Thursday, March 6, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
North Mississippi Farmers Get Up To Speed on Recently Passed Farm Bill
Area farmers have a chance to get caught up on how the recently passed Farm Bill will impact their business. The workshop was held at the MSU Extension Center in Verona and brought those in the agriculture business up to date on the legislation. The bill extends federal crop insurance and ends direct government payments going to farmers whether they produce anything or not. Organizers say they want to help farmers navigate the complex legislation. "A lot of decisions are going to have to be made by producers, number one is base acres, there is some changes to that, yields can be updated, there are two new programs, ag risk coverage and price loss coverage those are decisions a producer will have to make and they're going to have to make those on the crops they are growing," said John Michael Riley of the MSU Extension Service.
Training to be offered on working large animal rescues
What should people be aware of when coming to the aid of large animals involved in accidents and disasters? To answer that question, Mississippi State University is hosting a two-day training program in late March to make emergency responders aware of issues involved in large animal rescues. The Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Awareness Course will be held March 29-30 at the MSU Wise Center. Dr. Carla Huston, associate professor in the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, said the course is designed to teach responders how to protect humans and distressed animals from further injuries.
4-H Volunteers Honored
Volunteer leaders displayed their level of commitment to the state's youth when they spent two days at Mississippi State University training in how to do their jobs even better. The annual 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference was held at the MSU Bost Extension Center in Starkville Feb. 28 to March 1. Mississippi 4-H is the youth development program of the MSU Extension Service. About 200 volunteer leaders attended the event. "A highlight of our conference each year is the honoring of our outstanding volunteers," said Harvey Gordon, Extension 4-H youth development specialist. "This year, we honored 12 different volunteers for their dedication and service to the youth of the state through the 4-H program."
North Mississippi producers offer research wish list
North Mississippi farmers came to the annual Mississippi State University Producer Advisory Council meeting with a wish list of research, staffing, and support efforts they'd like to see in the months ahead. The yearly get-together, an outgrowth of a tradition that started more than 50 years ago under a shade tree at the Holly Springs Experiment Station, now includes farmers, Extension, research, agribusiness, and representatives of various governmental entities who discuss needs for improving the region's agriculture. "We value the input we get from these sessions," said Steve Martin, head of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center at Verona, where the meeting was held. "The suggestions we receive are an important component of the university system's planning process."
Neel-Schaffer announces Keith Purvis as vice president
Keith Purvis, P.E., has been promoted to Vice President of Transportation of Neel-Schaffer. Purvis joined Neel-Schaffer in 2011 after retiring from the Mississippi Department of Transportation as an assistant chief engineer. Purvis leads Neel-Schaffer's transportation department, working out of the firm's headquarters office in Jackson. His work includes design-build bridge widening projects on I-55 in Pike County and I-20 in Newton County, the US 45 Columbus Bypass, the Mississippi State Port at Gulfport, the statewide Ports Study, and more. Purvis is a graduate of Mississippi State University.
Gorman joins Community Bank in Madison
Greg Moore, President & CEO of Community Bank of Mississippi, is proud to announce that Summer Gorman has joined Community Bank in the Madison office. Gorman was previously employed as a mortgage loan originator with over twelve years of experience, and will now serve an Assistant Vice President in Consumer Lending and a Mortgage Loan Originator. Gorman, a Saltillo native, is a graduate of Mississippi State University.
City of Greenville hires pay consultant
The City of Greenville is spending $10,845 to determine the competitiveness of its current salary levels for city workers. The John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University will conduct the study. The Delta Democrat Times reports that Mayor John Cox broke a tie vote of the city council Tuesday to approve the study. Cox says the institute will look at all Greenville positions and compare the job description and salary to comparable cities, counties and industries.
Chism: Holloway's early appointment is not off the table
A conference committee is needed to work out the differences in two Starkville-Oktibbeha County school merger bills after the House struck the Senate's school consolidation bill Tuesday and replaced it with its own language. With its changes to SB 2818, the House committee preserved many recommendations previously submitted by the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure, including a request to extend an expiring 2016 school board seat into 2017 and for attorney general representation in any potential litigation involving Starkville School District's and Oktibbeha County School District's desegregation orders, but left out calls for local funding measures for city and county facilities present in the bill pushed forward by the Senate.
