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Feature Story

July 12, 1999 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Molly Kinnan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The aftermath of a challenging school year can cause some students to lose their educational incentive, but there are a number of steps to prepare them for the upcoming academic experience.

Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said resiliency is one good way to help a student regain and maintain a steady focus at school.

July 12, 1999 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new trend in massage is making fans among an age group that can't talk about the subject, but is weighing in with their support in other ways.

Infant massage or touch therapy is the gentle stroking, touching and massaging of a baby. Healthy babies seem to enjoy the massage, while premature babies or those with health problems often have marked improvement after the treatment.

July 9, 1999 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Watermelons, blueberries and peaches are finding their way to Mississippi tables despite the weather conditions Mother Nature throws at them.

A mild winter that deprived peaches of their necessary chill hours, a dry spell this summer and recent rains during harvest have not stopped growers from producing decent yields. The market is providing reduced prices for watermelons, average prices for peaches and better-than-average prices for blueberries.

July 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Chuck Dunlap

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children and teenagers have access to many benefits from being online, but they can also be targets of crime, exploitation and pornography from behind the keyboard just as in any other environment.

Kids are trusting, curious and anxious to explore this new world and the relationships the Internet brings to them. Children and teenagers need parental supervision and common sense advice on how to be sure that their experiences in "cyberspace" are happy, healthy and productive ones.

July 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Nutrition

By Molly Kinnan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Encouraging children to eat a good breakfast could provide them with more than just a nutritious meal but an essential source of energy needed to get through the school day.

Two Mississippi State University Dietetic Interns, Jennifer Eggert and Nancy Bowers, have researched the importance of breakfast for children under the supervision of Dr. Barbara McLaurin, MSU Extension nutritionist specialist.

July 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Health

By Chuck Dunlap

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The bumps, bruises and sore muscles are not the only concerns for Mississippi athletes returning to school this fall. Training for exposure to the August heat is a key issue for coaches and players alike.

Average temperatures in mid-August are around 95 degrees with a heat index of 115 degrees. These numbers are extremely dangerous for anyone with prolonged exposure to it, especially those who are involved in strenuous outside athletic activities such as soccer and football.

July 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Teachers from across the state made bread, soup, ice cream and more one week this summer as they learned techniques they can use to teach their students good nutrition and health.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service held a distance learning workshop at 10 locations statewide June 28 to July 1 to teach the Exploring Nutrition in the Classroom curriculum. Three continuing education unit credits were granted to teachers who participated.

July 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- School violence in recent years make it more important than ever that today's youth learn early to accept differences in their peers and accept themselves for who they are.

Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said flexible children and families are best suited to survive any problems that come along.

July 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The value of parental input in education is indisputable, but some parents are taking their involvement to a new level with the growing trend in home schooling.

Jack Rutland of Brookhaven, president of the Mississippi Home Educators Association, said the number of families participating in home schooling has increased significantly in the last decade. The figures on home-schooled students are contained in each local school district, not at the state level, so the exact number enrolled in Mississippi is unknown.

July 2, 1999 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rains across Mississippi the last week of June arrived just in time for many fields, pastures and landscapes desperately needing relief from drought-like conditions.

Dr. Charles Wax, professor and head of geosciences at Mississippi State University, said the state had endured four months with below-average rainfall, but the rains at the end of June helped put Mississippi above average for the month.

"The showers were very scattered, but most places got at least 2 inches," Wax said.

June 28, 1999 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, 4-H Livestock Program

By Chuck Dunlap

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dozens of 4-H and FFA students gathered at Mississippi State University's new AgriCenter recently to learn how to be winners in cattle and sheep showing, as well as how to be winners in life.

The state's first Be A Champ camp was held June 18 to 20. The camp was established 15 years ago, but was previously available only in Oklahoma and Louisiana. Ages of the campers range from nine to 18 years.

June 28, 1999 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When people in the land of plenty are short of food, agencies are in place to meet needs, but keeping those agencies stocked is a community-wide effort.

John Alford, executive director of the Mississippi Food Network in Jackson, said Mississippians needing emergency food assistance increased 18 percent this year from 1998 levels. His food bank distributes food to local charitable organizations which feed the hungry.

June 28, 1999 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A viral disease is threatening unvaccinated horses in Mississippi and Louisiana earlier in the summer than normal.

Dr. Fred Lehman, Extension veterinarian with Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said health officials believe emus from a flock in Lincoln County died recently from Eastern Equine Encephalitis. On June 10, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory reported the diagnosis of the virus. Wild birds can carry the virus which is spread through mosquitoes to horses.

June 25, 1999 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish producers are among the few Mississippi farmers happy with the current market situation.

Jim Steeby, district aquaculture agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Stoneville, said temperatures and markets have favored catfish farmers this year.

"This is shaping up to be one of our best years for catfish with the price of feed and the price of fish," Steeby said. "Catfish is definitely the only bright spot on the agriculture scene so far this year."

June 21, 1999 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The marked decline in welfare numbers since 1996 is heralded by many as a welfare reform success, but questions remain about why people leave welfare and what happens to them next.

June 21, 1999 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

By Molly Kinnan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many wild dogs and their mischievous antics have become a steady problem for rural and suburban areas.

"Animals are curious and will tend to venture off from time to time. However, keeping a watchful eye on your pet can cut back on some of the wandering," said Dr. Thomas Lenarduzzi, professor of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University. "Owning a pet is a big responsibility for residents in the city and in rural areas, and pet owners need to be prepared."

June 21, 1999 - Filed Under: Fire Ants

By Rebekah Ray

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- They are chemists, architects, engineers -- and invaders.

"I don't know of anything that has been such an unstoppable force in the South like fire ants. Not only are they harmful to humans and animals, they are changing our environment," said Dr. David Pettry, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station agronomist. Pettry's research has investigated the impact fire ants are having on the environment.

June 18, 1999 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing

By Chuck Dunlap

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The first week of the Mississippi shrimp season was a slow one for shrimpers, but coastal experts are confident the 1999 season will be successful.

About 942 boats were counted during a flyover of the Mississippi Sound on opening day, slightly less than the 1,000 counted on opening day the year before. The boats will continue to concentrate their efforts in the Sound before dispersing throughout the Gulf, leaving a small fleet of Coast fishermen to work the Sound for the rest of the summer.

June 14, 1999 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crop insurance programs are too complex for a quick fix, and two Mississippi State University agricultural economists want to make sure policymakers understand that even minor changes can have major ramifications on growers and government costs.

June 14, 1999 - Filed Under: Insects-Pet Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The presence of animals can increase the number of ticks in any area, but adequate treatment can reduce the risk to people and pets.

Dr. Doug Gaydon, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the warmer the winter, the more ticks survive to multiply in the spring. More animals in an area mean tick numbers will be high.


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