Thursday, October 24, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
Special parking in place on campus for today's game
The Special Events and Game Day Operations Committee has approved specific parking recommendations that will be followed for the home football game with the University of Kentucky today. Faculty and staff will be permitted to park in their regular parking lots until noon on Thursday. After noon, these lots will convert to game day parking. Personnel who are asked to work Thursday afternoon should move their vehicles to the game worker parking area behind the IED building. Thank you for your assistance in making sure that the university is able to efficiently and safely accommodate large numbers of visitors.
Mississippi State receives $1.9 million in job accelerator grant
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that Mississippi State University and partners will be awarded nearly $2 million of $20.5 million in grant awards to fund projects to accelerate job creation and encourage reshoring of advanced manufacturing jobs that have moved overseas. Led by the university's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension Center in Canton, the multi-partner MSU proposal outlines a "Make it in Mississippi" program to become one of the leading answers to the economic development challenge. "This program will create synergies between the university's professional development activities and the outstanding workforce development efforts of our participating community colleges. The result will be to continue to enhance our state's global competitiveness," said Clay Walden, CAVS Extension director and principal investigator of the grant.
Dispute emerges over local merger funding avenues
A rift that has simmered through at least two meetings over consolidation finances emerged Tuesday when committee members Lewis Holloway and Orlando Trainer verbally sparred over how to fund county renovations and the future of joint Starkville-Oktibbeha school tax rates. Discussions came to a head when the Commission on Consolidated Starkville School District Structure broached cost estimates for renovations to East and West Oktibbeha County Elementary schools. Financial flexibility, or the lack thereof, has been a major uncertainty throughout consolidation meetings.
Sources say Starkville special meeting will address investigation
A special-call Starkville Board of Aldermen meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday is linked to an internal city investigation, sources close to the situation confirmed Tuesday. Sources said a Starkville Municipal Court employee was recently investigated for potential financial wrongdoing, but the Dispatch is unaware of the outcome of that inquiry. Starkville Police Chief David Lindley said Tuesday no criminal charges have been filed against a city employee to date. The notice for Thursday's meeting is signed by Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins and Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard. That notice was posted shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday on City Hall's front door. Only one item, a personnel matter, is listed for discussion.
Heavy machinery moving dirt at Yokohama site
Eutaw Construction crews are working seven days and nights a week at the site of the new Yokohama Tire plant in Clay County. The project has around a million-and-a-half yards of dirt to be excavated. It also has 650,000 imported yards of cubic borrow that will go directly underneath the future building pad. "Well, the challenge is getting the heavier clay off the top. It's about eight feet thick. It's real slick and gets real wet so we have to get it off first and get it down to the chalk material which loads out better," said Tom Elmore, president of Eutaw Construction.
Two Mississippi museums to take on its turbulent history
Mississippi breaks ground Thursday on side-by-side museums that are expected to break ground of their own in how they depict the Southern state once rocked by racial turmoil, one promising a frank focus on civil rights and the other a sweep of history from pre-European settlements to Elvis Presley and more. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History -- two museums under the same roof -- are scheduled to open in Jackson in 2017, the state's bicentennial. Hank Holmes, director of the state Department of Archives and History, said the exhibits won't minimize the parts of the past that some might consider embarrassing or uncomfortable. "There is no sugar coating," Holmes said.
Additional funding needed for state museums
Officials with the Department of Archives and History will be seeking additional state funds during the 2014 legislative session to complete the two museums project in Jackson. Ground will be broken today on the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, but additional funds will be needed to complete the project. H.T. Holmes, director of the Department of Archives and History, said it is estimated an additional $35 million will be needed for the two museums, but that could change.
Making history: Work kicks off today on civil rights, state history museums
Gov. Phil Bryant, Myrlie Evers and others will make history Thursday morning when they break ground for the nation's only state-operated civil rights museum and its companion, the Museum of Mississippi History. "It will give Mississippi an opportunity, in a physical way, to portray its really complex, fascinating history," said David Sansing, professor emeritus of history for the University of Mississippi. "It is so neat that the history museum and civil rights museum are adjacent to each other. Our history has been determined by the racial composition of our people, and we can never separate that."
