Friday, June 6, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Mississippi State, JSU to Offer Engineering Course at Jackson Academy
A recently signed memorandum of understanding is creating a partnership between Mississippi State and Jackson State universities to teach a course at a Jackson high school. With hopes of expanding offerings to other high schools in the future, the opportunity to offer a pre-engineering course at Jackson Academy arose last year after informal discussions with high school administrators in Jackson about providing students with additional classes in the pre-engineering and science areas. MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert said subsequent discussions between leaders at JA and the two universities' leaders resulted in the development of the MSU-JSU partnership. The new course will be introduced during the upcoming fall 2014 semester.
Of birds, beaks, and better football helmets
A woodpecker may not make a good football mascot, but researchers at Mississippi State University think this bird's shock-absorbing beak may help them design a better football helmet. "We learned the woodpecker's beak is a well-defined shock-absorbing system," said Lakiesha Williams, assistant professor of agriculture and biological engineering at Mississippi State. "We hope to establish design principles inspired by nature that will help us make light-weight, shock-absorbing materials that provide better protection on point of impact." The study has inspired new research projects to see how the bird absorbs such massive shock loads through its whole head and body, and applying those principles to man-made design in football helmets and beyond.
MSU Riley Center Unveils New Technology
The MSU Riley Center unveiled some new technology Thursday that will help attract more business. During Thursday's Business After Hours, the public had the opportunity to see the new renovations. They include new flat panel displays in conference rooms, new computers, new cameras that will allow for video conferencing, and all new wiring and connections such as wi-fi. The upgrades were made possible by the support of the Riley Foundation. We have the best technology in this region. Nobody has this type of technology built into their conference center, said Dennis Sankovich, the executive director of the MSU Riley Center.
MSU Workshop Will Support Natural Resource Enterprises
A July 17 workshop in Hattiesburg will help landowners recognize the income-generating potential of using their land in natural resource enterprises. The Mississippi Forestry Commission, the U.S. Forest Service and the MSU Extension Service are offering the Natural Resources Enterprise Advanced Workshop. The event will be held at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Building on July 17 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. "We help landowners learn about generating supplemental income from their property," said Adam Rohnke, Extension wildlife associate and event organizer. "Whether you have considered an outdoor business or already have a business that you wish to expand, the information at this workshop will help with your decisions."
Ingalls' ships from South Mississippi crucial to D-Day efforts
Seventy years ago today, 156,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of the Normandy region of France to fight Nazi Germany. More than 5,000 ships, 11,000 aircraft and 50,000 vehicles were part of the invasion. At least five of those ships were built in Pascagoula. The U.S. Navy acquired the USS Samuel Chase in 1942 from Ingalls Shipbuilding. It was an assault transport ship, one of the first to arrive at the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Jerry St. Pé, president of Ingalls from 1985 to 2001, said historical accounts at the shipyard show all efforts were turned toward military vessels during World War II. Employment levels at the yard spiked to nearly 15,000, which also boosted the local community.
Magazine gives Silver Shovel to state for economic development efforts
Area Development magazine has unveiled the recipients of the 2014 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards, which includes Mississippi. The annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities. The Gold Shovels are presented annually to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and economic impact.
Mississippi Marks 50 Years Since History-Changing 'Freedom Summer'
A new exhibit at the Mississippi state archives takes you back in time. The facade of a front porch, complete with screen door, invites you to imagine what it was like for some 900 activists, mostly white college students, who in 1964 came to the nation's most closed society. This archives exhibit includes photographs, excerpts from journals and film clips documenting the Freedom Summer experience. These materials are part of a growing collection the state is amassing for a civil rights museum now under construction. "Fifty years ago, this exhibit would not have been within this space," says Jacqueline Dace, the museum's project manager. The archives exhibit kicks off a month of events that will culminate in a Freedom Summer reunion in late June.
Nunnelee scheduled for surgery
U.S. Congressman Alan Nunnelee has checked into a Texas hospital in anticipation of undergoing brain surgery on Monday, according to a statement from his office. Nunnelee and his wife, Tori, arrived at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday. Tests there confirmed that the small intracranial mass on the right side of his brain is isolated. "I have been blessed throughout this process to not only have a great team of doctors, but also your prayers and support," Nunnelee said. "I am grateful for your continued prayers, thoughts and well-wishes for a speedy recovery."
