Happy Valentines Day! Happy Valentines Day!
from The University Star
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY SAN MARCOS
FEBRUARY 14, 2006
VOLUME 95, ISSUE 53
Blaze destroys office, clubhouse
‘Appropriate use of force’ by SWAT team to be investigated By Ashley Richards The University Star
vestigation of the incident. Williams said an outside investigator is needed because both the city Once completed, an investiga- and county are involved with the tion of the actions taken by the SWAT team. city and county Special Weapons “I’m responsible for getting And Tactics team that resulted in the information together and the death of Leslie Eugene Whited presenting it to the grand jury,” will be presented to a grand jury Ratliff said. “I’m investigating it to determine if the force used was and working with all the departappropriate. ments that were involved in it.” On Feb. 4, Ratliff’s ﬁndWhited, 35, was ings will be traveling on Inpresented to terstate 35 when a grand jury he struck a to determine woman’s vehicle whether the use and continued of force was jusdriving, police tiﬁed and legal. said. It was later Williams said determined that the incident the black Ford must be evalutruck Whited ated from both was driving was a legal and an stolen. administrative San Marcos standpoint. A Police Departcopy of the rement Chief port will be sent Howard Wil— San Marcos Police Chief to the sheriff, liams said the who will decide Howard Williams if the force used woman called police and rewas adminismained on the phone with them tratively appropriate, meaning as she followed Whited into San the police department must deMarcos. cide if the ofﬁcers complied with “The lady had been telling us local procedures. he had a gun,” Williams said. Ratliff said he could not comPolice ofﬁcers performed a fel- ment on whether or not a gun ony trafﬁc stop and asked Whited was found in Whited’s possession to exit the vehicle with his hands and he cannot release informaout, but Williams said the suspect tion about the gunshot wound would not comply with the ofﬁ- because the information is evicers’ orders. dence that will be presented to the He said the hostage negotia- grand jury. tion and SWAT teams were called “I haven’t really even completto assist with the situation, and ed the investigation,” Ratliff said. nearly two hours after the initial “There’s still some things I’ve got stop, shots were ﬁred. to ﬁnish before even writing it “At one point, he threw his ve- up.” hicle into reverse and started to Williams said the next grand run over the SWAT team that had jury is scheduled to meet durlined up behind him, and that’s ing the ﬁrst week of March. Both when they shot him,” Williams Ratliff and Williams said they said. hope the report will be completThe ofﬁcers ﬁrst tried shooting ed to present to that grand jury. out the tires of the truck, Williams However, Ratliff said he does not said, but Whited still continued anticipate having the investigamoving toward the ofﬁcers. tion completed by then. Texas Ranger Sgt. Tommy If the investigation is not comRatliff is compiling evidence to plete by then, another grand jury complete an independent in- will meet in April.
t one point, “A he threw his vehicle into reverse and started to run over the SWAT team that had lined up behind him, and that’s when they shot him.”
David Racino/Star photo SET ABLAZE: The Bishop’s Square apartments clubhouse sits dormant Friday afternoon after a ﬁre destroyed most of the building last week.
No casualties reported in apartment fire
hen we ﬁrst arrived, the ﬁre was “W in the attic space already. Very shortly thereafter, it broke through the roof.”
By David Rauf The University Star Two Texas State students said they witnessed a man set ﬁre to the clubhouse and ofﬁce area of the Bishop’s Square apartments late Wednesday night. Lisa Stinson and Christina Fareri said they were sitting outside of their apartment smoking cigarettes when they noticed lights and strange activity coming from the clubhouse. Stinson, communication design sophomore, said she saw lights and shadows in the clubhouse around 11 p.m. She said they ran across the street and noticed an “orange glow” and saw
a man inside “lighting things on ﬁre.” “I opened the door and was like ‘What are you doing?’” Stinson said. “We freaked him out. All of the sudden there were two girls in there while he was trying to do his business.” Fareri, interior design sophomore, said the building was full of smoke, and a man was inside running around frantically. “I told him I was calling the cops, and he said, ‘Go ahead, do it.’ Then he slammed the door and locked it,” Fareri said. “After he slammed the door in my
City councilman fields questions from ASG on transportation expansion By Clayton Medford The University Star
See ASG, page 3
Precipitation: 0% Humidity: 44% UV: 6 High Wind: SSW 14 mph
face, I noticed that the receptionist desk was on ﬁre and the drapes were falling, and then it just went out of control. The ﬁre was uncontrollable.” The ﬁre was reported at approximately 11:10 p.m. San Marcos Fire Rescue crews arrived on the scene at 11:16 p.m. Assistant Fire Chief Len Nored said 25 ﬁreﬁghters battled the blaze and brought it under control in about an hour and a half. No one was injured in the ﬁre. Nored said the primary concern was conﬁning the ﬂames to one structure. Residents
See BLAZE, page 3
UPD reports climbing number of bicycle thefts on campus By Leah Kirkwood The University Star A recent increase in bicycle thefts on campus has the University Police Department warning students to take extra measures to deter thieves. “We usually average about two bikes stolen each week.” said UPD Ofﬁcer Otto Glenewinkel of the Community Awareness and Resource Team. “Two weeks ago we had, I believe, four or ﬁve.” Glenewinkel said the reports of stolen bikes came from all over campus, from Bobcat Village Apartments to Blanco Hall. The thefts are still under investigation, and the investigating ofﬁcers could not comment on possible suspects, but Glenewinkel said there have been similar incidents of heavy bike theft in the past. “It’s usually large groups of individuals that come through and target various campuses, in general,” Glenewinkel said. “They go from campus to campus until they get caught or make the necessary money they’re looking for.” Last week, students received an email with UPD’s warning and some tips on bike locks and registration. The thieves targeted mountain bikes with cable locks, which can be easily cut and removed. UPD recommends using a cable lock only as a supplement to a U-shaped lock with standard key closure. The U-shaped lock is most effective when secured to the center or rear of the bike frame.
