Friday, May 2, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Wiseman to be honored with dinner, endowed scholarship
A group of longtime friends and former students of a recently retired Mississippi State political scientist is holding a May fund-raising event to create a campus scholarship endowment in his honor. Professor W. Martin "Marty" Wiseman, former longtime director of the university's John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Economic Development, will be honored at a May 22 dinner at Starkville's Hilton Garden Inn. Open to all, the 6-9 p.m. event will be preceded by a social hour.
 
MSU-Meridian Hosts 'Arts Are Core' Event
The Division of Education and the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education sponsored an "Arts Are Core" gallery event at MSU-Meridian Thursday afternoon. "It makes people aware that this is an integral part that it adds to education, and it also is an opportunity to showcase those students who excel in art," said Dr. Julia Porter, the Division Head of Education at MSU-Meridian.
 
Educators Recognized at MSU-Meridian's Phi Delta Kappa Induction
Both current and future educators were recognized for their outstanding achievements Thursday night. Mississippi State University-Meridian inducted 18 new members into Phi Delta Kappa, which is the premier professional association for educators. Ten outstanding graduate education students were chosen by the faculty at MSU for their accomplishments. Dr. George Thomas says the honor celebrates the school's high-achievers.
 
Weather expert refutes EMA's tornado siren explanation
Hundreds of Tupelo residents continue to claim tornado sirens didn't work during Monday's storms. On Wednesday, Lee County Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Bowdry insisted the sirens did go off, and offered this explanation for why people didn't hear them: "The wind is sucking everything upward," Bowdry said. Mississippi State Climatologist Michael Brown doesn't buy it, in fact, he said it's impossible. "There's no way the tornado sucked that sound up," Brown said. He said wind has no control over sound. "They [Lee County EMA] believe the sirens sounded," he said. "The computer, controls or whatever showed that they were activated. I just think something went wrong."
 
Starkville Community Market opens 2014 season this Saturday
Starkville Community Market begins its 2014 season with a limited, early season produce market 7:30 a.m. Saturday and a new, mid-week supplemental market 4 p.m. Tuesday. "Last year was a big growth year for the market, but now we're focused on measuring the statistical data to help us continue to succeed," Jennifer Prather, GSDP special events coordinator and market manager, said. "We're very fortunate to have new vendor applications coming in from all areas of the state. Expanding the market helps us to expand what we can offer to Starkville residents."
 
U.S. Payrolls Gained 288,000; Jobless Rate Falls to 6.3%
The American economy gained steam in April, adding 288,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest rate since September 2008. After a sharp slowdown in December and January, and a modest improvement since then, economists had been forecasting a healthy gain for April as consumer and business activity rose in tandem with temperatures in many parts of the country.
 
Benghazi returns to the spotlight
Benghazi is back. House Republicans on Thursday seized upon newly released documents from the White House to accuse the Obama administration of again lying about its role in drafting talking points about the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya -- even going as far as to suggest that the White House behaved criminally. For nearly two years, Republicans have used this line of attack against the White House. The latest revelations are just a reminder that the GOP isn't going to let the issue fade away -- especially ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.
 
Online privacy: Obama report outlines the perils, and promise, of 'big data'
A new Obama administration report calls the collection of personal data by corporations increasingly "invasive," but also sings the praises of so-called "big data." The report calls for new steps, such as an online bill of rights. Yet it also seeks to tread cautiously in a fast-evolving realm that spans from Facebook to online shopping and medical information. That's because the insights gleaned from big data -- the act of compiling and analyzing digital information about consumers -- are being tapped to solve problems, not just push personalized online ads. Digital data experts generally agree on many of the benefits, but they also say the big-data trend raises difficult ethical and social questions that have yet to be answered.
 
