President’s house nearly move-in ready

Crusaders will have new neighbors next fall with the university president’s home scheduled to be move-in ready July 1. The Randy O’Rear family is glad to be able to get settled and live on campus. Their family has moved three times in the past five years. The presidential home, located at 1032 University Drive, has been under construction since November. Despite abnormal weather – from cold, rainy and snow days – the building has continued on schedule. President O’Rear said, “I’m looking forward to it. Julie is, too.” He said the two anticipate “being able to get out in the evenings and walk around the campus.” The house is contracted by the university in an effort to save money, as well as to be able to build it according to the decided plans well under the budget. Senior Vice President for Campus Planning and Support Services Edd Martin said, “We think we’re going to get it under that, but $800,000 is what we’ve got budgeted.” The one-story home of 5,000 square feet of living space is smaller than the previous president’s home, which now serves as the university’s Alumni Center. This is mainly due to the amount of formal space once used in the Parker House. The residence will have about 8,000 total square feet, which include a three-car garage and a back patio with outdoor seating. The O’Rears will also have a media room for the family to entertain university guests. It will include theater-like seating, a big screen TV and a Wii gaming system. Martin said, “It’s set up for a less formal, more relaxed atmosphere, (so) that he can interact with our students better.” Though the home is near the physical center of university owned property, Martin said the location choice was not intentionally across the street from the new apartment building, which is scheduled to be open for student housing in the fall. While the house won’t be the center of campus from an “activities perspective,” it will provide opportunities for Cru who live in campus apartments to be neighborly. O’Rear said, “The house, I think, is in a really good location in terms of offering some privacy and ability to get away a little bit.” Not only is the house across the street from much of campus housing, it also provides a taste of the “wilderness.” “You can go out the front door and have one effect, and go about the back door, andit’s just beautiful,” he said. “You just kind of lose yourself back there in the beauty of Nolan Creek and the bluff.” He said that their home will provide the balance...

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‘No deal, Mr. Obama’

The Feb. 25 healthcare summit proved to be a waste of time for Democrats who likely hoped the Republican candor would crumble with some eight million viewers watching (at least for a few moments) part of the seven-and-a-half- hour ordeal on TV. It is impossible to meet in the middle for a true “compromise” if Democrats continue to snub certain points Republicans cannot give up for the sake of the American people. According to a Scott Rasmussen poll, 85 percent of Americans currently have health insurance. Of those surveyed, 80 percent said their insurance coverage is “good or excellent.” Number 1: Increased cost Government-run healthcare would, in fact, raise premiums for those individually insured, raise taxes and force employer-based insurance to switch to the government plan to save on the sure-tosky rocket free market plans. Number 2: Decreased quality Government-run healthcare would not improve the quality of life for the uninsured as the Democrats are promising because the plan would force doctors to accept lower pay, leaving many hospitals forced to fire staff and limit the availability of care. Number 3: Rampant dishonesty Nothing from the government is free. Government-run healthcare would put bureaucrats in charge, and they’re not even sure they trust themselves. Not even all the Democrats are convinced. And yet they’re filling their own states’ pockets with money (no doubt a tactic for re-election). Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) obtained a $300 million increase in Medicaid funding for her home state Louisiana, some say for agreeing to vote for the bill. Arizona Sen. John McCain said, “Passage of this bill is an indication of the Chicagostyle sleazy sausage-making that’s been going on around here.” It wasn’t good government; it was bad TV according to many national leaders who endured the hours on end brawls over the healthcare bill. The “summit,” affectionately named like it was a high level meeting that would end with Democratic results and handshakes, turned out to be a close one, given to Republicans – even according to mainstream liberalized news organizations. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said, “We do need to reform much of our health care that we have in America. But (Republicans) were able to articulate that, whereas the Democrats, the president, it was just more of the same old, same old, and it was a whole lot of lecturing again.” There were no doubt times of arguing similar to that of an angry parent and a defiant teen. One of the most notable squabbles was the spat between McCain and Obama. McCain accused the president of not being as transparent as his campaign had claimed the government would become, saying...

