Friday, June 7, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mill developers seeking green light from NPS
Developers of the long-awaited Mill at MSU project say an informal National Parks Service opinion bodes well for the overall application process for renovations to the university's historic Cooley Building. Golden Triangle developer Mark Castleberry said NPS recently gave a positive response in regard to an informal inquiry, and now developers are turning their attention to the formal application for Cooley Building renovations. Formal approval would eliminate an important hurdle and position the project for its groundbreaking.
 
Camped Out At MSU Vet School
Students are camped out for the summer at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Wise Center in Starkville. Campers ages 13 through 15 are eager to learn. Most of them became fascinated with animals early in life. Eva Pouncey of Arkansas has knows what she wanted to do, since she was only 2. "My dog tore something in his leg and I was very sad That I couldn't help him. Because when you are little you want to help everything pretty much. And I was sad that I couldn't help him so I wanted to go into a career that I could help other animals and mine," said Pouncey.
 
Up close and personal with animals at Mississippi State
Don't let the fake animals scare you! They certainly don't young people who are learning about drawing blood from a rat! There are also lessons on how to wrap a horse or dogs leg. We're talking about Mississippi State University's Vet Camp, where 13 to 15 year old students interested in the field of veterinary medicine, participate in interactive labs which are taught by vet school students and instructors. This camp goes beyond just the basics. Sessions include looking at X-rays and other things they may not realize that go on inside a vet's office and what they will learn at vet school if they decide to attend.
 
Lori Mann Bruce named to MSU academic affairs post
Lori Mann Bruce is the new associate vice president for academic affairs and graduate school dean at Mississippi State University. Bruce, associate dean of the university's Bagley College of Engineering since 2008, succeeds the retiring Louis D'Abramo. Like D'Abramo, she is a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, MSU's highest faculty rank. She will be the first woman to lead MSU's graduate school. Bruce is a University of Alabama in Huntsville doctoral graduate in electrical and computer engineering. She also holds a UAH bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering, as well as a master's in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
 
Cattle producers turn to MSU reproduction class
Cattle producers wanting to improve their herds' genetics recently turned to Mississippi State University for an advanced, hands-on reproduction workshop. "If producers want to make rapid progress in herd genetics, the economic benefits of artificial insemination are there," said Jane Parish, beef specialist with the MSU Extension Service. "Producers can have access to a top-quality bull in another part of the country or one that has been injured or died after collecting its semen." Parish said MSU has hosted AI classes in the spring and fall since the early 1990s. Primarily targeting Mississippi beef and dairy producers, the 46 enrollment spots fill quickly for the three-day classes, which are publicized only by word of mouth and a website.
 
School consolidation talks in Starkville and Oktibbeha County
From financial records to personnel, a wide range of issues is up for discussion concerning the planned consolidation of Starkville and Oktibbeha County Schools. The Commission on Starkville/Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Structure met in Starkville. The group includes representatives from Starkville, Oktibbeha County and the Mississippi Department of Education. Pete Smith with the Mississippi Department of Education said, "The commission will complete its duties by the legislative session. They will present a report to the legislature. It will then be up to the legislature to take the recommendations from the commission or not."
 
DNA clears suspect in Starkville cold case murder
DNA test results have confirmed that suspected serial killer Felix Vail is not the killer of two women in Starkville's unsolved 1990 Labor Day murders. In a press release sent out by the Starkville Police Department, authorities confirmed the DNA evidence collected during the investigation in the 1990 slayings did not match Vail. Vail was a suspect in the cold case where Betty Jones, 65, and Katherine Crigler, 81, were killed at Crigler's home on 306 Mississippi Highway 82 East in Starkville. Jones died from her injuries on the scene and Crigler died from her injuries a couple months later. Vail was ruled out as a suspect in the Labor Day murders after his DNA did not match DNA from a rape kit from the Labor Day murders.
 
