Friday, October 25, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
Goddard explores traumatic memories in new novel
In a new novel titled "Living Memories," Mississippi State University entomologist Jerome Goddard explores traumatic memories and the implications of science run amok. An extension service professor in the biochemistry, molecular biology, entomology, and plant pathology department, Goddard said he got the idea for the novel while thinking about prions --- abnormal, pathogenic agents responsible for diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. Aside from the study of the power of memory, "Living Memory" also delves into the ethics of scientific research. His wife, Rosella, helped plot the novel and also is credited as an author.
Students take a Body Walk
The Mississippi State University Extension Service offered area elementary school students the chance to walk through parts of the body this week as part of the university's traveling Body Walk. The Body Walk is a 40x40-foot walk-through exhibit aimed to teach kids all about the interior of their bodies and teach them a bit of health too. (Subscriber-only content.)
Bunker a perfect 'match' for Mississippi tech conference
A leader in entrepreneurial technology will be the keynote speaker at the 14th Annual Conference on Technology Innovation Nov. 12 and 13 at the Jackson Convention Complex. Will Bunker, a graduate of Mississippi State University, was co-founder of the pioneering online dating service that later became, the world's largest personal site, will address the conference. Innovate Mississippi CEO and president Tony Jeff says this conference is the annual gathering of Mississippians interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. Bunker, who was a classmate and fraternity brother of Jeff's, will lead a breakout session in addition to giving the keynote address. "I grew up in the Delta on a cotton farm and went to school in Greenville, Miss. Afterward I went to college at MSU, and my wife is from Columbus," he said of his ties to Mississippi.
America's new citizens celebrate
It's the culmination of the path to citizenship. Fifty people held their hands high Thursday and took the naturalization oath. They gathered at the United States Northern District of Mississippi Courthouse in Aberdeen. "We did it the easy way. We were born with it. They came and asked to be and went through all the hoops to become that," Dr. Marty Wiseman of the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute of Government said. The hoops are many.
Hardy's determination pays off with success
David Hardy, the new president of the Mississippi State Board of Architecture, says his determination helped him get through the architecture program at Mississippi State University. He chose architecture because he loved to draw and had always had an interest in construction. (Subscriber-only content.)
Dunlap named communication director for Southeastern Conference
Charles D. "Chuck" Dunlap, a 1999 Mississippi State University communication graduate, is the new communications director for the Southeastern Conference. Associate director of media relations since 2007, Dunlap is a 13-year veteran of the SEC office in downtown Birmingham, Ala. The Louisville native joined the conference as an intern shortly after graduation. Dunlap's wife, the former Amber Chrisman, also is a 1999 MSU communication graduate.
Hearing slated to determine gov's authority over Blue Cross
A hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on whether Gov. Phi Bryant can issue an executive order forcing Blue Cross & Blue Shield to restore 10 privately owned hospitals across the state to its health insurance network. Blue Cross is challenging the governor's authority to force it to put 10 hospitals owned by Florida-based Health Management Associates in its network.
Providing a future home for Mississippi's past
Myrlie Evers stood Thursday just four miles from where she cradled her dying husband a half-century ago. "He made the decision to take that risk," said the 80-year-old widow of Medgar Evers, who was assassinated June 12, 1963. "He did it to make life better for our children." She and others joined Thursday in the groundbreaking for the new Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in downtown Jackson. Both are slated to be finished in time for Mississippi's 200th birthday. "Myrlie Evers has every right to be the bitterest woman in America," but she is far from that, said former Gov. William Winter. "She understands that hatred and bitterness never educated a child, never lifted a school." He turned to her and thanked her. "My grandchildren have a better future because of what you've done," he said.
Two museums to spotlight Mississippi's history, progress
How far Mississippi has come and how far it still can go were celebrated Thursday morning at a ceremony designed to honor the state's rich, though at times troubled, past. Governors, former governors, legislators and civil rights leaders spoke nearly in unison about Mississippi's triumphant future during the groundbreaking of the two Mississippi Museums projects in front of hundreds from across the state. Former Gov. Haley Barbour also spoke of the importance of the museum to the state's tourism and thus economic development efforts. "It is important to a state that the capital city be something you can be proud of," he said. "This will make Jackson a better city...It is good for the economy of Jackson and that, too, is good for Mississippi." It is estimated than 180,000 people will visit the museums annually.
