Monday, March 2, 2020   
Mississippi State students react to coronavirus outbreak around the country
Some Mississippi State University students are relieved the university is taking precaution to prevent the coronavirus from appearing on campus. The university's Health Services Executive Director Cliff Story released a letter on Thursday. He said the university will not approve travel to countries that have been issued a Level 3 by the CDC, including China and South Korea. Story also said the university discourages travel to countries that have been issued a Level 2 status, which now includes Japan, Italy and Iran. Senior MSU student Braedon Kimball said he's not too worried about the coronavirus, because there have been no reported cases in Mississippi. Story said there are no cases of the COVID-19 at the Mississippi State University or in Mississippi.
Mississippi State University celebrates 142 birthday
And then there was cake. It's a birthday celebration for Mississippi State University. This is the 142nd anniversary for the university. Students, alumni, faculty and staff were invited to the Hunter Henry Alumni Center to be part of the festivities and celebrate the accomplishments over the years. "Through our long history of service to the state of Mississippi and the people of Mississippi and being a resource for the citizens of the state of Mississippi through our extension program. All the great things we are trying to accomplish for our citizens, for our students and also something we can all be proud of is the impact that the university is having on the state of Mississippi," said Jeff Davis, with the Alumni Association. Friday's birthday celebration was sponsored by the MSU Alumni Association.
Expo for black creators held at Mississippi State University
African-American creators and entrepreneurs in the Mississippi State University community had a chance to attend an expo on campus to show their wares to possible customers. MSU Music Maker Productions, along with the MSU National Panhellenic Council held "The Come-Up: Supporting Black Artists and Entrepreneurs" on Thursday afternoon in the Colvard Student Union. The event offered several booths, displaying custom T-shirts, woodwork, jewelry and other items. The event also included a performance by MSU's Black Voices Gospel Choir and other artists. The event was one of several held on the MSU campus in February in recognition of Black History Month. Music Makers member Will Bobbs spearheaded the event. "Basically this event is to support black entrepreneurship and black artistry on campus," Bobbs said. "Basically giving them a platform to show what they do on campus."
Local students learn about music through Irish band
Students from across our area got to learn about Irish culture through music Friday morning. "MSU, MCC, and this whole community is art-centric," says Dr. Penny Wallin, a professor at MSU-Meridian. "And we love to bring teaching artists in from all over the country, and today, from all over the world." A group from Ireland called the Paul Brock Band is on tour in the United States and stopped at Meridian Community College on Friday. The band members taught the students about the instruments they were playing and the history of Irish music. Students also got to watch one member perform a traditional Irish dance. "This is an opportunity for them to hear a history and all kinds of cultural aspects in a new way, a fresh way, and I guarantee, you won't be able to sit still when you hear them singing and playing," Wallin says. Students from Meridian, Lauderdale County, and Quitman Public School Districts were in attendance.
As Coronavirus spreads to US, Golden Triangle residents stock up on supplies
Earlier this week, a CNN poll about the COVID-19 Coronavirus showed that 38 percent of the Americans polled said they would not purchase Corona beer -- although the beverage has no link whatsoever to the virus. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, a new strain of the Coronavirus that has been around for years, started in Wuhan, China in December, it has spread. There are currently more than 86,000 cases in 64 countries and territories, including more than 60 confirmed cases and one death in the United States. As the number of cases increases, so does the hysteria, as the CNN poll suggests. The Golden Triangle is no exception. Charles Stanford, a salesman at New Home Building Store, a building supply company in Columbus, began to notice one manifestation of Corona virus fears just this week. "Masks," Stanford said. "Everybody wants masks. It's like bread and milk during bad weather." Coronavirus fear has manifested in another way -- through the grapevine. One social media post said the virus was reported in Meridian. That's a claim Liz Sharlot, communications director for the Mississippi State Department of Health, quickly shut down.
OCH Regional Medical Center discusses state preparations for coronavirus
OCH Regional Medical Center met Friday with the Mississippi State Department of Health to discuss preparations for the possibility of the coronavirus. No cases have been found locally or in Mississippi, but the Starkville-based hospital is among hospitals across the country getting ready since federal health officials this week indicated the virus will likely spread in the United States. "Although we haven't had any cases reported in Mississippi, we would much rather be overprepared than underprepared," said hospital administrator and chief executive officer Jim Jackson in a news release. The hospital now has its emergency room personnel asking people if they have been out of the country and if they have been in close contact with someone who has the virus.
