Wednesday, June 5, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
NPS gives Mill project green light
The National Park Service expressed its positive opinion of the long-discussed hotel/conference center project at the Cooley Center on Tuesday, which project leaders said would help it advance to the next round of planning and implementation. In a campus-wide newsletter, MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw said the preliminary support from the National Park Service was the last hurdle to overcome before carrying out the $50 million project.
 
Mississippi State students who chase the storms
WTVA caught up with a Mississippi State University meteorology instructor and a recent graduate as they looked at radar images from last week's deadly tornado that killed three storm chasers. They both emphasize how these professionals play a valuable role in weather research. The two add that when students are sent to chase storms they are kept a very safe distance away. MSU meteorology instructor Renny Vandewege said, "We don't get very close. We aren't conducting any research. We're just trying to use the atmosphere as a living textbook." MSU takes a group of student storm chasers each year to areas of the country where they can observe a variety of weather systems.
 
Mississippi State baseball fans excited
Mississippi State University baseball fans are pumped after Monday night's Starkville Regional championship win over Central Arkansas. The Bulldogs now move on to Super Regional play later this week. At places like Campus Book Mart in Starkville, store officials say the weekend of baseball meant a lot of business for them. Customers were in and out during the tournament looking for any and all items to show their support for the MSU team. Now, as State continues its baseball season, more sales are expected for items that have anything to do with Bulldog baseball.
 
MSU students win start-up business competition
Mississippi State students have again won the Mississippi New Venture Challenge Competition. John L. Gazzini, of Birmingham, and Olive Branch's Read T. Sprabery took first place, with Nimbus Mobile, an app design business. Nimbus is close to launching FeatherServe, which allows pool service companies to more easily and efficiently manage their operations. Second-place went to Sensei Mobile, LLC, founded by Matthew M. Hoelter of Collierville, Tenn., another MSU spring computer engineering graduate. He is launching a service called Chat Katana that provides an anonymous one-on-one messaging service through a native phone application. "It's gratifying to see our students continue a tradition of excellence," said Abby Thompson, entrepreneurship program coordinator in MSU's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, in a school press release. For the past three years, Mississippi State students have won eight out of nine places in the competition.
 
MSU Students Win in Statewide Competition
Mississippi State student entrepreneurs again hold top honors in a recent statewide business plan competition. Two student-led technology startups won first and second places in the sixth annual Mississippi New Venture Challenge Competition. Eleven teams from the land-grant institution competed in this year's New Venture Challenge‚Äďa clear sign of the entrepreneurial culture on campus, said OETT Director Gerald Nelson. "We have taken purposeful steps to make innovation and entrepreneurship priorities. We have been building that ecosystem steadily with students, faculty and staff," Nelson said.
 
Educational Leadership Cohort underway at MSU-Meridian
Twenty-six aspiring school leaders will be participating in the Mississippi State University-Meridian's Educational Leadership Cohort this summer. These students are receiving administrative training to lead K-12 schools into the 21st century.
 
Excellence in education: Poole to serve as Alumni Delegate at Mississippi State
Victoria Poole of Meridian, a sophomore majoring in elementary education at Mississippi State University, is one of 22 MSU students who have joined the university Alumni Association's student liaison group. The Alumni Delegates serve as liaisons between the 135-year-old land-grant institution and its more than 125,000 living graduates. Founded in 1980, one of the group's main missions is helping improve the student body's understanding of the Alumni Association's role and purpose. Over the years, this group of students has become invaluable in assisting with alumni-sponsored programs and activities, including football tailgate gatherings, class reunions and numerous other events, both on and off campus. Members are selected through a highly competitive interview process.
 
Wiseman beats back GOP challenge
Incumbent Parker Wiseman earned a second term as Starkville's mayor Tuesday, defeating GOP challenger Dan Moreland by an unofficial 2,299 to 1,817 vote count. Wiseman beat Moreland in five out of the city's seven wards -- Wards 1 and 3 went for his challenger -- and stood fast against Republican incursions targeted at Wards 6 and 7. Oktibbeha County Democratic Party Chairman Chris Taylor said he was proud of how his party re-solidified after uncertainty in the 11th hour. In May, photos surfaced linking three aldermen-elects and a sitting county Democratic Party executive committee member to a Moreland fund-raiser which featured a campaign visit by Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant. Previously, U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper also endorsed the GOP challenger. "The Democratic Party proved that it gets stronger no matter who jumps ship midstream," Taylor said.
 
Wiseman wins
After a hard-fought campaign in both camps, Democratic incumbent Parker Wiseman claimed victory over Republican challenger Dan Moreland on Tuesday. Counting absentee and machine votes citywide, Wiseman took 2,299 votes to Moreland's 1,817.
 
