Monday, April 14, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Accreditation in Action: Inside a Site Visit
The stately wood-paneled walls of the John Grisham Room in the library at Mississippi State University give it a formal air. At 8:30 a.m. on a recent Tuesday, a small band of academic professionals entered the room to begin a serious job. During the course of just three days, the group of seven men and two women would seek the information and impressions they needed to help determine the accreditation status of this land-grant university. Mark E. Keenum, Mississippi State's president since 2009, said the time, effort, and expense of the process were worth it for the institution and for taxpayers---even some of the more tedious elements, such as verifying compliance with federal standards.
Mississippi State announces #HailStateDay philanthropy project
Mississippi State University will hold its first online philanthropy event starting Monday. The university's goal is to raise 1,0001 donations over a 36-hour period with #HailStateDay. The event starts at noon on Monday and lasts until midnight on Tuesday. Officials say those interested can participate in the philanthropy project by making a gift to any MSU area within the 36-hour timeframe at
Manufacturing event scheduled for April 23 in Starkville
Industry leaders will gather at Mississippi State University on April 23 to discuss existing and potential issues related to manufacturing and how to capitalize on the state's current momentum. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Manufacturing Summit: The Road Ahead. The event will be held at the Franklin Furniture Center. Topics to be discussed at the annual manufacturing summit include transportation and logistics, manufacturing competitiveness, workforce development, the regulatory environment and the Affordable Care Act.
MSU seeks information about 5,000-photo archive
Mississippi State University has placed its archive of 5,000 photographs online. The university says it has some information about all the pictures, but sometimes lacks dates. Librarians are asking alumni and friends to provide dates for the collection by posting information in online comments. Digital projects coordinator Randall McMillen says MSU wanted to share images of its 137-year history.
The Most Underrated College In Every State
While the term "safety school" may have a negative connotation, it's unquestionably a smart decision to apply to at least one college you'll likely be accepted to. Oftentimes, these schools' strong academic programs are overshadowed by the popular perception that a college is better if it's tough to get into. These colleges challenge that myth, and are smart -- and potentially safe -- options for student applicants. For the Magnolia State, the choice is Mississippi State University.
Workshop prepares parents for college
A Mississippi State organization is working to help bilingual parents better understand the process of sending children to college. Mississippi State's Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers held their second Noche de Ciencias, which means "Science Night" Saturday. About 20 people participated The students talked to them about financial aid and what to expect when sending a child away to college.
Farmers expected to plant more cotton and beans, less corn
With corn prices down, Mississippi farmers are likely to plant more cotton than 2013′s record low acreage. But soybeans are still king, with almost as many acres expected to be planted than all other crops combined. Those are the findings of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's survey of what the state's farmers plan to plant this year. "I think it was a case of where the market said, 'Don't plant corn,'" said Mississippi State University agricultural economist John Michael Riley. He said corn could still be profitable, but other crops are likely to be more profitable. Soybeans, which require less fertilizer, may be the least risky because farmers will have less money invested. Rice acres are also expected to rise.
Local high school students create smartphone apps
Twenty-two high school students from Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties are one step closer to becoming entrepreneurs. This semester, Mississippi State professors taught the students in a dual enrollment course, where they learned how to create smartphone apps. This allows them to not only learn how to develop web apps, but it also gives them a high school credit and also three credits at the university," said Toyota Mississippi Vice President Sean Suggs. "I've really enjoyed getting to know the professors and getting to know, not only the computer aspect of everything, but the marketing, research and the development that goes into creating an app," said Sam Bertolet, a Tupelo High School senior.
High School Students Take Course at Toyota Plant
The Toyota plant in Blue Springs does more than just produce the Corolla. It has also been the site of higher education, thanks to the Toyota Education Endowment and Mississippi State University. Since January, 22 area high school students have come to the plant to take a course in web application development from MSU professors. On Saturday, the students presented their original designs to their teachers and Toyota officials.
Re-enactors bring Contraband Camp story to life
A different mix of Civil War re-enactors will present two days of Corinth Civil War history this week during the Corinth Contraband Camp Symposium on Thursday evening and Friday. The National Park Service, in conjunction with the Ulysses S. Grant Association and the Mississippi State University U.S. Grant Presidential Library, will offer programs and discussions with actors portraying President Abraham Lincoln, escaped slave and abolition activist Frederick Douglass and Union General Ulysses S. Grant. Corinth Contraband Camp and Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center are units of Shiloh National Military Park.
