Marijuana legalization a complex issue

With the legalization of marijuana becoming a hotter issue by the day, I wanted to get an interview with someone about it. Luckily for me, I saw that rapper/marijuana enthusiast/amateur philosopher Mod Sun was coming through Dallas on his tour to support his debut album Look Up. I got the chance to talk to him after the show where he granted me the privilege of doing a short, email interview.

What are your thoughts on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington?

I agree with it to certain degrees. I don’t think people should get in trouble but I also don’t want the government to have their hand in the marijuana I smoke.

Do you support the legalization of marijuana for either medical or recreational use in America? Why or why not?

The answer above applies directly to this question. I want people to feel safe but I don’t want this to become a tobacco industry effect.

 

Lawmakers in Texas recently proposed a bill to legalize cannabis oil to treat epilepsy, which is believed could lead to the plant being legalized for recreational use as well. Do you see Texas legalizing marijuana or either medical or recreational use in the near future?

Yes, I see everyone decriminalizing it, but what that means as far as “over the counter” sales that will be told by time.

 

The Flare also conducted a survey of 100 KC students and staff through Survey Monkey asking how they would you use marijuana if it were legal.Below are the results.

Marijuana chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capitol Day in Austin

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On Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, the annual Community College Day was hosted by the Texas Association of Community Colleges at the Capitol in Austin.

Various students and faculty from Kilgore College attended. These included student representatives from The Flare, PTK, SGA, and TRIO. KC President Bill Holda was also in attendance.

The TACC has worked with students, faculty, and administrators from community colleges all over Texas to host Community College day. It affords students the chance to tell their stories of how community college has changed their lives to their legislators face to face.

Every year, Community College Day has began with a rally on the steps of the Capitol. The importance of community college to Texas’s future was a common thread in all of the testimonies given by the speakers.

Dr. Richard Rhodes, president of Austin Community College, spoke of the importance of students letting their legislators know about their personal community college experience. “Telling your story is critical,” he said. “The pathway to success is through community college.”

Lydia Santibanez, the Community College Association of Texas Trustees Chair, said this year’s gathering was the largest number of attendees for Community College Day. “Know all of you are seeking education that will enhance your life and the Texas economy. Community college is an affordable and quality pathway to education.”

The keynote speaker was Representative Jimmie Don Aycock.  He was elected to the Texas legislature in 2006, and is the chairman of the public education committee. Aycock authored House Bill 5, which passed in 2013. This bill restructured graduation and testing requirements in Texas.

“I care deeply about education at all levels,” he said. “You are the future of Texas. Community college is an integral part of the education process.” Like Rhodes, he encouraged students to “tell your stories, speak your mind.” He told his story of being on his family’s cotton patch when his mother ran up to him with his college acceptance letter, and how many community college students are the first members of their family to attend college. “Today I stand before you humbly,” he said. “What you are doing will change not just your life, but the lives of your children and grandchildren. Hang with it, it’s worth it. Don’t give up, find something that moves you forward in life.”

Senator Larry Taylor of District 11 spoke of the many doors community college can open. “We live in a land of freedom where opportunity reigns,” he said. “A dream is only a dream until you make it come true. Community college can make that dream come true. Many different dreams and paths led all of you to community college to make your dreams a reality. You are not only improving your life, you’re improving the lives of those around you.”

He challenged instructors and leaders to “do more. Keep looking for ways to improve. Texas as a whole can only see their dreams when Texans make them a reality.” He ended his speech with “May God bless you and the great state of Texas.”

The final speaker was Joel Mason of Collin College. Mason is the first student in Collin’s history to serve as the Texas Junior College Student Government Association president. He began his speech by asking everyone to upload pictures and articles on social media with the hashtags #BetterBeginsHere, #txlege, and #CCDay2015.

“I strongly encourage you to speak to your representatives about the five point plan,” he said. “Think about why you’re here today. We’re empowering you so we have the ability to make real, positive changes. Make your college a better place. Let your voice be heard.”

After the rally ended, group photos were then taken of the attendees. Everyone then headed into the Capitol building to take tours and sit in on Senate and House meetings.

 

The students took photos with the Sweetwater Jaycees, a group of rattlesnake wranglers. The snakes were on display outside on the Capitol Rotunda. This is the 8th year Representative Susan King of District 71 has brought  “a bit of West Texas” to the Capitol.

KC attendees briefly met Senator Kevin Eltife, who has more community colleges in his district than any other Texas senator. Cheryl Vanek, Eltife’s Chief of Staff, said “Eltife really appreciates you coming. The future of the community college is very important to him.”