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One Voice performs
Feb25

One Voice performs

One Voice, a choir made of 10 students, is both an educational music program as well as a ministry. Dr. Matthew Crosby, a university alum, is the choral director. The group is a scholarship choir that represents the university at various community events and high schools and travels across the world sharing their faith through song. The choir leaves town two weekends a month, mostly travelling to area churches. Crosby has lead the group for seven years. He said, “This year, it was a goal of mine to sing at everybody’s church that was in the group.” Senior Leslie Cross has been a member for three years. She said, “I think for the group to go to a member’s church helps them know the person more and have a better understanding.” It was fun for her fellow choir members to visit her home church. “(My) being African American, they didn’t know what to expect,” she said. One Voice also holds several concerts on campus and takes part in Easter Pageant. Cross said the choir does more than “getting UMHB’s name out there” and recruiting new students. “First and foremost, we are showing Christ,” Cross said. “It’s a ministry.” In addition to spreading the word about the university, Crosby believes their purpose remains a ministry. “It’s really important to me to keep the mission of what we do Christ centered because it just helps with the unity and helps us to grow as Christians and as a group,” he said. Freshman church music major Cameron Roucloux said One Voice helped him adjust to the transition to college life. “It was really like going from one family environment into another one,” he said. “It’s just been a really big blessing for me. The people in there are genuine.” Crosby tries to schedule an international trip one year, and the next the group records a CD. This summer, they plan to go to Spain and Portugal on a 12-day trip. The group will perform and assist missionaries in the area. The opportunity to travel is special for choir members. The farthest away from home Roucloux has been is the Mexican border. “I haven’t been overseas,” he said. “I haven’t ridden on a plane for that long before, so I’m really excited.” Contrary to popular belief, students do not have to be music majors to be part of One Voice. “I think music is a big part of anyone’s life,” Cross said. With the common ground of enjoying music and sharing faith, not being a music major shouldn’t keep someone from auditioning. Cross said, “I would definitely encourage non-music majors to do it....

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Tebow ad trouble
Feb24

Tebow ad trouble

With the Super Bowl weeks past and far from people’s minds, it’s the commercials that are still the talk of the town. From the talking babies in e-Trade commercials (What do babies have to do with stocks?) and the Doritos’ “Don’t touch my Mama” advertisements went for the lure of humor. However, not all of them used this tactic. The Dodge Charger ad targeted married men who feel as if they can’t do what they want, but the auto maker promises them the return of masculinity if they own the muscle car. But one ad received more pre-game attention than any other commercial − even beating out the questionable airbrushed thumb of Megan Fox and the gay couple in the Motorola commercial. On YouTube, users comment and argue over her eternal destination. The Tim Tebow “celebrate life” commercial faced flak before the Super Bowl even took place. Focus on the Family sponsored the 30-second $2.8 million pro-life ad featuring Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, and his mother. Focus’ ad has over 800,000 views on YouTube, while Motorola trails with about 32,000. The comment section is disabled on Tebow’s. Tebow was born in Manila, Philippines, where his parents were Christian missionaries. The family moved to the U.S. when he was a toddler, but he continued to visit often. In a recent trip, he even performed surgeries on orphans, such as removing cysts. Tebow’s popularity was only springboarded by his success on the football field as quarterback for the Florida Gators. He receives about 400 speaking requests a month and continues to share his faith, which seems to make him the prize spokesperson for a pro-life message. “I call him my miracle baby. He almost didn’t make it into this world,” Pam Tebow says in the opening of the ad. It continues with the story of how baby Tebow might never have existed. The mother of four had a rough pregnancy. She says in the ad, “With all our family’s been through, you have to be tough,” claiming she still worries about her son, who is “not nearly as tough as I am.” The commercial closes and tells viewers to go online “for the full story” with the flash of the Focus on the Family Web site address. Their site features a video of Pam alongside her husband, Bob. He had prayed that God would give him “Timmy” even before the child was conceived. He promised to raise the boy as a preacher. Pam was 37 years old and complications with the pregnancy were inevitable. Local doctors told the family that baby Tebow was a mass of tissue − a...

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Mayor of Troy teaches future, inspires nurses

When adjunct professor, Dr. Jeff Browning, was in the sixth grade, he wanted to become a scientist. He didn’t like his first chemistry class; however, he enjoyed physics and biology. Being an introverted teen, Browning preferred to remain behind the scenes. He said, “I was a very shy person and didn’t like any kind of responsibility.” Little did he know his love for the sciences would take his future career to center stage. “I would have never ever guessed I would be in any sort of leadership position because I did not like to be in front of people,” Browning said. But he found himself in the college classroom, and since 2003, he has been a professor at the university. In addition, he is currently the mayor of the city of Troy and works for the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. He double majored in biophysics and chemistry at Trinity University, and later earned a master’s in biophysical and biochemical sciences from the University of Houston. He holds a doctorate from Texas A&M in medical sciences. His background in medical research is what better equips him to teach bio-organic chemistry to future nurses. “Students like me because I can really communicate that information,” he said. “But they don’t like me because I have a pretty high standard.” Lab coordinator and adjunct professor Laura Hargrove works with Browning. She said, “He has the knowledge of how many (of the) drugs the nurses will administer … (how they) were made and the research that went on before those drugs were available.” Browning is glad to be able to share his Christian faith at the university. He said, “I appreciate the fact that … I can use the awesome intricacies of biochemistry to share the awesomeness of God.” Several years ago, Browning moved to Troy, TX, and joined the city council. Last year, when the mayor suddenly quit, Browning’s fellow councilmen pleaded with him to become mayor. He tends to be a very analytical person, a characteristic that “people see,” in addition to his eye for making long term goals. “I’m not doing it just for my own sake.” He said, “I feel like God’s put me in the position of leadership.” City Administrator of Troy, Sherry Horsak, said his character and skills make him a good fit for the job. She said, “(He) cannot be successful if he simply throws darts at solutions or goals. His ability to gather, read and analyze the data allows him to more accurately lead discussions on changes, projects, and goals for the...

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