Monday, May 13, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Stadium architect Janet Marie Smith speaks at Mississippi State graduation
An internationally known architect of baseball stadiums, Janet Marie Smith, told graduates of Mississippi State University that hard work, passionate conviction and unwavering courage are skills that will help them succeed. Smith spoke during commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday in Starkville. She told graduates they don't have to conquer the world to contribute to humanity; they just need to find something they love to do.
 
Baseball stadium architect shares secrets of success with MSU grads
Mississippi State alumna Janet Marie Smith, a Los Angeles Dodgers executive, believes hard work, passionate conviction and unwavering courage are the skills that will help MSU’s Class of 2013 achieve success. Smith, keynote speaker at the university’s commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday, emphasized those ideals. As an internationally recognized baseball stadium architect, Smith knows how a college degree can offer opportunity. In addition to more than 2,400 degree awards conferred at the commencement services, former Gov. William F. Winter and Madison architect Robert V.M. Harrison received honorary doctoral degrees.
 
College grads take in advice
Two-hundred-seven students received undergraduate degrees and 50 students received graduate degrees from Millsaps College during the 119th commencement Saturday at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson. It was one of a number of Mississippi university and college commencements on Saturday. Among the others were Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, the University of Mississippi, Delta State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Alcorn State University, University of Mississippi-Gulf Coast and Mississippi College. In Starkville, an internationally known architect of baseball stadiums, Janet Marie Smith, told graduates of Mississippi State University that hard work, conviction and unwavering courage are invaluable.
 
Fulbright Offers Insight to MSU Architecture Grads
Harriet Mayor Fulbright, president of the J. William & Harriet Fulbright Center, visited Mississippi State on Friday to emphasize the importance of education to the university’s graduating architects. The widow of Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, Fulbright offered the endowed Dr. William L. and Jean Giles Memorial Lecture for the School of Architecture’s annual Recognition Day. “Mrs. Fulbright believes that education facilitates peace: That countries with good, universal education through the primary grades and beyond are significantly more peaceful,” said Jane Britt Greenwood, associate professor of architecture and MSU Fulbright faculty representative. “Her own teaching experiences exemplify this.”
 
WSJ: MSU yields state’s highest ROI
This weekend, students graduating from Mississippi State University will find out the true value of the investments of time, effort and money they have made in their studies when they leave MSU’s halls and enter the job market. An early indicator is available on The Wall Street Journal’s website. (Subscriber-only content.)
 
MSU-Meridian recognizes Outstanding Graduates
Mississippi State University-Meridian held its spring commencement exercises on Friday at MSU Riley Center with 124 degrees conferred. The graduates were from 40 cities/towns and two states. There were 41 honor graduates and 40 Riley Scholars - individuals who received the Riley Next Step Scholarship, four semesters of tuition and fees, which was established in the fall of 2010 by The Riley Foundation and other generous donors. State Rep. Charles L. Young Jr. was commencement speaker.
 
MSU Meridian Graduation
One-hundred-and-twenty-four graduates marched single file through the MSU Riley Center Friday morning, taking their last steps before being granted the college degree from MSU-Meridian they have worked so hard towards as friends and family looked on. Student Services Manager Marilyn James says that most of their students balance a lot while attending class: "They have families. They're working. They're mothers, fathers, and it's just a lot to get done, but they have worked through it and they are here today to graduate."
 
Three questions with... Charles Garrett, CREATE Foundation senior advisor
Last week, Mississippi State University and the CREATE Foundation announced that public high school students in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties will be able to take a web application development course from MSU. It is part of the partnership between school districts in the three counties created by a $50 million endowment from Toyota. Daily Journal education reporter Chris Kieffer spoke with CREATE Senior Advisor Charles Garrett about the new class.
 
Higher Education Briefs: Professor awarded Fulbright fellowship
A member of Mississippi State’s history faculty is receiving a second Fulbright Fellowship, which will take him to Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in August. Assistant professor Stephen Brain’s nine-month appointment to Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in August will enable him to teach at Southern Federal University while conducting research for his next book on Soviet history. MSU has been recognized as one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars, ranking with Harvard, Columbia and Cornell universities, among others.
 