They also met with David Simpson of District 7, where Kilgore is located. Simpson himself lives in Longview. He personally greeted everyone in the group and gave them his business card, telling them to email him and visit his website. “I’m so glad to see you here and interested,” he said.

Holda talked to Simpson on how we are working to improve the transferability of college credits, and standardizing math credits. They then talked about how House Bill 5 would affect the future of community college.

The students then took turns telling Simpson about their community college experiences and how it has affected their lives in positive ways. Simpson talked about the importance of “not being robots, not being slaves, but being free and responsible.” He addressed his sometimes unconventional voting by joking “I’m an equal opportunity offender.” He ended the meeting by saying “the best way to advance freedom is to understand and work with each other responsibly.”

As the group prepared to leave the Capitol, photographers were spotted near the doors of the Rotunda. They were gathered around Governor Greg Abbott, who was there taking photographs with the Sweetwater Jaycees. Afterwards, Abbot greeted Holda and the KC students and took photographs with them.

Community College Day 2015 was an informative and important event that let students experience how Texas government works first hand. Getting to talk to legislators and representatives at the Capitol let students know that their voices were being heard by those who have the power to enforce real change in community colleges.

The surveillance video of the shooting was released online this past Wednesday. This has only raised more questions instead of answers. The Hacktivist group, Anonymous, has claimed responsibility for attacking the city of Longview’s website on Sunday, Jan. 25, in response to the shooting.

Anonymous has thousands of members all over the country, and many have said they will travel to Longview to protest. Protesters are legally allowed to gather peacefully. Police are prepared for any incident that may occur.

Indonesian Students Excel in America

 

Indonesian students Leddy Ansanay and Monica Agathiara are finding success at KC. Photos by E'Lexis Hodge and Denise Macon of The Flare.
Indonesian students Leddy Ansanay and Monica Agathiara are finding success at KC. Photos by E’Lexis Hodge and Denise Macon of The Flare.

 

International KC students, Leddy Ansanay and Monica Agathiari, both come from the country of Indonesia. Though these women are from the same country, their lives are very different. Both students share their experiences in Indonesia and thoughts of America.

 

Where are you from?

L: Papua, Indonesia.

M: Jakarta, Indonesia, the capital city of Indonesia. A lot of people live there. It’s really too much for me. The traffic is awful. It’s better to take the subway or bus for transportation. I would have to leave my house two hours before school started just to get there on time because of the traffic. Indonesia is a second world country. There are a lot of homeless people and poor communities.

 

How long did it take you to get here?

L and M: 27 hours.

 

How did you find out about Kilgore College?

L: I went to LeTourneau in Longview, and I saw that I could take cheaper classes here. I received a scholarship to America from the [Indonesian] government. In America, the schooling is more specific. In Indonesia, you are not experienced in your career until you graduate and work in your career. [In America], college gives you experience before you work.

M: My aunt told my parents I should come here. There are a lot of trees. I live with my cousin in Longview.

 

What is your major?

L: Chemistry

M: Computer networking. It’s really tough.

 

What profession are you wanting to have concerning your major?

L: I am hoping to work in the forensic chemistry field.

M: I don’t know yet. Google would be a fun place to work!

 

What are your thoughts on Texas so far?

L: It’s big and hot. Everything is spread out. I came to America in 2009 to Salem, Oregon to go to Corban University. It’s so beautiful there. Texas is beautiful, too, but very different.

M: It’s so hot! In Indonesia, we only have rainy days and hot weather. I never know what weather to expect here.

 

What do you plan to do after Kilgore College?

L: I just want to finish getting my chemistry degree at LeTourneau and then find a job wherever they will take me.

M: I plan to work, save money, and then continue school. I don’t want to transfer just yet.

 

Do you plan on moving back to Indonesia after you are done with school?

L: I really like America; I will probably stay. Texas is not bad. Here things are much easier and America has so many beautiful places. Indonesia is not well taken care of, but America is much cleaner. Sometimes, especially when I first came to America, I get homesick. I haven’t been to Indonesia since last December though.

M: No. Maybe if I have to.

 

How do you keep in touch with your family?

L: My family calls every once in a while. I have five siblings and I Skype them sometimes. I am the only one in America.

M: Skype! I also use the Whatsapp and Facebook. I have been in America for three years, but I have only been to KC one year. I am the oldest of two sisters and one brother. At first I was homesick but not anymore.

 

What are some of your favorite Indonesian dishes?

L: Fried rice and Thai food. In Indonesia, if you want to take someone to a fancy dinner on date night, that’s when you go to KFC or Pizza Hut.

