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Beauty and the bridge MAEgAn MitcHELL Senior Writer With an expanding campus and a growing student population, KC students in the late 1960s and early 1970s faced a major issue: crossing U.S. Highway 259. The problem was solved on April 28, 1970 with the opening of the pedestrian crosswalk, now known as “the bridge.” More than 40 years later, the bridge is showing its age. Grime drips down the sides of the bridge, staining the cracking concrete, adding to its already unsightly appearance. It was sandblasted 15 years ago; the effects were short-lived, Dan Beach, director of special projects and liaison to the board, said. Attempts to beautify the bridge have gotten nowhere. “I don’t know if the cage has ever been replaced,” Leah Gorman, director of

Safety regulations, lack of funds slow improvements to walkway

development and executive director of the KC Foundation, said. “We discussed replacing the dented cage with a prettier, more round one.” For KC’s 75th anniversary in 2010, Gorman and Jon Vashey, KC graphic designer and photographer, worked together on renderings of possible designs for the bridge, possibly including signage. “KC owns the bridge structure, but the Texas Department of Transportation owns the air above, the air below and the road below,” Gorman said. “I met with them and they said we could not affix anything permanently on the bridge… [We] would have to paint it.” If the college were to paint the bridge, there would be a certain amount of upkeep needed. Which that would require stopping traffic, Vashey said. TxDOT has state regulations that all See BRIDGE on Page 6

Laura Hernandez / THE FLARE

Grime drips down the sides of the bridge.

The Flare

Friday, November 1, 2013 Vol. 77 No. 8 Serving Kilgore College since 1936


QUEST courses available in Spring Program offers chance to earn 12 credit hours in only 16 weeks ASHLEY MORALES Executive Editor Quick Education for a Successful Tomorrow courses are being offered at KC–Longview in Spring 2014. These courses allow students to earn 12 hours of college credit in only 16 weeks. “Many adults who want to go back to college find it discouraging,” Frank Mosley, director of instructional student support, said. “They can take a course here or there, and they have to get time off from work to attend day classes.” Mosley said QUEST classes are affordable and offered in the evening, making it perfect for working adults. QUEST classes are usually offered with one-half of the class online and the other half in a traditional classroom setting with an instructor. The classes will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8:50 p.m. and are guaranteed to transfer to any public university in Texas. To participate, students must meet all prerequisites for the courses and have access to the Internet. Registration begins Nov. 4. For more information contact Mosley at 903-236-2030 or

AVAILABLE COURSES Full Semester-Length Classes from Jan. 13 through May 9, 2014 web class


Canada to Kilgore

Maegan Mitchell / THE FLARE

Bridget Blackmore joined KC Fire Academy after deciding to become served in her community’s

MAEgAn MitcHELL • Senior Writer 1st Half of Semester Classes, from Jan. 1 through March 7, 2014

2nd Half of Semester Classes from March 17 through May 9, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a threepart series.


ome would consider leaving the ones you love behind as you embark alone on a journey as one of the toughest things a person can endure. However, Bridget Blackmore, Creston, Canada freshman, did just that. For the first time, the KC Fire Academy has three female students this semester, Blackmore, 19, being one of them. As Blackmore ventured from home, she left behind not only a supportive family, but also her 1 1/2 year old daughter, Gabriella. As a single mom, leaving home to become a firefighter was not an easy task for

Blackmore, but she truly believes it was the right move. Blackmore’s drive to become a firefighter sparked after she spontaneously decided to serve her community at the Canyon-Lister Volunteer Fire Department. “Out of the blue, I decided to join my local department,” Blackmore said. “I just showed up on their doorstep during one of their Monday night practices and told them I wanted to join.” After two weeks, the department had Blackmore participate in a live practice fire. “I absolutely loved it. I just knew that was what I had to do,” Blackmore said. “I became so passionate about it.” See FIREFIGHTER on Page 6

Trial by

Fire Women in the KC Fire Academy

Part 1 From Canada to Kilgore


Age: 20

The Flare



NOTEBOOK Nov. 1 – Dec. 2


Sophomore Bonham Major: Undecided


Jared Miller When did you start playing the drums?…I started band in middle school, which really got me into learning more about playing. How did you get into band?…I always kinda liked the idea, so I just chose it as an elective. Can you play any other instruments? What ones?…I have a really broad interest in percussion, especially drum sets and marching snare. I am also really enjoying learning to play the piano! How long did it take you to learn how to play these instruments? When did you

start learning?…There is never really a finished product. I’ve been playing since I was 13, and I still learn new stuff every day. What is your favorite instrument to play?…Hands down, the drum set. What are some of your other talents/hobbies/things you like to do?…I love going to concerts, trying new places to eat, and playing racquetball. How did you come to play for the Ranger band?…Family tradition set by my momma. She loved it, too. What do you plan to do when you leave KC?…Going out and finishing strong I guess!

