http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project

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Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project
Posted by
03 April

Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project

JACKSON – Donning hardhats and wielding sledgehammers, partners in a venture to create a “Comprehensive One-Stop Center” for workforce training and support services celebrated the launch of the project on March 29.

From left, Jackson Councilman Aaron Banks, Councilman De’Keither Stamps, Hinds County Board of Supervisors Mike Morgan, Councilman Charles Tillman, Hinds Board of Trustees President Paul Breazeale, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Workforce Training Director Mary Powers, Mississippi Community College Board President Lee Bush, Hinds County Supervisor Peggy Hobson Calhoun, Hinds Vice President Dr. Chad Stocks, Hinds District Director for Integrated Pathways Dr. Robin Parker, Retro-Metro Managing Partner Leroy Walker, and Hinds Director of Workforce Manufacturing Training David Creel (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

The center will house multiple career-technical and workforce training programs aimed at both high-tech training and middle-skill education along with support services in part of Metrocenter Mall.

The project to redevelop the former Belk and, previously, McRae’s department store into a 189,000-square-foot center for workforce training promises to be a driver of economic development for central Mississippi, speakers said.

“This is a very significant event in the life of Hinds Community College,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse before more than 200 guests at the announcement held inside the old store space. “It’s taken so many people to help bring this together.”

At the top of the list, Muse credited the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.

“It’s a collaboration between a lot of different agencies as well as community helpers,” Muse said. “A person no longer has to spend a lot of time trying to find agencies to help them get a job or be trained for a job. It’ll be right here. It’s going to be a wonderful economic development opportunity for our area, and it’ll serve 17 counties in this area of the state.”

The center would encompass now vacant space on both floors of the southeast end of Metrocenter mall that formerly housed bustling retail shops. The bottom floor will include an event area and programs for metal fab machining and welding. The top floor would include the bulk of the offices for all the partners and more classrooms, including those for mechatronics, robotics and 3D design.

Hinds would administer the center on behalf of all the partners, which includes multiple government agencies and private partners.

“None of this would be possible today without the support of the partners you’ve heard about,” said Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development, who thanked members of the partnership for exploring other venues in the Southeast during nearly two years of planning leading up to the announcement.

“The vision has always been there, and it’s given us an opportunity to repurpose this store, where the old arcade games will probably turn into simulators. Today, it’s not enough to get a job. You’ve got to get a skill for high-wage jobs and good careers,” he said.

Dr. Robin Parker, district director of Integrated Pathways at Hinds Community College, speaks to those gathered for the public announcement of the Comprehensive One-Stop Center at the former Belk department store at Metrocenter Mall in south Jackson. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Hinds County is allocating .92 mills of property taxes annually, or about $1.6 million, for the college’s share of the money to fund the operation. The center will not only be financially self-supporting through millage and external grant funding, but it also has the potential to increase enrollment by tapping into an unserved population of students.

Mike Morgan, president of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, dreamed of a large sign that says “Hinds Community College” at the entrance. “What are people going to think when they see that sign? They’re going to think education; they’re going to think training,” he said.

The center also will have classrooms for MIBEST, a community college program that teaches adult students without a high school diploma both academic and technical skills so they will be job ready.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the project “checks so many boxes” for bringing south Jackson back to life. “There’s no reason for Highway 18 and Highway 80 to not look like Lakeland Drive.

“There was a day and time where you had people waiting for jobs,” Lumumba said. “Now, we have arrived at a point where we have jobs waiting for people.”

The center’s focus will also be on other workforce-related and support services for those students, such as job search, workshops, assistance with unemployment insurance benefits, funding to pay for career tech training, on-the-job training opportunities, TANF/ SNAP, Vocational Rehabilitation and others.

Officials who spoke at the ceremony, which capped off by having each take a sledgehammer to a wall that once divided parts of the old store, lauded the efforts of CMPDD, a key economic development agency for the region, for helping kick-start the project.

“For probably the first time in the history of workforce, we all came together with a common purpose in mind,” said Mary Powers, workforce director for the agency. “It was to develop a plan that would provide all of our services in concert together to meet the need of people and the businesses.

From left, Retro Metro Managing Partner Leroy Walker, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Workforce Training Director Mary Powers, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Executive Director Mike Monk (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“People will be able to get the services they need, the training they need and the skills they need to walk out the door with a job. And they’ll get all those services in the same place,” she said.

Once started, renovation is expected to take about six months.

“We’ve got to make the community better by having skilled workers in our community. That’s why we’re investing our money, our time and our resources in this effort,” said Leroy Walker, managing partner of Retro-Metro, which owns the space and will lease it to Hinds.

