Tuesday, October 21, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
'Finish in 4': Universities to stress graduating in four years
Mississippi's public universities are stressing the importance of their students completing their undergraduate work in four years. Recently, the eight student body presidents met with the IHL Board to announce the "Finish in 4" campaign. Nationally, recent studies indicate 59 percent of college students are taking six years to earn an undergraduate degree. IHL estimates each additional year of school will cost $11,000 in tuition, room and board. "It is an issue," said state Sen. Gray Tollison of Oxford, who serves on the Universities Committee and Colleges Committee in the Senate. "Fortunately in Mississippi we have more affordable tuition, but still it is an expense the students are having to pay through a loan or their parents are having to pay."
 
Mississippi State Remembers Freedom Summer Project of 1964
It was 50 years ago that students and volunteers from across the nation came to Mississippi to work for the Freedom Summer Project. That historic summer marked the height of the Civil Rights Movement and this week, Mississippi State University is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the project. The conference will conclude on Tuesday with a banquet and keynote address by Susan Follett, author of the Fog Machiine, a historical novel based on Freedom Summer. Some other noted speakers at the event included Freedom Summer co-director David Dennis and former Mississippi Gov. William Winter.
 
Mississippi State remembers Freedom Summer
Hollis Watkins wanted to begin discussion of the Freedom Summer Project with song. In 1964, the Freedom Summer Project brought more than 900 volunteers, largely northern white college students, to Mississippi to help African-Americans register to vote. Watkins was an organizer for Freedom Summer, and he led a crowd of about 100 at Mississippi State University's Colvard Student Union commemorating Freedom Summer's 50th anniversary in a few songs of the civil rights era, including "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" and "Ain't Scared of Nobody." With the latter, between verses, he told some of the stories behind those verses. (Subscriber-only content.)
 
RoboJackets win third consecutive state title
The Starkville High School RoboJackets have claimed their third consecutive BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) state championship after competing at the Mississippi BEST Robotics competition Saturday at Mississippi State University. In addition to the overall championship, the RoboJackets captured first place in robotics performance, booth design and interview and won the most robust robot award. The competition featured a number of components, including building and using a robot, marketing and a booth presentation. SHS junior Lakendrea Young, marketing coordinator for the robotics team, said she was thrilled to see the team enjoy another year of success. (Subscriber-only content.)
 
Master Gardeners convene in Cleveland
Master Gardeners from five counties recently met at the Extension Service Building in Cleveland for a first time regional gathering. Approximately 30 Master Gardeners and interns from Bolivar, Washington, Sunflower, Tate, and Desoto counties convened to showcase local projects, have a question and answer session, and tour downtown Cleveland. The theme for the day was "Diggin' the Delta." "This is the first time for a regional meeting," said Laura Giaccaglia, Bolivar County Extension Service coordinator. "We have had state meetings, but no regional meetings for the Master Gardeners." A Master Gardener receives 40 hours of educational training and in return is required to volunteer 40 hours within the year to help county Extension offices with horticulture projects that benefit the local community.
 
Golden Triangle hospitals react to Ebola
While hospitals around the country prepare for Ebola, officials with the Mississippi Department of Health said the flu is more of a threat to Mississippians than Ebola. There have been no reported cases of Ebola in the state, according to a spokesperson with the department. "It's highly unlikely that we will have anyone (with Ebola) in Mississippi," Liz Sharlot, a MDH spokesperson, said Monday. "We're actually more concerned about flu right now. While we're preparing for any Ebola situation, it's more likely that people will get the flu and die than will be exposed to Ebola here in Mississippi." At OCH Regional Medical Center, the staff is preparing the emergency department, as well as considering a potential quarantine area for patients who exhibit Ebola symptoms. "OCH is preparing for the initial steps in screening, identifying, and isolating someone who might be infected with Ebola," said Kim Roberts, infection control manager at OCH.
 
