Monday, October 28, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mississippi State receives $1.9 million job accelerator grant
The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that Mississippi State University and partners will be awarded nearly $2 million of $20.5 million in grant awards to fund projects to accelerate job creation and encourage re-shoring of advanced manufacturing jobs that have moved overseas. Led by the university's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension Center in Canton, the multi-partner MSU proposal outlines a "Make it in Mississippi" program to become one of the leading answers to the economic development challenge. David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development, said the three-year effort will focus strongly on both returning jobs to the U.S. and keeping advanced manufacturing jobs in the state.
 
Mississippi State administrators tapped for national program
Mississippi State University administrators have been accepted into a two-year leadership development program that will connect them with food systems peers and industry professionals. Peter Ryan, associate provost, and Michael Newman, professor and director of the School of Human Sciences, will join the national Food Systems Leadership Institute's fall 2013 class. The Food Systems Leadership Institute is a program of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
 
Merger issues remain as legislative session approaches
As the start of the state's next legislative session approaches, consolidation committee members say two key November dates will help give clarity to the group's almost yearlong efforts. On Tuesday, the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure scheduled two dates pivotal to its report: a public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Greensboro Center, and a daylong board work session will follow the day after. The committee must still settle on a number of issues -- logistics; potential funding sources for construction and renovations; how Mississippi State University can partner with the new district; pre-kindergarten services; matching curriculums and extracurricular opportunities for all students -- before it submits the suggestions.
 
'Hello, cello': Portland Cello concert at Mississippi State to show instrument's diversity
The internationally recognized Portland Cello Project brings its very special style of musical entertainment to Mississippi State for a Nov. 5 concert in the university's 2013-14 Lyceum Series. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall's Bettersworth Auditorium. Known to fans worldwide by the affectionate shorthand of "PCP," the string collective has, since its beginning, proclaimed a three-fold mission: to bring the cello to places you normally wouldn't hear it; to play music on a cello you wouldn't normally play on the instrument; and build bridges across all musical communities by having diverse collaborators join it on stage.
 
Local schools compete in robotics competition at Mississippi State
Among the latest efforts to help Mississippi produce more engineers is a high school robotics competition with the pizzazz of a football game. Twenty-two teams participated in the annual Mississippi BEST Robotics Competition, held last weekend at Starkville High School in conjunction with Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering. As students guided their robots, they were encouraged by bands, cheerleaders and the sound of sports jams being played through the sound system. Six weeks before the competition, teams traveled to MSU's Raspet Flight Research Laboratory to collect the materials they would use to build their robots. Starkville High School won the competition.
 
Beetles Find Home At Mississippi State University.
A career spent in forestry in the Southeast gave Leon Cambre the opportunity to collect more than 10,000 long-horned beetle specimens that he recently donated to Mississippi State University. Terence Schiefer, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher and curator of the Mississippi Entomological Museum, said the collection came pinned, labeled and organized by species. It is contained in three cabinets holding 36 glass-topped drawers of specimens. The insects were collected over more than 50 years and are now located at MSU. "The specimens are expertly prepared, and each is labeled with information including where, when and on what host it was collected," Schiefer said. "The data associated with each specimen is what makes an insect collection like this one valuable for research."
 
Katie Farms' owners to speak at Mississippi State
The owners of a farm in Coker, Ala., that raises registered Scottish Highland cattle will be among the guest speakers at this week's annual Nestle Purina Human Animal Bond Week activities at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Jon Fleenor and Margaret Purcell of Katie Farms will speak at noon Wednesday at the Starkville campus. Their presentation, "Operating the Small Family Farm," will focus on how the human-animal bond exists in many forms on their farming operation in Coker. Each fall, MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine hosts a series of lectures to celebrate the unique relationship between animals and humans.
 
'Ulysses S. Grant' to visit Columbus Monday for Hazard Lecture Series
A personage from the past will be the featured speaker Monday, Oct. 28 when the 2013 Hazard Lecture Series presents the second of three programs to mark the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Grant, who in actuality is Dr. E.C. Fields Jr. of Tennessee, will talk about "Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Stephen D. Lee: Out of the Past, Into the Future." "I'll be talking about the sparring Robert E. Lee and I did with each other for the last year of the war and about Stephen D. Lee and his involvement with Mississippi State University and the Vicksburg National Park, of which he was one of the founders," said Fields, as Grant, by phone Wednesday from his home near Memphis.
 
