Month: November 2019

Juarez crowned Miss Caprock at annual scholarship pageant

by Autumn Bippert

Julieta Juarez was crowned Miss Caprock during the 62nd annual scholarship pageant at South Plains College.

The event was held on Nov. 15 in the Tom T. Hall Recording and Production Studio in the Creative Arts Building on the Levelland campus.

The daughter of Salvador and Angelica Juarez of Sudan represented the STAR Center. She received a $750 scholarship along with the crown and sash.

“I’m shocked, and I’m very blessed,” Juarez said after being crowned as Miss Caprock. “All those girls up there had as much talent as I do, and they’re all very intelligent. I feel very honored to be chosen.”

All of the contestants participated in an interview session with the judges earlier in the day. The interview is worth 50 percent of the participant’s overall score.

During the show, after both the “After 5 Wear” and “Formal Wear,” which comprised of 25 percent of the scoring, the top five contestants answered onstage questions from the judges, which covered the remaining 25 percent.

Juarez’s on-stage question was, “If you could wake up tomorrow with any one ability or quality, what would you want it to be?” Her answer was to have the ability to fly, or not have to pay for a plane ticket ever again. She explained with tearful eyes that she wants to be able to see her loved ones who live great distances away.

The top five finalists answered on stage questions, that ranged during the 62nd annual Miss Caprock scholarship pageant held on Nov. 15 in the Tom T. Hall Recording and Production Studio in the Creative Arts building on the Levelland Campus. ALL PHOTOS BY AUTUMN BIPPERT PLAINSMAN PRESS

“I talked myself out of competing last year, so I wanted to push myself and try something different,” Juarez explained. “I wanted to leave SPC knowing that I did everything I wanted to do. That was my main reason for competing.”

Haley Norris, 19, a sophomore Pre-Nursing major from Lubbock, received a $500 scholarship after finishing as the first-runner up. Norris represented the Texan Cheerleaders.

Rounding out the top five contestants for the night were: Hallie Satterwhite, 18, a freshman Biology major from Levelland, who represented the Student Government Association; Danisha Lewis, 20, a sophomore Sports Broadcasting major from Plano, who represented the Black Student Union; and Courtlyn Judah, 19, a freshman Child Development major from Lubbock, who represented Baptist Student Ministries.

The other contestants included: Kamryn Alvarez, 18, a freshman Video Production major from Earth, who represented Catholic Student Ministries; Cielo Esqueda, 18, a freshman Business Administration major from Dimmitt, who represented the Student Government Association; Kaitlynn Jackson, 18, a freshman Education major from Fort Worth, who represented the Texan Cheerleaders; and Raelynn Wooley, 18, a sophomore pre-med major from Levelland, who represented the Sixth Man Club.

Staff, former students win seven awards

Current and former staff members of the Plainsman Press recently received seven awards from the Texas Community College Journalism Association.

The winners of the awards, for material published during the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters, were announced during the annual TCCJA fall conference, which was held at Baylor University in Waco.

Kendall Rainer, a sophomore general studies major from Georgetown, placed first in the category of Sports News for his story on the Lady Texans and their run at the NJCAA National Tournament.

The current associate editor and sports editor of the Plainsman Press, who is graduating from SPC and will continue his education at Texas Tech University in January, also placed third in the same category for his story on the Lady Texans capturing a share of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference championship.

Victoria de Souza , a sophomore public relations major from Brazil, placed second in Column Writing for her column on speaking with a foreign accent. She also placed third in the category of Critical Review for her review of the movie, “The Act.”

Autumn Bippert, a sophomore photojournalism major from Georgetown who also is graduating from SPC and will continue her education at Texas Tech, received an Honorable Mention award for her review of the book, “Dry.”

Also, Kaitlyn Hyde, a sophomore photojournalism major from Houston, placed first in the category of Sports Action Photo for her photo of a member of the men’s rodeo team practicing.

MaKayla Kneisley, a print journalism major from Abernathy now attending Texas Tech, placed third in the category of Environmental Portrait for her photo of an aerial aerobics class in Lubbock.

Members of the Plainsman Press staff have won 122 awards in the TCCJA competition since 2005.

Tenth annual Stocking Drive provides cheer to children in hospitals

Autumn Bippert

The South Plains College Reese Center Library has hosted a stocking drive for children in need for close to a decade.

The idea for the Stocking Drive came from students working in the Reese Library. One of the students had been involved in an organization called Project Homefront that collected toys for children in military families. When she had toys left over, another student suggested the extra toys be put in stockings and taken to local hospitals.

The Library is collecting new Christmas stockings and stocking stuffers to reach their goal of 245. They are asking for students, faculty and people in the community to donate.

Tracey Pineda, librarian at the Reese Center campus and the director of the Stocking Drive, said that this goal is up from last year.

“We delivered 222 stockings last year to four shelters and four hospitals,” Pineda explained. “We already know there are more children in some of the shelter locations this year. So we are planning on more at the other locations just in case.”

The stockings will be delivered to the same locations as the previous years in the Lubbock, Levelland and possibly Plainview hospitals, as well as to agencies that serve women with children and agencies that shelter homeless families. These locations include: My Father’s House; Hope House and Spirit House (both are a part of Family Promise Lubbock); Women’s Protective Services; and the Restoration Empowerment Center. The Empowerment Restoration Center in Lubbock was founded and directed by former SPC student Janet Railey.

“ We’ve been in touch with most of the shelters already, and they are all looking forward to our visit and receiving stockings again,” said Pineda. “We wait to see if we have enough to include Plainview.  Last year, we had enough to take 29 stockings to that hospital, and the person who received them, Sherri Wall, was thrilled with the generosity of SPC. Hospitals usually can’t give us an exact count until the day we arrive.  Children are admitted and some have to stay at the hospital during the holidays. Some get to go home before our scheduled visit, which is a good thing.”

Pineda also explained that they’ve learned from nurses that having extra stockings to leave with them helps during the holidays, because they will see children in the emergency room as well.  She said that the stockings are nice to have on hand to give to children who need something else to focus on other than feeling bad and being scared.

There are donation boxes at the Reese Center and Levelland campus libraries, at the Lubbock Center behind the service desk, and in all Reese Center buildings.  Christmas stockings, filled or unfilled, and stocking stuffers are accepted now until the holiday break. Monetary donations, which will help to buy things if there is a need, are also accepted in the libraries.

A wide variety of items can be donated, including: baby wipes, infant clothing, bottles, teething toys, stuffed animals, bath toys, toys for various elementary-age boys and girls, dolls (small enough to fit into stockings), puzzles, art supplies, paperback books, snacks, school supplies, caps and scarves, and hygiene products, among others. There is a full list of items needed on the Library’s Facebook page.

Pineda explained that the biggest challenge they’re facing this year is the calendar.

“Most years, we have two weeks after Thanksgiving to receive donations and put the stockings together,” Pineda explained. “This year, we come back from the holiday and have one week and then finals.  The bulk of donations come in after Thanksgiving, when people have gotten into the Christmas spirit and have been out shopping. And we have set our goal higher this year. To raise additional funds this year, we have been selling chocolate to have funds to spend at the dollar store in case we find ourselves short of items for particular ages.”

As donations are received, students sort the stocking stuffers by age appropriateness. Then the stocking stuffing can begin.

After students finish filling and packing up the stockings, they will be delivered to as many children as possible.

“The filling will take place during the week before finals, right after we return from Thanksgiving this year,” Pineda said. “Our first delivery will be made during the week of finals, though the exact date hasn’t been finalized.  There are usually several trips made during that week across different days.”

During the past nine years, with the help of the SPC community of students, faculty and staff, the Library has been able to donate hundreds of stockings to children.

