Thursday, April 10, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Infographic: The 2014 Masters Tournament By The Numbers
WalletHub talks to golf industry experts, including Jeff Adkerson -- PGA Director, PGA Golf Management, Mississippi State University -- about the start of The Masters and the state of the golf industry in the U.S.
Developing nations major contributors to pollution, climate change emissions
The debate over climate change, says Richard Carson, "has long centered on the notion that we needed a lot more science before we should do something about it -- and that's just a fantasy of lobbyists." And says Carson, economics professor at the University of California, San Diego, who delivered the keynote lecture celebrating the Mississippi State University Agricultural Economics Department's 100-year anniversary, "The U.S. is no longer in the driver's seat" with the climate change issue, he said. "Environmental economics analyzes products and services where there are no prices," says Steve Turner, head of the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics.
MSU South Farm Observatory to Host Weekend Stargazing
A Saturday public viewing at Mississippi State's E.I. Howell Observatory will offer opportunities to learn more about the Starburst Galaxy, Orion Nebula and planets Jupiter and Mars. From 6-8 p.m., the university's physics and astronomy department will open the observatory for stargazing. The telescopes are located off Blackjack Road on the South Farm, formally the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center. Since temperatures are predicted to be in the 50s, participants are advised to dress warmly, said Angelle Tanner, assistant professor of astronomy.
McComas Hall Exhibition to Feature Creations by MSU Fine Art Seniors
Works by five graduating fine-art majors at Mississippi State will be on display April 15-22 in the university's McComas Hall Art Gallery. Free and open to all, the art department-sponsored 2014 show is titled "Metamorphosis." It celebrates the students' final year of thesis studies in drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
MSU researchers develop timber-management software
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. "We are excited to release the bottomland hardwood prediction system as a tool for foresters and landowners to use in achieving management objectives," Schultz said.
Ocean Springs principal will lead SHS
Starkville School District Board of Trustees unanimously hired Ocean Springs High School Principal David Baggett as Starkville High School's next top administrator. Under Baggett's eight-year stint as OSHS principal, the school received an A designation each year from the Mississippi Department of Education and won 16 state athletic championships. Baggett received a bachelor's degree in education from Mississippi State University. Jennifer Baggett, his wife, was also hired as an Armstrong Middle School English teacher Tuesday.
OSHS principal David Baggett leaving at end of year to take Starkville High job
Born and raised in Ocean Springs, David Baggett has spent most of his professional life working as an administrator in his hometown's school district -- the last eight as high school principal. Come June, however, Baggett's tenure with the Ocean Springs district will come to an end. The Starkville School Board is expected to approve Baggett tonight as the new Starkville High School principal, effective July 1. It didn't hurt Starkville's chances of landing Baggett that Maroon and White runs deep in his family. He is a 1994 graduate of Mississippi State University and owns a home in Starkville. Both his parents are MSU grads, as are two of his brothers.
Fire Breaks Out at Campus Book Mart
Workers at the Campus Book Mart in Starkville spent the day cleaning up after an early morning fire. The store is located just off the Mississippi State University campus on East Lee Blvd. Firefighters found flames burning in the back of the building's first floor. All three floors of the store suffered extensive smoke and water damage.
Pork prices on the rise
"We've got a lot at stake if this disease happens to hit our herds," said Terry Emerson, Prestige Farms Mississippi Division General Manager in West Point. Hitting herds is porcine epidemic diarrhea -- a virus that is killing baby pigs by the millions. It's been found in other countries including China. "As mobile as people are today, it's almost an impossible task to keep everything out of the U.S," said MSU Extension Agent Mark Crenshaw. The virus does not affect humans or even the quality of pork. The pigs affected are under three weeks old.
Bourdain bringing CNN crew to the Delta
Anthony Bourdain has traveled to all sorts of exotic places over the past couple of years, and the coming season of his popular CNN show includes a stop in the Mississippi Delta. Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" series, a culinary travelogue, swiftly became CNN's top-rated series since debuting last April. A new eight-episode season begins Sunday at 8 p.m.
