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Tuberculosis remains a scourge in Mississippi
by Sid Salter
May 24, 2016 | 109 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STARKVILLE – In writing a book about the beloved broadcaster Jack Cristil five years ago, I learned more about tuberculosis than I ever thought I would and in the process, I learned that the although the disease has been in steady decline for a number of years, health care professionals still worry about TB making a comeback around the world and in Mississippi. Cristil, a heavy smoker from the days of his youth in Memphis until his death in 2014 in Tupelo, was never afflicted with TB. But the disease still scarred his life and deeply impacted the life of his father, Benjamin Cristil. Jack Cristil’s relationship with his father was complex. Benjamin Cristil contracted tuberculosis soon after his marriage and was sent to a sanatorium in Denver, Colorado, for treatment. The elder Cristil would make a few trips home to visit his wife and children, but he spent the majority of Jack’s life battling tuberculosis before his death in 1939 when Jack was but 13 years old. The Mayo Clinic defines tuberculosis as “a potentially serious infectious disease that primarily affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air through coughs and sneezes.” In the late 1800s and into the first half of the next century, tuberculosis was a widely misunderstood and feared disease that was commonly called “consumption” because of the nature in which the disease “consumed” its victims through weight loss, fever, night sweats and “frequent blood-tinged sputum.” Victims of tuberculosis were feared as carriers and referred to through the term of derision “lungers.” Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the 19th century. While family records are unclear as to the exact date that Benjamin Cristil began his treatment in the Denver sanatorium, there is little doubt where Cristil received his treatment. By virtue of his Jewish faith, his humble economic circumstances and his growing family, it’s almost certain that Benjamin Cristil first received his sanatorium treatment at National Jewish Hospital in Denver – a project that was funded by the national Jewish organization B’nai B’rith. A September 2004 study by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment documents the opening of the National Jewish Hospital in Denver in 1899 as the “first sanatorium in the state (of Colorado) and perhaps in the country that was dedicated to treatment of indigent TB patients. Its motto was “None May Enter Who Can Pay – None Can Pay Who Enter.” National Jewish primarily accepted “incipient” TB cases or those who were likely to recover, according to the 2004 Colorado DPHE study. Yet both of Jack’s sisters, Zelda and Miriam, remembered that letters from their father in Colorado and the return mail to him from their home in Memphis bore the address “Spivak, Colorado” – a locale now identified as a former western suburb of Denver on West Colfax Avenue in Denver proper – that was the location of the Sanatorium of the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society that was founded in 1904 by Dr. Charles David Spivak, a Russian Jew, to accommodate the many Jewish consumptives who did not seem likely to recover but had nowhere else to go. Jack Cristil was a small boy during these years, and his memories were scant of the specifics of his father’s illness. “All I know is that he spent five or six years in a sanatorium in Denver, Colorado, and that he died there,” said Jack. “They shipped his body home on the train.” The elder Cristil died July 18, 1939, at the age of 51 and was interred in the historic Baron Hirsch Jewish Cemetery in Memphis. Hasn’t TB been cured? While the disease had declined, it still threatens us in Mississippi. In 2014, the TB case rate declined from 3.02 to 2.96 per 100,000 persons, representing a 2.2 percent decrease from 2013. In Mississippi, the rate declined to 2.47 per 100,000 persons. In the long run, TB has declined among blacks and whites in the state, but there has been a spike in the incidence of TB among African Americans since 2013. But the incidence of TB among Asians and American Indians has been somewhat flat in recent history. In 2015, Mississippi had 74 cases of TB – and 19 or 24 percent of patients were white, 51 or 69 percent were black, and five or seven percent were Asian. Is immigration a factor in the spread of TB? There’s no simple answer. But the fact is, the CDC reports that “foreign-born persons have accounted for the majority of TB cases in the U.S. every year since 2001. Moreover, the case rate among foreign-born persons in 2014 was approximately 13 times higher than among U.S.-born persons. In Mississippi, the highest TB case rates in 2014 were in Pontotoc, LeFlore, Yalobusha, Yazoo, Hinds, Adams, Jefferson, Walthall, Lawrence and Greene counties. Over half the state’s counties had no reported TB cases. (Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him sidsalter@sidsalter.com.)
