Tuesday, September 30, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Theatre MSU to Present 'The Government Inspector' Next Week
For its first production of the 2014-15 school year, Mississippi State's Theatre MSU program is presenting "The Government Inspector," playwright Jeffrey Hatcher's adaption of Nikolai Gogol's play. Taking place on the McComas Hall main stage, the Oct. 8-10 performances begin at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 12. The play is directed by John Nara of Naples, Florida, a visiting assistant professor in the communication department. He recently received a master's degree in fine arts from the University of Alabama. Theatre MSU is a program of the MSU communication department.
MSU Riley Center's 2014/2015 Educational Season Begins Friday
The MSU Riley Center's 2014/2015 Educational Season, which mixes fun with learning for area schoolchildren, begins Friday in downtown Meridian. It will feature seven extraordinary theatrical experiences tailored for youngsters from kindergarten through high school. The shows range from a musical about a boy who gets squashed flat and decides to make the best of it to a stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby. "The MSU Riley Center believes that access to the arts is essential for all children and works to provide every child in our area with exceptional and ongoing arts experiences," said Dr. Charlotte Tabereaux, the center's education director.
Disaster readiness drill Tuesday in Oktibbeha County
Emergency management personnel in Oktibbeha County will hold a drill Tuesday morning as part of the America Preparathon. Officials say they will set off warning sirens and send text alerts at 10 a.m. America's PrepareAthon is an opportunity for individuals, organizations and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions and exercises.
Travis retiring as leader of international trade group
Barbara Travis is retiring Tuesday after 13 years as the executive director of the Mississippi World Trade Center. The Mississippi World Trade Center is a nonprofit organization that fosters international trade and economic growth in Mississippi and the Mid-South region. The center was created in 2001 and Travis was its first executive director. Travis has a bachelor's degree from Mississippi University for Women, a master of arts degree from Mississippi State University and has completed coursework for a doctorate in international development from the University of Southern Mississippi.
AG gets extension on response to Musgrove lawsuit
Attorney General Jim Hood has been granted additional time to respond on behalf of the state to a lawsuit filed by former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to force the state to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. Hood's deadline to file the response was Monday before Musgrove amended his lawsuit on Friday. That amendment gives the AG additional days until Oct. 6 to file the response. Musgrove amended his lawsuit Friday in Hinds County Chancery Court to add two additional school districts -- Sunflower County and Jackson city -- to the legal case. The addition of those districts makes 21 that have joined the lawsuit. Musgrove's lawsuit asks for school districts that have joined the lawsuit to receive from the state the amount they have been underfunded since fiscal year 2010.
Tea party challenger in Mississippi Senate race not going down easy
The vicious primary between state senator Chris McDaniel and veteran Sen. Thad Cochran demonstrates that tea party divisions persist in the Republican party. And the race still isn't over, with weeks to go before the general election. As the court challenge winds through the Mississippi judicial process, Republicans in the state are still divided over the two choices, and the general election is just days away. The NewsHour, in collaboration with Mississippi Public Broadcasting, recently interviewed a cast of players involved in this political drama.
'We Shall Overcome' billboard uses Confederate flags
On the side of Interstate 55 in Jackson, facing south and visible to northbound traffic, is a large sign that bears mixed messages. "We Shall Overcome," it says, quoting a protest song that became the anthem of the Civil Rights movement in the 50s and 60s. But the letters are made of Confederate battle flags, which most people consider to be racist symbolism because it stands for the Confederate states during the Civil War. An email claims that the piece is the beginning of a series of visual and theatrical artworks intended to spark discussion about Mississippi culture. The billboard certainly has sparked discussion. Some people are adamantly against it, saying they don't think it's a good idea for people from California or New York to come in and start such controversy.
White House fence-jumper made it far deeper into building than previously known
The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident. An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher's office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family's living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.