Starkville Municipal Court case load drops in 2013
Starkville Municipal Court recorded a significant decrease in the number of misdemeanor, felony and traffic citation cases handled by the system in 2013. Officials Tuesday presented an annual report Tuesday to aldermen that showed an almost 3,000-case decrease in the number of new cases handled by the court from 2012. In 2010, the court handled almost 10,000 cases, and that number jumped to 12,746 in 2011 and 13,703 -- the highest mark set across a 14-year period -- in 2012. The court system eclipsed the 10,000-case mark last year by only eight cases. DUI numbers also hit a six-year low in 2013.
Mississippi Gets 'C' in Civil Rights Education
A new study says Mississippi still has room for improvement in the way it teaches civil rights history. Civil rights activist Julian Bond, who wrote the foreward to the study, says civil rights history is citizenship education -- teaching young people how democracy works. Bond says he hopes better civil rights education, nationwide, could help create an environment that would prevent incidents like the recent one at Ole Miss involving the James Meredith statue. "These kind of college-level student racist pranks abound across the United States -- they don't just happen in the American South," he says. "And they demonstrate a real ignorance on the part of young people about how hurtful some of their activities can be."
Senate OKs pay raise for teachers
The teacher pay raise proposal unveiled Monday by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, passed the Senate on Wednesday afternoon without a dissenting vote. Under the proposal teachers would get a $1,500 pay raise on July 1, followed by another $1,000 increase the following July. The plan also includes annual bonuses for schools that are high-performing or show improvement. The proposal now goes back to the House.
House OKs bills restricting union activity
Debate grew terse as the House on Wednesday passed four bills that would restrict union organizing and protest and prevent local governments adopting union-friendly regulations in Mississippi. Supporters said Mississippi needs new laws to pre-empt organized labor strong-arm tactics seen in other states that they say would hinder economic development. Opponents said Mississippi is one of the least unionized states and the laws are red herrings that are either already covered by federal law or would run afoul of it.
Mississippi's 'religious freedom' bill draws debate on discrimination
A gay-rights group is asking Mississippi legislators to specify that a religious-practices bill won't open the way for discrimination if it becomes law. A lobbying group for the Mississippi Baptist Convention, on the other hand, is urging lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 2681, titled the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Jimmy Porter, director of the Mississippi Baptists' Christian Action Commission, says in an email to legislators Wednesday that media pundits, the American Civil Liberties Union and gay lobbying groups "have declared this bill as discriminatory and hateful." Porter said that's not true. Rather, he said it would let people use their religious convictions as a defense in court cases.
Rep. Steve Holland returns to Capitol
Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said "the spirit moved me" on a couple of occasions Wednesday to go the well of the House to enter the fray of debate. But Holland, on his first day back at the Capitol since Jan. 23, displayed a trait that he would be the first to admit that he does not always have: restraint. Instead, the outspoken Holland, quietly listened to debate and voted. The veteran House member is still recovering from major gallbladder surgery, which he revealed Wednesday was life-threatening. "The day I left the hospital the doctor told me it was absolutely a modern miracle I was walking out of here," said Holland, who revealed he lost 62 pounds during the illness and was still weak and recovering.
Republicans certify Taylor for ballot
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo will face four others, including the man he defeated in 2010, in the June 3 primary, the state Republican Party decided Wednesday. The vote was 25-10 to keep Gene Taylor on the ballot. Sue Bush of Hattiesburg, the leader of the Taylor opposition, said she didn't find his conversion to the GOP sincere. Taylor served in Congress more than 20 years as a Democrat. State Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef said Republicans must pledge to support the eventual nominee to be a candidate or voter in a party primary, but their past as Democrats can't be held against them. Still, he said that Taylor was a surprise. "Candidly I was surprised as were many Republicans because I have not been contacted by or heard from Mr. Taylor at all," he said Saturday.
