Wednesday, October 9, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
More U.S. Universities Offer Degree Programs in Cybersecurity
When Michael Kaiser speaks at cybersecurity conferences, he likes to survey the audience to see how many taught themselves the skills they use in their cybersecurity-related jobs. "It used to be 100%, now it is 95%," says Mr. Kaiser, the executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, a public-private partnership working to increase cybersecurity awareness. Mr. Kaiser and a host of others in government, universities and companies are trying to reduce the ranks of the self-taught further by bolstering the number of formal educational programs aimed at preparing workers for jobs in this burgeoning industry. For instance, the cybersecurity program at Mississippi State University, which has been designated as a center of academic excellence, has three specialized research centers.
MSU Dedicates Library to Meridian Couple
Mississippi State's College of Architecture, Art, and Design formally dedicated the Bob and Kathy Luke Library in Giles Hall on Monday. Robert E. "Bob" and Kathy Chester Luke met while students at the university: Kathy Luke graduated in 1979 from the College of Education, and Bob Luke is a 1980 graduate of the School of Architecture. The couple credits MSU with providing the education and skills that have allowed them to compete in their respective careers, and they proudly carry their pride in their alma mater wherever life takes them, they said.
State speaker fields questions from public
Multiple citizens expressed strong support for gun owners' rights and other conservative initiatives during Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn's visit to Mississippi State University's Hunter Henry Center Tuesday for his second iteration of "Mississippi Solutions - an Ideas Tour." Joining Gunn were three state representatives: Randy Boyd, R-Mantachie; Joey Hood, R-Ackerman; and Gary Chism, R-Columbus. Gunn said MSU was the sixth of 10 tour stops across the state, strategically located to ensure all citizens would be within one hour's drive of a tour stop. The tour's purpose, he said, was to enable citizens to voice their concerns, ideas, opinions and questions directly to state lawmakers.
Mississippi House Speaker Listens in Starkville
Mississippi House Speaker Phillip Gunn is on a 10-city statewide tour, and Tuesday night he stopped by Starkville. Education, gun laws, and the new daycare fingerprint system were topics discussed at the town hall-style meeting that was held on Mississippi State University's campus. He listened to concerns surrounding the Common Core curriculum, funding for city projects, and voter identification laws.
MSU honors 1963 Liberty Bowl victory with 50th Anniversary reunion
To commemorate the 50 years that have passed since the 1963 Liberty Bowl and Mississippi State's 16-12 victory over North Carolina State, MSU's Bulldog Club is sponsoring a Liberty Bowl reunion before the 2013 MSU Homecoming game Saturday when MSU faces Bowling Green State University. The reunion celebration will begin at 3:30 p.m., and former players, family and friends will gather in the Junction at a tailgating tent next to the Alumni Association tent in front of the Leo Seal M-Club.
Cray to Install Liquid-Cooled CS300 Cluster Supercomputer at MSU
Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. announced last week it has been awarded a contract to provide Mississippi State University with a Cray CS300-LC system -- a liquid-cooled version of the Cray CS300 cluster supercomputer. The new Cray system, nicknamed "Shadow," will be located at the university's High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2), and will serve as the primary high performance computing system for shared research.
Supervisors, East Mississippi Community College interested in Starkville satellite facility
East Mississippi Community College and Oktibbeha County representatives say they're willing to work together on a partnership that would bring a workforce training satellite facility to Starkville. Raj Shaunak, EMCC vice president for workforce and community services, told supervisors Monday that EMCC would require an almost 6,000-square-foot facility to bring introductory manufacturing classes to Oktibbeha County. The board took no action, but supervisors said they would continue to look into the matter.
State's new education chief's first appearance next week
Mississippi's new school chief will make her first public appearance in the state next week. Nothing has been heard from Carey Wright since she was named state superintendent of education on Sept. 25. That will change on Oct. 17, when Wright attends the state Board of Education's monthly meeting and holds her first press conference. State Board Vice Chairman Hal Gage said on Tuesday the long delay was caused by scheduling. Gage, who chaired the superintendent search, has been out of town since the announcement because of a previously scheduled trip. Board Chairman Wayne Gann of Corinth also has been gone for part of that time.