Oktibbeha supe wants to resume hospital sale talks
Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer is again calling for a meeting between supervisors and OCH Regional Medical Center trustees to discuss the future of county health care. Trainer made the call in last week's board meeting while alluding to potential moves that could impact the county's financial bottom line. He made similar calls in August, but officials never decided upon a formal meeting date. If the full five-person board of supervisors and seven-member hospital board do meet for formal discussions, it would be the first of its kind in years.
Latimer: Budget committee should use caution with meeting input
Chris Latimer, the attorney for the Starkville Board of Aldermen, said he used caution Thursday with his advice to prevent Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker from discussing sanitation finances and potentially violating the Open Meetings Act during the first audit and budget committee meeting. Walker joined the three-person committee's discussions after Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard, who serves as the group's chairman, seemingly invited his comments after opening up the floor to the public. Walker, whom the board previously prevented from joining the budget committee, was at the meeting in a self-noted observation role. Besides former Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk, members of the press, city staff and committee members Roy A. Perkins, Lisa Wynn and Maynard, Walker was the sole member of the public present Thursday.
Man killed in Sunday hit-and-run near Center Grove
Investigators are working to confirm the identity of a man killed in an apparent hit-and-run accident Sunday along U.S. Highway 82. A white male was fatally struck about by a vehicle about 4 a.m. as he walked along the highway's westbound lane near Center Grove, Mississippi Highway Patrol investigators said. A passing driver is believed to have alerted MHP. Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Hunt was awaiting confirmation of the victim's identity Sunday.
Bryant enjoys 2014 legislative success
Gov. Phil Bryant says he talks to other governors across the nation who envy his successes in getting his agenda passed through the Legislature. Part of that success can be attributed to the fact the Republican Bryant and the Republican leadership of the Legislature are of like minds and have many of the same goals, such as building up the state's reserves and passing socially conservative legislation. During the session the first-term governor also proved willing to compromise. At one point, the governor said he thought all future teacher pay raises should be based on merit, but later said that an across-the-board teacher pay raise and a performance-based salary increase are "not mutually exclusive."
Space crunch crimps Mississippi Capitol
Mississippi's state Capitol is quiet and empty now that the 2014 Legislature has gone home. But the grand spaces of the rotunda and House and Senate chambers can't hide it -- the people's house has grown too small. Spectators routinely stand through committee meetings when the Legislature is meeting, and the lack of an office for every lawmaker leads to a constant tension over space. Leaders are trying to manage the room they have, but there's little discussion of long-term solutions. At the very least, lawmakers could have to disrupt longstanding traditions to better use limited space. And building more square footage would cost money.
How politics killed no-texting bill
"Nooooo!" an obvious majority of the Mississippi House -- Republican, Democrat, black, white -- yelled in unison loud enough to rattle the stained glass. And like that, in one of the more baffling legislative moves in recent years, Mississippi remains one of few states without a law against adults texting while driving. "The No's appear to have it," House Speaker Philip Gunn announced as only three or four members stood, far shy of the 13 required to demand a recorded vote on the electronic board. "The motion fails." In its last, late-night major action before adjourning for the year, the House killed House Bill 484, a day after passing it overwhelmingly. Its passage April 1 by both House and Senate after years of similar, failed efforts had been heralded statewide.
Chris McDaniel responds to radio show audio clip
A Republican U.S. Senate challenger in Mississippi said Friday that the incumbent's camp is "showing signs of desperation" by criticizing things he said while hosting a conservative talk radio show several years ago. Tea party-backed Chris McDaniel is challenging six-term incumbent Thad Cochran, a former Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, in the June 3 primary. McDaniel, an attorney, said he hosted "The Right Side" from about 2003 or 2004 until late 2006 or early 2007. He said he couldn't remember the exact dates, but that the show started on a Hattiesburg station. Cochran's campaign spokesman, Jordan Russell, told AP in a separate interview Friday that McDaniel's remarks were "embarrassing."
Is the tea party running out of steam?
Tea party challenger Chris McDaniel might have felt discouraged when he walked into a recent Reagan Day Dinner here in northern Mississippi. After all, many people were wearing "Thad" stickers. Six-term Republican Sen. Thad Coch­ran is such a fixture in the state that his unusual first name alone is enough to send the message: He's the favorite of establishment Republican activists in Mississippi's June 3 primary. Other tea party challenges to incumbent GOP senators have faded, turning Mississippi into a proxy for the national battle between establishment and tea party Republicans. Now McDaniel may be heading for trouble, too.