Jessica Easley / THE FLARE

Campus nurse offers aid to students JORDAN BAIRD Staff Writer The KC campus nurse might be one of the best-kept secrets on campus. Jeanette McFadden’s office, located in Parks Fitness Center, is available for students suffering a variety of ailments. Her office is open from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Students may visit the nurse’s

office as often as needed. The nurse can refer students to a local physician for serious illnesses. The college pays for one doctor’s visit per student per semester. Students do not need to make an appointment to see the nurse, but appointments can be scheduled if needed. In the past, the nurse has been available to students for double the

number of hours. Due to budget cuts and lack of demand, under the latest schedule, the nurse is available weekdays but only in the mornings, according to Mike Jenkins, vice president of student development. “A few years ago, we were experiencing significant budget cuts from the state, so we evaluated the usage levels.” Jenkins said. “The nurse at that time indicated

Students can apply for BSM missions




that very few students came in the afternoons.” There have been no complaints about the nurse’s hours since she helps students schedule appointments with local physicians for more serious illnesses, McFadden said. To schedule an appointment or contact McFadden, call 903-983-8632 or email

Randi Vinson-Davis / THE FLARE

That’s a



atelyn Phillips, left, and Corey Daniels sing and the Queen and the emperor in

the children’s opera production of “The Emporer’s New Clothes.” The show concludes with a performace at 1:30 this afternoon.

Tickle your ‘Fuddy’ bone Nov. 19 KASSIDY TAYLOR Web Editor The second fall theatre production of the semester, “Fuddy Meers,” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Van Cliburn Auditorium in the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Center and continues nightly through Saturday, Nov 23. A matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24. “Fuddy Meers” is a 1999 play by David Lindsay-Abaire, an awardwinning American playwright.

The production is a fast-paced physical comedy that takes place in modern America. It all starts when Claire, the main character, is told by a man that claims to be her husband that she has a memory loss disease. This prsoduction will by directed by Micah Goodding, adjunct theatre instructor. He previously attended KC as a theatre student. “All memories are really reconstructive,” Goodding said. “We remember things how we tell them how they happened.”

“Fuddy Meers” will be his first production to direct at KC. “For me, Kilgore is a really special place,” Goodding said. “I think there’s magic that happens in Van Cliburn Auditorium. I truly believe that good things happen here. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” The production includes comical language, adult themes, violence and drug use. Parental discretion is advised. Admission price is $6 for adults, $5 for students and $4 for students who present their KC ID.

Graduates to be honored at Lineman’s Rodeo CHRISTINE RITTER Staff Writer Recent graduates will be showcased at the Lineman’s Rodeo, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Rusk County Electric Cooperative training grounds in Henderson, at 3162 State Highway 43 East. The Lineman’s Rodeo is to demonstrate the electric power graduates and the skills they have learned during the course, such as

pole climbing and the hurt man rescue. Graduating students will receive their KC Electric Power Technology Marketable Skills Certificate. Awards will be given out, such as The Danny Belcher Walking the Wood, Outstanding Student and Most Supportive Teammate. Those interested in learning about becoming a lineman are encouraged to attend. The starting salary for Electrical Power graduates is $11-$20

per hour, plus benefits. Spring 2014 course dates are March 10 to May 16. Information sessions will be held starting at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 9, Feb. 6. and June 12. at the Bert E. Woodruff Adult Education Center To make a reservation, call Gem Meacham at 903-983-8170 or email gmeacham@ For more information, visit technology.asp.

Baptist Student Ministry students are invited to apply for mission trips. Students interested in applying for missions must be active in the BSM. In addition they must have completed one semester of college and be enrolled in classes at a university or community college with a minimum of a 2.25 GPA, and must be between 18-27 years old. If students have already graduated, they can apply within six months of their graduation. Interested applicants should fill out an application online at www. include four personal references, and send in their most recent unofficial college transcript and an interview with their local BSM or Baptist church. Students will list three desired mission locations on their applications and their Go Now Mission committee will place students accordingly. After students have completed their application, the applications will be reviewed by the Go Now Mission committee, and accepted students will be invited to take part in Discovery Weekend. During Discovery Weekend, students will stay with other students from around Texas. Activities include worship and a mission fair. The goal of the weekend is to get to know the students personally, so they can be placed in the best location for their mission. Selected students will get their appointments within two weeks of Discovery Weekend, in an email. They should accept or decline the appointment within two days or receiving the email. Deadline dates in 2014 are Jan. 27, Feb. 7-9, April 12 and May 17-19. Students will need to raise a portion of the total cost of their trip. The amount that needs to be raised can be found at under the positions list. This money will cover transportation, meals, lodging, local transportation, insurance, visas and required immunizations. Students are required to cover their passport application fee. Go Now Mission will handle any travel arrangements. Insurance for all student missionaries is provided. If a student already has medical coverage Go Now will provide secondary coverage. If a student has no medical coverage, they will provide a limited primary insurance policy. For more information contact Shelly Webb at 903-984-7146.

BSM PROJECTS Length of service varies for each type of project. weeks. weeks. months. 10-21 days.