Many want more details on health exchange
Interest in Mississippi's health insurance exchange has been high in the week it's been online, say several agencies tasked with helping Mississippians enroll in coverage. University of Mississippi Medical Center's federally funded navigator program assisted 1,156 patients by the close of business Oct. 3, said hospital spokesman Jack Mazurak. On Oct. 1, the day the exchange debuted, the hospital navigated 881 people through at least some of the enrollment steps, he said. "Due to the federal website being so heavily accessed, we can't say that anyone working with a UMMC navigator has completed the entire process," Mazurak said.
Uninsured Find More Success via Health Exchanges Run by States
Robyn J. Skrebes of Minneapolis said she was able to sign up for health insurance in about two hours on Monday using the Web site of the state-run insurance exchange in Minnesota. "I am thrilled," Ms. Skrebes said, referring to her policy. "It's affordable, good coverage. And the Web site of the Minnesota exchange was pretty simple to use, pretty straightforward. The language was really clear." The experience described by Ms. Skrebes is in stark contrast to reports of widespread technical problems that have hampered enrollment in the online health insurance marketplace run by the federal government since it opened on Oct. 1. While many people have been frustrated in their efforts to obtain coverage through the federal exchange, which is used by more than 30 states, consumers have had more success signing up for health insurance through many of the state-run exchanges, federal and state officials and outside experts say.
Groups say Mississippi should take lesson from voter ID lawsuits in other states
Voting rights advocates say there's a message for Mississippi in lawsuits the Justice Department has filed over the last two months to block voting-law changes in Texas and North Carolina. The suits claim the changes, including new voter ID laws, would suppress the minority vote. Mississippi is moving ahead with its own voter ID law, and voting rights advocates say the recent legal actions by the Justice Department should put the state on notice that it may be next. Hosemann said Mississippi's law should be in place by June 2014.
Holland largely mum about GQ article
State Rep. Steve Holland, usually a master of the turned phrase, is nearly speechless about his own colorful, profanity-laced remarks published in a recent national magazine. Holland, D-Plantersville, wasn't the main focus of a GQ story -- it humorously examined personalities and circumstances surrounding the sensational April arrest and release of Elvis impersonator Kevin Curtis of Corinth, initially accused on federal charges that he mailed poison-laden letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland. When the Daily Journal telephoned Holland for an interview about the GQ article, the usually vocal legislator said he didn't think it was wise to get into print on this one. Not again, anyway.
Protesters picket PSC's Posey in Meridian
Protesters picketed outside a Meridian restaurant on Tuesday, accusing a visiting state official of being too close to a utility company his office regulates. The protest was fueled by accusations that a fundraiser for Lynn Posey, Central District Public Service Commissioner, was being attended by some donors who are benefitting from the Mississippi Power plant under construction in Kemper County. "We were invited up here when we found out that Commissioner Lynn Posey is having a fundraiser at Weidmann's," said Linda St. Martin of Gulfport. "The fundraiser, we understand, is being attended by people who have contracts and subcontracts to build the plant at Kemper County." Mississippi law states that a public service commissioner cannot accept money from a regulated utility. If Tuesday's fundraiser wasn't a direct violation, St. Martin said it came very close to the line.
Mississippi Energy Institute chief defends 'nuclear thing,' controversial Kemper power plant, offshore drilling
The head of the privately funded Mississippi Energy Institute told the Sun Herald Tuesday the "nuclear thing" is the biggest project it is working on. It is also one of the most controversial. "Part of the reality in the U.S. is dealing with the opposition," MEI President Patrick Sullivan said. "A big reason for our existence is to help advance the public discourse on all of these issues. We try to focus on things that are realistic and also things that will help move the needle for Mississippi. Especially things nobody else is working on. Things we see a void in and our nuclear concept is a good example of that."
Mississippi auto workers seek support in their campaign to unionize
Mississippi autoworkers and state NAACP officials came to Washington on Tuesday in a bid to win support for unionizing the Nissan plant in Canton. "Our role is to make sure that we can be a voice for workers who, in many cases, cannot be a voice for themselves," Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi NAACP, told reporters at the National Press Club. Johnson called on Nissan to treat its U.S. workers with the same "respect and dignity" as the company treats its workers in Japan, South Africa, Brazil and other countries. United Auto Workers has embarked on a major campaign to unionize the Mississippi plant. Nissan officials denied the allegations. "This UAW-commissioned report is neither objective nor credible and simply restates two years' worth of false allegations by the union," said Camille Young, a Nissan spokeswoman.