Starkville could suspend landfill fees for debris
Starkville aldermen will discuss suspending residential debris drop-off fees Tuesday after a line of thunderstorms uprooted trees, damaged structures and left at least half of the city without power last week. If approved, the proposed motion located inside the city's e-packet would suspend fees for 30 days in order to assist in recovery efforts. Since the Oct. 13 storm, piles of long limbs, cut up tree trunks and other debris began appearing on curbside rubbish drop-off locations. The board will also resume talks on how to address sidewalk improvements for the southern portion of Lafayette Street's business corridor. Aldermen first tabled discussions on a $30,000 project that would have improved the area near a Jeremy Tabor-backed development with steps and a new guardrail.
 
Gas prices dip to lowest in nearly four years
U.S. motorists are seeing the lowest gas prices since January 2011 due to an uptick in domestic crude oil production, the American Automobile Association reported Monday. The low prices are even more evident in the Golden Triangle and in Mississippi. The state currently has the fifth cheapest gas prices in the country. A gallon of regular gas currently ranges between $2.81 and $2.89 in Columbus, according to Gasbuddy.com. That range in Starkville is between $2.88 and $2.98 in Starkville, and $2.84 and $2.93 in West Point, the website reports. If you're looking to capitalize on prices while they stay low, you may have a little more time to do so, but not much.
 
MEC's Regional Round-up starts in McComb
The Mississippi Economic Council starts its Regional Round-up Wednesday in McComb. The 28-city tour runs through next spring. They're meant to kick around ideas and strategies to grow the different regions in Mississippi. "MEC's mission has long been to build a sense of statewide business community," MEC President and CEO Blake Wilson said. "There is no better way to do this than to work with regions throughout the state to identify the opportunities that exist and look for ways to take advantage of those opportunities." Issues on the agenda include, transportation, healthcare, workforce and education.
 
Flu: The virus we all need to worry about
Rupert Lacy touched his face seven times on the way to work Friday. "I did it one time and I started making a mental note while I was driving," Lacy said. "I would adjust my sunglasses. I touched my nose once. I coughed." Lacy counted because he wanted to know how many times he might be putting himself at risk of catching a virus. He's not worried about Ebola. He's worried about the flu. And Lacy, Harrison County's emergency management director, says you should be, too. It's flu season, with cases already being reported in Mississippi. The flu, Lacy said, will assuredly kill more Americans this year than Ebola. "We're kind of missing the boat," Lacy said. "Let's talk about protective measures."
 
Lawsuit challenges Mississippi gay marriage ban
Two same-sex couples seeking marriage equality in Mississippi filed the first federal challenge to the state's gay marriage ban on Monday, the latest in a string of similar lawsuits nationwide. "We're hoping the case will move quickly," said Aaron Sarver of the North Carolina-based gay-rights organization Campaign for Southern Equality, which filed the suit on behalf of the women in the U.S. District Court in Jackson. Defendants in the challenge include Republican Governor Phil Bryant, Democratic state Attorney General Jim Hood, and Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn, who has denied several couples' requests for marriage licenses.
 
Pickering pans MAEP formula again
State Auditor Stacey Pickering has filed his annual report on the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula, and as he has for the last few years he warns lawmakers there are problems and flaws with the formula that determines how more than $2 billion in state tax dollars are spent on education. "Each year the Office of the State Auditor provides an overview of MAEP funds, how arbitrary changes are continually made to the formula, and how funds are used, or not used, for our students," Pickering said. "Accountability issues are a major concern of this office, and it is past time for the MAEP formula to be seriously examined."
 
Forum in Tupelo to focus on public school funding
Public officials and school leaders will host a forum in Tupelo on Monday focused on the importance of fully funding the state's schools. The Mississippi Association of Educators and Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton will co-sponsor the "Strengthen Our Schools" event. Panelists include Shelton, Helmick, state Rep. Steve Holland, state Rep. Cecil Brown, Tupelo Schools Superintendent Gearl Loden, Lee County Schools Superintendent Jimmy Weeks and Better Schools, Better Jobs representative K.C. Grist. They will speak about the importance of fully funding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. The forum also will promote Better Schools, Better Jobs, an effort to get voters to pass a constitutional amendment that could ensure full funding. This is the fourth such forum around the state, including one in Jackson and two on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
 