Registration to begin next week ASHLEY MORALES Executive Editor Current students can register for the 2013 Spring Semester and the Christmas mini-semester beginning Monday, Nov. 4. Course information is available on the KC website, under the tab titled “Available Courses.” Registration opens Nov. 11 for new and transfer students or students returning to KC after taking a semester or more off. All first-time students or students who are currently enrolled in developmental courses must register with an adviser or counselor. Faculty advisers are available by appointment on the Kilgore and Longview from Nov. 4 through November 26. If a student is receiving financial aid and taking a Christmas minisemester, the money will come out of their spring financial aid funds. The payment deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 4. Students who have not paid or have financial aid in place will have their schedules dropped Dec. 5. Web registration reopens 6 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 until midnight, Jan. 8

for spring classes. The next payment deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 8. The counseling centers will open registration again Dec. 6 Dec. 11 in Kilgore and Longview. Appointments fill quickly so students need to make an appointment soon. The Longview Counseling Center will make appointments and take walk-ins, but walk-ins need to come early and be prepared to wait. Pam Gatton, director of counseling and testing, said students who do not make appointments for the Counseling Center in Kilgore will be helped if there is a spot open. Late registration will be from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8 by walk-in only in Kilgore and Longview. The Christmas mini will begin on Dec. 16. The three-week classes end Jan. 3 and the four-week classes end Jan. 10. The payment deadline for the Christmas mini is midnight Dec. 4. Students must be paid prior to class on the first class day. Late fees apply to students who register or pay on the first class day. For more information, visit www. and review the spring registration guide.

Fire academy students caught drinking at Quads MAEGAN MITCHELL Senior Writer Two fire academy students were caught drinking on campus after midnight on Oct. 25 in front of the quads. Brock Moberg, from Vancouver, British Columbia, was cited for drinking an alcoholic beverage on campus, while Lazaro Bustos, from Austin, was cited with minor in consumption of an alcoholic beverage. “The students were just sitting out in the Quads drinking Bud Light,” Lt. Tony Means said. “They weren’t kicked out of housing since students who are caught with alcohol get points against them.” After 6 points, a student will be removed from housing.

The students were not arrested. |———| Kedrick Berry was arrested on Oct. 27 in the Stark Hall parking lot on the charge of violating a criminal trespass warning, which was issued Oct. 14 after failing to maintain the required 12 hours to live in campus housing. He was also charged with evading arrest. KC Police Corp. Charles Horton approached Berry and asked to speak with him. “After asking me what I wanted, he stood up and began to walk away at a fast pace,” Horton said. “I gave him multiple verbal commands to stop…” With the assistance of bystanders, Berry was later found in an apartment on Martin Street and arrested.

Randi Vinson-Davis / THE FLARE


Photographer Jamie Maldonado shoots

K2 weeded out MAEGAN MITCHELL Senior Writer State laws have been passed against synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 and by other names, but it has continued to pop up locally. KC student Bradley Q. Fields, Lubbock freshman, was recently ticketed by the KC Police Department for possession of K2 and was banned from campus housing. “[K2] is getting to be a problem. Since you can’t identify it on a drug test, I really don’t know for sure,” Chief Heath Cariker said. Cariker added that KCPD has only had one incident this semester. “The custodian that cleans up around Stark Hall and the Quads brought it to my attention that he had found a lot of empty K2 packets in and around the trash cans and parking lots,” Lt. Tony Means said. Means believes it is steadily becoming more of an issue on campus. Synthetic marijuana was added to the Texas Controlled Substances Act in September 2011. Before being outlawed, K2 could be purchased in most area smoke shops. K2 is banned not only by city ordinance, but also by state law. According to the Texas Penal Code, under Sec. 481.1161, possession of synthetic marijuana can result in criminal charges ranging from a Class B misdemeanor to a felony of the first degree, depending on the amount found. The effects of synthetic marijuana were first reported in 2009 and steadily became more frequent.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Center’s website, “synthetic drugs can be extremely dangerous and addictive. Health effects from drugs can be life threatening and can include: • Severe agitation and anxiety • Fast, racing heartbeat and [high] blood pressure • Muscle spasms, seizures and tremors • Intense hallucinations and psychotic episodes and • Suicidal and other harmful thoughts/actions.” If you or someone you know experiences one or more of these symptoms while taking K2, contact your local poison control as soon as possible. All poison control centers are open 24-hours. If you witness someone stop breathing, collapse or have a seizure after using synthetic marijuana, call 911 immediately. The AAPCC website also states that synthetic drugs are sold as a legal way to get high. Popularity in these drugs rose quickly as they are virtually undetectable on drug tests. According to the AAPCC website, 2,028 exposures have been reported to a poison control center from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30. The National Institute on Drug Abuse website states synthetic marijuana can be sold as potpourri and is most commonly ingested through smoking. Through false advertising, many have fallen victim to believing this is a healthy, legal substitute. KCPD has made it clear that they will be enforcing the zero-tolerance policy on campus. “Kilgore College is a drug-free campus. K2, and any drug for that matter, will not be tolerated,” KC Officer Brant Prestidge said.