Gov. Bryant's UM graduation speech to be met with peaceful opposition
Students, faculty and staff at the University of Mississippi are responding to Gov. Phil Bryant's signing of the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act by encouraging individuals to wear symbols of support at graduation for all Mississippians. Kevin Cozart, the coordinator of operations at the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, said that as a university, we pledged to uphold the dignity and respect of all people. "There are many within the community who feel that the so-called 'Religious Freedom Bill' fails to meet that pledge," Cozart said. Cozart said he understands that Bryant has been scheduled to speak on campus for about a year and understands the difficult position in which the university finds itself due to recent events. He said this is not a movement made up of just graduates, but people at all levels of the university.
 
Bennett celebrates presidency at Southern Miss
Just days after being named the 10th president of the University of Southern Mississippi, Rodney Bennett was put to the test when an EF-4 tornado struck Hattiesburg, damaging buildings across its campus and the city he would soon call home. Thursday afternoon, Bennett celebrated his inauguration on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, and he said since that tornado, the university has seen some incredible growth. "We are not the same university that we were a year ago," he said. "When you look at the facilities, the faculty we've hired, the academic programs, the depth and breadth of research initiatives, when you look at the climate and culture of campus and the way people feel when they're there, I just think across the board we aren't the same institution, and I'm proud of that."
 
Congressman, lawyer to speak at USM graduation events
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Ridgeland attorney Holmes Adams will speak at graduation ceremonies at the University of Southern Mississippi May 9-10. USM expects to hand out degrees to 1,800 students.
 
Human trafficking survivor speaks at Holmes Community College
For years, Holly Smith didn't realize she was a victim. At age 14, just finished with middle school, Smith was trying to fit in when she was lured and manipulated into prostitution by an older man who made her feel special. At that moment in 1992, she had become a victim of human trafficking in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and she didn't even know it. It wasn't until 2009 -- after she had graduated from college with a 3.6 GPA and worked as a biologist and moved on with her life -- that Smith saw a documentary about human trafficking in India. Smith brought her story and her work as an advocate, documented in her just published book Walking Prey, to the Holmes Community College campus last week. Cynthia McCoy coordinated Smith's visit as a cautionary tale. McCoy said she wanted the campus and the community to be aware that human trafficking can occur anywhere and that teens can easily be exploited.
 
Rudd named U. of Memphis' new president
The University of Memphis Provost Dr. David Rudd was named the new university president by the Tennessee Board of Regents on Thursday. Rudd will be the 12th president for University of Memphis. He will start the job in mid-May. "Our success is linked to the success of our city and that's linked to the success of our students and faculty and that helps move our mission forward," said Dr. Rudd. Prior to Thursday's announcement, Rudd was the provost and a professor of psychology at U of M. After a dip in enrollment last fall, university leaders think lowering tuition will bring in more students. The current proposal will make school $8,000 cheaper for students living within 250 miles of the city. Students outside the 250-mile radius could still see a $3,000 tuition cut.
 
Big gift 'transformative' for UGA research
A newly announced $5 million gift from a former scientist and administrator will be "transformative" for University of Georgia research, UGA president Jere Morehead said Thursday. And Oconee County resident Clifton "Clif" Crews is now a role model for UGA's upcoming capital campaign, Morehead said during a ceremony to honor Crews on Thursday at UGA's Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. The gift, matched by the UGA Research Foundation, will support UGA's Center for Molecular Medicine, where scientists do research on translational glycoscience, vaccine development and therapeutics, stem cells and regenerative medicine and animal models of human diseases.
 
Sex offender incident leads LSU to review dorm policies
LSU is reviewing its residential housing policies after a young woman reported finding a registered sex offender from Texas apparently recording her in a dormitory hall shower last week. "We're looking at all of our visitation policies and security processes and procedures in light of this," said Steve Waller, executive director of LSU's Department of Residential Life. As recently as a few years ago, school policy required dormitory residents to register their guests at the front desk of a dorm before guests could get past the lobby. More recently, though, the school did away with the requirement -- a policy the school is considering bringing back.
 
