Man Dead on I-35
Aug30

Man Dead on I-35

On Thursday at approximately 4:25 p.m., a pedestrian was declared dead by Belton police after being struck by a vehicle near the I-35 and US Highway 190 intersection.  

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Bringing home royal baby
Aug27

Bringing home royal baby

Once upon a time—July 22 to be exact—people around the globe rejoiced at the birth of a prince. England gained a new heir, and the world fell in love with a tiny baby. His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is just over one month old, but the infant has already changed history. The baby’s arrival meant that, for the first time since 1894, three generations of direct heirs to the throne are alive at one time. Thanks to the increase of social media, His Royal Highness had the most anticipated birth in recent history. How many people get their own Wikipedia page before their first birthday? It all started when the fairy tale romance of Prince William and girl-next-door Kate Middleton swept fans off their feet. By the royal wedding in 2011, a generation was captivated as history was written before their eyes. UMHB junior English major Sarah Tipton spent seven weeks in England this summer. She recalls witnessing the nuptials on television. “I remember getting up at four or five in the morning with my mom and sister to watch the royal wedding,” she said. “I watched the entire ceremony with so much anticipation.” The moment William and Catherine tied the knot, excitement for the birth of an heir commenced. When the news broke on Dec. 3, fans of the couple rejoiced. Estimates for the due date, name and sex of the child were speculative. People began placing wagers on everything from the birth date to the baby’s future career. British bookies brought in well over $1 million. The traditional royal birth announcement was displayed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace, but the baby’s arrival was officially declared first in a palace press release á la 21st-century. Gun salutes and the ringing of bells filled the country. Iconic landmarks lit up blue to signify the birth of a boy. Photographers staked out St. Mary’s Hospital waiting for the picture-perfect moment. While she appreciated the excitement surrounding the prince’s arrival, Tipton found the media obsession a bit extreme. “Every news station wanted to be the first to catch a glimpse of HRH and it became a bit of a circus,” she said. “But I did enjoy how people celebrated the royal baby.” Two days after the birth, William and Kate selected their son’s name. While designating a princely name seemed notable, it is the smaller decisions William and Kate make that will likely infl uence others. The royals will certainly be scrutinized as they raise their son. “I think Will and Kate’s parenting choices are already having an impact … Doubtlessly many mothers will take into...

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San Antonio: Spur in Miami’s side
Aug27

San Antonio: Spur in Miami’s side

Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat resembles a prehistoric animal—this much I know. Before the NFL kicks back up, a short review of this summer’s conclusion to the National Basketball Association is in order. After a season of ups, downs and lockouts, NBA fans’ hearts could not be happier about the dramatic finish in June. Well, excluding those San Antonio Spurs fans. The Miami heat clinched a back-to-back championship that was just a little sweeter than usual. Imagine Splenda sprinkled on top of ice cream, all served in an edible sugar cone. That was just how sweet this victory became. Why? The Miami Heat, without a doubt, endure a lot of hate when it comes to professional sports teams. Speculators argue that the franchise “bought the win” in 2012, and again in 2013. By signing three superstars for less money than they could earn elsewhere, the Miami owners built what many call an unfair roster. While other teams possess a Big Three, Lebron James and Chris Bosh remain traitors in these self-proclaimed haters’ minds because James and Bosh left their previous team to be part of Dwyane Wade and the Heat’s national basketball experiment. During the championship series, people all over the Internet proclaimed, “My basketball philosophy: Any team that isn’t the Miami Heat.” That stings, whether your fandom lies in Lebron’s team or not. Dramatic blowouts and nail-biting buzzer-beaters made this series all the more interesting. When San Antonio came out swinging in the first match up, the Heat returned the favor. This back-and-forth competition continued until the Spurs had everything they needed for Tim Duncan’s big win and likely departure into retirement. Up 3-2, the Texas team looked like it had the upper hand. The Heat needed two wins, and the Spurs needed one. Yet, the Florida team prevailed and rallied to conquer the Spurs in game six. Miami returned for home court advantage in game seven, where they finished off their veteran opponents for a 95-88 win. This victory gave the Heat their second title in three years causing many to wonder if they could possibly be the new dynasty of this decade. The past ten years belonged to the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, but it is beginning to look like a new team may be taking over in the NBA. James earned yet another MVP titled and reassured the nation he has “no worries” in reference to the animosity. The 2013 draft gave many teams new faces. These rookies had a chance to show off their talent during this season’s summer league. Though the games usually showcase many mistakes and blunders, the...

