Wednesday, April 9, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Parking changes for MSU Super Bulldog Weekend
As Mississippi State University hosts its 28th annual Super Bulldog Weekend April 10-13, road closures and parking lot changes will be in effect on campus. The university says the changes will start Thursday and continue through Sunday. Fans are encouraged to walk to campus if they are able in order to keep the flow of campus open. Shuttles will also be available on Saturday to take people from campus to the Starkville Cotton District Arts Festival downtown.
MSU Presents Outstanding Women Awards
The judges deliberated, and the winners of the 2014 Outstanding Women Awards have been declared. The Mississippi State University President's Commission on the Status of Women hosted a reception Tuesday to commemorate all nominees, as well as recognize the winners. Winners were divided into five categories, which include outstanding graduate woman, outstanding faculty woman and outstanding professional staff woman.
Mississippi State employee re-appointed to USDA board
A Mississippi State University employee was re-appointed to serve on the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday the re-appointment of MSU's Dr. Rita Green, assistant professor of consumer economics, who will represent U.S. Agricultural stakeholders in the nature of national consumer interests.
State lawmakers agree on key accomplishments
State Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, and Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, agreed Monday on what many say were the two biggest issues of the just completed legislative session -- changes to the criminal justice system and a teacher pay raise -- but differed sharply on Medicaid expansion. Blount, House Public Property Committee chairman, and Gibson, House Judiciary B chairman, provided a recap to the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute/Capitol press corps luncheon of the just completed legislative session.
MSU Hosts Regional Science Fair
About 650 elementary school students from 16 counties took part in this year's region five Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair at Mississippi State University. Since 1984, Mississippi State's Bagley College of Engineering has hosted this event, providing judges who will decide which students receive honors.
MSU Scientists Develop Forestry Software Program
Mississippi State University scientists have created a new software program to help foresters and landowners manage hardwood timber. Emily Schultz and Tom Matney, forestry professors in the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, developed the software and user's guide based on 33 years of research. The free software provides expected yields and future growth values for the red oak-sweetgum forest mixture that is widely distributed across Mississippi river bottoms.
MSU Veterinary College Provides Free Eye Exams to Service Animals
Guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. To honor them and their valuable work, Mississippi State will provide eye screenings next month for eligible service animals in the area. Dr. Caroline Betbeze will perform the exams at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Book store fire near MSU campus overnight
Firemen in Starkville and Oktibbeha County spent part of the overnight hours working a fire at the Campus Book Mart on East Lee Boulevard. Officials say the fire was quickly brought under control in the three level building. However, authorities say there is considerable smoke and heat damage.
Starkville names new high school principal
David Baggett has been named principal of Starkville High School by the Starkville School District Board of Trustees. The board voted unanimously to hire Baggett, who is currently in his eighth year as principal at Ocean Springs High School. Baggett holds a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Mississippi and a bachelor's degree in education from Mississippi State University.
Mississippi Town, Set of 'A Time to Kill,' Hopes to Cash In on 'McConaissance'
If you preserve the set of a 1996 movie based on a John Grisham legal thriller, will the tourists come? The town of Canton served as the setting for "A Time to Kill," starring a mostly unknown Matthew McConaughey as a young defense lawyer caught in a racially charged murder trial. Now that Mr. McConaughey is riding high after a string of successful roles and a recent Oscar, Canton has a shot at cashing in on its own slice of the so-called McConaissance by literally walking visitors through the scenes of his first big-budget starring role. Canton, population 13,000, may not have the tourism cachet of a baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield like Dyersville, Iowa, which still draws the curious 25 years after the release of "Field of Dreams." But Canton has wooed a string of movie productions, including the Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and Imagine Entertainment's upcoming James Brown biopic "Get On Up," and it is trying to use those movies to woo travelers off nearby Interstate 55.
Partnership will help Mississippi children with mental health problems
One in five Mississippi children suffer from a mental or behavioral health problem, but less than 20 percent receive treatment, because of a fragmented system that is difficult to access, said Dr. Susan Buttross of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Gov. Phil Bryant, Buttross and others on Tuesday announced a parternship between UMMC and Mississippi Children's Home Services to create a statewide system to improve access to care. The first of its kind in the nation, The Children's Collaborative is being helped by a $5 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Mississippi Division of Medicaid. The plan is to develop a telehealth network within the 11 offices, providing an alternative to driving to Jackson.
Mississippi gets $3.6 million for more planning for BP spill restoration
Officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality say the $3.6 million that Mississippi received Tuesday makes it the first Gulf state to receive oil spill restoration planning money from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The grant will be used to "coordinate the views, visions, values and plans of the people of the Gulf Coast" as it puts together a restoration plan. The environmental group Gulf Restoration Network applauded Mississippi for jumping out ahead of Florida, Texas and Alabama in coastal restoration. "Restoration dollars will flow to the states that have their act together," the group said.
