Tuesday, November 25, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Authorities prepare for Egg Bowl fans
With tens of thousands of football fans flocking to Oxford this weekend for what most Mississippians consider the game of the year, local law enforcement and university officials say they are preparing for business as usual. University Police Department Chief Calvin Sellers said a lot of people tend to think that relations between Ole Miss fans and Mississippi State fans are hostile during the Egg Bowl, but that's usually not the case. "I know everyone thinks it's just a big wrestling match up in the stands for 3 1/2 hours," Sellers said. "We really don't have the problems at that game that we have at some of the others; maybe it's because we're all Mississippians. I've worked a lot of State and Ole Miss games. The history of that game really isn't as bad as some of our other games." Mississippi State spokesman Sid Salter said because the schools have so many family ties to each other, it keeps things mostly civil.
Mill development on pace for June completion
Developers of the John M. Stone Cotton Mill, formerly known as Mississippi State's E.E. Cooley Building, held several tours Friday of the historic building, which is located at the corner of Russell Street and Highway 12. The Mill, as it is commonly known, is being developed into an office and conference center. Construction is ongoing. Work should be completed in June, according to developers. Once open, it will feature more than 73,000 square feet of office and conference space. The location will have a 450-car parking garage, a 1,000-seat ballroom, onsite catering and an adjoining 110-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, according to Mark Castleberry, the developer leading the old building's transformation.
New K-9 Units Give Mississippi State Police Department Valuable Resources
Two new members of Mississippi State University's police department are providing skills and capabilities unlike those of any other on the force. Vance Rice, university police chief, said the department attained two police dogs this semester, and they have begun extensive training along with their police officer handlers. The German shepherd and Belgian Malinois male dogs quickly have adapted to regular policing duties. Officers Patrick Jenkins and Kyle Kelly both volunteered to work as part of the K-9 units when the departmental opportunity arose.
Bulldog 'Prize Patrol' Hits Campus to Make a Student's Semester
It was the "Prize Patrol" with more cowbell on Mississippi State University's campus. It wasn't exactly Publishers Clearinghouse, but they did have a big check for a lucky student. The Mississippi State Alumni Delegates held a raffle for one semester of tuition, and Monday they went to surprise Ross Bell in class. This is the second semester that the Alumni Delegates have held the raffle, and it's proving to be a success.
Inspections underway into deck collapse
More information is emerging from the collapse of a deck at a Starkville apartment Friday night. Fire Coordinator A. K. Rosenhan says insurance engineers have been at the scene at Highlands Plantation in Oktibbeha County. The manager of the property, Tommy Vines, says his insurance adjuster told him nine people were injured in the collapse. He says residents of three other apartments managed by his company were told not to use the decks until they are inspected to make sure there are no structural issues. The Oktibbeha County sheriff's department also investigated the collapse. After talking with the district attorney, they decided there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and turned the investigation back over to the fire coordinator.
Obama awards freedom medal to Mississippi Burning trio
President Barack Obama gave the highest civilian honor Monday to three slain civil rights activists whose work with others 50 years ago helped pave the way for him to become the nation's first African-American president. He gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the families of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were killed by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi in 1964. Monday's ceremony took place at the White House, just a few blocks from where the March on Washington passed 51 years ago --- a civil rights event that both Schwerner and Goodman participated in.
Bryant seeks to pay for community college for some
Gov. Phil Bryant is pushing a $3 million plan to pay for community college for students who earn a technical diploma in high school. Bryant first floated the proposal earlier this month while speaking at Nissan Motor Co. in Canton and repeated it Monday when he made his proposal for the 2015 budget. The Republican says Mississippi needs to increase the number of skilled manufacturing workers to fill available jobs and encourage employers to relocate or expand in the state. He said that potential employers he meet with are most worried about who they can hire.
Chris McDaniel announces United Conservative Fund
Scott Brewster, former campaign coalition coordinator for Chris McDaniel, announced that McDaniel is forming the United Conservative Fund. Brewster said the announcement is "huge news for the future of the conservative movement in Mississippi." The United Conservative Fund is different from The United Republican Fund, which has been the sustaining membership of the Mississippi Republican Party and has been for 50 years.
Wicker: Good government will keep Republicans in majority
Sen. Roger Wicker has a big job on his hands as newly elected head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, but he sees a simple solution to the challenge of retaining the GOP majority in the Senate in two years. "If the American people see us operating a Senate the way the founders intended, I think they will reward us at the polls," Wicker said Monday in a meeting with the Daily Journal editorial board. That means full debate and votes on critical legislation and amendments, which Wicker said had not been allowed in recent years under Democratic leadership.
