Wednesday, August 20, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Maroon Edition Events Now Underway at Mississippi State
University officials are announcing the slate of Maroon Edition activities designed to educate, entertain and inspire Mississippi State students during the 2014-15 academic year. Students at all grade levels and in all academic majors are being encouraged to participate in the Maroon Edition, an annual common reading experience. This summer, incoming freshmen attending orientation sessions received copies of "The Invisible Girls" (Jericho Books, 2013). The memoir chronicles author Sarah Thebarge's cancer diagnosis and the unexpected friendships she formed following treatment.
 
New Maroon Camp Promotes MSU History, Traditions, Participation
More than 80 freshmen from Mississippi and 13 other states stretching from California to Virginia and New Hampshire to Texas are graduates of Mississippi State's inaugural New Maroon Camp. Led by an all-volunteer staff of current university students, the four-day, three-night experience was designed to provide interested new members of the campus community with information about the 136-year-old land-grant institution's history and traditions. "New Maroon Camp not only introduces participants to concepts and practices that can help them become successful students, but it also instills an immediate sense of pride and spirit for MSU that can last a lifetime," said Andrew Rendon, assistant dean of student affairs.
 
ZZ Top to take MSU stage for fall concert
ZZ Top is bringing its blues rock tunes to Mississippi State's Humphrey Coliseum for a fall concert. On October 30, the three-man band, including guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, bassist and co-lead vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, will make their appearance thanks to a sponsorship by MSU's Music Maker Productions. Student discounts will be offered to the first 1,000 MSU students purchasing tickets in person at the Center for Student Activities office.
 
New MSU-Meridian Degree Program Announced, Enrolling Students
A new kinesiology program with an emphasis in clinical exercise physiology is underway at MSU-Meridian. Last November, the local Riley Foundation awarded an $11 million grant to the university in support of the new degree program to be located in the Kress Building, the campus' downtown facility. The grant also provided financing for needed renovations and required equipment, furnishings and technology infrastructures. "With Meridian serving as one of the state's best regional healthcare destinations, bringing a program such as kinesiology to the area is ideal for the missions of not only Mississippi State, but the Meridian Campus and The Riley Foundation as well," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.
 
MSU Professor Talks Bear Safety
MSU-Meridian students were surprised to find a bear roaming around campus Monday. But this black bear wasn't after an Egg Bowl trophy. In fact, he was probably lured in by the scent of food. Biology professor Dr. Jarrod Fogarty says bears don't often venture off into urban areas, but it's not unheard of. He says this bear was reportedly about 150 pounds, which means he was still young and probably searching for a new territory away from his mother. Fogarty says there has never been a documented attack by a black bear in Mississippi.
 
A bumper crop that may disappoint
Lifelong farmer Phillip Martin works some 2,000 acres of land in Itawamba County. He's expecting a good crop this year, but the payoff won't be a big one. "Prices are off a good bit from what they were last year, so we have to keep that in mind for what our margin will be at the end," said Marlin. What could be bad news for farmers may be just the opposite for consumers. Soybeans are used in many products including breaded chicken and pizza. "It's consumers. It affects food prices and everything in a grocery store," said MSU Extension Service specialist Charlie Stokes. Stokes says cheaper corn that is sold for animal feed could bring down beef prices as well.
 
Unity Park recommendations find support from Oktibbeha County supervisors
A plan to renovate Unity Park into a more pedestrian-friendly green space found support from Oktibbeha County supervisors Monday, but the board stopped short of pledging financial support or in-kind services, instead opting to send the proposal back to committee for formal cost estimates. The board took no action Monday beyond acknowledging an update from the Unity Park committee. The committee also previously proposed erecting a new plaque to honor 1963's "Game of Change" basketball game between Mississippi State University and Loyola University of Chicago.
 
U.S. Air Force orders three more Global Hawks, partly made in Moss Point
The U.S. Air Force has ordered three more high-flying Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft from defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which won a major behind-the-scenes lobbying battle to save the program from the Pentagon's budget ax. Fuselages for all of the Global Hawks have been built at Northrop Grumman's plant in Moss Point on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Moss Point plant also just completed the first phase in the construction of five Global Hawk ground surveillance aircraft for the NATO alliance, a company spokeswoman said. NASA uses a Global Hawk in gathering earth sciences data.
 