Navy is overhauling education system as US advantages erode
The U.S. Navy is overhauling its approach to education because the nation no longer has a massive economic and technological edge over potential adversaries, according to a strategy it is releasing Monday. The Education for Seapower Strategy 2020, provided to The Associated Press ahead of its release, is the first unified, comprehensive education strategy for the Navy and Marine Corps, said John Kroger, who is implementing the strategy as the Navy's first chief learning officer. It is very much a response to the nation's geopolitical position in the world today, versus the advantages it had at the end of the Cold War, Kroger said, noting China's economic strength and investments in 5G networks, energy storage and other major technologies that matter for war-fighting. The Navy wants to create a naval community college to provide associate's degrees to tens of thousands of young sailors and Marines, at no cost to them. It plans to unify the schools within the existing naval university system, similar to a state university system, and invest in them, as well as enact new policies to encourage and reward those who pursue professional military and civilian education.
Analysis: Mississippi considers limit on drug called kratom
Mississippi legislators are debating whether to either regulate or ban kratom, an herbal drug that can be used for pain relief and that is currently unregulated in most parts of the United States. Spectators packed a large room at the state Capitol on Thursday for a hearing about the drug. On one side of the room sat physicians, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents, recovering drug addicts and others who took turns telling lawmakers that kratom is harmful and should be illegal. On the other side sat people wearing bright green stickers with the slogan: "Kratom saves lives." They advocated keeping kratom legal but regulating it to ensure that it's not mixed with controlled substances and that it's not sold to minors. Bills filed in Mississippi this year would make kratom illegal. Tuesday is the deadline for House and Senate committees to consider those.
Judge Roberts sent off in style
Family, friends and colleagues filled the Pontotoc County Circuit courtroom Friday afternoon to say goodbye to Judge James Roberts. Declining health forced Roberts to bring an end to his four-decade legal career which saw him serve at every level of the judiciary. "I had intended to serve out this term and perhaps run again," Roberts told the crowd. "I have always loved Pontotoc County and y'all have been far better to me than I deserved. "I have had a wonderful time and I am grateful." The crowd packed into the courtroom was a who's who of the judiciary, legal and law enforcement communities. "He sent people to prison. He divorced people. But I have never heard a litigant say one bad thing about him," attorney Gary Carnathan said about Roberts. "I have never heard a lawyer who practiced before him say a bad thing about him. That's because he has integrity and he never forgot from whence he came."
How Coronavirus Is Already Being Viewed Through a Partisan Lens
Rob Maness, a Republican commentator, recently wrote a column, outlining his concerns about how the coronavirus outbreak could disrupt supplies of medicine. He was not ready for the backlash -- from his fellow conservatives. "I got accused of being alarmist and trying to hurt the president," said Mr. Maness, a staunch President Trump supporter, describing the response on social media. "I actually said the government's doing a pretty good job." The coronavirus does not discriminate between political parties. But as Mr. Trump and his allies have defended his actions and accused Democrats and the news media of fanning fears to "bring down the president," a growing public health crisis has turned into one more arena for bitter political battle, where facts are increasingly filtered through a partisan lens. Democrats accused Mr. Trump of failing to respond adequately to the health threat and then politicizing it instead. Katherine Foss, a media studies professor at Middle Tennessee State University who has written a book on the how the media has covered past American epidemics, said the public needs credible, useful information during a health crisis.
Stock rise sharply on Wall Street following a 7-day rout
Stocks rose sharply on Wall Street Monday, clawing back some of the losses they took in a seven-day rout brought on by worries that the coronavirus outbreak will stunt the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 700 points, while the benchmark S&P 500 climbed 2.7%, placing in on track for its best day since January 2019. The S&P 500 is coming off a weekly loss of 11.5%, its worst since October 2008 during the global financial crisis. Despite the pickup in stocks, the bond market continued to signal worries among investors, who continued to favor low-risk assets. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank announced simultaneously Monday that they are ready to help countries affected by the coronavirus through their emergency lending programs and other tools.
