Wednesday, October 2, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Project Cumulus appears to be a done deal for Starkville
State and local government officials, higher education leaders and economic developers are expected to announce a major breakthrough concerning Project Cumulus, a proposed $20 million technology initiative, Thursday at the Thad Cochran Research Park. Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman along with Link CEO Joe Max Higgins, Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum and Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jack Wallace, will attend the 2:30 p.m. announcement Thursday at the HPC2 Building.
 
WSU hires engineering dean from Mississippi State University
Wichita State University has named Royce Bowden as its new dean of the College of Engineering, effective Jan. 16. Bowden has been associate dean for Academic Affairs at Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering since 2011 and also has served as interim dean. From 2005 to 2011, Bowden was head of the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Mississippi State. Before that he was a professor in that department. He replaces Zulma Toro-Ramos, who left WSU in January to become provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
 
Despite weather challenges, sweet potato growers optimistic
In spite of recent rains, the state's sweet potato growers have a lot to be excited about this harvest season. "Growers set the majority of the crop back in late May and June under ideal conditions," said Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "We had good root set, which means the number of roots per plant has been good." MSU Extension agricultural economist Ken Hood said a 40-pound box of No. 1 grade sweet potatoes is bringing $17-18, which is up $2 per box over last year's price. Larger potatoes are also selling well.
 
Starkville, Columbus grocery stores have new owners
A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a bid by Associated Wholesale Grocers to purchase 43 stores from Belle Foods. AWG was the only company to bid on the locations, which includes Southern Family Market in Columbus and Piggly Wiggly in Starkville.
 
Mississippi gets OK for health insurance exchange
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney received conditional federal approval Tuesday to run an online marketplace where businesses with 50 or fewer employees can buy health insurance, starting in January. Chaney received notice Tuesday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. He said the notice is good news. It allows the Mississippi Insurance Department to develop the Small Business Health Options, or SHOP, exchange under federal health overhaul law. With conditional approval, federal officials expect the Mississippi department will continue developing the marketplace called One Mississippi in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, and "will be ready to provide affordable, quality coverage to small business owners and their employees in 2014," Sebelius wrote.
 
Shutdown may idle non-federal workers next week
The federal government shutdown is already affecting contractors and threatens to dampen private-sector employment, at least in the near-term, industry officials say. Twenty-nine percent of contractors say a shutdown would cause them to delay planned hiring, and 58% said it would have a negative effect on their businesses, according to a survey of 925 contractors this week by the National Association of Government Contractors. Daniel Stohr, spokesman for the Aerospace Industries Association, which represents defense contractors, says, "We've already seen meetings (between contractors and Defense Department officials) that have been canceled."
 
Hold that paycheck, Mississippi's U.S. Rep Steven Palazzo says
They've tweeted about the shutdown and chastised the Democrats for not negotiating over the government shutdown. They've retweeted photos from the World War II monument where some of them helped World War II veterans get through barricades. They've touched off lengthy Facebook debates on the shutdown and the Affordable Care Act. But Mississippi's delegation never did bring up their own salaries, which they can continue to receive even as their staffs are on furlough or working without pay. And it took all day to get an answer to the questions.
 
Shutdown can't keep vets from memorial
They fought a war and flew in at dawn from Mississippi, so a few barricades provoked little more than shrugs from the 91 World War II veterans who crossed political lines Tuesday to walk and wheel around their memorial on the National Mall. The vets in three buses pulled up to the memorial near midday and were greeted by a group of congressmen who said they were determined to ensure the vets from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight would have the full experience of the monument. National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson stood by as the congressmen moved the barriers and walked onto the site. It is up to the U.S. Park Police to enforce the closure. "This is so meaningful to the vets," Johnson said. "The main thing is we'd like to get back to work and welcome visitors again."
 