Mayfield's widow files charges against Madison police
Robin Mayfield has filed trespassing charges against three Madison police officers who showed up at her Ridgeland home after her husband Mark Mayfield killed himself in June. Robin Mayfield said she called Ridgeland police through 911 after she found her husband in a garage storage room, and she didn't realize until family and friends told her later that Madison police also were there. Mark Mayfield had been arrested by Madison police on May 22, in a case that drew national attention in the bitter Mississippi GOP primary between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and tea party challenger Chris McDaniel. Mayfield, an attorney and tea party leader, and three other McDaniel supporters were charged with felony conspiracy, accused of plotting to photograph Cochran's bedridden wife in her nursing home bed for use in a political hit piece video.
 
Public Service Commission won't rehear domestic violence deposit waiver
The Mississippi Public Service Commission won't reconsider its order to let victims of domestic violence delay paying utility deposits for 60 days, setting up a possible legal showdown over the regulator's authority over rural water association and electrical cooperatives. The commission voted 3-0 Monday to deny a request from rural water associations and electrical cooperatives to rehear the issue. Electric cooperatives served by the Tennessee Valley Authority, as well as water associations, claim the commission is overstepping its boundaries. Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, a Democrat, pushed the delay in deposits for domestic violence victims. "I think it's very disappointing that they want to use members' money to file an appeal and sue public service commissioners when we're trying to protect victims of domestic violence," he said.
 
Mississippi man travels to Syria to fight ISIS
To many Mississippians, the battle against ISIS seems impersonal and far away. To a family in Meridian, it's very personal. Veteran Jeremy Woodard, 28, couldn't stand the thought of what the Islamic State was doing to Americans, to Christians and anyone who disagrees with their beliefs, and to helpless civilians, so he paid his way to Turkey and got himself smuggled into Syria to fight alongside the Kurds. Woodard's uncle Stephen Woodard has kept contact with Jeremy during the times he's been able to get phone service. Stephen Woodard said his family is fully supportive of what Jeremy is doing.
 
GOP governors don't see 'Obamacare' going away
While Republicans in Congress shout, "Repeal Obamacare," GOP governors in many states have quietly accepted the law's major Medicaid expansion. Even if their party wins control of the Senate in the upcoming elections, they just don't see the law going away. Nine Republican governors have expanded Medicaid for low-income people in their states, despite their own misgivings and adamant opposition from conservative legislators. Three more governors are negotiating with the Democratic administration in Washington. Rather than demanding repeal, the governors generally have sought federal concessions to make their decisions more politically acceptable at home. That approach is in sharp contrast to the anti-Obamacare fervor of their party in Congress.
 
Partisans segregate themselves in separate news universes, study finds
Die-hard liberals and down-the-line conservatives have segregated themselves into strikingly different news universes, relying on sources of information that often reinforce their views and discussing politics mostly with others of like minds, according to an in-depth new study. Although few people manage to live in a complete ideological bubble, the most politically active and aware Americans -- the ones who dominate election contests, particularly primaries, and drive discussions of political issues -- have gone far in that direction, according to the data from a Pew Research Center project on political polarization and the media. The polarization of information sources also extends to friends.
 
Former President Bill Clinton stumps for Mary Landrieu in Louisiana
Former President Bill Clinton told a cheering crowd of Mary Landrieu supporters on Monday that voter turnout and early voting will be key to Louisiana's U.S. Senate race this fall. "I'm fixing to make an argument, and I love to do that, but it won't matter to a hill of beans if you don't show up," Clinton told about a thousand Landrieu supporters during a nearly 20-minute speech that capped a larger rally for Landrieu in Baton Rouge. The president and former Arkansas governor has been seen as a key surrogate for Democrats who, like Landrieu, are facing tight elections in states that tend to lean more Republican and where President Barack Obama isn't as popular. Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican who can't seek re-election because of term limits but is weighing a run for president, has stayed mostly out of the U.S. Senate race but blasted Clinton and Landrieu.
 
