Friday, August 16, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
NSF ranks Mississippi State in top 100 in U.S. for research
Mississippi State University continues to rank among the nation's top research universities, according to new data from the National Science Foundation. The recently released NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey for fiscal year 2011 places Mississippi State at 91st overall among public and private institutions based on $226.1 million in total research and development expenditures. At 48 percent, MSU's research expenditures accounted for nearly half of the total for Mississippi institutions, the survey found. Additionally, the university had more than 4,000 research personnel -- accounting for 60 percent of the total for the state.
 
Mississippi State University in top 100 for research
Mississippi State continues to rank among the nation's top research universities, according to new data from the National Science Foundation. The recently released NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey for Fiscal Year 2011 places Mississippi State at 91st overall among public and private institutions based on $226.1 million in total research and development expenditures. Nationally, MSU is ranked 53rd in non-medical school R&D expenditures. "These significant totals are the result of very hard work by our faculty," said David Shaw, the university's vice president for research and economic development.
 
Mississippi State leaders 'excited' to have Yokohama office in research park
Mississippi State University officials confirmed Wednesday that Yokohama Tire will locate its operations at the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park while the first phase of construction for the Japanese tire manufacturing company's Clay County facility takes place. The company lease of a 7,500-square-foot space in the park's Industry Partners Building began earlier this month. Up to 70 Yokohama employees will eventually move in beginning next month after equipment and offices are set up, said Marc McGee, director of the MSU Research and Technology Corporation. MSU vice president for research and economic development David Shaw said in a university release that he looks forward to working with company leaders as the project progresses. "Yokohama Tire's decision to build in the Golden Triangle is a very strong example of how a major research university is a significant economic development asset," Shaw said.
 
Yokohama opening office at MSU park
Yokohama Tire Corp. is opening its operational headquarters in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park at Mississippi State University, an MSU official said. Having the office there will "develop a new pipeline of communication between us," said Marc McGee, director of the MSU Research and Technology Corp., which manages the park. The Research Park space will form the center for strategic and logistical operations for Yokohama Tire while overseeing the development of its manufacturing facility in Clay County.
 
IHL clears plan for Mill project
The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees approved at its meeting Thursday two agreements between Mississippi State University and the city of Starkville that bring the parking garage for the Mill at MSU Conference Center one step closer to fruition.
 
Finding Parking Spaces at Mississippi State
Enrollment at Mississippi State University continues to grow. That's great, but that means its campus has to grow right along with it. Locating a parking space, when school is in session, can be a course in frustration. Well, it turns out, there's an app for that. Mike Harris is director of Parking and Transportation at Mississippi State University. He explains, "On those peak times during the week, you are going to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 to 24,000 vehicles a day."
 
Mississippi State softball team volunteers for Habitat for Humanity
It's a different kind of practice that the Mississippi State University softball team is accustomed to. They volunteered time away from the field to help the Habitat for Humanity build a home for a Starkville family. Like many, Jessica Offutt returned to Starkville early to lend a helping hand. The overall project is operated by Habitat for Humanity, but this particular house is unique compared to others. It's the "Maroon Edition," which means the volunteers building the house are connected to MSU in some way, such as students, faculty, staff, campus organizations, alumni, etc.
 
MSU-Meridian's Fall Semester Starts Monday
MSU-Meridian hosted its final orientation session Thursday before classes begin Aug. 19. Students received information about the school and were shown where they will be taking their classes on campus, the financial aid office and the campus police if they need to use those services. "People see the value of a college education and with MSU-Meridian being able to offer the Riley Next Step Scholarship to transfer students," said recruiting coordinator Candy Adams. "This is a full tuition scholarship. We are very thankful to have this, and that just helps to bring more new students in."
 
Extension Service offering new, free app for Apple devices
A new app from the Mississippi State University Extension Service connects the expertise of more than 150 county agents to clients wherever they are. The Mississippi Extension Service Directory is a free app available for Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod, through the app store. Users can search the directory by county, region and agent's name. Clients can launch an in-app phone call or view a map to the county office. To download the app, go to the app store and search for "MSUES," "Mississippi State Extension Service" or simply "Extension Service," or go to tinyurl.com/mawdgwb.
 