“We’ve discussed the possibility, if we have enough funds left from donations and chocolate sales, after all stockings are delivered, of buying a brick for the Founders Plaza to commemorate the 10 years the Library has held the Stocking Drive and contribute to the College’s endowment that supports scholarships, which was Juanita Yanez’s, who is the Library technical assistant at Reese, idea,” Pineda said. “Recently, someone at Hope House mentioned to us that if we added up the number of people receiving stockings from SPC through the years we would realize the college has touched a lot of kids and families through this endeavor.  I’d like to see a memorial of that.”

Pineda said that her favorite thing about doing the Stocking Drive each year is seeing the willingness of people at SPC to give and to help. Also, she likes seeing and hearing how delighted children are to get a surprise of fun stuff and how appreciative parents are to receive something that makes their children happy. She explained that she also loves experiencing the gratitude the people who care for the children and families at these locations have toward SPC for supporting their efforts to make life better for others.

For additional details, or to contact Pineda or Yanez about drop-off locations, call (806) 716-4682.

Students, Levelland community to gather for annual tree lighting

by Desiree Lopez

Members of the South Plains College Grounds and Maintenance Department have already begun decorating the Levelland campus in preparation for the annual event that has become known as The Festival of Lights.

SPC, in collaboration with Levelland Main Street and the Marigolds, will host the event on Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. at the main entrance of the Levelland campus.

Dr. Gary Hudson, professor of fine arts in music, will lead the SPC Symphonic Band as they perform familiar Christmas songs to begin the evening.

At that time, free hot chocolate will be offered for those in attendance.

Once the sun has set, Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC, will give his remarks about the event and will join the winner of the Miss Caprock pageant, Julieta Juarez from Sudan, to light the trees, along with the other decorations around campus and lights on campus buildings.

Afterward, SPC faculty and student organizations, including Levelland community organizations, will begin their parade floats down Magnolia Street, leading the people to the downtown square for many fun activities. Student Life will have bouncy houses available and a place to throw snowballs at the grinch.

Santa Claus will also be in attendance for those wanting to take a picture.

For questions about the Tree Lighting, contact Miranda English, director of student life at SPC, at (806)716-2377.

Board of Regents discuss student demographics, fall retirees

by Autumn Bippert

A construction report for the Science Building, student demographics, and fall retirees were among the topics discussed during the November meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC, provided a construction update on the renovations for the Science Building.

“We’ve been working very diligently with the architects and construction management trying to prepare for the renovations,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “There is a lot of complexity of trying to tie several 60-year-old buildings together, in addition to another building that’s about 15 years old. It’s just very challenging. I really think they’ve done a fantastic job of getting us where we are today.”

Dr. Satterwhite explained that David Etheridge and Ronnie Watkins spent countless hours working to prepare for the renovations.

“They have gone through room by room, cabinet by cabinet, light switch by light by outlet, trying to find out what does this look like,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “Seeing what we currently have and what it needs to change. I want to thank them publicly; they’ve done a fantastic job.”

Dr. Satterwhite explained that after talking with the architects while looking at the current budget for the renovations, the renovations need to be done in phases.

“Because we’ve discovered the complexity of the building and the complex construction project,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “And also we’re not going to be able to get this all done with $13.5 million.”

The first phase would consist of a large additional building that is 22,799 square feet. That would house a variety of new areas, such as a large student study area, private study rooms, classrooms, and offices.

“The estimated costs associated with that is approximately $6.5 million for the new addition,” Dr. Satterwhite said.

Phase 2 would include hallways and classrooms for chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. The second phase also would include new roofing for the entire building, since the roof was planned to be replaced in the next year. The estimated cost for the second phase is $4.8 million.

A third phase would be needed for the rest of the building. But Dr. Satterwhite explained they have not yet sent for bid estimates for the third phase, because additional money needs to be raised.

Stephen John, vice president for institutional affairs, presented the student demographics for the semester.

The total fall headcount is 9,179 students, a 1.1 percent decline from a year ago.

“What we see from these numbers is about 78 percent of our students are what I would classify as being college-level students,” John said. “They’re not dual credit students. They’re students that have already graduated high school and have come here to South Plains College, and that’s 7,168. The remaining 22 percent are going to be students that concurrently enroll in dual-credit courses for this fall, that’s 2011 students.”

Gender demographics are 41.4 percent, or 3,797, students who are male, and 58.6 percent, 5,382 students, who are female.

“We’ve had a 10-percent decline in the number of men enrolling at South Plains College, over the last five years,” John said, “whereas women enrollment increased.”

The number of students who are age 22 and younger are 68.7 percent of enrollment, or 6,307 students. Students ages 22 to 24 are 10.8 percent of enrollment, or 990 students. Students ages 25 and older are considered to be non-traditional, and they make up 20.4 percent of enrollment, or 1,877 students.

Full-time students make up 46.3 percent, or 4,252 students enrolled, while part-time students are 53.7 percent of students, or 4,927 students.

“In terms of ethnicity and race, each year our student body becomes more diverse,” John added. “Overall, 57 percent of our students are minorities. Hispanic students account for 49 percent of our student body. White students represent 42 percent of students. African-Americans make up 5.8 percent, and Asians male up 1.2 percent. We have 102 international students, which is 1.1 percent.”

John said that when in comes to residency, 96.8 percent of students, or 8,885, are Texas residents. Out-of-state students are 2.1 percent of enrollment, or 192 students.

Academic majors are 81 percent of enrollment, or 7,437 students. Technical majors are 19 percent of enrollment, or 1,742 students.

Dr. Ryan Gibbs, vice president of academic affairs, talked about the retirees for the fall of 2019.

A total of 14 faculty and staff members are retiring this year. The 14 had a total of 329 years of service. Danny Vest, transportation supervisor, had the most years of service with 36 years.

The retirees for the fall of 2019 are: Becky Arrant, testing assistant; Judy Brunner, instructor in vocational nursing; Glenda Bryant, professor of English; Helen Delgado, custodian; Sarah English, professor of psychology; Kiyomi Kaskela, assistant professor of mathematics; Jennifer Morris, assistant professor of vocational nursing; Ginger Mulloy, administrative computing specialist; Tony Ortiz; professor of diesel services; Whitney Owen, professor of diesel technology; Randy Rowan, professor of history; Danny Vest, transportation supervisor; Vickie Vest, payroll and retirement contributions manger; and Randy Wall, assistant professor of English.

There will be a fall retirement reception held Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. in the foyer of the Student Services Building on the Levelland Campus.

Alum pursues journalism career after experience with Plainsman Press

by Desiree Lopez

Adán Rubio has come a long way with his writing skills, and he credits South Plains College for the strong foundation it provided him.

A Lubbock native, Rubio graduated from Coronado High School in 2017. During high school, he took dual credit courses through SPC and AP classes to get him ahead in his college education.

He attended SPC in the fall of 2017 through the summer of 2018. After he graduated, he received his Associate of Arts degree in Print Journalism.

Afterward, he transferred to Texas Tech University in the fall of 2018 and is currently working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, with a minor in general business.

“I chose SPC because it just seemed like the smartest choice for me,” explains Rubio. “There’s a lot more hands-on experiences. Since I was going into journalism, I was aware of their journalism program and how much experience you get, and I really just wanted to start there to gain my roots.”

Rubio wanted an easy-going college experience so that he could focus on strengthening his journalism skills. According to him, SPC was a great place for that.

As a high school student, Rubio was good at a lot of subjects, but he was uncertain about what he wanted to do in college.


“One thing I was interested in was writing,” explains Rubio. “I would always picture so many careers as a kid, and I felt like one common factor out of all of them was writing. The reason I chose journalism, in particular, is because I thought it would give me the opportunity to develop my writing skills and use them for a better purpose.”

Rubio was a staff writer for the Plainsman Press, the campus newspaper at SPC, and was promoted to news editor for his second semester. Most of his time at SPC was spent writing for the paper and laying out pages during “Paper Night.”

After graduating from SPC, Rubio applied for TTU’s Daily Toreador, also known as the ‘DT’, which is a student-run newspaper for TTU. He is currently serving as the news editor.

