Friday, May 6, 2016   
Mississippi State engineering students earn national awards in EcoCAR competitions
Students from Mississippi State University are working on some of the most important automotive engineering problems of today by participating in the national EcoCAR3 competition that challenges teams from 16 universities in North America to be the most efficient and innovative in improving hybrid vehicle energy efficiency while reducing emissions and maintaining performance. "Our EcoCAR teams are on the cutting edge of technology," said EcoCAR alumni Matthew Doude, program manager-powertrain engineering and business development officer for the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) at MSU. Today, Doude manages a number of projects relating to hybrid and autonomous driving technology. He says his current career trajectory is entirely because of the start he got with EcoCAR.
Boeing's Insitu unit opens Mississippi R&D center
Boeing's unmanned aerial vehicle unit Insitu, based in Bingen, Wash., has opened a new facility at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. The facility will employ 23 people to support engineering, software development and customer-support services. The university is home to a Federal Aviation Administration center of excellence for unmanned aerial systems, set up to partner with technology companies on research initiatives. Insitu chief executive Ryan Hartman said the Boeing unit is "investing time, talent and resources in Mississippi to develop industry-leading technology that can safely operate in the National Airspace System."
Mississippi State seeking pet dogs for new study
Mississippi State University is looking for pet dogs to enroll in a new study. Researchers in the school's College of Veterinary Medicine plan to work with local veterinarians to find ways to manage chronic diarrhea in dogs. Dog owners who are interested are asked to contact their vet and mention the MSU chronic diarrhea study. The owners do not have to bring their pets to Starkville. The study will cover the cost of diagnosis and treatment. To be eligible, the dog must not have been treated for diarrhea-related issues for two weeks prior to enrollment.
USDA Announces $15.6 Million in Grants to Strengthen Rural Communities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $15.6 million in grants -- including $149,974 to Mississippi State University -- to increase prosperity in rural America through research, education, and extension programs focused on promoting rural community development, economic growth, and sustainability. These grants were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational program, administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The AFRI Foundational Program supports projects that sustain and enhance agricultural and related activities in rural areas and to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and alleviate poverty.
Egburt 2.0 takes Internet of Things to next level for Research Park-based Camgian
Egburt 2.0 is out. Camgian Microsystems' star participant in the "Internet of Things," the fourth generation of the Internet, has been improved and will soon be running smart infrastructure for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Ohio River, said Gary Butler, chairman and chief executive officer. Egburt was introduced in October 2014 and has been used in retail settings to monitor customer-traffic patterns and thus more-effective product placement, as well as tracking heating and cooling systems to maximize efficiency. As a result, Compass Intelligence named it the 2015 IoT Innovative Product of the Year. Now comes son of Egburt. Founded in 2006, it is an engineer-heavy company that recruits most of its talent from Mississippi State University.
Camgian's Prowl on the move with expansion
Prowl is on the move for Starkville-based technology firm Camgian Microsystems. Considered by analysts as one of the top technology companies in the nation, it is opening sales and marketing offices in Tampa, Fla., and San Diego to increase the market for the Prowl radar system, said Chief Executive Gary Butler. The product is a "very small, low-power radar system that is used for force protection ...around critical operational infrastructure provide real-time tracking of human and vehicle targets." "It's been a great success for us," Butler said. Camgian is one of three companies in the state that build radar-protection systems.
Zika in Mississippi: Are we prepared?
As Zika concerns sweep through the nation, the South is bracing for a wave coming in from the Gulf. According to the Center for Disease Control, the aedes aegypti and the aedes albopictus can transmit Zika. Jerome Goddard, extension professor of Medical and Veterinary Entomology at Mississippi State University, said there is an abundance of the aedes albopictus in the state. Goddard said there are likely "small pockets" of the aedes aegypti in the state as well. However, officials with the Mississippi State Department of Health claim that the aedes aegypti hasn't been in the state since the 1980s. MSDH is working with MSU and the University of Southern Mississippi to conduct a county by county statewide assessment of mosquitoes.
