National Night Out makes students think about safety
Oct09

National Night Out makes students think about safety

In 2012, the campus had 42 cases of theft on record. Many students assume they, along with their belongings, are safe,   but they could be wrong. Campus police deputy John Ellison is the current crime and prevention officer. He attended National Night Out Oct. 1 to help broadcast this important event. “Crime prevention is a huge deal, especially here at UMHB. The better we do with crime prevention, the less we have to deal with burglaries,” he said. The occasion gave all campus police officers a reason to help students become aware of their surroundings. “We try to take opportunities like this to get the word out about crime prevention,” Ellison said. One of the goals of the event is for residents to have the opportunity to get outside of the dorms and meet people other than their direct neighbors and also those who serve for their protection. “We are out here and approachable so the students can get to know their officers in a laid-back environment. We don’t want just a business relationship, especially here with our students. We want them out talking to us all the time,” Ellison said. In addition to campus authorities, Belton officials were also at the event making their rounds while going to other block parties happening all over town. It might not be possible to get every resident on campus to attend an event like this, so Ellison hopes to at least get more involved and aware. “We would love for the students to swing by, get some free food and then go back to their dorm. We don’t expect them to stay the whole time, as long as they come,” he said. The event hosted attractions such as texting and driving, goggles that gave undergrads a chance to see what being under the influence is like and firefighter gear to try on. Senior business administration major Joanna Leath attended and participated in the activities. “Students who come can learn about several different parts like don’t text and drive and the seat belt simulator. They can also get their bike registered while fellowshipping with other students,” she said. Sophomore nursing major Jacob Barnes is a Belton firefighter and came to show his support with other volunteers. “It’s always good to know who’s watching your back and protecting you. It’s not just the firemen that were there. It was security, police officers, and medics, all of which help in the community. National Night Out is all about knowing who serves you,” he said. Barnes assisted attendees who wanted to try on the firefighter paraphernalia. “Honestly, it’s just cool to try on the gear...

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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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River improvements, movie theater in the works for city of Belton
Sep13

River improvements, movie theater in the works for city of Belton

The rumors are true.  A $4.5 million six-screen movie theater will be opening in the spring in Belton, and Nolan Creek is undergoing a $1.5 million recreational improvement project. Both of these additions will benefit UMHB as well as students by providing more local entertainment options. The proposed Nolan Creek plan will allow for the creation of a whitewater park that will be used for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and tubing. Mark Arrazola, programs director at The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce and UMHB class of ’05, believes that both additions will help keep money local. “With the addition of new businesses and attractions to Belton, students are getting a lesson on shopping local. Why drive far and spend money on gas when you can do the same thing here and save money, travel time and support the community?” he said. Grand Avenue Theaters will be located on Oakmark Drive behind the Walgreens and Jack-in-the-Box in Belton.  It will premier first-run movies in auditoriums ranging from around 75 seats to 300. The three larger screens will have 3-D options as well as reserved seating. Unlike the other theaters in Temple or Harker Heights, Grand Avenue Theaters will offer a movie and grill format.  There will be a full cafe when patrons walk through the door with menu items such as burgers and pizza and an old fashioned soda fountain. David K. Leigh, president of Grand Avenue Theaters, has several big ideas for the independent theater. “We want to use kiosks for customers to order tickets as well as food,” he said.  “After you place your order, you take the buzzer and go find a seat. When the buzzer goes off, you go pick up your tray and enjoy.” Also, don’t be surprised if Grand Avenue Theaters creates an app that enables the purchase of tickets and food. “We are trying to appeal to both the younger and older generations. The younger moviegoers want to do everything online and before they step foot in the theater,” he said. “However, the older crowd likes the box office feel of waiting in line and getting their big bag of popcorn and carrying it into the theater.” Although the theater will be all digital and social media savvy, Leigh hopes to create a retro vibe with the art deco decor in the cafe as well as the neon sign above the entrance. Ticket prices will be competitive with the surrounding theaters, and Leigh is hoping to be able to offer discount ticket prices on certain nights designated for students. As if a new theater is not enough excitement for a...

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Crusaders race for cure
Apr12