Super Tuesday Was Started To Nominate Moderates. It Backfired
The phrase "Super Tuesday" first emerged in 1980, when three Southern states -- Alabama, Florida and Georgia -- held their primaries on the same day. It grew to nine in 1984. But the modern-day Super Tuesday was born in 1988, with about 20 states -- including a dozen in the South, which, upset with the nomination of Walter Mondale four years earlier and frustrated with being out of power in the White House for 20 years save for one term of Jimmy Carter, banded together to try to nominate someone more moderate. It backfired. Al Gore of Tennessee and Jesse Jackson split most of the Southern states with Jackson winning black Democrats. That allowed for Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis to become the nominee after winning in the North, as well as in Florida and Texas. He, like Mondale before him, would go on to lose badly in the general election. Today, the more moderate, Southern white Democrats who concocted the Super Tuesday plan are rare in the modern Democratic Party. But the Southern states remain big players on Super Tuesday, giving more influence not to moderate whites but to black voters.
Pete Buttigieg rocketed from political obscurity to a Democratic front-runner, but failure to connect with black voters doomed his bid for president
After an improbable rise from openly gay, millennial mayor of a midsize Midwestern city with a hard-to-pronounce name to winner of the Iowa caucuses, Pete Buttigieg ended his astonishing run for president Sunday night. There were no blue-and-yellow "Pete" signs taped all over the walls, no campaign staffers signing up volunteers, no tables filled with yard signs and buttons -- just the former candidate in front of a plain wooden podium, six American flags and a few hundred of his die-hard South Bend supporters. Just as quickly as Buttigieg rocketed from political obscurity to a Democratic presidential front-runner, the former South Bend mayor promptly folded his campaign after finishing a disappointing fourth Saturday night in the South Carolina primary, where he failed to gain any foothold with an important constituency of his party -- African Americans. That shortcoming, which plagued his campaign for much of the last year, stunted Buttigieg's ability to grow his appeal wide enough with key Democratic bases needed to win the party's nomination.
Marine general orders removal of Confederate items at bases
All Confederate flags, bumper stickers and similar items must be removed from Marine Corps bases, according to a new directive from the commandant. Marine Gen. David Berger has told his commanders to begin implementing the order or develop plans to do so by Saturday. The order was included in a sweeping memo Berger sent out last week that calls for administrative changes and other reviews. They range from efforts to recruit additional women for combat jobs, restrictions on Marines convicted of domestic violence and the possible expansion of maternity leave and guidelines for pregnant service members. Berger's memo provides no details on the Confederate order, but simply directs "the removal of all Confederate-related paraphernalia from Marine Corps installations." But the plan would cover flags, signs and other Confederate symbols.
Metropolitan Opera star to bring lecture recital to The W Monday
Metropolitan Opera star Janet Hopkins will present "Confronting Social Norms Through Music," a lecture recital by mezzo-soprano Hopkins and pianist Armen Shaomian on Monday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kossen Auditorium in Poindexter Hall on the campus of Mississippi University for Women. The event is free and open to the public. The duo from the University of South Carolina will present a collection of works by living, contemporary American composers and will cover an array of themes related to political to societal issues communicated through music. "We are honored to have artists of such stature perform for our university and Columbus community," said Julia Mortyakova, chair of the Department of Music. Hopkins is also giving a masterclass to W music majors on Monday at 1 p.m. in Kossen Auditorium. This event is also free and open to the public. Hopkins is a 16-year veteran soloist of the Metropolitan opera where she performed in "Die Walkure," "Der Rosenkavalier," "Katya Kabanova," "Die Frau ohne Schatten" and "Elektra, Jenufa," among many others. She performed three tours in Japan for "Der Rosenkavalier," "Die Walkure" and "Rigoletto."
The W's fourth annual Music by Women Festival begins Thursday
Mississippi University for Women will host its fourth annual Music by Women Festival Thursday through Saturday, March 5-7. This international event is dedicated to highlighting the contributions of women composers historically as well as in the present day. As part of the festival, there will be 15 concerts spread throughout the three days, all free and open to the public. The concerts will take place at 10 a.m., noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Between the concerts, there will be concurrent lecture recitals and papers presented. The public must register to attend these sessions. All events will take place in Poindexter Hall on the W's campus. "The public is cordially invited to celebrate Women's History Month by learning more about women composers and by listening to virtuosic performances of their beautiful music," said Department of Music chair and artistic director for the Music by Women Festival Julia Mortyakova.