Law enforcement: Beware of IRS scam, mailbox theft
Two local law enforcement agencies are warning residents to be aware of scammers posing as Internal Revenue Agency employees. Law enforcement also informed residents of some incidents of mail theft. Oktibbeha County Sheriff Steve Gladney said his agency has received multiple complaints of scammers calling residents and threatening legal action if they do not pay their tax bill. The Starkville Police Department is investigating a rash of mail thefts in the Sherwood Forest area, the department announced in press release Wednesday. Numerous checks have been stolen, altered and cashed, it states.
Second man arrested in Cotton District rape, assault
A McCool man was arrested in connection to a Sunday rape and assault in the Cotton District. Starkville Police Department charged Jerry Lee Talley Jr., 29, with felony rape, robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault charges stemming from an incident that occurred on Maxwell Street. His combined bond was set at $1.1 million, and he was transported to the Choctaw County Jail. Similar charges were filed against Terry Lamont Hill, 42, of West Point. Hill's bond was also set at $1.1 million.
Securities and Exchange Commission launches probe of Mississippi Power over Kemper plant
The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into Mississippi Power and its parent, Southern Co., over the power plant under construction in Kemper County, Southern Co. said in a federal filing. The filing said the probe is looking into the estimated costs, which have skyrocketed, and the expected in-service date of the Kemper County plant, which has changed several times during construction. Jeff Shepard, Mississippi Power spokesman, said in a statement Thursday, "The company started to pick up indications that public awareness of the investigation had matured to a point that, in our judgment, it should be disclosed."
Speaker Paul Ryan 'Not Ready' to Support Donald Trump
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said on Thursday that he cannot support or endorse presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at this time. "I'm just not ready to do that at this point," Ryan said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "I think he needs to do more to unify this party." For months, Ryan has insisted that he needed to stay neutral in the presidential race because of his role as chairman of the Republican National Convention. His comments on Thursday drew a similarly negative response from Trump. Trump needs to prove to Republicans from all wings of the party that he can be their standard bearer, Ryan said.
Mary Matalin, GOP strategist, switches to Libertarian Party
Mary Matalin registered as a Libertarian on Thursday, the Republican strategist and New Orleans resident said on MSNBC's "With All Due Respect." "The Libertarian Party continues to represent those constitutional principles that I agree with," Matalin told the show's panel. Matalin, who is married to former Bill Clinton adviser James Carville, didn't connect her switch of parties with the rise of Donald Trump as the GOP's presumptive nominee. She insisted she was a "provisional Trumpster" and said, "I will never vote for Hillary."
In South, defiance on bathroom laws shows signs of wavering
When the United States Justice Department took aim at North Carolina's transgender "bathroom law" Wednesday, state House Speaker Tim Moore didn't mince words. "We're not going to get bullied by the Obama administration," he told reporters Thursday. "That's not how this works." But there are signs -- both within his state and without -- that such defiance in defense of bathroom bills throughout the South might not work, either. The Justice Department letter, claiming that North Carolina's House Bill 2 violated federal civil rights protections, has begun to flip the chessboard. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who last month signed into law a bill allowing municipalities to set "sex-specific standards" for their "intimate facilities," also told reporters that he's aware that the Justice Department letter puts his state on notice.
GOP states benefiting from shift to wind and solar energy
If there's a War on Coal, it's increasingly clear which side is winning. Wind turbines and solar panels accounted for more than two-thirds of all new electric generation capacity added to the nation's grid in 2015, according to a recent analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy. The remaining third was largely new power plants fueled by natural gas, which has become cheap and plentiful as a result of hydraulic fracturing. And while Republican lawmakers in Washington have fought to protect coal-fired power plants, opposing President Barack Obama's efforts to curtail climate-warming carbon emissions, data show their home states are often the ones benefiting most from the nation's accelerating shift to renewable energy.
U.S. employment slows as only 160,000 jobs created in April, joblessness rate at 5 percent
The U.S. added 160,000 jobs in April, new government data showed Friday morning, the weakest pace of hiring in seven months. Though the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent, Friday's jobs data provided an unexpectedly downcast signal about the nation's labor market: A surge of Americans dropped out of the workforce and hiring in several key industries, including construction and manufacturing, all but stalled. The deceleration in jobs growth provides the first potential signal that broader economic sluggishness -- the result of thinned corporate profits and cautious business and consumer spending -- could be spilling into the labor market.
