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News Filed Under Family

March 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Estate and Financial Planning

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Homeowners have until March 31 to file for a homestead exemption, which may help lower their annual tax bills.

Jason Camp, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, said qualified homeowners may fall into one of three exemption categories, based on age, disability or veteran status. They may be eligible for a substantial tax exemption if they met these requirements on Jan. 1.

March 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Half of Mississippians have lower credit scores than the average American, with Jackson area residents having the second lowest average score in the U.S., according to a national credit monitoring agency.

A recent workshop and new organization, both directed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, aim to help individuals improve their financial health through responsible credit use.

Mildew and mold growth can take place in damp areas of the home, including showers, sinks, bathrooms and kitchens. Clean damp areas, such as kitchens, bathtubs or under-sink cabinets, frequently to reduce mold-feeding spores and microbes. (Photo by Canstock)
March 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Healthy Homes Initiative

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's humid climate creates a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, especially in cluttered, unventilated homes.

Many people recognize these fungi by their musty smells on clothing and dark spots on walls and ceilings, but growth usually begins in areas that are unseen or difficult to access.

Eliminating clutter is one way to prevent bed bugs from becoming a problem. Once these parasites are introduced into a home, extermination requires professionals. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
February 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health, Insects-Human Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Housecleaning and decluttering efforts can go a long way in preventing home-invading bed bugs from setting up residence where they can feed at night on human hosts.

Bed bugs are nuisance pests that often live, as their name suggests, in beds. Once the bugs are introduced into a home, their extermination requires professional services. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, through the Healthy Homes Initiative, is equipping residents with the knowledge to keep this problem out of their houses.

Residents of homes at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning should invest in alarms that can detect the odorless, toxic gas. Chimneys, gas appliances and other sources can produce carbon monoxide. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
February 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most bill payers are keenly aware of the importance of energy efficiency, but a new initiative is placing similar emphasis on environmental concerns.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said weatherization focuses on reducing energy bills and increasing comfort, but families need a more comprehensive approach to home improvements.

January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers know they can turn to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for solid advice, but newly married couples can rely on the same source for friendly help with family challenges.

The Extension Service offers numerous publications online and in county Extension offices that address a wide variety of issues important to newlyweds. Topics include budgeting, nutrition, child rearing, conflict resolution, fitness and job skills. County offices also offer a wide range of training programs to area residents.

December 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- When the new year rolls around, people often resolve to focus on personal fitness goals, but it is a great time to make sure homes are healthy as well.

"There are a lot of hazards our homes can pose that could be harmful to our health," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Some of these hazards give no warning signs."

Carbon monoxide, lead and radon are odorless, invisible contaminants that can cause serious health problems and even death if left unchecked.

Jones County 4-H member Rustin Anderson, 17, exhibits his grand champion Brangus heifer on Oct. 22, 2016 at the State Fair in Jackson, Mississippi. (Submitted photo by Brianna Stroud)
November 17, 2016 - Filed Under: 4-H Livestock Program, Family

LAUREL, Miss. -- Win or lose, competing in livestock shows would not be possible without the help of others.

"Everyone helps everyone else," said Rustin Anderson, 17, of Jones County. "We're all like family, even though we are competing against each other."

Anderson, who has been showing Brangus cattle since 2009, is highly involved with the Jones County 4-H program. He serves as president of the junior livestock exhibitors for the county. He said the family atmosphere is what makes the program unique.

November 17, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Quality child care does not require a large budget. Dewberry Daycare and Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care and Preschool prove it.

Both centers attained a four-star classification in Mississippi's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Commonly referred to as Quality Stars, the voluntary program is designed to help licensed care and education centers meet and maintain high standards in five areas: learning environments, professional development, administrative policy, parent involvement and evaluation.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All the good smells of the holidays brought into the house by candles, cooking, live greenery and holiday plants can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said indoor air quality affects human health in several ways.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Family

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Decorated homes and busy kitchens mark the holiday season for many families, but this time of year also brings an increased number of safety hazards.

Decor and cooking fires increase during the holidays, causing numerous deaths and injuries, as well as millions of dollars in property damage. Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to about 1,070 home fires a year started by holiday decorations, including Christmas trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Technology, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before buying electronic educational gadgets to help children learn, adults need to recognize the difference in active engagement and passive entertainment.

Louise E. Davis, a professor of child and family development for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children who are less than 2 years old should not be exposed to interactive digital media. Instead of screen time, she suggested playing with Lego bricks or large building blocks, as well as reading books together, as ways to encourage imagination.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On the heels of a heated political season, make family peace a priority during the upcoming holidays.

Alisha Hardman, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said holidays offer opportunities for family members to enjoy one another and make memories to last a lifetime.

"Some families have more trouble than others when it comes to controversial or sensitive subjects," Hardman said. "If something cannot be discussed in a constructive manner, it may be best to avoid the topic altogether."

November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Estate and Financial Planning, Food Safety, Natural Resources

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its November field day in conjunction with the 2016 Mississippi Food Summit and Agricultural Revival.

The revival is set for Nov. 17 and 18 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Participants may also attend Jackson-area farm and garden tours on Nov. 19.

Boone Purser enjoys afternoon cuddles with his son, Benji, on Oct. 31, 2016. Benji is a breastfed baby who thrives on attention from both his parents at his home in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The choice to breastfeed babies does not remove fathers from nurturing duties that create strong bonds with their children.

Hannah Lambey, a dietetic intern with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a father can significantly impact the mother and baby just by doing a few simple things.

"Breastfeeding centers around the relationship between the mom and baby, sometimes leaving dad feeling left out," Lambey said. "Dads have many other bonding opportunities that are just as important for both the mother and child."

October 20, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Proper nutrition, physical activity and food safety precautions can help pregnant women deliver healthy babies.

Niti Puri, a dietetic intern in the Mississippi State University Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, said expectant mothers should consume higher levels of some key vitamins and minerals and take extra precautions against food-borne illnesses.

October 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative

By Jessica Smith
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Kids spend a lot of time indoors, and while that inactivity contributes to a lack of exercise, it also can cause other kinds of health problems.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, suggested five important tips for keeping the home environment healthy.

Minerva Graham (left) and Shelia Sanders, co-directors and co-owners of the Rainbow Learning Center in New Albany, receive educational technical assistance and support for school-age children through the Early Years Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. This photo was taken Aug. 25, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Alexandra Woolbright)
September 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

NEW ALBANY, Miss. -- School-age programs can take a backseat to activities for younger children at many child care centers, prompting Minerva Graham to change that situation at Rainbow Learning Center.

More than a decade ago, Graham was working as a schoolteacher in Tupelo, Mississippi, and her friend Shelia Sanders was providing in-home child care.

In 2002, the two women decided to go into business together and open Rainbow Learning Center in New Albany. The co-directors and co-owners have been working to provide quality child care at the center ever since.

August 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Michaela Parker
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, MISS. -- Toddlers who like to bite are a common source of concern for parents, but moms and dads can help their children manage this behavior.

Biting is a normal developmental step that begins when a child starts teething, said Karen Benson, Neshoba County coordinator for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Members of Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Early Years Network and Excel by 5 celebrated the grand opening of the North Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center with Durant Mayor Tasha Davis (center) and community members on Aug. 2, 2016. The center provides early child care educators, families and other residents in Holmes County a place to visit and borrow educational books, toys and games. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Alexandra Woolbright)
August 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

DURANT, Miss. -- Early child care educators, families and other residents in the Durant area now have a new place to visit and borrow educational books, toys and games.

On Aug. 2, the North Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center celebrated its grand opening, becoming the 18th center of its kind in the state.

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