant at the residence Wednesday and uncovered an elaborate breeding operation for exotic animals. The suspect is a senior in Mississippi State University's veterinary medicine program. MSU spokesman Sid Salter said Friday that faculty and staff from the university's veterinary program offered assistance "to make sure this matter is handled appropriately."
Starkville police investigate student found with hundreds of exotic animals
A Mississippi State veterinary student is under investigation after law enforcement discovered hundreds of exotic wildlife at his Starkville home. The Starkville Police Department executed a search warrant at 203 Park Avenue Wednesday after they received multiple noise complaints from neighbors. Authorities discovered 50 to 75 snakes, African cats, South American and African birds as well as turtles, frogs and lizards.
Franks to compete in World Running Championships
Two last-minute decisions have led Starkville's Meggan Franks to the world stage in mountain running. The first, Franks said, came when she was training for the Canadian Marathon Championships in Ottowa, Ontario in April, running upwards of 95 miles per week. Back problems that had plagued her since college began to interfere with practice, she said, and she decided not to run that race just a few days before she was supposed to fly to Ottawa. But where one door closed, she said another opened at the Canadian Mountain and Trail National Championships (CMTNC) in Sutton, Quebec in the early summer.
Starkville official's firing prompts some to call for mayor-council format
They don't want to overthrow Starkville's government, just change it. After a controversial firing in Starkville city government, some citizens want to galvanize public outcry to convince voters to become the 15th city in the state with a mayor/city council form of government. In Starkville, the 15th most populous city in Mississippi according to 2010 Census records and 14th according to 2012 estimates, different groups have tried through the years to change the form of government from the mayor/aldermen form of government but never gained significant traction.
Attorneys come to defense of Twitter parody creators
A consortium of Starkville and out-of-town lawyers have told the Dispatch they're willing to represent the person or persons behind two parody Twitter accounts which have recently come under investigation by Starkville Police Department. At least two local lawyers told the Dispatch last week they'd represent the people satirizing Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 3 Alderman David Little if charges are filed. The Dispatch has been unable to reach Little for a proper interview this week. Carver did call the Dispatch, asking how it obtained documents associated with an ongoing investigation. The Dispatch filed a formal Freedom of Information Act request with SPD Chief David Lindley on Tuesday.
Extra investment in revenue agency paying off for state
The Department of Revenue collected eight times more in additional delinquent taxes than it promised during the past fiscal year in return for the Legislature providing $3.5 million to hire extra staff. During the 2012 session, the Legislature appropriated the extra money to hire 44 auditors and revenue officers. For the additional funds, Tax Commissioner Johnny Morgan said the agency could generate at least $10 million more in delinquent taxes than in the previous year. Department of Revenue spokeswoman Kathy Waterbury said, "We collected $10 million over the prior year: eight times -- $80,861,260 more in delinquent tax collections than for FY12. The results were verified by PEER."
Developers: Region not on radar for nuclear waste
Northeast Mississippi does not appear to be under consideration as a site for the reprocessing of hazardous nuclear waste should the state pursue the controversial industry. At least that was the thought of Northeast Mississippi economic developers who said they had not been contacted about the potential industry. Last week the Mississippi Energy Institute briefed legislators and other state officials about the possibility of the state vying to be a location where nuclear waste is stored on an interim basis and eventually reprocessed. While politicians posture on the volatile issue, area economic developers said they are still trying to learn about it.
Director says he wants to grow Mississippi film industry
Director Tate Taylor says he wants to make his native Mississippi a place where people can build careers with steady work in the movie business. He filmed "The Help" in the state in 2010 and announced Aug. 26 that he will make a feature film about the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, with the intention of shooting "every frame" in Mississippi. Work is set for November and December in and around the Mississippi River town of Natchez and for January and February in and around the capital city, Jackson.
Alabama, Tennessee team up to land drone test site
A consortium of companies and universities in Alabama and Tennessee are hoping to develop a site where drones would be tested. If approved, the facility could become one of only a half-dozen sites approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for research involving Unmanned Aerial Systems, more commonly known as drones, AL.com reported. Alabama and Tennessee have submitted a joint application in an effort to be selected as one of the six FAA UAS testing sites. Testing would be done at a site near Savannah, Tenn., in the southwest part of the state. The University of Alabama in Huntsville is leading the consortium of more than 160 companies and universities working toward development of the site. Mississippi, Georgia and Florida have all submitted proposals.
