Thursday, July 31, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Keenum to Give Seaman Knapp Memorial Lecture
Sonny Ramaswamy, director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, announced Wednesday that Dr. Mark Keenum, president of Mississippi State University, will present the 2014 Seaman A. Knapp Memorial Lecture in memory of "The Father of Extension," Nov. 2 in Orlando, Florida, at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The Seaman A. Knapp Lecture is one of three rotating lectures presented by NIFA and APLU honoring three historic Land-Grant University figures: Seaman A. Knapp, Justin Smith Morrill, and William Henry Hatch. Nominations for this prestigious award are submitted by land-grant universities, stakeholders, foundations, public interest groups and international organizations.
MSU Food Science Student Wins IFT Poster Contest
A Mississippi State University food science doctoral student received top honors at the Institute of Food Technologists' Annual Meeting and Food Expo. Monil Desai of Ahmedabad, India, won first place for his presentation in the Muscle Foods Division. The expo, which was held in New Orleans in June, is one of the world's largest annual food science meetings and food industry expositions. Desai won for his research on ingredient technology and poultry packaging.
In Starkville, governor touts workers, state's growth potential
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant gave area leaders a preview of his upcoming Neshoba County Fair speech Monday as he touted the successes of the Golden Triangle's blue-collar workers and the state's ability to come together and aggressively pursue major economic development projects. Bryant and state Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, were on hand at Southwire's Starkville plant as the company received the Golden Triangle Development LINK's 2014 Industry of the Year award, an honor LINK officials said reflects the company's production quality, close-knit culture and unwavering commitment to safety.
At Fair, Reeves talks about possible tax cut
No one spoke of tax cuts from the historic Founders Square pavilion stage during the opening day of the Neshoba County Fair political speeches, but the fact that tax cuts will be an issue during the 2015 legislative session still bubbled to the surface. After his speech Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, in response to questions from the media, revealed a tax cut might be taken up during the 2015 session. The Republican Reeves was the final speaker Wednesday during the first of two days of political speeches that draw statewide media and political observers.
Tater Tots, pot and tax cuts at the Neshoba County Fair
Tax cuts, legalizing marijuana, alleged lies about voter fraud and fears U.S. Senate race nastiness will spill over into Mississippi's Giant Houseparty dominated the Neshoba County Fair politicking and pontificating on Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said the state rainy-day fund is full, revenue is up, and he plans to push for a tax cut for Mississippians next legislative session -- also an election year. It was one of the biggest announcements Wednesday, the first day of political stumping at the 2014 Neshoba County Fair. But Reeves didn't mention such a tax cut in his speech. He told it to a gaggle of media afterward.
Weather takes most of the heat at the Neshoba County Fair
At a place widely known for steamy weather and fiery political speeches, most everyone had some accomplishment to extol but all they really wanted to take credit for was the weather. Who could blame them? It was in the upper 60s when the first speaker -- 8th Circuit Court District Attorney Mark Duncan -- hit the stage at 9 a.m. and it was still below 80 at noon. "I brought the weather from North Mississippi," said Attorney General Jim Hood, who telecommutes quite a bit from his hometown of Houston, Miss. Hood, who used a good portion of his allotted 10 minutes to praise his son's Solar Car racing team that had just won his school's 17th national championship, said he wished politicians would cool it as well.
Reeves touts conservatism at Neshoba County Fair
Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves emphasized his conservative credentials Wednesday during the first day of political speaking at the Neshoba County Fair, an annual gathering known as "Mississippi's Giant Houseparty." Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood, who is running for a fourth term in 2015, criticized political bloggers as "the loudest mouths out there" in this year's U.S. Senate race in Mississippi. He also said the state needs to put more emphasis on improving public education. Thursday's schedule includes back-to-back speeches by the Democratic nominee for Senate, former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers; and six-term Republican Sen. Thad Cochran. They are followed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.
