Friday, April 11, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
MSU's 'Investing in Innovation' Conference Spotlights Entrepreneurship
Mississippi State's economic impact on the advancement of innovation will be on display later this month in a series of public campus events. The university's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer will sponsor Entrepreneurship Week April 21-25. "Accelerating Progress" is this year's theme. The Investing in Innovation Conference on the 25th at the Hunter Henry Center will conclude the events. As with each of the week's activities, the conference is free and open to all -- but registration for the noon luncheon must be completed by April 15. "Our theme of 'Accelerating Progress' is in full swing, and we've introduced more industry partners to the Thad Cochran Research, Technology, and Economic Development Park including C-Spire and Bomgar in the last few months," said OETT director Joshua Jeanson.
53-Acre 4-H Youth Complex Opens in West Point
Representatives of the 4-H Foundation of Mississippi touted a 63-acre multipurpose youth complex as a great example of community partnerships during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in West Point Thursday. Under cloudless skies, Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel were joined by 4-H youth and volunteer leaders, state and local government officials, industry representatives and 4-H Foundation of Mississippi board members for the dedication of the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex. The complex houses a nature trail, a 4-H shooting range, the Southern Ionics 4-H Environmental Center, the Mississippi Farm Bureau 4-H ATV Training Center and the Elizabeth A. Howard 4-H Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center. "This complex is one of the best examples of community collaboration, and it all started with Jimmy and Kay Bryan donating the property," said Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service.
Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex opens
Precious Smith looks forward to therapy. She's endured cancer and three amputation surgeries. Her therapist recommended horseback riding and it works. "The gait of a horse mimics the walk of a human, so they build muscle they're typically not able to use," said MSU Extension Service Associate Cassie Brunson. The Elizabeth Howard 4-H Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center is one of a number of facilities found at the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex. The complex officially opened Thursday.
Unique Partnership Binds MSU, School
Students at Forrest County Agricultural High School now have the resources of Mississippi State University at their fingertips. The school entered a partnership with the MSU Extension Service this year that allows students, faculty and staff to attend Extension educational trainings through an interactive video system. Extension and school representatives and local and state officials marked the occasion with a ribbon cutting on April 8 at the high school. "We are so grateful that everyone at Mississippi State worked with us to make this happen for our students," said Jerry Morgan, FCAHS superintendent. "When I came on board a few years ago, we were facing consolidation. Now, we have cutting-edge technology and the ability to connect with one of the best agricultural research universities in the nation."
Photography of Alum Steve Brandon to Benefit the MSU Art Gallery
"Wonders of Nature," a photography exhibit by Mississippi State alumnus Steve Brandon of Chattanooga, Tenn., now is being featured in the university's Colvard Student Union Art Gallery. Since retiring in 2002, he and wife Patsy Fowlkes have traveled the world, photographing wildlife and speaking about wildlife conservation. Both graduated from MSU in the early 1970s and have become noted wildlife photographers. Free and open to all, the exhibit runs through May 29 in the second-floor gallery, with a reception to be held 5-7 p.m. April 22 at the location.
Fire damages Campus Book Mart
Officials from the state fire marshal's office are investigating a fire at Campus Book Mart that caused a considerable loss to merchandise due to heat and smoke damage, Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said. Firefighters were dispatched to the East Lee Boulevard location about 2:20 a.m. Wednesday and found the blaze mostly contained to the structure's lower room at the rear of the facility. A state fire marshal's representative came to the scene Wednesday to file a report since the company's insurance claim was expected to be extensive, Rosenhan said. Investigators believe an electrical fire sparked the blaze, but a formal cause has not yet been identified.
MEC event focuses on creative economy
Small failures can eventually pay huge dividends. That's what San Francisco author and entrepreneur Peter Sims told the more than 2,000 attendees at the Mississippi Economic Council's 65th Annual Meeting Thursday in Jackson. "Mozart could come up with a brilliant idea immediately," Sims said. "He was a prodigy. Beethoven was not. He had to work through draft and draft before he had a masterpiece." Sims was the keynote speaker for the meeting, centered on celebrating Mississippi's creative economy.
