Friday, January 4, 2013

NEMCC/Booneville host The Unchained Tour stops


As many of the old Southern porch stories start out, Northeast Mississippi Community College will host one of the few daytime stops of The Unchained Tour during its latest trek through the southeastern United States.

The Unchained Tour is scheduled to stop at Northeast on Tuesday, January 15 for a raconteur workshop and stay in the City of Hospitality for its evening show at the old Booneville Hardware store for a night of story-telling.

The Unchained Tour prides itself on raconteuring during its shows – the art of telling unscripted, personal, porch-like stories that many Southerners grew up with.

It is that style that has brought the tour to Mississippi because a Booneville native served as the inspiration for The Moth – a series of story-telling events held in New York City.

From the humble beginnings of a porch-style story, the storytelling events have taken root in towns across the country and The Moth series has regular meetings in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and Boston and has even been picked up by National Public Radio (NPR) in it’s “Moth on the Radio” program that broadcasts to over 200 radio stations.

However, The Moth storytellers wanted to go toward the light and take their stories on the road. George Dawes Green, who founded The Moth, also founded The Unchained Tour as a way to get those stories out to the masses – all while traveling on a 1972 Bluebird school bus that has been decorated by various artists throughout the country including a team of artisans from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

While unaffiliated with each other, The Moth regulars are hired to be storytellers on The Unchained Tour.

Green’s inspiration for The Moth and ultimately The Unchained Tour came from his love of the porch-style stories that he heard from Booneville native Wanda Bullard at her home in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, and it is in Bullard’s memory that The Unchained Tour makes its stops in northeast Mississippi on Tuesday, January 15.

Bullard passed away in 2011 at the age of 63 but the former special education teacher’s inspiration lives on through The Unchained Tour and The Moth – which the nights of storytelling on her porch helped to found in 1997.

The Unchained Tour brings to life not only the art of raconteur but puts a modern twist on the Southern porch-style stories as presenters draw from their own personal experiences and provide stories that are funny, captivate the attention, apply real-life scenarios and provoke thoughtful contemplation.

Storytellers for the Booneville events are Annie Duke, Tim Manley, Michaela Blei, Peter Aguero and Christopher Paul Stelling.

Duke is a poker champion and has made appearances on “The World Series of Poker” and is the author of “Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker,” and has authored other books as well. Duke holds a double major in English and psychology from Columbia University and studied cognitive psychology as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Manley is a mentor with the PEN American’s Writers in Prison Program and is a writer of fiction stories and also draws comics. Blei, when not storytelling, is a Ph.D. candidate, a writer, an educator and coaches storytelling in the New York City area.

Aguero, a multi-talented artist, currently hosts The Moth and is a member of The BTK Band – one of New York City’s leading improvised storytelling rock bands.

Stelling will serve as the musician for the evening. A songwriter, Stelling, has released “Songs of Praise and Scorn” and is set to release “False Cities” in the fall.

The Unchained Tour helps local economies as well. With a focus toward the independent bookstore market, The Unchained Tour focuses its stops on independent bookstores as a way of bringing storytelling to the communities and aid those bookstores find new customers.

Tickets for the night event at the old Booneville Hardware store in downtown Booneville can be purchased online at or from Kuttin UP Salon – which is owned by Wanda Bullard’s sister Saundra -- at 303 S. Second Street.


Northeast Phi Theta Kappa schedules blood drive

Northeast Mississippi Community College’s Iota Zeta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society will start the New Year off right by rolling up its sleeves to help those in need.

Northeast’s Phi Theta Kappa will host a two-day blood drive on January 16-17 in the Claude Wright Room on the second floor of the Haney Union in Booneville.

Donations will be accepted from 10:15 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. both days and the event serves as one of the organization’s tri-annual blood drives that it holds each year.

Northeast’s Phi Theta Kappa routinely holds blood drives in January, April and September each year and it is through those blood drives that the local organization helps out not just Northeast but the surrounding northeast Mississippi area as well.

