REVIEW: Avalon Faire sends Kilgore back in time

Avalon Faire Axe Throwers


The wonderland of the Avalon Faire in Kilgore takes a step back into the glorious days of old, and days that never were. The faire is found at 1076 FM 1252 W, Kilgore, 75662, and is open each weekend in April. Tickets may be purchased on-line or at the box office on-site.

Season passes are available for $75 which allows you to attend all five weekends and receive free water. Day passes are $12 for adults, $6 for ages 12 and under and the littles four and under may enter without charge. Tickets are not weekend specific.

This is the third year for Avalon Faire to open its gates in Kilgore. Upon entering the grounds, the clash of lances can often be heard as mounted knights on their fearless steeds’ joust to the roar of the crowds.

Sir Mordred (played by James Fortner), rides Asgard (Liberty), his destrier, to battle other knights from the Hanlon-Lee Action Theater. This is the group’s 24th year traveling the country to delight young and old alike.

The path continues through open fields lined with large shade trees that surround a small pond. Stages abound for the entertainers to work their magic upon the masses. Such crowd pleasers as Knightwings – a bird of prey exhibition, Dr. DeWitt and his Punch and Judy puppets and belly dancers from all over east Texas await the faire goers.

There are vendors scattered throughout the grounds with a plethora of wares on display. Need a new pair of fairy wings: Lydia Perlick handmakes the ethereal offerings at Faeward Inn.

Love the sound of a hammer striking metal? Stop by The Damn Yankee Blacksmith, and listen as Logan Talonsgrip tells a gripping tale accompanied by the melody of his hammer and anvil.

As you wander the grounds, be prepared to see elves or pirates. If you are lucky, you might even see a queen.

Come hungry and thirsty because treats for the palette await. The Dragon Pit offers typical faire food such as burgers and brats.

The Lusty Lemon has a lemonade that is outstanding and they offer reduced price refills.

There are bridges to cross, axes to toss, roaming performers and sights, sounds and smells aplenty.

Avalon Faire is small when compared to the Texas Renaissance Festival and Scarborough Renaissance Festival but it has some of the same feel, just on a much more intimate level.

There are not as many vendors, food stalls or entertainers but what is there is on par with a larger faire. Getting lost is not a problem as the site is not huge, but there is plenty to see and do throughout the day.

The atmosphere is exciting but laid-back and there is something to see around every corner as you wander across the fields, under the trees, across the bridges and through the woods.

Avalon Faire is worth the price of admission, especially as it offers a glimpse into a world that is not run-of-the-mill east Texas.

The advantages and disadvantages of completing college

Be prepared for the good and the bad of everything within your college career. The most common goal that all college students share is we are all here to complete college, and build our futures with great careers. Good luck to everyone on their journey to successfully completing college.

Completing college is not only an educational achievement, but it should also be seen as a great personal achievement. There are real challenges that we run into that sometimes make us want to quit, but if you prepare yourself and learn how to adapt to changes, you will reap reward at the finish line. I want to pinpoint some advantages and disadvantages that you may encounter throughout your journey to earning your college degree.

Let’s begin with recognizing some of the disadvantages that can possibly hinder us. Some of the most common disadvantages begin with ourselves. Without Self- Discipline, you will be destroyed, and sometimes there is no coming back when you can’t control yourself. Time-Management is the most important essential for success, and if you waste it, you will catch yourself knocking on the door of failure. Lack of Persistence will make you slack, and it is complicated trying to catch up and bounce back. Procrastination keeps you from being punctual, and can hinder your performance in and outside the classroom. Competitive admission of some degree plans have deadlines and GPA requirements, and procrastination with your homework and time- management can cause you to be denied and left behind in your desired degree program.

Paying for college is at the top of stress level charts for most students. Working with financial aid can bring challenges of the misunderstandings of how loans work, keeping up with deadlines, and signing on dotted lines that are not fully explained or understood. Going to college today is an expensive proposition. Students who borrow to finance their educations are finding it increasingly harder to repay those borrowings.

None of us can deny we don’t fall short of some type of disadvantage that makes our journey a little tough, but the bright side of it falls within the advantages that come with completing college. Fighting through some of the disadvantages discussed can reward us with some of the good that can come out of completing college.

There are many available enrichment resources that a lot of students don’t know about. Such as free tutoring, free printing (in limited locations), scholarship programs, and even free meals! Make sure to stay in tune of what’s going on around campus that can benefit you. There are no guarantees in life, with or without a college degree, but the odds are increasingly stacked against those with the least education and training. In the article, “Breaking Down The Value Of Your College Degree,” Robert Barone, suggested that college-educated adults are healthier than other people in the United States. To sum it up, education influences healthy lifestyles.

