Monday, October 21, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
College Board OKs agreements for Mill development
The state College Board has given its OK to a series of interrelated agreements that finalize plans for The Mill development, according to Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum. "We have refused to settle for anything that did not meet our highest expectations -- logistically, aesthetically or financially," Keenum said in a news release. The project will bring a conference center, hotel and parking garage complex centered around MSU's E.E. Cooley Building. The Mill development includes three main projects: transforming the landmark former cotton mill into a conference center with adjacent office space, building an adjacent hotel and developing mixed-use business parcels in the land adjacent to the university's old physical plant.
 
Computer security expert to give presentations at WNMU
Dr. Drew Hamilton, associate vice president of Research at Mississippi State University, will facilitate two presentations on computer security at Western New Mexico University. The first presentation will be given at 6 p.m. tonight, in the Global Resource Center auditorium and will cover topics such as computer hacking, encryption, cyber-security and digital forensics. The second presentation will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday, in the Student Memorial Center seminar room, and will include career opportunities in the field of digital forensics. WNMU and Mississippi State University are collaborating on a National science Foundation grant that will bring $142,000 to WNMU to establish certificate programs in digital forensics and to provide training in the field of police officers throughout the state.
 
Music Trail celebration set for Saturday in Starkville
A celebration Saturday [Oct. 26] at 10 a.m. will mark the completion of the Pilot Club of Starkville's Music Trail at McKee Park on Lynn Lane. The public is invited to festivities that include a demonstration of nine unique musical instruments by world percussionist Dr. Bob Damm of Mississippi State University's Department of Music. The instruments are specifically accessible to children with disabilities and may be enjoyed by all children. A new, bonded rubber surface has been installed, making it easier to maneuver on the Trail. Another new feature is landscaping. MSU landscape architecture students under the direction of Professor Pete Melby designed the landscaping. Collaborating partners include MSU Landscape Architecture and MSU Music Education Partnerships.
 
Racing the calendar for cotton programs in the new farm bill
With the number of legislative days in 2013 rapidly dwindling for Congress, National Cotton Council's Gary Adams succinctly summarizes the situation: "We need a farm bill. The further we go toward year's end, the more potential problems we face for cotton -- and agriculture in general. "We're now well beyond two years since the passage of the Budget Control Act kicked this farm bill debate into high gear, and we still don't have a bill," he said at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Agricultural Economics Association at Mississippi State University.
 
Mississippi State to receive Gates Foundation grant
Mississippi State's World-Class Teaching Program is scheduled to share a major private grant to help educators become more efficient in the classroom. Mississippi is among six states set to share a $3.74 million award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle. The funding is provided to help states establish a support system for teachers pursuing National Board Certification -- the teaching profession's measure of a highly accomplished classroom leader. The university's WCTP is offered on both the Starkville and Meridian campuses.
 
On the Move: Hardwick elected to MAPE board of directors
Phil Hardwick, coordinator of capacity development at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, has been elected to the MAPE board of directors for the 2013-14 term. Hardwick is past president of MAPE and has served on the board for several years. He also serves as state director of the Mississippi Appalachian Higher Education Initiative.
 
Consumers in Northeast Mississippi concerned about economy
Even with temporary fixes to fund the federal government and to allow the debt ceiling to increase, the intense debate has tainted impressions of the economy for some shoppers in Northeast Mississippi. Economist Kevin Rogers, professor and associate dean at Mississippi State University's College of Business, said the dampening effect on consumers' outlook related to uncertainty with the federal budget and debt ceiling discussions isn't surprising. He said the big story with the economy now is action in the federal government. Even with the agreements last week in Washington, the short-term fix brings potential for another government showdown just three months from now. "It's hard for people to plan when they don't know what's going to happen with policy, taxes and interest rates," Rogers said.
 
Fledgling Reiki practitioner, oracle card reader seeks spiritual healing through alternative methods
It's an upstairs bedroom in a Starkville apartment. There are lit candles in the window and some crystals on the floor. The walls are bare and the room is empty, except for a portable massage table. This is what Leslie Le Blanc calls her Reiki room. It's where she meditates and shuts out the world's stress and noise. Le Blanc, a 24-year-old nutrition major at Mississippi State University, has been performing the technique on others for about four months. She currently has four clients. She hopes to gain more during her path toward becoming a Reiki master.
 
Turtle Island strings join Nellie McKay at MSU Riley Center
A string ensemble joining with a singer-songwriter sounds like a pleasant evening of predictable music. The strings of Turtle Island Quartet joining with singer-songwriter Nellie McKay may be pleasant, but it will be anything but predictable. The Grammy-winning string ensemble typically goes for the most untypical, offering unique interpretations of such artists as John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix. In a similar vein, Nellie McKay's Doris Day-like vibe is well-trained but deceptively sweet. Together, they bring their "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" tour to the MSU Riley Center on Friday.
 
