Wednesday, September 18, 2019   
Starkville/MSU Symphony to open 51st season with 'Jazz at Renasant'
The Starkville/MSU Symphony will open its 51st concert season with "Jazz at Renasant" Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at Renasant Plaza on the corner of Montgomery and Lampkin streets in Downtown Starkville. The annual outdoor event will feature a selection of jazz, swing, and popular ballads performed by the Symphony Jazz Combo. Admission is free and open to the public. "We are very excited to open the symphony's 51st season with this fun family event," said Eric Hill, Starkville/MSU Symphony Association 2019 Board President. "Part of the mission of the Starkville/MSU Symphony is to make music more accessible to the whole community, and 'Jazz at Renasant' really fulfills that by creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere where everyone can enjoy the experience."
Guest Applauds Announcement of Over $250K in Grants in STEM Fields Following MSU Data Summit
On Tuesday, Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) applauded the announcement of $268,413 in funds to prepare 400 Mississippi State University students for careers in computer science, cybersecurity, and coding. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) approved a $190,573 grant for the Cybersecurity Education Hub -- MSU -- Mississippi Coding Academies Collaborative project. Local sources will provide the additional $74,636 in funds. This weekend, Congressman Guest attended Mississippi State University's National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center's (NSPARC) fourth annual Data Summit to discuss the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. "I am confident that Mississippi and Mississippi State University will continue to play a leading role in the way that we use data and technology, and we will use that to improve our lives and empower our citizens," Guest said over the weekend.
Starkville issues burn ban for city residents
Due to dry conditions, the Starkville Fire Department will stop issuing burn permits for the foreseeable future. "We had to issue it (ban) because of the dry weather conditions," said Fire Chief Charles Yarbrough. "It will be in effect until we get significant rainfall." Starkville FD announced the ban Tuesday morning on social media. The ban includes all outside burning, even for people who had already paid for a burn permit. The only exception is gas and charcoal grills. Many larger cities do not allow outside burning and have ordinances in place to prevent open fires -- such as burning leaves, trash or bonfires. But that is not the case with Starkville. "We don't have a burn ordinance," said Mayor Lynn Spruill. "But you have to get a $3 permit for residential. If it is for a commercial property, it has to be approved by the board of aldermen."
City OKs millage increase despite absent aldermen
Budget disputes between members of the Starkville Board of Aldermen came to a head Tuesday night when only three officials were initially present at the Board's scheduled meeting. Despite a few unsure hours, Aldermen were eventually able to vote to approve the budget and the 1.5 mil increase for the city that accompanied it. In the hours before the vote, Mayor Lynn Spruill was joined by Aldermen Sandra Sistrunk of Ward 2, Hamp Beatty of Ward 5 and Jason Walker of Ward 4 at 5:30 p.m., the regularly scheduled meeting time for the Board. Initially absent from the meeting were Aldermen David Little of Ward 3, Ben Carver of Ward 1, Henry Vaughn of Ward 7 and Vice Mayor Roy A.' Perkins of Ward 6. Their absences came during a meeting where the Board was scheduled to vote on the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, a matter which was initially scheduled to be voted on earlier this month.
Oktibbeha seeks federal funds to replace levee at county lake
The waters of Oktibbeha County Lake Dam could pose danger to nearby residents if the levee is not replaced, according to county officials. If it breaks, 17,500 acres of nearby land would flood to some extent, and about 250 people would have to evacuate at least 112 households, county emergency management director Kristen Campanella said. "At the rate of deterioration the levee is facing right now, time is a very valuable thing that's slowly slipping away," said Darren Herring, district director for U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly (R-1st District). The offices of U.S. Rep. Michael Guest, 3rd District, and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, both Republicans, have also been monitoring the situation and offered support, Howard said. The lake straddles the line between the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts, prompting Guest and Kelly's mutual interest in replacing the levee. The county is considering three federal grant options, but they are competitive and could take a while to obtain.
