Tuesday, April 29, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Mosquitoes get slow start, but could bring 'next West Nile'
With the first fair-weather weekends drawing people outdoors, the flying tiny vampires (mosquitoes) aren't descending on the newly exposed flesh quite as quickly this year thanks to a chilly winter. But when they do start proliferating, mosquitoes are increasingly likely to be carrying a new disease that has been creeping toward the continental United States -- chikungunya. That's not a typo, it's an African word that means "that which bends up" and refers to a painful but rarely fatal disease that involves joint pain and fever. "It's just gone crazy and recently it's in the Caribbean,' said Dr. Jerome Goddard, entomology professor at Mississippi State University. "And everybody, including me, says that's going to be the next West Nile."
More storms predicted for Mississippi today
Additional storms are expected today with the possible outbreak of tornadoes, but not as severe as Monday's storms, said National Weather Service in Jackson meteorologist Chad Entremont. Entremont said the storms could develop between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in central Mississippi along I-55 but is expected to remain east of the interstate. He said showers and strong wind and large hail are expected. New rainfall totals could be from a quarter inch to a half inch
At least 6 dead in Mississippi tornadoes; Guard deployed to Tupelo, Winston Co.
A band of twisters and thunderstorms ravaged Mississippi Monday, killing at least six people, gutting homes and tearing down businesses in the north and central parts of the state in what state officials called the most active tornado day in Mississippi history. Fifty National Guardsmen were deployed to Tupelo and 50 to Winston County, two of the hardest hit areas where tornadoes touched down Monday afternoon and caused mass injuries, emergency officials said. The University of Mississippi Medical Center sent a three-person triage team to Louisville, said medical center spokesman Jack Mazurak. Debris from the Louisville twisters later littered Starkville and Columbus. Mississippi State University's athletic director Scott Stricklin tweeted from his verified account a photo of a sliver of a roofing shingle that landed at the Bryan Athletic Administration Building on campus.
Path of destruction: Tornado rips through Tupelo area
A devastating tornado with at least 111-mph winds rocked Tupelo and Lee County on Monday, whirling trees onto houses, crumbling up businesses and leaving a trail of unknown injuries and at least one death. Powerful storm systems passing through Arkansas, Mississippi and other states in recent days didn't spare Northeast Mississippi, leaving thousands of residents in the dark from power outages and uncertain safety in hardest-hit neighborhoods. The twister ploughed through west Tupelo and headed north, while much of the area received significant residential damage. "We have experienced a tornado that touched down that hasn't been experienced in decades," Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said during an evening news conference at City Hall. "There is widespread destruction in business and residential neighborhoods."
Sen. Giles Ward, family rode out storms in Louisville
State Sen. Giles Ward, R-Louisville, reported he and his family were safe, but their Jordan Circle home, and many others in his neighborhood, were destroyed by a tornado Monday. His cell phone had gotten wet, and Ward could report little else. Later, via text, Ward said that he, his wife, his daughter and son-in law, two granddaughters "and our 19-year-old dog" had been in his home when the storm hit. "I have never prayed so hard in my life," Ward said. Louisville and Winston County were two of the hardest hit areas. Two tornadoes were confirmed to have struck the area, leaving four people dead and the county hospital in ruins. Jack Mazurak, spokesman for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said one of the tornadoes knocked down three walls of Winston Medical Center and also caused a gas leak.
Richland businesses destroyed
Richland Fire Capt. John Hamilton said the tornado that ripped through Monday night, killing a motorist and destroying Fire Station 1 and several nearby businesses "looked like it never touched the ground." As the sun rose Tuesday morning, Hamilton looked across a field next to the fire station, where the car in which a woman driving on Old Highway 49 was killed lay. It was blown more than 100 yards off the road. Debris from nearby warehouses that were destroyed littered the field. Authorities had confirmed at least seven deaths in Mississippi by Tuesday morning, but search-and-rescue efforts continued.
Court hears arguments on Mississippi abortion law
A Mississippi law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals would effectively shut down the state's only abortion clinic and pose an unconstitutional burden on women seeking abortions, an attorney told a federal appeals court Monday. Julie Rikelman argued on behalf of Jackson Women's Health Organization, which says it has been unable to obtain such privileges for the doctors at its clinic. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III let the law take effect in July 2012, after the clinic sued the state. But Jordan blocked the state from closing the clinic while it tried to comply. "It seems to me you've got a steep hill to climb when you say the only clinic in the state is closing," Judge E. Grady Jolly told attorney Paul Barnes, of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office.