Once targeted, Global Hawk drone now hidden weapon in U.S. airstrikes
The squabbling between the Pentagon and Capitol Hill over whether to kill the biggest of the military's drones -- the Global Hawk -- is finished for the moment, with the remotely piloted surveillance aircraft and its builder emerging as the victors. Now there's every indication that the rise of the Islamic State has offered the pilotless wonder a chance to show its stuff. The fuselages for the Global Hawk, whose latest version costs $80 million not counting development costs, are built by a staff of some 26 employees at Northrop-Grumman's plant in Moss Point.
Drone industry seeks box-office breakthrough
The drone industry is ready for its close-up. Advocates for unmanned aircraft systems are buzzing about the government's decision to allow major Hollywood studios to use them for footage -- a technique that has already been used to dazzling effect in blockbusters "Skyfall" and "Harry Potter." Industry insiders are hopeful that the movie magic the drones create would ease public fears and lead to wider adoption of the technology. "It's a huge milestone for the industry," said Mario Mairena, a top lobbyist at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an industry trade group. Companies and industries have filed at least 40 petitions for the drone exemption already, and that number is likely to increase.
Tens of thousands join Hong Kong protests, roiling financial markets
Spurred by the decision Sunday to use tear gas and pepper spray on pro-democracy protesters, tens of thousands of people joined sit-ins across Hong Kong on Monday in an outpouring of discontent that's likely to disrupt this former British colony for days, if not longer, and force a confrontation with Beijing over how it will be ruled. There was no official estimate of how many people were on the street, but some protest groups estimated the crowd had reached 200,000 and possibly more. Whatever the size, the protests -- and the international attention they received -- rattled the world's financial markets.
Sons of Confederate Veterans files petition against UM
The Mississippi Division Sons of Confederate Veterans has filed a petition for injunction against the University of Mississippi in hopes of deterring the street name change from Confederate Drive to Chapel Lane. Natchez attorney Holmes Sturgeon, alumnus of the University of Mississippi Law School and legal representative of the organization, filed the petition Sept. 18 in Lafayette County Chancery Court. "The purpose of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is to see that the memory of the Confederate soldiers is kept alive," Sturgeon told The Daily Mississippian in a telephone interview. "Therefore, there is no real compromising on issues like this, in my opinion."
Confederate organization sues Ole Miss
The University of Mississippi says it's not violating the law when it comes to altering symbols of the Old South on campus. That comes in response to the lawsuit filed by a Confederate group against the university. The university's so-called Diversity Plan called for adding historical markers to campus symbols of the Old South and renaming two streets. Those actions ruffled the feathers of a conservative group, the Mississippi Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, who filed a lawsuit this month in Lafayette County Chancery Court, seeking an injunction. A hearing in the matter is set for Oct. 27.
East Central Community College wins $2.5M workforce training grant
The White House announced East Central Community College in Decatur will receive $2.5 million of $450 million in job-driven training grants going to nearly 270 community colleges across the nation. The grants will provide community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to partner with employers to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that will help job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in industries like information technology, health care, energy and advanced manufacturing.
Evers Exhibit Opens at East Central Community College
An exhibit honoring a Mississippi civil rights icon opened Monday at East Central Community College. The Medgar Evers Exhibit, "This Is Home," debuted at the Mamie Ethel Burton Library on the campus of ECCC in Decatur. It features the life and legacy of the Decatur native as he fought for civil rights here in Mississippi and across the nation. East Central president, Dr. Billy Stewart, says this exhibit stands for the rights that Evers sought for all Mississippians. "We want to be sure that we acknowledge that and recognize that and just celebrate what Medgar Evers was all about, his stance for equality and for unity," said Stewart.
U. of South Carolina reports to parents early incidents false, overall crime is down
A University of South Carolina official tried to reassure parents that crime on campus this year is down and that some recent incidents, including the armed robbery of a student on the Horseshoe, turned out to be "just stories." Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs, said in an information packet handed out to 10,000 parents at USC's Parents Weekend and later shared with students and faculty that crime on campus, and within a couple blocks of it, has dropped in 2014 compared with the previous two years. The crime report, which covers January 2012 through Sept. 24, 2014, is done by calendar year.