Perkins wants to use CAO, planner salaries to boost Starkville Parks' funds
Before Starkville aldermen approached an almost 3-mill tax increase for rising expenses Tuesday, the board, spearheaded by Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins, approved a motion to increase Starkville Parks Commission's operating budget annually by almost $96,000. Perkins, who numerous times this budgetary season said he was against raising taxes and voted against a millage increase notice in that meeting, led the effort to increase Parks' operating budget by $8,000 monthly beginning Oct. 1. His motion calls for the line item to continue through Fiscal Year 2014 "until further ordered by the board."
 
Mississippi governor touts private investment in healthcare
Mississippi needs to pursue private investment in health care businesses to promote job creation and improve the quality of life, Gov. Phil Bryant told an audience of about 700 people Thursday at a state chamber of commerce event. "Today is not all about what the government can do for us," Bryant, a Republican, told the business people, lawmakers, health professionals and others at a meeting that he and the Mississippi Economic Council hosted at the Jackson Convention Complex. "I am of the opinion that the more we get the government out of health care, the better off we would be," Bryant said. Bryant did not mention government-funded research, although others at the meeting praised it as a way to jump-start economic growth. Malcolm Portera, chancellor emeritus of the University of Alabama Health System, said Birmingham is a medical hub with hospitals and research facilities that provide solid jobs. He said research facilities are a good investment for state government because they enhance the state's reputation and help attract private dollars. "Physician mind power is the key to success," said Portera, who's also a former president of Mississippi State University.
 
Bryant summit highlights health care zone benefits
Spearheaded by Alliance Health System's goal to build a new hospital in Holly Springs, a medical park was created in the Marshall County municipality in 2008. With the community unable to offer incentives, developing that park has proven slow. But with Holly Springs being named a certified Health Care Zone Community by the Mississippi Development Authority, incentives will be available to help develop the medical park, Holly Springs Mayor Kelvin Buck said Thursday. Buck, who took office in early July after serving in the Legislature, spoke at Gov. Phil Bryant's Health Care Economic Development Summit Thursday at the Jackson Convention Complex where discussions were held on how to spur the state's economy through the health care industry. The governor and the Mississippi Economic Council, the state's chamber of commerce, have been working together to develop plans to grow the state's health care industry.
 
Health care zone plans submitted
Gov. Phil Bryant's desire to create health care economic-development zones throughout Mississippi took an important step forward Thursday. The governor officially accepted health care zone master plans from Madison County and 11 other counties as part of a day-long health care economic-development summit at the Jackson Convention Complex. The zones generally include areas in a five-mile radius of a hospital or a college or university that features medical studies in its curriculum. Each plan had to be crafted by an accredited planning agency. An area's colleges and universities are encouraged to lend research and other expertise.
 
USDA trip moves U.S. closer to accepting Chinese chicken
A chicken that was processed in China might soon be on your dinner plate. Despite years of food safety scandals surrounding China and another recent bird flu outbreak there, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is moving closer to opening the U.S. market to Chinese-processed chicken by sending two of its senior food safety officials to Beijing next week for a bilateral meeting on the subject. The meeting is a culmination of seven years of negotiations and could have an impact on the agriculture industry more broadly. U.S. industry officials hope a deal will soften tensions between the trading partners and convince China to lift restrictions on U.S. chicken, beef and other commodities. The U.S. and China have been locking horns for years over chicken trade.
 
Mississippi unlikely to raise history exam passing score
Mississippi history students can breathe easier: The passing score required on the state's high school U.S. history exam is unlikely to rise until at least 2015. The state Board of Education is likely to vote Friday to keep the passing score at its current "basic" level, putting off earlier plans to raise it closer to a level rated "proficient" in the 2013-2014 school year. Rachel Canter, the executive director of education reform group Mississippi First, questioned the decision. "The reality is, there are kids in districts who are on this line and we're telling them that they know enough history to graduate from high school and they really don't," Canter said. The delay comes as the state anticipates new, tougher math and English tests as a result of the Common Core state standards that it has adopted.
 
