Monday, May 12, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
For Sonny: New pictorial book honors G.V. 'Sonny' Montgomery
A new book honoring the life and work of the late U.S. Rep. Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery was unveiled Friday on the Meridian campus of Mississippi State University. Montgomery died in 2006 at the age of 85. A book presentation ceremony and reception were held at the Phil Hardin Foundation Library on the MSU-Meridian campus. Taking part in the event were Montgomery Foundation leaders Bo Maske and Bob Bailey, MSU Libraries Dean Frances Coleman, MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter, and MSU-Meridian Division Head of Education Julia Porter.
New Book Published about Sonny Montgomery
A new book about the late U.S. Rep. G.V. Sonny Montgomery was presented Friday at the Phil Hardin Foundation Library at MSU Meridian. "Sonny Montgomery: Patriot, Soldier & Statesman" was commissioned by The Montgomery Foundation and produced by the MSU Libraries. "This book will be distributed to schools, universities, National Guard armories, other public buildings and public libraries so that the next generation of Mississippians can learn who Sonny Montgomery was, why his life and work mattered and what his legacy is," said Sid Salter, MSU chief communications officer.
Book Looks at Life of Sonny Montgomery
A new book honoring the life and work of the late U.S. Rep. Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery was unveiled today on the Meridian campus of Mississippi State University. Montgomery died in 2006 at the age of 85. A book presentation ceremony and reception were held Friday at the Phil Hardin Foundation Library on the MSU-Meridian campus. The book contains some 350 color and black-and-white photographs from the "G. V. 'Sonny' Montgomery Collection" at MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library. The collection contains over 13,500 photographs from Montgomery's public career.
Results of economic study to be released to public
The results of a comprehensive strategic economic and community development study of the Golden Triangle will be presented to the public for review and discussion Tuesday. William Fruth, president of independent economic research firm POLICOM, presented his report to county and municipal governments this morning. He will share that information with the general public at 9 a.m. Tuesday. INK CEO Joe Max Higgins said Fruth's report will provide a road map for how each county, East Mississippi Community College, Mississippi State University and the region as a whole can work to become among the highest performing micropolitan areas in the nation in terms of economic development and opportunity for growth. Higgins said two of Fruth's recommendations involve expansion of the research park at MSU and a new Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence at EMCC for industrial training.
'Make It In Mississippi' challenge leverages 'reshoring' trends
Next year is projected to mark the arrival of a "confluence" of developments in manufacturing that will launch in earnest a long-awaited return of American manufacturers to the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor is helping to speed up the reshoring trend through helping states such as Mississippi to encourage reshoring of advanced manufacturing jobs. Of $20 million the Labor Department awarded last October for its "Make it in America Challenge," Mississippi State University received $1.9 million, as one of 10 grant awards made nationally. MSU's Canton-based Center for Advanced Vehicle Systems, or CAVS, an arm of the university's Bagley College of Engineering, is leading the manufacturing logistics segment of the challenge. A specific goal is show sourcing suppliers the benefits of moving operations closer to Mississippi's manufacturing plants. The campaign has a lot of moving parts, said Clay Walden, director and research professor of CAVS Extension.
Extension Service turns 100
The Lauderdale County Extension office will host an open house Tuesday to celebrate the 100-year-anniversary of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. The event will run from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Lauderdale County Annex Lobby. Activities will include educational exhibits and refreshments that will include Mississippi State cheese and dairy products. Patty Swearingen, County Coordinator for the Lauderdale County Extension Service, invites the public to come and enjoy the celebration.
Lee County Extension Office Celebrates 100 Years of Service
It was a birthday celebration 100 years in the making. Representatives from the MSU Extension Service served cake and punch at the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau on Friday. It was part of a celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the federal Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which created cooperative extension to improve the lives of farmers and their families.