First in the state: Groundbreaking held for Lincoln County tea farm
Bringing new meaning to the word groundbreaking, a ceremony was held last Thursday morning as dignitaries took golden shovels in hand to help put the first of 250 new plants in the ground at FiLoLi tea farm, signifying the official start of operations at the Lincoln County site. Owner Jason McDonald welcomed more than 40 guests, including Ag Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, to the event marking Mississippi's foray into the tea crop arena. Researchers from Mississippi State University intend to do their part to help. "We will attempt to find out which cultivators work best in our climate, and which production techniques and management practices most benefit farmers," said Guihong Bi, MSU associate professor of horticulture.
 
Poultry show returns to Fair after three-decade absence
While there is little doubt about the Mississippi State Fair's popularity -- it set a new attendance record this year -- some purists have found the fair too carnival-like, and wished that it offered more traditional agriculture-related offerings. Well, they have to feel better now. After a 30-year absence, the 4-H poultry livestock show returned with great fanfare to the Mississippi State Fair this year. Jessica Wells, poultry science specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the poultry program has been very popular with 4-H'ers since it returned to the program lineup in 2012. She said 150 children participated this year with 64 showing their chickens at the state fair.
 
MSU, Prestage Farms team up on swine research
Mississippi State University is partnering with Prestage Farms Inc. as its researchers prepare to resume swine-related studies. The result has been the installation of feeders, a new watering system, a feed auger system to move feed to the pigs as needed and ventilation curtains that open and close automatically to control the temperature in the facility.
 
Mississippi State student to be in court for DUI charge
A Mississippi State University student who was charged in connection with a fellow student's death heads to court Monday. Police said Sawyer Steede, of Lucedale, was backing up a pickup truck outside the McDonald's on Highway 12 near campus when he hit a curb. Investigators said Kaleb Barker, also of Lucedale, was thrown from the truck bed and run over by the truck. He later died of his injuries.
 
Leaders to schedule joint Oktibbeha County-City of Starkville strategic planning session
Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer confirmed plans are in the works to bring together the county governing board and the Starkville Board of Aldermen together for at least one strategic planning session. Supervisors first broached the topic during their first October meeting, but aldermen have yet to discuss the issue. No dates have been set, but Trainer said officials have approached Phil Hardwick, a project manager at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University, to facilitate the meeting.
 
Robotics competition teaches real world skills
Nineteen middle and high schools from across the state came to Starkville High School Saturday to compete in the Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology Robotics Competition (BEST). These students are given limited materials to make a robot that can perform tasks. "So if they mess up, if they cut their plywood incorrectly, that's it," BEST Competition Hub Director Eric Heiselt said. "They've got to figure something else out."
 
KiOR receives financial backing for Columbus II
KiOR, which announced last month its intention to build a second biorefinery in Columbus, has secured the funding it needs to move forward with the plan. The Texas-based alternative fuel company announced Monday that it has received $100 million in committed equity financing from Khosla Ventures, an investment company based in California, and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. Khosla Ventures committed $85 million and Gates, through Gates Ventures, committed $15 million, according to a release from KiOR. Both commitments are contingent upon the company fully funding what it is calling Columbus II. Columbus I, a biomass fluid catalytic cracking unit, began converting wood chips to fuel on the The Island earlier this year. It is a 500-ton per day facility. KiOR's plan is to build Columbus II -- also a 500-ton per day facility -- adjacent to Columbus I.
 
New schools leader shaped by multiple experiences
Carey Wright learned from observing Michelle Rhee's urgency in leading the public schools in the nation's capital. But Wright, Mississippi's new state superintendent of education, said her experiences are much deeper than what she gleaned from the controversial former chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public school system. "I worked with a number of high-performing superintendents and leaders in my career," Wright said on Thursday during her first press conference in her new position. "I honestly believe we are a culmination of all of them, we are not just a replication of the most recent experience that we had."
 
Exchange start sparks questions
After a stumbling start, health advocates hope the health insurance exchange will deliver options for Mississippians. "We consider the glitches unacceptable," said Roy Mitchell, executive director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, "but so is the idea of leaving thousands of Mississippians without access to health insurance." A key piece of the Affordable Care Act, the online health insurance marketplace allows for consumers to shop for insurance. For those who can't receive affordable insurance through their employers, there are tax credit subsidies for families making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. During the first weeks of the rollout, the healthcare.gov website was overwhelmed.
 
