Fort Hood massacre hits close to home
Nov12

Fort Hood massacre hits close to home

UMHB 2009 graduate Matt Caskey thought Thursday, Nov. 5, would be a typical work day at Fort Hood. But he was wrong. When someone came into the office in the early afternoon telling him the post was on lockdown, he didn’t believe it at first. Soon after, someone else came with the same warning. Caskey works as a cost price analyst at Fort Hood and was working inside the III Corps building near the main gate. That day, a shooting at the post ended with 13 people dead and 29 wounded. Security police critically injured the suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who remains in critical but stable condition at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The impending danger left Caskey in disbelief. “It doesn’t really hit you at the moment,” he told The Bells. “(But) once I saw it on TV, it really started to sink in … seeing a building right next to us on CNN.” Killeen, Texas, just 23 miles from UMHB, is the home of the largest military post in the United States. The attack within its gates shocked people across the nation, particularly soldiers stationed at Fort Hood. Spc. Kelly Robertson told The Bells, “I honestly can’t believe it’s soldiers. I really can’t.” Robertson said the tragedy will affect the way citizens view service men and women. “I know it’s going to give soldiers a bad name, but … this isn’t the Army. This is not what the Army is about. This is individuals.” Thirty-nine-year-old Hasan was a psychiatrist at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. When Spc. Jessica Achibareo heard that the suspected shooter was a major, she told The Bells, “It’s breathtakingly stunning that it would be someone with that kind of power, that kind of influence of soldiers, who would take soldiers’ lives and take them away from their families. I just don’t understand.” The shooting occurred in the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center as many of the soldiers were preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the busiest day of the week in the building according to a Bells source who lives on Fort Hood and is a military spouse. Robertson said that citizens should not stereotype members of the service because the perpetrator was a soldier. “All soldiers are not like this …. Don’t judge us as a whole on these individuals’ actions,” she said. Junior youth ministry major Bethany Carter’s father is a retired chaplain’s assistant and is now a youth minister for Fort Hood. Her family invited several military young people to their house because of early school dismissal the day of the shooting....

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Pilots miss landing plane by 150 miles

Getting on a plane in the near future? You can now add a few things to your list of fears. In addition to worrying about being frisked by airport security, losing your favorite lotion because it’s more than three ounces in weight (and it could be an explosive) and getting queasy when there’s flight turbulence, travelers now have to worry whether not their pilots will be cognitive when the plane has reached its intended destination. Will the plane land where it is supposed to land? Northwest Airline pilot Captain Timothy Cheney and first officer Richard Cole made the news for their flight from San Diego in October. Unfortunately, the news frenzy wasn’t due to the pilots’ heroic efforts as when Chelsey “Sulley” Sullenberger landed US Airways flight 1459 in the Hudson River in January. Nope, not these pilots. Cheney and Cole made the news for missing their intended destination of Minneapolis by more than 150 miles. The pair was accused of falling asleep in the cockpit. (While this is possible, where were the flight attendants? Don’t they check on them and offer soda and peanuts, too?) They quickly denied the accusation, saying they were merely in a heated debate. My question is what were they arguing about for 150 miles? Later, the two said they weren’t asleep, and they weren’t arguing. The pilots say they were on their laptops. If Cheney and Cole were on their computers, what were they doing for so long that they could miss the airport? What kept them from getting messages from the Minneapolis Airport control tower for more than 90 minutes? One pilot was apparently using his personal computer, a violation of company policy. Were they on Facebook? Playing Farmville? Having an all-out Superpoke war? What will keep this from happening again with the other 3,500 national and international flights per day? The New York Times reported that the Federal Aviation Administration revoked the licenses of the two pilots. The FAA said the punishment was for “failing to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances and operating carelessly and recklessly.” If it wasn’t for a flight attendant who contacted them via the plane’s internal phone system, the Northwest 188 carrying 144 passengers might not have landed safely. Next time when boarding the plane and a man in a pilot’s uniform is spotted, “Do you plan on getting on the computer?” might be a good response to the hearty, but overused “Thank you for choosing our...

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President’s home serves new purposes
Nov12

President’s home serves new purposes

Students can find pictures of themselves displayed across the purple and gold walls of the newly repurposed Musick Alumni Center and Museum at the Parker House. Along with photos of current and past Crusaders, historical artifacts like a diploma on sheepskin and a class ring from the 1920s will be on display for years to come. Previous university President Dr. Jerry Bawcom and first lady Vicky Bawcom spent many hours entertaining students, faculty, staff and community members in their home. The Parker House, located behind Presser Hall, was constructed for university President and Mrs. Bobby Parker in 1989. More than 20 years later, the Parker House is no longer a home used by its residents to entertain guests. Instead, the house will serve as the alumni offices, alumni welcome center on the first floor and university museum on the second. Now Executive Chancellor Jerry Bawcom said, “Mrs. Bawcom and I have many fond memories there … but for several years we have been having conversation about the need for a museum.” The opportunity was an open door for the university to display and preserve its heritage. “I think it’s a great thing to take place.” he said. “It will be a memorable thing for students and alumni to be able to see and touch items of our history.” New University President Randy O’Rear said the opportunity to “incorporate a facility where our alumni can enjoy fellowship and remember the rich history of the university is a very great thing for Mary Hardin-Baylor.” When the board of trustees voted to build a new president’s home, they left the administration with the choice of how to use the Parker House. University leaders decided the gifts previously received for a museum could be used to renovate the existing facilities. O’Rear said, “It was not something we expected or had been planning for, but it was certainly an opportunity when all the pieces fell into place.” The interior walls, painted various shades of purple, accent the 14 university traditions displayed on the first floor. Alumni Relations Director Rebecca O’Banion said, “For years and years the school has had a dream of having a museum for alumni.” Large photo displays depict both previous and current students taking part in everything from the dubbing ceremony, and Miss MHB Pageant to Stunt Night. The downstairs will be used as the alumni offices and traditions displays, while the upstairs will serve as the university museum. With the first floor complete, Museum Curator Betty Sue Beebe is looking forward to the completion of the second. Some of the museum artifacts have been in storage portables behind Townsend Memorial...

