Friday, January 24, 2020   
Staying healthy: tips for beating flu, colds
A cold, the flu and other viruses can put a damper in anyone's schedule. As executive director of Mississippi State's University Health Services, Dr. Cliff Story treats such illnesses daily, and he's offering simple tips that everyone can use to increase their chances of avoiding and beating "the bug." Story said individuals of all ages can help prevent the spread of germs through basic hygiene, including proper handwashing. Story said MSU students can make an appointment for free to see any of the John C. Longest Student Health Center's six physicians and three family nurse practitioners. Flu shots are available by appointment, and the health center hosts campus-wide flu clinics each year. "Getting the flu shot can lessen the severity of your symptoms and can help decrease incidents of flu to protect others who are a lot more susceptible," Story said.
To Study Mass Die-Offs, Scientists Dumped 15 Tons of Feral Pig Carcasses Into a Field
The world's recent spate of disasters has served as nothing if not a reminder of the fragility of life. Warming oceans, stripped of their fish, have spat thousands of starved birds onto shores; fires raging across Australia have felled up to a billion of its animals. But the tragic tales of these mass die-offs don't simply end with the extinguishing of life: Researchers studying the aftermath of these events are now finding that the cadavers that litter devastated landscapes can alter the ecology of their surroundings for years to come. That's why a team led by Brandon Barton, an ecologist at Mississippi State University, recently dumped 15 tons of fresh feral hog carcasses -- or about 200 bodies -- into a large prairie grassland in Oklahoma. An invasive species in the south and southeast, these pigs are common targets for locals looking to protect their property, and all came to the researchers as donations. After hauling the bodies in, the team split them into 24 separate plots, parceling different numbers of pigs into each patch of grass and fencing and netting some, but not others, to keep scavengers out. Then, they waited.
Arts integrated into STEAM lessons at MSU-Meridian
Arts integration, as defined by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is "an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form." Nowhere was that more evident than in the Mississippi State University-Meridian's Kahlmus Auditorium Thursday as educators from Lauderdale County and Meridian Public School districts participated in a third arts integration workshop this school year centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEAM. The interactive workshop, Moving Through Science: Creating Dances Inspired by Cycles, Patterns and Processes, shared strategies for identifying movement potential in a science lesson. The workshop series was made possible through the MS 2007 Partners in Education Leadership Team, which consists of representatives from MSU-Meridian and the Meridian Public and Lauderdale County school districts, in collaboration with the Kennedy Center.
Starkville Utilities to make operational changes
Starkville Utilities General Manager Terry Kemp is making operational changes in the electricity department. At Tuesday's regular meeting, the Starkville board of Aldermen passed a resolution to authorize Starkville Utilities to issue an $8.5 million bond. Kemp said the funds will primarily go to the electric department to construct a substation. Kemp said there are four substations in Starkville. The construction will upgrade the already existing facility. The funds will go into building the substation, the equipment and the substation itself. Kemp said the department planned this project with the Tennessee Valley Authority eight years ago. The new substation will replace an old substation that was built over 60 years ago, according to Kemp. Kemp said building the new substation is a significant impact on their system. He said it will provide increased reliability and the capacity for growth. The substation will have an alternate feed from the TVA which also increases their reliability, Kemp said.
Communiversity director betting on the Golden Triangle
Two months after taking over as executive director at East Mississippi Community College's Communiversity, Courtney Taylor spoke to the West Point Rotary Club Thursday about the challenges and goals facing the $42 million facility. The Communiversity opened to students in August with six programs focused on industrial and career training. Taylor said the most popular training types so far were the programmable logic controller and mechatronics programs. A huge problem facing the Communiversity, Taylor said after being asked what mechatronics was by a Rotarian, was the "mystique" of the programs. Taylor explained it was essentially industrial maintenance but for bigger machines and stressed the difficulty of getting 17 or 18-year-olds excited about something they might not understand. That was the Communiversity's biggest advantage over similar career training facilities, however, Taylor said, down to the design of the building, which has individual training bays enclosed by glass. "It's kind of like a zoo," Taylor said. "You can look, but you don't have to disrupt to see what's happening there."