Why are so many people leaving the Mississippi Delta?
Drive into Mississippi on an interstate, and you will be greeted at the state line by a blue sign proclaiming the state "Birthplace of America's Music". Son House, Pinetop Perkins and Honeyboy Edwards all came not just from Mississippi, but from the Mississippi Delta, perhaps the most musically fecund 6,000 square miles on earth. The old saw is that the Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Greenville, encompassing around 19 counties spread across three states. And all of them, save the northernmost, which is effectively an Arkansas suburb, are furiously shedding population. Between 2000 and 2010 16 Delta counties lost between 10% and 38% of their population. Since 1940, 12 of those counties have lost between 50% of 75% of their people. Why?
 
Club for Growth launches ads for Cochran's primary challenger
The conservative Club for Growth on Monday launched a new ad campaign in support of Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) primary challenger -- the latest in a quickly launched campaign against the longtime senator. The Club and another conservative group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, both endorsed state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the race last week. The Club's new ad pitches McDaniel as a "Constitutional conservative with backbone" who has "stood up to the big spenders in both parties."
 
New face of the GOP? Cochran to face fresh challenge
Chris McDaniel, a Republican state senator from Ellisville, brought his campaign for the U.S. Senate to Olive Branch on Friday, the day after announcing in his hometown that he is running for the long-held seat occupied by veteran U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. The widely respected Cochran has chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee in the past in addition to the Senate Agricultural Committee, and has been considered a quiet, moderating force in the rancorous world of American politics. McDaniel, who has backing from the tea party members of the GOP, stressed his conservative views in his morning appearing in front of Olive Branch City Hall. About 50 people gathered for the appearance.
 
Sen. McDaniel visits Tupelo
Sen. Chris McDaniel vowed Friday to drive a "stake in the heart" of Obamacare, never vote to increase the nation's debt ceiling and to decrease federal spending in Mississippi and the rest of the nation if he replaces longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C. McDaniel's bus tour announcing his candidacy stopped at the Tupelo-based American Family Association headquarters. A two-term state legislator and attorney from Ellisville, McDaniel, 41, drew contrasts between him and six-term Sen. Cochran, 75, including age, willingness to compromise and desire to provide federal earmarks to Mississippi, one of the nation's poorest states that receives billions on federal tax dollars annually.
 
Palin says Mississippi stop part of her crusade to KO GOP establishment candidates
Add Mississippi to former Alaska half-term governor and Tea Party celeb Sarah Palin's dance card, USA Today says. In a story Thursday, the national newspaper reported that after campaigning in the failed U.S. Senate effort of Tea Party Republican Steve Lonegan, the 2008 GOP veep candidate vowed to push on to campaign for Tea Party U.S. Senate hopefuls in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina. The darling of the Tea Party wants to do a 2014 takedown of the likes of venerable Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, two-term Senate member Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John McCain sidekick Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
 
2014 Elections: Shutdown fuels Republican primaries
Political handicappers expect Republicans to keep the House in 2014. But plenty of GOP lawmakers will still be slugging it out in tough races next year -- they'll just be hitting one another in a growing number of primaries propelled by the party's nasty split over the federal shutdown and debt crisis. Nearly a dozen House Republican incumbents already have credible challengers, and conservative groups expect that number to grow in the coming months as races develop and deadlines approach to qualify for the ballot. In the Senate, the GOP primary field is beginning to solidify, with veterans like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander drawing conservative opponents. And last week, state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced he will run against veteran Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran -- and the challenger swiftly won endorsements from several right-leaning groups.
 
Fiscal Crisis Sounds the Charge in G.O.P.'s 'Civil War'
After the budget standoff ended in crushing defeat last week and the political damage reports began to pile up for Republicans, one longtime party leader after another stepped forward to chastise their less seasoned, Tea Party-inspired colleagues who drove the losing strategy. "Let's face it: it was not a good maneuver," Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the senior Senate Republican and supporter of the deal that ended the showdown, said on Thursday in an interview from his Capitol Hill office. "And that's when you've got to have the adults running the thing." Around the same time, roughly a thousand miles away in Mississippi, a 42-year-old Republican state senator, Chris McDaniel, was announcing his bid to take the seat held by one of those "adults" --- Senator Thad Cochran, 75, a six-term incumbent and the very picture of the Republican old guard, whose vote to end the standoff Mr. McDaniel called "more of a surrender than a compromise."
 
Possible law gives HMA edge in Mississippi hospital dispute
Hospital owner Health Management Associates has a not-so-secret advantage in its dispute with insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi. Lawmakers are poised to intervene in the dispute if it's not resolved by the time the legislative session opens in January. That could be one factor in HMA's decision to decline Blue Cross' offer to reinstate four of the 10 hospitals that the state's largest private insurer kicked out of its network at the end of August. Blue Cross made the move after HMA sued the Flowood-based insurer, saying Blue Cross broke contract terms by underpaying for a number of procedures. Blue Cross said HMA, a for-profit hospital company based in Naples, Fla., charges too much to pad profits. Blue Cross said it's trying to keep health insurance costs from rising too much. What's followed has been a public relations offensive by HMA, with political-style radio and newspaper ads, as well as a website and rallies. Henry Barbour, a nephew of former Gov. Haley Barbour and partner in the Capitol Resources firm, is advising HMA on its campaign.
 