Higher Education Briefs: Three students chosen for UN internships
Through summer internships with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, three Mississippi State students will be helping people achieve food security. Selected to work with FAO regional offices are Victoria L. Hall of Newton, Ohio, a third-year veterinary medicine major; senior business administration major Casie E. Leavell of Moody, Ala.; and junior Shelly L. Johnston of Mount Olive, a food science, nutrition and health promotion major. Mississippi State and the University of Minnesota are the only two institutions currently selected to participate. The internships are worth up to $4,000 each.
 
Insurance leader Mike Chaney visits Cleveland
“I love what I do. I love serving the state of Mississippi,” said Mike Chaney, Mississippi commissioner of insurance, recently when he visited Cleveland. Chaney was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Cleveland, where he had longtime friendships with several of the members. His topic was to highlight the daunting list of his responsibilities for the state, but he couldn’t begin without longtime friend attorney Kirkham Povall telling a few stories about the Lexington native and Mississippi State University graduate.
 
Marszalek talk to highlight 'Civil War 150' series at Columbus library
The next event in the "Civil War 150" series at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library will be Dr. John Marszalek from Mississippi State University speaking on "The Old Army and the Coming of the Civil War" on Tuesday, May 14 at 2 p.m. Dr. Marszalek will discuss what the United States Army was like in the years before the Civil War, especially the 1850s, and will compare its development with that of American society in general during those years. The library is also hosting traveling exhibit "Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant Saving and Changing the United States: The Impact on Mississippi" which explores Lincoln and Grant's effect on the Magnolia State and the changes in Mississippi following the War. The exhibit was created by the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State.
 
K2 Solutions Inc. forges partnership with Mississippi State University
K2 Solutions, Inc. CEO and President, David Whitmire, this week announced the partnership of his company’s Canine Research and Development Program with Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, a known center of excellence and national leader for veterinary and biomedical research. “We are pleased to be able to bring our veterinary expertise and technologies into a partnership with K2 Solutions,” said Dr. Kent Hoblet, Dean of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “This partnership will enable us to provide veterinary expertise that will promote the health and well-being of animals that selflessly protect our communities.” K2 Solutions, Inc. is an employee-owned defense contracting company with offices in Southern Pines, Derby and Jacksonville, N.C., Twentynine Palms, Calif., and Virginia.
 
Mother of murdered MSU student wants killer put to death
The mother of a murdered Mississippi State University student wants to know why the execution of her daughter's killer has been blocked. "I want him out of my life and the only way that is going to happen is if they put him to death," said Pamela Cole. Cole said she doesn't understand why Willie Manning, the man convicted of killing her daughter, is still alive. "He's not innocent. He is guilty of two counts of murder and got the death sentence. Now, why can't we go forward with this?" Cole said.
 
Ward 2 candidates agree to delay affidavit processing
Ward 2 alderman candidates Sandra Sistrunk and Lisa Wynn both agreed to delay the affidavit-certifying process for their election until 9 a.m. Monday. The outcome of that race still hangs in the balance. Sistrunk led Wynn by two votes after Tuesday, but 11 affidavit ballots remain uncounted. Election commissioners originally rejected six affidavits and approved three Wednesday, but eight protested submissions were also accepted by the group.
 
Bryant would face obstacles running Medicaid
Any effort by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to run the Division of Medicaid after June 30 without a legislatively approved budget or authorization appears to be ripe with problems. “The whole thing is messy,” said House Speaker Pro-Tem Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, who conceded at some point “a whole lot of things must be addressed” by the Legislature. Any attempt to run the $5.4 billion state-federal health care agency without legislative funding would be fraught with constitutional questions.
 
Bryant standing firm on Medicaid
Gov. Phil Bryant will not call a special legislative session regarding Medicaid unless Democrats agree beforehand to renew the program as is without expansion, the Mississippi governor said last week in an interview with The Daily Leader editorial board. "The moment that the Democrats will call me and say we will renew the existing Medicaid plan ... then we'll call a special session on Medicaid," Bryant said. Bryant, described Democrats as holding the state's current Medicaid population hostage.
 