Harper: Plan before acting in Syria
Congressional lawmakers are weighing their options before a potential vote on Syria later this month, with at least one Mississippi delegate stressing that any decision he'll approve must put the best interests of the U.S. first. President Barack Obama announced over the weekend that he'll seek approval for military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. Rep. Gregg Harper said before he makes any decision he would need to further investigate the evidence, adding that he already has a meeting set up to review classified materials on his first day back in Washington, D.C.
Obama Presses Syria Gamble to Get Congressional Backing
The White House raced on Monday to persuade Congress to authorize military action in Syria, after President Barack Obama, in one of the biggest gambles of his presidency, handed the volatile issue to lawmakers who have given him few recent legislative victories. The president's surprise reversal put on hold a military mobilization that had appeared on the verge of launching missiles and sparked urgent lobbying for a Congressional resolution authorizing force. The president must win over those Republicans calling for a broad U.S. mission against Syria, as well as lawmakers in both parties who are wary of even limited strikes.
Top-secret U.S. intelligence files show new levels of distrust of Pakistan
The $52.6 billion U.S. intelligence arsenal is aimed mainly at unambiguous adversaries, including al-Qaeda, North Korea and Iran. But top-secret budget documents reveal an equally intense focus on one purported ally: Pakistan. No other nation draws as much scrutiny across so many categories of national security concern. A 178-page summary of the U.S. intelligence community's "black budget" shows that the United States has ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear arms, cites previously undisclosed concerns about biological and chemical sites there, and details efforts to assess the loyalties of counter­terrorism sources recruited by the CIA.
UPD introduces segways to increase safety
Some Ole Miss students may have already noticed the newest mode of UPD transport rolling around campus. Starting this fall, officers are patrolling the university on two new UPD segways. UPD has incorporated the pair as another mode of transportation used to patrol campus. This means officers will be seen in patrol cars, motorcycles, bicycles and now segways. UPD Patrol Captain Michael Harmon said six officers went through specialized training sessions to be able to ride the segways. "That's just another tool we're using to help keep our campus safe," Harmon said.
UM's accountancy programs all ranked in nation's top 10
All three accountancy programs at the University of Mississippi are ranked in the Top 10 nationally by the Public Accounting Report in its latest edition. In its August 2013 issue, the independent newsletter of the accounting profession ranks the Patterson School of Accountancy's undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs at Nos. 4, 5 and 8, respectively, in their categories. Last year, the undergraduate and master's programs were both ranked ninth. The Patterson School's three programs are the highest ranked in the Southeastern Conference.
Teacher recruit program kicks off at Ole Miss
The University of Mississippi's first set of students participating in the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program, which aims to recruit high-quality education majors and keep them in the state, began classes this week. The group of 15 students received an all-inclusive scholarship established in January with $12.95 million in external funding to attract top-performing students to study education. A collaboration with Mississippi State University, the METP was established with a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation in Jackson.
Forums offer insight into provost position at Delta State University
Delta State President Bill Laforge needs a wingman, and the university is deep in the process of finding a new provost. The candidates are Charles A. McAdams, G. Daniel Howard and Joseph M. Peters. During Wednesday's student forum with Peters, a student asked what a provost was. Peters responded, "It's like the chief academic officer. We make sure that you have good programs and you're getting what you need in terms of your education." This summer, a panel of faculty, staff, and the SGA president met several times to discuss possible candidates and were able to narrow it down to three. Student forum for each candidate were held this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with each candidate appearing before Delta State students.
Agencies, colleges to hold mock disaster drill
In the event that a disaster happens on a school campus, communication between all local agencies is key to helping those at risk get to a place of safety. Those agencies will hold a disaster preparedness exercise Thursday on the Mississippi University for Women and East Mississippi Community College Golden Triangle campuses to get a better idea of how good that communication is, Columbus Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency director Cindy Lawrence said. MUW assistant professor of nursing Deborah Miranda said nursing faculty and students will work with emergency responders during the simulation.
JSU freshmen getting iPads
Jackson State University is making iPads available to incoming freshman students as part of the university's second annual scholarship program. The iPads will be distributed Tuesday and Wednesday. Training will be available Wednesday and again Sept. 9-Sept. 12 at the student center. Jackson State has partnered with the Mississippi e-Center Foundation for the program that integrates the device into the curriculum and tracks students' learning through an ongoing study.
