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Public Smoking Ban Creates Market for New Tobacco Products

Lifestyles - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 1:14pm

(NewsUSA) - If you're a smoker these days, it's hard not feel a bit vilified. After all, rarely will you find a place that you can light up inside. Same goes for e-cigarette users, who are now also under the microscope and in many places are being banned from using as well. Even dipping tobacco and "chew" are not allowed in public places in San Francisco.

So, what's a smoker to do? If you happen to be Evan Grossman, you design a smokeless tobacco alternative that circumvents the ban in your favorite restaurant, library, movie theater or other public space, by creating the Pixotine Nicotine Toothpick (, a birch wood toothpick infused with a high-quality proprietary blend of organic pharmaceutical-grade nicotine extract that contains no other unnecessary additives or chemicals.

The way it works is this: Nicotine transmits its effects through contact with the skin and absorption through the mouth. When a Pixotine Nicotine Toothpick is placed in the mouth, the saliva aids in drawing out the nicotine, which then gets absorbed into the bloodstream through contact with cells. Chewing slightly on Pixotine enhances the speed at which the nicotine is released. With proper use, first effects can be felt within minutes, depending on the user.

According to its website, the concept is quite basic: people use Pixotine Nicotine Toothpicks just like they would use a normal toothpick to get that refreshing rush. At the office, on the subway or even at an anti-smoking rally, Pixotine is discreet, functional and virtually undetectable. It's merely an easy way to enjoy all the benefits and pleasure of a cigarette or tobacco product, without judgement or harsh carcinogens.

For some, it's also a way to switch to a safer alternative entirely.

"After smoking and chewing tobacco for 15 years, I was looking for an alternative. I found this with Pixotine, and it even has saved me money as well. It's funny because now when I am around someone that smokes it stinks," said one user.

As an added convenience, Pixotine comes in a matchbook-size package that contains 15 toothpicks, making it discreet, and yet easy to use during those times that you can't smoke or use your e-cig.

Similarly, Pixotine can satisfy nicotine cravings without leaving the desk or walking out of a child's basketball game or when traveling on an especially long flight.

For more information, visit

MSU, Japanese university sign MOU

MSU News - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 1:10pm

Preseason Honors Continue To Pile Up For Jones And Redmond

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 11:03am
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Preseason accolades continue to pile up for Mississippi State football's defensive duo of Chris Jones and Will Redmond.

How to Secure Income for Retirement

Lifestyles - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 9:53am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Ten thousand Americans a day are turning 65, including a couple we'll call Stu and Helen. In excellent health, Stu and Helen could be facing a retirement of 30 years -- or even longer. One of their biggest fears about their impending retirement is their potential longevity -- and running out of money to not only pay their bills, but enjoy their free time.

Stu and Helen participated in their companies' 401(k) plans. Like many workers, neither has a traditional pension, so they are solely responsible for their own retirement security.

Fortunately, couples like Stu and Helen have options for creating a "personal pension." By using some of their savings to purchase an annuity, they can guarantee a steady stream of income for life.

With an immediate annuity, they can make a lump-sum payment to a life insurance company, and the company will send them their choice of monthly, quarterly or annual payments. They can choose to receive the income payments over a specified number of years or as a guaranteed stream of income they can never outlive.

They could also consider purchasing a deferred annuity, which allows savings to grow tax-deferred during an accumulation phase until they decide when payouts begin. People who are years away from retirement -- or who are retired but don't need income right away -- might choose this type of annuity.

With a deferred annuity they decide how their money grows during the accumulation phase. A fixed annuity earns interest at a guaranteed rate. An index annuity is tied to a market index like the S&P 500 stock price index. In a variable annuity, savings are placed in subaccounts that are invested in stocks and bonds.

Another option is a special type of deferred annuity, often called longevity insurance, which will provide them with a guaranteed stream of income once they reach a certain age, usually around 85.

Surveys show that 90 percent of annuity owners think annuities are an effective way to save for retirement. And annuities are among the most regulated financial products in the marketplace. From product development to advertising to sales, life insurers must comply with state and federal laws and rules that help prevent fraud and protect consumers. In addition, most states provide a "free look" period allowing customers to return annuities to the insurance company for a full or partial refund.

Planning for retirement can be stressful. But for retirees like Stu and Helen, the guaranteed income from annuities can provide peace-of-mind for a lifetime.