There are some aspects of SPC that Rubio misses.

“I definitely miss the workload of the Plainsman Press, compared to the DT, and the small college atmosphere,” explains Rubio. “At SPC, there’s a little more time to make mistakes, ask more questions, and really get to know yourself as a college student. I miss the connections with friends and professional connections with professors.”

Rubio is still in contact with friends he met from the Plainsman Press and a couple of professors, including Charles Ehrenfeld, chairperson of the Communications Department, and Billy Alonzo, associate professor of radio, television, and film.

A memory that stands out to Rubio is the time he had to cover a story about the memorial held for a Texas Tech police officer who was shot by a student on the TTU campus. According to Rubio, the deadline pressure is what stressed him out about the assignment.

“Typically, I would have a week to write a story,” recalls Rubio. “But for this one, I had just a few days. I was super stressed about it, but I was able to get it done, and afterward I felt accomplished by it. I guess what I really learned from it is that I can do more than I think I can.”

During Rubio’s second semester with the paper, he covered a story of when Bernie Sanders came to Lubbock and had a rally at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Rubio’s story won second place in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association in the Breaking News category.

Rubio doesn’t have a specific favorite memory about his time at SPC, because he said there are too many to just choose one.

“My favorite memory is a compilation of small memories,” says Rubio. “Most of those come from ‘Paper Nights,’ because that is where all the craziness happens.”

During Rubio’s free time, he enjoys reading. He also enjoys school breaks, because it gives him a chance to hang out with his friends.

Rubio’s advice for students who are wanting to pursue a career in journalism is to not compare yourself to other people. Focus on yourself and improving, and do not be discouraged by the lack of experience you have.

“In terms of college, in general, it’s going to be a different ballgame, regardless of where you start,” explains Rubio. “You’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone, and you’re going to have to pull some late hours to get assignments done.”

Bryant looking forward to quality time with family, friends after retirement

by Desiree Lopez

Glenda Bryant has always had a love for literature. Being able to share that passion with her students is what led her to teach at South Plains College.

That chapter is coming to a close as Bryant is preparing for retirement after teaching at SPC for 26 years.

Bryant lived the first 12 years of her life in Levelland before moving to Brownfield, where her dad was transferred for work. After graduating from Brownfield High School, she attended South Plains College and earned an associate’s degree.

She went on to attend Texas Tech University, where she double majored in English and business, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Bryant spent her first two years of teaching at Ropes High School in Ropesville as a Seventh, Eighth, and 12th grade English teacher. She also taught part-time at TTU in the English Department.

She later moved to Dumas and taught full-time at Dumas High School as an English teacher, while also teaching part-time at Amarillo College.

Bryant moved back to Brownfield after her father had passed away and was hired in 1993 by SPC to teach English.

According to Bryant, she wanted to teach at only the college level. She said she felt that SPC was a good place to work, especially since it was close to home.

She started out as an assistant professor, then was promoted to associate professor. About a year ago, she was promoted to the rank of professor.

During her time at SPC, she has taught English 0301, 0302, Composition I, and British Literature. She currently teaches Composition II and American Literature.

English had always been a subject that has interested Bryant.

“I love literature,” explains Bryant. “I love studying characters and the local color concerns, like their way of living, how they were living, what their beliefs were, and what they thought. It’s interesting how values have changed somewhat. The roles of the sexes have changed tremendously, and it’s just interesting to study the various personalities.”

Glenda Bryant is retiring after 26 years of teaching English at South Plains College. DESIREE LOPEZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS

Bryant is excited to retire but will miss a few things about working at SPC.

“I will miss the professors, lunchtime, and listening to people chat,” expresses Bryant. “I’m going to miss teaching literature and hearing the students’ thoughts and their ideas.”

An obstacle she had to face during her years of teaching was getting used to being in front of a class.

“I wasn’t shy around my friends, but it’s different when you’re in front of a group,” explains Bryant. “I didn’t know I had that problem when I came to South Plains, but I did.”

Bryant has no current plans for her retirement. She said that she wants to just “go with the flow.”

She is looking forward to hanging out with her friends, seeing her family, and working out after she retires.

Bryant advises students who are struggling to find a subject area that they love and to make sure that they can earn a living in that field.

“You have to love what you do, or your life is going to be a really long one,” said Bryant.

She also advises students that are in a similar field to make connections with other students.

“You must somehow make relevance to the students that you have in class,” explains Bryant. “That means you will have to ask some questions that make them relate to the story.”

Autistic teenager navigates through college in Netflix series, ‘Atypical’

by Desiree Lopez

A freshman college student living on the spectrum wants to navigate himself through college alone. But he soon realizes that it’s harder than he thinks.


The Netflix series “Atypical” is a comedy-drama created by Robia Rashid. Its first season was aired on Aug. 11, 2017, and its third season was recently released on Nov. 1.

The show focuses on teenager Sam Gardner, played by Keir Gilchrist, who is on the autism spectrum. He has lived all of his life dependent on his mom, Elsa Gardner, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, his dad, Doug Gardner, played by Michael Rapaport, and his protective younger sister, Casey Gardner, played by Bridgette Lundy-Paine.

In season three, Sam starts his first year as a college student and is faced with the challenge of figuring out what success means for him while adjusting to the changes that come with growing up.

While Sam is on his funny and emotional journey of self-discovery, the rest of his family also must deal with the changes in their lives.

Sam’s high school experience was full of ups and downs. His mother had an affair, his sister changed schools, his favorite therapist could no longer see him, and he got his first girlfriend, all during his junior and senior years of high school. Sam thought that these few changes were difficult to go through. If only he knew how much different college would be.

During one of Sam’s group therapy sessions, he learned that four out of five students on the spectrum drop out of college. This statistic really freaked him out, but it encouraged him to try really hard and he prepared himself thoroughly.

Sam’s mindset for college was to learn to adapt and do it on his own. And he did, for a few days.

At orientation, he met people who thought he was funny, and it made him feel cool. Soon he realized that they were only temporary friends.

When it came to classes, the professors spoke too fast for him and he couldn’t take any notes. This made him stress, and he began to doubt himself.

Sam’s mother frequently encouraged him to talk to his college’s disability office, but he was determined to be independent. As he struggled more, he came to the conclusion that he couldn’t do the college life alone and that he needed help. He got the help he needed and was finally feeling at ease with college.

“Atypical” depicts the life of autistic children and provides a point of view to viewers who have never been able to understand what it feels like to live life on the spectrum. This series also shows those with autism that they can conquer anything they set their minds to, just like Sam.

Many viewers complained that Atypical(1)there were not enough autistic characters in the first two seasons, so more were added in the third season. This gave those with autism a bigger voice, and it provided a broader insight for the viewers.

They also didn’t like the fact that Gilchrist, who plays Sam, wasn’t actually autistic in real life.

I feel that Gilchrist did a really good job of showing what it’s like to be autistic. I would have never noticed the difference if it was never mentioned.

The show does a really good job of conveying what it’s like to live on the spectrum. It opened my eyes to what some people actually have to deal with on a daily basis.

A lot of the time, I felt like I was a part of the Gardner family. Anytime I saw trouble lurking around the corner, I would get frustrated that the characters didn’t see it sooner. The fact that I felt a part of the show proves that “Atypical” really does captivate its audience.

‘Inkheart’ characters come to life in blur of reality with fiction

by Abi Hernandez

The smell of the old books bring Meggie comfort in her library, by the big window, covered with little water droplets. The letters on the pages speak to her, taking her on a journey with an untold future.inkheart review pic

“Inkheart,” by Cornelia Funke, is the story of a “book doctor” named Mo and his 12-year-old daughter, Meggie, whose normal lives take an unusual turn. Mo has a special gift that allows him to be able to read animals, objects, people, or sometimes magical things, out of books.