Mississippi economy up 2.4% in 2012
With manufacturing on the rebound, Mississippi's economy grew by 2.4 percent in 2012, new figures show. Gross domestic product numbers released Thursday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis try to measure all of the economic output of each state. They look at all the money that businesses, private individuals and governments spend on goods and services. Investment and foreign trade are also included in the totals. Mississippi's 2012 growth rate was close to the national average of 2.5 percent, and ranked 17th among the 50 states. That was a marked improvement from 2011, when Mississippi's economy shrank by 1.1 percent, one of only five states to contract. "2012 was a better year than 2011," said state economist Darrin Webb. "We began to see some pretty significant growth in 2012 for the first time since the recession."
 
Mississippi public schools shorted more than $1B over 4 years
The state of Mississippi has underfunded its public schools by more than a billion dollars in four years. That's $1,033,453,948 since 2011, based on the state's own formula, one created by the Legislature in 1997 for the purpose of deciding how much schools should get. In a state that already has some of the poorest schools in the nation, proponents of full funding for public education wonder how lawmakers expect schools to improve when their main revenue source from the state is being squeezed. Some lawmakers say as the state recovers from the biggest recession since the Great Depression, the money just isn't there to fully fund public education. But others say that isn't true. "We do not have a shortage of money, we have a shortage of political will," said Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory.
 
List of Mississippi cities approving liquor sales growing
Liquor continues to pour into dry areas in the state, with two more cities approving sales this week. Huge majorities of voters in Philadelphia and Brookhaven approved referendums Tuesday allowing the sale of liquor within city limits. A change in state law last July addressed the liquor question in dry counties, allowing county seats or cities with more than 5,000 residents to vote without the rest of the county weighing in.
 
Mississippi Gov. Bryant's wife joins Community Bank board
Deborah Bryant, the wife of Gov. Phil Bryant, is now serving on the board of directors for privately held Community Bank of Mississippi. The bank announced Thursday she was elected to the board March 21. The board had 15 members, and Deborah Bryant became the 16th, said Tony Sims, marketing director for Community Bancshares Inc., the parent company of Community Bank. He said she is one of three women on the board. He said no elected officials serve on the board. All of the board members, including Deborah Bryant, are compensated for their work, Sims said, but information about the amount of compensation was not immediately available.
 
New York Mississippi picnic to celebrate Country Music Trail
Mississippians are bringing the 'Sip and its down home Southern hospitality to the Big Apple this week. Sandy Bynum, director of the communications and advertising bureau of the Mississippi Development Authority, said the 34th Annual New York Mississippi Picnic will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in New York City's Central Park. The theme this year is "Celebrating Mississippi's Country Music Trail." Representatives from Mississippi universities and alumni associations will also be there to provide information about their schools. Several coordinate alumni gatherings and use the event as a recruiting tool.
 
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves travels to Natchez, talks to state constables
"We need more students graduating high school, more students going to junior college and more students going to senior college," said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in Natchez. "If we are going to grow our economy, we need more workers with more skills, and they are going to need more training." The lieutenant governor's comments were made at the Southwest Mississippi Training Facility, the Adam's County Sheriff Office's shooting range, where the Mississippi Constables Association was having educational and training sessions for the state's constables.
 
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood blasts Google for online drug ads
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says Google is still selling Internet ads promoting illegally sold drugs, and that the technology giant refuses to drop those websites from search results. The Democrat demanded Thursday that Google CEO Larry Page attend a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General on June 18 in Boston to answer questions, saying earlier responses were "evasive" and "overly technical." Hood, who is one of three co-chairs of the association's intellectual property committee, said that if Google doesn't cooperate, he's going to recommend forcing the company to produce documents.
 
Next generation Corolla set to launch soon
Toyota unveiled its next-generation Corolla on Thursday, and the Japanese automaker hopes to reestablish its dominance in the compact-car segment. With nearly 40 million in sales since it was first introduced in 1966, the Corolla is the world's best-selling car. In North America, the Corolla is built in Blue Springs and in Canada, and production of the 11th-generation Corolla will begin at both locations this fall. Northeast Mississippi Toyota dealers who got a sneak peek at the vehicle earlier this year were impressed.
 
