Rangers slip against TJC, 22-8

Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansas Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare
Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansa Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare
Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansas Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare

The outskirts of Hurricane Harvey kept a steady drizzle falling all game as No. 22 Tyler Junior College washed away all hopes of a season-opening victory for Kilgore College Aug. 26.

TJC held the Rangers scoreless in the first three quarters, defeating the Rangers 22-8.

The Apaches got on the board first with 6:30 left in the first quarter thanks to a mishandled snap by KC’s punter that sailed into the end zone for a safety.

After trading possessions, TJC’s Tyler Dunlop had a 34-yard field goal blocked that was run back to the 47 yard line by KC’s Morgan Vest.

On the next drive, KC quarterback Jalil Kilpatrick connected for 60 yards to Jonathan Mackey to get the Rangers in the red zone, but KC fumbled on the next play.

The fumble gave TJC the ball on the KC 14 yard line with one minute remaining in the first quarter.

The fumble was one of five fumbles for KC, four of which were lost.

On the next possession, KC held the Apaches but fumbled on its next offensive possession with 9:35 in the second quarter to give TJC the ball at the 29 yard line.

TJC quarterback Brennen Wooten then threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Ward to put the Apaches up, 8-0.

With 7:57 left in the third quarter Wooten connected for a touchdown pass again, this time for 9 yards to Trent Williams to increase TJC’s lead to 15-0.

KC’s lone touchdown came from a 7-yard run by De’Montre Tuggle with 13:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Roger McCuller connected with Mackey for a successful two-point conversion to put the Rangers within one score at 15-8.

But TJC wasn’t finished scoring.  With 8:38 left in the contest TJC’s Jeremy Wilson scored on a 20-yard touchdown run after a long drive to put the Apaches up 22-8.

On KC’s next possession, they almost converted a fourth and 10 at the TJC 15 yard line to keep hopes alive, but the receiver caught the ball just out of bounds.

The Rangers turned the ball over on downs and TJC ran the remaining five minutes of the clock to preserve the 22-8 victory.

KC has a bye week next week, but will be back in action 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at home versus Arkansas Baptist College.

Welcome to Fall 2017

Flare Photo Illustration by Grace Garcia
Flare Photo Illustration by Grace Garcia
Flare Photo Illustration by Grace Garcia

Welcome to the Fall 2017 semester. The Flare has a new look, several new staff members and the same mission: To give you the latest campus news and to provide our readers with a variety of features, sports coverage and commentary – and to do so with integrity and reliability. Our latest issue is on the racks now, and features THE FLARE-FILES, filled with tips and hints for KC students. You can find it at several locations on the Kilgore and Longview campuses, or on the sidebar of any page on this website. Keep an eye out here and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more.

Input needed on potential Campus Carry policy

ACCORDING TO AN EMAIL SENT OUT BY HEATH CARIKER, KCPD CHIEF:
A draft of the proposed KC Campus Carry Policy has been posted on the KC website at https://www.kilgore.edu/about/police-department-kcpd/campus-carry-sb-11-info .  This policy has been posted so that you may give your feedback if you wish to do so.  The policy has not yet been approved by the Board, so we are seeking input from you all in regards to changes that need to be made prior to it being sent to the Board for approval.  Please send any comments or questions to campuscarry@kilgore.edu.  The period for feedback will be from 03/06/17 through 03/17/17.

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.”

Cotham Book Donated to Special Collections

Cotham Book Dedication

 

Photo by Diana Castillo / THE FLARE

 

“Friday Night Howl, The History of Longview High School Lobo Football,” is the history of Longview High School football since the program was started in 1909. Written by Jeremy Cotham, an alumnus of KC, this book was his dream.

This dream carried him through treatment during his battle with leukemia, which he ultimately lost in 2015 at the age of 28. Cotham was the Sports Editor for “The Flare,” KC’s newspaper.  He went on to attend the University of Texas at Tyler, where he continued with his love of sports journalism, winning many awards in his field. He even covered some of the Texas Ranger games after graduating from UT.

The book was finished after Jeremy’s death with help from his former KC journalism instructor and friend, Bettye Craddock, along with her husband Van and son Chris, (who was Jeremy’s journalism teacher at Longview High School.)

“Everything fell into place. It was a God thing,” Mrs. Craddock said, when talking about the process of receiving additional information for the book and finding a publisher.