Lawmakers, Veterans Storm WWII Memorial Closed by Shutdown
Rep. Steve King is having one of the best days he's ever had in Washington. "Perhaps the best," King said on a conference call with reporters. On top of a government shutdown, which King said has produced a more unified Republican conference than the day before, the Iowa Republican started his day by helping a group of veterans at the World War II memorial take back their closed monument. When a group of Mississippian veterans arrived at the memorial Tuesday morning, they found barricades blocking access to the open-air monument. A number of GOP lawmakers were there to meet with the veterans -- including Reps. Steven M. Palazzo of Mississippi, Rich Nugent of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Spencer Bachus of Alabama -- and they weren't happy that the National Park Service had spent money to erect barricades around the monument during the government shutdown. As King talked with the ranger, roughly 90 veterans --- ranging in ages from 84 to 98 --- stormed the monument. Rangers and police, realizing they were dealing with a public relations situation that could turn worse than toxic, stood and watched as the veterans and lawmakers pushed aside the barricades.
 
Stennis shutdown hits the 'small guy' in the wallet
The government shutdown is already having an impact at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. Workers there were sent home Tuesday, and people who normally do business at the space center found themselves out of luck. They say the government shutdown has hit them hard where it counts: their wallets.
 
Natchez Trace facilities, region's national forests closed
Tupelo High's cross-country team moved practice from Chickasaw Trails on Tuesday as one local impact from the federal government's partial shutdown. The federal-lands trails were closed because of the shutdown and practice moved to Veterans Park off Veterans Boulevard. In Washington, D.C., World War II veterans -- some from Mississippi -- defied yellow-taped barricades and broke through to visit the national memorial to their sacrifice. In Northeast Mississippi, the national forest and Natchez Trace Parkway campgrounds were closed and campers asked to leave. The Trace remained opened for travel but all restrooms, visitors centers and sites were closed, including Trace headquarters in Tupelo.
 
The longer the shutdown, the greater the risk for GOP
Republicans are taking a big political risk if the government shutdown persists. Polls are emphatic -- people hate this shutdown. They blame Republicans more than Democrats. And Republicans remain divided about how to proceed, a schism that's already triggered some ugly partisan primary fights. Republicans still have some important advantages, enough so that analysts predict they'll hold onto their House of Representatives majority and have a decent shot to control the Senate. But those forecasts could change if the partial closings that began Tuesday drag on.
 
'Alarm bells' ringing over Republicans' flagging outreach efforts
Six months after the Republican National Committee issued a post-election blueprint for rebooting the party and reaching new voters, top Republicans are worried their party is failing to meet its goals. Party strategists and a number of Republican lawmakers are concerned about fallout from the GOP's handling of the government shutdown, public infighting between lawmakers, attempts to reach out to female and minority voters and an overall lack of a positive vision for the country. "Sometimes when a group of folks in the party don't like 5 percent of what someone says, they want to take them on in a primary, come after them, and that's not helpful," said Henry Barbour, a close ally of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and a co-author of the Growth and Opportunity Project report. "We need to be united."
 
Voter ID suit filed; will Mississippi be next?
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit this week to block a voter ID law in North Carolina that is similar to the one Mississippi is the process of implementing. The Justice Department has now filed lawsuits against North Carolina and Texas over what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calls discriminatory voting laws that he says will result in unequal access to the political process based on race. Could Mississippi's voter ID law be next in line for scrutiny from the Justice Department? Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson supports a DOJ challenge to the Mississippi law.
 
Former Gov. Haley Barbour defends Kemper plant
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour outlined his reasons for his support of the lignite coal plant currently under construction in Kemper County during Tuesday's Breakfast Before Hours meeting of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation. Barbour said the Kemper plant will lessen the state's reliance on natural gas and use an abundant Mississippi resource -- lignite -- to provide "a stable, low cost fuel." During the Tuesday morning speech in Meridian, Barbour also said Mississippi should consider options for storing or reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, a topic that has cropped up over the past few weeks.
 
McDaniel wants absentee ballot reform, ACA defunded
The chairman of the Senate Elections Committee is supporting a push for absentee ballot reform in Mississippi and he said a bill could be offered next legislative session. In the wake of the Hattiesburg special mayoral election, Sen. Chris McDaniel said many Mississippians have lost confidence in the voting process and said its time for reform. "There are literally dozens of ways to reform the absentee ballot process," said McDaniel. McDaniel was in Ellisville Tuesday to speak to College Republicans at Jones County Junior College.
 
