Archive for April 18th, 2018

Stockman’s mom has served as inspiration after severe accident

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

Brynne Stockman understands the challenges softball can bring. The Hutchinson Community College freshman works with the pressure that comes with pitching, and she knows how difficult it is to hit a softball safely among nine opponents.

Stockman, however, has been well-trained off the field in how to handle life’s biggest challenges, as she’s watched her mother struggle with serious injuries due to a horrific car crash that left her with many life-long injuries.

Although Mija Stockman manages the disabilities everyday, she doesn’t let it get the better of her. The strength and determination that Mija Stockman shows motivates many people – there’s a popular Facebook page that regularly updates Mija’s progress – including Brynne, who uses that motivation to be the best person she possibly can be everyday.

The morning of December 20, 2013 was the day that the Stockman family’s lives changed forever. While Mija Stockman was traveling from Lindsborg to McPherson for work as a teacher, she was struck by another car, whose driver was drunk.

Mija was immediately taken to the McPherson hospital, but was quickly transported to Via Christi in Wichita. After she was stable enough, Mija was flown to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. Due to severe brain trauma, she was in a coma for many months. Her right eye also had to be sewn shut from the force of the impact and her left eye with limited vision.

Seven months after the initial accident, Mija became healthy enough to return to Kansas. She was transferred to Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital in Gardner, a Kansas City suburb. There, she learned how to walk, eat and drink by herself, but at a slow and steady pace.

“It’s affected our family tremendously,” Brynne Stockman said. “It’s also very hard as a daughter seeing your mom in that condition and not having her around the house throughout my high school years, but I always knew that she was in good hands.”

On April 26, 2016, Mija’s stay in Gardner was complete and she moved to Overland Park to live with her parents. Mija goes to therapy three times a week and does many activities to help, including therapeutic horse riding and volunteering in first grade classrooms.

“It has made my sisters and I much closer, as well as my grandma. I love seeing my mom’s progress and it makes me so happy to see how hard she works to be able to be here with all of us,” Brynne said.

Mija’s crash also influenced Kansas to pass what is known as “Mija’s Law.” First introduced by Kansas Representative Les Mason, it makes the sentences tougher for drunk drivers that cause permanent damage to another person by allowing previous DUI convictions to be considered in sentencing. In Mija’s case, the driver had two previous DUIs. On February 26, 2015, the Kansas House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously, along with the Senate, a month later.

Along with the brain injury, vision loss, and a broken leg, Mija also suffered a mini stroke, which affected the left side of her body and makes it hard to move. In addition, she’s had 10 different surgeries, for various issues, as well. Living far from Brynne means not being at many of her softball games, but she has been to a few as the season continues.

It’s been hard for the Stockman family for the past few years, but Mija’s story is remarkable. Through all of this, Brynne said her mom is still a happy person that doesn’t lose faith.

Brynne said softball has always been her favorite sport, coming from a family with it in their blood, as her older sister, Eryn, played for Emporia State.

“Softball has been my favorite sport my whole life, and ever since my mom’s accident, I have always been motivated to try my hardest in everything that I do,” Brynne said. “It makes me so sad knowing my mom isn’t able to do a lot of the things that she used to be able to do, so I do my best in honor of her. I want to make my mom proud, and I want to tell her about all of the good things I am doing in life instead of just reminiscing on the past and not moving forward.”

 

 

Broken-down cars, expenses and finals makes week sressful

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

This week has been absolute hell when it comes to dealing with my car.
They say “three times a charm”, and in my case, that is false in a way because my second car is still running, but it has major issues.
Before we get into what is wrong with car No. 3, let’s look back to my first pride and joy, my Ford Escort.
The Ford Escort was the first car I ever owned, and I was so proud when I got it because I used my own money that I worked hard to earn. Elwin (the car’s name), lasted a whole summer before it had enough of me. One day my sister, our cousin and I were doing what teens did in Kingman, driving around town blaring music way too loud and having a good time.
We got down to the park to a random intersection that I had to stop at to let another car go by and that was a mistake. I hit the gas to go and Elwin said, “No.” At first, I thought it was my battery, but I realized that it wasn’t the battery because all the lights still came on.
The three of us pushed Elwin out of the roadway and got ahold of my parents. My parents pushed my car to the shop, only to find out the timing belt broke and the repair would cost almost $800 to fix. I didn’t have that kind of cash, so we just handed my car off to one of my co-workers, so they could fix it up and do with it what they wanted to.
Car No. 2. Surprisingly it is still running. That poor thing has more than enough issues and it is still hanging in there.  The shocks need replaced, the transmission is starting to go, the engine light will not go away no matter all the repairs, the battery was giving us hell but with a replacement it is working just fine now. The sunroof broke and won’t open anymore, the radio eats CDs every so often but thankfully it spits them out. The oil leaks bad and that has been fixed once before. And don’t get me started on the awful gas mileage.
All-around, this car has had it rough but I know its there if I need it.
My sweet, sweet Kia Optima came into my life about a month ago. Not only was I blessed with a car, but in purchasing the Kia, I helped the previous owner pay for his college diploma that he hasn’t been able to get his hands on for almost a year since he graduated.
Needless to say, it made me feel good about getting the car.
When I first got it, the alignment wasn’t, and still isn’t, the best. It pulls to right badly.
On Tuesday, I took it to an alignment shop in Hutchinson, and I get a call from the guy who looked at my car and he said that I need to get both of my struts replaced, and both of my front tires replaced before I can get the alignment.  All together costs, $688.
I do not have that kind of cash to spend, with the tag due at the end of the month. My stress has increased so much with finals just around the corner and adding the car expensive on top of it all has in fact made this hell week and hell week is going to turn in to hell month real fast.