Former Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor will be on GOP ballot
Gene Taylor will be on the ballot as a Republican for the June 3 congressional primary. The Mississippi Republican Party's executive committee voted Wednesday to certify the former Democrat's candidacy in a meeting at party headquarters in Jackson. Taylor's party switch took the state's GOP leadership by surprise. Since then, a movement had spread within the GOP to keep Taylor off the ballot as a Republican, said Sue Bush, an executive committee member from Hattiesburg who was one of the 10 to oppose his certification. "For 21 years, we've been fighting Gene Taylor as a Democrat," Bush said. "He didn't come to any of us and talk to us about his commitment to Republican principles. He just qualified. I don't believe he's a Republican. I have no reason to think that, so we'll just beat him at the polls."
Barksdale to retire from reading institute
The man who has led the Barksdale Reading Institute since its inception will retire this summer. Claiborne Barksdale, 63, will step down on June 1 as BRI's chief executive officer. He'll be succeeded by Michael Cormack, who has worked with the organization since 2010 as the principal of Quitman County Elementary School. The Oxford-based BRI was created in 2000 by former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale and his late wife Sally. They made national headlines when they put $100 million into efforts to help children in their home state learn to read before they reached third grade.
Oxford adopts LGBT resolution; home of Ole Miss follows other university cities in state
As state legislators ponder a religious freedom bill some critics consider discriminatory, a third Mississippi city has approved a resolution recognizing the dignity of all residents, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Oxford joins fellow college towns Hattiesburg and Starkville in formally adopting a resolution though its Board of Aldermen. The Mississippi cities that have thus far supported the LGBT resolutions tend to have slightly younger populations than the state average and higher percentages of residents with advanced education degrees.
Early elective deliveries result in higher infant mortality, taxpayer burden
Mississippi mothers who choose to deliver their babies two weeks early see them die at more than three times the rate of regular births, statistics show. Between 2007 and 2011, the death rate for Mississippi babies delivered electively at 37 weeks was 2.1 per 1,000 births, compared to 0.6 for those delivered at 39 weeks. States that have reduced early elective births have already seen savings. State Department of Health officials expect similar savings in Mississippi since more than half the births are covered by the state Medicaid program. The University of Mississippi Medical Center has seen success with its Metro Infant Mortality Elimination and Delta Infant Mortality Elimination programs, enrolling women who had children with low birth weights.
Polymers leader named at U. of Southern Mississippi
The naming of Jeff Wiggins as the new director of the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials carries symbolic significance, according to university officials. "The torch has been passed to a new generation in our School of Polymers and High Performance Materials," Provost Denis Wiesenburg said. "Of that generation, Jeff Wiggins is the best." Wiesenburg spoke at Southern Miss President Rodney Bennett's monthly press conference Wednesday morning in the Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science Research Center.
Pine Belt gears up for spring break
University of Southern Mississippi students and families alike are preparing for next week's spring break. Whether they're planning a trip home to visit family, a vacation to the coast, or a week catching up on school work, students are ready for a change of pace. "I'm going to the Gulf Coast to spend time with my family," said Jalia McGriggs, a student at USM. "I'm probably going to Panama City to have a good time, meet some new people," said Antoine Armstrong, another USM student. "Last year we met a lot of people from different places so hopefully we can do the same thing again."
Institute for Marine Mammal Studies worried outdated NOAA regulations will hurt fishing industry
The people who help rehab injured marine life say outdated NOAA regulations could hurt the fishing industry on the Coast. Several hurricane damaged fishing piers in Gulfport will not be repaired until a study is done to determine whether fishing off those piers will negatively impact Kemps Ridley and Loggerhead sea turtles. Now, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is speaking up saying there is more to the story.
JSU community remembers Mayor Chokwe Lumumba
Jackson State University held a memorial tribute to Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba on Wednesday. Family, friends, JSU students and staff sat in the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium to say goodbye to Lumumba, who served as mayor for almost eight months. The program featured reflections from several members of the Jackson State community, city officials and Lumumba's family. "He touched a number of people, actually some of our students, actually even played basketball for him earlier on," said Marcus Chanay, vice president for student life. "So he actually touched a number of us while he was here."
Chance named dean of Tulane's Madison campus
Sherry Murphy Chance has been named assistant dean of Tulane University's School of Continuing Studies Madison Campus. Under Chance's leadership, the Madison campus now offers seven bachelor's degree majors and will launch a master of liberal arts degree in August.