Unique state museum complex coming
Ground will be broken Thursday on a Mississippi museums complex that state officials believe will be unique in America. Officials and people who had significant influence on the history of the state will participate in the groundbreaking for the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Thursday on North State Street, about five blocks southeast of the Capitol. Officials with the state Department of Archives and History, who have been working on the project for more than a decade, say they do not know of another instance in the country where two major museums with their own exhibits and artifacts will stand side-by-side connected by a common lobby and auditorium.
 
Gay rights supporters wage a quiet campaign to push Republicans to the middle
Few elected Republicans support giving gays the right to marry. The party's influential social-conservative wing sees "traditional marriage" as a defining issue. And while most major Democrats are rushing to embrace same-sex marriage, none of the most prominent potential Republican presidential candidates have taken that step. But a powerful group of Republican donors, who see the GOP's staunch opposition to gay rights as a major problem, is trying to push the party toward a more welcoming middle ground -- where candidates who oppose marriage rights can do so without seeming hateful. he behind-the-scenes effort is being led largely by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive whose son is gay, and former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who revealed his homosexuality in 2010, long after he had left the GOP leadership.
 
Welty Writers' Symposium will be at MUW this week
Storms of all kinds -- from hurricanes to emotional turmoil -- will be the focus of this year's Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. The event is set for Thursday through Saturday at Mississippi University for Women and is free. "Southern Writers in the Eye of the Storm" is borrowed from Welty's last novel, "Losing Battles," and several of the writers at the symposium have written about storms. Author Ellen Gilchrist will give the keynote address at the symposium. "She has a collection of short fiction coming out in March of next year, and we'll have one of those available in a new literary magazine that's coming out in Mississippi called China Grove," said Kendall Dunkelberg, an English professor who is over the symposium.
 
Rebel Ride indefinitely suspends service
The University of Mississippi announced Thursday that the campus' only free, safe ride option Rebel Ride has been indefinitely suspended from service. Rebel Ride is a shuttle service that transports students from campus to the Square Thursday through Saturday nights. "I don't want to talk too much about it, but the suspension of our service was completely out of our control," said Audie Branch, owner of Carbo Limo service, the company that runs Rebel Ride. The news spread after the Department of Student Housing sent an email to campus residents informing them the shuttle was suspended indefinitely. The news spread quickly to students through social media -- most of whom expressed their displeasure with the situation.
 
Delta State University teams up with Make-A-Wish
The Delta State Fighting Okra will represent on Saturday as Delta State's Student Athletic Advisory Council is partnering with Make-A-Wish Mississippi to host the first Fear the Okra Fun Run and 5K on Saturday at Delta State's Fitness Trail on the intersection of Canal and Maple Street. According to the Make-A-Wish website, "Make-A-Wish grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes. We believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve."
 
High-achieving U. of Alabama student driven to go into space
Despite her aerospace engineering major and her dream to one day become an astronaut, Bowman has yet to see "Star Wars" or "Star Trek." She acknowledges that she's not a typical geek. But at 19 years old, the University of Alabama junior from a tiny town in northeast Alabama is in her second internship with NASA, has a co-op planned at the Johnson Space Center in Houston next spring, and is working on her private pilot's license on the side. Bowman's dream of becoming an astronaut stood out in her hometown of Rainsville, with a little under 5,000 residents.
 
LSU's Manship School turns 100: journalism school celebrating centennial
Former President Richard Nixon was born in 1913 -- the same year LSU unofficially established its Department of Journalism. Now, 100 years later, an investigative journalist who played a key part in uncovering the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's resignation is coming to LSU to help commemorate a century of journalism education at the university. Carl Bernstein, who along with fellow Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward was instrumental in untangling Nixon's involvement in "Watergate," will speak to a sold-out crowd of about 150 people Thursday afternoon at LSU in one of many events scheduled to celebrate the four-day birthday bash of the Manship School of Mass Communication. Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication, who will moderate "The Future of News" panel Thursday at 3 p.m., said today's students must embrace the evolving digital media landscape and learn how to cope with rapidly changing technology.
 