On Your Side Investigation: Missing inventory from U. of Southern Mississippi, community colleges
Mississippi publicly funded colleges and universities are required by law to track missing inventory, which is purchased using taxpayer dollars and tuition. From 2013 to 2015, the University of Southern Mississippi has reported 283 missing items that were purchased at more than $400,000. Through a public records request, WDAM 7 found that five handheld radios, over 100 computers and several sets of cubicles were just some of the hundreds of items reported missing. USM Chief Communication Officer Jim Coll said missing inventory is normal. "Yes, I would expect, we have 27,000 items that are assigned to thousands of individuals across many locations all across South Mississippi," he said.
Hundreds support fired William Carey University professor
More than 500 people have signed a petition in support of a William Carey University religion and history professor who was fired this week, despite his tenured status. The petition calls for the university to make an apology to Daniel Browning for the "impersonal and uncivil manner" in which he was treated or to renew "Dr. Browning's contract and restore him to the classes he has been obliged to relinquish in the past couple of years." University officials would not confirm Browning's status. "William Carey University cannot comment on personnel issues," said President Tommy King, in an email.
Beekeeper gets honey of a deal from East Mississippi Community College carpentry program
A beekeeper looking to take the sting out of the purchase price for boxes needed to ship his honey bees turned to the Residential Carpentry Technology program at East Mississippi Community College's West Point campus. Terry Craig said he could find no one who builds shipping cages for package bees for sale locally. In the past he has purchased them from a vendor out of state for $15 a box. It cost Craig another $7 per box for shipment to his West Point home. Hoping for a more cost-effective alternative, Craig approached EMCC carpentry instructor Johnny Duren and asked for his help. "Johnny told me he could build them for between $3 and $5 a box, which is great," Craig said. "And there are no shipping costs."
Job prospects up for college grads; over 50% of hirers will pay $30K-plus salaries
There's good news for this year's college graduates: Job prospects for new workers are looking better than they have since the recession. Employers are increasingly seeking recent college grads to join their ranks, according to nationwide surveys. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that companies plan to hire 5.2 percent more recent graduates this year than in 2015. "Our on-campus recruiting has been up this year," said Amanda Ingram, director of operations for the University of Alabama Career Center. Job fairs held on campus saw 10 percent more participation by employers during the 2015-2016 academic year, she said. "College recruiting has picked up since the recession," she said. "I think it will continue to be strong."
Twitter executive, retired Army general speaking at Auburn's spring commencement
A Twitter executive and a retired Army general, both Auburn graduates, will be guest speakers at Auburn University's spring commencement ceremonies Saturday and Sunday in Auburn Arena. Approximately 3,793 graduates will receive diplomas. Twitter Vice President of Data Strategy Chris Moody will speak Saturday at a 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Human Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and at a 2 p.m. ceremony for the School of Nursing, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. Retired Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who stepped down from his post May 1 having served most recently as commander of U.S. Central Command, will speak Sunday at a 1 p.m. ceremony for the College of Agriculture, the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and University College and at a 5 p.m. ceremony for the College of Sciences and Mathematics, the College of Education and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
LSU claims former Tiger Band director fired for improper scholarships to Golden Girls
LSU faulted the former head of the Golden Band from Tigerland for awarding scholarships to the Golden Girls and the Color Guard without proper approval, according to an internal audit released Thursday at The Advocate's request. Roy King, who had been in Tiger Band as a student and had been employed at LSU since June 1998, was fired April 19. He filed a lawsuit last week. The audit cited six different issues, in which LSU claims King violated policy. In addition to allegations that King circumvented management directives, LSU claims he is unable to account for $5,429 in university funds. King's lawyer, Jill Craft, said this was all about the marching band director refusing to quietly go along with redirecting a $50,000 contribution from supporting the band to paying for programs in the School of Music.
Head of U. of Florida's Citra unit still on leave, but trespass warning has been lifted
The director of research at the University of Florida's Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra was issued a trespass warning Tuesday for that property and all UF facilities in the state. Daniel Lamar Colvin, 56, was also placed on paid administrative leave. UF spokesman John Hines said the trespass warning was lifted on Thursday but Colvin remained on leave. According to an MCSO report, Deputy Jesse J. Lockhart went to the Citra location and talked with Jacqueline Burns, dean of research at UF. Burns told the deputy she contacted the UPD in reference to Colvin storing a handgun in his desk on university property. Burns said Colvin had been placed on administrative leave that morning in connection with an unrelated incident.