Government shutdown trickles down to UM
The federal government officially shut down Oct. 1, the first day of the country's fiscal year, causing nonessential federal services to be put on hold until Congress passes the annual national spending bill. Although state funding regulates nearly all of The University of Mississippi's operations, some students are feeling the impact of the shutdown directly. Senior biochemistry major Nicholas Boullard, who works as a research assistant for the university, will face potentially long-term interruptions to his experiments. "I'm quantifying the products of nitric oxide from endothelial cell growth medium," Boullard said. "To get a more accurate reading, I need to use some of the equipment in the National Products Research Center, which I currently cannot do until the government resumes function."
 
Injured Ole Miss student expected to make full recovery
University of Mississippi student Carson Otter is expected to make a full recovery after leaving an Austin, Texas, hospital for the first time Monday since he was beaten on Sixth Street during the weekend of the Ole Miss-Texas game in September. Otter is returning home to Bloomington, Indiana, today after spending more than two weeks in the hospital healing a fractured skull. The senior real estate finance major will miss the rest of the semester. According to KVUE-ABC in Austin, both Otter and his mother expressed their appreciation of the support coming from Ole Miss, particularly the Ole Miss Alumni Association in Austin, which has set up a way to help the Otter family with medical bills.
 
Mississippi Court of Appeals to visit USM Oct. 3
The Mississippi Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 3. A three-member panel of the court will convene at the Thad Cochran Center at 118 College Drive in Hattiesburg. The Court of Appeals hears oral arguments each October on the USM campus as part of its Court on the Road program. The court periodically schedules oral arguments on college campuses and occasionally at other locations as a teaching tool for students. Court of Appeals Judge David M. Ishee of Gulfport said the Court on the Road program helps educate students and the public about appeals court proceedings which they otherwise would have little opportunity to see.
 
Auburn University kicks off integration commemoration with special guest speakers
Two of the first African-American students to ever attend Auburn University spoke on campus Tuesday, as the university begins a month of integration commemoration. Willie Wyatt Jr. and Anthony Lee were two of the frontrunners of education integration in Lee and Macon counties in the early 1960s, according to Dr. Mark Wilson, director of civic learning initiatives. "This is their first time to return to this campus and talk about this experience," Wilson said as he introduced the two speakers. "I think they deserve our generous applause for that." Wyatt and Lee said they had trouble assimilating with their white classmates on campus. Lee said students would often get together after class for study sessions, but he was never invited or even welcome. Wyatt said just walking to school every day came with taunts and cruel words. Lee said students would throw cans and trash at them in Jordan-Hare Stadium at football games.
 
Connectivity biggest car transformation, Ford CEO says at UGA forum
Future Ford cars and trucks will be more and more connected to the Internet, the CEO of Ford Motor Company told a University of Georgia audience on Tuesday. The company already has embraced the idea of making cars that connect with consumers' devices, such as technology in cars that gives customers the ability to operate their smartphones hands-free, said Ford CEO Alan Mulally. Mulally spoke Tuesday in the UGA Tate Center's Grand Hall, where he was interviewed by USA Today technology and digital entertainment reporter Mike Snider, then took questions from the audience of about 400, mostly UGA students. Mulally, 68, also predicted efficiency improvements in internal combustion engines, more electrified vehicles, and more uses of alternative fuels, including biomass.
 
Elementary students make final visit to U. of Missouri museum before it moves
Amid some college students who wandered into the Museum of Art and Archaeology on its last day in its current location, there were some young students from Lee Elementary School, the district's expressive arts school. Lee students, many of whom have been to the museum several times through school walking field trips, came to the museum on a day off to see it all for one last time. The museum is moving because of renovations to campus buildings. Pickard Hall, which housed the museum until yesterday, used to be a chemistry building. Removing radiation is a key reason for closing the building.
 