“The proper lock deters theft quite a bit,” Glenewinkel said. UPD also offers a free bicycle registration program. To register a bike, students should stop by the on-campus police station where a UPD ofﬁcer will take down all information needed to help recover the bike if it is stolen. The bikes are marked with a registration sticker, which may help ward away potential thieves. “Last year, we recovered four bicycles that were stolen,” Glenewinkel said. “And that’s good considering most stolen property is never recovered.” Even those who aren’t concerned about bike theft may have good reason to register their bikes. “At the end of every spring semester, bikes not registered are picked up (by the UPD) if they are secured to campus property,” Glenewinkel said. “We do this for two reasons: One is to prevent theft over the summer, and two is to make bike parking accessible to incoming students in the fall.” The police department stores all collected bikes for a set amount of time so owners can retrieve them, but registered bikes are allowed to remain on campus. Brent Johnson, psychology senior, admitted he uses a cable lock on his bike. “They actually tried to cut through it three years ago at San Marcos Hall,” Johnson said. Johnson said he rides his bike to the Student Recreation Center ev-
Two-day Forecast Wednesday Partly Cloudy Temp: 82°/ 57° Precipitation: 0%
Thursday Partly Cloudy Temp: 86°/ 58° Precipitation: 20%
Mike Decker/Star feature photo
The Associated Student Government heard a presentation about area transportation projects by San Marcos City Council member John Thomaides at Monday’s meeting. The senators took advantage of the councilman’s presence to question him on a variety of topics such as single-family zoning and extending the local bar closing time from midnight to 2 a.m. Thomaides, who represents San Marcos on the Austin-San Antonio Commuter Rail District board of directors, told the senators about the potential impact of the Austin-San Antonio commuter rail project on San Marcos. The proposed rail system would run between the two cities with a planned stop in San Marcos. “The rail will be a way to relieve trafﬁc on I-35 and local streets and roads,” Thomaides said. “But more importantly than that, it will relocate freight trafﬁc to outside of the city,” he said, referring to the transfer of Union Paciﬁc freight lines to State Highway 130, which would accompany the construction of the commuter rail. Thomaides said a ride from San Marcos to the downtown districts of Austin or San Antonio would cost about $4 to $5 per passenger. He also told senators about his idea of building an open streetcar system that would run on a continuous loop from the commuter rail stop to the city’s central business
— Len Nored San Marcos Fire Department assistant chief
from two buildings adjacent to the clubhouse were evacuated as exposure lines, separate lines from the truck that spray water on buildings exposed to radiant heat, were positioned to prevent the ﬁre from spreading to nearby buildings. “When we ﬁrst arrived, the ﬁre was in the attic space already,” Nored said. “Very shortly thereafter, it broke through the roof.” According to a press release, Fire Marshal Ken Bell said the cause of the ﬁre is considered suspicious. Fire investigators are conducting an on-going investigation and have posted a Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the arrest of a white male whom witnesses reported seeing leave the scene of the ﬁre. Stinson and Fareri describe
ALL LOCKED UP: UPD is warning students to take extra precautions against thieves after several bicycles have been stolen from campus. Ofﬁcers recommend using a U-shaped lock instead of a cable lock.
ery day and also parks it by The Den while in class. Johnson said that although he has thought about getting a U-shaped lock, “it’s heavy, and now I don’t live on campus.” Martin Thomen, a visitor at Texas State, uses a U-shaped lock on his bike, but he heard thieves have found
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY SAN MARCOS
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a way to cut through them. “I went to undergraduate school at (the University of Texas) and registered my bike there,” Thomen said. He thinks bike registration is a helpful service. Thomen has not yet registered his bike in San Marcos, but said, “I’ll probably do that one of these days.”
To Contact Trinity Building Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708 www.UniversityStar.com © 2006 The University Star
PAGE TWO The University Star
Tuesday in Brief
February 14, 2006
starsof texas state Tasuku Koni, a Japanese graduate student in the McCoy College of Business, recently gave $1,000 to the school’s International Ofﬁce for the International Focus Scholarship. Koni was the 2005 recipient of this scholarship, an academic scholarship open to seniors or graduate students in the McCoy College. The award is granted to students whose academic achievements are matched by their global perspective as evidenced by their interna-
tional experience and interests, and for a commitment towards international understanding. He was selected not only for remarkable academic achievements, but for his humanitarian interests as well. His speciﬁc interests are in the area of global education projects. His rationale for pursuing a graduate degree in business was to increase his understanding of the business side of large educational endeavors in geographic areas that require big investment.
News Contact — Kirsten Crow, email@example.com
Sensation of the Nation Boko the Bobcat performs Saturday night during half time of the men’s basketball game vs. McNeese State to an enthusiastic audience. After winning the USA National Championship in Las Vegas, Boko is one step closer to participating in the Capital One Mascot Bowl during the 2006 college football season.
EVENTS Clubs & Meetings Tuesday The Hispanic Business Student Association will have its weekly meeting at 5 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center, Room 3-5.1. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
the university’s Common Experience program, will be presented from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the CSC.
Campus Sports Tuesday
The Cycling Club meets at 6 p.m. in the LBJSC, Room 4-1.9.
There will be a student-led Bible study at 8 p.m. in the Catholic Student Center.
Arts & Entertainment
ACOA/Dysfunctional Families Group meets from 4:30 to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Counseling Center at (512) 245-2208. Thursday The Pre-Medical/Dental Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Supple Science Building, Room 116. For more information, visit www.studentorgs.txstate. edu/pre-med/. Facing the Fear: An Anxiety/ Panic Group meets from 4 to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call the Counseling Center. Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship will hold its weekly meeting on at 8:30 p.m. in Old Main, Room 320. Enjoy contemporary worship, relevant teaching, prayer and plenty of fun. Everyone is welcome. Contact (512) 557-7988 or email@example.com. The Communications Club will hold its meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. in Centennial Hall, Room 318.
Events Tuesday There will be a free lunch for all students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CSC. Wednesday Want to work in media? Career Services will show you how to get there from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the LBJSC, Room 3-14.1. For more information, contact Karen Julian (512) 245-2465. Thursday Activists for Sexual Minorities is hosting a panel discussion from 7 to 9 p.m. in the LBJSC Teaching Theater. “Courage in Religion & Science,” a forum that is part of
Thursday The department of theatre and dance presents Opening Door Dance Theatre Reminisce: A Choreographic Eulogy Honoring Karen Earl today and Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Evans Auditorium. Admission is $10 for general admission and $5 for students with ID. All proceeds are donated to the Karen Earl Memorial Scholarship Fund. Monday The Music Lecture Series presents “The Mid-Nineteenth Century Symphony” with John C. Schmidt at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Free admission.
Miscellaneous Tuesday Free tax/FAFSA preparation from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the second ﬂoor of the Alkek Library. Students will receive help ﬁling their 2005 income tax and renewing the FAFSA. Please bring photo ID, W-2 form and bank information if you want your refund by direct deposit. Applications are available for summer school ﬁnancial aid, online or in the J.C. Kellam Building, Suite 240. Applications are due March 1. CALENDAR SUBMISSION POLICY Calendar submissions are free. Send submissions to Calendar of Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 245-3487 for more information. E-mailed press releases will not be accepted. If using e-mail, please submit as a simple bulleted list of essential information. Submissions are on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis and notices for weekly meetings need to be submitted every week they will take place. The University Star reserves the right to refuse entries or edit for libel, style and space purposes. Deadline: Three working days prior to publication.