Countdown to runoff
Supporters of both U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel barely had enough time to wipe the sleep from their eyes as they began strategy for a June 24 runoff election to ultimately decide the winner of Tuesday's Republican primary. The surprise of the evening was the overwhelming manner in which McDaniel carried DeSoto County. The race was much tighter in the rest of the state. Chip Johnson, volunteer chairman of the Cochran campaign, said he, too, was surprised by the energy of the McDaniel campaign but promised a different story when the runoff occurs. Johnson said people are just now starting to realize several major projects which means thousands of jobs could be in jeopardy if Cochran, who stands to become the new chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, is not re-elected.
Senator Cochran Visits Raytheon Plant
Just two days after Mississippi's primary elections, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran made a return trip to East Mississippi. During a visit to the Raytheon plant in Forest on Thursday, Sen. Cochran took time to discuss the special skills of those who work at Raytheon and how they impact national security as a whole. Raytheon is one of the largest defense manufacturing plants in the state.
Cochran, McDaniel rumble in Mississippi GOP runoff
National TEA Party organizations are rushing back into Mississippi Republican primary runoff as challenger Chris McDaniel tries to finish off Sen. Thad Cochran's bid for a seventh Senate term. It's unclear how much help the senator can expect from establishment forces trying to quash McDaniel, 41, the arch-conservatives' best and perhaps last opportunity for a GOP incumbent's scalp in this midterm election. "The eyes of the entire nation are on this race, and we must not lose," the Tea Party Express wrote to members. Outside groups have poured more than $8.4 million into the race, a staggering sum for Mississippi campaigns, with McDaniel enjoying a 2-to-1 tilt in his favor.
Cochran, McDaniel camps map out strategies in high-stakes Republican primary runoff for Senate
Republicans huddled Thursday over the slow-motion showdown of the Mississippi Senate runoff, with allies of Sen. Thad Cochran aiming to sharpen his message and supporters of tea party-endorsed challenger Chris McDaniel exploiting his opponent's vulnerabilities. Cash, campaign help and advice flowed into a titanic clash of the factions splitting the GOP. Told that the conservative Club for Growth, which spent $2.5 million backing McDaniel before the primary, had called for him to drop out, Cochran laughed. "Whoa," he said after a stop at a Raytheon Co. facility about 50 miles east of Jackson. "They can relax. ... I have no intention of dropping out. I have every intention of winning the election."
Sen. Thad Cochran Shifts Tactics for June Runoff Against Tea-Party Rival
Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi and his allies are adopting a more-pointed message and are looking at other course corrections to overcome political odds and win a June 24 runoff for the GOP Senate nomination against a tea party-backed challenger. Mr. Cochran, a six-term incumbent, was nearly defeated in Tuesday's balloting but wound up in a runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Now, his campaign is adopting a sharper tone, saying Mr. McDaniel's fiscal conservatism would damage the state. It also is preparing to take the political risk of going more bluntly negative against its opponent. In addition, the Cochran campaign is gearing up for a fresh drive to get out the vote.
In Mississippi, 'the paradox of all paradoxes'
There's a school of thought that divides American states into "makers vs. takers." The former states send more to Washington than they receive back, while the latter states take more from Washington than they send. And in this dynamic, Mississippi is the biggest "taker" of them all -- receiving, on average, more from the federal government than any other state. With a nod to the state's political posturing and anti-Washington attitudes, Dick Polman said yesterday, "What we have here, in other words, is a major cognitive disconnect. If government ever got off the backs of Mississippians, their backs would be broken."
Courthouse lock-in case closed without arrests
The Hinds County Sheriff's Department has concluded no criminal activity took place when three people, including a staffer for state Sen. Chris McDaniel's U.S. Senate campaign, ended up locked inside the county courthouse hours after everyone had left following the counting of votes from Tuesday's primaries. Scott Brewster, Janis Lane and Rob Chambers were found locked inside the courthouse early Wednesday. They allegedly entered sometime shortly after 2 a.m. and, after realizing they were locked in, called for help. A member of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors is questioning the three being alone in the building.
Sound and fury in Mississippi
The Mississippi Senate primary runoff is already full of sound and fury. With the June 24 runoff less than three weeks away, animosity and missteps between Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and state Sen. Chris McDaniel have quickly returned. On Thursday, the incumbent's campaign was throwing barbs at the challenger, while McDaniel fumbled yet another controversy. “We’ve had two separate criminal investigations into one campaign. Is this the kind of person that we want representing our party?” Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell asked, and also charged if McDaniel is the eventual nominee, he’ll be “on the national stage embarrassing us.”
