Tuesday, October 1, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Keenum, Dews elected to Mississippi Power board
Mississippi Power's board of directors has two new members. Elected to the board are Thomas Dews, 66, president of C.L. Dews & Sons Foundry & Machinery Co., and Mark Keenum, 52, president of Mississippi State University. Ed Holland, Mississippi Power president and CEO, said the new directors' "knowledge of Mississippi combined with their dedication, experience and business acumen uniquely position them to provide immediate value to the board." Keenum is the 19th president of Mississippi State University and since he was appointed in 2009, the university has seen record growth and enrollment.
 
Golden Triangle Development LINK to announce $20 million initiative
Golden Triangle Development LINK officials Thursday will reveal details about a $20 million technology initiative that they say will boost the regional technology infrastructure for business and bring new investment and expansion opportunities to the Southeast region. The announcement is set for Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the Thad Cochran Research Park in Starkville. Those scheduled to attend the news conference are Joe Max Higgins, CEO of Golden Triangle Development LINK; Dr. Mark Keenum, president of Mississippi State University; Jack Wallace, executive director of Oktibbeha County EDA; and Parker Wiseman, mayor of Starkville.
 
Search committee establishes director of Alumni Association candidates for office
This past spring, Mississippi State University saw the retirement of one of its own as Jimmy Abraham stepped down from his position of executive director of the Alumni Association. Bill Kibler, vice president of Student Affairs, serves as the chair on the committee. He said initially there were about 30 applicants, and they were narrowed down through a strategic process in which every applicant was treated equally. This past week, two finalists came to campus for public sessions.
 
Students, general public learn about bugs
The Crosby Arboretum hosted BugFest on Friday and Saturday to share insect related information with the public. "It is our purpose to introduce kids to insects," said Dr. John Guyton, a Mississippi State University extension entomologist.
 
Session held to inspire entrepreneurs
It's been Innovate Mississippi's mission for the past two years: getting people to act on their ideas for business. A group of students from Mississippi State came to Startup Weekend in Tupelo Sept. 27-29 to conceptualize their own business. "So we came here with an attitude to learn about it, not so much learn about the competition but we just came to learn, to get a lot from it," Mississippi State student Kyle Warren said. These students say that after this weekend their hopes of starting a business are now closer to reality.
 
Conservation methods saving and making money for Stovall Farms
One of the first things Pete Hunter tells visitors to Stovall Farms is thank you. Hunter says folks from areas north of the Mississippi Delta have made a lasting contribution to its topsoil. But Hunter wants visitors to know he's doing everything he can to make sure the soil stays on his fields. He spoke about those efforts to improve irrigation efficiency to a group of congressional staffers who toured the Delta as guests of the Delta Council. Hunter, who is making his 40thcrop since graduating from Mississippi State University in 1973, notes that Stovall Farms is the home of blues legend Muddy Waters. The blues tradition is one of the more unique things about the Delta. Another is the makeup of its soils, which were deposited during centuries of flooding of the Mississippi Delta.
 
Mississippi will feel some impact from shutdown
Despite the federal government shutting down early this morning because of congressional gridlock, the Post Office will continue delivering mail and retirees should still expect Social Security checks. But don't expect to use any of the restrooms along the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway. You're also out of luck if you need a passport in a hurry. Without Congress agreeing on a bill to fund the federal government by today, hundreds of thousands of federal employees face furloughs. In Mississippi, that significantly impacts the 24,700 federal employees, about 2 percent of the state's total workforce, Bureau of Labor Statistics show for August.
 
Shutdown: What does it mean for Mississippi?
As the minutes ticked toward midnight late Monday, Mississippians were bracing for how a federal government shutdown would affect their lives -- or in some situations, have no impact. So, if you woke up this morning to the government shutdown, here's what you found: services many take for granted turned upside down, from food assistance for low income women and children to restrooms available for motorists and tourists on the Natchez Trace Parkway; and potentially thousands of the state's 18,000-plus federal workers placed on furlough.
 
Government shutdown begins; Senate rejects latest House proposal
The U.S. government began to shut down for the first time in 17 years early Tuesday, after a Congress bitterly divided over President Obama's signature health-care initiative failed to reach agreement to fund federal agencies. Thousands of government workers arrived at federal office buildings to clean off their desk, set out-of-office e-mail messages and make whatever arrangements were necessary so they could stay off the job indefinitely.
 
