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Rodney Chamblee Photo credit: chambleeco.com
Rodney Chamblee 1947-2016
Photo credit: chambleeco.com

Rodney Chamblee, former Ole Miss basketball player and founder of the Chamblee Company, a Flowood, Mississippi-based development and property management company and co-developer of The Graduate in Oxford, passed away on Saturday at the age of 69. Chamblee lettered in basketball for the Rebels from 1967-1969.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25,2016 and Wednesday from 10 a.m. -11 a.m., with services at 11 a.m., all at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Brandon, Mississippi. Graveside services will be in the Oxford City Cemetery at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

A link to his full obituary can be found HERE.

The Chamblee Company bought the Downtown Inn in Oxford in 2002 and ultimately co-developed the property into the Graduate Hotel with A.J. Capital Partners based in Chicago.

The Chamblee Company presently manages a portfolio of properties which include the Holiday Inn Express Inn & Suites and Candlewood Suites Extended Stay, both in Flowood along with retail and office park properties.

HottyToddy.com staff report

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ssports round up -01HottyToddy.com provides readers a roundup of the commentary and information about the Ole Miss Rebels from various publications around the Web.

Readers can check out the latest information in a single post each day throughout the year. Here at HottyToddy.com, we are doing all the leg work to find the information that people want about Ole Miss sports.

Today’s stories come from Saturday Down South.com, OleHottyToddy.com and Ole Miss Sports

Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly won’t give up on disappointing season

Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly decides to throw instead of handing off to Akeem Judd as the Rebels take on the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday at Vaught-Hemmingway stadium.
Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly decides to throw instead of handing off to Akeem Judd as the Rebels take on the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday at Vaught-Hemmingway stadium.

To say things haven’t gone according to plan for the 3-4 Ole Miss Rebels would be an understatement.

However, senior QB Chad Kelly doesn’t want to see his Ole Miss career come to an even more disappointing end.

He told 247Sports that it’s important the Rebels keep fighting over the final five games:

“We just got to change it around man,” Kelly said. “We hate to lose. It stinks sitting here saying this and that almost every week.

Courtesy of Adam Spencer and to read the rest of this article go to Saturday Down South.com.

Ole Miss Football: Rebels Catch Fever in Baton Rouge

Photo courtesy of Danny Dickey
Photo courtesy of Danny Dickey
The Ole Miss football team faced off against LSU on Saturday night in Death Valley and came away limping after being beaten 38-21.

The LSU Tigers cat-scratched Ole Miss so badly that the Rebels season might be over. Not the dream for a big-time bowl, because that has been over, but the dream to make a bowl might be over for Ole Miss.

Courtesy of Randy Morgan and to read the rest of this story go to OleHottyToddy.com

Rebel Soccer Drops Match at Vanderbilt

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Communications
The Ole Miss soccer team struck first, but couldn’t maintain its early advantage, falling 4-1 to Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at the VU Soccer Complex.

The Rebels (9-9, 4-6 SEC) got its goal from Bella Fiorenzo in the 29th minute, while the Commodores (9-7-1, 5-4-1 SEC) scored in the 34th, 51st, 68th and 77th minutes.

Fiorenzo netted her third score of the year at the 29:28 mark after she was fouled just outside the box, then floated in a perfect free kick into the far left corner of the net over Vanderbilt keeper Lauren Demarchi. That score would hold for five minutes before Sydney O’Donnell struck from the far corner of the box tying it 1-1.

Ole Miss had a look with just a minute left in the half when Gretchen Harknett crossed in a corner kick and Fiorenzo headed it in from around the 6-yard box, but a nice stop by the Vandy keeper kept it away sending the two teams to half locked at 1-1.

After the break, Claire Anderson found the net from the left post just six minutes into the half to give the Commodores a 2-1 lead, before Jackie Welch’s score in the 68th, and Hannon Eberts’ goal in the 77th capped the scoring on the afternoon.

The Rebels finished with 10 shots overall in the contest led by three from Fiorenzo. Addie Forbus and Liza Harbin both had two each, while the Commodores had nine shots total.

Ole Miss returns to the pitch Thursday, Oct. 27 at No. 2 South Carolina to close out the regular season.

Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Rebels by following Ole Miss Soccer on Twitter at @OleMissSoccer, on Facebook at http://ift.tt/2cqzopV, and on Instagram at http://ift.tt/2cRokAf. Also follow head coach Matt Mott on Twitter at @CoachMattMott. Additionally fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Ole Miss Pushes Back the Tide 3-1 in Volleyball

9632721.jpgBehind a season-high hitting percentage in Southeastern Conference play (.293) and an SEC leading 14th double-double from junior outside hitter Lexi Thompson, the Ole Miss volleyball team defeated Alabama 3-1 Sunday afternoon at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.

It was Book it to The Pavilion day benefitting the Lafayette County Literacy Council. Fans were encouraged to bring a new children’s book in exchange for one free ticket to the men’s basketball game on Dec. 15 against Murray State. The Literacy council collected 64 books.

The Rebels started off the match strong, hitting .577 and siding out at 66 percent in set one. Thompson put down one of her five kills in the set to make it 12-7 and force Alabama to call its first timeout. The Rebels maintained their lead the rest of the way winning the set 25-18 to go up 1-0 in the match.

Alabama answered in set two hitting .270 to the Rebels .163 and siding out at 66 percent. They gained an early lead and increased it to seven as Ole Miss called its first timeout trailing 12-5. The Crimson Tide led by six late (23-17), but the Rebels pulled to within three, 23-20, before Bama closed out the set 25-21 to even the match. Junior middle blocker Taylor Alexander notched five of her nine kills in set two to try and keep the Rebels in it.

Coming out of the break, the Rebels jumped out to a 9-4 lead forcing Alabama to use its first timeout in set three. The Rebels won the next three points to increase their lead to 12-4 as the Crimson Tide called their final timeout of the set. Siding out at 73 percent, the Rebels kept the pressure on and went on to win the set 25-15 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Rebels have had trouble closing out matches recently where they’ve been ahead, but this time, they built a lead to start the fourth set and never relinquished it. Trailing 13-6, the Tide called their first timeout of the set to try and stall the Rebels’ momentum. After a service ace by the Crimson Tide’s Krystal Rivers cut it to 16-12, Ole Miss called a timeout. Following the timeout, the Rebels went on a 5-2 to run to go back up by seven, 21-14. Alabama cut into the lead again, but never got closer than four, as the Rebels closed strong 25-18 to take the 3-1 win.

Quick Hits
• The Rebels snapped a five match losing streak to improve to 13-9 overall, 2-7 in the SEC.
• The Rebels have now won four straight against Alabama.
• The Rebels posted their highest hitting percentage in conference play with .293. They held Alabama to .166.
• Junior outside hitter Lexi Thompson posted her 14th double-double of the season with 20 kills and 11 digs. She hit .333.
• With her 20 kills, Lexi Thompson moved up to seventh all-time at Ole Miss with 892 career kills. With her 11 digs, Thompson now has 814 for her career and needs 11 to move up to eighth.
• It marked the 17th match this year for Lexi Thompson to finish with double-digit kills.
• Junior outside hitter Kate Gibson recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 11 digs.
• Freshman Emily Stroup finished with a career-high 9 kills on a .500 clip.
• Junior middle blocker Taylor Alexander finished the match with 9 kills on a .389 clip and 3 blocks.
• Senior Aubrey Edie passed out 45 assists and added 5 kills, 7 digs and 2 blocks.
• Sophomore right side Kathryn Cather missed her fourth match in the last six.

Up Next
The Rebels will travel to Gainesville, Florida Oct. 28 to take on No. 10 Florida at 6 p.m. CT at the Lemrand Center. The match will be broadcast on SECN+.

For more information on Ole Miss Volleyball, follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissVB, on Facebook at OleMissVolleyball and on Instagram at OleMissVB. Also follow Coach McRoberts on Twitter, @CoachMcRoberts.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

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Chug for the Jugs is a charity bar crawl to raise awareness for breast cancer that will be held in Oxford on October 27.

Colleges Against Cancer is a nationwide collaboration of college students dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society. With hundreds of chapters nationwide, CAC is showing the world that young people care and want to make a difference.