Proof Bakery: Starkville shop offers baked goods, cool vibe
T.J. Manna has been baking for only six years, but already she's made a name for herself in Starkville. A Massachusetts native who has lived everywhere from Oregon and Colorado to New York and South Carolina, Manna moved to Starkville in 2013 because she needed change in her life. "I got a job baking at DeRego's for three years, then I moved to City Bagel and then to 929 Cafe," said Manna, 44. "I have been in a kitchen my whole life, but didn't get into baking until I moved here." This summer, she got a call from Robbie Coblentz, a television producer who was interested in opening a bakery. Coblentz was familiar with Manna's skills because she and his son, Mark, had worked together on a television show for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. "Robbie's been following my baking for a while," Manna said. "He fell in love with my croissants. That really did it for him. Croissants were why he wanted me, but he also knew what else I did." In early August, Coblentz and his wife, Bonnie, who works in agriculture communications for Mississippi State University, opened Proof Bakery on West Main Street in downtown Starkville, with Manna as the head pastry chef and bakery manager.
Macon catfish processor plans $17 million expansion that will add 25 jobs
Superior Catfish is expanding its operations in Macon with a $17 million corporate investment that will create 25 jobs. Superior Catfish is constructing a 31,500-square-foot addition to its 31,000-square-foot facility to house two new full processing lines, which will accommodate an increase in demand. The company's customers include Sysco, Performance Food Group, Merchants Foodservice and restaurant chain Penn's. The Mississippi Development Authority has provided a $168,000 grant to assist with building improvements and construction costs. "We really appreciate the role the Mississippi Development Authority played in helping and encouraging us to move forward with this project, Superior Catfish President Fred Johnson said. Founded in Macon in 2003, Superior Catfish currently employs 140.
New credit rating keeps Mississippi at 'stable'
A new analysis from Fitch Ratings has good and bad news for Mississippi. Fitch, one of three major credit rating firms, maintained that the state has a "stable" credit outlook and affirmed an AA rating on about $4.5 billion worth of debt. Mississippi has had an AA rating from Fitch since 2016, when Fitch downgraded Mississippi from AA+. That same year, Moody's gave a "negative" credit outlook. According to Fitch's 2019 report, Mississippi has "strong control over spending and revenues and generally conservative financial practices, providing significant financial resilience." However, the report also noted the state lags behind in wealth and education standards and that Mississippi is expected to have a "relatively slow rate of growth." The report did note Mississippi's "higher than anticipated revenues" in the most recent fiscal year, which led to increase in the state's rainy day fund.
Mississippi AG investigates his rival in governor's race
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) is using an investigation he personally supervised to attack his opponent in November's gubernatorial election, raising concerns among good government groups over the politicization of the state's justice system. Hood, one of the last remaining Democrats who hold statewide office in the Deep South, faces Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) in the battle to replace term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant (R). The campaign has been acrimonious, and closely fought since the beginning. It's particularly important that our campuses -- where the leaders of the future are developing today -- should be in the forefront in enhancing diversity. The 43-page report is heavy on inference and light on conclusions. Reeves's campaign and government watchdogs cried foul over Hood's report, which landed seven weeks before voters head to the polls. They accused Hood himself of a conflict of interest, pointing to comments Hood made as recently as two weeks ago detailing his own involvement in the report -- and its importance to the coming election.
Jim Hood calls for preschool, teacher pay, higher K-12 spending
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jim Hood on Tuesday detailed an ambitious education program which, if fully implemented, would bring the biggest increase in Mississippi education spending in more than a decade. Hood, Mississippi's attorney general, told reporters after appearing at a school in Greenville that he wants to expand Mississippi's small state-funded preschool program, make a big boost in teacher salaries and pay the full tab called for by Mississippi's education funding formula. Hood also said he wants to expand subsidies for aspiring teachers and make it easier to qualify academically to become a teacher. He says those measures are needed to combat a shortage of educators in Mississippi.
Dixie Newman's victory vacated; judge orders special election for Senate race in Biloxi
There's no longer a certified winner of Senate District 50, and a special election has been ordered to determine who will represent that area of Harrison County in the state Senate. On Tuesday, special judge Richard McKenzie, ruling for Harrison County Circuit Court, vacated the certification of Dixie Newman as the winner and ordered the special election. The date of the election will be set by the governor. The Harrison County Republican Executive Committee had certified Newman as the winner of the election by 1 vote over Scott DeLano. But attorneys for Newman and DeLano made a joint request that the election results should be decertified and a special election should be called after inspection of the results showed there were irregularities in the election.