Presley to Obama: no nuclear waste storage in Mississippi
Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley has forwarded to President Obama resolutions passed by the PSC opposing storage of nuclear waste in Mississippi and to people here paying for a failed plan to store it in Nevada. Presley, Northern District commissioner with the three-member PSC, this week sent Obama recent unanimously-passed PSC resolutions opposing permanent nuclear waste storage in Mississippi, and calling for $80 million in refunds, money "paid by Mississippi residents for a failed government storage facility in Yucca Mountain." Proponents of Mississippi becoming a storage site say it would bring billions of dollars, thousands of jobs and high-tech research and development to the state.
 
Gov. Bryant, wife become grandparents
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and his wife, Deborah, have become first-time grandparents and he says the experience is "pure joy." The governor says Henry Stephen Snell was born in a Jackson-area hospital Monday night. He's 19 inches long and weighs 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Henry is the son of the Bryants' daughter, Katie, and her husband, Stephen.
 
Effort seeks to align schools, workforce | Daily Journal
Northeast Mississippi is poised for growth, but that will require a broadly skilled workforce, a North Carolina-based nonprofit said on Tuesday. MDC Inc., is studying ways Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties can produce graduates with the skills its employers demand and ways those graduates can be more aware of available careers. This week, it is providing updates on that effort, including a meeting for Lee County on Tuesday morning held at the CREATE Foundation's office. Separate meetings were scheduled in Pontotoc and New Albany. The project is being funded by the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund, a $50 million endowment from Toyota to enhance education in the three counties that worked together to attract it to the region.
 
Fitch: Money matters to kids' and state's future
Kids today need to learn about mortgages, savings, compound interest and school loans, Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch said Tuesday when she came to South Mississippi to launch a financial literacy program for high school students. She's been talking about TEAM -- the Treasurer's Education About Money initiative -- for more than a year. The program starts in September and will make personal finance skills available to every public, private and parochial high school in the state, she told the Gulf Coast Business Council. One student in North Mississippi told Fitch she didn't plan to go to college, but after taking a module on student loans, signed up for community college.
 
Students learn financial literacy through state treasurer program
Mississippi's public school students have the opportunity to learn the importance of financial literacy through state treasurer Lynn Fitch's TEAM initiative. Treasurer's Education About Money is an educational resource that teaches students about credit scores, insurance, credit cards, taxes, investing, 401Ks, savings, mortgages and college savings. "They're our next workforce," Fitch said on a stop in Hattiesburg Tuesday to promote the program. Hattiesburg High School is one of 100 schools across the state that participated in the TEAM pilot program last year.
 
ACT scores by 2014 Mississippi high school grads edge up
Mississippi's ACT scores rose slightly again last year, although only about one in eight Magnolia State students are ready for college by the standards of the test. The average composite score on the test was 19, ticking up from 18.9 last year. That's still well below the national average, which rose to 21 this year from 20.9 in 2013. But it's the highest average score for Mississippi test takers in at least 20 years, a period in which Mississippi's average scores have been mired between 18.5 and 18.9. State Superintendent Carey Wright said she was pleased by the increase in composite scores, and said the state should stick to the Common Core State Standards to drive further improvement.
 
Former governor pushes education lawsuit
"Shall" may only have five letters, but the word could mean millions for Mississippi school districts that sign on to a lawsuit spearheaded by former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. Musgrove said the word "shall" appeared in the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula in 2006, replacing "may" and legally binding legislators to fully fund the state's school districts. But the last time MAEP was fully funded was 2008, and that dismays Musgrove. "Over the last several years, it's become disheartening watching the Legislature underfund the law that it passed," he told the Hattiesburg American's editorial board Tuesday.
 
Natchez residents meet, greet U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper
Natchez residents came out to meet with U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper Tuesday morning over cereal and sausages. Harper, who represents Mississippi's Third Congressional District, visited the Natchez Grand Hotel to meet with locals over breakfast. He took the opportunity to discuss his energy policies with the nearly 100 people in attendance. The Third District includes Natchez, Brookhaven, parts of metro Jackson, Meridian and Starkville.
 
