Wednesday, February 26, 2020   
Habitat gives 'hand up' to low-income families in Golden Triangle
Tabatha and Bracy Johnson and their two children have moved three times in the past few years. Casey McQuiller lives in a small apartment with her three children, and Latalla Harris and her son live in an apartment with paper-thin walls. By 2023, all three families will live in new houses. Harris, McQuiller and the Johnsons learned Tuesday that Starkville Habitat for Humanity will build each family a home in 2022 or 2023. The Christian nonprofit builds two houses per year in Oktibbeha County. All three families said they were shocked to learn the news. The Johnsons' house will begin construction in fall 2022, McQuiller's in spring 2023 and Harris' in fall 2023. Habitat has already chosen the four families who will receive houses in Starkville in the meantime, and there will be a groundbreaking for the spring 2020 site on Azalea Lane in March, right next door to the fall 2019 house, Executive Director Joel Downey said. Mississippi State University students with the Maroon Volunteer Center help build a Habitat house every fall, called the Maroon Edition. Local church groups volunteer year-round, and alternative spring break programs bring students from high schools and colleges nationwide to build houses as part of Habitat's Collegiate Challenge.
Renovations underway to old Rex Theater in Starkville
Renovations will soon be underway at the old Rex Theatre in Starkville. It'll feature an up and coming local business. GLO, a company that started in 2015 by two Mississippi State University students, will occupy the first floor of the building. Abert Masonic Lodge, who occupies the second floor, will remain as the building owner. It all started as a class project for Hagan Walker and Anna Barker in 2015. Fast forward to today. That project has turned into a company that continues to expand, so moving into the old Rex Theatre, allows them to have more workspace. It also keeps the company in the city where it all began. Mark Castleberry, the developer for this project, said this location is the perfect fit for GLO for many reasons. "They can utilize the space," said Castleberry. "They can also use the size. Approximately 7,000 feet is what will be occupied. They had a strong desire to be downtown." Castleberry said this $1.2 million project is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
Developer plans 32 apartments in downtown Meridian's Hulett building
A developer plans to convert the historic Hulett Furniture Company building in downtown Meridian into 32 apartments, a company representative confirmed Tuesday. Commonwealth Development Corporation of America, based out of Wisconsin, is under contract to purchase the property, said Carlen Williams, the vice president of development. "Downtown Meridian has a lot to offer, and we're thrilled to be a part of the Arts & Entertainment District," Williams said in a statement. "Hulett House ... will provide modern amenities to our residents while preserving the historic nature and appeal of the Hulett Building." "There's just a lot of energy in downtown Meridian right now and to see projects like this happen, it's a win for our community," Laura Carmichael, Meridian's community development director, said. "That's what we want. We want downtown development. We want downtown revitalization and these are just the perfect projects to see that come to fruition."
'It's a great day for Brookhaven and Lincoln County': Electrical manufacturing company welcomed
The words most repeated before the crowd of more than 200 people at Gov. Tate Reeves' economic development announcement in Brookhaven Tuesday morning were, "It's a great day," and "Thank you." Reeves announced the newest addition to the economy of the city and Lincoln County by introducing Brookhaven native Fred Buie, owner and president of Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company. "It's an exciting day for me to be back in Lincoln County, because today is such an exciting day for the people of Brookhaven and the people of Lincoln County," said the governor. "And, quite frankly, today is an exciting day for all of Mississippi. Economic development has gotten off to a great start in 2020, and I'm glad to be here as we continue that momentum." Buie, who owns a home in Brookhaven and has a local timber farming business, said he wanted to bring his business back to the area where he was raised, graduated high school and college, and began to learn how to work hard and dream for the future.
Anti-gang bill gets new life in state Legislature but some lawmakers fear far-reaching consequences
A controversial bill designed to impose new penalties for people affiliated with criminal gangs has another chance in the Legislature this session. Lawmakers in the Senate Judiciary B committee voted to pass S.B. 2459 Tuesday. The bill creates a legal definition for "criminal gang activity" and identifies offenses committed under that definition as separate from existing crimes. People convicted under the proposed law could face three to 15 years in prison. "Just like embezzlement, just like burglary, just like sex offenses, [this bill] allows law enforcement to have a tool to investigate the activity that is going on so that they can get down and hopefully address what we're seeing in the state of Mississippi," said Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, the committee chair who sponsored the bill. In the committee meeting Tuesday, some lawmakers questioned the impact of the bill and asked for more data showing the extent of gang activity in the state.
