Monday, July 29, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mississippi State researchers discuss ethics of human testing
An automobile company once asked Daniel Carruth to test consumers' response to a vehicle with brakes activated by gripping triggers on the steering wheel rather than pushing a foot pedal.
 
Mississippi State clinic earns 26th AAHA credit
The Animal Health Center at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine has earned American Animal Hospital Association accreditation for the 26th consecutive year.
 
Teacher merit proposal in flux
With the school year fast approaching, education officials are still not sure how to measure the effectiveness of four pilot programs designed to give teacher merit pay a test run. Clarksdale, Rankin County, Lamar County and Gulfport school districts agreed to participate in pilot projects exploring performance-based compensation after Gov. Phil Bryant approached them last summer. In April, the Legislature appropriated $1.5 million to fund the programs as part of a larger package of education reform bills. This makes it "difficult from a researcher's perspective how to define those specific measures of outcomes," says Julie Jordan, director of Mississippi State University's Research and Curriculum Unit. Jordan's organization authored the study on merit pay commissioned by the governor, which the districts used as a road map to design their own programs.
 
MSU sets strict policy on companies that set up tailgating for fans
Mississippi State University has adopted new policies designed to manage the expansion of commercial tailgating companies in areas traditionally used by fans who set up their own tents and tailgating facilities. Such companies are paid by fans to set up their tailgating area, rather than a fan doing that himself. A commercial tailgating fee system for commercial tailgating companies outlined in the new policies will be waived in 2013, but will be levied during the 2014 season to pay for the costs of management and enforcement.
 
MSU adopts new commercial tailgating policies
Mississippi State University has adopted new policies designed to manage the expansion of commercial tailgating companies in areas traditionally used by fans who set up their own tents and tailgating facilities. MSU's Special Events and Game Day Operations Committee adopted the new policies after extensive debate and study of the issues developing at MSU. The committee also reviewed the commercial tailgating policies of several peer institutions with growing, successful athletic programs.
 
MSU to control commercial tailgaters
Mississippi State University has adopted new rules for commercial tailgating companies that set up in areas traditionally used by fans. MSU says other schools in the Southeastern Conference have put such rules in place as commercial tailgating operations gain popularity and tensions develop between traditional tailgaters and those who prefer to pay commercial vendors to provide their tailgating setups.
 
MSU grant to help juveniles battle substance abuse
Mississippi State University has received a $2 million research grant to study ways to provide juveniles in the state with substance-abuse prevention and treatment programs. The study will be conducted at 12 sites in Mississippi. Mississippi State is one of six universities and a health systems provider receiving grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the Juvenile Justice-Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System.
 
Meridian Day at the Neshoba County Fair set for Wednesday
Meridian will take center stage at the Neshoba County Fair on Wednesday. Meridian Day at the Fair will feature booths from local businesses and health care providers, as well as speeches from area officials, according to Michele Thames, Chamber of Commerce manager. Anderson Hospital, Rush Hospital, Lauderdale County Tourism, MCC and MSU-Meridian are among those who will have booths set up.
 
Endangered frog getting boost from weather, new research
It's been a good year in the wild and in the lab for one of the world's most endangered species, the dusky gopher frog. The rainy spring brought a good hatch at two shallow, rain-fed ponds south of Saucier in the DeSoto National Forest. And new lab projects are underway at Mississippi State University to improve captive breeding of the frog, found only in Mississippi. At Mississippi State in Starkville, a graduate student and a postdoctoral fellow are refining techniques for inducing females to lay eggs and for freezing and thawing eggs, sperm and embryos, with an eye toward a "frozen zoo" for the endangered amphibians.
 
MSU's Georgia Lindley elected president of chiefs' association
Mississippi State Police Department chief Georgia Lindley was elected the 2013-2014 president of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police at a recent conference in Biloxi. A 34-year veteran of the MSU Police Department, Lindley was appointed chief of police in 2005, making her the first female to lead law enforcement at the 135-year-old land grant institution. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from MSU and is a licensed social worker. Lindley also is a volunteer with the Oktibbeha County Humane Society. She is married to chief David Lindley of the Starkville Police Department, who is an association past president.
 