To help facilitate the process of registration for the blood drive, appointments for the Northeast blood drive can be made at by using the sponsor code NEMCC or by contacting Phi Theta Kappa sponsor Andrea Mathis at (662) 720-7353 or by e-mail at

While appointments help speed the process along, walk-up donations are also appreciated.

During its September 2012 drive, the Northeast organization was able to get 100 people to register for donations and produced 89 units of blood toward the cause during the two-day event.

Each of the 89 products has the potential of being converted three different ways due to component therapy causing the reach of the latest blood drive to be as high as 267 people.

In its January 2012 blood drive, Northeast was able to produce 96 products of blood.

Since January 2008, Northeast’s Phi Theta Kappa has been able to produce 1,170 products of blood – enough to reach over 3,500 people that are in need of blood.

Northeast’s Phi Theta Kappa has held 12 regular blood drives since January 2008 and brought the United Blood Services Bloodmobile in for two more drives in just under 48 months.

During the last 12 regularly-schedule blood drives on the Northeast campus, Phi Theta Kappa has been able to account for 1,054 units.

Northeast gave 52 units during a January 2008 drive and put in a massive 82 units just nine months later during a September 2008 drive.

Northeast picked up its January pace with 67 in the opening month of 2009 and then produced one of the largest blood drives in recent memory with the 139-unitproduction during a two-day drive in September.

Northeast brought in the United Blood Services Bloodmobile for a pair of drives in February and April of 2009 and produced another 86 units.

During the January 2010 blood drive, Northeast broke a blood-giving milestone when the college collected its 500th product early on the second day of the event.

Northeast produced 112 products during the January drive and followed that drive up with 58 during the April drive – just three months after the112-product event.

In September 2010, Northeast matched its January production with 112 products before three drives in 2011 produced 282 products. January 2011 saw the college collect 81 products while the April drive ended with 96 donations.

Northeast broke the 100-product barrier again in September 2011 when the college rolled up its sleeves for a 105-product two-day blood drive prior to the 96-unit drive in January 2012.

During each of Northeast’s blood drives, the Phi Theta Kappa teams with United Blood Services which has been this area’s non-profit community blood provider since 1975, and serves patients in 22 hospitals in North Mississippi and North West Alabama. The United Blood Services network is one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit blood service organizations, and is a founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the American Association of Blood Banks.

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,250 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than two million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 100,000 students inducted annually. Recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa is the official honor society of two-year colleges.


Northeast hires Ben Shappley to lead the Tiger and Lady Tiger tennis programs

Northeast Mississippi Community College has hired Ben Shappley of Ripley as the new head coach for the men and women’s tennis programs.

Shappley will take the place of last year’s head coach Lynn Smither and will look to add to Smithers’ success.

“I am enthusiastic and optimistic about my first year as the coach of the Northeast tennis teams,” explained Shappley. 

“We have a very talented and athletically gifted team this year.  We are a fairly young team with only four sophomores but we are fortunate to have a group of very capable and determined freshmen coming in who were all solid performers at their respective high schools.  This year’s team consists of nine men and seven women, all bringing different strengths and adding versatility to the team.”

Shappley’s decision to accept the position as tennis coach was primarily due to his desire to take a more active role in support of the Northeast athletic programs. 

“I have enjoyed tennis on a recreational level for years and have been involved with sports on various levels for approximately forty years, starting with the traditional little league activities through junior high and high school athletics and on into college and even intramural league sports while serving in the military,” said Shappley.

Shappley’s approach or philosophy toward coaching is holistic. 

“I strive to instill dedication, discipline, integrity, pride, and a competitive spirit as well as enhancing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of each individual player and the team as a whole.” 