'America's Music' at U. of Missouri meant to showcase nation's range
A series that showcases American music through films, performances and lectures is underway in Columbia. "We are in the midst of an American music extravaganza," said Judith Mabary, a University of Missouri associate professor of musicology and a coordinator of "America's Music." The series, which is sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will run through Nov. 20 and cover six music genres. The lecture series began Sept. 10 at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, an MU Extension program offering noncredit courses for people "50 and better," and will continue through Oct. 29.
 
U. of South Alabama officials cancel classes, postpone presidential search forum for Moulton memorial
Some classes, and the public forum introducing the University of South Alabama's third presidential candidate, have been put on hold as the community continues to mourn President Emeritus Gordon Moulton, who passed away on Sept. 28, at his home in Daphne. The third and final public forum in the university's search for Moulton's permanent replacement, scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, has been postponed, officials said. The forum was to feature Dr. Arthur J. Ross III, dean of the School of Medicine at West Virginia University, who was also to meet with several campus groups before the public meeting. A new schedule has not been announced for the introduction of Ross who, along with finalists Jerome Gilbert and Sheri Noren Everts, is vying for the USA presidency. Everts is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Illinois State University, while Gilbert is provost and executive vice president at Mississippi State University.
 
Dartmouth in the Glare of Scrutiny on Drinking
It is a new school year, and there is a new president, Philip J. Hanlon, who no doubt would prefer to begin his tenure as the 18th president of Dartmouth College dealing with issues more lofty than binge drinking, sexual harassment and fraternity hazing. The turmoil is particularly unwelcome at a place whose enviable academic reputation and bucolic New England setting have long coexisted with issues revolving around drinking and fraternity life. The Princeton Review guide to colleges lists Dartmouth as one of the nation's heaviest beer-drinking schools, based on student surveys, and games of "beer pong" and Friday night parties in the dank basements of fraternity houses are longstanding rituals. There is drinking at all colleges and disagreement about the extent of problems at Dartmouth, but what no one disputes is that fraternities dominate the social scene here, putting them at the center of the debates.
 
BRIAN PERRY: Out-conning right-wingers
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "There was a time when 'RINO' was used to describe those who only were Republicans because they ran in a GOP district. Thus they used the party to get elected despite not having true Republican beliefs. Now many conservative groups and Tea Party groups use 'RINO' to describe someone they disagree with on matters of policy, or just tactics. Thus a moderate Republican in a district more easily won by a Democrat is branded a 'RINO' when the only reason for that person to run as a Republican is they actually believe in the GOP. Elected officials and activists working in the GOP in Mississippi when it wasn't popular to be a Republican, and serving the party longer than some throwing the 'RINO' term around have been alive, are called 'RINO' for not meeting the 'conservative' standard of activists who themselves would rather be aligned with their own movement than the Republican Party."
 
BOBBY HARRISON: The last-minute workings of legislative bodies | Bobby Harrison (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Legislative bodies do some funny things. ...events in the Mississippi Legislature came to mind Monday night as the U.S. House and Senate played political hot potato. The Republican-led House would add to legislation funding the federal government provisions dealing with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and send it to the Senate where the language dealing with health care would be stripped, leaving the proposal to fund the federal government intact. It seemed that neither side wanted to be holding the legislation when the government actually shut down at midnight. Even on a big national stage, lawmakers are under the mistaken impression that the general public is going to be following the legislative process close enough to place blame based on specific actions."
 
SID SALTER: No heroes or winners will emerge over government shutdown
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "Democrats think they held the line in defending historic public health care legislation even at the cost of shutting the government down. Republicans believe they fought the good fight in trying to defund, delay or repeal the very same legislation -- the Affordable Care Act or 'Obamacare' -- and embraced the same belief that a shutdown was preferable to compromise. The public, however split they might be regarding their opinions on Obamacare, sees the government shutdown as yet another example of partisanship run amok on Capitol Hill and of a Congress that spends more time posturing than legislating. Mired in dysfunction and gridlock, Congress as an institution is broken. But that institution didn't break overnight. It is a product of decades of social engineering and experimentation."


