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Liberty Basketball vs. UNCA

Upscale eatery offered in Rivermont

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LIBERTY CHAMPION Today: P. Cloudy 59/30 Tomorrow: P. Cloudy 52/31

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Libertychampion.com

Volume 29 • Issue 14

Student debt continues to climb higher

half-time entertainment

Tabitha Cassidy tcassidy@liberty.edu

Statistics from a report released by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) place Liberty University as having one of the lowest tuition costs amongst private universities in the Commonwealth Liberty of Virginia. spends The report, primarily prepared by more on Dr. Michael Poliaacademkoff and Armand ics than Alacbay, looked at 15 public four-year administracolleges and univertion. sities and 24 private institutions, including Liberty. It compared the colleges’ tuition costs, courses studied, retention rates, how long it takes students to graduate and the percent annual income of tuition compared to Virginia household income. “We here at ACTA, not unlike a lot of other organizations, are very concerned about the rise of student debt,” Poliakoff said. Student debt, according to recent numbers provided by FinAid, a site for college financial aid information, has reached $976.9 billion, surpassing consumer debt. According to the January 2012 release of consumer credit by the Federal Reserve System, revolving consumer credit outstanding, debt that consumers rack up

FYI

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

prizes — The TRBC youth league, half-time entertainment for the men’s basketball game, tries to secure free gear.

Revitalization expedited Abortions

See EDUCATION, A3

Downtown Bluffwalk project expected to be completed within 18 months

may require ultrasound

Justin Jones jljones@liberty.edu

C

ity officials proved their commitment to revitalizing downtown Lynchburg by passing a plan that will allow for the next step of development in completing the Lower Bluffwalk project. Lower Bluffwalk will be a “pedestrian street” composing the core of a new culture district with shops, art galleries and cafés. New developments will highlight the existing historic buildings. Councilman Randy Nelson has been the leader in making plans for the Lower Bluffwalk which, originally, was not expected to be finished until near 2017. Now, the plan could be completed in the next 18 months after it passed with a 6-1 vote. “When I looked at the project in late 2010, listened to the affected property owners, examined the very low bond rates and saw an almost dormant construction industry available at that time, it seemed reasonable to consider accelerating the project rather than continuing to segment it over the next five years,” Nelson said. To take advantage of the low costs needed to take on a project of this magnitude, the city will borrow money from its own accounts that would have been used for building roads and highways. According to Nelson, those highways

Virginia Senate passes bill Brittany Laird bhlaird@liberty.edu

Lynchburg.gov

city of stairs — Plans to build up the City of Lynchburg include new staircases. could not be built in the next five years due to certain stipulations, both legal and practical. With the change, the downtown area will receive the needed upgrades but at a cheaper rate, and will

do so while investors are eager to jump on board. “This is not an investment in a private business but construction of a capital

See BLUFFWALK, A3

The Virginia Senate has recently passed a bill that will require women who are seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound performed prior to the abortion. As a result of passing the Senate, the bill will now move forward to the House of Delegates. The bill is now on the docket for Monday with the sub committee Criminal Law. If passed, the bill will continue on to a full committee, then to the House floor for three days before the House votes, according to Delegate Scott Garrett (R-23rd). Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22nd) has sponsored this bill four different times over the past five years. Her persistence may have paid off this session. “This same legislation was one we passed with a significant majority through the House. Then it got hung up on the Senate side,” Garrett said. The past four attempts to clear the bill through both the House and Senate have

See ABORTION, A2

INSIDE THE CHAMPION

News

Rail Jam

Snowboarders and skiers prepare to hit the rails. A6

Sports

Events

Liberty inks 12 new talented recruits. B1

Making the holiday of love count. B5

“NLI Day”

Valentine’s Day

News Opinion Sports Feature

A1 A4 B1 B6


NEWS

A2/Liberty Champion

February 7, 2012

Law students offer free tax prep

Lindsey Birchfield

lsbirchfield@liberty.edu

Liberty University School of Law is offering free tax preparation and e-filing this tax season for persons meeting certain requirements. Law students will assist in tax preparation Feb. 27-29, March 1-2 and March 5-9 from 5 to 9 p.m. and again on March 3 and March 10 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Mountain View Room at the School of Law. Volunteer Chair of Liberty University’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) program Terrance Jones stated that individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements for the tax assistance. Participants must be United States citizens or permanent resident aliens with an annual income of less than $50,000. Restrictions also occur on the types of income acquired. The program cannot prepare business tax returns. Liberty’s free tax preparation service is a part of the VITA program. This is the fourth year the VITA program has been a part of Liberty University School of

Law and each year brings more success to the program, according to Jones. “The number of tax returns completed has grown every year since its inception. Last year, we filed more than 200 federal and state tax returns,” Jones said. This service is offered not only to Liberty students, but to anyone in the Lynchburg community meeting the eligibility requirements. Those who are interested will be seen on a first-come, firstserve basis, according to Jones. Individuals planning on receiving the free tax assistance should bring their identification paperwork, tax statements, previous year’s tax return and a considerable amount of patience, Jones said. Volunteers plan to give the appropriate amount of time for the best work to be done. “It is our goal to ensure that every person who has their taxes prepared at Liberty University School of Law has the most accurate tax return that they can possibly have,” Jones said. Current Liberty law students volunteer as the tax preparers for the program. According to Jones, a third

Victoria Brunner | Liberty Champion

Tax help — Free tax preparation will be available at the end of February and beginning of March. year law student himself, this tax preparation program is just as important to Liberty University School of Law as it is to the ones requiring assistance. They believe it is important to use their talents and strengths in order to reach out and help the Lynchburg community in any way possible. “Consistent with the mission of the law school to produce Christian attorneys, we feel that

it is our responsibility to volunteer our skills to those in need. This program’s goal is to provide a volunteer opportunity for law students and to provide services to the Lynchburg community,” Jones said. Senior Dianna Baker fully appreciates the volunteer tax preparation service Liberty University School of Law is providing and believes this is incredibly beneficial for the School of Law.

Counsel defends student Brittany Laird bhlaird@liberty.edu

Liberty Counsel has decided to take on the case of a Shawano Community High School student who has been accused of bullying after writing an article against homosexual couples adopting children. Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mathew Staver is defending the student and will continue to do so should the matter go to court. According to Staver, Wisconsin resident Brandon Wegner, 15, who is a reporter for the school’s newspaper, wrote a pointcounter-point editorial column in The Hawk’s Post. In this article, Wegner took the position of opposing the adoption of children by homosexual parents. Biblical references were cited for several of the points he made in the article, Staver said. The article was run in the school’s paper opposite an article in favor of homosexual parents being allowed to adopt. Another student at the high school wrote the second article. The concept for the articles was approved by the teacher advisor who gave the students permission to proceed, according to Staver. “A homosexual parent in the District was offended that Mr. Wegner believes homosexuality to be a sin and that those practicing it should not be able to adopt children,” Liberty Counsel said in the letter that was sent to the Board of Education declaring their intent.

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Law — Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, discussed same-sex attraction Feb. 12, 2010. As a result of the complaint, Wegner was required to meet with both the principal of the school and the superintendent. These back-to-back meetings caused him to miss a critical exam and were without his parents’ knowledge, according to Staver. Not only did Superintendent Todd Carlson issue an apology to the community for the article, he also asked Wegner to retract his views on the topic. Wegner refused to back down from his biblically based beliefs. Upon his refusal, Carlson proceeded to call Wegner “ignorant” and threatened him with his power to suspend Wegner, according to Staver. The actions of the

superintendent were brought to the attention of Liberty Counsel. “Liberty Counsel sent a letter demanding that the superintendent apologize or face a lawsuit,” Staver said. Liberty Counsel is not the only one who has taken an interest in these events. The American College of Pediatricians sent a letter as well. In the letter, American College of Pediatricians President Den Trumbull, M.D., said that, based on studies, there is evidence of risk to children who are adopted by homosexual parents. “You were quoted as saying that you were ‘taking steps to prevent items of this nature from happening in the future,’”

Trumbull said in the closing of the letter. “In crafting your policies, I hope you and your staff would consider all the evidence and not simply pin policy influenced by social or political pressures.” Liberty Counsel listed five requirements in the letter to the board: that the district not take any action against Wegner, an apology be issued for its “unconstitutional and irrational actions,” immediate steps be taken to revise the policies, the religious beliefs of students not be suppressed from this point on and that they distribute Wegner’s complete article at the school. Liberty Counsel gave the district five days in which to respond before taking further action. “Based upon the action of the school superintendent, we are doubtful that they are going to resolve this unless the school board requires the superintendent to act accordingly,” Staver said. By using his position to force Wegner to be silent, Carlson was demonstrating to the students of his school that, “if you disagree with people, you can demonize them, call them names, and threaten them,” according to Staver. “We’re hoping that it doesn’t have to go to court,” Staver said. “But we’re prepared to go to court if the situation is not rectified.”