Men ranked No. 6 in pre-season polls JEFFERY JAMERSON Sports Writer Last season, Head Coach Brian Hoberecht did what no basketball coach has done for almost 20 years at KC. He took KC to the national tournament for the first time since 1994 with coach Shawn Scanlan. Hoberecht and his men shocked the conference, as well as KC fans, going 27-6 overall, 15-4 in conference. The Rangers were three points away from the third round of the tournament, which has only been accomplished twice in the last 50 years at KC. Now, the Rangers look to improve on last year’s run. “I don’t focus on that,” Hoberecht said. “I focus on the team and being the best we can be every year.” This past month was a busy one for the Rangers. They are ranked sixth in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association. Between classes, homework, practices, and scrimmaging Top 25


Nov. 1

@McLennan Classic

6 p.m.

Nov. 4

vs. SFA Club Team

Nov. 2

@ McLennan Classic

2 p.m.

Nov. 8

Kilgore Classic

7 p.m.

Nov. 5

@Southern Univ - Shrv 6 p.m.

Nov. 9

Kilgore Classic

7:30 p.m. 5 p.m.

Nov. 14 @TJC Classic

4 p.m.

Nov. 15 @ Tyler Classic

6 p.m.

Nov. 15 @TJC Classic

2 p.m.

Nov. 16 @ Tyler Classic

7 p.m.

Nov. 16 @TJC Classic

1 p.m.

Nov. 20 @ Hill College

7 p.m.

opponents on the road, they have had to juggle a lot with little time. This especially holds true for sophomore Stefan Moody, who after visiting the campus, committed to Ole Miss last week to become a part of Andy Kennedy’s team next year. Wichita State University, who participated in last year’s Final Four, just offered KC’s big man, Tom Wamukato, a full-ride scholarship. And then there is Hoberecht. With 88 victories, Hoberecht could possibly become the fourth coach in KC history to reach 100 wins. He would join KC coaching legends Shawn Scanlan, Scott Schumacher

Rangers drop two games against Huskies Fall season ends; spring season will begin Jan. 29 against GCC DEVIN BROOKS Sports Writer

2013 KC Basketball Lady Rangers


and Joe Turner as four out of 13 men’s basketball coaches to reach 100 wins in their careers at KC. “Let’s hope I’m lucky and get a couple wins,” Hoberecht said. The Rangers will host a reception Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Devall Student Center Ballroom to honor last year’s team. Before the game, KC will have a ceremony at 7:30 p.m. unveiling a banner recognizing last year’s team, which will hang permanently in Masters Gym. KC faces the Stephen F. Austin State University Club Team immediately after the unveiling.

The KC softball team traveled to Houston last Saturday to battle the Houston Baptist University Huskies. The Rangers played two games and lost them both, 10-2 and 3-1. In the first game, the Huskies were rolling on all cylinders. They scored three runs in the first inning and did not look back from there. KC scored two runs in the fifth inning for their only runs of the game. Third baseman Keke Hunter was responsible for KC’s only runs when she hit a two-run home run. Pitcher Kari Courtney pitched three innings, allowing three runs along with seven hits and 12 first-pitch strikes. Pitcher Kayla Calvert pitched two innings with seven first-pitch strikes and four strikeouts. In the second game, KC kept the score closer with the Huskies.

ONLINE Get the latest scores, schedules and news online at HBU scored two runs in the fourth inning after scoring one in the first to eventually hold off KC for the win. Catcher Mariah Gougen and second baseman Sara Aguilar both had two hits in the game. Gougen recorded an RBI single along with her two hits. Outfielder Hannah Tomme scored the only run of the game for KC. Pitcher Katie Abshire pitched six innings with two strikeouts and 13 first-pitch strikes. This was the final game of the fall season for KC. They finished with six wins, 14 losses, and three ties. The Rangers will resume play Jan. 29 against Grayson County College with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m at Stream-Flo Field.


Ranger cornerback Mathis commits to the University of Kentucky MILES MARABLE III Staff Writer


he Southeastern Conference is considered the most dominant in Division I NCAA football. Teams from the SEC have won the last seven national championships. They produced 63 picks in the 2013 NFL draft. Now a KC football player is headed to the SEC. Sophomore cornerback Michael Mathis, 6-foot-2 inches, 210 pounds, has verbally committed to the University of Kentucky out of the SEC. “Their coaching staff showed me love, and they believe in me, in what I have accomplished and what more I can accomplish up there than anywhere else,” Mathis said. “They have produced DBs that have gone to the NFL, so why not go to a school that I know can make my dream happen?” The game against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M this season stuck out the most to him, because it was his best game statistically. Mathis forced three turnovers: a forced fumble and two interceptions — running one back for a touchdown. “The coaches on defense were telling us we needed to make some plays to win the game for the offense,” Mathis said. “So I just kept in my mind that somebody has to make a play, and it ended up being me.” Mathis graduated from Crosby High School in 2010 and signed with KC. Head football coach J.J. Eckert saw the potential in Mathis and knew the sky was the limit. “He was a guy that if you looked at him you knew he had an unbelievable upside,” Eckert said. “I remember when he first got here he was playing linebacker, and then you look at him today he’s committed to an SEC school to go play corner.” Mathis did not play organized football until his senior year at Crosby. He was playing varsity basketball when the head football coach asked him to play football. After playing wide receiver for two games, Mathis switched to cornerback for the remainder of his senior year. At the end of the season Mathis was voted Second Team All-District. Mathis will officially sign with UK Feb 5., and hopes to have even greater success at UK then he had at KC. “I hope to do better than I did my two years here at Kilgore, and make sure my expectations are higher,” Mathis said. Eckert has high expectations for Mathis as he enters Division I football. “I think it’s a great opportunity for him, and I’m really excited to see him have the chance to do what he can to do,” Eckert said. “He’s grown up a bunch since he has gotten here. He’s got to really focus on getting an education, working hard on his academics, which I know he will do.

