Beloved Miller Springs closes
Sep14

Beloved Miller Springs closes

Miller Springs Nature Center, east of Lake Belton, closed down in August. The center, which opened in October 1993, was a popular place for Central Texas hikers, fishers, bikers and nature lovers. The 260-acre land preservation, complete with hiking trails and various wildlife, was run by Miller Springs Alliance, a non-profit volunteer group. In 1993, the center took out a lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since that time, the Alliance volunteers maintained the trails for the Center for Central Texas visitors to enjoy. The Alliance announced the closure of the park on Facebook, stating that due to lack of funding, they were ending their 24-year lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and giving the land back to the Corps. “We appreciate all the support received through the years from volunteer projects, and we hate to see them end,” the center volunteers stated in their Facebook post. “Thank you for enjoying the Nature Center. It is a unique place in Central Texas, and we are saddened to see the gate closed.” Members of the community upset by the center’s closure are rallying together against the park closure with a Facebook group, Save Miller Springs Nature Center. As of this printing, more than 6,800 people have signed a petition on change.org for the park to reopen. Vanessa Duke, a Belton High School alumna from Killeen, started the petition. “I wanted to gather firm evidence of community support [that the park stays open] if it ever came into question.” Miller Springs has a special place in Duke’s heart because she frequented the park during her senior year of high school. “It’s a place right in our own backyard where we can enjoy the great outdoors and connect with nature.” Duke said that she’s tried reaching out to the city, but has not heard back yet. “Much of the city’s efforts have been concentrated towards Harvey relief, rightfully so,” she said. “As a result it’s been slow going.” Senior criminal justice major Chase McGhee was one of the signers of the petition. McGhe said he signed the petition because he frequently hikes and fishes at Miller Springs. “I shared the petition and had everyone I know sign it,” McGhee said. “Now that I go to UMHB, it is one of the few close hiking spots that we have.” McGhee said that he enjoyed going to the park because of the different features the park has to offer. “Miller Springs has a very diverse hiking experience,” he said. “There’s so many different sceneries as well: gravel creeks, a few caves, and rock cliffs that are great if you like rock...

Read More
Cru volleyball starts 2017 season undefeated, 8-0
Sep14

Cru volleyball starts 2017 season undefeated, 8-0

Volleyball season is back in full swing and the Cru has already made their mark, sweeping away the competition. The Cru went 4-0 at the UMHB 2017 Invitational and now has a record of 8-0. After going an impressive 20-11 in the 2016 season, the Cru is ready to come back even stronger this year. “We are proud of how things went in our opening tournament, but we know we have a lot of work to do to reach our best play this season,” said head coach Rob Frost. “This group is very good and we are working hard to be our best.” Although it’s very early in the season, Frost and the rest of the team have set the bar high as to what they want to accomplish this season and are determined to make it happen. “Our focus is to be our best selves on and off the court,” Frost said. “Every year we want to win the ASC conference tournament or get a bid and be in the NCAA national tournament. Ultimately, we want to win a national championship.” In order to achieve their goals for the season, the girls have been pushing themselves on the court and beyond, even throughout the offseason. Frost and the team know there are many areas they will have to continue to work on, but they are prepared to do whatever it takes to get to the place they want to be. “We worked hard through our spring season. Over the summer they had certain goals and things to work on in the weight room and on the court,” Frost said. “It is a year round process.” The team voted senior Natasha Evans and junior Sarah Paolini as captains to lead them to what will hopefully be a successful season. “They are both skilled at their role on the court, and they are hard workers with great character,” Frost said. “We rely on every player doing her job well. It is a very selfless environment.” Although this season has just begun, Frost knows there is something special about this group of girls. “We have a young starting lineup learning a lot and growing in about every area of the game,” he said. “However, the group of young women we have this year are great people, a lot of fun to be around and hard workers. UMHB attracts great people across campus.” Frost isn’t the only one excited and optimistic about beginning a new season, the players also have high hopes about what is to come. “I expect great things for this season,” junior outside hitter Laryssa Wills said. “We are...