STARS OF TEXAS STATE POLICY
Mark Decker/ Star photo
CRIME BL TTER San Marcos Police Department Feb. 10, 11:30 p.m. Possession of Marijuana Under Two Ounces/Intersection of Redwood Drive and Highway 123 Female subject arrested for possession of marijuana under two ounces. Feb. 11, 12:43 a.m. Public Intoxication/139 E. Hopkins St. A male was arrested for public intoxication after he was observed in a vehicle. Feb. 11, 4:06 a.m. TrafﬁcAccident,Unknown/209 N. Interstate 35 Female subject was arrested for Crime stoppers: UPD 245-7867
DWI following a trafﬁc crash. Feb. 11, 11:55 p.m. Protective Custody/800 N. LBJ Drive Ofﬁcer made a detention of a suicidal person. Feb. 12, 3:23 a.m. Burglary of a Motor Vehicle/1703 N. I-35 Engaging in organized crime, burglary of a vehicle, theft under $1,500. Feb. 12, 9:05 p.m. Disturbing the Peace/2101 Highway 123 Two male subjects were arrested, one for public intoxication and one for possession of a controlled substance. SMPD 353-TIPS
San Marcos CISD to hold Education Expo Thursday Excitement is building about the ﬁrst annual San Marcos CISD Education Expo, which is scheduled for Feb. 16 at the San Marcos Activity Center. The exhibition hall opens at 4 p.m. to facilitate stopping by the Expo before returning home from work. Superintendent Sylvester Perez will give a PowerPoint presentation at 6 p.m., followed by a question and answer session. The exhibition hall will feature the latest innovative curriculum programs used by the district for instruction. These include such programs as Balanced Literacy, History Alive! and Mathworks, used by the teaching and learning department. There will be samples and demonstrations of technology such as the “Purple C.O.W. (Curriculum on Wheels)” and the “United Streaming” video network. Administrators from teaching and learning and technology will be available for comments and questions. In addition, the facilities department will have displays of new campus architect drawings and photos. They too will be on hand to answer questions from the public. According to the superintendent, the PowerPoint presentation will address the highpoints of the district’s goals and accomplishments, in addition to areas needing improvement and what the SMCISD is doing to improve academic achievement. Booths will feature hands-on materials, tips for parents and volunteering information. The San Marcos community is cordially invited to stop by and share the Expo’s wealth of information. Refreshments will be served and door prizes given. For more information about the Expo, call (512) 393-6768 or (512) 393-6930.
Do you know someone at Texas State who has recently celebrated a great achievement? Nominate your choice to appear in The Star as a “Star of Texas State.” Write an e-mail to email@example.com with the subject line “Stars of Texas State,” and include your nominee’s name, his/her relationship to the university, contact information for yourself and your nominee, and a brief description of the achievement. Also include a photo of your nominee if available. Accepted nominees will be featured at the top of Page Two.
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES In the cutline for the photo of Nolan Marcus on the front page of Thursday’s issue, Loyola University was misspelled.
Health Beat Condom use remains primary STD prevention strategy Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, marks national recognition for condoms. Condom use remains a primary prevention strategy for this nation’s sexually transmitted infections epidemic. According to the American Social Health Association, there are more than 18 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases every year. How does this affect college students? • One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25. • Less than half of adults ages 18 to 44 have ever been tested for an STD other than HIV/AIDS. • About half of all new STDs in 2000 occurred among youth ages 15 to 24. Abstaining from sexual intercourse or being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is not infected with any sexually transmitted infections is a good way to prevent STD transmission. However, these methods also have failure rates and may not be the choice for everyone. Therefore, we need to offer education, support and resources for condom use. Here are a few important tips about condoms: • Always buy latex condoms — natural membrane condoms will not protect you against STDs. • Use condoms consistently and correctly every time you have sex — the No. 1 reason condoms fail is user error. • Use water-based lubricants — oil-based products break down latex. • Store them in a cool dry place — heat and light will break down latex. • Communicate with your partner about using condoms. The Network, Student Health Center, Community Health Services and Whole Women’s Health of San Marcos will provide condoms, brochures and other resources for Texas State students from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14 in The Quad. Please contact the ADRC at (512) 245-3601 or Julie Eckert at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. For more information about condoms or STDs, please go to www.ashastd.org or www.cdcnpin.org. — Courtesy of the Alcohol and Drug Resource Center
Res Hall Ball
— Courtesy of the San Marcos Independent School District
Danny Rodriguez/Star photo The Resident Assistmen defeated the Jackson Seven 84-57 in an intramural basketball game Sunday night at the Student Recreation Center.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The University Star - Page 3
BLAZE: ‘Suspicious’ circumstances surround apartment fire Craddock Ave.
CONTINUED from page 1
district. “Imagine getting off the train and onto an open street car, riding into town and getting off for breakfast or coffee on your way to class,” Thomaides said. Other transportation development projects in San Marcos discussed by Thomaides include a railroad overpass at Wonder World Drive that would eventually connect Interstate 35 to Ranch Road 12, the reconstruction of Sessom Drive to include sidewalks and bicycle lanes and the completion of the citywide trafﬁc light upgrade and synchronization project. At the end of his speech, Thomaides asked ASG to urge students living off campus to be considerate of their neighbors by cleaning up their trash, keeping late night parties quiet and showing more respect in general. Thomaides said that disrespectful residents have led to “a problem that can negatively portray all students when in fact it is a small percentage of bad actors.”
Thomaides’ comments led to a line of questioning from senators about single-family zoning restrictions that some senators believe discriminate against college students. The SF-6 zoning ordinance, formerly known as R-1, prohibits more than two unrelated persons from occupying a single home in zoned areas. “From an economic development standpoint, single family zones are important,” Thomaides said. “Businesses that come in need to have a place for their workers to live.” Applied sociology senior and Sen. Ed Sinclair told Thomaides that he believes too much singlefamily zoning in San Marcos has divided the community. “I think that incorporating single-family and multi-family zones would build more of a lasting community with the city and the school without trying to separate them,” Sinclair said. Senators also asked Thomaides about his position on allowing businesses to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. Thomaides said he be-
lieves the economic impact on the city would not be enough to outweigh his safety concerns. He also said he believes the inﬂux from area towns where bars close at midnight would lead to trafﬁc accidents. Senators asked Thomaides why San Marcos has not enjoyed the same increase in housing construction that neighboring cities like Buda, Kyle and New Braunfels have seen. Thomaides cited a number of reasons including the proximity of those towns to larger cities. “The city doesn’t build houses. Some people claim there are too many regulations or it’s too expensive. I haven’t seen that evidence. I think geography has a bit to do with it,” Thomaides said. After Thomaides ﬁelded dozens of questions from senators, ASG heard regular reports from ASG President Jordan Anderson and Vice President Cassie Holman as well as senate committees. The senate did not address new business and did not vote on old business.
