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2015 April 30 - 10:43 pm

News Briefs

A summary listing of higher-ed-related news from around the nation

Construction Starts On Mississippi Nursing School

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Construction has started on a new nursing school building at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College campus.

MGCCCC spokeswoman Kathy McAdams said the $12 million, 48,000-square-foot will house the school’s nursing programs from the Jackson County, Jefferson Davis and Perkinston campuses.

McAdams said it will contain more than $2 million in the latest medical simulators and equipment that will give students practice in nursing techniques on lifelike manikins.

MGCCC enrolls about 450 nursing students each year. This center will allow that number to double. The building is projected to open in late 2016.

MGCCC announced plans for it in November 2013, aided by the 2012 passage of the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Act, which provides incentives for new health care-related projects. The state has a goal of 4,000 new nurses by 2016.

About $12 million for the complex comes from Katrina Community Development Block Grant money. The land was donated. MGCCC contributed about $2 million, and $3.5 million from the Mississippi Development Authority will be used for roadway, water and sewer improvements in the area.

Kan. Sports Arena Ballot Question Easily Passes

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Supporters of a $29 million renovation plan for the Hutchinson Sports Arena scored an easy win in an election earlier this month.

Unofficial returns show nearly 75 percent of the voters approved a 0.35 increase to local sales tax to update and add more space to the arena, which was built in 1953. The tax will take effect in July and remain in place for about 10 years. Hutchinson Community College has pledged $4.5 million for the project.

The Hutchinson News reports (http://bit.ly/1yUUDS3 ) the planned improvements include replacing the plumbing, electrical and heating systems, and new home men’s and women’s locker rooms. Other plans include a new main entrance, lobby and ticketing area, more restrooms, two full-sized practice gyms, a new weight room and more storage.

Proponents of the upgrades said a big reason for making them is to keep the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Hutchinson.

It has been held there for the last 66 years, even before the area was built in 1962.

Last year, the tournament notified the City of Hutchinson and arena staff that, unless the facility was updated, it may look for a home elsewhere.

Nev. Raising Bar For Scholarship Program

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Assembly has passed a bill requiring community college students to take more credits to qualify for the Millennium Scholarship.

The Assembly voted 31-10 to pass AB111. It now heads to the Senate.

Current law allows Nevada community college students to receive the scholarship if they take at least six credit hours a semester. The bill raises that to nine.

Republican sponsor Randy Kirner says the measure will push students to complete community college more quickly.

The scholarship provides enough money to cover up to 12 credit hours per semester. The bill would raise that number to 15 credit hours by 2017, although students still wouldn’t be able to receive more than $10,000 over a lifetime.

Opponents say the bill will drain the Millennium fund more quickly.

Fundraising Drive For Delta Radio Station Advances

CLARKSDALE, Miss. (AP) — A fundraising campaign to support a new radio station on the Clarksdale campus of Coahoma Community College has brought in $175,000.

The Clarksdale Press Register reports (http://bit.ly/1GBvy- DC ) the state is providing $150,000 while county supervisors this past week kicked in $25,000.

State Sen. Robert Jackson says the Federal Communication Commission gave final approval to the station. The goal is to have the 50,000-watt station operational by November.

The community college will build the station and hire people with radio experience to run it.

Jackson says the school can use the station to promote the college, offer classes, connect people with job opportunities and have farmers in the Delta.

Jackson says fundraisers will be scheduled soon to raise the other money needed for the station.

Former Student Sentenced in Fatal Stabbing

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A New York man who was attending college in Maine when he stabbed another man to death during a fight has been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison.

Akeem Harris, of Amityville, New York, was ordered by a judge to serve 10 years of an 18-year sentence and four years of probation for the April 2013 death of 30- year-old Thomas Taylor.

The 25-year-old Harris, who was attending Eastern Maine Community College, was originally charged with murder, but pleaded guilty in November to manslaughter.

Prosecutors say the men knew each other and got into a fight sparked by a dispute Harris’ friend had with Taylor. Harris said Taylor was armed too and maintained that the stabbing was in selfdefense.

Harris apologized in court.

Free College Offered to High Achievers

SHORELINE, Wash. (AP) — Shoreline Community College has announced a plan to give two years of free college to 56 high achieving local high school graduates.

The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/TZtYgq ) the new scholarship program is unique to Washington but is modeled after one in Oregon.

The Shoreline Scholars program is aimed at students with a grade-point average of at least 3.5 and some financial need.

Shoreline President Cheryl Roberts says they want to attract high-performing students who find college too expensive for them.

The college is covering the cost through existing financial aid money, with some help from private donors and its foundation.

The program is expected to cost about $400,000 over two years, and Shoreline hopes to be able to offer it every year.

Female Truck Drivers Are Program Focus

RAYMOND, Miss. (AP) — Hinds Community College and trucking company KLLM Transport Services in Richland are partnering on a project to recruit and train female truck drivers.

A $220,000 grant is being provided by the Foundation for the Mid-South to extend a current truck driving partnership between Hinds and KLLM.

Officials said funds can be used for tuition, outreach and training support. Its purpose is to increase access to middle-skill jobs for 300 people over the next two years, particularly among traditionally underrepresented populations such as women.

Since fall 2012 when the partnership was launched, 324 students have graduated and entered employment.

Students in the program receive a scholarship covering tuition and commit to working for KLLM for at least one year.

Lanier Tech Gets $10M To Start Relocation Plans

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Lanier Technical College will receive more than $10 million to purchase property and design a new campus in Hall County.

A state budget recently approved by lawmakers includes $10 million in bonds and $865,000 in state general funds for the first stage of the

project. Actually building a new campus is expected to cost substantially more.

The campus has been largely unchanged since it opened in 1966. To expand, the campus will require new facilities. The welding lab, for example, is located in a converted maintenance building, and there is no room for expansion, said Tim Evans, vice president of economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

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