Thursday, February 13, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Grant brings Mississippi State project to Corinth
During a four-year grant period, the city of Corinth will have the expertise and guidance of a team from the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State University to implement improvements across the community. A $40,000 grant from the Pierce Foundation -- $10,000 a year for four years -- will be used to support the project, said Professor John Poros, director of the center in the MSU School of Architecture. "We had done some work before in Corinth through a class sponsored by the CREATE Foundation," Poros said. "The students came up with several proposals, and Corinth has started to put into play a number of them."
 
Road bill would honor Zacharias
The Mississippi House has passed a bill that would dedicate a portion of Mississippi Highway 25 in Oktibbeha County to the late Donald Zacharias. Zacharias was president at Mississippi State University from 1985-97. Only founding president Stephen D. Lee served longer. He was Western Kentucky University's president before coming to Mississippi State. House Bill 615 would designate that portion of the highway that intersects with Old Highway 25 to the Oktibbeha County-Winston County line as the "Dr. Donald W. Zacharias Memorial Highway." State transportation officials would put up and maintain the signs.
 
Highway May Be Named for Former MSU President
A portion of Highway 25 could soon be dedicated in honor of former Mississippi State University President Donald Zacharias. The Mississippi House passed a bill Tuesday that would designate the portion of Highway 25 that intersects at the Oktibbeha County-Winston County line as "Dr. Donald W. Zacharias Memorial Highway." Zacharias was president of MSU from 1985 through 1997. He passed away last March of complications from multiple sclerosis at age 77. The bill now goes to the state Senate.
 
Legislature considers Zacharias highway
Legislation to name a portion of Highway 25 after the late former Mississippi State University President Donald Zacharias passed the state House of Representatives Tuesday. The House's approval comes a little less than a year after Zacharias died March 3 at age 77. A few weeks after that, District 35 Rep. Joey Hood (R-Ackerman) drafted legislation to name the road after Zacharias, but it never passed.
 
Peanut farmers and manufacturers from across state in Hattiesburg
The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association held its 9th Annual Meeting and Trade Show on Wednesday at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. Dozens of manufacturers and farmers participated in the event. Those who attended the meeting learned more about a big emerging threat in agriculture. "Wild hogs believe it or not in the U.S. are now a $1.5 billion cost, and in Mississippi we don't really know at this point in time how much they're costing, but it's certainly significant," said MSU Extension assistant professor Bronson Strickland.
 
Starkville's food, beverage tax renewal not expected this term
A bill authorizing Starkville's 2 percent food and beverage tax renewal is not expected this legislative term, local and state representatives confirmed this week. State Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, said the House should tackle the matter next year as lawmakers usually choose not to renew such local tax levies until the year they expire. Starkville's 2 percent food and beverage tax is set to expire in 2015. Officials hoped the Legislature would deal with the matter this year. Currently, revenues are divided between Starkville Parks (40 percent), Mississippi State University student groups (20 percent), Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority (15 percent) Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau (15 percent). The remaining 10 percent returns to the city.
 
Broader state audit authority for economic development projects pushed
The state auditor's office would have the authority to audit all economic development projects that receive public money, under a bill that has already cleared the Senate and now heads to the House. Similar legislation awaits debate in the House. Currently, the state auditor's office can examine the books of some of the state's larger publicly funded projects to make sure the companies are complying with the terms of the public assistance they received. But a lot of projects created under smaller bond and grant programs are exempt from auditor oversight, unless the Mississippi Development Authority specifically requests an audit. Auditor Stacey Pickering has said in several interviews over the past year that such a request is rarely made.
 
Bill would undo Mississippi law for later school start
Some Mississippi legislators are trying to undo a law that requires the school year to start later in August. The Senate voted 31-15 Wednesday to do that, but the House and the governor would have to agree before anything could change. Prospects in the House are uncertain. The proposal came from Republican Sen. Videt Carmichael of Meridian, who said local districts should set the school calendar. Under a law that takes effect for the first time in the 2014-15 school year, classes can begin no earlier than the third Monday in August. Most Mississippi districts have been starting earlier.
 