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ASG: Senators quiz Thomaides on student issues
Bishop's Square apartments
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from a burning building. In the case of a ﬁre, Nored said to get out and close the doors behind you. He said dormitories are good examples of people not taking heed to this kind of advice. “Students will sometimes ignore the warnings and stay in the room thinking it’s just another ﬁre drill,” he said. “If that happens, and it’s the real thing, there is a good chance they might not be able to get out. So my biggest point would be to get out as soon as you hear about it.” The policies and procedures section of the Texas State Code of Student Conduct states, “the possession or burning of incense, candles, sterno, kerosene, or oil lamps and the use of matches or a lighter is prohibited in the residence halls.” However, candles, incense and other ﬂammable products appear to be a big problem on campus, Nored said. “I would strongly urge anyone with any information, no matter how minor, to call that number,” Nored said.
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the suspect as a 6-foot-tall, heavy white male in his early thirties, wearing a large black jacket, white gloves and carrying a duffel bag full of plastic bottles. They said the man left the complex, passing several people in the courtyard, without incident. “We were in shock,” Fareri said. “We didn’t realize how many people were in the courtyard and saw him running out the back. No one realized, or we could have said ‘stop him.’” Residents who saw the building go up in ﬂames described the scene as an inferno. “I was in awe. The ﬂames were twice as high as the building,” said John Sparks, manufacturing engineering junior. “It started getting more intense and at one point smoke started going everywhere.” Ofﬁcials with the apartment’s management said initial reactions to the ﬁre were “crushing,” but they remained optimistic about the future. Bishop’s Square apartments, located at 109 Craddock Ave., are “still up
and going,” generating “more trafﬁc than ever” and leasing apartments. Property damage estimates were not available, but the apartment’s management said that in-house construction is already on the job of rebuilding the clubhouse. “It was something that we all built together, blood, sweat and tears,” said Demi Sterling, district manager. “The day ended, the next day came and we’re excited to see what’s going to happen next. Kudos to the San Marcos Fire Department, the ﬁre was contained and the response time was fantastic.” According to the San Marcos Fire Rescue Web site, a small ﬂame can get completely out of control and turn into a major ﬁre in less than 30 seconds. In the case of a ﬁre, the Web site states, escape is the ﬁrst priority, and no time should be wasted trying to save personal possessions. It also states to stay low to avoid smoke inhalation. The Web site advises that you test all doors before trying to open them and provides tips on how to survive and plan your escape
CONTINUED from page 1
Matt Rael/Star graphic An area map showing the general location of Bishop’s Square apartments and where the ﬁre was localized.
TRENDS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
releasesof the week music 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor — Shawn Mullins Voices – Matchbook Romance
Falling in Between — Toto Hidden Land — Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
Proof — (PG-13) Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal Saw II — (R) Tobin Bell, Donnie Wahlberg
Zathura — (PG) Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - Page 4
Trends Contact — Kyle Bradshaw, email@example.com
SHOOTING BLANKS Smoking Gun Web site sheds light on author’s deception
By James A. Fussell Knight Ridder Newspapers It was extraordinary TV, as riveting as it was disquieting. As a nation watched, a stern Oprah Winfrey scolded James Frey, author of the best-selling memoir (and Oprah Book Club selection) A Million Little Pieces, for embarrassing her, lying about his past and betraying millions of readers. Almost as interesting is who brought Frey’s deception to light. It wasn’t an investigative newspaper reporter or a TV station. In a true new-millennium moment, the literary rug was pulled out from under Frey by The Smoking Gun, a three-per-
son Web site that didn’t even exist 10 years ago. Which raises a question: Who are these guys, anyway? The answer: Just the latest symbol of the growing power and inﬂuence of alternative newsgathering in the 21st century. Former Village Voice staff writer William Bastone started The Smoking Gun as a side project out of his Manhattan apartment in 1997 with his wife (and The Smoking Gun site designer), Barbara Glauber and New York freelancer Dan Green. Together they ﬁled Freedom of Information Act requests and scoured police stations and courthouses
nationwide to ﬁnd interesting “original source documents” about public ﬁgures to post online. Anything qualiﬁed: celebrity drunk-tank pictures, revelations from divorce pleadings — the juicier the better. With each new tidbit the site gained visitors and tipsters. A write-up in Wired magazine in the late ’90s brought more attention. Court TV bought the site in 2000 for more than a $1 million. Today, Bastone is the full-time editor of The Smoking Gun. Two reporters — Andrew Goldberg and Joseph Jesselli — work with him on the 16th ﬂoor of an ofﬁce building on Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan. From the beginning, the site posted documents that got people talking — and clicking their mice. The subject of its ﬁrst document: Elvis Presley. Speciﬁcally, it was a memo chock-full of classic FBI black-mark redactions that carried an informant’s con-
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tentions that Elvis was hooked on cocaine. Soon after, the site branched out to investigative stories. One story in the late ’90s concerned actor Ben Afﬂeck, who was crisscrossing the country with Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore to whip up the youth vote. “We did a story about how (Afﬂeck) himself didn’t vote,” Bastone said. “He wasn’t even registered.” The Smoking Gun also published arrest records of famous people and sealed grand jury transcripts and even had a section devoted to the dressingroom demands performers write into their concert contracts. Take Jennifer Lopez. She agreed to be in a charity music video to beneﬁt the families of people killed in the Sept. 11 tragedy. “Her people forwarded a copy of her demands before she would appear,” Bastone said. “It’s this outrageous thing about what she would need in her dressing room … all-white furniture, white candles, etc. You’d think when celebrities agree to do charity work for people involved in a tragedy they’d check their egos at the door.” As far as big stories go, The Smoking Gun has caused controversy before. In early 2000, Fox broadcasted a reality show called Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? The show featured millionaire groom Rick Rockwell and grabbed “Titanic” ratings. “The idea of the show was that there would be 40 to 50 women vying to marry this guy sight unseen,” Bastone said. “We found out that the groom was the subject of restraining orders that had been ﬁled against him in Los Angeles Superior Court. A former ﬁancée had alleged that he had threatened her and kind of jostled her. We published the documents.” Fox canceled a planned rebroadcast of the show.
Last year, The Smoking Gun scored again when it obtained most of the investigative reports in the Michael Jackson sexual molestation case, including the sealed grand jury transcripts. How’d it do that? “That’s what we do,” Bastone said. “We have sources. Nothing illegal. Just what any good reporters would do.”