M: I love spicy food! I like beef with coconut milk and remband. Remband is popular in Indonesian communities. You eat it with white rice. Indonesia has some dog, bat, snake, and turtle markets. Snakes and turtles taste like chicken. There is also a lot of fresh fruit like durian.

 

What are some of your favorite American dishes?

L: French fries and mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes!

M: Pizza King, Burger King, and chocolate!

 

What are you hoping to gain from your time spent in America?

L: I want more work experience and a better education. I also have gotten a different perspective of people. Before I came to America, I thought people partied all the time. I thought you just come to America and make money, That was the image of America in Indonesia.

M: I love the respect Americans have for me, and I hope to learn to have respect for them.

 

How different are your cities from one another?

L: Monica is from a much bigger city where her dialect is different. I feel more comfortable talking in English than I do in our language because I have a harder time understanding her dialect. We really are from two completely different areas. There’s more of an economy and competition in Monica’s city.

M: I have never been to Papua, but I know their looks and skin tone are different than mine. They also dress much different. We do not dress as modest.

 

What languages do you speak?

L: I speak Bahasa. It has many different dialects. I took English classes in high school, but I didn’t start speaking it until I came to America.

M: I know Chinese, English (thanks to ESOL), traditional Indonesian languages, and Bahasa. Bahasa actually means “language” in Indonesian.

 

What music do you listen to?

L: Pop music and reggae are very popular types of music, but rap is evolving.

M: The music I listen to is pop, Korean pop, and classical music.

 

What sports are popular in Indonesia?

L: We play soccer, badminton, and volleyball for sports.

M: I like those sports, but I also played basketball.

 

What fashion is popular in Indonesia?

L: A lot of girls dress more modest in Indonesia because the main religion there is Islam.

M: We actually have people from the jungle who wear tribal clothes, but Jakarta is not any different from America.

 

Leddy said the main religion in Papua is Islam. What are the major religions in Jakarta?

M: There is a heavy Muslim influence in Indonesia. Indonesia has five main religions. You have Islam (the major religion), Christian (Catholicism is the main denomination), Buddhism, Hinduism, and Kong Hu Cu, which is a like a combination of Buddhism and Hinduism.

 

How is America different from where you lived in Indonesia?

L: In America, you give up freedom for security. In Indonesia, people don’t care about obeying the law. There is a lack of knowledge. In America, the attitude is more “what can you give to me?” In Indonesia, the attitude is “what can I give to you?” There is a difference in respect. Children respect their parents more in Indonesia. Indonesia is hot like Texas, but there are no tornadoes. It only gets cold when it rains. We never have snow. But also, in Indonesia you don’t have a last name. It wouldn’t be on your birth certificate.

M: I think America is a great opportunity to make money. You can have a better future. In Jakarta, the culture is not much different from the culture of America. I love shopping and seeing movies. Our movies are the movies Americans made in Hollywood. The United States is cleaner. Jakarta has many tourists, which is what our economy lives off. We also have a lot of international students. Jakarta even has schools for international students. The police in Jakarta are active, but there is just so much crime. I love America and Indonesia the same amount. They both have their pros and cons.

 

Do you have any last statements?

L: I enjoy myself in Kilgore!

M: I love the United States. People are more respectful. There’s also Black Friday where electronics are cheaper!

Ambassadors raise awareness of homeless in Kilgore

Cardboard Box City allows students to experience lives of the homeless.
Cardboard Box City allows students to experience lives of the homeless.

The KC Ranger Ambassadors will be giving KC students the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of the homeless. The Ambassadors will be host Cardboard Box City to help raise awareness and funds for the local homeless population.

“We were interested in, though, making it a part of KC tradition and an event that can live on forever,” said Alex Bridges, Rockwall freshman and KC ambassador.

KC students will spend the night on the Lee Mall lawn in cardboard boxes Friday Nov 4. Students will be able to participate with $5 for a space and $10 for boxes if needed. Check-in will begin at 5:00 pm

All proceeds collected will go to Friendship Community House in Longview and Habitat for Humanity of Kilgore. Friendship Community House, run by KC English instructor Gus LaFosse, is a mission that helps homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence.

“Our goal is to raise awareness, not only to students here at KC but also the community, about the problem we have locally with people who are homeless,” said Caleb Warren, Gladewater freshman and KC ambassador. There are 13 Ambassadors who have committed to attend the event.

The Wesley Foundation will provide supper for participants and the Christian Campus Center (Tri-C) will provide breakfast.