Health coverage for children rises in state
Government-run health insurance – Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program -- are picking up the slack to provide insurance coverage to more Mississippi children. A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study released Thursday found that from 2008 to 2012 the number of Mississippi children covered by private health insurance, including plans provided by their parents' employer, has dropped from 49.8 percent to 45.2 percent, But the number of children covered by CHIP and Medicaid increased from 37.4 percent to 47.1 percent. That resulted in a net decrease in the percentage of uninsured children in the state from 12.9 percent to 7.7 percent.
Prisons largest mental institutions in Mississippi, study shows
In Mississippi, the largest mental institution is not the State Hospital at Whitfield. It's the East Mississippi Correctional Facility near Meridian, a national study says. A prison or jail is now de facto the largest mental institution in Mississippi and almost every state, says the study released this week by the Arlington, Va.-based Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs' Association. The Mississippi Department of Corrections has 3,637 mentally ill inmates, with the largest number of those --- 1,193 --- at East Mississippi, MDOC spokeswoman Grace Fisher said. Longtime Mississippi prisoners’ rights attorney Ron Welch said the study’s conclusion in regard to Mississippi isn’t anything new.
Charter school board cuts school applicants to three
The number of applicants to open Mississippi's first charter school has been narrowed to three. The state's Charter School Authorizer Board voted Wednesday to declare three applications eligible and complete to move forward. They are Reimagine Prep, which would operate grades 5-8 in Jackson; Phoenix Early College Charter School, which would operate grades 9-12 in the Natchez-Adams school district; and the Inspire Charter School, which would operate grades K-6 and 9 in Columbus.
Sen. Thad Cochran: Six-term senator fights for funding and legislation on Capitol Hill
At age 76, Sen. Thad Cochran could have easily retired instead of facing Tea Party-backed challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the Republican primary election. Cochran is the second highest-ranking Republican in the Senate and, if the Republicans win control of the Senate, Cochran would be chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the most powerful assignment in the Senate. Chip Morgan, executive vice president, Delta Council, says Cochran's footprints are in almost every community in the Delta in critical areas such as workforce training, health care services and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects that protect from flooding and provide vital ports and harbors.
Senate hopeful McDaniel speaks to Jones GOP Women
With less than two months to go until the June 3 Republican Primary, U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel said Wednesday that the campaign of longtime incumbent GOP Senator Thad Cochran is "desperate" and has resorted to running negative adds against him. McDaniel was in Laurel, to speak to a meeting of Jones County Republican Women. McDaniel also challenged Cochran to a debate on the issues.
Stay-at-home moms: a rising trend, fueled by immigration and weak economy
The percentage of moms who are staying home with their children has increased since the millennium, a trend that likely is driven by both an influx of immigrant mothers and the pressures of a still hard-up economy in which many women cannot get jobs, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. The share of moms who do not work outside their homes reached 29 percent in 2012, up from a historic low of 23 percent in 1999, according to a Pew analysis of U.S. government survey data.
University Press of Mississippi forms new partnership
The University Press of Mississippi has established a new partnership with University Press Online Scholarship. Mississippi Scholarship Online brings together the best of University Press of Mississippi's scholarly publishing and ensures that scholars around the globe have yet another path to discover UPM titles.
'Stand for Freedom' At Mississippi University for Women
Some Mississippi University for Women students are taking a "Stand for Freedom." The MUW International Justice Mission chapter kicked off its two-day "Stand for Freedom" event Wednesday evening on campus. Students could buy t-shirts, make posters, or pose in the photo booth. It was a fun time but raised awareness about a serious problem, human trafficking and slavery.
University named twice for personal finance efforts
The University of Mississippi was named among the 2014 Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's "Top 100 Values in Public Colleges" and "25 Best College Values Under $30,000 a Year" lists. The university ranked as No. 78 on the top colleges list and at No. 16 on the best values list. According to university officials, Millsaps College was the only other Mississippi institution to make Kiplinger's rankings, on its "Top 100 Values in Liberal-Arts Colleges" list.
Tulane partnering with Farmers Market in Madison
Tulane University students are planting their own kind of seeds to take to market. The six enrolled in the graphics arts class on the local campus are helping the City of Madison create a logo for the new Downtown Madison Farmers Market opening on May 13. "You're in on putting the stamp on our Farmers Market," Robin McCrory, the city's director of downtown and business development, told the students this week. "You're planting the seeds of marketing the market." McCrory visited instructor Brent Lape's classroom at Tulane's campus, located not far from the site of the market that will be open each Tuesday through the growing season by the Red Caboose on Main Street.