Leading Edges owner honored by East Mississippi Business Development Corporation
The East Mississippi Business Development Corporation has honored Tony Pompelia with its 2013 Small Business Leadership Award. Pompelia, managing partner of Leading Edges, credited his team for the agency's success. Leading Edges currently manages more than 30 active, full-time clients, including MSU Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts and MSU-Meridian. Pompelia is a graduate of Mississippi State University. He has now returned to his alma mater as a lecturer with the Division of Business at MSU-Meridian.
 
Bingham named new assistant director of annual giving at Millsaps College
Lora Bingham is the new assistant director of annual giving at Millsaps College. For the last two years, she worked as development manager, strategic planning, for the Alabama-Mississippi Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Before that, she was membership and development coordinator at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola. Bingham earned a bachelor of business administration in marketing from Mississippi State University.
 
Municipal clerk Wood resigns from Starkville court position
Starkville Municipal Clerk Debra Wood resigned her position Friday after aldermen gave her the choice to resign for be fired, city officials confirmed Saturday. Starkville Personnel Director Randy Boyd said the job is one "that will have to be filled" by the city, alluding to a possible Nov. 5 agenda item executing a candidate search for the vacant position. Six aldermen met behind closed doors Thursday and discussed the personnel move for almost three hours. The board's motion was a unanimous 6-0 vote -- Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver was absent from the meeting -- but besides the ultimatum, the board did not delegate the position's job functions.
 
Starkville's Unity Park unveiling delayed
A public unveiling for Unity Park, a set of plaques honoring key national figures that played significant roles in the civil rights movement, is now delayed until an unknown date, supervisors confirmed Thursday. Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer and Vice President John Montgomery both confirmed District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard, the county representative tasked with organizing the event, alerted them to the cancellation via phone calls Thursday. Calls to Howard and County Administrator Don Posey went unreturned. Both Trainer and Montgomery said planning issues and the event's timing led to the cancellation.
 
Managed care saving Medicaid money
Medicaid Executive Director David Dzielak says enrolling Mississippi Medicaid recipients in managed care has saved the state about $40 million. To increase those annual savings, Dzielak said recently the Legislature will have to remove the restrictions on the managed care program. The Medicaid budget for the current fiscal year is about $800 million in state funds. Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, a former chair of the House Public Health Committee, said he believes managed care has served a purpose in the Medicaid program. He said the educational component of managed care that helps recipients to learn how to deal with hypertension, for instance, has worked both to curb costs and produce better health outcomes. But he said he is concerned about managed care companies "cherry-picking" recipients to sign up the most healthy, and thus, least costly.
 
Mississippi mulling alternative paths to graduation for students who fail exit exams
Mississippi education officials are considering as many as seven alternate paths to a high school diploma for students who fail one or more high school exit exams. The state Board of Education agreed Oct. 18 to seek public comments. The plan has drawn questions because it could allow students to graduate without showing much proficiency in science or U.S. history. Since 2003, Mississippi public high school students have been required to pass four subject-area tests to graduate -- algebra I, English II, biology I and U.S. history. The idea was to make sure students were learning the basics no matter where they attend school. "That's exactly what the subject area tests are designed to do, to say you have a certain level of competency, that your diploma means something," said Nancy Loome, executive director of the Parents Campaign, which lobbies to support education in Mississippi. "We can't have it both ways."
 
Analysis: No smooth road for Cochran if he runs
Republican Thad Cochran has had to break a sweat once since winning one of Mississippi's two U.S. Senate seats in 1978. It was during his first re-election campaign in 1984, when he defeated Democratic former Gov. William Winter. Since then, Cochran has easily defeated challengers who've had difficulty raising money or gaining traction. Cochran, who turns 76 in December, is expected to announce late this year whether he'll seek a seventh six-year term in 2014. Though he's holding nearly $804,000 campaign cash, he's keeping his decision -- if there is one yet -- a closely guarded secret. If Cochran runs in 2014, he'll face a tougher challenge than he's had the past three decades, and it's coming from within the Republican Party.
 
McDaniel has made waves in Senate
Chris McDaniel, the man who could replace political icon Thad Cochran in the United States Senate, has been at times an outspoken member of the Mississippi Senate where he currently serves. McDaniel, R-Ellisville, is chair of the Senate's Conservative Coalition, which consists of 10 of the chamber's 32 Republicans. It is generally viewed as a group that has not been part of the inner circle of Senate leadership and at times has been at odds with Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, the chamber's presiding officer. McDaniel, a 42-year-old Jones County attorney, has brashly said he is running regardless of what Cochran does and is counting on Tea Party-thinking Republicans to carry him to victory in the June GOP primary and beyond.
 
