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Picking big green straw gives Democrat big win in tied House election

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Republicans drew the short straw Friday in Mississippi. Seriously. To break a tie from a Nov. 3 state House election, 20-year Democratic incumbent Bo Eaton and Republican challenger Mark Tullos met in the governor’s crowded conference room on the 19th floor of a state office building to carry out the archaic procedure prescribed in state law: They drew straws. Eaton, listed first on the ballot, reached into a red canvas bag and pulled out one of two silver-plated business card…

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Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, Alabama atop first playoff rankings

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Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama are the top four teams in the first College Football Playoff selection committee rankings of the season. Notre Dame was fifth and Baylor was sixth. Clemson, LSU and Ohio State are among 11 unbeaten teams in FBS, nearly quadruple the number there was last season when the committee started ranking teams. Alabama and Notre Dame each have one loss. Memphis was the highest ranked team from a Group of Five conference at No. 13…

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Football’s future? QBs training with virtual reality

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Mississippi quarterback Ryan Buchanan straps on a headset that covers his eyes, and instantly, he sees a scene that looks like a video game, all set from his perspective. In about a minute, he runs through a handful of plays, checking his receivers, deciphering defensive coverages and making split-second decisions about where to throw the football. And just like that, practice is over. “I felt like I was in the future putting this thing on — something that you would…

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‘Strong Inside’ a compelling look at race and college sports in the South

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Many Americans are familiar with the famed pioneers of racial integration in sports — Jackie Robinson with the Dodgers, or Althea Gibson at Wimbledon. But after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many lesser-known African-American athletes also became firsts in their sport, and faced a lonely and sometimes terrifying road. One of them was Perry Wallace. Wallace, who began playing basketball for Vanderbilt in 1967, was the first black player in the Southeast Conference. Even before he accepted…

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How Florida, Gulf Coast states will divide BP oil spill settlement

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Most of the $18.7 billion proposed settlement that BP reached over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would go to five Gulf Coast states, if the deal is approved by a judge. A portion of the settlement is not assigned to any particular state. Here’s how the state-specific money breaks down, with payments to states being made over nearly two decades: ALABAMA Alabama would receive $2.3 billion. Gov. Robert Bentley said the settlement would steer $1.3 billion for coastal…

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Kathy Castor: BP settlement ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for economic recovery

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Florida, the federal government and other Gulf Coast states announced an agreement on Thursday with oil producer BP to resolve years of legal claims over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The historic resolution, tentatively set at $18.7 billion, will be the largest environmental settlement ever. Payments, to be split among Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas, is in addition to $28 billion BP already spent on clean-up response, remediation and compensation. Florida’s share of the deal could be over…

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DEP and FWC respond to record BP settlement, applauds Gulf Coast recovery progress

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BP has agreed to pay a record $18.732 billion to resolve claims by five Gulf States of violating the Clean Water Act, harming natural resources, and other economic damages from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As a part of the agreement announced Thursday, Florida will receive at least $3.25 billion. The overall deal has BP on the hook for more than $3 billion above the $43.8 billion initially set aside for dealing with the worst offshore spill in U.S.…

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