Advocates: Lawmakers target poor after top officials allegedly steal $4M of welfare money
Several organizations gathered at the Mississippi Capitol Tuesday afternoon to accused the Legislature of hypocrisy in pushing two anti-fraud bills. While authorities continue to investigate a massive alleged welfare embezzlement scheme involving top officials, Mississippi lawmakers are targeting the low-income recipients of those benefits to look for fraud. The bills -- House Bill 749 and Senate Bill 2257 -- would allow the state auditor to audit the tax returns of Mississippians benefiting from several federal programs, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Proponents say they are trying to root out fraud. Opponents say these audits are unnecessary and not required by the federal government. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Vangela Wade, president of the Mississippi Center for Justice, said the rate of fraud committed by individual beneficiaries is extremely low. Wade called the bills "cruel and baseless attempts to dismantle federal benefits."
In a letter to Trump, Flaggs requests aid to repair damage at Vicksburg National Military Park
Friday, after a tour of the damage, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said making needed repairs to infrastructure and roads at the Vicksburg National Military Park caused by erosion and heavy rains would be a top priority. Monday, in a letter to President Trump, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. called on the federal government's help to repair what he called "hallowed ground." Recent weather, which has brought more than 20 inches of rain to the Vicksburg area since the start of January, has caused havoc to area roads and property, causing mudslides and other areas of massive erosion. On Feb. 13, officials with the Vicksburg National Military Park closed nearly a third of the park to the public because of erosion issues and damage to key roads in the park. "Beyond being hallowed ground, the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Vicksburg National Cemetery are the most-visited attractions in the State of Mississippi," Flaggs wrote. "Senator Hyde-Smith has seen firsthand the devastation in the National Cemetery and has pledged to do all she can to help prioritize the repairs.
With An Election On The Horizon, Older Adults Get Help Spotting Fake News
At the Schweinhaut Senior Center in suburban Maryland, about a dozen seniors gather around iPads and laptops, investigating a suspicious meme of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Plastered over her image, in big, white block letters, a caption reads: "California will receive 13 extra seats in Congress by including 10 million illegal aliens in the 2020 U.S. Census." The seniors are participating in a workshop sponsored by the nonprofit Senior Planet called "How to Spot Fake News." As instructed, they pull up a reputable fact-checking site like Snopes or, and within a few minutes, identify the meme is peddling fake news. "It's right there!" 86-year-old Marlene Cianci tells the class. "Just a two-step thing and there it was!" Researchers say classes like this one should be more widely offered, especially with the 2020 election approaching. A recent study suggests these classes could be increasingly important. Researchers at Princeton and New York University found that Facebook users 65 and over posted seven times as many articles from fake news websites, compared to adults under 29.
Bernie Sanders targeted at chaotic SC 2020 debate where candidates struggled to score points
In a cacophonous two-hour debate Tuesday night in Charleston, seven 2020 Democratic presidential candidates sparred over gun control, healthcare, their voting records and which of them would be most likely to defeat President Donald Trump. The combative contest, which at many times was overrun by crosstalk as the contenders yelled over each other, underscored the high stakes in South Carolina's "First in the South" primary this Saturday, with several campaigns on the ropes. Though held in Charleston's Gaillard Center, it was also the final debate before voters head to the polls in 14 other states on Super Tuesday, a pivotal juncture in the race. While former vice president Joe Biden has led polls in South Carolina, the candidate who took the most incoming fire was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has emerged as the frontrunner in the overall race after strong performances in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. On a night when several candidates, particularly Biden, were counting on a decisive debate victory to propel them forward, the sheer messiness of the fighting on stage created little opportunity for any of them to emerge from the pack.