LIVE: Chris McDaniel election challenge hearing
A first hearing in Chris McDaniel's challenge of the U.S. Senate GOP primary runoff he lost to Thad Cochran on June 24 is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. in Laurel. The "status hearing" is expected to be perfunctory, to set a schedule for future proceedings. McDaniel filed the challenge in his home Jones County. But under law, the judge could move the venue wherever he deems convenient. Media has packed the jury box in the Jones County Courthouse for the hearing. About a dozen McDaniel supporters, including some from the Jackson area, are in the audience.
 
Cochran campaign files amended FEC reports listing GOTV payments
The Thad Cochran campaign has filed three updated campaign finance reports, the key one being a disputed pre-primary report that originally listed a staffer receiving nearly $53,000 as a loan reimbursement that would have violated federal campaign laws. The updated report to the Federal Elections Commission now itemizes the people the campaign paid to participate in get-out-the-vote efforts. Jordan Russell, communications director for the Cochran campaign, said the new report reflects approximately 400 new names.
 
GOP establishment wins again in Alaska, Wyoming
Tuesday was another big night for the Republican establishment, as its candidates won key races in Alaska and Wyoming. In Alaska, former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan topped two major challengers, including tea party favorite Joe Miller, for the U.S. Senate nomination. Sullivan, backed by former George W. Bush political guru Karl Rove and others, will face Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska. In Wyoming, Gov. Matt Mead defeated two challengers in his bid for the Republican nomination. The wins by Mead and Sullivan continued a string of victories for Republican establishment candidates, who have defeated potentially tough challenges from tea party-inspired candidates in primary after primary.
 
Gay Rights Movement Tackles Cultural Battle In The Deep South
Gay rights activists are winning a legal battle to overturn state laws prohibiting same-sex unions. Now the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign is opening a new front -- a cultural campaign to win hearts and minds in a part of the country where they've met the strongest resistance: the Deep South. The Rev. Phillip Gandy is the senior pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Miss. He's also a Republican state senator and gained attention last year as sponsor of the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act. When asked whether homosexuals who would want to be able to get married or have a family are being unfairly kept off the playing field, Gandy says, "They might say that, but would that hold up in historical precedence? Would it hold up?" The argument has held up this year in more than 20 court rulings around the country that have found state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. And a challenge is pending in Mississippi.
 
Vilsack, Shaheen Visit the Farm
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen at a hilltop farm in Loudon, New Hampshire, on Tuesday to tout new federal grants. "We have one of the highest percentages in the country of our farmers engaging directly with consumers who buy their products, and the whole farm-to-table movement has been very influential, I think, in encouraging people to ... make sure that they buy much as they can directly from the farm," Shaheen said. Vilsack announced $25 million in grants to farmers who turn their raw goods into finished products.
 
Islamic State claims it executed American photojournalist James Foley
The Islamic State militant group claimed Tuesday to have beheaded an American photojournalist in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. A video posted on YouTube, later removed, purported to show the execution of James Foley after he recited a statement in which he called the U.S. government "my real killers." A second prisoner, said to be Steven Joel Sotloff, like Foley an American journalist who disappeared while covering Syria's civil war, then appears in the video. The masked executioner, speaking in English with what sounds like a British accent, identifies Sotloff and says that "the life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision." American intelligence officials believe the video is authentic but are continuing to evaluate it, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday morning.
 
Co-Lin president says thank you for support
Copiah-Lincoln Community College President Ronnie Nettles thanked the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors Monday morning for the support the county has given to Co-Lin over the years. "In my mind, Lincoln County is a great model," Nettles said. "It's real important that we have your support, and we're grateful for that." Nettles said Co-Lin has seen smaller enrollment but higher graduation rates with more than 700 students graduating this past year. He said increasing graduation rates benefit the community as well as the school.
 
Despite rumors, original U. of Alabama sorority Snapchat not altered
Rumors are running rampant that an image using a racial slur in a Snapchat photo sent by an University of Alabama student and Chi O member was altered. But Chi Omega spokesperson Whitney Plumpton said the original photo, with the slur, is in fact real. "There is an image circulating, primarily from Jezebel and Buzzfeed, that is not the original Snapchat image," Plumpton said via email Tuesday. "Chi Omega has confirmed the authenticity of the original Snapchat, as well as that the offensive word was also used in the original Snapchat." The altered image contained the same language as the original Snapchat, Plumpton said. The rumors the image was altered was encouraged by sites like Total Frat Move and Buzzfeed.
 