Health care riders, farm payouts slow stopgap deal
Trade assistance for farmers hit by retaliatory tariffs and the details of several health care program extensions were standing in the way of agreement on a stopgap funding measure Tuesday, sources said. According to a senior Democratic aide, the bill was likely to include an increase in the Commodity Credit Corporation's $30 billion borrowing cap that the Trump administration asked for earlier this month. But provisions on "accountability and transparency" were still under discussion, the aide said. Without the increase in the cap, the White House wrote in an "anomalies" request to lawmakers, the agency "would have to stop making payments as soon as the borrowing ceiling is reached," which was expected sometime after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The Trump administration announced a $16 billion aid package in July for farmers and ranchers hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other trading partners.
Trump taps hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien as national security adviser to replace John Bolton
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will name State Department hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien as his new national security adviser, a low-key pick to replace the more volatile John Bolton. O'Brien is currently Trump's special envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department. In that role, he has led the administration's efforts to secure the release of Americans held by hostile foreign governments or other powers. Most recently, Trump dispatched O'Brien to Sweden during the trial of rapper ASAP Rocky, a controversial decision given that American music star was not a hostage but instead was accused of assaulting a man in Stockholm. "I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!," Trump wrote in a tweet. Bolton was dismissed as Trump's national security adviser on Sept. 10. The president said the two "disagreed strongly" on foreign policy matters.
Trump's ban on flavored vaping products took a well-connected industry by surprise
Juul Labs did everything in the power players' handbook to cement its status in Washington. The Silicon Valley start-up worked to make friends in the nation's capital. It hired senior White House officials wired into President Trump and the first family. It sent politically connected officials to the West Wing to extol its products. It spent big on lawmakers in both parties. But last week, the e-cigarette giant, along with the rest of the vaping industry, was caught off guard when President Trump decided to take drastic action, banning almost all flavored vaping products. "We can't have our youth be so affected," he said in the Oval Office. The scope of the announcement stunned most of the industry, even big companies like Juul that have carefully nurtured relationships with policymakers to gain influence. But lately, those companies have also been undercut by a stream of reports about teen e-cigarette use and a mysterious lung illness tied to vaping -- with a seventh death, in California, announced Monday. Now some are going into crisis mode to try to protect against a ban that would probably put small operators out of business and result in million-dollar losses for the giants.
Federal Reserve Eyes Another Interest Rate Cut To Prop Up The U.S. Economy
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates Wednesday for only the second time since the Great Recession, but analysts say the move may not be enough to offset the economic damage caused by the trade war with China. Financial markets will be watching for an anticipated quarter-percentage-point cut -- and listening for what Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has to say about it. "Powell just has to be very clear that [the Fed is] going to do whatever it takes to sustain the expansion," said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics. Powell has already been trying to send that message. "Uncertainty around trade policy is causing some companies to hold back now on investment," he told an audience in Switzerland this month. "So our obligation is to use our tools to support the economy, and that's what we'll continue to do."
Late-night game of toss floods UM's Deaton Hall
Students living in Deaton Hall were forced out of their dorm rooms early Sunday morning because of heavy flooding caused by a stray lacrosse ball toss. What started as typical dorm shenanigans quickly escalated as a group of students tossing a lacrosse ball in the hallway clipped a sprinkler head on the fourth floor, causing it to burst open and spray water across the hall. The student who threw the ball said that as soon as it hit the ceiling, four tiles immediately started leaking and water poured onto the floor and down the stairs. According to residents, the flooding started around 12:30 a.m. and was accompanied by a fire alarm. The water flowing from the sprinkler quickly spread across Deaton Hall, soaking rooms, rugs and drywall, as well as students' personal property. UM spokesman Rod Guajardo said that by Monday afternoon, the students who relocated to vacant dorm rooms had moved back into their rooms in Deaton.
Parkland survivor speaks at USM forum
The University of Southern Mississippi hosted its first forum of the school year Tuesday night and had a very special guest of honor. Samantha Fuentes is a survivor of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida in 2018. "I have bullets inside of me. That is something that I am now. I am walking metal. I have scars. I am a physical representation of what gun violence looks like," Fuentes said during the forum. She spoke and answered questions at one of many forums held by Southern Miss. "We wanted to draw attention to not only to her as an important young activist, but also to help people see all the different ways in which women contribute to our national conversations," said Dean of Honors College Ellen Weinauer.