Trent Lott on Ted Cruz: 'Cut His Legs Out from Under Him'
Just as House Speaker John Boehner was concluding a brief press conference on Monday afternoon---declaring that House GOPers would once again send to the Senate a bill funding the government that would block Obamacare, practically ensuring a government shutdown---I bumped into former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who now works at Patton Boggs, a powerhouse law and lobbying firm in Washington. Glad not to be part of the mess? I asked. "I'm of two minds," Lott said. "I'd like to be in the arena and help work something out. But it's gotten too nasty and too mean these days. I couldn't work with these guys."
 
New normal: This is the way government works now
Don't like the mess that led to Tuesday's government shutdown? Nothing's going to change anytime soon. The latest self-inflicted crisis, the result of a bitter deadlock between Republicans and Democrats, is another illustration of the growing inability of the nation's elected officials to govern in any logical, collegial fashion. The consequences for operating the government for the next few weeks, let alone the next few years, are daunting. New budget crises are only days away. Federal workers won't know if paychecks are coming regularly, agencies can't plan, contractors can't be sure of payments, financial markets can't be reassured.
 
Health exchange goes live in Mississippi today
Mississippians will get their first look today at their options for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The federal exchange will go live today, and people will be able to see prices and subsidies for which they qualify. Because funding for the Affordable Care Act is considered mandatory, it will be unaffected by any government shutdown. "They need to look and weigh their options right now," said Roy Mitchell, executive director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, which is leading a coalition of health groups aiding with sign-up. The health insurance exchange is primarily designed for people who can't access health insurance through their employer.
 
Insure or pay penalties: Small businesses preparing for rollout
The year delay in implementing the insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act is offering little breathing room for businesses with 50 or more full-time workers. An act requiring businesses with 50 or more full-time or full-time-equivalent employees to offer affordable health care to them was to take effect Jan. 1. But that doesn't mean those firms won't have plenty of work to do between now and Jan. 1, 2015, to prepare for the changes.
 
Health Exchanges Open for Business
New marketplaces meant to steer millions of uninsured Americans to health insurance under President Barack Obama's signature health-care law open for business today. After a weekslong scramble by state and federal officials to iron out technical wrinkles and position thousands of outreach workers, the marketplaces are set to launch, warts and all, giving the public a first taste of the health law's core provisions. Consumers can shop in the online marketplaces, called exchanges, comparing monthly prices, deductibles and other details of health plans, and buy coverage. Many moderate and low-income customers will receive federal subsidies to help pay for coverage.
 
Aycock tosses state's small-group political spending laws
A state law is unconstitutional when it forces small groups or individuals to register and report spending more than $200 on a political issue, a federal judge said Monday. The issue was raised in October 2011 when five Oxford-area residents sought to oppose a Mississippi ballot measure about eminent domain. They brought their lawsuit to federal court against Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Attorney General Jim Hood. Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Sharion Aycock, who has pondered the legal issues since then, declared the state law's reporting threshold "too low" and said it imposes "substantial burdens" on groups and individuals. She also said the law requiring group registration and individual reporting is "unconstitutional" under the First Amendment.
 
Kemper delay could cost Mississippi Power $133 million
If Mississippi Power Co. misses a May deadline to complete construction of a $4.3 billion power plant in Kemper County, it will be forced to repay $133 million in federal tax credits. However, the company says that because of accounting rules, it wouldn't write the amount off from profit and wouldn't add it to the $990 million in overruns it's already written off. Company spokeswoman Amoi Geter said that decision could come this week. Mississippi Power President Ed Holland told The Associated Press recently that officials were reviewing the schedule and could push it back.
 
Lawsuit widens abuse claims against MHP
Steroid use and its alleged cover-up by the Mississippi Highway Patrol are among the claims a federal lawsuit makes as it adds plaintiffs to allegations of abuse during arrests. The lawsuit was initially filed by John A. Hawn last February, but a motion to file an amended complaint adds four others with claims against ex-trooper Christopher Hughes of Tupelo, then-Patrol director Michael Berthay of Saltillo and the unnamed commissioner of public safety in Jackson. Joining Hawn of Lee County to claim mistreatment at the hands of Hughes and others are Bryan Lindsey of Pontotoc County, Ronnie Horton of Itawamba County and Lee countians Heather Seawright and Matilda Moore. Hughes began serving a prison term recently after pleading guilty to depriving another woman of her civil rights during a 2007 beating in the Lee County Jail. He was never prosecuted by the state.
 