Republicans assigned to most top jobs in Mississippi House
Republicans will continue to hold most leadership positions during this four-year term in the Mississippi House, where the party has more than 60% of the seats. House Speaker Philip Gunn, a Republican from Clinton, announced most committee assignments for the 122 representatives Thursday -- the end of the third week of the four-month legislative session. He had previously announced leaders and members of the two money committees. Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier remains as chairman of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee. Republican Rep. Trey Lamar of Senatobia is the new chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which deals with taxes and borrowing. Republican Rep. Richard Bennett of Long Beach remains as chairman of the Education Committee. Republican Rep. Mac Huddleston of Pontotoc is the new chairman of Universities and Colleges.
House Speaker Philip Gunn announces committee leadership
Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn on Thursday named mostly Republicans to committee leadership positions for the next four years. The Republican leader from Clinton assigned the body's 122 representatives -- more than 60% of whom are Republicans -- to committees and leadership posts that deal with issues including corrections, education and the state budget. The House's 47 committees will now begin digging into bills with less than four months to go in the legislative session. Committees are where legislation is first considered, and chairman hold significant sway over the process. Of note in Gunn's leadership selections was Rep. Kevin Horan, an independent from Grenada, who will head up the Corrections Committee. Horan, until recently a Democrat, will now be tasked with helping turn around a prison system facing reeling from 10 recent deaths and facing staffing and funding shortages. The former corrections leader, Republican Rep. Bill Kinkade of Byhalia, is no longer on the committee.
Northeast Mississippi lawmakers given significant House committee chairmanships
Some legislators from Northeast Mississippi will have an active voice in the state's legislative process after being chosen to lead committees in the Mississippi House of Representatives. House Speaker Phillip Gunn, a Republican from Clinton, on Thursday appointed six Republican legislators from Northeast Mississippi to preside over House committees, where key discussion will take place about the future of bills introduced in the Mississippi Legislature. Mac Huddleston, a Republican from Pontotoc, was appointed the chairman of the Colleges and Universities Committee and the Ethics Committee. Huddleston has served on various committees over the past decade and told the Daily Journal he is passionate about education in the state, so he is pleased with his appointment. He also said he plans for the committee to explore options of making higher education more affordable for Mississippians, especially considering that many recent college graduates have taken on student loan debt. Huddleston said he planned to visit the major universities and community colleges near his legislative district to get a better understanding of how to help the leaders of the institutions.
Two independents who switched from Democrat get key committee chairs in GOP-dominated House
Democrats did not fare well in terms of receiving committee chairs from House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, but two of the three members who switched from Democrat to independent during the past year were rewarded chairs. Gunn announced committee assignments Thursday. Perhaps, most notably, Angela Cockerham of Magnolia, who switched to independent before last year's election, was named chair of the Judiciary A Committee. She is the first woman to chair the influential House committee. "I am very grateful to the speaker for this appointment," Cockerham said. "I am looking forward to getting to work with the vice chair and members of the committee. I am looking forward to passing good legislation for the state of Mississippi." Earlier this session, Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven, was named to chair the Judiciary A Committee in the Senate, making her the first woman in the Senate to chair the panel.
Newly elected District 31 Sen. Tyler McCaughn says 'session looks bright'
After a little over a week in office, newly elected District 31 Senator Tyler McCaughn (R) is already hard at work for the 2020 legislative session. "It's been quite a ride already," he said. "I don't think many people realize we're almost starting a new government this year." In November, Mississippians voted in new leadership for all statewide offices, as well as many senators and representatives. With a new governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general, McCaughn said it's like starting from scratch. Last week, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann announced committee assignments, putting McCaughn on the Judiciary B committee as well as the committee for Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, both of which McCaughn said are going to keep him busy. McCaughn said he would also be interested in reviewing state agency procedures and budgets to "make sure they're using their funds responsibly," and possibly looking at a state employee pay raise to accompany a boost to teacher pay.