Contractors say late changes, lack of testing doomed health care website launch
Private contractors working on the troubled federal health insurance marketplace told a congressional committee Thursday that they needed several months, but only had two weeks, before the launch date to fully test what could be the most complex government IT system in U.S. history. The task was further complicated by the Obama administration's late decision to require users to create personal accounts before they could browse and compare health plans on the marketplace portal, the website. Thursday's hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee gave lawmakers their first opportunity to question several key marketplace architects about the rampant problems that have plagued the system and created a political firestorm for President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Obama to tout education as pathway to middle-class jobs
President Obama will argue Friday that the joint budget conference committee tasked with recommending a 2014 spending plan should prioritize schools that provide educational and vocational training. The president will be visiting Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a Brooklyn institution where students graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree in computers or engineering. According to a White House official, Obama "believes that the upcoming budget conference is an opportunity for Washington to focus on building a strong, secure middle class."
Farm bill gets no respect
Celebrity chefs are busting out of cable television. Whole Foods Markets, with its trademark Austin-coastal chichi freshness, is now in 40 states including Alabama, Mississippi and Nebraska. But the farm bill, amid America's interest in all things food-related? It's still Washington's Rodney Dangerfield. It can't get no respect. After two years of struggle, House and Senate conferees will finally meet next Wednesday to try to salvage a compromise five-year plan. President Barack Obama is taking notice. But as quickly as the president mentioned the farm bill recently, Washington's pundits dissed him for elevating something deemed unworthy.
Pentagon's top three threats in the 'deep future'
What sorts of threats will the U.S. military face in the "deep future"? That was the topic of a panel at the Association of the U.S. Army conference this week, the heavily attended annual trade show that draws top Pentagon officials and defense contractors. It's a tricky proposition for the Pentagon, since making the wrong predictions means squandering scarce funds in a time of intense budget pressure. The Pentagon was forced to cancel the Future Combat System in 2009, for example, when the military tried to predict where the future was headed "more than a few years out," said Gen. Robert Cone, head of the US training and doctrine command. As a result, he told the panel, "We're a little gun-shy." Still, in a standing-room-only session, the discussion endeavored to come up with the most likely risks to the stability of the world -- and most likely to challenge the US military -- in 2030 and beyond.
Companies rush to build 'biofactories' for medicines, flavorings and fuels
For scientist Jack Newman, creating a new life-form has become as simple as this: He types out a DNA sequence on his laptop. Clicks "send." And a few yards away in the laboratory, robotic arms mix together some compounds to produce the desired cells. Newman's biotech company is creating new organisms, most forms of genetically modified yeast, at the dizzying rate of more than 1,500 a day. Some convert sugar into medicines. Others create moisturizers that can be used in cosmetics. And still others make biofuel, a renewable energy source usually made from corn. The rush to biological means of production promises to revolutionize the chemical industry and transform the economy, but it also raises questions about environmental safety and biosecurity and revives ethical debates about "playing God." Hundreds of products are in the pipeline.
UM parking director takes job in Utah
Isaac Astill will leave his job as the University of Mississippi's parking and transportation director to take a job in his home state of Utah, according a Thursday afternoon press release from the university. Astill was Ole Miss's first parking and transportation director. Astill's move comes during a time when fans have been frustrated with new university policies that restrict campus parking on football game days. University leaders, however, praised his work and said the new job will be a promotion.
UM parking director steps down
The University of Mississippi's Director of Parking and Transportation Isaac Astill has accepted a job in Utah and will step down from his Ole Miss position Nov. 15, according to a university press release. Astill was hired in July 2012, and implemented new parking policies on campus. According to Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Larry Sparks, Astill's resignation was not related to the perception of Ole Miss' parking situation by students or faculty at Ole Miss and Astill "was absolutely, positively not forced out." "Isaac (Astill) had another job opportunity and he took it," Sparks told The Daily Mississippian Wednesday afternoon. "We hate to see him go. We tried our best to entice him to stay and were unsuccessful with that."
