‚ÄúToday, our usually placid Thursday campus routine was interrupted by a frighteningly real threat of violence. Fortunately, our MSU Police, the Division of Student Affairs, and our Crisis Action Team were able to manage this threat and the outcome was that no one was injured, no shots were fired, and no gun was found to have been used by the student making threats against himself and others.
‚ÄúBut something else happened today. We tested procedures designed to protect all of us through our Crisis Action Team responses. Those responses and protocols worked and worked successfully. And they worked because by and large, our students, faculty and staff knew what to do and knew how to react.
‚ÄúI have directed the Provost to make sure that our faculty are as lenient as possible with regard to the attendance policies so no one is unjustly penalized with regard to class absences. I have also taken steps to make sure that we offer appropriate counseling to any member of our MSU family who desires such assistance.
‚ÄúTomorrow, our Crisis Action Team will return to the table to examine what we learned during these tense hours and how we can use that knowledge to make us all even safer tomorrow. But for now, let‚Äôs all be thankful for the safe resolution of today‚Äôs unfortunate incident and keep our eyes firmly on our business here at MSU ‚Äď learning, research, and service.‚ÄĚ
By Sid Salter, 601-507-8004
STARKVILLE, Miss.--At a late-morning press conference today, Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum praised campus and local law enforcement for their ‚Äúswift response‚ÄĚ in apprehending a student who made threats to harm himself and others.
‚ÄúWe take all incidents like this very seriously, and I‚Äôm glad to report that there was no weapon found in this incident and no shots were fired,‚ÄĚ Keenum said. ‚ÄúOur campus is safe.‚ÄĚ
Keenum commended the MSU Police Department, the Division of Student Affairs, and the university‚Äôs Crisis Action Team for their handling of the tense situation.
‚ÄúThe highest priority I have as president of this university is the safety of our students, faculty and staff,‚ÄĚ said Keenum. ‚ÄúWe are always, always going to err on the side of caution in protecting our most precious resource ‚Äď our people.‚ÄĚ
Law enforcement officials at Mississippi State arrested Phu-Qui Cong ‚ÄúBill‚ÄĚ Nguyen today (Aug. 27) on the Starkville Campus at approximately 10:26 a.m. near the university‚Äôs McCool Hall.
Nguyen will appear in court to face charges of disorderly conduct and has been referred to a medical facility for routine mental and psychological evaluation. Rice said the investigation into the incident by MSU Police was ongoing.
A call came in to MSU Police from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol at approximately 10:10 a.m. revealed that a student on the Starkville campus was threatening suicide in addition to threatening to do harm to others.
Keenum said: ‚ÄúThe incident Wednesday morning in Virginia is a reminder that institutions such as ours must be vigilant and be prepared to respond as we did today ‚Äď swiftly, decisively and without hesitation to protect our students, faculty, and staff.‚ÄĚ
Despite the disruption on campus, Keenum said his ‚Äúthoughts and prayers‚ÄĚ are with all impacted by this incident, including the suspect‚Äôs family.
MSU issued a ‚ÄúMaroon Alert‚ÄĚ notice at 10:16 a.m. Nguyen was taken into custody ten minutes later. Chief Vance Rice said MSU Police was grateful to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who responded immediately and assisted in arresting the 20-year-old freshman computer engineering student from Madison.
Assisting MSU in the incident were the Oktibbeha County Sheriff‚Äôs Office, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, Starkville Police Department, the Miss. Emergency Management Agency, the Miss. Department of Health, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Classes resumed under normal conditions at 2 p.m. Thursday.
MSU Student Association President JoJo Dodd said, ‚ÄúWe are certain now that our Bulldog Family is safe. We are reminded in these times of the commitment we have to each other and this community that we share.‚ÄĚ
The Mississippi State University Student Counseling Services are available to support any students who need assistance. The center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., for walk-in appointments and counselors are on call 24 hours a day. Services can be accessed by calling 662-325-2091.