I think he will do well on that SEC Conference.” - J.J. ECKERT, head coach

Randi Vinson-Davis / THE FLARE

KC cornerback Michael Mathis




Rangers’ season ends in Tyler

KC fails to score a touchdown in their blowout loss to TJC DEVIN BROOKS Sports Writer The second matchup between the KC Rangers and the Tyler Junior College Apaches ended on a sour note for KC, which fell to TJC, 42-12, in the regular season finale. KC needed to beat TJC, or they needed Blinn Community College to lose, to make the playoffs. Neither scenario worked out for KC, and their season is over. TJC scored first with a 69-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter. Quarterback Tanner Tausch was active for this game, but his shoulder injury hindered him. After a KC three-and-out, TJC running back Terrence Taylor ran in an eight-yard touchdown putting TJC up 14-0. In the second quarter, KC failed to convert on third down and settled for three points. Kicker Luis Sanchez made the 31-yard field goal to make the score 14-3. On the second play of KC’s next drive, Tausch ran a QB keeper and got hit on his injured shoulder and fumbled. The officials confirmed that Tausch was down by contact and it was no fumble, but Tausch was taken out of the game due to his injury. Averion Hurts replaced Tausch. Hurts broke off three long runs to put KC in scoring position. Tausch came back into the game

for one play and threw an incomplete pass on a third down. Sanchez missed a 29yard field goal to keep the score at 14-3. TJC scored again when quarterback Lamar Carraway rushed for a 9-yard touchdown to make the score 21-3. Tausch would lead his team down the field to setup a 34-yard field goal for Sanchez. He made the field goal with just eight seconds left in the first half. TJC led KC 21-9 at halftime. KC struck first in the third quarter when Sanchez connected on a 38-yard field goal to make the score 21-12. After defensive end Damon King intercepted a pass on the 47-yard line, Tausch led his offense down the field to set up a 49-yard field goal attempt for Sanchez. Sanchez missed, leaving the score at 21-12. On the second play of TJC’s drive, Carraway hooked up with Reynolds for a 67- yard touchdown, making the score 28-12 with 2:08 left in the third quarter. TJC would score two more times in the fourth quarter. Tausch was 11-19 for 157 yards, with one interception, and was sacked five times. Lynch had two fumble recoveries and an interception. Sanchez was responsible for all of KC points. He went 4-6 for field goals making then from 36, 31, 34 and 38 yards out, and missing from 49 and 29 yards out.

Kristopher Dobbins / THE FLARE

Running back Eddie Smith tries to avoid TJC defenders in last Saturday’s season-ending loss.

J.J. Eckert looks back on disappointing season; works on placing sophomores at 4-year schools MILES MARABLE III Staff Writer KC’s season came to an end sooner than expected after the Rangers’ 30-point loss to Tyler Junior College. KC finished 4-5 for the season and 3-3 in conference. Head Coach J.J. Eckert believed this season was a disappointment and said the

expectations his team had just did not materialize this year. “I think we fought back to get ourselves in a situation to where we had a chance to make the playoffs,” Eckert said. “With us not finishing the job Saturday, it’s really heartbreaking for the football team.” The Rangers finished fifth in

the Southwest Junior College Conference behind Blinn for the last playoff spot, who beat KC in week six, 22-17. KC had to finish its matchup with Cisco College on a Monday due to weather delay. That gave KC just four days to prepare for Blinn. “I’d like to think if we had got a full week of practice before Blinn, I think it would

Photo by Shelby Ragland

Picture your future Flare alumni enjoy success at ESPN, Dallas Morning News,


student journalists have won hundreds of individual awards, dozens of Sweepstakes and Best of Show awards and several national honors. With alumni at scores of newspapers, TV news outlets and on the cutting edges of cyberspace, success doesn’t stop when a new plaque goes

up on the lab wall. Students working on The Flare, The Ranger Yearbook or The Flare Magazine have a chance to make an immediate impact with writing, photography, design and illustration. KC journalism students are also eligible for a number of scholarships.