Read More
University welcomes new faculty this fall
Sep14

University welcomes new faculty this fall

UMHB welcomes more faculty this semester as the new Provost and 11 new Professors join the Cru Nation. Dr. John Vassar is the new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. He previously worked as a provost at Louisiana State University for four years and was a professor there for 13 years prior. Vassar explains that the role of the provost is essentially geared at serving the faculty and making sure that the programs the university offers are of the highest quality. The provost has already started working with the faculty by holding meetings and setting up regular phone calls with the deans of each college. Vassar announced his promotion of Arts and Science Dean Daniel Mynatt to vice provost in order to ensure support for faculty and accreditation. The new professors will also be able to provide a diverse new perspective in the colleges. Dr. Kim Bodenhammer has taught here at UMHB in the past, but paused her professorship after the birth of her child. She is the only new professor for the College of Christian Studies. “Many students in my class come from a Christian background, but express that they are much more familiar with the New Testament than the Old Testament,” Bodenhammer said, “I want students to come away from my ‘Engaging the Old Testament’ class with a better understanding and appreciation for the Old Testament and what it can mean for their lives, as well as an appreciation for the art of reading texts.” Ms. Laura Williams will also be returning to UMHB since leaving her position as Mayborn operations manager back in 2009. Now, she will become an instructor for the College of Education under the Exercise and Sport Science department. “I want to teach my students to think for themselves, to find their own paths, and to embrace the power of technology to achieve their goals and dreams. I want students to walk away from my classes with the knowledge and ability to ask the right questions and find the right answers. It seems so simple, but it’s a skill that’s often overlooked,” Williams said, “[I want them to gain] that personal drive and entrepreneurship that are pretty much necessities in today’s workforce. If you want to achieve something big, no one’s going to give you a trail of breadcrumbs to follow – you’re going to have to chart your own path.” Dr. Todd Ferguson and Dr. John Snow are both new professors in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Ferguson will work with the social sciences while Snow will be working in the mathematics department. Ferguson explains that his goals are...

Read More
UMHB opens season with Sul Ross win
Sep14

UMHB opens season with Sul Ross win

Crusader Stadium was electric as the reigning national champions took the field Saturday evening. Fans packed the stands and the stadium rumbled with excitement at kickoff. Cru football looked solid during their 23-7 victory against the Sul Ross State Lobos. The Cru offense made a statement early, turning their first possession into a seemingly effortless three points. UMHB’s defensive unit kept the intensity high, forcing three straight 3-and-outs on successive Lobos possessions. Freshman safety number 43 Jefferson Fritz played a key role in one of these stops, anticipating the third down pass and stopping a Sul Ross receiver cold. “It was fun and really exciting getting to go out there and finally play,” Fritz said of his first collegiate game. “In college, the game is much faster-paced, and the guy are faster and bigger too.” Fritz seems to have made the transition from high school smoothly and is already contributing to the team. The Cru defense dominated the first half of the game, allowing no points. They gave up just one first down, and collected a turnover in the red zone, which the offense then converted into three points. Senior cornerback number 2 Kris Brown looked particularly comfortable on the field. “It felt good to be out there just flyin’ around,” Brown said. “I felt fast and healthy, and it was good to see the guys flyin’ out there too.” Brown helped spearhead an impressive defensive performance by the Cru, who allowed Sul Ross to score on only one of their 11 possessions. Crusader offense played a solid game, scoring a touchdown in each half after senior kicker number 13 John Mowery put UMHB up 9-0 with a flurry of field goals. Mowery was a perfect 3/3 on the night. Senior wide receiver number 1 Bryce Wilkerson made it look easy, expertly weaving his way through defensive traffic for a 25-yard touchdown reception with 3:54 left in the second quarter, increasing the Cru lead to 16-0 after the Mowery extra point. Freshman wide receiver number 19 Isaiah Townes dazzled onlookers with his debut score, a 9-yard touchdown grab, midway through the third quarter. Senior quarterback number 10 TJ Josey passed Townes a dime on a corner fade route, and Townes came down with the football in the end zone despite jarring contact with a defender. These were the final Cru points of the night, further increasing their lead to 23-0. “TJ told me in the huddle that I was getting the ball,” Townes said. “This opportunity was a long time coming, and when it was my time to do my job, I went up there and made the play.”...