EDITOR‚ÄôS NOTE: The following is a transcription of the call received by MSU PD from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol alerting MSU to the potential active shooter.
Transcription of the phone call from Miss. Highway Patrol to MSU Police:
MHP: Hey, Tina. Quinton Williams. I‚Äôm with the MS Hwy Patrol. You guys are aware you are going to possibly have an active shooter on campus at this time?
MSU: No. I had a suicide call from Jackson saying the guy was suicidal at Carpenter Hall. What was she (the caller) saying to you?
MHP: Well, she was saying the guy was going to actually shoot others as well as himself. He‚Äôs, at this point, in Carpenter Hall.
MSU: Did she say what room?
MHP: She did not say what room that he was in, but they still have her actively on the line as we are speaking now. The subject‚Äôs name is Bill Nguyen. He is going to be an Oriental male. Does that help any?
MSU: MSU to all units, we have a possible active shooter in Carpenter Hall. This is not a test. Vietnamese male. Do not know what floor. Just know he‚Äôs a Vietnamese male by the name of Bill. This is not a test.
Contact: Jim Laird
STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi‚Äôs flagship research university will host a public meeting next month featuring regulators, scientists and industry representatives who are working together to integrate unmanned aircraft safely into the nation‚Äôs airspace.
Open to all, the two-hour, two-part ASSURE Center of Excellence-hosted event will take place Sept. 15 at Mississippi State, and include a discussion on opportunities to partner with the center as well as remarks by the FAA‚Äôs Southern Region Administrator Dennis Roberts.
Beginning at 11 a.m. at the Bryan Athletic Administration Building on the MSU campus, participants will discuss the agency‚Äôs new national Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems and its role in developing rules regulating commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
After an extensive competitive review process, the FAA in May selected the Mississippi State-led Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence to operate the new center. (For more, see ASSUREuas.org.)
According to ASSURE‚Äôs executive director at MSU, the new center will provide the agency and industry with research to maximize the potential of commercial unmanned systems with minimal changes to the current system regulating manned aircraft.
‚ÄúAll of our ASSURE partners know unmanned systems and the FAA,‚ÄĚ said USAF Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James Poss.
‚ÄúThe ASSURE team is uniquely positioned to take advanced research and turn it into FAA rules that work for the agency and industry,‚ÄĚ he said.
The center of excellence meeting will continue from noon to 1 p.m., and will include a question-and-answer period. Both sessions will feature live unmanned vehicle demonstrations.
‚ÄúWe want to help the UAS market achieve its multi-billion dollar potential, and the best way to do that is to provide accurate information and relevant research to all of our U.S. and international stakeholders,‚ÄĚ he said.
The September public meeting is a very important part of that process, Poss said.
Poss encourages members of the local community, media, and students, faculty and staff to attend either session or to stay for both.
For additional information about the meeting, please contact Kelly Collier at email@example.com or 228-688-3403.
Direct media inquiries to Harriet Laird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-325-7460.
MSU is Mississippi‚Äôs flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
There seems to a buzz centered on the newly founded Elite Rodeo Athletes organization.
In fact, there was so much interest in tuning in online for a rebroadcast of Wednesday‚Äôs news conference at the American Airlines Center in Dallas that association‚Äôs website was overwhelmed, and the news conference was not available for more than two hours.
Much of the news was about the ERA‚Äôs first championship event, which will take place Nov. 9-13, 2015, at the American Airlines Center. In fact, the same information was shared by the Dallas Morning News in a story that was published Tuesday. You can read it HERE. To watch the news conference, click HERE.
‚ÄúDallas is no stranger to hosting world-class events,‚ÄĚ said Tony Garritano, president and CEO of the organization. ‚ÄúThrough the process, it became pretty evident they wanted the home to be here.‚ÄĚ
Garritano discussed a 15-event regular season, but no schedule has been released on when and where those events will occur. According to the news conference, the ERA will focus its events on the top contestants in the game. Of those mentioned in the sizzle piece that accompanied the conference, 29 are world champions; the 21 others have been to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at least once, most multiple times.