Mississippi State offers three summer camps focused on nature
Registration is open for three summer camps for young people interested in wildlife, natural resources and outdoor recreation. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the MSU Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture are hosting two residential camps and one day camp. Limited financial assistance is available through funding provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks' Youth Participation Initiative. The application is available online.
Leadership Academy grad
Meridian Community College's Cathy Parker, director of institutional effectiveness and accountability, was among the honorees at the recent commencement exercises of the annual Mississippi Community College Foundation's Leadership Academy. The commencement program was held at Mississippi State University's Henry Hunter Center in Starkville with MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum the keynote speaker.
Field day helps Mississippi farmers network, market crops
Farmers can learn online marketing techniques and networking strategies during an outreach event next week in Holmes County. Roberto Gallardo, an associate professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Technology Outreach, will help fruit and vegetable producers understand how to use social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Gallardo and his team also will explain the benefits of suing those mediums and other Internet resources to connect with customers. Extension service employees also will be on hand to help growers who want to set up an Internet presence.
Poultry Growers Face Significant Obstacles
Poultry growers are reeling from the April 28 tornadoes that caused tremendous damage on farms and the loss of more than a million birds in four Mississippi counties. The Mississippi Board of Animal Health reported that 1,044,800 birds died from the tornadoes or subsequent power outages. Recognizing the enormous challenges, Winston County Emergency Management director Buddy King requested help from the Mississippi State University Extension Service in organizing a meeting on May 8. The gathering brought poultry growers together with state and federal agencies to express concerns and learn about response procedures.
International adoption: Starkville family recounts journey
Karyn Brown tried for 17 years to have a child, with each passing Mother's Day serving as a reminder the family she always wanted still had not materialized. She and husband Mike decided on adoption, but still the fight to grow her family took years, endless red tape and almost unbearable emotional pain. "Adoption wasn't foreign to us," said Mike, 46, a meteorology and climatology professor at Mississippi State University. "My mother and father divorced, and when my father remarried they adopted three children, two domestic and one international. Karyn was adopted. "And so when we couldn't have a child of our own, it just seemed like a very simple things for us to do." Karyn, 47, the MSU public relations academic program coordinator, said they put their names on both the domestic and international adoption lists.
GTRA picks up $1 million grant from FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration is giving 14 Mississippi airports a total of $4.8 million to improve safety and operations. The largest single portion of the grant is $1 million for Golden Triangle Regional Airport, which serves Columbus, West Point, Starkville and Lowndes County. The money will be used to improve the terminal building and repair the runway and taxiway. The George M. Bryan Airport in Starkville is getting $540,000 for runway safety area improvements.
Starkville, Oktibbeha record savings with internal hires
Oktibbeha County and Starkville saved a combined $54,179 by promoting internal officials to key supervisory positions within each governing body. The county alone slashed its payroll by $43,135 when supervisors promoted former Comptroller Emily Garrard to county administrator. Three internal promotions also helped save Starkville $11,044 in annual salary commitments. This year, aldermen set City Clerk Lesa Hardin's, Starkville police Chief Frank Nichols' and Community Developer Buddy Sanders' wages lower than their former superiors' pay.
Starkville board attorney vows to fight city's ethics claim
Starkville will vigorously defend itself in a state ethics complaint alleging aldermen tend to business in secret meetings outside public view, board attorney Chris Latimer said Friday. The complaint asks the state for a full investigation into what it calls a pattern of activity dating back to July 1 when the current administration took office. It specifically highlights a comment made by Ward 2 Alderman Lisa Wynn during a February Starkville School District Board of Trustees appointment.
Golden Triangle area draws attention from national media
For nearly a year, James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, has crisscrossed the United States exploring the dynamics and inner workings of small towns fighting back against unique challenges. Fallows and his wife recently spent eight days -- four in April, four in May -- in the Golden Triangle working on an American Futures piece. In an interview with The Dispatch on Friday, Fallows was asked what led him to want to explore the area. An inspiring story, he said. Marketplace, a radio program produced by American Public Media that focuses on business, is also doing a story on the Golden Triangle.