Proposed policy could limit faculty speech at UM
A newly proposed university policy on faculty communications, if approved, would change how faculty and staff at the University of Mississippi use social media and speak with media outlets. Faculty members are now expressing concern about how the new policy could limit free speech at UM. The draft of the policy includes directions for when faculty members interact with the media and best practices for using official and private social media accounts. The proposed policy from University Marketing and Communications (UM&C), 17 pages in total, would -- among many other changes -- allow faculty members to speak with members of the media without university approval about only research, scholarship, professional expertise or as private persons. Proposed best practices for personal social media accounts, which did not exist in the last version of UM's media policy from 2015, include linking to university content when possible and following the UM Creed in online interactions.
UM's Brown Hall to close for 2020-2021 amid dropping enrollment
After three years of declining enrollment at the University of Mississippi, multiple floors of freshman residence halls remain unoccupied, and others do not reach capacity. Brown Hall, another freshman dorm, will no longer be available to students as an on-campus living option for the 2020-2021 school year, and two floors of Crosby Hall, a female freshman residence hall, have been empty since students moved out after the 2018-2019 school year. John Yaun, the university housing director, said Brown will close for the year to maximize spaces in other residence halls and "build strong, vibrant communities." Total enrollment across all University of Mississippi regional campuses and the medical center was 22,273 students this year, which is 817 fewer students than were enrolled last year. This was a decrease of 3.5%, a higher percentage than previous years, and many current Brown Hall residents said the drop in enrollment is evident in their residence hall. "It's pretty empty," Sam Nestor, a freshman general business major, said.
Itawamba Community College, U. of West Alabama sign transfer agreement
Itawamba Community College and the University of West Alabama signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to ease the transition for qualified transfer students. The agreement, which was signed by ICC President Dr. Jay Allen and UWA President Dr. Ken Tucker, guarantees admission to all ICC students based on a 2.0 grade point average and 48 transferrable credit hours or completion of their associate's degree program at ICC. In addition, it offers pre-transfer advising offered at ICC and/or the UWA campus with an academic adviser as well as dedicates academic scholarships to ICC students with a 3.0 or higher GPA. ICC students who receive academic scholarships will also be eligible to apply for housing scholarships to assist with and encourage on-campus residency. "This agreement will allow our students new opportunities to complete their degrees at the University of West Alabama in a variety of disciplines, both within the curricula and beyond," Allen said.
Enrollment continues to grow at Pearl River Community College
Pearl River Community College continues to be the fastest growing community college in the state. A 10th Day Enrollment Report from the Mississippi Community College Board shows that PRCC has nearly 10 percent more students enrolled this spring than it did for spring of 2019. PRCC has more than 4,800 students enrolled this semester. In the fall of 2019, PRCC also outpaced other community colleges in the state in percentage of enrollment growth. "We're up about 9.5 percent now in enrollment head count, which is really bucking the trend around the State of Mississippi and around the nation," said Adam Breerwood, president of Pearl River Community College. "It's something that we're certainly proud of," Breerwood said. "I think it's a testament to our faculty, our staff, our Board of Trustees, people who are willing to accept the best practices and new strategies that can really bring out institution forward." PRCC has had eight straight semesters of enrollment growth.
Should LSU split its top university jobs? That's going under review
LSU is hiring three consultants to study whether to continue having the system president and Baton Rouge chancellor hold the same job, school officials announced Friday. The jobs, which used to be separate, were combined after a 2012 study said doing so made since. That was done when former Gov. Bobby Jindal's appointees dominated the Board of Supervisors. Gov. John Bel Edwards said in January that he favors splitting the job, and his appointees will dominate the board later this year. "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 told reporters. The study will be done by the Association of Governing Board of Universities and Colleges, or AGB. What the study will cost is unclear.
