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What They’re Saying: #SECMD15

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 10:11pm
What They're Saying: #SECMD15

RECAP: Football Attends #SECMD15

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 7:19pm
HOOVER, Ala. – Head coach Dan Mullen and three stars of the 2015 Mississippi State football team attended the annual Southeastern Conference Media Days Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Branch excited for Lea County fair

Twisted Rodeo - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:10pm

LOVINGTON, N.M. – As fairgoers are making plans for the annual Lea County Fair and Rodeo, the staffs at the Tate Branch Auto Group dealerships in Hobbs, Carlsbad and Artesia are making plans themselves.

In addition to being the presenting sponsor for the annual exposition, the Tate Branch team has numerous plans scheduled during the nine-day fair, scheduled for Friday, July 31-Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington.

Lea County Fair Logo“We are having our second annual ‘All RAM No Bull’ off-site sale in Lovington that week,” said Joby Houghtaling, chief managing officer for the auto group. “On the last day of the fair and rodeo, we will have a major blowout with lots of prizes to be given away, including a Sea Doo boat as the grand prize at our off-site sale.”

The many pieces have all come together to mark the 80th anniversary of the fair and rodeo, which has been recognized as one of the largest expos in the region. Fairgoers from all across New Mexico and Texas may their way to Lovington every August to take in all the events, including top-named concerts, carnival, livestock shows, daily entertainers and one of the top rodeos in the country.

A big part of the event’s success is because of the community support from a variety of local sponsors, and Tate Branch Auto Group is the largest.

“I feel like I’m very, very blessed,” said Tate Branch, the auto group’s owner. “I feel like I’m in a position that God has blessed me, and this is one way I could give back.”

It’s because of the relationship between the dealerships and the fair that there is such a wide variety of activities that take place in Lea County that week.

In addition, the Tate Branch Auto Group also sponsors several levels of rodeo, including seven top cowboys: tie-down roping brothers Clif and Clint Cooper and their legendary father, Roy Cooper; steer roper Marty Jones; and team roping twins Jake and Jim Ross Cooper; and two-time world champion saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy.

“We’re going to have one of the area’s top radio station doing a morning show on site at our sale Tuesday-Friday of fair week, and we are going to try to have all the ‘Riding for the Brand’ cowboys at the morning shows. We plan to have them be available for autographs and pictures with the public.”

Those appearances are one aspect of reaching out and giving back to consumers that sets the Tate Branch Auto Group apart from most dealerships. Houghtaling, Branch and the rest of the staff realize that there is something special happening at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo and want everyone to enjoy all the festivities.

“We have always believed with the three dealerships that there is an importance to being involved in the community and giving back to the community,” said Branch, who, like Houghtaling, grew up in southeastern New Mexico. “We are very family oriented and community oriented.”

It rings true every August.

Tate Branch-logo

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

NPF Q&A - Alison Owen

Bulldog Beat - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 11:49am
NPF Q&A - Alison Owen

How to Make Dating Less Difficult Than It Has to Be

Lifestyles - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 11:26am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Dating has never been easy, but it only gets more difficult with age. Never mind the whole getting-to-know-you thing, the Internet has created a world where every foible, every flaw, every thing (literally and figuratively) is on display for the world to nitpick, including potential dating partners, to see.

"Surviving any worst-case scenario comes down to not panicking, having a plan and ultimately being prepared," David Borgenicht, author of The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Sur-vival Handbook: Dating & Sex, told the Chicago Tribune in an interview. "And this applies to the realm of dating."

That is why you need to be prepared for any dating scene so you don't find yourself wondering whether leaving by the bathroom window is actually an option.

The following tips will help you avoid the potential pitfalls of dating.

* You're running late. It happens -- traffic, work runs over, mistiming on how long it takes to get ready -- and all of a sudden you've kept your date waiting. In this case, take a few minutes to send a text message or a quick call and let them know you've run into a snag, but will be there as soon as possible. Better yet, giving them a timeframe. One caveat: try to keep it light. If you sound stressed about being late, they'll be stressed about waiting.

* You spill wine all over the table, on yourself, or on your date. At best, you and your date can laugh it off. And if you like one another, it's an easy way to ask them out for a second one --to a dry cleaners, where you'll foot the bill. At worst, if the sparks aren't there, you have an easy out.

* You're a smokeless tobacco user. For smokeless tobacco users, the thought of taking a spit cup or bottle on a date is horrific, and of course, an absolute no-no. So, what to do? You might want to consider a portable spittoon made by FLASR, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in creating smokeless tobacco accessories.