Elvis Impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis and the Ricin Assassination Plot
Spend a week or two in Tupelo, Mississippi, and you begin to wonder if the air down here perhaps contains an element that causes dreams to ignite and burn hotter and stranger than elsewhere in the world. What are the dreams that catch fire in this town? They are dreams of rock 'n' roll; of valor, metamorphosis, and ruination; sex and betrayal; of the government and shadowy forces; of the grand dream, American.
 
UM works to increase both standards, opportunities
The University of Mississippi's recent enrollment gains come as the institution tries to meet two seemingly contradictory goals, its chancellor said on Monday. Ole Miss saw a 3.5-percent growth this year, giving it a total of more than 22,000 students on all of its campuses. It is the university's largest enrollment and was the biggest gain in the state, which saw its overall number of students decline. At the same time, the institution is trying to both raise its academic standards and to provide opportunities for residents of the state who are not as well prepared for higher education, Chancellor Dan Jones said. "We embrace that dual responsibility as a flagship university in a poor state with a lot of needs," Jones said during a meeting with the Daily Journal editorial board.
 
East Central Community College Student Dies in Wreck
An East Central Community College student died in a one-vehicle traffic accident Monday morning about 7:45. The Mississippi Highway Patrol says 19-year-old Brittany Hutchinson of Forest was traveling on Highway 489, about four miles north of Lake, when the wreck happened. The vehicle left the wet road in a curve, hit a patch of trees and rolled over 360 degrees. Air bags deployed, but Hutchinson was not wearing a seat belt.
 
Judge dismisses trademark lawsuit filed by U. of Alabama against artist Daniel A. Moore
A federal judge has dismissed the University of Alabama's trademark lawsuit against artist Daniel A. Moore and his company New Life Art. U.S. District Court Judge Abdul Kallon on Friday ruled in favor of Moore and against the University in the eight-year legal fight. Moore's attorney, Stephen Heninger, this morning described the ruling as a "total win" for the artist. Moore is relieved at the outcome, Heninger said. The lawsuit by the university went "against public opinion and now against the law. He's very happy," Heninger said.
 
Alabama's lawsuit against artist Daniel Moore dismissed by federal judge
A federal judge has sided with sports artist Daniel A. Moore in a 2005 trademark lawsuit by the University of Alabama over the painter's artwork depicting iconic moments in the history of Crimson Tide football. In an order late Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Abdul K. Kallon granted a summary judgment requested by Moore and co-defendant New Life Art Inc., the Birmingham company that published his art, to dismiss claims by UA of breach of contract and unjust enrichment over the reproduction of some of Moore's paintings. The ruling concluded the remaining disputes in the civil lawsuit against Moore and New Life Art Inc. claiming breach of contract, trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark infringement and unjust enrichment by selling artwork depicting UA football without the university's permission.
 
Auburn University prepares for breast cancer awareness month
Starting Thursday night and extending throughout October, several buildings on Auburn University's campus will be illuminated in pink light for breast cancer awareness. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Jenny Swaim, executive assistant in the office of enrollment services, has devoted the last seven years to bringing extra awareness to Auburn University during October. Swaim said she and the Auburn University Staff Council first started this awareness initiative because of the free mammograms offered to insured employees of the university.
 
Auburn professor to discuss research at faculty lecture
Auburn University faculty, staff and students will have the opportunity to hear one of the university's greatest research success stories at the Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lecture Wednesday. Dr. S.D. Worley, professor emeritus in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, was chosen as the distinguished lecturer this year, and he will discuss a technology he developed at Auburn that brings clean drinking water to developing nations. "The way you disinfect water in this country, in Auburn for example, is by chlorination," Worley said. "They do this with gaseous chlorine that they feed in to the water supply. They can't do that in rural India, China or those places, because they don't have the resources for that technology."
 
U. of Florida races to create online campus as Jan. 1 opening date approaches
When Florida Governor Rick Scott on April 22 signed Senate Bill 1076, he tasked a "preeminent state research university to establish an institute for online learning" that would "offer high-quality, fully online baccalaureate degree programs" by January 2014. A few weeks later, the Florida Board of Governors granted the University of Florida that designation. Regardless of the jokes about the sluggish pace of change in higher education, Florida now faces a looming challenge: Can you create a degree-granting online institution in seven months? "If in fact we were starting from scratch, we wouldn't have a prayer," said W. Andrew McCollough, associate provost for teaching and technology at UF, who admitted that his team is feeling the time constraints. "No question about it.... [T]here clearly was an aggressive timeline."
 
