Wednesday, May 15, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mississippi State officials preparing for planned power outage
Most of the Starkville campus of Mississippi State will be impacted by two power outages planned by the university's public utility providers. The Starkville Electric Department, in conjunction with the Tennessee Valley Authority, has announced plans for two city-wide power outages on Sunday [May 19] and June 23. The planned outages will begin at 12:01 a.m. on each of the dates, and each outage is expected to last about five hours, according to the SED. MSU Director of University Relations Sid Salter said that the university had been advised that Starkville Electric intends to keep the power to the MSU Research Park online during the outage, but that the main campus -- including the College of Veterinary Medicine -- would be impacted.
 
Southern Miss, MSU Space Cowboys team up on rocket parts project
The Mississippi Polymer Institute at the University of Southern Mississippi has teamed up with Mississippi State University’s Space Cowboys rocket team to produce 3D printed parts for its rocket build. For the past year, the rocket team students have worked with MPI to engineer these rocket parts, which has allowed the team to successfully launch their rocket as planned. The Space Cowboys rocket team was founded in 2006 at Mississippi State University. The team participates in the University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) each year, beginning in August. The project spans an eight-month time period where students get hands on experience with rocketry and many other fields.
 
A new tower materializes in Noxubee County
Tony Sudduth and others may not ever forget April 11th. He would capture video of a monstrous tornado that damaged a number of homes, farms, and a communications tower. It's been just over a month since a tornado ripped an essential communications tower from its foundation. A new tower is nearing completion. Extension Agent Dr. Dennis Reginelli says all came together to recover.
 
MSU’s waterfowl research revealing | John Woods (Opinion)
Columnist John Woods writes: "Waterfowl research being conducted by Mississippi State University professors and graduate students could have important impacts on habitat conservation and duck hunting in the Delta region of Mississippi. Specifically one recent piece of work being conducted and continues deals with a study of mallard duck survival in relation to habitat use. Ultimately a better understanding of these factors could improve waterfowl management and enhance the economic impact of duck hunting in the state."
 
Sistrunk, Wynn meet in Tuesday runoff
Six additional votes were not enough to separate Sandra Sistrunk and her challenger, Lisa Wynn, for the remaining unfilled Starkville alderman seat. The two candidates tied at 181 votes after the remaining Ward 2 affidavits were processed, validated and counted Monday. Sistrunk, the incumbent, and Wynn are now shifting back to campaign mode after city officials announced a runoff election will be held Tuesday.
 
Dems crafting Medicaid proposal ahead of possible special session
Mississippi legislative Democrats say they’re working on proposals to keep Medicaid alive and funded in the budget year that starts July 1. They say they’re doing this in case Republican Gov. Phil Bryant calls a special session before the end of June. However, Bryant said last week he believes he can run Medicaid without legislative authorization -- even with no budget in place. House Democratic leader Bobby Moak says there’s new urgency because a federal agency on Monday released proposed rules for how it would reduce Medicaid payments to hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured patients. If the rules are adopted, changes could start taking effect in a few months.
 
Feds try to help state hospitals
President Barack Obama’s administration officials are proposing rules to reduce the size of the cuts in federal funding to hospitals in states that do not expand Medicaid, such as Mississippi. In those officials’ rules proposals to carry out the mandates of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the cuts in federal funds to treat people with no insurance, known as Disproportionate Share Hospital or DSH payments, would be administered in a way to reduce the size of the cuts to hospitals in states like Mississippi rejecting the Medicaid expansion.
 
Some Miss. schools' accountability ratings inflated
A former Mississippi Department of Education employee who admitted to changing accountability ratings is now working as a consultant with various districts and stands by the decisions he made while working for the state department. Some Mississippi schools got a welcomed bump to their accountability rating in 2011 when Ken Thompson granted appeals in a somewhat haphazard manner to some schools. The former director of the office of research and statistics for the Mississippi Department of Education, Thompson granted appeals to some schools because, as he said in a 2011 email from his MDE account, he was “too tired to fight.”
 
IRS report shows why tea party scandal was almost inevitable
Lawmakers are sputtering with rage at revelations the IRS gave extra scrutiny to conservative organizations seeking nonprofit status during the last political campaign. But when Congress and President Obama stop howling and start trying to fix the problem, there appear to be two ways forward: Either rely on the IRS to listen to the recommendations of the Treasury Department inspector general’s report released Tuesday and make do with a muddled piece of campaign-finance law or move to sharpen and shape the law so IRS can enforce it with more consistency. “What has been missed in the outrage is the recognition that this problem arose from much deeper sources than the poor judgment or possible partisan bias of a handful of IRS employees,” says Lloyd Mayer, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
 
Inside the AP: Fear, determination
Reporters across The Associated Press are outraged over the Justice Department’s sweeping seizure of staff phone records -- and they say such an intrusion could chill their relationships with confidential sources. In conversations with POLITICO on Tuesday, several AP staffers in Washington, D.C., described feelings of anger and frustration with the DOJ and with the Obama administration in general. “People are pretty mad -- mad that government has not taken what we do seriously,” one reporter said on Tuesday. “When the news broke yesterday ...people were outraged and disgusted. No one was yelling and screaming, but it was like, ‘Are you kidding me!?’”
 