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Museum is big step in right direction
by Wyatt Emmerich
May 24, 2016 | 66 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Delta can capitalize on music tourism. The new Grammy Museum in Cleveland is a big step in that direction. The $20 million, 28,000-square-foot museum opened in March with two dozen exhibits and a 130-seat theater. Each month the museum, located on the Delta State University campus, brings different Grammy winners to host a lecture. It’s a great cultural attraction. Legendary sound engineer Geoff Emerick was in Cleveland last weekend. My friend Scott Coopwood, publisher of the Cleveland Current, the Delta Magazine and the Delta Business Journal, invited Ginny and me up for a reception at his house for Geoff. Even though we had planned to go to JazzFest in New Orleans that weekend, we couldn’t pass this up. Parties are always great in the Delta. I am a Beatle Baby from way back and Geoff shares my last name. I have always felt very fortunate to have grown up with the Beatles. I can remember being a fan at age six, when we gathered around a record player and listened to Meet the Beatles until the vinyl was scratched beyond audibility. I was nine when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. That’s an extremely impressionable age. As a young teen, I was lead guitarist for a local band, the Cairo Speed Limit. We once were featured on the local TV station in Houston, Texas, where I lived at the time. There were only two stations back then, which made us quite famous in the neighborhood. We played many Beatles songs. So how cool to hang out with Geoff Emerick, who won a Grammy for producing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. I hung out with a guy that hung out with the Beatles. Only one level of separation. It’s like a bucket list item was checked. The party was a perfect size, maybe 30-40 great Delta people. I got lots of quality time with Geoff who was as nice as a person could be. He patiently told me numerous stories about the Beatles. As sound engineer, he was like the fifth Beatle, working day-in and day-out for months at a time as they wrote, re-wrote and edited their songs. The first album Emerick worked on was Revolver with its famous track "Tomorrow Never Knows.” It was Emerick's innovation to record John Lennon's vocal through a Leslie speaker on that song to get the ethereal sound Lennon wanted. At one point, in Benefit for Mr. Kite, Emerick cut pieces of tape with scissors, threw them up in the air and then spliced them back together to get the carnival like atmosphere John Lennon wanted. Geoff said John was both the most moody and the Beatle with the best sense of humor. Paul was the most outgoing. George and Ringo were far more quiet, as John and Paul were doing most of the composition. After the Beatles returned from India where they hung out with a maharaja guru, things changed dramatically. “Something happened on that trip that changed everything,” Emerick told me. “They were at each other’s throats when they got back.” Emerick couldn’t take it any more. It was like going through a divorce. In the middle of the White Album, he quit. Now living in Los Angeles, Emerick has led a very fruitful and productive career in sound engineering. In 2006, he released his book: Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles, which has been critically acclaimed. I hate to say it, but I was spoiled by the Beatles. They were too good, too creative, too brilliant. Somehow the Beatles were able to reinvent themselves album by album, inventing entire genres of music on the fly. Their bold step into the unknown spurred a cultural revolution still reverberating today. They were, quite simply, the greatest. It was a privilege to grow up with them. Their music no doubt profoundly influenced me. As for being cousins, there simply aren’t very many Emmerichs in the world, no matter how you spell the name. Geoff was the only Emerick in England when he lived there. After a brief discussion about family genealogy, we concluded we must be cousins, which works for me. After the party at the Coopwoods, everybody headed to the ultimate juke joint, Po’ Monkey’s in Merigold. Scott put together a makeshift band which included Roger Fisher, songwriter and lead guitar player for the famous band Heart. Our musical weekend continued as the family headed down to JazzFest in New Orleans the next day. I was looking forward to hours and hours of great music, great food, great people and sunshine. As it turns out, a flash flood shut down the show as soon as we got there. Fortunately, I had brought pocket ponchos for everybody and we were not totally soaked. The fairgrounds became a total mess of mud. Hotel Indigo is brand new and funky in the heart of the Garden District. It was a joy to watch 14-year-old Ruth and her friend Tatum enjoy their first fondue at the Melting Pot. It was a nice night in the Garden. The next day, more torrential rains. The handful of fans who stuck it out were treated with two hours of Neil Young with distorted guitar riffs ending every song. Into every life a little rain must fall. There’s always next year.