Break with China? Top Trump aide eyes an opening with coronavirus
Peter Navarro, the leading China critic in the Trump administration, is seizing the moment. The White House's director of trade and manufacturing policy and the administration's other China hawks are pushing to use the coronavirus crisis to press U.S. companies to end their dependence on foreign suppliers. It's an outcome Navarro and other advocates of U.S. factories in the Trump administration have sought for the past three years --- what they see as a core piece of President Donald Trump's 2016 promise to bring manufacturing jobs back home. The efforts are more subtle than Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' blunt declaration in January that coronavirus spreading abroad could "accelerate the return of jobs to North America." But the message is the same: The U.S. needs to be less dependent on foreign markets in general -- and China in particular. The focus for now is on medicines and medical equipment.
Coronavirus fears spook markets as outbreak spreads; Trump calls news conference, accuses media of 'panicking markets'
As new countries confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths from the virus Wednesday, President Trump on Twitter called for a 6 p.m. news conference with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to discuss the spread of the virus. He accused the media of stoking panic on financial markets. The Dow Jones industrial average had endured its worst two-day slump in four years Tuesday. On Wednesday, it was up 300 points shortly after open. On European and Asian financial markets, economic alarms continued to flash, however. President Trump on Wednesday attacked CNN and "MSDNC (Comcast)" -- a reference to MSNBC -- for "doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible." (He misspelled coronavirus in his tweet.) In a separate tweet, he said he would hold a news conference at the White House at 6 p.m. Wednesday, alongside representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Could a coronavirus pandemic be stopped? US warns of 'severe' disruptions
A federal health official warned Tuesday that the deadly coronavirus could cause "severe" disruptions in the USA as global experts struggled to fend off the outbreak and avoid a pandemic. Is it too late? "Disruption to everyday life may be severe," Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned at a news conference Tuesday. Schools could be closed, mass public gatherings suspended and businesses forced to have employees work remotely, she said. Messonnier said the coronavirus has caused sickness and death and sustained person-to-person transmission. That's two of the three factors for a pandemic, she said.
Caution, cancellations mark Ash Wednesday in time of virus
The Vatican was going ahead with plans for Pope Francis to celebrate the Ash Wednesday ritual kicking off the Catholic Church's Lenten season, but elsewhere in Italy Masses were canceled over fears of the new coronavirus and other Catholic countries took precautions. At the Vatican, Francis held his general audience as usual in St. Peter's Square and sent his prayers to victims of the virus and the medical personnel treating them. A handful of the thousands of people gathered wore face masks to protect against the virus, which originated in China and has infected thousands globally including more than 300 people in Italy. Later in the day Francis is to celebrate an Ash Wednesday Mass at a Rome church, a procession and ritual that begins the 40-day Lenten period of fasting and penance in the run-up to Holy Week and Easter.
'A beautiful sign': Large white shark in Gulf of Mexico indicates region is thriving
The arrival of a 2,078-pound white shark off the coast of Louisiana is not just an exciting development for a research group that tags and tracks their locations -- it's a sign the Gulf of Mexico's ocean life is rich and thriving. This is the first time scientists with OCEARCH have tracked this type of shark to this area off the Louisiana coast. OCEARCH has been working in the Atlantic region on and off since 2012. The shark's presence in the Gulf of Mexico is a crucial indicator about the health of the ocean, said Chris Fischer, the organization's founding chairman and expedition leader. "It's like having the mountain lions return to the forest because the forest is healthy again, or the wolves being reintroduced into Yellowstone and thriving," Fischer said. "If those top-of-the-food-chain, indicator species do well, the system is doing well." When they are doing well, it's likely commercial and recreational fisherman are doing well. Better yet, Fischer said, it's an assurance future generations will have fish to eat.
After controversial Ole Miss chancellor search, powerful lawmaker aims to limit governor's IHL appointment power
Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, wants to amend the Mississippi Constitution to limit the governor's sole power to appoint trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning -- a direct response to a controversial chancellor search the IHL board conducted at the University of Mississippi last fall. Lamar, an Ole Miss alumnus whose mother sits on the IHL board, filed two measures this session that would equally split the IHL appointment power between the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and a close confidant of House Speaker Philip Gunn, Lamar is one of the most powerful lawmakers under the Capitol dome in Jackson. "It dawned on me over the last year that maybe it's not the best policy to have all 12 board seats appointed by the same person, as is the case right now," Lamar told Mississippi Today this week. "Especially after what happened last year (at Ole Miss), I think it's worthy of some discussion and debate."