‚ÄúThere is a more efficient and better way to showcase rodeo‚Äôs best,‚ÄĚ Garritano said. ‚ÄúThis is the first time in history that these folks here will compete the same night every event throughout the regular-season tour and be nationally televised from start to finish.‚ÄĚ
He also indicated there will be a qualifying system to allow for rising stars the opportunity to compete with others at the ERA. Information on the qualifying system should be available to the public in October.
‚ÄúYou will have the same opportunity,‚ÄĚ he said, pointing to contestants that are not part of the ERA at this time. ‚ÄúIt is wide open for anyone who has the ability to make it to that level.‚ÄĚ
The tour is scheduled to be aired on Fox Sports. Many who were part of the news conference pointed to that media relationship as a big step.
‚ÄúI think the fans are going to be the biggest winners,‚ÄĚ said Trevor Brazile, a 21-time world champion in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. ‚ÄúThe sport is underdelivered to the fans; we‚Äôve got such great fans, and they deserve more and they‚Äôre going to get more.
‚ÄúThere are a lot of story lines in rodeo that our fans miss out on. This is bringing rodeo to a modern day sports property, and that‚Äôs where it needs to be.‚ÄĚ
Contact: Paige Watson
STARKVILLE, Miss.‚ÄĒWith annual band camp concluded, Mississippi State‚Äôs 330-member Famous Maroon Band is turning its attention to fine-tuning routines for the 2015-16 school year.
Veteran director Elva Kaye Lance said this year‚Äôs contingent represents 14 states in addition to Mississippi, from which 68 percent hail. While the organization is part of the university‚Äôs College of Education, membership, as always, includes a wide range of academic majors, she added.
‚ÄúWe are very excited to be entering our 113th year,‚ÄĚ said Lance, who shares Famous Maroon Band duties with co-directors Craig Aarhus and Clifton Taylor.
‚ÄúDuring camp, it was incredible to see our incoming freshmen, many of whom held leadership positions in high school, raise the standard and influence our returning members to become better and better each year,‚ÄĚ the MSU and Famous Maroon Band alumna said.
Lance said this year‚Äôs four drum majors will include:
‚ÄĒTwin sisters Ashley S. and Brittany C. Carey from Olive Branch. Ashley is a junior mechanical engineering major; Brittany, a senior double-major in educational psychology and foreign language/Spanish.
‚ÄĒJunior Cooper A. Haywood of Madison, an instrumental music education and vocal music education double-major.
‚ÄĒJunior Jesse D. Newton of Eupora, a human sciences/fashion design and merchandising major.
According to Haywood, this year‚Äôs camp was ‚Äúone of the best‚ÄĚ he has experienced while at MSU.
Junior Ellen S. Moore of Brandon, also a music education major, joined Haywood in praising the training program. ‚ÄúDuring band camp, I made a ton of friends and everything was so organized,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúThe week moved quickly, but we managed to accomplish a lot.‚ÄĚ
Lance said the MSU marching unit could not be successful without the ‚Äúhard work and tireless dedication‚ÄĚ of Aarhus and Taylor.
‚ÄúIn addition to the band directors, another vital member of our leadership team is Jason Baker,‚ÄĚ Lance continued, explaining that the music department associate professor ‚Äúarranges and instructs our percussionists.‚ÄĚ
At her promotion to director in 2002, Lance became only the eighth leader of the marching unit over its long history. During her time at the helm, ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve received tremendous support from both former band members and faculty in the College of Education, which is a great fit for us,‚ÄĚ she said.
