Tuesday, March 11, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Shaw speaks to Rotarians about research, consolidation on Monday
Mississippi State University Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw spoke to the Starkville Rotary Club Monday, giving Rotarians insights into MSU's advances in research, education and economic development. Shaw said MSU was conducting more than half of the research in the state of Mississippi, and as a result, it had earned a reputation stretching beyond the state's borders. His roles, he said, were to serve as a cheerleader for MSU's research to state and federal legislators and to do everything possible to remove burdens from researchers' shoulders.
Mississippi State students spending week helping others
Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi hold a fierce rivalry in sports, but this spring break, students from the rival schools are on the same team. Students began volunteer work with MSU's Alternative Spring Break program Sunday, touring the Mississippi Delta and helping schools, advocacy organizations and more.
James McCurdy selected to receive Musser Award of Excellence
The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation has selected Dr. James D. McCurdy, assistant professor and Turfgrass Extension Specialist at Mississippi State University, as the 2014 Award of Excellence recipient. The award is given to outstanding Ph.D. candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrate overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research. "It is indeed an honor to be selected for such a prestigious award," he said. McCurdy indicated that he plans on working diligently with his students at Mississippi State to prepare them for careers in turfgrass management while he continues to conduct applied and basic research.
Court of Honor awards Eagle Scout to MSU student Zachary Cuny of Ocean Springs
Zachary Cuny, son of Antonio and Stephanie Cuny of Ocean Springs, will be awarded the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank awarded in scouting. He will be honored by Boy Scout Troop 271, chartered to Wesley United Methodist Church on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Ocean Springs. Cuny is currently enrolled in the Honors College at Mississippi State University, majoring in chemistry, where he has received numerous scholarships including the MSU Eagle Scout Scholarship. He was on the dean's list in the fall semester, and is also the Scouting liaison for the Alpha Phi Omega National Service fraternity chapter at MSU.
Herbicides: Time of day you spray can make a difference
What if a cotton producer needed to spray early in the morning or late in the afternoon or at night? Does the time of day a herbicide is applied make a difference in how well it works? A group of weed specialists studied this and what they found surprised them. The group included scientists from the University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. The results were discussed during the Consultants Conference at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans.
Herrington Memorial Leadership Scholarship established for MCC, MSU-Meridian students
The family of the late Charlotte Johnson Herrington and the Lauderdale Baptist Association announce the establishment of the Charlotte Johnson Herrington Memorial Leadership Scholarship for the Baptist Student Union of Meridian Community College and Mississippi State University-Meridian. The $500 minimum scholarship will be awarded annually to a student that demonstrates involvement and leadership in the local Baptist Student Union.
Parvin guilty, gets life in second trial
David Parvin will return to prison with a life sentence after a Monroe County jury on Monday convicted the former Mississippi State University professor of murdering his wife. The jury deliberated for almost four hours after closing arguments Monday, then shortly before 5 p.m. rendered its verdict. Circuit Court Judge Paul Funderburk sentenced Parvin to life in prison. It was the second murder trial for Parvin, and the second time a jury found him guilty of the Oct. 15, 2007, murder at the couple's Monroe County home. The Mississippi Supreme Court threw out his first conviction and ordered a new trial, ruling that some evidence had been improperly admitted.
Case Files: Mississippi could support another car plant
Since the No. 1 selling car in the U.S., the Nissan Altima, is made at the Nissan plant in Canton, the question has arisen once again about the possibility that Mississippi could get another automobile plant. Recently, Dave Boyer, the retired vice president for manufacturing at Nissan Canton, told 16 WAPT News that he believes Mississippi can support another car plant. "I think there are areas in Mississippi that could sustain another automobile plant. I think there are other places in Mississippi, up closer to Tennessee, that would be a great spot," Boyer said. The only thing that might really be holding up another plant is the question of whether there will be a union election at Nissan Canton, where there has been a heated fight going on for years.
Bill Walker admits he conspired to defraud government of DMR funds
Former DMR Executive Director Bill Walker stepped silently from a U.S. District courtroom after he pleaded guilty Monday morning to conspiring to defraud the government, while his son said it was "tough" for the family. Son Scott Walker, who recently entered his own guilty plea to the same charge, watched with his mother, wife and two-week-old snoozing infant son as his father admitted that he took $210,000 from DMR so a non profit could buy land his son owned. Prosecutors indicated the Walkers were having trouble making payments on the loan, which the parents had co-signed.