Mallory Maier tells HottyToddy.com, “We fundraise throughout the year, with such events as Strike Out Cancer Bowling Tournament, Relay For Life, Chug for the Jugs and many more. It’s our goal to have exciting fundraisers such as Chug for the Jugs while raising awareness for a disease that hits so close to home for many of us.”

They host four major fundraising events each year and Chug for the Jugs is one making it’s inaugural appearance this year. It is a charity bar crawl to raise awareness for breast cancer, and all of the proceeds go to benefit The American Cancer Society. This money goes to fund several programs such as: The Hope Lodge which provides free housing to patients while receiving treatment, Look Good Feel Better which helps women with cancer improve their self image, and various other support programs. A portion of the money also goes to cancer research.

The event (Chug for the Jugs) is being held October 27 from 6 p.m. until midnight at participating bars on the Square. Participating bars include Frank & Marlee’s, Proud Larry’s, The Blind Pig, Rib Cage, Round Table, Funky’s, Roosters, The Levee, The Cellar, The Corner and Rafters. The cost to participate in the event is $25 and this includes a t-shirt.

The Facebook event page has a link people can follow to register/pay for the event online.. For more information visit the event page: http://ift.tt/g8FRpYevents/704880066344949/?active_tab=about

Alex Kitchens is the social media editor for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at alex.kitchens@hottytoddy.com.

Follow HottyToddy.com on InstagramTwitter and Snapchat @hottytoddynews. Like its Facebook page: If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss…

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Coach Hugh Freeze
Ole Miss Football Coach Hugh Freeze address the media . HottyToddy.com photo

“We’ve got to really, really look at ourselves hard — coaches and players — and figure out why we’re not putting together complete games.”

This quote from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze after dropping a road battle to LSU 38-21, is beginning to sound all too familiar to Rebel fans. Plagued by inconsistent play on offense and a shaky defense all season long, the Rebels now fall to 3-4 and 1-3 in the SEC, leaving any hope of a road to Atlanta or a New Year’s six bowl all but over.

Ten unanswered points to start the game had the Rebels looking like a rejuvenated bunch coming off a road loss to Arkansas the week before. But from there on out, it was clear who the more motivated team was.

Coming into the game, Ole Miss was last in the SEC in total defense and didn’t do anything in this game to flip that script. Allowing 515 total yards to LSU, with 311 of those yards coming on the ground, the Tigers were able to run an efficient offense and strike at will with big plays. Leading the way for LSU was Leonard Fournette, who put up video-game style numbers with 16 carries for 284 yards and three touchdowns. LSU’s offense line was able to overpower the Rebels defense to prove huge holes for the star running back, who’s shortest touchdown run of the night went for 59 yards. On the rare occasion that a Rebel defender came near Fournette, he kindly showed them to the ground with the help of a lowered shoulder.

After a busted coverage leading to a 40-yard Danny Etling TD pass, the Rebels pass defense wasn’t challenged much by the LSU offense, due to their continued success on the ground. For the second straight week, the lack of adjustments throughout the game on the defensive side was clearly a factor. Dave Wommack’s defense has now given up just under 3,200 total yards this season, which places them last in the SEC and 107th in the nation. While many are calling for changes to be made, Freeze’s comments after the game don’t sound like a man ready to shake things up.

“It’s been a battle,” Freeze said. “Dave Wommack has been tremendous for me, and I owe him a lot. It’s a combination of things. One guy just does not all of a sudden become bad at what he does when he’s been good at it for a long time. We just got to continue to address the issues and, man, keep fighting for the whole season.”

Able to force an interception and two fumbles, one of which lead to a touchdown right before halftime that looked to give Ole Miss the momentum heading into the locker room, the Rebels were able to win the turnover battle 3:2. The two turnovers for the Rebels came in the form of Chad Kelly interceptions. The first one occurred immediately after the defense recovered a fumble deep in LSU territory. With a chance to put points on the board, and build on a lead this type of costly turnover was a huge shift in the flow of the game.