“I felt he (Jeremy) was there every step of the way, saying ‘Yes!’ to the decisions being made,” she added.

It was important to Cotham that the history be published in a yearbook style. It is 180 pages of Longview Lobo players and coaches that also  includes stats, photographs and rosters. “Friday Night Howl” takes the reader from 1909, when the football program started, to a preview of the 2016 season.

The hard-cover, full color book is chock full of information gathered from many sources. On the “Acknowledgment” page, Cotham credits many people with providing information, which includes pictures and names from old yearbooks, and scores from newspaper articles.

Cotham’s family donated a copy of “Friday Night Howl” to the KC Library. The book is available for viewing only and cannot be checked out.

“We are happy to have the book for our collection. Jeremy was a student here so he is family,” said Kathy Fair, Director of the Randolph C. Watson Library at KC, said.

To purchase “Friday Night Howl,” contact David Cotham at 903-736-4637, cotham75605@yahoo.com or www.cotham publishing.tk/. Each book is $40 and benefits the Lobo Football Booster Club and the Longview Independent School District Foundation.

In addition to the book and to honor Cotham’s memory, his family has endowed the Jeremy Cotham Sports Journalism Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting the Sports Editor at The Flare.

 

 

 

The observant mind, LIVING THE DREAM: Part one of a series

Photo by Timothy Stuckey / THE FLAREPhoto by Timothy Stuckey / THE FLARE

Listen. Just listen, and you might be able to pick up on the quiet passion behind his words. You might not notice him. He may be just another classmate, just another fellow student to you, but he notices you. After all, that’s part of how he writes his stories.

Tristan Jensen, Portland, Oregon, freshman and member of the American Honors program at KC, is a 19-year-old published author. His first novel, Dayrunners, was published in December 2014, and his second, Parallel, in March 2016. He is working on his third and fourth books, one a supernatural novel about a private investigator named Ruby Karr, the other a sequel to Parallel.

“Do people-watching,” Jensen said when asked about the inspiration behind Karr, “because you look at people, and you start to see their kind of weird intricacies and their little habits that they think that you don’t see . . .. I think that helps create your characters.”
His writing style is reminiscent of writers like Douglass Adams and Dean Koontz.

“I like Adams’ comedic styling,” Jensen said. “I like his sarcastic tone that he brings into his stories, and I think that’s influenced my writing quite a bit.”

Despite the fact that he has already been published, Jensen is still hesitant to pin a definitive genre on his stories.

“I’m still trying to find my permanent genre,” Jensen said. “If I had to have a preferred genre, it’d either have to be mystery or adventure, because that’s what I’ve written and that’s what I really enjoy.”

“I know that I like the concept of fiction better than I do non-fiction,” he said. “I like the idea of creating a story rather than telling a previously-lived story. I’m just trying to find my specialty, you could say.”

KC sociology instructor Tina Rushing commented on Jensen’s class participation.

“He was quiet, at first, but he always makes very thought-out responses, and he asks good questions,” Rushing said. “He always brings up things from different points of view that maybe not everybody else has thought about. We do discussion questions through Blackboard, and he’s very thoughtful in his responses.”

“You can see that he does well with critical thinking,” Rushing said, “and he’s thinking not only about the question I asked them to respond to. You can tell that he’s thinking about other things that might be related to this, or if it sorts of sparks off another path for him.”

Jensen confirmed this when asked about the possible future for his books.

“Parallel, that I published this year, is going to be a series,” he said. “I’m planning on making that one a six-book series, possibly seven. I mean, there’s just so many things. I have a binder by my bed that I keep. I wake up in the middle of the night with a good idea and I write it down so I don’t forget it, and it’s pretty much full at this point.”

This creative nature however, does not translate into disjointed storytelling in Jensen’s novels.

“I think he did a good job of immediately bringing the reader in, because he starts right off and talks about the plane crash,” Rushing said about the opening of Dayrunners. “I like when authors sort of grab your attention from the beginning, so yeah, I think it’s pretty well written.”

Jensen plans on expanding into other forms of media, like e-books and audio books, in the near future.

“I feel like even those who are challenged, you know, impaired visually, shouldn’t miss out on the ability to still use their minds in a creative way to see in a fictional story and to create that story for themselves,” Jensen said. “I think that audio books do that very well, so I’d like to get into that media.”