Gunn brings 'idea tour' to Northeast Mississippi
Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, brought his 10-city "Mississippi Solutions - An Idea Tour" on Tuesday to Northeast Mississippi audiences in Oxford, Corinth and Starkville. Area legislators accompanied him at each stop. Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson said he finds last year's firearms open-carry law "pretty murky," and Gunn said the 1890 state constitution essentially allows open carry everywhere except where private property owners forbid it. "It's a college town," Patterson replied. "We're pretty worried about where we stand with that law."
As U.S. approaches debt ceiling, fears of global recession increase
For global leaders, the political crisis that has shut down Washington represents the most vexing kind of problem, one that they have virtually no means to stem but that could soon wreak economic havoc on their own shores. If a divided Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling in the coming weeks, the U.S. government -- the world's largest borrower -- would suddenly be unable to pay its bills, a failure that would stagger markets from Tokyo to London and potentially drive the global economy into recession. That default scenario, though still farfetched, is driving a series of increasingly urgent pleas from foreign leaders, some who describe their grave concern, others who chide the United States about the risks of political brinksmanship, beg its leaders to act responsibly, and wonder whether the world's superpower is showing some cracks.
Supreme Court at a crossroads on campaign funding limits
Over the last seven years, a series of decisions by the Supreme Court has opened the way for hundreds of millions of additional dollars to flow into the nation's political campaign system. On Tuesday, the justices appeared sharply divided over whether to allow the wealthy to contribute even more by lifting restrictions on the amounts they can give directly to candidates. At times, the argument turned into a debate among the justices over the relationship between money and the political process.
Obama to name Janet Yellen as first woman to lead Fed
President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen on Wednesday as the first woman to head the powerful Federal Reserve. If confirmed she'd become the world's most influential banker. The vice chairman of the Federal Reserve since 2010, Yellen, 67, is a career economist who has served as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, headed the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton and taught at University of California, Berkeley.
Cybersecurity reform going nowhere fast
For all the bellowing in Washington over Chinese and Iranian cyberspies that are striking at lightning speed, Congress is still stuck slogging at a snail's pace to offer any solution. A year after lawmakers failed to advance meaningful cybersecurity reform -- and months after President Barack Obama called on lawmakers to try again -- the critical task of fortifying the nation's digital defenses remains so mired in politics that few now think it's even possible this year. The Senate still doesn't have a major cybersecurity bill. Disagreements continue to separate lawmakers in that chamber and in the House, which earlier this year ignored a presidential veto threat and passed a controversial measure allowing the government and private sector to share cyberthreat data. And those stalemates surfaced long before National Security Agency leaks from contractor Edward Snowden chilled practically every debate involving U.S. intelligence.
Drone Pilot Fights for Right to Profit in the Unmanned Skies
The FAA, the federal agency that supervises everything from air-worthiness to passenger gadget use, has taken legal action for the first time against an on-ground pilot -- an operator of a styrofoam, 4.5-pound Ritewing Zephyr-powered glider. The $10,000 levy invokes the same code section that governs the conduct of actual airline-passenger pilots, charging modeler Raphael Pirker with illegally operating a drone for commercial purposes and flying it "in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another." Pirker is fighting the citation before the National Transportation Safety Board, challenging the FAA's assertion that it has the power to supervise the use of unmanned drones. If Pirker prevails, the FAA's 2007 ban on the commercial use of unmanned drones -- a thriving overseas business -- may be nullified. Pirker's legal battle throws a spotlight on a commercial drone scene in the United States operating in a grey area. The FAA has issued dozens of cease-and-desist letters to operators of commercial model aircraft, forcing some companies to shut down. Others, however, are performing their aerial filming and crop and real estate surveying businesses underground -- or sometimes right in the open.
Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive
Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad. Geologist Jonathan Godt, who studies landslides for the U.S. Geological Survey, says water keeps the soil and rock stable on these steep slopes -- up to a certain point. It's like adding water to a sandcastle, he says. "There's this sweet spot -- if it's too wet, it's like a slurry. It's unstable." If the soil becomes too wet, mountainsides collapse -- and flow downhill. That's what happened across Colorado's northern Rockies. The floods started with a wall of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico that got trapped up against the mountains, dumping almost a year's worth of rain in four days. As the overflow coursed through mountain ravines and canyons, it was like running a fire hydrant through a garden hose. But it wasn't just water.
Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded for work that took lab to cyberspace
Three U.S.-based scientists won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for developing powerful computer models that researchers use to understand complex chemical interactions and create new drugs. Research in the 1970s by Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel has led to programs that unveil chemical processes such as how exhaust fumes are purified or how photosynthesis takes place in green leaves, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. That kind of knowledge makes it possible to find the best design for things like new drugs, solar cells or catalytic converters for cars. The strength of the winning work is that it can be used to study all kinds of chemistry, the academy said.
Ole Miss play incident becomes learning opportunity
The chancellor of the University of Mississippi says the disruptions at a campus play with gay slurs and inappropriate laughter from the audience is an opportunity to educate students about tolerance. Chancellor Dan Jones met Monday with the editorial board of the Greenwood Commonwealth. Jones was asked about the play at the meeting. Jones said because of Ole Miss' history, including the resistance to admitting black students years ago, the university gets more attention for episodes than it might otherwise. He said many Ole Miss students come from "more sheltered backgrounds without exposure to social issues" and the university can help make them better people and better citizens.
Ole Miss students attend session following play disruption
Some Ole Miss students were required Tuesday night to attend what's described as an "educational dialogue" that came about following last week's disruption of a play with a gay character. WMC-TV in Memphis says it was not allowed to attend the discussion at Nutt Auditorium or talk to students about what they learned. The event was prompted by complaints made about how some audience members acted during a performance of "The Laramie Project," a play based on the 1998 killing of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student.
UM releases Sensitivity and Respect Committee report
The University of Mississippi Sensitivity and Respect Committee released a report Tuesday afternoon that was drafted after Chancellor Dan Jones charged the committee to study race relations on campus and make recommendations to improve its racial climate. The charge was given following the election night incident on Nov. 6, 2012. "The committee did not attempt to order the recommendations in terms of importance or ease of implementation; nor was there any effort made to omit or include a recommendation based on financial implications, complexity of implementation or popularity," the report stated.
Family of Ole Miss student grateful for 'blessings' following attack
When Candy Otter recounts her eldest son's remarkable recovery from a violent downtown Austin attack more than two weeks ago, she can't help but focus on their "many blessings." Shortly after Ole Miss senior Carson Otter was critically injured near the Sixth Street entertainment district, the Bloomington, Ind., family was flooded with help from friends and strangers alike from Austin to Mississippi and elsewhere. And Candy Otter says there were other miracles along the way: a University of Texas student who rushed to Otter's side after the attack; a Level I trauma center a few blocks away; and Otter's life-saving medical team.
Bynum named president of Mississippi Valley State University
The College Board unanimously voted Tuesday to appoint William Bynum as the next president of Mississippi Valley State University. Bynum, most recently vice president of enrollment management and student services at Atlanta's Morehouse College, was confirmed after meeting with students, faculty and alumni in Itta Bena. Besides stopping the school's sharp enrollment decline, Bynum will also have to unite a fractured alumni base and cultivate more donations. College Board spokeswoman Caron Blanton said Bynum will start full-time on Nov. 6. He'll make at least $205,000 a year, although Blanton says Higher Education Chancellor Hank Bounds is negotiating with Valley's foundation to increase the salary with donations.
Northeast Mississippi Community College students charged in officer assault
Three adult students and a juvenile student at Northeast Mississippi Community College all have been released from police custody after being charged in the assault of a campus police officer, said Booneville Police Chief Michael Ramey. The 17-year-old juvenile was released to the custody of his parents after being charged with assault on a police officer. The three adults were released on $25,000 bond each, after being charged with assault on a police officer and hindering prosecution, Ramey said. "The dean of students will review the official police report and determine appropriate disciplinary action, inform the students and carry out that action confidentially," said Northeast spokesman Tony Finch. "There is an appeal process in place and if initiated, its results will also be kept confidential out of respect for our students and their families."
Forum highlights progress, pain at the U. of Alabama
Panelists shared their stories about what it was like in Alabama during the civil rights era Tuesday at a community forum hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the University of Alabama Retiree Association. The forum is part of "Through the Doors," the university's yearlong effort to commemorate the campus' integration.