National Democrats giving to Mississippi candidate Travis Childers
National Democrats have already spent tens of thousands of dollars aiding underdog Senate candidate Travis Childers, the moderate former congressman who hopes to make the Mississippi race competitive in the event that Republicans nominate insurgent conservative Chris McDaniel. Childers has raised only a small sum of money for his race, just $82,000 all told, and reported having about $73,000 in his campaign account in mid-May. It is not unusual for incumbent lawmakers to contribute to challengers the party has recruited. The investment in Childers -- at a time of obvious financial scarcity for his campaign -- represents an early move to prop up a candidate whose prospects depend heavily on the outcome of a June 24 GOP runoff election between McDaniel and incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.
U.S. economy adds 217,000 jobs in May
The nation's employers hired at a healthy pace in May for a fourth straight month, fueling hopes the economy will accelerate after a grim start to the year. The Labor Department says employers added 217,000 jobs last month. That's down from 282,000 in April, which was revised slightly lower. But job gains have now averaged 234,000 in the past three months, up from only 150,000 in the previous three. Despite the gains, the unemployment rate, which is calculated from a separate survey, remained 6.3 percent.
USM's Bennett: 'Our work is about student success,' not power, control
In the wake of a reorganization at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in Long Beach that prompted the resignation of the campus vice president, USM President Rodney Bennett wanted to be clear his focus is student success, not control. Problems with the dual-campus system at Southern Miss were among the first issues brought to Bennett's attention when he became president in April 2013, he said, so he put together a committee of about 80 people from Hattiesburg and Gulf Park and charged them with looking at the university's organization. "It really mirrored two very separate institutions that were not very well coordinated," he said, listing problems such as confusion among staffers over whom to report to and no clear coordination of a budget. "But it wasn't just the Coast campus that was confused. The university was confused."
USM conference looks at 'blue economy' opportunities
They are exploring opportunities in the so-called "blue economy." A conference Thursday at the Gulf Coast campus of USM is focused on future research projects and business possibilities involving the Gulf of Mexico. It's called the Marine Technologies Economic Forum. Gov. Phil Bryant told the group the gulf region must be aggressive in pursuing economic opportunity. He pointed to GE and its plans to test underwater turbines to generate electricity.
Girls State begins at Southern Miss
More than 250 Mississippi girls convened on the University of Southern Mississippi campus this week to learn more about state and local governments for the 66th session of Magnolia Girls State, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. "Girls State is basically a mock state government," said Jessica Hill, 24, of Hattiesburg, a senior counselor at Girls State. "These girls choose an office they want to run for, they make a campaign and hold elections, and then those girls learn about their offices from real-world examples."
U. of Alabama gets $60,000 grant for cybercrime lab
The University of Alabama has been awarded a $60,000 grant to help create a new cyber-crime investigations lab. The grant will be used by UA's criminal justice department to fund the Cyber Research and Digital Forensics laboratory. In the lab, trained examiners will analyze cellphones, computer hard drives and video game systems for digital evidence of cyber crimes. The lab will work for local and national law enforcement agencies to provide evidence for use in cyber-crime prosecutions.
Steven Scott elected chairman of U. of Florida trustees
Steven Scott, a Palm Beach County doctor who runs a medical investment company, was elected Thursday as the new chairman of the board of trustees for the University of Florida. Scott replaces David Brown, an Orlando attorney and UF alumnus. Brown ends his second term as chair, guiding the university through a period of budget cuts, salary and hiring freezes, and tuition increases caused by the economic recession. The combined leadership of Brown and UF President Bernie Machen helped "establish ourselves in a position of pre-eminence," trustee David M. Thomas said.
Texas A&M finishes investigation into Bryan Jones' death
Texas A&M police have finished their investigation into the March death of an employee who fell from the Mitchell Physics Building. According to the investigation report, obtained by The Eagle through an open-records request, police concluded 28-year-old Bryan Jones accidentally fell from the sixth-floor balcony on March 8. According to toxicology report, Jones had a blood-alcohol level of .18 to .19, which can be accompanied by symptoms such as major loss of balance and judgment impairment. Jones worked in the building as a senior systems administrator. He graduated from A&M in 2008 and had worked for the university since he was 19. Jones won the prestigious President's Meritorious Service Award in 2012.
U. of Missouri puts emphasis on crosswalk safety
The University of Missouri web communications department published a video this week highlighting the importance of pedestrian and driver awareness about crosswalks. According to the accompanying article, there were 10 pedestrian accidents on campus each year for the last three years. So far during 2014, there have been five pedestrian accidents, MU Police Department spokesman Brian Weimer said. Web communications director Lori Croy said the video was supposed to be published during safety week in early May but was delayed until now. The project, created by former MU student Nichole Cartmell, is meant to "bring attention to the need for pedestrian awareness," Croy said.