U.S. added 175K jobs in May; economy remains slow
The economy added a solid 175,000 jobs last month, according to new government data released this morning, but the gains were not enough to make a dent in the nation's unemployment rate. The Labor Department reported that the jobless rate was essentially unchanged at 7.6 percent. The number is one of the most closely watched indicators of the economy's health and has inched down to the lowest level since October 2009, when it peaked at 10 percent. The pace of the decline has remained frustratingly slow. But businesses have brought on an average of about 200,000 workers on net over the past six months, and Friday's report suggested that the recovery has not lost steam despite headwinds from Washington. For many Americans, however, the recession still feels in full swing.
 
NSA phone data scans spur anger in Mississippi
In spite of government insistence that sweeping surveillance of phone records is routine, Mississippians are still disturbed at the recent revelation that the National Security Agency is collecting their information. That has left many cellphone users feeling vulnerable and angry. Josh Mabus of Tupelo said he's opposed to the government's collection of cellphone records, although he's not surprised about it. "I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but anyone who wouldn't believe that a governmentally regulated entity ...wouldn't have access to this data is fooling themselves into a false sense of trust."
 
NSA whistleblowers say agency casts wide net
Former employees of the National Security Agency say the publishing of a court order asking Verizon to hand over all its phone calling records for a three-month period opens a new window on an operation that has been in place for years and involves all major U.S. phone companies. "You can bet it's all the other carriers, not just Verizon," said Kirk Wiebe, a former analyst with the NSA. Weibe left the agency after the attacks of 9/11 in disgust, he says, over what he believes is a chronic failure to analyze large amounts of data effectively and with proper privacy protections.
 
U.S. intelligence program secretly probes Internet servers
The U.S. director of national intelligence late Thursday confirmed the existence of a secret program in which the government has tapped into the central servers of nine leading Internet companies to search for data potentially linked to terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation, but he called two newspapers' disclosure of it "reprehensible." Under the 6-year-old program, code-named PRISM, the FBI and National Security Agency have searched for emails, videos, photographs and other documents. The effort involves Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Apple, Google, Facebook and Yahoo all denied participating.
 
Despite outcry, NSA changes unlikely
Several conservative lawmakers slammed the administration in the wake of news that the National Security Agency obtained phone records from Verizon, calling for investigations and attempting to tie it to other recent controversies. While many in the GOP either held their fire or flat out defended the administration -- the practice was authorized initially by a Republican president -- a handful of Congress's most conservative lawmakers, some of whom lean libertarian, lashed out. Most lawmakers --- Republicans and Democrats --- were either indifferent to or supportive of the program on Thursday. With the lack of outrage on Capitol Hill, it's hard to imagine there will be any substantive changes to the laws in the near future.
 
Institutions of Higher Learning taps John Pearce
The board of trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning named veteran staff member John Pearce as interim associate commissioner for finance and administration. He has served as director of university budgets for the Institutions of Higher Learning since 2008. A certified public accountant, Pearce has extensive experience in providing budget oversight of Mississippi's eight public four-year institutions of higher learning, including the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Agricultural Programs and Subsidiary Programs. Pearce holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Mississippi College, and a master's of business administration, with an emphasis in finance, from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has completed coursework toward a doctorate at Delta State University.
 
Amy Chasteen Miller named USM associate dean
Amy Chasteen Miller, associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, is taking on the role of associate dean for academic affairs in the University of Southern Mississippi's College of Arts and Letters. Miller earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alabama, master of arts from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. She also earned a graduate certificate in women's studies from the University of Michigan. Miller began her career at Southern Miss in 1997.
 
Seth Case-Price to lead USM Children's Center
Sarah Case-Price began her affiliation with The Children's Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi more than a dozen years ago as a student worker. On July 1, she will take over the reins as director. Case-Price has served in several capacities at the center since becoming a full-time staff member in 2006, most recently as assistant director. She takes over for acting Director Cindy Bivins, who will continue to help with the center as a volunteer.
 
USM chooses Thomas Schoemann
Thomas Schoemann has been selected as the Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation's operations manager at the University of Southern Mississippi. Schoemann is a retired Air Force veteran and spent the last eight and a half years with Rapiscan Systems as the U.S. operations manager for cargo and people screening. He earned his MBA and undergraduate degree from William Carey University. He has an associates of applied science in instructor of technical and military science and electronic systems technology.
 