Reports: Severstal for sale
Severstal's steel plant in Lowndes County is for sale. The Russia-based company has reportedly put its two U.S. operations on the auction block, according to The Wall Street Journal. The steelmaker's other North American plant is in Michigan. The Columbus site, which makes steel out of scrap metal, is located on 1,400 acres near Airport Road. The plant employs roughly 650 people, according to a presentation Madhu Ranade, the plant's vice president and general manager, gave to the Columbus Rotary Club late last year. When contacted Saturday, Joe Max Higgins, the CEO of the Golden Triangle Development LINK, said he has been aware of the Severstal situation for a few months. Asked if he was worried about the plant potentially closing, Higgins responded, "No. Not at all."
School ranking formula stays uncertain
This week, Mississippi elementary students will take their state tests. How the results will be used to grade schools remains uncertain. That's because the state still is awaiting approval from the U.S. Department of Education on a new model Mississippi developed to rank its schools and districts. The model will be used this fall to grade schools based on the current school year, but educators do not know what their schools and districts must do to earn an A, a B or any other grade. Also in question is the state's plan to freeze the rankings schools and districts received last fall. The idea was to give them more time to prepare for the Common Core State Standards, new guidelines for teaching reading and math that Mississippi will implement next year.
Nunnelee released from hospital
Congressman Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., has been released from the hospital. The 1st District leader was admitted Thursday with a suspicious spot on his brain, a day after feeling nausea and fatigue. In a press release, Nunnelee said doctors found a "small intra-cranial mass," which "appears to be an isolated problem that can be remedied through surgery." Nunnelee added that he will remain in Washington, D.C., through the weekend for additional outpatient tests and hopes to come back to Mississippi early next week to help with tornado recovery efforts.
Abortion opponents running out of time to get proposal on Mississippi ballot
Organizers have little time left to push for a new Mississippi ballot initiative that would declare life begins at conception. Abortion opponents face a Wednesday deadline to submit petitions to put the proposed state constitutional amendment on the November 2015 ballot. It would be nearly identical to a ballot initiative that 58 percent of Mississippi voters rejected in November 2011. Organizers for the new petition drive had a year to gather signatures from at least 107,216 registered voters, with an equal number coming from each of the five congressional districts that the state used until 2000. The year of petitioning started in the spring of 2013. If organizers miss the Wednesday deadline to submit verified signatures to the secretary of state's office, the initiative will die.
Former Gov. Haley Barbour keynote speaker for tort reform conference
Mississippi's business community is celebrating Wednesday the 10th anniversary of the passage of tort reform legislation. Former Gov. Haley Barbour is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the event at the downtown Jackson Convention Center. The $1 million cap on noneconomic damages applies to what a jury can award someone for such things as pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages under Mississippi law do not include punitive damages.
U.S. Senate race offers contrasts in style, substance
State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville says he "likes and respects" U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, but made the decision to challenge him in this year's Republican primary because the issues facing the country are too important. McDaniel promises to fight. Cochran has argued that his main mission in Washington, D.C., where he has served in the Senate since 1978, has been to fight for Mississippi -- whether for Mississippi agriculture interests, such as calling for the Obama administration to establish a catfish inspection program designed to protect Mississippi producers from foreign competition, overseeing disaster recovery efforts in the state or fighting military reductions that could impact Mississippi.
Tea Party Activists See Own Groups Among Washington Adversaries
The still-emerging Tea Party movement is not merely waging war against the Republican establishment this year. Some of its more heated disputes are coming from within. In Mississippi, a clip surfaced from a radio show in which State Senator Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party challenger to Senator Thad Cochran, riffed on picking up Mexican women by calling them "mamacitas." "This guy's been elected for over five years as a state elected official. That matters," said Chris Chocola, president of Club for Growth, which stood by its investment in Mr. McDaniel. "I would ask the Cochran folks, 'If this is so inappropriate, then how come you don't use it'" in the campaign in Mississippi? These issues, particularly the challenges to sitting senators, have unnerved many of the faithful. "They strayed from their plan," said Victor Mavar, an 87-year-old retired seafood processor from Biloxi, Miss., who said he was a "charter member" of the Club for Growth but wrote a letter to Mr. Chocola to withdraw his support because it had targeted Senator Cochran.