LAIRD is a news reporter.

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“As a pre-law student, this program sets the Liberty University School of Law apart in my mind because they live out the principles of community service instead of just talking about it,” Baker said. Liberty University founded its School of Law in 2004. BIRCHFIELD is a news reporter.

ABORTION continued from A1 ended in it successfully passing the House but being shut down in the Senate’s committee of Education and Health. It has passed in the House with positive support from an average of 62 delegates with only 36 opposing. The bill has remained basically the same over the years, focusing on the need for women to have an ultrasound performed. A summary, as well as a complete version of the bill, has been made available to the general public on the Virginia General Assembly website. The summary states that the bill “requires that, as a component of informed consent to an abortion, to determine gestation age, every pregnant female shall undergo ultrasound imaging and be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image of her fetus prior to the abortion.” Garrett anticipates that the bill will follow past attempts and pass the House of Delegates. He believes that the successful passage through the Senate is due to the “shift to a more conservative posture within

FYI

This is the fifth attempt to pass the bill through the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. committees.” He is also under the impression that debate will definitely follow should the bill pass the House. “We just need to stay focused on our family based values,” Garrett said. Garrett said that ultrasounds and abortions have not been at the forefront of peoples’ minds up to this point of time. People are more focused on the job market, paying for gas and food, the current healthcare situation and maintaining a good education for their children. Garrett, and many individuals in his district, think it is a vital issue, however. “It’s important to know the gestation stage of any baby. The age is easiest to determine through an ultrasound,” Garrett said. LAIRD is a news reporter.

Champion corrections In an article about a recent blood drive by the Red Cross, published in the Jan. 31 issue, there was an incorrect statement regarding where the blood collected is sent. The correct information should have said, “The American Red Cross supplies blood to the two local hospitals in Lynchburg and has for more than 30 years. In addition, (it) has the sole contract with both hospitals.” While Red Cross does have a national database of blood and services hospitals nation wide, we apologize for not representing the organization correctly in its service to the community.

The Champion encourages community members to submit letters to the editor on any subject. Letters should not exceed 400 words and must be typed and signed. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Letters and columns that appear are the opinion of the author solely, not the Champion editorial board or Liberty University. All material submitted becomes property of the Champion. The Champion reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any letter received — according to the Champion stylebook, taste and the Liberty University mission statement.

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Send letters to: Liberty Champion Liberty University, Box 2000, Lynchburg, VA 24502 or drop off in DeMoss Hall 1035.

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NEWS

February 7, 2012

Liberty Champion/A3

Quiz Bowl wins Big South Conference

Team finishes third in regional tournament against several ACC, Southern Conference schools Victoria Brunner vbrunner@liberty.edu

Liberty University’s Quiz Bowl team competed in tournaments in consecutive weekends in January and February. Liberty went undefeated for its second year in a row in the Big South Conference tournament on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. Liberty competed against six conference schools including Radford, Coastal Carolina and VMI and won the tournament for the sixth time in the last seven years. In addition to the Big South championship, Liberty’s varsity A Quiz Bowl team finished with a winning record and ranked third out of 12 teams in the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT) regionals, Saturday, Feb. 4, at Virginia Tech. According to team coach and Honors Director Dr. Jim Nutter, senior Catherine Hardee earned MVP honors and was the lead-

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Champions — Liberty’s Quiz Bowl team placed third at Saturday’s regional tournament at Virginia Tech. ing scorer at the tournament. “As big as it was winning the Big South, knocking off North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Davidson, and going 9-2, is even bigger — as is finishing third in the region,” Nutter said

The team consists of 18 students, all in honors, which make up two varsity teams and a junior varsity team. Six of the 18 students are National Merit Finalists, who are receiving a full academic scholarship at Liberty,

Nutter said. To compete in Quiz Bowl students have to answer difficult questions from a variety of disciplines. Students complete a large amount of reading and memorize facts about presidents, kings, bodies of water, mountain ranges and other subjects. “It’s everything from history, literature, geography, to some of the arts like music, sculpture, painting, the occasional pop culture question and the occasional sports question,” Nutter said. Each team has four players, and each player has a specialty subject that they excel in. With this strategy, team players rely heavily on each other’s strengths, Nutter said. “It’s so much more of a team sport,” Hardee said. “I love the sense of being on a team and interacting with my teammates.” Every student’s score is recorded each practice, and the leading top 10 are the students selected for the tournaments. In the fall

semester, Liberty competed in three tournaments, beating Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland and George Washington University, according to Nutter. “When we beat Duke University two years ago, we took an all girl team. Duke was not very familiar with Liberty, and they asked if we were an all girls college, and I said, ‘No, the girls are just smarter,’” Nutter said. Quiz Bowl, in general, is a male dominated sport. However, Liberty’s team is comprised of 13 females and five males. According to Nutter, after beating the University of North Carolina, who won the tournament, and finishing third at the NAQT regionals, Liberty may be invited to complete in the NAQT national tournament held in Chicago this March. BRUNNER is a news reporter.

BLUFFWALK continued from A1

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

Liberty — Liberty University is one of the least expensive private institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

EDUCATION continued from A1 over a fiscal year that does not include most loans, was last reported to be $798.3 billion. Poliakoff said that with such an exceedingly high difference between student loans and consumer credit debt, universities need to begin lowering their tuition rates and provide an education that equips students to compete in the job market. “It is the solemn duty of institutions to do everything possible to lower their costs and be as sufficient as possible so that they can hold these tuition rates

down,” Poliakoff said. In comparison with other private four-year universities and colleges, Liberty was the third cheapest institution, charging only $18,064 for the 2010-11 school year, according to the ACTA report. To compare that cost to other universities, the University of Richmond charged $41,610 and Washington and Lee University charged $40,387. According to Poliakoff, graduating on time is a major contributor towards keeping student debt low. What was once a four-year degree now takes some students five or six years to complete, Poliakoff said.

“For students who are concerned about the economics of getting an education and having a career, as well they should, finishing efficiently is a key issue,” Poliakoff said. According to the ACTA report, the latest graduation rates provided to them by Liberty, in 2004, places only 30 percent of students graduating in four years, while 48 percent graduate in six. “That means two years’ delay of getting into the work force, another two years of tuition,” Poliakoff said. The ACTA report continues to get even more depressing, Poliakoff said. Of the universities

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and colleges surveyed, only two require a survey of American government or history, no university requires an economics course to be taken and only half of the schools require literature or college-level foreign language at an intermediate level, the report revealed. “There is a push in higher education in doing what is the newest and most innovative. That’s very often done at the expense of the core learning that all students need,” Poliakoff said. CASSIDY is the news editor.

public asset that will be a catalyst to private enterprise,” Nelson said. The Bluffwalk, which currently is in the first phase of development at 11th Street, could also yield new growth for current local businesses as more residents and visitors populate the area. “(The Bluffwalk) will increase pedestrian movement and increase visitation to the downtown area,” Todd Windell, hotel director at the Craddock Terry, said. “It’s going to be great exposure.” The Bluffwalk project includes the riverfront areas through Commerce and Jefferson Streets. Upon its completion, the Bluffwalk will be used for residential condos, restaurants, merchandise shops and visitor attractions. Additionally, the $5 million project will serve as an avenue for new jobs. “New jobs would be created as part of the private owner’s property renovation,” Nelson said. “New jobs would evolve as business activities occurred within the renovated properties, and the entire city would receive a boost from the tourists and visitors. This would occur by 2013, not 2017.” Construction in the area could cause more temporary road closings, as blocks between Commerce and Jefferson are currently blocked, but within the next 18 months, the city could have the area transformed into a great asset. “The Bluffwalk features will promote and enhance Lynchburg’s many existing historical, architectural, cultural, geographic and natural resources and increase all of Central Virginia as a destination site,” Nelson said. JONES is a news reporter.