U. of Tennessee Health Science Center tuition to drop for some programs
In a bid to attract more students outside Tennessee, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is reducing out-of-state tuition at its College of Medicine and three College of Health Professions programs. Last week, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved the tuition proposal for the 2020-21 academic year that begins July 1. UTHSC says the move will attract a wider range of students and reduce their debt. "The whole point is trying to maintain and increase the diversity of students, which includes out-of-state students," said Anthony Ferrara, UTHSC's senior vice chancellor for finance and operations. "Those students bring in different experiences than Tennessee students do." UTHSC's main campus in Memphis houses the College of Medicine and College of Health Professions. The health system teaches more than 3,000 students and employs more than 6,000 people across the state.
U. of Florida accepts 14,561 freshmen to the class of 2024
Oscar Santiago Perez was shaking when he saw that he had been accepted to UF. The 17-year-old senior at Lake Gibson Senior High School lives in Lakeland but is from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. He scored a 1280 on the SAT, a 28 on the ACT and has a 4.3 GPA. He plans to study political science and eventually go to law school. He said he was working on homework when he found out, and the first person he told was his best friend, Emily, who said: "You didn't need to doubt yourself." Santiago Perez was one out of 49,401 people who applied to UF and one of 14,561 accepted, said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando. The number of applications UF receives each year is steadily climbing. Last year there were about 41,000 applicants, which means that more than 8,000 more people applied wanting to be a part of the university's class of 2024.
Texas experts react to news of warming Antarctica
In February, Antarctica hit a new record high temperature of 69.35 degrees Fahrenheit, and temperatures in North America have been about 1.5 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average, Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said. "You can't take much away from a single record temperature," he said, "but we've seen more record highs than record lows, and that goes hand-in-hand with the overall warming trend that's been observed pretty much worldwide. And, of course, there's more to come." In the state, he said, the coldest days during winter are becoming milder at a "fairly rapid rate," which is consistent with the rate at which the poles -- especially the Arctic -- is warming. The warming trends both in Texas and around the globe should not be surprising, Texas A&M atmospheric sciences professor Andrew Dessler said in the Texas A&M release. "Scientists have been predicting since the 1890s that burning fossil fuels will warm the planet," he said.
Think Flash Floods Are Bad? Buckle Up for Flash Droughts
In late spring of 2012, climactic chaos descended upon the Midwest and Great Plains in the midst of the growing season. A drought is supposed to unfold on a timeline of seasons to years, but in the two weeks between June 12 and 26, the High Plains went from what a monitoring group called "abnormally dry" to "severe drought." The affected area ballooned from covering 30 percent of the continental US in May to over 60 percent by August, with the agricultural losses tallying in the tens of billions of dollars. The region had crashed into a "flash" drought---think of it like a flash flood, only far bigger and therefore far more consequential. It's a phenomenon science is just beginning to understand, let alone predict. But today in the journal Nature Climate Change, two dozen researchers -- atmospheric scientists, computer scientists, climate scientists, and more -- are publishing a perspective piece trying to get their community to agree on a standard definition for a flash drought, and to set research priorities for the future. Why, for instance, do flash droughts happen in the first place? How can scientists get better at predicting them and giving water managers warning? And if climate change is making the world drier in general, what does that mean for flash droughts?
U. of Missouri bans travel to South Korea over coronavirus concerns
The University of Missouri is canceling all university-sponsored study and exchange travel to South Korea as that country fights a growing epidemic of the coronavirus that has raised international health concerns. The decision to cancel travel to South Korea came Thursday, after the Centers for Disease Control issued a Level 3 travel warning asking U.S. citizens to avoid unnecessary travel to that country, university spokesman Christian Basi said. "People are making decisions on summer and study abroad trips, so we had to suspend and cancel those trips for the upcoming summer," Basi said. The university had already halted travel to China because of the coronavirus and that ban will remain in place indefinitely, Basi said. Health officials are urging people to use good hygiene to combat the spread of coronavirus and other diseases such as the flu. The university is taking steps to make hand sanitizer available in more locations and to provide free supplies, Basi said.
New vice chancellor for health affairs named at U. of Missouri
Richard Barohn was named Friday as the new University of Missouri Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. Barohn, chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas, will oversee both MU Health Care and the MU School of Medicine, according to a news release from UM System President Mun Choi and MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright. The position seeks to synergize the two entities and to strengthen their missions of education, research and outreach to the rest of the state, MU spokesperson Christian Basi said. The School of Medicine will report to both Barohn and Provost Latha Ramchand while MU Health Care will report to Barohn alone. Barohn's start date is July 1. He will be paid $780,000 annually, Basi said. Barohn was selected after a nationwide search. He has held his KU neurology chair for 16 years and since 2014 also has been the director of KU's Research Institute and the vice chancellor for research.