East Mississippi Community College helps prepare for workforce
With Yokohama Tires coming to the Clay County area soon, East Mississippi Community College is helping residents get ready for the workforce. EMCC's West Point and Golden Triangle campus in Mayhew are offering courses and tests that will prepare anyone with the skills and knowledge they need to work in technical and manufacturing jobs. The West Point campus offers basic skills classes, the Workkeys test, manufacturing and technical classes, according to Workforce Specialist Mitzi Thompson.
Wife of former U. of Alabama president Guy Bailey dies
Jan Tillery-Bailey, the wife of former University of Alabama President Guy Bailey, died this weekend after a prolonged struggle with serious but unspecified medical conditions. UA President Judy Bonner on Monday released a statement expressing the university's condolences for the Bailey family. Bailey is a Montgomery native who holds two degrees from UA. Tillery-Bailey was, like her husband, a linguistics expert. They couple, married for two decades, shared a professional collaboration in the study of language.
U. of Tennessee fraternities see fewer infractions in past year
Fraternities at the University of Tennessee appear to have been sanctioned less frequently in the past year, after an alcohol-related incident led to campus-wide reforms, documents show. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that it obtained documents from the university showing that while campus police are still finding liquor bottles in basements and empty beer cans on front porches along Fraternity Park, punishments for such infractions are becoming less frequent. University fraternities implemented sweeping reforms following embarrassments that resulted in two chapters closing.
Sabbaticals benefit faculty, U. of Florida
Edith Kaan, whose research into the way people respond to foreign languages normally keeps her busy in a lab in the maze of Turlington Hall's basement, spent most of the past year traveling abroad courtesy of a sabbatical awarded by the University of Florida. When she returned this summer to the classroom, she was excited to share everything she had learned with her students. "I came back brimming with ideas," Kaan said. "This is why I became a professor." UF supports professional development and faculty research by granting sabbaticals to eligible faculty members each year. "The university provides the opportunity for sabbaticals as a means for professional development for faculty members," Provost Joe Glover said.
Initiatives will take U. of Georgia researchers into Athens community
Research in the hard sciences gets the most attention, but the University of Georgia's Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is putting a spotlight on UGA researchers in the arts and humanities. A Thursday reception highlighted six faculty research clusters, which will get grants of up to $25,000 from the UGA Research Foundation for projects that include delving into the history of Athens music, a digital humanities laboratory, and one called "neuroimaging, movie trailers and spectator cognition," designed to explore how people's brains process music, color, sound and other aspects of mainstream movie trailers. All the projects are meant to cross disciplinary boundaries, but also to bring UGA research out into the Athens community like the Athens Music Project, co-directed by UGA music professors Susan Thomas and Jean Kidula.
Sigma Chi at UGA eyes downtown Athens for frat house
The Sigma Chi fraternity is looking to move into downtown Athens, according to planning staff with the unified government. Amber Eskew, an Athens-Clarke County planner specializing in historic preservation, said representatives for the fraternity have met with staff about obtaining the necessary special-use permit if it were to move into 110 and 112 Foundry Street. They also went before the Historic Preservation Commission in August to seek feedback on design changes before filing any applications. Should it proceed with trying to call downtown home, Sigma Chi representatives would need to file for a special-use permit with the planning department and for a certificate of appropriateness with the Historic Preservation Commission, Eskew said.
Foundation gives record $70.8M gift to Texas A&M
The Texas A&M Foundation recently made a record gift of $70.8 million to the university. The nonprofit, private foundation on Monday announced the fiscal year 2012-2013 fundraising totals. It's a $500,000 increase over the previous fiscal year. Foundation President Ed Davis gave full credit to the alumni and gift-givers. "The secret is the donors who provide the gifts to the institution," Davis said. "We're the catalyst, if you will. It's the donor that sacrifices and finds the thing they're passionate about." Davis said a boost from the energy sector helped fuel the record gift. "We're very fortunate our economy has been robust enough to provide gifts of this nature," he said.
Texas A&M exploring outside help to fund Corps dorm renovations
Construction to renovate the Corps of Cadets' dorms could get fast-tracked, thanks to some help from the Texas Legislature. Texas A&M University System officials hope to form a new type of partnership that will allow a private company to use its own money up front to renovate all of the remaining dorms at once, saving millions of dollars for the university and speeding up the process by eight years. The newly allowed type of ground lease, which could transform the way Texas A&M does construction, was made possible by an amendment to the Texas Education code that allows the Board of Regents to grant, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of lands or mineral rights for A&M's main campus.