Florida Senate approves in-state tuition bill
Florida students who are living in the country illegally would qualify for in-state college tuition rates under a bill passed by the Florida Senate. Thursday's vote was 26-13. The bill heads next to the Florida House, which is expected to pass it and send it to Gov. Rick Scott. While some Republicans have sharply criticized the idea as "pandering," Scott and other top GOP legislators have embraced the proposal during this election year.
 
18-member U. of Florida panel named to search for Machen successor
An 18-member committee has been created to find a successor to Bernie Machen, the 11th president of the University of Florida, who has announced that he will step down by December. David Brown, chairman of the UF board of trustees, announced on Thursday the members of the committee, who were pulled from the board of trustees, faculty, students, alumni and other university supporters. "Each has agreed to make the significant commitment of time and focus needed to identify highly qualified candidates for the critical position of UF's 12th president," Brown said.
 
Weekend commencement to feature UF department's first undergraduates
Being the first group in a new academic program is daunting, said Amanda Eifert, one of 17 undergraduates who will be the first to receive bachelor's degrees from the University of Florida Department of Biomedical Engineering. "It's very exciting to be a part of a brand-new degree program, but there were a lot of unforeseen difficulties with the classes," Eifert said. Faculty still were trying to figure out how to format the classes, and some classes were taught by other departments. It all worked out in the end, Eifert said, and she's glad she was part of it.
 
Texas A&M expecting administrative audit results next week
The initial findings of a sweeping administrative audit should be released next week, said System Chancellor John Sharp following the Thursday Board of Regents meeting. The first half of a PricewaterhouseCoopers audit ordered by the Texas A&M University System in July was completed this month and will assess the value of all non-faculty employees of Texas A&M University and the system's state agencies. The second half of the audit, which will ultimately evaluate all 17,000 people employed by A&M, is set to begin next week and be released in the fall.
 
A&M regents OK $3.8B system-wide budget
Students enrolled at the Texas A&M System's universities will have guaranteed tuition starting this fall. The regents met Thursday to approve a $3.8 billion system-wide budget, discuss new capital improvements and set fixed-rate tuition and fees, as mandated last spring by the Legislature, at 10 of the 11 universities. The regents approved a similar increase for their flagship campus in January. The system-wide budget approved Thursday includes a cumulative fee and tuition increase of 6 percent. There were no speakers during the public comment period and the regents similarly did not talk tuition.
 
Texas A&M agency ranks top in nation for agriculture research funding
Texas A&M AgriLife Research spends more money on agricultural science than any other university or nation, according to new data from the National Science Foundation. The agency accounted for more than $176.4 million of the nearly $3.3 billion spent on agricultural research by more than 30 U.S. universities ranked in the report, which used fiscal year 2012 data. The amount of research expenditures is important, because it correlates to the amount of work being done at A&M, which translates to better ways to care for people and animals, said Craig Nessler, AgriLife research director.
 
New service learning program to send U. of Missouri students across state
Within the next 10 years, all 114 Missouri counties could serve as sites for University of Missouri student service trips. That goal is part of a new service learning program through MU Extension and the Center for Leadership and Service. In the program, each of the extension program's eight regions will provide ideas for service opportunities to the leadership center. Students at the center will narrow the ideas to eight projects -- one for each region. Groups of MU students will complete the projects on weekend trips. "It's really student-driven," said Joy Millard, MU Extension interim assistant vice provost. "We just give them the means and the context."
 
U.S. names colleges under investigation for sexual assault cases
Under pressure from some victims' advocates and lawmakers, the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday published a comprehensive list of the colleges and universities the agency is investigating for how they handle sexual harassment and assault complaints. The department took the unprecedented step of publicly naming all 55 institutions that investigators are probing to see whether their approach to sexual assault and harassment complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which requires gender equity in education. The list spans a wide range of types of institutions, including elite research universities, public universities, small liberal arts colleges, and a community college.
 