U. of Florida group seeks tuition equity for all in-state students
A University of Florida organization is fighting to make sure all in-state students get to pay the in-state tuition rate. UF Students for a Democratic Society recently kicked off its campaign to gain tuition equity for students who lack legal documentation and who are now charged out-of-state tuition. "A lot of these students have been living in Florida all their lives,'' said Chrisley Carpio, 21, lead organizer for the group. UF does not keep track of undocumented student demographics, said Janine Sikes, assistant vice president of University Relations. Carpio estimated the number to be in the hundreds.
 
U. of Florida history professor found dead in apartment
Florin Curta last saw his colleague and fellow history professor Alan Petigny last Monday outside their offices at the University of Florida. "We chatted, he was positive and full of life and new projects," Curta said. Petigny had just begun writing his second book, about changes in U.S. culture after World War II, and wanted Curta to read the first chapter. It was the last time the two would speak to each other. Petigny, 48, died last week, law enforcement officials said, apparently of natural causes. Thursday night, University Police and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office discovered Petigny's body in his apartment after History Department Chairwoman Ida Altman reported that he was missing.
 
National Intelligence Director to speak at U. of Georgia
University of Georgia officials say the school will welcome National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, to give its annual fall charter lecture. The university's charter lecture is scheduled for Oct. 16 in the school's chapel. Admission is free, but tickets are required because of limited seating. Clapper was sworn in as Director of National Intelligence in 2010, and is the principal intelligence adviser to President Barack Obama.
 
Mason not sure Louisiana higher education funding will stabilize in 2014
Despite assurances from Gov. Bobby Jindal and his staff, Southern President Ronald Mason said Monday he is not yet ready to buy into the narrative that state funding for higher education will stabilize in 2014. Speaking to the Press Club of Baton Rouge, Mason, a former president of Jackson State University, said the governor assured him and others that next year's revenue predictions were looking up and there's "a good chance for stable funding." Just one year without a budget cut would be a relief to Louisiana's network of public colleges and universities which have become used to seeing their budgets reduced year after year. Collectively, the schools have been stripped of nearly $700 million in state funds since 2008 as the governor and the Legislature maneuvered to balance state budgets.
 
U. of Tennessee College of Engineering celebrates 175 years
In 1838, students wanting to study engineering could take a single course in surveying at the University of Tennessee -- which was then called East Tennessee College. Now, students have a choice of more than 350 undergraduate and 500 graduate courses in engineering. This year marks the 175th year of engineering at UT, and the College of Engineering is marking the anniversary with a series of events that includes a gala and dedication of the John D. Tickle Engineering Building on Friday. The College of Engineering is UT's fastest-growing. Since 2007, undergraduate enrollment has increased by 40 percent, doctoral enrollment by more than 60 percent. The college is producing 20 percent more graduates than five years ago. In addition, research funding has grown by 74 percent in the past five years to $56.8 million.
 
Anderson Cooper talks struggle, storytelling, loss at U. of Kentucky's distinguished speaker series
CNN host Anderson Cooper told a crowd at Memorial Coliseum on Monday night that his reporting might not have changed much about the world, but sharing the stories of everyday people undergoing immense challenges is important to him. "It changes how you see the world. It changes how you see yourself in the world," Cooper said of the wars, earthquakes, floods and other disasters he has covered. "I found there was value in bearing witness to people's struggles," Cooper told moderator Beth Barnes, director of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications. The host of Anderson Cooper 360 and correspondent for 60 Minutes was brought to UK by the Student Activities Board, which billed the event as the first in its SpeakBlue Distinguished Speaker series.
 
U. of Kentucky gets $3.5 million for carbon-capture research
The University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research has received a $3 million grant to help develop technology that would capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants before it enters the atmosphere. The grant from the U.S. Department of Energy comes at a crucial time, just two weeks after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new proposed regulations to sharply reduce carbon emissions from new power plants. CAER director Rodney Andrews said carbon-capture technology is crucial in sustaining coal as a viable energy source.
 
U. of South Carolina's McNair Center hits 'afterburner'
The University of South Carolina's new Ronald McNair aerospace research center had its formal takeoff Monday with a ceremony honoring its new director, the late astronaut's family and three women who have donated $11 million to the new venture. Zafer Gurdal from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands will lead the center, named after the Lake City astronaut killed in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion. The center has started offering two graduate programs and an undergraduate minor. Two more graduate programs are planned. Work on two research labs has begun. "Today, I feel like we hit the afterburner," USC president Harris Pastides said Monday.
 