U. of Florida education still a great bargain, Kiplinger reports
At a time when parents and students are consciously seeking the best value for their higher education dollars, the University of Florida is a great deal at just under $17,000 a year for tuition, books and room and board, Kiplinger reported this week. The personal finance and business forecast publisher ranked UF third among large public universities nationally, behind the top-ranked University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (for the 13th year in a row) and second-place University of Virginia. "Once again, the rankings bear out that the University of Florida stacks up extremely well against its peer institutions around the country," President Bernie Machen of UF said.
U. of South Carolina gets go ahead to land IBM, Fluor
The S.C. State Budget and Control Board approved contracts Wednesday that could pave the way for IBM and Fluor to open information-technology operations at a new office building coming to the University of South Carolina. The board approved a lease between the school and Atlanta-based Holder Properties, which will construct the office building and apartments in a private-public partnership. USC would collect a monthly fee from Holder and share in profits from the building. The board approved allowing USC to bypass state procurement rules to negotiate a contract that would assist in landing an economic development project that includes a Fortune 100 company.
U. of Arkansas Alumnus, Wife Donate $100K to College of Engineering
A University of Arkansas alumnus and his wife have donated $100,000 to the College of Engineering's Dean's Advisory Council. The university announced the sizable donation, meant for flexibility to use funds for areas of greatest need within the college, from W.T. "Tom" Stephens and his wife, Alice, of Greenwood Village, Colo., on Tuesday. John English, dean of the college, applauded the Stephens for "understanding the importance of this designation and trusting us to invest wisely in the areas that propel our college forward and help us meet our goals."
UGA students with disabilities want Arch made accessible
A trio of University of Georgia students is pressing the UGA administration to make the university's most central symbol accessible to everyone and they're gaining a lot of support. Technically, the UGA Arch is accessible to those with limited mobility disabilities; there's a ramp on the opposite side of the Hunter-Holmes Academic Building from the Arch. But Khaled Alsafadi, who will graduate this year, wants to be able to go through the Arch as other students do when they graduate from UGA. Alsafadi uses a wheelchair to get around. He can get to the Arch, but not walk through it because of its steep steps leading down from the UGA campus to the sidewalk beside Broad Street.
U. of Kentucky employee charged with possession of child pornography
A 59-year-old University of Kentucky professor has been charged with possessing child pornography after the material was found on his computer, according to court records. Neil Mason Williams was arrested about 6 p.m. Wednesday at 1490 Bull Lea Road, the university's veterinary diagnostic laboratory where he worked, according to university records. He was hired in January 1987. As of July 1, his salary was listed as $133,908. Police were summoned to the location where an officer saw a snapshot of Williams' external hard drive and desktop, which contained images of minors involved in sexual intercourse, according to the court records.
U. of Missouri students from Ukraine speak about conflict in their native country
Three University of Missouri students from Ukraine spoke to a group of almost 100 people Tuesday on campus about the ongoing conflict in their native country. Panelists were Kateryna Goychuk, a post-doctoral fellow at the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, Vitaliy Yurkiv, a graduate student and Fulbright scholar in educational leadership and policy analysis, and Roman Kolgushev, a graduate student at the MU School of Journalism. The speakers come from different geographical areas of Ukraine --- two are from eastern regions culturally and politically aligned with Russia --- but all three said they supported the protests that led to the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
U. of Missouri may add gender identity to non-discrimination policy
The University of Missouri's student government in Columbia followed suit with the other three campuses in passing a resolution supporting inclusion of gender identity and expression to the UM System's nondiscrimination policy. A change to the Collective Rules and Regulations would require a vote from the Board of Curators, which the outgoing student representative thinks is "completely possible." Cathy Scroggs, vice chancellor for student affairs at MU, said she thinks students "are going to be heard on this one." "Things are changing so much in our society," she said. "I suspect it won't take long before this gets through."
Concrete shear failure caused walkway collapse at University Village, documents show
Walkways at University Village had a history of structural problems and had been repaired several times before one collapsed on Feb. 22, according to documents released Wednesday by the University of Missouri. "Concrete shear failure" caused the walkway of Building 707 to partially collapse at the apartment complex, which resulted in the death of Columbia firefighter Bruce Britt, according to a report released Wednesday. The building's 18 residents were displaced. MU hired a structural engineering firm, Trabue, Hansen and Hinshaw Inc., to inspect all facilities owned and leased by the university. The firm compiled reports that found "water and chloride, and expansion from freeze-thaw action" contributed to existing problems in the structure.