For more information on annuities, visit

What Type of Bug Bite Is That?

Lifestyles - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 9:50am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Sunny summer days are meant for outdoor fun, but few things ruin time outside more quickly than bites from pests. Insect bites can result in consequences that range from minor, yet aggravating, irritation to extreme pain and even potentially fatal illnesses. If you are on the receiving end of a bite, it is important to detect which pest inflicted it so you can determine the best course of treatment, as well as investigate whether there is a pest problem on your property that warrants a call to your local pest control company.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following information on how to identify the culprits of three common summertime bites:


A mosquito bite typically results in a red, itchy bump on the skin. Despite the temptation to scratch, doing so agitates the venom and increases the itchiness of the bite. All bites should be washed with soap and water, and the best remedies are antihistamines and anti-inflammatories. Anyone experiencing fever, head or body aches, skin rashes or swollen lymph glands following a bite could have been infected with potentially fatal West Nile virus and should seek medical attention.


Because of their small size, blacklegged deer tick bites frequently go unnoticed. However, these tiny pests are vectors of Lyme disease, and the earlier you can identify a bite from a Lyme-infected tick, the sooner you can begin the necessary antibiotic treatments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a circular bulls-eye rash appears within 3-30 days of the bite in approximately 70-80 percent of infected persons. Anyone who develops this characteristic rash should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Red Imported Fire Ants

Red imported fire ants are an aggressive species capable of stinging and injecting venom with their bites, causing an intense burning sensation. Red bumps form at the sting, and within a day or two they become white fluid-filled pustules. While the bites and stings are often excruciating, medical attention is typically only necessary for those who are severely allergic to the venom.

If you are repeatedly experiencing issues with these pests on your property or are concerned for the health and safety of your family, contact a local pest control company to evaluate the problem and determine the best course of treatment. Find a qualified pest control professional at

What We Have Learned About High School Equivalency

Lifestyles - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 9:48am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - The past 18 months shook up state education communities preparing students to earn a high school equivalency certificate. With some states dropping the old test for new ones, states choosing to have multiple options, and the implementation of College and Career Ready (CCR) standards, the landscape drastically changed in a short period of time.

Here's what educators and those looking to achieve this educational milestone should know about the past year and a half.

1: 2014 marked the first year in U.S. history that alternative tests were used by states.

Twenty states administered alternative tests after choosing to either drop the GED test within their state or offer multiple tests for students to choose from. The HiSET exam developed by Educational Testing Service and the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion by CTB/McGraw Hill allow those who haven't completed high school the opportunity to earn their high school equivalencies.

Introducing numerous branded tests broke conventional terms and understanding of how people actually go about earning a high school credential.

2: People are learning you don't "get a GED."

Employers, education administrations and institutions of higher education incorrectly ask whether an applicant has his or her "GED." Having proof of a high school credential is essential for many careers and postsecondary education opportunities. However, the GED is a test -- not something earned.

HiSET, GED and TASC scores are mobile, meaning they can be used for employment and college applications throughout the United States. Test takers now have a choice as to what test they choose to take based on various categories such as price or whether the test is available in paper- and/or computer-delivered formats.

3: The results are the same.

All three tests measure high school equivalent skills, and each has implemented CCR standards. Whether one takes the HiSET, GED or TASC test, the end result when passing these tests is the individual earning a state-issued credential. For example, in California, a student can take either test and earn the California High School Equivalency Certificate when passing each test's subject areas.

The trend toward alternative testing shows no signs of slowing as more states consider new test options and vendors in the near future. Options in how one earns a high school credential have changed, but the outcomes are the same -- increasing one's ability to achieve a more secure future by reaching this education milestone.

UPDATED STATS: 26 Diamond Dawgs In Professional Baseball

Bulldog Beat - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 1:00pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Twenty-six former Mississippi State baseball players are currently in professional baseball, including five currently playing in Major League Baseball.

Football Posters Available at Central Mississippi Extravaganza July 16

Bulldog Beat - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 12:29pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Fans can first receive the 2015 Mississippi State football collectible poster featuring seniors Ryan Brown, Taveze Calhoun, Kendrick Market, Justin Malone, Dak Prescott and Will Redmond at the 38th annual Summer Extravaganza in Jackson on Thursday, July 16.

Concerts key to fair’s success

Twisted Rodeo - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 10:55am
Gregg Allman will be one of the featured acts during the Lea County Fair and Rodeo's concert series during the annual exposition, set for July 31-Aug. 8 in Lovington, N.M.