Shutdown vote campaign fodder
It's been little more than a week since Mississippi lawmakers voted on legislation to end the government shutdown, but they may be explaining those votes for months to come, political experts say. That's because the deal ending the shutdown and extending the nation's debt ceiling is expected to an issue during next year's campaigns. "It will have to be part of the discussion... The shutdown is symbolic of the situation in Washington that the public perceives as being a complete breakdown of the ability of our federal government to get anything done," said Rickey Cole, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. "Whichever way a member voted -- they're going to have to answer for it." The vote has already become part of next year's campaign battle. Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced plans to challenge Cochran, citing Cochran's Oct. 16 vote, among other factors. Several national conservative groups have endorsed McDaniel.
 
Judge to rule on Bryant, BlueCross
U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate will rule Monday on whether Gov. Phil Bryant's intervention against BlueCross & BlueShield in its ongoing battle with a major hospital company in the state will stand. In a three-hour hearing Friday, attorneys for Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney and BlueCross argued that Bryant assumed powers he did not have by issuing an executive order forcing the insurer to reinstate to its network 10 privately owned hospitals across the state owned by Health Management Associates. The issue is pitting two statewide Republican elected officials -- the governor and insurance commissioner -- against each other while Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood is defending Bryant.
 
Europe and American spooks: Controlled anger
They huffed and they puffed, but did not dare blow down the house. European leaders expressed outrage and dismay at news that America may have been eavesdropping on the mobile telephone conversations of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and Europe's most powerful leader. For the first time since Edward Snowden's revelations about wholesale surveillance broke last summer, the affair became the subject of conversations at the high table of European leaders. In the end, though, leaders issued an anodyne statement saying they would keep talking to the Americans about the affair in private, with a view to settling matters by the end of the year.
 
Without federal aid, Amtrak could leave rural areas behind
They're among the last holdovers from the golden age of American train travel, but the changing relationship between the federal government and the states could mean the end of the line for some of Amtrak's long-distance routes. States have shown they're willing to pay for popular Amtrak corridors within their borders, but it's less than certain that they could assume responsibility for more than a dozen cross-country trains that date to the creation of Amtrak by Congress in 1970.
 
Police, experts: Alcohol most common in sexual assaults
Date rape drugs. Roofies. Liquid ecstasy. Special K. Odorless, colorless, tasteless predators that leave prey weak, confused and vulnerable. They are part of the standard plotline in many television thrillers, and a mythology has built around their pervasiveness. But the drugs most frequently associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault may not be the most common assailant. "Quite honestly, alcohol is the No. 1 date rape drug," said Mike Lyttle, regional supervisor for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Nashville crime lab. The social acceptance and accessibility of alcohol seems to reduce its recognition as a potential date rape drug. Its effects, however, demonstrate how it functions as one.
 
Mississippi community colleges reach tipping point
Cracks are growing in a two-year college system Mississippi has relied upon for nearly a century to bridge the educational gap between high school and a four-year degree, churn out a skilled work force and grow the state's economy. Though the state's 15 community and junior colleges are consistently ranked among the top systems in the nation, tough economic times and shifting job market trends have taken their toll, driving up tuition costs and slashing operating budgets -- all while expanding the schools' missions. An analysis of these factors over the last five years shows a system struggling with funding sources while attempting to entice more students to shrink a growing budget gap.
 
Lawmakers: Don't expect fulfilled funding formula
Key lawmakers say they want to continue to increase spending on community colleges, but doubt the Legislature can live up to its own funding formula. "I know IHL and community colleges have been in lean, mean mode for years now," House Education Committee Chairman John Moore, R-Brandon, told colleges and university leaders last week. "I'm a firm supporter of mid-point funding for community colleges -- I think they're our best-kept secret, if you will -- and at some point you begin to starve the machine if you're not careful ...But we have finite resources ...K-12 gets the lion's share of general fund money. They can't charge tuition." The Legislature passed a law in 2007 saying it would fund community colleges mid-level between K-12 and smaller universities. But it hasn't done so.
 
