Stadiums, Hackers and Oil


The state-owned Veterans Memorial Stadium could end up in Jackson State University's control, under a proposed bill.

A bill the Mississippi Senate is considering could transfer control of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium to Jackson State University. House Bill 1158, which the House of Representatives passed Feb. 10, would give JSU control of the stadium itself while transferring the property surrounding the stadium to the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

In its original form, the bill switched control of the stadium from the state Department of Finance and Administration to UMMC. In a press release, JSU hailed the new arrangement as a "win-win" situation until the university constructs a new sports stadium.

"When JSU eventually moves to a new stadium, the subsequent transfer of the stadium property to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which currently parks nearly 3,000 cars per weekday at the stadium, will secure vital room for future expansion for this growing academic medical center," JSU said in a statement.

UMMC Parking Plans
UMMC also has plans to add more parking capacity. The medical center plans to construct an 1,100-space parking garage on the eastern end of its campus, UMMC spokesman Tom Fortner said. A legislative advisory committee meets today to review three bids for the project. UMMC expects to break ground on the garage in November of this year and finish construction within 12 months.

"It's really sort of a domino, one of the first dominos that has to fall for our master facility plan, which calls for some new buildings on campus," Fortner said. "Some of the new buildings will displace some of the surface parking we now have."

Fortner said that a projected cost for the project was not available, yet, but that parking fees paid by UMMC employees would cover the cost of issuing bonds for the garage's construction.

Hacker Headlines IT Conference
For its third annual Information Technology (IT) Day Thursday in Jackson, Lockheed Martin has secured a renowned computer hacker. Computer security expert Kevin Mitnick, who, at the time of his 1995 arrest, was the country's most wanted computer criminal, will serve as the event's keynote speaker.

The conference starts at 9 a.m. and features an array of workshops for IT professionals, government and education officials and community members. At the Thursday, Lockheed Martin hosts its third at the Jackson Convention Complex. Registration is free for the main event and $15 for the keynote luncheon program, which includes Mitnick's address.

To register, call 1-877-444-5674 or email [e-mail missing]. 

KiOR Near Federal Loan Guarantee
Houston-based biofuels startup KiOR announced Feb. 3 that it is close to receiving a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy for its investments in production plants that convert wood chips into a synthetic crude oil substitute. KiOR has plans to construct plants in Newton and two other Mississippi locations.

The loan guarantee would not apply to a location in Columbus, where KiOR has already begun initial site work for a production facility. DOE gave KiOR a term sheet for a loan guarantee, which is not an assurance that KiOR will receive a loan, KiOR CEO Fred Cannon said in a statement.

The Mississippi Legislature last year approved a $75 million loan package for KiOR, contingent on KiOR's securing an agreement with a major refining company to process its crude oil substitute. The company has yet to announce any refining agreement.

Previous Comments


Getting to see and hear Kevin Mitnik speak would be a treat. I encourage all who can to please try and make it. Some of his exploits were of legend during the wilder days of the net and a source of inspiration for a few of my friends who utilized some of his "teachings" for legal purposes.



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