Bay St. Louis' Chuck Scianna donates eagle statues to USM Gulf Park, Hattiesburg campuses
Bay St. Louis native Chuck Scianna graduated from Southern Miss in 1975, and then-President Aubrey K. Lucas was the one to hand him his diploma on stage at the ceremony. Thursday morning, Scianna and Lucas shared the stage once again, this time to dedicate a 14-foot-tall bronze golden eagle statue Scianna donated in Lucas' honor. The statue, named "Lofty Return" and weighing in at about 1,650 pounds, occupies a place of honor behind Hardy Hall on Southern Miss' Gulf Park campus. "The eagle is a magnificent bird. It represents integrity, high achievement, and this particular piece represents coming home," Scianna said.
Three indicted in U. of Southern Mississippi case
Three of the suspects involved in an on-campus altercation at the University of Southern Mississippi in November involving a handgun and former Southern Miss quarterback Anthony Alford have been indicted on felony charges. University police arrested six, including Alford, following the Nov. 28 fight near the school's Walker Science Building that left no one injured. No shots were fired during the altercation, police Chief Bob Hopkins said following the incident.
Paul named grand marshal for USM homecoming parade
University of Southern Mississippi Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joseph S. "Joe" Paul has been chosen to serve as grand marshal for the school's 2013 homecoming parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Hattiesburg. A Bay St. Louis native, Paul has served more than 30 years as a student affairs administrator at Southern Miss. He has held a variety of positions at Southern Miss before becoming vice president of student affairs in 1993, including assistant director of student activities, assistant vice president and dean of student development. He also teaches in the graduate program in educational leadership in the College of Education and Psychology.
College Hall ribbon-cutting set for today at USM
The University of Southern Mississippi will host the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony for the re-opening of College Hall at 2 p.m. today. The building underwent a $6 million renovation and restoration over the last two years and is now home of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. Tours of the building will be conducted following the ceremony. "This is a historic time for the School of Mass Communication and Journalism," said Chris Campbell, the school's director. The ceremony will also allow the University Foundation to jump start The Campaign for Mass Comm, a fundraising initiative related to the College Hall renovation.
Community colleges face off for canned goods competition
This holiday season, Itawamba Community College and Northeast Mississippi Community College are competing against each other for the same goal. Students at both colleges are using a competition to collect food for the "Food for Families Food Drive." Both colleges will compete from November 11-15 in hopes of collecting the most food.
U. of Alabama team part of breakthrough research on Parkinson's disease
A team of scientists including researchers at the University of Alabama has identified a chemical compound that helps enhance a brain cell's ability to combat the effects of blocks formed by a protein linked to Parkinson's Disease. The collaborative research was led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology biology professor Susan Lindquist, along with researchers at UA, Harvard University, Purdue University and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
At U. of Florida, Post editor David Finkel tells powerful stories from Iraq, Afghan wars
Since 9/11, 2.5 million Americans have joined the armed services, 2 million of whom were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq. Of those, 1.5 million came home without suffering life-changing physical or mental injuries and managed to ease back into a normal life. Another 500,000 weren't as lucky. They suffered, and still suffer, the mental and emotional trauma those wars took on them. Those are the soldiers that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel chose to write about in his latest book, "Thank You For Your Service." Finkel, the enterprise editor for the Washington Post, read excerpts of that book to a packed room of about 70 in the Ocora at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service Thursday night.
Community gets a peek inside UF's Fab Lab
Cool weather on Thursday complemented the fall theme at A2 Fab Lab's open house, where University of Florida students and faculty gathered to witness impressive technology. "Tonight is really an exposure to the lab, an exposure to technology," said Mat Chandler, director of UF's A2 Fab Lab. Fab Lab is a digital fabrication lab open to all UF students, faculty and staff. Advanced printing, cutting and scanning tools are available to anyone who pays a membership fee. The lab, in Room 307 of UF's architecture building, is equipped with two laser cutters, three 3D printers, a 3D scanner and a three-axis CNC router. These tools are used to create architectural models, functional prototypes and creative works of art.