Gregg Allman will be one of the featured acts during the Lea County Fair and Rodeo’s concert series during the annual exposition, set for July 31-Aug. 8 in Lovington, N.M.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – From rising stars to an “American Idol” to a Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, the 2015 Lea County Fair and Rodeo will have the perfect mix for fairgoers.

“I think our lineup is exciting and is holding to the standards that we’ve developed over the past few years,” said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board.

Helton and the rest of the folks in southeastern New Mexico should be excited. Not only does the exposition feature a top-rated carnival, a world-class rodeo and amazing local fixtures, the fair also has six amazing acts set to perform through its nine nights at the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington:

Lea County Fair LogoSaturday, Aug. 1: Richochet
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Cody Johnson
Wednesday, Aug 5: Crowder
Thursday, Aug. 6: Dan + Shay
Friday, Aug. 7: Scotty McCreery
Saturday, Aug. 8:
Gregg Allman

“I think they’ll all be great shows,” Helton said.

Richochet kicks off the fair with a special show on the opening Saturday night. The country band has been around for nearly two decades and still boasts of being the only country artist to chart the national anthem. Richochet’s first No. 1 hit, “Daddy’s Money,” showcases the band’s harmonies that they’ve carried with them since the beginning.

After the Lea County Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday, the fair will celebrate Texas Country music with chart-topper Cody Johnson. He will provide a spark to the week filled with great entertainment.

“I like the crowd to sing along, yell or whatever makes them feel part of the show,” Johnson said on his website. “I love big crowds because of the energy and showmanship I can exhibit.”

That likely will be the case at the fair in Lovington, which has seen significant crowds over the last several years. A big reason for that is the economical admission price; for just $8 ($6 for children), anyone can enjoy all the festivities on the fairgrounds.

“You pay one price for the day, and you get to enjoy it all: the shows, the exhibits, the daily entertainers, the rodeo, the concerts and have the opportunity to take in all the carnival rides,” Helton said. “There’s a lot to our fair, and I think that makes it attractive.”

Crowder will be the featured piece for Christian music night. Raised in east Texas, David Crowder has loved to share his faith through music.

Country artists Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney first met in December 2012. Within a year, the duo had released its first single, “19 You + Me.” They have been nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year in the Academy of Country Music Awards.

“Country music fans are extremely passionate and loyal,” Smyers said in an interview with “We are extremely thankful for the support the country community has shown for us and can’t wait to share more of the journey with them.”

McCreery won Season 10 of “American Idol” when he was 17 years old. Since then, he has sold more than 2.5 million albums. Two singles from his inaugural album, “I Love you This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls,” have been certified platinum.

Allman was one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band and also has had an amazing solo career. In addition to singing and playing for the band, he also wrote many of their hits, including “Dreams,” “Whipping Post,” “Please Call Home,” “Melissa” and “Midnight Rider.”

“We seem to always bring some of the big names on the final Saturday night,” Helton said. “We always want to end our fair and rodeo with a bang, and I think we’re doing that this year.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Devon Bell Named To 2015 Ray Guy Award Watch List

Bulldog Beat - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 10:54am
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State senior punter/kicker Devon bell was one of 25 players named to the preseason watch list for the 2015 Ray Guy Award, the Augusta Sports Council announced Thursday.

Bulldog Volleyball Announces Schedule For McFatrich’s First Season

Bulldog Beat - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 6:03pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Sixteen home matches, two home tournaments, six NCAA participants and the reigning NCAA National Champion highlight the 2015 schedule for the Mississippi State volleyball Bulldogs.

Summer Ball Q&A: Junior RHP Dakota Hudson

Bulldog Beat - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 3:48pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the month of July, will interview select Mississippi State baseball players competing across the country in summer leagues.

Locals make Roundup a big deal

Twisted Rodeo - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 11:55am
Dr. R.C. Trotter, chairman of the Roundup Committee, leads a group of dedicated volunteers who work every year to produce one of the top 25 events in the country.

Dr. R.C. Trotter, chairman of the Roundup Committee, leads a group of dedicated volunteers who work every year to produce one of the top 25 events in the country.

DODGE CITY, Kan. – While it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community and more to put on the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

“There’s no possible way this event goes on without the number of volunteers and the great support we get from this community,” said Dr. R.C. Trotter, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual event. “Much of everything that happens with our rodeo is because of the volunteers who devote their time and energy to its success.”