Banking Commissioner Charlotte Corley will retire after three decades
Banking Commissioner Charlotte Corley, Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance, has seen many changes in banking over the past 34 years. At the end of January, she will be retiring and handing the reins to Deputy Commissioner Rhoshunda Kelly. Corley grew up in Gulfport where her father worked for Hancock Bank. In high school, she took courses in mechanical drawing and architecture. She was really interested in architecture, but was discouraged by her instructor to follow that course. So she arrived at Mississippi State University intending to pursue computer science and banking. Her advisor at MSU was Dr. E. Carl Jones. "Dr. Jones was a dear man and took me under his wing to make sure I stayed on track and got the courses I needed to graduate in three years from MSU," Corley said. "He even helped me get my first job with his nephew at the Great Southern National Bank in downtown Jackson. That's where I got my year of experience required to become a bank examiner."
Mississippians Too Unhealthy to Serve in Military
A panel of officials from across the state are discussing ways to make sure young Mississippians are living healthy lifestyles. Mission Readiness is a national effort by retired Generals and nutritional experts who are working to make a healthy generation that is ready and able to serve in the US Military. Retired Major General Leon Collins is the former Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard. He says it's important to have a large pool of potential recruits. Officials say part of the battle is making sure Mississippians have access to healthy and affordable food. The other part is making sure families know how to cook and prepare those meals. Sylvia Byrd is with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "If we can teach families quick easy recipes that are tasty, they are more likely to prepare those. We have a lot of recipes on our website that are less than 5 or 6 ingredients that are quick and easy one-pot, one-dish meals to prepare."
Mississippi governor tours prison rocked by deadly violence
Mississippi's new governor says he and the interim corrections commissioner toured a troubled state prison to see conditions and to try to understand what led to an outburst of deadly violence in recent weeks. Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday that he and the commissioner, Tommy Taylor, also toured an empty prison that the state owns. The Republican governor, who took office Jan. 14, said it's possible that the state could move some inmates into the empty prison in the central Mississippi town of Walnut Grove. That prison was previously managed by a private company, and Reeves said it could be again. But he said no plans have been made to move prisoners and no timeline is set.
Gov. Tate Reeves eyes contraband phones, reopening private prison, tougher guard screening to 'restore order'
Fresh off a visit to two state prisons, Gov. Tate Reeves outlined a series of immediate steps his administration is taking to "restore order" at the embattled Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman Thursday. Among the changes include a pledge of greater transparency as well as restricting contraband cellphones, screening correctional officers for gang affiliation and performing maintenance work on facilities, Reeves told reporters. Reeves said he currently has no plans to ask the Legislature for increased funding to the corrections department. "A lot of these changes seem like common sense," Reeves said. "That's because they are." Rooting out corruption at the Mississippi Department of Corrections is key as well, he said, adding that "99.9 percent" of problems are "inmate-caused." Still, the new governor's law-and-order approach to cleaning up the system faces mounting pressure from prisoners' advocates, many of whom rallied at the Capitol Thursday to call for structural changes to how and why people are sent to prison and what kinds of conditions they experience there.
Gov. Tate Reeves announces changes to 'stop the bleeding' in prisons
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced on Thursday he has visited the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility and implemented several new measures meant to "stop the bleeding" and protect inmates and guards in an ongoing prison crisis. "We know that there are problems in the system. We don't want to hide them, we want to fix them," Reeves said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. Reeves said some "common sense" changes he is implementing include using technology to block inmates from calling and sending messages with contraband cellphones, checking whether guards are affiliated with gangs and sending maintenance teams to work at Parchman. In what Reeves previously described as a "catastrophe," 10 inmates have died in less than a month, eight of whom were incarcerated at Parchman. Some were killed in riots during a statewide prison lockdown earlier this month. Prison officials have said some of the violence has been gang-related.