Judge orders new mayoral election in Hattiesburg
It's a do-over. A mulligan, if you will. More than two months after the first mayoral election of 2013, Hattiesburg residents will return to the polls in a special-called election ordered by Judge William Coleman on Thursday. "We feel like justice is served," mayoral candidate Dave Ware said on the Forrest County Courthouse steps, after exchanging hugs with his supporters in the courtroom. Ware lost the June 4 mayoral election by 37 votes to Mayor Johnny DuPree. He then contested the election in a tense, divisive trial that ultimately produced a hung jury in July. Not quite so delighted in the aftermath of Coleman's ruling was DuPree attorney Brandon Jones. But he took it in stride. "We had an expectation that, maybe, a couple of weeks ago wasn't the last turn, so to speak," he admitted. It is now up to Gov. Phil Bryant to determine when the special election will take place.
 
Biloxi Lighthouse disappearing from state's license plates
The Biloxi Lighthouse soon will be a beacon of a different sort. The image will be helping law enforcement officers in South Mississippi to identify drivers who haven't renewed their license plates. Every five years, the state introduces new plates. The distinctive lighthouse tag with a purple background, unveiled in 2007, honored the resilience of South Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. "As of Oct. 1, basically it will be an illegal tag," said Joe Tucker, Jackson County tax collector. B.B. King's guitar Lucille is featured on the new blues plate. It was introduced Oct. 1 to salute Mississippi's musical heritage. By Sept. 30, unless they have a specialized plate, "everybody should have one," Tucker said.
 
With U.S.-made panels, White House goes solar ...again
Nearly three years after the Obama administration promised to return solar energy to the White House, the panels are now going up. The project reflects the president's emphasis on green energy and was cheered by the environmental community, which had lobbied for the installation. In 1979, Jimmy Carter was the first president to put solar panels on the White House, amid the energy crisis. The panels came down in 1986, at President Reagan's request.
 
Louisiana, Mississippi are most obese states in the country, survey says
Adult obesity still isn't budging, the latest government survey shows. The national telephone survey found 13 states with very high rates of obesity last year. Overall, the proportion of U.S. adults deemed obese has been about the same for years now. Louisiana and Mississippi led the list. In both, nearly 35 percent of adults were obese. It's not surprising states in the South and Midwest top the charts year after year, experts say. Many states in those regions have higher poverty rates. "When you have a limited income, you have to buy foods that are cheap. And foods that are cheap tend to have a lot of sugar and salt and fat," said Dr. George Bray, an obesity expert at Louisiana State University.
 
Obesity's death toll could be higher than believed, study says
The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new research warns. Some 18.2% of premature deaths in the United States between 1986 and 2006 were associated with excess body mass, according to a team of sociologists led by a Columbia University demographer. That estimate, published online Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is far higher than the 5% toll widely cited by researchers. The study makes clear that as obesity has become more widespread across successive waves of American generations, it has the momentum to reduce the average life expectancy of an entire population for many years to come.
 
Herzog Plumbs Guilt And Loss Wrought By Texting And Driving
For decades, acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog has introduced audiences to subjects that stick in one's mind long after the credits have rolled, from a cave of artwork painted more than 30,000 years ago, to the landscape of Antarctica, to a man who believed he had a special relationship with grizzly bears. His latest film is no less thought-provoking, but it's a bit of a departure for Herzog. It's a public service announcement. His haunting documentary From One Second to the Next was created after AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile approached him to make a film about the risks of texting and driving. The PSA is part of AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign, urging young people to put their phones away while driving. The campaign encourages drivers to pledge that "no text message, email, website or video is worth the risk of endangering my life or the lives of others on the road." From One Second to the Next is available online, where it has logged more than 1.6 million views, and will be distributed to thousands of schools across the country.
 