Senate flips on early school starts
The state Senate has stripped a provision from state law setting the start of the school year no earlier than the third Monday of August. "It will give authority back to local school boards," said Sen. Videt Carmichael, R-Meridian, a former principal who opposed the 2012 law that originally set the later start date. Carmichael was successful Monday in getting the amendment passed, by a vote of 31-15, to allow local school districts to decide when they want to start the school year. In a spirited debate on the Senate floor, Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison defended the later school year start. "It was done for the safety of children," Tollison said. "It's more about heat and safety."
 
House rejects new statewide school district
Legislation that would create a statewide district to govern chronically low-performing schools was rejected Wednesday by the House. The legislation, creating the Mississippi Achievement School District, was recommitted 60-55 to the Education Committee. Nine Republicans joined the minority Democrats in essentially killing the bill for the session. But similar legislation is pending in the Senate, keeping the issue alive. Rep. Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, defended the legislation on the House floor, saying, "We need to give these kids (in chronically failing schools) a better...option. This is a way to do it." Opponents argued that there were too many unanswered questions in the legislation, such as that there is no mechanism to return the school to the local district. Plus, under the bill there would be nothing to prevent the taken-over schools from being converted to charter schools.
 
House derails failing-schools district
The House on Wednesday killed a move to create a separate, statewide school district for failing schools, amid concerns over loss of local control, taxes and expansion of charter schools. House Bill 502 would have created the Mississippi Achievement District, with its own school board and superintendent, to take over schools that receive an "F" state rating for two consecutive years. The House voted 60-55 to recommit the bill to committee, effectively killing it for this session. A similar bill is pending in the Senate, which could keep the issue alive. But the House Republican majority appears split on the issue, with nine voting with Democrats against the House bill Wednesday. State Rep. Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, said creating a separate district would allow "laser-like focus on increasing performance in our chronically failing schools."
 
Bill would limit Mississippi politicos in tax-funded ads
Mississippi politicians would be banned from appearing in tax-funded advertising during election years, under a bill moving through the Legislature. Senate Bill 2281 passed the Senate on Wednesday and goes to the House for more work. "My constituents asked for it because they felt like a lot of elected officials may have an unfair advantage during an election year," said Sen. John Polk, R-Hattiesburg. It's not unusual for elected officials to appear in publicly funded commercials promoting their official duties.
 
Senate OKs election-year ban on candidates in tax-paid ads
The governor, secretary of state and any other candidate would be prohibited from appearing in any taxpayer-funded advertising during the year of a statewide general election under a bill adopted Wednesday by the state Senate. "We just want to prevent undue influence," said Sen. John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, who authored the bill. He said anyone could still appear in advertising under the legislation as long as it wasn't an ad paid for with taxpayers' money. But Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, said one of his concerns was that the legislation could restrict the governor from working with the Mississippi Development Authority to promote the state. "Why would you want to restrict that?" Simmons asked?
 
Bill would make repeat offenders serve longer
Old habits are hard to break when it comes to Mississippi lawmakers' desire to lock up criminals. Two days after the state House passed House Bill 585, which aims to cut the number of state prisoners to save money, representatives voted 79-41 Wednesday to pass House Bill 63. It would limit the ability of violent offenders to get time off prison sentences after a second conviction. Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, said the bill could've prevented his aunt from being shot to death by a repeat offender. He and other supporters of the bill said people who commit a second violent crime after getting out of prison the first time haven't learned their lessons and shouldn't be able to earn time off. But the measure, which moves on to the Senate for more debate, is opposed by Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps. He said he wants legislators to make changes using the comprehensive bill.
 
House OKs plan to spruce up cities
The House has passed a bill to help small Mississippi cities spruce up their downtowns and pay for it with a sales tax diversion. House Bill 127 would create the Main Street Investment Act under the Mississippi Development Authority. It would allow cities up to 15,000 population to borrow up to $5 million for projects to spruce up downtown areas, with the borrowing to be paid back from sales tax collected in those areas. "Some of our small towns' business districts are just crumbling," said Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia. The program would start small. The bill says only one town every two years can be approved, but supporters say they hope to expand it later if it works well.
 
Palazzo: House will vote on flood insurance overhaul after break
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-4, applauded word Wednesday from Majority Leader Eric Cantor that the House will hold a vote on broader flood insurance reform measures following the President's Day recess, according to reports. "Steven Palazzo has been a tireless advocate for his constituents and instrumental in working toward a solution for the National Flood Insurance Program," Cantor said. "His leadership on this issue has been critical." Palazzo has led the coalition that is working to bring broader flood insurance reforms to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible. Over the past year, he has pushed for measures that would delay current rate hikes and phase in rate increases at a much slower pace, resulting in more affordable flood insurance premiums for grandfathered and subsidized properties as well as home sales.
 