Belhaven student accepted into Juilliard
Belhaven University senior Jocelyn Zhu is headed to the prestigious Juilliard School next fall for its master's program for violinists. She's only 19, but the young musician from Madison graduates in May, at the end of her fifth year at Belhaven. "I kind of took a victory lap," she joked before adding, "this is the first year I've been older than the incoming freshmen." She entered school there at 14; count it as just another early start.
Ocean Springs, MGCCC reach agreement to offer college courses to high school students
Come this fall, qualifying students at Ocean Springs High School will be able to take college courses, taught by college instructors, right on their high school campus. Thanks to a new agreement between the Ocean Springs School District and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, four college courses will be offered to juniors and seniors on the OSHS campus this fall: College Algebra, English Composition I, Introduction to Psychology and Introduction to Sociology. The courses will be offered through a new dual enrollment agreement between Ocean Springs and MGCCC.
U. of Alabama students respond to traveling evangelist who calls them sinners
After a traveling evangelist stood Wednesday at the University of Alabama's student center and called passersby sinners, several UA students engaged the man in what quickly devolved into a theological screaming match. Kerrigan Skelly, founder of PinPoint evangelism, set up in UA's Ferguson Center plaza Wednesday with two colleagues, admonishing passing students for various sins. The group quickly drew a crowd, with students and UA community members standing at balconies surrounding the plaza and a large circle surrounding Skelly.
U. of Florida playing catch-up in making faculty pay competitive
When Roger Beebe was offered a faculty position at Ohio State University, the counter-offer by the University of Florida was not enough to make him stay in the English Department's Film and Media Studies Program. In addition to more pay, OSU guaranteed that Beebe would get $15,000 in research money over the course of his first four years, and it had more travel money available to attend conferences and seminars. The dean of UF's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences declined to offer Beebe any additional research support, so after 14 years at UF, Beebe packed his bags for the Buckeye State. Faculty at UF typically earn well below what their colleagues in similar positions at peer institutions make.
Ayers named new UGA business school dean
Benjamin Ayers, director of the University of Georgia's J.M. Tull School of Accounting, will become the next dean of the university's business college, university officials announced Wednesday evening. Ayers' naming comes after two dean searches ended without a new dean. Ayers was one of the three finalists in that first search a year ago, launched after Robert Sumichrast stepped down as the Terry dean to take a similar position at Virginia Tech. But Ayers was the right candidate all along, said UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten.
Louisiana Treasury to help students reclaim money lost in LSU McDonald's fraud
Nearly 4,000 LSU students who lost money in the massive fraud scheme by former McDonald's employees at the restaurant's campus location can use the state Treasury Department's website to try to reclaim their money. State Treasurer John Kennedy said in a news release that LSU reached out to his office to help the students reclaim the stolen money. "We've added the names and information of 3,900 former students and alumni to our online Unclaimed Property database," Kennedy said in the release. An investigation by LSU Police revealed some cashiers and managers were overcharging students on school-issued debit cards, pocketing the difference and falsifying records to hide the thefts.
Connors Pledge $1.5M to U. of Arkansas Fulbright College Fellowship
Robert and Sandra Connor of Little Rock and Dallas have pledged $1.5 million to enhance the Robert C. and Sandra Connor Endowed Faculty Fellowship at the University of Arkansas. In a news release, the UA said the money will benefit full-time junior-level faculty in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. It will be used to support teaching, research, service and career development. "Bob and Sandra are two of our most engaged volunteers and are excellent ambassadors of the University of Arkansas," UA Chancellor G. David Gearhart said. "This gift will make a significant impact on our faculty recruitment and retention efforts – key measures supporting our goal of becoming nationally recognized as a top 50 public research university."