Reeves: Panel likely to raise revenue estimate
In the coming days, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to convene the 14-member Legislative Budget Committee to consider raising the revenue estimate, meaning the Legislature will have more money to appropriate as it attempts to pass a budget before the March 31 deadline. For the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, revenue collections are more than $170 million more than what was appropriated by the Legislature during the 2013 session. "I believe the revenue estimate is likely to be raised," Reeves said recently.
Autism insurance bill, now a study, heads to Bryant
Lawmakers on Monday approved a gutted version of a bill that would have required the State and Schools Employee Health Insurance Plan to cover autism therapies but now is reduced to a study. It heads to Gov. Phil Bryant for a signature. "It's a worthless version," said the bill's author, state Rep. Steve Massengill, R-Hickory Flat. "I am very disappointed, but we'll try again next year." House Bill 542 says the State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board will study whether to expand its coverage for autism and file a report with the Legislature on or before Dec. 1. The original version had required the plan to cover diagnosis and therapies for autism.
College Students Sign Letter Against A Controversial Religious Freedom Bill
About 80 students and faculty at Millsaps College in Jackson signed onto a letter urging lawmakers to reject Senate Bill 2681. Sarah Del Castillo, the founder of the college's chapter of Amnesty International, is spearheading the effort against the bill. The official name of the bill is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and supporters say its intention is to protect people of faith from violations their religious beliefs. The student's letter was address to representative Jim Evans of Jackson, whose district includes the college. Evans says he opposes the bill because he sees it as divisive and contrary to his understanding of Christian teaching.
Mississippi's top GOP officials endorse Palazzo
Most top GOP elected officials have endorsed U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo in his crowded June 3 primary. Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, U.S. Reps. Gregg Harper and Alan Nunnelee, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, state House Speaker Philip Gunn, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Commissioner of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith and Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney all issued statements of support in a release from Palazzo's campaign office Monday. More than one, including Chaney, mentioned his fight to curtail increases in rates in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Internet Will Be Everywhere In 2025, For Better Or Worse
In 2025, the Internet will enhance our awareness of the world and ourselves while diminishing privacy and allowing abusers to "make life miserable for others," according to a new report by the Pew Research Center and Elon University. But more than anything, experts say, it will become ubiquitous and embedded in our lives -- the same way electricity is today. "The Internet will shift from the place we find cat videos to a background capability that will be a seamless part of how we live our everyday lives," says Joe Touch, director at Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California. "We won't think about 'going online' or 'looking on the Internet' for something. We'll just be online, and just look."
S.C. House votes to penalize colleges for gay-themed books
The $70,000 in money taken away from two colleges for assigning gay-themed books is a minuscule part of South Carolina's $24 billion budget next year. But an effort to restore the money took up a majority of the first day of deliberations over the state's spending plan in the S.C. House Monday. Amendments sponsored by the House's minority Democrats to give back $52,000 to the College of Charleston and $17,142 to the University of South Carolina-Upstate -- the cost of the reading programs -- were rejected soundly by near 2-to-1 margins in the GOP-controlled House. The ongoing controversy over the book choices has led to a national debate over the role of government in publicly funded colleges.
Tennessee universities differ on accepting undocumented students
Jairo Robles didn't even bother applying to the University of Tennessee system after graduating from Nashville's McGavock High School in 2008. "It's a well-known fact within the immigrant community that, for example, UT-Knoxville doesn't let undocumented students in," said Robles, who came to the United States with his family from Guatemala when he was 11. "It's like a ban, even though they say it isn't. You know that if you apply, you're not going to get in." Robles instead attends Volunteer State Community College -- part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system, which takes a different view of undocumented students. The split between Tennessee's two systems of public universities has attracted a new spotlight as state lawmakers consider legislation that would extend in-state tuition to high school graduates who are not legal U.S. citizens.
U. of Tennessee students deliver Sex Week petition to legislators
University of Tennessee students are urging lawmakers not to dictate how their student fees are used after the controversy surrounding Sex Week, a campuswide series of lectures, games and events held earlier this month. Student representatives from UT-Knoxville gave legislators a petition signed by 3,501 students stating their belief that they should be free to decide how student fees are used. They urged lawmakers not to take up two bills filed by state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, that they said would make it harder for student-run organizations to put on events and bring in off-campus speakers. "This is something that affects not only the University of Tennessee. It affects every other public institution," said Rachel Cross, an Oneida senior studying political science and sociology.