Film however, is more of a mixed bag. Jensen said, “If the opportunity arises I’d be happy to sign a contract to do a movie or something. My only problem I have with [book-based] movies is that they cut out parts. I feel like I’d have to pull a Stephen King and direct it myself, or at least be standing behind the director, going, ‘No, we don’t need to cut that, that’s perfectly fine as it is.’”

Jensen finished with some advice for potential future authors.

“Obviously, don’t force your characters; let them grow as characters. I think that you just need to let the character really flesh out. Let them do what they’re going to do as a character; don’t make a choice that would go against things that you already set up for them. So if your character is stubborn and a thief, they’re going to steal something, whether that’s bad for the story or not; you just need to work around that. You don’t want to break character and break immersion; that’s just not good for the story.”

 

KC honors military veterans

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After a week of vying for votes, nominees wait at the front lines of the R.E. Saint John Memorial Stadium for the announcement of the 2016 King and Queen. Duke and Lulu flanked the sidelines, paws at the ready for their special day.

 Last week voting for Homecoming King and Queen opened and the most popular vote was for service dogs Duke and Lulu, who aid KC students Joey Barron and Nick Gaviria. Both men struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving time in the military. PTSD is a mental health condition that can be triggered by a traumatizing event. Each case is different depending on the person. Symptoms range from nightmares to severe anxiety and paranoia. Barron served as a Marine for four and a half years and was critically injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) during his final deployment.

“It’s important for people in this area to get used to people like myself who rely on a service dog for assistance, “Barron said, “They’re not just a pet. They’re highly trained animals that can help veterans like myself on a daily basis.”

Handlers of service dogs often have symptoms that are not easily noticed. Calling attention to the animal’s presence interferes with a service dog’s ability to perform its duties. No matter the situation, it is always best to ask the dog’s handler for permission before actively approaching the dog.

“I feel like it’s a nice way to bring awareness about the veteran students we have on campus,” said Liz Mitchell, Kilgore freshman. “A lot of people don’t know much about service animals and how to act around them when you see one.”

The dogs received enough votes to make the final ballot, but were not able to be named king and queen because it was against Homecoming bylaws. Due to the overwhelming support and campaigning from students, KC decided to crown Duke and LuLu as “honorary” Homecoming King and Queen at the game against Tyler Junior College held last Saturday.

“It’s cool because you don’t usually see that kind of support on a college level,” said Jeff Finley, a Navy veteran at the game.

Kilgore was named to the “Military Friendly Schools” list by Victory Media for the fourth consecutive year, and by honoring Duke and Lulu KC paid homage to this title.

“In our eyes, these two service dogs represent the sacrifices that all of the brave men and women in the armed forces have made. This is just our way to say thank you for their extraordinary service to our country—we will never forget,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president.

Duke and Lulu left the field in their “Blues” (in this case a red, white, and blue) tails wagging with pride and a brand new status.

Campus support doesn’t end with Duke and Lulu.  With Veterans Day right around the corner, the college has scheduled several special events.

Events Include:

• Nov. 10: Veterans Day Program presented by the East Texas Oil Museum Docent Guild, 6 p.m. in the Devall Ballroom; featured speaker is Col. John Antal, U.S. Army (retired)
• Nov. 11: Veterans Day Program, 1-3 p.m. in the Devall Ballroom
• Nov. 12: Sounds of Swing big band concert, 7:30 p.m. in Dodson Auditorium, admission is free; donations will be taken up for the Rangerettes’ trip to Pearl Harbor
• Dec. 5-11: Rangerettes travel to Pearl Harbor and will perform at the 75th Anniversary Mass Band Performance at the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial
If anyone is unable to attend these events, they can extend their support by visiting the Letters From Home table located on the second floor of the Randolph C. Watson library.

The Flare takes Sweepstakes at TCCJA competition

FlareStaff1_2014_ORufus

The Flare’s 2014 – 2015 newspaper staff.

 

The Flare newspaper won Sweepstakes in the Division II newspaper category at the Texas Community College Journalism Association’s annual fall meeting and competition held at the end of October in Austin. The newspaper also received first place in Overall Excellence. The Flare Magazine got an honorable mention in Overall Excellence The event was held in conjunction with the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association’s national convention.

KC students received awards in all but one of the newspaper categories, as well as several awards for magazine. They also brought home a few on-site contest awards.

The publications were judged from the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters. Rachel Stallard and O. Rufus Lovett were 2014-15 publications advisers. Tory Van Blarcum and Kathryn Agee were editors of The Flare. Sara Holmes was editor of The Flare Magazine.