Moore chosen as city prosecutor in Starkville
Local attorney Caroline Moore has been appointed the new City Prosecutor for the City of Starkville. Moore will be taking the reigns from Roy Carpenter Jr., who served as both the city and county prosecutor for more than 25 years. Moore announced his retirement late last month. The move was made official Tuesday night at the Starkville Board of Aldermen meeting after the item to name the position was placed on the consent agenda. In other action, the Aldermen decided to table Taylor Adams' Fiscal Year 2013 financial report, which was reported to have included an examination of the Starkville Parks Commission's use of its two-percent food and beverage budget.
 
TV's acerbic chef brings 'Hotel Hell' to Starkville
Fox Broadcasting's prolific Chef Gordon Ramsey is raising his profile in the Golden Triangle for the second time in the past several weeks. Not only did Columbus cook Seonkyoung Longest make it into the top 40 of his Master Chef Season 4, which premiered May 22, before being eliminated, Ramsey himself is scheduled to be in Starkville June 12-16 to film "Hotel Hell" at the Hotel Chester. Located at 101 N. Jackson St. in downtown Starkville, the hotel encompasses The Library restaurant, serving a menu described by the manager as modern American and Japanese fusion, featuring steak, seafood and sushi. The Beer Garden is also open Thursdays through Saturdays for summer in the patio area.
 
Gov. Bryant: US education declined as moms entered workplace
Mississippi's governor said Tuesday the quality of education in the U.S. began declining when mothers started working outside the home, though he added later that he was not trying to blame working women for education problems. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant made his initial remarks Tuesday in Washington during an education forum hosted by The Washington Post. He elaborated on them later in an interview with The Associated Press. Democratic state Sen. Deborah Dawkins of Pass Christian, who worked as a physician's assistant while raising three children, criticized Bryant's remarks about working mothers. Dawkins, a frequent critic of Bryant, said the governor seems to have little idea about the problems parents face in finding quality, affordable day care, particularly in one of the poorest states in the nation. "He is so out of touch with the real world," Dawkins said. "He surrounds himself with TEA Party people who want to home-school their children."
 
Mississippi governor: Educational troubles began when 'mom is in the workplace'
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said Tuesday that America's educational troubles began when women began working outside the home in large numbers. Bryant was participating in a Washington Post Live event focused on the importance of ensuring that children read well by the end of third grade. Bryant immediately recognized how controversial his remark would be and said he knew he would start to get e-mails. He then expanded on his answer, saying that "both parents are so pressured" in families today. He also noted that America seemed to be losing ground internationally in regards to educational outcomes because other nations began to invest more in their own school systems and make progress.
 
Bryant links education woes to working moms
Gov. Phil Bryant's comments Tuesday about working mothers at a Washington Post forum on education drew national media attention, and more brickbats than bouquets back home in Mississippi on Tuesday. Many national media reports keyed on his "the mom is in the workplace" comment, which drew fire. Bryant, who was still in Washington, then headed to New York for the annual Mississippi picnic, and could not be reached for comment. But a spokesman said he was "taken out of context" in some reports and was not making a dig at working mothers or blaming them for problems in education. The governor's comments went at least nearly viral on social media and drew response in Mississippi, where more than four out of 10 households has a single parent.
 
House Dems to present Medicaid alternative
House Democrats will announce their "compromise plan" today to provide health care to 300,000 Mississippians, many of whom are the working poor. They have been at odds with Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and the Republican-controlled House and Senate over expanding Medicaid to cover those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level or about $15,000 per year. The expansion is allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act. According to information released Tuesday, the House Democrats' plan "represents an alternative to and a compromise on Medicaid expansion. It covers 300,000 Mississippians, through a private, market-based approach at no net cost to the state." It appears Arkansas is being allowed to use funds that would have gone to expand Medicaid to instead allow people with no medical coverage to obtain private insurance.
 
Miss. Turns To Cord Blood To Track Down Statutory Rapists
Starting in July, doctors and midwives in Mississippi will be required by law to collect samples of umbilical cord blood from babies born to some girls under the age of 16. Officials will analyze the samples and try to identify the fathers through matches in the state's DNA database.Mississippi lawmakers have embarked on a controversial campaign to discourage older men from having sex with teenagers. Starting in July, doctors and midwives in the state will be required by law to collect samples of umbilical cord blood from babies born to some girls under the age of 16. Officials will analyze the samples and try to identify the fathers through matches in the state's DNA database. "It is our hope that we can deter men over the age of 21 from having sex, particularly with girls 16 years and younger, particularly if they know we are going to pursue them," said , the state's Democratic attorney general who helped draft the bill. Officials said Mississippi is the first state in the country to try the approach.
 
