Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Scenes from ‘Our Town’

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Photos by Natalie Devena

‘Trooper Ben’ comes to HutchCC

Friday, October 19th, 2018

By Kat Collins
Staff writer

The Twitter-famous Trooper Ben came to Hutchinson Community College on Oct. 10 to talk about making a brand for individually, and how to get known on social media.

Some of things that he talked about included that social media is 95 percent fun and five percent business, and don’t use social media as a megaphone – use it as a Walkie-Talkie. In other words, use it for one-on-one interaction.

On twitter, Ben, whose real name is Ben Gardner, can be found @TrooperBenKHP. He has more than 59,000 followers. He is originally from Michigan, and when he joined the military, it brought him to Kansas.

During his time in Fort Riley, he met his wife, who was going to Kansas State University at the time. From the beginning that they were dating, she told him that “I won’t leave Kansas.”

So he left the military to be with his wife.

In 2014, Ben asked two of his fellow troopers, Tod and Gary, to join him on Twitter. At first, they were hesitant, but Ben convinced them. They soon agreed to it, and they soon became known as the “Tweeting Troopers”.

Trooper Ben says, “I use my twitter to humanize myself to others – to show that I am more than the badge I wear.”

Maybe the best thing about following Trooper Ben on Twitter? He follows back.

Spooky Legends: (Not so) spooky stuff be happenin’

Friday, October 19th, 2018

By Emily Fehrman
Social Media Editor

This last week, I went on two spooky ghost-hunting expeditions around Hutchinson. The first one was the Hutchinson Library with my Editor in Chief, Brenna Eller. The second was Reno Valley Middle School with our Opinion Page Editor, Tabitha Barr.

I’m sure you are reading this in hopes of hearing about some wildly bizarre ghost encounter, but I regret to inform you that nothing of the sort happened. While at the library, Brenna and I got a tour of all the supposedly spooky areas where the ghost of a past librarian named Ida has been known to be seen.

About the scariest thing that happened was after I made a (particularly morbid) joke and then some strange noises erupted from around the corner. Only to find out it was, in fact, the old elevator starting up. Oh and all the paper Mache puppets they keep in the basement? That was also sketchy at best.

While the two of us were investigating in the basement where Ida was said to have spent a big portion of her time, we rounded a corner and scared the living daylights out of ourselves with a mirror. I am still convinced they used the placement of said mirror to scare anyone who dare walk by while in dim lighting.

The second spooky expedition I went on was to a middle school, I think everyone already has a negative connotation about those awful years of their life. So going into a school where it is supposedly haunted by not only one but two ghosts?? No thank you, count this girl out. But I did it for all of you readers who don’t actually know who I am, but I write to you all as if you do. So basically, I indirectly did it for you – be grateful because this was creepy, but also required me to leave the comfort of my home.

While Tabitha and I were at the school, nothing particularly peculiar happened, but both of us got weird feelings at different times. Tabitha had said on multiple occasions throughout the evening it had felt as if someone had touched her. As in put their hand on her arm to grab her attention or something along those lines. I on the other hand just kept hearing weird noises.

We both experienced weird and dramatic shifts of temperature in rooms. Like, that is not odd enough. All the bathroom doors were open, and I guess that is really irregular. Naturally, I said we should check it out because that’s what we came there to do. While investigating, we came across a stall door that was closed.

Both of us thinking that it wasn’t locked or anything, I jokingly turned to Tabitha and told her she should check inside the stall. In the moment she decided to be brave, or as brave as possible. The moment she went to nudge it open with her foot and it did not budge? I can’t describe how fast I made it out that bathroom, leaving Tabitha to deal with the findings herself.

In the end we never did find out why that one lonely stall was locked. I made up some ridiculous story to freak Tabitha out about how the ghost of the janitor or kid were in there, but in reality, I’m sure some kid thought it would be funny to lock the door from the inside and crawl out.