Neshoba County Fair Prepares for Possible Tea Party Hecklers
The atmosphere here at the Neshoba County Fair on Wednesday has been peaceful and serene. But fairgoers aren't so sure about Thursday. U.S. Senator Thad Cochran will be delivering his speech right here on this stage. But likely under the stress of Tea Party hecklers. The South Mississippi Tea Party has asked supporters to show up in full force and confront the incumbent senator. It's not yet clear just how rowdy the crowd might get. he organization is asking supporters not to be silent, and to come bearing homemade signs. Syndicated columnist Sid Salter says that's par for the course at the fair. "There is a fairly long tradition of raucous politics here, so it wouldn't surprise me to see some of that tomorrow," Salter says. "But the fair association takes great pains to maintain order."
Attorney general: Probe examined vote-buying allegations
Attorney General Jim Hood said his office investigated claims of vote-buying that he said appear to have been made after a political blogger paid a Meridian man to lie in a recorded interview. During his speech at the Neshoba County Fair on Wednesday, Hood called for more civility and integrity in political races and pointed to the Republican primary for U.S. Senate as being out of control. "It's bothersome to me when political bloggers ... pay someone $2,000 to lie on a video ...We need a higher level of political discourse in this state," Hood said in his speech.
Mississippi judge predicts state will legalize marijuana
Longtime Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon told the crowd at the Neshoba County Fair Wednesday that he predicts marijuana will be legalized in Mississippi within the next decade. Gordon, who is facing a challenge this year from attorney Don Kilgore, was critical of the state's new corrections and criminal justice reforms law. Gordon said House Bill 585 will weaken drug sentences. Before Gordon spoke, fellow Circuit Judge Vernon Cotten, who served on the task force that came up with many of the changes in House Bill 454, praised the law. Cotten said he believes House Bill 585 will bring a new era in dealing with problems in the criminal justice system.
Giles Ward will not seek reelection to Senate
State Sen. Giles Ward, a Republican from Louisville, has announced he will not seek a third term in state Senate. Ward made announcement yesterday in a speech at the Neshoba County Fair. The 66-year-old Ward represents Senate District 18, which is comprised of all of Leake and Neshoba counties and a part of Winston County.
Nunnelee plans return to D.C. following brain surgery
Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who recently underwent brain surgery, is expected to start outpatient treatment in Baltimore next week, his office said. The Mississippi congressman has spent the past few weeks in a rehabilitation center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "He's doing well. He's continuing to get better every day," said Elizabeth Parks, a spokeswoman for Nunnelee. Parks said the congressman hopes to visit Mississippi at the end of August and return to his Washington office after Labor Day.
Senator Sojourner: Tornado responsible for delay of finance reports
Sen. Melanie Sojourner said Mother Nature played a part in her failure to file required financial disclosure statements. But the senator also said she have been targeted to make the situation appear worse than it is. The Secretary of State's office says all other lawmakers have filed their 2013 annual campaign finance reports. Sojournor has recently served as campaign manager for state Sen. Chris McDaniel in his bid for U.S. Senate.
William Carey establishes emergency scholarship
Carla Rawls plans to graduate from William Carey University next spring with a master's degree in school counseling. Despite being an exceptional student, Rawls has faced some struggles. In February 2012, Rawls and husband J.W.'s first child was stillborn. Tragedy struck the couple again in April when their 7-month-old daughter, Jaycee Grace, died of a congenital heart defect. To help students like Carla, who have gone through a family crisis, Carey has established an Emergency Scholarship Fund to assist students who need help meeting college expenses. "The scholarship amounts will be based on need as a result of a crisis situation," Carey President Tommy King said.
SRHS, MGCCC partnership will continue in Gautier, mayor says
Gautier city officials met with Singing River Health System and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College leaders Tuesday to discuss the system's future in the community. On Monday, SRHS announced the closure of the Gautier primary care clinic, along with a clinic in D'Iberville, citing a consolidation to direct patient flow to other SRHS clinics. Gautier Mayor Gordon Gollott said, while city officials are "saddened" by the closure of the Gautier clinic, Singing River Health System "will continue to hold a strong presence at the college." Since 1960, the hospital has worked with MGCCC in its associate degree nursing program, along with other medical programs.