Once again, Kelly was asked to be everything for the Rebel offense, which couldn’t get anything going on the ground. Kelly lead all Rebels on the ground with 56 yards; Akeem Judd was the leading back with just 39 yards. Unable to get outside or develop a push in the middle of the line, the Rebels rushing attack failed to garner any attention from the Tiger defense, leaving the Rebel offense one-dimensional for the second straight week. The play calling for the Rebels was head scratching throughout the second half. Playing like a team with a 10-point lead, rather than a team down 10, the Rebels didn’t continue to stretch the field or look to any imaginative ways to run the ball, instead opting for quick passes and inside handoffs.

The Rebels have now lost two in a row, and have looked uninspired in both games. One team that has played inspired football after a rough start is the Auburn Tigers, who are coming to town this Saturday. The Tigers embarrassed Arkansas 56-3 on Saturday while putting up 543 yards on the ground. The defense played just as well, completely shutting down an offense that moved the ball with ease against the Rebel defense just one week ago. The Rebels have major issues on both sides of the ball if they hope to fair any better than the Razorbacks did against an Auburn team that has turned their season around.

With four remaining SEC match-ups, the defending Sugar Bowl champions have an uphill battle to make it to just six wins based on the effort shown in these last two weeks, and a quality team coming to town this weekend. Ole Miss will take on Auburn this weekend here in Oxford with kickoff set for 6:15 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com.

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It was basketball that took Karen Hinton (’80) to the University of Mississippi.

She played for her high school team in Soso, Miss., traveled to Ole Miss for a summer basketball camp as a junior, and was successful in securing a scholarship to play on the university’s basketball team, which assisted in paying for her first semester.

Choosing a major came next. For Hinton, who had written articles for her high school newspaper, the decision was journalism. It was a very popular major at that time.

“There was a huge surge of students majoring in journalism after the release of the book, ‘All the President’s Men’ in 1974,” Hinton said. “There were a lot of young people who were suddenly very interested in investigative journalism.”

Jere Hoar, attorney at law and professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Mississippi, said Hinton “was an outstanding student in my classes.”

“She was also an idealist who wanted to make the South a better place for everyone and was eager to complete her studies so she could throw herself into the struggle,” Hoar said.

“The Ole Miss campus is featured in history for its involvement in the civil rights movement and incidents on campus,” Hinton said. “I read about what was happening and had happened around the country — and I was standing on top of it.”

The civil rights movement would ultimately captivate her attention for the rest of her time at the university, as well as her career. Hinton found herself searching the university library as well as the Square Books bookstore for books on Fannie Lou Hamer and other civil rights leaders, namely from Mississippi.

Hinton started working for The Daily Mississippian, eventually starting her own publication — HottyToddy — during her senior year at Ole Miss.

“She knows how to get things done,” said Will Norton, Jr., dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. “She is very smart.”

When a faculty member would give a test with an inaccurate test question, she would tell him. She did a lot of work for The Daily Mississippian and was a very aggressive reporter. She knew how to network and how to make contacts.

“She’s a free spirit — a very disciplined free spirit.”

Hinton graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1980 with a double major in journalism and political science. During her time as a reporter for the Jackson Daily News in the early 1980s, Hinton realized she was interested in advocacy reporting.

“Advocacy journalism is writing about what you believe to be true and believe to be right,” Hinton said. “There should be a place (in journalism) for making your own judgment about a situation and putting it out there.”

Hinton transitioned to working in politics in 1983 as press secretary for congressional campaigns in the Second District of Mississippi. After four years of working in the state, Hinton was hired in 1987 to work in Washington, D.C., as press secretary for Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, the first African-American congressman to be elected from Mississippi.

“When I started working as a reporter, I was drawn to issues that were about poverty and how to eradicate it, especially since I had grown up in the poorest state in the country,” Hinton said. “I found myself working on Democratic campaigns where that was a centerpiece of every candidate’s platform.”

Hinton would continue to work in Washington politics until 2000. She worked as the Democratic National Committee’s director of publications and as editor of Party Lines from 1989 to 1991 under Mike McCurry, who later would become President.

Bill Clinton’s press secretary, and the late Ron Brown, who was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee when Clinton was elected president.

“(Ron Brown) was a great politician,” Hinton said. “He cared a lot about issues that I care about, and I was able to work with him and others who taught me a great deal about politics and communications.”