Crusaders race for cure

April is Cancer Awareness Month, and for UMHB that means to give back and show that the university cares about finding a cure for cancer. This past Saturday, students and staff of UMHB organized a 5K run called Cru For a Cause in honor of the month and to support those who have been affected by this disease. Sophomore nursing major Mandi Watts was one who participated in the event and said she accomplished something for people with cancer or who have had it. “It was a great feeling knowing that I was, even in a small way, helping someone who has cancer in their life,” she said. “At first I was nervous about running it because a 5K seems so far, but I ran a little, walked a little and so on with my friend.” The race started in front of the Mayborn Campus Center and was open for anyone who wanted to run. Some ran the race for other reasons than just to honor someone affected by cancer. Junior accounting major Bob Beckworth ran the race to support study of the disease. “I ran more for support of cancer research,” he said. “This is a great way for UMHB to reach beyond just the community but into the research that will affect all of those who have been afflicted by cancer.” The event was sponsored by the university’s housing staff. “We want to honor people who have battled cancer or are currently battling cancer,” said  organizer and resident director Christan Hammonds. This wasn’t just an event for students or adults. There was a Kid K for children right after the 5K. Some other things planned for little kids were face painting booths, a bouncy house and a special art project station. Watts was impressed with the turnout. “There were a lot more people than I thought,” she said. “That’s just proof to me that nearly everyone has been affected by cancer in some way and in return that everyone wants to put an end to all forms of the disease. I am so proud to go to a school that would want to help put an end to cancer and honor those who have it or have had it.” For Hammonds, the race was about all who have been afflicted by cancer. “We have had people within our own UMHB family who have fought cancer, both faculty and students, so this is important to us. This disease impacts everyone,” she said. Racers could   name someone they wanted to honor. With the shirts they were given, they could write the name of a loved one and race for...

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Pageant portrays Christ’s story
Apr12

Pageant portrays Christ’s story

One of the most important stories of all time is the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It’s emotionally hard to imagine it happening and to see it in person would be heartbreaking. Students and others have the opportunity to see a portrayal of the Easter story that is both realistic and compelling to watch, thanks to UMHB. Taking place in the Luther Memorial, this year’s Easter Pageant features senior Christian studies major Mark Miller as Jesus, senior elementary education major Allison Hankins as Mary the mother of Jesus and many others as crowd members, priests or disciples. They are all directed by junior social work major Tracie Byrd and junior Christian studies major Colton White. Byrd said she became assistant director because Easter Pageant is one of her favorite traditions at the university. “It builds community, it’s fun, and it’s all about portraying the life of Christ and sharing the gospel,” she said. Senior elementary education major Rebecca Widmer, who plays a crowd leader, says the leadership is phenomenal this year. “Colton and Tracie have been a tremendous blessing to us all and are always there to answer questions when we have them,” she said. “I can tell just by looking at the way that they live their lives each and every day that they love the Lord and strive to be more like him.” One of the hardest roles to portray in history is Jesus Christ, and this year the directors and administration  choose  Miller. “The role of Jesus is not something that I went looking for,” Miller said. “But it is an honor to have the opportunity to portray Christ for a year.” Sophomore Christian missions major Ryan Murphy, who plays the high priest Caiphias this year, said there is a great resemblance between Miller and Jesus. “It’s crazy, but when I or anyone else pictures what Jesus looks like, he looks like Mark Miller,” Murphy said. By representing these historical figures, most of the actors gain a different perspective of the Easter story. “I feel like being part of this story really makes me feel like a lot of Jews did back then. When we practice the “yelling” scenes while Jesus is being crucified/arrested, we give it our all, but I have found in years past that doing those scenes is so hard,” Widmer said. By acting out the Easter story, students as well as the audience connect with the message. “I have come to the realization that it really was me yelling those things at him,” Widmer said. “On pageant day, it is so hard to yell because tears are streaming down my face...

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Former Navy SEAL speaks of memories
Apr12

Former Navy SEAL speaks of memories

Written by Thanh Duong Marcus Luttrell served as a Navy SEAL for 14 years. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 along with three other men in his unit. Their inspirational journey became the foundation for his best-selling book Lone Survivor. Luttrell told of his trek through Afghanistan at the McLane Lecture March 31. He began to tell the gruesome story of the fight to freedom and the attempt to save the lives of his platoon members. Although years have gone by since his active duty in the military, the visions of what happened in the six days he was lost are still vivid in his mind. He describes the heavy firearms and the rounds of RPG’s blowing them off the mountainsides. He remembers the triangle formation of the men as they discreetly waited for their opportunity to fight back. Senior international business and marketing major Kevin Ramirez, who attended the lecture said, “I’ve never heard any story like this before. It’s mind blowing and seems unreal.” Luttrell told what he had witnessed of his best friend’s terrifying death. “Mikey was out on a big perch and had a satellite phone. I forgot he had it. He took two rounds sideways on each side of the belly. It really threw me into a tantrum because he was my best friend. You know, I loved him.” Luttrell said. “I tried to scream to him ‘Come down here, come to me, I’ll carry you down the mountain.Get to me.’ He didn’t see me; he went left and disappeared behind a rock embankment.” Luttrell can still recall the dialogue between him and his friend. “I could hear his gun go off, and I could hear him start to take heavy fire. I could hear him screaming for help. He started screaming my name ‘Marcus I need help, man. I need help,’ and the way he was screaming my name was so terrifying that I actually put my gun down and covered my ears because I couldn’t handle the way he was screaming my name,” Luttrell said. “I don’t know if that makes me a coward or not, but I did that. And they killed him. I never saw him again.” There was no embellishment in the descriptions of how every member of his unit lost their lives. Junior social work major Cara Scott said, “It amazed me how he went into detail to tell about all of their wounds. It made me cringe at times, and it made me feel like I was really there watching it all happen in front of me.” As the uneasy feelings began to surface and tears...

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