Cochran challenger questions time spent in state
Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, suggested on Monday that Cochran may face questions over his residency similar to those that have dogged --- and in one case, toppled -- other senators with primary challengers. Speaking to reporters at a gathering of conservative candidates hosted by FreedomWorks on Monday, McDaniel said his campaign was "watching...very carefully" whether Cochran maintains a residence in the state in a response to a question about other senators who had lapses. But McDaniel said he had never seen Cochran in Mississippi during his seven years in the state Senate, and cited anecdotal accounts from friends and supporters on the campaign trail "who have never physically laid eyes on him." Cochran's campaign brushed off the suggestion that he's not in the state often enough. "That is too absurd for a response," said Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell.
 
Why quantity exceeds quality among Senate Republican primary challengers
Six of the 12 Republican senators running for reelection face primary challengers. But most of the contenders have yet to make serious inroads against the incumbents they are trying to knock off. Some have raised scant campaign cash. Others have been dogged by questions about their past. And none have built the groundswell of support necessary to do something as difficult knocking off a sitting senator before the general election. It's early in the cycle, but as it stands now, the field of challengers is wider than it is deep. The challenger who appears to have the best chance right now is Chris McDaniel, a Mississippi state senator running against Sen. Thad Cochran. But McDaniel he appears the be the exception to the rule this cycle. And even as he's impressed conservative activists early, he far from a shoo-in to win.
 
Health insurance enrollment on target in January
For the first time since the federal and state health-insurance marketplaces opened early last fall, the number of people who signed up for coverage exceeded the government's expectations for the month in January, bringing the overall total to about 3.3 million. Across the country, nearly 1.2 million people enrolled in health plans last month through the new insurance exchanges --- more than federal officials had envisioned when they compiled monthly targets late last summer, weeks before the sign-ups began. The figure is part of a detailed report issued Wednesday by the Obama administration, providing the latest look at how the effort to extend health insurance to more Americans is faring.
 
17,350 in Mississippi enroll in U.S.-run health exchange
New figures show 17,350 Mississippi residents have signed up for private health insurance using a website run by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday released the number of people in each state who enrolled in health coverage between Oct. 1 and Feb. 1. The figures show 62 percent of the people who enrolled in Mississippi are women, and 38 percent are men. More than half are between age 45 and 64, while about a quarter are between 18 and 34.
 
Falling Property Values Hint at Trouble on the Farm
From 2009 to mid-2013, average prices for agricultural land in the U.S. rose by half, while in Iowa, Nebraska and some other Midwest farm states, prices more than doubled, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data from last August. That helped fuel economic prosperity across the Farm Belt while stoking fears about a possible bubble. Now there is mounting evidence the boom is fizzling out. Despite the falling property values, agricultural analysts say a repeat of past farm-belt collapses is unlikely. Farmer income is expected to remain strong and debt levels are low, according to USDA figures.
 
Giant Laser Complex Makes Fusion Advance, Finally
After years of disappointing results and missed deadlines, a $5 billion laser complex has now achieved a step that revives optimism that thermonuclear fusion, the process that powers the sun, can one day be harnessed for almost limitless energy. Writing in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, scientists working on the project report on the September shot as well as one in November. In both, the hydrogen fusion generated more energy than had been deposited into the hydrogen. However, laser-driven fusion remains far from practical, because only about 1 percent of the initial laser energy reached the hydrogen. "A lot of people are jazzed," Omar A. Hurricane, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist leading the project, said during a telephone news conference on Monday.
 
New financial tool helps students manage debt
The U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Department of Education and Inuit Inc. have joined forces to create the Repayment Estimator, an application designed to help alleviate the fears of those who have student loan debt. According to University of Mississippi Director of Financial Aid Laura Diven-Brown, approximately 16,594 Ole Miss students received some kind of financial aid in the 2012-13 school year. Of that number, 7,856 students received federal undergraduate loans, totaling about $55,666,999. Diven-Brown said she thinks the Repayment Estimator was designed to help college students make better financial decisions.
 