U. of Arkansas Teams Win 8 of 10 Governor's Cup Awards
Teams from the University of Arkansas won eight of the 10 awards presented Wednesday at the 2014 Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup collegiate business plan competition in downtown Little Rock. Billed as the "state championship," the Governor's Cup represents the state's top business plan event for college students. Awards were presented at a Statehouse Convention Center luncheon that included Gov. Mike Beebe. Teams from the UA won the top three places in the competition's graduate division. UA teams also won both the graduate and undergraduate pitch awards as well as the graduate and undergraduate innovation awards.
Vice President Joe Biden to address U. of South Carolina graduates
Air Force Two will be landing in Columbia for the second time in a year. Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the commencement address at the University of South Carolina on May 9 in Colonial Life Arena, the school said Wednesday. Biden will address business, public health, mass communications, nursing and pharmacy graduates. Biden, a presumed 2016 White House hopeful, was the headline speaker at the S.C. Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner a year ago. Biden is the first sitting vice president to speak at a USC commencement, the school said.
Texas A&M students push for Latino/Chicano studies minor degree track
It's rare that students take the lead in shaping the curriculum at Texas A&M, but that hasn't deterred one group from saying "Sí, se puede." Texas A&M students are pushing for the creation of a Latino/Chicano studies minor, which would essentially use existing courses to teach an interdisciplinary approach to Latino studies. Supporters hosted a student panel Wednesday night, followed by a Q&A session that featured four Aggies talking about their experience on campus and how they felt the minor would benefit the university. Around 70 students crammed into a Rudder classroom and overflowed into the hallway.
U. of Missouri System president orders stricter Title IX reporting requirements
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe announced Tuesday that he has issued an executive order to strengthen the university's reporting policies under Title IX. The order says every employee has an obligation to report sexual harassment and sexual violence perpetrated against students to the appropriate Title IX coordinator. All employees are considered "mandated reporters" except those who have a legal obligation or privilege of confidentiality, including health care providers, counselors, lawyers and associated staff, according to the updated Collected Rules and Regulations.
More college students battle hunger as education and living costs rise
A problem known as "food insecurity" -- a lack of nutritional food -- is not typically associated with U.S. college students. But it is increasingly on the radar of administrators, who report seeing more hungry students, especially at schools that enroll a high percentage of youths who are from low-income families or are the first generation to attend college. At the same time that higher education is seen as key to financial security, tuition and living expenses are rising astronomically, making it all the more tempting for students to cut corners on food. As campuses look for solutions, the number of university food pantries has shot up, from four in 2008 to 121 today, according to the Michigan State University Student Food Bank, which has advised other campuses on starting them.
SID SALTER (OPINION): States explore options over road and bridge repair funding
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "While there were a number of legislative victories during the 2014 session of the Mississippi Legislature, lawmakers could not reach agreement on a long term fix for an old problem -- the fact that the revenue structure for funding road and bridge construction and repair in Mississippi isn't keeping pace with the projected costs of the state's needs. Mississippi is neither alone in the policy dilemma nor alone in the decision to kick the can down the political road for another year. But nationally, a number of states are beginning to be forced to deal with the issue -- even if those states have to entertain tax increases."

Parking, traffic plan announced for Super Bulldog Weekend
Mississippi State officials announced parking and traffic plans for the 29th annual Super Bulldog Weekend presented by Regions this weekend on the MSU campus. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for events to allow for time to move about campus. Several shuttle routes are available on Saturday, both on campus and to downtown where the Starkville Cotton District Arts Festival will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. SBW officials recommend that fans who are able to walk from each event rather than driving should do so in order to keep the flow of campus open.
Ross poised for breakout year for Bulldogs
Fred Ross was the most highly touted of the talented crop of six receivers Mississippi State signed in 2013. Ross was a Parade All-American and consensus four-star prospect from Tyler, Texas, who flipped his commitment on the eve of national signing day from a year-long pledge to Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder saw the field immediately, appearing in 11 games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman last fall. Ross hauled in nine passes for 115 yards on the year before breaking his collarbone against Arkansas and missing the final two games.
Mississippi State RB Griffin continues comeback
Two weeks ago, Nick Griffin put Justin Cox on his back. Last week, he took on Mississippi State's other safety Kendrick Market, who suffered the same fate. Through the first two scrimmages and the spring as a whole, Griffin has run and blocked with a purpose. The running back's pad level is lower. His confidence is back. And most importantly his knees are healthy, he says. "That Nick Griffin man, he's a bad dude," Griffin said. "The smartest one on the field is going to be the best one on the field. I feel like I just know everything going on. I feel like that's my edge, that's my advantage."