Bryant's Medicaid remarks change tone
Sometimes, someone veers from the script. That seemed to be the case last week when Gov. Phil Bryant said he would try to run Medicaid even if the Legislature failed to pass bills reauthorizing or funding the program. Beyond the cloudy legality of the Republican’s claim, it turns away from the clear-as-glass GOP strategy of blaming Democrats for voting against the program and causing a calamity where 640,000 Mississippians wouldn’t have health care coverage come July 1. But if it’s Bryant’s position that he can keep Medicaid going even if the Legislature doesn’t act, why say it out loud? It’s likely to encourage some Democrats to keep fighting.
 
US Rep. Harper named to head of Library of Congress committee
U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper has been named chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress. The Mississippi Republican has served on the panel since 2009 and was named its leader this past week. The committee has members from both the House and the Senate. It oversees operations of the Library of Congress and management of the congressional art collection and the U.S. Botanic Garden.
 
GOP outrage at IRS grows
Republicans blasted the Internal Revenue Service on Sunday for targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, calling for a full investigation and pressuring the Obama administration to hold the agency accountable. “The bottom line is they used key words to go after conservatives. This is something you have to institute changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said on “Meet the Press.” “There’s got to be accountability for people who were telling lies about it being done.”
 
IRS targeted groups critical of government, documents from agency probe show
At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials singled out for scrutiny not only groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names but also nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general. The documents, obtained by The Washington Post from a congressional aide with knowledge of the findings, show that the IRS field office in charge of evaluating applications for tax-exempt status decided to focus on groups making statements that “criticize how the country is being run” and those that were involved in educating Americans “on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
 
Craft Beer's Overtaxed, Senators Say
Eighteen senators want to encourage drinking craft beer. They’re touting new legislation to slash the excise tax on beer produced by smaller breweries. The bipartisan group, led by Maryland Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin and Maine Republican Susan Collins, wants to cut the excise tax in half, to $3.50 a barrel, on the first 60,000 barrels of beer. Other taxes would also be reduced. The push to reduce this small brewer tax rate comes ahead of American Craft Beers Week, which kicks off on Monday. It is just one of a slew of narrowly targeted tax provisions that could come under scrutiny as part of a bid to overhaul and simplify the federal tax code.
 
$130K raised to restore USM campus
In just 24 hours, the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation successfully raised $130,234.46 to support the restoration of the front lawn of the university’s Hattiesburg campus that was heavily damaged by the Feb. 10 tornado. During the Southern Miss Campus Beautification Day of Giving on May 8, the foundation used the university’s social media platforms to encourage alumni, family and friends to make a gift to the Southern Miss Campus Beautification Campaign. “We are so grateful for the widespread support we received on the Day of Giving to help restore the beauty of our campus,” said Megan Burkes, manager of annual giving and special projects for the USM Foundation.
 
Turning tassels: Gov. Bryant urges USM grads to stay in Miss.
Tassels swayed as about 1,300 graduates walked across the stage to accept their diplomas during two ceremonies Friday at the University of Southern Mississippi, marking the end of one adventure and the beginning of another. Serving as the keynote speaker for both graduation ceremonies Friday, Gov. Phil Bryant looked out into a sea of gold tassels and excited faces and made a request on behalf of the state “Stay in Mississippi. Grow where you have been planted. Mississippi needs you. Each year, we lose a third of our best and brightest as you go to some other state to find your fame and fortune. But opportunity is here.”
 
Ole Miss honors Evers-Williams
Myrlie Evers-Williams on Saturday became the first person in a decade honored with a Humanitarian Award by the University of Mississippi -- the same institution that turned away her late husband from entering law school. The widow of slain Mississippi NAACP leader Medgar Evers was surprised with the award after delivering the university’s 160th commencement address to Ole Miss graduates. The award has been given only twice before. In 2001, Ole Miss honored Jim and Sally Barksdale. Two years later, William and Elise Winter also received the award.
 
