Army reservist returns to campus
Feb21

Army reservist returns to campus

Dr. Anne Crawford, professor of nursing and U.S. Army reservist major, is back to teaching classes at UMHB after a year deployment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She has returned to her family and position with a new appreciation of her craft along with images of young wounded soldiers without limbs or functionality and the medical ingenuity that allows them to live productive lives. When the call came in the fall of 2009 for her to activate and prepare for deployment, she had to put her life here in Texas – both work and personal – on hold. “They called in August initially saying, ‘you’re going’ in December,” Crawford said. “This was great because I had a whole semester to plan and get my classes and workload covered. When I knew I was going to Walter Reed … that was exciting for me. It is a premiere military medical facility in the world. And it was scary because you don’t know what you’re going to be doing exactly, and you have to leave your family.” Walter Reed is the primary center for wounded troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. After they are stabilized in Germany at an American military hospital, they come directly to the D.C. hospital. Crawford worked in the emergency room there, just as she does at Scott & White Hospital. But the patients at the facility were not like the ones she sees in Temple. “There were all these young, healthy looking soldiers without arms or legs,” she said. “It was so sad and yet so uplifting to see the advances in prosthesis that helped their lives. There were troops with bilateral amputations above the knee who were out running on prosthetic limbs.” The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have seen great medical advancements to care for troops. “They say the only winner in war is medicine,” she said. “We started using helicopters to evacuate people because they did that in Vietnam. Lots of different procedures and surgeries came from the Civil War and World War 1 and all the conflicts we have been in.” For her deployment, her husband, Professor of music history and percussion Dr. Stephen Crawford, drove her to D.C. immediately following the graduation and celebration lunch of their son, James, from UMHB in Dec. 2009. Stephen visited her three times during the deployment, but being separated is never easy – especially for a pair of high school sweethearts. Stephen said, “My dad did two tours in Vietnam. When (Anne) was deployed this time, it took me back in time. It didn’t make it any easier, but having a family...

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Campus copes with cold, cancellations
Feb08

Campus copes with cold, cancellations

The Townsend Memorial Library staff arrived around 7 a.m. as usual Wednesday morning, but nothing about their arrival was normal. The building was in total darkness, and the fire alarm was screeching with bright white lights strobing across the shelves of books and computer stations – hardly the quiet environment librarians are used to. Darkness and confusion was common throughout Texas Wednesday morning as The Electric Reliability Council of Texas decided to use rolling blackouts to curb the high use of energy caused by the bitter cold weather. About 8 percent of the power generated in Texas was shut down overnight by the cold, and the Texas grid operator attempted to prevent a more serious energy emergency by cutting the juice all over Texas for short intervals of time. Whatever method the council took to choose when and where the power would be cut was not made known to the public. “We asked our service provider to give us a blackout schedule, and they couldn’t provide us one,” said Director of Information Technology Shawn Kung. “We advised everyone to not turn on their computers. When the computer is on, the hard disk is running. If you lose power, you could get some pretty serious damage to your hard drive.” Only minor damages were caused by the power failures, but IT and police would have preferred to be notified when the power was out to address the situation. “The utilities commission is going to have to find a way to notify people about these blackouts,” Police Chief Gary Sargent said. “They can send me an e-mail that my bill has been paid or is due. They should be able to send me an e-mail that my power is getting shut off.” The librarians, armed with flashlights, did their best to keep the library running and the students able to study and work until the university was officially closed at 11 a.m. Wednesday “This building uses a lot of electricity,” said Director of Learning Resources Denise Karimkhani.  “We’ve had power outages before, but not for that reason – usually it was due to storms. That’s why we bought flashlights because this building is pitch black dark.” The weather effectively shut down the campus, with power outages on Wednesday and Thursday and two inches of snow on Friday. Only 10 a.m. classes met Wednesday, and school was delayed until 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Friday’s precipitation meant lots of glistening snow on top of school buildings, but no one inside them. For many students, the cold white layer was not just an excuse for a day off, but a whole new experience. “I love...

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Perry vows to hack state spending
Jan25

Perry vows to hack state spending

Freshly inaugurated Rick Perry thinks historians may call this the “Texas century.” It certainly has been the decade of Perry. The governor took the reins of the cow-herding state from President George W. Bush in 2000. On January 18, 2011, Perry, a Texas A&M grad, took his familiar oath of office for the fourth time. The magnificent capitol building, accented with a maroon stage, stood as a backdrop for the event. The inauguration was a celebration for Texans on the grounds in Austin. After all, despite tough times throughout the world, Texas has been relatively unhurt by the recession under Perry’s guidance. “With bloated stimulus spending, record debt, massive entitlement programs, Washington has America on a collision course with bankruptcy. Now Texas – we’ve fared better than most other states,” he said. “While much has changed in the last four years, one thing hasn’t changed – the character, resilience the resourcefulness of our citizens.” Perry emphasized cutting spending where possible. “These tough times mean government doing more with less,” he said in his inaugural speech. “With our nation now mired in more than $14 trillion in debt, accountability and fiscal responsibility won’t come from Washington. It will come from places like Texas.” The content of the speeches by Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was not only about the success of Texas and shrinking the state government. Much of the event was focused more on Washington than the Lone Star State. The Republican attendees cheered at jabs at the Obama administration and the “Washington way.” “The only thing as outrageous as the amount of money Washington is borrowing from foreign creditors is the amount of money they withhold from states unless we comply with their edicts,” Dewhurst said in his address. “Washington has run roughshod over state sovereignty.” Several thousand spectators, many vocally conservative, endured chilly weather to view the event. Texas flags stuck out in a sea of bundled bystanders. “If some Democrats showed up, we could get some hot air,” an attendee said as chuckles rose from the packed crowd around her. Linda Landrum, mother of UMHB junior theology/philosophy major Curtis Landrum was among the attendees of the event. She used to take her son to the capitol to lobby on educational issues. “I think (Perry) is going to be a very positive influence for Texas for the next four years,” she said. “I happened to be in town, and I’ve never seen an inauguration. I’ve been to the Capitol many times but never seen this part. I couldn’t miss this event.” Landrum wasn’t the only excited party at the ceremony. Local Boy Scout troops volunteered to...