OUR OPINION: O-U Transit taps assets for successful operation
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "The Oxford-University Transit system, while operating under encouraging demographic conditions, has made good on its opportunities of serving a heavily populated part of Oxford and surrounding Lafayette County with affordable fares, good schedules and reliable service. It attracts University of Mississippi students, commuters riding from their homes on the outskirts to drop-off points near their in-town workplaces, and residents who find the bus service more convenient than wrestling with Oxford's formidable issues finding parking in the heart of downtown."
 
USM student helps Woolmarket family recover from fire
When Sabrina and Leyon Oliver watched their Woolmarket home go up in flames last month, they didn't know where to turn for help. What was especially hard was losing all the toys and clothes belonging to a special needs child they are raising. The couple went on Facebook to ask for donations, and they received an immediate response from a University of Southern Mississippi student. When USM Junior Whitney Ward learned that the family was seeking donations on Facebook, she organized a campus-wide clothing drive. Since Monday, she has received several bags of donations. "It's been pretty good. I'm shocked and I hope more keeps coming in," said Ward. Ward is a Luckyday Scholar at USM Gulfpark.
 
Chik-fil-a CEO's visit to Mississippi College postponed
Dan Cathy, the president and CEO of Chik-fil-a who was scheduled to speak at Mississippi College on Thursday, has postponed his visit due to weather. MC public relations tells WLBT that Cathy was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the college's third annual Faith and Business luncheon. He is now scheduled to speak at MC on April 17. Cathy has been criticized for a tweet on his opinion on the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage when he said his company supported the biblical definition of marriage.
 
U. of Alabama celebrates Darwin Day
The University of Alabama celebrated the 205th birthday of famed British naturalist Charles Darwin on Wednesday with a full day of activities and exhibits.
 
Auburn University, area schools will close Thursday
Winter weather affected parts of Alabama Tuesday and Wednesday, but Lee County residents can expect temperatures to increase by Thursday afternoon. The county was under a winter weather advisory until 6 a.m. Thursday. Wednesday weather included rain and temperatures in the mid-30s throughout the day. Wednesday evening included threats of snow and ice was with lows in the high 20s and another chance of snow around midnight. Auburn University was scheduled to suspend normal operations at 11 p.m. Wednesday due to the weather, and close until 5 p.m. Thursday. Tiger Transit will not operate on Thursday. Limited campus dining venues will be open for on-campus residents. Students should check the campus dining app for information on open venues.
 
U. of Georgia suited to endure ice storm
Many Athenians might wake up Thursday morning to a chilly, dark house. The weather forecast called for freezing rain, accumulating in a sheet a half-inch thick or more on tree limbs. Along with expected wind gusts of up to 30 mph, that's a sure recipe for downed utility lines and power outages. But thousands of students who live in University of Georgia residence halls are likely to remain toasty warm. Electrical lines to most parts of campus are underground, explained Ralph Johnson, associate vice president for facilities management at UGA. "Our vulnerability from ice is very low," he said. For the past several years, workers have buried more and more electrical lines underground, and now about 98 percent of electric wires on campus are underground, he said.
 
Not all of U. of Tennessee closed
Classes may be canceled at the University of Tennessee, but some essential services are still operating for the more than 7,000 students who live on campus. The university first announced shortly after 5 a.m. that it would be opening at 11 a.m. Though roads were relatively clear when administrators visited campus early this morning, the continued snow fall and worsening conditions prompted the university to close for the day, a UT spokeswoman said.
 
Marva Rudolph, UT equity and diversity administrator, dies at 64
Marva Rudolph, a University of Tennessee administrator who was known as a loving caretaker, strict rule-follower and an avid Tiger Woods fan, died Feb. 6 following complications from respiratory issues. She was 64. In her role as associate vice chancellor and director of the Office of Equity and Diversity at UT, Mrs. Rudolph was responsible for ensuring fairness during hiring, helping students and staff with complaints and ensuring the school was compliant with federal diversity and disability requirements. But while she was a stickler for rules, she was also nurturing. A co-worker said Mrs. Rudolph was quick to reach out and act as a mentor to younger staff members.
 