Mississippi regulators consider energy-efficiency rules
A number of utilities and consumer groups say they support proposed rules that would require Mississippi electric and gas utilities to implement programs to save energy. However, Mississippi Power Co. said it opposes the rules because bills could rise for customers who don't make homes or businesses more efficient. A number of utilities and consumer groups say they support proposed rules that would require Mississippi electric and gas utilities to implement programs to save energy. However, Mississippi Power Co. said it opposes the rules because bills could rise for customers who don't make homes or businesses more efficient.
 
50 years later, Medgar Evers' widow feels anger anew
Commemorations of the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers' assassination in Mississippi have had an effect on his widow, Myrlie Evers, that she never expected. "It's a reliving of what happened, and I've been surprised that anger has surfaced within me again that I thought would never raise its head again," she said in an interview on Capital Download, the weekly video newsmaker series on USA TODAY. "But I think it's reliving all those memories, wishing that things were even better than they are today and asking the question, 'What can we do?'" The anger she feels is directed not at his killer, Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens' Council who was finally convicted of the 1963 shooting in 1994 and died imprisoned in 2001. "I have dealt with that," she said. Instead, her anger is directed at "those things within the system, not that it embraces, but that it allows prejudice and racism to persist."
 
Myrlie Evers-Williams returns to Mississippi as more than a civil rights widow
Myrlie Evers-Williams moves gingerly about the crowd, slowed by her 80-year-old knees. The University of Mississippi chancellor, who has invited her to speak at commencement exercises, takes her hand to lead her down a flight of stairs. Students, black and white, ask to pose for a photo with her as she makes her way to the stage. Her daughter, always nearby, is holding her purse. She is doted on. Evers-Williams is here, she knows, as a stand-in for an era. What her name evokes in Mississippi -- 50 years after her husband, Medgar, was gunned down in their driveway by an avowed racist -- is a vivid image of the worst of Southern terrorism. And on the campus of Ole Miss, where she and Medgar fought for integration, she is here on this May morning as part of an ongoing dance of racial reconciliation.
 
MPB Think Radio to add new Mississippi programs
Mississippi Public Broadcasting is adding four hours of news and information programming to the MPB Think Radio lineup. On July 1, listeners will find special new programming when they tune to MPB Think Radio. The new lineup will include an additional block of local programs created for Mississippians. From 10 until 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, Mississippi listeners will hear from Mississippians about issues of importance to them. New programs in the 10 a.m. block include "NOW You're Talking with Marshall Ramsey," "In Legal Terms," "Everyday Tech," "MPB's Season Pass" and "Next Stop: Mississippi."
 
Jason Shelton wins big: Tupelo elects 37-year-old mayor
Jason Shelton took a decisive victory Tuesday to win election as Tupelo's first Democratic mayor in 28 years. Shelton, 37, an attorney, defeated Republican Ward 2 Councilman Fred Pitts, 70, by capturing nearly 60 percent of the vote and overcoming a concerted effort by the state Republican Party to hold on to the mayor's office in a GOP stronghold. Throughout the race, Shelton faced partisan barbs from Pitts, along with negative, anonymous phone push polls and emails attacking him for his occupation as a trial attorney and his contributions to national Democratic candidates and causes. In the final days of the campaign, state Republican leaders visited Tupelo to endorse Pitts and the state party sent negative mailers to Tupelo voters. Tupelo isn't the only sore spot for the Mississippi Republican Party. Each of its other priorities -- Meridian, Starkville and Ocean Springs -- was won by Democratic candidates.
 
Musselwhite wins Southaven mayor's race
Local insurance agent Darren Musselwhite has defeated longtime incumbent Mayor Greg Davis in the Southaven mayor's race. In unofficial returns, Musselwhite garnered 77.18 percent of the city-wide vote compared to Davis' 12.69 percent and Democrat Coria Williams 10.2 percent. It was a stunning rejection of Davis who has been embroiled in an ongoing investigation by the Mississippi State Auditor and FBI along with a U.S. Attorney General's probe into alleged misspending of taxpayer money on trips, travel and other expenses. Davis, first elected in 1997, conceded shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The defeat of Davis caps a bruising, often nasty election cycle with Davis literally fighting for his political life after a 16-year grip on the state's third-largest city. Davis made the concession on his Facebook Page and directed his comments toward family and friends.
 