Toyota cements its Southern strategy with move to Dallas suburb
The Toyota Motor Corp. plan to move its large sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance, Calif., to a new U.S. corporate headquarters in suburban Dallas cements the company's "Southern" strategy, according to analysts who follow the auto industry. The automaker's North American Chief Executive Jim Lentz told employees Monday morning that it will create a new campus in Plano, Texas, where its manufacturing, sales and marketing operations will be based. Toyota has long been a fixture of Southern California, having opened its first office in an old Rambler dealership in Hollywood back in 1957. Now its primary factories are in Kentucky, where it builds the Camry and Avalon; Mississippi, where it builds the Corolla; and Texas, where it builds Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks. It also has a big engine plant in Alabama.
Toyota to move northern Kentucky operations to Texas in consolidation
Toyota is shutting down its engineering and manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, affecting about 1,550 workers, in a nationwide consolidation of its corporate operations. The Japanese automotive giant announced Monday that it would move about 300 production engineering positions at its Erlanger campus in Kenton County to its huge manufacturing plant in Georgetown. Gov. Steve Beshear was told in a letter Monday from Jim Lentz, CEO for Toyota North America, and Osamu Nagata, president and CEO for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc., that the company would keep its Georgetown plant and supplier plants and other Kentucky-based business units in Kentucky.
Meridian Community College's Elliott honored by Phi Theta Kappa
Calling it "one of the greatest honors of my career," Meridian Community College President Dr. Scott Elliott was among the recipients of the prestigious Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at the annual Phi Theta Kappa International conference here last week before an audience of some 4,000 students and college officials from across the nation. PTK is the international honor society for community college students. Elliott is completing his 16th year as MCC's chief executive officer.
Thousands of U. of Alabama students to receive degrees during this weekend's commencement ceremonies
More than 4,411 undergraduates and graduate students are scheduled to receive degrees Friday and Saturday during spring commencement ceremonies on the University of Alabama campus. Graduation will be split into three ceremonies, all at Coleman Coliseum. Dorothy J. Martin, an associate provost at UA, will serve as commencement marshal. Martin, who has completed 48 years of service at UA, was the first female graduate in the first graduating class of the executive master's of business administration program. During her tenure at UA, Martin has worked with 11 presidents.
Ex-U. of Alabama president Bailey could soon be named president at U. of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Guy Bailey, who served as the University of Alabama's president for 57 days before resigning in 2012, could soon be named president of the newly formed University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Multiple news reports in Texas said that Bailey was named the sole finalist to lead the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The nine-member UT System board of regents unanimously voted Monday to name Bailey the sole finalist, according to the Austin-American Statesman.
Protest against undocumented student ban heats up at UGA
Protestors didn't burn their high school diplomas as planned, but things still got heated at a Monday demonstration against a ban on undocumented students from Georgia's top schools. Following speeches at the Arch, roughly 100 protestors -- UGA students, faculty and staff and undocumented immigrants -- arrived at the University of Georgia administration building steps and attempted to enter. Protestors wanted UGA President Jere Morehead to publicly denounce the ban, voted into place by the state Board of Regents in 2010, from a moral standpoint. He would neither condemn the ban nor publicly meet the protestors. UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson barred the demonstrators from the building until Morehead's assistant, Matthew Winston, called for Anise Crane and Yami Rodriguez, two UGA students, and JoBeth Allen, an education professor, to speak with the president in his office.
U. of Kentucky reveals items found in mysterious 1956 time capsule
Sometimes the past is not as far away as we might think. University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said he was delighted to find the name of his Alabama high school football coach listed in the contents of a mysterious 1956 time capsule unearthed last fall on the UK campus. The items were unveiled Monday. The capsule, which demolition workers uncovered in September, apparently was placed in a foundation or a wall at UK's old Cooperstown residence complex by parties unknown in 1956. The capsule's origins are a mystery.
Texas A&M VP for information technology resigns
A well-respected veteran administrator for Texas A&M information technology recently announced his plans to resign from the position and return to teaching and research. Pierce Cantrell, who has served as vice president and associate provost for information technology for 16 years, will leave the position June 15 and resume his faculty responsibilities with the department of electrical and computer engineering, where he is a tenured professor, according to a staff memo issued by Karan Watson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Cantrell has been commended by his peers for the improvements he's made to information technology infrastructure that have increased the accessibility and capabilities of technology for students, staff and faculty across the university.
Administrators Call for Rewarding Professors' Patents With Tenure
A hundred and thirty-four years after Thomas Edison designed the first commercially practical light bulb, the famed inventor's tenure prospects were up for debate at a conference of the National Academy of Inventors last year. "Would Thomas Edison Receive Tenure?" a group of panelists asked. Unsurprisingly, the panelists voiced unanimous support. A vice president for research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham even prepared a signed diploma for the inventor. Even so, the panelists expressed concern that under many universities' current tenure and promotion guidelines, a faculty member with Edison's record of commercial success might not be rewarded for his contributions. Now, in a paper based on last year's panel, a group of administrators is calling on universities to reward faculty members' patents and social impact.