Community invited to participate in MUW Move-In Day
Faculty and staff at Mississippi University for Women will roll up their sleeves and lend a helping hand to students moving into the residence halls Saturday, starting at noon. The community is invited to participate. Students will be greeted by staff as they enter the front gate, according to Sirena Cantrell, director of the Department of Housing and Residence Life. "This day is very special to our students because it is a start of a new chapter in their life. By having many volunteers on site during the day, family members are able to get all questions answered and the help they need to make this a successful start of their child's college career."
 
MUW Warns of Financial Aid Scam
Mississippi University for Women has received reports of an unknown person, purporting to be from Washington, D.C., contacting students to request personal banking information related to federal financial aid. This is believed to be a scam. No legitimate source would request a student's bank account information by phone, and students are advised to treat such calls as phishing attempts. If you receive such a call, please do not respond. If you need financial aid assistance, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 662-329-7114.
 
UMC may purchase Jackson's Landmark Center
The University of Mississippi Medical Center may have just been approved to lease a Grenada hospital on Thursday, but the potential for another expansion already is in the works. UMC is looking at purchasing a vacant downtown office building in order to deal with an increased demand for space for support staff. "We are interested in the Landmark Center and are now in discussions about potentially purchasing it," said Dr. James E. Keeton, UMC vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. "Whenever possible, we want to reserve space on our main campus for patient care, education and research activities," Keeton added. The purchase would have to be approved by the state College Board, a governing body that has been kept in the loop during the discussion, said Keeton.
 
Budget approved for new UMMC building
The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson plans to begin construction on its new medical school building this fall. The College Board Thursday approved increasing the budget for the building to $35.5 million, using $21 million in state bonds that the Legislature approved borrowing earlier this year. The four-story building is expected to have 138,000 square feet of classrooms, laboratories, offices and training space. Documents presented to the College Board show a contractor has yet to be selected. The building will relieve overcrowding in the existing buildings and will allow the school to expand each year's incoming class to 165.
 
UMMC, Baptist win navigator grants
Two Mississippi organizations will share $1.1 million in grants to help the uninsured navigate finding health insurance. The Department of Health and Human Services announced $67 million in grants to 105 organizations on Thursday to train and deploy navigators to provide in-person assistance to help people access health insurance and tax credit subsidies through federal health insurance exchanges. University of Mississippi Medical Center, which is slated to receive $831,986, will assist uninsured patients at its hospitals and clinics with enrolling in Medicaid, CHIP and the federal marketplace exchange.
 
U. of Mississippi named one of 'Top 25 Most Literary Colleges in America'
So you think you have what it takes to write the next 'great American novel,' but aren't sure where to go to college to refine your skills and become the next Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison or William Faulkner? According to a new report by Flavorwire, a website that covers cultural events, art, books, music and world news, look no further than Oxford. The University of Mississippi has been named one of the "Top 25 Most Literary Colleges in America."
 
U. of Mississippi grad lands role on TV show
Another Mississippi native has landed a role in a national television series. Trav Lyons, of Brookhaven, was featured Wednesday night on Tyler Perry's new TV series "Love Thy Neighbor," according to the Daily Leader. The comedy that showcases the struggles of a middle class family who own a diner airs Wednesdays on the Oprah Winfrey Network at 8:30 p.m. Lyons is a 2006 graduate of Brookhaven High School and a graduate of the University of Mississippi.
 
USM online degree program wins approval
The online master of science degree program for logistics, trade and transportation at the University of Southern Mississippi has been approved by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics Board. Administered by the USM Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation, the action allows program graduates to receive certification in the discipline along with their degrees.
 
New Apple store opening on Jackson State University campus
Another Apple store is coming to Mississippi. The new store will be on the campus of Jackson State University inside the Student Center. The new location will be the second Apple store in Mississippi. The other store is in Ridgeland at Renaissance at Colony Park. The store at JSU will sell all Apple products except the iPhone, officials said. "The store will be open in the next couple of weeks," said Michael Thomas, the vice president of business and finance for JSU.
 