Five of the Ole Miss Eight return to campus
n 1970, Fulton Chapel was the setting of a peaceful protest that resulted in major changes to the university and the suspension of eight students, now known as the Ole Miss Eight. Five of the students -- Henriese Roberts, Kenneth Mayfield, Donald Ray Cole, Theron Evans Jr. and Linnie Liggins -- joined Ralph Eubanks and the lawyer who represented them, on Monday to discuss the historical implication of their suspensions. "It was an opportunity to shed light on important issues," Liggins said. Roberts, Mayfield, Cole, Evans and Liggins agreed that the Black Student Union was motivated to achieve equality on campus for all future generations of African American students who enroll at the university. 50 years later, they are still advocating for change. "We live in a caste system," Roberts said. "Our children are tracked for mass incarceration. I think it's a problem that we need to learn to communicate about. We need to strive to build a better community."
1970 Fulton Chapel protests commemorated on 50th anniversary
Fifty years after almost 90 black student protestors were arrested on Feb. 25, 1970, for protesting in Fulton Chapel, their legacy and impact was discussed during two days of events at the University of Mississippi, including a commemorative ceremony at the site of the arrests at 3 p.m. Tuesday in front of Fulton Chapel. The ceremony included several of the former student protestors, including five of the eight who were later expelled as a result of the protests, sharing the story of their struggles, their lives, and, for some, the hard reality of the harm they received from Ole Miss. Ole Miss faculty, staff and students, alongside alumni and community members, also attended. James Donald, one of the student protestors alongside his brother and Black Power group leader John Donald, said it was "good to be home." For Donald, protesting that evening was about leaving a legacy. "We were not going to be denied our rights as citizens of Mississippi," Donald said.
Auburn researcher lands NIH grant for health study
An Auburn University researcher has landed a federal grant to study racial differences in sodium and blood pressure regulation The National Institutes of Health has awarded Austin Robinson, a School of Kinesiology assistant professor, $764,093 over five years for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Career Development Award to study racial differences in serum sodium and blood pressure regulation. Robinson is researching why African Americans in particular are more likely to have diminished cardiovascular function after eating high amounts of dietary sodium. For this particular award from NIH, Robinson will be studying the impacts of an acute, single meal. The researcher also is looking to see if people who regularly exercise and eat healthful diets are offered some protection against the high sodium feeding.
New $72 million engineering building at U. of Florida past due for completion
In Fall 2019, University of Florida engineering students were supposed to start working in the Herbert Wertheim Laboratory of Engineering Excellence, located between the Reitz Union and Weimer Hall. But construction wasn't done. UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said last April that construction would be done in Spring 2020. Yet, two months into the Spring semester, construction on the building isn't done yet -- and won't be done until March or April, said Helen Goh, the College of Engineering spokesperson. Josh Levi, a 22-year-old UF biomedical engineering graduate student, said he hoped he'd be able to utilize the new building. "When I was an undergrad, I thought I would see the completion of the new lab," he said. "As a grad student, I thought for sure that I could utilize it, but now we'll see." Last spring, Orlando said the building was, at that time, $20 million over budget, costing about $72.2 million in total. The project was originally projected to cost $53 million.
U. of Tennessee cancels study abroad trips to South Korea over growing coronavirus concerns
The University of Tennessee has suspended study abroad programs to South Korea for the spring and summer semesters because of concerns about the coronavirus, the university announced on Tuesday. Last month, UT canceled study abroad trips to China for the same reason. The programs will be suspended through the summer semester, and the university is working with affected students for alternate plans. The university still has no reports of coronavirus, according to the Student Health Center's website. "The university is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Tennessee Department of Health, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD), and international health safety and security agencies to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak," according to a post on the website.