U. of Florida plant researcher elected to National Academy of Sciences
University of Florida professor and plant researcher Pam Soltis is now a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The nonprofit organization of leading researchers announced this week that Soltis was among the 84 new members joining their ranks. Soltis, a distinguished professor and the curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History's Laboratory of Molecular Systematics & Evolutionary Genetics, has spent years studying plant evolution through tools such as genome sequencing. She is the director of the UF Biodiversity Institute, which has a mission to research ways to ensure that the mix of plants, animals and insects in a geographical area promote its "environmental health."
U. of Missouri gets $3 million for regenerative orthopedic research
A $3 million donation will fund new regenerative orthopedic research at the University of Missouri. MU officials held a news conference Thursday to announce the pledge from the Thompson Foundation, which was created by William and Nancy Thompson. The money will create the Thompson Center for Regenerative Orthopaedics, where researchers will study ways to help people with joint replacements return to normal activity sooner, lower costs and improve access to health care, interim Chancellor Hank Foley said. The donation pushed the university toward its $1.3 billion fundraising goal as part of the "Mizzou: Our Time to Lead" campaign. With $730 million in donations as of Monday, the university is on track to raise more funds in 2016 than it has in any other year, Foley said.
Jewish group faults U. of Missouri's anti-Semitism response
The University of Missouri downplayed incidents of anti-Semitism while publicly condemning bigotry against racial minorities during protests last year, a Jewish human rights group told the university system's top administrator. In a letter this week to Interim UM System President Mike Middleton, officials with the Simon Wiesenthal Center said the university vocally decried incidents targeting minority students, but those targeting Jewish students got little mention. "The perception now is that Mizzou is missing in action when it comes to defending the rights of the Jewish campus community," Rabbi Meyer May, the center's executive director, and Aron Hier, its campus outreach chief, wrote to Middleton. The center's letter comes two months after administrators condemned the latest of four cases of anti-Semitic graffiti in Columbia dormitories in less than a year.
Study: Graduate students may take on unnecessary postdocs
Every postdoctoral fellow has probably heard a "permadoc" joke or two, making light of the increasingly long stints recent Ph.D.s spend in such positions. But has the postdoc become the default for graduates -- even for those for whom it doesn't necessarily make sense? Has it become a holding pattern rather than a bridge to more permanent work? A new study in Science by two business professors suggests that's the case and calls for increased attention to career planning among students, mentors, graduate schools and those funding postdocs. That's not just during graduate school, but before one even applies.
But Will It Be Amazing? What Donald Trump Has Said About Education
Real estate executive Donald Trump has taken a huge and possibly decisive step towards becoming the Republican nominee for president, after winning the Indiana GOP primary Tuesday and seeing his chief rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, suspend his campaign. What's less certain? Trump's views on education policy. He hasn't spoken at great length about the topic at any one time, and he doesn't have the kind of record on the issue that say, a former governor would. But over the course of the campaign, Education Week has followed his statements about K-12. Read on for a round-up of its reporting on Trump as a presidential candidate.

Mississippi State's Dakota Hudson returns to All-American form with 11 Ks vs. Mizzou
In a game full of cheers from the 6,630 in attendance at Dudy Noble Field on Thursday, a chorus of boos drew smiles from Mississippi State after its 8-2 win against Missouri. Pitching coach Wes Johnson emerged from the dugout with one out in the ninth inning. Dakota Hudson waited on the mound, 104 pitches deep and already a career-high 11 strikeouts. Johnson's appearance drew heckles from the crowd. The jeers didn't go unnoticed. "They're booing you coach, there's a reason for that," Hudson told Johnson. Hudson walked off the mound to one of the loudest ovations of the night. The dominant performance backed up strong bullpen sessions by the right-hander the last two weeks.