 

 

Spooky Legends: Theorosa’s Bridge continues to haunt

Friday, October 19th, 2018

By Jared Shuff
Staff Writer

A concrete bridge sits just a few miles outside the small town of Valley Center. If you were to drive past it, you probably would not notice anything out of the ordinary. However, this bridge may be one of the most haunted places in Kansas.

The stories seem to vary, especially as the years go by. Every manifestation of the legend revolves around a mother and her baby. The earliest legend takes place late in the 1800s.

According to the story, Indians attacked a wagon full of settlers and stole a baby named Theorosa. The mourning mother roamed the area, calling out for her lost child until she herself died. It is said that you can still hear her calling out for Theorosa.

In a more modern version, the story is that a farm wife named Theorosa gave birth to an illegitimate child. She threw the baby into the river to drown it, then drowned herself out of guilt.

Rumors are that if you go to the bridge and announce that you have her child, she will attack you and try to throw you into the river as well.

Like most haunted location, the bridge has become somewhat of a local attraction, piquing the interest of believers and skeptics alike.

One visitor, Linda Ritter, recounted her experience on Angels and Ghosts, a paranormal blog.

Ritter and her friends said they experienced an overwhelming sense of sadness as they drove over the bridge.

“I have been to several places and had experiences, but not quite like this,” Ritter said.

After stopping, the group tried to call out for Theorosa. While at first nothing happened, one by one they started to hear the sounds of a baby crying. One girl said she felt something bump against her. They left soon after.

The next morning, the girl who said she had been bumped found a dark bruise on her body, exactly where she had felt it the night before.

Many visitors have reported similar occurrences, such as the appearance of a woman’s ghost, cold winds, unexplained vehicle problems, and the sounds of a baby crying.

The bridge, originally built out of iron and wood, burned down in 1974, only to be rebuilt and burned down again in 1976. After closing for 15 years, the bridge was again rebuilt in 1991, this time in its current concrete state.

For those interested in checking this ghostly bridge out, it is located at 109th street North and Meridian. Over the years, the bridge has been a common spot for vandalism and is now covered in graffiti.

If you decide to taunt the ghost of Theorosa, do it at your own risk, and be prepared for a haunting encounter.

Blog: http://www.angelsghosts.com/theorosas_bridge_ghost_story

Photo taken from: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/kansas/theorosas-bridge-kansas/

 

 

Take it on the run

Friday, October 19th, 2018

By Amanda Carney
Co-Sports Editor

More than 8,000 miles from home, Andrew Kibet is one of Hutchinson Community College’s top cross country runners.

Kibet, a freshman, grew up in Eldoret, Kenya a total of 8,440 miles from his new home in central Kansas.

Hutchinson, was a place for Kibet to explore his dreams.

“I was excited to come to a new place, but it’s hard, with the U.S. being so big,” Kibet said.

Growing up, Kibet came from a town – and a country – of long-distance runners but ended up playing volleyball in high school at Kitany Secondary.

When asked if he missed playing volleyball, Kibet said with a smile, “Not much.”

Kibet thought about coming to the United States to study and compete, but never thought about running long distance, like cross country. Many men’s college races are 8,000 meters, or nearly five miles.

“I’ve never thought of running distances,” Kibet said. “I grew up mainly running the 1,500 and 800. This was the first cross country (race) I ever did.”

Kibet did not take long to adjust to distance running.

“Track is speed and (cross country is) endurance,” Kibet said.

Kibet also knows that his success, and the Blue Dragons cross country team, wouldn’t be as good without the help of his teammates.

“It’s a great team,” Kibet said. “I can’t do it alone. It’s about teamwork. It’s the most perfect team when it comes to training.”

Coach Justin Riggs has been impressed and for good reason. Kibet won the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic at Fun Valley Sports Complex, and he also won the Missouri Southern State Stampede, while finishing second at the Fort Hays State Tiger Open.

“Andrew has been good, really good,” Riggs said. “He’s worked really hard and is also naturally gifted. Where he grew up, the altitude and training was at 7,000 feet, that makes a big difference. It’s a blessing.”