OPINION

FEBRUARY 7, 2012

Proposed pipeline causes conflict

The rejection of the proposed Keystone Houston Lateral Project reveals questionable political motives Isaac Eder ieder@liberty.edu

What comes to mind when you think of Canada? Moose? Mounties? Maple syrup? Something else that starts with an “M,” perhaps? Right now, however, the “M” word you should be thinking of is “money,” oil money specifically. First, a quick primer for those not familiar: Keystone XL is a proposed expansion of the preexisting Keystone Pipeline system owned by the TransCanada Corporation, which, according to the energy company’s website, pumps synthetic crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast, in addition to locations in Illinois and the Midwest. Unfortunately, there are several problems with Keystone XL in its current form. A whole other article could be written on the potential environmental impact of the pipeline, so for brevity’s sake, this piece will focus on the economic side of things. The pipeline’s stated goal, as the StarTribune’s Phillip Verleger points out, of this new pipeline is to circumvent refineries that refuse to accept a hike in prices. In his article, Verleger goes on to explain that back before the uptick in Canadian oil production, Midwestern refineries had to pay more for the same product than refineries in southern states because the oil had to be shipped north, rather than south, as it is now. If Keystone XL is built, production will shift directly to the Gulf Coast, and northward shipping will resume, driving up prices for those refineries, passing the costs on to the consumers in those regions, according to tarsandaction.org, a website created to petition the XL Pipeline. The change in cost is intentional, and to assert so is not some vaguely conceived conspiracy theory. The evidence comes straight from the mouth of the TransCanada Corporation. As the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Anthony Swift points out, TransCanada told the Cana-

Because Republicans refused to extend the payroll tax cut unless he approved the pipeline or explained why it was not in the national interest, Obama argued that not enough time had been allowed to consider other routes. Speaker John Boehner, on the other hand, has been a fierce advocate of the pipeline. And why wouldn’t he be? According to his financial disclosure forms, the Washington Post reports Boehner has personally invested between $10,000 and $50,000 in companies with a stake in Canadian oil sands, including six oil companies and one electric company. But according to a FOX News article, Boehner also tried hard to downplay these claims by further explaining his views on the matter. “The speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and he is only interested in reforms that actually lower energy costs and create American jobs,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement to FOX News, adding that it was this focus that has caused a conflict between both political parties and resolving the problem with the cost of energy resources. A casual observer can see the conflict of interest between Boehner’s actions and his words. But, when asked about the subject, his personal spokesman continues to deny any such thing, arguing that Boehner has no hand in day-to-day trading. “I have not made any decisions on dayto-day trading activities in my account and haven’t for years,” Boehner said in a news conference earlier this month. “I do not do it, haven’t done it and wouldn’t do it.” Regardless of his statements, it is obviGlobal Labor Institute ous that there is a lot that he is not saying. Reaching the gulf — The proposal extends the current pipeline completely But, for the time being, only time will tell through the continental U.S., allowing access to numerous refineries. if Boehner is actively searching for a way dian National Energy Board that it would Knowing this, how could any Ameri- to keep oil prices down — or further linmake up the extra shipping costs and then can politician in good conscience support ing his own pockets. some by increasing the amount Ameri- such a proposal? But as USA Today recans pay for Canadian oil by $3.9 billion. ports, President Obama has rejected it. EDER is an opinion writer.

Economic war with Iran a no-win situation Setting an embargo against Iran is not the smartest way to oppose the country’s nuclear program Clint Hayes rhayes4@liberty.edu

The fighting words escalate as Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reacts to the oil embargo placed on the country by the U.S. Reuters reported that in a speech shown on state television, Khamenei promised that “Sanction will not have any impact on our determination to continue our nuclear course.” “In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time,” Khamenei said, according to the Reuters report. Fears concerning a possible nuclear weapons program in Iran have the U.S. and the European Union imposing an oil embargo on the nation. However, the crippling effects these embargos will have on Iran’s economy may only encourage weapon development. The oil embargos on Iran are guaranteed to exasperate the country’s already dismal economy. Crude oil sales represent 80 percent of the nation’s export revenue and bring in the majority of its foreign currency, an important consideration

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since Iran’s currency — called the rial — against the dollar has lost more than half its value, a record low according to The Guardian’s article “Fears That Western Sanctions on Iran Could Cripple Local Economy.” “The west never reacted to the regime’s gross violation of human rights with such measures, but for many of us who are fed up with the west’s double standards on countries with dubious nuclear policies, such pressure on Iran’s nuclear program is not comprehensible,” an Iranian lawyer based in Tehran said, according to the same article. “Even if Iran is not pursuing a weapons program, such sanctions will force it to do so in hopes of getting economic stability.” Iranian leadership claims its nuclear program is intended to generate energy without the use of the oil supply it prefers to export. On the other hand, U.N. inspectors have amassed thousands of documents allegedly leaked out of Iran that indicate research is being conducted into technologies useful for testing and developing nuclear weapons. The effects of the embargo will not just be limited to Iran, but are certain to boil

Just when you think life can’t get any crazier — it does. I guess, in retrospect, this may be the reason I have been so pressed to not take time for granted and to leave my anxiety at the door — but, we never do know quite why we learn the lessons we learn until we are faced Bollinger with situations that cause us to pull them off the shelf, dust them off, and make use of them. So here I sit, stress induced shingles

“In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time.” - Khamenei over to become a detriment to the U.S. and Europe as well. The International Monetary Fund estimates that sanctions on Iran will result in a 20 to 30 percent increase in oil prices, pushing the price for a barrel up to $140, according to the article “Why the E.U.’s Oil Embargo Won’t Work” on tehrantimes.com. Rising oil prices will further harm Europe’s already floundering economy and deal a sizeable blow to the U.S.’s attempts to strengthen its own. If history is any guide, crippling a nation’s economy will not result in lessening its potential for aggression. Consider the effect of the sanctions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles upon Germany after World War I. The German economy was torn apart by territorial concessions and

plaguing the end of my senior year. Shingles are annoying. Unlike the flu or pneumonia, or really any other sickness, it does not attack like a normal virus. No, it attacks your nerves. From shooting pains to that awful feeling you get when one of your limbs falls asleep and doesn’t want to wake up, shingles pain hurts. It started with a small rash just to the right of my spine. Then my arm started to hurt. By hurt, I mean it killed — first my forearm, then my shoulder, and then my hand. Praise the Lord my diagnosis was as simple as shingles, but unfortunately that diagnosis carries with it a promise of 1421 days of untreatable nerve pain. Oh,

reparation payments in the hopes that the country would never again start another war. Two decades later, Germany invaded Poland. Iranian officials do not seem too worried. Indeed, news of the embargo may only have fanned the flames of their aggression. Europe’s embargo does not become active until July 1. Iran has said that it may stop shipments of crude oil to Europe early in an attempt to hinder Europe’s search for supplies at similar costs in the short term, according to the tehrantimes. com article. “This will have an impact on the whole Iranian economy but whether it will make the government change its policy, we don’t know...but probably not,” Tarja Cronberg, a European lawmaker in charge of the delegation for Iranian relations, said, according to the article “Oil Embargo Targets Iran Coffers” on upi.com. The oil embargo on Iran is not only bad diplomacy, it is a potentially dangerous move of economic war. In all probability, it is a lose-lose situation. HAYES is an opinion writer.

and throw in some flu-like symptoms. But, if I have learned anything over the past few weeks it is that I am not alone in my sickness. God is a God of longsuffering, and he is enough to sustain me — even with shingles. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”


OPINION

February 7, 2012

Liberty Champion/A5

Congress battles online pirates Bills SOPA, PIPA serve as efforts by Congress to reign in unbridled internet freedoms

Troy Dauksys tadauksys2@liberty.edu

The Internet — perhaps known as the most innovative invention since toilet paper, the light bulb or even Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — generates global use from billions of members worldwide. The Internet has impacted the world in such a way that communication has become pretty much limitless. With abundant access to education, imagination and invention, the internet has been wrongfully taken advantage of in numerous ways, by numerous individuals. In response to this, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, of the House of Representatives) and Protect IP Act (PIPA, of the U.S. Senate) took copyright infringement to an entirely new level, in that both bills were constructed in such a way that “the law wouldn’t have been able to reach the intended goals in stopping online piracy,� Vice President, Dean and Professor of Law at Liberty University Mathew D. Staver said. Just two weeks ago, world-renowned search engines such as Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla and many other popular sites demonstrated their distaste for SOPA and PIPA — resulting in a 24-hour “blackout� in reference to what the Internet would be like if the proposed bills were to pass. As a result, uproar began to flourish in Washington, D.C., along with the rest of the “Internet-accessible� world. “The bills were poorly constructed,� consultant and author of “Technology, Strategy and the Law� Larry Downes said. In the event that the U.S. Government accurately witnessed copyright infringement by foreign, rogue sites, the issue wouldn’t be solvable because the case lies out of the jurisdiction of the United States,� Downes said. SOPA and PIPA, if passed, would have created a much larger problem than the problem of piracy itself. It’s like the idiom “the cart before the horse,� Downes said. While both bills had the right intention to stop online piracy and protect IPs, both were interfering with the First Amendment in regards to Freedom of Speech. “An alternative act called the Open Act, while still imperfect, would have been a more practical approach toward controlling online piracy,� Downes said. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the