State to focus on creative economy
The business community heard about plans to grow the state's creative economy and was told to be creative in growing its own businesses Thursday during the annual meeting of the Mississippi Economic Council. More than 2,000 business people from across the state heard Gov. Phil Bryant and others talk about enhancing focus on the state's creative economy -- whether it be the music industry or other segments of the arts -- during 2014. Bryant said during the annual meeting of the state's Chamber of Commerce that with no focus on the industry, 60,000 people already are employed in jobs related to the creative economy.
12-week Welty Biennial coming to Jackson in 2015
In what curator David Kaplan termed "an elaborate save-the-date card," organizers on Thursday morning announced the Welty Biennial, a major 12-week fine arts festival concentrated in downtown Jackson in 2015. Hosted by the Mississippi Museum of Art and spiraling out from there, the multi-disciplinary festival will include art exhibitions and live performances celebrating acclaimed Jackson writer Eudora Welty as an American visionary, author, photographer and thinker. The festival will be held April 10 to July 3, 2015. The announcement came just days before what would have been Welty's 105th birthday on Sunday.
Bryant signs law changing Mississippi tax practices
Gov Phil Bryant has signed a new law that changes how Mississippi state government collects taxes. Bryant signed the bill Thursday at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Economic Council. That state chamber of commerce was a prime force in lobbying for changes. A key part of the bill could make it harder for the state to rule that multistate corporations are paying too little in taxes to Mississippi. It says the Department of Revenue would have to present clear and convincing proof before it could reallocate how a company splits its income among states, and only do so in "limited and unique, nonrecurring circumstances."
Business response to religious freedom bill surges statewide
Supporters of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law last week insist it does not authorize businesses to deny service to customers based on religious beliefs. A group of entrepreneurs has initiated a movement to make clear that they'll take money from anybody willing to spend it. If You're Buying, We're Selling started in the commercial district of Jackson's Fondren neighborhood last week, and has since spread statewide. The campaign is built around opposition to Senate Bill 2681.
State politico, sister indicted in $600K embezzlement from American Legion
A former special assistant attorney general for Mississippi and his sister have been indicted on felony charges of embezzling more than $600,000 from the Mississippi Delta American Legion Post 1776. A grand jury in Bolivar County handed down the indictments March 26, about a month after Morgan P. Shands agreed to repay the American Legion in Cleveland $370,000. In that civil agreement, Shands didn't admit or deny violating the Mississippi Charities Act. He now faces criminal charges of conspiring to commit embezzlement. Shands is well a well-known political figure in Mississippi. He was campaign manager for Republican Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes in 2013 and for Democratic state Attorney General Jim Hood in 2007.
Off-color comments or a candidate's character?
Chris McDaniel, the Republican challenging Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in his primary, has already faced scrutiny for controversial comments he's made on race during his time as a radio disc jockey, though none of those unearthed comments have yet to sink his campaign. But on Tuesday, fresh recordings surfaced in which McDaniel railed against the prospect of paying the descendants of slaves and joked about the Spanish language, among other things. And then, just hours later, more cropped up. The comments, as they pile up, become more of a liability for McDaniel.
Radio Clip Shows Different Side of Republican Senate Challenger in Mississippi
State Senator Chris McDaniel cuts a smooth-as-silk image as he crisscrosses Mississippi seeking to topple Senator Thad Cochran in the Republican primary. But Mr. McDaniel was a tad tougher when he hosted a radio talk show. In one broadcast that surfaced Thursday, Mr. McDaniel suggested that he would move to Mexico rather than pay reparations to blacks over slavery, and he referred to Mexican women as "mamacitas." Mr. McDaniel has portrayed himself as a Christian and a family man who is flummoxed by modern culture. But in the clip, he asks how a man with a limited knowledge of Spanish would pick up a woman in Mexico.
Decision to let Bill Marcy on ballot prompts filing of suit
The Mississippi Democratic Party is facing a lawsuit over its decision to allow Bill Marcy, who ran for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican and touted himself as a conservative Republican in campaign literature, to run as a Democrat for U.S. Senate. On March 29, the Democratic Party State Executive Committee certified Marcy to run in the June 3 party primary for U.S. senator, according to a lawsuit filed in Copiah County Chancery Court by Ken Dale Sullivan of Wesson. Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole said Wednesday Marcy meets the statutory qualifications for a candidate for the U.S. Senate and was on that basis certified.