Ole Miss loses its Spark
University of Mississippi Dean of Students Sparky Reardon, who has worked at Ole Miss for 36 years, will retire this semester. Sparky sat down with The Daily Mississippian last week to reflect on his past and discuss some of his future. "I don't know if anyone is ever really ready for retirement," Sparky said. "The more I talk to friends who have retired, they tell me it's something you just get used to. And I've been able to get a little taste of that with the leave I've been able to take this year."
Rethinking Mass Incarceration conference underway
Mississippians interested in learning how the criminal justice system works -- and doesn't work -- are invited to the first University of Mississippi Conference on Rethinking Mass Incarceration in the South at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center. The conference opened Sunday with a screening of "Mississippi Innocence," the 2010 film that explored similar capital murder cases in Noxubee County in which the men convicted were eventually exonerated. After a tour and presentations at Parchman Penitentiary, the on-campus programming continues today at 5:30 with a keynote on prison rebellions. Tuesday will feature 12 panels on subjects from prisons and higher education to post-prison reentry and from experiencing incarceration and its aftermath to race and the Southern criminal justice system.
U. of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park students seek amenities, equality to Hattiesburg campus
Students at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus have been trying to get in touch with the administration on the Hattiesburg campus about some issues they've been having, and when they found out President Rodney Bennett was having a meeting with faculty on the Gulf Park campus Friday, they saw an opportunity to have their voices heard. "We started posting fliers, posters and etc., that we were just going to show up," said LaQuita Gresham, an English licensure student and the president of the Student Government Association on the Gulf Park campus. "We'd been requesting a date for him to meet with us, and we wanted to put the pressure on him to respond."
USM to hold roundtable of military families
The University of Southern Mississippi's Dale Center for the Study of War and Society presents "Beyond Combat: Military Families at War" at 5:30 p.m. Monday on the Hattiesburg campus. The event, to be held in Liberal Arts Building Room 101, is a roundtable featuring the families of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.
USM hosts memorial service
The University of Southern Mississippi is hosting the annual Golden Eagle Memorial Service on Tuesday. The Student Government Association holds the event to honor six students, one faculty member and one staff member who died during the 2013-14 academic year. The service begins at 6:30 p.m. in room 218 of the Thad Cochran Center on the Hattiesburg campus. The Student Government Association initiated the Golden Eagle Memorial Service in 2003.
Small businesses growing at Alcorn State technology incubator
When Lauren Jones's business lost its logical home, she was ready for a helping hand. Jones Website Services -- a company started by her father, Sam Jones -- had previously been operated out of her parent's house for five years. But when Sam Jones moved and later turned the business over to his daughter, she wanted to find a professional home for it. A business associate suggested Jones consider the Alcorn State University TechCenter, a business incubator housed in the APEX Center on the corner of Franklin and Wall streets in Natchez.
East Mississippi Community College will host technical skills camp
East Mississippi Community College will be hosting a camp this summer for high school students interested in manufacturing. Camp AMP, which stands for Advanced Manufacturing Professionals, will be hosted at EMCC's Mayhew campus for students in seventh through 12th grades. In a press release issued by the college, Susan Baird, assistant dean in EMCC's Manufacturing, Technology and Engineering Division, encouraged students to attend the camp. Students will learn about computer-aided design, 3-D printing and rapid prototyping. They will also take tours of local industries.
Auburn University student seriously injured in South College wreck; one charged with DUI
One person has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence after being involved in a two-vehicle wreck late Saturday evening on South College Street, according to the Auburn Police Division. An Auburn University student was seriously injured in the incident. Jonathan Blain Giles, 25, of Summerdale was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence, according to a press release from the APD. He was involved in a wreck that occurred on South College Street near I-85 just before 11 p.m. The wreck occurred as many people were leaving the nearby Alpha Psi Rodeo.