Ruth Bibby

Internet blackout — Sites like Wikipedia and Google protested SOPA and PIPA by showing what the world would be like without access to their databases. Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been negotiated among many other countries throughout the world, including the U.S., concerning agreements on dealing only with counterfeit physical goods. Now, it has been made publicly clear that content in the treaty would have a much broader scope in dealing with Internet distribution and information technology. “With much innovative and technical advancement made possible by the Internet, SOPA and PIPA, if passed, would have been responsible for millions of people losing their jobs and eliminating access to educational sites, among other innocent Internet activity,� Downes said. Communications Professional and Professor at Liberty University Dr. Carey Martin described SOPA and PIPA as “an effort to combat an actual problem of online piracy,� but in his opinion, “it is an overreaching effort.� “Research would become much more challenging online due to the fact that there seems to be a fairly broad provision in the law that would not only shut down actual pirates, but rather be used to close down a site that linked to a pirated site,� Martin said. In the event that SOPA and PIPA were to be passed, “the end result would have consisted of shutting down uncounted numbers of legitimate sites,� Martin said. “As a creative professional who has done quite a lot of production and put things out for consumption, I’m foursquare behind protecting copyright, and I think the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and

the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) have legitimate concerns. I just don’t think this law is the best way to address these concerns,� Martin said. Many people worldwide have stressed these exact concerns. So much so that the bills are under heavy-handed revision. Although the two bills were “shelved,� the future of online piracy will only continue to be more eagerly addressed, making the Internet a more controlled environment. The Internet wins this battle, for now. DAUKSYS is a news reporter.

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NEWS

A6/Liberty Champion

February 7, 2012

Students prepare for Rail Jam

Twelve elite skiers, snowboarders will battle it out for total of $2,500 in prize money Feb. 17 trol a rider appears. The difficulty of the trick just refers to how hard it is. A 50-50 may be so easy that a beginner could learn it their first day, but a backside 360 onto a rail is extremely difficult and therefore scores much higher. A combination of these four qualities is required to collect the prize money, and the judges will be watching closely and noting each of the four qualities a rider possesses. The seven snowboard invites are: Ryan Leeds, Austin Leonard, Ben Sullo, Zach Huff, Luke Fosse, Kevin Manguiob and Josh Zerkle. The five skier invites are: Matt Rodgers, Ross Rowan, Tanner Sinclair, Jon Steltzer and Corey Lilly. “It’s going to be a great contest. It’s college for a weekend so there’s going to be a ton of kids here, and we’re going to have great music and great energy going through the whole thing,” William Scheren, Snowflex Centre’s media manager, said. The Rail Jam starts after the Campus Jib Jam that the Freestyle Team will compete in at 7 p.m. at the Snowflex Centre. A music and light show will follow the night’s activities. The Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre Facebook page has more information.

Brent Washburn bwashburn2@liberty.edu

Liberty University students are all too familiar with handrails, often using them for support as they are running up the several flights of stairs that lead to the fourth floor of DeMoss. Now imagine spinning one full rotation over and onto that handrail with only skis or a snowboard attached to your feet. This is terrifying, yet exhilarating, and just another day for the athletes competing in the Rail Jam hosted by the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre on Feb. 17. In the past, the event was titled the DeMoss Rail Jam, but due to unfortunate warm temperatures, it has been relocated to the Snowflex Centre, as Snowflex doesn’t need cold temperatures or snow to be of use. For the first time, it has been decided that the rail jam will be an invite only competition, thus raising the caliber of the athletes competing. This year seven of the best snowboarders and five of the best skiers the southeast has to offer will go for the top prize. The rail jam will be in a run format, so that athletes can hit more than one feature to wow the judges with their skills. The total purse prize is $2,500. That prize money splits up to $750 for the first place snowboarder and skier, $350 for second and $100 for third. “It’s a unique experience to see that level of riding, both skiers and snowboarders, in a community where it’s not a traditional ski community, and I would compare it to a professional level of riding on rails,” Drew Sherwood, Snowflex Centre’s general

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

Skills — An invite-only competition means only the best skiers and snowboarders will compete. manager, said. The athletes will be judged on several things: amplitude, technicality, style and the difficulty of the trick. Amplitude is merely how big riders go, so the judge may watch

to see if they are playing it safe or if they are going onto a rail with their best trick. Technicality can, many times, go unseen to the untrained eye, but all it means is how much attention to detail the rider has.

For instance, doing a trick with something such as a tail tap out will up an athlete’s tech score. Style is much easier to understand. Style just applies to how easy the rider made the trick look, how composed and in con-

Photo provided

Ancient — O’Brien stands in front of ruins said to be Abraham’s house in Ur from the book of Genesis. The bottom brick layers are 4,000-year-old originals, and everything above is reconstructed.

WASHBURN is a sports reporter.

Photo provided

Liberty student — O’Brien enrolled at Liberty with a double major in missionary aviation and biblical studies to become a chaplain.

SSgt. Nahum O’Brien: The cable guy Liberty student served as Air Force satellite/telemetry technician in Iraq

Omar Adams oadams@liberty.edu

Liberty University student SSgt. Nahum O’Brien wanted to join “the greatest Air Force in the world” when he enlisted in 2003 in response to Sept. 11, 2001. The Wheelersburg, Ohio, native was a satellite/telemetry technician with the 31st Combat Communications Squadron, stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Okla. He deployed to Ali Air Base near Nasiriyah, Iraq, in 2007 — the same air base from which the last American troops recently left. While in Iraq, O’Brien was

part of the 407th Expeditionary Communications Squadron within the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW). “The 332d AEW are the successors of the famous 332d Fighter Group during World War II — the Tuskegee Airmen,” he said. “It was neat to be connected to a piece of history and be able to serve in a prestigious unit.” As a communications technician, O’Brien and others in his unit performed numerous tasks ranging from securing communication signals for unmanned aircraft, like MQ-1 Predator drones, to ensuring that officers

had working cable TVs. “Tasks that were common for me to do were climbing communication towers to service LOS (Line of Sight) radio receivers called the TSSR,” O’Brien said. “These receivers would provide communications between our main base and the smaller bases around the area.” One day, he received an urgent work order from an Army commander to be completed first thing in the morning. O’Brien rushed over and was informed that the officer’s TV was not working. “I looked at the TV and immediately noticed that the power

cord was hanging down the wall, not plugged in,” O’Brien said. “I said, ‘Sir, this is one of those TVs that requires power to work.’ We all had a good laugh.” O’Brien returned from Iraq and left the Air Force a year later in 2009. He enrolled at Liberty with a double major in missionary aviation and biblical studies. “I chose aviation because the one thing the Air Force will give you is a desire to fly,” O’Brien said. “I feel privileged that God has given me the opportunity to do so.” He chose biblical studies because he felt it was wrong that many Christians know more

about their temporary career than they do about eternal scripture. “I wanted to know the Bible just as well — if not more so — as I know my career,” O’Brien said. “It is my intention to attend the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary upon completing my undergraduate. My goal, if it be the Lord’s will, is to rejoin the military as a Chaplain.” In all, O’Brien is glad to be a student at Liberty. “I am very thankful for the support we veterans receive from Liberty University,” he said. ADAMS is the web editor.