Scholarship formed for future teachers
The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning is launching a new Teacher Education Scholars Program (TESP) that will award full scholarships to high-performing incoming college freshmen who pursue teaching careers. TESP provides $15,000 per year, covering tuition, room, board and books for each recipient, who must agree to teach in a Mississippi public school district for at least five years. IHL Director of Communications Caron Blanton said TESP was part of Gov. Phil Bryant's Education Works initiative, which passed during the last legislative session.
 
Auburn University to hold inaugural color run
The public is invited to partake in the inaugural Color Me Auburn 5K, a race across Auburn University's campus with a few colorful surprises. The run will begin on the Science Center Concourse Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. and cover most of the campus. At stations along the way, runners will be hit with orange and blue powder. "We came back from a conference this past year that I went to with the Student Alumni Association," said Dori Dobbs, SAA adviser. "The University of Florida did a 'Gator Run' on their campus. It was a color run and a huge success their first year. Our students were really pumped when they came back from the conference. We felt like we could make it work here." Dobbs said the starting line will be between the Quad dormitories and the science buildings on the concourse.
 
Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp says Johnny Manziel should be paid
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, in Fort Worth to discuss the A&M System's acquisition of the Texas Wesleyan Law School, took a brief detour into the Johnny Manziel controversy on Thursday when he defended the A&M quarterback as a "good kid" and suggested last year's Heisman Trophy winner and other student-athletes should be able to profit from selling their autographs. Manziel, according to EPSN's Outside the Lines, has been accused by sources of signing autographs for pay from memorabilia dealers. The NCAA reportedly is investigating whether Manziel violated any of its rules against athletes profiting from selling their autographs or likenesses. In an interview with a reporter from KXAS-TV in Fort Worth, Sharp said Manziel should be able to profit off his name if A&M and the NCAA can do so.
 
Texas A&M softball coach Jo Evans gives advice to summer grads
Encouraging graduates to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, Coach Jo Evans gave her summer convocation address Thursday in front of a crowd of more than 200. "Act like you've been here before," Evans told the grads of their future opportunities. "Fake it till you make it." Graduating Aggies and their families gathered at Rudder Auditorium for advice before participating in two graduation ceremonies Friday where almost 1,800 students are expected to receive their diplomas. With an introduction from President R. Bowen Loftin, Evans, one of the winningest active coaches in Division I softball, recounted stories about learning to fail, working hard and helping others during her address.
 
New Northgate apartments begin move-in process for Texas A&M students
More than 350 Texas A&M students are expected to descend upon University Drive today -- and more will be coming all weekend. The Rise at Northgate and The Stack at Legacy Point are both opening up their brand new doors for residents on Friday. The two apartment complexes, located right off University Drive in the Northgate District, can house nearly 900 students between them in a combined 400 units. Businesses in Northgate are expected to be positively affected by the new hub of residential activity within walking distance. Chris Steele, owner of O'Bannons Taphouse on Boyett Street, said that there never seems to be enough parking at Northgate, so he expects business to increase now that more people are within walking distance.
 
U. of Georgia to be one of two groups supplying Obamacare navigators
The extension service at the University of Georgia is one of just two organizations that will supply workers to help an estimated 1.9 million Georgians pick a health plan under ObamaCare. When the department begins operating Georgia's health exchange Oct. 1, individuals and small businesses will have a choice of 20 plans offered by five insurers. The federal Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare, empowers the department to provide grants to train and pay "navigators" to assist people in making those choices.
 
City gives initial OK to new U. of Florida game-day parking rules
The City Commission has given initial approval to additional rules for football game-day parking in neighborhoods near the University of Florida. With the opening game against the Toledo Rockets only two weeks away, the city will not enforce the rules until the 2014 season. The new regulations will apply in neighborhoods around campus such as College Park when the homeowner or tenant charges for game-day yard parking. Speaking against the regulations on Thursday, Mayor Ed Braddy said there were thousands of tailgaters and only a few "bad actors." He said he felt the city could enforce existing laws to address problems instead of turning it into "regulation nation."
 