Bland beats Barry in Meridian mayoral race
Meridian voters made history Tuesday, electing the city's first African-American mayor. Democrat Percy Bland unseated incumbent Republican Mayor Cheri Barry, who is serving her first term. Bland received 54 percent of the vote; Barry received 44 percent. The excitement was evident from the reaction of hundreds of supporters gathered for Bland's celebration at Drury Inn where cheers were loud and vigorous as Bland made his acceptance speech. Noting the historic significance of his election, Bland said some thought this could never be done. It is now time to turn the attention to the future, Bland said. "It's time for all of us to come together as one Meridian," he said.
 
Connie Moran takes 62 percent of vote to earn third term as Mayor of Ocean Springs
Connie Moran earned her third term as the Mayor of Ocean Springs, garnering 62 percent of the vote to easily defeat Jackson County Supervisor John McKay in Tuesday's general election. "I certainly did not," Moran said of the large margin of victory. "This is a huge vote of confidence. People of all walks of life, across the spectrum, supported our campaign. When I realized that, I felt good about our chances. "I've tried to be the mayor to everybody," she continued. McKay said, "One of my biggest mistakes was running a clean race. I could have got down in the weeds and gone after Connie on some of her issues -- and everybody knows she has them, but I chose not to do that."
 
Metro mayors: Can they get along?
Voters picked an eclectic bunch of mayors to lead the metro area for the next four years, and while most of their time will be spent looking inward, the broader success of the greater Jackson area may depend on their ability to work together. At the forefront is Jackson mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba. The group would make for incredible reality TV, with Lumumba, an outspoken civil rights activist, and Mary Hawkins Butler, the conservative mayor of Madison, in the two starring roles. One didn't have to wait long for a telling example of their differences to arise. After winning the Democratic primary, Lumumba's first big headline as the presumptive mayor came for advocating more black history to be taught in Jackson Public Schools. Days later, Butler snubbed a historically black university, Jackson State, by not showing up to the school's grand opening in her city after trying months earlier to stop it from happening at all.
 
UCLA Anderson Forecast paints dismal picture of economic recovery
The country's tepid growth in its gross domestic product isn't creating enough good jobs to build a strong middle class, according to a UCLA report released Wednesday. "Growth in GDP has been positive, but not exceptional," UCLA economists wrote in their quarterly Anderson Forecast. "Jobs are growing, but not rapidly enough to create good jobs for all." The report, which analyzed long-term trends of past recoveries, found that the long-anticipated "Great Recovery" has not yet materialized. "It's not a recovery," wrote Edward Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. "It's not even normal growth. It's bad." That has long-term implications in the face of technological advancements that continue displacing workers, Leamer said. And the country's education system isn't adequately developing the workforce of the future, he said.
 
Jobs Outlook Is Brighter For Class Of 2013
For the last five years, graduation day has been as much a time for apprehension as for celebration. Even now, with the Great Recession over, many recent graduates are still struggling to turn their high school and college diplomas into tickets for a better life. The unemployment rate for Americans under age 25 remains more than double the overall rate of 7.5 percent. But experts are predicting this year's graduates --- whether from high school, community college or a four-year college --- should have better career launches than at any time since 2008. Companies expect to hire about 2.1 percent more college graduates from the Class of 2013, and will offer a higher overall starting salary of $44,928 --- up 5.3 percent over last year, according to the spring survey by the .
 
House panel approves proposal to eliminate Election Assistance Commission
A House committee approved legislation Tuesday to shut down the federal commission set up more than 10 years ago to help states improve their election systems. "This agency needs to go," said Mississippi Republican Rep. Gregg Harper, who introduced the bill to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission. "This agency has outlived its usefulness and to continue to fund it is the definition of irresponsibility." The House Administration Committee approved the legislation by voice vote. This marks Harper's third attempt in four years to close the bipartisan independent commission, which he called a "bloated bureaucracy." It is not clear when the full House will vote on the measure. Harper said he's working to persuade a senator to introduce a companion measure in that chamber.
 
Say-on-pay: A farm bill issue
Fearful of anything that even looks like Dodd-Frank, House Republicans want to block a modest federal rule giving farmers and ranchers a greater say on salary increases for senior officers in the banks and co-ops that make up the Farm Credit System. The rule itself is quite limited and was adopted last October on a bipartisan basis by the three-member board of the Farm Credit Administration, which oversees the nearly century-old FCS network of government sponsored lending institutions. As shareholders in those associations, farmers and ranchers would be guaranteed a "say-on-pay" vote if compensation for the top corporate officers jumped by 15 percent or more in a single year. But that vote would be non-binding and only advisory.
 