Walker said a revitalized mall with workforce development as its focus will be a “generator” for economic development in the area around the former retail mecca where highways 80 and 18 essentially meet.

The college’s administrative functions for MIBEST, Adult Basic Education, the Early Childhood Academy and career-tech programs related to manufacturing could be moved to the One-Stop Center in the future to support the initiative.

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, with one of the sledgehammers used to signify the start of renovations for the Comprehensive One-Stop Center in the former Belk department store at Metrocenter Mall. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“To put this in perspective, the workforce training and student service area equates to three football fields of space,” said Dr. Robin Parker, District Director of Integrated Pathways, which involves programs such as MIBEST that links high school and college credentials with job-training. “Throughout the process of working on this project, we have heard so many Metrocenter stories. We are thrilled to be a part of writing the next chapter.”

 

0 599 03 April, 2018 News more
MSU ag chief, Hinds alum wins national award
Posted by
28 March

MSU ag chief, Hinds alum wins national award

 Note: The following story appears in the spring issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. For more information about the Hinds Alumni Association, see the website. To apply for a Hinds Community College Foundation scholarship, go to the Admissions tab on college web site at www.hindscc.edu or click here.

Dr. George Hopper worked at Anderson Tully lumber company in Vicksburg while he attended Hinds in the years after high school. Quite fittingly, he has been sawing wood in his professional career ever since – and he’s been recognized by his peers for his work.

Dr. George Hopper

This past fall, Hopper won the Excellence in Leadership award for 2017 from the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Stations Directors at the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities. Hopper’s directorship of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and role as dean of Mississippi State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences formed the basis for his award, presented at the APLU’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Hopper is also dean for the university’s College of Forest Resources and director for its Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

The 16 experiment stations in the state are closely associated with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, which share knowledge and solutions with farmers, business people and government agencies throughout the state and beyond. One station is housed on Hinds’ Raymond Campus, as part of the T.H. Kendall III Agriculture Complex. Another, for cattle, the Gene Morrison Brown Loam Experiment Station, is on the outskirts of town.

“Our role and responsibility is to serve the people of Mississippi,” Hopper said. “Part of that is developing better farming and livestock practices and ways to protect the environment.”

For Hopper, coming to Hinds meant getting to Raymond from the River City when Interstate 20 was barely complete on the western side of the state. He juggled work in the evenings and attended class daily, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Four or five of us from Vicksburg commuted to class. But, we had great memories and an excellent education, indeed,” he said. “As an administrator, I know what I learned at Hinds means the teachers were good. It got me on the right track. Hinds had a good reputation for science even back then.”

After finishing STEM-related prerequisites at Hinds, he earned his bachelor’s in chemistry from MSU, then moved on to Virginia Tech University where he earned his Ph.D. in plant physiology.

Hopper worked at the University of Tennessee for a time, then went into administration in forestry/wildlife. He moved on to Mississippi State as dean of college of forest resources. Eight years ago, he was asked to head up agriculture in addition to forestry.

Part of his job is getting students involved in research. It is some of Hopper’s and others’ early research in the area of biomass energy that Stephen Dicke, an Extension professor for Forestry, remembers.

“I first met him in 1979,” Dicke said. “We’d be cutting sycamore trees in the hot summer and weighing the stems, all for research. I saw a quick-witted optimist with a real heart. He’s gone above and beyond what’s been asked of him by doing a lot of extra work.”

Hopper credits his Hinds experience for shaping his career and advises students to be unafraid of few challenges in their own lives and studies.

“People are interested in the curious. And that’s what drew me to science in the first place,” he said. “Our society needs the STEM areas and needs leadership in that area. Fundamentally, we need to have clean water and a healthy and safe food supply.”

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Hinds CC a key player in Warren County’s drive to become certified Work-Ready
Posted by
14 December

Hinds CC a key player in Warren County’s drive to become certified Work-Ready

VICKSBURG – Economic development in Vicksburg and Warren County in 2018 and beyond could hinge on an effort to become certified a Work-Ready Community by the nation’s premier academic testing standard.

Earlier this year, employers in the Hinds Community College attendance district agreed in principle to begin recognizing the National Career Readiness Certificate and have their respective counties certified as an ACT Work Ready Community. The national credential is a portable, industry-recognized standard of achievement that identifies proficiency in three key areas for landing jobs of today – reading for information, applied math and locating information. The national initiative is headed up by ACT, the nation’s leading college admissions testing company. Hinds administers the NCRC exam to Adult Basic Education and Career-Technical Education students as well as to current employees from industry partners.

Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean for Career and Technical Education, speaks before the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce about the ACT Work-Ready Community effort during a luncheon Dec. 13, 2017. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

On Wednesday, members of the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce heard of the potential pluses of adopting tangible assessments for hiring employees from college officials and industries using it or thinking seriously about using it.

“You know when you enter a new city or county and see the signs that say ‘certified retirement community?’,” said Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean for Career and Technical Education at Hinds, asked chamber members during a program and panel discussion during the group’s monthly luncheon. “Well, we want a sign in Warren County that when someone drives in, they say, ‘This community values work and has a group of people that’s ready to do what’s best for the community.’”

Issued at four levels – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum – the NCRC helps take the guesswork out of hiring, training, and promotion decisions. WIN Job Centers in Hinds, Warren, Rankin and Claiborne counties, as well as in Madison County, administer it to clients in each community who are applying for jobs.

“This can be very beneficial toward your recruiting purposes and retention goals,” said Pablo Diaz, executive director of the Warren County Port Commission, to chamber members. The commission is among several partners on the effort in central Mississippi.

Pablo Diaz, left, executive director of the Warren County Port Commission, speaks before the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon Dec. 13, 2017. Seated for the discussion, which dealt with ACT Work-Ready Community efforts, are, from left, Carl Hearn, quality manager at Batesville Casket, Maggie Cane, human resource manager at International Paper, and Dr. Robin Parker. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

“But, I want you to think about this, too – this will be a standard that any community’s going to be held up to in terms of economic development projects,” Diaz said. “We are going to be asked, ‘Are you a certified community?’ And if you say no, then for a potential project it means we don’t have the data on the workforce to demonstrate how good or not good they are.”

Panelists for the luncheon included human resources professionals with companies using or thinking about using the NCRC in their hiring process. They, along with Parker, fielded questions about the test from chamber members, many of whom run their own small businesses or hold positions involved in making hiring decisions.

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Hinds CC launches link to help Mississippians finish degree
Posted by
11 September

Hinds CC launches link to help Mississippians finish degree

RAYMOND – A better future is a click away for thousands of Mississippians who have some college coursework under their belts but are still short of a degree. Hinds Community College is among the state’s higher education institutions partnering to help those Mississippians complete their degrees in order to compete in today’s job market.

c2c-logo

Complete 2 Compete, launched in August by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (known informally as the state College Board), provides information and resources available to help working-age adults in the state return to college and complete requirements necessary to earn their degrees. The site is accessible at www.msc2c.org.

Current or former Hinds Community College students can check into their progress toward a degree at http://www.hindscc.edu/complete-to-compete.

“Degree completion and student success are our goals at Hinds Community College,” said Stephanie Hudson, district Dean for Student Advancement and district Registrar. “C2C participants will get personalized assistance with the Admissions and Registration processes to ensure they are able to take advantage of all of the resources available to them and complete their degree in the shortest amount of time possible.”

The Complete 2 Compete website will serve as an important resource for thousands of Mississippians:

  • More than 2,400 former students age 21 or over have enough credits to earn a bachelor’s degree with no additional coursework.
  • An additional 28,000 students have enough credits to earn an associate degree with no additional coursework.
  • More than 100,000 former students can earn either an associate or bachelor’s degree with some additional coursework.

“As a statewide initiative, Complete 2 Compete has the potential to impact hundreds of thousands of Mississippians,” said Dr. Andrea Mayfield, Executive Director, Mississippi Community College Board. “Expanding career and wage opportunities are just two, of many, benefits of Complete 2 Compete. I am excited to see this collaborative effort become a reality. Without the partnership and efforts of many, this initiative would not be possible. I look forward to the positive impact on individuals, employers, and Mississippi’s economy.”

There is no cost for submitting information through the C2C website and doing so may help an individual determine how close they are to completing degree requirements. Depending on what programs are needed to satisfy an individual’s career and educational interests, the Complete 2 Compete website will match potential students to a list of schools that offer the classes needed to complete a degree.

Tuition and fees for enrollment in courses may be assessed according to the established tuition and fee schedule at each institution. Some incentives, including academic forgiveness, virtual tutoring, adult learner scholarships and tuition assistance, prior learning assessment and repayment plan options may be available at some of the institutions.

“Complete 2 Compete will grow our skilled, educated workforce, in turn growing economic development across the state,” said Gov. Phil Bryant. “This partnership will ensure Mississippi remains attractive to business and industry looking for a favorable tax climate and a workforce ready to excel on day one. I am grateful to everyone involved in making it a reality.”