UGA students robbed in separate weekend incidents, nine suspects arrested
Two University of Georgia students were robbed early Sunday in separate incidents, Athens-Clarke County police said. The robberies occurred just a couple of days after UGA police issued a warning about students being robbed and offered tips on how to reduce chances of becoming victims. The first robbery occurred shortly after 12:30 a.m. A supervisor of the Athens-Clarke County police Special Operations unit was son West Broad Street when he saw a 25-year-old student between Pulaski and Newton streets, police said. The officer noticed that the student was being followed by two teens, police said, and when the student crossed the street so did the teens. The second incident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. as the victim was walking from downtown to his home on Trail Creek Street, police said.
Nominee speaks about her Hispanic heritage during visit to U. of Florida
Annette Taddeo is proud of her Hispanic heritage and makes no bones about it. "I love our music. I love to dance," Taddeo, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, told a group of about 50 who braved the rainy weather Monday night to hear her speak at Pugh Hall as keynote speaker for Hispanic Heritage Month at the University of Florida. "Most politicians are not supposed to say that but I don't care." The food. The flavors. The colors. She loves it all. She even pointed out the orange dress she was wearing. She is the running mate of Charlie Crist, who is campaigning against Republican Gov. Rick Scott for governor. The election is Nov. 4. Taddeo is the first Hispanic female lieutenant governor nominee for Florida.
Private Institutions in Arkansas See Gains in Enrollment
While the state's public institutions of higher learning experienced a 1.5 percent drop in enrollment, Arkansas' 12 independent, or private, institutions saw a little more than a 2 percent increase in enrollment. This is according to preliminary numbers released Sept. 18 by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Final numbers will not be available until the semester's end. But Shane Broadway, ADHE director, does not expect significant changes. Overall, higher education enrollment is down 1 percent from a year ago, according to enrollment numbers on the 11th day of classes. Enrollment at public, four-year universities was up 0.3 percent, while public, two-year institutions endured a 4.7 percent drop in enrollment.
U. of Missouri receives USDA innovation grants totaling $831,080
The University of Missouri received two U.S. Department of Agriculture innovation grants totaling more than $830,000 to help implement university-bred ideas on family farms. The grants focus on building soil health and wildlife habitat using cover crops and on using waste heat recovery in poultry barns. The innovation grants are part of a matching program. MU has to meet the USDA halfway with cash or in-kind contributions -- such as resource use --- for each of the grant recipient projects. State resource conservationist Dwaine Gelnar said unlike most grants that help fund research, the innovation grants help fund the transfer of innovative ideas to private farms to benefit producers.
Should colleges ban fraternities and sororities?
This month was not kind to the already-embattled image of the American college fraternity. And with research and college health experts noting that incidents of sexual assault and high-risk drinking are particularly prevalent among fraternity and sorority members than other students on campus, a question inevitably arises: Why don't colleges just do away with Greek life completely? Banning fraternities -- with their deep pockets and even deeper roots -- from large state universities would be a difficult (if not impossible) endeavor. But some say that abolishing fraternities and sororities would not help curb instances of sexual assault and heavy drinking -- and could actually exacerbate them.
CHARLIE MITCHELL (OPINION): Entitlements defy the financial laws of nature
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "On radio, in books and personal appearances, Dave Ramsey has become America's best-known preacher of the joys of personal financial independence. He always invites the faithful to testify. Properly cued, individuals and couples who were saddled by debt before seeing the light are invited to shout 'I'M DEBT FREE' as loudly as they can. It is a liberating moment. Can't help but feel really good for these folks and what they have accomplished. But the statement is not accurate. Not exactly..."
GEOFF PENDER (OPINION): Will McDaniel faithful cut off noses to spite... RINOs?
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "Does the tea party in Mississippi and elsewhere have a long game, or will it try to burn the house down for some instant gratification? The general congressional elections will tell. The American Spectator's David Catron has a really good piece that contemplates 'The difference between whiners and winners' with the tea party faithful vowing to sit out 2014 general congressional elections -- such as the Mississippi U.S. Senate -- because their candidates lost in Republican primaries."