U. of Georgia professors' pay ranks last among peers
Average pay for full professors at the University of Georgia is now dead last compared to professors' average pay at the university's officially designated "peer" institutions, according to a UGA professor's analysis. Pay for associate professors is a little better -- UGA ranks 11th, two up from the bottom, on that scale, according to recently released statistics from the American Association of University Professors. UGA assistant professors do better than that, ranking sixth among a list of UGA and 12 other universities, according to AAUP figures published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Former U. of Tennessee professor to discuss book at talk
John Hodges, retired professor of religious studies at the University of Tennessee, will lead a discussion this month of his memoir "Delta Fragments: Recollections of a Sharecropper's Son" as part of talk hosted by the Langston Hughes Library. Hodges, the son of black sharecroppers, attended segregated schools in Greenwood, Miss., in the 1950s and '60s, worked in plantation cotton fields and eventually left the region to earn multiple degrees and a tenured professorship. His book is an autobiographical journey back to Mississippi.
Robbery attempt near U. of South Carolina campus
University of South Carolina Police issued safety reminders to students after authorities said someone showed a gun to a pedestrian on early Sunday morning near campus. A white four-door sedan with three men inside approached another man at 1 a.m. Sunday on the 700 block of Pickens Street between Blossom and Greene streets. One man came out of the car and showed a gun, USC Police said. The victim fled. Crime has become a more sensitive issue at the college after a freshman was paralyzed after being shot at random last fall in the Five Points entertainment district near campus.
U. of Missouri increasingly relies on private funding
Bringing in multimillion-dollar gifts to the University of Missouri is a marathon, not a sprint. When Tom Hiles, the vice chancellor for development and alumni relations, is working with a potential donor, the way he approaches the issue has to be methodical because messing it up could ruin the relationship that MU has with the individual or business. "You have to earn the right to ask," Hiles said about asking donors for money. Raising money from private donors has become more important as state appropriations have fallen in Missouri. This year, the goal is $150 million for MU -- money the university counts on to address a variety of needs.
U. of Missouri's Scott Cairns weaves poetry and religion
It's a Tuesday afternoon, and Scott Cairns is conversing with his books. He isn't talking to them, of course, just simply responding to what he sees as an ongoing conversation by reading and writing, reading and writing. A sense of imagination is important to a poet. Though just about every MU English professor's office is laden with books, Cairns' sticks out in other ways. For one, there are more Eastern Orthodox icons spread across shelves and hung on walls than pictures of his wife, daughter and son. Cairns, 59, is the author of seven books of poetry. "It's all about God," he said. "Everything about human life that's worth puzzling over is somehow connected to God ... every facet of our experience."
Rural Students Less Likely to Attend Four-year, Private, or Selective Colleges
Students in rural counties are less likely to attend college, and those who do are less likely to choose a four-year, private, or highly selective institution, according to a recent report. Andrew Koricich, an assistant professor of higher education at Texas Tech University analyzed federal higher education and longitudinal data to determine how living in a rural community influences postsecondary choices. Koricich's study found that about 64 percent of rural students pursue postsecondary education, compared to nearly 70 percent of students who live in metro areas. Nationally, about 66 percent of graduating high school students enroll in a postsecondary institution.
LYNN SPRUILL (OPINION): Bricklee and the Horse Park
Lynn Spruill writes in The Dispatch: "Bricklee Miller is the executive director of the Mississippi Horse Park located on Poorhouse Road in Oktibbeha County, a collaboration between the City of Starkville, Oktibbeha County and Mississippi State University. She has been in charge of the Horse Park almost from its inception and therefore deserving of any and all credit for its remarkable success. This is yet another example of the benefit a collaborative project for our region can achieve."
PAUL HAMPTON (OPINION): Reading the Tea Party's tea leaves in District 4
The Sun Herald's Paul Hampton writes: "The Tea Party, already fighting a battle for the soul of the GOP, has an internal power struggle of its own. Ron Vincent, one of the organizers of the movement in South Mississippi and a board member of the Hattiesburg Tea Party, has lost the endorsement of the South Mississippi Tea Party, according to a post on the Facebook page of one of its officials. ...Vincent, who's challenging U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo and others in the June 3 primary, said the break came because Tom Carter wants him to leave the race."
BILL CRAWFORD (OPINION): Cochran has always represented state interests, not PACS'
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "...our Constitution intends for Senators to represent their states' interests while Representatives represent the interests' of the people in their districts. This constitutional intent is relevant to this summer's Senate primary election. On one hand we have the challenger, espousing this and that in the name of the Constitution, but exhibiting little commitment to actually represent Mississippi's interests. On the other hand we have the incumbent, with a record showing reliable representation of Mississippi's interests in military, agriculture, education, energy, and business matters. ...Incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran was recruited to run for Congress in 1972 by Mississippians. He is beholden only to Mississippi and has consistently voted for the interests of his state."
