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October 24, 2012

RESIDENT SPIRITS Paranormal activity a regular occurrence at McAlister home By SHEA CONNER | St. Joseph News-Press

F

ew houses in St. Joseph embody late 19th century luxury quite like the former home of banker J.W. McAlister. Designed by legendary architect and painter Harvey Ellis in 1889, the house at 105 N. 19th St. greets visitors with its circular towers, short, squat balcony columns and ornate brickwork — the impressive staples of the Richardsonian Romanesque style that was spreading from the East Coast to the Midwest at the time. Take one step inside and you’ll be introduced to a blue-carpeted double staircase leading to a two-story stained glass window. On the southwest side of the dining room sits an alcove where orchestral musicians would play a few

Jessica Stewar t | St. Joseph News- Press

tunes whenever the McAlister family felt like entertaining. The home is a cocktail of fi nely crafted woods — a den of cherry, a living room of walnut, a foyer of oak and a dining room of mahogany all accented by well-kept parquet floors. Today, the sitting rooms have given way to a library and a large Santa Claus doll collection. The cloak room has been converted into a modern-day restroom. And the carriage entrance on the east side of the house doesn’t get too much buggy traffic these days.

However, the spirits of a few of the home’s former residents remain. “Whenever we’ve had electricians over doing some work, they aren’t very happy about it because they always start slamming the doors or turning off lights,” says Joann Sorrento, who currently lives in the home with her husband, Joe, and her mother, Lois Hughes. “Once the electricians stop, it all calms down.” These kinds of things don’t give Mrs. Sorrento the heebie jeebies. She has been living with the spirits since 1977, when her parents bought the home, which for-

merly housed the McAlister family, H.A. August’s family and even the St. Joseph Museum for a brief period. Accounts of hauntings — or at least some form of unexplained activity — at the house date back to the 1940s. It has been documented that the St. Joseph Museum had a difficult time keeping security guards on the job for more than a few nights. They were scared away by mysterious toilet flushes, lights turning on and off and lots of banging on the walls. Please see XXXX/Page A3

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A political beginning

There’s a ghost on my cupcake

Missouri Western student plans for political future By JENNIFER GORDON St. Joseph News-Press

Travis Hart comes in right before the vice presidential debate begins. He snags a seat on the outer row in the room. Most of the other Missouri Western State University students gathered in Blum Student Union Room 218 came for the extra credit. Dr. Jonathan Euchner, a political science professor, was one of the ones responsible for the students and the extra credit. Watching the vice presidential debate is a way to get his classes to be more civic minded. A high number of his students have never watched a candidate debate. To get his students interested in the political process, he tells them things like, “If you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve” and “If you don’t care, other people will care for you. Don’t be surprised if they don’t end up caring about you.” Still, the students in 218 came reluctantly. They talked about it before Travis arrived. “Political science is not my expertise,” a woman

sighs to the man sitting in the row behind her. Political science is Travis’ thing. At age 20, he already has a political resume. He managed the campaign for the mayor of Kearney, Mo., Bill Dane. He interned for nine months at Kearney City Hall. Travis crosses his hands when he talks and taps his folded hands together when he makes a point about what he believes in. He thinks before he speaks and speaks with a measured cadence. Bill, the mayor of Kearney, said he noted some of Travis’ transition during Travis’ time at the city hall. Travis came in as a student who just wanted to job shadow, to see how city government worked. He job shadowed for a while, and then during the mayoral campaign, asked to get an inside look at that as well. He started stumping for Bill in the area. The process turned Travis from a shy student to a confident conversationalist, Bill said. Travis started thinking about politics, something Bill feels he’d be a good candidate for. Please see MISSOURI/Page A4

Eric Keith | St. Joseph News- Press

Travis Hart is interviewed at a political event at Missouri Western State University.

Check it out Creative cake pops Given the recent popularity of cake pops, it’s no surprise DIY guides for making them have cropped up. One that goes beyond the simple, round pop style is the Cake Pops Kit by Bakerella. According to its product description on Amazon.com, this colorful booklet contains 10 cake pop designs, including new projects and old favorites, along with step-by-step instructions for the uninitiated. Also included is a cake pop stand to hold cake pops after decorating and enough clear cello bags, cake pop sticks, gift tags and ribbon to wrap up 48 pops. The kit is on sale for $13.72 (regularly $19.95). — ERIN WISDOM

St. Joseph News-Press

Matt Reid | St. Joseph News- Press

Ghost cupcakes are made with marshmallow fondant.