People on the Move: Mississippi State University
Ian Munn, a forest resource economist and professor at Mississippi State, has been named associated dean in the College of Forest Resources and will lead the university's natural resources program. He has served as a forestry professor at MSU for more than 20 years. Georgia Lindley, chief of the Mississippi State University Police Department, has been installed as president of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police for the 2013-2014 term.
 
City sheds layer of transparency with Spruill's firing
One key job function of the vacant chief administrative officer's position remains unassigned by the Starkville Board of Aldermen: A prior board resolution made Lynn Spruill's the city's primary point of contact for Freedom of Information Act requests. After aldermen forced the tenured administrator out of office, the board set a precedent by delegating one of her job functions internally -- City Clerk Taylor Adams will now prepare meeting agendas on at least an interim basis -- but city representatives failed to assign information requests to a specific employee or the mayor.
 
Starkville budget committee faces pay disparity, turnover
Aldermen face two significant issues as they approach budgetary planning for the upcoming fiscal year: looming internal turnovers and income gaps between city employees and those of comparable municipalities. Starkville is a month and a half away from the Sept. 15 deadline for adopting a fiscal year budget and determining its operating millage. Hearings began Thursday with discussions between the audit and budget committee -- Mayor Parker Wiseman and the entire seven-person board of aldermen comprise the group -- and representatives from the city clerk's office, personnel department and information technology department.
 
Starkville Community Market to remain open through August
Starkville Community Market will stay open through August due to produce availability and increased consumer demand, Greater Starkville Development Partnership Special Events and Projects Coordinator Jennifer Prather confirmed Sunday. The market, which usually concludes at the end of July, will remain open due to late-season produce growth. Prather, who also serves as the market's manager, said weather delayed this year's growing season. "We weren't even at full speed with the market until mid-June in terms of the variety of produce," she said. "This move will allow us to sustain a supply through the end of August."
 
First-time Neshoba County Fair-goers get warm House Party welcome
The opening day for the Neshoba County Fair was Christmas in July for the thousands of people returning to spend a week with family and friends. Fairgoers poured into the grounds late Friday afternoon, packing the streets and rows of cabins in anticipation of this year's event, also known as Mississippi's Giant House Party. For three Clarion-Ledger reporters, it would be the first time to experience the chaos, the carnival rides and the famous lemonade.
 
Less required for MAEP, but full funding unlikely
Even though it appears the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula will generate less funds per student for the first time ever next year, it still is not likely to be fully funded during the 2014 legislative session. Neither Gov. Phil Bryant, who campaigned for lieutenant governor in 2007 on the promise that fully funding the program would never been an issue again, nor current Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves would commit to full funding.
 
Gunn hopes to fill ed board slot soon
House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, said he hopes to name a new member of the state Board of Education before it meets on Aug. 15-16. The nine-member board that oversees the state's public schools is one member short. The board met earlier this month with eight members. Gunn said recently he has approached someone about serving and is "expecting a response soon." If that person agrees to serve, he or she should be in place for the August meeting and participate as the board hires a new state superintendent of education later this year. Gunn's first nominee, Joel Bomgar of Madison, was rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
 
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner's Affordable Care Act plan
After suffering through a high-profile intraparty squabble with the governor and averting a near disaster for the state's insurance marketplace, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is giving another go at running an Obamacare exchange. This time, the Republican commissioner is looking to run just the state's exchange for small businesses while letting the feds oversee the new insurance marketplace for individuals -- an option the Department of Health and Human Services only recently made available to states reluctant to do the entire lift.
 
AP analysis: MDOT sees maintaining good roads as economic engine
The Mississippi Department of Transportation is dealing with its maintenance crisis the only way it can -- shifting money away from new construction to the upkeep of more than 27,000 lane-miles. MDOT leaders said roads improved through its 1987 road program are now as old as 25 years and are breaking down. The dilemmas facing MDOT and the three-member elected Transportation Commission are that the cost of asphalt has tripled over recent years and fuel taxes haven't produced enough money for new construction and maintenance needs. A task force of lawmakers, business leaders and others created by the state Senate to look at highway needs. It will hit the road this fall to hear from the public. Northern District Commissioner Mike Tagert said he hopes the task force recognizes the highway system is one of the state's economic engines.
 