One day, when Meggie was still a baby, Mo was reading to his wife Resa, and all of a sudden Resa disappeared. When a character from a book is read into the real world, the book takes a human being, which is what happened to Resa.

The book Mo read from is called “Inkheart,” and he reads a malicious character out named Capricorn. Since that night, Mo said he would never read aloud ever again. Years pass by, and Capricorn is still on the hunt for Mo so he can read Capricorn’s evil monster out of the book to do his dirty work.

One day, Meggie and Mo go book searching at an old bookstore. While Mo is inside the store, Meggie is confronted by Dustfinger, a character who was read out of “Inkheart,” who supposedly was there to warn Mo about the bad guys waiting for him to get home. Dustfinger also asks Mo to read him back into the book, so he can go home to his wife. But Mo refuses and runs away.

So they flee to the house of Meggie’s great aunt to seek shelter. Dustfinger follows them to the house and brings Capricorn’s men to help him get Mo, Meggie, and her aunt Elinor. They grab the three and take them to Capricorn’s castle in the middle of nowhere.

Capricorn first introduces Darius, another gifted reader who is not that good because he has a stuttering problem and only half reads them out of the character’s story. So he forces Mo to read out gold from the book “Treasure Island,” and he accidentally reads out Farid. Capricorn then throws the last copy of the book in the fire. Dustfinger tries to pull it out of the flames, but he is unsuccessful and burns his hands. Then they are all held hostage in the dungeon.

inkheart review pic #2Dustfinger then goes to get his burns treated from trying to grab the book from the fire, by a servant girl, his friend Resa, who cannot talk because when she was read out, the book took her voice. He is talking to her, and she shows him a picture of her family. He quickly realizes that Mo and Meggie are her family. He figured out that Mo read her into the story, and Darius read her out the second time, but it cost Resa her voice.

Meggie and the others are discussing a plan to go find the writer of the book, because he has the last copy of it. Dustfinger then surprisingly helps them escape, because Capricorn lied to him about helping him go home. They all go to track down the writer, Fenoglio, and he accidentally tells Dustfinger how he dies at the end of the story. Then they find the original transcript. Just when Mo was about to read Resa, his wife, out of the book, Dustfinger tells Mo the truth about her being at Capricorn’s village. Mo then promises he will read Dustfinger back into the book once he has Resa back.

While Mo and Dustfinger are gone rescuing Resa, Fenoglio has to “babysit” Meggie and Farid. As Fenoglio falls asleep, Meggie goes to her room and starts reading aloud from the book, “The Wizard of Oz”, and reads out Toto, the little black dog. She then realizes she has the same reading gift as her father. During this, one of Capricorn’s best men, Basta, and another come and steal Meggie and Fenoglio, taking them to the village.

They are all taken hostage, except for Mo and Farid. Meggie finally meets her mother after so many years. Capricorn is going to make Meggie read out “The Shadow” monster from the book, or he is going to kill her mother. So Meggie and Fenoglio plot and write up a different story so the Shadow will kill Capricon, all the characters will go back in the book where they belong, and Dustfinger will return to his family.

At the ceremony, when she reads out the Shadow monster, she pulls the paper from her sleeve and reads the new version. It works, then Elinor comes in to save Meggie from being eaten.

All of Capricorn’s men disappear, all the creatures go back to their books, Fenoglio gets read into his own book, Capricorn then gets eaten by the Shadow monster, Resa gets her voice back, and Meggie is reunited with her family.

For a fiction story, I would give “Inkheart” a 10 out of 10.

Photojournalism student cherishes experiences, relationships

by Autumn Bippert

Since the first semester of class, I have been thinking about the day I would write my farewell to South Plains College. I wondered what my story would be, who I would be two years into the future.

The truth is, I wasn’t excited about coming to SPC. But I wasn’t the best high school student, and SPC had the major I wanted. So there really wasn’t another option.

During the past two and a half years, I have given SPC all of myself, and in return, SPC gave me everything it could back. I have learned so much from so many kind and caring professors, such as Charlie Ehrenfeld, Billy Alonzo, Rebecca and Aaron Greene. These professors, not only taught me through their class, but they made SPC feel like home.

My whole life I have lived in the same 30-mile radius in central Texas. Being 350 miles away from what I had known my whole life was hard. And I am so thankful for the many here at SPC who made my transition less hard and made SPC my home away from home.

This brings me to where I have spent the larger majority of my college career, in the Communications Building. I have spent countless hours, late nights, even into early mornings, in the Communications Building. I wanted to be a photojournalism major because of the journalism I learned in high school. I had no idea how much I didn’t even know about journalism and communication. Being at SPC made me fall in love with journalism, photography, and communication all over again.

As I am writing this, I sit in an empty Newsroom. The Newsroom is where everything happened. I cannot even begin to describe all that has occurred in this room. This is where I laid out my first collegiate newspaper page, where I learned how to write headlines, where many friendships were formed, where I struggled to learn how to become a better leader. The Newsroom has been a gathering place of all these wonderful, and not so wonderful, memories. I’ve accomplished so much in this room, grown so much in this room and become the person I am today in this room. The Newsroom is a part of my heart. The Newsroom is the place where I struggled endlessly, but it always helped me fall back in love with journalism.


During my first semester on the staff, I was determined to work hard and produce the best work I could. In high school, my hard work on the yearbook staff was always overlooked. But it was different once I joined the Plainsman Press. They recognized my hard work and my love for what I was doing. And I was named Editor-in-Chief after my first semester.

So many people through the years have made an impact on me through the staff. Whether good or bad, these people made a difference in my life and helped me grow and learn.

I am so thankful for the people who taught me and guided me my first semester on the staff. Matt Molinar, Riley Golden, Nicole Lopez, Brandi Ortiz, and Tovi Oyervidez all were great mentors who taught me everything I needed to know. They were also part of my support system for the first semester of college. I hope they are all doing wonderful in their endeavors.

staff photo finished

Randi Jines and Tina Gonzales were my fellow editorial assistants in the Newsroom who quickly became my friends that first semester. They both filled my time in the Newsroom and my life with laughter and joy. They are amazing people who will accomplish so much if they put their heart into it.

Adán Rubio was also part of the first staff I was on, although I didn’t get to know him until my second semester. Adán reluctantly joined our fun on Paper Night when we joked around. But eventually he warmed up, and we got to know him better. Adán is an amazing journalist and one of the smartest people I know. It was an absolute pleasure teaching him everything I could. I am incredibly proud of how well he is doing at Texas Tech and on the staff of the Daily Toreador as the News Editor, which I totally take some credit for. I’m so thankful for his random visits on Paper Nights to check on us and talk with me. I am delighted to call him my friend.

During my second semester, I met a girl who was being interviewed for a student feature. I didn’t know that one day she would be one of my best friends. Victoria De Souza will say that I made her join the staff, which is true. I had been friends with Victoria for close to a year when I asked her to join the staff. She reluctantly agreed. Victoria has struggled so much with writing because English is not her first language, but she has come so incredibly far. I am so proud of how far she has come and how she has stuck through it, even when she wanted to quit. She is an amazing person and such an intelligent person. I love her for so many reasons, and I will forever be cheering her on.

Rebekah Harvey (now Lofton) was on the staff last spring. She quickly became someone I could depend on. She is the most capable person I know. She also has an incredible heart. She was always there to listen, to gossip and never to judge. I know she will be incredibly successful in the future. I am so grateful to have her in my life. I enjoyed teaching her and working with her. I hope she and Brandon have an amazing life together.

Without Kendall Rainer, my right hand, kendall and i.pngI would not have been able to accomplish all that I have. Kendall and I dated in high school, and he decided to follow me to college. After his first semester, he was still unsure of what he wanted to do. So I encouraged him to join the newspaper staff. He quickly became an instrumental part of the paper. He helped me so much in and out of the Newsroom. I am so grateful to have such an amazingly hard worker in my life supporting me. I am extremely proud of how much he has learned, has grown as a person, and accomplished.