Governor Announces Steps to Restore Order at Parchman
After visiting Parchman Penitentiary Governor Tate Reeves shared his thoughts about the conditions there. "First we're working to improve the conditions there. In a lot of places it's not good. They're terrible. I saw it myself today," said Reeves. Since late December, at least 10 inmates have died in state prisons during recent riots. Eight died at Parchman. Reeves announced six steps to restore order including sending in maintenance teams to improve physical conditions at Parchman, putting all managers on 12-hour shifts and cracking down on contraband cell phones. "These phones have been illegal for years but they've been snuck-in, and they're being used to conduct gang activity throughout the Mississippi system and even throughout the country," said Reeves. The governor says the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent on site at the prison is screening guards for gang affiliations.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, indebted to Trump and facing re-election, pledges POTUS her unwavering support
President Donald Trump, in a last-minute effort to bolster the Republican Party's majority in the U.S. Senate, traveled to Mississippi in late November 2018 with one mission: Get U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith elected. Hyde-Smith won that runoff election, in great part because of Trump's endorsement, and became the Senate's fifty-third Republican. With key votes expected in his trial, including whether to call witnesses, allies are crucial. Now more than a year later, Hyde-Smith is emboldened by the hyper-partisan moment and is working hard to repay the man who solidified her place in Washington. The Senate began hearing arguments this week from the Democratic-led House, which voted to impeach him in December. Once timid around reporters and prone to public gaffes, Hyde-Smith, with another year of working among one of the most polarized political bodies in U.S. history, is embracing her identity as a Republican senator in 2020.
Science ranks grow thin in Trump administration
Dozens of government computers sit in a nondescript building here, able to connect to a data model that could help farmers manage the impact of a changing climate on their crops. But no one in this federal agency would know how to access the model, or, if they did, what to do with the data. That's because the ambitious federal researcher who created it in Washington quit rather than move when the Agriculture Department relocated his agency to an office park here last fall. He is one of hundreds of scientists across the federal government who have been forced out, sidelined or muted since President Trump took office. The exodus has been fueled broadly by administration policies that have diminished the role of science as well as more specific steps, such as the relocation of agencies away from the nation's capital. In the first two years of the Trump administration, more than 1,600 federal scientists left government, according to Office of Personnel Management employment data analyzed by The Washington Post. That represents a 1.5 percent drop, compared with the 8 percent increase during the same period in the Obama administration.
U.S. geoengineering research gets a lift with $4 million from Congress
The top climate change scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said he has received $4 million from Congress and permission from his agency to study two emergency -- and controversial -- methods to cool the Earth if the U.S. and other nations fail to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. David Fahey, director of the Chemical Sciences Division of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, told his staff yesterday that the federal government is ready to examine the science behind "geoengineering"---or what he dubbed a "Plan B" for climate change. Fahey also emphasized this is not an approval to move forward with geoengineering. Rather, it's to prepare the U.S. government for a political decision if the world fails to adequately limit the rise of global warming. "Geoengineering is this tangled ball of issues and science is only one of them," he said.
Supreme Court Could Be Headed To A Major Unraveling Of Public School Funding
In a case with potentially profound implications, the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority seemed ready to invalidate a provision of the Montana state constitution that bars aid to religious schools. A decision like that would work a sea change in constitutional law, significantly removing the longstanding high wall of separation between church and state. The focal point of Wednesday's argument was a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court that struck down a tax subsidy for both religious and nonreligious private schools. The Montana court said that the subsidy violated a state constitutional provision barring any state aid to religious schools, whether direct or indirect. Five of the justices at some time in their lives attended private Catholic schools, and some of them were particularly vocal. Justice Brett Kavanaugh said that the history of excluding religious schools from public funding has its roots in the "religious bigotry against Catholics" in the late 1800s.
UM ASB to work with Chancellor Boyce to repair blue lights
Some of the blue light phones, which can be used to report emergencies on campus, have been out for years. After working for a solution since her sophomore year without much progress, Associated Student Body Vice President Charlotte Shackelford may finally see them fixed with the help of Chancellor Glenn Boyce. Shackelford ran on the promise of repairing the blue lights last spring, and now she and Boyce are working together to fulfill it. Just after being announced as the new chancellor, Boyce said that he wanted to put students at the center of important conversations at the university. Since then, he has been meeting with campus constituents, mostly privately. Shackelford said that Boyce thought it was unbelievable that no one else tried to fix the emergency blue lights before him. "He recently followed up with me at the end of last semester (to let me know) that he's taking a golf cart ride around campus and identifying all the blue lights that need work," Shackelford said.