The Blue Dragons will compete next on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Region 6 Cross Country Championships.

Overcoming adversity: ‘Breaking Bad’ actor R.J. Mitte speaks about overcoming challenges in his life

Friday, October 5th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Collegian Editor-In-Chief

When a child is asked what they want to be when they grow up, they hardly ever say sitting in an office all day or doing something they aren’t fond of. Instead they say they want to be a doctor, firefighter, singer, or even an actor/actress. The limits have seemed to change for college students who once had those dreams themselves.

Twenty-six-year-old actor, model, and cerebral palsy activist, R.J Mitte who spoke at the Ray and Stella Dillon Lecture Series on Tuesday Oct. 2 at the Sports Arena, explains that no one should limit themselves on what they can or can’t do. Mitte spoke about struggles he has faced with the condition and stressed the thought, “Can’t is a decision, and a mindset.”

Mitte is most known for roles in television shows, the main one being Walter White Jr. on AMC’s hit show “Breaking Bad”, who has cerebral palsy, same as Mitte, except in reality, Mitte’s condition is milder, so he had to slow his speech and learn to walk with crutches for the show.

Mitte, like others with CP, was born with the disorder where the brain lacks the appropriate amount of oxygen.  Mitte is also known for characters he played in “Switched at Birth”, “Weeds”, “Vegas”, and even acted in “Hannah Montana” and “Everybody Hates Chris”.

Still acting, Mitte helps with several charities on the side, such as Shriners Hospitals for Children, Special Olympics, ALS Associations, and many more organizations dedicated to helping others.

Mitte was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. From age 3-13, his mother took him to Shriners Hospital for many types of therapy and braces. Mitte was a “severe toe walker and his feet bent downwards, so he walked on the tips of his toes, so he had to go through a lot of physical therapy. During his lecture, Mitte described the casts he had to wear and shared about sticking frozen coins in them during the hot summer to cool his legs.

Despite his optimism, growing up with the disorder had its challenges. Even though Mitte participated in normal childhood activities like soccer and riding dirt bikes, he explained what it was like with bullies.

“People with disabilities don’t want to be labeled as disabled,” Mitte said.

He also explained how a lot of people stand by while bullying takes place.

“If you see something, say something,” Mitte said. “Everyone has the ‘someone else will take care of it’ mentality and we need to break it.”

Mitte followed that thought with a story involving a blind man on the same plane as him recently. The man was in need of assistance, according to Mitte, and got lost trying to figure out where he was going. Mitte decided to step up and guide the man, even though he was a stranger and several people were watching the blind man struggle, yet Mitte was the only one that took initiative.

From a young age, Mitte learned the importance of self-worth. His grandfather pushed the philosophy of “Can’t say can’t” and the idea stuck with him. When answering his grandpa, Mitte had two options, “Yes”, or “I wasn’t in the room, or didn’t hear you.”

His grandfather showed him that even though people told Mitte he couldn’t do specific things, that it was their decision, not his and wanted him to be the best he could be.

Mitte not only faced his own obstacles, but his family’s as well. When he was 12-and-a-half years old, Mitte’s mother was in a car accident that partially paralyzed her for seven years. His grandfather also suffered a stroke that left him fully paralyzed on the left side.

“Without challenges, where would we be in our lives?” Mitte said. “It’s those challenges that shape us.”

In 2006 Mitte’s family moved to California to support his sister, Lacianne, while she was trying out for an acting opportunity. That was also the time, Mitte was recognized and started going to acting classes just for fun and to meet kids his own age. Before he knew it, Mitte was pushed into the entertainment industry, or as he called it, “The Mob”.

The main focus of Mitte’s speech was to not limit yourself to the small things, but instead reach as far as you can, and then even further.

“It’s up to you how far you want to reach,” Mitte said. “Step out of your realm of comfort.”

When asked earlier in the press conference what the overall message would be to the Hutchinson Community College students, Mitte said, “Protect your brand and image, you are cultivating your business, jobs look at you as an individual on social media and what you represent.”