SPORTS
 
Weekend away refreshes Mississippi State
Dan Mullen gave his team last weekend off to close out the bye week, hoping it would re-energize his team before No. 10 LSU. Players freed themselves from football in Starkville, but they never strayed too far from the game. "I watched football all of Saturday," defensive lineman Nelson Adams said. "I went and saw my brother play Friday night. That was about it." Wide receiver Jameon Lewis also used the open date to spend time with family. But like Adams, family extended to the gridiron. The Tylertown native made time to support his old high school.
 
Mississippi State earning dividends for changes on defense
Bigger, stronger faster. This is the checklist of things that had to happen for the Mississippi State defensive system under coordinator Geoff Collins. Through four weeks of the season: check, check, check. Normally when LSU week comes up for the MSU program, the defensive advantage isn't with the maroon and white. During the stretch where LSU (4-1, 1-1 in Southeastern Conference) have won 13 straight and 20 of last 21 against MSU (2-2, 0-1), it's been mostly because the Tigers have been the more experienced and superior defensive team in terms of both scheme and talent.
 
With elite QB and ground game, stopping LSU harder for Mississippi State
Mississippi State's defense has made a habit of stopping the other team's top threat. The Bulldogs silenced Oklahoma State's wide receivers. Alcorn State's dual-threat quarterback finished with less than 125 total yards. Mississippi State slowed Auburn's talented running backs. It sent college football's active leader in passing years back to Troy, Ala., with 105 yards. But Saturday, the degree of difficulty increases against No. 10 LSU at Davis Wade Stadium. The Tigers offer a prolific passing attack. They also have a bruising running game. What gives?
 
Mississippi State's LaDarius Perkins looks to step up production vs. LSU
LaDarius Perkins says he's healthy and ready to be a big contributor for Mississippi State's offense after a slow start to the season. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound senior is already one of the most prolific running backs in Bulldogs' history, but he's rushed for only 109 yards through the team's first four games. That's way off the pace to equal his 1,024 yards rushing in 2012. There are multiple reasons for Perkins' lack of production, including a nagging ankle injury that's cut into his playing time. He's had a chance to rest some over the past week because the Bulldogs haven't played since a 62-7 victory over Troy on Sept. 21. Now he's hoping for a productive game on Saturday, when Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) hosts No. 10 LSU (4-1, 1-1) at Davis Wade Stadium.
 
Mississippi State's Day forged his own path to success
Most residents of Louisiana grow up rooting for LSU since birth. West Monroe, La., native Dillon Day is not one of them. It only takes one look at Mississippi State's center to realize he marches to the beat of his own drummer. Day's long blonde locks flow from under his helmet and two arm sleeves of tattoos prove that he strives to stand out. "Just the person that I am, I don't like following the crowd," Day said. "If someone goes down one road, I want to go down a different one. I just like being different and changing stuff up." While other members of his high school team were hoping to get noticed by the Tigers, Day had his sights set on earning a scholarship from MSU.
 
MSU Notebook: Defense leads list of concerns for LSU
The panic is already being felt in Baton Rouge, La., after the LSU defense gave up 44 points in its first loss of the 2013 season. During his weekly media conference Monday, LSU coach Les Miles was asked 20 questions and 14 of them involved the play of the defense in some form. For the first time since 2009, LSU (4-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) is near the bottom of the league, 10th in the SEC, in scoring defense after allowing 24.4 points per game. Miles said Monday his coaches had a problem signaling in the defense to his youthful secondary and that led to big plays by Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the pass game due to communication breakdowns.
 
Jason Cook makes list as possible U. of Texas athletic director
The next athletic director for the University of Texas could be an Aggie, according to Texas Monthly. The magazine rolled out a top 10 list of people who could be the next UT athletic director on Tuesday, and two of the names had Aggie ties. DeLoss Dodds, UT's AD for 32 years, formally announced his resignation on Tuesday. President Bill Powers, who accompanied Dodds at the announcement, said a search for a replacement begins immediately. The speculation is already swirling. Coming in at number nine on the Texas Monthly list is Jason Cook, Texas A&M's senior associate athletics director for external affairs. Cook served as A&M's vice president of marketing and communications from 2008 up until a few months ago, when he made the jump to the university's athletic department. Cook, who is a graduate of Mississippi State, was clear in his affinity for A&M. "There are a lot of maroon ties in my closet," Cook said.
 