SPORTS

FEBRUARY 7, 2012

Wide receiver coach goes to Jacksonville

Andrew Woolfolk

alwoolfolk@liberty.edu

Long-time Flames wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Charlie Skalaski will be taking his talents to Jacksonville, Fla. as part of the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive staff. Skalaski was introduced to Jacksonville on Jan. 24 and will serve as an offensive assistant and also as an assistant to the head coach for first-year head coach Mike Mularkey. “Skalaski did an outstand-

ing job of representing Liberty University and its mission while being part of the football program,” Flames head football coach Turner Gill said in a statement on the Flames website. “He will be missed and we hope nothing but the best for him and his family in all their new endeavors that the Lord has put in front of them.” Skalaski served nine seasons with the Flames, one as a tight ends coach and eight as a wide receivers coach, and was the team’s recruiting coordinator

since 2006. Skalaski played an integral part in the recruitment of former Liberty stars Mike Brown and Chris Summers. During his time coaching wide receivers, he led the development of Summers, who became a twotime All-American and set the school record for receptions. The trek to Jacksonville will be a homecoming party of sorts for Skalaski, who played cornerback at the University of Florida and served under coaching legends Mike Shanahan and

Signing Day ‘explosive’

Steve Spurrier in 1978 while working as a graduate assistant. Skalaski will also rejoin former Liberty standout running back Skalaski R a s h a d Jennings, who is Jacksonville’s backup running back. Gill announced Wednesday, Feb. 1, that Juan Taylor, who coached receivers at Buffalo with Gill, will be taking over

the responsibilities of coaching Liberty’s wide receivers. Cornerback coach Marshall Roberts will take over recruiting responsibilities. Taylor is a Kentucky State graduate and former KSU assistant coach. Roberts has NFL, NFL Europe, CFL and Arena Football league experience. WOOLFOLK is a sports reporter.

deter mined drive

Nate Brown nbrown4@liberty.edu

In reference to his 12 freshly-inked recruits, Flames head football coach Turner Gill gave a crowd of about 500 a few adjectives to characterize his 2012 recruiting class. “When I talked to the staff, I said I wanted to find players who were explosive, and I wanted to find players who can make plays,” Gill said. With those qualities in mind, Gill and his staff focused on bolstering the Flames defensive line that will feature a 4-3 front and adding depth to the wide receiver position with players that pose vertical threats. “You’re looking for talent, size, speed and guys that are making plays,” Gill said in a press conference earlier in the day (Feb. 2). “If you’ve got enough guys making plays, you’re going to be successful as a football team.” Getting defensive Gill signed a total of seven defensive players for the 2012 roster, focusing on the line (four signees) and adding to the linebackers (two signees) and defensive backs (one signee). Near-300-pound defensive tackle Jibrille Fewell is a transfer from Butte College in Oroville, Calif. and will have two years of eligibility with the Flames. Fewell was originally recruited by Gill to play football at the University of Buffalo. The South Carolina native finished his last season at Butte College with 47 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. Linebacker Dallas Griffiths, younger brother of current Liberty backer Chase Griffiths, originally committed to play football at the University of Maryland but eventually signed with Liberty. “We had an in with him,” linebacker coach Carl Torbush said. “His mom and dad were our best recruiters.” Griffiths won two state championships in high school, runs a 4.45 40-yard dash, bench presses 400 pounds and power cleans 400 pounds. At safety, Gill signed locally, bringing on Charles Williams from Prospect, Va. “The thing that we loved about him on film is that he’s very explosive,” defensive coordinator Robert Wimberly said.

See CLASS, B3

Bulldogs bully Flames

16 second-chance UNCA points hurt the team Derrick Battle dbattle2@liberty.edu

A

second chance, that is what the UNC Asheville Bulldogs’ theme song was during their game against the Liberty Flames Saturday night. Asheville stayed aggressive on the offensive end with second chance points deciding the victory.

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

incoming — At a recent open house, Turner Gill discusses the 12 signees committed in his first

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

late push — David Minaya (14) led Flames with eight second-half points.

Toning it down Asheville, who is used to playing an up-tempo style of basketball, was forced to play a halfcourt game. Liberty’s effectiveness in transition defense forced

the Bulldogs to shoot a low percentage from the field. However, the Flames were no different as both teams shot under 40 percent in the first half. Forward Antwan Burrus was key in slowing down the pace with four blocks throughout the game. “Asheville doesn’t like to play a slower game. They get out and run, and for the most part we were able to stop that,” guard Jesse Sanders said. The Bulldogs did a decent job in defending Jesse Sanders, negating his ability to score and get others involved. Sanders

finished with only four points, six assists, six rebounds and four personal fouls. John Caleb Sanders had nine first half points off the bench, including a three, late in the first half that tied the game 22-22. A half of slumps and spurts With 15:56 to go in the second half, the Flames took a three-point lead (33-30). After a Tomasz Gielo three from the top of the key, the Flames took a timeout.

See BBALL, B2

Feasibility study to determine FBS upgrade Nate Brown

nbrown4@liberty.edu

Liberty University is in the process of conducting a feasibility study to determine if a jump from its current NCAA DI-AA status in the FCS to NCAA DI-A in the FBS would be possible and, if so, what that jump would require. “It’s us looking at every piece or every facet of our

department and trying to determine what it would take to move our program to the next level,” Liberty Athletic Director Jeff Barber said. Members of the athletic communication department at Liberty cite exhaustive research as a part of the study. Superlative and average statistics are investigated. Facility dimensions are

recorded. Photographs of facilities are taken. “There’s certain requirements you must have, the teams you play,” Barber said. “So you look at your staffing, you look at your facilities and you look at your programming and you decide, that’s the level the FBS has. Are we doing things in that way?” Liberty’s exploration of larger programs parallels

closely to the vision Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr. had for the school and for the athletic programs. “The vision that Dr. Falwell had was for us to be a major university and major universities are in the FBS or BCS, so that’s our long-term goal — to be FBS and then BCS, which means a bigger school and a bigger program,” Barber said. “Our

goal would be to be in the SEC or the ACC, or the Big 10, or those kinds of conferences someday.” No official move has been announced or scheduled, according to Barber. “At this point, it’s just us doing our study and (the move) is not something we’ve announced for sure,” Barber said. “That’s why you do this study — to see where you are and then

you present all that to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees and that’s when you decide whether it’s doable, feasible, and at that point, that’s when things will start happening.” A meeting with Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. is scheduled for March 20. BROWN is the sports editor.


SPORTS

B2/Liberty Champion

Februaury 7, 2012

Wimmer’s Circle An inside look at baseball captain Trey Wimmer Jonathan Pearson jwpearson@liberty.edu

Les Schofer | Promotional Publication

in the zone — Sammi Shivock and the Lady Flames softball team are looking for a repeat Big South Championship

Preseason favors Flames Greg Leasure gleasure@liberty.edu

As the first pitch of the season approaches, the Liberty baseball and softball teams are both ranked second, respectively, in the Big South preseason polls. However, both programs have one goal in mind: a conference championship. Flames baseball will try to improve on their second place finish in the Big South last year, and the Lady Flames will be working toward a repeat Big South championship. “We want to repeat,” head softball coach Paul Wetmore said. “To be back-toback champs is a high feat. People don’t understand how hard it is to win a championship.” Coming off the first All-American season by a Liberty softball player, second baseman Kelly Strickland is undoubtedly one of the leaders of the team. “I think there may be a handful of players that pay attention to the rankings, but I don’t think it’s weighing on anybody’s mind,” Strickland said. Wetmore also pointed out that the rankings don’t take into account the impact of incoming freshmen, players who graduated and players who got better. “We lost some home run power, but we also developed more people this year. We brought freshmen in who are going to be impact players,” Wetmore said. Without a doubt, it will be hard to replicate the 61 home runs the team racked up in 2011. Both Strickland and senior Kaylee West see Radford as their biggest competition. “They’re always tough to beat. They always have good hitting and good defense,” West said. The Lady Flames know that there

BBALL continued from B1 This was the beginning of a six-minute drought for the Flames. The Bulldogs scored at every opportunity, being aggressive on the offensive end, grabbing offensive rebounds over the bigger Flames players. This was the beginning of a 13-2 run (43-35). “They got on a big run, they hit some hard shots, and we gave them the tempo and rhythm,” J.C. Sanders said. Liberty, who normally outrebounds their opponents, found themselves being out-rebounded 47-31. The Bulldogs also had 16 offensive rebounds that led to 16 second chance points. “We got punked,” J. C. Sanders said. “They’re not even a big team. We had the biggest players out on the floor most of the game. They out-worked us

is a target on their back as conference champions, but, according to outfielder Michael Robertson, the baseball team is quite comfortable with their underdog status. “I would rather be an underdog, sneak up and surprise some people,” Robertson said. Robertson enjoys the Flames ranking but cautions against reading too much into it. “It’s an honor to have, but it really doesn’t mean much once the season starts because if you don’t produce, it’s just writing on a paper,” Robertson said. No. 1 Coastal Carolina is the biggest team on the Flames’ radar, but Robertson has confidence that the team’s offense can hang with anybody. “In the three years I’ve been here, this is the most talented offensive lineup that I’ve been a part of,” Robertson said. He also added that, as long as the team can move people on the bases and throw strikes, replacing the people they lost to professional baseball last year should be easy. The recent warm weather has helped considerably as the baseball and softball programs prepare for the season. It has allowed the baseball team to take ground balls and hit outside, and the Lady Flames are happy to be practicing outside of the Schilling Center. “This is actually the first time that we’ve had a week full of outside practice where we’ve gotten ground balls, so that helps us a lot defensively,” West said. Hopefully, the extra practice outdoors will lead to success when the season starts. LEASURE is a sports reporter.

on the glass tonight.” “We didn’t make enough stops. We played good defense, we made them attempt tough shots, but we didn’t finish the plays with rebounds,” head coach Dale Layer said. The Flames attempted to charge back, showing spurts of life. David Minaya, who finished with 13 points, had eight of them in the second half. J.C. Sanders also scored six points in the second that gave him a game high of 15 points. Shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half and with four players in double-figures, the Bulldogs were able to pull out a 65-51 victory at the Vines Center. “They find ways to win games. If they aren’t making shots, they go out and get them. They don’t beat themselves. That’s a mark of a well coached and experienced team,” Layer said.