U. of Tennessee's freshman class: Bigger, smart and diverse
The University of Tennessee will welcome its largest freshman class in nearly a decade when students begin moving in this weekend. This year's cohort will top out at more than 4,300 students ---100 more freshmen than last year. Those students will help bring UT close to Chancellor Jimmy Cheek's undergraduate enrollment goal of 21,500 students, said admissions director Kari Alldredge. The university is able to serve a larger student body because of increasing graduation rates, fewer bottleneck courses and more student support, she said. Once again, the average ACT score was a 27 and the average GPA was 3.86. Nearly half the class -- 46 percent -- graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA or higher.
 
Man accused of beating two U. of Kentucky employees with fire extinguisher
Two University of Kentucky employees were beaten with a fire extinguisher early Thursday morning on campus, according to UK police. UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said Chase Jackson, 23, was arrested on two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault of a police officer, two counts of first-degree burglary and one charge of resisting arrest. The attack occurred at the Thomas Poe Cooper Building on Rose Street and Huguelet Avenue, Monroe said. Jackson entered the building and asked a forestry department employee if he could use a phone, Monroe said. After using the phone, he took a fire extinguisher off the wall and allegedly attacked a custodial worker in the hallway. The forestry employee locked herself in her office and called 911, Monroe said. Jackson kicked in the door and beat the woman with the fire extinguisher, Monroe said.
 
Dear Driver: You might want to avoid area around U. of South Carolina campus on Saturday
The forecast for the weekend might be cooler than previous years, but the traffic forecast with university move-in, a rally and predicted rain might make navigating through downtown Columbia on Saturday as sweltering as ever. The annual move-in weekend at the University of South Carolina is projected to bring thousands of new students and their parents to the streets of downtown. About 6,173 students will live on campus in residence halls, and most of those move in Friday and Saturday, according to USC. About a quarter of students already have moved back in, including residence hall mentors and freshman women going through sorority recruitment. But the remaining majority move in this weekend.
 
U. of Missouri System president urges GOP to reconsider tax-cut bill
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is actively lobbying Republican legislators to preserve Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that would cut the state's income tax rate, urging them to weigh the potential costs to higher education. Members of the Missouri House are scheduled to head into a House caucus meeting this weekend in advance of the September special session where they could vote on the override. One of Wolfe's main points was that Missouri didn't want to be like Kansas. Facing a $600 million revenue shortfall after reducing tax rates last year, the Kansas state government cut its spending on higher education, Wolfe said. As a result, tuition rose by 7 percent at Kansas State University and by 5 percent at the University of Kansas, Wolfe said.
 
U. of Missouri group earns honor for Bangladesh activism
Members of a local atheist group were recently honored for their participation in a global movement. Members of the University of Missouri student group Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists and Agnostics -- known as MU SASHA -- received the Center for Inquiry's 2013 Campus Affiliate Group Award for Defense of Free Expression for their involvement in a worldwide protest. The protest, held in late April, was to promote freedom of expression as well as protest the incarceration of four Bangladeshi bloggers who were arrested on charges of blasphemy after publishing criticism of Islam. Aaron Underwood, president of MU SASHA, said he was surprised to receive the award.
 
Stankowski Field set to reopen Monday at U. of Missouri
Stankowski Field is expected to reopen Monday at the University of Missouri, despite weather delays, said Larry Bennett, senior associate director for facilities at MizzouRec Services. MizzouRec officials pushed back the opening one week after rain hindered construction. Construction upgrades at Stankowski Field began May 19 with the primary goal of resurfacing the track's surface. Additional improvements include: dirt work to resolve drainage issues, fencing upgrades, and kickboard installation for use by soccer players. Student fees funded the field's upgrades, which cost about $1.2 million. For the fall semester, both undergraduate and graduate MU campus students enrolled in more than 6 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters pay a flat-rate $138.69 recreation facility fee.
 
Despite Financial Concerns, Most Parents Still Value College
For all the public questioning of the value of college, more parents of teenagers are convinced it's a good bet, although they are worried about scraping together the cash to make it. Nearly nine in 10 parents said college was very important to their children's futures, a new survey shows, up from about eight in 10 last year. And the shares of parents who thought a college education was somewhat or not important dropped slightly, according to the survey, which was released on Thursday by Discover Financial Services.
 