With LSU's out-of-state enrollment down, university plans to increase recruitment efforts
LSU is known nationally for its premier athletics program, its status as one of the "Best National Universities" and its affordability amongst its peers. But the state's flagship institution draws largely from nearby parishes, begging the question: Is LSU turning into a commuter school? David Kurpius says no. Kurpius, the interim associate vice chancellor of enrollment management said that despite a drop in out-of-state enrollment this year, LSU remains an attractive destination university in the South. However, in response to the decline, LSU President F. King Alexander said the university is stepping up its out-of-state recruiting efforts next year, especially in areas such as Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas, by adding more on-the-ground recruiters.
 
UGA to celebrate 30th anniversary of student center
The University of Georgia Tate Student Center will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Wednesday with a ceremony and a day of activities for students. UGA President Jere W. Morehead will headline a roster of speakers including Victor K. Wilson, vice president for student affairs; William M. McDonald, dean of students; William F. Thorne, an alumnus from the class of 1984 who participated in the 1981 groundbreaking ceremony; Austin T. Laufersweiler, president of the Student Government Association; and Britney L. McDonald, president of the University Union Student Programming Board. A hot dog cookout for students will be held on Tate Plaza beginning at 11 a.m. and will include giveaways and 1980s music. Inside the Tate Student Center, there will be video games and billiards as the former Tate Game room is temporarily recreated in the east lounge adjacent to the UGACard Office.
 
Students will present ideas Wednesday for TEDxUGA talks
University of Georgia students will show off their hearts and minds Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in the UGA Chapel. Ten students will give brief presentations in hopes of becoming one of the student participants in next March's second annual "TEDxUGA" event, where students, faculty, alumni and staff can present ideas that can help transform the world.
 
U. of Flordia parts ways with surgeon hired from troubled Kentucky program
The University of Florida has rescinded its offer to hire Dr. Mark Plunkett, a cardiothoracic surgeon whose surgery program at the University of Kentucky was shut down for reasons that have not been publicly disclosed."We have confidence in Dr. Plunkett's capabilities as a surgeon, and this decision is in no way a reflection of concerns about his surgical skills and abilities as a physician. However, at this time, we feel that it is in the best interests of UF that we part ways," UF said in a prepared statement. UF officials on Friday declined to comment further about their decision to end Plunkett's contract.
 
Report recommends moving A&M System's information technology systems to cloud
A report commissioned by the Texas A&M University System recommends overhauling how some of its information technology systems are administered. The report recommends relocating major systems offsite to "the cloud" -- a move that system officials say could save money, boost computer security and allow the system to lay off personnel. The second and final report by Omaha-based Deloitte LLC was released this week. It began last November and assessed the IT departments for the system's 11 universities and nine state agencies. The first half of the report was made public in July. System Chancellor John Sharp previously said he called for the $903,000 report because a July 2011 system audit called for "significant improvements" to administration and oversight of logical security and other general IT controls. The second half of the report is 29 pages long and, similar to the first half, calls for sweeping changes to information technology infrastructure.
 
The Campus Course at Texas A&M readies for its first game
The property on the corner of the block didn't show the way Texas A&M alumni Dave Elmendorf and Jeff Blume believed was typical of the rest of the neighborhood. The corner lot was the Texas A&M Golf Course, and Elmendorf and Blume believed it to be an eyesore that made for a bad first impression of a university much more deserving. "We saw this golf course sitting in the front of the campus at a world-class turf grass school, and, it wasn't in very good shape and it wasn't representative of the turf grass education that A&M offers," Elmendorf said. "So Jeff and I looked at each other and said 'surely there is something we can do about this.'"
 
U. of Missouri System research VP takes entrepreneurial message to faculty
After making his pitch for an increased focus on entrepreneurship to the University of Missouri Board of Curators last month, the UM System's new executive vice president for academic affairs visited MU Faculty Council on Thursday to talk about his plans. Hank Foley came to the UM System from Penn State University. He started Aug. 5 and in addition to his role in academic affairs he serves as vice president of research and economic development. Foley told Faculty Council he would like to see the culture on the four UM System campuses be more entrepreneurial, and that goes for faculty, graduate students and undergraduates. "I'll be looking at any and all deans and faculty members who want to try to embed that in their courses," he said.
 
Two sets of twin sisters turn heads in U. of Missouri nursing program
If you're walking through the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing and think you're seeing double, don't worry, you've probably just spotted one of two sets of twins in the nursing program. Shay and Shelby Noll of Salisbury and Anne and Melissa Watsek of Washington, Mo., are senior nursing majors. Shay Noll knew in her freshman year of high school that she wanted to go to MU to study nursing. Shelby, her older sister by just three minutes, said she also knew early on that she wanted to be a Tiger. The sisters, identical twins, might have made the decision to go to MU at the same time, but they said they made it on their own. "It's not like we both sat down to figure out which college we were going to go to together," Shay said.
 