U. of Akransas Spoofer's Stone hit hard; 150-year landmark rests in pieces after knock by vehicle
Spoofer's Stone has been smashed to pieces. For almost 150 years, it had lain on the front lawn of Old Main, right where it fell from a broken ox cart during construction of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville's oldest building. Then on Tuesday morning, a vehicle ran into it. Details are sketchy, said John Thomas, a university spokesman. Thomas said CDI Contractors was roping off the Senior Walk to do restoration work on the historic sidewalk extending from the front doors of Old Main toward Arkansas Avenue. "There was something construction-related in that area as they were setting up, and some vehicle hit the stone," Thomas said. "We don't know exactly how it was hit." The university posted a photo on Facebook. "We are sad to report that one of the university's oldest landmarks, Spoofer's Stone, has been heavily damaged in a construction-related accident," according to the post. "The limestone rock broke apart into several sections but a primary section including the plaque remains intact. Ironically, the stone was a left over from the construction of Old Main, completed in 1875."
Elton Abbott, dean for international programs, retires from Texas A&M's College of Architecture
Elton Abbott, who has served as a Texas A&M faculty member for almost 40 years, was honored recently at a reception marking his retirement. Dozens of colleagues, friends and students filled the Ernest Langford Architecture Center's Adams Presentation Room on Tuesday, where Abbott's dedication to the school's international studies programs was celebrated. Abbott's most recent position was dean for international programs and initiatives with Texas A&M's College of Architecture. "It's been a great joy," Abbott said. "There hasn't been a day that I've had to go to work. This was not work. When you love everything you do, it's not work." Abbott was raised and educated in Oklahoma but received his doctorate of environmental design at Texas A&M in 1983. At the time he came to the university, he immediately began organizing international trips within the College of Architecture, according to his colleagues.
Education Department says House committee is seeking to abuse power with subpoena threat
Three weeks ago the U.S. House of Representatives' oversight committee threatened it might subpoena U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos if she didn't confirm she would appear before the body on March 3 to answer an array of questions. It doesn't sound like DeVos is going to go. Instead of an RSVP, the acting general counsel for the Education Department sent the committee a scathing letter pushing back at what he considers to be overreach by the committee -- and saying the subpoena threat "signals an unhealthy appetite for the abuse of congressional power." The Feb. 7 letter from Reed Rubinstein went on to say the threat provides "strong reason to believe the demand for the secretary's testimony has nothing to do with a good, fair and constitutional process." The department's letter, first reported by Inside Higher Ed, is uncommonly aggressive and further ramps up what's already been a tense relationship between the Democratic majority on the oversight committee and DeVos, said Clare McCann, New America's federal policy director and a senior policy adviser at the department during the Obama administration.
Democrats resist plan for new student aid agency
Buried within the Education Department's fiscal 2021 budget request is a proposal that would transform student loan financing. Originally raised by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at the end of 2019, it aims to spin Federal Student Aid -- the branch of the Education Department responsible for overseeing student loan financing -- into a separate agency. The office manages a loan portfolio worth nearly $1.5 trillion, and is effectively one of the country's largest banks. In a press briefing following the budget release, DeVos and other department officials highlighted the proposal, arguing it would depoliticize the student loan financing process. Democrats are already criticizing her plan. But the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is hopeful about the idea, and believes it could earn the support of Republicans and Democrats alike. "I hope what it means is that at the end of whatever this process looks like, we have an agency that is more responsible to students and schools and other stakeholders," says Justin Draeger, the group's CEO.
Programs in Italy, South Korea cancel classes and make other changes as coronavirus spreads
American university programs in Italy -- the second-most-popular destination for study abroad programs -- are variously suspending operations and evacuating students, moving classes online, or warning students not to travel domestically as the global spread of the new coronavirus begins to affect international programs in countries outside China, where the virus first originated. South Korea and Italy have the highest numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19, as the virus is officially called, outside China, and the rapid spread of the virus in northern Italy in recent days has prompted public health officials to put some cities and towns in the country's north on lockdown, effectively quarantining an estimated 100,000 people, according to CNN. Authorities in the regions of Lombardy, which includes Milan, and Veneto, which includes Venice, have ordered universities to close through March 2, Bloomberg reported. Even as American universities try to navigate the threat posed by coronavirus in relation to their international operations, they increasingly face the threat of an outbreak in the U.S. Top American health authorities warned Tuesday that Americans should prepare for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S., that it was no longer a question of if but when.