Letter grades rise for Mississippi public schools
Mississippi's public school districts and schools showed broad improvement under the state's letter grading system in 2018-2019. The number of A-rated districts rose from 18 to 31 in data published Tuesday, while the number of districts earning a C, D or F rating fell. The state Board of Education still must give final approval to the ratings in a meeting scheduled for Thursday. "Our accountability system is working," state Superintendent Carey Wright told reporters. "It also shows you how well our schools are doing. Teachers and principals are doing exactly what we want them to do. They are doing an amazing job of teaching our children." One of the state Board of Education's goals is for every district and school statewide to be rated C or better. This year, 70% of districts and 74% of schools were graded C or better.
SOCSD keeps C accountability score despite individual school decreases
While the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District will keep its C overall accountability score, many of the district's schools showed decreases in performance from last year. The most drastic decrease in accountability rating was Overstreet Elementary school. The school received a D rating for this year; down from the B it received in 2018. Armstrong Middle School also received a D this year, down from last year's C rating. Starkville High School also showed a drop, going from a B to a C. West Elementary School dropped down to a B from its 2018 A rating, while both Sudduth Elementary School and Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School retained their C ratings from 2018.
More EMCC students choose career technical programs
Starkville resident Camille Cooper is among a growing number of East Mississippi Community College students enrolled in career technical programs, most of which are offered as one-year certificates or two-year associate degrees and prepare students to enter the workforce upon graduation. When Cooper began looking at available programs of study, the single mother of a 3-year-old daughter, Carolyn Grace, knew she wanted to enroll in something she could complete fairly quickly that would leave her with little student debt and great job prospects. "I needed a good job with benefits for me and my daughter but I really didn't have four years I could dedicate to school," Cooper said. Next May, Cooper will graduate from EMCC with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electro-Mechanical Technology, which prepares students for installing, maintaining and repairing machinery used in manufacturing or industrial processes.
U. of Alabama faculty senate calls for change in campus culture
Rona Donahue, president of the University of Alabama Faculty Senate, posed a question to her colleagues Tuesday afternoon. "So we're saying that the University of Alabama has a racist and toxic environment?" she asked as members of the senate responded with rolling eyes, resounding yeses and mumbles of agreement. Senators approved a public letter calling on the university to address former UA Dean of Students Dr. Jamie Riley's resignation and ensure faculty, students and staff rights to free speech. "I've been at the university for almost 36 years. And over that time, this is the most concerning campus-wide situation that I have encountered in terms of faculty, staff and students, especially those of our marginalized communities," said Donahoe. The senate approved a motion at the beginning of the meeting to disregard the scheduled agenda and devote the meeting to crafting a response to the University regarding concerns surrounding Riley's resignation.
U. of Alabama instructor back in class after beer video suspension
A University of Alabama teacher who was suspended after video surfaced of a person drinking beer in class is returning to work. School spokesman Chris Bryant says marketing instructor Joel Strayer was allowed to return to work Tuesday after a review. Bryant says the university won't have any further comment. The university said it had suspended Strayer last week after video appeared online of a young man drinking a beer during one of his classes. The man isn't a student at the university and later apologized for his actions. The video shows surprised students watching the stunt and clapping. The young man later said the incident was an attempt to boost a career producing viral videos.
2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg tackles gun control at U. of South Carolina town hall
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg called for stricter background checks and "red flag" laws during a campaign stop at the University of South Carolina on Tuesday. Standing outside Russell House, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a Navy reservist, told about 550 college students and his supporters that the Second Amendment should not be "distorted into an excuse of inaction" to curb gun violence. "The majority of the American people are with us right now," Buttigieg said at USC. "We've had the same conversation for about 25 years. Right now, more than 90% of Americans, including the vast majority of Republicans and the vast majority of gun owners, are for common sense gun laws. They're for universal background checks. So popular, even the president briefly pretended to be for it." Nearly 90% of those surveyed in a Washington Post-ABC poll said they would support expanding federal background checks that would cover private gun buys and gun-show purchases.
UGA engineering college unveils new instructional space
The University of Georgia College of Engineering recently celebrated the completion of a major renovation of the Driftmier Engineering Center. The project, completed in time for the beginning of fall semester classes, has transformed 21,000 square feet of 1960s-era classroom, laboratory and office space into state-of-the-art instructional labs and classrooms. The renovation also provides students with new study areas and spaces designed to promote project-based learning and teamwork. "These new classrooms, laboratories and other enhancements truly reflect the energy of our college and its students," said Donald Leo, dean of the College of Engineering. "The project demonstrates UGA's commitment to engineering education and serves as a dynamic launch pad for the future of our growing college." The $5.5 million project was funded by the university and the college with support from private donors and industry partners. The renovation work includes a significant expansion of the college's laboratory capabilities in support of its eight undergraduate and seven graduate degree programs. In addition, the project provides students with three new modern classrooms with a total of 2,700 square feet and more than 100 seats.