Common Core Could Save Colleges Money
According to reports, nearly a quarter of incoming freshmen to Mississippi's public universities -- and half the freshmen entering community colleges -- take remedial courses. The large number of students taking developmental classes ends up costing the state more than $35 million. However, state lawmakers believe they may have found a way to bolster the number of college-ready students. Sen. Briggs Hopson is a member of both the Appropriations and the Universities and Colleges committees. He said Mississippi's new Common Core standards will eliminate the need for remedial courses. Jim Borsig is the president of Mississippi University for Women. He said decreasing the number of remedial course is a good idea. "It's a goal that I think is in the best interest of the state." said Borsig.
GOP Senate Candidate Addressed Conference Hosted by Neo-Confederate Group That Promotes Secessionism
Chris McDaniel is taking the "GOP Civil War" to a new level. Two months ago, the tea party-backed Mississippi Senate candidate addressed a neo-Confederate conference and costume ball hosted by a group that promotes the work of present-day secessionists and contends the wrong side won the "war of southern independence." Other speakers at the event included a historian who believes Lincoln was a Marxist and Ryan Walters, a PhD candidate who worked on McDaniel's first political campaign and wrote recently that the "controversy" over President Barack Obama's birth certificate "hasn't really been solved." McDaniel, a state senator, is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in next summer's GOP Senate primary.
SpaceX to test rocket engine at Stennis; administrator praises workers
Private space exploration firm SpaceX will test a methane fueled rocket engine at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. State and federal officials made the announcement Wednesday. Mississippi will spend $500,000 and NASA will spend $600,000 to help upgrade a rocket test stand so it can use methane to fuel SpaceX's Raptor engine. Mississippi Development Authority spokesman Jeff Rent says the testing could support a handful of jobs, but is important because it could make Stennis more attractive to other private users. The facility will be owned by NASA.
State tops in economic outlook
A top Mississippi Economic Council official outlined the state's significant business and industry growth in recent years and stressed the need to carry forward with the Blueprint Mississippi strategic plan. Scott Waller, senior vice president for public affairs for the Council, the state's Chamber of Commerce, told the Olive Branch Rotary Club that Mississippi ranks in the upper tier of Southeastern states in business and economic outlook in some areas and is at a high level in some national rankings. Also, discussing the importance of education in the state, Waller said the economic council strongly supports the state's move to Common Core standards in its schools. The approach has been adopted by education leaders in Mississippi and 45 other states but criticism has been growing among some groups over the past year.
Americans will have an extra six weeks to buy health coverage before facing penalty
The Obama administration said Wednesday night that it will give Americans who buy health insurance through the new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they incur a penalty. The announcement means that those who buy coverage through the exchange will have until March 31 to sign up for a plan, according to an official with the Department of Health and Human Services. Administration officials said that the rejiggered deadline is unrelated to the many technical problems that have emerged with the Web site,, in its first three weeks. Instead, they said, it is designed to clear up a timing confusion about the 2010 law, which for the first time requires most Americans to buy health coverage or face a penalty.
Securities and Exchange Commission decision will help startups lure investors
Federal regulators voted on Wednesday to create new guidelines that would ultimately allow startups to receive capital from small investors and sell stock through online portals, a step cheered by entrepreneurs. Traditionally, startups have been able to accept investments only from accredited investors, meaning they have a net worth of at least $1 million. The rule was intended to protect smaller investors from the risks associated with angel investing, but it also meant entrepreneurs were limited to those with bigger wallets, such as angel funds or venture capitalists. Crowd funding through platforms including Kickstarter and Indigogo has been used for several years to finance projects such as films, records or companies, but if the rule passes, companies could offer ownership stakes in companies -- instead of tangible items such as concert tickets or DVDs -- in exchange for money.
Help NASA crowdsource products and services from its technology and share the profits
NASA and the startup website are teaming up to ask the public to brainstorm new products and services using NASA technologies. Come up with a new idea worth developing and you'll own part of the new thing when it rolls out. The Technology Transfer Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville is managing the program. "We are excited about partnering with Marblar to reach new audiences," manager Terry Taylor said.
Researchers backing first documented case of HIV remission in child
A 3-year-old Mississippi child born with HIV and treated with a combination of antiviral drugs unusually early continues to do well and remains free of active infection 18 months after all treatment ceased, according to an updated case report published Oct. 23 in The New England Journal of Medicine. Early findings of the case were presented in March 2013 during a scientific meeting in Atlanta, but the newly published report adds detail and confirms what researchers say is the first documented case of HIV remission in a child. "We're thrilled that the child remains off medication and has no detectable virus replicating," said pediatrician Hannah Gay, M.D. of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in a release.