With $5.49 billion haul, UCLA rivals private colleges in fundraising -- it's part of a trend
UCLA has raised $5.49 billion in one of the nation's most successful public university fundraising campaigns, as an "arms race" heats up throughout the country for private philanthropy to offset state funding shortfalls. The final tally, announced Wednesday by campus officials, surpassed its initial goal by more than $1 billion after its public launch in 2014 to commemorate UCLA's centennial anniversary this academic year. The funds will help support a range of initiatives at one of the nation's leading public research universities, including student scholarships and support, endowed faculty chairs, research projects and building needs. The massive campaign reflects a growing national trend as more campuses launch larger and longer fundraising efforts in a scramble to find new sources of revenue for needs that state funding no longer fully supports. U.S. higher education hit a critical tipping point in 2017, when more than half of all states relied more heavily on tuition dollars to fund their public colleges and universities than on government appropriations for the first time in the nation's history. At University of California campuses, state support has fallen from 84% of its core budget in 1990 to 42% today.
Aging U.S. Population Threatens State Budgets
The aging U.S. population poses long-term social risks to the fiscal stability of states, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings, a ratings firm. For the first time in U.S. history, the number of Americans who are age 65 and over will outnumber those under 18 by 2035, the U.S. Census projects. And this shift will exacerbate generational dependency, the report said, which will create economic, fiscal and social challenges for state governments. (This, in turn, could impact public colleges' state support.) "As the baby boomer generation retires, the older generation's dependency on younger ones is projected to significantly increase over the next 30 years," according to S&P. The impacts of an aging population will vary across different regions. The South has benefited from an influx of working-age adults, according to the report, but continued economic diversification will be crucial.
Oliver Triplett's death recalls his remarkable family's epic impact on autism
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: How does one capture the contradictions and complexities of the life of Forest attorney Oliver Beamon Triplett, who died last week at the age of 81? Outside of Forest, most Mississippians would have known Oliver as a conservative author of tightly written letters to the editor of the Jackson or Forest newspapers. The letters, almost haikus in their brevity if not their specific construct, were usually written in praise of Donald Trump or in condemnation of Hillary Clinton. Oliver's letters had all the subtlety of rolling an unpinned grenade into a Sunday night church social. And that was clearly Oliver's intent -- to provoke debate and discussion. To be sure, he enjoyed the notoriety it stirred. ... It was a shame that outside of Forest, few came to know the rest of Oliver's story. Despite the "grouchy old curmudgeon" persona that Oliver's letters implied, I've known few better or more generous men.

Strong efforts from Reggie Perry, Tyson Carter carry Mississippi State to win over Alabama
With its NCAA tournament hopes hanging in the balance, Mississippi State stepped up. After suffering a 21-point road loss to Alabama (15-13, 7-8 SEC) in January, the Bulldogs (18-10, 9-6) avenged that defeat with a 80-73 victory against the Crimson Tide on Tuesday at Humphrey Coliseum. "That's a huge, huge win for us," MSU coach Ben Howland said. "Against a really good team that's incredibly well coached and difficult to play against." With the win, MSU has won at least nine conference games for the third straight year, and the home team has now won the last eight games in the series. "This game was really personal for me," said MSU sophomore forward Reggie Perry, who finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. "We got beat pretty bad last time. So we wanted to come out (and get the win)." MSU is back in action against Missouri at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Columbia, Missouri.
Mississippi State keeps hope alive with win over Alabama
With Mississippi State's postseason outlook hinging on every game from here on out, the Bulldogs were able to keep their NCAA Tournament aspirations alive with an 80-73 win over Alabama on Tuesday. The victory also helped avenge a 21-point loss that MSU suffered to the Crimson Tide on Jan. 8. "It feels good but we know we can't have any letdowns," said MSU guard Tyson Carter. "We had this same feeling last week in the middle of the week. We've got to get back to practice and go even harder because the next game is the most important game at this point." The Bulldogs (18-10, 9-6 SEC) play their next two games on the road at Missouri and South Carolina before closing out the regular season at home against rival Ole Miss. State is 2-1 against those opponents already this year. State plays at Missouri on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on SEC Network.