KC men and women basketball teams set for game time

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The Region XIV Junior College Basketball Media Day for Men and Women JUCO basketball teams was held Oct. 15 at Tyler Junior College. Men and Women’s coaches from various teams in the conference were able to meet together and talk about the state of their teams coming into the upcoming 2014 – 15 basketball season.

Both of the KC Men and Women basketball teams will open up their season this weekend. Women’s Head Coach Roy Thomas talked at media day about how his team is looking and what he expects of them coming into this new season.

“Our new motto this season is 1-2-3 pass the ball. The ball has got to move and we all have to play together, Thomas said.

“We have to keep working hard and play together everyday. I feel like we have great effort and our experience that we have and the leadership that we possess will take us a long way.” Thomas really wants his team to execute on offense, play great team defense, and rebound. The team chemistry of his team has improved and he wants it to get better, and he wants his team to realize that this is no longer high school ball.  The Lady Rangers have four returners from last year’s team, including one red shirt freshman and two transfer players.

“Some of these girls on the team have never been told that they were doing a bad job. They have to realize that this is a different atmosphere and they have to learn to play organized junior college basketball as well as keep their grades in check,” Thomas said.

“They all have to play as a team not divided, and they have been enjoying working together and they are really practicing hard early one.”

The Lady Rangers will open up their season at the annual McLennan Community College Classic this weekend in Waco.

As for the men’s basketball team they are looking to have the same success that they had last year, but they want to go further down the road.

The Rangers have four returning players and three transfer players. Head Coach Brian Hoberecht is ready to for the season and likes his team’s progress so far.

“I’m excited to build an identity for this program and watch this grow,” said Hoberecht.”

“I like this group as players, and even better as people, and we are working hard in practice on communication and quick tempo. I feel like we are very versatile, athletic and deep, and we have the ability to create pressure and play aggressively.”

Hoberecht wants his team to have a post presence and have the ability to rebound and play balanced perimeter defense and offense.   He wants everybody on the team to hold themselves accountable for their own mistakes and take action to correct it on the next play.  He also feels like his returners can play a big role in the team’s production this year.

“Jonathan (Milligan), Mike (Thomas), and Myron (Chapman) have really grown up physically and mentally and they will be able to play with a stable and consistent personality.”

“We play games to win and we expect to win. We also want to develop a mentally to not slow down when we play trap games and we have an awesome opportunity to find our niche this season with our schedule being the way it is,” said Hoberecht.

The Rangers basketball team will open up their season at home against Greater Houston Prep. The Rangers have in store at 3 p.m., Saturday. Nov. 1 at Master’s Gymnasium.

Facebook groups offer easy alternative to garage sales

Facebook garage sale groups are a new way to sell items to local buyers.
Facebook garage sale groups are a new way for local buyers to buy and sell items. Photograph by Kat Agee.

 

 

Valuable antiques at a good price, like-new clothes for cheap, affordable furniture and more can be found at garage sales. Most people keep looking in the Classifieds or driving around looking for signs directing them to the weekend treasure troves.

The rising popularity of online garage sale groups on Facebook, however, is changing how garage sales operate, especially with young people,

Search the name of any town plus garage sale in the search box on Facebook, and no doubt many results for groups will pop up. Kilgore has eight different garage sale groups on Facebook, not including the groups that encompass the whole East Texas area.

To join the group, all you have to do is click on the Facebook link to the group and request to. After being approved to join, you can post a listing of an item you’d like to sell.

A typical listing consists of a few pictures of the item, the price of the item, contact information, and where the person would like to meet up to trade the item for cash.

Unlike a bidding website such as eBay, Facebook groups allow you to see who is posting the item. You can contact the person selling an item though Facebook messenger, or in the comments section on the post.

An advantage of the Facebook garage sales is that they are local. People feel safer selling and buying things from people who live in their hometown. They don’t have to worry about shipping costs or time.

One disadvantage is that unlike eBay, it is first come first serve. On eBay, you have a chance to increase your bid to win an item. On a Facebook group, whoever comments first will usually get it.

Another disadvantage is that people can still be cheated. There is no worry about losing your money or credit card information, but people lie about meeting places and times. An item being brought to the meet-up that is a lesser quality than in the picture is also a problem.

If problems occur, buyers can report it to the moderator of the group. The moderator can then ban that person for the group.

This is much quicker than eBay’s policy of reporting swindlers, due to the fact that a package could take a very long time to arrive. By then it may be too late for eBay to intervene, if the seller made excuses as to why the item was taking longer than usual.

Facebook garage sale groups are the newest and quickest way to sell unwanted items online. They offer a simplicity and ease that Facebook users have embraced, and the groups will only grow in size in the years to come. The next time you need to sell something, try the online Facebook way for a quick and easy way to get cash fast.