Incoming freshmen more driven by money than ever, survey shows
The 2013-14 academic year marks a half-decade since the economic recession hit, but concerns about the costs of attending college are influencing incoming freshmen more than ever, a new survey shows. While more than three-quarters of this year's freshmen were admitted to their first-choice institution, an all-time low of 56.9 percent chose to attend it. Nearly 46 and 48 percent -- both all-time highs -- said price and financial aid, respectively, were "very important" in their decision about which institution to attend. The annual survey is The American Freshman: National Norms. The report is usually released in January, but last fall's federal government shutdown delayed the results.
College Board changes SAT to look a lot more like ACT
The College Board announced a major redesign of the SAT exam Wednesday -- the first since 2005 -- as well as new efforts to support low-income students in college readiness and applying to college. In certain ways, the changes announced Wednesday will bring the SAT more in line with the ACT, the other widespread college admissions exam, which recently overtook the SAT in popularity. The ACT also has an optional essay and no penalty for wrong answers.
BOBBY HARRISON (OPINION): Childers' success partly depends on home region
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Travis Childers will be dependent on his neighbors in Northeast Mississippi to have any chance of accomplishing what would be the nation's biggest upset of the November general elections. The Booneville man will face three lesser-known candidates in the June Democratic primary before ultimately facing the winner between veteran incumbent Thad Cochran, state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville and another lesser-known candidate in the November general election. Mississippi is solidly Republican. But Attorney General Jim Hood, as Mississippi's only statewide elected Democrat, proves that Childers' task is not impossible -- just highly unlikely. Hood keeps on winning statewide races by margins as impressive as his statewide Republican colleagues. Hood has at least two things in common with Childers. Both are independent thinkers -- not always walking the party line. And perhaps even more importantly, both are from Northeast Mississippi."

Mississippi State baseball team runs win streak to seven games
The most important aspect Preston Brown might have showcased Wednesday night is his ability to pitch out of the stretch. The third-year sophomore for Mississippi State found himself locating with more confidence with runners on and therefore had to go to his comfort zone of pitching from the stretch. Brown throws all of his bullpen sessions with MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson out of the stretch and was able to scatter eight different base runners in his four innings. Brown worked four scoreless frames to start No. 12 MSU (11-4) to a 3-0 lead over South Alabama that the Bulldogs would make stand over the final five innings.
Detz homers in Diamond Dogs' win
No. 12 Mississippi State notched its second straight shutout with the aid of three solid performances on the mound. Preston Brown, Ross Mitchell and Jacob Lindgren scattered eight hits in a 3-0 victory over South Alabama on Wednesday, a rematch from the 2013 Starkville Regional. "It goes without saying, we pitched really well tonight," said MSU skipper John Cohen. "All three guys who pitched in this ball game did a great job for us. Preston did a great job getting it going for us, Ross was right on point tonight with three different pitches and Lindgren did a nice job closing it out. His stuff was just phenomenal."
Mississippi State blanks South Alabama
Mississippi State jumped on South Alabama early. Mississippi State scored all its runs in the first three innings of Wednesday's 3-0 non-conference win against the Jaguars at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs finished with five hits in the game -- and all came in the first three innings. "Any time you score first, it's a better atmosphere in the dugout," MSU senior Alex Detz said. "The hits feed off each other." Detz highlighted the offensive attack with a third-inning home run. He sent a 2-0 pitch over the right field fence for his first of the season and second of his career.
Cunningham prepares for final game at Mississippi State
Years later Tyson Cunningham won't likely be remembered by anything he's done on basketball floor because his value to Mississippi State has been much more important. Cunningham, the Columbus native, is known more already as the walk-on who used to practice against the MSU women's team. Or he's the basketball player that can brilliantly sign the National Anthem. Or to his teammates, Cunningham is the only married member of the playing roster. All of these destinations have been part of his journey and led to his leadership qualities on this MSU team. "He's like a father to all of us out there because he's been through it and pretty much does everything right in his life," MSU senior forward Colin Borchert said.