Mississippi State basketball: Bulldogs bounce back with win over Alabama
Mississippi State needed revenge and a bounce-back victory. Tuesday night at Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulldogs got both. MSU returned to winning ways against Alabama -- a team it lost to by 21 points last month -- by beating the Crimson Tide, 80-73. The victory comes just three days after a double-digit loss to Texas A&M. The Bulldogs' NCAA Tournament hopes rise and fall with each win and loss. Tuesday's triumph against a team in a similar spot will undoubtedly go a long way in determining the Dawgs' postseason fate. "I thought it was obviously a huge, huge win for us tonight against a really good teams that's incredibly well coached and really difficult to play against," MSU head coach Ben Howland said. It was a game of runs. Alabama took a six-point lead in the latter stages of the first half. The Crimson Tide (15-13, 7-8 SEC) made eight first-half three pointers to obtain it. The Bulldogs (18-10, 9-6 SEC) stormed back to take a two-point advantage into halftime. Alabama went cold from deep in the second half, and Mississippi State took advantage.
John Petty goes down as Alabama NCAA hopes fade in Starkville
In the closing moments of game every bit crucial as it was close, John Petty's expression summed up the Alabama basketball season. At the end of the bench, the junior sharpshooter could only clap the defense chant with the walk-ons as Mississippi State snatched an 80-73 win this Crimson Tide team desperately needed. The high-energy Petty joined the list of Alabama's wounded with a painful elbow injury in the first half of Tuesday's loss in Starkville. He did not return and is set for testing back in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday. Still, Alabama was in the game in the closing moments of a scrappy game in Starkville. Down 73-69 with 2:20 left, the Tide had four layups or put-backs miss the target in a frantic stretch that effectively ended it. Mississippi State's Tyson Carter drained the shot clock and hit a driving layup on the other end and Alabama never got closer than four after that. "This one is going to hurt," Alabama coach Nate Oats said. "But there's nothing we can do about it."
Alabama basketball falls to Mississippi State
Attrition bit the University of Alabama men's basketball team again on Tuesday night, and poor second-half shooting didn't help either. The Crimson Tide, playing the game's final 27 minutes without junior forward John Petty, fell to Mississippi State 80-73, dropping to 15-13 overall and 7-8 in the SEC. Despite the loss of Petty and the subsequent struggles to score, Alabama was in the game until just over two minutes remained. Trailing 73-69, Alabama missed four makeable shots, failing to make it a one-possession game. MSU's Tyson Carter then scored six straight points, two layups and a pair of free throws, to keep UA at bay. The Crimson Tide struggled to score in the second half, shooting just 33 percent from the floor. "I don't fault our effort," Alabama coach Nate Oats said. "We were diving on the floor, battling at the rim. But you've also got to make some layups and some free throws. We've had a problem with close games but until some guys decide to get in the gym and fix them, we'll keep having them."