UPD working to retain officers in spite of budget
Even as the budgets for university departments continue to tighten, recruiting and retaining quality officers remains a top priority for the University Police Department. "Everybody on campus is understaffed and overworked," said University Chief of Police Calvin Sellers. "I'm proud of what we do, but I think we can do better." With just nine resignations over the past five years, the University Police Department is on track to maintain a voluntary separation rate of just under 5.5 percent, which is nearly 2 percent lower than the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics annual rate for government employees.
Living 'The Laramie Project' at Ole Miss
On Oct. 12, 1998, Matthew Shepard, 21, asked a few guys at a local bar for a ride home. Instead of taking him there, they drove him into a rural area, tied him to a fence and beat him unconscious with the butt of a handgun. They then left Shepard hanging on the fence; he died six days later. Aaron McKinney was one of the assailants, and his account of this event is immortalized in his confession to the Sheriff's Department of Albany County, Wyo. It was performed on stage earlier this month at Meek Auditorium at the University of Mississippi for a campus production of "The Laramie Project"---a documentary-style play that dramatizes real interviews of the Laramie community after the murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay man. The effect wasn't quite what the cast of the production thought it would be at the Oct. 1 performance.
Bentley creates Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research at U. of Alabama
Gov. Robert Bentley created a new center to focus on state insurance issues on Wednesday. The Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research will be housed at the University of Alabama's College of Business and Commerce. Bentley announced the center during his keynote speech at UA's Insurance Day conference at the Bryant Conference Center and then signed an executive order creating the center before a crowd of about 350 people. "This will be an independent, non-profit research center that will examine the challenges facing Alabama homeowners and produce thorough, unbiased research on the availability and affordability of homeowners insurance across Alabama," Bentley said.
Students show off their ideas at TEDxUGA competition
Students competed with ideas Wednesday evening at the University of Georgia chapel, proposing projects that might change the world in front of a panel of judges and a mostly-student crowd that nearly filled the chapel. Eleven brave students stood up to make brief presentations, each hoping to be picked by a panel of judges to participate in the second TEDxUGA event next spring, when faculty, alumni and students share innovative ideas they're working on.
Family concert series debuts Saturday at U. of Georgia
A new family-focused concert series debuts Saturday at the University of Georgia's Performing Arts Center. Called the Saturday Morning Club, the series offers younger audiences an opportunity to peer behind the scenes of how music gets made, all on top of riveting performances by students and faculty from UGA's Hugh Hodgson School of Music. The inaugural Saturday Morning Club begins with a performance by the UGA Wind Symphony. Following the performance, children can get interactive through an instrument petting zoo.
LSU recognized for social media efforts
LSU ranked No. 10 on's annual Top 100 Social Media Colleges rankings, based on the best social media practices at colleges and universities in the United States. The Top 100 schools use social media to give students insights into the schools' culture, personality, and DNA, according to Dean Tsouvalas, editor-in-chief of This helps students determine the right fit for them beyond college rankings and marketing.
U. of South Carolina plans to restart shuttles to Five Points in wake of shooting
The University of South Carolina is expected to start a new shuttle service from the Five Points entertainment district to its campus this weekend after a freshman was paralyzed by a stray bullet last week. The school will announce details Thursday, administrators said – the same day as a free concert on campus to show support for shooting victim 18-year-old Martha Childress and increased safety in Five Points. USC's Greek fraternity and sorority leaders, who organized the concert, said the campus event is not a protest against the bar-heavy entertainment hotspot, which has been the location of several high-profile crimes in recent years.
Team of UT, A&M researchers make out-of-this-world discovery: A new galaxy
If you think the night sky in the Milky Way is wondrous, you should see the skyline out in galaxy z8_GND_5296. "If you lived there, the sky would be aglow," said Casey Papovich, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Texas A&M. That glow would be the formation of around 300 sun-like stars per year in this 13.8-billion-year-old galaxy. Papovich is part of a record-breaking team that has measured the most distant galaxy in the known universe. An article published today in the Nature journal unveils the data and tests used to validate the discovery made by Steven Finkelstein, lead author; Vithal Tilvi, co-author; and UT grad student Mimi Song.
J. Michael Ragan named chief of Texas A&M police force
The Texas A&M University Police Department has a new chief -- a 33-year-veteran with the agency, J. Michael Ragan. Ragan, who worked under long-serving chiefs Bob Wiatt and Elmer Schneider, as well as former Corps of Cadets Commandant Thomas R. Parsons, has served as interim chief since Schneider's retirement in April. "I owe each of them so much," Ragan said of his former chiefs, praising Parsons for his commitment to the university, Wiatt for his knowledge of law enforcement and Schneider for teaching him about serving a university and caring for its people. Texas A&M Assistant Vice President for Safety and Security Chris Meyer said Ragan received widespread support from those who interviewed him for the position.