Little flying machine is new research tool for UGA scientists
A new University of Georgia research tool gave visitors to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia an unexpected show recently as it hovered high above now-bare flowerbeds in late February. It was a quadcopter, a little flying machine propelled and lifted by four rotors controlled by UGA student Corbin Kling on the ground below. About 14 inches across and weighing a little more than a pineapple with its high-definition video camera, it's what some people might call a drone. But the device that buzzed over the Botanical Garden is really more like a radio-controlled model plane, said Tommy Jordan, associate director of UGA's Center for Geospatial Research.
UGA's lampposts undergoing restoration for 100th anniversary
Some of the first outdoor electric lights placed at the University of Georgia are getting an overhaul this week on North Campus. The 10 lampposts in front of the Holmes-Hunter building and the Chapel are undergoing restoration work. The cast iron lampposts were gifted to UGA by the senior class of 1914. With the 100-year anniversary approaching, the UGA Facilities Management Division plans to have the project completed this spring.
Police: UGA frat pledges lined against wall and punched during alleged hazing
Nearly a dozen University of Georgia students arrested for allegedly engaging in hazing lined pledges up against a wall and took turns striking them as part of an initiation rite, according to arrest warrants filed by UGA police. When warrants were issued for 11 members of UGA's Zeta Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, university police officials only said there had been "a number of incidents" in which pledges had been struck when initiated. "The students being struck were individuals who are potential new members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and were trying to gain acceptance into the organization," according to the arrest warrants.
Shields Named U. of Arkansas Fulbright College Dean
The University of Arkansas announced Monday the next dean for its J. William Fulbright College of Arts, the university's largest academic unit. Todd Shields, currently the dean of the university's Graduate School and International Education, will become the Fulbright College dean March 24. Shields has been the Fulbright College's interim dean since Aug. 1. Fulbright houses 19 departments and more than 30 academic and interdisciplinary programs, and nine research centers. Shields, who holds two bachelor's degrees from Miami University in political science and psychology, earned his master's degree and doctorate in political science at the University of Kentucky.
Funeral set Thursday for Texas A&M employee who died in fall
Funeral services for the 28-year-old Texas A&M employee who died after falling six stories from a campus building have been set for 2 p.m. Thursday at Hillier Funeral Home. On Saturday, police were called to the Mitchell Physics Building where Bryan Jones worked after a passer-by found a body between the building and University Drive. Police Chief Michael Ragan told The Eagle previously that the fall appeared to be accidental; police spokesman Allan Baron said Monday that there were no other details to release and that the investigation into the death is ongoing. Jones worked in the building as a senior systems administrator. ones was born in Lubbock and graduated from Texas A&M in 2008. He started as a student worker for the physics and astronomy department when he was 19 years old and never left Aggieland.
What Matters to Academic-Library Directors? Information Literacy
Whether they work at a big research university, a small four-year college, or something in between, academic-library directors share a "resounding dedication" to teaching information literacy to undergraduates. Beyond that, the priorities they set for their libraries depend on the size and nature of their institutions and how many (or few) resources they have to work with. Those findings come out of a 2013 survey of American library directors, released on Tuesday by Ithaka S+R US. That's the consulting and research arm of the nonprofit Ithaka group, which works on "transformative uses of new technologies in higher education."
CHARLIE MITCHELL (OPINION): Lumumba administration didn't fit detractors' expectations
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "In the aftermath of Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba's death, a consensus seems to have emerged, at least among his detractors, that he had mellowed with age. After all, isn't that what happens? Isn't the standard narrative that youthful idealism gives way to mature realism? But a closer look reveals that may not have been the case for Lumumba, whose death at 66 on Feb. 25 came as a shock to everyone except his family and closest friends. He may not have fit that narrative. It could be that he was always a pragmatic guy, just with a shorter-than-normal fuse when it came to tolerance for injustice as he defined it."