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard indicted on 23 felony corruption charges by grand jury
Mike Hubbard, speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and a powerful leader in the state Republican Party, has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with 23 counts, including using his office for personal gain and soliciting things of value. According to the indictment, Hubbard solicited favors from some of Alabama's rich and powerful. They include former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Business Council of Alabama CEO Billy Canary, Hoar Construction CEO Rob Burton, Great Southern Wood CEO Jimmy Rane, former Sterne Agee CEO James Holbrook, lobbyist Minda Riley Campbell, Harbert Management Corp. vice president Will Brooke and political operative Dax Swatek. Most gave Hubbard what he wanted, according to the indictment, including major investments into Hubbard's company, Craftmaster Printing.
 
With Farms Fading and Urban Might Rising, Power Shifts in Iowa
Iowa, the quintessence of heartland America, is undergoing an economic transformation that is challenging its rural character -- and, inevitably, its political order. As Iowans prepare to elect a new United States senator for the first time in three decades, the scale at which people and power have shifted from its rural towns to its urban areas is emerging as a potent but unpredictable undercurrent in the excruciatingly close race, offering opportunity and risk for both sides. The state's once ubiquitous farms are supporting fewer workers, the towns built around them are hemorrhaging younger residents, and a way of life eroding for decades is approaching a denouement. Farm fields are yielding to the new headquarters of banks, insurance companies and health care providers, whose rapid expansion is luring waves of Iowans to cities and suburbs, and contributing to the state's enviable 4.5 percent unemployment rate.
 
Cyber demand leaves states, local governments at risk
State and local governments facing growing threats from hackers have a new problem: finding and them employing the right cybersecurity specialists to fight them. Local governments are increasingly trying to bulwark their cybersecurity defenses, just as federal officials and businesses around the nation focus new attention on ramping up their own protections. That high demand is a boon for cybersecurity workers, but is a disadvantage for cash-poor state, county and city governments who can't offer the perks and high salaries of the private sector. A study released this month by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers found that "insufficient funding, sophisticated threats and shortage of skilled talent threaten security and put state governments at risk."
 
It Looked Like a Stabbing, but Takata Air Bag Was the Killer
Hien Tran lay dying in intensive care this month after a car accident, as detectives searched for clues about the apparent stab wounds in her neck. An unlikely breakthrough arrived in the mail a week after she died from her injuries. It was a letter from Honda urging her to get her red Accord fixed, because of faulty air bags that could explode. Ms. Tran became at least the third death associated with the mushrooming recalls of vehicles containing defective air bags made by Takata, a Japanese auto supplier. More than 14 million vehicles from 11 automakers that contain the air bags have been recalled worldwide. When Ms. Tran crashed her car, the air bag, instead of protecting her, appeared to have exploded and sent shrapnel flying into her neck, the Orange County sheriff's office said. On Monday, in an unusual warning, federal safety regulators urged the owners of more than five million vehicles to "act immediately" to get the air bags fixed.
 
Poor kids who do everything right don't do better than rich kids who do everything wrong
America is the land of opportunity, just for some more than others. That's because, in large part, inequality starts in the crib. Rich parents can afford to spend more time and money on their kids, and that gap has only grown the past few decades. Indeed, economists Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane calculate that, between 1972 and 2006, high-income parents increased their spending on "enrichment activities" for their children by 151 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, compared to 57 percent for low-income parents. But, of course, it's not just a matter of dollars and cents. It's also a matter of letters and words. Even poor kids who do everything right don't do much better than rich kids who do everything wrong. Advantages and disadvantages, in other words, tend to perpetuate themselves.
 
Welty Weekend kicks off Thursday at MUW
The Eudora Welty Writer's Symposium kicks off this week, as writers from around the country come to the university. The 26th annual event, put on by Mississippi University for Women, begins Thursday evening at Poindexter Hall and continues through Saturday. Louisiana based novelist Tim Parrish will highlight the event, as well as local author Deborah Johnson and famed novelist Robert Edsel. Parrish, who will present the symposium's keynote reading on Thursday, will read from his memoir, "Fear and What Follows: The violent education of a Christian racist," and his new novel, "The Jumper." Johnson will read Friday afternoon from her novel, "The Secret of Magic."
 