Defense Department Proposes New Rule for Institutions Receiving a Military Education Benefit
The Defense Department has issued a proposed rule updating the memorandum of understanding that institutions must sign to participate in its Tuition Assistance Program for active-duty servicemembers. The rule, which was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, incorporates the "principles of excellence" that President Obama issued in 2012 into the agreement, requiring institutions to provide servicemembers with "meaningful information" about the cost of attendance, and provide academic student support services to servicemembers and their families. It also bars colleges from using "unfair, deceptive, and abusive recruiting practices" to entice servicemembers to enroll.
 
OUR OPINION: Health development zones hold prosperity potential
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "Gov. Phil Bryant added more details to his initiative called Health Care Zone Master Plans at a statewide health care summit in Jackson on Thursday. The program, which is anchored in Mississippi's growing $11.9 billion health care economy, is designed to bring health-related business and manufacturing development in a geographic area encompassing a five-mile radius around a certified facility in a county which has a certificate of need for at least 375 acute care hospital beds or which writes a master health care development plan. Bryant announced 12 zones in his speech for the 700 people at the health care summit."
 
SID SALTER: Some uninsured may get help without Medicaid expansion
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "It's clear that when the Obamacare health exchanges open on Oct. 1, Mississippi will continue to be one of the states that opted not to expand the state's Medicaid program. In 40 Mississippi counties, Humana Health Insurance and Magnolia Health Plan will be offering healthcare exchange coverage. Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has said the prices are 'competitive' but analysts predict those rates will result in sticker shock for consumers. But at least one public health care industry news source is reporting that the poor in Mississippi and other non-Medicaid expanding states may be able to access help paying for their health care through something as simple as filling an accurate tax return."


SPORTS
 
Freshman trio stands out for Mississippi State in scrimmage
In the first scrimmage, the wide receivers stole headlines with dropped passes and penalties. A week later, in its second scrimmage, Mississippi State dropped cliches. "A lot of good things, a lot of bad things, a lot of things we've got to evaluate on film and see," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "We've got a lot of guys in a lot of different plays. We put a lot of guys in a lot of different situations; a lot of teaching for our guys. Including some kicks, Mississippi State ran about 160 plays Thursday night. A trio of true freshman stole the show. Mullen said defensive end Chris Jones, running back Ashton Shumpert and wide receiver D'Runnya Wilson all contributed with explosive plays.
 
Bulldogs seek leadership in secondary
Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay anchored a very talented and experienced cornerbacks group last season. The Mississippi State Bulldogs don't have Banks or Slay this season. Both players have moved on to the National Football League. New cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend takes over one of the more raw position groups on the field for the Bulldogs. His guys were under great leadership a year ago with Banks and Slay. Now the leadership is gone and it's his job to continue it.
 
BRAD LOCKE: MSU's Jones, Shumpert make quick impression
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Brad Locke writes: "It's too soon to say whether Chris Jones and Ashton Shumpert -- the Daily Journal's players of the year in 2012 -- will see the field this fall, but their impact on the program is already being felt. In my five years covering Mississippi State, I don't recall there being so much buzz about a couple of freshmen as with Jones and Shumpert. But then, these are two of the most talented players to come into the program during coach Dan Mullen's tenure. These are the kind of players Mullen needs to attract more of in order to make MSU competitive in the SEC's Western Division. Of course, such players need to eventually live up to the star ratings. It's early, but so far Jones and Shumpert have made a strong impression on coaches and teammates."
 
MSU hosts soccer exhibition match
The Mississippi State Bulldogs didn't take it easy on themselves in finding an opponent to open the 2013 soccer season. Even though its an exhibition game, MSU coach Aaron Gordon went out to find the best competition possible. He believes South Florida out of the Big East Conference fits that idea. The Bulldogs challenge the Bulls tonight at home. "For the exhibition game, I wanted to play as tough a game possible because I knew I was going to have a lot of freshmen and we needed to have an idea of where we stood in preseason before we go into regular season game," Gordon said. "The Big East is one of the best conferences, (and one of the) top four or five in the country. Notre Dame is the national champion and have come out of that conference, so they have to meet those expectations every year."
 