Bacteria found in Ole Miss water supply, boil-water alert issued
A boil-water alert is in effect for the nearly 20,000 people who use the Ole Miss water supply system. The University of Mississippi drinking water supply showed presence of total coliform bacteria. The alert is meant for anyone who receives their drinking water from the University of Mississippi's water supply, which is located in Lafayette County.
 
Maynard selected for top post
The Oxford Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation recently announced it has selected Jon Maynard to succeed Max Hipp as the new president and CEO. Hipp, who served in the capacity as CEO/President recently announced his retirement. Maynard has been serving as Vice President since being hired in December of 2012.
 
State music conference at MUW to feature Grammy-winning pianist
The Mississippi University for Women Department of Music will host the 59th annual Mississippi Music Teachers Association state conference, which will feature Grammy award-winning pianist Angelin Chang. The conference will be held Nov. 1-2 with Chang's performance Friday evening Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Kossen Auditorium, Poindexter Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Chang is noted for her sense of poetry and technical brilliance.
 
Nancy LaForge proves as green as her husband
Everyone has seen Delta State University's new president Bill LaForge, and they are getting to know the man behind all of the green ties, but how much do we know about the woman who helps to knot those ties in the morning? Nancy LaForge is the first lady of Delta State University and she is doing her best to get to know every Okra and Statesman of DSU. With the start of a new school year, and now the presidential inauguration coming up, Nancy has had the opportunity to meet the many people that make up the Delta State community, as well as Cleveland. "Everybody has been wonderful to us -- so welcoming. People come up all the time and say we're so glad to have y'all here and so excited for y'all to be back. We're excited to be back too," she said.
 
Former bookstore owner makes donation in honor of new Delta State president
A former owner of an iconic bookstore in Greenville has donated his extensive collection to the Roberts-LaForge Library at Delta State University. The library holds special meaning to current DSU president William N. LaForge, as it is partly named in honor of his father, Dr. William F. LaForge, who served 35 years at Delta State as a professor of history, chair of social sciences and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Now LaForge, who is gearing up for his inauguration, is excited about a unique book collection from Hugh McCormick, the former owner of McCormick Book Inn in Greenville, that will bring even more character to the library. On Oct. 28, a historic collection of about 375 literary works by authors from the Mississippi Delta and surrounding area was unveiled as an inaugural donation from McCormick.
 
Mississippi Valley State rededicates 'new' library
Last year, students at Mississippi Valley State University studied in a temporary library housed in the Academic Skills building. Since August, they've been in the renovated and remodeled James Herbert White Library. The Greenwood Commonwealth reports that school officials this week held a rededication of the building. "Today we stand in front of a state-of-the-art facility -- a place where our students can enrich their knowledge with some of the best academic tools available," MVSU President William Bynum said during the ceremony.
 
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College opens Healthcare Simulation Center to public
One of Mississippi's community colleges has opened a new health care education facility on the Gulf Coast that officials hope will not only add to students' education, but also assist in workforce development and better patient outcomes. On Oct. 11, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College cut the ribbon on its new Healthcare Simulation Center, housed in MGCCC's Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center in Gulfport. While health care simulation facilities are already available on the coast, MGCCC's center is the first that is open for public access.
 
Machen proposes reorganizing U. of Florida tenure board
For five years running, the board that reviews promotion and tenure nominations at the University of Florida has been handling more than 200 cases a year. Those cases have to be reviewed and recommendations turned in to the provost by January each year, putting a lot of pressure on the six faculty members appointed to UF's Academic Personnel Board to advise the president and provost on who should be promoted and granted tenure. UF President Bernie Machen and faculty have been discussing ways to reorganize the board to make it more efficient and fair, and on Thursday, Machen presented a proposal to the Faculty Senate to start discussing with their colleagues throughout the university.
 
U. of Kentucky board of trustees adopts academic and physical-plant priorities
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees voted Saturday to adopt some major themes in guiding the school's future. The trustees approved the broad outline of a five-year academic strategic plan that is starting under the leadership of new provost Christine Riordan. Its major goals are to create a vibrant undergraduate experience; advance high-quality graduate education and robust research; develop a strong and sustainable infrastructure and a positive work environment for faculty and staff; and guide UK to a meaningful impact on the community. The board also adopted general themes of the master plan, which includes creating a more walkable, green campus with better connections to nearby neighborhoods and downtown.
 