Mitte also wanted to inform students that being aware of who they are and not being afraid to show people their true self is important.

“The people around you set your tone, if you don’t stand up for something, then who will?,” Mitte said. “We only get one chance to show people who and what we are, so stand up for what you believe in, what we believe is all we have.”

 

 

Championship aspirations: Football team improves to 5-1 again

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

By Rebecca Carney
Co-Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College football team is off to a hot start again this season.

The Blue Dragons are sitting at 5-1 after a big win over Butler Community College on Saturday night at Gowans Stadium. This 5-1 start might look familiar to some folks, as the Blue Dragons started 5-1 during the 2017 season as well.

Although the 2017 Blue Dragons started 5-1, they eventually went down a rocky path. Out of the last six games the football team played last year, they only won two games and finished 7-5. The team hopes to avoid a slide like that again this year.

Blue Dragons coach Rion Rhoades is more optimistic about this year’s finish. The character of the football team is better than it has been in years’ past. The team also seems to be more prepared and there seems to be more trust between the players and coaches as well.

The team is also still relatively healthy, compared to last year’s team, which lost five of their top 12 offensive linemen. As the season continues, the team hopes to remain healthy and keep their attention on the game.

“Our focus is to just continue to get better at what we do. Getting off to a good start is proven to be an important thing for us. We’ve just played a lot better when we get out of the shoot and score some points right off the bat and get some stops,” Rhoades said.

With only five regular season games left, starting with Saturday’s homecoming game against Highland at Gowans Stadium, the Blue Dragons must continue to work hard.

Leading the way is freshman quarterback Mason Schucker. Schucker, a true freshman from Searcy, Arkansas, is currently tied for first in the Jayhawk Conference with 10 touchdown passes. He has just three interceptions.

“Everybody on the team is excited about being 5-1,” Schucker said. “They know we have a good shot of finishing out the rest of the season really well. We know that it could lead to bigger things as well and everybody’s just really excited to play each week, each game and get out there and practice and get better every day.”

HutchCC Theatre ready for debut

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

By Rachel Lyons
Staff Writer

Beginning Oct. 18 Hutchinson Community College Theatre will perform Thornton Wilder’s classic play “Our Town”. Twelve actors and one style of performance come together to tell the story of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, and two families over a span of 12 years.

Each act discusses a different aspect of life, whether it be mundane every day life, a wedding, or a funeral.

Each act is portrayed using the pantomime style of acting, which resembles traditional miming with the use of little to no props or scenery.

Grover’s Corners is a typical small town. A good mixture of different types of people and gossip.

Lacy Johnson, Production Stage Manager and Joe/Si Crowell, were asked to describe “Our Town”

“Wholesome, (because) it’s old and cutesy, and for the entire family,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s favorite scene in the play is the drug store scene because “it’s cute as heck,” but more than anything, she says, “Please come see it, the arts are dying.”

HutchCC, Hutchinson High School Students, and local patrons may recognize actors Damien Page, Michael Cooprider, Roni Ratzloff, Dafne Oliva, Gee Davis, Alex Miller, Nick Hockett and Keely Schmidt from Pretty Praire theatre productions.

Others on the cast and crew include: Jayden Billinger, Newton; Lacy Johnson, Kansas City, Kansas; Luis Ramirez, Wichita; Gee Davis, Haven; and Rachel Lyons, Goessel. “Our Town” is directed by Deidre Ensz-Maddox, HutchCC Director of Theatre, who also appears on stage.

HutchCC’s production of “Our Town” will be Oct. 18-20, at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m., each night in Stringer Fine Arts Center’s BJ Warner Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors, high school and non-HuchCC $5, HutchCC students and staff free with ID.

For questions please call (620) 665-3503.

SkillsUSA helping students for their future

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

By Tabitha Barr
Opinion Page Editor

Skills USA is an organization that started in 1965 to help students better prepare them for their future jobs.

