Spring movies provide break for viewers
Apr02

Spring movies provide break for viewers

THE BELLS –By Jordan Yarbrough and Leif Johnston Two movies have recently hit the big screen in the last month that target very different audiences. The first is geared toward Christians and is a religious film about Jesus’ life. The second is a book that turned into a movie, fitting perfectly into the recent trend. The film Son of God has been filling theaters across the country and has topped the North American box office, raking in over $26.5 million in less than a month. Produced by Mark Burnett, it has been received well by a wide variety of audiences. Making religious movies always seems like a touchy subject now that no one wants to step on any toes, but Burnett quickly gave a reason why he knew his film would do well. In a recent interview with Fox News he said,  “In general media circles … people get uncomfortable around God. But actually, more Americans as a community go to church than do anything else. More Americans go to church on Sundays than watch football. Son of God illustrates that in such a huge way…. What does this nation stand for? The Bible and free enterprise are the two things that built the nation.” Son of God illustrates the life of Jesus Christ better than any other movie or television show that has been available to the general public. It is a film that someone who doesn’t know much about Christ’s life on earth can understand. It is accurate to scripture, and the timeline of events makes it easy to follow.  One reason the movie is doing so well is because it doesn’t fictionalize any of the stories of Jesus. “If you came to the movie and you didn’t know anything about Jesus, you would really get a sense of the journey of his life. It was our job to make sure that the journey emotionally connected with you,” Roma Downey, who played the Virgin Mary in the movie, said. “So we told the story on the one hand as a political thriller… It is a beautiful love story. There is intimacy to it, and we hope that you’re drawn in… and you get a sense that you really know who Jesus is.” Divergent is another movie people are dying to see. With a strong female protagonist, it doesn’t just attract girls. Like The Hunger Games, there is a lot of action but less romance, making it a great movie for everyone. From a pregnant teen in ABC Family’s old TV show The Secret Life of an American Teenager, to the strong lead, Tris, in Divergent, Shailene Woodley...

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The Grove: A paradise in progress
Apr02

The Grove: A paradise in progress

THE BELLS — By Christian Hernandez Eighteen miles north of Belton, in east Coryell County, lies the skeleton of a town that used to be full of life. It now lies dormant adjacent to a community that remains as tight knit today as it was when the town was just a small, welcome stop on an old military supply road to Old Fort Gates. It’s called The Grove. “It’s a neat little place,” said Michael Barr, former principal of Gatesville High School and author of half a dozen local history books. “I know all about The Grove. I was born near there. My mother worked at the store,” the 62-year-old Gatesville native continued. “It’s a place that’s been my home.” The history of The Grove goes back to the mid-19th century when local    foliage inspired the name.. “There is a beautiful grove of live oak trees just south of the town,” Barr wrote in his book If You Blink You’ll Miss it. “In the hot summertime, in the 1840s and ’50s, teamsters would stop to rest under the oak trees. That’s where the name The Grove comes from.” According to the Texas State Historical Association, the town was established in 1859 and within a year boasted a mill, a gin and two general stores — one of which was the W.J. Dube general store, arguably the most iconic building in the town. Some believe, though, that it was the arrival of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in the 1870s that really stimulated growth in the town. The church sits just north of the town’s center and still holds services to this day. With the turn of the century, the town would continue to grow into one of the most prosperous in Coryell County. It had a post office, grocery stores, two schools and at some point exceeded a population of 700. The community flourished until its people made a decision that would isolate the town from the rest of Central Texas that was quickly evolving without it. In the middle of town is a hand-dug well that was made in the earliest years of its settlement. “When Highway 36 was being built after World War II, the state offered to bring the road right through the middle of The Grove, but that would have meant paving over the old well.” Barr said. “Residents could not bear the thought.” And so, the highway was laid half a mile north of the town. This would prove to be a costly decision for the people of The Grove. “Progress killed them,” Barr said. As time went on, the town withered. Farmers lost land...

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Women’s golf team soars through spring
Apr02