Auburn University libraries tackle SEC in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Tuesday morning, six Auburn Libraries staff members, including the dean, stood on the steps of Ralph Brown Draughon Library as other library staff dumped buckets of ice water on their heads. The group participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, a social media phenomenon that benefits the ALS Association. "I issued a challenge to our colleagues in the SEC libraries," said Auburn Libraries Dean Bonnie MacEwan. MacEwan challenged 13 SEC schools to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge and donate money for Lou Gehrig's Disease research. Along with MacEwan, Auburn Libraries Associate Dean Marcia Boosinger, building manager Bob Yerkey, tech specialist Ashley Goerke and librarians Juliet Rumble and Nancy Noe completed the challenge.
 
Renovations inspire Greek revival at U. of Florida
The Tau Mansion is one of two major renovations of Greek houses this summer at the University of Florida. Kappa Kappa Gamma, a sorority house two blocks down the road, completed a new residential wing in time for fall recruitment. Greek life is on the upswing at UF, despite some negative publicity in recent years about hazing and other conduct violations that led to disciplinary actions against several houses. In the past six years, the Greek population has grown from 14 percent to 20 percent of the undergraduate population, said Jack Causseaux, associate director of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs at UF. Just over 1,660 freshmen women have registered for sorority recruitment, which begins this week.
 
Louisiana's ACT average drops again amid boost in test takers
Louisiana's average score on the ACT, a test of college readiness, dipped for the second consecutive year, and remains among the lowest in the nation. However, state Superintendent of Education John White told reporters Tuesday that the drop again stems largely from a change in state policy and is more than offset by additional students qualifying for college. "Opportunity for young people is more important than what the average score is," White said. Louisiana's composite average for public and private students is 19.2, down from 19.5 last year and 20.3 the year before. The score is higher than only Mississippi, North Carolina and Hawaii. The national average is 21.0.
 
Tennessee students make big gains in ACT scores
Tennessee's average ACT score, historically slow to improve despite constant attention from educators, has made its biggest year-to-year leap since the state began testing all students. It's a key sign more students in Tennessee are graduating ready for college, state officials say, and shows the fruits of the state's move to more rigorous coursework. "We're starting to see the upward trend. We've been waiting for it, and it feels good that it's here now," said Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. Huffman, who has been under fire for advancing controversial education policies, called the results "heartening."
 
U. of Kentucky study: Early school start times may be detrimental to young children
University of Kentucky researchers have found that elementary schools' earlier morning start times could result in lower standardized test scores and poorer attendance. UK associate professor of psychology Peggy S. Keller, who led the research team, said she found that was especially true for elementary schools with students from middle or higher income homes. The research, drawn from 2011-12 data at 718 public elementary schools in Kentucky, was recently published by the American Psychological Association's Journal of Educational Psychology.
 
USDA Air Quality Task Force holding public meetings at Texas A&M on agricultural issues
The USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force plans to hold a series of meetings Wednesday and Thursday at Texas A&M University to give the public a chance to speak on agricultural air quality issues. For the next two days, the task force will conduct meetings on national air quality issues, and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will provide the force with updates in their areas. The task force is composed of 28 members who advise the Secretary of Agriculture on air quality and its relationship to agriculture based on sound scientific findings. Twenty-five of those members will be in attendance over the next two days, and public comments will be directed to them.
 
ACT's annual score report shows languishing racial gaps, mediocre scores
More students than ever are taking the ACT, says the ACT's annual score report, released today. A record 1.84 million high school students who graduated in 2014 took the college readiness test -- suggesting that more young people have college in their sights. But for many test-takers, succeeding in postsecondary education might be an empty hope. Average scores remain stagnant. Only 39 percent of test-takers met three or more of the ACT's college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading and science -- a percentage that's unchanged from last year. And striking racial gaps persist.
 
When Students Transfer, Credits May Not Follow
About a third of first-time, first-year undergraduates will enroll in at least one other college over the next six years, and nearly four out of 10 will do so without transferring any credits if trends seen in a new study by the National Center for Education Statistics hold true. According to a report being released today, "Transferability of Postsecondary Credit Following Student Transfer or Coenrollment," the study found that well over half of student transfers start out in public, two-year colleges, and that students who transfer from those colleges to four-year public institutions bring the most credits with them.
 