Rybak to speak to Mississippi Democrats
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will speak Aug. 9 at the Mississippi Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson-Hamer Dinner. The event will be held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Jackson at 6:30 p.m. The dinner is the Mississippi party's signature annual fundraising event. Rybak is vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
 
Davis new Parole Board chairman
Former State Sen. Doug Davis, R-Hernando, has been named as chairman of the Mississippi Parole Board by Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant made the appointment as he announced the retirement of State Parole Board Chairman Malcolm McMillin and the appointment of Davis who is presently serving in his first term on the state Parole Board. Bryant has also named former U.S. Marshal Nehemiah Flowers to fill Davis' at-large position on the board. Davis recently served as assistant vice president of First Security Bank, and he represented District 1 for two terms in the Mississippi Senate. He holds a bachelor's degree from Mississippi College.
 
Longtime legislator Dr. Jim Barnett passes away
Dr. Jim Barnett, a Navy veteran, county doctor and longtime state legislator, died Friday after dedicating his life to his community for several decades. He was 86. Barnett, a man who worked tirelessly to better his community and his state, entered public service in 1992 as a representative of District 92 in the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he served until 2008. In an interview in 2012, Barnett said he had always been interested in politics. "I enjoyed the Legislature, and I did everything I could for Brookhaven," he said.
 
Mississippi officials laud startup gun manufacturer
It's only 10 jobs, but that's not stopping three of Mississippi's highest officials from lauding a new gun maker. Talon Ordnance announced Friday in a news conference at the state Capitol that it plans to set up shop in Ridgeland to make high-end assault weapons modeled on the AR-15. The company, led by CEO Clay Baldwin, says it hopes to start turning out rifles in early 2014, making several thousand in the first year. Gov. Phil Bryant, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn, all Republicans, lauded the company, saying its establishment is further proof of Mississippi's gun-friendly atmosphere. The company isn't receiving any state incentive money.
 
Work crews return to GreenTech site
With much fanfare and a former U.S. President and ex-Mississippi governor on hand, the first MyCar rolled off the assembly line at GreenTech Automotive's electric car manufacturing plant in July of last year. Since then, company officials have kept a low profile on the green start-up company that manufactures the two-seat all-electric vehicle. However, as of Friday, work crews were said to be back on site of the company's future Tunica manufacturing plant site. Lyn Arnold, executive director of the Tunica Chamber of Commerce, said the company recently issued a press release that it is moving forward with its plans to construct the company's new manufacturing plant in Tunica near the DeSoto County line. "They are actually back on site, and to my knowledge, plan to move forward with getting their building construction under way," Arnold said Friday.
 
Mississippi deal may figure into Georgia nuclear plant
In Mississippi, the Southern Co. utility took financial losses when the cost of building a new power plant went over budget. In Georgia, another of the company's projects is going over budget, but it has not yet taken a financial hit. Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power promised utility regulators that it would charge its customers only for $2.4 billion in costs for building a coal-fired power plant in Kemper Country. Those customers will also have to pay off another $1 billion in bonds for the project, though the utility cannot make a profit off that borrowed money. The utility's deal in Mississippi has become a point of debate as Georgia regulators consider who should pay for the increased cost of building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, southeast of Augusta. Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols said he wants Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power to consider a Mississippi-style deal here, and Georgia regulators are carefully tracking financial developments in Mississippi.
 
Division over union: UAW push to organize Alabama's Mercedes plant could be felt throughout the state
Could this be the year the United Auto Workers union finally finds an open door at an Alabama auto assembly plant and thus establishes a foothold in the southern U.S. auto sector? It's impossible to know for sure, but signs point to the most aggressive organizing campaign yet at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance in Tuscaloosa County, as well as employees who are primed to hear the union message. Key factors new to this campaign include the backing of the German labor union IG Metall and a focus on the region directed from the highest level of the UAW. The union has similar efforts underway at other auto plants in the South operated by foreign automakers, including Volkswagen in Chattanooga and Nissan in Canton, Miss.
 
Pope Francis reaches out to gays, says he won't judge gay priests
Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked. Francis' remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil. He was funny and candid during his first news conference that lasted almost an hour and a half. He didn't dodge a single question.
 