Through your journey to completing college, be mindful to take the good with the bad. Few words of encouragement – don’t give up, stay focused, recognize and learn from mistakes, and always try to stay positive.

To those who are fighting through, the best of luck to all of you on your way to achieving great success in earning your college degree. I chose to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of completing college because I am learning to adapt to the changes in my personal life so I can conquer my desired career success. If we recognize and embrace things that can help us achieve our goals, we can lighten the load by applying what we’ve learned to guide us through to the end.

To leave you with an encouraging message quoted by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Review: ‘Almost, Maine’


Christina Lloyd, Mexia sophomore, and Travis Noriega, Kilgore freshman, look at each other lovingly as they play their characters in "Almost, Maine."
Christina Lloyd, Mexia sophomore, and Travis Noriega, Kilgore freshman, look at each other lovingly as they play their characters in “Almost, Maine.”

The KC Theatre Department’s production of “Almost, Maine,” is different in the fact that it is not necessarily one whole story but small cuts of different lives that all relate to one thing. Love.

The show is a romantic comedy that comes together nicely with the work of director, Kaitlin de Graffenried and assistant director and student, Trevor Newlin.

I fell in love with each character because each of them were relatable: a broken heart, an awkward first love, lost hope and love given away and traded.

Parts of the show were so adorable that I gasped, and sometimes even squealed a little bit. I’m sorry. I get attached to characters easily.

One of the reasons why the characters are so relatable is because of the great acting in this show. The duo of Judah Armour, playing East, and Hannah Sanders as the character Glory, is a great example of this. On stage, both seem like they are truly living their character’s story.

Every scene of this play is fantastic and captures the audience in each love story. I highly recommend seeing this production, but I also recommend bringing someone with you to watch it. It is a great couples play and represents many types of relationships.


For more information on tickets for the show or show times, go to

Photo by Tiffany Johnson



Judgment Day preacher speaks up on KC campus

At noon today around 30 students gathered in protest against self-proclaimed saint, Jesse Morrell, while he preached at students and stood on his soapbox labeled “Judgment Day.”
During his time stationed in the Mike Miller Plaza in front of the Devall Student Center, Morrell preached against homosexuality and drinking, while saying the campus needs Jesus.

Tori Gannon, Longview Freshman, protests against self-proclaimed saint Jesse Morrell with Bible verses.

“This campus needs a spanking with the scriptures,” he yelled at students.

Students around him shouted obscenities and Bible verses. Some sang gospel songs to combat his speech. Two students, Tori Gannon, Longview freshman, and Kassey McDonald, Kilgore freshman, counteracted his words with Bible scriptures that described Jesus as loving and compassionate.

KC admissions counselor, Wade Cates, said it was Morrell’s First Amendment right to be on campus

“He is allowed to be here,” Cates said. “We cannot force him to leave. If you do not like it, just walk away. Walk away.”

Morrell said he has spent the last 10 years traveling to more than 100 college campuses, preaching to students. His business card lists him as a missionary with Open Air Outreach.


Photo by Richard Nguyen

Video by Meaghan Morton

75 years of Rangerette history celebrated

The 75th annual Rangerette Revels will take place at 7 p.m Wednesday through Friday, and at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Rangerette’s show this year will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the award winning dance team. A select number of past Rangerettes have been selected to perform as 75th Anniversary All-Stars in a routine with current dancers in this year’s production.

The influence of the Rangerettes since their creation in 1940 is unprecedented. KC’s Rangerettes were the very first dance drill team in America. Founder Gussie Nell Davis was hired by KC Dean Dr. B. E. Masters. His mission was to create something unique that would increase female enrollment and also keep fans in their seats during half time at football games. In establishing the Rangerettes, the halftime show was also created, which has now become a tradition during football season all across the United States.

Revels began in 1948 as a talent show and fund raiser called Ranger Roundup. Davis combined all of the Rangerette’s half time routines, the KC band and twirlers to create the annual spring show. The show was moved to a local football stadium and renamed The Rangerette Revue as it grew in popularity. It was then moved to Dodson Auditorium on the KC campus and given its current name.

This year has been an eventful one for the dance team, as they have been recognized for 75 years of performing their famous high kicks and jump-splits.

On Aug 22, 2014, the Rangerette Show-Offs celebration was held. The 36 freshmen added to the team performed for the first time at the celebration, and a member in the audience from the first line in 1940 was recognized.

The Rangerettes danced in their 65th straight appearance in the Cotton Bowl Classic on New Year’s Day. They were featured performers in both the pre-game and halftime.