Flare_Staff2_2014_ORufus

The Flare’s 2014-2015 newspaper staff.

 

Kathryn Agee: Second place, Newspaper Column Writing; third place, News Writing; third place, Newspaper In-Depth Reporting; honorable mention, Newspaper News Photo

Daniel Brown: Third place, Newspaper Cartoon

Michael Brown: First place, newspaper Sports Photo

 Leah Bryce: First place, Newspaper Feature writing

Max Cervantes: Third place, Newspaper Column Writing

 E’Lexus Hodge: second place, Newspaper picture page; Third place, newspaper feature photo

 Sara Holmes: First place, Newspaper Picture Page; second place, Newspaper picture page; third place, Magazine Photo

 Tiffany Johnson: First place, Newspaper News Photo; second place, Newspaper picture page; honorable mention Newspaper Sports Action Photo

 Julianna Kendall: Honorable Mention, Newspaper Feature Writing

 Sumeyee Samento: First place, Newspaper Feature Photo

 Tory Van Blarcum: First place, Newspaper Sports Action Photo

 Victoria Whitwell: Honorable Mention, Sports Feature

Newspaper staff: second place, Newspaper Layout/design; third place, Editorial Writing; third place, Newspaper Website; third place, Newspaper Advertising; third place, Newspaper Headline Writing; honorable mention; newspaper in-depth reporting; two honorable mentions, Magazine Layout

FlarePhotographers_2014_ORufus

The Flare’s 2014 – 2015 photography staff.

 

The staff  also won numerous Gold Circle Awards through the national Columbia Scholastic Press Association competition.

 Kathryn Agee: Third place, Sidebar Writing; honorable mention, Personal Opinon/Off-campus Issues

Leah Bryce: Honorable mention, Non-fiction Article (The Flare Magazine)

Sarah Holmes: Second place, Photo Story; honorable mention, Photography Portfolio of work (The Flare Magazine)

Tiffany Johnson: Third place, Photography Portfolio of work; second place, Photography Portfolio of work (The Flare Magazine)

John Nieto: Third place, Photo Illustration

Tory Van Blarcum: Second place, Typography – A Designed or Art Headline

Staff: First place, Op-Ed or News Analysis Page Design; third place, Single Subject News or Feature Package, Single Page Design Portfolio of work

Page 7B 4-24-15

The Flare’s first place winning Op-Ed or News Design Page from its April 24, 2015 issue.

“Marcus Thornton Day” to be held in Kilgore Aug. 29

  
Houston Rockets NBA player and KC alum Marcus Thornton will be returning to his former college on “Marcus Thornton Day,” Fri., Aug. 29. He will be recognized for his induction into the KC Athletics Hall of Fame.

A meet-and-greet with Thornton will be held in Masters Gymnasium from 3 to 5 p.m. Kilgore Mayor Ronnie Spradlin will be in attendance and will recognize Thornton at halftime of that night’s KC football game.

Thornton attended KC from 2005-07. He played basketball under head coach Scott Schumacher and earned All-American Honors.

Thornton is a native of Baton Rouge, LA. His first season at KC, he averaged 19 points per game, and the following year he netted 27 points per game.

After attending KC, he became a member of the LSU Tigers in his hometown. He averaged 21 points per game and won the Southeastern Conference player award. 

Thornton was then drafted to the Miami Heat but was immediately traded to the New Orleans Hornets. He made a franchise record by scoring 23 points in a single quarter and made the NBA’s all-rookie team. He officially signed with the Rockets on July 25, 2015.

Thornton is active on Twitter, and can be followed @OfficialMT23.


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Henderson ISD Higher Education Center opens soon; Community invited to open house Aug. 20

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Kilgore College is excited to announce the opening of the Henderson ISD Higher Education Center this fall at the former Central Elementary School building in Henderson.

For the first time, all of KC’s initiatives in Henderson will be hosted in the same building: dual credit academic and workforce classes, Adult Education and Literacy (including GED and ESL classes), continuing education classes, and eventually regular college evening classes.

Dr. Bill Holda, KC president, and Keith Boles, HISD superintendent, have been working together since last fall to make this a reality.

“The opening of the HISD Higher Education Center is an incredible opportunity for our students as well as for the entire Henderson community.  It is the direct result of the outstanding relationship among HISD, Kilgore College and HEDCO,” Boles said.