Ex-student sues USM over exit from university
A former University of Southern Mississippi student has sued the university, accusing the university unduly terminated him and tampered with his file. Adrel Ryan Tutwiler filed his complaint in Forrest County Circuit Court Tuesday, also listing Vice President of Student Affairs Joe Paul and Dean of Students Eddie Holloway as defendants. The suit, which represents one side of a legal dispute, accuses the university of contractual violations, noting the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled students are entitled to contractual protection. University counsel Jon Mark Weathers said he is familiar with the factual situation. "The university is going to deny the allegations and defend it vigorously," he said.
 
Jimmy Buffett donates boat to run on waste vegetable oil
In his song "A Pirate Looks at 40," Mississippi singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett wrote: "Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call. Been wanting to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall." Recently, Buffett put his money where his guitar is. He, along with his family, has played a key role in a unique project that combines Jimmy Buffett's lifelong fascination with the sea, education and the need to protect and nurture the environment. The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs recently augmented the engine of the research/education vessel The Miss Peetsy B to run on waste vegetable oil. A group of students in GCRL's Sea Camp were the passengers on the 33-foot vessel's initial voyage with its new fuel system.
 
Mark Chen chosen for U. of Mississippi chair
Weixing "Mark" Chen will join the faculty of the University of Mississippi this fall as the new chair of the Department of Public Policy Leadership. He brings to the department experience with university administration, establishing international partnerships and educational programs, and his teaching and research specializations in public policy, international relations and Chinese politics, with an emphasis on Chinese leadership. Before coming to UM, Chen was professor of political science and chair of the Department of Political Science, International Affairs and Public Administration at East Tennessee State University, where he was honored with the ETSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Research.
 
UMC dentistry sets pace for rest of U.S.
The world of dentistry is changing, Dr. Edward Hill says. The professor of care planning and restorative sciences in the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry can remember when students poured all dental impressions by hand some 30 years ago. These days, "students still need to know how to make a conventional impression and pour it up," he said. "But the thing about it is, the technology is moving so fast that 10 to 15 years from now, it'll be all digital imaging."
 
Ole Miss student crowned 2013 Miss Hospitality
Engulfed by a flood of emotions and new-found friends Saturday night, Miss Meridian Hailey Thomas took a moment to process the news -- she is Mississippi's new Miss Hospitality. Thomas said she can't wait to begin traveling the state as an ambassador for tourism and hospitality. "As Miss Hospitality I hope to be the best promoter and presenter of our state of Mississippi and to learn so much about not only about our state but about myself and to also show other women you can be confident in your own skin and you can be anything that you set your mind to." Thomas, a Meridian Community College graduate, is an Ole Miss pre-med major with plans to become a pediatrician.
 
Steven McClellan named Delta State CFO
Steven J. McClellan has been named vice president for finance and administration and CFO at Delta State University. For the last six years, McClellan has served as associate vice chancellor for finance at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. McClellan will take office on Aug. 1, replacing Greg Redlin who will retire July 31. McClellan is a native of Cleveland, and attended Mississippi Delta Community College before transferring to Delta State University, where he graduated with a bachelor of business administration in accounting in 1981 and earned his MBA in 1983.
 
Delta State signs interview agreement for graduates
Delta State University has signed an agreement that guarantees graduates from its commercial aviation program an interview with ExpressJet Airlines. Julie Speakes, chairwoman of DSU's Department of Commercial Aviation, says it is an opportunity for graduates who complete the instructor standardization course to transition to the regional carrier.
 
Former nursing dean at USM leaves legacy
Students from across the region who have been touched by the career and life of Gerry Cadenhead Fletcher will have the chance to pay their last respects to Southern Miss' former dean of the College of Nursing this week. A memorial service is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Bennett Auditorium on the Southern Miss campus. Fletcher died July 22 at Forrest General Hospital at the age of 73. Katherine Nugent, current dean of the College of Nursing, said Fletcher was devoted to the profession of nursing and the role that nurses play in health care. According to Nugent, during Fletcher's time at Southern Miss, she had two dreams: to see the College of Nursing returned to its college status and to see a new building built for the college.
 