Yarber, Lumumba headed for a runoff
Jackson voters turned out in large numbers Tuesday to select the city's next mayor, culling a crowded field of 13 candidates down to two. City Councilman Tony Yarber and Chokwe Antar Lumumba will head to an April 22 runoff to see who will become Jackson's next mayor. Unofficial results from the special election put Lumumba ahead of Yarber by 10 votes, a number likely to change as affidavit and absentee ballots are tallied. With threats of severe weather and flooding streets Tuesday afternoon, turnout appeared to have peaked earlier in the day when the sun was mostly out.
Poll has Sen. Thad Cochran leading McDaniel substantially
According to Harper polling, released Monday, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran continues to lead his Republican primary challenger Chris McDaniel. Cochran leads McDaniel 52-35 percent, a net +7 percent gain for McDaniel since mid-December when it was found Cochran leading 54-31 percent. However, McDaniel's image with voters is taking on water as it approaches a ratio of 1-to-1. In December, he had a net +16 percent image (33 percent favorable vs. 17 percent unfavorable). Now, McDaniel's net image is +6 percent (37 percent favorable vs. 31 percent unfavorable).
Haley Barbour: Jeb Bush stance like Reagan's
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour defended Jeb Bush's recent comments that some illegal immigration is an "act of love," saying it's very similar to what former President Ronald Reagan thought. "What people want you to do: Tell the truth," Barbour said Tuesday at the LBJ Presidential Library's Civil Rights Summit. "And if Jeb feels that way about it -- it sort of reminds me of my boss, Ronald Reagan." Barbour, who was an aide in Reagan's administration described what the president used to call the "gates test" during a panel Tuesday with Democratic San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
Democrats tout 'paycheck fairness' to reach female voters
President Obama used his executive power and a hot-button issue to try to stoke support from a key election-year constituency on Tuesday, as he issued two directives aimed at ensuring federal contractors pay women as much as men for equal work. Surrounding himself with female supporters at the White House, Obama signed an executive order prohibiting contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about how much money they make. The president also ordered contractors to report data to the government showing the compensation they provide their employees by sex and race. As he signed the executive actions Tuesday, Obama returned to the economic-fairness message he honed when he won over female voters in his own reelection two years ago.
Major bug called 'Heartbleed' exposes Internet data
A newly discovered security bug nicknamed Heartbleed has exposed millions of usernames, passwords and reportedly credit card numbers -- a major problem that hackers could have exploited during the more than two years it went undetected. It's unlike most of the breaches reported over the past few years, in which one Web site or another got hacked or let its guard down. The flaw this time is in code designed to keep servers secure -- tens of thousands of servers on which data is stored for thousands of sites. That's why some experts were calling Heartbleed the worst bug yet, something that should worry everyone who frequents the Internet or does business on it.
International Food Fair set for Thursday at USM
University of Southern Mississippi international students will showcase their homelands during the annual International Food Fair from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Baptist Student Center, 214 North 31st Ave. in Hattiesburg. The International Food Fair allows those who attend to have an opportunity to sample cuisine from various countries prepared by the university's international students and others.
William Carey University art department holds meet and greet at Edgewater Mall
William Carey University Art Department will offer an information session in a storefront near the entrance to Belk in Biloxi's Edgewater Mall from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday. William Carey's art department instructors will be on hand to meet prospective students, share student artwork and look at portfolios. The Hattiesburg-based school offers BFA and BA degrees with concentrations in graphic design, painting and art education.
East Central Community College names Cliburn Workforce Education Instructor of the Year
East Central Community College in Decatur names Sherri Byars Cliburn of Union as the 2014 "Workforce Education Instructor of the Year." Cliburn said she knew she wanted to be in the classroom since she was in first grade. "It was the most exciting place that I could imagine. I rode the bus home, pulled out the Fisher-Price schoolhouse (complete with a tiny chalkboard) and forced my three year old sister to be my 'class.' Obviously, she needed to share in the fun." Cliburn holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Mississippi State University.
South Mississippians earn spots in Pearl River Community College hall of fame
A retired Gulfport bank executive and a Diamondhead attorney will be inducted to the Pearl River Community College Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame on April 17. James Ginn of Diamondhead, who served as executive vice president for Hancock Bank, and Donnie Waits of Gulfport, who was the Stone County prosecutor and an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, will join famed entertainer Jimmy Buffett and other alumni of Pearl River Community College in the Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg.
U. of Alabama president: 'We are certainly on our way'
University of Alabama President Judy Bonner echoed previous comments as she recapped the academic year for the Capstone Tuesday during a faculty and staff meeting on campus. Bonner's comments during the spring faculty and staff meeting at the Bryant Conference Center were similar to her speech in November 2013 on the state of UA, with praise for the university's programs surrounding the 50th anniversary of its successful integration, student leadership during efforts to increase diversity in Greek-letter organizations in the fall, capital projects including the new engineering and sciences quad, growth of the campus community and faculty achievements.
