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AG Partnering with MDE to Host Facebook Roadshow at Clinton High School

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http://on.fb.me/n9x9Ri. Facebook staff will show parents and students how to be safe online, offering both specific tips on how Facebook works and general guidance related to social networking sites. In addition, Facebook representatives will be available to answer questions about its site. Held in conjunction with cyber security and identity theft awareness month, the Facebook Roadshow is a unique opportunity for Mississippians. One of the first of its kind in the nation, the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Education are making strides to provide students and parents with the necessary tools to make wise decisions regarding online activities, particularly those involving social networking sites. “As co-chair of the Tech Committee for the National Association of Attorneys General, I have encouraged Facebook to help us educate parents how to monitor their children’s internet activities,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.  “I look forward to working with Facebook to give parents and young people the ability to better prevent cyber bullying, threats, and inappropriate solicitations on-line.  I hope that parents will take this opportunity to either kick-start or reclaim control over their child’s social networking.” “The Mississippi Board of Education and  MDE administration are committed to ensuring that the students of our state are safe and able to succeed in school. We are focused on preventing all types of bullying, including cyber bullying,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tom Burnham. “These sessions are a good opportunity for parents to learn how social media works and how to effectively monitor their children on-line.” “We know that our students are using social media, and it’s critical that they know how to protect themselves online,” said Dr. Eddie Peasant, Clinton High School principal.  “We hope to have as many of our students and parents at this presentation as possible. We believe that this presentation can start the conversation about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to post on social media sites, and give parents and students the tools they need to stay safe online.” Additional online safety tips are available through the Attorney General’s Office at www.agjimhood.com.]]]]> ]]>

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Vicksburg among MS communities to see boost in wireless connectivity

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Vicksburg is among many communities in Mississippi that will be seeing a big boost in wireless connectivity, AT&T announced Tuesday.

AT&T said in a statement that it has added dozens of new sites already this year to enhance coverage and help give residents and first responders faster, more reliable wireless service. These investments will help customers get the most out of their mobile devices.

“As we all continue to recognize the growing importance of connectivity in our daily lives, these type investments help us stay connected to the world around us, and they also help us remain competitive and make us more attractive to outside investment and job creation,” said Gov. Tate Reeves in the statement. “While we all recognize that there is more work to be done to connect Mississippians, we applaud AT&T for doing that work.”

Without question, it is essential that our customers stay connected in today’s environment, the company said. That’s why we’re boosting network reliability and capacity as we expand our network. This helps residents in communities across Mississippi to get the best possible experience over the AT&T network wherever they live, work and play, including the following areas:

  • Ashland
  • Braxton
  • Canton
  • Carthage
  • Coila
  • Collinsville
  • DeKalb
  • Ethel
  • Gloster
  • Grace
  • Grenada
  • Hazlehurst
  • Iuka
  • Leakesville
  • Magee
  • Morton
  • Mount Olive
  • New Albany
  • Ovett
  • Parchman
  • Perkinston
  • Pontotoc
  • Poplarville
  • Port Gibson
  • Sandy Hook
  • Shaw
  • Silver Creek
  • St. Louis
  • State Line
  • Starkville
  • Swiftown
  • Union
  • Utica
  • Vicksburg

“We are committed to enhancing connectivity for businesses, residents and first responders in communities across Mississippi, and these network expansions are good examples of the work we’re accomplishing as a result of the hundreds of millions of dollars we’ve invested in Mississippi,” said Mayo Flynt, president, AT&T Mississippi.

The upgrades will also benefit public safety and first responders on FirstNet – public safety’s dedicated communications platform — and giving Mississippi’s first responders access to the nation’s fastest overall network experience. FirstNet is bringing public safety communications into the 21st century with new, innovative capabilities to help those users stay safe and save lives.

At many of these new locations, our enhancements also bring Band 14 spectrum to the areas. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane. In an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers. When not in use by FirstNet subscribers, AT&T customers can enjoy Band 14’s added coverage and capacity.

From 2017 to 2019, AT&T invested nearly $750 million in wireless and wired networks in Mississippi. These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and their businesses, the company said.

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Chris Wells to serve as permanent director of MDEQ

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Chris Wells MDEQ director
Chris Wells (photo courtesy MS Governor's office)

Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that Chris Wells will serve as the permanent executive director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Wells served as the chief of staff at MDEQ for six years, and the senior attorney for the department before that. He has served as interim executive director since the governor’s inauguration in January. Wells is a graduate of Mississippi State University and the Mississippi College School of Law.

“Chris is a dedicated public servant who has spent the bulk of his career working for the people of Mississippi,” Reeves said. “He knows what it means to put their priorities first, and he has been a steady hand in this vital role since I took office. I have the utmost confidence in him, and I know that he will continue to serve the people well.”

“I look forward to continuing our efforts to protect Mississippi’s air, land and water,” Wells said. “Our mission is to look out for the people of this state and ensure that we can always be proud of our incredible God-given resources. I’m grateful for the governor’s trust in me as we serve this state as a team.”

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Wicker, Hyde-Smith encourage students to apply for U.S. Senate Youth Program

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Mississippi’s U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith are encouraging Mississippi high school juniors and seniors involved in student leadership to apply for the 2021 U.S. Senate Youth Program, an educational program that will provide $10,000 college scholarships to two delegates from the Magnolia State.

A Dec. 1, 2020, application deadline has been set for the program’s 59th annual Washington Week, March 14-18, 2021. Because of COVID-19 concerns, the USSYP 2021 Washington Week ONLINE will be virtual.

“The 2021 U.S. Senate Youth Program is adapting to our current environment and going virtual. This year’s program will provide a unique opportunity for our state’s young leaders to engage with our nation’s highest levels of government,” said Sen. Wicker, who serves on the USSYP Senate Advisory Committee. “I encourage every eligible student to apply for this special opportunity.”

“Even as a virtual experience, the Senate Youth Program offers student leaders a chance to get firsthand exposure to our nation’s leaders and the workings of the government. I encourage Mississippi’s talented students to look at this valuable program and apply for the 2021 Washington Week,” said Sen. Hyde-Smith.

Applicants must be juniors or seniors and elected or appointed student officers for the 2019-2020 or the 2020-2021 academic year. Because of COVID-19, students unable to serve in qualifying leadership positions for the 2020-2021 academic year may use positions held in the previous year.

The selected Mississippi delegates will be among 104 student delegates overall. The Hearst Foundation fully funds this program, which provides a $10,000 college scholarship to each delegate.

The 2021 Washington Week ONLINE, like previous in person programs, will connect USSYP delegates with the highest-level officials from each branch of government, including their senators, the president, cabinet secretaries, a justice of the Supreme Court, senior members of the national media and other key policymakers.

Interested students can visit https://www.ussenateyouth.org/ for more information. The USSYP 2021 Washington Week ONLINE brochure is available here. To apply, students should also contact their high school principal or Mississippi’s state selection administrator:

Mrs. Sandra Hilliard
Education Specialist, Sr.
Mississippi Department of Education
[email protected] –601-359-2213

For more information on the program, visit https://mdek12.org/OTL/OTC/USSYP.

Mississippi’s 2020 USSYP delegates were Bobby Current of Olive Branch and Alex Stradinger of Ridgeland.

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