'Taxi' star, ex-Miss Mississippi on stage at Ole Miss
Saturday night in Oxford will be an unforgettable evening for TV star Marilu Henner. But so is every night -- and every day -- of her life. Henner, 62, the former star of the classic television series "Taxi," is one of about 25 people worldwide who has been diagnosed with hyperthymesia, meaning she can recall details from any date tossed at her since she was a small child. Henner will perform in "Sounds of Stage and Screen" at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Gertrude C. Ford Center on the campus of the University of Mississippi. The celebration of iconic songs from Broadway and motion pictures will star Mary Donnelly Haskell, the former Miss Mississippi and wife of ex-Hollywood agent Sam Haskell of Amory.
New authors, illustrators honored at USM book festival
Some new authors and illustrators from around the country were honored at Southern Miss Thursday during a luncheon at an annual literary festival. Writer Ame Dyckman and illustrator Christian Robinson were among those receiving awards during the Ezra Jack Keats Award Luncheon at the 47th Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival. Prior to the luncheon, longtime author Christopher Paul Curtis was awarded the Southern Miss Medallion for his many contributions to children's literature.
Official urges students to finish community college degree program
"The 21st Century will belong to those who are educated and technologically trained," said Mississippi Community College Board Executive Director Dr. Eric Clark during a visit earlier this week to the Copiah-Lincoln Community College campus. Clark spoke to students and others about the importance of getting a certificate or degree from a community college. Clark is touring Mississippi's community colleges talking to students about the Community College Completion Corps, or C4, and the importance of education. College presidents are working together to coordinate C4 events, explained Co-Lin President Dr. Ronnie Nettles, who introduced Clark.
AIME Day designed to tout new technology by U. of Alabama teams
The University of Alabama's center devoted to helping staff and students take their ideas to market will have its annual event today featuring new technologies and the UA teams behind them. UA's Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs center will host AIME Day at the AIME building on campus from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday. The 17 teams composed of UA faculty and students are scheduled to present or compete in the annual event. "We are going to be highlighting university technologies and entrepreneurial students," said Rachel Frazier, AIME research engineer. The day event begins with opening remarks by Carl Pinkhert, UA vice president for research, followed by presentations throughout the day.
UGA to consider update to maternity leave policy
Some University of Georgia faculty and staff want the school to broaden its family leave policy. According to a request from the human resources committee of the UGA University Council, the UGA policy is outdated and not in line with more family-friendly policies at many other universities. The group proposed to ask UGA President Jere Morehead to appoint a university-level committee to study UGA's existing "maternity leave" policy and develop a new "parental leave policy" in its place.
Founders recall borrowing, cajoling to launch first UGA rodeo
With some risk-taking and a bit of cajoling, 40 men more than 40 years ago launched the inaugural Great Southland Stampede Rodeo. Many members of the University of Georgia's Block and Bridle Club in the 1970s were married or recently returned home from the Vietnam War, said Lee Eggert, a member of the livestock judging team and one of 40 students who embarked on the venture to start the first rodeo in 1972. Larry Hadden, also instrumental in coordinating the first rodeo at UGA, said it was a trip to Louisiana State University that planted the seed.
U. of Florida's Teacher-Scholar of the Year, Homan, sees confirmation in career recognition
By his own reckoning, Sidney Homan should have retired from the University of Florida at least a decade ago, but he loves teaching Shakespeare too much to quit. "Honestly, I love going into campus," the 75-year-old Homan said Wednesday, a day after being named UF's Teacher-Scholar of the Year. Being around 19- and 20-year-old students keeps him young. "I love being with the kids, as I call them. I have no plans to retire," he said. It is the latest of several awards Homan has earned in his 42 years at UF, "far more than I've deserved," he said modestly.
PIE Center director Irani promoted to UF ag college department chair
After running the PIE Center at the University of Florida for the past five years, Tracy Irani is getting a promotion to departmental chair in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Although she's moving on, Irani will continue to have a role with the center she helped create -- at least until a new director is found. Irani was named permanent chair -- effective Friday -- of UF's Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, after serving as interim chair since October. "This is a promotion for Tracy -- department chair is a bigger position with more responsibility and more pay," said Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at UF. "Also, it was her choice. She could have remained as PIE Center director, but she wanted a new challenge."