Dakota Hudson K's 11 in win for Bulldogs
It was hard to tell which aspect of Mississippi State's 8-2 victory over Missouri was more impressive on Thursday night. The fourth-ranked Diamond Dogs tied a season-high collecting 19 hits while ace Dakota Hudson tied a career-best with 11 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings on the mound. "We need everybody," said MSU skipper John Cohen. "We need all pistons to be firing at the same time because in this stretch run these games are critical to help us achieve the goals that we want to achieve." Hudson did not issue a walk as he improved to 7-3 while scattering seven hits and giving up one earned run.
Hudson, Lowe lead No. 4 Mississippi State past Mizzou
A five-hit night by Nathaniel Lowe and a four-hit night by Jake Mangum led the way as No. 4 Mississippi State beat Missouri 8-2 in the opening game of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series Thursday night at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs matched a season high with 19 hits and rode another strong performance from junior right-hander Dakota Hudson to win the opening game of a conference series for the sixth time in eight weekends. "The ball came out of Dakota's hand differently tonight, he was outstanding," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We had a lot of production from our batting order. Top three in the lineup had 11 hits. We pitched it very well. You do that you win games in this league."
Ole Miss, LSU, others head to Gulf Coast for satellite camp
South Mississippi is getting into the satellite camp game. Michigan's Jim Harbaugh fought the good fight and now that the NCAA has rescinded its ban, SEC programs are all-in on camping on the Coast. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is taking advantage of the newly legal camps with its own "elite" camp. Four SEC programs will be among the 11 Division I programs in Perkinston on June 3. Joining the Gulf Coast Bulldogs will be Ole Miss, Auburn, Missouri and LSU. "Colleges were looking to explore opportunities to get into areas that might allow them to see kids that they might not get onto campus, which is what these camps are for," Gulf Coast coach Chad Huff told the Sun Herald on Thursday.
After Briscoe arrest, UGA makes sure players have driver licenses
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said it is "yet to be determined" if cornerback Juwuan Briscoe will miss any games as a result of his arrest last month. Briscoe was arrested last month on two misdemeanor traffic charges, including driving without a license. He also was charged with speeding. In the past, Georgia athletes have not been suspended for similar charges, though in those cases the athletes did have a license, it was just suspended. Briscoe's arrest resulted in the football program discovering "some" other players who also didn't have a driver's license, which has "now been corrected," Smart added.
Can Matthew Mitchell survive as U. of Kentucky women's basketball coach?
Two years into his tenure as Kentucky women's basketball coach, Matthew Mitchell felt like his job was in danger of slipping away. At the time, Mitchell's record as UK Hoops head man was 33-32 with no NCAA Tournament trips. Motivated by a sense of desperation, Mitchell came up with a playing style -- up-tempo, guard-oriented, full-court pressing -- that not only saved his job. It launched Kentucky to the best sustained run in its women's basketball history: seven straight NCAA Tournaments, five trips to the round of 16, three Elite Eights. Yet that early-career adversity seems like a mere divot compared to the Grand Canyon of a challenge Mitchell currently faces.
Eric Shore retiring as Auburn men's tennis coach
Eric Shore, who has served as Auburn's men's tennis coach the last 26 seasons, is retiring announced Athletics Director Jay Jacobs. The winningest coach in the program's history, Shore compiled a 359-293 record. He will assist with the men's program until his replacement has been hired. Under Shore's leadership, Auburn made 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, including five Top 15 finishes. His teams made three Sweet 16 appearances and two Elite Eight appearances. "I appreciate and thank Eric for his long-time service to the Auburn men's tennis program and Auburn Athletics," Jacobs said. "He is Auburn men's tennis."
Beach Volleyball Rises in Shifting Sands of College Sports
The members of Georgia State's beach volleyball team attended virtually every one of their university's home football games last fall. It was a gesture of support, but also of gratitude. "We wouldn't be here if they hadn't started it," the senior Alexis Townsend said. What she meant is that when Georgia State created a football team in 2010, that put an immediate strain on athletic department finances but also required a rebalancing to comply with Title IX, the federal law mandating gender equity in higher education. A result was that Georgia State dropped its men's cross-country and track and field programs, and added one in the nascent women's sport of beach volleyball. Beach volleyball, a sport that enters the wider public consciousness every four years at the Summer Olympics, is now a fast-growing N.C.A.A. sport.

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