Political campaign-style targeting comes to student search
For years, colleges have sought out applicants who have high test scores or who can throw a football. But increasingly the targets are far more precise, in part because of technology and in part because recruiters are under the gun to meet enrollment goals. Now, it's easier for recruiters to use millions of high school students' personal information to target them for certain traits, including family income or ethnicity, or even to predict which students will apply, enroll and stay in college. These tactics, which are beginning to resemble the data-driven efforts used by political campaigns, have already prompted internal discussions at the College Board. Advisers to the College Board -- which has data on seven million students it sells to about 1,100 institutions each year – met early this summer and talked about doing more to police how colleges can use the board's student data, but a committee decided not to change the current policies.
Most States Surpass Global Average in Math, Science
A new analysis of how all U.S. states stack up against countries around the world shows that 8th grade students in 36 states outperformed the international average in math and those in 47 did so in science. The federal report, released today, showcases the academic prowess of high-achieving states, such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont, which outperformed all but five of 47 countries, provinces, and jurisdictions abroad in mathematics. At the same time, the study also highlights some states' scholastic weaknesses. Alabama, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia, for instance, were the lowest-performing domestically in math.
BILL MINOR: Cochran faces a challenge from Tea Party
Longtime political observer and columnist Bill Minor writes: "It's been said that Republicans turn suicidal after having some success. While they have had no success nationally of late, it has been a different story down here in the Deep South. Here, Republicans have grabbed control of the government and are riding high. An extremist strain of GOPers has creeped into the arena and is creating havoc in the party. ...The politically important question here in Mississippi -- where homegrown Democrats controlled public offices for nearly a century -- is how an untested Republican Party can stand up to the Tea Party insurrection. To prove they can't be lightly regarded, the Tea Partiers tried last week to knock off the state's most respected GOP officeholder, Sen. Thad Cochran. ...Cochran has built a reputation as a senior Republican on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, chairing it in years of Republican majorities. ...Significantly most of the earmarks went to important programs at Mississippi's under-funded universities."
PATSY BRUMFIELD: Soccer case raises questions about MHSAA | Patsy Brumfield (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Patsy Brumfield writes: "Man, I learn something every day. Take last week, for instance: A federal judge could not stop the Mississippi High School Activities Association from discriminating against soccer players because MHSAA officials state a rational purpose for the rule. ...What was striking during the hearing was MHSAA's admission that its new rules -- two years in the making, its director said -- are messy, apparently copied and pasted from Louisiana, and that it enforces some of them and just looks the other way when one conflicts with another. Sometimes it's hard not to just shout out in the courtroom, 'You said, what?!!!' However, working the past six years in federal court, I just put my hand over my mouth and swallow hard. Now I've gotten curious. Who else has had experiences with MHSAA they'd like to talk about?"

Bulldogs at season's midpoint with UK in town
Mississippi State enters the second half of the season with a 3-3 overall record. The remaining six regular season games for the Bulldogs will all be against Southeastern Conference opponents. MSU kicks off the back half of the ledger tonight at 6:30 p.m. hosting Kentucky on ESPN. Both teams are coming off a bye over the weekend and are in search of its first SEC victory. The Bulldogs have played Kentucky every year since 1990 and are 14-9 over that span including four straight victories under Dan Mullen.
'It's a must win:' Mississippi State can't afford loss to Kentucky
Since 1990, five teams have appeared annually on Mississippi State's schedule. Kentucky is the only team not in the Southeastern Conference's Western Division. Of course, that's fine with Mississippi State. MSU boasts more wins against Kentucky than any other opponent during that time period. "That leads to a little bit of a rivalry, the team on the other side of the league you play," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "I know our guys look forward to this game and treat it as a little bit of a rivalry game." Kentucky travels to Starkville for the 41st meeting at 6:30 tonight at Davis Wade Stadium. "This is pivotal, got a must win, can't take no losses," Mississippi State defensive end P.J. Jones said. "It's a must win."