Charlie Ehrenfeld, Charles, my mentor and professor, words cannot describe all that you are to me.IMG_9258 He has been my parent away from home. He has pushed me to become better and learn more. He has taught me so much about journalism that I didn’t even know I didn’t know. He has been there to let me vent about life. And he helped me grow to be the person I am today. He has become my family, and he guided me to fall in love with communications again. I am so thankful to have him in my life, and I can’t wait to thank him in my acceptance speech one day.

Through the Plainsman Press, I have had so many experiences that I would have never done before. I’ve been on the sidelines of Texas Tech football games doing what I’ve always loved, taking photos. I’ve interviewed so many interesting and amazing people. I was a nominee for Miss Caprock, which I never thought I would do. I have sat in on Board of Regents meetings, improving my journalism range and getting to know the people who run the college. I have loved every second, through all the stress, the tears and doubts. I loved each experience.

I’ve had so many wonderful professors at SPC who made my experience memorable and great, as well as other staff at the college. I am so grateful for each and every person who has helped me through these first few years of my college career.

After two years of wondering about what my farewell would say, I figured that it is my love letter to the Plainsman Press, to every staff before me that set the foundations for the paper, and every staff I have been a part of.

Lady Texans dominating early in new season

by Kendall Rainer

The South Plains College women’s basketball team remains unscathed through six games.

The No. 2-ranked Lady Texans moved past No. 16 Grayson College in a 78-53 victory on Nov. 16 at the New Mexico Junior College Classic in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Sophomore Ruth Koang led the scoring for SPC with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds. Sophomore Sarah Shematsi poured in 14 points, hitting six of her 16 attempts from the field, to go along with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Freshman Johanna Teder added 14 points off of the bench, hitting all five of her shots from the field and going 4-for-4 from behind the three-point line.

Freshman Ashala Moseberry and Ka’Lia Smith netted eight points each, both knocking down three of their six shots from the floor. Sophomore Caroline Germond added seven points, to go along with eight steals and four assists.

SPC shot 47 percent from the field and 30 percent from behind the three-point line in the contest.

The Lady Texans posted a 77-35 victory against No. 13 Salt Lake Community College at the New Mexico Junior College Classic, which was held on Nov. 15 in Hobbs, New Mexico.

With the victory, Lady Texan Head Coach Cayla Petree reached 100 victories as the head of the women’s basketball program at SPC.

Ka’Lia Smith shooting a free throw against Lamar College on Nov. 7 at Texan Dome. All photos by KENDALL RAINER/PLAINSMAN PRESS

Moseberry raked in a season-high 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field, while hitting four of her five attempts from the three-point line.

Koang picked up 16 points for the Lady Texans, shooting 8-for-9 from the field and pulling down seven rebounds. Shematsi added 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field. Smith poured in 11 points, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor.

SPC dominated on the defensive side of the court, with 30 of their 38 rebounds coming on the defensive end. The Lady Texans forced 28 turnovers that resulted in 23 points. The Lady Texans shot 57.1 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the three-point arc, while holding the Lady Bruins to 20 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from the three-point line.

SPC notched their fourth victory on the season after a 91-52 demolition of Northwest Kansas Technical College on Nov. 9 at Texan Dome.

Shematsi led all scorers with 22 points, hitting eight of her 10 attempts from the field, and going 6-for-7 from the three-point line. She also grabbed nine rebounds in the contest. Smith poured in 12 points to go along with nine rebounds on 100-percent shooting from the field and the free-throw line.

Koang finished with 13 points and three rebounds, shooting 6-for-8 from the floor. Freshman Kor Fornesa Liu put up 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor and grabbed two rebounds.

Moseberry contributed 10 points, while Germond added six. Moseberry shot 3-for-6 from the field, pulling down two rebounds in the contest. Germond shot 2-for-6 from the field, hitting two of her four attempts from behind the three-point line.

The Lady Texans shot for 61 percent from the floor and 47.8 percent from the three-point line. They also outrebounded the Lady Mavericks, 38-18.

Women’s cross country team fourth at national meet

by Kendall Rainer

The South Plains College women’s cross country team placed fourth at the NJCAA National Championships.

The Championship meet was held on Nov. 9 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


The Lady Texans earned 135 points in the final team standings. Iowa Central Community College placed first with 60 points, followed by New Mexico Junior College with 107 points. El Paso Community College placed third with 125 points.

In the women’s 5-kilometer run, sophomore All-American Gladys Jemaiyo crossed the finish line at 17:15 to place third for SPC. Sophomore Dorcus Ewoi finished eighth with a time of 18:09.

Daisy Kibet competing in the NJCAA Region V Championship meet which was held on Oct. 26 in Snyder. Photo courtesy of Wes Underwood/Marketing and Recruitment Office

Sophomore Itzel Garcia Santos finished 20th overall, crossing the finish line at 19:15, while freshman Daisy Kibet crossed the line just a second later at 19:16, finishing in 21st and earning All-American honors.

Sophomore Nyia Sena did not finish the race after collapsing.

The Texans were unable to place in the team standings as they only competed with two runners in the championship meet.

Abdirizak Ibrahim earned All-American honors with his effort in the men’s 8-kilometer race. The freshman finished 24th with a time of 25:25. Sophomore Alex Kitum finished 126th with a time of 27:21.

The teams competed in the NJCAA Half Marathon National Championships on Nov. 23 on the campus of El Paso Community College in El Paso. Results were not available at press time.

General studies major finds future career through colligate publication

by Kendall Rainer

This is my final story for the Plainsman Press.

I have written so much for this newspaper, done so many amazing things, experienced things that I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced.

I’ll start from the beginning. As the end of my senior year of high school came quickly approaching, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I had no plans for college, no career path in mind.

There was one thing, one person, however, who was going to set me on a path that I hadn’t even pondered.

The woman I am dating had been constantly hounding me about college. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, and I didn’t have good grades in high school, but I decided to follow her to college.

This is where my journey began. During my first semester at South Plains College, I just focused on doing my basics as a General Studies Major. My girlfriend was simultaneously beginning her career on the Plainsman Press.

As my second semester of college was approaching, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So my girlfriend convinced me to join the newspaper to try to find something.

I have enjoyed photography since high school and had a small portfolio put together. So the position of photo editor on the paper spoke to me. I joined the staff the following semester on the promise that all I had to do was take and edit photos. Part of that ended up being true.

In my first semester on the paper, I was named photo editor, with a bonus of being the sports editor. My title changed the next semester, but my job remained the same, take and edit photos, write sports. In my third semester, I had the privilege of being named Associate Editor, and still hold that title in this, my final semester on the paper and at SPC.

I have had some amazing opportunities, including but not limited to: taking photos at numerous SPC sporting events, having the amazing opportunity to take photos at Texas Tech football games, including a game against the University of Texas, which I will forever be grateful for, and experiencing many fascinating things Lubbock has to offer.

There have been many influencers, many friendships I have formed along the way. However, for the sake of space I will only mention a few.

The first and most significant influence has been Autumn Bippert (the girlfriend previously mentioned). If it wasn’t for her, I would have never found something I enjoy so much. She has helped me through some of the toughest moments in my college career thus far, both on and off-campus. I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished. She became the Editor-In-Chief at the start of her second semester on the newspaper and has run every staff amazingly. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next.

The next, and just equally as influential, is Charlie Ehrenfeld. Charlie has not only been my instructor and advisor, but he has been a mentor to me. He has taught me so much about both photography and writing and reporting sports. Not only has he been a mentor, but he has helped to make this place that is very far away from where I grew up my home away from home.


Adán Rubio is one of the great editors I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know during my first semester. It took him a little bit to warm up to everyone, but he eventually came out of his shell. Being his desk-mate I was able to hear all of the under-the-breath jokes he made, which were seemingly out of character. Adán has gone on to be the News Editor at the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech, an accomplishment that I am very proud of him for.