The Texas Cultural Trust honored the Rangerettes with the Texas Medal of Arts award on Feb. 25. It honors Texans who have made contributions to the arts locally and aroung the word. They were inducted at the Capitol in Austin along with famous Texans such as Jamie Foxx, T. Bone Burnett and Dan Rather.

In March, the Rangerettes took an 11 day tour of Scotland and Ireland, visiting famous landmarks and cities. They performed in Ireland’s national St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, which had over 700,000 attendees.

Sweethearts of the Gridiron, a documentary by filmmaker Chip Hale, was filmed over the course of a year in anticipation of the Rangerette’s 75th anniversary. It examines the dynamics and relationship between Rangerette directors Dana Blair and Shelley Wayne, returning Rangerettes, and the tryout process for hopeful dancers. It is currently on the film festival circuit, and will be screening at the USA Film Festival in Dallas on April 25.

With all they have accomplished over the past 75 years, people can only wonder what the future holds for Texas’ most famous drill team.

Student cited for banned substance

Maegan Mitchell
Senior Writer

A student was ticketed by KCPD for possession of K2, also known as synthetic marijuana, and has been banned from campus housing.

While patrolling in front of Stark Hall for parking violations, Officer J.H. Lanier came to a vehicle that did not have a proper parking sticker.

Upon circling the vehicle to check for a sticker possibly affixed elsewhere, he came across a sleeping male.

Lanier awoke the student, who was identified as Bradley Q. Fields of Lubbock, and asked if there was anything in the vehicle that he wouldn’t want him to find.

According to the police report, Fields stated he had “marijuana” and then proceeded to reach for a packet of “3G Kush – Anonymous Potpourri.”

It was noted that the packet came from the Glass Dragon Super Store in Longview.

K2 possession is a violation of city ordinance in Kilgore and Longview.

Lanier confiscated the substance, tagged it as evidence and consulted Lt. Tony Means and  Laurence Sabeta, assistant coordinator for student life.

Means instructed Lanier to issue Fields a municipal citation for a city ordinance violation.

Lanier also contacted Kilgore Municipal Court about the possession of K2, resulting in the final charge being “Possession of an Illegal Smoking Substance.”

Campus housing rules have a strict no-drug policy.

“KC in its entirety is a drug-free, gun-free, gang-free campus. KC has a responsibility to enforce the City of Kilgore’s laws,” Sabeta said. “K2 is listed under the drug-free policy and is a municipal violation of the city. If found to be involved with drugs, guns or gangs, the student will be asked to leave campus housing.”

Next to K2 problems, parking is another issue on campus.

It has brought many students and staff complaints. Students feel as though there is not enough parking spots for everyone, thus resulting in them parking in staff or no-parking zones ultimately leading to upset staff members. Incorrect parking is the top citation.

“People want to show up late and park up close,” Means said. “It isn’t logical.”

Means wants all students to know The Back Porch parking lot is KC property and students will not be towed if they use this area.

The Shakespeare Building parking lot, located on the corner of Houston Street and Broadway Boulevard, also has plenty of spaces for students to park.

As for parking in staff parking, most tickets issued to students parking in staff areas are a result of staff members calling in complaints.

“If there is golden or fluorescent paint on the spot, you as a student probably don’t belong there,” Means said. “That is my number one piece of advice.”

Students need to arrive early enough to park up close or to have enough time to walk to class.

When the parking lots aren’t being used during school hours, they aren’t always empty.

Another campus security issue is students loitering in parking lots too close to housing areas.

“Curfew is 11 p.m. around the housing areas and the adjacent parking lots. No students are allowed there after that time,” Means said. “If you feel like you need to hang out, you can go to the tennis court parking lot, the band hall parking lot or the mall area between the L.A. Building and the library.”

KCPD predicts this semester’s level of crime-related activity will be lower than past semesters. They believe students are more willing to listen to authority and comply with campus rules.

At one point, Means and other officers felt they had to enforce their authority by repeatedly asking students to follow the campus rules, but this semester, they believe as though they haven’t had to do so.

“I want to have a good and safe semester. I want students to feel safe and to know that anyone can come to KCPD and ask for help with anything, police-related or not,” Means said. “I want the police department to be the solution, not the problem.”

Fall enrollment drops 5.1 percent

Executive Editor

KC’s 12th day enrollment has decreased 5.1 percent from this same time last year.

As of the 12th class day, Sept. 11, total enrollment is 5,920, compared to 6,238 Fall 2012.

“We still have to go through the attendance verification process for financial aid,” said Staci Martin, registrar.

Adjustments will cause headcount to fluctuate over the next few weeks.

Final numbers will be determined by the state Oct. 15.