Landrieu's Flood Insurance Amendment Holds Farm Bill in Limbo
A tried and true method of grinding the Senate to a halt is to get in the way of Sen. Mary L. Landrieu when the Louisiana Democrat wants a vote that she thinks she has a chance to win. That happened Tuesday afternoon, when Landrieu became indignant that a GOP senator -- whom she identified as Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania -- was holding up a vote on a flood insurance amendment to the farm bill on the Senate floor. She decided to respond by holding up all other Republican amendments to the measure. Her proposal, drafted with a bipartisan group of senators from flood-prone states, would delay some new flood insurance premiums from kicking in to prevent costs for buyers from increasing. Opponents say that it could make the federal government seek extra borrowing authority for the already beleaguered National Flood Insurance Program.
 
GOP chafes at Christie's decision
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday called an Oct. 16 special election to fill the late-Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D) seat, sending voters to the polls just weeks before he faces his own reelection. The decision could be the safest politically for Christie, because he won't risk the Senate race driving a higher Democratic turnout as he campaigns for a second term. But Republicans acknowledge the timing likely hurts their chances of winning the Senate seat, because the GOP nominee won't be able to ride Christie's coattails in the Democratic-leaning state.
 
Will D. Campbell, Maverick Minister and Civil Rights Stalwart, Dies at 88
The Rev. Will D. Campbell, a renegade preacher and author who joined the civil rights struggle in the 1950s, quit organized religion and fought injustice with nonviolent protests and a storyteller's arsenal of autobiographical tales and fictional histories, died on Monday night in Nashville. He was 88. Campbell, one of the few white clerics with an extensive field record as a civil rights activist, wrote a score of books that explored the human costs of racism and the contradictions of Christian life in the segregated South, notably in a memoir, "Brother to a Dragonfly" (1977), a National Book Award finalist. Campbell grew up in a backwater of segregated schools, churches and cracker-barrel country stores where men chewed tobacco and spat bigotry. He was ordained a Baptist minister at 17 and attended three colleges and Yale Divinity School before embarking on an unsatisfying life as a small-town pastor and then chaplain at the University of Mississippi. He left Ole Miss amid death threats over his integrationist views.
 
East Mississippi Community College seeks more tax revenue from Lowndes
East Mississippi Community College President Rick Young came before the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors Monday to ask for a two-mill tax increase to cover building construction needed to expand overall capacity. Citing the opening of the Yokohama tire manufacturing plant's first phase in West Point in 2015 as well as other industries in the Golden Triangle, Young said there is increased demand to provide the education and training needed to succeed in the workforce. Part of doing that, he said, will require construction of a new multi-purpose building on the college's Mayhew campus. Young said new dormitories are also needed on the college's main Scooba campus. "We're about building capacity in the Golden Triangle and we're looking at repackaging our career tech programs," Young said. "We're looking at a greater focus: How do we do better in dealing with workforce training and meeting the needs of industry?"
 
Ole Miss researchers conducting tests on Pascagoula Beach
A handful of scientists and students from the University of Mississippi worked quietly Tuesday at the east end of Pascagoula Beach. Past the hubbub of activity at Beach Park and work on the new Beach Promenade, four research scientists and three students performed tests on various systems used to detect buried IEDs -- improvised explosive devices. Only a couple of tents and a minimum amount of equipment marked the site Tuesday morning. But, the research could have far-reaching effects.
 
Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State announces next offerings
"Come find your spark this year at the Bologna Performing Arts Center," said executive director Laura Howell at the announcement of the 2013-2014 Season of Main Stage and School-Time Matinee performances. BPAC officials announced the 19th season on Monday revealing that this year it will be expanding from eight to nine main stage performances, with more family friendly and musical options. "We had a great season last year and that really made a difference," said Howell. This summer the BPAC will present a Summer Movie Series on Tuesday evenings. All movies will begin at 7 p.m. on the big screen in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre, with tickets being $5 and concessions available. Delta State University's BPAC will begin the regular season in September with Jim Witter's The Piano Men. The performance will feature music by Elton John and Billy Joel.
 
College fees bill clears Louisiana Legislature
College students will be paying extra fees this fall, including one for campus building maintenance, if Gov. Bobby Jindal goes along with legislation that won final legislative approval on Tuesday. The Louisiana House voted 71-16 to Senate changes, then shipped the legislation to Jindal's desk. House Bill 671, sponsored by state Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, would allow up to a $48 per semester fee for repairs and renovations to buildings on public college campuses. The schools face a $1.7 billion backlog of projects for which state funding has been lagging.
 