Three MUW diplomas make for one Happy Mother's Day
Since 1890, seniors at Mississippi University for Women have gathered each year on graduation day for the Magnolia Chain ceremony, walking from Callaway Hall to Columbus Hall with their fellow graduates before making a mad dash for a magnolia blossom, which is said to bring fortune and romance to the senior who receives it. It is a ceremony steeped in tradition and is especially powerful for those making the walk with family members or alumni. For Linda Cullum and her daughters, Blair Cullum and Bonny Cullum Kennedy, participating in the Mag Chain was an unforgettable experience: The three women were among 483 students who graduated from MUW later in the day.
 
Doors open for Alcorn State graduates
College is a mix of sleepless nights, long hours studying and memorable moments that help define a person. But all of that is for naught if a person doesn't take what they learned and apply it in the real world. "Today, doors of opportunity have been opened for us, but it's up to us to walk through them," salutatorian Rosetta Knight Futrell told graduates Saturday at Alcorn State University. "Let's not stop here, but continue to excel to higher heights." Futrell was one of the 674 Alcornites who received degrees -- a graduating class whose ages ranged from 21 to 62.
 
Former NOLA mayor to Alcorn State graduates: Remember those left out
Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, encouraged Alcorn State University graduates to remember those who are "locked out and left out." Morial spoke during Saturday's commencement ceremony in Lorman. A former New Orleans mayor, Morial told graduates they're standing on the shoulders of those who preceded them at Alcorn, including civil rights leaders Myrlie and Medgar Evers, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, author Alex Haley and the first black U.S. senator, Hiram Revels of Mississippi. Revels became the university's first president when it was founded in 1871.
 
MC, China college sign partnership
Mississippi College and Hubei Polytechnic University in China have agreed to faculty and student exchanges between the two institutions. The agreement sets up a "2 plus 2 degree" program where a student would spend the first two years at HBPU and the last two years taking classes at MC in Clinton. Others would involve Hubei junior faculty sponsored by the Chinese government and the institution. They will come to MC, possibly as early as this fall, to conduct research and teach for either one semester or a year.
 
MC Law School holds commencement
Overcast skies and the threat of rain in downtown Jackson didn’t impact spring commencement for the Mississippi College School of Law. It was business as usual as the class of 2013 joined administrators and law professors for hundreds of photo moments before Friday’s ceremonies at First Baptist Church. With the heavy rains staying away from downtown Jackson, Dean Jim Rosenblatt gave an enthusiastic thumbs up as he joined law students and colleagues on the steps of the church near the Mississippi Capitol.
 
Auburn President Jay Gogue No. 2 on the top 10 list of highest paid public university leaders
It's not Nick Saban money, but Auburn University President Jay Gogue is not doing bad pay wise. The Chronicle of Higher Education is out with its survey of pay for public university presidents and Gogue has made the top 10 list of the highest paid university leaders. In fact, Gogue is No. 2 on the list for the year 2010-11. His compensation that year was $2.5 million.
 
University Presidents Are Prospering, Study Finds
In the 2011-12 fiscal year, the nation’s highest paid public university president was Graham B. Spanier, the president of Pennsylvania State University, who was forced out in November 2011 over his handling of a child sex abuse scandal involving a football coach. According to the annual compensation report by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mr. Spanier was paid $2.9 million in 2011-12, including $1.2 million in severance pay and $1.2 million in deferred compensation. “The fact that Graham Spanier turns out to be the highest paid president in the country says something about the nature of compensation packages for people who leave under a cloud,” said Jack Stripling, the Chronicle reporter who worked on the survey. “Severance agreements are often very lucrative.”
 
U. of Alabama, Shelton State students team up for robotics contest
A team of University of Alabama and Shelton State students has designed and built a robot that could one day help NASA scientists mine on the moon. The team of 19 students will enter the robot, called a Lunabot, in NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition held May 20-24 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA started the contest four years ago to encourage designs for excavators that can mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of mock lunar soil. The team began in August and spent two to three months working on the design. They’ve spent just less than $11,000, said team lead Caleb Leslie.
 