Engineering lab's 3-D printers help surgeon, others at U. of Missouri
Before a complex surgery, Craig Kuhns will study a three-dimensional model of a patient's spinal cord so he knows exactly where he'll place the screws during surgery. Kuhns, a surgeon at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute and an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, will send files of a patient's MRI or CT scan to the MU College of Engineering's 3-D printing facility to have a model printed. "For us, this is really neat because it allows us to have a three-dimensional model in the operating room so we can base our surgeries off of that," Kuhns said.
 
More professors using social media as teaching tools
A growing number of faculty members are using social media in the classroom and are finding technology to be both a help and a hindrance, according to a new survey. About 40 percent of faculty members used social media as a teaching tool in 2013, an increase from 33.8 percent in 2012, according to a report by the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson Learning Solutions. Likewise, more faculty members used social media for professional communications and work in 2013 (55 percent) than in 2012 (44.7 percent). In both years, faculty members most often used social media for personal purposes. Faculty members' use of social media has been steadily increasing since the survey was first conducted in 2010.
 
WYATT EMMERICH: Mississippians should be proud of C Spire
Mississippi newspaper publisher and columnist Wyatt Emmerich writes: "As some readers may have noticed, I have been a big fan of C Spire. This is not just because my brother-in-law Terrell Knight works there. Or that my father-in-law Bob Knight and the Creekmores were college buddies. Nor is it because they run big ads in newspapers. (Though none of that hurts!) ...The main reason I like C Spire is they are not a gargantuan national oligopoly. They are a Mississippi company that supports non-profits, cares about the state, has deep family ties to Mississippi and -- despite being smaller -- is on the cutting edge of the technology revolution. ...Our state leaders pay hundreds of millions to lure big out-of-state companies to come to Mississippi. Meanwhile our home-grown companies are doing the heavy lifting and not asking for a dime. Go C Spire!"
 
LLOYD GRAY: Purity isn't a winning formula | Lloyd Gray (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Lloyd Gray writes: "Haley Barbour knows his politics -- 'my business,' as he calls it. He reshaped Mississippi's political environment after doing a pretty good job for Republicans at the national level when he was ringmaster of the big tent. He is also plain-spoken. Witness his description of the Tea Party-influenced Republican tactical defeat last week as 'really stupid' in response to a question at the Tupelo Civitan Club. 'In my business of politics, you don't pick a fight you know you'll lose,' he said. Since last year's election, Barbour has been among the national party elders urging a recasting of the Republican message. The ascendance of the Ted Cruzes in the party wasn't what he had in mind."
 
PAUL HAMPTON: With McDaniel running for Senate, Christmas comes early for Mississippi journalists | Paul Hampton (Opinion)
The Sun Herald's Paul Hampton writes: "I will be taking the next few months off while the columns write themselves. Thank you, Chris McDaniel. The fellow had me at 'The lamps of liberty are going out across the Republic.' Haven't heard anything that good since I skipped school to go with our chemistry teacher to 'Christ's 40 Acres' and listen to the John Birch Society rant about JFK shaking hands with Khrushchev. Even if Democratic leader Rickey Cole is correct and the McDaniel's Tea Party is 'dangerous for the country and dangerous for Mississippi,' he's gold for the newspaper business. And he's already paying off. Seems he has a web ad that's sure to go viral. It's called the 'End of Appropriations' and in it he calls Mississippi a welfare state."
 
SAM R. HALL: McDaniel facing true uphill battle | Sam R. Hall (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "A number of people have pointed to Rep. Steven Palazzo's defeat of Gene Taylor in 2012 as the best example of why state Sen. Chris McDaniel can win. Taylor, like Cochran, was a popular incumbent with a reputation of taking care of his constituents who fell out of favor with some because of specific votes he made. It's a bad example. ...Despite the uphill battle McDaniel faces against Cochran, that may be the state senator's best path to Congress. If Cochran retires, the Republican field gets real crowded, real quick."
 
BILL CRAWFORD: Mississippi awaits Thad's decision
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Now that the Tea Party has recruited a Republican candidate to seek Thad Cochran's seat in the U.S. Senate, the paramount question becomes 'will Thad run?' The state's senior senator has kept his plans close to the vest. His response last week was a simple news release saying he will decide later this year. Cochran, 75, would be seeking his seventh term in the Senate. He first went to Washington 40 years ago as a U.S. representative. He is not the only senior Republican senator to be 'primary-ed' by the Tea Party. The confrontational conservative group also has recruited primary opponents for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas. The efforts to throw out these long-time, pro-business senators is turning the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another champion of conservatism, away from Tea Party candidates."
 