LSU restructuring plan summarized
A long-awaited presentation that was supposed to spell out how LSU can position itself to become a "globally competitive research enterprise" came and went without discussion Friday during LSU's Board of Supervisors meeting. Consultant Christel Slaughter recapped a 10-page summary of the LSU Transition Advisory Team's findings in 15 minutes. The team looked at how best to restructure the LSU System's $3.5 billion network of four university campuses, a law school, two medical schools, a biomedical research center, numerous hospitals and dozens of outpatient medical clinics. Priorities, such as "generate new revenue" and "improve student retention and graduation rates," were followed by bullet points that suggest "monetizing" parking lots and residence halls and enhancing libraries and recreational centers, according to the summary.
 
LSU employees to get raises; up to 4 percent
LSU System President King Alexander announced Friday that faculty and staff statewide will soon be getting either a pay raise or a one-time salary bump of up to 4 percent. Those increases would be the first pay adjustment for LSU employees in four years. Alexander said the salary adjustments are necessary at a time when LSU continues to lose faculty to other institutions resulting in larger class sizes and low employee morale. "This is a long overdue action that has been precluded by financial circumstances," Alexander said in a prepared statement. "While we still have considerable financial challenges, our first priority must be faculty and staff this year."
 
Pulitzer winner Jon Meacham in residence at Vanderbilt
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham will be in residence at Vanderbilt University for the fall semester, teaching an undergraduate political science course and holding two events for the public. He won a Pulitzer for "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House." His most recent book, "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power," went to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Meacham grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South, where he serves as a member of Sewanee's Board of Trustees and Board of Regents.
 
Texas A&M professor pushing for tougher regulations on imported honey
Honey lovers likely aren't getting what they pay for in stores, according to Vaughn Bryant, a Texas A&M anthropology professor who is lobbying legislators to put stronger restrictions on imported honey. Years ago, Bryant said he was asked by the federal government to test honey samples by tracking down pollen types to essentially determine the origin. He found that 6 percent of the samples were not from the U.S. What this means for consumers, he said, is they aren't always getting what they pay for. "There was some cheating going on," Bryant said.
 
Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp says IT and communications staffs may be centralized
Included in a massive examination of the Texas A&M University System are the communications staff, information technology personnel and management at Easterwood Airport. An audit to scrutinize the job of each of the system's 17,000 staff positions could begin within weeks, but separate reviews to assess IT and communications personnel are scheduled for completion by third-party contractors by the end of the year, according to A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. Sharp, who oversaw the largest outsourcing of services at a public university, said the IT and communication audits are not precursors to more privatization, but are aimed at finding operational inefficiencies and restructuring.
 
Beshear names longtime supporter to U. of Kentucky board
Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed one of his longtime supporters to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. James H. Booth of Inez, one of three people named Friday to the UK board, is a coal executive with Matrix Energy. He donated more than $100,000 for Beshear's 2011 inauguration and was a member of the governor's blue ribbon commission on tax reform. Also picked for the UK board were former newspaper editor David Hawpe, who worked for The Courier-Journal in Louisville for more than 40 years before retiring in 2009, and Angela L. Edwards, a Louisville lawyer with Dinsmore & Shohl.
 
U. of Missouri Faculty Council hears about academic award for football program
The University of Missouri is continuing to show that student athletes are first and foremost students and that some of their greatest accomplishments are within the classroom. Brian Maggard, executive associate athletic director, said football Coach Gary Pinkel received a letter congratulating the MU football team on receiving the APR Public Recognition Award. The award is given annually by the NCAA to honor teams earning multiyear Academic Progress Rates in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport, according to the NCAA website. On Thursday, Maggard and Athletic Director Michael Alden met with the MU Faculty Council to update them on athletic endeavors across campus, which included discussing MU's Academic Progress Rate as calculated by the NCAA.
 
Three U. of Missouri education professors land large research grants
Three University of Missouri education professors recently received research grants of more than a million dollars from the U.S. Department of Education. Erica Lembke, associate professor of special education; Wendy Reinke, associate professor in the School of Psychology; and Keith Herman, professor of counseling psychology, each received a grant for a multi-year project that will support teachers in the classroom.
 