Lance said 2015 fall football halftime performances will include a variety of popular pieces, including a ‚ÄúFunkytown‚ÄĚ theme and a play on Disney classic ‚ÄúThe Happiest Show on Earth.‚ÄĚ
In addition, the band also coordinates two pep bands for men‚Äôs and women‚Äôs basketball, as well as numerous choral ensembles and concert bands throughout the spring semester. To learn more, visit www.msuband.msstate.edu/index.php.
MSU is Mississippi‚Äôs flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
(NewsUSA) - A concert is more than an evening excursion. This is your chance to go out in the town, mingle with friends, and discover the hottest new up-and-coming artists to add to your everyday playlist.
For some, this all seems like added pressure. Too much pressure, maybe. Is it possible to just sit back and enjoy a concert without fudging the details? We think so. Here are a few tips to guarantee the best of the best concert nights:
Know the Band
It's every music-lovers dream: showing up to concerts on a whim, anywhere, anytime. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for social blunders. You know, the mistakes that your friends won't stop reminding you about for weeks. Before you go, Google the artist, especially if they're new in town. Is this a head-banging rock concert or a sophisticated evening of light jazz? Let the genre help you pick your attire and your attitude.
Spread the word, and make an event of it. Use this can't-miss concert as a way to catch up with your pals, get to know the other folks in the office or surprise a special someone.
Keep It Classy
We know that you love your favorite drink. But keep it classy. No one wants to carry you home, and even fewer people still paid money to hear you singing along with the band.
Make sure you have what you need for the evening. In addition to the basics, like your keys, your cell phone and a pair of shoes, you can actually walk in, take along the accessory you use to do what you do.
If you dip, consider packing a FLASR, the portable spittoon. This Atlanta-based product fits in your pocket and has a secure-locking mechanism, so you don't need to worry about embarrassing spills.
For more information, please visit www.flasr.com.
(NewsUSA) - Camping is a favorite activity for outdoor enthusiasts across the country. There are few better ways to take in the fresh air and relax than by spending some time out in the elements without all the distractions of everyday life. However, it's important to keep in mind that the great outdoors is also home to some serious health threats -- and you may be surprised at the "biggest" culprits!
While small in size, mosquitoes and ticks are out in abundance this time of year. Just one bite from an infected mosquito or tick can have chronic, and possibly fatal, consequences.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), late summer is peak time for West Nile virus infections (WNV), and transmission of the disease frequently continues into the fall as well. According to the National Pest Management Association's medical advisor, Dr. Jorge Parada, the elderly, children and those with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable to West Nile virus infections, which can be fatal in severe cases.
Ticks are capable of transmitting a variety of illnesses to humans, the most common being Lyme disease. Spread by the blacklegged deer tick, Lyme disease has historically been a problem in the northeast U.S. However, an August 2015 report from the CDC found blacklegged deer ticks are expanding their territory farther in to the West and South, bringing the threat of Lyme disease with them.
The National Pest Management Association offers the following tips for campers to protect themselves from mosquito and tick bites:
* Always apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535 when outdoors and use as directed on the product label.
* Reduce the amount of skin exposed during dusk and dawn, when certain types of mosquitoes are most active.
* Avoid areas where ticks are most abundant, including high grasses and low-growing vegetation along the edge of the woods or a trail.
* Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors. While hiking, tuck long pants into your socks to keep ticks out.
* Consider investing in permethrin-treated clothing and gear for an extra level of protection and choose light-colored clothing that will make spotting ticks easier.
* Inspect yourself and your companions carefully for ticks after being outdoors; finding and removing ticks in a timely manner is critical to preventing disease.
For more information on mosquitoes and ticks, please visit www.pestworld.org.
The fall General Faculty meeting at Mississippi State on Wednesday [Aug. 26] will be available for viewing online beginning at 4 p.m. at http://mymedia.msstate.edu/viewer.php?live=faculty.
Due to a water line repair, there will be a planned water outage at Mississippi State's Hill Poultry Science Building on Wednesday [Aug. 26] beginning at 6 a.m. The interruption is expected to last approximately two hours.
Thank you for your patience during this temporary outage.