Tupelo's Imbler assumes UM alumni presidency
Attending the University of Mississippi seemed like a natural fit for Trentice Imbler. So did accepting an invitation to become president of the university's alumni association. "I was always taught you give back," said the Tupelo State Farm agent, who began her one-year term in that office on Saturday. "...It never occurred to me not to do it. I may be busy, but is the time ever right?" Since graduating in 1978 with a bachelor of science in interior design and a teaching degree, she has remained closely involved with the university -- including service on the Alumni Association's board of directors and its executive committee and as president of its Northeast Mississippi chapter.
 
Oxford police look into multiple sexual assault cases
Oxford investigators are looking into three recent reports of sexual assaults. In one case, a University of Mississippi exchange student told police she was sexually assaulted by three males whom she met. This happened near University Avenue around Sept. 13.
 
Eagle Dining at Southern Miss Conducting Survey on Lifestyles, Preferences
Students, faculty and staff at the University of Southern Mississippi have until Nov. 7 to complete an annual dining services survey sponsored by Eagle Dining that could lead to significant prizes. Eagle Dining is conducting the survey to better understand the lifestyle and preferences of Southern Miss students, faculty and staff. This provides an opportunity for the entire Southern Miss Community to share feedback on their dining experience. "As the food service provider, we are in the business of delivering quality food and a great dining experience at a value," said Eagle Dining Marketing Manager LaShana Sorrell.
 
USM Gulf Park to open fitness center on campus
University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park students will soon have some new amenities to enjoy. Much anticipated fitness and health centers are opening on the campus within a week. While fitness equipment doesn't excite everyone, it's a much welcomed sight for students. Interim Vice President Steve Miller said the university administration understood the students' concerns, and worked quickly to find a solution. "As an administrator, it's important to be able to hear these voices and to be able to act on them," Miller said. "So, we're just excited to have these facilities online, and we're glad to show our commitment to the health and wellness of our faculty, staff, and students."
 
William Carey institutes Ebola awareness plan
As the Ebola virus continues to unfold, William Carey is taking precautions and has instituted specific awareness and prevention plans for the university. "There's just great concerns right now with Ebola, we see it in the twenty-four hour news cycle and its raised some concerns and we just want to be proactive," said William Carey University Associate Dean of pre-clinical sciences Dr. Italo Subbarao. The university said they want to ensure the community that they are raising awareness on the virus and taking precautionary measures. The university will also present remarks on the virus during their weekly chapel service Wednesday.
 
Test shows student satisfaction increasing at Coast community college
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College was rated above the national norms on eight student satisfaction scales on the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory. The test, conducted by MGCCC's Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, showed that 78.9 percent of students were very satisfied, satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their experience at MGCCC, a 2.9 percent increase over last year's survey. Students in online classes were also surveyed and rated the college even higher, with 95 percent of them expressing their overall satisfaction with MGCCC as very satisfied, satisfied or somewhat satisfied.
 
Auburn University to honor faculty members with highest annual awards
Auburn University faculty members are being recognized for outstanding academic achievement with the 2014 Faculty Awards and will be honored at a Thursday ceremony. The awards are presented by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Boosinger and are the highest honors the university gives to faculty.
 
U. of Arkansas Study: Well Connected CEOs Can Be Bad for Firms They Lead
A University of Arkansas study suggests that the more socially connected a chief executive officer is, the less success his firm experiences. The study, by Tomas Jandik, associate professor of finance in the UA's Sam M. Walton College of Business, found that CEOs with extensive social connections to board members, executives at other firms, bankers and other financial market participants initiate more mergers and acquisitions but with poorer results. The study also found these deals result in greater financial losses for both the acquiring firm and the combined entity but greater personal benefit to the well connected CEO.
 