Mississippi State's Rickea Jackson earns third SEC Freshman honor
For the third time this season, Mississippi State's Rickea Jackson was selected as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week. Jackson scored a career-high 34 points in the Bulldogs' overtime victory at Auburn last Thursday and added 15 more points in Sunday's loss to Alabama. The 6-foot-2 forward from Detroit, Michigan is MSU's leading scorer at 15 points per game and also tops all freshmen in SEC play averaging 17.7 points. Alabama's Jordan Lewis earned SEC Player of the Week. She scored 17 points in the Crimson Tide's upset at MSU
Mississippi State stunned by Texas Southern in first loss to SWAC school since 2015
On a night Dudy Noble Field celebrated "Stranger Things" night as an ode to Netflix's hit sci-fi show, Mississippi State (5-2) fell victim to an otherworldly performance from previously winless Texas Southern (1-9) in an 8-4 loss Tuesday. The Tigers' victory marked just the 10th time in 117 games that the Bulldogs lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team -- the most recent of which came against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on March 3, 2015. "This is embarrassing for the program and there's no way around that," junior shortstop Jordan Westburg said postgame. "It's an embarrassing loss and it should hurt. It should hurt for everybody on the team -- guys that are on the bench, guys that started, guys that came in late in the game." With the loss Tuesday, it was the first time MSU fell in a home midweek game since falling 3-2 to Louisiana Tech March 7, 2017. That said, the Bulldogs are back in action Wednesday night against another SWAC opponent in Alcorn State. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
No. 8 Mississippi State drops midweek tilt to Texas Southern
An early 2-0 edge was the only lead the Mississippi State baseball program would have in an 8-4 setback to Texas Southern on Tuesday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. No. 8 Mississippi State (5-2) out-hit Texas Southern (1-9), 8-6, but a pair of costly errors, six walks and a pair of hit batters were more than State could overcome. MSU left 11 runners on base, while TSU stranded eight in the game and made one error. "We have to be tougher," said MSU coach Chris Lemonis. "We're not competing right now in a lot of different ways -- defensively, pitching-wise and then, most of all, offensively ... We're just a little frustrated right now." State scored twice in the first and one in the second, but Texas Southern tallied three runs in the second inning to level the game through two frames. After a scoreless third inning, TSU plated four runs – three unearned – in the fourth and never relinquished the lead. Another Tiger unearned run in the eight made it 8-3, before a single run in the ninth accounted for the final margin of 8-4.
Texas Southern upsets No. 4 Mississippi State for first win of season
Texas Southern pulled off its first win of the season against No. 4 Mississippi State with an 8-4 victory over the Bulldogs on Tuesday night. Mississippi State (5-2), ranked No. 4 in the country by Baseball America, scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, but the lead didn't last long. Texas Southern (1-9) answered back with three runs at the top of the second inning with sacrifice flies from Roderick Coffee and Parker DeLeon. Justin Cooper also knocked in an RBI single down the right side to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. Jordan Westburg tied the game for the Bulldogs in the bottom half of the second inning with an RBI double down the left-field line, scoring Rowdey Jordan. Texas Southern pulled away, taking a 7-3 lead at the top of the fourth inning. The Tigers scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch, another error and a two-run single from Victor Bueno. The Tigers then added an insurance run on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth inning.
Congressman Anthony Gonzalez leans on experience to help craft federal athletes' rights legislation
It all hit Anthony Gonzalez about 15 years ago during his time as an Ohio State wide receiver. It was tradition for the Buckeyes to sign autographs for fans after games. "As players, you prioritize the kids. So you go through and want to get every single kid," Gonzalez said. "I was that kid one day. I would get autographs, go into school and show my buddies. And be really proud of it." Gonzalez's dad once noticed -- after a particular Ohio State game -- an adult using one of those innocent kids as a prop. The adult was a memorabilia dealer. The autographs showed up on eBay. Somebody somewhere was making money off the Gonzalez's name, image and likeness. Just not him. You should know where this headed, especially now that Gonzalez, 35, is a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives out of Ohio. Gonzalez was one of the "stars" of the Congressional hearing on name, image and likeness on Feb. 11. Bleeding scarlet and gray, he is one of many legislators crafting a name, image and likeness bill. He is also perhaps the most qualified to do so.
Nebraska advances college athletes name, image and likeness bill
Nebraska's unicameral state legislature on Tuesday gave initial passage to a bill that would give college athletes in the state the ability to make money from their name, image and likeness. The vote was 36 in favor, 4 against, 8 present and not voting and 1 excused. The outcome does not yet move the bill to Gov. Pete Ricketts. However, with 25 votes needed for final passage, the bill appears to have considerable momentum toward becoming the second such measure to pass a state legislature. "It's a hell of a vote count, honestly," said Sen. Megan Hunt, the bill's primary sponsor. "The bill got more support than I expected. I feel very positive about this." Nebraska's bill, as it stands, would allow the state's colleges and universities to decide when to apply the measure to their athletes. They could do so at any time. But it would require implementation by July 1, 2023. There are similar bills pending in more than 20 other states, and in at least three -- Illinois, New Hampshire and New Jersey -- the measure has passed one chamber of the legislature. In Florida, a House version is awaiting floor action while a Senate version needs passage from one more committee to reach the floor of that chamber.

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