Auburn University aviation official updates university senate
Wayne Ceynowa, chief flight instructor at Auburn University's regional airport, updated the Auburn University Senate on aviation programs at Tuesday's senate meeting. Ceynowa discussed Auburn aviation education's recent history, current state and possible future at the senate's regular meeting. The university's two aviation major programs, aviation management and professional flight management, recently received attention when the university discussed the possibility of sunsetting the professional flight management major. In August, the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business announced its intention to instead maintain and improve both majors. "Let's get the word out there," Ceynowa said. "We have aviation here and we'll do what we can to continue that and explore the opportunities along the way that benefit everybody."
U. of Florida was part of Nobel-winning discovery
Physicists at the University of Florida joined thousands of scientists around the world in cheering the news Tuesday that the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, who first theorized about the existence of the so-called "God Particle." Higgs and Englert simultaneously came up with similar theories about how subatomic particles -- the building blocks of the universe -- clump together and acquire mass, a kind of blueprint for the mechanics of how the universe came into existence. "We are looking at the beginning of the universe," said Pierre Ramond, a distinguished professor of physics at UF. Englert, 80, said the award points to the importance of scientific freedom and the need for scientists to be allowed to do fundamental research that doesn't have immediate practical applications.
As disease takes toll on citrus, more Florida farmers turning to olives
Michael O'Hara Garcia doesn't have an exact reason the olive industry is starting to spring up in Florida. "That's a really good question," the president of the Florida Olive Council said. But, he added, it might have to do with the economic necessity created by HLB disease -- or citrus greening disease. For the past eight years, HLB disease has wreaked havoc to the tune of billions of dollars in financial loss on the Sunshine State's citrus market. Garcia said that in that time, Florida farming has taken an interest in olives. The Florida Olive Council is in a five-year project with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to research best practices for growing olive trees.
U. of Georgia forms group to plan for extended federal shutdown
As the federal government shutdown drags into its ninth day, University of Georgia administrators have convened a group to develop contingency plans against the still-unfolding event. Hundreds of millions of federal dollars flow into the university annually for purposes such as research, student aid and training grants. Federal dollars are also the core funding for some UGA operations such as the Cooperative Extension Service and the school's network of agricultural research stations. UGA also gets about $115 million to $120 million annually for federal research grants, which also provide pay for hundreds of UGA scientists and lab workers. For now, the federal research dollars are still coming in. "We're still able to draw from federal agencies," said David Lee, UGA's vice president for research.
UGA launches resource to help with school gardens
The University of Georgia is helping teachers who want to incorporate school gardens into their teaching. The school says its College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has launched the UGA Extension School Garden Resource Center website, which provides elementary and middle school lesson plans that integrates school gardens into curriculum. Hundreds of schools in the state have gardens.
U. of Arkansas Project Could Make Tulsa Water Safer
Scientists at the University of Arkansas said Tuesday they are developing an activated carbon that could lead to cleaner, safer drinking water in Tulsa. The school's Water Research Laboratory plans to spend the next two years working on the fix for Oklahoma's second-largest city. The project is being funded through a $156,000 grant from the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority. Scientists said the goal of the project is to improve Tulsa's drinking water by decreasing the formation of regulated disinfectant byproducts. Those chemicals are formed as an unintended consequence when drinking water is disinfected.
Student veterans in Texas A&M System to be offered college credit for military training
The Texas A&M University System has announced a partnership that will provide student veterans course credits based on the skills they learned in the armed forces. System Chancellor John Sharp and Texas Workforce Commission Commissioner Ronny Congleton made the announcement Tuesday morning at the Military Friendly Symposium hosted at Texas A&M. The 13 A&M system schools will join the College Credit for Heroes initiative immediately, nearly doubling the size of the fledgling program, which has been partnered almost exclusively with community colleges. The initiative works somewhat like transfer credit hours.
Georgia Tech fraternity suspends member for 'rapebait' email
No one knows what a Georgia Tech student was thinking when he sent an email to his fraternity brothers, offering advice for "luring rapebait" at parties. If it was supposed to be a joke, it wasn't funny. But students, graduates, the institute and the national fraternity office all agreed on one thing: It was embarrassing and derogatory, bringing unflattering attention to the university. The Phi Kappa Tau chapter at Tech has been under investigation since before the contents of the email were publicized, Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson confirmed Tuesday in Milledgeville, where the state Board of Regents met for a regularly scheduled meeting. The email's explicit, step-by-step directions for engaging in sexual activity with the help of alcohol are under scrutiny, the university said.
