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July 31, 1998 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As if the drought wasn't hard enough on this year's corn crop, growers now prepare for harvest with the threat of yield-reducing corn borers and a drought-related fungus.

Dr. Scott D. Stewart, assistant Extension entomology specialist in Raymond, said most of Mississippi's crop has damage from corn borers, especially in the Delta counties.

July 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Food Safety

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Ants may be the least of your picnics concerns if you fail to handle the food safely. Microorganisms can multiply and cause serious health consequences making the outdoor fun fade from memory.

"When handling food at a picnic, it is important to remember three things -- time, temperature and personal hygiene," said Dr. Melissa Mixon, a human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

July 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Food Safety

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Botulism, one of the most deadly forms of food borne illness, is rare, but experts say it can be fatal if not treated properly.

"Botulism is a severe type of food borne illness caused by food containing a deadly toxin," said Dr. Melissa Mixon, a human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "This toxin is caused by a microorganism that has the ability to form a spore resistant to heat, chemicals and lack of oxygen."

July 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Preventing cockroaches can be a challenge even in the cleanest homes, but cures are available when these intruders invade.

"Cockroaches have been around for thousands of years indicating they can adapt well to environmental changes," said Dr. James Jarratt, an entomologist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

July 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Summer activities may be concluding, but schoolagers still need to include physical activities in their daily routine to avoid being overweight. Healthy diets also benefit learning capabilities.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control indicates a continuing increase in overweight children and adolescents in the United States. Reports estimate 14 percent of the children and 12 percent of the adolescents are overweight. Diet and physical activity are the two primary behavioral factors associated with extra weight.

July 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Pets

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When indoor cats destroy furniture and scratch people, owners know that declawing will take care of the problem, but many may wonder whether this medical procedure is too extreme.

"Declawing is not painful for cats, when performed at a young age,"said Dr. Kent Stauffer, a clinical instructor with Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. "It is not traumatic for them and it does not affect their behavior as is often said."

July 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Education and the quality of life for Mississippians is getting a boost through a new partnership between Mississippi State University's Extension Service and the College of Education's service division.

July 24, 1998 - Filed Under: Poultry

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Heat and humidity, some of broilers' worst enemies, have been harsh this summer causing Mississippi poultry industries to suffer significant bird losses.

"The loss of birds has not been catastrophic this summer," said Mike McAlpin, president of the Mississippi Poultry Association. "But they have been considerably higher than last summer."

McAlpin said heat and humidity affect bird weight and eating habits. He said birds do not eat as well during high temperatures, causing them to gain weight slower.

July 17, 1998 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent, unseasonal rains are just what the doctor ordered --the plant doctor, that is.

Most of the state received several inches of rain the second week of July, ending drought-like conditions that were taking their toll on nonirrigated crops. Corn was one of the hardest hit by the lack of rain at a critical growth stage, followed by cotton, soybeans and pastures that were suffering.

Dr. David Shaw, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station weed scientist, said most farmers received more than the proverbial million dollar rain.

July 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Memories of a deadly 1997-1998 school year have many parents facing new fears about sending their children to school, but the solution to the violence may rest on the adults.

According to information posted on the Internet by the Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education, nearly 1 million students took guns to school in the 1997 academic year.

July 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Technology

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Internet, allows billions of people to entertain and inform themselves, but it also can be a priceless teaching tool for today's students.

"A very important advantage students get from using the Internet is immediate access to information from all over the world," said Dr. Matt Raven, an associate professor with the Mississippi State University's Agricultural Educational and Experimental Statistics Department.

July 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dressing students for school both fashionably and sensibly does not have to eat up the grocery money if parents have a plan and a budget before they start.

Dr. Betty Fulwood, clothing specialist at Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said parents should determine what the child needs and how these can be met within the budget.

"The first step in getting back-to-school clothes ready is to inventory what the child already has," Fulwood said. "New items often can be added to extend the existing wardrobe."

July 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When a child does not want to go to school, parents should take note because it could signal something more serious than simply not wanting to study.

Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said problems on the first day of school are common for young children, but consistent episodes could mean trouble.

July 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- New interpretations of education laws will result in less separating of children with special needs from their classmates this fall. Advocates believe the success of inclusive education will depend strongly on positive attitudes and a lack of prejudices.

Connie Clay, a project coordinator with the Institute for Disability Studies, is a believer in inclusion in the classroom.

July 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When classes begin, students realize nothing comes cheap -- books, tuition and housing. Credit cards are often used to pay these inevitable expenses, but many students later learn credit cards may not be the best financial option.

According to a CNN 1996 report published on the Internet, most college students are bombarded with nearly 20 credit cards applications each semester. Since most college students have little or no income, many question why credit-card companies target this high-risk group.

July 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Marcela Cartagena

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Acne, awkward limbs, body growth, hormonal rushes and moodiness are some recognizable signs puberty brings to children and parental communication could make a difference to ease children's emotional and physical stress.

"Children from ages 9 to 16, embark on an amazing adventure at puberty," said Linda Patterson, health education specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "This is when the brain begins to send signals to a child's reproductive system to develop."

July 10, 1998 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rains across parts of the state breathed new life into some parched soybean fields, but much of the state's crop is still in critical need of moisture.

Storms have brought more than an inch of rain to parts of northeast and central Mississippi, while other areas, including most of the Delta, did not get any.

Dr. David Shaw, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station weed scientist, said soybean yields will drop significantly if the rest of the crop does not get rain in seven to 10 days.

July 2, 1998 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather that had most other farmers praying for rain has had a positive effect on Mississippi's shrimp harvest.

"We've had good growing conditions Gulfwide," said Dave Burrage, marine resources specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Two months of dry weather have resulted in increased salinity and temperatures -- the higher, the better."

June 29, 1998 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Thousands of miles from the Asian financial crises, Mississippi university students are feeling the pinch.

Dr. Bill Herndon, agricultural economist at Mississippi State University, said some foreign currencies have plummeted in the last six months. The countries most affected include Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines and Singapore.

June 29, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Keeping fresh flowers proves difficult, but drying flowers can be a creative and fun way to preserve flowers for decoration.

Dried flowers work well in bouquets, pressed flower pictures, potpourri, wreaths and as a wall decoration.

Norman Winter, a Mississippi State University Extension Service horticulturalist, said flowers like strawflower, baby's breath and cockscomb air dry easily.

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