For more information, contact Gary Borders, Flare adviser, at 903-983-8194 or by email at and O. Rufus t, Flare photo adviser, at 903-983-8192 or by email at

have been a different game,” Eckert said. “But that whole ‘could of, should of, would of,’ doesn’t get it done on Saturdays.” Eckert is now focused on getting his sophomores prepared to move on to fouryear schools. “As of now we have got to get these sophomores the opportunity to be able to

continue their education and have a chance to continue to play football at a four-year school,” Eckert said. “That’s priority number one and we have to make sure that happens.” While the 2013 season is over, Eckert knows what his team needs to improve on. “I think the message to me, that I see coming out of 2013

is that we have got to do a better job of dealing with adversity,” Eckert said. “A huge focal point for us is not so much looking at the score at halftime and saying, ‘Oh well, we’re beat,’ but more importantly how are we going to find a way to win it. I think that is something that we were not good at this past season.”




FIREFIGHTER: Blackmore anxious to see daughter again FROM PAGE 1 Blackmore said she had no life goals or plans until she fell in love with firefighting. “I am a single mom… I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life,” Blackmore said. “I was drifting along. All the guys were so supportive of me and helped me along the way.” While volunteering in her hometown, Blackmore’s chief, Glenn Guthrie, encouraged her to attend KC’s academy along with her two friends, Cory Fleck and Cory Goncalves. Despite having to leave her daughter with her mom for three straight months, Blackmore decided KC was where she wanted to attend school. Blackmore, Fleck and Goncalves endured a 12-hour flight to attend KC. “[KC] is about $14,000 cheaper and instead of having to complete a sixmonth academy back home, [KC] is only three months long,” Blackmore said. After making one of the toughest decisions of her life, Blackmore said her mom, expressed some concern but mainly support. “I’ve gotten both sides of the coin. My mom is just a worrier, like all moms are,” Blackmore said. “She just made me promise to come back home.” If it is possible for a person’s heart to be in two places at once, Blackmore’s definitely is. “It is honestly the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. I went from seeing my baby every day for a year-and-a-half to not seeing her for three months,” Blackmore said. “I did it because I know it is what I have to do to make a better life for her and myself.” Though Blackmore said she has thoroughly enjoyed her time here, along with all the new friends she has made, she plans to return home as soon as the academy is over. “As of right now this is only temporary. I might come back to Texas if I can get a job, but I will be going home as soon as I finish so I can see my baby,” Blackmore said.

Maegan Mitchell/ THE FLARE

Blackmore stays connected to her daughter through video chatting, a reminder of why she is here. When most people say they have a large support team, they simply mean an averagesized family cheering them on, but with Blackmore it is more than that. “I am one of 10 – five sisters, Vilate, Cindy, Lorae, Halie and Danika and four brothers – Woodruff, Curtis, Anthony and Dustin,” Blackmore said. “I miss being home with everyone.” While Blackmore makes KC her home-away-fromhome, she is also creating a third home at the FlintGresham Fire Department. Blackmore, Fleck and Goncalves are living at the department for the duration of their stay in the United States.

“Even though the commute is 45 minutes every day, it is freaking awesome [at FlintGresham FD]. Everybody has been so supportive there and we have had a lot of fun,” Blackmore said. “There is one other girl, but I am the only girl living there.” Blackmore said because there are only three women in the academy, they have become pretty close. “It’s nice because we can understand how it feels to be a part of a largely maledominated field,” Blackmore said. Though some may consider firefighting a man’s career, there are regulations that require everyone to be treated equal.

“Regardless of age, race or gender, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection requires all [students] to be able to perform all firefighter skills equally,” Chief Mike Fennell said. “When they do a skill, they’ve got to do it, and it doesn’t matter how tall they are, how wide they are or whatever. They just have to be able to do it according to the standards.” Blackmore said she appreciates the requirements on all drills and tasks they must complete because she would not want to be treated as anything other than equal. “I have been able to pull my own weight,” Blackmore said. “I am proud of myself



Zombies brave the rain to creep across campus Wednesday during the Zombie Walk to raise funds for future Visual Arts Club activities. Tory Van Blarcum / THE FLARE

BRIDGE: Renovation would be costly and complicated FROM PAGE 1 overpasses and bridges must follow, according to Larry Krantz, spokesman for TxDOT’s Tyler office. “Every time we hang a banner on the bridge, we have to submit an application with TxDOT,” Gorman said. “Only collegesponsored events can have banners on the bridge and can only be left up for 30 consecutive days without reapplying.” Due to safety regulations, banners must be hung on the inside of the cage. “If the banner became detached, it would fall from the bridge and could possibly land on someone’s windshield… possibly resulting in a wreck,” said Krantz. “They have to be hung on the inside so if they do fall they will land on the walkway.” Vashey created several simple concepts for the bridge, but all submitted to TxDOT were turned down because they could be a distraction to drivers. He noted there are other colleges and universities that have painted bridges. “People really do judge a book by its cover,” Vashey

said. “We need something positive on the bridge, like ‘Your Future Starts Here’… The school name would even work… Anything is an improvement.” Cleaning the bridge and restoring it seems like an easy idea in retrospect, but that has not been the case. “The bridge is not a highpriority item… We have discussed the idea for years,” Beach said. “You can’t just fix it when you want… A lot of Mr. Vashey’s ideas are great, but may never happen.” Not only have the TxDOT regulations hindered moving forward, but the cost of the restoration has also been an issue. “Getting the board to approve the cost of it will be difficult…,” Beach said. “It could easily be in the range of $200,000… It is ugly, but is it $200,000 ugly?” Beach added he received a bid a few months ago for just painting the bridge a solid gray and it was “very expensive.” “I think there are a lot of people that want to fix the bridge, but you aren’t going to find anyone who wants to pay for it,” Beach said. According to Gorman,