Online students spur increase in U. of Missouri enrollment
A surge in online students helped push University of Missouri enrollment above 30,000 again after missing that mark last year. Online enrollment grew more than 10 percent while on-campus enrollment fell slightly, according to official figures for the fall semester released Tuesday. Overall, MU enrolled 30,046 students at all levels, up from 29,866 in fall 2018. The arrival of 754 new first-time freshmen, a 16 percent increase, was offset by a decline of 1,105 in the senior class as the smaller enrollments since 2015 are advancing toward graduation. "Enrollment increases are not an accident," MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said in a news release about the numbers. "Students are choosing to come to Mizzou for all that this premier university has to offer -- innovative research, exemplary academics and an unparalleled campus experience." Total on-campus enrollment was 26,627, a decrease of 146 from last fall. Online enrollment increased to 3,419, from 3,043 last fall. University officials celebrated first-day enrollment numbers last month.
Lamar Alexander considers offering scaled-back Higher Education Act tied to HBCU funding
GOP senator Lamar Alexander is expected to introduce legislation soon that would offer a path to piecemeal reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, after months of stalled talks over a bipartisan overhaul of the landmark law, which wasn't expected to move until at least next year. Alexander, the chairman of the Senate education committee, has said he wants to pass an update to the HEA before he retires after next year. He's particularly eager to simplify the application for federal student aid known as the FAFSA and the myriad repayment options for student borrowers. A scaled-back package of higher education bills -- which could be attached to a funding bill for historically black colleges that Congress is under pressure to pass by Sept. 30 -- could include a streamlined FAFSA application, the College Transparency Act, expanded Pell Grants for incarcerated students and the broadening of Pell eligibility to short-term programs, according to a wide range of individuals with knowledge of the discussions. Alexander's office didn't respond to questions about plans to introduce a broader HEA proposal.
House backs funding for minority-serving colleges, but will the Senate?
Following a House vote Tuesday to extend $255 million in spending for minority-serving colleges and universities, advocacy groups are urging the Senate to take action before the funding expires Sept. 30. "We've had over a dozen in-person Senate meetings, and there is some momentum on the Senate side," said Lodriguez Murray, vice president for public policy and government affairs at the United Negro College Fund. "But it's up to their leadership to make sure [historically black colleges] and other [minority-serving institutions] don't fall off this fiscal cliff." Harry L. Williams, president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which supports public historically black colleges, called on the Senate "to follow the House's lead and take swift action to prevent this critical funding from elapsing. We can't allow these life-changing institutions of higher learning to go unfunded."
New Mexico Announces Plan for Free College for State Residents
In one of the boldest state-led efforts to expand access to higher education, New Mexico is unveiling a plan on Wednesday to make tuition at its public colleges and universities free for all state residents, regardless of family income. The move comes as many American families grapple with the rising cost of higher education and as discussions about free public college gain momentum in state legislatures and on the presidential debate stage. Nearly half of the states, including New York, Oregon and Tennessee, have guaranteed free two- or four-year public college to some students. But the New Mexico proposal goes further, promising four years of tuition even to students whose families can afford to pay the sticker price. The program, which is expected to be formally announced by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday and still requires legislative approval, would apply to all 29 of the state's two- and four-year public institutions. Long one of the poorest states in the country, New Mexico plans to use climbing revenues from oil production to pay for much of the costs.
Census accuracy determines federal monies for state
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: We've spent most of the 2019 Mississippi general election cycle talking about the future of public healthcare and the state's rural hospitals, the deteriorated condition of the state's infrastructure system, and the needs of public education at all levels -- with all three of those issues tied directly to the future of jobs and economic opportunity in the state moving forward. And while the outcome of the 2019 elections will certainly impact all those issues, so will how good or poor a job our state does in making sure there is an effective decennial census is conducted in 2020. That process begins April 1, 2020. Every household is supposed to receive an invitation to respond to a census questionnaire by mail, by phone, or for the first time in U.S. history, online. Why does the 2020 Census matter and particularly why does it matter in Mississippi? Despite significant recent economic growth, Mississippi remains saddled with the status as the poorest state in the union based on median income and poverty rates.