White House seeks a stronger hand at Pentagon to manage crises
President Obama tapped Chuck Hagel as defense secretary because he wanted someone who would quietly implement the administration's policy, avoid controversy and promote no big, sweeping ideas. Hagel was forced to resign Monday for being exactly that defense secretary. Hagel didn't make big mistakes. Nor had he lost the confidence of the uniformed military. But he often seemed lost or overly deferential to his generals in top-level White House strategy meetings, especially those focused on the battle against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, senior administration officials said. "I could never tell what his opinion was on anything," said a senior administration official involved in national security policy. "He'd never speak. ...The key comment, the insightful approach -- that never came out of him."
Witnesses Told Grand Jury That Michael Brown Charged at Darren Wilson, Prosecutor Says
The most credible eyewitnesses to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., said he had charged toward Police Officer Darren Wilson just before the final, fatal shots, the St. Louis County prosecutor said Monday night as he sought to explain why a grand jury had not found probable cause to indict the officer. The accounts of several other witnesses from the Ferguson neighborhood where Mr. Brown, 18 and unarmed, met his death on Aug. 9 -- including those who said Mr. Brown was trying to surrender -- changed over time or were inconsistent with physical evidence, the prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, said in a news conference. "The duty of the grand jury is to separate fact and fiction," he said in a statement watched by a tense nation. "No probable cause exists to file any charges against Darren Wilson."
'Regin' stealth malware has been spying on governments for years
A new piece of computer malware called "Regin" has been uncovered by security researchers at Symantec, who say the software has been active since 2008, spying on governments and individuals in 10 countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia. Regin allows for mass surveillance, and is so sophisticated that researchers say it probably took months or years to develop. Regin is apparently designed to gain access to the phone calls of governments, small businesses, financial and research institutions, and specific individuals. It is highly targeted -- fewer than 100 infections have been discovered worldwide in the last six years -- and isn't designed to steal sensitive information or to destroy important systems. As far as researchers can tell, Regin is meant to run in the shadows, watching its targets.
'XL Love' Examines the Private Complications of Obesity in Americans' Relationships
"XL Love" is unfortunately titled, evoking the coarsest kind of reality TV, and the subtitle referring to America's love life doesn't help much. It turns out, though, that the book is substantially more thoughtful and less prurient than those labels suggest. Sarah Varney's aim is to explore all the ways in which the ballooning girth of the American body affects social and sexual habits, from those of teenagers at the prom to those of long-married couples. The common medical complications of obesity -- diabetes, hypertension and the consequences of elevated cholesterol levels -- are well known and reviewed ad nauseam in all kinds of medical and lay settings. The more private complications are seldom included on these lists. Ms. Varney starts her story with a brief glimpse of the neonatal intensive-care unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
MUW's Borsig explains request for tuition increase
Students at Mississippi University for Women and Mississippi State University could see a tuition increase. MUW President Jim Borsig said tuition could increase 2.5 percent for the 2015-2016 semester. Borsig said the increase equates to about a $50 increase per semester per student. If the request is approved by the College Board, tuition would raise to $5,781 a year. The increase is the first tuition bump the university has asked for in the past three years, Borsig said Saturday.
USM increases tuition for second consecutive year
The University of Southern Mississippi will increase tuition by 3.5 percent for the 2015-2016 school year. USM's tuition increase puts annual tuition for in-state students at $7,224 dollars. Out-of-state students will pay an annual $16,094. "We feel like we're a good investment for the dollar amount, not just in Mississippi, but across the region," said USM communications spokesman Jim Coll. Although Southern Miss has suffered a decrease in enrollment the past two school years, he said that did not influence the tuition increase.