Florida alumnus, wife donate $5 million toward university's pre-eminence goals
University of Florida alumnus and private investment banker Andrew Banks and his wife, Pamela Banks, have pledged $5 million to create several endowed chairs at his undergraduate alma mater, university officials announced Wednesday. The Banks Family Pre-eminence Chairs will endow several faculty positions in strategic areas that have yet to be determined, said Steve Orlando, senior director, University of Florida Media Relations. This is "a major gift that's being used to support the preeminence initiative, which is a top priority for us," Orlando said.
 
Crist comes to U. of Florida to weigh in on early voting at Reitz Union
Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist urged University of Florida students and Gainesville residents Wednesday afternoon to voice their opposition to Gov. Rick Scott and his administration's contention that the Reitz Union on campus shouldn't be an early voting location. Crist, 57, addressed more than 100 people during a campus rally at Turlington Plaza. In his brief speech, Crist stood on a white bench and discussed the need for students to have a convenient place on campus to cast early ballots during elections. "It's pretty clear to me they don't want young people to be voting, and there's no better way to illustrate that than on a university campus," Crist said Wednesday.
 
In-state tuition for undocumented delayed in Tennessee
A Senate committee put off debate on a bill that would give in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants who came to Tennessee as children, but it approved a related measure that would let state universities count the American-born children of undocumented immigrants as residents. The Senate Education Committee agreed Wednesday afternoon to delay debate Senate Bill 1951, which would qualify undocumented immigrants who move to Tennessee before high school and meet academic standards for in-state tuition to the University of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents systems. The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Todd Gardenhire, asked for the delay, citing a clerical error in the measure's wording.
 
Official mum on coming Texas A&M University System audits
There's still not much news to report on a massive Texas A&M University System audit that will examine the value of its 17,000 employees, according to Billy Hamilton, the A&M system's executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer. The high-ranking system executive gave a presentation to A&M's Council of Principal Investigators Wednesday. Hamilton lobbied the researchers to provide feedback on the audits but mainly updated them on why the audit was being conducted and why there wasn't much information to report yet. "Here, probably more than anywhere, you have an appreciation of the fact that when you're in the middle of data collection for a project and you're still struggling with your conclusions, there's not a lot to say with any kind of definitive nature."
 
Texas A&M Student Body President Reid Joseph faces removal after impeachment trial
The Texas A&M student senate, for perhaps the first time ever, will attempt to remove the student body president from office. Twenty-two student senators, led by finance chair Cary Cheshire, have moved to impeach Student Body President Reid Joseph. A petition by the senators filed Tuesday night easily cleared the one-third vote needed for a hearing to remove Joseph from office. The senate will convene on Wednesday to vote on the fate of Joseph, who serves as the top elected official for Texas A&M's 58,800-plus students. Joseph is on his way out either way: His term ends in April and the campus-wide vote to elect his successor will take place Feb. 20 through 21. The groundbreaking impeachment effort has resulted from an eruption of tensions between student executive and legislative branches that have been at odds for nearly a decade.
 
Missouri's university presidents face questions about performance-based funding
Institutional presidents from Missouri's 13 public universities gathered Tuesday afternoon to defend their school's statistics on retention, loan default rates and graduation rates. With statistics from each school, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, questioned lawmakers to seek more accountability for performance-based funding. Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, brought SB 492 to the Senate last week, which would codify an existing performance-based funding model for public universities. Under the proposed bill, 90 percent of new money appropriated to schools would be awarded based on five performance criteria set by the universities.
 
Court ruling takes stand for faculty free speech
A federal appeals court has given a strong endorsement to the idea that faculty speech rights at public colleges and universities were not constrained by a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that limited the rights of some public employees. The 2006 ruling, Garcetti v. Ceballos, concerned the Los Angeles district attorney's office. Despite that, some courts have been applying the ruling to faculty disputes at public universities -- while others have not. The new ruling – by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit -- comes in a three-judge panel's revised opinion on the case of David Demers, a tenured professor at Washington State University who says he was retaliated against with negative performance reviews for writings that criticized the administration.
 