Search for Texas A&M president to top $135,000
The Texas A&M University System will spend more than $135,000 for a search firm to find the next president of Texas A&M. The system hired Delaware-based Korn/Ferry International in August to head up the search for a replacement to President R. Bowen Loftin, who announced this summer that he would step down in January. The Eagle, through an open records request, obtained the contract between the search firm and the system. The system agreed to pay the firm an amount equal to one-third of the next president's annual salary, with $135,000 of that amount to be paid within 90 days. Loftin earns $425,000 annually, meaning that the search firm would net $142,000 if his replacement earns the same salary.
 
U. of Missouri student forms first collegiate chapter of professional group for women
Lindsay Pierce wanted to get involved in a women's leadership program at the University of Missouri, but she wasn't finding anything she felt would foster her success instead of taking all of her energy, so she started the first collegiate chapter of Executive Women International. "I didn't want something I had to put a lot of time into; I just wanted something that was built more on connections," said Pierce, a junior journalism major.
 
Science Safari lets elementary school students explore science with U. of Missouri grad students
On Monday morning, Jordan Cadwell, a fifth grader at Midway Heights Elementary School, examined the leaves of a plant in the Tucker Greenhouse. He wants to be a highway patrolman, but he was just as excited to be in the greenhouse as his classmates who aspire to be chemists and doctors. "I love science!" Jordan said, throwing up his hands. "You get to do experiments and I love everything about it." Jordan was one of dozens of fourth- and fifth-graders who attended the ShowMe Nature GK-12 Science Safari at the University of Missouri on Monday to learn from scientists and graduate students. Science Safari is held four times a year at MU.
 
U. of Missouri's Venture Out opens new high ropes course
The University of Missouri's Venture Out hopes to use a new high ropes course for team building activities. The Odyssey High Ropes Course, which was built in summer 2013, includes two obstacles that require teamwork to complete. Sarah Hansen, a member of the MU Comparative Medicine Program, participated in an event at the course on Monday. "I had been here for an event while I was a graduate student last year, and this course is much more team-oriented," Hansen said.
 
Students Criticize 'Collusion' Between Banks and Colleges
Congress and federal regulators should crack down on financial arrangements between colleges and banks, students and consumer advocates said on Monday at a forum arranged by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In both live and videotaped testimony, students described how their colleges had steered them toward banks and other companies that offered the colleges revenue sharing, staff support, or other perks. Some said they had felt "pressured" or "obligated" to sign up for high-fee debit cards or checking accounts; others said they had simply trusted their institutions to recommend the best products available. Monday's forum came seven months after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asked the public for information and feedback on financial deals between colleges and banks.
 
UC Berkeley explosion: Most power restored to campus
Most power was restored to UC Berkeley overnight after a powerful explosion Monday evening left four people with minor burns and caused the campus to go dark. Some power was restored to the campus as of 11:15 p.m., and university officials were slated to give an update on the situation Tuesday morning. The blast and fire north of California Hall, which forced students to scramble for safety and sent a dark cloud of smoke into the air, was probably caused by the theft of copper wire from an off-campus electrical station, a UC Berkeley spokesman said. "We have a strong suspicion that what happened is related to vandalism discovered last week," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told reporters. "The damage they caused may have been far more extensive than we originally thought."
 
Study finds math and science exposure has significant impact on intent to study STEM fields
Exposure to math and science has a bigger impact on students' intent to major in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field than does math achievement, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Educational Research Journal. While math achievement is a significant indicator of whether students enroll in STEM majors (and was once thought to be the best predictor of future STEM entrance), early exposure to science and math courses has a greater influence on high school students' interest in studying STEM fields, according to a study of nationally representative high school students entering college, "Why Students Choose STEM Majors: Motivation, High School Learning, and Postsecondary Context of Support." However, the largest indicator of whether a student declared a major in a STEM field was their intent to do so.
 
OUR OPINION: Jones has larger vision for UM in years ahead
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "Chancellor Dan Jones described a long-term vision for the University of Mississippi on Monday with the Daily Journal editorial board in which he enunciated a goal of 25,000 students, approximately 3,000 larger than the recently announced 2013 record head count of slightly more than 22,000 systemwide."


SPORTS
 
Miles may be quirky, but has Mullen's respect
The unusual habits of Les Miles have been well documented over the years. The LSU coach can always be found on the sidelines in his trademark purple jacket and adorning white hat sitting high atop his head. Miles has also been known to munch on blades of grass from the turf at Tiger Stadium. Mississippi State's Dan Mullen has his share of peculiarities as well and does not let Miles' unorthodox methods or playcalling on occasion deter his regard for one of the elite coaches in college football. "I think he's a very good coach," Mullen said. "I think he's got a lot of personality. Sometimes that can come off in a different way but we all have our quirks. I guess I chew my game plan sometimes and wear a visor. I guess I have my quirks."
 