GEOFF PENDER (OPINION): Senate race devolves into racism, 'boobies'
The Clarion-Leger's Geoff Pender writes: "The McDaniel-Cochran race for U.S. Senate has recently evolved -- or devolved -- to a sorry state of affairs, focused on racism, radio clips, 'mamacitas' and 'boobies.' I'm looking at a broadside from the Central Mississippi Tea Party, one of McDaniel's stalking horses, that appears to be calling much of the state Republican establishment racist. This is return-fire in response to news about McDaniel being on the program for a gun show that included a segregationist vendor. It coincides with national media picking up clips of bombastic comments McDaniel made... Early on, needing to create name recognition, most any publicity was good publicity for McDaniel. That period has passed."
SAM R. HALL (OPINION): McDaniel, Cochran race about to get ugly
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "State Sen. Chris McDaniel is learning the ugly side of being in the national spotlight. The GOP challenger to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran probably has a bad case of whiplash after the last two weeks. He's gone from enjoying the afterglow of public polls showing the race tightening to fending off claims of being too friendly with a self-avowed racist and trying to downplay some rather embarrassing clips from his old talk radio show. ...The result of weeks of television ads using McDaniel's own words in his own voice against him will likely be far worse than the whiplash of the last two weeks. It will be dirty, but it will be effective."
SID SALTER (OPINION): Warning label crusade nearing ridiculous levels
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "First came the Surgeon General's warnings on the packs of cigarettes that I once smoked. The warnings were correct, of course, and perhaps necessary to supplant the influence of massing advertising campaigns that targeted young people. Then came warning labels on beer: 'Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.' OK, got it ...eventually. But over the years, product warning labels have become increasingly ridiculous."

Mississippi State breaks its own attendance record
The largest crowd to ever watch a college baseball game on campus also witnessed one of the most dramatic as No. 17 Mississippi State rallied with four runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat instate nemesis Ole Miss 6-5. But Bulldog fans already had reason to celebrate having broke the NCAA attendance record with 15,586, shattering their own previous record from 1989 by 595. "This is not only important for our athletic department and our baseball program but for our whole university," said MSU coach John Cohen. "This is like a homecoming in the spring. To see this many people show up for football, baseball and other events is really exciting for our kids. This is something they'll never forget."
Mississippi State sets NCAA on-campus attendance record in 6-5 victory over Ole Miss
For the Mississippi State baseball team, every part of Super Bulldog Weekend Saturday was indeed super. Playing before an NCAA on-campus attendance record crowd of 15,586, MSU scored four times in the bottom of the 10th inning to knock off arch-rival Ole Miss 6-5 in the middle game of a three-game Southeastern Conference weekend series. The previous NCAA on-campus attendance record -- also held by MSU -- was set in 1989 when a crowd of 14,991 were on hand to watch the Bulldogs sweep a doubleheader from Florida. That crowd was eclipsed less than 24 hours after another stellar crowd of 13,224 attended the opening game of the three-game weekend series.
Mullen delivers fun, Maroon squad delivers win
Dan Mullen summarized the 2014 Maroon-White spring football game in four words. "Well, that was fun," the Mississippi State sixth-year head coach said with a smile. One hundred, thirty-five days following the Thanksgiving miracle provided by Dak Prescott in the 17-10 overtime victory over rival Ole Miss, the 21,710 in attendance got to see the Bulldogs again in as organized structure as possible for a few hours.
Quarterbacks rule at Mississippi State spring game
Mississippi State's top three quarterbacks combined for 653 yards passing in their spring game on Saturday. Starter Dak Prescott was efficient in his limited playing time with the Maroon team, completing 7 of 9 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown while adding a rushing touchdown. Backup Damian Williams was 21 of 32 for 347 yards and four touchdowns, and freshman Nick Fitzgerald finished 17 of 26 for 175 yards and one touchdown. Fred Brown had a 10 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Maroon-White game delivers drama
Coach Dan Mullen wanted Mississippi State's spring game to be as evenly matched as possible. Mission accomplished. Evan Sobiesk came on to kick a 28-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Maroon team to a 41-38 victory in front of a crowd of 21,710. "Somehow I really split those teams up pretty evenly today," Mullen said. "It was pretty good. We walked out of here really healthy, which is always a big concern. Our guys really enjoy playing together and we're a close-knit team and they really had fun out on the field today."
