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Feature Story

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It happens to 10 Americans a minute, so chances are good that a telemarketing scam will hit home.

Consumer knowledge is the best protection against falling victim to fraud. But telemarketing scams are very prevalent and many people lose large amounts of money to them.

Dr. Beverly Howell, Mississippi State University extension family economics specialist, said telemarketing fraud costs consumers $40 billion a year. People over age 60 are the most common targets.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Health

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Automobile accidents often are attributed to recklessness, carelessness or even drunkenness, but another dangerous condition often is at fault -- drowsiness.

Sleepy drivers can be just as hazardous as other impaired motorists, but attributing crashes to sleepiness is difficult. Some states do not even have a code for sleepiness on their accident report forms.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Farm Safety

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If the employees are not old enough to drive a car, the law says they should not be allowed to drive a tractor either.

Many youth today, especially in rural areas, obtain their first job experience working on local farms. Agricultural employers need to be aware of how the child labor laws apply to farming and know the stiff penalties levied if they violate these regulations.

July 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- State blueberry farmers raised a record- breaking crop this year, but persistent rains have limited the amount sold as fresh fruit.

Dr. John Braswell, Mississippi State University extension horticulturist, estimated state growers will harvest 5.3 million pounds of blueberries this year. This tops 1995's record 4.6 million pounds. In 1996, a freeze cut the state's harvest to less than 800,000 pounds.

"We've had an excellent crop this year, but because of rains, much of it will be sold as frozen berries rather than fresh," Braswell said.

July 11, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Wheat

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Nationally, wheat growers are harvesting a strong crop, but Mississippi rains prevented state growers from producing a repeat of last year's record high.

Dr. Tom Jones, extension agricultural economist at Mississippi State University, said Mississippi's total production is about 1/3 less than what was produced in 1996.

Last year, Mississippi produced an average of 48 bushels per acre on about 230,000 acres. This year, production dropped substantially to about 39 bushels per acre on 200,000 acres throughout Mississippi.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Technology, Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When today's kids come home from school with homework problems or research papers, they often don't have to leave the house to get help.

Stumped on an algebra equation? No problem. Need to find how fast light travels? Got it. Studying the Inca Indians? Look at these pictures. Looking for the Bill of Rights? Here's a copy.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family, Children and Parenting

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Summer coming to a close means homework and early mornings for students, but extracurricular clubs and activities can take the gloom out of school days.

Numerous organizations can fill students' after-school hours with entertaining and educational experiences. Clubs also can allow students to reach out into their communities.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Believe it or not, junk foods are not a necessary part of young people's daily diets, but neither are they deadly sins.

When given the choice, many students choose candy bars, cookies and soft drinks over salads and fruit. But when this happens regularly, the body's nutritional needs are not met.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, Mississippi State University extension nutrition specialist, said adults, too, are often guilty of choosing empty calories over needed nutrition.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Back-to-school expenses can knock the wind out of some families' bank accounts, but delaying some purchases can help soften the blow.

School supplies, clothes and fees can add up to staggering levels if families try to address all back-to-school needs in August, according to Dr. Beverly R. Howell, extension family economics and management specialist at Mississippi State University.

"Clothing is probably the biggest of the back-to-school expenses," Howell said. "Clothing is also one of the easiest expenses to spread out during the school year."

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Community, Family

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When home sweet home is no longer under their parents' roof, college students choose either residence hall life or apartment living.

The proper housing choice, for some students, can mean a world of difference.

Many college campuses are experiencing a rise in applications for residence halls or dormitory rooms.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Doctors hands in the delivery room, not school bells, signal the beginning of the educational process.

Most people are conditioned to associate learning with school, but babies are learning a thousand times more than older students even in the best schools.

"Everything is new and an opportunity for learning to a baby," said Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A landmark day for children and their parents, the first day of school can be traumatic or a long-awaited, exciting time.

Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said parents can help make sure the start of school is a pleasant one.

Parents' positive attitude towards school is the biggest factor in a child having a good first day of class.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Starting school after the long summer break can be difficult, but having consistent routines can help young students quickly get back into the swing of things.

Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said routines are especially important for young children.

July 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather has been a constant challenge for Mississippi's cotton growers.

Rain delayed most of the crop's planting time two to three weeks. Next, continued rains and cool weather slowed initial growth. Fields in Northeast Mississippi have suffered the most.

"We're looking at the good, the bad and the being destroyed," said Dr. Will McCarty, extension cotton specialist at Mississippi State University. "Most poorly drained fields have drowned out. Whenever farmers can get in those fields, they will likely replant in soybeans, if possible."

June 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Seafood Harvesting and Processing, Catfish

BILOXI -- Mississippi shrimpers are enjoying the benefits of higher prices and a 1997 harvest coming in two waves.

Dave Burrage, extension marine resources specialist in Biloxi, said opening shrimp landings should be similar to June 1996 landings of 2.6 million pounds of tails-only shrimp. Comparable figures for this year are not yet available.

However, Biloxi, which has 80 percent of the state's processing capability, landed 749,500 pounds of heads-on shrimp the first week of the season. In 1996, shrimpers landed 624,100 pounds in Biloxi the first week.

June 25, 1997 - Filed Under: Community, Family

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Before getting out in Mississippi's heat, consider the consequences of mixing alcohol with summer outings.

If summer plans include any time on the state's lakes and rivers, boaters need to be aware of the regulations and the penalties concerning Boating Under the Influence.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will continue to enforce alcohol regulations that went into effect in 1996.

June 23, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soils

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Experienced farmers know the importance of lime, but this is the first year growers could select from two grades depending on their price range and success expectations.

Larry Oldham, extension soils specialist at Mississippi State University, said acid soils limit production of every crop in Mississippi. These soils require lime to neutralize the soil acidity for maximum economic productions.

June 23, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When some parents think of vacations with kids, they get an instant headache as pictures pop in their minds of crowded cars, unending "are we there yet?" questions and cranky children.

Dr. Louise Davis, Mississippi State University extension child and family development specialist, said traveling with children can be restful and fun for everyone. It just takes some preparation.

June 23, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food Safety

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Grilled meats, potato salad and meringue pies are typical summer foods served at cookouts and picnics, but these goodies can reach the danger zone when not handled properly.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University, said cooking out and having picnics are fun ways to enjoy the summer, but outside conditions make cautious food handling extra important.

June 23, 1997 - Filed Under: Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hectic schedules often make people wish they could be in more than one place at a time, but technology available through Mississippi State University can make this possible.

Through video teleconferencing, university specialists can present a program once and have it sent via satellite to hundreds of sites around the state. Without leaving their community, audience members can see and ask questions of the speaker, often hundreds of miles away.

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