Two dozen graduate from USM Police Academy
Law enforcement officers from Starkville to Gautier were part of the most recent class from the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute. Twenty-six officers have just completed 10 weeks of basic law enforcement training as part of Class 2013-02. The SRPSI is a partnership involving Southern Miss, Camp Shelby and the Mississippi law enforcement community. It's the state's only law enforcement academy accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
 
Delta State thanks faculty, staff
Delta State University recently honored retiring employees and awarded service pins to others at the 2013 Retirement Service Award Ceremony. DSU also recently announced its 2013 outstanding staff and faculty award winners. The H. L. Nowell Outstanding Staff award was presented to Sarah Boyles, coordinator of graduate studies admissions. Nursing Instructor Debra Allen was the recipient of the S.E. Kossman Outstanding Faculty Award.
 
William Carey University breaks ground
Faster than you can say Jack Robinson, William Carey University officials broke ground on two building projects Thursday morning. But though the ceremonies were brief on a warm June morning for the university's new chapel and Anatomy Building, the impact of these projects will be long lasting. Provost Scott Hummel called the growth of the university, which has added a medical school and nearly 1,000 additional students during the last five years, "historic" and "unprecedented." "God is certainly blessing William Carey," he said during the Anatomy Building ceremony. The addition of the chapel behind Chain Garden on the northeastern edge of campus will resolve a historic oddity regarding the campus. President Tommy King noted that the Baptist University he oversees is the only college or university in Mississippi currently without a chapel.
 
Tennessee university heads call for immigration reforms
The heads of many of Tennessee's biggest universities have sent a letter asking the state's Republican senators to support immigration reform legislation, becoming the latest to join the congressional battle. Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan, Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos, Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover and 18 other higher-education leaders have signed a letter sent Thursday to U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. The university leaders urged "swift action and support for comprehensive immigration reform," although they stopped short of endorsing specific legislation. The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry has taken a similar stand. They say current immigration law is costing the United States some of the world's top minds, as thousands of graduate students return to their native countries each year because they cannot get visas to work in the U.S.
 
Board considers $320,000 compensation boost for U. of Florida president
University of Florida President Bernie Machen could earn an additional $320,000 over the next two years for deciding not to retire, under a proposal that will come before the board of trustees today. The governance committee of the UF board of trustees voted unanimously Thursday to accept a resolution introduced by board Chairman David Brown to extend Machen's contract by a year and raise his total pay package of $565,000 to a minimum of $725,492 for each of the next two years. That amount could go as high as $750,500 if the board of trustees adopts across-the-board raises for faculty and staff. During his 10 years as university president, Machen has overseen an increase in faculty research funding from $470 million to $644 million. During his tenure, the campus has expanded by more than 2.8 million square feet of new building space, including new research, student and academic facilities.
 
Finalists for UGA administrative post to visit campus
Four finalists for the position of vice president for student affairs at the University of Georgia will visit campus this month to meet with members of the university community. A committee chaired by Jennifer Frum, vice president for public service and outreach, conducted a national search to identify the finalists. The committee was assisted by the UGA Search Group in Human Resources.
 
World-renowned horticulturist Armitage retiring from UGA Trial Gardens
Allan Armitage is finally calling it quits, sort of. Thirty years ago, the Canadian-born Armitage came to the University of Georgia faculty from Michigan, and ever since then he's been running the UGA Trial Gardens, which he founded with another famous UGA horticulture professor, Michael Dirr. The upcoming open houses at the Trial Gardens, in resplendent bloom now as summer approaches, will be Armitage's last shows as director. And while he's retiring from UGA, he's not retiring from horticulture or from teaching, he says.
 
Aggie dies three weeks after rollover wreck in Mississippi
An Aggie who was in a coma after a rollover wreck in Mississippi three weeks ago died Thursday. Amanda Hoffman, 23, earned her diploma in May. She and two other teammates on the Texas A&M Waterski Team were driving through Jackson on May 17 on their way to the Collegiate All Stars Water Ski tournament in North Carolina when the vehicle they were in veered off the road and flipped two-and-a-half times. Hoffman, who was asleep and unrestrained in the back seat at the time of the accident, was ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she remained in the neurology critical care unit, officials said.
 