Rangers triumphant in Homecoming contest

The Rangers take the field in their Homecoming victory. Photograph by Sara Holmes / THE FLARE
The Rangers take the field in their Homecoming contest against the Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen. The Rangers won 43-14. Photograph by Sara Holmes / THE FLARE

The Rangers mauled the Northeast Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen 43-13 in their Homecoming contest to move into a tie with Tyler Junior College for second place overall in the conference.

Defense was the best policy early in the game for both teams; neither of the offenses was able to score for more than half of the first quarter. The first score of the game was courtesy of defensive end Ricci Simmons. Simmons intercepted NEO’s quarterback Dezmond Stegall and ran it back 85 yards for the touchdown. Simmons almost lost his footing midfield, but his teammates were there to keep him balanced and he made his way into the end zone. This gave KC a 7-0 lead with 5:22 left in the opening quarter.

Later in the second quarter KC’s offense got on the board when quarterback Javelle Allen found receiver Dequann Ruffin for a 12-yard touchdown pass. KC’s lead increased to 14-0 with 7:45 left in the first half. Just before the half ended Gladewater sophomore Corey Davis punched in a two yard run following a two-point conversion play trick play that had quarterback Averion Hurts pass to kicker Luis Sanchez for the score. That gave KC a 22-0 lead going into the half. KC scored three more times in the second half including two touchdown passes from Hurts to receivers Garrett Barton and Joe Lewis, plus a three-yard touchdown run by Davis. NEO got on the board once in the third quarter and once in the fourth with two touchdown passes from backup quarterback Devin White.

Allen went 8-16 with 110 yards and one touchdown while Hurts went 11-19 with 113 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Davis had 15 carries for 74 yards and to touchdowns while Eddie Smith had six rushes for 56 yards. Barton had 2 catches for 39 yards and one touchdown. KC’s defensive unit gave the entire team a spark just when they needed it. They held one of the conferences’ top rushers, Cameron Booty, to 59 yards on the ground on 18 carries. Booty is. Cornerback J’Marcus Rhodes had one pick while safety Jordan Burton had one fumble recovery after a big hit by the KC defensive line. Cliff Butler, Sherodric Russell, Demontrai Lewis, and Simmons all recorded one sack.

 

Former Rangerette returns to replace retired dance instructor

Angela Falcone, Dance instructor, remodels the KC Dance Club by participating in community events. Photograph by Tina Walls / THE FLARE.
Angela Falcone, Dance instructor, remodels the KC Dance Club by participating in community events. Photograph by Tina Walls / THE FLARE.

 

The KC Dance Department is under the new leadership of Angela Falcone, lead dance instructor, who took the reins from Kathy Beckman when she retired last summer.

“[Beckman] gave me her blessing as I took over the program this past summer,” said Falcone. “She retired after more than 35 years here [at KC] and I’m now trying to go in a new direction while continuing her legacy.”

Falcone began her dance education at KC where she performed as one of the “World Famous” KC Rangerettes, from 2007 to 2009. Following her time at KC, Falcone went on to the University of Texas at Austin where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with High Honors in 2012. Eager to return to KC as an instructor, Falcone continued on her dance education track to claim a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University.

“It’s been my dream to come back [to KC],” Falcone said. “It’s part of the reason why I went to graduate school to get my master’s degree. Luckily, this position opened up and although I wasn’t finished with my degree yet, I had finished all of my period classes, and TWC allowed me to finish the rest of my degree virtually so I was able to take the job.”

Though Falcone has been lead instructor for a short period of time, she has already begun implementing changes to the dance

“We’re re-vamping the dance club to be more interactive and to provide more opportunities to perform to its members,” Falcone said. “Also, we will be offering Dance Appreciation online Spring 2015 as well as adding an [introduction] to ballet class.”

With the addition of the new classes, Falcone hopes to raise their number of members from 80 to more than 100 by next semester.

In her new lead position, Falcone plans to garner more publicity for the KC Dance Club.

“The Rangerettes are well known around the world and I want the dance team to get recognition as well,” Falcone said. “I want to get our name out there because we are doing great things.”

The KC Dance Club will perform Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance at 6 and 6:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at Rusk and Main Streets in downtown Kilgore as part of the city-wide Halloween Trick-or-Treat events.

The team will perform at the Rangerette Christmas Show, as well as being featured at the Texas Dance Educators Association convention in Houston in January 2015, Falcone said. “The more we can get our name out, and the more active we are in the community, the more prepared the students are for the real world.”