To avoid the messiness that can go along with using smokeless tobacco, the FLASR flask has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, thus eliminating the risk of spills and leaks often found with cups and bottles. In addition, the small size of the FLASR flask allows users to enjoy smokeless tobacco unobtrusively while in public.

For more information, visit

Local rodeo is an award-winner

Twisted Rodeo - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 11:17am
Bareback rider Bill Tutor adjusts his riggin' on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Dirty Jacket during the 2014 Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

Bareback rider Bill Tutor adjusts his riggin’ on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket during the 2014 Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – If Jake McClure Arena had a trophy case, it would be full of awards for this year’s Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

The annual event, now in its 80th year, is a two-time nominee for Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year, having received those bids each of the past two years.

Lea County Fair Logo“To be mentioned in the same breath as Cheyenne (Wyo.) and Pendleton (Ore.) is an honor,” said Greg Massey, chairman of the rodeo committee that is part of the Lea County Fair Board. “For me, I realize how blessed I am to be part of a great event and to get to work with such a wonderful, hard-working group of volunteers.”

Nominations are based on voting by PRCA members, and only five events in each category are among the finalists. Since the award was created in 1993, only six rodeos have earned the title; of those, Cheyenne has won the award 16 times. Other finalists in 2014 were Ogden, Utah, and Salinas, Calif.

“To be nominated is an honor itself,” said Corey Helton, the fair board chairman. “When you look at the list of rodeos in our category, it says a lot about the work our rodeo committee has been doing.”

The volunteer committee is just one piece of an award-winning puzzle for the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5-Saturday, Aug. 8. It takes amazing talent to make an event like this click off so well:

  • Andy Stewart, a six-time finalist for PRCA Announcer of the Year. Stewart is a fixture as the voice of Lovington’s rodeo.
  • Cody Sosebee, a four-time nominee for PRCA Clown of the Year and a two-time finalist for PRCA Comedy Act of the Year.
  • Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, a two-time nominee for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year and winner of the 2014 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Stock Contractor of the Year. Four of his horses – Real Deal, Big Tex, MGM Deuces Night and Dirty Jacket – have been named the PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year.

“We are fortunate to work with the best professionals in rodeo,” Massey said. “I’m surprised Andy hasn’t won Announcer of the Year yet. He does everything that we ask for and is excellent at it.”

It takes that kind of trust to produce such a top-flight event, but it also takes a dedicated group of volunteers to make it happen in Lea County. The committee works together all year to showcase the rodeo to a region that knows the sport well.

“We’ve all shared in the vision of what our rodeo in Lovington could be,” Massey said. “For our committee to do what we’ve done is because we’ve had great support. Stephanie Rice and the office personnel over the last several years have done such a wonderful job of taking care of the behind-the-scenes things that no one ever knew about to make it easy for us to focus on what we needed to do and not be concerned about all the other details.”

It’s an award-winning combination.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Don't Let Father Time Take Your Independence

Lifestyles - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 11:13am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - When most people are envisioning their retirement, they picture themselves doing things they love, like dancing, playing tennis, or running around the playground with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, retirement isn't always as great as hoped. These days, too many seniors find themselves losing their independence due to the natural aging process.

According to Marketing Charts, 26 percent of seniors surveyed said that losing their independence was their biggest fear. That's higher than the 13 percent of seniors who feared moving into a nursing home or 3 percent fearing death. Instead of seniors fearing a loss of independence, let's look at some ways they can regain it and start making all of their retirement dreams come true.

Invest in a Power Wheelchair

Power wheelchairs provide seniors with independence and comfort beyond a traditional manual wheelchair. Seniors can stay independent thanks to joystick movement, letting them choose speed and direction they are comfortable with. Power wheelchairs also allow seniors to recline and tilt, helping them raise their legs if they need to.

Attach Bathroom Aids

Installing grab bars or safety handles on tubs and walls, along with bath and shower chairs, can help seniors regain their independence by giving them the confidence they need to safely bath themselves, even if they have a home health aide helping them.

Install a Stairlift

Seniors looking to recapture their independence, especially when they can't make it up the stairs anymore, can install an Acorn Stairlift. Seniors with arthritis don't have to worry, because it's the only approved starlift, with the Ease-of-Use commendation by the Arthritis Foundation.

Available for straight or curved stairs, Acorn Stairlifts provides seniors with a safe and secure movement from sitting down to stepping off through its swivel seat and safety belt. With this stairlift, seniors also don't have to worry about malfunctions with its built-in safety sensors that prevent it from running into something it shouldn't. It also features an easy-to-read numerical display notifying seniors if it needs servicing -- preventing it from malfunctioning with someone on it.

