Gulfport Admirals mourn the loss of a friend and fan

It's WLOX News Director Brad Kessie.  Every so often, you learn about something that may not be news, but it sure impacts a community.  That happened today.

A Gulfport High School custodian known by everybody as Big Rob suffered a massive heart attack this morning and died.  Like so many others associated with Gulfport athletics, I got to know Rob Anderson at the ballpark.  A few weeks ago, I asked him how he became the ballpark custodian.  He told me it was a dream job that kind of fell in his lap.  Gulfport needed somebody to clean its seating areas.  And he figured he was the right man for that job.

He told me picking up ballpark trash was worth it, because it gave him the chance to hang out with the Admirals.  The players loved him.  The coaches loved him.  And so did the parents.

Last week, when Gulfport traveled to Terry to play in round two of the Class 6A baseball playoffs, the Admirals invited Big Rob to ride the team charter.  You should have seen the smile on his face after Gulfport beat the Bulldogs that night.

We'll miss you Big Rob.  But we sure won't forget you.

The state college board just announced Dr. Aubrey Lucas will be the interim president at Southern Miss.  Yes, that's the same Dr. Lucas who ran the university for 22 years.

In announcing the decision to have Dr. Lucas lead USM, IHL chairman Ed Blakeslee said, "His vast knowledge of higher education, and particularly the University of Southern Mississippi, will serve the university well during this transition period."

Dr. Lucas takes over as Southern Miss president on July 1.

President Obama is in Afghanistan tonight.  And at 6:30, he'll be on WLOX ABC and CBS, addressing the nation on America's role in the Afghan region.

And on WLOX News at 10:00, Doug Walker looks into what it took for Jackson County investigators to break up an alleged car theft ring.  Four people are in custody.  They reportedly broke into, or stole more than two dozen cars over a four month period.