Conservative groups' attacks on Republicans upset Haley Barbour
Former national Republican Chairman Haley Barbour sees a significant threat to Republican success in this year's elections: Republicans. More specifically, GOP donors who pour money into outside groups that often bloody up other Republicans. "Our donors are giving huge amounts of money to these political consultants who are getting rich attacking Republicans," the former Mississippi governor told The Dispatch today before giving the keynote address to 850 people at the Ohio GOP's state dinner at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown. The veteran of the Reagan administration says he still believes the former president's adage that someone who agrees with you 80 percent of the time "is not a 20 percent traitor."
Arkansas to appeal gay marriage decision
The state's top lawyer will ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to overturn a 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced his intent to appeal to the high court late Saturday night, but not before 15 licenses were issued for same-sex couples in northwest Arkansas' Carroll County, heralding the arrival of gay marriage in the Bible Belt. "Thank God," Jennifer Rambo said after Carroll County Deputy Clerk Jane Osborn issued a marriage license to her and Kristin Seaton, a former volleyball player at the University of Arkansas. The Fort Smith couple had traveled overnight to ensure they'd be first in line, and wed moments later on a sidewalk near the courthouse.
Jobless contend with weight gain as they search for work
A subject long ignored by policymakers, and one that unemployment counselors are too sheepish to raise with job seekers, the link between bulging waistlines and joblessness is now of intense interest to researchers studying the long-term effects of the country's economic malaise. Recent studies and surveys have shown a distinct relationship between unemployment and obesity, particularly for lower-skilled workers who struggle to find work -- a search made more challenging by their weight. Around the country, high unemployment and high obesity rates are converging. Federal law does not protect overweight people from discrimination in the workplace, and studies involving workers in human resources show that it's a daily reality.
Chattanooga, Tennessee awaiting Volkswagen plant expansion
If Volkswagen green-lights production of a new sport utility vehicle in Chattanooga, it will be viewed as one of Tennessee's biggest economic development wins of the year. "It certainly would be really large," said Dr. Bill Fox, who heads the University of Tennessee's Center for Business and Economic Research. If the estimates are right, the new production line will bring hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and around 1,000 new jobs. VW's supervisory board meets in Germany today. It's the first meeting since the United Auto Workers dropped its appeal of the Chattanooga plant's union election about three weeks ago. Tennessee state officials and VW have talked, but it may be too early for the company to announce whether it will make the new SUV in Chattanooga or Mexico.
Gov to grads: Weather the storms
Gov. Phil Bryant says Mississippi has weathered a lot of hard times, and University of Mississippi graduates must expect to carry on under challenges like those the state has come through. He told more than 10,000 students and their families Saturday that the state has made it through struggles from the Civil War and the Great Depression to the April 28 tornadoes that destroyed 1,140 homes and 88 businesses in 24 counties.
USM grads wore rainbow ribbons to protest Congressman Palazzo's anti-gay marriage stance
On Saturday morning, a little more than 300 USM Gulf Coast graduates walked across the stage of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. On many of their gowns, a rainbow ribbon stood prominently out against their black gowns. The ribbon represented equal rights for the LGBT community, something their commencement speaker Congressman Steven Palazzo had spoken out against in the past. After the Grammy's in January in which several same-sex marriages took place, Palazzo took to Facebook to say that "Hollywood doesn't value the same conservative beliefs we do in Mississippi." Many USM students disagreed.