Phi Delta Theta at U. of Florida plans to sell frat house for $6 million
Phi Delta Theta at the University of Florida has an ambitious plan to sell its corner property at Southwest 13th Street and Second Avenue in Gainesville, and use the proceeds to build a new chapter house on the parking lot next door that could go as high as six stories and have a two-story parking garage. The 79-year-old house is listed for $6 million, said Geoff Spiegel, a Gainesville broker and UF alumnus who is on the fraternity's corporation board. The board discussed renovating the venerable mansion, but there were too many problems with the plumbing, the electric, the air conditioning and heating, he said. The streetscape around the historic part of the University of Florida is undergoing a major revitalization.
 
Entrepreneurship Club at U. of Florida finds inspiration in safe living
Every Monday, students from various backgrounds come together at the University of Florida's Entrepreneurship Club to kick around ideas that could possibly become businesses some day. But at a session held recently, the discussion carried an element of fear. Typically, the members discuss each idea in about 10-minute bursts. On this night, personal safety held center stage for the entire two-hour meeting. In response to a number of assaults on women in and around the UF campus in recent weeks, the members focused their out-of-the-box thinking not on the next big invention or business but on ways to keep people safe.
 
Professor to speak at U. of South Carolina on Christianity, history of sex
The University of South Carolina's History Center is hosting a University of Oklahoma professor who is to speak on Christianity and its impact on the history of sex. The speaker is Kyle Harper, the senior vice provost from the University of Oklahoma and a historian of the classical world. His talk is titled, "From Paganism to Prudery and Back Again: What Difference Did Christianity Make on the History of Sex?"
 
U. of Missouri announces forum for provost candidate
A University of Missouri search committee for the school's provost announced a candidate forum in an internal email from the committee's chairwoman Judy Wall. Michele Wheatley, former provost of West Virginia University, will participate in a forum for students, faculty and staff from 3:45 to 5 p.m. Thursday in room 1209 A and B in the MU Student Center, according to the email sent Monday morning. Wheatley stepped down from her position at WVU in June after five years. Most recently, she was one of four finalists for president at Florida State University.
 
U. of Missouri System program creates entrepreneur scholarshi
Shortly after Hank Foley joined the University of Missouri System as vice president for academic affairs, research and economic development in August 2013, he started putting together a plan to boost research at the system's four campuses. Last week, Foley, who also has the title of senior vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at MU, launched a program that gets his plan one step closer to implementation. One of Foley's ideas, the Entrepreneurial Scholars and Internship Program, was made possible with $500,000 in seed money left over from former UM System President Gary Forsee's term specifically for pushing entrepreneurial education. "We're in the beta phase of this program," Foley said.
 
Public-College Leaders Rail Against Education Department's 'Regulatory Culture'
Ted Mitchell, under secretary of education, began his speech to a roomful of higher-education leaders on Monday with a conciliatory tone, stressing that the U.S. Department of Education shared a goal with them of serving the public good. After laying out some details of the department's major policy proposals, Mr. Mitchell invited the audience to tell him how the federal government was impeding new and more effective approaches in higher education. He got an earful from the attendees, mostly college presidents from members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which is holding its annual meeting here this week. The Education Department's own regulatory actions -- its "regulatory culture" -- are the principal impediments to innovation, said George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College, in New Jersey.
 
Study documents the impact of federal research support
To many people at research universities, it may seem self-evident that federal research and development support actually results in scientific breakthroughs. A new paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that the assumption is correct. While the authors don't express surprise that federal support makes a difference, they stress the importance of science advocates knowing that such investments pay off, not just assuming so. It is "quite reasonable" to wonder about the payoff from federal and other research support, the authors write. So they are pleased to say that there is evidence of the payoff.
 
Universities Curtail Health Experts' Efforts to Work on Ebola in West Africa
Tough new restrictions on travel to Ebola-ravaged countries, including a flurry of bans announced in the past several days, by the State University of New York and other groups, have some infectious-disease experts, on campuses and off, worried. The outbreak of the Ebola virus, which started in West Africa but has raised fears of spreading far beyond it, is the kind of global crisis they've spent careers tackling, and if they're willing to climb into the trenches to fight it, they feel they should be allowed to do so. But while their employers---universities and other medical-research institutions---embrace the humanitarian mission these public-health and medical experts are advocating, they face increasing pressure to demonstrate that their campuses are safe, even if the risk that someone will return with Ebola is remote.
 