Tina Gonzales and Randi Jines made Paper Nights an amazing experience during my first semester on the staff. They are part of the family bond we forge in the Newsroom, and I will never forget my time with them.

Victoria De Souza has become a great friend of mine. She joined the paper in my third semester after Autumn had convinced her to come aboard. The sassy Brazilian that I call my friend is and will be a highlight of my time here, and I am very proud of how far she has come.

There were many more editors and staff members along the way that I was not able to mention, but I thank each and every one for the experiences they contributed to and the hard work they put forth to forge this award-winning newspaper.    

The countless hours I have spent in this Newsroom I will remember forever. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I don’t think there will be many more like it. I have greatly enjoyed my time here, and I will not soon forget it. Farewell.           

International student improves communication skills with Plainsman Press experience

by Victoria de Souza

            I have never been a very good person for dealing with goodbyes, and saying goodbye to the Plainsman Press has not been an exception.

            My story with the Plainsman Press newspaper started way before Autumn’s unstoppable attempts to get me to join as a staff member. In the spring of 2018, Randi Jines, one of the editors for the paper, interviewed me for a student feature, which introduced me to the class and helped me make new friends.IMG_0966

Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After months of peer pressure, I finally said, “OK, Autumn, I will join the newspaper,” and here I am two semesters later.

I was extremely scared on my first day. I did not have any idea what I would have to do. I never had any interest in Journalism, and I was very concerned about my ability to write. When I came to college, I did not have much knowledge about how to write in English. It was a very difficult time when I became part of the newspaper to overcome the fear of someone else reading my stories.

My first issue at the newspaper was very difficult for me when I wrote about how I always try to hide my accent because of being afraid of people discriminating against me. It was very hard, and I might have called Autumn, editor-in-chief of the Plainsman Press, in the middle of a major emotional breakdown. But after a lot of practice, writing became a little easier for me.

Being part of the staff not only has helped me improve my writing skills, it has given me a new little family away from home. Coming to college in a different city was very overwhelming, since I did not know anyone around this town.


Besides being the one who made me be on the newspaper staff, Autumn Bippert always helped others and encouraged me to keep writing. She has become my best friend who always sticks by my side, no matter what. This red head always pushing me to do things that challenges myself helped me become a better writer and a better person, even when she made me mad sometimes when we were both tired and stressed. She is capable of achieving anything that she wants and she knows.

Another person who always helped me a lot is Kendall Rainer. He really helped in getting a bunch of questions out of my head in seconds. It is really cool to see how creative he can be. Of course, he always says two or three jokes about my accent and how confusing I sound when I get tired. Even though he is still figuring out what he wants to do, he will be able to do it better than anyone, and he will follow his dream with passion.

A new friend of mine, Desiree Lopez, is always making jokes that help make the night go a little easier when we are laying out pages until 3 a.m. She is a hardworking girl who is capable of a lot, and anyone should not underestimate her.


To Charles Ehrenfeld, thank you for believing in me. I probably have not been the best writer, but you always told me, through the notes in my corrections, that I was and I am still improving a lot with my journalistic skills. And you might be the reason why I do not use blue pens anymore. But every time that you give me my papers full of corrections, it always shows me that I could do better.

I cannot deny how stressful this experience has been, with lots of tears, nights awake, and amazing experience collected. But it is impossible to say that I would not do it again. During the  past two semesters, being in this Newsroom has improved more than just my writing skills. The Plainsman Press has taught me to manage stressful times and be more confident in myself because I can do anything if I work hard for it.

Phillips has thrilling experience while running Chicago Marathon

by Victoria de Souza

Nicole Phillips finds time between caring for her family and her job to pursue her passion for running.

Phillips, administrative assistant to the director of athletics at South Plains College, was born and raised in Levelland, Texas. She attended SPC after graduating from Levelland High School.

Her interest in running started in 2012 after participating in a running event held in Lubbock, Texas. Also, the influence of her family and friends, who are runners, gives Phillips an incentive to continue in the sport.

“I ran the ‘Color Run’ that was hosted in Lubbock back in 2012, and ever since then, I was hooked on running,” recalled Phillips.


Recently, Phillips participated in the Chicago Marathon of 2019 on Oct. 13, completing all 26.2 miles. She mentioned that the training process with her team leading up to the marathon was intense, requiring her to find a little extra time to practice between her job at SPC and her time with her family.

“We met in the mornings at 5 a.m. on Monday through Wednesday, and Saturday we would have long runs, typically anything over 6 miles,” said Phillips.

Phillips explained that the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Marathon was fortuitous, since they require a specific time that must be met to be able to compete. They also offer a couple of extra spots to be drawn in a lottery.

“I entered the drawing,” Phillips explained, “and my name was picked. So that’s how I was able to run this marathon.”

The experience of running in a such big marathon was very special to her.ChiMarathon

“I loved everything about this race,” said Phillips. “It was so exhilarating. I have never loved running as much as I did while running that race. Usually, before a race, I’m super nervous and scared, and I’ll have second thoughts. But the Chicago Marathon was so different. I was at peace. I was happy to be there. I didn’t want it to end. The energy from the spectators was unbelievable.”

Among her other favorite activities, Phillips enjoys playing basketball during her free time.

“I enjoy everything, but basketball is one of my favorite sports,” said Phillips. “I even like to play basketball. I have an ugly shot, but if it goes in, that’s all that matters!“

Another important part of her life is spending time with her husband, Shawn Phillips, who is her number one supporter, and her 4-year-old son, Titus.

“My husband always travels with me to the big marathons,” said Phillips. “Also, our son has been very interested in sports. Right now, his favorite sport is football. He’s been teaching me how to toss a football.”

A future personal goal for Phillips is not only to participate in the Chicago Marathon, but to be able to run all the bigs marathon and participate in running events hosted by the community.

“My goal is to run all six major marathons,” said Phillips. “Also, each month, the running club I’m a part of hosts a run. So I like to participate in those races when I’m not training.”

Texans suffer first lost of season

by Kendall Rainer

The South Plains College men’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the season then bounced back for a dominant victory.

The Texans recorded a dominant 99-49 victory against Coastal Bend College on Nov. 16 at Texan Dome, improving their record to 5-1 on the season.

Benjamin Bayela was the top scorer for SPC, as he poured in 25 points on 9-for-10 shooting from the field. He hit all three of his shots from behind the three-point line. The freshman guard pulled down seven rebounds to go along with two assists, two steals and three blocks.

men's basketballFreshman Rivaldo Soaresput up 21 points off of the bench. He hit eight of his 10 shots from the field, including 3-for-5 from behind the three-point arc. Redshirt freshman Philmon Gebrewhit added 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field, going 2-for-6 from the three-point line.

Sophomore Junior Farquhar put up 10 points, hitting three of his seven shots from the field, to go along with seven rebounds and nine assists. Freshman Bernard Kouma and sophomore Fredelin De La Cruz had eight and six points, respectively. Kouma shot 4-for-5 from the field, while De La Cruz shot 3-for-6.

The Texans shot 60 percent from the floor, as well as 50 percent from beyond the three-point arc. They totaled 44 rebounds, 24 assists and nine steals.

SPC suffered their first loss of the season, falling to Panola College 85-84 in their home opener and moving to 4-1 on the season. The game was held on Nov. 15 at Texan Dome.

Freshman Paul Person hit a free throw to put the Texans’ up 75-72 with 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation play. Panola’s Jermain Drewey launched a 45-foot three-pointer, putting it in the net to tie the game at 75-75, sending the contest to overtime.

The Ponies utilized a 6-2 run to take an early lead on the Texans in overtime. A free throw by Farquhar reduced Panolas’s lead to just one point at 81-80 with less than six seconds left in extra time. SPC fouled Stanton Rose with 2.4 seconds on the clock. Rose missed two free throws, giving the Texans a breath of hope.