U.S. finds Tufts is violating rules on sexual assault, amid larger crackdown
As the White House unveiled its latest efforts to combat sexual assault on college campuses, the U.S. Department of Education said Monday that Tufts University has not complied with federal law in handling sexual assault and harassment complaints on its campus. The department's Office for Civil Rights, which has been investigating the university since a student filed a complaint in 2010, said that it had found the university to be in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law barring sex discrimination at educational institutions. Federal officials warned on Monday that they may seek to terminate the university's federal funding because it breached the agreement. The disagreement also comes as campus sexual assault is increasingly attracting attention from federal policy makers.
CHARLIE MITCHELL (OPINION): Will drug tests shame poor folks into acting responsibly?
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "In 'Patton,' George C. Scott portrays the aggressive and effective World War II general. He finds an otherwise able soldier cowering in a hospital and slaps him. The script then calls for Patton to apologize to his entire army. Remember? The officers and enlisted men and women assemble in a courtyard. Patton walks to a parapet and says, 'I can assure you that I had no intention of being either harsh or cruel in my treatment of the soldier in question. My sole purpose was to try to restore in him some sense of appreciation of his obligations as a man and as a soldier. "If one could shame a coward,' I felt, 'one might help him to regain his self-respect." This was on my mind.' Mississippi is borrowing that bit from the movie."

Mississippi State has small window to add marquee game for 2016
Mississippi State has one more opening for a non-conference football game during the 2016 season. And it has to make it count. The Southeastern Conference is maintaining an eight-game league schedule, it announced Sunday, but instituted a new policy requiring schools to schedule an opponent from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12, starting during the 2016 season. The Bulldogs already scheduled Louisiana Tech, Tulane and South Alabama that season. "The league is going to work with us and other leagues will be looking for games too," MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin said.
Mississippi State PGs Ready, Bloodman undergo offseason surgery
Two Mississippi State point guards underwent offseason surgery recently, a university spokesperson told The Clarion-Ledger on Monday. Senior Trivante Bloodman had a procedure to fix his right shoulder. Sophomore I.J. Ready had surgery on his left knee. Both should be fully recovered by the start of the 2014-15 season.
LOGAN LOWERY (OPINION): Bulldogs still have time to heat up
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Logan Lowery writes: "It is pretty obvious by now that this isn't the same Mississippi State baseball squad that finished as the national runner-up at the College World Series last year. But after all, it shouldn't be. Each year, a team's identity has to be recreated as players leave and others attempt to occupy new roles. The Diamond Dogs lost nine players in the MLB Draft from the 2013 team that finished with a 51-20 record. Losing a first-round draft pick like Hunter Renfroe would be a blow to any team. But to me, Adam Frazier was the biggest loss from last year's squad. ...Does this team have what it takes to heat up over the final month and make a run in the postseason? That's the beauty of baseball, because it will all be settled on the field in a tournament format instead of computer rankings."
LSU's Joe Alleva given 'assurances' of more night football in Tiger Stadium
Joe Alleva and LSU didn't get what they wanted when Southeastern Conference leaders voted to keep the permanent cross-division game in football scheduling. The athletic director and his program may have gotten the next best thing: night games in Tiger Stadium. Under the influence of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, ESPN networks have given "assurances" to LSU that the Tigers will have more night games in the future. "When going through the process, there was a lot of the talk was about tradition, and I told him that our tradition at LSU is playing night games," Alleva said. "If we're going to be stuck with permanent partners and Mississippi State has cowbells, it'd be nice if we can play night games at Tiger Stadium."
Former Tupelo swimmer killed during Alabama storms
University of Alabama swimmer John Servati, from Tupelo, was killed Monday night when storms moved through the Tuscaloosa, Ala., area. Authorities said Servati, 21, was killed when a retaining wall in a basement where he had sought shelter gave way. On Twitter, friends and classmates said Servati died while protecting his girlfriend from the collapse. Sevati competed for the Crimson Tide in the 2012 and 2013 SEC championships. A Finance major, he was named to the SEC's Winter Academic Honor Roll on Friday. At Tupelo High School, Servati was a 10-time state champion who helped the Golden Wave to four consecutive state team titles.
Missouri hires Kim Anderson as new basketball head coach
There must have been a time when Kim Anderson imagined himself on the bench at the Hearnes Center or, more recently, Mizzou Arena, directing the Missouri basketball team with which he spent 15 years of his life as a player and assistant coach. But sometime during the 15 years that passed since 1999, when Norm Stewart retired and he interviewed for the head coaching job that ultimately went to a hotshot Duke assistant named Quin Snyder, Anderson seemed to give up the dream. It was less than a month ago, while appearing on a local radio in the aftermath of coaching Central Missouri to the NCAA Division II national title, that Anderson -- passed over twice more for the job without serious consideration in 2006 and 2011 -- dismissed the possibility it would ever happen. That made it all the more surreal Monday afternoon when Missouri announced him as the choice to be the 18th permanent head coach in school history after a 10-day search.

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