Mother, daughter walk stage to receive bachelor's degrees together
Shelly Brenckman's walk in her daughter's shoes took her through college life and, eventually, across a wooden stage at Reed Arena, where she and Andrea, her 22-year-old daughter, both received their bachelor's degrees from Texas A&M University on Saturday morning. "I think parents would highly benefit from seeing things from their children's perspective -- just take a walk in their shoes, even if it's just for a day," said the 55-year-old Brenckman. "I never complain to my daughter anymore, especially when it comes to time crunches and when [I'm] tired. I've become a lot more sympathetic, from a parent's standpoint, about the responsibilities of being a student."
 
Texas A&M vet school grad off to care for military's animals
To say it was a big week for recent Texas A&M graduate David Marquez would be quite the understatement. On Thursday, the 25-year-old became a doctor, a captain in the U.S. Army and the only military veterinarian from Texas to graduate this year. In a few weeks, the San Antonio-born and raised Texan will be on his way to Fort Drum, about 35 miles from the Canadian border in New York. Marquez will serve as a veterinarian for military dogs and various animals on base. His duties will also include food safety on the base. Marquez's main duty will be taking care of military working dogs that detect explosives, drugs and cadavers, provide security and perform search and rescue.
 
U. of Kentucky dean withdraws from two provost searches
Dan O'Hair, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, has withdrawn as a candidate for provost at the University of Montana and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. O'Hair had been named a finalist for the jobs at both universities. "I am very appreciative that the University of Kentucky has been supportive of my involvement in this process," O'Hair said in a statement Friday. "The friends and colleagues here have made it impossible for me to leave one of the strongest, fastest-growing colleges at the university."
 
New security system in works at U. of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky is implementing new security measures over the next several months in an effort to improve safety for students and workers. Students received an email from the school this month outlining details of the plan and new policies that will go into effect over the next nine months. UK Police Chief Joe Monroe told WKYT-TV that the school is spending nearly $5 million on the project. "We're putting in numerous cameras around campus that will give us the capability to look and see what crimes are occurring on campus and capture security footage to deter crime," Monroe said.
 
U. of Florida's alcohol policy taking toll on frats?
On Sept. 12, 2011, University of Florida police responded to two calls about intoxicated students. One student, at the Broward Hall dormitory on the UF campus, couldn't remember her last name or where she was. She just gave her birth date over and over. She was later taken to Shands at the University of Florida. The other, at Springs Complex, another UF housing unit, was coherent when police arrived but vomited several times. The students told UPD they had been drinking at the same fraternity party. Both were 18 years old, under Florida's legal drinking age of 21. The young women, however, did not face any student code of conduct violations or other academic sanctions. That's because the incidents, just two of many cases of underage drinking that the Gainesville Police Department and UPD handle each year, came shortly after UF adopted a Medical Amnesty Policy.
 
Reitz Union redesigned with U. of Florida students in mind
For 46 years, thousands of University of Florida students have walked, danced, displayed posters, gathered petition signatures, and run Student Government campaigns on the Colonnade connecting the J. Wayne Reitz Union and the Constans Theater. Come July, bulldozers will start demolishing the Colonnade and the flight of offices overhead to make room for a $75 million, 100,000-square-foot, three-story addition that will connect the two iconic buildings that make up the heart of student life and activities at UF. Plans also include renovation of 20,000 square feet of existing space. For Dave Kratzer, vice president for student affairs, it's a poignant and personal event. When he was hired as the director of the Reitz Union in 1986, building the offices over the colonnade was his first project.
 