Farquhar rebounded the ball just in time to launch a shot from half-court at the buzzer, but he was unable to put it down, as Panola hung on for the victory.

In the loss that went to overtime, SPC shot 40.3 percent from the field and outrebounded the Ponies 54-30.

Soares led the scoring with 17 points, connecting on six of his 11 shots from the floor, including 3-for-7 shooting from the three-point line. Freshman Jarrel Rosser poured in 17 points, hitting six of his 11 shots from the field. He led the team in rebounds with 12.

Freshman Yuot Gai added 12 points, while Person scored 11 points. Gai shot 5-for-8 from the field, while Person hit three of his six shots from the field.

American history preserved through restoration at Windmill Museum

by Autumn Bippert

The United States was once covered coast to coast by windmills that provided underground water as well as power.

The American Windmill Museum in Lubbock celebrates the history of wind-powered machines and the relationship between windmills and railroads. The museum houses more than 200 restored windmills and wind turbines.

“This is a history museum for the American style windmill,” said Coy Harris, a retired executive director and co-founder. “We’ve added to that by going back to early American history around 1600, and an English post mill that we now have on the grounds. So it covers our history of wind power in America from 1621 to right through today.”

Harris said that an estimated 24,000 people per year visit the museum. Regular hours are year-round from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. In June, July, and August, it is also open on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m..

Admission is  $7.50 for adults, $5 for children age 5 to 12, free for children younger than 5, $6 for seniors age 60 and older and veterans, and $20 for a family of four (two adults and two children). 0Q6A7145

The museum has two exhibit halls featuring both water-pumping and electric-producing windmills. All have been restored to original manufacturer specifications.

There is a variety of colorful wooden windmills and practical steel windmills featured inside. There also are windmills with collapsible blades, windmills with directional tails, railroad windmills, industrial windmills, and iron bucket windmills. The museum even exhibits a haunted windmill, the last remaining “twin-wheel” in existence, which had a reputation for killing more than the usual share of windmill workers.

“Back in 1993, when we set this up, there was a lady that worked at Texas Tech that had been photographing windmills for about 30 years,” Harris explained. “And she had noticed that the number of windmills were decreasing.”

In the 1960s, Billie Wolfe, a faculty member in Texas Tech’s College of Home Economics, began traveling throughout the country searching for windmills and interviewing the farmers and ranchers who owned them. In 1992, Wolfe learned of an unusual collection of restored windmills in Nebraska that was for sale. She visited the owner in Mitchell, Nebraska, who had a premier collection of early American windmills.

In the summer of 1993, Wolfe met Coy Harris, a Lubbock native and CEO of Wind Engineering Corporation. Together, they established the American Windmill Museum as a non-profit organization.

“We started to set up this windmill museum to preserve those that were left,” said Harris.

Harris planned, arranged and moved the collection to Lubbock, a collection that included 48 windmills, 171 weights, 56 pumps and models. Then he began the work to raise money for the balance of the purchase.

In early 1997, Wolfe passed away, but the work by her and Harris was rewarded that summer by the City of Lubbock, which offered the windmill group a permanent home in an area of Mackenzie Park.

This 28-acre tract of hills was ideal for the large number of windmills the organization owned at the time. The Scarborough-Linebery Foundation of Midland awarded a grant of more than $1 million to the museum, and a 30,000-square-foot gallery building was built to house the windmills.

As executive director, Harris designed and supervised the construction of the windmill museum, as well as the restoration and continued acquisition of the museum’s collection of rare mills. During the period when the water-pumping windmills were being acquired, Harris collected a number of early electric-generating wind chargers, some dating to the 1920’s.

By 2015, the original building was full of windmills, so a complementary 33,000-square-foot gallery building was built and opened in 2016.

Featured inside the museum is a model train system, which has a 3,000-foot mainline track and a layout of the South Plains region.

“We put in a big train system because the trains and the windmill came out here together,” Harris said. “And they worked very well together.”

The historical model train system can run 10 trains at the same time across the large layout. There are 36 scale windmills and five railroad-style windmills that were printed on a 3-D printer. It also features 12 custom-built houses, 34 buildings and a 1940 vintage downtown Lubbock.


“There’s a lot of things to see here, so there are different things for different people,” Harris said. “All the kids love the train sets. The older people, who had windmills, like to see the windmills that they used to have. The ladies that come out to visit here, if they’re not into windmills, we have miniature houses that are used on our train set. Plus we have certain wind turbines, in fact, we have a big one that runs the whole place. So there’s quite a lot of things to see out here.”

Also inside the museum is the “Legacy of the Wind” windmill mural,which covers 6,000-square-feet of wall space. It also houses one of the largest collections of grinding millstones in the Garrison Millstone room, along with the Alta Reed collection of miniature houses.

Outside the museum is the Linebery Windmill Park, which has a variety of windmills across its 28-acres. The park features both old and new windmills that can be seen and heard pumping water from underground.

Also in the park is the Vestas Wind Turbine, which has a 154-foot diameter wheel and stands on a 165-foot tall tower. The turbine stands out as a giant among the windmills. It is large enough to power the museum complex.

Vaping increasing in popularity with teens

by Victoria De Souza

The increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes among teenagers is a result of the easy access and targeting a young audience in the promotion of vape products.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly two in five students in 12th grade report vaping within the past year. This has been raising concerns about the impact on vaping on brain health and the potential for addiction in teenagers.

The use of e-cigarettes by teens has been increasing for the past few years. In 2016, the NIDA released data showing that teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than cigarettes.

In 2018, research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that an estimated 3.6 million adolescents were using e-cigarettes.

With the e-cigarettes companies, such as eCigs and JUUL, targeting teens and young adults with frequent appearances of the products on social media, that impact has been increasing sales of the products and inducing people to become consumers. In 2015, JUUL spent more than $1 million in promoting their product on social media.

The rising number of hospitalizations related to e-cigarettes has been pushing lawmakers to step up to change regulations for the production of e-cigarettes and how they can be obtained.

The Texas Medical Association has confirmed more than 70 cases of vaping-related illnesses in the state of Texas. Nationally, there have been more than 800 reported cases and 11 deaths in 45 other states. The state of Texas enacted legislation to increase the minimum age to purchase electronic cigarettes to 21 on Sept. 1 of this year.

The first death in the state related to vaping was reported by the Texas Department of Health Services on Oct. 8.

Around 20 percent of high school students in 2018 consume e-cigarettes, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey.

Richard Winslow (not his real name) is an 18-year-old high school student in the Levelland area who said experimenting with vaping was a means of escape.

“I started vaping a year ago,” recalled Winslow. “I was in a dark place. I used my sister’s vape. I could say I started to feel the need to continue using it to feel good and feel something new.”

Gabriel Regnedel (not his real name), another high school student from the Levelland area, explained how curiosity lead him into the habit of vaping.

“I was hanging out with my junior buddies when I was a freshman,” recalled Regnedel. “They had vapes, and I tried it, and it was a shocking experience. It was very flavorful.”

Richie Hook (not his real name), another student from the Levelland area, said he used e-cigarettes for two months as a casual thing to do that did not last.

“I was honestly interested in it because of all the tricks that I saw people doing with the vapor,” said Hook. “But then I realized that I was not getting nothing out of that besides losing my money.”

Winslow, Regnedel, and Hook each said that although they are younger than the minimum age to purchase e-cigarettes, it is easy to obtain the product. Almost any person they ask buys it for them.

According to NIDA, teens who consume e-cigarettes are 30.7 percent more likely to start smoking tobacco products, while there is only an 8.1 percent chance of a non-user starting to smoke.

Regnedel mentioned that a couple of months ago he consumed tobacco cigarettes, but said that being a user of e-cigarettes did not lead him to cigarettes.