Mississippi State women advance in SEC Tournament
Mississippi State junior Martha Alwal joined the school's 1,000-point club and the Bulldogs joined the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Wednesday night. Led by 17 points from Kendra Grant and 16 points from Alwal, Mississippi State rallied late for a 73-70 victory over Missouri in an opening-round game of the event at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. No. 13 seed MSU (19-12) will now face No. 5 seed Florida (18-11) at 1:30 p.m. CT Thursday in the second round of the tournament. The game will be televised regionally by SportSouth and may be seen online on ESPN3. "I'm awfully proud of our kids," said MSU head coach Vic Schaefer.
Grant leads Dogs to tourney win
Kendra Grant scored 17 points, Martha Alwal added 16 to surpass 1,000 points for her career, and Mississippi State beat Missouri 73-70 in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament Wednesday night. "I'm awfully proud of our kids," said MSU head coach Vic Schaefer, who won his first postseason game with the Bulldogs. "I am so proud of the team, the perseverance. That was the word on the board tonight. The words were perseverance and resilience. No. 13 seed Mississippi State (19-12) will play fifth-seeded Florida this afternoon.
Saban not looking for help defending hurry-up no-huddle offenses, says Alabama needs no advantage
Nick Saban isn't looking for help to defend hurry-up no-huddle offenses. In fact, he said doesn't think his team needs any advantage at all. And according to an ESPN report Wednesday afternoon, he won't get one. The NCAA Football Rules Committee opted not to bring the controversial 10-second rule to a vote as originally intended for Thursday, instead deciding to study the issue further. Addressing college football's hot-topic issue of the moment, Saban said the rule wasn't his idea, he didn't have a vote on the NCAA Football Rules Committee and he doesn't need for it to be implemented for his Alabama team to remain successful.
Vanderbilt assistant won't coach in 2014 after pleading guilty to DUI
Suspended Vanderbilt football assistant Vavae Tata will not serve in a coaching capacity in 2014, but his status with the Commodores remains unclear. Tata pleaded guilty to a DUI charge on Wednesday morning at his court hearing in Nashville stemming from a Feb. 16 incident. Rod Williamson, Vanderbilt's director of media relations for athletics, said Wednesday night that coach Derek Mason had been waiting for the judicial process to play out and was "now considering his options with his staff." Mason is back in California with his family.
SEC will review alcohol policy for fans at off-campus games
The SEC plans to review its alcohol policy for neutral-site games and home games off campus, and not necessarily selling alcohol to the public at campus games, SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent said. The University of Texas recently began selling beer and wine at some sporting events this year and may continue at football games in the fall. At least one SEC athletics director likes the idea for SEC stadiums, where alcohol is permitted in private suites but not public areas. Selling beer at football games "would enhance the fan experience," LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva said.
NCAA, Conferences Sued by Ex-Player; Alleges That Scholarship Value Is Illegally Capped
A former West Virginia football player is suing the NCAA and five leading conferences, alleging that college sports' governing body and member schools cap the value of football players' athletic scholarships in violation of federal antitrust law. The suit, brought by ex-Mountaineers running back Shawne Alston, seeks class-action status, which would include major-college football players who played on teams in the power conferences and received a full scholarship in the last four years. The court filing, dated Wednesday, defines the power conferences as the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern. The suit alleges that the NCAA and those conferences have agreed to cap the value of a scholarship.
Brooklyn to the Big Time, but First a Stop in Mississippi
The energy in the home locker room at A.B. Howard Gymnasium in Ellisville was slightly more charged than usual on a cold Monday night last month. The men's basketball team at Jones County Junior College, a two-year school in this small farming community, miles from nowhere, was minutes from the opening tip of a big game against Pearl River Community College, and Coach Jay Ladner was dusting off some of his finest material. "Gentlemen," he said, "I'm going to be frank. I'm going to be disappointed if Pearl River, of all people, ruins our senior night. You're going to have to live the rest of your lives with people asking you about the season. 'Well, we did all right, except Pearl River beat our butts on senior night.'" It was quite a moment, especially considering that three of Ladner's top players had never heard of Pearl River Community College until last summer. Or even Jones County, for that matter, which was understandable: All three are from Brooklyn.

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