U. of Kentucky ends, then defends survey dealing with LGBT students' use of health services
A University of Kentucky health survey that was emailed to students last week has drawn attention from a conservative-leaning news website for college students. UK officials said Thursday that the online questionnaire from University Health Services was part of a quality-improvement project. It included questions intended to gauge how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students at UK use university health centers, they said. However, a national website called Campus Reform, not affiliated with the university, reported that some students thought questions about sexual orientation and religious beliefs were invasive.
Rumors of Aggie mischief circulate as maroon bluebonnets pop up on U. of Texas campus
The land of burnt orange has received some unwanted maroon in the form of the state flower. Maroon bluebonnets have popped up in flower beds outside the University of Texas Tower, causing enough student reaction to prompt groundskeepers to remove the seeds, said Markus Hogue, program coordinator of irrigation and water conservation at UT. Rumor has it that an Aggie is behind it. After all, the only place on campus that has bloomed the Aggie-cultivated maroon variant of the beloved wildflower is in two flower beds outside one of the most iconic campus landmarks, Hogue said.
U. of Missouri chancellor weighs in on sex assault reporting requirement
University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin sent an email to campus faculty and staff Thursday further clarifying UM System President Tim Wolfe's executive order about employee obligations for reporting sexual harassment and assault. "The executive order specifically says that every staff or faculty member who becomes aware of an act of sexual harassment, including but not limited to sexual assault, becomes a 'mandated reporter,'" Loftin said in the email. Wolfe issued Executive Order 40 on Tuesday, which stated that UM System employees are obligated to report sexual harassment and assault committed against students. Before the executive order, there was no reporting requirement or mandatory training for MU faculty or staff for handling Title IX incidents.
U. of Missouri to offer new online master's degree in public health
The University of Missouri announced Wednesday that its master's degree of public health program will be available online starting this June. According to a news release, the decision was based on a demand for global health professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts increased job growth for health care managers through 2022. "Graduate education in public health opens myriad career opportunities," Lise Saffran, interim program director, said in a statement. "
There Is a Gender Pay Gap in Academe, but It May Not Be the Gap That Matters
The gender-based wage gap has been in the spotlight lately, as the Obama administration used a pair of executive orders this week to remind the country that women make 77 cents for every dollar men make, according to oft-quoted (and sometimes criticized) data from the Census Bureau. New data released this week by the American Association of University Professors show there is a gender wage gap in academe, too. However, the bigger problem in academe -- as in society at large---may not be a wage gap, but a representation gap.

Dudy calls: Bulldogs expect record crowd with Rebels in town
In 1989 Mississippi State set the NCAA on-campus attendance record with a crowd of 14,991 at Dudy Noble Field. In fact, the Bulldogs own all of the top 10 on-campus crowds in NCAA history. This weekend MSU plans to set a new attendance benchmark while hosting in-state rival Ole Miss for Super Bulldog Weekend. "Super Bulldog Weekend is something that is really special at Mississippi State and something our kids really look forward to," said MSU coach John Cohen. "When you throw Ole Miss on top of it, it makes it even more exciting. It's hard to say it's just another SEC weekend when we have a chance to maybe break the on-campus record for attendance. This is why you come to Mississippi State for opportunities like this weekend." The series gets underway tonight at 6:30 p.m. and resumes at 3 p.m. Saturday on FSN following the MSU football spring game. Game 3 is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.
No. 21 Mississippi State takes on No. 13 Ole Miss starting today
Mississippi State scored nine runs in its last four games. Eight came in two contests --- a 17-4 loss to LSU and a 4-3 walk-off win via a wild pitch against Southern Miss. That's not an offensive stretch that inspires confidence, especially with No. 13 Ole Miss visiting starting today. "This is a big weekend for us offensively," said MSU coach John Cohen, whose team has gone 1-3 in the last four games.
Mississippi State likely will be without Brown vs. Ole Miss
The No. 17 Mississippi State baseball team is preparing for another weekend without sophomore right-hander Preston Brown. Sources close to the program confirmed to The Dispatch on Wednesday that Brown hasn't thrown since suffering shoulder discomfort last week in his bullpen session. That shoulder injury kept the third-year sophomore from pitching last weekend at LSU and likely will keep him off the active roster this weekend when MSU (20-13, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) plays host to No. 19 Ole Miss. Game 1 of the three-game SEC weekend series will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Dudy Noble Field.