GEOFF PENDER: When Mississippi needed help, Cochran stepped to plate | Geoff Pender (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "...(Sen. Thad) Cochran, should he decide to seek a seventh term, will face some serious questions and criticism about his record. I understand that, too. But I've also heard some of that criticism recently leveled at his Katrina work. That I don't understand. All other issues and politics aside, any Mississippian who faults Cochran for doing all he could to help his state in its hour of need needs to have their head examined. ...any challengers set on trampling Cochran's legacy as part of their game plan should probably be a little leery of someone who can list on his resume, 'saved the state from catastrophe.'"
 
SID SALTER: Cabana's legacy was bringing humanity to state's prison system
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "Former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner and Parchman Penitentiary warden Donald Cabana, who died last week at age 67, was a man of conflicted conscience and deep integrity. His legacy should be that of a man who brought decency, humanity and progressive thinking to the operation of Mississippi's historically notorious Delta prison and whose personal conflicts over the death penalty forced others to reflect honestly about their own opinions."


SPORTS
 
Mullen expects to see different Kentucky
This isn't the same Kentucky football team Dan Mullen and Mississippi State have beaten each of the past four years. The MSU coach said Sunday he sees a different program on film than he has faced in previous years thanks to an energy brought by new coach Mark Stoops. Kentucky (1-5, 0-3 Southeastern Conference) will face MSU at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPN) at Davis Wade Stadium. The Wildcats haven't beaten Mullen since he became coach at MSU.
 
Mississippi State adapts for Thursday game
Don't ask Mississippi State for the day this week. With a Thursday night game against Kentucky, the Bulldogs are living on their own calendar. "Today's Wednesday for us. We treat today like a Wednesday practice," MSU coach Dan Mullen said during his Sunday teleconference. "If it's already a Wednesday, we've had Monday and Tuesday practices already." The staff treated Sunday like a Wednesday to replicate a weekend game, but the days of rest differed from a normal game week. The Bulldogs had Friday and Saturday off.
 
Bulldogs' Siddoway settled in nicely in SEC
In 2009, Charles Siddoway was the top high school prospect in the state of Oregon, set to take his talents to the University of California. However, things changed two years into his stint in Berkley. After appearing in three games as a redshirt freshman for the Bears in 2010, Siddoway left the program and transferred to Butte (Calif.) College, where he earned first team All-American honors. The 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle found himself going through the recruiting process a second time and once again receiving offers from around the country. This time though Siddoway left the comforts of the West Coast and signed with Mississippi State.
 
Mullen tweaks Bulldog kicker Bell's technique
All signs say Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen is sticking with sophomore kicker Devon Bell. The fifth-year coach, who coaches the special teams at MSU, said he worked with Bell on a technical issue with his plant leg, his left leg, this week in practice, the Bulldogs' bye week. Mullen and Bell hope the change will translate in games.
 
Rebels, Bulldogs can build some momentum
There is a common theme for both Mississippi State and Ole Miss heading into this week – no letdowns. Both teams will be favored and can ill-afford a loss to inferior opponents while continuing to battle for bowl eligibility. The Bulldogs will host SEC cellar dweller Kentucky on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. while the Rebels step out of conference against Idaho for homecoming on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. MSU (3-3, 0-2) and Kentucky enjoyed a weekend off to prepare for the Thursday debut for both this season. The Bulldogs practiced three days last week while breaking Friday and Saturday before returning to work Sunday. Kentucky enters the week at 1-5 overall and 0-3 in SEC play having lost four straight.
 
LOGAN LOWERY: Not every sellout can keep seats full | Logan Lowery (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Logan Lowery: "Give Mississippi State fans some credit. The maroon and white faithful have sold out 27 consecutive games at Davis Wade Stadium, a streak spanning into its fifth season. In fact, the last time the Bulldogs failed to sellout the 55,082 seat stadium was Oct. 10, 2009 against Houston during Dan Mullen's first season. There is even a waiting list to purchase season tickets in Starkville. Tickets are in such demand that 6,255 additional seats will be added in the ongoing $75 million stadium expansion. MSU is one of five Southeastern Conference schools to sell out every home game in 2013 and trail only Texas A&M and South Carolina in filling over capacity. The Bulldogs are at 100.96-percent capacity for the season which ranks 13th nationally."
 
Humphreys realizing dream with Mississippi State baseball
Reid Humphreys always dreamed of playing at Dudy Noble Field. The freshman infielder from Northwest Rankin High School isn't letting the nervous energy of achieving that dream work against him as he tries to earn a significant role in his first season with the Mississippi State baseball team. "Now I realize the dream doesn't stop when you get to this point," Humphreys said. "I just want to do whatever it takes to win now that I'm here. I watch guys like John Holder, C.T. Bradford, and Brett Pirtle get to Omaha (Neb., site of the College World Series), and that's where I want to be, too." The 2013 Louisville Slugger High School First Team All-American and Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi is one of the new faces trying to find a role this fall so he can force his way into the 2014 lineup at third base.
 
