Play Day offers a chance to unwind before finals
May06

Play Day offers a chance to unwind before finals

THE BELLS — By Josh Bradshaw   Being a full time student at any university is hard work and oftentimes, demanding. With finals just around the corner, the university did its best to help relieve some stress and tension with its annual Play Day event. The event, hosted by Student Life, had lots of goings-on throughout the day. Here were some of the highlights of the event: •    Yoga •    Basketball and volleyball tournaments •    Paintball •    Laser tag •    Zip line •    Petting zoo •    Cricket Play Day had some new attractions this year. Mike McCarthy, director of Campus Activities, expressed his desire for more international students to be involved at the event. “When we plan events like Play Day, we try to get as many students as possible to attend. This means we have to think through various activities students from different walks of life would participate in.” Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, and though it lacks much of a following in America, McCarthy was prepared to take the risk of putting it on the Play Day schedule. “If providing a game of cricket, led by one of our international student workers, draws in other international students, then for me, Play Day has been a success.” The rec field was largely taken up with short cricket games for much of the afternoon. Play commenced at 1 p.m. and did not stop until after 6 p.m. Karl Baker, a senior Christian studies major, spoke  highly of the event. He said, “I love UMHB because the school is always providing opportunities to learn about new things. The game of cricket has always fascinated me.” After playing against some more experienced international players, Baker realized just how much there was to the game. “I did better than I expected, but I still have a lot to learn. It’s a far cry from baseball.” People came and went throughout the day, and the field was always in play. The games were competitive but provided the grounds to build relationship and community among different groups on campus, something that UMHB prides itself on. Collin Davies, a senior Spanish/chemistry major, and also the school’s student body president, joined in the fun for an hour. “I enjoyed learning a new sport which teaches a lot about a culture and people who are quickly becoming a part of daily life here at UMHB.” Davies, who also plays for The Cru tennis team, took to the sport well and hopes to play again. “On the cricket field, cultural and linguistic boundaries are minimized to nothing more than sport, competition and pride...

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The Fault in Our Stars outshines recent books
Apr15

The Fault in Our Stars outshines recent books

THE BELLS – By Jessica Pitcaithly Soon to be released in theaters as a major motion picture, The Fault in Our Stars is not only a phrase from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, but also an eye-opening and touching novel written by John Green. People might expect the book to have been written in medieval times. Instead, it takes place in modern day and deals with a difficult topic that readers all over the country have appreciated. The plot focuses on Hazel Grace, a 16 year-old girl living with terminal cancer. She narrates the novel from a first-person point of view, showing the everyday struggle of the terrible disease. Forced by her mother to join a support group for her illness, Hazel reluctantly partakes in tedious sessions held in “the literal heart of Jesus,” (inside-joke book humor).  This ends up changing- her life forever. At first, Hazel dreads going until she meets Augustus Waters. Soon, the book speeds up as an unconventional love story unfolds. Augustus, or Gus for short, is a handsome boy. Initially, he is over-determined to get to know Hazel, and readers might be unsure of how they feel about the character. But as the book continues, readers intently follow the path of this couple’s relationship as they suffer from illness and a huge hunt for answers about Hazel’s favorite book: An Imperial Affliction, which plays a big role in the story. Green delivers a shocking ending that readers will not see coming. This unexpected turn furthers his message of the book about dealing with cancer. As a whole, The Fault in Our Stars is a fun and unique novel. Avid readers should carve out the time to delve into its honest truth about a difficult, real life topic. This book made me look closer at my life and count my blessings. On the other hand, it made me realize that I should enjoy the small things because of how short life is and take advantage of the moment. The popular novel is being adapted into a film and will star Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Gus. With Woodley making a name for herself, the film has already gained a large following. It comes out in theaters June 6. But before sitting down to watch the film, get comfortable, open the book and read. Regret will not even cross your...

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Lt. Gen. Milley, Sen. Cornyn comment on Fort Hood shooting investigation
Apr03

Lt. Gen. Milley, Sen. Cornyn comment on Fort Hood shooting investigation

THE BELLS — Antonio Hebert and Seth Stephens Just after 4 p.m. April 2, 2014, a shooter identified as 34-year-old Ivan Lopez opened fire in a medical facility on Fort Hood killing four and injuring 16. All were military personnel. Some were treated at Scott and White Hospital in Temple.     The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wo und shortly after the incident. The investigation is still ongoing. Police and military personnel will release information as it becomes available.     Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Lt. Gen. Mark Milley held a brief press conference April 3 at 3 p.m. Milley began by asking reporters and media outlets to avoid speculation.     “As for the investigation, the criminal investigation division of the U.S. army continues to lead investigating agencies and they are right now synchronizing all of the investigative work of the federal, state, local and army agencies throughout Fort Hood and the surrounding area. They are interviewing witnesses as an ongoing and active investigation,” he said.     Milley hinted at the possibility of the Lopez’s psychological history playing a role in the tragic incident. He also said that authorities are still looking into all possibilities concerning motive.     “At this point we have not yet ruled out anything whatsoever. And we are letting the investigation run its course. But we have, again, no indication that this… (has) any link to terrorist organizations,” he said.     Cornyn said he considers mental health problems to be “among the most vexing” and said measures are being taken to care for the psychological well-being of soldiers.     Milley discussed future plans to remember the deceased saying, “We’re planning a memorial ceremony early next week in honor of the fallen. I’d also like to thank the outpouring of support from the central Texas community and the entire state of Texas. And all of our national leadership within in the military and civilian leadership at the national level. Everyone is chipping in trying to assist in anyway they...

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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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