Win over Blinn means playoff berth for Rangers

Gladewater freshman Corey Davis bullies his way into the edge of the end-zone for a KC touchdown late in the second half of action against NEO. Photo by Tory Van Blarcum / THE FLARE
Gladewater freshman Corey Davis bullies his way into the edge of the end-zone for a KC touchdown late in the second half of action against NEO. Photo by Tory Van Blarcum / THE FLARE

This week the Blinn Community College Buccaneers come to R.E St John Memorial Stadium for the Rangers Hall Of Fame game. Blinn is coming off a heart-breaking 42-41 loss to the Trinity Valley Community Cardinals last week. As for the Rangers, they are coming off a 48-14 win over the Cisco Wranglers.

The Blinn offense so far this season is the key to most of their victories. Blinn is second in the nation in points per game (60) and in yards per game (635). The offense is also fourth in the nation in total offense with a total of 3,810 yards. Most of the yards gained for Blinn were through the air.

Jake Hubenak is one of the top rated quarterbacks in the nation. Hubenak is first in the nation across three categories. He is first in yards thrown with 2,890; first in passing yards per game with 480; and first in the nation with 36 passing touchdowns.

Another name for Blinn is sophomore receiver Dede Westbrook. Westbrook has 58 receptions for 1,131 yards and 10 touchdowns, which is around 10 receptions and 190 yards per game.

The Rangers are coming into this game averaging 41 points per game while gaining 428 yards per game. The Rangers offense is sitting at 2,999 yards for the season, nearly eclipsing 3,000 for the year.

The Ranger offense gets a huge boost this week as they get back their top quarterback in Javelle Allen. Allen did not play last week in Cisco due to injury. Allen, who has played in six games this season, has thrown for 1,002 yards and 11 touchdowns. In Allen’s absence last week, Averion Hurts took charge.

Hurts has played in all seven games this season and has thrown for 884 yards and 12 touchdowns. Both of these quarterbacks have given the opposing defenses trouble with not only their arm, but also their legs.

The Rangers passing game couldn’t be complete without their trio of tailbacks. Corey Davis leads the way with 77 rushing attempts for 453 yards and seven touchdowns. Eddie Smith is next with 53 rushing attempts for 391 yards and four touchdowns. The last is Keevon Aldridge who has 34 carries for 170 yards.

Pruett named to KC board

J. Karol Pruett. Photograph by O. Rufus Lovett / SPECIAL TO THE FLARE
J. Karol Pruett. Photograph by O. Rufus Lovett / SPECIAL TO THE FLARE

The KC Board of Trustees approved J. Karol Pruett to fill the vacant Place 6 seat during their regular business meeting Tuesday evening. Charlie Hale, former board president, resigned the seat in August, citing health reasons.

Pruett will fill the unexpired term in the Central Zone (Kilgore ISD), until a special election can be called in May 2015.

“I am overwhelmed by the positive responses I received all day after my appointment to the KC Board,” Pruett said. “In all my deliberations, I plan to keep the core mission of the college at the top of my mind: that we prepare students for success in life.”

Pruett graduated salutatorian from Kilgore High School in 1973 and attended Kilgore College.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate, and then a master’s degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Pruett began working at KC in 1987 as a Library Audiovisual Technician. From there, she moved to secretary to the dean of occupational therapy, then personnel officer, and later assistant dean of occupational therapy.

She was assistant to KC President Dr. Bill Holda from 1996 to 2012.

After leaving the college, she spent the summer conducting land title research for  T.S. Dudley Land Company in Sullivan County, Penn.

She currently works part-time since January 2013 as office manager at the Law Office of Jeff Jackson in Kilgore.

Curtains rise for first-time actor

Wendy Williams has the role of “Player” in the upcoming production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” PHOTOGRAPH BY TINA WELLS / THE FLARE
Wendy Williams has the role of “Player” in the upcoming production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” PHOTOGRAPH BY TINA WELLS / THE FLARE