ALEX LITTLEJOHN (OPINION): Benefits of new farm bill extend from Delta to Gulf
Alex Littlejohn, associate state director of the Mississippi chapter of The Nature Conservancy, writes in the Sun Herald: "On Feb. 4, the U.S. Senate joined the House of Representatives in a bipartisan vote to approve re-authorization of the U.S. Farm Bill. Mississippi's entire congressional delegation supported the measure. As ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Thad Cochran played a particularly central role in securing passage of the bill and in ensuring that it contains provisions to help farmers conserve our state's natural resources. The new Conservation Title of this bill is particularly important for Mississippi because of the opportunities it presents for farmers, especially those in the Mississippi Delta. It can also help to restore the health of the Gulf of Mexico."
 
BOBBY HARRISON (OPINION): Reeves won't back off from beliefs
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Tate Reeves was 29 years old when he was elected to the statewide office of treasurer. From almost the onset of his political tenure, it was clear that the young, brash Republican would not shy away from a fight, whether against more veteran politicians as he quickly climbed from novice, no-name candidate to a statewide officeholder, or to taking on then-House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, over several issues during his two terms as treasurer. Reeves, now in his first term as lieutenant governor, has not changed that much as he has literally matured before the state's political eyes. He may be older and wiser, but Reeves, who will turn 40 later this year, still doesn't run from a fight."
 
SID SALTER (OPINION): Senate campaign will compare 'grassroots' versus 'Astroturf' politics
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "While watching what is shaping up to be a bitter and bloody U.S. Senate campaign in Mississippi, it's important that state voters not lose sight of the fact that in the name of 'grassroots' politics they are going to bear witness to a lot of folks selling 'Astroturf.' In politics, 'Astroturfing' is to true 'grassroots' politics what 'Astroturf' is to real grass. It's fake grass with fake roots. ...It's unfortunate that Republican primaries have degenerated into battles over ideological purity fought in great measure on premises that are totally false. But there is one group out there that just loves the current crop of Republican internecine feuds -- it's a group called Democrats."


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs aiming for an Omaha encore
Can Mississippi State recreate the magic for a repeat run to the College World Series? Junior first baseman and team captain Wes Rea certainly believes so. Rea promised a trip to Omaha prior to last season and after appearing in the CWS Championship Series those expectations have set the standard for 2014. "I feel like this year it wasn't as big of a deal letting people know what our expectations are," Rea said. "They already know our expectations based on how we played and performed last year and the direction coach (John) Cohen has this program going. It's just something people know, and there's a sort of quiet confidence in the locker room." The Bulldogs open the season at 4 p.m. Friday against Hofstra at Dudy Noble Field.
 
Former Mississippi State closer Tanksley killed in line of duty
The Mississippi State baseball family is mourning the loss of former pitcher Scott Tanskley. Tanskley was killed Tuesday after falling from an overpass while working as a member of the Dallas Fire Department, according to Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate channel 11 in Texas. According to the police report, Tanksley was working a multi-car chain reaction accident on an icy Spur 408 bridge when another car struck the 14-year veteran fire fighter, sending him over the bridge and onto Interstate 20, a 56-foot fall. Tanksley lettered for the Diamond Dogs from 1993-95 under Ron Polk. He was named a Mizuno Freshman All-American in 1993 and was the last freshman to throw a complete game shutout at MSU. He still ranks in the Top 10 in seven statistical categories for the Bulldogs.
 
Geno sparks Georgia comeback in homecoming
Mississippi State seemed to be well on its way to ending its five-game skid holding a 14-point advantage over Georgia in the first half on Wednesday. But things quickly went sour as UGA closed the gap and took a one-point lead by halftime. That margin continued to expand in the second half as Georgia claimed a 75-55 victory. The host Bulldogs began the game on a 10-2 run followed soon after by a 12-0 spurt building a 14-point advantage by the 9:54 mark. But Georgia ended the half on a 20-5 run sparked by Booneville's Kenny Paul Geno. The freshman forward sparked the visiting Bulldogs with six points off the bench in that stretch.
 
NCAA committee proposes defensive substitution rule that will slow hurry-up offenses
Hurry-up offenses like the one utilized by Auburn could be penalized starting next season for playing too fast. The NCAA Football Rules Committee has recommended a rules change barring offenses from snapping the ball until the play clock reaches 29 seconds or less in order to give defenses time to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock. The only exception: the final two minutes of each half. The rule, if approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, would allow defenses to substitute on any play. The panel is scheduled to meet March 6. Offenses violating the rule will be penalized five yards on a delay-of-game penalty, according to the proposal announced Wednesday.



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