U. of Arkansas Names Two Directors of Employee Relations
The University of Arkansas has hired two new directors of employer relations -- Donna Graham and Erica Estes -- to increase the number of employers who provide job opportunities for UA students and recent alumni. Both Graham and Estes are UA graduates and have worked successfully in both the academic world and in fields outside of campus. They both have strong insights into what public and private employers are seeking and what steps students can take toward assuring jobs soon after graduation. These two new positions and are modeled after the director of employer relations in the College of Engineering, which has been in place for more than 15 years, and currently held by Brian Henderson.
 
About half of students who lost Georgia HOPE grants did not return to school
More than 11,000 Georgians lost HOPE grants to attend state technical colleges when the state Legislature imposed tougher academic requirements in 2011, and more than half have not re-enrolled in school as of this fall, according to Technical College System of Georgia statistics. "A lot of people are in need of this financial assistance because they either lost their jobs or could not find better employment. The people coming back (after regaining HOPE eligibility) are people who basically had to quit college because they couldn't afford it," said Mike Light, the system's executive director of communications.
 
Little oversight needed to set up Texas A&M's branch campus in Israel
When Texas A&M University wanted to build a bigger football stadium, it needed the approval of state regulators and the System Board of Regents; but, when it sought to construct a Middle Eastern campus more than 7,000 miles away, it needed no such green light. System Chancellor John Sharp and A&M Provost Karan Watson had the flexibility to negotiate the arrangement directly with top Israeli officials. An announcement Wednesday in Jerusalem included the ceremonial signing of what is essentially a memorandum of understanding, which commits the Israelis and Aggies to creating the campus. The efforts by Sharp and others fall within university and state regulations, but the regents, faculty, students and others who are typically vocal in other major undertakings either didn't know or didn't speak publicly about the plans before they were announced.
 
U. of Missouri business school adds risk management and insurance program
In celebration of its centennial year, the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business announced yesterday that a new program will be available for students. The Trulaske College of Business will be offering a new program in risk management and insurance -- RMI. The program is funded by $1 million in donations from corporate and private donors including Duncan and Shirley Matteson, Tom and Betty Scott and Peter and Ellen Clune as well as Missouri Employers Mutual, Columbia Insurance Group and Shelter Insurance. The program is for finance students interested in the specialized area and will gradate with specific skills in managing risk for corporations, business and individuals.
 
Lists That Rank Colleges' Value Are on the Rise
Purists might regard bottom-line calculations as an insult to the intellectual, social and civic value of education. But dollars-and-cents tabulations like are the fastest-growing sector of the college rankings industry, with ever more analyses vying for the attention of high school students and their parents who are anxious about finances. President Obama sharply raised the ante in August with a plan to rate colleges on their value and affordability and to tie those ratings to the $150 billion in financial aid that the federal government supplies each year. Should Mr. Obama's plan come to pass, value would not just be a selling point for colleges, it would be a matter of life and death. But there is no agreement on how to measure the value of a college, and there is no agreement, or anything even close, on what value is in the first place.
 
Colleges use FAFSA information to reject students and potentially lower financial aid packages
Some colleges are denying admission and perhaps reducing financial aid to students based on a single, non-financial, non-academic question that students submit to the federal government on their applications for student aid. Millions of high school students and their parents probably have no idea this happens after they fill out the ubiquitous Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The form, known as the FAFSA, is used by nearly every American who needs help paying for college. It turns out students' pleas for help are now being systematically used against them by some colleges.
 
EDITORIAL: Mississippians deserve civil and substantive campaigns
The Sun Herald editorializes: "The qualifying deadline for candidates in next year's federal elections is not until March 1, but already the political landscape is stirring with activity. While it is still early in the process, we would like to make a request of all who would participate in this process: Conduct a serious campaign with civility. ...Mississippians need and deserve competent men and women to mount substantive campaigns that rigorously and vigorously examine our nation's problems and our options for solving them."
 
GEOFF PENDER: McDaniel himself a spender? | Geoff Pender (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "State Sen. Chris McDaniel's campaign for U.S. Senate is centered on bringing an end to the pork-barrel, big-spending ways of Washington and longtime incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. But McDaniel might have to defend some of his own spending and tax votes during his six years in the state Legislature. Prior to this year, when he was prepping to run for Cochran's seat, McDaniel supported a dog's breakfast of borrowing and spending -- more than $948 million worth -- much of it of the sort he himself has criticized recently, including 'building museums while we're in a recession' and bills that included pet projects for lawmakers."
 