Learn more about how seniors can regain their independence by visiting

Football Takes Its Turn at #SECMD15 Tuesday, Watch on SEC Network

Bulldog Beat - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:47am
HOOVER, Ala. – Mississippi State takes its turn at 2015 Southeastern Conference Football Media Day on Tuesday and will be represented by head coach Dan Mullen, defensive end Ryan Brown, cornerback Taveze Calhoun and quarterback Dak Prescott.

How to Select the Perfect Ceiling Fan

Lifestyles - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 9:07am

(NewsUSA) - More than a simple cooling device, many ceiling fans of today are high-tech works of art for your home. Ceiling fans can be a design element with sophisticated automated features. When selecting the perfect ceiling fan for your space and lifestyle, the American Lighting Association (ALA) suggests you consider several additional factors.

Think about how high or low tech you want to be. A very sophisticated system might seem intimidating to some, while others want much more than a simple on-off switch. Also ask yourself whether you want your fan to be an integral part of your interior design or simply an inconspicuous addition to your room.

Home Automation for All-in-One Control

Efficient airflow and alluring designs continue to drive the industry, but more people are looking to home automation systems to easily control their devices from a smartphone. One example is Fanimation's fan Sync, a Bluetooth-operated ceiling fan control.

According to Nathan Frampton, president of Fanimation, controls like fanSync will become more commonplace in the coming years. Technology of this magnitude is only expected to grow as more homeowners sync their home's lights, central air thermostats and security systems to an all-in-one platform.

Designs to Suit Today's Lifestyles

Just like the trends in home lighting design, ceiling fans have their front runners. Interior design styles are moving toward more organic aesthetics. This means designers are crafting rooms around exposed plumbing pipes, door and cabinet trimming and existing hardware, which helps mesh the entire room together organically.

To complete your design scheme, choose compatible trim and accent options for your ceiling fan. And be sure to consider the architecture of your home. Many newer homes have high ceilings with large great rooms, which give homeowners the chance to decorate their homes with larger or more ornate ceiling fans.

Trends with Regional Appeal

Geographic location often affects ceiling fan trends and finish selection. Frampton says, "We see certain trends in different regions of the country, as well as around the world. For example, in the Southwest, bronze is a prominent choice, and internationally, nickel and white are more common."

For advice about which fan fixtures and styles are best suited for your home, talk with a professionally trained expert at an ALA-member showroom, or go online to With the right tools and information, you can easily find the perfect ceiling fan to make your home more functional and beautiful.

Summer Ball Q&A: Junior RHP Austin Sexton

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 5:28pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the month of July, will interview select Mississippi State baseball players competing across the country in summer leagues.

2015 Football Mobile/Desktop Wallpapers Released

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 4:00pm
Show your True Maroon spirit this spring by displaying the 2015 Mississippi State football wallpapers and social media headers on your computer, tablet and mobile device.

Johnson journeys toward Las Vegas

Twisted Rodeo - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 2:57pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story appears in the July 2015 issue of Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the official publication of the WPRA. It is republished on this site with the approval of the WPRN.

Meghan Johnson has never really considered moving to Colorado, but competing in the Centennial State has been pretty nice.

“My mom always tells me I should claim the Mountain States Circuit,” said Johnson, a recent graduate from New Mexico State University.

Colorado has been pretty profitable for her already this year. She won the title at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in January, pocketing more than $12,000; she added more than $1,500 by winning the Elizabeth Stampede the first weekend in June.

More importantly, she and her mount, Nellie Laveaux, rounded the cloverleaf pattern in an arena-record time of 15.87 seconds, shattering the previous mark.

“I didn’t know anything about it until Randi Timmons told me after my run,” Johnson said of Timmons, a WPRA member from Elizabeth. “We got it by two-tenths this year, so that was pretty exciting.”

Johnson ran in slack on the morning of Sunday, June 7, when the arena was a tad bit muddy. Fortunately for her, Timmons knew the history and how the ground handled moisture better than most ladies in the field.

“Randi told me not to worry about it and that the ground was really good when it was wet,” said Johnson, of Deming, N.M. “We were 40th out in slack, but it seemed like the dirt was getting better as more girls were running on it.

“I just didn’t hold back.”

Neither did Nellie, a 14-year-old sorrel mare, who has proven to be solid in any kind of setup – from a small indoor pen like Denver Coliseum or a large outdoor arena like in Elizabeth.

“She doesn’t like it when it’s wet,” Johnson said. “The ground in Elizabeth was muddy, but there weren’t any puddles, so I worked out well for me to run her.”