Ferriss' legend still growing at Mississippi State
Pushed to the back of the room, Mississippi State's baseball players stared back at the 91-year-old man. The 6-foot-5, 272-pound Wes Rea, the Bulldogs' first baseman, dwarfed MSU's clubhouse visitor, Boo Ferriss, who entered the locker room at Dudy Noble Field in a wheelchair. He wasn't imposing, and the former MSU pitcher could no longer make batters' knee buckle, yet he owned the room. Seven decades separated Ferriss from the players sitting across from him in fold-back chairs. Ferriss was in Starkville last weekend when Kappa Sigma Fraternity named a courtyard in his honor. Ferriss was a member of the organization in 1940s. Of course, he wouldn't pass up a chance to talk baseball, either.
 
Freshman Ready set to make impact for Mississippi State men
I.J. Ready only needed a few games to gain credibility. It didn't matter that the "games" were only pick-up affairs in the summer at Mize Pavilion, the practice facility for the Mississippi State basketball programs. Those games are all it took for Ready, a freshman point guard, to show his teammates he was the real deal to lead their team this season. The three-star prospect from Little Rock, Ark., who is 5-foot-10, likely will open his first season with the Bulldogs with control of coach Rick Ray's motion offense.
 
Mississippi State volleyball defeats Tennessee at home
Mississippi State volleyball coach Jenny Hazelwood was anxious to find out how her team would respond to winning its first Southeastern Conference match of the season Friday night. She was pleased with the result. After taking a 3-0 victory over South Carolina on Friday, the Bulldogs came back and did the same thing Sunday by sweeping all three sets against the Tennessee Volunteers. "We talked about (the win on Friday) doesn't guarantee you'll play a certain way on Sunday," Hazelwood said. "There was a lot of focus at practice Saturday and (Sunday morning) during pass around on being sharp, being good and they really took care of it." MSU improved its records to 11-9 overall and 2-4 in the SEC. (Subscriber-only content.)
 
Mississippi State's Alwal wants to take meaner approach
Martha Alwal knows a "beast" when she sees one. Don't get her wrong, though, because Alwal uses the term in the most affectionate way to describe new teammate Chinwe Okorie. It's just that after two weeks of banging bodies with the 6-foot-5 freshman Okorie, who is strong, athletic, and difficult to displace from the block or the lane, Alwal has a new appreciation of what it is like to compete against someone her size. Mississippi State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer hopes Alwal competing against Okorie in practice will help the beast in her come out.
 
Museum honors professional athletes from Starkville
The Magnolia State has had many athletes make it to the pros A Starkville museum honored three local athletes for their achievements on Sunday. "I look back with great fondness in the years I played," said former Mississippi State and NBA basketball player Bailey Howell. The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum is operated solely by volunteers and features various exhibits throughout the year.
 
Gameday security costs on the rise
Oxford and University of Mississippi police shell out over $85,000 to bring in dozens of additional personnel and pay overtime to their officers every football weekend. Even with the extra resources, officers still bear the brunt of the additional workload. "It's long and hard when you have these six games in seven weeks. You get tired, you get run down," university Chief of Police Calvin Sellers said. East said an Oxford game weekend starts Thursday night with a detail of 10 officers earning upward of $20 per hour to control the crowds of fans and students on the Square. Officers can take on up to four hours each for three days, yielding an average of 120 extra man hours for the Square detail alone, East said. By Saturday, Oxford is bursting with fans.
 
Jackson State offering homecoming game refunds today
Jackson State University football fans can go to Veterans Memorial Stadium or the ticket office at Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center from noon to 6 p.m. today for a refund due to the cancellation of Saturday's homecoming game. Grambling football players were suppose to board their bus to Jackson at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. That time was pushed back to 3:30 p.m. Only 22 players showed up but ended up not traveling to Jackson. Grambling players are protesting the recent firing of its coach.
 
Making a Stand for Reform at Grambling, and at the N.C.A.A.
The players' rights movement in intercollegiate athletics escalated beyond talk last week when football players from Grambling boycotted practice and forced the forfeit of a road game against Jackson State. There has been fanciful talk over the years about what might happen if players in any sport, at any level, refused to show up. Now we know. No homecoming game at Jackson State. If college athletes decide to sit out the Bowl Championship Series final or the basketball Final Four, guess what? No show. "No one has to wonder anymore," said Ramogi Huma, the president of the National College Players Association. "The powers that be in the N.C.A.A. are taking notice because their worst fear has just happened, at Grambling State."



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