Higher education consultants' best case scenarios rarely reality
Higher education consultants tend to project savings beyond what colleges can achieve, sometimes don't understand the complexities of the institutions they advise, and fail to appreciate the politics around the changes they propose, according to a new study by the Education Advisory Board. The group, a business that produces research for colleges on some of the same issues on which some institutions hire consultants, did a detailed analysis of cost-reduction efforts at 21 different colleges and universities that hired outside consultants. Consultants had told those institutions they could, on average, save up to 4 percent of their operating costs if their recommendations were adopted. The colleges, the study found, saved far less. On many campuses that have hired consultants or considered doing so, faculty leaders have questioned the cost and relative benefits of such arrangements.
 
Support Slipping for Common Core, Especially Among Teachers, Poll Finds
Results of a poll released on Tuesday show strong public support for the idea of shared academic standards, but much weaker support for the standards that have been put in place by 43 states and the District of Columbia: the Common Core State Standards. The poll of 5,000 adults, conducted this past spring by Education Next, a journal published by Stanford University's Hoover Institution, shows that more than two-thirds of adults support the idea of shared academic standards. But when they were asked about the "common core" specifically, support dropped by 15 percentage points. "The words 'Common Core' elicits greater antagonism than does the concept of common standards itself," the report said.
 
BRIAN PERRY (OPINION): Considering election reforms in Mississippi
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "The qualifying deadline for running for the state Legislature occurs during next year's legislative session. Cynics, perhaps realists, suggest little is done in an election year session because incumbents seeking reelection do not appreciate controversy during the qualifying time and so soon before party primaries. Lots of folks are talking about election reform but incumbents may be hesitant to change the election system under which they were successfully elected and through which they hope to be reelected. In the words of Pappy O'Daniel in 'O' Brother Where Art Thou,' "How we gonna run on reform when we're the damn incumbent!' ...Mississippi's election laws need some serious updating to correct conflicting statutes or policies which make little sense as the technology of voting mechanics have changed. But I don't anticipate a full scale system change in next year's session."
 
BOBBY HARRISON (OPINION): Referendum vs. lawsuit battle lines forming
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "An unusual rift has developed between groups that purport to have in common the support of Mississippi's public education system. Currently, there is a group called Better Schools, Better Jobs garnering signatures in hopes of placing on the November 2015 ballot an initiative calling for the eventual full funding of public education. This group, which includes many prominent Mississippians, such as former Secretary of State Dick Molpus and many others, opposes a lawsuit against the state by former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to recoup $1.5 billion local school districts have been underfunded since 2008. Musgrove is not keen on the Better Schools, Better Jobs effort, saying in effect cautionary language in the initiative will make it difficult to achieve full funding for the local school districts even if its passes."
 
SAM R. HALL (OPINION): Charles Johnson reaches new low with James Foley tweets
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall blogs: "There seems to be a segment of Mississippians who still confuse Charles C. Johnson's drivel with credible journalism. The California (insert description here) has made a number of outrageous claims on Twitter and in public forums, such as accusing me and others of being culpable in the death of Mark Mayfield. In fact, Monday night he was talking about credible sources who said Michael Brown had been charged with second degree murder before. He later back-pedaled. I'm guessing that confirmation never came through for him. However, he reached a new low Tuesday night with a series of tweets judging James Foley, the American journalist held captive for nearly two years and then beheaded by ISIS. ...In my opinion, Johnson is a cowardly little man who makes hollow threats, baseless claims and wild accusations just so he can fire up the crowd and raise a little money..."
 
SID SALTER (OPINION): No merging from the political right lane in 2015
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "While legal precedent and political realities suggest that state Sen. Chris McDaniel faces an exceedingly slim chance of prevailing in his legal challenge to the outcome of the state Republican U.S. Senate primary, some say one victory the Ellisville lawmaker has won is to shift the GOP political focus during the 2015 courthouse-to-statehouse races hard to the right. ...The low hanging fruit is the assumption that the Cochran-McDaniel race has sent the so-called establishment Republicans scurrying to the right. That's the message being sold by the national purity-for-profit astroturf groups who make money off pitting conservatives against each other. The more factual view is that moving Bryant, Reeves and Gunn to the right on virtually any issue is a pretty short trip. That's what their actual public records -- unvarnished by the out-of-state folks raising money off voter frustration -- reflect."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State's Malone, Senior in battle to replace injured Robinson
Five seats are in the front row of John Hevesy's meeting room. They're reserved for the starters on the offensive line. Sitting in one of those spots is a goal for those working in Hevesy's unit. "There's a level of expectations to play in that first five," Mississippi State's offensive line coach said. "I say that to them all the time: 'The front row of my meeting room is the first five. That's your fight.'" The season-ending injury to Damien Robinson during last Friday's scrimmage opened a seat. The senior tore his ACL.
 