U. of Missouri in line to get $13 million to carry out strategic plan
The University of Missouri System on Friday announced how it was distributing about $22.2 million in funding to the four campuses to assist in meeting their strategic priorities. "Our strategic planning process was designed to enhance the plans of our campuses in their goal of retaining or enhancing best-in-class status," UM System President Tim Wolfe said. The University of Missouri was awarded a total of $13.6 million, of which $10.67 million was earmarked for the School of Medicine and the College of Veterinary Medicine. MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said the remaining $2.9 million would go toward funding campus priorities, including faculty salaries and position.
U. of Missouri's Arabic language program grows
After mastering Spanish, Derek Garth was looking for another linguistic challenge and settled on Arabic, a relatively new offering at the University of Missouri that has recently expanded. Garth said he transferred to MU from Southwest Baptist University, where he majored in criminal justice and Spanish after taking Spanish through most of high school. Garth is now enrolled in intermediate Arabic. Ted Tarkow, associate dean of MU's College of Arts and Science, said the university has been offering Arabic for several years, and because of demand, it added the intermediate level this fall, with about eight students. Garth said he loves a challenge, and learning Arabic is proving to be just that.
Data measure value of a college degree
A degree from an elite public flagship university does not necessarily guarantee a higher-paying first job than one from a lesser-known school. Some two-year technical degrees produce higher starting salaries than four-year bachelor's degrees. These are among the findings of research issued today linking college majors and the job market. Another indication from the data: Despite widespread efforts to encourage more students to consider STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering and math -- certain science majors don't start out earning more than English majors. "The findings challenge some conventional wisdom," says Mark Schneider, author of the report, released by College Measures.
Troy University's faith-based dorms under fire for $1 annual lease price
Troy University is again facing criticism over its new faith-based dormitories, this time over its agreement to lease the publicly-owned site of the dorms for 25 years at a rate of just $1 per year. "It makes you wonder if they would offer that to a group of atheists or a group of Muslims," said Andrew Seidel, staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The Wisconsin-based organization, dedicated to maintaining the principle of church-and-state separation, is currently investigating Troy's new dorms that cater to students with active spiritual lifestyles. But Nicholas Cervera, an attorney representing Troy University, said the lease is virtually identical with those Troy has used to build secular dorms and that the deal gives the university other advantages than just $25.
Political Scientists Acknowledge Need to Make Stronger Case for Their Field
Back in March, Congress limited federal support for political-science research by the National Science Foundation to projects that promote national security or American economic interests. Congress's action has led to soul searching within the discipline about how effective academics have been in conveying the value of their work to the public. Those discussions were out front at the annual conference of the American Political Science Association, held last week. Rogers M. Smith, a political-science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was one of 13 members of a panel that discussed the controversy over NSF money for political-science studies. He put the problem bluntly: "We need to make a better case for ourselves."
Education solutions from abroad for chronic U.S. school problems
American schoolchildren are heading back to the classroom amid an intensifying debate as shrill with urgency as the bell urging them to their desks: how to ensure that they will be able to compete in a global market when they graduate. Study after study in recent years suggests that American children fall well behind kids from Seoul to Helsinki, putting them at a great disadvantage in an increasingly knowledge-driven and global economy.
Young Students Against Bad Science
Your parents may have had to walk uphill, both ways, to get to school. But as ideological warfare threatens the teaching of climate science and evolution in many schools, it is clear that today's students face their own obstacles on the road to a respectable science education -- and some are speaking out. For his high school senior project, Zack Kopplin started a campaign to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, a 2008 law passed in his home state that opens a "back door" to teaching creationism in public schools, he says. Currently taking a year off from Rice University to work and travel, Mr. Kopplin, 20, is widely recognized as the state's leading voice against science denial education. He has expanded his campaign to fight similar laws across the country, as well as the use of public vouchers to send students to religious schools.
BILL CRAWFORD: Should U.S. strike Syria?
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Should the United States execute a military strike against Syria for using chemical weapons? While millions die globally each year from famine, disease, and carnage, the media focused us on Syria, with pundits ardently arguing both sides of the issue. An excellent article at Politico.com 'After Iraq, Media Skepticism on Syria' exposed this tussle. Naturally, our political leaders jumped in on both sides. And, Congress said it should be consulted. Media and politics driving foreign policy and military intervention appear to be the new norm -- just as it is for our deficit, debt, and fiscal policies."
GEOFF PENDER: Nuclear waste? Oh, not I | Geoff Pender (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "Note to Mississippi politicians: back away from the nuclear waste proposal. It could end your career. It is, pardon the pun, radioactive. There are few absolutes in politics, but I'll go out on a limb here and say the vast majority of Mississippians -- Republicans, Democrats, tea partyers, independents, Whigs, Tories -- don't want the state to get in the business of storing the country's nuclear waste."