Hagel orders retraining of sex-assault prevention officers; Army sergeant investigated
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday evening ordered the armed services to immediately “re-train, re-credential and re-screen” tens of thousands of military recruiters and sexual-assault prevention officers as the revelation of another sex-crime scandal rocked the Pentagon. Hagel’s order came in response to the Army’s disclosure Tuesday that a sergeant first class responsible for handling sexual-assault cases at Fort Hood, Tex., had been placed under criminal investigation over allegations of abusive sexual contact and other related matters.
 
Federal deficit shrinks at surprising rate
The federal deficit is shrinking more quickly than expected, and the government's long-term debt has largely stabilized for the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a report that could strengthen the Obama administration's hand in the budget battles with congressional Republicans. The budget office continues to say the federal government faces a long-range budget problem -- mostly caused by the costs of an aging population -- but its new forecast pushes the crunch point for that problem off into a considerably more distant future: well after the 2020 presidential election.
 
Feds Push For Lower Alcohol Limits For Drivers
To curb drunken driving, the federal National Transportation Safety Board has voted to recommend that states tighten the legal limit for drivers' blood alcohol. The threshold now for drunken driving is a of 0.08. (The BAC equals alcohol divided by the volume of blood it's in.) The NTSB would push for it to be lowered to 0.05, in line with the limits in countries such as Denmark, the Philippines and Switzerland. How many drinks would it take to run afoul of the new limit? The answer depends on weight, gender and how long a person has been drinking.
 
Hike in pay planned for some USM employees
Most University of Southern Mississippi custodians start their jobs getting paid minimum wage -- give or take a few nickels and dimes per hour. Asked how that sat with her colleagues, Ida Travis said there was grumbling. “A whole lot of grumbling,” said Travis, 51, who earns $7.50 per hour in her fourth year cleaning the school’s music buildings each morning -- a job that begins at 5 a.m. daily. “You know what they said?” she recalls. “We don’t get paid enough for all this.” But now there’s a new minimum wage at Southern Miss. President Rodney Bennett announced Tuesday that nearly 200 full-time employees will get pay increases to reach $21,000 annually ($10.10 per hour), which is the new low rung on the totem pole.
 
Texas A&M golf course renovation entering final phase
The Texas A&M golf course is weeks from having grass again. Six months since announcing the golf course renovation, landscapers are nearly finished installing the new irrigation system and are smoothing out the soil in preparation for the grass. "I'm extremely excited with the course and the progress they've made so far," Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Tom Reber said. "Both Sterling and Landscaped Unlimited have been extremely enjoyable to work with, very professional and very committed to providing the course A&M students deserve." The university partnered with Aggie-owned Sterling Golf last fall to manage the multi-million dollar renovation.
 
Developer says student apartments a good fit for city, U. of Missouri
The proposed student apartment complex across the street from Mark Twain residence hall would be a good fit for the University of Missouri and Columbia because of its location, the project's developers told city officials Tuesday. Brandt Stiles, the director of development for Collegiate Housing Partners, said the complex, given a tentative completion date of August 2015, would fit the university's plan to develop west campus while avoiding some of the pitfalls of downtown development.
 
Lindquist named dean of UGA School of Public and International Affairs
Stefanie A. Lindquist, an associate dean at the University of Texas at Austin and a scholar who works at the interface of law and politics, has been named dean of the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. Lindquist, who began her academic career nearly 20 years ago at UGA, is the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts and associate dean for external affairs at the University of Texas School of Law.
 
World beginning sustainability revolution, says UGA scientist
Humanity is at the beginning of its third major cultural and economic revolution, a University of Georgia scientist told bioenergy researchers at UGA. First there was the agricultural revolution about 12,000 years ago, when humanity switched from hunting and gathering to cultivating crops and domesticating animals. Then came the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, when humans moved away from manufacturing things by hand to machines, harnessing water power and new fuels such as coal to run those machines. Now, the sustainability revolution has begun, bringing dramatic changes in fuel supplies and carbon management, said Michael W. Adams, a UGA professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.
 
Career services (as it now exists) must die, new report argues
“The term career services has been a phrase that has been used for several decades to describe what colleges have been doing,” says Andy Chan, vice president for personal and career development at Wake Forest University. "It’s not working." Chan co-edited the new report, "A Roadmap for Transforming the College-to-Career Experience." “I’m being a little bit dramatic by saying it must die,” Chan says in an interview. “It’s just that that traditional model needs to be totally rethought and resurrected as something different.”
 