Mullen: We've learned from watching A&M
Most defenses in the Southeastern Conference are still attempting to adjust to Kevin Sumlin's high octane offense in his third season at Texas A&M. After all, the sixth-ranked Aggies are averaging 51.2 points and 594.6 yards of offense in getting off to a 5-0 start overall, 2-0 in league play. But for Dan Mullen and No. 12 Mississippi State, facing Sumlin's offense is old hat. Saturday will mark the fifth time in Mullen's six years that he and Sumlin will square off on opposing sidelines, having faced him twice at Houston in 2009-10 and then the past two seasons at A&M.
Mississippi State 'hyped up' for Texas A&M after bye week
Music echoed off the Palmeiro Center a little bit louder than usual on Monday. Mississippi State resumed practice there after it took the weekend off. It was the first Saturday without a game for MSU since Aug. 23. With No. 6 Texas A&M on the horizon, MSU can't leisurely reacquaint itself to the gridiron. Mississippi State returned to practice in full force. "Practice really was kind of hyped up," senior wide receiver Robert Johnson said. "We know what kind of stretch we got these next four weeks. It's straight (Southeastern Conference) ball. Every practice is going to have to be A-plus."
Bulldogs ready to forget past, focus on Texas A&M
It didn't take long for Mississippi State's coaching staff to get its message across on Monday. When MSU senior offensive lineman Ben Beckwith reported for practice on Monday afternoon, the Yazoo City native says MSU offensive line coach John Hevesy shared a few words of wisdom. "Last week was big for us coming off that win at LSU, which we expected to get," said Beckwith following Monday's practice. "But Coach Hevesy told us before practice today that nobody cares about last week. The only thing that matters is this week, and what we do next." That opportunity has arrived for the Bulldogs. Nine days after earning a 34-29 win over then-No. 8 LSU in Baton Rouge, MSU returned to its game-week preparation on Monday afternoon as the No. 12 Bulldogs now turn their attention to a visit this Saturday from No. 6 Texas A&M.
Mississippi State entertains Texas A&M in Top 15 football matchup
After knocking off nationally-ranked LSU on the road followed by an open date, the No. 12 Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0 sec) return to Starkville to host No. 6 Texas A&M (5-0, 2-0) for the first top-15 matchup in Davis Wade Stadium since 1986. The Bulldog defense, which boasts the No. 8 rush defense in the nation surrendering just 82.5 yards per game, welcomes a top-ranked Aggie offense that collects 594 yards while scoring 51 points per game. "They have weapons everywhere," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. Mullen said in addition to controlling A&M's offense with defense, his squad seeks to maintain the time of possession offensively in order to keep the Aggie offense off the field.
'Good bye week' for Bulldogs
Mississippi State players enjoyed a rare three-day weekend during their bye week, but Monday it was back to business as the Bulldogs continued preparations for No. 6 Texas A&M. The 12th-ranked Bulldogs practiced just two days during their bye week and held a team weight lifting session on Thursday before taking the remainder of the weekend off. MSU reported back Sunday evening and conducted its first practice of the week on Monday. "We had a good bye week," said MSU coach Dan Mullen. "We had the opportunity to look at a bunch of things and clean up a bunch of things. We also got to get guys away and rested both physically and mentally. Obviously we're going to need that for this week's matchup."
Unbeaten Mississippi State receives high marks on defense
With the Mississippi State football team's 34-29 win at LSU and subsequent bye week, the Bulldogs are one-third of the way through the season. All the early returns are good, as MSU has climbed to 4-0 and is No. 12 in The Associated Press Top 25. Here is a deeper look at each of MSU's position groups on offense and a grade for their work. Today, The Dispatch will grade each of MSU's position groups on defense.
Ben Beckwith set to start at center vs. Texas A&M
Ben Beckwith is taking the first-team snaps at center as Mississippi State transitions into game preparation for Texas A&M. Beckwith started the first four games of the season at guard. He'll move to center due to a one-game suspension to Dillon Day. "Ben going in at center right now is a great leader," MSU offensive line coach John Hevesy said. "He's been around here for five years, done a lot of things. We have all the faith in the world in him."