Texas A&M meteorology researchers part of Beijing pollution study
While traffic and industry emissions in China are the leading suspect of environmental and health problems, meteorology has played a key role in Beijing's air pollution, according to a team of researchers that includes a distinguished professor at Texas A&M University. Renyi Zhang, a professor of atmospheric sciences, joined colleagues from Peking University and the University of California at San Diego to collect air samples in one of the most heavily polluted areas in the world. A Texas A&M post-doctoral researcher and a graduate student in the department of atmospheric sciences also co-authored the paper that was published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Anger, silence and hope follow announcement of grand jury's decision
At Speakers Circle at the University of Missouri, students and reporters, though bundled tightly, shook from the cold Monday night as they waited for the decision in the Michael Brown case. The scheduled time for an announcement -- 8 p.m. -- came and went. At 8:16 p.m., a few students huddled together around one smartphone, straining to hear the decision. As the news broke, the group broke apart, choking over tears, flinging bursts of outrage. They embraced each other as they wept. After a couple of minutes, the group that had now grown to 30 people, circled together in the middle of Speakers Circle to hold hands for 4½ minutes of silence. The silence honored a request from the family of Michael Brown for a minute of silence for each hour their son's body remained in the street.
St. Louis-Area Campuses Brace After Decision on Teen's Shooting
A number of St. Louis-area colleges will be closed on Tuesday in response to violent protests that erupted on Monday night following the announcement that no charges would be brought against a white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, on August 9. A 12-member St. Louis County grand jury's decision not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, prompted a series of confrontations between protesters, some throwing bottles and bricks, and police officers in riot gear, who responded with tear gas. Faculty members at St. Louis-area colleges have incorporated discussions about race relations and the use of police force into their classes this fall.
No Indictment in Michael Brown Shooting; St. Louis-Area Schools Close
A St. Louis County, Mo., grand jury said there was not enough evidence to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, law enforcement officials announced Monday night. Bracing for demonstrations and protests in the wake of the grand jury's decision, St. Louis-area school districts canceled classes and after-school activities on Monday hoping to shield thousands of schoolchildren from the kind of widespread unrest -- some of it violent -- in the days after Brown was shot and killed by Wilson, a white police officer. School officials started planning their response to the grand jury decision early in the school year. In October and early November, many of them asked parents to update their emergency contact information and sent letters to parents to let them know how the districts planned to handle the announcement.
Public Colleges Face Major Threat From Some Trustees, Says AAU Chief
Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the Association of American Universities, says that ideologically motivated and corporate-minded trustees pose a great threat to public colleges. Mr. Rawlings, who leads a group of elite research universities, was highly critical of a recent effort to fire William C. Powers Jr., president of the University of Texas at Austin. In 2012, Mr. Rawlings also admonished University of Virginia board members for forcing out Teresa A. Sullivan as president, only to reinstate her under public pressure. Both cases, Mr. Rawlings says, point toward a troubling trend that has created instability at some of the nation's top academic institutions.
OUR OPINION: Tuition costs can't keep rising forever
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "The seemingly endless cycle of tuition increases will continue next fall for students at Mississippi's eight public universities. It wasn't unexpected. The state College Board had set in motion a two-year plan last year, and reaffirmed the second-year increase with a vote last week. ...Steadily rising college tuition is not unique to Mississippi. It's occurring all over the country as state legislatures continue to cut back funding and direct more of the cost of attending college to students and parents. ...Public university education must remain affordable for students of modest means, which means most students in Mississippi. The state's executive and legislative leadership must come to grips with that urgent necessity."
STUART ROTHENBERG (OPINION): What Did -- and Didn't -- Surprise Me This Cycle
Analyst and columnist Stuart Rothenberg writes for Roll Call: "Every election cycle is filled with twists and turns, upsets and surprises. And every cycle is filled with goofy arguments, warnings about things that never happen and unsurprising outcomes that surprise only the politically uneducated. For me, the biggest surprises included Dave Brat's primary upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Thad Cochran's win in the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff and Larry Hogan Jr.'s victory and margin in Maryland's gubernatorial race."
BILL CRAWFORD (OPINION): Bryant's tax cut won't stop spending growth
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Did you catch the drift of the news stories about the extra money the Legislature expects to have for next year? ...Got more, spend more, that was the message. Gov. Phil Bryant had a different message... sort of. He proposed to give $79 million back to taxpayers. ...Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has also called for a tax cut, so expect something like Bryant's proposal to pass next year. Still, even with Bryant's tax cut, state spending would go up. Like kudzu, it just grows and grows."
WYATT EMMERICH (OPINION): With our blessings comes responsibilities
Mississippi newspaper publisher and columnist Wyatt Emmerich writes: "Can it really be time for Thanksgiving again? There are so many things for which to be thankful. Our material abundance is incredible. We live in the middle of the fastest growing region of the most prosperous country in the history of the world. Wow! ...We have so much food, obesity is our biggest nutritional problem. We turn up our noses at cheap plentiful food and pay up for organic vegetables and free range chicken eggs. What luxury! These blessings are also a responsibility. American cannot sit idly by while large portions of the world flounder. We must defend freedom, both political and economic, around the world. We need to give our money and time to help impoverished nations."