U. of South Carolina president 'guardedly optimistic' about Five Points safety
University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides said he expects Five Points will be safer with added policing this weekend than when a freshman was shot and paralyzed more than a week ago. "How safe? I don't know," Pastides told The State on Thursday. "A high level of confidence in overall safety will take longer. Somewhere, I hope my confidence will grow." The president sent an email to USC's 31,000 students announcing a shuttle service, starting this weekend, along with added patrols by the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
U. of Arkansas Polling: Shutdown Blamed on Democrats, Approval Slips for Boozman, Pryor
Results from the 15th annual Arkansas Poll, conducted by the University of Arkansas, found respondants blaming President Barack Obama and the Democrats for the partial government shutdown. The poll, conducted from Oct. 10-17, also showed declining approval ratings for Arkansas' two Senators, Republican John Boozman and Democrat Mark Pryor, who faces a tough re-election challenge by U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. Respondants were also "dramatically more pessimistic about the future while continuing the trend toward identifying as Republican-leaning Independents. And the economy remains the most important problem facing Arkansans.
Police: Shootout near LSU leaves one man hospitalized
A 23-year-old man suffered life threatening injuries just after midnight Friday during a shootout with another man near the LSU campus, Baton Rouge Police Lt. Joseph Colar said in an email. Adonis Forbes, who turns 24 next month, was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center for treatment. The exchange of gunfire occurred at 206 W. Roosevelt St., near the Edward Gay Apartments, Colar said.
U. of Missouri Extension programs back on track after shutdown
University of Missouri Extension programs are back up and running after being suspended during the partial shutdown of the federal government, but leaders are not expecting full funding from federal agencies. Michael Ouart, vice provost and Extension director, said even though the government is back in business, there is another crisis looming in mid-January, when the bill President Barack Obama signed to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling is set to expire. Ouart said if the budget issues cannot be resolved and the country finds itself in the midst of another government shutdown in January, Extension would handle the scenario the same way -- by keeping employees on board.
University to host astronomy event for kids
Scientists from the University of Missouri's department of physics and astronomy will be hosting the "Hogwarts Astronomy Tower" on Wednesday to help kids learn about astronomy and meet famous astronomers. The Harry Potter-themed event, which will be at Laws Observatory in the Physics Building at MU, will allow children to learn about astronomers such as Einstein, Galileo and Tycho Brahe, known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. Candy and treats also will be available for the kids. The event will run from 7 to 10 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The observatory will be open if weather permits.
School of Journalism to recognize 7 with Missouri Honor Medal
Carol Guzy recorded Mother Teresa's funeral in India in 1997. She waded through New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She walked the rubble-filled streets of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Now, she's coming to Columbia to share her experiences. Guzy, a four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for The Washington Post, is one of seven Missouri honor medalists to be recognized next week by the Missouri School of Journalism. Honor medalists are chosen for their careerlong dedication to journalism, according to the Journalism School's website.
Wellness Plans, Retirement and Adjunct Health Care: A Survey of Chief HR Officers
Benefits are a burgeoning battleground in higher education, and human resources officers are in the thick of it. Nearly half of senior HR administrators say their campuses have limited the work of adjunct faculty members to keep them under the number of hours at which the Affordable Care Act would require their institutions to provide health insurance, and a third of the remainder say they are considering imposing or enforcing such limits. And while more than half of CHROs say their institutions compensate adjunct instructors fairly, they are divided on whether the benefits they give to adjuncts are appropriate. Those are among the major findings of Inside Higher Ed's second Survey of College and University Human Resources Officers, released today.