Mississippi public universities, the Mississippi Community College Board and the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges are partners in the effort to identify target groups, implement adult learner services and re-engage adult students to help them complete their degrees.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services has provided funding through a grant designed to help low-income Mississippians improve their job skills. An additional grant for the program has been provided by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

“This website provides important information that can have life-changing results for many Mississippians,” said Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education. “Workforce studies have shown that the vast majority of future jobs will go to those with a post-secondary degree or credential of value beyond high school. I would encourage individuals to access this website as it could be an important first step in helping them achieve a goal that will ultimately lead to a better, higher-paying job and greater job and financial security.”

[tweetable alt=””]Hinds CC launches link to help Mississippians finish degree[/tweetable]

1 569 11 September, 2017 News more
Job opportunities aplenty, varied at Hinds CC District Job Fair
Posted by
13 April

Job opportunities aplenty, varied at Hinds CC District Job Fair

RAYMOND – Christian Hollins is studying Architectural Engineering at Hinds Community College, but isn’t limiting himself when it comes to finding employment while he finishes his degree.

“I’m on track to graduate in December, so I’m looking for some part-time employment,” said Hollins, of Jackson, among the 300 or so Hinds students at the 2017 Jobs For Eagles District Job Fair on April 12, held in Mayo Gym on the Raymond Campus.

Christian Hollins, a Hinds Community College student studying Architectural Engineering Technology, speaks with Sara Sutton Thompson, of Whole Foods, at the 2017 District Job Fair at the Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Christian Hollins, a Hinds Community College student studying Architectural Engineering Technology, speaks with Sara Sutton Thompson, of Whole Foods, at the 2017 District Job Fair at the Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Hollins works in a grocery store part-time and visited with Whole Foods at the expo-style event. “I’ve also visited with UPS and Nissan.”

Career and technical fields such as automotive, hospitality and sales were among booths, along with mainstays in the healthcare, foodservice, gaming and temporary employment service areas.

Robin Robinson, of Clinton, earned an associate’s from Hinds in Marketing Management Technology last year. She worked the tables at the job fair to keep her options as open as possible.

“I’m here to find a job and get some contacts out there,” said Robinson, who wants to get into hotel management and sales, but realizes there’s value in talking to as many recruiters as possible. She inquired about opportunities everywhere from heavy industry, at the Milwaukee Tools table, to staffing agencies, at the TempStaff table.

Robin Robinson, with portfolio, speaks with Michelle Rhodes and Debbie Horn, both recruiters with TempStaff, at the 2017 District Job Fair at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Robin Robinson, with portfolio, speaks with Michelle Rhodes and Debbie Horn, both recruiters with TempStaff, at the 2017 District Job Fair at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“They always have something to say that’s helpful, and I like that,” she said.

Elisha Davis and Hannah Reihl, two Barber/Stylist students from Vicksburg, are equally curious about job opportunities outside their comfort zone.

“I don’t want to limit myself in what I can learn,” Reihl said as the two chatted up a representative of University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Davis was impressed by the versatility shown to her by recruiters at the event.

“I liked how they seem to be able to work around our schedule as students,” she said.

“We want to keep people working,” said Debbie Horn, of TempStaff. “And we want people to stay in Mississippi.”

[tweetable alt=””]Job opportunities aplenty, varied at Hinds CC District Job Fair[/tweetable]

Hannah Reihl, who is studying to be a hair stylist at Hinds Community College, speaks with Bridget Dedeaux, a human resources service partner at University of Mississippi Medical Center, during the 2017 District Job Fair at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus. ((Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Hannah Reihl, who is studying to be a hair stylist at Hinds Community College, speaks with Bridget Dedeaux, a human resources service partner at University of Mississippi Medical Center, during the 2017 District Job Fair at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Elisha Davis, center, and Hannah Reihl, right, both studying to be hair stylists at Hinds Community College, speaks with Bridget Dedeaux, a human resources service partner at University of Mississippi Medical Center, during the 2017 District Job Fair April 12 at the Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Elisha Davis, center, and Hannah Reihl, right, both studying to be hair stylists at Hinds Community College, speaks with Bridget Dedeaux, a human resources service partner at University of Mississippi Medical Center, during the 2017 District Job Fair April 12 at the Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

0 1079 13 April, 2017 News more
Hinds CC agrees with industry partners to train diesel equipment professionals
Posted by
29 September

Hinds CC agrees with industry partners to train diesel equipment professionals

Hinds celebrated a new partnership Sept. 26 with Empire Truck Sales and Stribling Equipment to train students in the college’s growing Diesel Equipment Technology program.