Bulldogs enjoy depth at defensive back spots
Confidence is not a problem for Mississippi State senior safety Jay Hughes. That confidence extends to his teammates. Selected as one of MSU's three player representatives for the Southeastern Conference's Media Days in July, Hughes reinforced his belief in the Bulldogs' defensive backfield. "I feel like there's no dropoff, no matter who is out there," said Hughes, who is fighting back from a season-ending Achilles injury suffered in the 2013 season-opener against Oklahoma State.
 
Bulldogs building depth at defensive end
Mississippi State returns three veteran defensive ends with plenty of playing experience. Preston Smith is back for his senior campaign along with junior Ryan Brown and sophomore A.J. Jefferson. Now the Bulldogs are in search of a fourth defensive end to complete the rotation. "Preston Smith, Ryan Brown and A.J. Jefferson have all had a really good camp so far," Turner said. "If I can get a fourth guy that I feel real good about then that only helps us as a unit. Right now we're trying to mix and match and figure out who's going to fit where and what's best for us."
 
Love emerges as leader for Mississippi State defense
Mississippi State senior Jamerson Love admits that he cracked a smile when he saw an ESPN.com article that listed him as one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the Southeastern Conference. But five minutes later, that smile -- and the inspiration for it -- was forgotten. "It made me smile," said Love, "and it made me feel good. But I really can't listen to any of that. It's good to be recognized, but right now I'm just focused on my senior year and helping our defense get better."
 
Perfect record on European trip helps Mississippi State women build chemistry
A 4-0 record is the first indication the Mississippi State women's basketball team's trip Belgium and France was a success. But as much as coach Vic Schaefer breaks down the numbers and loves that his team averaged more than 100 points a game and had eight players score more than six points a game, he knows things will be different once his team begins Southeastern Conference play. But SEC play -- like the start of practice and the 2014-15 season -- is a ways away, which means MSU will have even more time to build on the first steps it took in its initial games as a team.
 
Ole Miss, C Spire creating wi-fi network at games
Ole Miss' athletics administration has made it a priority over the last couple of years to improve the in-game experience on Saturdays. The latest attempt to make sure fans do not stay at home and come to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is a better wi-fi network. The school is partnering with C Spire. The team's first two home games -- Louisiana-Lafayette (Sept. 13) and Memphis (Sept. 27) -- will be free for everyone. After that C Spire customers will have complimentary access, while others can pay $4.99 per game. Fans have routinely complained about overloaded networks during home games, and the difficulty in sending and receiving messages as well as using their phone's web browser to check stats and get updates from other games.
 
Q&A about athletics with U. of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin
There is one memento of his days as the president of Texas A&M that has made its way to University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin's office. It is a football signed by Coach Kevin Sumlin, wide receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Johnny Manziel commemorating the Aggies' 29-24 victory at top-ranked Alabama in 2012. As the biggest proponent of Texas A&M's switch from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference, Loftin took great pride in seeing his Aggies prove they belonged in the new league. Now the chancellor at Missouri, another school that left the Big 12 for the SEC, Loftin has already become a familiar face at MU sporting events, introducing himself to major donors and students alike and then popping into the locker room to watch coaches and players interact after the game.
 
Sports drinks for non-sporty cause weight gain, study finds
Elite athletes down sports drink to help them reach new heights of performance. But for the average young person, these "health drinks" may cause them to reach new highs -- on the bathroom scale. A new study published in the journal Obesity suggests that young people who consume one or more sports drinks each day gained more weight over a three year period than classmates who chose other beverages. "Not just children, but many adults use them who don't need them," said Nancy Rehrer, an exercise metabolism researcher at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand, who was not involved in the study. "Because sports drinks can be a very beneficial part of a very active lifestyle, I guess they're seen as a healthy alternative and that's probably a misrepresentation."



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