Who is Mississippi State's starting quarterback? You'll find out Saturday
Dan Mullen extinguished the idea that Dak Prescott wrestled away the starting quarterback spot from Tyler Russell. But the Mississippi State coach is still not tipping his hand. He'll reveal the starter Saturday when Mississippi State plays No. 10 LSU at Davis Wade Stadium. But despite who starts, both quarterbacks may play against the Tigers. "We'll figure it out as we go. The same way we do with (LaDarius Perkins) and Josh Robinson and Preston Smith and Ryan Brown," Mullen said. "It's all the same. Guys need to be ready to play."
 
Call it what you will, MSU has two at QB
Call it what you want -- controversy, dilemma, or decision. Dan Mullen's choice of who will play quarterback for Mississippi State football team is a been-there, done-that scenario for Matt Wyatt. Maybe only a few people around the MSU campus know some of the things quarterbacks Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott are thinking, feeling, and saying to each other. As he sits in the radio booth providing color commentary for MSU football games, Wyatt can reflect on a four-year career as a quarterback at MSU that saw him throw for 2,940 yards and take part in 30 victories. In that time, he saw both sides of the quarterback battle. "Mississippi State fans have always made a quarterback battle a bigger deal than it really is," Wyatt said. "Don't misunderstand me because State fans are no different than anybody else. Everybody thinks there's this drama involved, and there's not."
 
Mississippi State prepares for SEC home opener vs. LSU
Following its open date, Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1 SEC) welcomes No. 10 LSU (4-1, 1-1) to Starkville for its first home conference game of the season Saturday. Coach Dan Mullen said the bye week was a much-needed break to rest players and get healthy, but he is ready to get back to the practice fields for preparation. The Bulldogs have suffered multiple injuries this season, but this weekend's matchup will feature a much healthier Bulldog team.
 
WR Lewis eager to face LSU again
The details are a little fuzzy, but Jameon Lewis does remember being clad in purple and gold watching his father, Roy Walker, play cornerback for LSU in the mid-90s. "My daddy and I were far apart and he played in 1995 and Iwas little and didn't know too much about it," Lewis said. "I just knew that he played for LSU and I had all the gear." After leading Tylertown High School to a state title at quarterback 14 years later, Lewis followed in his father's footsteps to the Southeastern Conference when he signed with Mississippi State. Saturday will mark the third opportunity for Lewis to play against his father's alma mater, a team he once dreamed of also suiting up for.
 
LSU football team eyes improvement, not change
LSU need look no farther than this time last season to find guidance on how to respond to Saturday's 44-41 loss at Georgia. It was 51 weeks ago and a 180-degree different type of game when Florida defeated a 5-0 LSU team 14-6 in Gainesville, whipping the Tigers on both lines of scrimmage and stifling their offense. Though LSU was in the process of overhauling its injury-riddled offensive line, it stayed the course the following week, ran the ball the way it was accustomed to running it and played defense the way it was accustomed to playing it as it beat No. 3 South Carolina 23-21. The lesson? When you lose, don't try to change who you are -- just get better at being who you are. That's the plan for the Tigers as they prepare to play at Mississippi State on Saturday.
 
TD pass didn't work in practice for Mississippi State
If practice doesn't make perfect, try it in a game. The first time Mississippi State called the throwback pass in practice, Jameon Lewis' attempt didn't find Dak Prescott. "I actually threw an interception," Lewis said. "I was like, 'Dang I threw a pick.' But you know me messing up in practice I think that helped me better to prepare in the game." Against Troy, the play resulted in 36-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to Prescott.
 
Former Southern Miss AD Bill McLellan dead at 81
Former Southern Miss athletic director Bill McLellan has died at age 81, the school announced Monday. McLellan died overnight in Greenville, S.C., after a short illness. The Dillon, S.C., native ran the Golden Eagles' athletic department from 1986-99, during which the school joined Conference USA. "Bill McLellan did an unbelievable job for our university during his tenure as athletic director and his contributions will always be remembered," said former Southern Miss football coach Jeff Bower, whom McLellan hired in 1990. The school's athletic budget grew from $2.7 million to $10 million during McLellan's tenure, and the Golden Eagles became a perennial conference contender in football.



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