Courtesy of Random House LIAR LIAR: The Smoking Gun Web site found author James Frey’s memoir A Million Little Pieces to be ﬁlled with inaccuracies.
And that’s what they are. “It wasn’t that we were trying to do an end-around of the mainstream media, because we really see ourselves as part of the main media,” Bastone said. “We just found there is a segment of the public, and not an insubstantial one, that doesn’t trust what’s being reported and that likes to look at primary source documents and make up their own mind.” But the site also has to make money. Some of the ways it does that is through advertising, book sales and a series of TV specials. The Smoking Gun has long been popular with Web surfers. But it hit pop-culture gold when it unearthed James Frey’s high-stakes deception. Suddenly it’s being talked about by people who had never before heard of it. After the Frey revelation, hits on The Smoking Gun Web site jumped. At this time last year, the site averaged 45 million page views per month. This month it counted 75 million page views. Bastone began investigating Frey after an innocuous e-mail in November that asked if the site could post a mug shot of one of Frey’s stays in jail. Bastone and his staff were familiar with Frey, a Manhattan-based author who was constantly being written about in gossip columns and blogs and drawing crowds at book signings.
Bastone began to snoop, checking facts, pulling records and doing interviews. That’s when he and his staff discovered signiﬁcant parts of Frey’s book that were either exaggerated or false. They had three interviews with Frey, then wrote a story and published it on their site. Frey then sent them a letter through his lawyer threatening to sue. Bastone never blinked. The enormity of the fallout is still being felt. Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, said The Smoking Gun story will change the way publishers and authors interact and change the way nonﬁction is published. “It’s going to have a wide impact,” he said. “So God bless them.” For Bastone and his colleagues, watching Oprah verbally bludgeon Frey was surreal. “Outside of the president, who has a bigger fan base, who is better known in this country than Oprah?” he said. “We’re not the New York Times. So it was a little strange seeing arguably one of the most popular people in the country using us as the battering ram … against poor James Frey.” On the other hand, it was cool. “This is a wonderful job,” Bastone said.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Harrison Ford heats up the big screen in Firewall By Vanessa Lau The University Star The bar for bank robbing just got Leave ✯✯✯ raised. behind the Firewall ski masks, Dir.: Richard AK-47s and Loncraine the big canStars: Harrison vas bags Ford, Paul Betmarked with tany, Virginia dollar signs. Madsen In this acRated: PG-13 tion-thriller starring the legendary Harrison Ford and the surprisingly versatile Paul Bettany, planning and sharp wit are the tools of choice for the “bad guys.” When his family is taken hostage in their own home by Bill Cox (Bettany) and his cronies, Jack Stanﬁeld (Ford) agrees to do as Cox asks — at ﬁrst. Not to be outdone by the charming but evil Cox, Stanﬁeld tries at every turn to break himself and his family free. Every attempt ups the ante on suspense in this thriller, as well as the stakes for Jack and his family. Betrayal and deception run rampant across the lines of the “good guys” and
The University Star - Page 5
the “bad guys,” keeping the auSomething you might not exdience on the edge of their seats pect to ﬁnd in this action-advenuntil the credits roll. ture ﬂick is the many moments Paul Bettany gives an incred- of humor interspersed throughible performance in the role out the conﬂict between the of Bill Cox, the conniving and characters. Irony lends itself to twisted yet amazingly astute the situations presented, as the madman behind every step of ﬁlm’s witty writers have a ﬁeld the plan to rob Landrock Paciﬁc day in spite of the serious action Bank’s richest account hold- plot. At Jack’s effort to steal back ers for $100 million. Bettany, the money from Cox, Jack’s asknown for his nice-guy roles in sistant dryly remarks, “Jack, you A Knight’s Tale and Wimbledon, look like a bank robber.” Many takes everyone by surprise with more one-liners keep the mood his convincing portrayal. Vir- on the lighter side and keep the ginia Madsen, who plays Jack’s characters from being too seriwife, Beth, also gives a great ous and one-dimensional. performance. The low point in While this is not Ford’s best the actors’ performances, sadly, project, when all things are concomes from Harrison Ford. Per- sidered, this ﬁlm is a good view haps because of his age or the for those intrigued by highstock character he plays, Ford stakes crime that involves inpresents the shakiest perfor- tricate planning. Strong acting mance of the ﬁlm. Several lines from major players as well as a delivered by Ford are extraordi- compelling script should keep narily reminiscent of such lines viewers interested and invested as “Get off my plane!” from Air in the story. Force One, or countless others from the Indiana Jones series movies rating key that Ford starred in during his No stars – Must skip heyday. While his portrayal is ✯ – Bad, fails overall less than stellar, Ford ultimately pulls off the character of Jack, ✯✯ – Mediocre, wait for DVD with much assistance from ✯✯✯ – Good, few ﬂaws his costars and a well-written ✯✯✯✯ – Outstanding, must see script.
Courtesy of Warner Brothers ON FIRE: Harrison Ford gives a familiar performance as Jack Stanﬁeld in Firewall.
SU DO KU Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.
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OPINIONS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
quoteof the day
“By providing protection to the newspapers and failure to censure in unequivocal terms, (the Danish government) has served neither the cause of freedom of expression nor has it advanced the goals of multiculturalism domestically or internationally.”
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - Page 6
— Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, on Denmark’s reaction to the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers.
Opinions Contact — Joe Ruiz, email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
Lobbying reform doesn’t need to keep lawmakers cooped up in Washington
The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University-San Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State UniversitySan Marcos.
Congressional travel: The cost is a trip • Members of Congress have taken $16 million worth of privately ﬁnanced travel since 2000. • There were 5,410 trips taken by about 600 members of the House and Senate. • Texas exempt and other groups whose funding isn’t public paid for $8.8 million of the travel expenses. • Trade associations paid $4.4 million in travel, and corporations $2 million.
• Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, took 19 trips valued at nearly $168,000, the greatest value of trips taken by any lawmaker in the ﬁve years. • Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., took 63 trips, the greatest number. Because all were for domestic speeches, his travel expenses only came to $61,000. • Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, ranked 28th for value of trips ($94,568), and 114th in the number taken (63).
• The leading sponsor was the Aspen Institute, which spent nearly $2.9 million on conferences for senators and representatives.
• Democrats took 3,025 trips; Republicans, 2,375; independents, 10.