Hinton found a job to satisfy her interest in working with programs for the poor through Andrew Cuomo, who was elected governor of New York in 2010. Cuomo was working as assistant secretary for community planning and development in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) when Hinton was appointed assistant secretary for public affairs in the HUD division.

“(Cuomo) was very much interested in programs for the poor, or places that he felt had been left behind,” Hinton said. “It was a great experience learning about the lower-income communities that he was so dedicated to.”

From these experiences, Hinton started Hinton Communications, her own public relations firm in Washington in January 2000. One of the better-known cases that Hinton has focused on has been the litigation against Chevron brought by a group of Ecuadorians who have been affected by pollution of the Ecuadorian rain forests.

“That work has been one of the most rewarding things that I’ve ever done,” Hinton said. “It is still in litigation now and has been a 23-year-old fight to try to get Chevron to clean up the contamination (of the rain forests).”

From June 2015 to June 2016, Hinton served as press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. She originally had worked with de Blasio at HUD, where she feels that she contributed to issues “bigger than herself.”

“Income inequality is such a huge issue in New York City, where housing and living costs are rising so much faster than income, while the trappings of wealth are everywhere for everyone to see,” Hinton said. “Mayor de Blasio is pushing for a higher minimum wage, paid parental and family leave, and more affordable housing to help deal with income inequality. For me, there was no better job than working on these types of issues.”

Hinton’s advice to upcoming journalists and political staffers is this: “Savor every moment of your experiences, and appreciate that you’re allowed to be a part of something that is making the world a better place.

“Soak it all up completely, because you’ll look back at your days (at Ole Miss), and they’ll be some of the best days of your life.”

Author Samantha Mitchell graduated in May 2016 with a Master of Arts degree in journalism with emphasis in integrated marketing communication. Photo by Emily Assyrian.

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Marketplace Hours Saturday, December 3, 2016   8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (admission is $5 and free for children under 12)

Preview Party Friday, December 2, 2016   6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (exclusive, ticketed pre-shopping event and party)

Profits of Hottytoddy.com benefit the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. This is a premium holiday marketplace/show being promoted regionally and nationally to our audience of 1.9 million unique readers over this past year!

Website: http://ift.tt/2eW6HD8

Facebook page: http://ift.tt/2eq5z88

Gardens Oy Vey Nursery, Wolfgang Marquardt and Diane Meucci, Arlington, TN
“Over the last few years, we have specialized in these rustic miniature gardens. We have ‘Indoor Low Light Gardens,’ winter hardy ’Outdoor Shade Gardens,’ winter hardy ‘Sun Gardens’ and ‘Indoor Sunny Window Gardens.’ All are ‘Hypertufa’ containers, a mix of portland cement, peat moss and sand.

We will have printed care instructions with each container. Prices range from $18.00 to $180.00 for our larger containers.

Our very creative left hand Liam Boyd puts most of these together, in the picture he demonstrated how he does it at the ‘Dixon Gallery and Gardens.’”

See their work on Facebook here: http://ift.tt/2f96Inx

Garden Oy Vey
Garden Oy Vey Nursery
Garden Oy Vey
Garden Oy Vey Nursery
Garden Oy Vey
Garden Oy Vey Nursery
Garden Oy Vey
Garden Oy Vey Nursery

Sydney Gruber, Tuscaloosa, AL

Sydney Gruber is a southern artist who specializes in reimagining and rejuvenating the mundane with vibrant swirls and patterns of paint. Gruber was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, but has set her roots in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Beginning as an extensive harvest of home décor, Sydney began as an alchemy artist who restored gently used furnishings to give them new life.

Her body of work embodies the philosophy of recognizing the underlying beauty of layers—the potential—with immense attention to detail and depth play within the hues to encourage joy. Through vision and revision, her artistic endeavors crafted a personal panache signature.

Sydney loves tackling new, unconventional mediums and collaborating to create custom works of art meant to bring a warm personal touch to her clients’ homes.

Check her out here: www.sydneygruber.com or on Facebook here: http://ift.tt/2eDUfFJ

Sydney Gruber Art
Sydney Gruber Art
Sydney Gruber Art
Sydney Gruber Art
Sydney Gruber Art
Sydney Gruber Art
Sydney Gruber Art
Sydney Gruber Art

Emily Defenbaugh is an Intern of HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at eadefenb@go.olemiss.edu.