Steep Drops Seen in Teacher-Prep Enrollment Numbers
Fresh from the United States Air Force, Zachary Branson, 33, wanted a career with a structured day and hours that would allow him to be home in time to watch his kids in the evening. But just a month into his online teacher-preparation program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he had something of a crisis of faith. It was brought on, he said, by the sense of being in the middle of an ideological war that surfaced in everything from state-level education policy on down to his course textbook, which had a distinct anti-standardized-testing bent. Massive changes to the profession, coupled with budget woes, appear to be shaking the image of teaching as a stable, engaging career. Nationwide, enrollments in university teacher-preparation programs have fallen by about 10 percent from 2004 to 2012, according to federal estimates from the U.S. Department of Education's postsecondary data collection.
 
For More Teens, Arrests by Police Replace School Discipline
A generation ago, schoolchildren caught fighting in the corridors, sassing a teacher or skipping class might have ended up in detention. Today, there's a good chance they will end up in police custody. Over the past 20 years, prompted by changing police tactics and a zero-tolerance attitude toward small crimes, authorities have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests. This arrest wave, in many ways, starts at school. Concern by parents and school officials over drug use and a spate of shootings prompted a rapid buildup of police officers on campus and led to school administrators referring minor infractions to local authorities. Police, judges and civil-rights organizations all say schools are increasingly the way young people enter the justice system.


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs ready to defend ranking
Mississippi State received its first No. 1 ranking in school history two weeks ago. This week, the Bulldogs are charged with another first: defending their top ranking. MSU is coming off three straight wins over top 10 opponents and enjoyed a bye week last week. Now the Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0) must gear up for a trek to unranked Kentucky on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. "This is the biggest game we've played so far this season," said MSU coach Dan Mullen. "I said our last game against Auburn was the biggest game played in Mississippi. I think this one is bigger now. Now we're a team that has a target on our backs for the first time. Our guys better know how to handle that and have that unbelievable focus on how big a game this really is."
 
Bulldogs now wearing target on their backs
Mississippi State has spent the past month obliterating stereotypes about the program, ignoring a mediocre history and rising to the top spot in the national rankings for the first time in school history. Now the Bulldogs are learning to embrace life as the favorite. No. 1 Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) travels to face Kentucky (5-2, 2-2) on Saturday, which will be the program's first game as the top-ranked team after the Bulldogs were off last weekend. "We're going into a game with a target on our back," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. "Having to go on the road in a hostile environment ... against one of the most improved teams in college football this year. Our guys better learn how to handle that and make sure we have unbelievable focus about how big of a game this really is."
 
Top-ranked Bulldogs shift focus to Kentucky
After enjoying its second bye week of the season, No. 1 Mississippi State prepares for its second conference road game at Kentucky on Saturday. Mullen said having an open date following three top-10 wins was beneficial to the Bulldogs for the remainder of the season. "It was a good bye-week for us last week. We were able to get some guys rested. We were able to work on some things that need work," he said. "There are a lot of things we can improve on as a team." Saturday's game at Kentucky will be the first time MSU steps on a field boasting the No. 1 ranking. Mullen said his players are increasing focus now that they are taking the center stage in college football.
 
Mississippi State's Jameon Lewis at '100 percent' this week
One of the most impressive aspects of Mississippi State's recent success on its rise to No. 1 is that the Bulldogs have knocked off two straight top 10 opponents without their top wide receiver. Jameon Lewis was sidelined for both Texas A&M and Auburn with a right leg injury. The senior, who entered the year as the top returning receiver in the SEC, sustained the injury during the LSU game and has been in a walking boot ever since. "We expect to have him back at 100 percent for this game," said MSU coach Dan Mullen. "That's the plan and we'll see how he does. We'll probably ease him in and build as the week goes. He's a guy that's experienced and it's going to be great to have him back."
 