Source: USA Today Analysis conducted by PoliticalMoneyLine
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In late May of this year, 16 U.S. lawmakers are expected to attend a conference in Istanbul called “Political Islam: Challenges for U.S. Policy.” The conference is hosted by the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit organization that sponsors educational seminars for business, academic and public policy leaders, and will feature scholars from Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. One can hardly imagine an event more relevant for U.S. policymakers, but none will likely attend if the current proposal to ban all privately funded travel for members of Congress is passed. The need for lobbying reform in Washington has become painfully obvious. The Jack Abramoff scandal has revealed deep-rooted corruption in the legislative process and exposed the seedy back alleys by which special interests bypass the needs of the American people in the halls of Congress. In the drive to reform the image of the Capitol, lawmakers are falling all over themselves to show how tough they are on ethics — a welcome change from the blind eye customarily turned to corporate junkets and luncheons designed to buy votes. The proposed travel ban, authored by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, is a prime example of this drive. But while its intentions may be admirable, a wholesale prohibition on such travel would cut off vital resources for educating U.S. lawmakers on a wide range of issues of importance to our national interests. The Aspen Institute is the largest of many nonproﬁt, nonpartisan organizations that offer no-frills, learning-intensive seminars for members of Congress on vital foreign and domestic policy issues. For many U.S. representatives — elected to represent local interests in their districts but forced by their position to make broad public-policy decisions — these educational trips are their most useful resource for studying the issues on which they must legislate. For most, consulting with all the experts, policymakers and scholars available on these trips at the taxpayers’ expense is simply not an option. Lobbying reform must be made, but it must be sensible. There is a world of difference between the barebones human rights seminar hosted by Witness for Peace in Popoyán, Columbia, in 2001, and the golf outings at St. Andrews in Scotland arranged by Abramoff, and reform efforts should recognize that difference. One such plan that might better control inappropriate travel would be a joint committee of the House and Senate on privately funded travel, which could scrutinize requests for such travel by members of Congress or their staffs. Criteria for determining “appropriate” travel might examine the cost of the accommodations, the relevance of the destination to the issue being addressed and any recreational activities funded by the private sponsors. Additionally, current rules allowing nonproﬁts to conceal who pays the bills for their congressional trips could be changed to force greater disclosure, and lawmakers could even be made to report back to the committee on the issue discussed or face ﬁnes. At a time of such rapid political and economic globalization, ﬁnding a solution to the legislative ethics quandary should not mean keeping our lawmakers cooped up in Washington.
Americans apathetic to toons By now, most troversy through one Americans are of my mass comprobably aware munication classes. of the ﬁery conWhen asked how troversy that ﬁrst many of the students erupted Sept. 30, in the class were when the Danoffended by the carish newspaper toons, less than ﬁve STEPHANIE SILVAS Jyllands-Posten students out of a class Guest Columnist printed cartoons of 300 raised their depicting the hands. I’m sure this prophet Muhammad in variisn’t an accurate way gauge of ous blasphemous ways. how many students were actuThe newspaper commisally disturbed by the picture, sioned artists to draw these but I feel that every hand in cartoons in response to a that class should have gone up, controversy about a Muslim or at least more than ﬁve. children’s book. Since Muslims Offense can be deﬁned as “a do not believe in iconography, feeling of irritation caused by the author of the book was a violation of what is proper running into problems ﬁndor ﬁtting.” There is nothing ing illustrations of the prophet “proper” or “ﬁtting” about Muhammad. The newspaper’s any religious ﬁgure being porresponse was to sponsor a trayed as a terrorist. contest for drawings of the I am not Muslim, but I do prophet. Out of the dozen car- understand what it means to toons drawn, the most widely believe in something sanctiidentiﬁed featured the prophet ﬁed. wearing a turban containing Do I believe that newspaa bomb. The end results inpers should be censored? Of cluded some Muslims rioting, course not, but I do believe sending death threats and dethat journalists have a responmanding an apology. sibility to understand what it I was informed of this conmeans to be sensitive to things
that are sacred. Journalists live by a code of ethics that implies a form of self-censorship. There is a reason that graphic photos of death aren’t generally published in newspaper, even though that is the content of so much news. It’s not because the government says newspapers can’t do it; it’s because journalists have an ethical responsibility not to. The Muslim population consists of 1.3 billion people. This number greatly overwhelms the number of terrorists associated with the religion. Is it fair to depict their prophet as a terrorist and equate their religion with the terrorist acts very few of them engage in? Would it be fair to compare all of the 2.1 billion Christians to the radical Christians who bomb abortion clinics? Western society has become unaware of our insensitivities to cultures that do not believe the same things we believe in. Most Muslims are the same as you and me. They believe in something greater than everything around us.
Why did less than two percent of my class raise their hands when asked if they were offended by these cartoons? Was it because they were asleep and maybe not paying attention? Or was it because the cartoons didn’t depict Jesus Christ in blasphemous ways, and because people in our society in only care about issues that directly affect them? Perhaps this is why our nation faces so many issues that most of us consider to be the problems of “everyone else.” Gay marriage, under-funded schools, the homeless and the Katrina catastrophe are all problems that not enough people care about, because it doesn’t affect them. What happened to, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Let’s not be the society where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Wouldn’t you want someone to be sympathetic to you? We sit here and say that we’re ﬁghting to free Iraq and improve the conditions in the Middle East, yet we can’t even raise our hand to say that we understand.
Black History Month should be less of a marketing scheme ARIA BRANCH The Chronicle (Duke) DURHAM, N.C. — Like so many others of my generation, I’ve grown up thinking that you’re supposed to be able to ﬁnd anything on Google. That’s why when I Googled “Black History Month,” I expected to ﬁnd pages and pages of information and referred Web sites about the month’s creation — and perhaps its importance today. That seemed a logical thing to expect, or so I thought. But instead of ﬁnding what I had hoped for, all I found were links to disappointing sites about Black History Month, most of which were promoting the marketing of the month and not at all focusing on the things of importance — like who came up with the idea of the celebration, or what has happened during the years that has made it so special. And this year’s celebration is tinged with a kind of irony: Coretta Scott King died the day before Black History
Month began. Meanwhile, there was talk surrounding the King children — speciﬁcally, how poorly they’ve managed to keep their father’s great name alive. I’m even told that the ﬂame that once lit his funeral pier in Atlanta has gone out. That is sad — to put it another way. The chaos at the King Center in Atlanta, along with other things, has led many black scholars and leaders to claim that Black History Month is “broken” and its original focus is no longer the purpose of the month. Instead, commercialism has taken over. As Professor Mark Anthony Neal, Duke’s leading expert on black popular culture, sees it, Black History Month was a way to “agitate” for change — especially on historically white campuses. “In the post-multicultural era, where many campuses superﬁcially embraced notions of diversity, Black History Month began to lose its sting, especially when it became institutionalized,” Neal wrote in an e-mail. “Many campuses
used the money that they threw at Black History Month programming, as a defense that they did, in fact, embrace diversity.” Over time, the month began to lose its focus in favor of greater commercial appeal. “Now Black History Month seems like little more than a marketing scheme for McDonalds, Sears, Hallmark and other corporations to reach ‘alternative’ consumers,” Neal wrote. Feeling let down by this year’s Black History Month and all the talk about it being broken, I realized that if nothing else, those of my generation need to know that the celebration was not always about the drivel that Google has posted and the marketing campaigns of which Neal writes. It was started as Negro History Week in 1926 by a courageous black man by the name of Carter G. Woodson. He saw the importance of honoring the achievements of black Americans. That’s an important fact, and is overlooked by far too many people. Fault can be placed on
many camps here. But not for me. I grew up in a household where the importance of the contributions of black Americans were always celebrated. Today, however, it seems to me that the month has lost too much of its luster. But all is not lost — at least, not yet. There are many young people who believe that the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights stalwarts like Ella Baker and activists such as the late NAACP ﬁeld secretary Medgar Evers deserve to be remembered and highlighted, and not by corporate entities like Verizon or Budweiser. Americans need to rethink how our nation has changed since the days of Carter G. Woodson and retool what February means. It should not reﬂect the spirit of commercialism; rather, the spirit of honoring and celebrating black leaders and black triumph — Woodson’s original intent — should be the order of the month. This column orginally appeared in the Feb. 10 edition of The Chronicle.
