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Ex-finance manager arrested for embezzlement

BAY ST. LOUIS — On Jan. 25, special agents with the State Auditor’s Office arrested Linda Gavagnie and served her with an indictment on the charge of embezzlement. Based on the evidence collected by the State Auditor’s Office, it is alleged that Gavagnie embezzled over $22,000 by making false entries into financial records of the school and transferring funds into ...

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Ex-JCJC worker sentenced for embezzlement

ELLISVILLE — After pleading guilty to embezzling more than $90,000 from Jones County Junior College (JCJC), Tracy Laird, 40, of Ellisville was sentenced to serve five years in prison and an additional five years post-release supervision. The State Auditor’s Office investigated the case where Laird admitted to embezzling funds beginning in July 2007. The Auditor’s investigation started in Feb. 2009. ...

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Non-BCS conferences receive record payments

WASHINGTON — The five college football conferences that don’t get automatic bids to the Bowl Championship Series will receive a record $24 million from this year’s BCS bowl games, according to BCS figures obtained Monday by The Associated Press. The distribution of money has been a main point of contention for congressional critics of the Bowl Championship Series system. Lawmakers ...

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Bounds, board somber as universities face budget shortfalls

JACKSON — Dr. Hank Bounds paced back and forth in an empty State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) Board Room. The usually upbeat commissioner of higher education sighed, looked over his notes, and paced some more. Bounds was waiting on a meeting of the IHL’s Board of Trustees to finalize tuition hikes as the state’s eight public universities face a ...

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Edney named interim ASU president

LORMAN — The Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) voted unanimously yesterday to appoint former Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) president Dr. Norris Edney to serve as interim president of Alcorn State University. Dr. George Ross, 58, will step down as Alcorn’s 17th president Feb. 5 to accept a new position as president of Central Michigan ...

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Universities facing drastic cuts

JACKSON — Six of Mississippi’s eight public universities plan to make up the majority of expected budget losses over the next three fiscal years with cuts, efficiencies and enrollment growth. In response to a dwindling economy, a multi-year plan for these institutions was discussed at a meeting yesterday of the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions for Higher Learning. ...

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JCJC sets new enrollment record

ELLISVILLE — Jones County Junior College reports back-to-back semesters with double digit enrollment increases. The school had an enrollment of 5,573 in the fall semester, an 11 percent increase over the previous fall. The Hattiesburg American reports the spring enrollment is 4,927, an 11.3 percent increase over spring 2009. That includes a record 751 students who enrolled the first day ...

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School consolidation study lands funding

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour’s office says two groups are paying for a school consolidation analysis in Mississippi, and his office has applied for money from a third group. Barbour spokesman Laura Hipp said yesterday that the privately-funded Barksdale Reading Institute, based in Oxford, is giving money for the study, and the National Governors Association has given the state a ...

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New healthcare publication to be released

STARKVILLE — A new publication offering information on access to healthcare in Mississippi’s 82 counties will be released this month by a research center based at Mississippi State University (MSU). “Listening to Mississippi’s Needs: Assessing Our Health Workforce 2010” was published by the Mississippi Center for Health Workforce, located at MSU’s Social Science Research Center. Lynne Cossman, an associate professor ...

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Two in running for UMMC post

JACKSON — Two finalists have been named in the search for a new vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). The finalists include one internal and one external candidate. They are Dr. Robert C. Robbins, chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, ...

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