Despite Rising Sticker Prices, Actual College Costs Stable Over Decade, Study Says
Every year, price increases at private colleges prompt a round of appalled responses and calls for corrective action. But even as some sticker prices approach $60,000 a year, the amount that students actually pay -- because of increased discounts, grants and tax benefits -- has barely changed over the last decade, according to a major analysis of college costs published this week. The report, by the College Board, shows that the net cost of tuition, fees, room and board for the average student at a private, nonprofit college is about 57 percent of the sticker price, down from 68 percent in 2003-4. That works out to about $23,000 this year, a figure that, adjusted for inflation, has not varied much for 10 years.

Mississippi State stops Kentucky fourth-down attempt for first SEC victory
It came down to the only thing Kentucky does well. Sitting on the Mississippi State 29 at Davis Wade Stadium, the Bulldogs needed a stop on fourth-and-eight. Kentucky converted all four fourth-down attempts prior to the snap and entered the game 15th in the country in fourth-down conversions. They couldn't make it a perfect five-for-five as Mississippi State held on for a 28-22 win Thursday to capture its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season.
Bulldogs hold off Wildcats late
Dan Mullen has preached all season about his team finishing out a game. Mississippi State failed to do so in previous Southeastern Conference outings against Auburn and LSU. But the Bulldogs were able to close out their first league victory of the year on Thursday night, 28-22 over Kentucky. "Our team did finish and I'm proud of how we finished," said MSU coach Dan Mullen. "We started grinding the ball on the ground, ate up a bunch of clock and our defense came out and won the game."
Mississippi State hangs on for 28-22 victory over Kentucky
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen came to the postgame press conference, sat in his chair, adjusted the microphone and then let out a strange noise that was somewhere between a scream and sigh of relief. The Bulldogs had picked up their first Southeastern Conference victory of the season. But it wasn't easy at all. Mississippi State beat Kentucky 28-22 on Thursday night at Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs built a 21-7 lead in the first half, but couldn't secure the game until Kentucky's last drive fell short at Mississippi State's 29 with 21 seconds left. "We did a lot of really good things tonight," Mullen said. "And we did a lot of sloppy things."
U. of South Carolina student named as suspect in post-game car-flipping incident at WVU
Authorities have charged two 18-year-olds with flipping a car in a West Virginia University parking lot during the revelry and fire-setting that followed the Mountaineer football team's Sept. 28 win over Oklahoma State. WVU Police said Thursday they've arrested Kevin James Wheeler of White Hall, Md., and have issued a warrant for William Schwab of Glencoe, Md. Schwab attends the University of South Carolina. WVU students have a long history of fires and mayhem after big athletic events. More than 40 fires were deliberately set after WVU's 48-45 victory over Texas last season, and students threw rocks, beer bottles and other objects at police in riot gear.
Auburn's eagle to wear pink Saturday for breast cancer awareness
Auburn's eagle will fly in support of breast cancer awareness when he makes his pregame flight in Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday by wearing pink, one-of-a-kind leather jesses -- the thin straps that help the handler control the eagle -- and flying to a pink-highlighted lure. When one of Auburn's eagles, Nova or Spirit, flies before the Auburn-Florida Atlantic game, he will sport the handmade equipment that allows Southeastern Raptor Center specialists to securely handle the eagle. For the last three years, the equipment for each flight has been made by volunteers. The idea of the eagle wearing pink to show support for the thousands of Americans who fight cancer originated with Southeastern Raptor Center specialist Andrew Hopkins.
U. of Tennessee campus landmark rock gets a brief Alabama look
The University of Tennessee's rivalry week heated up early Wednesday morning when someone painted "The Rock" on UT's campus in support of the Crimson Tide. The Rock, which students frequently decorate to express opinions, appeared to be painted red and then spray painted with the words "Roll Tide Roll" and "Go 2 Hell TN." Photos of the scene spread across social media as more students and alumni caught wind of the rivalry week attack. The Alabama quotes were painted over by 9 a.m.
After slight dip, athletes' graduation rates back up
After a slight dip last year, Division I graduation rates are up again and have tied an all-time record 82 percent, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Thursday. Athletes first hit the 82 percent mark two years ago, before dropping down to 81 percent last year. The latest data reflect the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate of athletes who entered college for the first time in 2006 and graduated within six years.

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