Mississippi State ready for second half of season
One game doesn't break a team in the Southeastern Conference. Rather, it's the eight-game conference grind. And Mississippi State isn't even halfway through. "It is the cumulative effect of playing in this conference," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "Four of the top five teams in the country are in the SEC." Mississippi State is one of those teams at No. 1. It recently beat then-No. 2 Auburn on Oct. 11 38-23; the Tigers are ranked No. 5. The Bulldogs still have to play two of those four teams, No. 3 Ole Miss and No. 4 Alabama But they don't face the Crimson Tide and the Rebels until Nov. 15 and Nov. 29, respectively. The second half of the season starts in Kentucky on Saturday (CBS, 2:30 p.m.).
 
UK football notes: Cats 'got whooped' but can't let loss linger, Coach Stoops says
One bad loss can negate five good wins. One bad loss can mean players can start looking around and pointing fingers. They can start to doubt teammates or coaches or themselves. Kentucky is hoping to avoid all of the negatives that could follow a bad 41-3 loss at Louisiana State last weekend. The Cats can't let it linger long, Coach Mark Stoops said, especially with the No. 1 team in the nation coming to Commonwealth Stadium for a nationally televised broadcast this weekend. The coach said he doesn't have any reason to believe that Kentucky (5-1, 2-2 SEC) is shaken heading into a matchup with undefeated Mississippi State on Saturday.
 
Mississippi State women lead after first day of Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational
Being atop the leaderboard has become the norm for Mississippi State, and Monday was no different as MSU opened the Bulldog Invitational at historic Old Waverly Golf Club with a team best 285. The Bulldogs hold a 5-shot lead, as South Florida is second at 290, followed by Samford at 291. "We had perfect weather today," MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. Tuesday rounds begin at 8:30 a.m. and admission is free.
 
Justin Worley incident leads Ole Miss to change security
Ole Miss is changing its postgame security protocol after an incident following Saturday's game against Tennessee. A seemingly drunk Ole Miss fan entered Tennessee's press conference after the Rebels' 34-3 win and asked quarterback Justin Worley a question about Ole Miss' defense. An Ole Miss spokesman said the security guard was stationed in the wrong area to check the credentials of those entering the media room, and that there was a meeting Monday to go over the incident and strengthen the security after the game.
 
Influential Gator booster Stumpy Harris staying out of Muschamp debate
Stumpy Harris is one of the University of Florida's biggest and most influential boosters, but the Orlando-based trial attorney and longtime Gator said he is staying out of the debate about whether athletic director Jeremy Foley should fire embattled football coach Will Muschamp. Harris said he has not tried to influence Foley one way or the other on whether (and when) to fire Muschamp, and that he will continue to support Muschamp as long as he's the Gators' head coach. Harris has been a UF football season ticket holder since 1956 and has known every UF coach personally since Bob Woodruff, he said.
 
Judge rules to strike paragraph related to Pat Summitt in amended Moshak complaint
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton granted a motion by the University of Tennessee to strike a paragraph regarding former Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt in an amended complaint of a lawsuit filed by three former athletic department employees. Jenny Moshak, Heather Mason and Collin Schlosser filed suit in October 2012 against the university, alleging discrimination and retaliation. The amended complaint, filed in June, included a paragraph stating that as part of the athletic department consolidation UT athletic director Dave Hart forced Summitt "into an involuntary early retirement" thereby eliminating "perhaps the only woman at UT with the standing and influence to challenge or oppose the actions of UT and Mr. Hart." The university argued that paragraph was "false" and "scandalous."
 
LSU sprinter accused of raping woman at off-campus party
An All-American sprinter on LSU's track team was arrested Sunday after a woman told investigators he raped her at an off-campus party. Nethaneel Joseph Mitchell-Blake, 20, was booked into Parish Prison early Monday on a count of forcible rape. Mitchell-Blake remained jailed Monday afternoon in lieu of a $100,000 bail. An 18-year-old woman told investigators that Mitchell-Blake raped her early Sunday at his apartment complex. Mitchell-Blake told deputies the sex was consensual, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office documents. An LSU spokesman, Ernie Ballard, released the following statement Monday regarding the incident: "We are aware that the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation about an off-campus incident. We are awaiting more information, but we want to reiterate that LSU has zero tolerance for any criminal activity."



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