U. of Missouri faculty, community members express opposition to museums' move
Dozens of University of Missouri faculty members and Columbia residents attended the MU Faculty Council meeting Thursday evening, where they expressed concerns with how the university handled the decision to move two museums off its main campus. Jackie Jones, vice chancellor for administrative services at MU, started the meeting by explaining why the university's administration chose to renovate Jesse, Swallow and Pickard halls all at once. Jones said it costs less for Campus Facilities to renovate whole buildings instead of replacing pieces bit-by-bit. Jesse needs a sprinkler system, a new fire alarm system, a second elevator and better heating and cooling, Jones said, and Swallow needs more classroom and multipurpose space. The situation with Pickard is more complicated because of lingering radiation from experiments conducted there in the early 20th century.
 
SAIC donates $100,000 to UAH for software program, faculty training
A Cummings Research Park technology company donated $100,000 to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, continuing a five-year partnership to develop a skilled workforce. At a ceremony Thursday at the UAH Business Administration Building, SAIC presented the school with the check -- pushing the total donation of the program to more than $500,000, according to Jeet Gupta, eminent scholar and business professor at UAH. The donations pay for UAH business faculty training with the SAP software. Chuck Lewis, a vice president at SAIC, said the company relies on knowledge developed at the university level. The relationship with UAH has been good for SAIC and the north Alabama economy, Lewis said. UAH President Robert Altenkirch echoed that sentiment.
 
Mitch Daniels chats up 'fellow disruptees' at for-profit meeting
Mitch Daniels is agnostic on the various delivery modes of higher education or the tax status of colleges offering them, as long as students are getting a quality education at an appropriate price. "I'm only interested in results per dollar charged," Daniels, president of Purdue University and the former Indiana governor, said in a speech to for-profit-college leaders here on Thursday. "That's the value equation." Daniels was speaking at the annual meeting of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which is the for-profit sector's primary trade group. The mood may have been glum here for some attendees, because most for-profits are coping with steep dips in enrollment and revenue. However, the rest of higher education also faces challenges, Daniels said.
 
Rise of 'Altmetrics' Revives Questions About How to Measure Impact of Research
Adding altmetrics to CVs and dossiers may not be common yet. But interest in altmetrics is growing fast, as scholars begin to realize that it's possible to track and share evidence of online impact, and publishers and new start-up companies rush to develop altmetric services to help them document that impact. The term "altmetrics" has only been around since 2010, when Jason Priem, a doctoral candidate at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, first used it in, fittingly enough, a tweet. That led to an influential manifesto written by Mr. Priem and three other researchers. which pointed out the limitations of traditional filters of quality like article citations and the journal impact factor. Those take months or years to bubble up; altmetrics can be collected fast, letting researchers see, almost in real time, how an article or data set or blog post is moving through all levels of the scholarly ecosystem.
 
Obama Promises Internet Upgrade for U.S. Schools
President Obama visited an innovative middle school in central North Carolina on Thursday to demonstrate the Internet-based education programs that he is proposing to make available nationwide. Speaking to an audience of excited teenagers in a steamy gymnasium, Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to expand an existing program to provide discounted high-speed Internet service to schools and libraries, even if it meant increasing the fees that for years had been added to consumers' phone bills. He said the initiative could lead to better technology at 99 percent of schools in five years.
 
Elvis would be proud of his cousin's compassion
The Dispatch editorializes: "Brandon Presley has a ceiling he will never break through: He will never be Lee County's MPP (Most Popular Presley). That said, the Public Service Commissioner for the northern district of Mississippi, continues to push that ceiling through his innovation, common sense and compassion. ...Of the three public service commissioners, Presley stands apart as an unrelenting advocate for the people."
 