Louisiana's TOPS college scholarship change approved
The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Tuesday that would change the eligibility criteria, for some students, related to the state's college scholarship program known as TOPS. Senate Bill 202, sponsored by state Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, would allow students enrolled in advanced placement, dual enrollment and International Baccalaureate courses to be judged on a five-point scale rather than the traditional four-point scale used to calculate grade-point average. The bill won final legislative passage on a 37-0 vote. Under the plan, an A would be worth five points, a B four points, a C three points and a D two points. An F grade would get no points.
 
Florida governor urges universities to hold the line on tuition
Gov. Rick Scott is making a personal appeal to all 12 state university presidents, meeting them in person or talking to them by phone to reiterate his commitment not to raise tuition as they meet with their respective boards of trustees to approve next year's budgets. The meetings follow letters from Scott to each president last month reiterating his commitment to not raising tuition, after vetoing a 3 percent tuition rate increase approved by the Legislature. "We don't want a 3 percent increase or even a 1 percent increase in tuition on our students," he said, describing tuition increases as a tax hike. The budget before the UF board of trustees this week contains no tuition increase for undergraduates but it does contain a 1 percent fee increase, UF Provost Joe Glover said.
 
Alpha Chi Omega sorority house on U. of Alabama campus razed
The Alpha Chi Omega sorority house, built in 1958 on the University of Alabama campus, was razed by workers Tuesday. Construction will begin on a new, larger house for the sorority at the same site on Colonial Drive, with completion expected by fall 2014. UA is expanding or relocating all the houses on sorority row.
 
Women's advocacy group: Auburn, four other schools, businesses violated health care law
A women's advocacy group has filed a complaint against Auburn University saying the school violated the Affordable Care Act by failing to offer pregnancy coverage to their employees' dependent children. The Women's Law Center filed complaints Tuesday with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office for Civil Rights against Auburn and four other universities and businesses saying the institutions discriminated against pregnant women on the basis of sex. Sharon Levin, director of federal reproductive health polices at the center, told the Associated Press, "This affects young women who are on their parents' plans; they are being discriminated against. Those medical costs are substantial."
 
U. of Missouri System VP for research is retiring
Mike Nichols, the University of Missouri System's vice president for research and economic development, is retiring at the end of the week, five months after UM President Tim Wolfe announced he was creating a new position overseeing Nichols' department. Nichols, who has had the job since December 2007, sent an email to the Tribune announcing he would retire on Friday after an inquiry about an unrelated matter. He did not respond to further emails requesting comment. The office of research and economic development referred inquiries to the UM System's public relations staff.
 
Nixon appoints Cape Girardeau attorney to U. of Missouri Board of Curators
Gov. Jay Nixon is trying again to place Cape Girardeau attorney Michael Ponder on the University of Missouri Board of Curators. Nixon yesterday appointed Ponder, a member of the Missouri State Board of Education since 2009, to the Board of Curators for the second time this year. The nomination stalled in February in the Missouri Senate, and Nixon withdrew it to preserve his ability to reappoint Ponder. When they blocked Ponder's nomination earlier this year, lawmakers were upset over how school aid was distributed and how the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was handling funding for early childhood education.
 
At U. of Missouri veterinary hospital, dogs help test human cancer treatments
Jazzy is one of several dogs receiving experimental treatments through the comparative oncology program at the University of Missouri. Veterinarians hope they can examine the dogs' responses to the treatments to learn new ways of fighting cancer in humans. Dogs are good test subjects because of all the things they have in common with humans, said Christina Mazcko, a program manager at the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium, a network of 20 universities that run cancer trials on pets.
 
U. of Missouri faculty member Monika Fischer watches protests in Turkey first-hand
Protests in Turkey have persisted since Friday, with thousands rallying against plans to build a shopping center in a popular green space. The protests in central Taksim Square, a major square in Istanbul, have been met with severe police intervention, including tear gas and water cannons. What was once a small sit-in has escalated into a widespread anti-government demonstration. Protests have also sprung up in other Turkish cities, including the capital Ankara. Monika Fischer, the associate director of the University of Missouri Honors College and an associate teaching professor of German, is in Turkey this week for a trip abroad with other faculty. She was in Taksim Square, observing the unrest firsthand. Fischer answered questions by email Tuesday afternoon.
 
Outgoing Gee plans to continue to work with Ohio State
Outgoing Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee said this morning that he will continue fundraising for the school and working with students. During a news conference at the Ohio Union on campus, OSU Board President Robert H. Schottenstein said Gee, who has a law degree, might teach in the Moritz College of Law. Gee announced yesterday in an email to students, faculty and staff that he will retire on July 1. He said it has nothing to do with a series of recent gaffes that embarrassed the university and caused the board to come up with remediation plan for him.
 