Machen, U. of Florida trustees pleased with legislative support
University of Florida President Bernie Machen told the Faculty Senate on Thursday that he was pleased with the results of the legislative session, which ended a week ago with UF getting the legislative backing and financial support to pursue Top 10 status. Machen also said the session resulted in the restoration of funding for higher education, pay raises and benefits, and it produced money to help pay for deferred construction and maintenance projects — including $15 million toward construction of a chemistry building. "We stemmed the tide and made real progress with the pre-eminence bill," Machen said Thursday at the end of a presentation on the session. "We are moving as fast as we can be moving. This is a good circumstance for the university, compared to the last several years."
 
Will Florida governor veto tuition hike?
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made his dislike of tuition hikes clear, likening them to tax increases. But lawmakers defied his opposition and sent him a $74.5 billion budget for next year that contains a 3 percent tuition increase for state universities and colleges. The question is what will he do with it? And, perhaps more importantly, can he do anything about it? On Friday, Scott did not definitively say he would veto the tuition increase. But he came very close. Under the new budget, which takes effect on July 1, the per-credit tuition for university students would rise by $3.10, which would equate to about a $93 annual increase for a student taking 30 credit hours. That does not include additional fee increases that are tied to the tuition rate.
 
LSU hospitals could need to pay about $42 million as employees are laid off
When the LSU health system turns over state public hospitals to various private operators this summer, the employees will be owed $29 million in "termination pay," while the system could have to pay out another $13 million in unemployment costs, a new report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor found. LSU officials told the auditor's office they are aware of this $42 million expense and are working with Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to find funding.
 
UM System's strategic plan draft involves collaboration among campuses
The four campuses in the University of Missouri System have until Thursday to respond to a draft of the system's strategic plan for the next five years. At the University of Missouri, versions of the draft have been circulating since December, MU Faculty Council chairman Harry Tyrer said. The system has been collaborating with campuses to generate ideas for the plan, but this is the first time the campuses have been asked to give formal feedback on specific proposed actions. The actions include sharing faculty across campuses, opening a federal relations office in Washington, D.C., and creating a central bank that would be used to fund programs and other investments related to the system's strategic plan and those being created by each campus.
 
Don't burden taxpayers with underfunded prepaid tuition (Opinion)
A Greenwood Commonwealth editorial asserts: " State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, who encouraged the shutdown of Mississippi's prepaid college tuition program last year, wants to open it to new participants, probably in 2014. Parents and grandparents should be forewarned: Those who set aside money for college in the coming years will not get as good a deal as people already in the program. ...The state needs to build safeguards into the program when it reopens. It does this by reducing its anticipated investment returns. However, that means the cost of participation may need to be even higher than officials have discussed so far. Mississippi taxpayers are presently on the hook to pay for any inability of the program to meet its future obligations. College is a fine investment, but not one that should require state assistance for prepaid tuition."
 
The second harshest penalty | Slim Smith (Opinion)
The Dispatch's Slim Smith writes: "Tuesday, I made the drive to Parchman to report on the execution of Willie Jerome Manning, who was convicted in 1994 of the 1992 murder of a pair of Mississippi State students in Starkville. About a half-hour after I arrived, the word came that the state's Supreme Court had issued a stay of execution, and six hours of my day was devoted to a story I would not write. I am not complaining. First, it would be a pretty sad commentary on my humanity to express disappointment over not having the opportunity to watch someone die. Second, I was able to leave when I wanted. As you might recall, the last time I went to a prison they kept me."
 
Fairness at heart of online tax debate | Dennis Seid (Opinion)
The Daily Journal's Dennis Seid writes: "If the studies and number-crunching are correct, Mississippi has lost more than $600 million in uncollected online sales taxes. So, those great buys off Amazon and eBay may be great for your pocketbook, but not so great for the coffers of local and state governments. And, of course, local retailers also missed out on critical sales. Proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act say it levels the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers and their online counterparts."
 
Obama administration seeks return of state education funds
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "The latest apparent impact of the so-called 'sequestration legislation' -- the complex set of automatic federal spending cuts put into law by President Barack Obama in August 2011 -- is an effort to force states and local governments to return funds appropriated in lieu of state and local taxes on federal lands. The U.S. Forest Service is using sequestration as the basis for trying to force dozens of states to return $17.9 million in federal subsidies. Under the gun are so-called county payments. County payments are a federal-state revenue sharing plan that has been in place virtually since the inception of the national forest program by President Teddy Roosevelt."