PAUL HAMPTON: Farm policy enough to make a constituent sick | Paul Hampton (Opinion)
The Sun Herald's Paul Hampton writes: "Researchers say past farm bills have fueled obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other health problems by making unhealthy foods cheaper through subsidies to farmers. ...You can bet agriculture lobbyists are swarming the capitol right now, and they're getting the answers they want. I just hope they're paying for healthy meals."
 
BILL CRAWFORD: Wicker watching Tea Party blitz
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Sen. Roger Wicker must be anxiously watching the Tea Party blitz against fellow Sen. Thad Cochran. The two senators have much in common. For example, until they were banned by House Republicans, Wicker's record for delivering earmarks was second only to Cochran's. The Tea Party claims earmarks were a major factor in escalating deficits. They weren't, but the claim is pervasive. Wicker has been a recent champion of bipartisan deal-making. ...The Tea Party, however, considers any bipartisan deals as 'sabotage by weak Republicans.'"
 
JIMMIE GATES: HMA-Blue Cross dispute turns patients into pawns | Jimmie Gates (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Jimmie Gates writes: "I have been trying to understand this fight between Health Management Associates and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. From my vantage point, it seems like a fight over money by two large private companies that want to make more profit. ...I'm not saying who is right or wrong in the dispute between HMA and BCBS, but patients and subscribers shouldn't be made the pawns in this rift between two large companies fighting over money."
 
SAM R. HALL: Blue Cross made enemies of gov., attorney general | Sam R. Hall
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi isn't endearing itself to many folks -- especially not Gov. Phil Bryant and Attorney General Jim Hood. That BCBS has Bryant and Hood working together should tell you exactly what kind of public and governmental relations nightmare the insurance giant has cooked up for itself. Bryant and Hood both feel snubbed and professionally insulted by BCBS, particularly CEO Carol Pigott. Word from persons close to Bryant and to Hood tell similar stories: Each reached out to Pigott in an attempt to bridge the gap between BCBS and Health Management Associates. Neither ever heard back from Pigott."
 
SID SALTER: Mississippi leans more heavily on federal revenue
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "Politicians talk earnestly, passionately and with historical flourishes about cutting federal spending. ...let's move to the question of what cutting federal spending really means for Mississippians. For FY2013, Mississippi adopted a budget of $18.2 billion. But of that state budget, some 46 percent of it was met with federal dollars. Even with that influx of federal dollars, 70 percent of the total Mississippi budget funded public health care, education, highways, agriculture and economic development. Over the last decade, federal revenues as a share of all Mississippi state government revenues increased from just more than 35 percent in 2000 to just less than 53 percent in 2011."


SPORTS
 
South Carolina, Mississippi State coaches' styles differ
Both Dan Mullen and Steve Spurrier both held afternoon teleconferences five minutes apart Sunday. And while it may have been just a couple of phone calls, it offered a glimpse into the differing coaching styles of this week's Mississippi State and South Carolina matchup. Spurrier, in his ninth year at South Carolina, hosted the call himself.
 
Bulldogs hit road while Rebels can rest
Mississippi State and Ole Miss both enjoyed wins last week. The Bulldogs survived a 28-22 outing against Kentucky on Thursday for their first SEC win to get to 4-3 overall. Ole Miss breezed by Idaho 59-14 for homecoming on Saturday. This week will be quite different for the two Magnolia State schools. MSU will hit the road for the next two weekends, with a trip to South Carolina followed by a visit to Texas A&M. Ole Miss will enjoy a weekend off. The Bulldogs have not traveled to Williams-Brice Stadium since the 2007 season.
 
LOGAN LOWERY: Changing coaches is not the answer | Logan Lowery (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Logan Lowery writes: "There is a faction among the Mississippi State fan base that's calling for Dan Mullen's head. While I believe this group to be in the minority, they are vocal and growing in numbers each week as the Bulldogs continue to struggle in the second half of their games. I'll be the first to admit that MSU isn't setting the woods on fire in any phase of the game this season but wanting Mullen gone at this point is absurd."
 
College basketball: Men's players, coaches will have to adjust to rule changes
Count Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Ray in the group of coaches that is concerned about the rule changes coming to the game. Last week, a video with the rule changes was sent to all Division I coaches. Art Hyland, the secretary rules editor of the NCAA men's basketball rules committee, highlighted the proper enforcement of hand-checking, which has been moved from a guideline into the official rule book. This point of emphasis could change the opinion of ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, who for years has been criticizing officials for disregard freedom of movement in favor of physical play.
 