Publishers, universities both prep open access plans
Scholarly publishers want to keep hosting taxpayer-funded research that will soon be made public free of charge. The publishers unveiled a plan to do so Tuesday by arguing they could save the federal government money. The plan also allows publishers to keep at least a piece of a pie they now own. Research universities are also planning to unveil their own system in coming weeks that would have them, not publishers, as the main hosts of open-access research funded by about 15 federal agencies. Open-access advocates were skeptical of the publishers' proposal, which comes as the Obama administration works on the details of its open-access policy. The advocates cited years of industry opposition to open-access efforts.
 
Notes on the municipal elections | Slim Smith (Opinion)
The Dispatch's Slim Smith writes: "For what it's worth, Democrats may take their lump in state-wide elections, but they flexed considerable muscle during municipal elections across the state Tuesday. ...What is interesting about all this is that the state GOP, apparently feeling its oats at the state level, actively campaigned in many of those races, applying a scorched earth policy designed to rid the Magnolia State of the last vestiges of Democratic rule. Governor Phil Bryant attended fund-raisers for GOP candidates in several of those cities, most notably in Starkville and Tupelo, where the GOP turned to its most reliable stable of candidates -- a couple of white guys in their 70s -- in a bid to further saturate the state with Republican ideology. The result? Shelton, 36, is the first Democratic mayor in the city in 28 years. Wiseman, now 32, was the youngest mayor in the city's history when he won in 2009. Bryant's ham-fisted intrusion into those races wasn't a difference-maker for those Republican candidates -- or it least it was not the kind of difference-maker those GOP hopefuls had in mind."
 
Bryant speaks, but often doesn't act, in black and white | Bobby Harrison (Opinion)
The Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "During his successful campaign for lieutenant governor in 2007, at a stop at a Republican Party event in Laurel, Phil Bryant told the faithful his daughter was studying to be an attorney. But Bryant, with the timing of a game-show host or day-time television talk show host, paused and said not to worry because she would be the type of attorney who defended businesses, not sued them. It struck me at the time that Phil Bryant is a man who sees things in black and white. ...But having covered Bryant for many years, I know that he doesn't always act like a black-and-white thinker."
 
The late Ben Puckett was man of Olympic proportions
Syndicated columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "Ben Puckett always seemed to this observer a force of nature. He was square-jawed and, in his younger years, barrel-chested with the forearms of a blacksmith. But it was not his physical appearance that made him seem such a powerful force. No, Puckett believed in himself, and he believed in his family. He did things his way, which was with concrete positivity that his was the right way. Where others saw a dead end or a mountain to climb, Ben saw a challenge. Failure was not a consideration. ...Puckett, who died at home in Jackson on Sunday at 83 following a short illness, was a stepper with a huge, confident stride. I was proud to call him a friend. We shared a love of sports and the people involved. He especially loved the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Olympics. He poured much of himself into both."
 
D-Day anniversary should not fade from this nation's memory
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "With U.S. World War II veterans dying each day at a pace of an estimated 1,000 daily and those who survive now in their 80s and 90s, the impact of the observance of the anniversary of the Normandy Invasion is lessened with each passing year. In the national consciousness, the significance of D-Day and all that the invasion implied about the success or failure of the American war effort and the fate of the world is fading into the history books. The rather clear delineations of good and evil that World War II provided -- the Allies versus the Axis -- have become less clear in the global war on terror. But with the passing of more and more of the Greatest Generation there are less Americans left to remember and celebrate the all-or-nothing sacrifices of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State's focus turns to Virginia
Superstition wouldn't allow John Cohen to envision a trip to Charlottesville, Va. Even atop the winners' bracket, the Mississippi State coach kept his focus on the Starkville Regional. "I can tell you, I can't name one player on their team because I'm the most superstitious person you've ever seen," Cohen said. After eliminating Central Arkansas with a 6-1 victory Monday, Cohen and Company can turn their attention to Virginia, the host of the Charlottesville Super Regional.
 
Bulldogs open Super Regional on Saturday
Mississippi State and LSU have learned when they will open NCAA Super Regional baseball play. Mississippi State (46-18) opens at No. 6 national seed Virginia (47-10) on Saturday at noon on ESPN2. Game 2 is Sunday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU with Game 3, if necessary, on Monday at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. "The fans here are 100 percent supportive of us and I feel like we have one of the best fan bases in the college baseball,'' MSU outfielder Hunter Renfroe said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we had that many fans in Virginia."
 