Graduates show creativity, pride at USM Gulf Park ceremony
Friends and family of Kara Howard couldn't miss her when she walked across the stage Saturday to receive her diploma from the University of Southern Mississippi. Howard, 25, of Vancleave, decorated the top her cap with colored pencils, an apple and her name in colorful letters. She had earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education. "I decorated my hat because I'm a creative person and I think all teachers should be creative," Howard said. Howard wasn't the only creative student at USM's Gulf Park campus graduation ceremony at the Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. Many graduates decorated their caps with bright colors, glitter or cutouts so family could notice them from the stands.
Delta State graduates encouraged to make a stand in the world
The coliseum filled quickly with Delta State University graduates, faculty, staff, family, and friends on Saturday. As students filed in to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance," DSU President LaForge held his cell phone up and snapped a quick photo. "You are now my tweet for the day. And you can follow me at @presidentDSU," he said to a laughing audience. The commencement address was given by William Bell, president and CEO of Casey Family Programs, the nation's largest operating foundation focused on foster care. Bell is also a DSU graduate and 2012 DSU Outstanding Alumnus and is in the DSU Hall of Fame.
Alcorn State graduates encouraged to have fun, take a stand
With Myrlie Evers-Williams' admonition to have fun but live well ringing in their ears, nearly 700 Alcorn State University graduates walked across the stage in the Davey L. Whitney Complex Saturday and received their diplomas. Evers-Williams addressed the graduates after being awarded Alcorn's highest accolade, the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Evers told the graduates they should have the determination when they leave Alcorn to make something of themselves so they can make something of their communities.
William Carey medical school set to graduate first class
Starting a medical school at William Carey University was a formidable task. "It was a huge undertaking for William Carey -- little old William Carey. We had never undertaken anything of this magnitude at all," William Carey President Tommy King said. "There was a lot of skepticism and doubt locally, internally and throughout the state." Becoming a member of William Carey's first medical class in 2010 also was a formidable task. Despite the doubts, and despite the bruises, William Carey's College of Osteopathic Medicine will triumphantly cross a finish line of sorts this month -- and not just because the school graduates its first four-year class of 91 students on May 24.
White encourages BMC grads to lead lives of service
Trudy Cathy White shared the secret of her family's business success with 107 graduates of Blue Mountain College on Saturday and implored them to include service in their daily lives. "My father told me long ago," said White, the daughter of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, "that if you will help enough other people get what they want out of life then you will get what you want, and more." White and her husband served 20 years as a missionary to Brazil before returning to her native Atlanta area to found Lifeshape Foundation, and to become involved in philanthropic endeavors through the family business. BMC's graduating class consists of 67 women and 40 men, and seven received master's degrees.
Belhaven garners $4 million for student apartments
A multi-million dollar donation to Belhaven University means the Jackson school can begin construction on new on-campus housing for students. Robbie Hughes, a longtime supporter of the university, committed $4 million to help start the project, slated to begin this summer. "A week ago, Mrs. Robbie Hughes was prayerfully guided by the Lord to join with us in the vision for new student housing," said Belhaven's president, Roger Parrott. "When I received the news, I was completely speechless -- because this changes everything."
U. of Florida president search continues
The next president of the University of Florida must be energetic, enthusiastic and dynamic, a top-notch academician and a skilled, dynamic administrator willing to put in 10 years running the state's flagship university while pushing it into top 10 national status. He or she also must manage a $4.6 billion budget, deal with a diverse faculty of 5,000 -- many of whom are not happy with the pay and lack of resources -- and negotiate with 4,000 underpaid graduate assistants, while figuring out how to fix 100 buildings over 50 years old in dire need of repairs. Finding such a person who meets all these qualifications isn't going to be easy, said Steven M. Scott, a medical doctor and CEO of a health care company, who will lead the group of 18 people whose job is to "find who we believe is absolutely the best candidate to lead the University of Florida for the next 10 years."