Study indicates role of over-sharing by professors in encouraging uncivil student behavior
Professors who want to establish classroom connections with their students receive lots of advice. And some experts have over the years advised the use of "self-disclosure," telling students stories about themselves, using self-deprecating humor as a way to make students feel comfortable and to view the instructor as an ally. Ignore that advice. That's the recommendation of a study being published today in Communication Education, a journal of the National Communication Association. The study was based on surveys of 438 undergraduates at a Southeastern university.
Pay Raises for Teachers With Master's Under Fire
The nation spends an estimated $15 billion annually on salary bumps for teachers who earn master's degrees, even though research shows the diplomas don't necessarily lead to higher student achievement. And as states and districts begin tying teachers' pay and job security to student test scores, some are altering -- or scrapping -- the time-honored wage boost. "Paying teachers on the basis of master's degrees is equivalent to paying them based on hair color," said Thomas J. Kane, an economist at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director for the Center for Education Policy Research. Mr. Kane said decades of research has shown that teachers holding master's degrees are no more effective at raising student achievement than those with only bachelor's, except in math. Researchers have also shown that teachers with advanced degrees in science benefit students.
Career-Technical Education on Congressional Radar
As Congress begins a push to renew the largest federal program aimed at high schools, there appears to be a broad consensus that the next iteration of the law should focus on helping states and districts beef up program quality. But just what that looks like in practice -- and how the law involving career and technical education should connect to the national drive to get all students ready for college and the workplace­­ -- is an open question. Advocates for career and technical educators also see bolstering program quality as a central goal -- even as they are wary of potential new strings that could infringe on local flexibility, which they see as a big strength of the current program.
BRIAN PERRY: Jim Hood seeking re-election
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "Attorney General Jim Hood told the Stennis Institute-Capitol Press Corps luncheon on Monday that at this point he plans to seek re-election in 2015. Hood said life happens and he has decisions to make regarding his children and family, but re-election is 'my plan at this point.' Hood addressed the two-dozen people crowd at the Capital Club in Jackson covering topics of cybercrime, Google and intellectual property theft, domestic violence, guns and America's future. Hood said he wasn't sure about the transition from district attorney (where he could hug the neck of a victim) to attorney general, but the challenge brought to his office by internet related crimes has made it fun. The sole statewide elected Democrat said he likes to find ways 'how the government can work to help people.'"
BOBBY HARRISON: Mississippi's issues not different from the nation's | Bobby Harrison (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "At a recent meeting of the state's legislative leaders, House Appropriations Chair Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, lamented the fact that the ever increasing spending by the state on Medicaid was taking funds from education -- namely higher education. A simple glance at state budgets for the past decade would reinforce that contention. In Fiscal Year 2003, the state spent $421.8 million on Medicaid. In Fiscal Year 2014, it is estimated the state will spend $840.1 million on Medicaid. During the same period, spending on education from the kindergarten through university level has remained level at best and has dropped in some instances. But what the state has experienced with Medicaid is nothing different than what businesses and households across the state have dealt with in regards to health care costs. ...The issues in Mississippi are not different than what is faced across the nation."
SID SALTER: UAW seeks Mississippi pawns in global effort to slow union's decline
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "As noted in prior columns on this topic, the United Auto Workers is digging in for a global battle for the survival of the declining union and the epicenter of the fight is Canton, Mississippi's Nissan plant. The New York Times this week produced a sweeping account of the UAW's strategies in Mississippi and linked those strategies to a global effort to force Nissan to knuckle under to union organizers. The Times outlined an unprecedented union organization push that will attempt to rely on global leverage against Nissan as well as the interjection of 'civil rights' into the debate. ...The UAW pitch is predictable, despite the fact that the federal government now performs at taxpayer expense most of the functions that made unions important over the last century. ...To survive, the UAW must abandon the ruins of old Detroit and infiltrate the foreign-owned automakers in 'Detroit South.' That's why they seek to make Nissan in Mississippi the first domino to fall."