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WANTED: USED CARS, TRUCKS, VANS. Any condition.
bills and $257 deposit. 3 bed/2 bath house. I am male, my roommate female. Potential roommate will share bathroom with me. Cul-de-sac in SE Austin. Large living room and kitchen, 2 car garage, washer/dryer. No smoking except in furnished garage/lounge. Effective March 1st. Call 512-693-4244.
Running or not. If you have something to sell please call Willis Mitchell. 512-353-4511.
SUBLEASE SUBLEASE - Two 1 br/1 bath available at the Ex2; May 22-July 31; fully furnished; $399 plus electric. Contact Lauren at (214) 542-1467 or Stefani at (214) 277-4579. TAKE OVER LEASE ASAP. 2/1 $520/mo. no deposit. Pets OK. Contact Stephanie (512) 963-4580.
A capable website and programming type for design and implementation work. This person should have a moderate to strong skill level in website architecture and design, MS Access/SQL, MS Word, integration of third party plug-ins, web payment processing, internet security features, and the coordination and implementation of all of these. He/she should also know their way around hardware layout and integration. A moderate skill level in some of these areas is acceptable, a high skill level in all these areas is appreciated, but a STRONG willingness to ﬁnd and learn some needed skills on the ﬂy will compensate. You will need to sign a conﬁdentiality/non-compete agreement. You must be able to work under limited supervision, and meet reasonable goals. Pay is $20/hour during development with the opportunity to participate as a limited partner later. Expect to work 10 hours weekly. Call (512) 878-1052 or 800-409-9972.
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SPORTS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
sports snortsquotes from the sports world “I put a lot of dedication and time into this sport. To not even make that ﬁnal and be able to challenge those top skaters, it hurts.” — Apolo Anton Ohno on his disappointment after stumbling with 1 1/2 laps to go in defense of his 2002 Olympic gold medal in the short-track 1500-meter speed-skating semiﬁnals. (Source: The Associated Press)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - Page 8
Sports Contact — Miguel Peña, email@example.com
Lobos deal Bobcats two losses in three-game series By Chris Boehm The University Star
Texas State tried its best to keep the fat lady off the diamond, but she had other plans. The Bobcats lost two of three games to New Mexico over the weekend, with both defeats coming in the 10th after ninth-inning offensive heroics. On Sunday, Texas State bowed out 3-2 in game three, following an unsuccessful play at the plate in the top of the ﬁnal frame. Freshman reliever Chris Armijo, in his ﬁrst appearance of the season, started the inning by getting the Lobos’ Jordan Pacheco to ground out to ﬁrst base. He then allowed a single and a hit batsman, forcing head coach Ty Harrington to send in freshman Mike Hart, who recorded a save in the series opener Friday night. “I think (the younger pitchers) are going to be ﬁne,” Harrington said. “They do well in practice. They’re competitive, and the only way they can get any better is to get in the game.” Hart’s ﬁrst assignment, ﬁrst baseman Daniel Stovall, drew the count to 2-2 before sending a screaming shot toward the Bobcats’ left ﬁelder, Aaron Garza. With Matt Foote rounding third, Garza made a deadly accurate throw to home, but catcher Dawid Bednarek could not corral the one-hopper, inevitably sealing the deal for New Mexico. “We’ve got a lot of areas to improve in, and if we don’t, we’ve got a long season ahead of us,” Harrington said. Texas State’s 2-0 victory in game one marked the ﬁrst of the season for both the team and starter Scott Moore. The senior tossed seven innings of shutout baseball, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out eight. “Overall, he had a good game and was impressive,” Harrington said. “But he needs to improve on not going so deep into his pitch count.” Sunday, Texas State trailed the entire game, but was given new life in the ninth when ﬁrst
baseman Cody Merrell tied the game at two apiece on the Bobcats’ last out. “When you’re down to your last swing, your last out, I think that’s impressive,” Merrell said. “As time goes on, you get people in those situations, and you win those games.” Staring at a 2-2 count, Merrell delivered a single over leaping third baseman Ian Hollick to score both Cody Ross and Heath Keel. The Lobos’ Quentin Andes was in line for the save to open the frame, but blew it by ﬁrst giving up singles to Ross and Keel and then putting both in scoring position on a wild pitch to Merrell. Andes lucked out and was instead awarded the win. “I just didn’t want to be the last out,” Merrell said. “I was hoping to give us a chance and send it to someone else.” The Bobcat ﬁrst baseman ﬁnished the game 2-2 with two walks, including his team-high fourth hit-by-pitch. In the seventh, Andes ﬁred the ball into the back of Merrell’s helmet. “Where I went to junior college, we got in a lot of trouble if he moved,” Merrell said. “And I’m just not quick enough to get out of the way.” Texas State came up empty-handed in the bottom of the tenth, concluding the game with a one-two-three inning. It signiﬁed the end of a frustrating weekend at the plate for the Bobcats, who scored just ﬁve runs in the series. “Offensively, we had a bad weekend,” Harrington said. “We’re a better offensive team than what we’ve shown this year. In six games, we have just three extra-base hits, and we’re not a power team, but right now we’ve got some guys trying to adjust their roles and ﬁgure out who they are.” Over the weekend, the offense struggled to get going early, scoring just two runs in the games’ ﬁrst three innings. “We can only go up from here,” Merrell said. “We have to put up more runs and start doing something earlier, other than just in the ninth inning.”