U. of Kentucky to begin negotiating with Aramark over campus food services
The University of Kentucky will begin negotiations with Aramark Corp. to take over the school's dining services, President Eli Capilouto announced Friday. The surprise announcement came just two hours after students spoke to the finance committee about their opposition to the privatization, which has been contested for more than a year. Eric Monday, vice president of finance and administration, said the negotiations would begin immediately, with details to come before the board's June meeting. If successful, Aramark would take over dining this summer and be open in the fall. Aramark provides services to more than 1,000 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across the country, and it has 2,500 employees. It has a troubled history in Kentucky.
UGA students use grills, seasonings to learn about poultry
First-year students at the University of Georgia are getting a chicken education by learning everything from where it comes from and how it is processed, down to what affects it's tenderness and how to make it tasty. Casey Ritz and Brian Kiepper, both professors and UGA Extension poultry scientists in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, teach "Chicken Que: Science Behind the Grill." The class is one of more than 300 UGA First Year Odyssey seminars designed to introduce students to the academic life in a small class environment.
Texas A&M System orders hiring freeze for non-faculty positions as part of ongoing cost-cutting initiative
All non-faculty positions within the sprawling Texas A&M University System were frozen Friday as part of a plan to trim an estimated $52 million annually in administrative costs. The announcement follows the completion of the first part of a massive administrative review that ultimately will examine the worth of all 17,000 non-faculty members employed by the A&M system. The audit is the latest in a series of efforts by A&M System Chancellor John Sharp to reduce, consolidate or outsource administrative functions to redirect funds to teaching and research.
Texas A&M employee accused of embezzlement turns self in
A Texas A&M University employee accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the university turned herself in to police on Friday. Wanda Jean Romero, 50, of Bryan, was charged with theft by a public servant. Romero, who was a business coordinator with the Texas A&M University Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) until Sept. 21, 2013, is believed to have stolen $74,601 from the university since May 2009, police said in a statement. University internal audit investigators first notified police of an employee who had created a non-affiliated student-worker position and electronically deposited funds into her personal bank account.
Hazards of the Cloud: Data-Storage Service's Crash Sets Back Researchers
Dedoose, a cloud-based application for managing research data, suffered a "devastating" technical failure last week that caused academics across the country to lose large amounts of research work, some of which may be gone for good. SocioCultural Research Consultants, the company that sells Dedoose, is still scrambling to recover as much of its customers' work as possible, and has said in a blog post that "the vast majority" of research data on its platform were not affected. The crash nonetheless has dealt frustrating setbacks to a number of researchers, highlighting the risks of entrusting data to third-party stewards.
State Regulation of Study Abroad?
The Minnesota and New York State legislatures are considering bills that would require colleges to disclose more information about their study abroad programs. The Minnesota proposal, which has been included as a provision of the state budget bill and therefore looks likely to pass, would require colleges to disclose information about the safety records of their education abroad programs. Meanwhile the New York proposal, a version of which was first introduced in 2008 in the wake of Attorney General (now Governor) Andrew M. Cuomo's investigations into alleged conflicts of interest in study abroad programs, would require colleges to disclose information about their financial relationships with study abroad providers.
Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To?
Harry Potter and The Hunger Games haven't been big hits for nothing. Lots of teens and adolescents still read quite a lot. But a roundup of studies, put together by the non-profit Common Sense Media, shows a clear decline over time. Nearly half of 17-year-olds say they read for pleasure no more than one or two times a year -- if that. That's way down from a decade ago. The digital revolution means there are more platforms than ever to read on. And yet, the number of American teens reading for pleasure has dropped dramatically. Researchers are asking if there's a link.