Hutchinson Community college partners with Business and Industry to further the options students can pick from. Through meetings, meeting new people, and competitions, students can gain knowledge and learn what they want to do in their future.

There are more than 100 areas that students can compete in, giving a chance to any student who wants to participate. Their goal is to grant students the opportunity of new knowledge to become “world-class workers, leaders and responsible American Citizens.”

Students who join will get hands-on experience in an area they want to pursue. There are meetings with the whole team, or just a one-on-one meetings with John Pendergrass, who is the sponsor for Hutchinson Community College. These meetings consist giving the students their plan for the year to get them ready for the competition.

This school year’s competition is in April at surrounding Hutchinson areas, mainly the college campus.

During this, students will compete in what area they have chosen, whether that be culinary arts, welding and more. At competition, competitors show up, are given a name tag, locate the designated area based on what the competitor came prepared for, then take a written test to see what they know.

Afterwards, the student will then have to prove they know the material and can do it as well in hands on work.

“It’s not just a written test that you walk away from, you do the written test, and then you go out . . . and perform the task,” Pendergrass said.

The main reason this is important is because at these competitions, a student is most likely being judged by those who can hire them.

These people oversee students who are working hard and proving they can learn and become well knowledgeable in a field they would like to pursue. This is not only just a competition, but a chance to find a job.

If any student would like to join, the team is still open for recruits.

“It’s an ongoing thing,” Pendergrass said.

A student does not have to attend every meeting, but they do need to be a member. These meetings are good for information purposes.

Elections for positions will be held in the next coming months for students who want coordinate and help out the team. The membership does cost a one-time $7 payment before December.

Any student can join the Skills USA team, and it is not limited to certain majors. If a student has the drive to learn more about a specific field, they can do so through this club.

If a student would like to join, contact John Pendergrass to to become a Skills USA team member at pendergrassj@hutchcc.edu or (620)694-2443.

Record-breaking kicker

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

By Rebecca Carney
Co-Sports Editor

Sebastian Garcia, from Greer, South Carolina, is now the record holder for longest field goal in Hutchinson Community College football history.

Garcia set the school record with a 48-yard field goal in the third quarter against Fort Scott, Saturday, September 15 at Gowans Stadium during a Blue Dragon win, 61-21.

Garcia’s kicking and football career was only started after a talk with his dad. Garcia’s first interest was soccer, until her talked with is dad, expressing his football interest. Garcia decided to try spring football his freshman year at Wade Hampton High School.

“I decided to try kicking and punting because I had a good leg in soccer and figured it could transfer over to football,” Garcia said.

Garcia developed into an outstanding kicker and punter throughout his high school career, thanks to the help of his high school kicking coach Jim Hendricks, a University of Florida alumnus. Not only did his high school coach greatly influence Garcia, but so did some of the camps he participated in, Ray Guy and Chrissallor Kicking being a few.

Garcia not only holds the the record for longest field goal in Blue Dragon history, but he also holds the record for longest field goal in Wade Hampton history. Garcia set a 52-yarder field goal while at Wade Hampton, to go with his 48-yard field goal at Hutchison Community College.

Garcia broke the record held by three Blue Dragon kickers. It was last tied in 2013 by Ryan Weese, when he made a 47-yarder at Butler.

Garcia remained cool and collected when attempting a record breaking field goal.

“I just went back to basics of kicking and struck the ball,” Garcia said.

Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades recognizes what an outstanding individual and player Garcia is, on and off the field.

“Sebastian is not just a really good kicker, he’s a really good guy,” Rhoades said. “He is fun to be around. There is not a player on the field that cares more about their job than Sebastian, almost to a fault. Sometimes he works too hard.”

Garcia not has only set the field goal record in high school and now in college, but he was also named the NJCAA Special Teams Player of the Week.

Longest field goals in HutchCC history

Sebastian Garcia, 48 yards, 2018

Kevin Coleman, 47 yards, 2004

Michael Mesh, 47 yards, 2012

Ryan Weese, 47 yards, 2013