CHARLIE MITCHELL (OPINION): A good day to start fostering attitude of gratitude
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Bam, bam, bam. The trifecta of holidays, all in a row. The middle one is this week. Like a middle child, it gets lost in the shuffle. ...And this year in Mississippi, a little kid can forget about receiving much attention when the Saturday after T-Day dawns. Some dads will be running up and down the street ringing cowbells. Some moms will be shouting 'Hotty Toddy' from their car windows at every intersection. But Thanksgiving is important. As I write just about every year, nothing is more predictive of a happy life than whether one chooses to adopt an attitude of gratitude."

Mississippi State ROTC Carries Game Ball to Calhoun City
The Battle for the Golden Egg is only days away, but another rivalry competition began Monday morning. Mississippi State University ROTC members left Starkville with the game ball, and ran it to the square in Calhoun City that afternoon. That's where Ole Miss ROTC cadets received the football to take it to Oxford. The cadets took turns running two or three miles during the second annual Egg Bowl Run.
Mississippi State's Mullen changes Egg Bowl atmosphere
A clock hangs in Mississippi State's locker room that counts down the number of days to the Egg Bowl. It'll reset -- 365 days -- on Saturday, when No. 4 MSU faces No. 18 Ole Miss in Oxford. The clock didn't exist before the arrival of coach Dan Mullen. "Every one of these (Egg Bowl games) are important," Mullen said. "This is my sixth time playing in this game, I view the other five as equally as important." All are equal and all are the most important on the schedule. It's been that way in the 110 previous meetings between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. When Mullen arrived in 2009, he stirred the pot, which rejuvenated the rivalry in Starkville. At 4-1 in the Egg Bowl, Mullen owns the best winning percentage of any MSU coach who has participated in five games.
Bragging rights and more at stake Saturday for Bulldogs
Dan Mullen has been part of a lot of rivalry games during previous coaching stints at Syracuse, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. But none of those games measure up to the intensity of the annual instate Egg Bowl between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. "I'm fortunate enough to have been involved in some rivalry games but I don't know that any have been as big or as nasty as the Egg Bowl," Mullen said. "I think this is bigger than all of those rivalries. It's neighbor against neighbor. There's so much in this trophy and with the bragging rights that go on in this state. I think everybody in this state takes this game extremely seriously, as well as the outcome. They hold on to that outcome for 365 days."
Mississippi State begins preparations for its biggest Egg Bowl
It took two questions. That's how long Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen had to wait Saturday following his team's 51-0 win against Vanderbilt to answer questions about the Bulldogs' next game against Ole Miss in Oxford. "That's the big one, one of the games we look forward to all year," Mullen said. "It's pretty much our biggest game every year, and we have the countdown clock for it. It's for bragging rights in this state, and that means something." This year, it may mean more than ever for the Bulldogs.
Egg Bowl has rare clout on national level
Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is already a part of Egg Bowl lore, thanks to his unlikely performance in last season's come-from-behind overtime victory. That win earned the Bulldogs bowl eligibility and bragging rights. A win this season could mean a whole lot more. No. 4 Mississippi State (10-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 4 CFP) travels to face No. 18 Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3) at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. It's just the third time in the past 57 years -- and the first time since 1999 -- that both teams have been nationally-ranked going into the Egg Bowl.
Mississippi State receiver Wilson 'fired up, ready'
Mississippi State expects to have "Bear Force One" back in service this week. The Bulldogs leading receiver De'Runnya Wilson was cleared to play and dressed for the Vanderbilt game last weekend but did not play due to injury. "He didn't practice much during the week," said MSU coach Dan Mullen. "The doctors cleared him but we wanted to see how the flow of the game was going. If he didn't have to play, then we weren't going to play him." The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder has hauled in 30 passes for 458 yards and six touchdowns this season. Five of Wilson's scoring grabs have come on third down, which leads the country.
Bulldogs' Dak Prescott, Ben Beckwith win weekly SEC awards again
Dak Prescott and Ben Beckwith earned weekly honors from the Southeastern Conference for the third time this season. Prescott earned the conference's Offensive Player of the Week award. Beckwith received SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week. The duo helped Mississippi State beat Vanderbilt 51-0 last weekend.