Halloween treats for eating and decorating By SYLVIA ANDERSON St. Joseph News-Press

Putting on parties is something that Kathleen Ford likes to do, so when her son and daughter-inlaw asked for help, she was more than happy to oblige. It was going to be a barn party where all the children could play and decorate pumpkins over grilled hamburgers and casual foods. For dessert, they wanted cupcakes from Classy Cupcake Cafe in St. Joseph. “My son, in particular, really has a liking of their cupcakes,” Mrs. Ford says. “Triple Threat (chocolate with a buried Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) is his favorite.” Classy Cupcakes owner Kris Gaddy told Mrs. Ford they could make any flavor she wanted and would attempt any design. So once Ms. Ford saw the Peeps Halloween decoration on Pinterest, she knew she wanted ghosts. Instead of the traditional Easter chicks, these Peeps are white ghosts lined around the inside of a glass jar, which was filled up with candy corns and other Halloween treats. Lex Power, Classy Cupcakes baker, was up to the challenge. She made three-dimensional ghosts out of white fondant standing on top of each cupcake. She also made cupcakes that looked like mummies and pumpkins, then put small spiders on some Triple Threat cupcakes. For the party, Mrs. Ford stacked the cupcakes on tiered cupcake trees. “If you want something that helps with the décor, cupcakes are the perfect item because they are edible and can be part of the theme of your party,” Ms. Ford says. The glass jar decorations filled with the Peeps ghosts were edible, too. When the party was over,

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the candy in the glass jars was poured out into treat bags for the children. Ms. Power says the ghost cupcakes are easy to do. She also showed us how to do another seasonal favorite, caramel apple cupcakes that have a Popsicle stick in the middle.

Ghost cupcakes Marshmallow fondant (see recipe below) Cupcakes, any flavor or size Vanilla buttercream icing Black icing Pastry bag with tip (#3 size) To make the fondant easy to work with, Ms. Power first lays down a sheet of clear plastic wrap and greases it with Crisco. She also greases a rolling pin. “Some people use powdered sugar, but that dries out the fondant,” she says. “This keeps fondant from sticking to your surface and to the rolling pin.” After rolling out the fondant into a thin sheet, about the thickness of piecrust, she uses a round cookie cutter to cut the fondant into circles. Then she uses a pastry bag with no tip to squeeze a mound of buttercream icing on top of the cupcakes. “To give your ghost something to stand on,” she says. She uses her fingers to shape the ghost by giving it little folds. After gently standing the fondant ghost on top of the cupcake, she adds some tiny eyes with the black icing and the #3 size icing tip. To save time, you can make the fondant ahead of time, she says. Make sure to wrap it in foil and plastic wrap. Double wrapping keeps it soft. “Fondant is something you want to keep out of the sunlight,” she says. “If it dries out, just add some Crisco or water and heat it up.”

If it gets too runny, add more powered sugar. If it’s too dry, add more water.

Marshmallow fondant 1/4 cup butter 1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows 1/4 cup water 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, divided Place the butter in a shallow bowl, and set aside. Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to one minute to start melting the marshmallows. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract

into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff. Rub your hands thoroughly with butter, and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Turn the dough out onto a working surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, five to 10 minutes. Form the fondant into Please see THERE’S/Page A4

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A3

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paranormal activity a regular occurrence at McAlister home

CONTINUED FROM Page A1 Mrs. Sorrento’s first encounter with the spirits of the house came when she returned to St. Joseph in 1977 after studying at Brigham Young University in Utah. She and her mother, who are both very receptive to the paranormal, could feel them the minute they entered the house together. It wasn’t long after she returned that Joann and Lois were being awoken by the cries of a baby. “Mama? Mama? Where are you? Mama? I need you, Mama,” says Mrs. Sorrento, re-enacting the cadence of the cries. The incident made for an interesting breakfast between Joann and her mother the following morning. “She’s staring at me and I’m staring at her, and she said, ‘How did you sleep last night?’” After hearing the child’s wails, Mrs. Hughes decided she would simply run to the noises next time they woke her up. “And I’m saying, ‘No, mom. It might be the devil himself. He’s able to transform himself into a child or an old lady. You don’t know what you’re going to get,’” Mrs. Sorrento recalls. So, instead of taking the adventurous route, the Hughes family did the smart thing. They enlisted the help of a clairvoyant who looked into the history of the house and deemed that no harmful spirits resided in the house. That’s not to say, however, that no spirits still called it home. The cries came from a spirit Mrs. Sorrento calls “the McAlister baby.” Allegedly, J.W. McAlister’s son died in the house from diphtheria at a very young age and