With the first game of the 2012 baseball season just a few weeks away, no one is more ready than the newly-crowned captain Trey Wimmer. The junior exercise science major believes that the team is stronger than ever this year. “This has been, by far, one of the best hitting years that I’ve ever been a part of here at Liberty,” Wimmer said. “We are probably the best hitting team in the conference … I’m wimmer really excited to see how our hitters are going to do and what the lineups are going to be. We have a lot of variety. We could put different lineups on the field and still be successful.” This is Wimmer’s fourth year in Liberty’s program, and as one of the older players on the team, he has a large amount of responsibility on his shoulders. “Besides for Coach (Jim) Toman, I’ve been here longer than anybody,” Wimmer said. “I bring leadership and experience. I know what the program’s about. I know what Liberty’s about. I try my best to lead by example on and off the field. I know the way Coach Toman coaches. I know the things he likes to do during practice and during games. I know the signs he likes to give. So, I think, just my experience is helpful to the younger guys.” The choice to come to Liberty for Wimmer was difficult. He was gaining the interest of schools like the University of South Carolina, Clemson and others within his home state of South Carolina. However, most of those schools lost their enthusiasm for Wimmer when he had knee surgery. An old acquaintance, Jim Toman, invited Wimmer to attend a training camp at Liberty. Upon his visit, he felt an immediate connection to the school and the program, making Liberty the easy choice. The team’s chemistry is at an all-time high this year and has been that way from the beginning of the season. Even though the team is very diverse, Wimmer still believes that they will excel this season. The first practices for the Flames have

The bi-annual Lynchburg Bridal Expo, hosted by Capture It Events, will be held Sunday, Feb. 12

Amy Marquez

Valentine cards back in the Civil War days were known for their intricate lace detail and overlay and the Old City Cemetery held a vintage valentine workshop.

PEARSON is a sports reporter.

season schedule Feb. 17-19 The Citadel Challenge Feb. 21 Flames vs. Radford 3 p.m. Feb. 24 Flames vs. Siena 3 p.m. Feb. 25 Flames vs. Siena 2 p.m. Flames vs. Siena 5 p.m. Feb. 26 Flames vs. Siena 1 p.m. Feb. 28 Flames at Virginia 3 p.m.

With two upcoming road games, the Flames look to push forward against Charleston Southern and Presbyterian. “There have been a lot of positives. The defense stepped up and this was one of the best defensive nights we had all year, especially against a team like Asheville,” Jesse Sanders said. “Getting the win against Gardner-Webb was key. It was the first home game with the students back and gave some positive energy to the student body. We hope we didn’t lose the students tonight but are looking forward to two big games on the road.”

BATTLE is the assistant sports editor.

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

TRAP — UNCA’s defense smothered Flames lane penetration.

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been unseasonably good. “In the past, this time in the season we were shoveling snow off the field just to get some ground balls and take some hacks,” Wimmer said. “But, we’ve been blessed with 60-degree weather for the last week and a half. We’ve been on the field every day and getting better so we can play Feb. 17.” Wimmer maintains the Boy Scout motto of “always be prepared” before a game. He arrives early, eats healthy and loosens up. “I love listening to Lecrae and PRO (before a game),” Wimmer said. “It gets you pumped up and you don’t feel like you need a shower after.” In his limited free time outside of baseball, he still finds time to relax. He fishes, plays Ping-Pong and is a closet reader. Though Wimmer may not grow the playoff beard or wear the same socks every game, he still has his own style of superstitions. He will never step on the foul line and has a specific at-bat routine.

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SPORTS

Februaury 7, 2012

Liberty Champion/B3

Tennis begins season on positive note Mark Meyers manmeyers@liberty.edu

Liberty University men’s tennis team opened up its season with a decisive 7-0 win over Bluefield State but could not quite put the pieces together against the University of Richmond Spiders Friday, losing 6-1. On Saturday the Flames reestablished home-court advantage, downing Averett 7-0. “Our intensity needs to be better,” coach Chris Johnson said. “We came out flat, and they came out with a lot of intensity, which allowed them to jump out in front, and we were not able to recover.” Richmond had five matches under its belt entering the con-

test, while the Flames only had one previous match. “They were more matchtough,” Johnson said of Richmond. “We did not close matches well tonight and they did.” Muscle cramps were a constant problem all evening for the Flames that they just could not overcome in the end. “I just hit a wall there in the second set,” sophomore Shea Thomas said. Richmond junior Jesse Feder saw Thomas in obvious discomfort and took advantage. He made Thomas move side to side to return shots, and it eventually wore down the gutsy sophomore. “I just was not able to keep up,” Thomas said. Feder defeated Thomas in three sets, 2-6, 6-3,

CLASS continued from B1 “When you see him tackle and make contact, they go backwards.” Playmakers On offense, Gill focused on playmakers that could bring speed and explosion to the Flames offense. The Flames signed four wide receivers that average over 21 yards per catch as a group. “We wanted guys who could take it to the house,” wide receivers coach Juan Taylor said. Delaware receiver Dante’ Shells enrolled at Liberty last August and will be playing with the team starting this spring. Shells caught 43 passes for 1,264 yards his senior year at Caesar Rodney High School, where he was also a McDonald’s All-American nominee in basketball. Gill added depth to the running back position by signing D.J. Abnar out of Tallahassee, Fla., and is building the offensive line, adding 300-pounder Aharown Campell and two tight ends, Kendall Couamin of Pines, Fla. and Canon Smith of Birmingham, Ala.

6-1. The lone point winner for the Flames was junior Siim Tuus, who put together a gritty performance and was able to upend Richmond’s Ethan Dunbar in three sets, 6-1, 6-7, 7-5. Tuus began the match firing on all cylinders but could not keep it up in the second set. “I was mentally out of it in the second set,” Tuus said. “In the first set everything was very easy, and I did not stay focused mentally in the second set.” Losing the second set made things difficult for Tuus and allowed a window of opportunity for Dunbar, but the crafty Estonian made sure that window was shut in the third set. “I never thought I was going to

lose,” Tuus said. “That thought never went through my mind.” Tuus kept Dunbar on his heels the entire match with his blistering serves and fierce backhand returns. Tuus said he will be better prepared for the rest of the season mentally. “I need to be focused from the first point to the last point, and I will be,” he said. Fresh off a victory against Bluefield State that made him Liberty’s all-time doubles player, senior Giancarlo Lemmi recorded yet another doubles victory, the 65th of his career. Lemmi partnered with freshman Wayne Harrell to win 8-3 over Richmond freshman Paul Nahon III and Dunbar in the No. 3 doubles

match. The Flames duo played fast and painted the corners of the court with their shots. Saturday, the Flames took on Averett University and scored wins in doubles and singles events. Tuus, Tristan Stayt, Lemmi and Dillon Segur secured the doubles events while Matt Slamecka and Stanislav Vaughn notched singles wins, pushing the Flames to an overall 2-1 record. The Flames will go on a 10-match road trip before returning home March 18 to host the Gardner-Webb University Runnin’ Bulldogs. MEYERS is a sports reporter.

“I think I got more than what I expected,” Gill said. “I think our coaches did a tremendous job going around to the high school coaches around the area and around the country. We hope all these guys are going to be fantastic players for us.” BROWN is the sports editor.