Fraternities Lobby for Tax Break Without Hazing Penalties
About 40 percent of U.S. senators, and 25 percent of U.S. representatives, belonged to fraternities or sororities in college. On April 24, more than a dozen of these grateful alumni extolled Greek life at an annual $500-a-plate dinner in a Washington hotel ballroom for "FratPAC," the industry's political arm. One by one, they took the podium and praised fraternities for teaching them loyalty, leadership, and practical skills. "We learned to tap a keg," declared Representative Steven Palazzo, a Mississippi Republican and Sigma Chi brother, who then yelled a cheer as hundreds of FratPAC donors applauded. Many of the legislators also pledged support for FratPAC's pet legislation: a multi-million-dollar tax break to let fraternities and sororities use charitable donations to renovate and help build chapter houses.
 
Cleaning out the ol' notebook: Fair football politics | Sam R. Hall (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "So it seems I started a small controversy last week with a blog post about the Mississippi State and Ole Miss presidents speaking at the Neshoba County Fair. Looking at the schedule, it appears that Ole Miss Chancellor Daniel Jones was given 20 minutes to speak while MSU President Mark Keenum was given the usual 10. Of course, the reason is the speaker who was to come directly after Jones had to drop out. My blog post was written in obvious tongue-in-cheek fashion, but it goes to show you that when it comes to politics and college football, you joke at your own risk."
 
Rumors, drinks swirl at Neshoba County Fair | Geoff Pender (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "The Neshoba County Fair's old-timey political stumping Wednesday and Thursday mark the official start of Political Speculation and Rumor Season, lead-up to next year's federal and 2015 statewide elections. Hundreds of political observers, media, lobbyists, government staffers and candidate supporters will gather around Founder's Square, sweat like crazy and listen to the state's top politicians speak. Then they'll go gossip and speculate late into the night, in some cases over an adult beverage or three, about who might do what next in Mississippi politics. It's time-honored tradition for the Political Chattering Class, at 'Mississippi's Giant House Party,' established in 1889."
 
SID SALTER: Holder's stances on Trayvon, VRA offer contradictions
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "It is indeed interesting to watch Attorney General Eric Holder navigate the moving targets of his philosophies on racial profiling. In reaction to the George Zimmerman acquittal in Florida, Holder vowed to battle the 'mistaken beliefs and stereotypes' that he said led to what Holder called the "unnecessary" shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Clearly, Holder's remarks to the NAACP after the verdict touched on his personal experiences with incidents that can only be described as examples of profiling. ...But when it comes to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Holder seems to be downright defiant in protecting the institutionalization of laws from the 1960s that profile Southern states as racist havens of voter discrimination."


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs' guard aiming for big senior season
Gabe Jackson's eagerness to reach the NFL is matched only by his eagerness to make his senior season a great one. The left guard put his professional aspirations on hold to return for one more year at Mississippi State, a move that should improve his draft stock. It's a move that will certainly help MSU's offensive line. A fourth-year starter, Jackson is the Bulldogs' most experienced offensive lineman, and he anchors an interior group that's become a strength for this offense. Dillon Day is back at center, and Justin Malone takes over full time at right guard after sharing snaps there last season.
 
Baseball's success gives Mississippi State athletics much-needed boost
Five days from the return of football, the enthusiasm is back. The Mississippi State baseball team's run into the College World Series ignited a fan base that had the life sucked out of it after a colllapse in football and the men's basketball team turned in a 10-22 record. The university is feeling that resurrection of support fiscally. Mississippi State contacted its final football season ticket holders off the wait list last week. The total number of season tickets matches that of 2011. The number falls short of 2012 only because visiting teams, Alabama and LSU, are allotted 7,000 tickets apiece. Last year's visiting schools fell well short of that mark.
 
Former MSU coach in initial Southern League Hall of Fame class
Former Mississippi State University player and head baseball coach Jimmy Bragan is among three initial inductees into the Southern League Hall of Fame. Also in the first class are former league presidents Billy Hitchcock, a former Atlanta Braves coach, and Don Mincher, a 13-year Major League veteran. The first three inductees were unanimous selections by the board of directors. The first induction ceremony will coincide with the 2014 season, the 50th anniversary of the league's modern era that started in 1964.
 
Bulldogs of summer: MSU bass team members to compete for national title
The summer time is full of fishing for a great many of Mississippi State students. There are several MSU students who have turned he hobby into more of a summer time or weekend event. The Bulldog bass team will send a pair of two-person teams to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship this Thursday through Saturday. MSU will be represented by the team of Justin Atkins and Lowell Gann, while Drew Long and Cody Garrison will comprise the second team.
 