Jackson State grads debut on Broadway: 'You don't go higher in the theatrical world'
Two actors with Broadway debuts this season are Jackson State University graduates who graced the Jackson stage on their professional theater journey. Rob Demery and Tramell Tillman both give Mississippi a nod for pivotal moments on a path that can be notoriously fickle but immensely rewarding. Tillman made his Broadway debut in "The Great Society," which closed Nov. 30 at Lincoln Center's Beaumont Theater. Demery makes his in "A Soldier's Play" presented by Roundabout Theatre Company at American Airlines Theatre. The play opened Jan. 21 and runs through March 15. "For an actor, that's the dream, right?" says Tillman. "You don't go higher in the theatrical world than Broadway. That's the top of the top." For Demery, "It's something that I always thought could happen, but I don't think I ever really thought that it would happen. ... I don't think it's hit me yet." Both Demery and Tillman were in the cast of Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Soldier's Play" in New Stage Theatre's 2010-11 season, as well as at least three other New Stage productions each.
William Carey hosts healthcare symposium for high school students
Coast high school students interested in the healthcare field got a chance to learn more about possible future careers. William Carey University hosted a Careers in Healthcare symposium at its Tradition campus on Thursday. More than 70 students from Pass Christian, St. Martin, and Bay high schools took part. The symposium featured presentations showcasing the different majors offered at William Carey, including nursing, psychology, pharmacy, music therapy and others. Students were able to ask about scholarships and grants and about what it takes to pursue a degree in these fields. "This my first time actually learning about a college, touring a college. It's great," said Jayla Deas, a student at Pass Christian High School.
U. of Alabama on list of best employers for diversity
The University of Alabama is the second-highest ranked employer in the state for diversity, according to Forbes magazine. UA was also the only institution of higher education in the state to make Forbes' list of America's Best Employers for Diversity. Among universities, UA was ranked No. 21 in nationally in terms of diversity. G. Christine Taylor, UA's vice president and associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion, called the ranking "an honor." "We have made strides and will continue to make greater strides in promoting an inclusive environment for all faculty, staff and students at the Capstone. This recognition by Forbes validates that we are on the right path," Taylor said. Forbes and market research company Statista selected employers based on an independent survey from a sample of more than 60,000 employees working for companies employing at least 1,000 people. Respondents were questioned about their employer and the topics of age, gender equality, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQA+ and general diversity.
'Divided': Auburn reckons with impeachment
The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has barely begun, but the political drama inherent in such a process is already drawing the eyes of those on the Plains who either see a man guilty of abuse of power or a leader being falsely accused of betraying his oath of office. Trump's impeachment, however, is gripping the attention of many Auburn students who reflect raging partisan divisions that will be tested in November. For some students, the impeachment process was flawed from the moment the first charges were pronounced. Max Kleiber, a junior in political science and communications director for Auburn College Republicans, said some of the actions taken by the House of Representatives haven't made much sense, including the charges placed on Trump. Aahil Makhani, vice president of Auburn College Democrats, said he believed the House Democrats fairly charged Trump on impeachable offenses.
Idea of splitting up the LSU president-chancellor position? John Bel Edwards supports it
Gov. John Bel Edwards supports splitting up the leadership at LSU into two positions--a chancellor to helm the main campus and a president to oversee the statewide system--a move that would end the system's current president-chancellor position that has been in place for the past roughly seven years. Speaking to reporters after a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event in downtown Baton Rouge on Tuesday, Edwards said after watching it play out for several years, he doesn't think "the institution is better served" by having one person fill both roles. "I don't think one person can do everything that's expected of them, to both run the A&M campus in Baton Rouge and the system," Edwards said. "Because you want your chancellor present at events on campus but also to do fundraising specific for the campus at A&M university, whereas the system president has to do that all across the state of Louisiana."
Former senator, author discuss American politics at UF library
While the "united" in United States appears to be diminishing, a former senator and award-winning author believe they know a solution to reclaim unity: compromise. Former Sen. Bill Nelson and author Jon Meacham held a discussion on political division in the Library East Grand Ballroom Thursday morning. The discussion was part of the University of Florida's Nelson Initiative on Ethics and Leadership, which is a series of seminars, classes and a fellowship program. The event, which drew about 200 people, was sponsored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, George A. Smathers Libraries and Levin College of Law. The exchange focused on political division in the United States throughout history and how it can be addressed. During the discussion, Meacham, a Pulitzer prize-winning writer, expressed political division is a systemic issue in the United States, and it's one that isn't quite new to the current election cycle. Meacham said Americans should work to combat that political divisiveness.