“I am looking forward to a very successful season with Tiger tennis teams,” Shappley concluded.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

NEMCC's Ramsey Hall open for business

NEMCC’s RAMSEY HALL OPEN FOR BUSINESS--  Northeast Mississippi Community College administrative assistant to the Director of Event Planning and Housing Brenda Green explains the advantages of a college identification card to one of the first students to complete the registration process in the college’s new student services building – T. Jack Ramsey Hall – on Wednesday, January 2.  A 37,000 square foot facility, Ramsey Hall consolidated the offices of admissions, financial aid and business offices along with the college’s housing, counseling center and administrative offices under one roof to help streamline the process of registering for classes at the Booneville-based college. Registration is currently under way for 2013 spring semester courses at Northeast with traditional classes start on Monday, January 7 for all three campuses (including Corinth and New Albany) with the last day to register fortraditional and online courses being Friday, January 11. eLearning courses (online) classes begin on Monday, January 14. For additional information about admissions or financial aid, call 662-720-7239 in Booneville or  Students who are uncertain about their career or educational choices should contact the Counseling Center at 662-720-7313.

NEMCC basketball set for return to hardwood

Northeast Mississippi Community College men and women’s basketball teams will look to break above the .500-mark when the Tigers and Lady Tigers step back on the hardwood on Monday, January 7.

Northeast will play two non-division affairs before stepping back into North Division play on Thursday, January 17.

Northeast begins its second half of the season on the road at Meridian Community College on January 7 before returning to Bonner Arnold Coliseum to host Jones County Junior College on Monday, January 14.

Both David Robbins’ Tigers and Brian Alexander’s Lady Tigers stand at 5-5 overall on the year and 1-1 in the North Division.

Alexander’s Lady Tigers won two of their last three games heading into the break and are 4-1 inside the friendly confines of Bonner Arnold Coliseum.

Robbins’ Tigers also won two of their last three games leading into the holiday break.

Earlier in the year, Northeast swept Meridian at Bonner Arnold Coliseum on November 26.

Alexander’s crew took a 79-62 win against the Lady Eagles thanks to a 24-point night from Kay K Tate and a 13-point performance from Angelia Allen. Northeast broke the game open with a 46-point second half after leading by four at intermission.  However, Tate will be out the rest of the season due to a knee injury.

Robbins’ Tigers knocked off Meridian in a nail-biter 69-66 on November 26 where 11 Tigers checked into the scoring column in the three-point win. KeDorian Sullivan and Malcolm Hamilton who both scored 10 points on the night led Northeast.

In their previous meeting in Ellisville, Jones County was able to take a sweep of Northeast with a 75-66 victory against the Lady Tigers and a 76-73 win against the Tigers.

At the holiday break, Tate leads the Lady Tigers in scoring with a 14.3 points per game average while a pair of Lady Tigers are also averaging double figures.

Allen checks in with a 12.3 points per night average while LaTonya Gadison is averaging 10.9 points per outing.

Gadison has made the most of Northeast’s two North Division games – averaging 14.7 points per games in those contests.

With three Lady Tigers averaging double figures, Alexander’s squad is chalking up 75.9 points per game in their first 10 games of the year.

Talisa Boyd leads the Lady Tigers in rebounds with 59 rebounds on the year while the Gadison is right behind her teammate with 52.

On the men’s side, Tyler Brunson leads the Tigers in scoring and rebounding.

Brunson averages 15.4 points per game while sophomore Acie Vance follows with 14.3 points per night. Sullivan makes three Tigers in double digits with a 10.9 points per game average.

Brunson has come on strong in the Tigers two North Division games of the year averaging 23 points per outing while Sullivan is marking 16.5 points per division game.

Brunson also leads the Tigers in rebounding with 40 rebounds on the season – 30 coming off the defensive boards while Vance is 40-percent from beyond the three-point arc.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Registration open for spring classes at NEMCC

Administrative offices in Northeast Mississippi Community College’s Ramsey Hall, the college’s new student services center, are open for business and registration for spring semester classes is underway. 