Women’s golf team soars through spring

THE BELLS — By Thanh Duong The No. 7 NCAA ranked women’s golf team set off for Georgia over spring break to compete in the Jekyll Island Invitational March 14-16. Junior exercise sport science major McKenzie Ralston climbed the board from 10th place coming out of the second round and led the Cru to finish 2nd individually with an 82-75-72=229. “I worked a lot on my short game. And while I was there, it definitely paid off,” Ralston said. “I wasn’t hitting the ball great and that course played hard hitting into the greens so my short game saved me and secured me second place.” The Cru finished 12 strokes behind team champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for fourth place with a 322-315-318=955 total. Fellow junior sports management major Victoria Thane felt the team didn’t play to  its full potential.  Coming off a national championship year, expectations are always high. “As a team, we’ve played mediocre,” she said. “Going into the tournament we felt we could win, considering we won last year. Most of us play well at Indian Mound but it just wasn’t there this year, unfortunately.” Expectations for the remainder of the season are high. Coach Jackie Ralston,  named as the new head coach for the lady Cru in July, felt fortunate to have inherited the team from ex-coach Darla Kirby. “These girls have a lot of talent, and I think that with a little more hard work, dedication and some personal commitment, I see no reason why they can’t conquer and win the conference championship. Get to the national championship and also do well again. I really think they can do a repeat,” she said. Going blind into an unfamiliar course, the team is headed to Bossier City, La.  March 24 to compete in the Hal Sutton Invitational held by Centenary College. “We’ve never seen the course. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes you’re better off maybe not knowing what all is out there,” Ralston said. “Just look at the shot, play that shot. Go to the next shot.” In order to mold their craft to perfection, she said  several things needed work. “We’re going to get there. They’re making their personal commitments, continuing to work on it, and we’re trying to stay positive,” she said. “Just the air that we’ve had at our practices since then is totally different,” she said. A loss like Jekyll Island had affected the team greatly. It forced them to stay focused and be prepared for the Hal Sutton Invitational. “Something clicked, I’m sorry that it had to be  a fourth place finish to make that click happen, but I think they’re ready...

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From Belton to Afghanistan: one student’s quest to serve his country
Apr02

From Belton to Afghanistan: one student’s quest to serve his country

THE BELLS — Last year, freshman political science major Ishmael Pulczinski left the university to serve with the United States Army in Afghanistan. Pulczinski seeks ways to serve those around him and his country. He planned to become an officer in the Army through the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program and had already been serving in the Army Reserves at a chemical unit as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear operations specialist, or 74D. “Growing up, I would always play with G. I. Joe men outside, so it was always in the back of my mind,” Pulczinski  said. “What really propelled me into wanting to join was Sept. 11. I was in the third grade when it happened, and when I heard the news, it woke me up that there are people who wish to do harm against this nation and its citizens. I felt compelled to join to help defend this country from those people.” Pulczinski first came to UMHB in the 2011 spring semester after completing Army basic and has always wanted to serve in the political realm. He was in Beall House Council where he lived during the fall and spring semester of the 2012 to 2013 school year. During the spring semester, Pulczinski heard from some of his fellow reservists that a unit was looking for volunteers to deploy during the summer to Afghanistan. He jumped at the opportunity. “I felt like it was something that God wanted me to do. It was something I needed to do,” Pulczinski said. “I added my name to the list of volunteers. It wasn’t until February after I had started my next semester that I learned my name had been selected. So, I dropped my courses and started the training I had to do in order to deploy.” As Pulczinski started to drop his courses, friends and the university were supportive of him. His classes were reimbursed, and his status as a student was left open for him to come back when his service is over. “The fact that he volunteered at the age that he is and quit school completely embodies the person that he is,” said Beall Hall resident director Christan Hammonds. “He cares about people and has a servant’s heart, a genuine gentleman. I have the utmost respect for military personnel, but the fact that he volunteered in the middle of college to go over there says exactly who he is. I’m ready for him to come back.” Currently, Pulczinski plans to be back in May and has already begun the process to return to the university in the fall. Although he misses his...

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New student body president has high expectations
Apr02

New student body president has high expectations

THE BELLS –By Wesley Ashton Results are in for university student body president,  and next year’s SBP is sophomore engineering science major Christian Harper. Voting took place March 3-6 after a long road of advertising, debating and reaching out to the students of the university. The campaign started with the student government presidential debate Feb. 27 when all four candidates talked about their different platforms. “My previous affiliations with SGA include serving as both the freshmen class president and vice president,” Harper said. “I plan to address several issues, including campus dining, the housing process, creating more parking, making textbooks tax free and improving the chapel experience for everybody. Something else that is very dear to my heart is the bridging of the social gap between students and student athletes on this campus.” Harper ran against junior psychology major Alex Aleman, junior international business major Jonathan Kendall and junior economics and marketing major Ryan Sewell. Candidates chalked the side-walks, posted on dorm doors and loaded tables with advertisements in hopes of representing the university’s student body. Ultimately on March 6,  the email went out that Harper had won. “As student body president, I look forward to serving my fellow students as liaison between the student body and administration,” Harper said. “I endeavor to improve each student’s educational, social and spiritual experience here at UMHB.” Harper is a football player at the university and uses that as a platform to get to know others. He wasn’t involved in SGA last year but hasn’t allowed that to stop him from staying up to date on current issues facing students. “I didn’t think people really had issues with so many things,” Harper said. “Then I started asking what we could do better. I really found through SGA I could make a difference. Freshman year, I really got a feel for what I wanted to do here at UMHB. We need to go to the people to build community on the campus.” Besides getting football players more involved on campus and reaching out  to them, Harper wants to try to make the chapel experience more appealing to students at the university through the addition of a band. Students came out in support during voting week for the vision Harper has for the campus—the year to come will make his dreams of change that much closer. “I like his idea of bringing a band into chapel and looking at the past bills that weren’t passed and seeing why they didn’t,” freshman cell biology and chemistry major Kristan Gomez said.  “I hope that the other candidates who didn’t win will help Christian become a good...

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