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs rally to avoid sweep
Mississippi State did more than salvage a little pride on Sunday. The No. 21 Bulldogs rallied from a six-run deficit to knock off rival Ole Miss, 7-6, at Swayze Field in the series finale. The win kept the Rebels from pulling off a sweep, gave MSU something to feel good about and kept the two teams locked together in the SEC standings. MSU (37-15, 14-13 SEC) got Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl out of the game in the sixth inning and staged a furious rally, with Adam Frazier and his four RBIs playing a big role. On the mound, reliever Ben Bracewell (1-1) tossed five shutout innings to keep the Rebels (35-17, 14-13) at bay. “I’m not a historian, I don’t know about the entire history of this series, but that’s got to be one of the all-time great gut-check comebacks,” MSU coach John Cohen said.
 
MSU gets to UM ace Wahl, roars back for memorable win
Mississippi State knew Ole Miss’ strongest punch would be its first. Bobby Wahl, a projected first-round pick in this year’s MLB amateur draft, started the game for the Rebels. Without his best stuff, the junior still acted like the ace of the staff. But Wahl lasted 5 1/3 innings. That left 3 2/3 for the Bulldogs to punch back. “Coming out, knowing that we were facing a first-rounder to start the game,” MSU junior Adam Frazier said. “When you get him out of the game, you know they don’t have any more first-rounders in their bullpen.” Mississippi State beat four runs out of the Ole Miss bullpen en route to a 7-6 come-from-behind win at Swayze Field on Sunday. When Wahl took the mound in the fifth his team led 6-0. The last time MSU erased a larger deficit came on March 28, 2010, against Georgia, when the Bulldogs trailed 10-2 against Georgia.
 
Bulldogs rally for victory over Rebels
Trailing 6-0 in the sixth inning, Mississippi State rallied for a 7-6 victory over arch-rival Ole Miss in the final game of a three-game series After winning a pair of close games Saturday, the Rebels were trying for their first series sweep of the Bulldogs here since the 2005 season. Instead, the Bulldogs seized control with five runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the seventh inning. MSU is now 37-15 overall and 14-13 in league play, while Ole Miss is 35-17 and 14-13. MSU enters the final weekend of the series tied for third place in the Western Division standings and fifth place overall.
 
Blame all around, Ole Miss' Mathis says
Ole Miss claimed after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to Mississippi State that this was a total team defeat -- “It’s everybody’s fault,” Tanner Mathis said. But the No. 20 Rebels (35-17, 14-13 SEC) did have a 6-0 lead after five innings, and were 12 outs from a sweep of the No. 13 Bulldogs (37-15, 14-13). So much of the blame will be placed solely on the Ole Miss bullpen, which was on the mound when all seven runs were scored, and less on an offense that did record just one hit in the last five innings. “We’ve been really good when you look at the staff in some regards,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “If you look at the big picture and not the snapshot, it’s probably the strength. But certainly the last couple of weeks we’ve struggled. But that’s a real good State team and the last couple of innings of the last two days, they’ve been pretty good.”
 
Women's golf: Bulldogs make history
Mississippi State broke new ground for its women’s golf program on Saturday, qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time. Sophomore Ally McDonald, from Fulton, shot a career-best 68 for her third under-par round to win the NCAA Central Regional and help the Bulldogs to a third-place team finish. McDonald played the front nine in 33 and survived a double bogey on the par-5 18th. She helped offset that with five birdies and an eagle 2. The NCAA Championships will be played at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., on May 21-24.
 
MSU men’s tennis gains NCAA Sweet 16
It’s been 12 years since the Mississippi State men’s tennis program has reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Team Championship. Saturday, the 10th ranked Bulldogs (18-9) punched their ticket for the Round of 16, downing the No. 27 Harvard Crimson (19-6) 4-1 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. State will face No. 6 Tennessee next Thursday in Urbana, Ill.
 