Senate bill would increase in-state admissions to top Georgia colleges
Legislation aimed at increasing the number of in-state students admitted to the University System of Georgia's top-tier schools is being introduced in the state Senate. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Beach, would require the university system to make sure at least 90% of early-action admissions to the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University and Augusta University are offered to in-state students. "In my eight years in the Senate, the most calls I get are from parents who say, 'Can you help my daughter or son get in Georgia or Georgia Tech?' " said Beach, R-Alpharetta. "I want to take care of our parents, who are hardworking taxpayers, and our students." Since the advent of the popular HOPE Scholarships program during the 1990s, students have had a harder time getting into the state's top public universities.
Kentucky universities ask state for first funding hike in over decade
Just days before Gov. Andy Beshear is scheduled to unveil his state budget proposal for the next two fiscal years, the coordinating agency for state colleges and universities told legislators those institutions are requesting their first funding increase in over a decade. Aaron Thompson, the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, told members of a budget subcommittee Thursday that public colleges will request a 6.2% increase in funding in the next fiscal year, along with an 8.8% increase in the 2022 fiscal year beyond current base funding levels. While higher education institutions received $862.9 million from the General Fund for the current fiscal year, this budget request would raise that total to $913.3 million in 2021 and $935.8 million in 2022. If proposed by Beshear and approved by the legislature, this significant increase in funding for public postsecondary education would be the first of its kind since the 2007-08 budget was approved.
Texas A&M student may have coronavirus, Brazos County health officials say
A Texas A&M student who may have contracted novel coronavirus after traveling to China has entered into voluntary isolation and is showing signs of improvement, a Brazos County health official said Thursday. More than 600 people have contracted the illness in China, according to Chinese state television. The first suspected case of the illness in the United States was reported Wednesday in Washington state. Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Eric Wilke said the student went to a local emergency room Wednesday night after exhibiting "very mild" upper respiratory infection symptoms associated with the virus. The health district and Texas A&M said the health risk for campus is low. Wilke said Texas A&M was contacted about the possible case Wednesday.
U. of Missouri forecasts impact of new research center
The University of Missouri has a new item to add to the list of reasons why the state or private financial backers should help it build the NextGen Precision Health Institute. A study written by MU Economic and Policy Analysis Research Center estimates that construction of the $221 million institute, including the money paid for salaries of scientists and support staff, will add $5.6 billion to the state's economy over the next 25 years. That activity, the study co-authored by center director Joseph Haslag estimates, will bring an additional $227 million into the state general revenue fund over the same period. The impact stated in the report is the cumulative change in economic output and revenue, not the annual amount that would be realized at the end of the 25-year period, Haslag said in an interview. Missouri's annual economic output was $282 billion in 2018. The state general revenue fund will bring in about $10 billion in the coming fiscal year.
NASPA Reports Equitable Services for Accused Students
Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, an association also known as NASPA, released an investigative report this month about the level of campus services provided to "respondents," or students accused of sexual misconduct. The report's researchers found that 72 percent of colleges and universities surveyed provide services specifically to address the needs of accused students. Administrators at more than 200 U.S. institutions participated in the survey conducted from January to February of 2019, according to the report, "Expanding the Frame: Institutional Responses to Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct." Of all survey participants, 87 percent said all services offered to students who report sexual misconduct are also available to accused students, and participants "overwhelmingly agreed" that the services they provide to both parties are either identical or "fair and equitable," according to a NASPA press release.
Coursera launches college completion pathway
Online learning provider Coursera took another step into the undergraduate education market yesterday with the launch of its first bachelor's degree program at a university in the United States. The University of North Texas, a public research institution in Denton, Tex., will offer its bachelor of applied arts and sciences (B.A.A.S.) program through Coursera beginning in fall 2020. The bachelor's degree program is aimed at working adults with some college education and course credits but no degree, said Adam Fein, vice president for digital strategy and innovation at UNT. He hopes the degree will also attract community college students, veterans and students based overseas. Fein previously worked with Coursera to launch the online master of business administration (iMBA) at the University of Illinois. When he moved to UNT, he saw an opportunity to partner with Coursera again by opening up online education to a very different demographic.