On the side When was the last time the crown jewel of a signing class was a kicker? Flames special teams coordinator Mike Minter called kicker John Lunsford the “next Adam Vinatieri” in the introduction of the Florida game Why? You Tube “Lunsford 58-yard field goal” and you’ll see why. Here’s a hint. The video ends with Lunsford’s Evangelical Christian High School getting an additional three points. Lunsford made 90 percent of his field goal attempts in his high school career and averaged 47.0 yards per punt.

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

warm Welcome — Turner Gill and staff introduce themselves to fans. Gill is eager to make an impact this upcoming season.

Liberty’s 2012 Football Signing Class D.J. Abnar RB 5-10 185 Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln HS

Dallas Griffiths LB 6-2 225 Monticello, Fla./North Florida Christian HS

Darrin Peterson WR 6-2 190 Attalla, Ala./Etowah HS

Jibrille Fewell DL 6-1 296 Rock Hill, S.C. South Point HS (Butte College)

Aharown Campbell OL 6-4 300 Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck HS/Hargrave Military

Gerald Holt DL 6-3 275 Kannapolis, N.C./Kannapolis HS

Canon Smith TE 6-4 255 Birmingham, Ala./Briawood Christian HS

Maximilian Sommer DE 6-6 260 Hamburg, Germany/St. Pauli Buccaneers

Chima Uzowihe DE 6-2 240 Houston, Texas/Lamar HS

Zach Erickson LB 6-1 255 Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University HS

Kendall Couamin TE 6-22 25 Pines, Fla./Everglades HS

John Lunsford K/P 6-1 180 Ft. Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS

Damarcus Faison WR 6-4 190 Tampa, Fla./Cambridge Christian HS

Ryan McCarter WR 6-2 165 Sterling, Va./Park View HS

Charles Williams S 6-0 190 Prospect, Va./Fuqua School HS

Dante’ Shells WR 6-2 170 Camden, Del./Caesar Rodney HS

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Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

fire up — Cheerleaders from Monelison Middle School cheered the Flames during halftime of Thursday night’s win over Gardner-Webb. Monelison partners with the Special Olympics every year in support of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. This event will be held at camp Hydaway Feb. 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


FEATURE

B4/Liberty Champion

February 7, 2012

LaHaye group fitness classes Body and Soul This class includes cardio, kickboxing, strength training, core work, Pilates and stretching — all to Christcentered music. 30 minutes

Victoria Pearce | Liberty Champion

leading change — Graves teaches a variety of exercise classes, training fellow students at the LaHaye Student Union, reminding them that training can be fun.

Meet the trainer Group fitness instructor Kimberly Graves inspires students Emily Bass embass@liberty.edu

With the new year officially underway, students are working diligently to maintain resolutions of making good grades, getting organized or, in this case, getting healthy. LaHaye group fitness instructor Kimberly Graves teaches a variety of different exercise classes available to students. Graves reminds students that making a New Year’s resolution to get healthy is only the first step. “You have to keep going. Don’t give up. Exercise is more than reaching a goal and stopping,” Graves said. After starting to play field hockey in the eighth grade for her middle school in Delaware, Graves began to develop an active lifestyle that she would continue to be passionate about even into her adult life. Graves considers her own health journey as she reflects that being healthier became easier after taking advantage of all the different kinds of fitness activities that are available. “I realized that exercise was more than running on a treadmill. It could actually be fun,” Graves said. Graves, who maintains a regular fitness regimen and healthy eating outside of her workout classes, explains that to achieve a

successful lifestyle it is essential to keep going and to maintain healthy habits. This requires not only dedication, but immense motivation. “Exercising is my channel. I have seen benefits, and I know I’m doing something good for myself,” Graves said. Some of Graves’ favorite forms of exercise are the things that seem to challenge her the most. While she tends to see the quickest results in fast-paced cardio vascular activity that raises her heart rate, Graves also enjoys endurance building workouts such as weight training and yoga. “I love being able to feel the change I’ve achieved,” Graves said. Graves also stresses the importance of continuing to set goals throughout the fitness journey. Some of her own personal goals for 2012 include achieving flexibility through mastering new yoga poses and implementing more weight training into her daily workouts. “Kimberly stands out as a person,” Fitness and Aerobics Coordinator of LaHaye Gina Pray said. Pray recalls that the first time she met Graves, she was immediately struck by her willingness to learn more about her trade to be the best teacher that she could be. Pray also notes what a sweet, upbeat

and personable employee Graves continues to be as an instructor and as a person. Jackie Halyard, a sophomore at Liberty, enjoys taking Graves’ cycling classes. Halyard considers Graves’ classes to be just as intense and effective as the classes offered at her local YMCA and feels that it is Graves’ encouraging spirit that continues to draw people to her class. “She prays for us at the end and makes us feel so good about ourselves,” Halyard said. While Graves advocates daily exercise and healthy eating, she wholeheartedly encourages students to embrace their own unique shape and physique. “Don’t be discouraged with the body God gave you,” Graves said. Graves teaches group fitness classes in the LaHaye center aerobics room located to the right of the front desk. Students can attend Body Revival on Monday and Friday at 4:15 p.m. to receive a muscle building and weight training workout. For those interested in a faster paced cardio workout, Graves also teaches cycling on Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:45 p.m.

Body Revival A blend of yoga and Pilates, this class is designed to create a stronger, more streamlined body by creating subtle movements, precise positioning and muscle control to improve balance, flexibility and strength throughout the body. 30 to 45 minutes Cycling A simulated class of hills, climbs, sprints, attacks and false flats. 1 hour Cycle Express This cycling class has dual purpose: the beginner can learn about cycling and get accustomed to the bike, and the experienced cyclist can focus on a high intensity cardio workout in a shorter amount of time. 30 minutes Fight Club A non-contact fitness class that fuses martial arts and boxing into a high-intensive, calorie-burning, body conditioning workout. 1 hour Fit-X A class that consists of non-stop cardio. 30 minutes GrX Fusion A fusion of fast paced cardio drills and strength training movements. This class concentrates on circuit training. 1 hour HardCore A class designed to strengthen the abs, back and glutes to improve torso appearance and function. 30 minutes

Max Power High intensity interval training for total body results. Includes upper and lower body plyometrics, agility, strength and speed drills, as well as strength and conditioning circuits. 1 hour Power Pump Designed to improve strength and endurance by challenging all your muscle groups, this non-cardio, calorie-burning class incorporates the barbell to perform the best weightroom exercises. 1 hour ReNew A Christian alternative to yoga. Hold challenging poses that strengthen your body while increasing flexibility and balance. 1 hour Spin 360 A cycling class with challenging strength training – it’s a full body workout in an hour. Begin with a fastpaced strength and endurance ride for 35 minutes and finish with 25 minutes of strength and stretching. 1 hour ZUMBA A fusion of Latin and International dance with music and dance themes. This class utilizes the principles of interval and resistance training for total body toning and sculpting. No dance experience required.1 hour

More information about the LaHaye Student Union’s fitness classes are available at liberty.edu/ campusrec/studentcenters.

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FEATURE

February 7, 2012

Liberty Champion/B5

Playing Cupid: Spread the love photos even more memorable.

Betsy Abraham

The origin of romance

babraham3@liberty.edu

Bake cookies and distribute them Give them to your neighbors, classmates, professors or anyone else you can think of. Who doesn’t love baked goods, right?

Who said Valentine’s Day was only about romantic love? While the more cynical may claim that Feb. 14 is nothing more than a money making scheme for Hallmark and candy makers, the day can be a great excuse to go out of your way to show love and appreciation to the people in your life — whether or not you have a date. Here are some ideas on how to make this Valentine’s Day a lot more meaningful, not only for yourself, but for others around you. Visit a senior citizen’s home For the most part, senior citizens love visitors. Knowing that the younger generation cares about them is a great way to show love and can also be a great way to glean some wisdom. Listen to their life stories and ask them how they met their significant others. You never know where you’ll find a Notebook-esque story. Thank your parents Valentine’s Day is all about outward expressions of love and affection, so why not show your parents how thankful you are for everything they do? Have a Valentine’s Day gift exchange Single or not, everyone likes getting gifts. Get some friends together and do a “Secret Cupid” gift exchange. Make homemade valentines Break out the glue sticks, glitter and craft scissors and take a trip back to your elementary school

I think Romance reaches beyond the traditional romantic relationship, and I know love reaches beyond one day. Being a single woman at the moment, I choose to see the truth of romance and love—that it is all born of God and that it is everywhere we look. All modern romantic ideals and stories are born of the Bible and its “love conquers all” theme. It’s a theme our souls crave. I think people fail to see that connection sometimes. The devil tricks us into accepting a very small, selfish version of love and even romance. Girls and guys, single and dating, need to zoom out and see God and the story of the Gospel for what it is — the ultimate display of love. Our hearts enjoy romance and love because God’s does. Why else would He have written the story of history as He did? Valentine’s Day is a manmade holiday but love is God-made, and I think it’s a great day to point to that. Personally, the only tradition I have on Valentine’s Day is to tell every person whom I love that I love them and to remember that I am a part of the greatest love story ever told.