Is the tide turning in Kemper?
Mississippi newspaper publisher and columnist Wyatt Emmerich writes: "As predicted, the train wreck called the Kemper lignite plant is just getting started. It will be as bad as the beef plant but 100 times bigger. The top Mississippi Power Company (MPC) executives have lost their jobs. Massive cost overruns have been hidden. The startup date is up in the air. Several experts are convinced the $4.5 billion experiment won't come close to meeting its operating projections. Worst of all, Mississippi ratepayers are just now getting the tab with a 23 percent rate increase. Look for more increases to come if our political leaders don't come to their senses. ...Speaking to the Stennis-Capitol Press Forum this week PSC Commissioner Brandon Presley, who has fought Kemper from day one, said, 'Not one dollar of the Kemper plant has been deemed prudent.'"


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State likely will go with Graveman in opener vs. Virginia
Mississippi State University coach John Cohen did everything but announce Kendall Graveman would be his starting pitcher for game one of the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional. In his media conference Wednesday morning, Cohen said he and his coaching staff anticipate Graveman will start at noon Saturday (ESPN2) against No. 6 national seed University of Virginia, but he said the team won't finalize its rotation until the weekend because "we simply don't have to." "I think Kendall is just one of those guys that is a competitor, and you just want him on the mound because our kids believe in him so much," Cohen said.
 
Pain of loss still lingers for MSU baseball
Kendall Graveman vividly recalls sitting in the dugout at Florida's McKethan Stadium two years ago, glumly watching Florida celebrate a super regional victory over Mississippi State. He does not want a repeat of that simmering day in Gainesville. "That taste is still in your mouth," Graveman said. "You don't ever lose sight of that, no matter now long you play. The guys that were on that team, we still remember that feeling that we sat there in Gainesville in the other dugout and just sat after the game. "That's one thing you don't lose sight of." Graveman and the No. 14-ranked Bulldogs have another crack at a super regional when they play Virginia this weekend. Game 1 in Charlottesville is set for noon Central time Saturday.
 
Mississippi State, Virginia meet for 1st time in Charlottesville Super Regional
Mississippi State and Virginia will meet for the first time this weekend in Charlottesville. Their inaugural matchup comes in the Super Regional, something each team has some experience in. Mississippi State coach John Cohen leads the Bulldogs in their second Super Regional in three years, while his counterpart, Brian O'Connor, has guided Virginia to five Super Regionals in six years. Virginia's baseball program has some roots in the SEC. Prior to coaching at Virginia, O'Connor spent nine years under current LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
 
Padres select Mississippi State's Hunter Renfroe with 13th overall pick
Hunter Renfroe still has business to take care of in college, but he got to celebrate his professional future Thursday night. The Mississippi State junior outfielder was drafted 13th overall by the San Diego Padres, just two days before his team takes on Virginia in the NCAA super regional round. Renfroe was in Charlottesville when his name was called, surrounded by family and friends. "It's pure elation for me and my family," Renfroe said. "It's just such a surreal feeling to hear your name called and realize you're a first-round draft pick in professional baseball." Renfroe is batting .352 with 15 home runs, 58 RBIs and a .634 slugging percentage. He and the No. 14-ranked Bulldogs (46-18) will open the Charlottesville Super Regional at noon Saturday.
 
Padres select Mississippi State's Renfroe with 13th overall pick
Seven-year-old Hunter Renfroe knew he wanted to play professional baseball. Thursday night, the 21-year-old Renfroe realized his dream -- for the second time. The San Diego Padres selected the Mississippi State junior outfielder with the 13th overall pick in Thursday night's MLB amateur draft. It was a marked improvement from Renfroe's first draft experience, when he was selected in the 31st round by the Boston Red Sox as a high school senior. The signing bonus for this year's 13th pick is expected to be near $2.678 million, according to the league's latest collective bargaining agreement. Heading into the draft, the Ferriss Trophy winner had a .352 average and tied for the SEC lead in home runs with 15. His performance this season earned him a spot as a Louisville Slugger first team All-American. He was also named first-team All-SEC. Now Renfroe heads from the Southeast to the West Coast.
 