SAM R. HALL: Gov., MEI bungle nuke waste idea | Sam R. Hall (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "It is rare to see possible economic development opportunities publicly mismanaged early in the process, but the Mississippi Energy Institute put on a clinic in what not to do when trying to bring a new industry to a state. To blame solely MEI would be wrong. Gov. Phil Bryant and his office must share in the blundering despite attempts to walk it back after the public uproar over plans for Mississippi to get into the nuclear waste business became public. After a number of interviews, a few hours of research and bit of tea-leaf reading, here's what I've learned about what led to last week's politically embarrassing fiasco for MEI and Bryant."

The Big Story: TV makes skipping the stadium easier, so schools are responding
While deciding whether a trip to pull for a favorite team is worth the time and money has long been something fans have debated, the proliferation of telecasts, and their HD quality, have complicated the decision in recent years. So have rising prices with everything associated with those trips in the midst of an economic hiccup. That confluence, coupled with anecdotal evidence of flatlining attendance, has prompted the Southeastern Conference to form a working group of athletics administrators to fine-tune the on-campus experience. One of their more significant moves -- hiring a research firm to better understand what fans want and how they think -- begins this fall. Our charge is to make sure that our campuses are creating great experiences, that we stay ahead of the curve," said Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin, who chairs the SEC's group.
Mullen: We need to finish
Although Dan Mullen has not been an offensive coordinator since helping Florida to a national championship in 2008, he still considers himself to be an "offensive-oriented coach." That could explain why Saturday's 21-3 loss to Oklahoma State to start the season was so disappointing for Mississippi State's fifth-year head coach. The Bulldogs were only 2-of-16 on third down conversions and failed to reach the end zone for only the third time under Mullen. State's offense also had four three-and-out drives. "I'm disappointed," Mullen said. "Finishing is going to be a real big thing for us."
Mending wounds: Mississippi State QB Russell doubtful in Week 2
Mississippi State's offense sputtered in the season opener. In Game 2 of the 2013 season, it likely takes the field without its No. 1 option under center, Tyler Russell, who suffered a concussion in the 21-3 loss to Oklahoma State. He is doubtful for MSU's game against Alcorn State (1-0) on Saturday and isn't expected to practice this week. "We're always going to be extra cautious with that stuff," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. Linebacker Ferlando Bohanna suffered a concussion last week and did not dress against Oklahoma State. He is doubtful again this week.
Mississippi State wants more from DTs
Sophomore Nick James and Quay Evans didn't make the trip Houston, yet the postgame buzz revolved around the duo as much as any player who took the field for Mississippi State against Oklahoma State. MSU coach Dan Mullen addressed the defensive tackles' situation during his Monday press conference. "We're looking to see if they'll be ready to go this week," Mullen said. Does that mean they are injured? "No. We just have to be sure they're ready to go play," Mullen said.
Football to fashion: Hutchins becoming top model
Football gave Heath Hutchins a fine career during his high school and college days. Last year it gave him something else, something quite unexpected. "Serendipity" is the word he uses to explain how tutoring a high school kicker led to a career as a fashion model for the likes of Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch. It's a job that's taken Hutchins around the globe in a few months' time, places like Amsterdam, England, Germany, Mexico and Spain. Those places are a long way from Saltillo, where Hutchins starred for the high school football team as a punter. He went on to play for Itawamba Community College and then Mississippi State.
U. of Missouri keeps watch for counterfeit tickets
Ticket scalping is legal, but consumer advocates and law enforcement officials still warn buyers to be cautious about what they're paying for. Capt. Brian Weimer of the University of Missouri Police Department said as long as the ticket sellers are on a city sidewalk and not on MU property, there isn't anything the police department can do. But he said the department still encourages people to buy from ticket booths or other more traditional sources. Because scalpers purchase tickets through other sources, he said, there is no telling whether a ticket is real until it is scanned. He said during the Georgia game last year, an abundance of fake tickets were circulating.
Trainers Butt Heads With Coaches Over Concussion Treatment
This fall thousands of college football players will line up to participate in one of the country's most popular and violent sports. In any given week, hundreds of those players will come off the field with concussions or other serious injuries. Determining when those athletes return to play is the job of athletic trainers and team physicians, who are charged with keeping players out of harm's way. But new research suggests that the medical staffs responsible for protecting college athletes often don't have the authority to do so.

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