Dress up like Cupid This might be the only day that donning a bow and arrow in public are acceptable. Do something nice for your roommate Whether it’s buying them candy hearts or giving them a note telling them you appreciate them, go out of your way to let them know they are valued and special. Make dinner for single friends Have everyone dress up and make something nicer than mac n’ cheese. If you’re living situation allows for it, break out the candles and fancy china (or at least something better than paper plates).

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be mine — Valentine’s Day can be a time to show love and appreciation for the people in your life in fun, creative ways. days. Fill your cards with cheesy messages, or even heartfelt notes, and give them out — to your Resident Assistant , your favorite barista at Jazzmans, a family member. Offer to babysit for free Finding a good babysitter can be a pain and most couples don’t necessarily want to take their kids along for a romantic Valentine’s Day date. If you enjoy watching kids, offer to babysit for a professor or church member and don’t ask for anything in return. Enjoy some alone time When you live on campus, it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly surrounded by people. Go somewhere where you can be alone, and indulge in something that brings you pleasure. Maybe hike to the Monogram, read at a local coffee shop, or just drive

around Lynchburg. Appreciate the solitude, unattachment and a few hours of getting to do whatever you want, however you want. Take a road trip Though Valentine’s Day does fall on a school night, if you and some friends can afford to do it (both financially and if schedules allow) take a day trip to a nearby city such as Roanoke or Charlottesville.

Karaoke to cheesy love songs Mariah Carey, N’Sync, Celine Dion — take your pick, grab some friends and belt it out. Demonstrate a love that sticks Take part in Houston radio station 89.3 KSBJ’s “Love that Sticks” challenge. Write encouraging messages on postit notes and then place them in places for people to find. A loving word can go a long way. Visit lovethatsticks.com for more information.

Have a completely unrelated party Sick of seeing hearts and cupids? Celebrate a less appreciated holiday and throw a party that has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. A Christopher Columbus Day party, Arbor Day party, or even an early President’s Day party will work. Make it a costume party to make the

— Rebekah Gregory, Student Care Officer

ABRAHAM is the assistant feature editor.

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FEATURE

FEBRUARY 7, 2012

Mangia brings romance to Rivermont Locally owned Italian restaurant offers Lynchburg fresh, organic options

Daniel Garcia dtgarcia@liberty.edu

Nothing says “I love you” as well as a delicious meal and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the restaurant choice for that special evening may very well say more to your date than you can before curfew rolls around. Mangia – Italian for “eat” – offers a solution to those looking for an alternative to the smorgasbord of restaurants that populate Wards Road and Candlers Station. Mangia is located on 2496 Rivermont Ave. in Lynchburg’s historic Rivermont district and features an extensive Italian menu and welcoming atmosphere. Established in May 2009, Mangia is owned by Melanie and Dave Ellis. Although the couple does not have an Italian heritage, Ellis said that her husband – a graduate of culinary arts university Johnson & Wales – had experience with Italian cooking and the two decided to open up shop. “We were trying to figure out what to call it,” Ellis said. “I remembered all of a sudden that my father, when I was a kid, before we’d have dinner, he’d say ‘Mangia!’ which means “eat” in Italian, even though he wasn’t Italian, and I just thought that was funny. It ended up being a family thing.” Mangia’s menu features a wide variety of traditional Italian entrees ranging from multiple antipasto dishes to a lunch menu that boasts nine different kinds of paninis. “We sell a lot of salads,” Ellis said. “The fried calamari is probably the most popular appetizer. The most popular pasta is a toss-up between the Bolognese sauce and the Gorgonzola cream sauce...as far as the classics go, the Saltimbocca is the most popular.” “We do sliced-beef Carpaccio,” she said, noting that the dish was one of her personal favorites, “which is raw beef with arugula, capers and onions…I don’t think anywhere else in town has Carpaccio.” Mangia features daily chalkboard-menu specials, as

well as several other items that her husband prepares which are not listed on the menu, according to Ellis. “We run specials at Mangia that are for everyone, as cheap as we can make it,” she said. One of those specials is the $8 lunch, which includes any lunch item, the choice of a soda or tea and a piece of tiramisu, according to the menu. The special runs from Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. “All of our food is cooked fresh and to order. We don’t buy anything prepared, we don’t have a freezer,” Ellis said, commenting on the value of the lunch special. “We make our own fries, we make our own bread. So an $8 lunch is a great deal.” Mangia’s regular menu will be available on Valentine’s Day, as well as the restaurant’s daily specials. Ellis said business is expected to increase on the holiday. “It’s really important for people to know that we’re a husband and wife team that own a business and that we make everything here fresh,” Ellis said. “I don’t think that people realize how many places they go that are serving microwaved, pre-prepared things from the freezer. We’re really proud that we make an effort to serve fresh, local, organic when possible, cooked-to-order food.” For more information, including a full menu and details regarding reservations, visit Mangia’s website at www.mangiaontheavenue.com. photos by

GARCIA is a feature reporter.

Kate Powley| Liberty Champion

Local Flavor — Mangia’s employees, such as Larry Fournier (above), serve the Lynchburg community Monday through Saturday, serving up fresh food and rich atmosphere.

Ragtime soon to jazz the Tower Theater Shelanne Jennings snjennings@liberty.edu

Hours of practice and preparation are underway in anticipation for the opening of Liberty University’s upcoming theatre production, “Ragtime.” The show, named a modern classic by the show’s director Chris Nelson, will fill the Tower Theater with epic tales that characterize the changing times in America at the turn of the century. “The show is a sung-through musical. The music is gorgeous,” Nelson said. “It is an epic show. It covers the turn of the century and the relationships between ethnicities and, really, how America was changing to become the melting pot.” Ragtime, the musical, was originally produced in 1996 and was adapted from the novel “Ragtime,” written by E.L. Doctorow and published in 1975. Liberty’s student cast includes 49 people playing the roles of both fictional and historical characters such as Henry Ford, Evelyn Nesbit and Harry Houdini. “You’ve also got these fictional characters that represent the different groups, whether it is traditional America, the Harlem and the integration of race or, of

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

American classic — The cast of Ragtime prepares diligently for opening night, Feb. 17. course, the immigrants,” Nelson said. “It’s very much about the changing times and the unwillingness to change or the characters finding themselves at the tipping point of choice for how they will interact with each other.” Just as the wave of ragtime music altered the course of music, the clash of race and immigrants changed the face of America and American culture, according to Nelson. “People might be expecting

that this is a happy-go-lucky tapdancing musical. It’s not necessarily that, but it is definitely a thought-provoking piece,” Nelson said. “There’s just so much depth to the show that I think people will enjoy it. With an epic tale comes everything. You get the mess and the hope.” Nelson has been working with the large cast to help them develop their characters, each of them playing a part in portraying the brokenness that characterizes

“Ragtime.” “There’s a brokenness in the music, with the broken melodies used. It’s a metaphor for what is happening in the lives of the people,” Nelson said. “But what’s great is that within our community and our audience, we have a good idea of what happens when you’re broken — there’s a chance to be rebuilt and re-infused into something that is even stronger. I think that, ultimately, is the message of Rag-

time. There is a brokenness to it, but in the end there’s an infusion to it, and a new strength that comes out of it and there are lessons learned.” “Ragtime” will run Feb. 17, 18, 24, 25, March 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 26 and March 4 at 2:30 p.m. With opening night only weeks away, the cast and crew are preparing for what they hope to be a hit with Liberty students and Lynchburg residents. “I don’t think a lot of people realize the manpower and hours it takes to build, break-down, plan and adjust all of this,” Nelson said. “It’s definitely teaching our students a good work ethic and to treat it seriously. We keep on seeing our students respect the craft. It’s quite a commitment, but they rise to the occasion.” “I hope people will come out because it will be a night of great entertainment for them,” Nelson said. “I think they’ll really enjoy it.” For more information about Liberty University’s Department of Theatre Arts and to get tickets, visit liberty.edu/theatre. JENNINGS is the feature editor.

Liberty Champion Feb. 7, 2012  

Liberty Champion Feb. 7, 2012