USM holding 'Ultimate Fan Competition'
The Southern Miss Department of Athletics announced a new contest today to recognize the school's Ultimate Fan. Fans of all ages are asked to submit their entries through Sunday. Entries must be emailed to SouthernMissAthletics@gmail.com and include the following: name, location, contact information, a brief paragraph description of why you are the Ultimate Fan and a photo submission. Fans are encouraged to be creative with their photo submissions. The fan crowned as the Ultimate Fan will receive a one-of-a-kind Southern Miss Football cooler.
 
PGA champ Jason Dufner visits Auburn football team, talks about mental toughness
They are different sports, different athletic movements entirely, but Auburn punter Steven Clark knows something about the meticulous grind Jason Dufner goes through on the range. With Clark, the obsession is punting. Each motion is amplified, each twitch so important, putting all the pieces together for one perfect swing is the impossible expectation -- every time. "I have so much respect for him," Clark said Thursday after Dufner visited Auburn's morning practice, bringing the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2013 PGA Championship last weekend. "I've been playing golf longer than I've been punting, and I suck at it. It's so hard. It's something that really relates to my craft, particularly." Dufner's visit may have been the mid-camp, pick-me-up Auburn needed. Before practice, coach Gus Malzahn challenged his players to be relentless. Don't give in to the temptation of coasting through another long, dog day, he told them.
 
A 'smokey' shade of gray for Tennessee football uniform
The University of Tennessee's traditional color palette is adding a giant splash of gray. The Vols unveiled an alternate uniform for their football wardrobe on Thursday, showing off a shadowy gray jersey and pants -- the color is officially dubbed "smokey" -- complemented by the traditional orange numbers and lettering. There were some other less dramatic changes among the five uniforms that head coach Butch Jones showed off on his player models during a locker room fashion show that included mood lighting and music. "I'm excited because our players are excited, and I think our fan base is excited," Jones said. "The great thing about Tennessee is we have tradition. But any great organization is always embracing change."
 
Reaction to new U. of Tennessee uniforms likely generational
JaCall Stewart and David Carter took a quick peek at the University of Tennessee's new football look. That was all it took for them to form opinions of both the new "smokey" gray uniform and changes to the traditional orange-and-white attire. After viewing color photos of the uniforms, they virtually parroted each other in saying, "I like them." Those were two opinions from a totally random survey on the new look. Both JaCall and David are 14 years old. Alan Moore, 28, thinks someone's perspective on the uniforms likely depends, to a certain degree, on their age. He referred to the black jerseys UT wore for the Halloween home game against the University of South Carolina in 2009 and how they were received. "It was a generational thing, I think," said Moore, a lawyer who received his undergraduate degree from UT. "I think the older generation doesn't like change. I think most young people are OK with doing something new."
 
Construction on U. of Missouri baseball clubhouse underway
Missouri baseball Coach Tim Jamieson stood on the concourse above the home dugout taking the scope of the $4 million renovations going on at Taylor Stadium. The new facility will house the team's 4,000 square foot clubhouse in a building that connects Taylor Stadium to the McArtor Baseball Facility. The original plan when the hitting facility was constructed in 2009 was that it would eventually expand to include a locker room. When the new SEC-sized plans were revealed for the project that started in May, it was bigger and better than what Jamieson had initially imagined. The jewel of the new clubhouse will be a large players' locker room at the center.
 
How Penn State Football Survived; Egged On by the NCAA, Rival Teams Tried Raiding the 2012 Nittany Lions
To write his forthcoming book "Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football," author John U. Bacon embedded himself with four Big Ten programs -- Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern -- in search of the sport's old ideals as it is roiled by money, greed and scandal. In this excerpt for The Wall Street Journal, he offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Penn State's team reacted to the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal last year.



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