RICK CLEVELAND: MSU's McDonald finds success, stays hungry
Syndicated columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Lou Weddington Hart has won the state's women's amateur golf championship nine times. Her daddy, Hunter George Weddington, the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame, won the men's amateur championship three times. So Lou Hart is well-versed on Mississippi golf history. That's what makes this first statement from Lou so powerfully telling, 'Ally McDonald can be as good as there is or has ever been. She can be Mississippi's next Mary Mills.' Wow! Mary Mills won three of women's golf's majors: one U.S. Open and two LPGA Championships. In college, she played No. 1 on Millsaps men's team. McDonald, a rising junior at Mississippi State from Fulton, added another huge line on her ever-growing list of achievements last weekend, capturing the prestigious North & South Amateur championship at the famed Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort."
 
Sports Venues Confront Fans' Use of Wireless
Mike Waddell was ready to celebrate. Waddell, a senior associate athletic director at the University of Arkansas, was in attendance at an NFL playoff game last fall. A big play on the field resulted in a wave of emotion sweeping through the stands. Waddell, caught up in the moment, looked to his left and then to his right in hopes of high-fiving a fan seated next to him. "Both of them had their noses in their phones," Waddell said, laughing as he recalled the experience. In that unfulfilled high-five Waddell, the fan, affirmed to Waddell, the athletic administrator, how much the experience of watching a game in the stands is changing. Larger venues like the University of Arkansas' 70,000-seat Razorback Stadium or War Memorial Stadium continue work that will allow them to handle the demand on existing wireless or cellular networks.
 
Arkansas Licensing Likely Lands Hogs on Top 10 List
Finals rankings for top 2012-13 sellers among Collegiate Licensing Co. schools should be released on Wednesday of this week. Don't be surprised to see a familiar name among the Top 10 schools. For the first three quarters of 2012-13 the University of Arkansas was ranked among CLC's top sellers. The UA was No. 10 in the third quarter and ranked No. 9 in quarters one and two. Depending on how the Razorbacks brand sold in the final quarter, there's a good chance that the UA again cracks the Top 10. UA's most recent annual athletics report notes $9.7 million in revenue generated for 2012-13 from "royalties, licensing, sponsorships." That's an increase of 77 percent from the $2.2 million reported in 2007-08.
 
Texas A&M to auction athletics facility items
Texas A&M will conduct an online auction of several unique and historic items from the recently closed G. Rollie White Coliseum beginning Thursday on AggieAthletics.com. Among the items will be the 10-inch metal letters that served as the marquee for the basketball and volleyball facility and spelled "G. Rollie White Coliseum" for decades. Other items include U.S. and Texas flags that hung in the rafters and a 4-foot tall maroon Daktronics scoreboard. Later in August, A&M will auction four "Texas A&M" branded sections of the wood playing court and will sell pieces of the G. Rollie White Coliseum brick exterior. The court and brick availability will be subject to a successful salvage by the demolition contractor. A&M also will auction items from other facilities in the near future as the school embarks on the redevelopment of Kyle Field and completes the lobby expansion at the Bright Complex.
 
Salaries in Tennessee athletic department rise 9.1 percent over a year ago
An overhauled football coaching staff, a pay bump for the man in charge and raises to a small portion of a 209-person staff. Add it all up and the Tennessee athletic department will see salaries rise by 9.1 percent in the upcoming academic year, according to a complete list of salaries acquired by a News Sentinel through an open records request. Thanks in large part to newly hired football coach Butch Jones, a $1,905,787 increase in salaries will bring the sum of UT athletic department salaries to $22,765,793 spread over those aforementioned 209 employees in the list provided.
 
Former U. of Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge arrested on DUI charge
Former University of Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge was arrested Sunday morning on a drunken driving charge. An officer spotted Ainge in a 2014 GMC Sierra at 1:13 a.m. allegedly swerving in and out of the middle lane of traffic on Interstate 40 West near the West Hills exit, according to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk. Ainge, 27, allegedly had dilated pupils and slurred speech, and failed field sobriety tests, according to the arrest warrant. Ainge was suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy during his rookie season and later entered a drug treatment center. He has spoken openly of his battle against drug and alcohol addiction.



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Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: July 29, 2013Facebook Twitter