Ray ready to up the tempo at Mississippi State practice
No walking. Rick Ray knows you don't sell a college program to fans, recruits and even current players by slowing down the tempo. This is why his main objective for the first week of practice for the 2013-14 season is to go faster every day. Therefore their will not be any walking: whether it's to and from drills, bringing the ball up the court or certainly in scrimmages under Ray's supervision. "We know it's going to be more intense with just more players to practice with," Mississippi State sophomore guard Craig Sword said. "We still don't know how anything is going to work because last year was so crazy."
 
Mississippi State women's basketball adds Nevitt to recruiting class
Kayla Nevitt had a plan. After falling in love with coach Vic Schaefer, his coaches, his players, and the Mississippi State campus this summer, Nevitt envisioned returning to Starkville this weekend and giving a verbal commitment to play basketball at MSU. So much for that plan. When Nevitt returns to Starkville, she will be a Bulldog. On Tuesday morning, the 5-foot-9 guard from Dekaney High School in Houston, Texas, had an epiphany and decided there was no better time than the present to commit to MSU. College coaches can't comment on players until they receive a signed National Letter of Intent. A verbal commitment is non-binding. The first day of the early signing period is Nov. 13. It runs to Nov. 20. Nevitt said she anticipates signing a NLI on Nov. 13 or No. 14.
 
'Blessed' friends: Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze, Auburn's Gus Malzahn follow similar paths, forge close friendship
Their paths have long been intertwined. But it wasn't until a fateful May morning on the sprawling greens at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club that either was able to grasp the gravity of their connected journeys. Ten years ago, Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn were hotshot high school coaches from the rural South, focused only on guiding their respective teams to a state championship. Now, here they were a decade later walking down adjoining fairways during a round of golf with many of the nation's premier college head coaches. "How about this?" Freeze joked almost flippantly. "Could you ever dream that two guys like us would be playing golf at Augusta?" The pair will likely have a similar experience Saturday when Freeze leads No. 24 Ole Miss into Jordan-Hare Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff in the first of what is expected to be many head-to-head battles between the longtime friends.
 
Internal motivation sped up recovery, Missouri football's Henry Josey says
Before his 2011 knee injury, Missouri running back Henry Josey's life consisted of football and not much else. His diagnosis included a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a torn medial collateral ligament, a torn patellar tendon, two meniscal tears and the question of whether he'd be able to run again. Yet Josey's injuries were just as much mental as they were physical. Josey spoke Tuesday at a leadership event at the MU School of Health Professions about overcoming the injury that kept him out of the entire 2012 football season. He said it took him "forever" to find something that finally motivated him to move forward; ultimately, it came from within.
 
Fantasy sports: Alabama professor examines why people love them
He walked into a friend's house in 1994 and agreed to take part in a game his friends were preparing to play. It was fantasy football. "I was at Indiana University in graduate school," Dr. Andrew Billings said. "I didn't know anything about it. I showed up at a guy's house in 1994 because they said they had a team and wanted me to do it." Twenty years later, Billings is not only still playing in a league with most of those same friends, he has literally written the book on fantasy football. Billings, who is the Ronald Reagan endowed chair of broadcasting at the University of Alabama as well as director of the Alabama program in sports communication, has co-written "The Fantasy Sport Industry: Games within Games," which was released on Sept. 9.
 
High school group could push out private schools
Leaders of the Mississippi High School Activities Association will vote Thursday on forcing out the association's 13 private schools. If approved, the association's Legislative Council would have to vote again in February for the ban to become final. A high school principal from northeast Mississippi made the proposal, saying private schools have an unfair advantage in recruiting students. Clinton-based MHSAA sponsors 16 sports, plus competitions for debate, music, drama and speech. It includes 265 high schools and about 350 middle schools. Private school members of the association say they follow its rules, which assign them a 20-mile radius as their home district, and force students from outside that zone to sit out a year. "We turn in the same paperwork," said Tupelo Christian Preparatory School Athletic Director Aubrey Boren, "We fill out the same forms."



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