Key to that partnership is a state-of-the-art training facility, the Diesel Technology Academy, provided by Hinds’ industry partners on Highway 49 in Richland.

Public officials, including Gov. Phil Bryant, heavy equipment industry officials and Hinds employees were among those on hand Sept. 26 for the official opening of the Diesel Technology Academy on Highway 49 in Richland. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Public officials, including Gov. Phil Bryant, heavy equipment industry officials and Hinds employees were among those on hand Sept. 26 for the official opening of the Diesel Technology Academy on Highway 49 in Richland. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“The Hinds Diesel Academy is another example of the ability of Hinds Community College to work directly with business and industry and carefully craft a workforce development pipeline that develops students to fill not only the skills gap that exists in the diesel Industry, but also combat the shortage of technicians in Mississippi,” said Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Workforce Development and Adult Education at Hinds.

Gov. Phil Bryant, a Hinds graduate and himself the son of a diesel mechanic who worked at Empire as his last job, said the academy represented both job creation and better quality of life in the state.

Jerry Swanson, CEO of Stribling Equipment and Empire Truck Sales, Hinds alumnus Gov. Phil Bryant and Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse greet one another Sept. 26 at the official opening of the Diesel Technology Academy in Richland. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Jerry Swanson, CEO of Stribling Equipment and Empire Truck Sales, Hinds alumnus Gov. Phil Bryant and Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse greet one another Sept. 26 at the official opening of the Diesel Technology Academy in Richland. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“Today, the men and women who will go through this Diesel Technology Academy will have a bright future,” Bryant said. “They will be able to live the American dream. And what they will make per hour making these advanced technology machines we see here, they may be able to buy a home…make sure that their children can go to Hinds Community College and over to a great university. Living the American dream will be the responsibility of those who will teach here.”

At a signing ceremony, Stocks referred specifically to the program’s role in[tweetable alt=””] filling middle-skill jobs in Mississippi[/tweetable] – those that require an education beyond high school but not a four-year degree. He also touched on other jobs in the truck and heavy equipment maintenance industry that could benefit from those who complete the program, such as parts, body work, sales and logistics.

Getting to that point, however, required numerous meetings with industry partners to revamp curriculum.

“We brought this curriculum out of the 1980s and into the 21st century,” Stocks said, referring to the nearly three-year effort with industry partners. “Once we started with that curriculum, we modified about six or seven other curricula and got them into the 21st century as well.”

Jerry Swanson, CEO of Stribling Equipment and Empire Truck Sales and Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse sign the official memorandum of understanding between the college and the companies as Cindy West, dean of Career/Technical Education on the Raymond Campus, Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Career/Technical Education and Adult Education, and Sherry Franklin, associate vice president for Career/Technical Education, look on. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Jerry Swanson, CEO of Stribling Equipment and Empire Truck Sales and Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse sign the official memorandum of understanding between the college and the companies as Cindy West, dean of Career/Technical Education on the Raymond Campus, Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Career/Technical Education and Adult Education, and Sherry Franklin, associate vice president for Career/Technical Education, look on. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Under the agreement, a new cohort of 15 students enters the program every eight weeks if they meet minimum requirements in core subjects either on the ACT or college placement tests. The first year of classes is held on the Raymond Campus; the second year at the Diesel Technology Academy.

“We know there is a huge need in Mississippi for programs like this one that train people for skilled jobs that are there waiting to be filled in industries that are critical to business growth,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse. “And these are good jobs that offer wages and benefits that can sustain a family. Thanks to this partnership and this impressive facility, we can satisfy both the needs of the industry and the desire of our people for good jobs.”

Jerry Swanson, the CEO of Empire Truck Sales LLC and Stribling Equipment, said Hinds’ partnership with KLLM Transport Services to form the KLLM Driving Academy in 2014, also in Richland, was the inspiration behind putting together the Diesel Technology Academy.

“We are very excited to see a vision of improving job opportunities for our young people become a reality,” Swanson said. “This effort has been more than two years in the making and, with Dr. Muse’s and Dr. Stocks’ leadership, is now a vibrant testimony to industry and education partnerships.”

Broken out, the program offers an accredited transition pathway of 15 semester credit hours, a career certificate at 30 credit hours, and an Associate of Applied Science degree at 60 credit hours. Two options are offered for technical certificates, at 45 credit hours transportation (medium to heavy trucks) and another for heavy equipment.

0 1160 29 September, 2016 News more