Lamar Alexander wants Higher Education Act deal within a month
Senator Lamar Alexander is seeing time ticking down on passing a rewrite of the nation's main higher education law this year, and during his career. Though he didn't say it is a drop-dead deadline, the Tennessee Republican and chair of the Senate's education committee said in little-noticed remarks two weeks ago before a group of community college trustees that he wants to have a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act passed by his committee by the end of March -- or only about a month from now. The goal was in recognition of the fact that even after it passes the committee, the first revamp of the law since 2008 would have a long path to reach President Trump's desk by the end of the year. "I think we can make some progress if we get out of our committee by the end of March," he said of working with Washington senator Patty Murray on the bill, according to a transcript made available by his staff of his Feb. 11 remarks at the Association of Community College Trustees' annual legislative summit.
Presidential candidates promise billions to HBCUs in outreach to black voters
In their final stops in North Carolina before Tuesday's primary, Democratic presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden opted for appearances at historically black colleges and universities. It's just the latest example of the importance presidential campaigns have placed on HBCUs and on voters who care about the institutions, including students, administrators and a highly connected and engaged alumni base. All of the major Democratic candidates and President Donald Trump have released plans that include policies for helping the schools. North Carolina is home to 11 HBCUs. "I don't know if I've ever seen as many candidates, the ones who are still in it, making that big a focal point because they understand the power of the African-American vote, which is very, very important," said Harry L. Williams, president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a member organization for historically black colleges. "But going to the campuses because those campuses represent the heart of the African-American community sends another positive message that these schools are important to the country."
Colleges report student exposures to coronavirus, American Physical Society cancels annual meeting
Colleges continue to grapple with how to respond to the new coronavirus, COVID-19, as public health officials report community spread of the virus in California, Oregon and Washington State. There are more than 87,000 confirmed cases globally and, as of Sunday afternoon, 73 in the U.S. Over the weekend health authorities announced the first two deaths in the U.S. from the virus, both in the Seattle area. Several colleges on the West Coast reported that students had potentially been exposed to the virus. Academic events have been canceled, most notably the American Physical Society annual meeting, which, with 10,000 expected attendees, is the largest annual convening of physicists worldwide. Many colleges have continued recalling students and faculty from travel to countries with high levels of community transmission -- most notably China, where the virus originated, as well as South Korea, Italy and Japan -- and are in some cases urging individuals to self-quarantine or refrain from coming to campus upon their return to the U.S.
How to Make College a Better Bet for More People
Going to college can change the course of someone's life. And yet the American higher-education system waylays a lot of students. It is deeply stratified. And for many people, it remains out of reach entirely. Some signs point to growing opportunity. Students in the lowest income bracket are more likely to enroll in college right out of high school than they used to be. That proportion has gone from a third to about half in the last 30 years. But income still has an enormous influence on whether someone goes to college -- and whether that person graduates. Educators, policy makers, and funders have all started talking more about social mobility, but are they pulling the right levers? The "free college" movement doesn't fully reckon with why going is unaffordable for many people. Lists of best practices to close achievement gaps don't often include the simple communication and guidance that could make a difference. Attention to first-generation students misses the question of why the system doesn't serve more working parents.
US successfully planned for the 'endless frontier' of science research in 1945 -- now it's time to plan the next 75 years
The U.S. has been the most productive country for science and technology for decades. Many of the basic policy tenets that supported American prowess date back 75 years, to a document called "Science: The Endless Frontier." Released by the first U.S. presidential science adviser, engineer Vannevar Bush, just two weeks before the Hiroshima bombing in 1945, it would become the blueprint for postwar science. "The Endless Frontier" led scientists to successfully advocate for federal scientific funding and a separation between science policy and politics. They argued that if science could win wars, it could also help maintain peace. The report advocated that governmental, industrial and academic research can accomplish far more in partnership than in isolation. It led to the development of the modern American research university, the National Science Foundation and increased government funding for science research, which rose by more than a factor of 10 from the 1940s to 1960s. But many facets of the plan aren't working anymore, and the structural framework laid out in "The Endless Frontier" needs refreshing for 2020.