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All-Star game ends in shutout 
by Blake D. Long
May 23, 2016 | 67 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOONEVILLE — The West evened the series in the Northeast Mississippi Football Coaches Association (NEMFCA) All-Star Game with a 31-0 decision over the East during the fourth edition of this event. The contest was held on the campus of Northeast Mississippi Community College for the third consecutive year with a nice crowd of approximately 750 fans at Tiger Stadium. The designated visiting team on the scoreboard wasted little time in taking the lead. Jack Wilson of East Webster High School raced 58 yards down the home sideline on the West’s second play from scrimmage. Choctaw County High School’s Danny Woodard capitalized on the lengthy run one play later with a two-yard scamper into the end zone to place the West ahead 7-0 with 7:41 remaining in the opening quarter. The East’s defense made several key plays to stay within one score of the West in the first half. Northeast signees Jaylon Ewing of West Point High School and J.T. Loving of Shannon High School stopped a fake field goal attempt by the West well short of the first down marker. A mishandled snap in the red zone was recovered by Itawamba Agricultural High School’s Tray Miller of the East squad midway through the second quarter to halt another scoring opportunity for the West. Turnovers were the demise of the East in the second half. They had miscues on their initial three possessions of the third period, including fumble recoveries by Coco Bays of Winona High School and Falkner High School’s Dillon Davis plus an interception by Grenada High School product D’Alforne Burt. The West transitioned those mistakes into 10 points. East Webster’s Tyler Cosby connected on a 30-yard field goal while Wilson’s one-yard quarterback keeper pushed the West ahead 17-0. A little trickery helped the West extend its advantage just before the conclusion of the third. Running back Jaalen Thomas caught a lateral pass and then found fellow Calhoun City High School teammate Jyair Pierce for a 32-yard touchdown. Thomas completed the scoring for the West with a 42-yard pass to Woodard with 4:39 left in the matchup. He had 102 passing yards in relief of Wilson during the final period. Wilson, who led East Webster to the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 2A championship contest last fall at the University of Mississippi’s Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the West with game-highs of 18 rushes and 123 yards. Tupelo High School’s Quien Salters was tabbed as the Offensive MVP for the home team. He had a beautiful 27-yard reception in tight coverage during the East’s best drive of the night that ended in a turnover on downs. Tias Hilliard of MHSAA Class 5A state runner-up Oxford High School received Defensive MVP honors for the victors while Okolona High School’s Josh Ford won the same award for the East. NEMFCA officials unveiled two new scholarship awards that represent outstanding sportsmanship and leadership in honor of late coaches Joe Horton of Tippah County and Riley Presley of Booneville. Loving and Woodard were the inaugural recipients of these prestigious honors. Four individuals were enshrined into the NEMFCA Hall of Fame prior to kickoff. Among the second-ever class of inductees were coaching legends Jimmy Dillinger (Baldwyn), Darrell Logan (Bruce), Bob Monroe (Tupelo) and Tommy Morton (Pontotoc). The NEMFCA All-Star Game splits teams based upon the location of their high school either east or west of U.S. Highway 45 from the Tennessee state line to Shannon and U.S. Highway 45 Alternate to the junction of U.S. Highway 82. The West has captured two straight triumphs and held the East scoreless for six quarters in a row. The two units are tied 2-2 in the all-time results, which dates back to the initial matchup in 2013.