SEC schools could see huge payout from new network
Leave it to Mike Slive to outdo himself as the leader of a premier Division I athletic conference. When he negotiated and signed the unprecedented 15-year, $2 billion-plus agreement to televise games with ESPN in 2008, it was believed the Southeastern Conference commissioner had secured his legacy. In 16 months, the SEC will have a television network that will take it into new territory as it tries not to be overtaken financially by another league. "I think when Commissioner Slive negotiated that deal with ESPN, they thought that would never be topped," MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin said. "This deal takes everything he has built the SEC into, which is in my opinion is the most dominant conference in all of collegiate sports, to a completely new level."
 
Miss. State kicks it up a notch, sends personalized Mother’s Day recruiting letter to prospect’s mom
This is getting ridiculous. As recruiting coaches look for new, creative ways to spread their very specific and self-interested gospel, they’ve taken to pushing the envelope with bold statements delivered directly in their chosen prospect’s youth friendly lexicon. In other words, there is a whole lot of “You’ve got swag!” flying through the USPS these days. Now, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen -- the man leading a coaching staff which legendarily told one player “You’re a baller!” and sent "a can of Swag” letter to another earlier in 2013 -- may have elevated the entire letter-barraging game to a new level, sending a Mother’s Day card to the Mom of one prized recruit.
 
Former QB Lee returns home to work for FCA at MSU
Tyson Lee was sitting in a meeting room at the NFL's St. Louis Rams evaluating a draft prospect when he couldn't prevent an ugly feeling from entering his mind. "We were turning this kid's draft card over in our board because of his character issues and I just kept thinking, 'OK, if we're not drafting him, we can't be the only ones thinking this right?' " Lee said. "I just kept thinking after that meeting one question: What's going to happen to that young person?" That question and Lee's desire to help people before it's too late led the former Mississippi State University quarterback to come home. Two weeks ago, Lee agreed to leave his scouting assistant position with the Rams for a full-time position with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at MSU.
 
Boyd eager to begin new chapter with Packers
Josh Boyd has lived in Mississippi all 23 years of his life. After having nearly two weeks to let it soak in that he'd be leaving the South, he was off to his next destination. Boyd's airplane was about to land Thursday when he looked out to the landscape in Green Bay and had a thought. "I'm like, 'Oh, this kind of looks like Mississippi a little bit,' " Boyd said. "But once I got here and we came back out and it was cold and it just started raining, it was like, 'Oh, OK, it's going to be a little bit different.'" It will be different in so many ways for the former Mississippi State University defensive lineman, who will start a new life in Green Bay after the Packers used one of their fifth-round picks to select Boyd in April's NFL draft.
 
U. of Georgia football tickets a benefit legislators lose in 2014
When recently signed ethics legislation goes into effect in January, state officials will lose a boon that tallied more than $14,000 in 2012. That boon came in the form of tickets to football games from University System of Georgia lobbyists. The legislation, signed last week -- almost a year after voters in both summer 2012 primaries overwhelmingly supported ethics reform -- will bar all event tickets and gifts of more than $75 to elected officials, costing the university a tool to bond with legislators and policymakers, officials said.
 
SEC Network's Launch Spells End of Schools' Broadcast Rights, Pay-per-view
ESPN and the Southeastern Conference recently announced that the launch of the SEC Network in 2014 would mean 1,000 live sporting event broadcasts per year. That number represents about 450 games on TV and 550 more distributed digitally. In all the coverage we’ve read, the launch is hailed as the beginning of something big for the SEC and member schools like the University of Arkansas. What we haven’t read is that the launch of the SEC Network is also the beginning of the end for schools having their own video broadcast rights.
 
So much more to Alyne Payton than just ‘Walter’s mom’
Syndicated columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "Sunday was Mother’s Day, and what follows concerns a Hall of Fame mother, surely one of the most warm, loving, caring mothers who ever graced this planet. If mothers wore jerseys, Alyne Payton’s number would long ago have been retired."



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