LaForge prepared to lead Delta State
The Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "While the school year has come and gone for students at Delta State University, William LaForge is just getting started. LaForge was named the university’s eighth president in February, arriving just three weeks before graduation -- just barely enough time to meet the faculty, staff and students of his alma mater. The week after he served as the commencement speaker for the DSU graduation ceremonies, he hit the road making rounds across the state -- an ambassador with big ideas for a university with big challenges."
 
Gov. Bryant takes the ‘liberal’ view of Medicaid powers | Bobby Harrison (Opinion)
The Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Perhaps Phil Bryant is not as conservative as he likes for Mississippi voters to believe. The governor has always referred to himself as a strict constructionist -- conservative -- when it comes to interpreting the law, and particularly the Constitution. But maybe that is not the case."
 
More for Medicaid means less for education, lawmaker says
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "Medicaid expansion won’t come without budgetary consequences in Mississippi. That’s the message circulated this week by the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee to the state’s education lobby leaders as the time left for reauthorization of Medicaid for FY 2014 draws shorter. With pressure from Democratic colleagues in the Legislature, public health advocacy groups and most of the state’s hospitals growing for Medicaid expansion, state Rep. Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, sent a letter to every college president, community college president, county and municipal school district superintendent and others in positions of leadership in public education from kindergarten to graduate school in Mississippi."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State calls on Holder for record
Nearly every one of his teammates trotted onto the field. Eventually the Mississippi State closer emerged from the dugout. A creature of habit, Jonathan Holder had his routine interrupted Tuesday night. Minutes prior, Holder stood in the on-deck circle. With only a day between a three-game series with South Carolina, coach John Cohen had to finagle his lineup causing some unfamiliar roles to be had. Still, the Bulldogs prevailed with a 3-2 win over Oral Roberts in front of an announced attendance of 6,298.
 
MSU baseball closes non-conference with win
Mississippi State closed the non-conference portion of its 2013 baseball schedule with a 3-2 victory over Oral Roberts Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field. The 16th-ranked Bulldogs improved to 38-15 overall. MSU finishes the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 24-2 mark, including a perfect 11-0 mark in midweek play. For the Bulldogs, it is their largest number of non-conference wins since the 1989 squad went 25-5 outside the Southeastern Conference.
 
Stuedeman: The booth can wait
Vann Stuedeman enjoyed her time as an ESPN analyst last year, but she’d just as soon not have that gig again. She’d rather her Mississippi State team play beyond the NCAA regional round. The Lady Bulldogs open tournament play Friday in Mobile, Ala., against Florida State at 3:30 p.m. Host South Alabama opens against Mississippi Valley State. Stuedeman has taken MSU to the NCAAs in each of her first two seasons. Last year, the Lady Bulldogs lost in the Eugene (Ore.) Regional, and then Stuedeman was asked to work as an analyst for ESPN during the super regionals.
 
Mississippi State Expands Field After Sold Out Games
Athletes aren’t the only people breaking records on the Mississippi State football field. Bulldog fans have set attendance records in recent years, having sold out 16 consecutive games at the stadium. Mississippi State has sold out of football season tickets for the past three years. As a result, the fans and players will enjoy a new renovated stadium. “The initial phase of construction included extensive site utility relocations and site preparation for foundation work and initial drilled shaft. The existing metal bleachers were relocated after the 2012 season, allowing the completion of the site work and concrete foundations,” said Dupree Petty, vice president of operations of Harrell Contracting Group in Jackson, Miss.
 
SEC Big 12 hoops to face off
A couple of leagues seeking to boost their basketball reputations are teaming up for a yearly event. The Big 12/SEC Challenge will begin this coming season, with 10 matchups scheduled, including Ole Miss at Kansas State and TCU at Mississippi State on Dec. 5. With the Big 12 having only 10 teams these days, four SEC teams will not participate this season.
 
Southern Miss pounds Ole Miss 10-3
What looked like it might be a pitching duel early changed quickly with a pair of big middle innings as Southern Miss upset No. 14 Ole Miss 10-3 on Tuesday night at Hill-Denson Field. Five Golden Eagle seniors combined for 10 hits of Southern Miss' 16 in front of a season-high crowd of 4,526.
 
Waiting game: Bennett says no decision yet on AD Hammond
University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett said he has not made any decisions regarding the future of Athletic Director Jeff Hammond. And it well may be that the June 30 expiration date on Hammond’s one-year contract will pass without a decision being made by Southern Miss’ new top administrator. “If that time comes, and I get to June 30 or so and I’m not sure, and that contract expires, I believe the university allows me on a 30-day, month-to-month contract,” Bennett said Tuesday during a media roundtable discussion.



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