Wendy Williams, Nacogdoches sophomore, landed a lead role the first time she ever auditioned
She said she was shocked and was certainly not expecting such a part.
She will be playing the First Player in The KC Theatre Department’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”
Williams has never had any acting experience but said she does not have stage fright due to being cheer captain in high school.
Williams has had a long relationship with theatre, working in makeup or as backstage tech, but never had the opportunity to do what she has always desired, to act in a play.
Williams took a semester off from going to Stephen F. Austin State University to be a student at KC.
She is majoring in Geriatric Social Work and decided it was time to seize the opportunity to perform on stage.
Williams recalled “having a frog in her throat” and being nervous the first day of rehearsals. However, the second day and so on have being going swimmingly.
Williams said she has really been improving on her memorization and sense of acting.
“This is it. This is what I was hoping it would be,” Williams said, “It is definitely living up to my expectations.”
Williams went into the auditioning process comfortable. She says the first day was nothing but fun for her.
The callbacks, on the other hand, made her more nervous because of how badly she wanted to be part of the show.
Now she is putting everything into her role and feels confident that the show will reach its full potential.
The only aspect of the show that discourages her is that everyone on cast and crew are pressed for time.
Williams said she feels as though she is almost a step behind due to lack of acting experience, but is certain that she will catch and do her absolute best.
“Life is a gamble at terrible odds. If it was a bet, you wouldn’t take it,” quoted Williams from her character’s lines.
‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, through Saturday, Oct. 11, with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, in Van Cliburn Auditorium. General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for KC students with a student ID.

Redemption awaits Rangers

Quarterback Javelle Allen, of Prosper takes the ball past a Cardinals defender for a fourth quarter touchdown. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL BROWN / THE FLARE
Quarterback Javelle Allen, of Prosper takes the ball past a Cardinals defender for a fourth quarter touchdown. PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL BROWN / THE FLARE

The KC Rangers look to redeem themselves from last Saturdays 52-35 loss to Trinity Valley Community College. The Ranger will be hosting Navarro Community College at home this Saturday.
Both of these teams have an overall record of 3-1 and are looking to add a win to their conference record. Navarro is coming off a 62-14 win against Southeastern Prep, who Kilgore recently beat 52-14.
Through its first four games the Navarro offense averaged 47.5 points and 588 yards per game. Most of the offense for the Bulldogs was covered on the ground.
The majority of the yardage gained came from running back Keaun Kinner, who is averaging around 160 yards a game this season. Other notable names for Navarro are Bivins Caraway, sophomore quarterback, and Austin Collins, sophomore wide receiver, who has snagged six touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
The Navarro defense this year has surrendered an average of 24 points a game. Key names for the Bulldog defense are: Jayd Kirby, sophomore linebacker; Ben Jones, sophomore linebacker; Quincy Vasser, sophomore defensive tackle, Kendrick Johnson, sophomore defensive end.
The Rangers, on the other hand ,are still having a great offensive and defensive season despite their recent loss. Through their first four games the Ranger offense is averaging 40 points per game while averaging nearly 300 yards per game.
The Rangers look really strong on the ground and in the air this season. They have a pretty well balanced run game and passing game and are ranked 14th in the NCCJA poll.
Key players for the Ranger offense this season include the QB duo of Averion Hurts and Javelle Allen. So far both Allen and Hurts have thrown five touchdowns a piece.
The running game features a trio of backs including Keevon Aldridge, Corey Davis and Eddie Smith, who lead the way with 213 total yards on the ground.
The Ranger defense is looking to bounce back from last week’s breakdown versus the No.3 ranked Cardinals. The defense is led by Jordan Burton, sophomore safety; Joe Lynch, sophomore linebacker; and DQ Osborne, freshman defensive lineman.
Come out and watch the two teams go head-to-head at 7 p.m Saturday in R.E St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore.

Rangers 6-3 after doubleheader

A Ranger batter swings for the fences during a KC softball game. PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL BROWN / THE FLARE
A Ranger batter swings for the fences during a KC softball game. PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL BROWN / THE FLARE

A late run came in the late game on Wednesday to give the Kilgore Rangers Softball team a hard fought victory over Murray State in the second half of the day’s doubleheader.
Murray State was able to take the first game with a walk-off home run, ousting the visiting Rangers 4-3. After falling to an early three run deficit, the Rangers were able to battle back to tie the game up behind Marisa Ledkins’ two RBIs and a solo homer from Renee Jones. Despite the valiant rally from the visitors, Murray State was able to deliver a killing blow with a late seventh inning homer to end the game.
Taylor Sieber led the Rangers with two hits in the late game, and Hayley McCullers, Kelsey Ancelot and Lexi Lopez were each able to drive in runs for a 4-3 victory of their own. Jordyn Rodgers earned the win for the rangers, allowing no runs and just three hits in the first three innings. Hayley Vavra relieved in the sixth, finishing with five strikeouts, one hit and three walks. Renee Jones closed out the seventh for the save.
The evening’s conclusion leaves the Rangers with a 6-3 record heading into their Saturday matchup against the LeTourneau University Yellowjackets. Game time is noon in Longview.