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Surviving small-town summer
Aug27

Surviving small-town summer

The convulsion of a jackhammer working on Crusader Stadium beat through the silence of the Quad. Squirrels raced along vacant lawns. And President Randy O’Rear skidded along empty sidewalks in his golf cart, taking left turns with the skill of a veteran Nascar driver. “Campus is a ghost town during summer,” junior nursing major Joseph Salley said. Salley was one of a handful of students who kept UMHB company over the break. He took six hours of courses at the university and another six at Temple College. But even though campus looked bare, Sally said, “There is actually a decent amount of people here during the summer.” Enough people for a volleyball game at least. Junior history major Matt Boden said that he and his friends played “massive amounts of volleyball.” To get a group together required more effort than a regular semester. Junior economics major Ryan Sewell said, “The people that stay in Belton over summer are here for two reasons—to work and take classes. It is hard to hang out with a group of people since we all have different schedules.” Sewell worked at the Weigh Station over the summer, a college hot spot for frozen yogurt during the regular year. He spent the minimester studying abroad in Peru with the College of Business. “I qualified for free summer housing,” he said. “I decided to stay and find a job for the rest of the summer.” The summer incentive program allows residents to live in summer housing rent free if they take and complete a minimum of six course hours. There are three summer sessions: May minimester, Summer I and Summer II. Boden worked as the resident assistant for Independence Village and was one of four RAs. Boden said, “In June, I knocked out my classes.” July and August gave him time to focus on his music. When he started the summer, Boden had four incomplete songs that he was working on. “I ended up finishing a lot and writing two new (songs) while I was here … and I started recording,” he said. Belton is a town that is smaller than the shadow of a large Texas city, yet it has its own rhythm. Salley, a native Houstonian, has begun to appreciate the city in his two years at UMHB. He said, “You really see the spirit of Belton.” Sally spent his free time fishing and enjoying his church community. “You really do find interesting things to do,” he said. He attends Disciple Church, and his life group played a big part in helping him to have what he called a successful summer. “It’s hard spiritually...

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Baylor welcomes President, grieves West
Apr30

Baylor welcomes President, grieves West

More than a week after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas that left 12 firefighters dead, family, friends and fellow Texans gathered to attend a memorial service in their honor. The event, held at Baylor University’s Ferrell Center, featured video eulogies, prayers and speeches given by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and President Barack Obama, who was joined by the first lady. Former president George W. Bush regretted not being attendance due to the opening of his presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, but sent his condolences, which were read by Baylor’s President Ken Starr. Outside the arena, the color guard led a long procession of fire engines trailed by mourning loved ones. Motorcycliists lined the street holding large American flags. In front of them, hundreds of others gathered to respectfully watch the parade of sorrow. Once inside the center, thousands of people stood in silence as the families filed in and sat on the ground level in front of the line of caskets that separated them from the stage. Perry acknowledged the courage of the firefighters by saying, “Our first responders know they’re placing themselves in danger, whether they’re braving the flames of a fire … or racing to the scene of an accident.” He further described the noble men as “ordinary individuals blessed with extraordinary courage and determination to do what they could–to save lives. He offered hopeful and comforting words to the families present and to the community where their loved ones died. “Know that the spirit that drove those men that we loved … that spirit lives on…. Let their deeds serve as an inspiration for all of us to live lives of meaning, and to commit serving our neighbors and communities.” “I cannot match the power of the voices yuo just heard on that video,” Obama said as he opened. “No words adequately describe the courage that was displayed on that deadly night. What I can do is offer the love, support and prayers of the nation.” He reminded those present that, “we might not all live in Texas, but we’re neighbors too.” And with that, the crowd applauded loudly. Obama recounted the stories of friends and neighbors helping each other in the days following the explosion. “What makes West special is not the attention from far-flung places,” he said. What makes West special, what puts it on the map is what makes it familiar … things that are solid, and true and lasting.” Referring to the selflessness the town exhibited, Obama said, “Today, the thing I see in the people of West, in your eyes, that’s  what makes West special isn’t...

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West firefighter given memorial
Apr27

West firefighter given memorial

A sea of blue flooded St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Assumption in West, Texas, April 24 for the funeral of Dallas fireman, Captain Kenneth “Luckey” Harris. Harris, 52, of West, died during the fertilizer plant explosion, April 17. Over 1000 people attended the funeral with more than half of the attendees Dallas firefighters, wearing their dress uniforms, to pay their respect to the fallen captain. Harris is survived by his wife of 28 years, Holly and three sons, Jud, Jarrod, and Heath. Harris loved offshore fishing with his sons and spending time on his boat, “Boots Up.” He also enjoyed hunting, traveling and spending time with friends. Harris graduated from the Dallas Fire Academy in 1982 and served as a firefighter with the Dallas Fire Department for more than 31 years, attaining the rank of captain. As well as working for the fire department, he owned Harris Home Inspections and Construction with his family. Harris also served as a volunteer firefighter for the West Volunteer Fire Department. Several Dallas firefighters participated in the honor guard, which is when the firefighters stand guard over the body till the funeral, alternating every 15 minutes. Captain Bruce Thompson served in the honor guard the morning of the funeral beginning at 6 a.m. He had served on the honor guard before, but not in this kind of setting. “I took it seriously. I made sure I was always there and volunteered anytime I could,” Thompson said. The service was a solemn one, as friends, family and co-workers all remembered the life of Harris and the sacrifice he gave for his town. After the service, the firefighters lined up outside as the casket was brought out and placed on the back of the fire truck from Harris’ station. Dallas Firefighters Pipe and Drums were playing as the large crowd looked on. “I expected the large crowd. I would’ve been highly disappointed if there hadn’t been that many there,” Thompson said. A long line of vehicles, which included motorcyclists from the Wind and Fire Dallas Motorcycle Club, followed the fire truck out to Bold Springs Cemetery in West to lay Harris to rest. A memorial service was held at Baylor University in Waco for the other victims, Thursday, April...

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