Huddleston filling variety of roles for MSU
Tiffany Huddleston admits she didn't know what to expect in her freshman season at Mississippi State. With a new coach -- Aaron Gordon -- who wanted to instill a new attitude and change the culture of the school's women's soccer program, Huddleston thought she might have an opportunity to make an impact. Little did the Starkville native realize she would get as much playing time at as many positions as she has this season.
 
Bulldogs, Huddleston progress this soccer season
The Mississippi State soccer team found a reason to be encouraged Sunday afternoon. Despite falling to 0-10 in the Southeastern Conference, the latest effort for the Bulldogs may have been the best yet. MSU lost a 1-0 decision to the 13th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks at home and it is considered something to be something positive. (Subscriber-only content.)
 
Salter's commitment gives Mississippi State women five for Class of 2014
The Mississippi State women's basketball team's recruiting class continues to get bigger. As it expands, it also climbs the national rankings. On Thursday night, LaKaris Salter, a 6-foot-1 forward from Tallahassee, Fla., gave a verbal commitment to play for coach Vic Schaefer. Salters' commitment gives MSU five players -- Kayla Nevitt, Victoria Vivians, Starkville High School guard Blair Schaefer, who is Vic Schaefer's daughter, and Morgan William -- for the Class of 2014.
 
Lacrosse Interest Growing In Mississippi
It's one of, if not the, fastest-growing sports in the country. Lacrosse, specifically women's lacrosse, is taking hold in Mississippi. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss gathered at Ballard Park in Tupelo this weekend to play a round robin tournament. "Mississippi is slowly but surely growing women's lacrosse teams," Niki Eisgruber, a MSU junior who helped start State's team, said. "It's mostly club teams right now but we're actually playing Ole Miss and they joined an official conference in the South called the SWLL."
 
LSU A.D. wants to raise ticket prices for some events
Unless ticket prices increase for many sporting events next year, the LSU Athletic Department could end up $2 million in the red, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Friday. Alleva was at LSU's Board of Supervisors meeting to sway board members, who will decide in December whether to approve price increases for football tickets next year and for LSU baseball tickets in 2015. Alleva told board members the ticket prices need to be approved by the end of the year if LSU is to keep up in the athletic "arms race" with other Southeastern Conference schools. He also called for the board that oversees the LSU system to change its procedures and let the Athletic Department adjust prices without board approval.
 
South Carolina's Clowney Savors a Rare Moment of Joy
Jadeveon Clowney hobbled down the hill leading from the visitors' locker room here, headphones around his neck, a pizza box in his left hand, a smile on his face. At the bottom of the hill was his family. And beyond them, a few dozen South Carolina fans were waiting behind metal fences, calling his name. The Gamecocks had just beaten then-No. 5 Missouri in double overtime Saturday, and Clowney had not necessarily dominated the game as a defensive end, but his star was still as bright as could be. "I don't have nothing to prove," Clowney said as he approached his family and fans. "They keep doubting --- we're going to keep winning. Let them keep doubting us. That's all I can say. It's a team sport. For all what people think about me -- I just want to win with my team." This was a triumphant moment for him in what had been a trying season.
 
Commentators put heart and hard work into Texas A&M radio show
Statistics, player information, game summaries and reports are scattered around the radio equipment in Texas A&M's The Zone radio box. Seven men, six of them adorned in maroon, are squeezed into a roughly 10-by-14 room and actively worked together to be the eyes and ears for those who couldn't see the A&M-Vanderbilt game on Saturday. Dave South, the "voice of the Aggies," was focused. The offensive spotter was feeding him information on his right and the defensive spotter on his left, and he could have five different people giving him information and two different people speaking in his ear at one time.
 
Coaches' Group Calls for More Teams in Proposed Elite NCAA Division
If the wealthiest athletics departments do as they have suggested and form a separate NCAA subdivision to have more say over rules and regulations at the highest level, they should be required to support more teams and add opportunities for students, according to a new proposal. A group of 12 Division I coaches' associations in such sports as soccer, volleyball, and swimming is urging the NCAA to increase the number of sports and the amount of financial aid a university would have to offer if it sought to join any new "super division" comprising the most-powerful institutions. The proposal comes as athletics directors, conference commissioners, and others plan to gather on Tuesday in Indianapolis to discuss ideas for improving the NCAA's Division I governance structure.



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