Dr. Clyde Muse: Visionary educator and public servant
Publisher Alan Turner writes in the Mississippi Business Journal: I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Clyde Muse, President of Hinds Community College since 1978, which makes him the longest-serving community college President in Mississippi history. Dr. Muse announced his retirement in December, and when we talked, he reminisced about his long tenure in Mississippi education. ... Today, Hinds Community College serves a student population of over 20,000, operates in 6 different facilities, and has a faculty and staff of more than 1,200. It is truly one of Mississippi's (and America's) crown jewels among community colleges, and as many will recall, Mississippi's community college system is ranked first nationally.

No. 9 Mississippi State women rally to beat Vandy 68-52
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are known for playing pressure and man-to-man defense under coach Vic Schaeffer. With his team trailing Vanderbilt after three quarters, he finally listened to assistant Dionnah Jackson-Durrett, who kept telling him to switch to a match-up zone. That change helped No. 9 Mississippi State rally past Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs outscored the Commodores 22-2 in the fourth quarter and beat Vanderbilt 68-52 Thursday night for a rare victory at Memorial Gym. "Obviously in the fourth quarter you close out the game on a 22-2 run, just a tremendous effort by our kids," Schaeffer said. "We went to the match-up and got to give Coach Jackson credit for that. She said, 'Coach, we might as well go to 15 because we're having a hard time dealing with them.' So we did, and you know, held them to two points."
Elias King rounding out his game at Mississippi State
There was never any doubt that Elias King could score with the basketball. The former four-star forward is now fine-tuning the other aspects of his game during his freshman year at Mississippi State so that he can become a more well-rounded player and earn more playing time. "I still need to work on my defense and rebounding," King said. "I came here as an offensive player but in college, you've got to have the total package." Coach Ben Howland has seen King improve since his arrival in Starkville last summer. The 6-foot-8, 205-pounder has gotten better with his defense thanks to adding size and strength in the weight room. "It's something that's never really been emphasized with him like a lot of high school kids," Howland said. "You've got to understand that you've got to play both ends of the floor to play at this level to contribute to a winning team and a winning program. He's also gotten bigger and stronger. He's done a good job in the weight room and put on probably 10 to 12 pounds at least of muscle."
'My brother was a legend': De'Runnya Wilson's family seeks answers in fatal shooting
Beloved athlete De'Runnya "Bear" Wilson was part of a large, close-knit family that stayed in touch every day. Not a day would go by that he, his mother, Tamika Wilson, and his five siblings didn't talk or text. On Tuesday, the former state Mr. Basketball and Mississippi State wide-receiver seemingly went silent. His phone went straight to voicemail, causing alarm to those who knew and loved him best. "We talked to him the day before and his was happy,'' said his sister, Jerika Wilson. "It's unusual for his phone to go to voicemail. And if my mama is calling, he's going to answer. It was so strange." Tamika went to De'Runnya's southwest Birmingham home on Northland Avenue mid-afternoon Tuesday. It was then that De'Runnya, a son, brother and father of five, was found shot to death. "God led her to her boy,'' Jerika said. Birmingham police have not announced any arrests or updates in De'Runnya's slaying. His family said they don't know who would want him dead or why. "If anybody had needed something, he would have given it to them,'' his sister said. "We need answers. We need closure."
The N.C.A.A. Says It's Working to Change. Next Year, at the Soonest.
The delegates had long been lining the back of a meeting room by the time John J. DeGioia, the president of Georgetown University, harked back to last year's N.C.A.A. convention. Back then, the matter of whether college athletes should be allowed to profit from their fame was on the periphery for the leaders of college sports. Not anymore. The N.C.A.A. convention that convened this week is confronting some of the greatest turmoil in the organization's 113-year history, with elected officials in Washington and more than two dozen states considering whether to try to harness the power of government to allow college athletes to make money from their names, images and likenesses. "Do I believe college sports is going to blow up? No, I don't," Mark Emmert, the N.C.A.A. president, said Thursday evening. "But I think the way everybody responds to this and the way the N.C.A.A. responds to these particular issues is really, really important. The existential crisis to me is: Can we respond in a way that makes sense for our students and supports the college sports model?"

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