They’re all working for a spectacular week of rodeo starting with an evening of Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday, July 28, and five performances of Roundup from Wednesday, July 29-Sunday, Aug. 2; all performances begin at 7:45 p.m. at Roundup Arena.

The work by the volunteers is a key reason why Dodge City’s rodeo was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2012. In fact, only office manager Elaine Gall and a handful of ticket-window staff members are the only paid employees.

All the rest of the work that goes into making Roundup a successful venture is done community members who hold full-time jobs and who devote their spare time.

“We work year-round,” Trotter said. “From working with our dedicated sponsors to getting the arena set up, it takes a lot of man-hours every year to set everything up so the fans can experience our rodeo.

“Roundup was established years ago as a community event, and it takes place during Dodge City Days. We get fans from all over the state and from all over the country who come to our rodeo ever year, and we want them to have a great experience year after year.”

From the ticket-takers at the front game to the person who sold the hamburgers at the concessions stand, virtually every ounce of labor is one of love by people who care about Roundup.

“If you buy a Pepsi or a beer, a volunteer has served you,” he said. “All the behind-the-scenes things that happen are done primarily by people who donate their time.

“When it comes to our rodeo, we have the top professional cowboys and cowgirls in the world who come to Dodge City. I credit the people of this community who make it happen.”

That includes the local businesses that support the event financially. In rodeo, cowboys and cowgirls compete in order to make a living. In addition to paying bills, dollars earned also count as championship points – the contestants in each event who earn the most money at season’s end are crowned world champions.

Roundup offers local incentives of more than $160,000. That, combined with contestants’ entry fees, makes up one of the largest purses in ProRodeo; through the years, it has remained one of the top 25 events in the country.

“We get support from more than 100 businesses, nearly all of which are local,” Gall said. “I think it says a lot about how those businesses understand the type of event our rodeo is to this community. We’re very blessed by the local support we get.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Football's #SECMD15 Attendees Announced, Airs Live on SEC Network

Bulldog Beat - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 11:48am
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Mississippi State takes its turn at 2015 Southeastern Conference Football Media Day on Tuesday, July 14 and will be represented by head coach Dan Mullen, defensive end Ryan Brown, cornerback Taveze Calhoun and quarterback Dak Prescott.

Identity Theft 101: What You Need To Know

Lifestyles - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 11:17am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Identity theft is nothing new. It's been around longer than the Internet itself -- the process has just gotten more sophisticated.

The long and the short of it is, no matter how hard we try and protect what's ours (personal information, credit card numbers and bank account information), the more evolved criminals have become at circumventing these defenses.

To that end, it's never a bad idea to go over the newest forms of identity theft. Read on to find out how you may be (unwittingly) giving away your information and what you can do to stop it.

Internet Identity Theft

In this case, you may be unknowingly handing over information. Consider this: information can be stolen from the databases of banks, and retailers, or other third-party entities. What this means is that every time you log onto a website and provide personal information, be it credit card, debit card or a password, you are potentially giving away information.

Gone Phishing

Just like fishing, phishing uses a lure to catch its next victim. This often comes in the form of spam e-mail or a pop-up warning that looks like it came from a company you trust.

For the 57 million adults that have experienced a phishing attack, they know that one click is all it takes. The truth? Legitimate companies will never ask for personal information via e-mail.

Buying the Pharm

Pharming happens when a cyber criminal cracks a vulnerability in an Internet Service Provider or DNS server and hijacks the domain name of a well-known site. Anyone going to the site is then redirected to an identical, but bogus site. Personal information is then collected, which is used to log onto the genuine website.

Beware the Spyware

Spyware is technology that surreptitiously gathers information by logging all of your keystrokes, or by using Trojans to collect information from your computer when you click on a pop-up ad or view spam e-mail.

While it may seem impossible to protect yourself, there are companies that have made it its mission to defend consumers. VirnetX, for instance, a security and software company has created Gabriel, a set of secure communication apps derived from a U.S. Department of Defense project.

Gabriel transmits information using automatic virtual private networks with military-grade encryption -- think Cryptograms. In this way, your data and communication is invisible to hackers.

Gabriel offers its users secure mail, messaging and free voice and video calls.

Gabriel Collaboration Suite is free to try. For more information, go to or the Google Play Store.

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