HISD is planning an open house set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, so community members can tour the renovated facility.

The facility was renovated thanks to the financial contributions of HISD and the Henderson Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO).

HISD budgeted $100,000 to remodel the building with new paint, new flooring, laptop computers and multimedia projectors in each room.  There is also a 20-computer lab for instructional use.

HEDCO donated $134,000 for the equipping of a new welding facility and the old gymnasium is being transformed by HISD into a welding lab for both dual credit and regular college classes.

“This is really an initiative by the HISD, but we have collaborated all along,” said Terry Booker, KC’s dual credit coordinator. “In exchange for our use of the facility at night for all our programs, including the welding lab, we will scholarship the workforce tuition for HISD students taking those dual credit classes.”

Holda said the project has lots of potential for economic growth for Henderson and it helps solidify KC’s relationship with the city of Henderson.

“We hope to eventually expand workforce training like our Lineman’s School to better serve Henderson’s technology and workforce needs,” Holda said.  “Everybody benefits.”

Holda said there is also hope that a senior college or university would agree to partner with the HEC to offer upper level courses toward a bachelor’s degree.

Longtime Henderson High School counselor Ronnie Hardin will be the HISD Higher Education Center’s coordinator.

The address of the HISD Higher Education Center is 101 Mary Street, Henderson, Texas, 75652.

Classes at the center will begin Aug. 24.

Texas Frightmare Weekend offers scary fun in Dallas

Frightmare-Header1

 

Fans of horror cinema, culture and celebrities will gather for the 10th annual Texas Frightmare Weekend convention May 1 – 3, at the Hyatt Regency at the DFW Airport in Dallas, Texas.

According to Texas Frightmare Weekend’s website, it is “arguably the largest horror convention in the nation.”

Loyd and Sue Cryer began the convention in 2005 as a three day horror event. It was first held at the Grapevine Convention Center. As attendance grew, it was moved to the Hyatt Regency in 2012. The venue has 93,000 feet of event space.

Texas Frightmare Weekend’s goal is “to provide fans with an unrivaled experience by celebrating all aspects of genre films.” Over its three day celebration, it hosts celebrity appearances and autograph signings, film screenings, panels, visual artists and memorabilia vendors.

Kelly Agee, horror movie buff, said she is going “because I love horror movies, but mainly to meet Udo Kier. When suggesting who they should have as guests a couple of years back I actually suggested him and I am just so thrilled to get to meet him.”

This year will be cosplayed Courtney Varnado’s first to attend. “I’ve mostly been wanting to go because of the 80’s action stars they usually get. This year, I’d have to say I’m excited to meet the Scream cast. I was always a huge fan of them growing up in my tweens.”

Horror fan Bryan Patti said, “I have been attending conventions for years, but this year will be my third attendance to what I have noticed to be the best ran convention in all of the South: Texas Frightmare Weekend.”

Celebrity guests attending will be signing autographs, offering photo ops and holding panels. Tis year’s guests include Neve Campbell, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif and Elvira.

Films that will be screened at TFW include Bind, Bloodsucking Bastards, Clinger, Despite the Gods, Doll Factory, Dreadtime Stories, Gutterballs 2, Killing Mr. Right, Lost Soul, Midnight Abyss, Sacrament and Wolfcop.

There will be special screenings of the films Phantasm, Spider-Baby and Scream on Thurs., April 30. Stars of the films will attend and hold Q&A sessions after the movies.

“I am really excited about the screening of Spider-Baby,” Agee said. “It is awesome that Sid Haig is going to be there and it is a great opportunity to see such a rare, classic, cult black and white horror film in theaters.”

“I’m just looking forward to be in an environment that I thrive off of and meet such wonderful, like-minded fans and celebrities,” Patti said.

Convention hours are 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Go to www.texasfrightmareweekend.com for more information.

 

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.