Sunday, Lobos starter Danny Ray Herrera went six scoreless innings, striking out ﬁve Bobcats and confusing batters all day with his off-speed pitches. “(Herrera) threw a lot of off-speed, and used the wind to his advantage,” Merrell said. Dan Donaldson made his second start of the season, allowing a pair of runs on two walks and four hits in 5.2 innings. The junior southpaw struck out four Lobos while improving on his previous outing, a ﬁve-run, four-inning effort against Gonzaga University. “I thought we pitched ﬁne,” Harrington said. “The bottom line is we just didn’t hit.” Saturday, the Bobcats also went 10 innings, but imploded in the ﬁnal frame by allowing four runs to New Mexico, losing 7-3 on a chilly and windy afternoon. “The momentum swing in the ninth was big,” Harrington said. “We weren’t able to score, and walked the leadoff guy in the 10th. We just blew up there, and until that point, we had played a pretty good ball game.” In the ninth, Texas State tied the score at three apiece on a squeeze play from Bednarek, bringing in Kyle Jones. “Dawid executes the squeeze very well, and we had a good base runner at third,” Harrington said. “It took out the chance of a double play, so it seemed like the right call to make at that time.” Jones reached third on a scary inﬁeld single from Merrell, whose shot bounced off the dirt at shortstop to catch New Mexico’s Ryan Barba in the throat. Jones, speeding from second, stopped at third as Barba remained faced down on the dirt for several minutes. “I think Kyle just didn’t see (Barba),” Harrington said. “And we were already holding him up at that point.” After standing up to applause, Barba stayed in the game and ultimately delivered the game-winning hit, an RBI single up the middle that scored Hollick from third. Texas State plays at 7 p.m. in Fort Worth against Texas Christian University.
Mark Decker/Star photo WINDY DAY FOR BASEBALL: Starting pitcher Ryan Bennett winds up against New Mexico on Saturday afternoon. The Bobcats battled into extra innings only to lose 7-3. Texas State travels to Fort Worth to play Texas Christian tonight.
Women beat Cardinals, get boot from Cowgirls in weekend competition By Nathan Brooks The University Star
Stephanie Gage/Star photo UPS AND DOWNS: Jeana Hoffman put up seven points, an assist and two steals in Thursday night’s 70-67 hard-fought win over Lamar University. During the weekend, the Bobcats were edged out by McNeese State 71-67 Saturday in Lake Charles.
With time ticking away and trailing by one point, Tamara Thompson stood with the ball in her hands on the left block looking for an opening in the Lamar defense. The Bobcats, whose 17-point second-half lead was erased, looked to their senior leader for one shot to give them back the lead they squandered late against the Cardinals. Thompson turned left, but couldn’t ﬁnd any room. She then made a spin move to the right, but the Lamar defense got in the way again. Thompson was smothered by the Cardinals defender, but was able to put up a short jumper from the baseline that tickled the twine with just 29 seconds remaining. “I don’t know how I made it,” Thompson said. “I just threw it up there as a desperation shot. I thought I had traveled, but it went in.” Texas State added a pair of Joyce Ekworomadu free throws after a Lamar miss to push the Bobcats’ lead to 70-67. The Cardinals still had one opportunity with 17 seconds left to play; after two misses, the ball still remained free, but 5-foot-7-inch Jenna Hoffman threw herself to the ﬂoor for the ball and came away with her 10th and biggest rebound of the night to seal a
Bobcat victory. “It feels like “Jenna is a wardéjà vu from rior. She would last year when play any posiTori (Tolbert) tion we need her went down to, and I couldn’t late in the be more pleased season, but with her perforwe had to do mance,” said head it,” Fox said. coach Suzanne The women Fox. “She’s tough got an imporas nails, and I’d tant win to get put her up against them back to anyone.” .500 in conHoffman led ference play the Bobcats with after losing 10 rebounds, to two straight go along with on their prenine points and road —Coach Suzanne Fox, on vious four assists. guard Jenna Hoffman trip. “That’s a huge “This was compliment coma big win, being from Coach,” cause we realHoffman said. “I just go out ly needed it for conﬁdence,” Fox there and give my best effort ev- said. “We felt we could have done ery night.” a better job on the road trip, but The Bobcats were also led by a we ran into a hot Southeastern terriﬁc second-half performance Louisiana team and were just from Thompson, who scored 13 a few plays away from beating of her team-leading 17 points Nicholls State.” in the ﬁnal period, capped off Saturday, the Bobcats ran into by her eventual game-winning more road trouble when they shot. She also added nine re- took on McNeese State in Lake bounds and led the team with Charles, La. The Cowgirls’ Clartwo blocks. issa Clark nailed four free throws Texas State was forced to go to in the ﬁnal 19 seconds to hold off a three-guard lineup for most of a late Bobcat run and upset Texas the night after learning that they State, 71-67. will be without starting center It was a closely fought game Erica Putnam for the remainder that saw 12 lead changes and six of the season. ties throughout. However, after
enna is a warrior. She would play any position we need her to, and I couldn’t be more pleased with her performance. She’s tough as nails, and I’d put her up against anyone.”
Leader Board Tamara T. Joyce E. Jenna H. Jeana H.
Pts. Reb. Blk. Stl. Ast. 3 Pt.
311 150 24 39 78 29
taking a 30-29 lead at halftime, McNeese State relinquished the lead again, extending it’s advantage to a game-high nine points with just 2 minutes 55 seconds remaining in the game. Texas State went on a 7-0 run to cut the Cowgirl lead to just two points with 28 seconds left in regulation. Senior guard Ally Kelly then fouled Clarissa Clark with 19 seconds remaining to send the senior to the line. Clark calmly hit both free throws to extend the McNeese State lead to four. Ryann Bradford gave the Bobcats one last chance after hitting a jumper with just ﬁve ticks left, cutting the lead to two again. However, Clark added another pair of free throws after a Jenna Hoffman foul with 4 seconds remaining to seal the Cowgirl victory. Texas State lost more than just an important conference game on Saturday; both Ekworomadu and Jeana Hoffman went down with ankle injuries in the second half. The Bobcats have already lost starting center Erica Putnam for the season because of an injury sustained against SLU on Feb. 2. The team has a week off before playing UT-San Antonio, and they hope to get both back in action for a crucial league showdown. The loss dropped the Bobcats to 13-9 overall and 5-6 in the Southland Conference. With just ﬁve games remaining in the regular season, Texas State sits alone at sixth place in the conference standings. Texas State has lost their last four on the road, and up next is another road game scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday against third-place UTSA.