Sparking a fresh start

Johnny Flowers, 65, plans to give back to his community upon graduating from KC’s welding program. PHOTOGRAPH BY TORY VAN BLARCUM / THE FLARE
Johnny
Flowers, 65, plans to give back to his community upon graduating from KC’s welding program. PHOTOGRAPH BY TORY VAN BLARCUM / THE FLARE

The famous Nike slogan that has been propelled around the world can be inspirational in itself.

“Just Do It.” There is no going around it, over it, or under it. Just Do It. That slogan can be used in so many ways, but for 65-year-old Johnny Flowers that slogan is used for going back to school.

Flowers is a native of Marshall, and he is in love with welding.

That is one thing he has always enjoyed doing throughout his life. Flowers worked at Grubb’s Pottery Plant in Marshall until it shut down a couple of years ago. While there Flowers was able to do a lot of work that enhanced his skills to make things with his hands.  After the plant shut down he saw it as a blessing in disguise.

“I’m not regretting it at all. It gave me a second chance to come back to school, and get my certification,” Flowers said.

Flowers’ goal is to earn his Associates Degree in Welding so he can become a welding instructor and help younger people do what he has always enjoyed doing.

“I just want to be able to help somebody else. There are plenty of kids out there that want to weld and want to become a welder and I just want to be there to help them on their journey.” Flowers said.

Flowers knows there is plenty more to welding than just running the rod through the metal, and that it’s going to take some time for students to get the hang of it, but he is definitely up for the challenge.

“Welding can take people far, it can get these kids a great job where they are making great money,” Flowers said.

“Welding on a pipeline is great, but there’s so much more that can be done with welding that can produce big money. The opportunities are out there, and I want to help the kids get them,” Flowers said.

Flowers attended technical school in Marshall, but opted to come to KC because he felt like that KC’s program was more experienced while Marshall’s was just in the beginning stages.

Flowers has been at KC since Spring 2013. He is taking core classes such as math and English while earning

 

his degree to teach in welding. It may be hard, but he is making it look easy.

“It’s a challenge, it’s like stepping in the future when you are from the past,” Flowers said.

“All my friends told me that they couldn’t do what I’m doing at the age I am, and that I am special. It’s hard to learn all this work all over again and learn how to use the computer again, but it’s what I have to do,” Flowers said.

Flowers spends the majority of his time in The Zone tutoring lab that is located in the Student Support Building.

“The Zone is a great place to study and the people in here have helped me get used to this college work a little better,” Flowers said. “I’m learning how to be a better speaker, writer and better teacher. I’ve got to want it for myself and I have to be sincere. That’s the only way that I’m going to get results. I will not hold back.”

He has a wife and four children. He has also been a preacher since the 1970s. As pastor of the Howell Town Church of Christ in Jefferson he knows God is the only reason he is able to cope with the challenges that college throws at him.

“I love God, and I love being a preacher. It’s something that I have always loved and I really enjoy it,” Flowers said.

Flowers preaches every Sunday and everybody knows who he is. Flowers is a living testimony that nobody is ever too old to learn.

 

Stadium scores jumbotron

Scoreboard Installation, 2014
Dion Burns, left, and Charlie McGinnis of Texas Scoreboard Services, Conroe, install the new scoreboard at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The scoreboard contains a large LED video display. PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE FLARE

A new football season always requires changes. R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium is shared by the Kilgore High School and KC, and now both teams will be able to enjoy the brand new state-of-the-art jumbotron scoreboard.

The scoreboard was installed during the summer and it’s almost impossible to miss. Its measurements are 32’W x 24’H x 8”. The digits on the scoreboard will be presented in red and the custom striping will be cardinal red.  The biggest feature on this scoreboard is the Custom Video Display.

Its measurements are 13.01’ H x 22.02’ W 20mm. (192 x 336 pixel matrix).

The video display will replay game action and will also display names and pictures of the players throughout the game.

Other features include a non-illuminated sign, Decorative Truss, Decorative Truss Backlit Logo, and a Custom XSB-10 Sound System.

All the features that go along with the scoreboard itself, except for the sound system, was provided by NEVCO, which is the Integrated Display and Scoring Solutions Company.

The jumbotron scoreboard cost an estimated $300,000. It was paid for by supporters from the Kilgore community.

According to athletic director Jimmy Rieves, eight businesses bought advertisement for static signage that will always remain on the scoreboard to help pay for it.

Opportunities exist for video commercial advertisements to generate revenue every year.

“It brings a new way to bring the experience closer to the fans,” Rieves said.

Both teams will get to try their hand at the new scoreboard this Friday and Saturday when they take the field for the first time at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.