Kentucky, Mississippi State looking for first SEC win
Mississippi State doesn't have a very easy path to six victories and a fourth straight season of bowl eligibility. Beating Kentucky would be a good first step. The Bulldogs (3-3, 0-2 SEC) host Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) tonight in a matchup of two teams vying for their first conference victory of the season. Mississippi State has won four straight against the Wildcats, including last season's 27-14 victory in Lexington, Ky. "I think we have a lot of guys that want to win, desperately want to win, and are learning how to do it within the team setting," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said.
After tough stretch, Kentucky faces unranked foe
Although Kentucky enters tonight's game as an underdog, the Wildcats are delighted to see Mississippi State pop up on the schedule. Kentucky has dropped four straight outings in to ranked opponents during the toughest stretch in the program's 123 year history. The Wildcats lost to No. 7 Louisville, No. 19 Florida, No. 13 South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama by a combined score of 134-55. Kentucky comes into tonight's contest with a 1-5 overall record and are 0-3 in conference play. The Bulldogs will also be in search of their first SEC win, sitting at 0-2 in league play and 3-3 overall. "Playing Mississippi State on the road is just a different challenge," said first year UK coach Mark Stoops.
MSU Notebook: Kentucky goes to backup option at quarterback
Kentucky is forced to go back to its backup option at quarterback. Even though the Wildcats coaching staff has seen physical improvement with quarterback Jalen Whitlow, the plan is to primarily play Maxwell Smith the majority of snaps Thursday night at Mississippi State (6:30 p.m., ESPN). "He's getting better," UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown said of Whitlow. "He's progressed really each day. Moved around probably a little better today than he did yesterday. Really didn't know until probably yesterday what Jalen's status was gonna be but Maxwell's been getting those starter's reps and Jalen's been getting the backup reps."
Scouting report: Kentucky at Mississippi State
Like last year, Kentucky enters tonight's game with question marks at quarterback due to injury. Jalen Whitlow suffered an ankle injury against Alabama and although he practiced this week, sophomore Maxwell Smith is expected to start under center. In 2012 it was Smith who missed the game and Whitlow split time with Patrick Towles. MSU was able to notch four sacks in that contest which was the most against any opponent in 2012.
Saban to Alabama fans: Stay the full game or give tickets to someone who will
It's hard to miss the large gaps of empty seats after halftime of recent Alabama football games. Though players and coaches say they don't notice the size or noise, coach Nick Saban is joining the list of university leaders who say it needs to improve. "I've talked about players playing for 60 minutes in the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game," Saban said. "And, in some kind of way, everybody that chooses to go to the game should stay there and support the team for the game." He also had a solution to the issue. "Maybe if you're not interested in doing that, you should let someone else go who would really like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go," Saban said.
SEC coordinator of officials talks possible adjustments to targeting penalty
Southeastern Conference coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said Wednesday that the league plans to ask the NCAA Football Rules Committee after this season to exam penalties being assessed on the field after a targeting foul has been overturned by replay. "Even our commissioner has serious reservations about the penalty philosophy around targeting fouls when they're overturned," Shaw said on the SEC teleconference, referring to Mike Slive. "He and I have talked. He's challenged me, and together we're going to work with the rules committee to revisit the penalty if a disqualification is overturned for targeting."
LSU delays decision until December on ticket price increases
A decision on whether to raise LSU ticket prices won't happen this week, but it will probably happen soon. The LSU System Board of Supervisors will likely take up the matter in December, LSU President F. King Alexander said, adding that the delay has nothing to do with fans' lingering anger over the Ole Miss loss. The board was scheduled to vote Friday on a proposal to raise prices on football and baseball tickets and parking, but the item was removed from the agenda. Alexander said Wednesday he pulled the proposal from Friday's agenda because "There's a lot of confusion over a very complicated pricing structure."
Amid Rising Discord Over Indian Images, F.S.U. Has Harmony
Before every kickoff at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla., a Florida State student in facial war paint and an American Indian costume steers a spotted Appaloosa to midfield. As the horse rises on its hind legs, the rider, who is not an Indian, thrusts a flaming spear into the turf to the crazed accompaniment of the crowd's droning chant and an arm gesture called the tomahawk chop. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has granted written permission for the university to borrow symbols of its heritage. While other tribes have pressed institutions to amend certain traditions or abandon nicknames and logos, Florida State enjoys the imprimatur of its sports teams' namesake.

The Office of Public Affairs provides the Daily News Digest as a general information resource for Mississippi State University stakeholders.
Web links are subject to change. Submit news, questions or comments to Jim Laird.
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: October 24, 2013Facebook Twitter