Egg Bowl impacts Oxford's economy
There wasn't much happening on the Square in Oxford Monday night since many Ole Miss students have gone home for their Thanksgiving break. But come Wednesday, Oxford businesses say the madness will begin. "Absolutely busy, one of the busiest days of the year," Boure manager Amber Appel said. Appel has been a manager at the restaurant for the past five years. She said big time games always bring in big time bucks. But none of those games are like the week of the Egg Bowl.
Mississippi State's Ray unhappy with youngsters
Mississippi State coach Rick Ray hoped to see several of his first-year players take advantage of their opportunity against Division II foe Clayton State Monday night. But instead, the Bulldogs sputtered to a 59-46 home victory. "I'm disappointed with the way our guys approached this game," Ray said. "I knew when we played Clayton State that it would be a challenge to get our guys up due to the fact we were playing a Division II opponent. I talked to them about handling success and we did a poor job of that." It was the lowest scoring output of the season for MSU (4-0). The Bulldogs made just 19 of 50 shots from the field and were 0 of 7 behind the arc.
Mississippi State women rally to win Preseason WNIT title
A year ago, the Mississippi State women's basketball team found ways to win by battling back in the Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament. Without three players who had key roles in those victories, the 2014-15 Bulldogs needed a spark Sunday to continue their magic in the WNIT. What they received were key contributions from a host of players down the stretch that helped them wrap up what they hope will be their first title of the season.
Mississippi State women's hoops ranked for first time since 2009
Mississippi State moved into the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time since 2009 after it won the women's preseason NIT. The Bulldogs used a 74-61 upset of No. 16 West Virginia and an 88-77 win against a Western Kentucky squad that was receiving votes to move to No. 25, the program's first ranking in the poll since Nov. 23, 2009. "I'm happy for our kids. It's well-deserved," MSU coach Vic Schaefer said. "Our kids have earned it, and now the challenge is living up to it day to day." Mississippi State wraps up a five-game homestand against Louisiana at Monroe Tuesday at 7 p.m.
U. of Alabama graduation rate leads SEC
he University of Alabama Athletics Department led the SEC in graduation success rate from 2004-07, according to figures released by the NCAA. "We are extremely proud to lead the Southeastern Conference in this vital area," UA Director of Athletics Bill Battle said in a news release. "This is just another example of the balance between academic and athletic excellence that we strive for every day." The rate was developed after school university presidents said they wanted graduation numbers that reflected the mobility among college students. Overall, UA's graduation success rate was measured at 91. The average rate for all NCAA Division I student-athletes was 82.
$450M Kyle Field redevelopment to continue on west side after Texas A&M-LSU game
The construction team in charge of the $450 million Kyle Field redevelopment will have 290 days to implode and rebuild the west side of the stadium and renovate the north side before the Aggies return to the gridiron in 2015. Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday that an implosion is set for Dec. 21, less than a month after Kyle Field becomes a construction zone. Preparation for the demolition began weeks ago, but the construction is officially set to kick off two hours after the finish of Thursday's game against LSU. The stadium won't open again until Sept. 15, when the Aggies take on the Ball State Cardinals.
Two of Tyndall's staff members resign from U. of Tennessee
Two Tennessee men's basketball staff members who followed first-year Vols coach Donnie Tyndall from Southern Miss to UT have resigned since their former program announced it is under NCAA review. Assistant coach Adam Howard resigned Monday citing "personal reasons," according to a two-sentence statement posted to UTSports.com on Monday night. UT spokesperson Tom Satkowiak said he could not elaborate beyond the statement when asked if the resignation is related to the NCAA investigation. The News Sentinel also learned Monday that R.J. Rush, the special assistant to the head coach, is no longer on Tyndall's staff. He submitted his resignation citing "family reasons" on Nov. 10, Satkowiak said. The staff defections come during a turbulent time for Tyndall and UT.
Marijuana grinder, condom among items seized in U. of Tennessee rape investigation
Knoxville police searched the apartment of University of Tennessee football player A.J. Johnson shortly after 6 p.m. on Nov. 16, the day he and teammate Michael Williams were accused of raping a 19-year-old female student, leaving with a variety of items that ranged from condom wrappers to a cell phone. According to police spokesman Darrell DeBusk, everything that was removed from the south Knoxville apartment is "evidence that we felt would help to prove or disprove the allegations in the investigation," which is ongoing. A Knoxville judge on Monday ordered other details in search warrants involving the two players accused of rape be placed under seal.

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