State hosts Alabama in exhibition soccer match
Members of the Mississippi State soccer program are happy to be kicking off the activities of Super Bulldog Weekend tonight. Even though the weekend on a calendar starts on Friday, the Bulldogs are included on the SBW schedule of events with an exhibition match against the University of Alabama. Action at the MSU Soccer Complex is set to begin at 7 p.m. "It's great when we can do an event around this time," MSU soccer coach Aaron Gordon said. "Last year we did a game on actually the Saturday of Super Bulldog Weekend. This time it worked out where we will do it on a Thursday. It's the mini-start to the weekend, which is fine."
Alumni match gets players back on court
Super Bulldog Weekend has grown over the years. It used to offer opportunities for just football and baseball, but now most every sports team at Mississippi State has an opportunity to showcase their skills. One of those sports is volleyball. Volleyball competes in the fall, but head coach Jenny Hazelwood, a MSU alumnus, wanted to get her sport involved in Super Bulldog Weekend, so she spearheaded an alumni match. "It's been really good," Hazelwood said. "Obviously Super Bulldog Weekend is a big draw for alums to come back. It's the perfect opportunity to play the alumni match. It's been fun to have them back on campus, (and) back in the gym with us. They love it."
JEFF AYRES (OPINION): Tourney move a boost for Jackson
The Clarion-Ledger's Jeff Ayres writes: "Many people who have left Jackson to live elsewhere in Hinds, Madison or Rankin counties say the capital city is dying a slow, painful death, that the city doesn't offer much to hold the interest of anyone, young or old. A number of them still work in the city's downtown office spires and golden-topped government buildings but happily commute each day back to Ridgeland, Madison, Clinton, Flowood, Brandon, Byram, etc. The 'Jackson is dead' crowd must have gotten a shock, then, at the news last week that the state's only PGA Tour event, now known as the Sanderson Farms Golf Championship, is heading to the Country Club of Jackson after 20 years of being played at Annandale in Madison County."
U. of Kentucky basketball coaches to get almost $800,000 in bonuses for tournament wins
An NCAA basketball tournament appearance is good for a school's brand, and it's also good for the coaches' bottom lines. The University of Kentucky will pay about $792,000 to its men's and women's basketball coaches after the postseason, in which the women made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the men got to the NCAA title game. The men's coaches will collect $663,530, with the remaining $128,937 going to the women's coaches. UK men's Coach John Calipari gets $350,000. (Connecticut men's Coach Kevin Ollie will get a $167,000 bonus for winning the NCAA tournament, according to press reports.)
Kentucky's John Calipari: NCAA Is Crumbling Like the Soviet Union
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari likens the NCAA to a dying superpower and believes the college-sports governing body faces extinction unless it embraces reform "The situation reminds me a little of the Soviet Union in its last years," Calipari writes in a forthcoming book. "It was still powerful. It could still hurt you. But you could see it crumbling, and it was just a matter of time before it either changed or ceased to exist." Calipari, whose Kentucky team lost to Connecticut in college basketball's national-championship game Monday night, is the latest prominent figure to join the chorus of critics who argue that the NCAA takes unfair advantage of athletes.
Report Describes Increase in Female Athletes but Lack of Female Coaches
More women than ever before played NCAA sports this year, but high-profile coaching jobs for women continued to decline, a new report has found. Opportunities for female head coaches in women's basketball, the most prominent women's sport, dropped sharply from 2012 to 2014. This year, just 75 big-time programs -- or 60 percent -- had a female head coach. Two years ago, 84 programs did, according to the report, "Women in Intercollegiate Sport: A Longitudinal National Study." "Even tiny movement makes a difference in a lot of peoples' lives---both the athletes and the employees," said Linda J. Carpenter, an emeritus professor at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a co-author of the report. "But then you look at the calendar and realize it's 42 years after Title IX was enacted. If that's the case, you would certainly have hoped that we would be further along and that swifter, faster changes would have taken place."

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