Jessica Stewar t | St. Joseph News- Press

The terra cotta death mask of the infant son of James McAlister is above the archway of the home at 105 N. 19th St. The home was built in 1890. Mr. McAlister was the first owner. the child’s spirit remains in the house. So does his sitter’s. Clairvoyants often describe the child’s caretaker as a woman with a black dress and big bare feet who’s always chasing the McAlisters’ son around the various rooms. The two spirits like to hang out on the double staircase, which is always the coldest spot in the house (in ghost hunting, a specific spot with a sudden decrease in ambient temperature is assumed to be connected to alleged paranormal activity). Videographers often have a difficult time

focusing their cameras in this area of the house, but a few who have been successful have captured two distinct orbs (circular artifacts that occur in photos and videos without explanation — these are also connected with paranormal activity) on film. The spirit that Mrs. Sorrento knows best, however, is that of Stanley August. The son of H.A. August, who was known as a ladies’ man back in his day, died in her bedroom at the age of 33. Needless to say, he took to her quite quickly when she moved into Stanley’s former bedroom at the age of 21.

“He’s fun. He plays a lot of games and moves things around. He steals jewelry,” Mrs. Sorrento laughs. “Once I figure out I didn’t misplace a bracelet and I figure out he’s playing with me,” she continues, “I’ll call out to him, ‘Stanley, the jig is up! I know it’s you!’ And then — everything happens in threes — three days, three weeks or three months later, I’ll find it exactly where I had it. He’s always messing with me.” When Mrs. Sorrento first ran into Stanley, she’d dress in her closet so he couldn’t see her. She could hear him walking at the end of her bed when she would sit by her dresser and brush her hair. She could see his shadows pacing behind her “like an upset husband” because she was taking too long to get ready. “Pace. Pace. Pace,” she recalls. Ever since she married Joe, Mrs. Sorrento says Stanley’s activity has died down. Maybe it’s because Mr. Sorrento doesn’t believe in the paranormal or because Stanley doesn’t want to flirt with a taken woman, but she says the spirit of the August son doesn’t come around too often anymore — especially in the colder months. “Well, Stanley went to Florida for the winter,” she jokes. Clairvoyants also have picked up on one more spirit in the house, although Mrs. Sorrento says she has never had any encounters with him. They call him “Captain Joe” (in a photo Mrs. Sorrento possesses, the unnamed captain looks like a family friend named

John), and he apparently looks out over the house from the front balcony like a captain would his ship. Mrs. Sorrento has tales of several paranormal encounters in the house. One time, the grand piano in the living room began playing a sinister Franz Liszt-sounding tune by itself and really spooked their German shepherd, Wolf. When her late father, Ben Hughes, sat on the piano bench, the keys stopped moving and the music halted. In recent months, the family cat Sam has been hissing at dark shadows in the foyer. Mrs. Sorrento has been scared a few times as well, but she’d prefer not to relive those instances with the News-Press. Over the past 35 years, despite all the scares and unexplained behavior, she has never once considered living anywhere else. “I’ve had ministers and friends want to come over and exorcise the house,” Mrs. Sorrento says. “Well, if (the spirits) want to go, they can. If they want to stay, they can stay too. They haven’t bothered us much at all.” From its ivy-covered confines to the death mask of the McAlister son that hangs over the carriage entrance in the back, this house can put out some intimidating, creepy vibes that scare away quite a few folks. But for Joann and Joe Sorrento, Lois Hughes, Stanley August, Captain Joe, the McAlister baby and his sitter, it’s the only place they’ve ever wanted to call home. Shea Conner can be reached at shea.conner@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @stjoelivedotcom.

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Obama, Romney clash on economy Associated Press

ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI

LIFE STORY An ongoing series of articles about noteworthy people from the News-Press readership area

Rural church honors traditions

168TH YEAR

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012

NO. 163

75¢

Students observe Walk to School Day

By KEN NEWTON | St. Joseph News-Press

U

nder the beamed ceiling and amid the corn-stalk decorations, Mary Catherine Ball reads from Psalms, a verse about deliverance from bondage but with reference to God’s bounty.

Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves. Mrs. Ball, who grew up two miles west of this spot, farmed with her husband. “I worked in the field like a man and drove a tractor and scooped corn and fed the hogs and cattle,” she recalls after the Sunday service. In this, she understands the thanksgiving that accompanies harvest. The celebration this day has the same appreciation. St. Oswald’s in-the-Fields comes by its name honestly. The Episcopal church in Please see RURAL/Page A5

Obama in turn accused his rival of seeking to “double down” on economic policies that actually led to the devastating national downturn four years ago — and of evasiveness when it came to prescriptions for Barack Obama tax changes, health care, Wall Street regulation and more. The economy dominated the evening, as it has the race for the White House all year. Pre-debate opinion polls showed Obama with a slight advantage in key battleground states and nationally. With early voting already under way in dozens of states, Romney was particularly aggressive in the 90-minute event that drew a television audience likely to be counted in the tens of millions — like a man looking to shake up the campaign with a little less than five weeks to run. Please see OBAMA/Page A8

Jessica Stewar t | St. Joseph News- Press

Eugene Field Elementary School crossing guards Zoe Brand, 11, left, and Isabella Ihnen, 11, help walkers cross the street Wednesday morning. It was National Walk to School Day.

Districts promote children’s health, safety By ALONZO WESTON St. Joseph News-Press

School kids today have cell phones. School kids have iPads. But some of them still get to school the old-fashioned way — by walking. Julie Gaddie, Lindbergh Elementary School principal, said about half of her 540 students walk or have parents bring them to school. The number of walkers changes with the weather. If the weather is nasty, fewer kids walk, she said. “A lot of our kids live right around our school and enjoy (walking to school). We traditionally have a lot

of children who walk to school, either with a neighborhood friend or by themselves,” Ms. Gaddie said. “We do have parents of younger students who enjoy walking with their students to school.” Wednesday was International Walk to School Day, where children across the globe were encouraged to safely walk or bike to school. The Partnership for a Walkable America established the day in the United States in 1997, joining Canada and Great Britain, which already had walking programs in place. In 2000,

St. Joseph’s metropolitan jobless rate fell by nearly a half percent in August, continuing to buck trends seen in the nation’s unemployment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday that the metro rate fell by four-tenths of a percent for the month, from 6.3 percent in July to a provisional 5.9 percent. The metro rate was an even 8 percent a year ago. The jobless rate settled toward the more positive end of unemployment figures among all Missouri metropolitan areas and the state itself, which fielded

Please see STUDENTS/Page A5

Please see METRO/Page A8

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Metro jobless rate sinks below 6% By RAY SCHERER St. Joseph News-Press

Associated Press

A Syrian woman cries near to the body of her daughter, reportedly killed by Syrian shelling, in Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday.

INSIDE

Classified......................C1 Business.......................A6 Lotteries.......................B4

ay inside tod

Ken New ton | St. Joseph News- Press

Following tradition, those attending the St. Oswald’s in-the-Fields Harvest Festival gather at a long table for a meal.

DENVER — In a showdown at close quarters, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sparred aggressively in their fi rst campaign debate Wednesday night over taxes, deficits and strong steps needed to create jobs in a sputtering national economy. “The status quo is not going to cut it,” declared the chalMitt Romney lenger.

Comics..........................B5 Debate..........................A4 Obituaries.....................B3

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GEMINI - May 22/Jun 21 Gemini, you may be a party animal this week if the social opportunities arise. Just keep your head at all times and remember to celebrate in a responsible way. CANCER - Jun 22/Jul 22 Cancer, many ideas are floating through your head, but nothing will come to fruition unless you write something down and start some action. LEO - Jul 23/Aug 23 Leo, when you have doubts about making purchases or splurging financially, trust your gut instinct and you will be alright. You will have a good meeting on Tuesday. VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept 22 Virgo, it can be hard to concentrate when you are being pulled in so many directions. You need to designate special times to handle all tasks so you can stay organized.

SCORPIO - Oct 24/Nov 22 Just when you seem to be coasting along successfully, a few minor bumps may spring up, Scorpio. They won’t be enough to derail your plans, however.

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First debate focuses on taxes, deficits, health care

TAURUS - Apr 21/May 21 Taurus, reflect on special times in your life because they can bring happiness. Whenever you feel a tad stressed this week, think positively and know that this, too, shall pass.

LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct 23 Sometimes taking a risk is necessary to get ahead, Libra. Now is not the time to take risks, however, Play it very conservatively for the next few weeks and then rethink your options.

It’s Your Vote 2012. Make it count. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney participate in the first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday in Denver.

ARIES - Mar 21/Apr 20 Aries, do not be discouraged if a few things do not go right for you this week. Most people learn from their mistakes or challenges, and you will find a silver lining in this.

CLUES ACROSS 1. Syrian president 6. Grand Caravan brand 11. Immeasurably small 14. Myriagram 15. Yellow-fever mosquito 16. Radioactivity unit 18. Anklebone 21. Adobe house 23. Direct to a source 25. Piper __, actress 26. Leuciscus leuciscus 28. Moral excellences 29. Describes distinct concepts 31. Rubberized raincoat 34. Inhabitants of the Earth 35. Distress signal 36. Destroyed by secret means 39. Skin abrasions 40. Caesar or tossed 44. Supplied with a chapeaux 45. Fictional elephant 47. Forced open 48. Pole (Scottish) 50. Browning of the skin 51. Boy Scout merit emblem 56. British thermal unit 57. Decomposes naturally 62. Freshet 63. Lawn game CLUES DOWN 1. Fished in a stream 2. Left heart there 3. Yes in Spanish 4. Nursing organization 5. Cease to live 6. River in NE Scotland 7. Former CIA

8. Didymium 9. Gram 10. Audio membranes 11. 8th Jewish month 12. Touchdown 13. Madames 14. Metric ton 17. Fabric colorants 19. Capital of Bashkortostan 20. Extra dry wine 21. An Indian dress 22. Expenditure 24. Ribbed or corded fabric 25. Can top 27. So. African Music Awards 28. Weather directionals 30. A scrap of cloth 31. Gin & vermouth cocktails 32. A way to lessen 33. Contended with difficulties 36. Egyptian beetle 37. CNN’s Turner 38. A quick light pat 39. Shipment, abbr. 41. Resin-like insect secretion 42. Goat and camel hair fabric 43. Superficially play at 46. Network of veins or nerves 49. Atomic #44 51. Wager 52. The time something has existed 53. Physician’s moniker 54. Talk excessively 55. Pre-Tokyo 58. Out of print 59. Ducktail hairstyle 60. Carrier’s invention 61. Canadian province

SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec 21 Sagittarius, there will be plenty of times for laughter this week, as you seem to cause giggles everywhere you go. It feels good to boost people’s spirits. CAPRICORN - Dec 22/Jan 20 Capricorn, a large purchase has been on your mind, but until now you may not have been able to do anything about it. Put out feelers and test the water in the next few days. AQUARIUS - Jan 21/Feb 18 Plenty of opportunities for social gatherings arise now that you have made a few new friends, Aquarius. Show them you’re always willing to have a good time. PISCES - Feb 19/Mar 20 You don’t have to share every detail to be an honest person, Pisces. It is sometimes advantageous to keep some things personal. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS OCTOBER 32 Kim Kardashian, Socialite (32) OCTOBER 22 Zac Hanson, Musician (27) OCTOBER 23 Ryan Reynolds, Actor (36) OCTOBER 24 Kevin Kline, Actor (65) OCTOBER 25 Katy Perry, Singer (28) OCTOBER 26 Jon Heder, Actor (35) OCTOBER 27 Scott Weiland, Musician (45)


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There’s a ghost on my cupcake

CONTINUED FROM page A2

Fresh walnuts

a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners.

Apple caramel cupcakes on a stick Apple spice cupcakes (your favorite recipe) Caramel sauce (see recipe below) Caramel buttercream icing (your favorite recipe)

Check it out

Popsicle sticks The creamy caramel sauce and caramel butter icing are the perfect match for any apple or carrot cake recipe. By adding nuts and a Popsicle stick, it becomes party food and a caramel apple cupcake. To make the caramel apples, first top the cupcake with the buttercream icing and flatten slightly. Then roll the edge of the cupcakes in the caramel. It will give the walnuts something to stick to. Next, roll the edge with the caramel in the walnuts.

“To make it look pretty, I will drizzle some of the caramel over the top,” she says. To do this she fills a plastic pastry bag with the caramel. This is easier to do if you put the bag inside a container like a measuring cup. Then she drizzles the caramel in a zigzag fashion across the top. The finishing touch is sticking a little Popsicle in the middle.