Mississippi State shows off progress in spring game
Before Mississippi State's Maroon/White game, Dan Mullen pegged this spring as the best in his six years in Starkville. Saturday's game inside Davis Wade Stadium changed none of that. It went so well that the Bulldogs ended it with a successful field goal. Here, that's a big deal. Evan Sobiesk's 28-yard field goal as time expired gave Maroon a 41-38 win and closed out the spring for Mississippi State. "It was a good day (Saturday). I was happy. I saw some good football out there on the field," Mullen said.
Alabama softball blows lead in 10th inning, falls to Mississippi State
The University of Alabama softball team was three outs away from an extra-inning victory Sunday. The second-ranked Crimson Tide only got one. Alabama scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning and watched as Mississippi State loaded the bases and rallied for a 4-3 victory at MSU Softball Stadium to take the series. "For us to come out and battle like we did, I'm really proud of the players," said Mississippi State coach Vann Stuedeman, who was a longtime UA pitching coach.
ADAM MINICHINO (OPINION): No time for rest for Schaefer, coaching staff
The Dispatch's Adam Minichino writes: "...UConn's victory should highlight a crucial point: Division I women's basketball needs to improve. Coaches and fans should welcome UConn's dominance -- not wonder whether it is good or bad for the game -- because it provides motivation for teams to be great. Mississippi State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer is one of many who understands that. That's why there is hardly any 'offseason' for Schaefer and his coaching staff, even after a 22-14 season in which the Bulldogs won three games in the postseason for the first time in the program's history."
A&M signs record deal with Levy Restaurants for outsourcing of food services at athletic facilities
Texas A&M officials announced Friday the outsourcing of food services in all of the campus' athletic facilities, the largest known contract of its kind in the U.S. collegiate market. Levy Restaurants will take over food and hospitality services for A&M's athletic facilities such as Kyle Field, Blue Bell Park and Reed Arena. The Chicago-based company counts professional sporting and entertainment venues such as Wrigley Field, STAPLES Center and the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami among their venues and plans to expand dining options at Kyle Field. Phillip Ray, chief business development officer for the A&M University System, said the 12-year deal will net the university $50 million over the course of the contract. This contract tops Levy's contract with Ohio State University, which was considered the largest among the nation's colleges.
U. of Kentucky spokesman: There are 'outstanding issues' to resolve for lease agreement in Rupp project
University of Kentucky officials say a tentative 30-year lease between it and Rupp Arena has not been signed and will not be released before the legislature returns Monday. "No lease agreement has been signed because there are outstanding issues that have not been resolved," Jay Blanton, a UK spokesman, told the Herald-Leader. Legislators have said the release of the financial plan for the $310 million redesign and redevelopment of Rupp Arena and an attached convention center was key to securing $65 million in state bond money for the project.
AD Alden helps open Mizzou Tennis Center
Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden had not seen much of MU's campus when he rode through Columbia in 1998, shortly after accepting the job. Alden spotted tennis courts on College Avenue. "There were some guys who were skateboarding on the tennis courts," Alden recalled. "I said, 'Hey, what's that over there?' And the person who was driving me said, 'Those are the home courts for our tennis program.'" The home facilities have since moved to the Mizzou Tennis Complex, and Alden spoke to a crowd Saturday at the grand opening for the Mizzou Tennis Center. The 3,800-square-foot facility sits between the tennis complex and the indoor tennis facility, the Green Tennis Center. "It has changed our lives," Coach Sasha Schmid said of the facility.
Vanderbilt superfan wants police to apologize
Vanderbilt's baseball games have been much quieter this spring with Commodores superfan Lance Smith missing in action. Sunday's game at Hawkins Field against Texas A&M will be the 30th baseball game that Smith, better known as Vandy Lance, has missed since he vowed not to return to an athletic event at the school because he was involved in an incident with a Florida fan during a men's basketball game Feb. 25. Smith, an Antioch High graduate who lives in Donelson and drives a United Parcel Service truck, is set to retire in May He'll have more free time than ever before to attend Vanderbilt games, but he said he's not going back until he receives an apology from the police department. That's probably not going to happen.

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