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Breaking News: Fort Hood Shooting
Nov05

Breaking News: Fort Hood Shooting

Also By Evangeline Cuipek According to news reports at 1:30 p.m. Thursday a shooting broke out at the Fort Hood military base 23 miles from UMHB, leaving a reported 13 dead and about 31 people injured. One shooter, Maj. Malik Hasan, was critically injured by a local Killeen policeman. Hasan was a Virigia Tech graduate according to WSLS News in Virginia. Chuck Todd of NBC News said Hasan was set to deploy on Nov. 28. The shooting is reported to have broken out in the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center. Killeen and Temple school districts are on a soft lock-down. Several agencies, including the Texas Rangers, have arrived on scene. The soldiers were filling out paperwork in the Medical and Processing Center in the Soldier Readiness Center (the old sports dome complex) to be able to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.  The guards located at the security checkpoints are reported to have been civilians. The nine school campuses located in Killeen are on lock-down. UMHB Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer Steve Theodore issued this statement via email: “All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to restrict travel to the Fort Hood/West Bell County area until law enforcement officials confirm the situation is resolved.  In the meantime, please limit calls to the campus police department to emergencies only.” President Obama called the shootings “tragic” and “a horrific outburst of violence.” He expressed his condolences for the shooting victims. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said, “I am shocked and saddened by today’s outburst of violence at Fort Hood that has cost seven of our brave service members their lives and has gravely injured others. My heart goes out to their loved ones. Our dedicated military personnel have sacrificed so much in service to our country, and it sickens me that the men and women of Fort Hood have been subjected to this senseless, random violence. I know all Americans share this concern for the soldiers and their families who are affected by this tragedy.” Governor Rick Perry ordered that flags remain at half-staff until Sunday. The Associated Press reported that Greg Schanepp, the regional director of Congressman John Carter’s office, was at a graduation ceremony on the base at the time of the shooting. AP reported that Schanepp was warned about the danger by a soldier who had been shot in the back. At one point in the afternoon, half of the trending topics on Twitter were about Malik Hasan, the gunman who was shot down by a Killeen policeman. A Student Who Lives on Base Junior Christian studies major Kelsy Caffas lives on Fort Hood. Her husband is...

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Leadership prays for missions
Oct27

Leadership prays for missions

Also written by Marisol Escobar As students hurry from class to class wearing the typical attire — purple and gold T-shirts with jeans — a man stands out in the crowd. He looks like a nontraditional student and isn’t dressed like an American, though he speaks English with ease. He’s one of the many missionaries visiting the university during Missions Emphasis Week. Junior Amanda Gigante, who serves on the MEW faculty relations committee said, “When I was a freshman, I was like, ‘I don’t understand this.’ Halfway through the week, I finally realized what was going on.” Student leaders encourage their fellow Crusaders to take advantage of the opportunity, as the world comes literally to their doorsteps. The event lasts Oct. 26 though Oct. 30. Junior Ashlee Driskell, a co-director of the steering committee, said, “It’s very rare that a campus has 40 missionaries from … Afghanistan, Africa, Egypt — all these random places come and hang out with us as college students. They give up a week of their lives to (visit) with us and get us excited about serving other people.” Seminars and special events will occur on campus to raise awareness regarding missionary work around the world. “This is the largest group of missionary guests and the broadest representation of agencies that we have ever had,” Director of Baptist Student Ministry Shawn Shannon said. “We long to increase awareness of the great need for the love of Christ and his Gospel and provide opportunities for people to meet those needs, both locally and globally.” Guest speaker Mike Cahill served in Ghana and teaches linguistics. He is hoping to educate students about the mission work field. “I’m most looking forward to having personal conversations with UMHB students interested in missions, and specifically those who might be interested in Bible translation and all the related activities,” he said. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and India are some of the countries missionary Stephen Burke has served in. He gave some advice to students who are considering foreign ministry. “The most important thing about mission work is being in the center of God’s will. The missionary needs to ask ‘Is this where God is sending you?’ …. Because in the center of His will is where we find protection, provision and His presence. Where He is working is where we should also be.” he said. Karen Hall, president and medical program director of Central Texas Orphan Mission Alliance, will also make an appearance at MEW. She works with adoption programs in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uganda. Hall has raised 19 children, and eight of them have gone into mission work. She...

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