“I don’t believe that vape lead me to try cigarettes, because I always vaped, but I never was bothered by the smoke of cigarettes,” said Regnedel. “My dad was a smoker for all of his life and passed away from lung and liver cancer.”

Recent media reports about how unsafe using e-cigarettes may be are causing some users to reconsider their actions.

“Vaping, in general, doesn’t concern me,” said Regnedel. “I believe the danger is on the THC-based vapes.”

Winslow, who has been vaping for a year, said that after seeing the news about e-cigarettes, he started to be concerned about how vaping could lead him to have issues with his lungs.

DeEtte Edens, associate director of Health and Wellness on the Levelland campus of South Plains College, reports that the number of students presenting symptoms of vaping-related issues has been increasing on campus.

“We have an increase in the number of students that have been seen for upper respiratory issues that are also users of vape,” said Edens, “and, unfortunately, some of them have been presenting strong side effects.”

Jayden McDaniel is a 19-year-old SPC student who has been vaping for two and a half years.

McDaniel mentioned that his usage of e-cigarettes, THC-based and regular vapes, started as a habit to help him deal with his issues with stress and anxiety in high school.

“It was always available to me, so I just kept using for the nicotine,” said McDaniel. “I tried THC vapes, and they made me feel better, but I did not enjoy the taste.”

The lack of regulation for e-cigarettes based in THC has been brought to the attention by the public, since the use of cannabis products are prohibited by federal law. But they are being produced on the black market.

“These products have no regulation by the Food and Drug Administration regulations,” said Edens, “and there is no knowledge of what kind of chemicals are being mixed and later being inhaled by the consumers.”

Consumers of e-cigarettes, whether THC-based or not, say that vaping has brought them judgements from others who may not have consumed or do not have knowledge of what it is.

Consuming e-cigarettes is not safe and must be stopped immediately, according to the FDA.

Book signing, reading held for ‘Passe-Partout’

by Autumn Bippert

“Passe-Partout” tells the tale of two lives, two narratives centuries apart, as they unravel the mystery of a hidden magic of writing.

“Passe-Partout,” written by Stephen M. Sanders, assistant professor of English at South Plains College, tells a narrative of two characters, Paul and Cyprus, in another dimension.

The Levelland campus Library hosted a book signing for Sanders on Oct. 2. He had copies of the book for sale, which were sold out at the event.

Sanders also read passages from his book at the signing.

The fantasy narrative is divided into two “books.” “Book One” follows Paul, who is in vaguely modern day, while “Book Two” follows Cyprus, who is living at some time in the Middle Ages.

Sanders said he kept details of time periods vague on purpose in order to avoid having to make sure he didn’t have to spend a lot of time on details and live up to research of past time periods.

The protagonist in each “book” is trying to solve the mystery of the death of their father figure. Through the “book,” each character discovers that these deaths are far bigger than he thinks.

“Passe-Partout” took about eight years to write, according to Sanders. He began writing his book before his son Stellan was born, and then took a break to help take care of him.

“After he (Sanders’ son) was a little more self sufficient, I decided to get back into writing my book,” Sanders explained. “I had so many ideas of what I thought I could do better than everybody else, as if it was that easy. And it’s not that easy.”

Sanders said that he is a poet by training, and he has only written poetry most of his life. He wanted to see if he was able to write something other than what he has been used to.

“It’s been received decently, which is encouragement to keep on,” Sanders said of his book.

Sanders said that he wanted to express in his book his own teetering relationship with faith.

“How can I talk about that into a murder mystery/fantasy (book), and how can I talk about things I don’t see other places,” Sanders said. “So this book is like a squished together compendium of everything I was thinking about and everything that I am.”

Sanders explained that he wanted to write a book with characters he hadn’t seen well represented before. His book features main characters who are LGBTQ, women and people of color.

“Being an English major, you see a lot of cliches, and tropes you should avoid,” explained Sanders, “which I think makes you harder on yourself. I wanted to make sure I had characters of color, characters that are LGBTQ, as major characters and protagonists. I wanted them displayed as just people.”

He said he wanted to present people from all different types of life as just people in his book and not as “others,” because in this part of the country, you don’t see people represented well.

“I was always paranoid of treating characters that aren’t white, cisgender male with respect and dinginty,” Sanders explained. “I had one reviewer say, ‘Why don’t you point that out on the back of your book, that you have these minority characters?’ I said, because they’re just characters in my book. They’re normal people. I’m not going to take advantage of someone’s minority, or who they are, to sell a book.”

Sanders said he was scared to show his book to his parents. He said the book is written by a person who comes from a place of an ultra-strict form of Christianity. He said that people who come from that place in their lives might find this book challenging.

“I hope you get ticked off when you read it (the book), because that means that you’re thinking about it,” Sanders said. “I wanted to make something moving, something that would move me when I read it.”

Sanders explained that he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which made writing his book difficult at times. He said that he would find himself writing the same sentence in his book 10 to 15 times.

He said once he read the book over, he noticed that his character would exhibit some of his same Obsessive Compulsive Disorder tendencies.

“I didn’t realize I was transferring some of my angst to this character,” Sanders said.

Sanders explained that the book cover was designed by one of his former students, Delany Price Jackson. Jackson is a graduate of the Graphic Arts program at SPC and currently is an adjunct instructor at the college.

“She did really good work,” Sanders said. “It was a process of several months of work. She was amazing at narrowing down on what I wanted for the book.”

Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock honors women affected by domestic violence

by Desiree Lopez

Women who were killed by an intimate partner or family member in Texas and those who have survived domestic violence recently were honored and remembered during a Candlelight Vigil.

The event, with Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock playing host, was held on Oct. 2 at the Lubbock County Courthouse Gazebo.

The service began with a prayer and was followed by a recognition made by Shelia Patterson Harris, a member of the Lubbock City Council. She offered special recognition to the WPS of Lubbock Candlelight Vigil. Harris strongly encourages every citizen within the city of Lubbock to join WPS in the effort to actively address and eliminate family violence.

After the recognition, employees of WPS read the names of the victims of domestic violence and their county of residence.

The guest speaker, Irma Linda, ended the event with her success story of how she got out of an abusive family and how she turned her life around. Linda graduated from high school and college, then began her own loving family, despite her family’s past of domestic violence.

The Candlelight Vigil was organized by Steven Garcia, coordinator of community education, outreach, and legal for WPS. It is his job to conduct presentations, training, donation drives, and public appearances. He also oversees the assistance of clients with legal issues such as filing charges, divorces, custody, child support, and immigration.

“Women’s Protective Services is a nonprofit agency dedicated to the elimination and prevention of domestic violence,” explains Garcia. “WPS services Lubbock County and 11 surrounding counties by providing shelter, food, clothing, counseling, educational classes, assistance with employment and benefits, and advocacy to victims of domestic violence.”

WPS is funded by government programs such as the Victims of Crime Act and Violence Against Women Act. They receive state-level funding through the Office of the Attorney General and Health and Human Services. They also receive funding through the local level by grants and foundations. WPS is truly thankful for the additional funding they receive from private donations and fundraisers.

According to Garcia, there are various fund-raising events and donation drives held throughout the year designed to assist the families staying at WPS and to bring awareness to the public. To stay updated on upcoming events, visit

The mission of WPS is to create an environment of empowerment for women, children, and families, and to eliminate family violence, according to Garcia. They hope to intervene in relationships where domestic violence is present and bring awareness to the public.

WPS specifically hopes to reach the entire population since, according to Garcia, one in three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

If you know someone who needs help, it is encouraged to become informed or lend a sympathetic ear. Do not blame the victim. Instead, guide them to community services, confront the victim with the danger, and help develop a safety plan.

If you are the one who needs help, you do not have to suffer alone.

“You are not alone in this,” explains Garcia. “It is not your fault, and you don’t deserve this. WPS can help you and your children.”

If you are a victim, do not hesitate to call WPS at (806)-747-6491.