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Super showdown, Pack vs. Steelers

The Superbowl is in Dallas this year, and both the Packers and the Steelers are looking to win it all in Texas. Aaron Rodgers is a young quarterback good enough to push out Green Bay legend Brett Favre. But is he good enough to overcome another legend? The six-time Superbowl champs Pittsburgh Steelers have made a habit of winning playoff games. They have more Lombardi than any other team – and a pretty good quarterback themselves in Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers steel curtain defense dominated football in the 70s. And in the 2000s they were able to snag two championships behind more dominating defense. But the Packers are just as rich in history. They won the first two Superbowls in 1966 and 1967. The trophy is even named after their historic coach from the 60s – Vince Lombardi himself. History is just that, however – history. The two fan favorite teams need to be excellent on Feb. 6 if they want to win it all. The problem with the high-scoring offense of the Packers is that they are fairly one-dimensional. Granted, Rodgers is one of the most elite passers in the game, but good defenses can’t be beaten through the air alone. Green Bay will have to muster some yards on the ground to keep the defense from keying on the pass. Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses overall and should be a tough challenge against the green and yellow, however the Packers also have a strong, blitzing defense. Expect hard hitting and impressive defensive plays on the big Sunday. The biggest match-ups will be the Steelers center against Green Bay’s nose tackle B.J. Raji and Steelers safety Troy Polomalu against Aaron Rodgers passing attack. Pittsburgh has found much success this season thanks to rookie phenomenon and pro ball center Maurkice Pouncey. The rookie anchored an offensive line that has seen its share of struggles and inconsistency throughout the past few seasons. Unfortunately, Pouncey was hurt in the AFC championship against the Jets. He may have to be replaced by a backup like Doug Legursky who mishandled two snaps and basically mishanded a safety to the Jets. That’s where Raji comes in – possibly literally – The 337-pound monster of a man would like nothing less than to be up against a shaky replacement. He shuts down starters on a regular basis. If Pouncey is out, the Steelers’ run game and pass defense could be dramatically stunted. Everyone knows what Rodgers can do. He is an excellent passer. But Polomalu has an even better reputation. He is considered among the best, if not the  best, playmaker in the...

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Speakers against Muslim extremism voice concerns to Killeen citizens
Jan11

Speakers against Muslim extremism voice concerns to Killeen citizens

Congress has turned over, thanks to grassroots conservatives known as the tea party. They rose from their states proclaiming to constitutionalists and fiscal conservatives just what the majority who elected them wanted to hear. The tea party isn’t the only group of conservatives pleading their cause to the masses One group isn’t calling attention to states’ rights or the economy but to the dangers of religious extremism. The Forum for Middle East Understanding, which visited Killeen in November, has former terrorists among its list of speakers. Conservative radio host Lynn Woolley was the master of ceremonies for the Killeen event, which attempted to shine light on Muslim extremists, their religion and politics, and potential threats. It was scheduled to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Fort Hood shooting. The  massacre occurred when Army Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire on troops and civilians at the post, killing 13 and wounding dozens more. “What are we here for if not to combat political correctness?” Woolley asked the crowd, many of whom had traveled from great distances to see the event. The meeting was sponsored by the International Counter Terror Officer’s Association. These types of conferences are not unique to America. Groups with names as brash as SIOE – Stop Islamisation of Europe – lobby against Muslim practices in their countries. And they have found some success. France and Belgium have laws that forbid face veils. Other organizations, such as the Search for Common Ground, pool their efforts to help integrate Muslims into America. Its goal is acceptance and tolerance. These groups protest the seemingly defensive view that the Forum takes. But tolerance, as preached in Europe, has seemed to fade in countries with large Muslim population, such as France. While Muslim immigration is relatively new to America, the numbers have been growing steadily in Europe. Europeans in general are seen as much more politically leftist than Americans. But a new study shows that their thoughts toward Muslims are anything but liberal. Le Monde newspaper and IFOP, a polling agency, found in a poll published Jan. 4 that more than two-thirds of 1,600 Germans and French surveyed thought that “Muslims are not well integrated in their societies.” Forty percent said they saw Islam as a threat. To Europeans, the issue is not about hating a religion, but preventing that religion from infringing on the established secularism of their homelands. Keith Davies is the executive director of the Forum for Middle East Understanding and organized the Killeen event and others like it. “We are in a situation like the 1930s when Winston Churchill spoke out for eight or nine years,” he said. “He...

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