Unsung heroes lift Mississippi State to Super Regional appearance
Four years ago, the Mississippi State University baseball program began to piece together in recruiting what Monday night's Starkville Regional championship game would look like. MSU coach John Cohen and pitching coach Butch Thompson wasn't interested in quick fixes, stopgap measures or average arms that could help them put together a postseason run in the first few years. They wanted quality, power arms that could transform the program. Two of those highly recruited arms were on showcase in Ben Bracewell and Chad Girodo, combining for MSU (46-18) to win its first regional at Dudy Noble Field in 13 years. "Those guys showed a lot of faith in our coaching staff and in Mississippi State," Cohen said. "When they jumped aboard, things weren't going great and they wanted to be a part of it. There was a belief that these kind of things were going to happen."
 
Renfroe remembers fondly his time in Virginia
When informed if he knew anything about the University of Virginia, his future opponent in a Super Regional round, Hunter Renfroe had one thought. "I don't know, I play pretty well in Virginia to be honest with you with the summer league up there," Renfroe said. "It's going to be exciting and I hope everybody will come there to support us." Renfroe, who is a high 2013 MLB Draft prospect, hit .364 with the Bethesda (Md.) Big Train and set Cal Ripken College Baseball League marks with 19 home runs and 57 RBI, was named by Perfect Game scouting as the top prospect in the Cal Ripken League. The Cal Ripken League has two teams in the state of Virginia and Renfroe was tabbed to play Wednesday in the league's all-star game and the Home Run Derby this past summer.
 
Bulldogs' trajectory in the right direction | Brad Locke (Opinion)
The Daily Journal's Brad Locke writes: "Hunter Renfroe sat at the press table Monday night with a beaten-up cowbell placed in front of him. 'It's been through the ringer a few times,' he said, 'but it means a lot.' Pun intended or not, it was evident this cowbell had been rung countless times. Renfroe, Mississippi State's junior right fielder, had been given it by one of the fans who reside behind the right field wall at Dudy Noble Field."
 
MSU's opener vs. Okla. St. on ABC; UM game vs. Texas could find limited audience
The nation's eyes will witness Mississippi State opening its football season against Oklahoma State. When Ole Miss takes the field against Texas, however, the majority of the country won't be able to watch. The Bulldogs' Aug. 31 matchup against the Cowboys in the Texas Kickoff Classic will be televised on ABC. The game will also be shown on ESPN2 in those areas provided regional ABC coverage. "When we first began talking about the opportunity to participate in the Texas Kickoff Classic, we knew there would be a large national appeal to this game," MSU coach Dan Mullen said in a release. "The fact that it'll be available on ABC and will be a nationally televised game just reaffirms our thoughts."
 
MSU, Oklahoma State set for national TV coverage
Mississippi State's 2013 season opener against Oklahoma State will kick off at 2:30 p.m., it was announced Tuesday. The game will be televised on both ABC and ESPN2. The Bulldogs and Cowboys are meeting at Reliant Stadium in Houston in the Texas Kickoff Classic. ABC is carrying the game throughout most of the country, while ESPN2 will broadcast it in other areas. MSU and Oklahoma State both went 8-5 last season. This will be the fifth meeting between the schools.
 
Seasoned McDonald advances at State Am
Carlee Nanney's first tee shot Tuesday at Old Waverly was her worst. The high school freshman's misfire was an attempt to impress her playing partner -- a big hitter named Ally McDonald, the Mississippi Women's Golf Association State Amateur Championship's defending champion. "I was trying to kill it," Nanney said. "Ally hits the ball really well ...and straight. It makes you feel like you need to hit it farther." McDonald, an NCAA regional winner and All-American this spring playing as a sophomore for Mississippi State, defeated Nanney 6-and-5 in match play to advance to today's quarterfinals against Meridian's Pam Posey. The winner advances to the semifinals, also scheduled for today.
 
SEC, Big 12 Report Record-Setting Revenues For 2012-13
On Friday the Southeastern Conference (SEC) announced a record-setting $289.4 million in allocated revenue shared with its 14 members, with each school receiving roughly $20.7 million in revenue distribution...which could grow by at least $10 million per school once you factor in (1) the league's new deal between ESPN and the SEC Network, (2) Payouts of as much as $100M annually from the new College Football Playoff, including $40M a year from a new deal with the Sugar Bowl.
 
U. of Alabama basketball player Devonta Pollard arrested for Mississippi kidnapping
Devonta Pollard, a forward on the University of Alabama basketball team, was charged Tuesday as part of a kidnapping for which his mother was arrested last month. Sheriff James Moore of Kemper County (Miss.) said Tuesday that Pollard faces one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the April 30 abduction of Jashayla Hopson, 6, who was taken from her school in Scooba, Miss. The Associated Press reported that the kidnapping grew out of an ongoing land dispute involving the child's mother and Jesse Mae Brown Pollard.



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