As of the second week of June, she was eighth in the world standings with a little more than $37,000. She has parlayed some solid runs to earn big checks in San Angelo, Texas, and Tucson, Ariz., along with several other paydays. In fact, she also won in Silver City, N.M., and placed in Clovis, N.M., the opening weekend in June.

It’s all sort of a whirlwind for Johnson, who is just a few weeks removed from graduation ceremonies at New Mexico State in Las Cruses, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business. A two-time College National Finals Rodeo qualifier, she opted to spend the final semester of her senior year focusing on school and ProRodeo.

“My family has always been big on education,” she said. “I always took school seriously. I hustled for four years so I could be on the road. Plus it’s nice to have that fall-back option.”

Right now, though, she won’t need it. She and fellow barrel racer Ann Thompson have a tentative schedule in place and plan to make a run at Johnson’s first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“She’s entering for me, and she knows I don’t want to haul very much,” Johnson said. “I’ not going to be a crazy person out on the road. We’re going to try to pick the ones we think we can do good at and make them count.”

She’s done pretty well at that so far. By putting together a solid winter run, she has set herself up to chase Las Vegas through the rest of the regular season.

“I wasn’t really wanting to go this hard,” said Johnson, who credits Hi Pro Feeds, Biocare Animal Products, Arizona Oxy-Gen and Juli Miller Wade Saddle Pads for helping her get up and down the rodeo trail. “My goal was to be in the top 30. Winning Denver got the ball rolling down the hill faster. It got a lot of people excited among my family and friends, and they’re pushing us to go for it. It opened a lot of doors.

“It also put a lot of confidence in me and my horse that we can do it against all these tough girls.”

The way barrel racing is now, there are tough girls and great horses all across the map. Now that she’s in the top 10, Johnson wants to stay there. That means stretching her comfort zone and reaching out to new places and new venues. The goal, though, is worth it.

Of course, it helps to have confidence in oneself and in the teammate that seems to make things happen. That’s the case for Johnson and Nellie.

“She’s handled everything really good so far, and we’re taking a lot of care into her,” she said. “We’re trying to fit in as many breaks into the schedule as we can. With her, it’s kind of a crucial thing. I’m getting good on my schedule so she can rest as much as she can.

“If I can stay out of her way, she runs a good pattern.”

They’re both pretty good at what they do. They wouldn’t be in this position without it. They might just have the swagger of a champion; at least Nellie does.

“This year, she’s become more of a diva,” Johnson said. “She’s become a little ornery. She used to be just really sweet. I think they know when they’re doing good.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Homeowners: Think Twice Before Attempting This

Lifestyles - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 1:49pm
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Is it time for homeowners to start celebrating Hug-A-Roofer Day?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just disclosed the most dangerous jobs in America. Not only did roofers come in at No. 6, but take a look at some of the occupations that didn't even make the top 10:

* Police officers

* Firefighters

* Taxi drivers

* Security guards

"Some of the results may surprise you," was how Bloomberg Business understatedly put it.

We'll reveal in a second who topped the list with more than three and a half times the 36.26 fatalities, per 100,000 full-time employees, that earned roofers their high ranking. But first, here's what those deaths should tell almost all amateurs thinking of tackling a job as big as installing a roof themselves: Don't do it.

For those who do insist on going the DIY route, at least be sure to follow these safety tips:

* Minimize your risk of slipping. An average of six roofers die each month in the U.S. from falls, according to Professional Roofing magazine. So, never work on a wet roof, wear soft-soled boots for the best traction, and use safety equipment like a harness when working on a steeply pitched roof. And if you do fall, pray that you remembered to don a helmet to protect your head.

* The 36-inch rule. Some of those fatal falls resulted from having to lug heavy material up a ladder. Yours should extend 36 inches above the landing or roof eave to make transitioning to and from the roof more secure. And this warning from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: "Do not stand on the three top rungs."

* Avoid electrical hazards. Roofers also suffer fatal burns and electrocution despite having it ingrained in them that electricity can leap, or "arc," from a wire to a ladder several feet away. Ergo, for starters, make sure your ladder is made of non-conductive wood or fiberglass.

* Six words to live by when it comes to utility knives. Those would be: Always cut away from your body.

Having second thoughts?

Unless you're Warren Buffett (who still lives in the same modest, five-bedroom house in Dundee, Omaha, he bought for $31,500 in 1958), odds are your home is your biggest asset. So, GAF (, North America's largest roofing manufacturer, has made it easy for you to find the most reputable, dependable and adequately insured professionals in your area by searching its website's GAF Master Elite Contractor database.

Oh, as for the most dangerous job in America? Fisherman, with 131.52 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees.

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