Meerkat leading social media’s future

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The age of technology has opened doors that weren’t even a thought just a few years ago. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2013, 80 percent of Americans owned a smartphone.
Along with smartphones have come the rise of the app. Daily, people use popular apps such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. One of the newest apps that is sweeping the social media scene is Meerkat.
Meekat is an app that connect to a user’s Twitter feed. It allows the user to live stream a video feed to their users, showing what they are doing in that exact moment. The app was launched at the South by Southwest festival in Austin at the beginning of March. Meerkat viewers can hold conversations with the streamer via a text chat, while the streamer can respond either by text or verbally. This allows people from all over the world to share an experience that would not be possible in the real world.
A viewer in Canada can share a car ride with someone in England. Users from all over the world can watch a concert together via live stream. People can watch comedians like Jimmy Fallon and Jim Gaffigan make jokes directly to the camera that are spontaneous and exclusive to viewers. Apps like this are changing the way we experience both entertainment and social media, and will be a huge and important part of the future.
David Grossblatt is a popular featured streamer on Meerkat. He is the CEO and founder of Founder’s Dojo, based in San Fransisco. It is a collaborative start up company founded in 2008. Their website states, “We believe that diversity is a vital element of success.  We are a mix of established companies and new companies helping each other under the hood.”
They are personally connected with Product Hunt. Founder Ryan Hoover  “was friends with the Dojo, and then he started Product Hunt,” said Grossblatt. Product Hunt is a website that showcases the best new apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations daily. “Meerkat kind of popped up on Product Hunt, and I would say that our little clan of friends were amongst the very first people to start using it.”
“The first few days, it was just me and guys I know very well. We were just on there doing silly chat room stuff,” said Grossblatt. “I don’t remember when I started broadcasting and it became interesting enough that people started watching.”
He has become well known on Meerkat for his car and bike rides around San Fransisco. He receives up to 1,000 viewers at a time. “I love talking about San Fransisco,” he said, “I was realizing that I was getting a lot more exercise. So I was like, okay, I’m just going to keep doing this because it’s giving me more exercise.”
Many people may be skeptical about the idea of having so many people knowing where they are at any given time. However, most of the social media networks that people use already share their location with their friends.
Grossblatt “questions how much more it really increases risk. I mean, I’m pretty out there already. All the places I work and live are listed online, and I’m active on Facebook.” Any person can type a name into Google, and things such as addresses, phone numbers, work places, and social media profiles will immediately be at the top of the search results. “It’s pretty easy to find information on anyone,” he said, “and I know how easy it is to track down anyone from a perspective of using third parties like databases.”
“The question is not do people know, but am I relatively secure?,” said Grossblatt. “I do think about that a little bit for my kids, but my kids have grown up watching families on YouTube. I also think the reality is everyone is being recorded at all times anyway. So the question really is, is this any less secure than what’s going on around us all the time anyway? I think the answer is no. I don’t think it increases risk. “
The way society views security is changing. With increases in technology, being secure doesn’t mean living in fear and shutting people out, but using the technology to connect and trust each other. “When I’m walking around at night, I like streaming,” said Grossblatt. “I have 20 to 30 people walking around with me. If something crazy went down, I know my viewers would be like, “911!” There is a lot of security in that.”
Meerkat could be a great asset in protecting oneself. A person can stream their walk alone to the dorms and feel safe knowing that they are not alone and are on camera if anything bad was to happen. If someone is getting verbally or physically harassed, all they have to do is turn on Meerkat and the criminal would be broadcast live. Many civilians feel awkward about being on camera anyway, so seeing a person with a phone held up recording would make them less likely to even consider doing anything illegal.
People stalking others on Meerkat is an unlikely scenario. Online profiles allow scammers to create fake people who can only be represented online, by stealing other’s pictures and information. On Meerkat, you have no choice but to be yourself on camera.
Grossblatt thinks people’s concerns about safety is a case of “megalomania, if you think people actually care. I see that in my Twitter feed. Just comments flying all around. When you stop streaming, it’s silent.”
Meerkat’s rival app, Periscope, came out only a few days after Meerkat. While Meerkat has the advantage of being the first live streaming app released, user friendly design, and a memorable name and logo, Periscope was directly created by Twitter. Only time will tell which app will be the most popular one to use. The possibility of Facebook releasing their own live stream app cannot be ruled out. With Meerkat being ahead of the game, many people may have already integrated live streaming as part of their daily routine before Facebook jumps on the bandwagon.
In today’s fast paced age, people have no time to socially connect with others. The only way to  combat this unfortunate byproduct of technology integration and overload is by using it to connect with others in a positive way, if only for a moment, and if only through a computer or phone screen.
 “The world is so noisy,” said Grossblatt. “I’m only in most people’s consciousness while I’m streaming. As soon as I cut off my stream, no one cares. The fact that we can just connect for a second, that’s the miracle.”