Gang bill could curtail legislators' efforts to reduce size of prison population
Bobby Harrison writes for Mississippi Today: As various bills make their way through the legislative process that could result in more paroles and a reduction in Mississippi's prison population -- now about 19,000 -- at least one proposal is being considered that some argue could impede those efforts. It is almost as if the Legislature has a split personality as it relates to criminal justice issues. Perhaps the most significant effort to reduce the prison population is a proposal to lessen the impact of the state's habitual criminal laws where people receive "extreme sentences" for three convictions. Often the convictions are all non-violent. Mississippi's habitual criminal laws have resulted in 78 people convicted solely of drug charges facing life sentences or 4,686 cumulative years in prison at a cost of $70 million, according to the conservative leaning Empower Mississippi based on statistics from the summer of 2019. Black males make up 75 percent of those convicted to 20 years or more under the habitual criminal laws.

Aliyah Matharu's career day guides Mississippi State to win over Ole Miss
Crashing into the floor upon her release, Matharu sat just inches from the Mississippi State bench as she watched her shot splash through the netting on the west side of The Pavilion. Finishing with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting, it was Matharu that helped MSU (25-5, 13-3 SEC) to a 84-59 win over Ole Miss (7-21, 0-16 SEC) in Oxford Sunday. With the victory, MSU has now won 13-straight over Ole Miss dating back to 2014. "After the Arkansas game I couldn't string it together, I couldn't stay in front of Jordan (Danberry) in practice," Matharu said of the days leading up to Sunday. "I was struggling trying to keep her in front of me but then we started doing more defensive drills and eventually before practice was over I got a couple of stops where I got into a flow. So I just tried to just focus on my defense because (the offense will) come. My teammates play a big role in getting me the shots I get so I just tried to focus on my defense."
Aliyah Matharu's career day propels Mississippi State to big win over Ole Miss
Aliyah Matharu is heating up at the right time. March has been kind to Mississippi State over the last few years, and that's been the case because the Bulldogs have had players elevate their game when it matters most. The Victoria Vivians, Morgan Williams and Teaira McCowans of the world certainly did. Matharu is just a freshman, but she's showing why maybe she will have her March moments a lot earlier than the aforementioned players had theirs. With Mississippi State locked in a tight game with an Ole Miss team that has not won an SEC game this season, Matharu appeared to have had enough. She popped a three, stole the ensuing inbounds pass and dished an assist. She recorded another steal 15 seconds later and scored on a layup. Then she nailed another three with five seconds left in the half for good measure. With Matharu leading the charge, Mississippi State turned a two-point deficit into a 12-point halftime lead in less than three minutes. The No. 9 Bulldogs went on to win the regular season finale, 84-59. It marked MSU's 13th win in a row over Ole Miss (7-22, 0-16 SEC).
Mississippi State, Ole Miss women's basketball coaches discuss rivalry
The scoreboard hanging dozens of feet above her head Sunday showed that her team lost by 25 points to cap an 0-16 season in conference play. The other team walking off Craddock Court at The Pavilion had just won 13 or more SEC games for the fourth-straight season. It had also just beaten its Sunday opponent for the 13th straight time. The first team is Ole Miss, coached by Yolett Mcphee-McCuin. The second is Mississippi State, coached by Vic Schaefer. McPhee-McCuin, well aware of the circumstances, still grabbed the microphone to tell the fans who showed up -- a vast majority of which were wearing maroon and white in enemy territory -- to watch the No. 9 Bulldogs beat the Rebels 84-59 that the rivalry would soon be a much more competitive one. "I would like to think that I have his respect," said McPhee-McCuin of Schaefer in the postgame press conference. "He had nice things to say to me at the end of the game. He knows what's going on and where we're going. I'm sure he's anticipating the rivalry to be a little bit more spicy in the future." Does Schaefer feel the same way? "I have no idea," he said. "I'm too worried about what I'm doing."
