Feature Story from 2000
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Subfreezing temperatures send many people seeking warmth any way they can, resulting in deadly house fires each winter season.
Preventing fires involving gas water heaters and flammable vapors is the emphasis of this year's Burn Awareness Week Feb. 6 through 12. According to information released online by the International Shriners, water heater and flammable vapor fires account for about 2,000 fires a year in the United States and lead to more than 300 deaths or injuries.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Food stored for a year-end computer glitch that didn't happen now must be stored safely until used or given away, an option food banks nationwide are welcoming.
John Alford, executive director of the Mississippi Food Network in Jackson, said the charity's parent national organization, Second Harvest, has set aside Jan. 15 to Feb. 15 as a food drive for excess Y2K stockpiled food.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Revolutionary new food safety standards are presenting a challenge to meat companies committed to providing top quality products, so Mississippi State University is serving as a resource to help meet the new regulations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Southern weddings are full of customs, but the most challenging traditions are those related to fashions.
"People in the South tend to be more conservative and traditional in their approach to weddings," said Everlyn Johnson, apparel and textiles program leader with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Usually, the more formal the wedding, the more we expect rules to be followed."
By Laura Martin
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Couples planning a short engagement should focus on simple weddings.
Sudden changes in jobs or living arrangements may prompt couples to get married within three months or less. Planning an elaborate wedding in such a short time can be difficult and expensive, but simpler weddings can be elegant and low-cost.
Nancy Freeman, Harrison County home economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service and an experienced wedding director, suggested that couples begin by making a list of what they need to do first.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Quick weight loss programs capture the attention of many soon-to-be-married couples, but health experts warn the weight loss is often temporary and can even do physical harm.
With enough time, most people can safely lose the weight they want and even keep it off after the big day. Crash and fad diets often help people shed pounds rapidly, but are not recommended for health or long-term results.
By Jennifer Wesson
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The honeymoon can be the most exciting vacation a couple takesñand the most expensive.
With the average cost of today's wedding approximately $20,000, couples must be flexible and creative in planning their honeymoon to avoid financial hardships at the beginning of their marriage.
"A honeymoon does not have to wreck a budget," said Jan Lukens, consumer management consultant with Mississippi State University Extension Service. "It doesn't take a lot of money for a couple in love to have a good time."
By Jennifer Wesson
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Planning a wedding can be stressful for any couple, but for those who elope or choose to get married away from home, pressure from family and friends can be overwhelming.
Many factors, including the desire for simplicity, could inspire a couple to opt for a quiet wedding.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Talking about potential hot topics before the wedding helps many couples avoid marital problems that could drive them apart later.
Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said preventing problems before they ever start is much better than trying to solve existing ones in a marriage.
"Preparation for marriage is vital," Davis said. "For the sake of their marriage, there are many questions couples should answer before they come to the one that ends with ëI do'."
By Rebekah Ray
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new species of termites is munching its way across the coastal South and Mississippi State University scientists have joined forces with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and several other coastal states to take aim at this intruder.
By Rebekah Ray
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton may be king in the Mississippi Delta, but research at Mississippi State University is helping the white gold grow in hilly sections of the state as well.
Cotton breeding and development is conducted by Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station breeders Dr. Ted Wallace and Dr. Roy Creech in Starkville, and Dr. John Creech at the MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.
By Rebekah Ray
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- U.S. Highway 82, the internet and telephone wires connect a Mississippi State University father-and-son research team who work on opposite sides of Mississippi.
Both Dr. Roy Creech and his son, Dr. John Creech, are looking for ways to improve Mississippi's leading row crop, cotton. One has a lab at MSU in Starkville and the other conducts research at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farming has always been risky business and current economic pressures mean more is at stake with each decision farmers make, but Mississippi farmers can get additional assistance through a new Extension Service effort.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service has always worked with the state's farmers in whatever conditions exist. Today, that emphasis is turning to managing the risks associated with farming.
By Suzanne Berry
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Job-related stress can affect a working dog's health much like it does humans, but diagnosing problems in an animal that cannot communicate feelings can make treatment a challenge.
Hurricane Bob, an 8-year-old labrador retriever worked as an arson-sniffing dog for the Jackson Fire Department until an unknown illness began to take a serious toll on his health last fall.
By Laura Martin
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's white-tailed deer face hard times during the winter and early spring, but planting food plots during this time of year can provide the nutrition they need.
Dean Stewart, wildlife specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service said the spring and summer are critical times for white-tailed deer when protein is needed for antler growth for bucks and reproduction of fawns. Planting food plots in late winter or early spring can play a critical role in providing the nutrition they need.
By Rebekah Ray
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The harvesting and processing of seafood delicacies such as oysters is a major industry along the Gulf Coast, and research is underway to improve Mississippi's competitive edge by speeding up the processes and increase food safety.
Mississippi State University seafood scientist Dr. Custy Fernandes has received more than $250,000 in grants from the Gulf Coast Industry Initiative to evaluate food safety methods and mechanize oyster harvesting and processing.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A delegation from Poland recently visited Mississippi to get ideas for a new veterinary facility at the Warsaw Agricultural University.
Mississippi State University hosted the president, vice president, head of administration, two veterinarians and an architect who studied the physical structure and general philosophy of the College of Veterinary Medicine in Starkville.
Drs. Randy and Karyl Buddington, professors of biological sciences at MSU, were two of the hosts for the delegation.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Because property lines mean nothing to deer, management of deer populations must cross those lines as well if the herd is to have quality bucks available for harvest.
Mississippi has an estimated 2 million deer, giving it the highest concentration of deer of any other state in the country. This figure is generated from hunter harvest reports.
MISSISSIPPI STATE - Biologists are encouraging Mississippi catfish producers to control snails in ponds to combat a parasite that caused some severe fingerling losses last year.
1999 was the first year this internal parasite, a trematode tentatively identified as Bolbophorus confusus, was found in Mississippi Delta channel catfish. It is rarely fatal to large catfish, but it can kill young catfish, or fingerlings.
JACKSON -- Young people in 4-H and FFA recently concluded their 1999-2000 season with the No. 1 youth livestock sale east of the Mississippi River.
The Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions has paid more than $2 million to young livestock exhibitors over the 31 years since the sale was organized. This year, buyers paid $165,828 for 34 market hogs, lambs and steers. In addition to the sale of animals, the Dixie National Sales Committee was able to sponsor scholarships worth $1,000 each for 19 high school seniors to attend Mississippi colleges.