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Ross Bjork, vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Mississippi, has been given a four-year contract extension to remain the leader of the UM athletics program. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications
Ross Bjork, vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Mississippi, has been given a four-year contract extension to remain the leader of the UM athletics program. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork has been named vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Mississippi.

In announcing that Bjork had been given the new vice chancellor title, university officials also noted that an agreement was reached this summer to extend the athletics director’s contract to June 30, 2020.

UM’s request to give Bjork the title of vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics was approved Thursday by the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions for Higher Learning.

The new title, as well as the extension of Bjork’s contract to reach the four-year maximum allowed by the state, reflects the university’s appreciation and support of the athletics director’s exemplary work since coming to Ole Miss, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said.

“Athletics serves an important role at our university as our ‘front porch’ – capturing the hearts and minds of people and bringing them to campus so that they can experience the full richness of our great university,” Vitter said. “Athletics has played a big role in elevating the Ole Miss brand to its strongest point in school history.

“The success of our athletics program is unprecedented and is directly attributable to Ross’ leadership. Naming him as the vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics will continue that momentum. I expect under Ross’ leadership that athletics will continue to be an integral part of our growth and increased visibility.”

Ole Miss is the fifth school in the SEC to give its athletics director the vice chancellor designation, which more accurately reflects the all-encompassing role of the position.

“The idea is that this puts the AD at the table with the provost and other academic leaders on campus on a regular basis,” said Ron Rychlak, UM professor of law and faculty athletics representative. “That facilitates communication between athletics and academics, which is good for all parts of the university.”

Bjork has led Ole Miss athletics programs to unprecedented success since his arrival in 2012. Under his guidance, support has increased with record private donations and record attendance numbers in football, basketball and baseball. The athletics budget has increased from $57 million upon his arrival to $105.5 million for the 2016-17 season.

“My family and I are very grateful for the support and confidence shown by Dr. Vitter and the entire university community with a renewed long-term commitment to continue leading Ole Miss athletics,” Bjork said. “Holding the title of vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics is not only symbolic of the department’s core values, but also solidifies our role in the university’s overall mission of educating the next generation of America’s leaders.

“I am a big believer in being fully integrated with the university and will continue forward with a great sense of responsibility.”

As a result, Stephen Ponder, the senior executive associate athletics director for external relations, will be promoted to the title of deputy athletics director.

“Stephen has shown great leadership in so many areas since his arrival four years ago,” Bjork said. “His energy level and ‘can do’ attitude have allowed us to grow our entire athletics program physically, financially, competitively and emotionally.

“This promotion to deputy athletics director is well-deserved and fitting for Stephen as my right-hand person. I am grateful for Stephen’s leadership and blessed to work with the best coaches and athletics staff in the country.”

Bjork’s direction of the Forward Together campaign has garnered more than $170 million in donations, resulting in the construction of The Pavilion at Ole Miss, the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium expansion and the renovations of the Gillom Center, Track and Field complex and the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center.

Ole Miss student-athletes and fans have witnessed immediate success in competition under Bjork’s leadership. The Rebel football team appeared in post-season bowl games for the last four consecutive years, reaching the Allstate Sugar Bowl last season for the first time in 46 years. Ole Miss soccer reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time in program history.

In 2014, the Ole Miss baseball team competed in the College World Series in Omaha for the first time in 42 years, and Ole Miss men’s basketball claimed the SEC Tournament Championship in 2013. Ole Miss softball reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.

Men’s and women’s tennis, women’s golf and track and field have also reached post-season play, with pole vaulter Sam Kendricks claiming back-to-back NCAA championships in 2013 and 2014 and a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Track and field athlete Raven Saunders brought an NCAA Championship to Ole Miss for shot put.

But Bjork’s commitment to success reaches well beyond the field of competition. His strong emphasis on academics has led student-athletes to a record average GPA of 3.0, and the graduation success rate has increased from 72 percent to 81 percent.