many firms have been contacted between Kilgore and Dallas, but most have been reluctant to take the job. She added a lot of firms could only do part of the job, or did not want the job at all because it was so difficult. “Basically, you are going to have to shut down the highway, and most local contractors we have been dealing with don’t do this on a regular basis,” Duane McNaney, vice president of administrative services, said. “Shutting down the highway is a big deal.” Still, others agree

the bridge is a main architectural focal point and not a particularly attractive one at that. “It definitely needs some work [and] has for several years,” Gorman said. “Even just being cleaned up will help… it is such a great advertisement for Kilgore College.”

because I have done more than I ever thought I was capable of.” At first, Blackmore struggled to keep up with the male students but soon raised her levels of agility and strength. “I feel like I have improved on a lot of things,” Blackmore said. “Especially push-ups. I practice as much as I can.” Blackmore prepared for KC by practicing with her co-workers at her hometown volunteer department. They all came together and worked to better themselves by going to the gym and running drills. At the beginning of each academy, students are placed into engine groups to teach students to learn to trust their coworkers and to develop bonds. “I am the squad leader of Engine Group 2. It is my job to encourage and make sure everyone gets through the drills… to do the best that they can do,” Blackmore said. During her time at KC, Blackmore said she has been taken aback by the overwhelming kindness of the people. “It is unreal… how welcoming everyone has been. It is, in a way, a culture shock,” Blackmore said. “I feel like I have made life long friends here.” After graduating, Blackmore plans to start applying to local stations right away, and if she is hired, plans to go home and get her daughter so they can return to Texas. “In five years, I see

myself working as a fulltime firefighter [with the] ultimate goal of working in San Diego, California,” Blackmore said. Blackmore said she enjoys the city life and believes being in a larger area she will receive more calls and activity. “I feel like there is so much more opportunity for my baby in a big city. There will be more choices for her education and activities as opposed to a small town,” Blackmore said. “My major focus in all this is my baby… my wants really come second to her… She comes first.” Blackmore arrived at KC to pursue her spontaneous interest in becoming a firefighter and plans to leave KC with the means of obtaining a career. “I feel a lot stronger in not only my character, but also physically,” Blackmore said. “I really didn’t have a lot going for me when I came down here, but I want to leave KC as a firefighter and make something of myself.” Fennell believes Blackmore has what it takes to become a successful firefighter. “She is very driven. She is hardworking and motivated,” Fennell said. “When I have students like her, it makes my job so much easier.”

CORRECTION A headline in last week’s Flare had an incorrect date for Spring and Christmas mini-semester registration, which begins Nov. 4 for current students.




Laura Hernandez / THE FLARE


Let’s beautify



What would you recommend to improve the appearance of the bridge?


restraining plans for the outside bridge, as well as lack of money available to make improvements, but surely there is a way to get around these obstacles. To avoid any violations, enhancements to the inside of the bridge for students, faculty and visitors would be an improvement. In order to keep the costs low and reasonable, a student-run project that allows participants to brainstorm and decide on ideas to present to the board on how to beautify the bridge would be a good idea. While we understand money is always a factor, we do not believe keeping the status quo is acceptable. We hope the bridge is a project that will be taken care of in the immediate future and not years down the line.

“Take the chain link down and modernize it.”

Roxanne Godair Lakeport freshman

“Give it a good power-wash, and change out the gate. It’s intimidating.”

Brian Evans

Longview freshman

“Just a little outdated. To many curves in the bridge.”

“Put something on top for the rain.”

Lavarra Raspberry Longview freshman

Michael Dominguez Tatum freshman

Photographs by Maria Zapata / THE FLARE


ne major factor that hurts KC’s curb appeal is the bridge connecting the campus over U.S. Highway 259. The bridge is a spiraled hunk of concrete most students dread crossing. It is also one of the most visible symbols of KC to both the outside world and to the campus community. Thousands of vehicles pass under the bridge every day. What they see, to put it bluntly, is a stained, unsightly structure with a dented and rusted cage and an occasional banner hanging from it, announcing campus events. We believe crossing the bridge would not be such a unpleasant everyday experience if it appealed more to the eye. There are many safety regulations

Father’s paralysis teaches life lesson E very day millions of Americans begin their daily routine by walking to the bathroom to get ready for the long day of work that awaits them. Those first steps taken after rolling out of bed are the last things on your mind when you have a busy day ahead. What most do not realize is how much we take those steps for granted. Three years ago, my dad was in a motorcycle accident that severed his spinal cord, causing him to be paralyzed from the chest down. This tragic incident has made the recovery of his spinal cord and the chance of him ever walking again impossible. “I have understood the accident completely. I knew when I was in the hospital, before I even had a conscious recognition, that I would never walk again,” he told me. Spinal cord injuries usually begin with a blow that fractures or dislocates vertebrae, the bone disks that make up your spine. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back and carries signals between your body and brain.