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Mississippi State makes dramatic rise

by The Associated Press
May 23, 2016 | 64 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mississippi State won the Southeastern Conference regular-season title one year after finishing in the league basement. Now the Bulldogs want to carry the momentum of that dramatic rise into the postseason. Mississippi State (40-14-1, 21-9 SEC) enters this week's Southeastern Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed after winning its first regular-season league title since 1989. The Bulldogs had gone 24-30 overall and 8-22 in conference play in 2015 to finish last in the Western Division and post the SEC's worst overall league record. Bulldogs coach John Cohen, who played for Mississippi State's last SEC regular-season champions, said there isn't much of a gap separating the top of the conference from the bottom. "If you're an inch off in the Southeastern Conference, you're going to get punched in the mouth a lot," Cohen said. SEC Tournament play begins Tuesday in Hoover, Alabama. No. 6 seed Vanderbilt (41-15, 18-12) faces No. 11 seed Missouri (26-29, 9-21), No. 7 seed Mississippi (40-16, 18-12) meets No. 10 seed Georgia (27-29, 11-19), No. 8 seed Kentucky (32-24, 15-15) battles No. 9 seed Alabama (31-24, 15-15) and No. 5 seed LSU (39-17, 19-11) tackles No. 12 seed Tennessee (29-27, 9-21) in single-elimination games. Tuesday's winners advance to double-elimination play beginning Wednesday along with Mississippi State, No. 2 seed South Carolina (42-13, 20-9), No. 3 seed Texas A&M (41-13, 20-10) and No. 4 seed Florida (44-11, 19-10). The tournament returns to a single-elimination format Saturday and has a championship game Sunday. Mississippi State made its dramatic rise up the standings by getting improvement from its new players and receiving a huge impact from its newcomers. Mississippi State's three top batting averages are owned by freshman Jake Mangum (.427) and junior-college transfers Nathaniel Lowe (.359) and Jack Kruger (.358). Kruger has a team-high .570 slugging percentage, Mangum leads the Bulldogs in on-base percentage (.479) and Lowe has a team-leading 47 RBIs. "Those are all three new guys who have just had great first years," Cohen said. "That's not common in the Southeastern Conference." Cohen also led Kentucky to a regular-season title in 2006 and is the second coach to win an SEC regular-season championship at two different schools. Ron Polk led Mississippi State to four SEC regular-season championships before winning one at Georgia in 2001. Here are some things to watch in the SEC tournament. FIGHTING FOR POSITION: The top SEC teams already are assured of NCAA Tournament invitations but are trying to improve their positioning. Florida, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Ole Miss, LSU and Vanderbilt all would like to be considered as regional hosts and/or national seeds. BUBBLE BATTLE: Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard and Kentucky's Gary Henderson acknowledge their teams are on the NCAA Tournament bubble after going .500 in conference play during the regular season. The two teams face each other Tuesday. "You've got to win this game, you've got to get to the double-elimination part, you've probably got to beat (Mississippi State) on Wednesday and build those RPI points," Henderson said. Gaspard said that "the winner of that game is going to have a whole lot more comfort after it and the loser is going to be sitting home on pins and needles for a week." DOMINANT GATORS/TIGERS: LSU has won five of the last eight SEC tournaments. Florida won last year's SEC Tournament and also earned the title in 2011. WHO'S SURGING: Mississippi State is on an 11-game winning streak. LSU had won 11 in a row — including two straight victories over Florida — before losing its regular-season finale to the Gators. WHO'S MISSING: Auburn (23-33, 8-22) and Arkansas (26-29, 7-23) had the SEC's two worst conference records and consequently didn't make the 12-team tournament field. With its losing record, Arkansas also is expected to miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001.
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Mangum wins

 Ferris Trophy
by The Associated Press
May 23, 2016 | 74 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSON -- Mississippi State freshman outfielder Jake Mangum has won this year's Ferriss Trophy, which is given to Mississippi's top college baseball player. Mangum, of Pearl, becomes the first freshman to take home the award in its 12-year history and is the fifth Mississippi State player to receive it. Mangum finished the 2016 regular season leading the Southeastern Conference in batting with a .427 average. That number is good for third in the NCAA and is first among freshmen in the entire country. Mangum bested four other finalists, including teammates junior pitcher Dakota Hudson and junior outfielder Reid Humphreys. Other finalists were Ole Miss outfielder J.B. Woodman and Delta State outfielder Will Robertson. The award is sponsored by C Spire Wireless.
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