His active involvement in other university programs, including the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, led to his recognition by the NCAA as a Champion of Diversity in 2015. He and former UM Chancellor Dan Jones were the first individuals highlighted with this designation for their work to support the interests of ethnic minorities and underrepresented populations.

Bjork encourages community involvement among student-athletes as well. Under his leadership, athletics programs and their members have participated in more than 50 service projects. Additionally, he’s traveled the country over the last five years, speaking to more than 19,000 Ole Miss alumni and fans on the Rebel Road Trip.

“We are extremely proud of what our team has accomplished over the past four-and-a-half years, and I truly believe the best is yet to come for the entire university and our athletics program,” Bjork said. “We are Ole Miss!”

By Christina Steube and the Ole Miss News Desk

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Moises Lemus, owner of El Agave Mexican Grill, is no stranger to restaurant life. He grew up watching his dad cook in restaurant kitchens. It was his dad’s job that prompted a move to New Albany, Mississippi, when Lemus was nine years old, just one year after the family arrived in the United States from Mexico.

“My dad is retired now, but he visits and supports me at the restaurant,” said Lemus, whose family still lives in New Albany. “Enrique, our head cook in Oxford, used to cook alongside my dad. He just moved back to the states and we’re excited to have him in our kitchen.”

The new Oxford location, which opened Tuesday, October 11, is a bright, airy space with gleaming new furniture, a full bar and gorgeous hand-painted murals done by Lemus’ mother-in-law Sandra Hoyos.

“She’s a graphic designer, so she also designed our logo and menu,” Lemus said. “She’s the cashier at our New Albany location, too.”

Lemus said it was his customers in New Albany who gave him the push he needed to open a restaurant in Oxford.

fullsizerender-4“We had a lot of customers who were driving from Oxford to eat in New Albany,” Lemus said. “My customers gave me the confidence I needed to expand.”

El Agave’s menu strives to offer familiar Mexican favorites as well as something new.

“There are a lot of authentic Mexican dishes on our menu, but we also try to set ourselves apart,” Lemus said. “We differentiate ourselves from other Mexican restaurants by offering items like our tableside guacamole, street tacos, shish kabobs, tortas, a great hamburger, chipotle cheese dip, white rice, steamed vegetables, fiesta shrimp with bacon and Redneck Nachos.”

Lemus’ personal favorites include El Agave’s shish kabobs, which are chargrilled over an open flame, and the street tacos, because he can mix and match the meats and order as many as he wants.

Lemus may have a business degree, but he believes a restaurant career has always been his calling.

“I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 14 years old. My first job was taking chips to the table,” Lemus said. “I wish I could put into words what I’m attempting to do; I guess I feel like I’m part of the new generation. I’m trying to push new ideas without losing our Mexican roots.”

El Agave Mexican Grill is located in the Oxford Galleria I shopping center at 2305 W. Jackson Avenue and open every day from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. (10:30 p.m. weekends). For more information, visit elagaveoxford.com, find them on Facebook, or call 662-539-7011.

For information on the Galleria I shopping center or other local restaurant/retail opportunities, contact Trezevant Realty’s Taylor Lovitt at 601-466-2009.

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Liz Barrett Foster is the EatingOxford editor for HottyToddy.com, an award-winning business journalist and author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz ran the popular restaurant information site EatingOxford.com from 2009 to 2015. Liz can be reached at liz.foster@hottytoddy.com.

Follow HottyToddy.com on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @hottytoddynews. Like its Facebook page: If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss…

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Family and friends quickly took to social media to express their sympathies and farewells to a beloved former Ole Miss professor and vice chancellor, Dr. Ronald F. Borne, who passed away today at the age of 77.

David Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy (SOP), said the pharmacy school is deeply saddened over the passing of Borne, who served as a faculty member of SOP for 37 years.

“I know that the entire SOP family will be deeply affected by this sad news and we all will be keeping the Borne family in our thoughts,” Allen said. “Here’s wishing the entire Borne family comfort and peace during this time.”

Other friends also shared their thoughts and photographs on social media:











HottyToddy.com will provide more information regarding funeral arrangements as they are made available.

For information about Ron Borne’s work as an author, click here.

Randall Haley is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

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