3 questions Mississippi State must answer against Kentucky football
Mississippi State started 0-2 in SEC play last year. Saturday's home game against Kentucky is an opportunity for the Bulldogs to notch a conference victory right away. Head coach Joe Moorhead isn't motivated by conference records, though. Not yet anyway. He said his team isn't desperate. The Bulldogs are simply ready to be better than they were against Kansas State. "I think it would be big (to win) just from a bounce back standpoint," Moorhead said. "The thing that I've corrected or changed from a mentality standpoint is that we're more singleness and purpose-oriented right now than we are long-term goal oriented. It's important to us because it's the next one and because of the construct of this team, we, for a bunch of different reasons, can't be focused on this game being SEC play. It's the game that we play this Saturday."
Urgency surrounds Mississippi heading into Week 4
Joe Moorhead's second term at Mississippi State has marked a year of tempered expectations. Gone are the days of speaking of ring sizes and creating a championship tradition. At present, Moorhead's focus is on the weekly one-game seasons he so often harps on. Entering Week 4, or Season 4 depending on whom you ask, the Bulldogs are in a precarious situation. After dispatching of Louisiana and Southern Mississippi with relative ease, this past Saturday's home loss to Kansas State afforded plenty more questions than answers. On a week that the middling MSU defensive front showed promise, it was the Bulldog secondary that blew coverage after coverage against a team known far more for its rushing attack than aerial assault. Offensively, junior running back Kylin Hill managed his third straight 100-yard game of the season, but it took 24 carries to get there. And then there are the injuries. Starting cornerback Cam Dantzler was hurt in warmups and didn't even suit up against the Wildcats, while starting quarterback Tommy Stevens left a second straight game with a lingering shoulder issue.
How Kentucky and Mississippi State match up -- with a game prediction
How Kentucky (2-1, 0-1 SEC) and Mississippi State (2-1, 0-0 SEC) match up at each position --- with a game prediction: In Kentucky's 29-21 loss to Florida, new Wildcats starter Sawyer Smith showed a live arm -- 23-of-35 passing for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Going forward, the graduate transfer from Troy will need to show better ball security -- three interceptions, albeit one on a final-play Hail Mary, plus a lost fumble last week. Mississippi State's Tommy Stevens has completed 65.5 percent of his passes and thrown for 441 yards and five TDs vs. two picks. However, the Penn State graduate transfer has left the past two games with a right shoulder injury. Bulldogs Coach Joe Moorhead said Monday Stevens is feeling better. True freshman Garrett Shrader (11-of-23 passing for 122 yards) has replaced an injured Stevens in the past two games.
Beloved bulldog mascot mourned at The Citadel after unexpected death
While The Citadel was basking in its college football team's upset victory over Georgia Tech last Saturday, there was some sad news waiting for the South Carolina military college. One of its beloved English bulldog mascots had died. "We're heartbroken to report that General Robert P. Carson, affectionately known as General or G2, has passed away," a tweet on The Citadel's feed said. General was eight years old, according to the tweet. John Bradford takes care of the mascots and said General died last Friday night curled up next to Boo, The Citadel's other English bulldog mascot, the military college said. "General was playing not 20 minutes before he passed away with no suffering," Bradford said of the male bulldog that he told The Citadel had not been sick. Bradford said he waited until Sunday to report General's death, saying he didn't want to spoil the jubilant mood following the football team's win.
Rick Pitino reaches settlement with U. of Louisville Athletic Association
The legal saga between Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville Athletic Association is finally over. Nearly two years after Pitino filed a breach of contract lawsuit seeking close to $40 million, the athletic association announced Wednesday it has reached a settlement with the former Louisville basketball coach. As part of the agreement, Pitino's departure from Louisville will be changed in his personnel file to be considered a resignation. He will not receive any money. "It's an exciting day for the university," said Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra. "It's a terrific day for us to get this behind us and I'm sure that the other side feels the same." According to the settlement agreement, the athletic association and Pitino agreed to mutually drop all claims and said they will not pursue further legal action. ULAA's executive committee approved the settlement at a 40-minute meeting Wednesday morning, eight days after both parties met for a nine-hour settlement conference at the federal courthouse in Louisville.

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