Why Colleges Are on the Hook for Sexual Assault
When Congress passed the gender-equity law known as Title IX more than 40 years ago, no one expected it to make colleges responsible for handling sexual assault. Title IX was enacted in 1972 without controversy or even much debate, a "stealth law" aimed at helping women get through the doors of higher education, says Bernice R. Sandler, a longtime activist who is now a senior fellow at the Women's Research and Education Institute. But the law is now being interpreted to require colleges to investigate and resolve students' reports of rape, determining whether their classmates are responsible for assault and, if so, what the punishment should be. That is the case whether or not an alleged victim decides to report the incident to the police. Campuses are clearly grappling with the weight of their responsibility.
Florida State Faculty Open New Front In Battle Over Presidential Searches
Florida State University's Faculty Senate is slamming one of higher ed's top headhunters after the search tilted quickly to favor a well-connected politician. On Wednesday, the university's Faculty Senate voted no confidence in R. William Funk, who is leading Florida State's controversial search for a new president. Funk is head of Texas-based R. William Funk and Associates, which has placed presidents at some of the nation's largest and most prestigious universities. The vote of displeasure may be the first of its kind by faculty in a search firm. If faculty elsewhere adopt the tactic, the spread of no confidence votes could further complicate presidential searches. Funk said he was "taken back" by the vote, which was said to be a close one.
NIH Presses Journals to Focus on Reproducibility of Studies
A group of leading medical-journal editors, convened by the National Institutes of Health, this week endorsed a set of guidelines intended to tackle the widespread problem of scientific findings that cannot be replicated. About 40 editors, representing journals that include Science and Nature, reached a "general agreement" about what they must accept as their responsibility for ensuring the reproducibility of their published findings, the NIH director, Francis S. Collins, said on Thursday. If widely adopted across the industry, the changes would "substantially" aid the campaign to make published scientific findings more reliable, he said.
One dead, 3 hurt in shooting at Seattle Pacific University
A 26-year-old male identified as Aaron R. Ybarra was in custody late Thursday after a shooting on the campus of a Christian university in Seattle that left one person dead and three others with injuries, police said. Earlier, police said a man -- not believed to be a student -- with a shotgun opened fire inside a building on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. A student guard subdued the gunman as he reloaded. On Twitter, many Seattle Pacific students identified the student who pepper-sprayed and subdued the suspect as John Meis, an engineering student, and called him a hero.
GAIL COLLINS (OPINION): Let's Give Mississippi Less
Columnist Gail Collins writes in The New York Times: "When was the last time the nation turned its attention to Mississippi? 'Normally, we just get coverage for natural disasters,' said Joseph Parker, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Southern Mississippi. Good news, Mississippi! This is your week. On Tuesday, the state had the most dramatic election of this primary season, and we are all looking your way. Actually, we are fascinated to know exactly what you had in mind."

New York Yankees selected Jacob Lindgren 55th overall
The New York Yankees selected Jacob Lindgren in the second round of the 2014 MLB first-year player draft. Lindgren was picked 55th overall. "I am humbled and grateful to be drafted by the New York Yankees," Lindgren said. "This is an incredible feeling and a day I will remember for the rest of my life. I would like to thank Mississippi State University, my coaches, teammates and the greatest fans in college baseball for helping me reach this point." Lindgren is the 139th Bulldog selected in the draft since its inception in 1965 and the highest-drafted southpaw since Paul Maholm went eighth overall in the 2003 MLB Draft.
Mississippi State, Arizona to play home-and-home
Mississippi State's current and past athletic directors have reached an agreement for their respective programs to play in football. Scott Stricklin, the Bulldogs current athletic director, announced a home-and-home deal to play Arizona – where former MSU AD Greg Byrne now resides. The Bulldogs will travel to Tucson on Sept. 10, 2022 and the Wildcats will make the return trip to Starkville on Sept. 9, 2023. "We're very excited to announce this series with a Pac-12 program the caliber of Arizona," Stricklin said in a release.
Gabe Jackson signs with the Raiders
Gabe Jackson is officially an NFL player. The former Mississippi State offensive lineman signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie announced Thursday. "I'm ready to go to work, Gabe Jackson, go Raiders," Jackson said in a video posted by the team. His senior year, he was awarded the Conerly Trophy as the top collegiate player in the state of Mississippi. He also claimed the Kent Hull Award as the top offensive lineman in Mississippi.