Caramel sauce

Bring cream, brown sugar and butter to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. (Can be prepared a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Before using, rewarm over mediumlow heat, stirring frequently.) — www.yummly.com

2 cups whipping cream 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted

Sylvia Anderson can be reached at sylvia.anderson@newspressnow. com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPAnderson.

I’m not a big fan of candy corn (is anyone, really?), but the folks over at Brach’s have put a new spin on the traditional Halloween treat by releasing their new Caramel Apple Candy Corn. It’s delicious, and the balance of apple and caramel flavor is perfect. One sniff of this charming red and brown confection will take you back to the candy apple stands at the county fair. — Shea Conner, St. Joseph News-Press

Matt Reid | St. Joseph News- Press

Cupcakes can get a caramel apple twist.

Missouri Western student plans for political future CONTINUED FROM Page A2

The new caramel corn

butter

“I also think he would be a fairly good elected official because he genuinely cares,” he says. “He passionately cares.” Though Travis has put some thought into what his future job will be, he’s also cautious about how he voices it. He knows politicians aren’t always popular. He hears what his peers think of the politician system, of the politicians who run it. Travis hesitates when asked what his dream job would be. “The problem with politics today is that people look down on ambitious politicians,” he says. “They believe anyone wanting to be a career politician is bad. Being a career politician is something that interests me. Being a lobbyist or a consultant is something I would very much enjoy doing.” He became interested in politics after the 2008 election. His family votes Republican, and after he looked into it, he found that was the party he identifies with, too. He volunteered for the John McCain campaign even though he couldn’t vote. When he transferred to Missouri Western during his sophomore year, he found the campus needed a chapter of the College Republicans. The president of the College Democrats agreed to help him with the basic framework, how to recruit, how to draft the club constitution and get a club started on campus. Later, they started dating. He says his girlfriend helped him to see both parties for their flaws and attributes. He can now say, as any good politician would, that he understands where both sides are coming from. This fall, he’s tried to get the College Republicans more active. He organizes town

The problem with politics today is that people look down on ambitious politicians. They believe anyone wanting to be a career politician is bad.

of chips, pretzels, lemonade and brownies, provided by the university for the event, that will only be nibbled on by the attendees. The attendance issue worries him. This semester, 80 people signed up for the College Republicans. He’s not sure what the number will look like after election season. His future in politics, though decided, — TRAVIS HART, hasn’t been put into concrete terms yet. He’s student at Missouri Western interested in a career in politics only a junior in college. Travis is considering running for alderman in Kearney. He wants to serve as a state politician in some way. He knows what hall forums and arranges for candidates to issues he feels most passionately about. come speak to the club. So far, the RepubliHe wants to see more people working. He cans have met with Mayor Bill Falkner, Rep. thinks President Barack Obama’s policies Delus Johnson and Sen. Rob Schaaf. have failed. He keeps his meetings more open than the He also knows, from his work on Misones held at the Republican headquarters souri Western’s campus and from watching Downtown. Should U.S. Rep. Todd Akin the political arena that he can’t fix what he come to speak to the club, and Travis is trywants to with the government, the governing to make it happen, he won’t turn away ment he thinks we deserve, without the identified Democrats at the door. He wants help of the Democrats. Partisanship creates everyone to come. deadlock, he says. “It’s better to have 20 to 30 people in a meetBut he believes it can be fixed. It’s why he ing versus 10 College Republicans,” he says. invites people with different points of view As he works and he organizes, he’s also to his meetings. He encourages moderates aware of what he’s up against. He knows and Libertarians to be part of the College that the political atmosphere on campus is Republican. It’s something he faults the not so different than the one in 218 the night president for not working past. of the vice presidential debates. The College Even with the cynicism he sees around Democrats fragmented when his girlfriend politics today, the negative talk that he graduated last spring. He still works with almost can’t listen to, he believes that the Stephen Robbs, the one who’s more or less American political system works. He wants in charge of the group, from time to time. to help make sure that it continues to work, Travis keeps Stephen’s cell phone number that it continues to endure. stored in his phone. He knows he’s in the minority of people who Jennifer Gordon can be reached care about politics. He sees the same thing in at jennifer.gordon@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @jjgordon. the chairs that are a quarter full. In the buffet

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