Huge Oxford, Starkville crowds to require patience
As Mississippi prepares to host the biggest single day of college football in its history, both Oxford and Starkville are preparing for possible record crowds. Eager fans not only will pack the football stadiums at Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi, they also will jam both campuses and clog both towns. Officials urge patience. Mark Ballard, captain of operations for the Starkville Police Department, said logistics will be similar to a regular game-day weekend with the addition of Friday night's Bulldog Bash, which will cause areas of Starkville's Cotton District to be cleared on Friday. "With the national implications and the stadium expansion, we expect much more traffic," Ballard said. "It is a good thing, but we are trying to ensure everyone is safe."
Tupelo expects spillover from big game weekend
With hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments filled to capacity in Oxford and Starkville for Saturday's biggest Mississippi football weekend ever, the All-America City is opening its arms to as many fans and media as it can. Visitors will be coming from near and far to stay in local hotels, dine in local restaurants and shop in local stores. The economic impact will be bigger in the college towns, but Tupelo stands to benefit from the ripple effects. In Starkville, No. 12 Mississippi State hosts sixth-ranked Texas A&M at 11 a.m., while in Oxford, No. 11 Ole Miss hosts third-ranked Alabama at 2:30 p.m. "This year with the success of Ole Miss and Mississippi State we anticipate more travel groups for both visiting teams and fans of our local schools," said Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Neal McCoy.
Marching Mizzou disappointed by canceled flight, happy about Tigers' victory
Some of Marching Mizzou's members were all packed and ready to go. Others were finishing up. Some were on their way to Hearnes Center's parking lot. At about 3:30 p.m. Friday, buses were supposed to shuttle 54 bandmates and their director from the Hearnes lot to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The commercial flight was scheduled to depart that night and touch down at Chicago Midway International Airport before traveling on to South Carolina. The students were supposed to play in the Tigers' pep band at Williams-Brice Stadium for Missouri's Southeastern Conference schedule-opener with the Gamecocks on Saturday. Except the buses never came.
Four Kentucky football players suspended a game for air-gun incident on campus
Four Kentucky football players, including a key running back and wide receiver, have been suspended for Saturday's game for their part in an incident that locked down part of campus late Sunday night. Freshmen Dorian Baker, Drew Barker, Tymere Dubose and Stanley "Boom" Williams will sit out against South Carolina and will face additional internal team discipline for the violation of team rules as they related to an "airsoft pistol" incident. Early Monday morning, UK released surveillance images of what it called "persons of interest" related to a reported shooting near the Kirwan/Blanding complex. No one was injured in the incident. UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said police recovered a suspected weapon in the incident -- described as an "airsoft pistol" -- late Sunday night on UK's South Campus near where the shots were reported.
Changes in store for Vanderbilt's Memorial Gym?
A Vanderbilt spokesman said the athletics senior staff was "not even aware" of a report that Memorial Gym's unique coaching boxes could be extended to the sideline of the court. Brett Dawson, who covers Kentucky basketball for Rivals.com and Yahoo Sports, reported on Monday that the NCAA approved a waiver, as requested by the Southeastern Conference, that would extend the coach's box of Memorial Gym from the baseline to the free-throw line extended. Memorial Gym has long had a unique layout with benches located along the baseline rather than the traditional spot on the sideline.
F.C.C. Appears Poised to Loosen Sports Blackout Rule, Despite Protests by the N.F.L.
For decades, football fans in various markets wondered whether, come Sunday, they would be able to watch their lamentable but beloved team on television. If tickets to that week's game were not sold out, the National Football League could keep the game off television in the local market as a way to protect gate receipts. But the Federal Communications Commission appears ready to loosen some of those restrictions on Tuesday, allowing cable and satellite providers to show the game regardless of the number of tickets sold -- and upsetting the N.F.L. in the process. Ending the F.C.C.'s so-called blackout rule, now nearly 40 years old, would allow cable and satellite companies to get around league rules that call for a team's game to be blacked out on the local broadcast channel if the game is not sold out.

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