Read More
QB Josey: season-ready
Sep08

QB Josey: season-ready

A good quarterback is the glue that holds a football team together. He sets the tone of the entire game, orchestrating drives for the offense and giving the defense key minutes of rest between possessions. He is the face of his team, and despite his crucial role in gameplay, he is first and foremost a leader. To nobody is this more apparent than junior TJ Josey, who is starting his first year at quarterback for the Cru. “The most important thing to me is being the very best leader I can be,” Josey said. “It’s my job to put the team into a position where we can win. The goal is to be 1-0 every week.” For a player relatively new at the position – Josey was a quarterback in high school, but has predominately played wide receiver for UMHB – he is quickly developing the traits required to bring him and the team success. Head coach Pete Fredenburg feels confident in Josey, and expects excellence from him all season. “[Josey] really went to work on his leadership,” Fredenburg said. “He has really embraced his new role, and he gets a little better every day. I look forward to seeing him develop as the leader of our offense.” Josey’s ability to lead by example impresses his teammates daily, as does his energy and willingness to communicate. “He keeps everybody hyped and full of energy,” freshman offensive lineman Azaviar Carter said. “He values communication, and holds himself and his teammates to very high standards.” Freshman defensive end/tight end Jaeron Minnieweather echoes Carter’s sentiment. “When he gets going, it really motivates the whole team,” Minnieweather said. Not only is Josey a capable helmsman for the UMHB squad, but he is also a fantastic athlete. His natural athleticism, high football I.Q., and knack for seeing opportunities to scramble up-field all combine to make him a deadly dual-threat quarterback. “He’s very good at running the ball,” Coach Fredenburg said. “When he runs the option, he’s absolutely lethal.” Sophomore offensive lineman Noah Stebens admires Josey’s playmaking ability. “He’s very smart and can think on his feet,” Stebens said. “He communicates well in in-game situations, and when the time comes to make a choice, TJ is decisive and committed. He does an especially good job with calling audibles and keeping the offense moving.” So often, such talent comes packaged with arrogance, but despite his abundance of skill, Josey is humble and down-to-Earth. He is polite and soft-spoken, and according to Coach Fredenburg, a pleasure to coach. “He’s extremely coachable,” Fredenburg said. “He’s a great team player and is always ready to work.” Although Josey does...

Read More
Harvey affects UMHB community
Aug31

Harvey affects UMHB community

A prayer vigil was held for students and faculty affected by Hurricane Harvey this last Tuesday evening at Luther Memorial on the UMHB campus in Belton. The university and local community of Belton and Bell County have been affected by Hurricane Harvey after it hit the Texas shore four miles east of Rockport as a category 4 hurricane with winds reaching up to 130 miles, on Friday, August 25, at 9:45 p.m. It retreated only to return and hit land once again that midnight as a category 3, at the northeastern shore of Copano Bay. Harvey brought record amounts of rain to other areas, dumping more water than Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, and Andrew combined. Over 50 inches of rain has been dumped on the state of Texas, and Governor Greg Abbott declared 54 counties as a state of disaster. Many people found themselves stranded on the roofs of their homes, and had to be rescued by boat. Hurricane Harvey, currently classified as a tropical depression, is expected to drift to the Gulf of Mexico before moving northeast towards Louisiana and Arkansas by Sat., Sept. 2. Senior public relations major Lynsey May, who is from Kingwood, TX, said that her family was forced to evacuate due to the rising waters. Although the waters have begun to recede, when we spoke with May on Monday, water levels in her home were still rising. “The water has reached the inside of my house that is seven feet off the ground,” she said. “It has affected my family’s business and forced us to not only evacuate ourselves but our 29 horses, as well.” May worries that her home may not be there when the waters finally recede. “We laid every brick of our barn. We nailed every screw in. We danced on the floors of our house when we were building it. The memories will always be there, but the actual place that I call home might not be there.” Senior public relations major Paige Mareth, who is from Victoria, TX, said that her parents chose to remain at her childhood home and weather the storm. “They’re without water and electricity and it may be that way for a while,” she said. Mareth said that although it’s been an emotional week, she is thankful that her home sustained minimal damage. “Not everyone else in my little city was as fortunate, and that’s hard to know,” she said. Hurricane Harvey evacuees began arriving from Brazoria County to Bell County early Monday morning. They were first transported to the Expo Center, where they were given dry clothes and shoes, and then they were taken to shelters...

Read More
Page 7 of 209« First...56789...203040...Last »