Homan tied for State Am lead
Clay Homan has coached more golf than he has played the last four months. That was a concern for the Mississippi State men's golf coach headed into this week's Mississippi Golf Association State Amateur at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club. Homan's game held up quite well Thursday in the 72-hole tournament's opening round. He fired a 5-under-par 67 score -- which included an eagle on No. 17 -- on the 7,000-yard Azaleas Course to tie former Southern Miss player Justin Elliott for the lead. "My wedge game was poor, but I drove it well and putted well," the Fulton native said after his morning round. "I was satisfied with how I played."
Mary Langdon Gallagher beats sister for second MWGA state title
The silence was awkward for Kathleen Gallagher as she faced her older sister Mary Langdon Gallagher for the title in the Mississippi Women's Golf Association State Amateur Championship Thursday. The sisters usually laugh, talk about life and have a fun time on the course, but going head-to-head in the match play finals brought a different vibe. "It's a lot of mixed emotions," said their father, Jim Gallagher. Mary Langdon won on hole 13 since she was up by six holes with just five holes left. Kathleen has committed to LSU. Though Mary Langdon's NCAA eligibility is up, she will return to Mississippi State in the fall, and doesn't plan to go pro.
Visiting sports writers slam UL baseball field press area
The Ragin' Cajuns baseball team came out on top last week in the NCAA Lafayette Regional Tournament it hosted, but the University of Louisiana at Lafayette struck out with some sports writers because of the media facilities at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field. "For a college and even some of the high school places I covered, it was a little worse than that," Michael Bonner, sports writer with The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, told The Daily Advertiser Thursday. Bonner, who writes about Southeastern Conference team Mississippi State, was among several sports writers to criticize the inadequate media accommodations for the tournament. "I'm sure it wasn't as plush as some of the places in the SEC, but it was acceptable," UL Athletic Director Scott Farmer said.
Reporter apologizes for offending Lafayette people
A sports reporter who covers Mississippi State University for a newspaper in Columbus, Mississippi, is apologizing for words he said on air about Lafayette and its people. Matthew Stevens, a beat writer for The Commercial Dispatch, called Lafayette the "worst place in America," and his radio show co-hosts called its residents less than people who are impossible to understand. The words were spoken Wednesday during "The Full Court Press," a regular feature on internet station Bulldog Sports Radio, but they went viral on a local level Thursday after Lafayette radio station KPEL 96.5 FM posted the audio clip to YouTube. Co-host Brian Hadad responded with, "They're the missing link -- if you believe in evolution -- between apes and humans, there's Cajuns."
Report: USM nets profit in 2013
According to a USA Today report released Wednesday, Southern Miss athletics netted an annual profit in 2013 for the first time since 2010. Taking everything into account -- including ticket sales, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds and "other" revenue -- Southern Miss netted a profit of $377,360. Last year, the department ran a deficit of $387,441. In 2010, Southern Miss produced a profit of $89,783. All told, Southern Miss generated $22,776,416 in total revenue, which ranks 108th out of 230 public institutions.
Florida ranked sixth nationally in athletic revenue
When it comes to making money, Florida's athletic department is among the nation's elite. Florida ranked sixth in the nation in athletic department revenues for public colleges and universities in 2013, making $130,011,244, according to a USA Today study. On the list, Florida ranked behind Texas ($165.691 million), Wisconsin ($149.141 million), Alabama ($143.776 million), Michigan ($143.514 million) and Ohio State ($139.639 million).
Kentucky rewards Calipari with new $52.5 million contract
More money. More years. More John Calipari. Kentucky basketball continued to espouse a more-more-more ethos with Thursday's announcement that Calipari had signed a new contract that includes a two-year extension and an average compensation of $7,500,000 per season. UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart put the new contract in the context of a marquee program paying its coach a marquee salary for a job well done. "What Cal has done is returned us to those glory days of Final Fours and championship efforts, great players," Barnhart said. UK President Eli Capilouto said that Calipari had set a new standard for excellence in a program that had already amassed more victories than any other school.
'Amateurism' Makes Its Final Stand
The landmark trial that begins Monday in Oakland, Calif., between the NCAA and a group of its current and former athletes is technically not about sports, or even whether college athletes deserve a paycheck like their counterparts in the pros. It is an antitrust suit that asks whether the NCAA unfairly blocked generations of student-athletes from making money off their own images. But the outcome could bring a jarring end to something far more significant: the principle of athletic amateurism, which is the founding ideal behind the 108-year-old NCAA.

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