BILL CRAWFORD (OPINION): Cochran's clout key in keeping the 155th
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "The Tupelo Tea Party last week distributed a disinformation flyer concerning the National Guard's 155th Brigade Combat Team in Mississippi. The flyer's premise was that the historic 155th will be shut down because Sen. Thad Cochran voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and Hagel is a 'yes man' for President Barack Obama. 'It's time Senator Cochran is held responsible for putting Mississippi in this situation,' says the flyer. False premise. Twisted facts. In reality, the Tea Party put Mississippi in this situation. It was the Tea Party push for budget cuts that resulted in the 'sequester' that slashes $500 billion from military budgets over 10 years. Such steep cuts require reductions in force."
SID SALTER (OPINION): Voter ID opponents grasping at straws
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "Columnist Bill Minor's recent ramblings on the question of whether Mississippi's voter identification laws will withstand federal judicial review in a lawsuit that hasn't been filed indulge far more wishful thinking than actual illumination of the evolving legal environment. Clearly the familiar 'Republicans bad, Democrats good' Minor political narrative -- to no one's surprise -- was the overriding theme. Minor's apparent image of African-American citizens in Mississippi was also taken out for a rather bizarre spin while he took me to task for the sin of quoting Republican Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann on the topic of voter ID."

Bulldogs cash in on errors
Tennessee had played 30 error-free innings against Mississippi State heading into the bottom of the 12th on Sunday. But that's when things unraveled for the Volunteers defensively. Two throwing errors and an intentional walk loaded the bases with no outs putting pressure on reliever Andrew Lee. Lee walked Cody Walker on five pitches forcing in the winning run and handed the Bulldogs a 4-3 victory and the weekend series. "This is a crazy game and certainly we'd have liked to ended it earlier," said MSU skipper John Cohen. "We just kept hanging in there and found a way to win. We're 6-0 in extra-inning ballgames and that says a lot about our seniors."
Mississippi State pulls out series win over Tennessee
Pitchers Lucas Laster and Jacob Lindgren helped Mississippi State hang on in extra innings. The duo combined for 11 innings of six-hit shutout relief, and the No. 21 Bulldogs defeated Tennessee 4-3 in 12 innings on Sunday at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville It was the second time the series went into extra innings, and MSU (33-19, 16-11 Southeastern Conference) won both contests for the series win. Laster and Lindgren stepped in for Preston Brown, who was removed after one inning for allowing three runs. "They really attacked the zone and challenged hitters," MSU coach John Cohen said.
Walker's walk lifts Mississippi State past Tennessee in 12th
Cody Walker wasn't sure how much more he would play this season. Before this weekend, the Mississippi State baseball team's third-string catcher had only played in three Southeastern Conference games. However, it was Walker, a .198 hitter, who earned a walk-off walk against reliever Andrew Lee to lift No. 21 MSU to a 4-3 victory against Tennessee in 12 innings at Dudy Noble Field. The walk came after MSU nearly squandered a bases-loaded situation with no outs. "I was taking all the way on that 3-1 pitch, and I sure waited to make sure the ump wasn't calling it a strike," Walker said.
Big 3 post Sunday sweep
Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss posted Sunday sweeps in college baseball. Mississippi State recorded its second walk-off win in as many days Sunday afternoon as the Bulldogs beat the Tennessee Volunteers in 12 innings at Dudy Noble Field. In the 12th inning, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs. Then Biloxi's Cody Brown drew a two-out walk on a 3-1 pitch for the game-winning RBI. MSU (33-19, 16-11 SEC) is now 6-0 in extra-inning games.
Mississippi State softball team will play Texas in NCAA tournament
When Mississippi State softball coach Vann Stuedeman took over the program three seasons ago, her primary goal was to make postseason play an expected destination every year. MSU showed Sunday it is well on the way to that goal, as it was chosen for its third-straight NCAA regional appearance. MSU (38-19) earned a No. 3 seed and will play No. 2 seed Texas (33-21) at 3:30 p.m. Friday (ESPN3) in the Lafayette Regional in Lafayette, Louisiana. No. 6 seed Louisiana-Lafayette, the Sun Belt Conference champion, will play host to Texas Southern (31-18), the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion, in the other first-round matchup Friday. The winner of the four-team, double-elimination Lafayette Regional will face the winner of the Tucson Regional in a super regional.
Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson selected by Raiders
Gabe Jackson has landed in the NFL. The Oakland Raiders drafted Mississippi State's All-American guard with the 81st overall pick in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft Friday. "I always wanted to play in the NFL," said Jackson, who was projected to be drafted in Rounds 2 or 3. "All the work I did for a lot of years paid off." At 6-foot-3, 336 pounds, Jackson should bring a steadying presence to the Raiders. He started all 52 of his career games at MSU, blossoming into a dependable anchor for the Bulldogs during his four years in Starkville. The Liberty native and Amite County High graduate became the first offensive lineman to win the Conerly Trophy last year (the award is given annually to the top college football player in Mississippi).
Raiders draft Mississippi State's Jackson
Mississippi State All-American offensive guard Gabe Jackson fulfilled a lifelong dream by reaching the NFL as he was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 81st overall pick in the third round of the NFL draft on Friday night. Jackson, a native of Liberty, is the first Bulldog offensive lineman to be picked in the NFL Draft since Derek Sherrod went to the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 first round. Jackson started all 52 games of his MSU career and did not allow a sack in his senior season. He was a first-team All-America selection by Walter Camp and USA Today. "I am thankful to be an Oakland Raider," Jackson said.
HUGH KELLENBERGER (OPINION): Marshall's bigotry is clue to what's next
The Clarion-Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger blogs: "Marshall Henderson's basketball career, for all intents and purposes, is over. So is the fame and the idolatry that came along with it, mostly at Ole Miss but also beyond. Because Henderson craves attention like a drug (a problem given his own well-documented history with actual drugs), he was always likely to become increasingly shocking on social media as a way to get what he seeks. On Monday morning, that led him down a path that ends in him being called a bigot."
Tiger stays close to U. of Missouri as St. Louis makes historic pick of openly gay player
The scene played out in homes all over the country, courtesy of the ESPN cameras that were stationed in the San Diego house in which Michael Sam was watching the NFL draft. The former Missouri defensive end had the phone held up to his right ear. His lip quivered as he repeated, "Yes, sir," into the phone, his voice cracking with emotion. He hung up and bent at the waist, body racked with sobs. Then he straightened up and kissed his boyfriend. Sam and the St. Louis Rams had just combined to make history.
Alleva: Football traffic improvements in works at LSU
Responding to years of complaints about snarled traffic after LSU home football games, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Friday plans are in the works to get cars moving off campus afterwards. Last year, LSU Athletics officials commissioned a study of parking and traffic issues related to Tiger Stadium with Chicago-based consultants SP+, which has done similar studies for cities hosting Super Bowls and the Olympics. The recommendations, Alleva told the LSU Board of Supervisors, include ramping up contraflow efforts after games and stationing police officers at different locations to improve traffic direction. Members of the Board of Supervisors expressed concerns about a drop in game day attendance. Alleva said Tiger Stadium is having to compete with the convenience of game day parties with big screen TVs, refrigerators and bathrooms.
Youngstown State hires former coach Tressel as its president
In some ways, Youngstown State University's appointment of Jim Tressel as president Friday represents the kind of comeback story the college itself will try to embody. Tressel, after a decorated career as head coach of Ohio State University's football team, was banned from the sidelines for NCAA rules violations three years ago. Meanwhile, Youngstown State has been stung by a revolving door of presidents and an $11 million budget deficit. In a city of vacant buildings and an evaporated steel industry, the university -- one of the cheapest for Ohio residents -- has had a 15 percent enrollment drop over four years. The 61-year-old Ohio native, who also coached Youngstown State's football team to four NCAA Division I-AA championships in the 1990s, will return to the university as its unlikely leader and cheerleader -- hired to add an adrenaline shot to morale and fund raising.

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