Emma Cox

State Fair stays

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Word has been going around about possible removal of The Kansas State Fair from Hutchinson.

This came about after a bill was passed by State Rep. Don Schroeder, R-Hesston, which if it passed, would have allowed the State Fair Board to seek proposals from cities that had an interest in hosting the fair.

However, State Sen. Ed Berger, R-Hutchinson and former Hutchinson Community College president, introduced a bill, allowing state sales tax to be collected by and returned to the fair, but only if the fair stayed in Hutchinson. According to an article from The Hutchinson News, “Funds will end if the State Fair leaves the city limits of Hutchinson.”

Hutchinson Community College Director of Marketing and Public Relations Denny Stoecklein began his 20-year-involvement with the State Fair in 1995. His duties were to find corporate sponsorships, scheduling events happening during the fair, and was held responsible for marketing uses of the fairgrounds off-season as well.

After four years, Stoecklein was promoted to Assistant Manager, and in 2003, was titled General Manager. Stoecklein served that role until July 2015, when he was given the opportunity to be PR and Director of Marketing by HutchCC.

“With a history that dates back 100 years in Hutchinson and Reno County, I think the State Fair is quite secure where it’s at,” Stoecklein said. “Fairs are about tradition, traditions that vary with each person.”

When asked how the city of Hutchinson and the college would be affected if the State Fair was to be moved, Stoecklein said that there would be a huge impact, since the fair generates tens of millions of dollars annually, from the fair and many other events, non-fair related that utilize the buildings throughout the years.

Stoecklein said that HutchCC benefits from the fair through marketing offers to potential students, and provides a connection with current and former students.

“Just last year, hundreds of former students stopped by our booth to sign a historic desk from Lockman Hall (that’s currently in display in the Admissions office in the Student Union),” Stoecklein said.

There are also opportunities for student groups or clubs to raise money. They can earn by helping with parking spaces or working in the food court. Nursing students, are able to gain valuable hands-on experience assisting exhibitors in health-related fields,” Stoecklein said.

The unfortunate events of Brenna; My log chute experience

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Since my last event was about spring break in Michigan, where my sister, Danielle, and her husband, Jake Jameson, are almost the only ones that don’t have a northern accent, I thought it would be fun to tell another tale about unfortunate happenings in Minnesota.

When I was little, either a 6-or-7-years old, my family went on a trip to Minnesota to see my aunt and uncle. At that time in my life, I had a sweet portable CD player and had three CD’s with me on that trip. The “Spirit” soundtrack, “Shrek 2”, and the very first “Kidz Bop”.

That’s right. I am a movie dork, and my family owned a copy of the very first abomination of all music. However, I will say that there were some fantastic jams on the first “Kidz Bop”, but as you probably know, it all went downhill from there.

We also went to Mall of America, which was awesome. There was a LegoLand, where everything was made out of Legos, and a Cheese World. The best (and my favorite part) was Camp Snoopy, the indoor theme park.

The rides were all themed for certain kid shows or stories. The SpongeBob ride was a 4-D ride. You sat in a big chair that moved around and shook while watching the introduction to the show. I had a blast on that ride, but my little sister was so scared that she screamed and ran out, leaving me to enjoy by myself.

And I had to ride this dumb baby roller coaster with her like a billion times because she was too young or too scared to ride anything else. The ride had only one bump and it went in one little circle. I think my face would have been equivalent to someone on “The Office” looking at the camera.

However, I did get to ride the big-kid rides, like the roller coaster that was above the entire theme park, which was a bit terrifying because I thought I was going to fall off and die. Everything was going pretty smooth for my family, until I almost fell out of a log chute.

It was Paul Bunyan’s Log Chute, and had a mountain theme. There was a big cave that you ride in and inside, Paul Bunyan was motioning like he was chopping wood with his axe, and a bull was with him spraying water through its nostrils. I was absolutely terrified of the giant lumberjack. Little did I know, my sister Leisha made me even more scared the following night when she told me he was coming to kill me with his axe.

Thanks Leish, I had several nightmares about killer lumberjacks after that.

That wasn’t the worst part though. My sisters and I wanted to get a picture on the log chute when you shoot down, so we all piled in – Danielle in the back, Kylie, Leisha, and then me in the front. Mind you, I was probably about 4 feet at the time and had zero grip on the railing holding us in.

So here we were riding up the peak of the “mountain” and Danielle had said to remember to smile because there was a picture at this part. Now all of that had left my brain when we exploded down because I was falling out of the log! Leisha had to grab me and hold me because I was touching the water.

On the bright side I was fine and we ended up returning to Minnesota for my travel softball team that went to nationals.

Brenna