Bulldogs' Russell thrives in debut of two-quarterback system against LSU
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen just wanted his senior quarterback to settle in and get back in a rhythm last weekend. Tyler Russell didn't listen. He decided to throw a touchdown pass on his third throw of the game and continued to break career records in a 59-26 loss against No. 10 LSU Saturday. Russell hit junior wide receiver Jameon Lewis on a timing route in the back of the end zone that beat double zone coverage. On the next possession, Russell found De'Runnya Wilson for a touchdown strike vertically down the field. The pitch and catch gave MSU a 23-21 lead and left behind the negative emotion of a Davis Wade Stadium crowd hissing after LSU's defense attacked Russell for a sack on his first play. The bad memory of the first play and the proceeding crowd reaction didn't faze the Bulldogs fifth-year senior.
Mississippi State's Russell OK with quarterback rotation
Tyler Russell experienced this situation before. Mississippi State's quarterback saw the same LSU coverage last year. He reacted by changing the offensive line protection as well as wide receiver Jameon Lewis' route. That adjustment resulted in a 20-yard pass to Lewis for a touchdown. "It was just, I guess you'd say, muscle memory," Russell said. "I just knew what to do. We really didn't go over that play at all." LSU's defense presented him with obstacles he's dealt with before. But playing behind Dak Prescott presents something else.
Mississippi State's receivers growing into roles
Mississippi State senior quarterback Tyler Russell always gathers the new and freshmen wide receivers to give them a piece of critical advice. "I tell all of them to just be patient because you never know when your time is going to come," Russell said. "You never know when that opportunity will present itself but it will. Trust me." MSU's young group of wide receivers is finally overcoming its lack of playing experience and realizing Russell's words of wisdom.
Red-zone TDs a must for Mississippi State's Mullen
Mississippi State ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in red-zone scoring percentage. In 23 trips inside the 20-yard line, the Bulldogs came away with points 20 times. But the numbers don't satisfy MSU coach Dan Mullen because only 14 ended in touchdowns. "When you get down there, you have to get touchdowns," Mullen said.
Bowling Green football looks to become bowl eligible
The Bowling Green football team will be taking its talent and new equipment truck to Starkville, Miss., Saturday to take on its Southeastern Conference opponent, the 2-3 Mississippi State University Bulldogs. The Falcons are currently 5-1 on the season and look to break the bowl eligible mark this weekend in their best season start since 2003. This is the first meeting between BG and Mississippi State and the second time the Falcons have played in the state of Mississippi since the inception of the program in 1919. BG's only game in the state of Mississippi was on Nov. 11, 1978 against the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, a game in which the Falcons lost 38-21. This game is the second year in a row the Falcons have played a school from the SEC, arguably the nation's most superior conference in college football.
LOGAN LOWERY: Time is now to make bowl push | Logan Lowery (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Logan Lowery writes: "In 113 years of Mississippi State football, no coach has ever led his team to four consecutive bowl games. Dan Mullen has an opportunity to be that guy. Mullen and Jackie Sherrill are the only coaches at MSU to lead teams to three bowl games in a row, and another bowl win would give Mullen the most in school history. Sherrill went 3-8 in 2001 when attempting to reach a bowl in four consecutive years. State sits at 2-3 entering the midway point of the season facing Bowling Green and Kentucky the next two games. The Bulldogs can ill afford a letdown on homecoming this weekend."
Slimmer Ware ready make more contributions to Mississippi State basketball
Mississippi State's Rick Ray says his front court depth hasn't changed from last year and this is not something he hoped for. With last week's dismissal of senior Wendell Lewis due to conduct detrimental to the team, the only other experienced player at center is Gavin Ware, a Southeastern Conference all-conference freshman team selection, heading into the 2013-14 season. The Bulldogs, who finished 13th in the league last year, will have only three forwards to mix in between two starting front court spots. "It's the same (situation) as last year," Ware said. "We just have to work with what we got. It's nothing new."
Chancellor pays visit to Mississippi State women's basketball practice
Van Chancellor says the best thing about his life as a retired coach is getting to do whatever he feels like when he wakes up in the morning. Tuesday morning he felt like doing two things: seeing his friend Vic Schaefer's team practice and play the Mississippi State University golf course. The Hall of Famer accomplished the first thing on that list as he spoke to the MSU women's basketball team before their practice at the Mize Pavilion. "Vic is my old golfing buddy and he's carried me in more golfing victories than the players did when I was coaching the Houston Comets," Chancellor said.

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