Senate Bill Asks Colleges to Do More to Combat Sexual Assault
Colleges would have to expand resources for victims of sexual assault and training for employees in handling students' reports of assault under a bill introduced by eight U.S. senators on Wednesday. The proposed legislation seeks to apply pressure through public information and harsher penalties: Annual surveys of students' experiences would be published online, by institution, and colleges found to be out of compliance with federal requirements would face fines of up to 1 percent of their operating budgets.
OUR VIEW: Oktibbeha, Starkville boards fail to truly follow agendas
The Dispatch editorializes: "Oktibbeha County supervisors and Starkville aldermen both have something in common: They recently tended to business outside the constraints of their published agendas. Both boards passed policy decisions this week that were not clearly spelled out as potential action items before their meetings. While both policy changes were needed, we feel local leaders could do a better job informing the public of potential action."
SID SALTER (OPINION): Rhetoric about spending dodges main issues
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "As it did during the Mississippi Republican U.S. Senate primary and likely will again to some degree in the November general election, the talk turns to cutting federal spending ...sorta. The rub is that most politicians, special interest groups and the media all talk about it but only in the abstract. In Mississippi, the conversation is complicated even more by the state's historic poverty and the massive role that federal spending plays in the state's economy. How large? About 46 percent of all Mississippi revenues come from federal spending."

MSU's FCA group helps athletes make transition to college life
The Columbus Rotary Club hosted the Mississippi State University Fellowship of Christian Athletes at its luncheon on Tuesday at Lion Hills Golf Club. Bill Buckley is the FCA director for Mississippi State. He and his team cover the entire eastern part of the state on behalf of FCA; they offer support to high schools and middle schools in the area. "There are 13 counties that we cover, including East Mississippi Community College," said Buckley, "So that's about 55 schools that my staff covers." Buckley's team is comprised of his wife and former Mississippi State athletes from baseball, basketball and football. Each member of the staff covers three counties.
Optimistic Bulldogs report to camp
Football is back at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs reported back Wednesday morning and will hit the practice fields at 4:45 p.m. today to begin fall camp. "It's good just to be back and have everybody in the room from the coaches all the way to the equipment guys," said junior quarterback Dak Prescott. "It was a good start." Having Prescott back behind center is one of several reasons MSU fans have been optimistic about 2014. The Preseason All-SEC second team selection is one of 57 letterwinners and 18 starters returning from last year's 7-6 squad.
Camp storylines: How much has Prescott matured as a passer?
From the time Dan Mullen hoisted the Liberty Bowl trophy above his head in Memphis last December, Mississippi State fans have waited for the start of the 2014 season. It's finally arrived. Today marks the first day of practice for the Bulldogs. In a month Mississippi State will host Southern Miss in the season opener at the renovated Davis Wade Stadium.
Bulldogs report for fall camp
After an offseason filled with excitement and expectations, Mississippi State football will hit the practice field for the first time this preseason camp at 4:45 p.m. Thursday at the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex. Thursday's practice is the first of 29 workouts permitted under NCAA rules prior to the Aug. 30 season-opener against Southern Miss. All practices and scrimmages during camp are closed to the public.
RICK CLEVELAND (OPINION): Hall of Fame class a tribute to Mississippi's small-town roots
Mississippi syndicated sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "Consider this column a tribute to the spirit of small-town Mississippi athletes. Consider this a shout-out to the work ethic small-town Mississippi produces decade after decade, from way down in Kiln to far up in Booneville from Ol' Man River to the Alabama border. Six new members were inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame this past weekend. All six are from small-town Mississippi. All six grew up on grits and greens. Count them, six: Ruthie Bolton, from McLain; Doug Cunningham, from Louisville; Deuce McAllister, from Ludlow; Steve McNair, from Mount Olive; Calvin Smith, from Bolton; and Richard Williams, from Pearl -- which was a lot smaller when Williams was growing up than it is now."

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