NCAA will reveal findings on MSU football today
An NCAA investigation into Mississippi State's football program has come to an end, and the findings will be revealed today. The NCAA has been investigating MSU for several months regarding what the school called a "potential recruiting irregularity" involving former assistant coach Angelo Mirando and current defensive back Will Redmond. At 9:45 a.m. today, the NCAA Committee of Infractions will make its report public, and its chairman, Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, will hold a teleconference with the media at 10. ESPN reported Thursday that MSU committed major violations, although it's not known how severe the penalties will be.
 
MSU to learn sanctions today following NCAA probe
Mississippi State will find out Friday just how severe sanctions against its football program will be when the NCAA's Committee of Infractions reveals the results of its investigation. The NCAA investigated Mississippi State's recruitment of current redshirt freshman defensive back Will Redmond, who did not play in a game last season for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State on Thursday directed all inquiries about the investigation to the NCAA. Several sources confirmed to The Clarion-Ledger that the school had an April hearing in Dallas with the NCAA to go over the allegations. "We haven't heard too much about this so that may lead to thinking that Mississippi State sort of felt it was going their way and didn't feel the need to leak things or get their side out there," said John Infante, author of the Bylaw Blog and a former college compliance director. "If they really felt like they were getting a post-season ban we might have seen them go the other direction."
 
MSU coach silent on NCAA sanctions
Two of the Big Three football coaches attended the third annual Tailgatepalooza on Thursday at the Hard Rock Casino. Mississippi State's Dan Mullen and first-year coach Todd Monken of Southern Miss each greeted their fans at the fundraiser event. Mullen declined an interview request by the Sun Herald, as did the Bulldogs' fans and alumni who were in attendance. The NCAA will announce sanctions for the MSU football team today.
 
ESPN: Mississippi State will get penalized
ESPN reported Thursday that the NCAA will announce infractions for Mississippi State's football program on Friday morning at 10 a.m. The NCAA did not disclose which sport, but a source told ESPN that the infractions are major in nature and will include some elements of self-imposed penalties related to college football recruiting. The source also linked the investigation to former MSU wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando and Bulldogs head coach Mullen won't be implicated. Last August, MSU confirmed an ongoing NCAA investigation into a "potential recruiting irregularity." The school said the investigation is "nearing an end," and it will cooperate fully. A month earlier, MSU ended ties from an athletics booster because of "impermissible contact" with a student-athlete.
 
Edens leads local contingent at MGA State Amateur
Northeast Mississippi golfers heard Grand Bear's faint growl Thursday in the first round of the MGA State Amateur Championship. Canton's Eddie Brescher shot a 4-under-par 68 to take the lead headed into today's second round of the 72-hole stroke-play tournament on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Okolona and Mississippi State golfer Barrett Edens led this area's contingent with a 1-over-par 73. Defending champion Clay Homan, a Fulton native and Mississippi State's golf coach, found the greens somewhat difficult to manage at times during his 4-over 76 round. Tupelo's Fletcher Johnson, a Mississippi State golfer, found the pines on Grand Bear's fairways actually forgiving at times. He saw five tee shots connect with trees, but ricochet back into the fairway.
 
Gallagher putts past McDonald in State Am
Kathleen Gallagher built a three-hole lead, then held on for dear life Thursday against Ally McDonald to win the 2013 Mississippi Women's Golf Association State Amateur Championship. Gallagher, a 16-year-old Pillow Academy golfer, won the match play 1-up on the 18th hole just before rain hit Old Waverly. Officials said she may be the youngest to win the event. "I struggled at the beginning. Well, I wouldn't really call it a struggle," said McDonald, a former IAHS golfer and sophomore All-American at Mississippi State. "Kathleen made a few big birdie putts at the beginning, a lot of momentum for her."
 
Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban's Lake Burton, Ga., home auctioned off
University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban offered Crimson Tide football tickets, sideline passes and an office tour in a charity auction linked to the sale of his multimillion-dollar lake home, which was set for Thursday. The New York-based company selling Saban's north Georgia home at Lake Burton, Concierge Auctions, said fans could register online to win the ticket package. The game tickets and other perks were to be sold to the highest bidder before the sale of Saban's lake home, initially priced at $11 million. All proceeds from the football package auction will go to Saban's charity, Nick's Kids, the company said. The auction company did not respond to questions about whether the home or the football auction sold, or for how much.



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