Most injuries do not sever the spinal cord. Instead, they cause damage when pieces of vertebrae tear into cord tissue or press down on nerves that carry signals. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, 80.7 percent of spinal cord injuries reported to the database have occurred among males. Nearly half JORDAN of all injuries are between BAIRD the ages 16 and 30. Staff Writer My dad was only a few months away from being 40 the year his accident happened. “To you, it seems like I am ancient, but 40 years old is still young. Your age is how you view the world and I still consider myself very young,” my dad told me. “I do not think I lived my life fully before becoming paralyzed.” At the beginning, it was not only hard for my dad to grasp the situation; it was also

The Flare EXECUTIVE EDITOR Ashley Morales




WEB EDITOR Kassidy Taylor FEATURES EDITOR Tory Van Blarcum SPORTS WRITERS Devin Brooks Jeffery Jamerson

LAB MANAGER Jamie Maldonado ADVISER Gary Borders PHOTO ADVISER O. Rufus Lovett

VOL. 77, NO. 8

hard on the whole family. The trauma on my dad was so tremendous that he didn’t have the mental fortitude to even understand the situation. He told me, “I don’t think I was mentally capable of understanding what just happened. In no way did I know what my life would be like in the next few weeks or days.” I remember walking into the emergency room and seeing my biggest hero lying on a stretcher looking absolutely helpless. The doctor informed my mother and me that there was no recovery for an injury this serious. It was so difficult for me, because not only is your father your hero as young girl, my family was physically incapable of doing the things that a normal family does. As a girl, you live your whole life waiting for your wedding day to have your father walk you down the aisle. That is something I will never get to experience. The recovery process has been long and hard for the entire family. My dad said that he has lived long enough now to know the downside of being paralyzed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Copyright 2013, The Flare. All rights reserved.

ADVERTISING MANAGER Sonia Garza SENIOR WRITER Maegan Mitchell STAFF WRITERS Christine Ritter, Jordan Baird PHOTOGRAPHERS Shelbi Crews, Kristopher Dobbins, Sonia Garza, Laura Hernandez, Destinye Turner, Randi Vinson-Davis and Maria Zapata. WEB DESIGNER Geoffrey Dubea

The worst part is that my mom recently left us. “I told her I didn’t want to do this without her. If you don’t put that into the equation, then it is not as bad as it was six or eight months after the accident. Those were the worst days for me,” my dad told me. There is obviously life after paralysis because my dad lives on his own, now that I am away at college, and he is divorced. He said to me, “You can overcome any situation if you make the best of it. I did lose so many things as a result of being paralyzed, and that is what made the recovery process so long for me.” I now have a stronger relationship with my father because of the months I spent living with him, taking care of him and being the only person he could lean on during the divorce. I am a very firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I do think this situation has taught my family the value of life itself. Jordan Baird is a freshman journalism major from Magnolia.

LETTERS THE FLARE welcomes any letter to the editor and encourages all readers to use this as a sounding board to express thoughts and opinions on current campus-related topics. We also welcome news or feature ideas. Due to space limitations, letters should be as concise as possible and may still be edited for space. Letters must be signed and include an address and telephone number so that we can verify their authenticity. Letters should be delivered to the newsroom in Communications-Automotive Building, Room 125, mailed to

DISCLAIMER THE FLARE is the student newspaper of Kilgore College and is published every Friday by the journalism department, except during examination periods and vacations. First copy is free, subsequent copies are available for 50 cents. THE FLARE is a member of the Texas Community College Journalism Association and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. All people holding editorial staff positions are Kilgore College journalism students.





ASA members pull the rope of their trebuchets before chunking one of their pumpkins.

Photos by Sonia Garza for The Flare

Ag students’ Chunkapalooza premiere successful TORY VAN BLARCUM Features Editor


C Agriculture Student Association had a great turnout and a good time Saturday at the first Chunkapalooza. Many families and children showed up for the event and participated in the pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting and face painting. ‘We had very good turnout especially for our first year” Dr. Karl

Steddom, biology and agriculture instructor. With the event doing so well, there are already plans for next year and possibly an event this spring with some watermelons flying through the sky. “I would like to have more student groups involved,” said Steddom. “Not just in building devices, but also in doing specific events to showcase their talents. We are open to lots of ideas.”

enjoys the goodies at Chunkapalooza.

trebuchet before their launch.

places a pumpkin on the ASA

A crowd enjoying the hay ride around the KC Demonstration farm during the event.

First place - Ore City High School, average distance of 211.5 ft. Second place - Ag Student Association, average distance of 133 ft. - Chapel Hill High School, average distance of 118 ft. Fourth place – KC Engineering, average distance of 46.5 ft. A smashed pumpkin lies on the ground after being chunked during the event.

Issue 8 Vol. 77 11-1-2013  

Kilgore College's award-winning student newspaper since 1936.

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