Mississippi State announces seven-year deal with Adidas
Mississippi State announced a new seven-year extension with Adidas worth more than $17 million. In 2009 Mississippi State agreed to a 5-year deal worth $3 million in product. The new deal spans seven years worth $17.5 million in both product and cash. "Loyalty is important. And Adidas came to us when we may not have been as appealing," MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin said. Fans haven't always been pleased with Adidas. One of the biggest complaints involves the similarity between Mississippi State and Texas A&M's uniforms. "I'll be really honest, as we've moved into the last couple of years things have gotten a little closer than we'd like them to be," Adidas' Director of football Mark Daniels said. "We are diligently focused on separating them even more."
Mississippi State reveals new commemorative baseball, football uniforms
Mississippi State revealed baseball uniforms for Super Bulldog Weekend as well as football uniforms for the 2014 home opener. The baseball jersey, pants and hat are a white-cream color. They are more white than the cream displayed by the San Francisco Giants. The football uniforms are a tribute to the teams of the 1990s, specifically 1998 when the Bulldogs won the Southeastern Conference's west division.
Bulldogs to open season in new uniforms
Mississippi State will not only open a newly renovated Davis Wade Stadium against Southern Miss on Aug. 30, it will also debut new uniforms. The Bulldogs and Adidas have agreed to a renewed seven-year partnership and unveiled a pair of new uniform designs on Thursday. MSU will don vintage uniforms inspired by the designs of the 1990's Bulldog attire to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of Scott Field, the second oldest Division I stadium. "Adidas was very loyal to us at a time when we didn't have a lot of options," said MSU director of athletics Scott Stricklin. "Through their help, we've strengthened our brand and our royalties are up as a university by 50 percent the last few years." Also announced on Thursday is a new baseball uniform that the Diamond Dogs will wear on Saturday against Ole Miss.
Mississippi State trying to bolster pass rush
The Mississippi State football team has talked in the past few offseasons about beefing up its pass rush. And while the Bulldogs haven't been able to deliver the consistent pressure on the quarterback coach Dan Mullen wants, they hope a decision to add size and length to the defensive line will help produce results. That's why MSU is considering leaving highly touted prospect Chris Jones at defensive tackle, at least for the time being, to ensure one-on-one matchups for defensive ends Preston Smith and Ryan Brown.
Bulldogs wrap spring soccer with setback to Alabama
A short-manned Mississippi State soccer team battled a veteran Alabama squad tough for 90 minutes Thursday, but a second-period goal proved the difference as the Crimson Tide escaped Starkville with a 1-0 win. The Bulldogs wrapped a stellar spring slate that saw the youthful squad gain valuable experience heading into fall camp. "Alabama was a good side, but I thought we played really well in the first 30 minutes, maybe the best we have played all spring," head coach Aaron Gordon said.
LSU touts economic study, cites game day concerns
An economic study released by LSU's athletic department on Thursday finds that Baton Rouge-area business sales related to the Tigers' sports programs has more than quadrupled since 2001 to nearly $400 million annually. Athletic director Joe Alleva said that growth has also caused logistical problems that will require help from the community to solve. Alleva's main concern is with football-related traffic around Tiger Stadium, which is undergoing an expansion that will increase capacity to about 100,000. The study was performed by economist Loren Scott, a former LSU professor who now runs his own consulting firm.
Former unpaid athletics intern sues Vanderbilt for pay
A former intern in Vanderbilt University's athletics department filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday saying he should have been paid for his nearly two years of work. The lawsuit is the latest in a series of similar suits filed against employers for offering unpaid positions that don't come along with the valuable academic course credits or real-world training the federal law requires for such roles. The filing alleges that Robert West worked as a full-time strength and conditioning coach intern from May 2011 until January 2013. His lawsuit seeks unpaid back pay that would be the equivalent of minimum wage earnings during his time with the school. The suit also opens the door for others who performed unpaid internships in the Vanderbilt athletics department to join in, said West's attorney.

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