Penn State's Patent Auction Produces More Lessons Than Revenue
Last month Pennsylvania State University held an auction to sell dozens of engineering patents to the highest bidder, setting off speculation on whether the move would produce a financial windfall for the university. It also stirred consternation among some in the world of academic research, who feared the auction might create easy pickings for businesses known as "patent-assertion entities." With Congress now debating bills to curb that activity, and some in the politically potent technology industry painting universities as soft on patent trolls because of their stance on the patent-reform legislation, the last thing academe needed was a high-profile case of a university's seeming to abet such activity. Turns out, neither the windfall nor the scooping up of patents came to pass.
 
EDITORIAL: Bennie Thompson would rather burn a bridge than build one
The Sun Herald editorializes: "Another day, another public figure puts his foot in his mouth. If only that were the case with Bennie Thompson. But it's not. Thompson is not just a public official, he is an important part of the public image of Mississippi. He is only the second African-American to represent Mississippi in Congress since the 19th century. And he is the dean of our congressional delegation. ...Had Thompson's predecessor, Mike Espy, stayed in Congress (rather than joining the Clinton administration as the nation's first black Secretary of Agriculture), there is every reason to believe he would have helped write a new chapter in the state's history of race relations. But Thompson has shown over the years that he would rather burn a bridge than build one."
 
SID SALTER (OPINION): Life in 'Tornado Alley' part of Mississippi's legacy
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "It's difficult for Mississippians to explain to visitors why we tend to exhibit such a fierce love for our home state. The weather alone is enough to call that loyalty into question. ...A recitation of Mississippi's challenges wouldn't be complete with at least a nod to the near collapses of the state's economy after the devastation of the American Civil War, the Great Flood of 1927, and Great Depression. So why is it that so many Mississippians have struggled so long to hold onto their roots – real and symbolic -- in our state? For my money, it is precisely these challenges that point up the real beauty of Mississippi. After the storms, after the disasters, after poverty and insularity and isolation do their work, there is where Mississippi and Mississippians often shine brightest."


SPORTS
 
Setup Pitch: No. 23 Mississippi State vs. Auburn preview
Mississippi State enters the its series with Auburn this weekend having lost its last three games. The slump comes after the Bulldogs won six straight. MSU's second-longest winning streak of the season was a bit deceiving. MSU started the streak with a win against six-win Alcorn State. It continued against the Southeastern Conference's worst team in Missouri. The highlight came against No. 13 Ole Miss.
 
Bulldogs slump into Auburn
Mississippi State reached its lowest point this season with Wednesday night's 2-1 home loss to Jacksonville State, extending the Bulldogs' skid to three games. The good news is that MSU has a quick turnaround traveling to Auburn this weekend. Diamond Dogs coach John Cohen hopes to get his club back on the field and get back on track. "A week ago, we were talking about winning six in a row and now we haven't played well the last three ballgames," Cohen said. "I think our players are looking forward to the opportunity to get it going again." The series begins tonight at 6 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. Saturday contest on CSS. The finale is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.
 
Mississippi State, Southern Miss season-opener set for primetime SEC Network kickoff
Mississippi State's 2014 football season-opener against Southern Miss on Aug. 30 in the newly renovated Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field will kick off at 6:30 p.m. and be televised by the new SEC Network, the Southeastern Conference and ESPN announced on Thursday. The 2014 season-opener will be a special one as the Bulldogs celebrate the 100th anniversary of Scott Field.
 
New USM basketball coach Sadler: 'We're going to the NCAA Tournament'
It will be several months before Golden Eagle fans learn if Doc Sadler can win big at Southern Miss. But on Thursday, they found out their new head basketball coach can work a room. Kenneth "Doc" Sadler, an Arkansas native with previous head coaching gigs at the University of Nebraska and the University of Texas at El Paso, wasn't afraid of a little folksy brashness as he introduced himself to about 100 fans at the Trent Lott Center. "I know we had a good team this year, guys ...but, we're going to the NCAA Tournament, dude," said Sadler at one point to loud applause. "That's what we're playing for." And he tempered it with a dash of self-deprecating humor.



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