Registration at the Corinth and New Albany campuses is also set for today, January 2 from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Classes on the Booneville, Corinth and New Albany campuses begin Monday, January 7.  The last day to register for both traditional and on-line classes is Friday, January 11. 

E-learning (on-line) classes are available and begin Monday, January 14. 

The Northeast Bookstore is located in the Haney Union opens from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Financial aid is still available for those who qualify.  For information regarding financial aid, go to or call the Financial Aid Office at 662-720-7205.

Students not currently enrolled at Northeast should report to the Office of Admissions in Ramsey Hall to begin the registration process. New students will need transcripts from all colleges previously attended, as well as ACT scores in order to be admitted.  Students must list all colleges at which they were previously enrolled.  High school transcripts may also be needed.  Students who have not taken the ACT should visit the Northeast Counseling Center also in Ramsey Hall or call 662-720-7313 for assistance.

For additional information about admissions or financial aid, call 662-720-7239 in Booneville or e-mail  Students who are uncertain about their career or educational choices should contact the Counseling Center at 662-720-7313.  Visit Northeast on the Internet at  


Former Northeast Tigers cap NCAA bowl season

A pair of former Northeast Mississippi Community College Tiger football players will cap the NCAA bowl season by playing in the final two bowl games of the year.

Former Tigers Josh Jarboe (Atlanta, Ga.) and Deion Belue (Tuscumbia, Ala.) are scheduled to see action on January 6 and 7, respectively.

Jarboe leads the Arkansas State University Red Wolves into the Bowl (formerly the GMAC Bowl) against twenty-fifth ranked Kent State on January 6 at 8 p.m.

Jarboe and the rest of the Red Wolves will take on the Golden Flashes on ESPN from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

Belue leads the University of Alabama Crimson Tide into the Discover Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game against the University of Notre Dame on January 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Belue and the rest of the Crimson Tide will take on the Fighting Irish on ESPN from Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Jarboe and the Arkansas State Red Wolves enter the Bowl as one of the hottest teams in the nation on a seven-game win streak.

After starting off the season 2-3, Arkansas State has reeled off seven straight wins including victories over Florida International (34-20), South Alabama (36-29), Louisiana-Lafayette (50-27), North Texas (37-19), Louisiana-Monroe (45-23), Troy (41-34) and Middle Tennessee (45-0).

Arkansas State finished the regular season 9-3 overall and posted a 7-1 mark in the Sun Belt Conference.

Entering the Bowl, Jarboe has played in all 12 games for the Red Wolves during the 2012 season.

Jarboe has been a serious threat for the Red Wolves rushing five times for 13 yards – with a long rush of seven yards and is second on the team in receiving after hauling in 47 passes for 546 yards.

Jarboe averages 11.6 yards per catch and has four scores on the year. The former Northeast Tiger’s long reception – a 63-yard catch – is fourth on the team and the Red Wolves’ senior is averaging 45.5 yards per game.

With his four scores on the year, Jarboe is tied for fifth in individual scoring for Arkansas State with 24 points on the year and is fifth on the team in All-Purpose yards with an average of 46.6 yards per game.

Against the Oregon Ducks earlier in the season, Jarboe led the Red Wolves with 13 receptions – a team season-high.

While Jarboe has been a force offensively for the Red Wolves, Belue has turned the trick for the Alabama Crimson Tide’s defense.

Belue is currently tied for second on the Tide defense with a pair of interceptions on the year and is tied for the team lead in fumble recoveries.

Belue made the most of his fumble recovery – returning a Western Carolina fumble 57 yards for a score during the Crimson Tide’s eleventh game of the year.

On the year, Belue is ninth on the Tide defense in tackles -- registering 36 (24 solo stops against 12 assisted tackles) and has 5.5 tackles for loss for 13 yards.

Belue also has six pass break ups -- second on the team behind Dee Milliner's 18 and has defended eight passes on the year.