This is Vic Schaefer's best coaching job yet
Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: This time last year, Vic Schaefer was bidding farewell -- or so he thought -- to four senior starters who had helped the Bulldogs women's basketball program become an established national powerhouse. One of those senior starters was a mountain named Teaira McCowan, the most dominant post player in the sport. After two consecutive Final Fours and a remarkable 132 victories over four seasons, there seemed plenty reason to expect a dramatic nosedive from all that success. In McCowan and Anriel Howard, Schaefer was losing 33 points and 22 rebounds per game. But that nosedive has not happened. Not at all. ... You can make the case -- and I will -- that this is the best coaching job Schaefer has done since he came to State in 2012. Think about it: He did have to replace three players who started all 36 games a year ago. The average age of this year's State squad, says Schaefer, is 19. That's what you expect to have at Hinds Community College, not the SEC.
Bulldogs grind out road victory against Tigers
The figurative bubble for the Mississippi State men's basketball team keeps floating upward. MSU (19-10, 10-6 SEC) picked up its second crucial victory of the week, knocking off Missouri 67-63 Saturday on the road. It was a far cry from the 27-point win the Bulldogs amassed over the Tigers in their January matchup in Starkville, but with MSU sitting in ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi's first four out entering the contest, coach Ben Howland will take the victory nonetheless. "I'm really happy for our team," Howland said. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 10-6 in Southeastern Conference play. The 10 conference wins ties the most in a single season in the Ben Howland era. On the flip side, it was Missouri's (14-15, 6-10) first loss at home in a little more than a month. MSU also controls its own destiny for a double-bye in the SEC tournament.
Tyson Carter helps Mississippi State beat Missouri 67-63
Mississippi State's double-digit lead dwindled to two points in the final minute, and the team needed a steady hand to close out the game. Tyson Carter, who scored a game-high 15 points, provided it. Carter scored the Bulldogs' final four points in a 67-63 victory over Missouri on Saturday afternoon. "Tyson Carter was masterful down the stretch," Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. "If you go back and look at our game at Arkansas, he was incredible. Against South Carolina at home, he was great. Again today, we were giving him the ball and letting him make plays down the stretch." With the Bulldogs (19-10, 10-6 Southeastern Conference) leading 63-61 with 45 seconds left, Carter drove into the lane from the left wing and finished with a finger-roll layup. "They had cut it to a one-possession game," Carter said. "I wanted to make a play. When I got into the lane, I saw it open up a little bit, so I just took it to the basket."
Bubble won't burst: Mississippi State reaches 10 SEC wins by beating Missouri
As outside temperatures rose in Mississippi on Saturday, Mississippi State was red hot in Missouri. The Bulldogs tipped off in Columbia needing another road victory to stay in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament berth, and they got it. Sparked by one of the team's best shooting halves of the season, Mississippi State beat Missouri, 67-63, to remain in the thick of the tournament conversation entering the final week of the regular season. The Bulldogs (19-10, 10-6 SEC) have lived on the bubble for quite some time now. They went into Saturday's game with just three regular season games left on the schedule, and none of them being against tournament-bound opponents. Winning all three of them was essentially a must. So far, so good.
Bulldogs drop finale at Long Beach State
A couple of first inning runs gave the Mississippi State baseball program an early lead but host Long Beach State chipped away and eventually grabbed a 6-2 victory in the series finale at Blair Field on Sunday. "Today was a tough, hard-nosed game," MSU coach Chris Lemonis said in a news release. "Long Beach State really pitched and played defense today. After the way we swung the bat yesterday and the way it was going [in the first inning], I thought we might get on track early today, but you have to tip your hat to their guys for battling back." After Mississippi State (7-4) took an early lead with two runs in the first, Long Beach State (8-3) scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game. A pair of unearned runs in the fourth inning gave the Dirtbags the lead, before single runs in the seventh and eighth innings accounted for the final margin of the series finale.
Alabama will start selling LSU license plates next month
Talk about your ultimate troll... Starting next month, fans of the LSU Tigers who live in Alabama will be able to purchase their own specialty license plate through the Alabama Department of Revenue. The license plate honoring the current college football National Champions will have a white background with a purple square with LSU written in gold on the side. Two-hundred and fifty pre-commitments were required before the license plate could be printed. The plates may be personalized and will cost an additional $50. Alabama will get some benefit from the tags – the $50 will go to the state's general fund. LSU isn't the only out-of-state university with Alabama license plates. Fans of Florida State University, Mississippi State University, University of Georgia and University of Mississippi can also purchase official license plates supporting their teams.

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