Bulldog baseball rebounds to beat Arizona
A dominating performance by Jonathan Holder was the storyline Sunday as the No. 12 Mississippi State baseball team defeated Arizona 6-4 at the Hi Corbett Classic. After suffering a one-run defeat to California-Santa Barbara on Saturday, MSU (12-7) bounced back to the win the final of its four tournament games in the three-day event. Having not pitched since March 1 thanks to a blister, Holder pitched a career-long 5 2/3 innings to move to 1-1. MSU will play host to Southern Illinois (8-6) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Dudy Noble Field. Southeastern Conference play will begin Friday at Georgia.
Mississippi State returns home to face Salukis
No. 24 Mississippi State returns to Starkville tonight, hosting Southern Illinois at 6:30 p.m. The Bulldogs (12-7) went 1-3 on their first road trip of the season participating in the Hi Corbett Classic in Tucson, Ariz., over the weekend. MSU was swept in two games by No. 23 UC-Santa Barbara and split with Arizona. Tonight's matchup will be State's first matchup with the Salukis.
Thomas' development gives Mississippi State positive for future
Player development has been the one thing that has given the Mississippi State men's basketball program hope the past two seasons. Look no further than sophomore guard Fred Thomas. Thomas has played his best basketball since MSU coach Rick Ray benched him against Arkansas on Feb. 22. Since that decision, Thomas, the team's best defender, leads MSU (13-18, 3-15 Southeastern Conference) in scoring at 14.8 points per game. In the past month, Thomas has started to deliver what Ray has been looking for the past two years. MSU will try to keep its season alive at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when it takes on Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Forever friends: Floyd, Cleveland go back 50 years to Hattiesburg, USM
Rick Cleveland remembers Tim Floyd was "this little kid who walked on his tiptoes and was a bundle of energy and pranks," the first time the two met. Ace Cleveland, then-sports information director at the University of Southern Mississippi, had taken his two sons to the airport at New Orleans to pick up the newly-hired men's basketball coach for the Southerners, Lee Floyd, who came accompanied by his 7-year-old son. Once the Floyds settled in Hattiesburg, Tim Floyd and the Cleveland boys, Rick and Bobby, became fast friends, and more than 50 years later, Floyd and Rick Cleveland are still best of friends. With Floyd and UTEP serving as hosts of the Conference USA Tournament this week, Cleveland decided the opportunity is too good to pass up. He and Joe Paul, Southern Miss vice president for Student Affairs and another longtime friend, are leaving today to spend the week in El Paso, Texas, watching basketball.
Ole Miss' Nkemdiches file counter-suit against accuser
Ole Miss' Denzel and Robert Nkemdiche have denied all allegations made against them in a $2 million civil suit. In addition, the Nkemdiches filed a counter-claim against plaintiff Matthew Baird. The two are seeking an unspecified amount in damages for what they say are "untrue and false statements" in Baird's original suit. An answer to that suit and a counter-claim was filed Thursday in Lafayette County Circuit Court. Baird filed his claim on Feb. 14, alleging that the Nkemdiche brothers as well as five unnamed individuals beat him while he was unconscious outside of the Kappa Alpha fraternity house on Feb. 17, 2013. The Ole Miss Police Department never pursued charges in the case.
'Mama Fowler' enters U. of Kentucky football players' hearts through their stomachs
Fearful Kentucky football players grasp tiny, plastic shot glasses in their oversized hands. They lean in hesitantly to smell the chunky contents, swish them around like they're taking part in a bad wine tasting contest. "It's called lentil soup?" a skeptical player asks. "Is that because it tastes like the lint between your toes?" Monica Fowler tries hard to hide her amusement and stick to the serious task at hand: Getting young men, many twice her size, to drink the lentil soup in their shot glasses. All of the players comply. Not listening to Fowler would be like not listening to their own moms at this point. Fowler, 51, is the team's dietitian, brought on full time to be on Coach Mark Stoops' High Performance staff.
Leagues consider court storming rules after incidents
The Southeastern Conference's rule imposing a fine up to $25,000 on any institution whose fans storm the basketball court didn't stop University of South Carolina students -- or administrators -- from running out of their seats following a big victory last weekend. "Once I realized I was paying [the $25,000 fine] anyway, I ran down," President Harris Pastides reportedly said afterward. "I enjoyed every dollar." All in good fun. But the SEC rule exists to prevent incidents like the one that occurred a few days prior at Utah Valley University, where a brawl broke out after students rushed the court and started throwing punches at a New Mexico State University player. Conference commissioners and athletic directors admit that such a rule is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce when things get out of hand.

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