Since transferring from Northeast, Belue has drawn a start in all 13 of the Crimson Tide’s games during the 2012 season and his two interceptions came against the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and Western Kentucky.

Alabama comes into the national championship game with a 12-1 overall record and the defending national champion.

Alabama’s only setback came at the hands of Texas A&M University on November 10 but the Tide have responded and posted back-to-back 49-0 shutouts against Western Carolina and Auburn following the setback.

Alabama advanced to the BCS National Championship Game with a 32-28 win over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship Game.  


NEMCC baseball set for first pitch banquet

Northeast Mississippi Community College’s baseball program will hold its annual First Pitch Banquet on Monday, January 21 inside the Claude Wright Room of the Frank Haney Union on the Booneville campus.

Northeast baseball’s kickoff event is set to start at 7 p.m.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Delta State University’s Mike Kinnison with former Mississippi State University quarterback Matt Wyatt emceeing the night.

Advance tickets are $20 and $25 at the door the night of the First Pitch Banquet.

Kinnison joins an illustrious list to speak at Northeast baseball’s First Pitch Banquet.

Starting in 2007, Atlanta Braves Minor League Pitching Coordinator Kent Willis, former Mississippi State University Head Baseball Coach Ron Polk (2008), University of Mississippi head baseball coach Mike Bianco (2009) and University of Southern Mississippi head baseball coach Scott Berry (2010) and Mississippi State University head baseball coach John Cohen in 2011 and University of Memphis baseball coach Daron Schoenrock (2012) have all spoken at the season-opening event.

Kinnison is in his 17th season as head coach of one of the most storied programs in collegiate baseball.

The Gulf South Conference selected Kinnison as the 2012 Baseball Coach of the Year to make it Kinnison's sixth GSC Coach of the Year accolade after guiding the Statesmen to the No. 1 seed in the Conference Tournament followed by their 12th all-time GSC Tournament Title. DSU entered the NCAA post-season as the No. 2 seed in the South Region Tournament after compiling a 40-12 overall record via its first 40-win campaign since 2008.

Kinnison's honor ups his all-time Coach of the Year total to six, which ties him for the most in league history with former Jacksonville State skipper Rudy Abbott. Kinnison has compiled a 694-213-1 career mark in his 16 season in Cleveland.

On March 20, 2011, Coach Kinnison tied his former coach and mentor Dave "Boo" Ferriss for the school's career wins mark at 639. In 26 seasons, Ferriss compiled a 639-387-8 record as head coach of the Statesmen. Kinnison accomplished the feat in 15 seasons as skipper.

In 2010, it was announced that Kinnison was an inductee for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and on July 31, 2011, Kinnision joined the Hall of Fame with the class of 2011. Receiving the highest honor an athlete or coach can receive in Mississippi, Kinnison is a legend still hard at work.

In 2004, he earned the ABCA "National Coach of the Year" award after leading the Statesmen to the program's first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship. He has also been named the Gulf South Coach of the Year six times and appropriately named "Coach of the Decade" by the GSC in 2010.

In his 16 seasons as head coach, Kinnison has guided the Statesmen to the 2004 NCAA National title, five College World Series appearances (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 & 2012), 10 NCAA South Regional appearances (1999-2005, 2007, 2008 & 2012), 11 GSC Western Division titles (1997-2005, 2007-2008), five NCAA South/South Central Regional championships and five Gulf South Conference titles.

Following after their coach, the Statesmen continue to achieve high honors themselves as 12 were placed on the GSC's All-Decade Team. This included the talented Jud Thigpen who was awarded West Division Player of the Decade.

Kinnison has also coached two American Baseball Coaches Association National Players of the Year, as Dee Haynes (2000) and Jud Thigpen (2004) earned the honor.

For more information about the banquet, contact Northeast head baseball coach Kent Farris at 662-720-7309 or by email at