MacKeith Named Dean of U. of Arkansas' Fay Jones School of Architecture
An architecture professor at a Missouri university has been named the dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. Peter MacKeith, a professor at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, is set to become the UA school's dean, effective July 1. "We are pleased to have Peter MacKeith join the University of Arkansas," Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in a news release. "His experience and leadership will help continue to propel the Fay Jones School to even greater heights."
Led by Stanford's 5%, Top Colleges' Acceptance Rates Hit New Low
Enrollment at American colleges is sliding, but competition for spots at top universities is more cutthroat and anxiety-inducing than ever. In the just-completed admissions season, Stanford University accepted only 5 percent of applicants, a new low among the most prestigious schools, with the odds nearly as bad at its elite rivals. Deluged by more applications than ever, the most selective colleges are, inevitably, rejecting a vast majority, including legions of students they once would have accepted. Admissions directors at these institutions say that most of the students they turn down are such strong candidates that many are indistinguishable from those who get in.
Research shows professors work long hours and spend much of day in meetings
Professors work long days, on weekends, on and off campus, and largely alone. Responsible for a growing number of administrative tasks, they also do research more on their own time than during the traditional work week. The biggest chunk of their time is spent teaching. Those are the preliminary findings of an ongoing study at Boise State University, a public doctoral institution, of faculty workload allocation, which stamps out old notions of professors engaged primarily in their own research and esoteric discussions with fellow scholars.
BRIAN PERRY (OPINION): Reviewing the legislative session
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "The Stennis Institute & Capitol Press Corps luncheon Monday featured state Sen. David Blount (D-Jackson) and state Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) and their review and recap of the just completed legislative session. They talked criminal justice reform, Medicaid expansion, teacher pay raises and other issues. Both supported the criminal justice reform provisions passed this year. Blount called it one of the most significant long-term accomplishments of the legislature and Gipson said in addition to saving money, it provides surety to victims and judges that criminals will serve a portion of their sentences."

Wild ending: Mississippi State scores on errant pitch to down Southern Miss in 11th inning
A wild pitch in the dirt ended a back-and-forth game at Trustmark Park on Tuesday night. With two strikes and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, a Ryan Milton wild pitch scored Derrick Armstrong to give No. 21 Mississippi State a 4-3 extra-innings victory against Southern Miss.
Bulldogs complete comeback to win at Old Waverly
Propelled by a career-low 65 from senior Barrett Edens, Mississippi State captured the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship in exciting fashion with a one-stroke victory. MSU trailed Cincinnati by 12 strokes after the opening round at Old Waverly, but the Bulldogs quickly gained ground by shooting 13-under-par for the final two rounds. The Maroon and White overtook the Bearcats (4-under-860) with a 5-under-par 859, claiming their first win of the season and back-to-back Old Waverly Collegiate Championships.
Auburn fan who stormed field after Iron Bowl found guilty of disorderly conduct
An Auburn fan arrested after storming the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium after last year's Iron Bowl was found guilty Tuesday of disorderly conduct. During a bench trial, District Judge Russell K. Bush found Britt Thomas, 21, of Dadeville guilty of disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. Thomas was arrested after the Tigers' 34-28 victory over Alabama on Nov. 30, when he joined thousands of fans to storm the field. Authorities testified that Thomas scuffled with deputies who were patrolling the area after the game. Thomas will have to pay $100 fine with a suspended jail sentence. Thomas was previously charged with criminal trespass as well, but that charge was dismissed by Bush.
Amid National-Title Celebration, Academic Questions Take Center Stage
It was only a basketball game. But when Shabazz Napier spoke into a CBS microphone late Monday night after his team had just won a national championship, he used the moment to broadcast a message that had little to do with sports. "I want to get everybody's attention right quick," he said to some 70,000 people gathered here in AT&T Stadium and millions more watching on television. "Ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at the hungry Huskies ...This is what happens when you banned us." Mr. Napier, a senior at the University of Connecticut, was referring to the one-year postseason penalty the National Collegiate Athletic Association issued in 2012 for the team's failure to meet minimum academic requirements. But his statement magnified deeper questions about academic priorities in big-time college sports and the NCAA's role in overseeing them.
Gap in academic spending for athletes begs for more support for low-performing teams at low-resource colleges
The University of Connecticut men's basketball team boasts the worst graduation rate of any Division I program in the annual National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. Last year, the athletes' academic performance was so bad they were flat-out banned from the postseason. On Monday night, they were crowned national champions. Happily, for the Connecticut men, they attend an institution with a $63 million athletics budget and plenty to spend on supporting their academic pursuits. It's known that the colleges in the five biggest and wealthiest Division I conferences are winning a college sports "arms race" to attract the best coaches and build the best facilities and, in turn, attract the best recruits. But there's also an arms race in athletic-academic spending, a new study suggests, and the poorest programs are losing out. By a lot.

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