Sunday, December 30, 2007

Inspired by new movie, locals start their own lists of things they'd like to do before they die

Telegram Staff Writer

Area residents have more in common with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman than they think.
Just like the two stars of 'The Bucket List,' local folks want to 'live it big' in their last six months of life.
In the movie, set to release Jan. 11, the terminally ill characters of Nicholson and Freeman ditch the hospital for time to skydive, flirt with women, spend money and 'live on the wild side.'
And since it's all got to be done before they kick the bucket, each minute becomes all the more rare and precious.
To determine the types of bucket lists Bell County residents have, the Telegram interviewed 20 random people at various public locations in Temple.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

'He's a neat entertainer'

Telegram Staff Writer

Music is Kevin Carr's hobby and passion.
He works as a professional DJ in Bartlett, Granger and Taylor. He has provided the entertainment for several weddings, anniversaries, quincea├â±eras and award ceremonies.
'It's fun, and it's a way to earn a little extra money,' Carr said. (His main source of income is his disability insurance.) 'One day, I'd like to be in a band.'

It's never too late to learn new things: Man with cerebral palsy proves that strong will prevails

Telegram Staff Writer

You can tell him no, but it won't do any good.
Kevin Carr has a mind of his own. His cerebral palsy is just a footnote - something that makes him look and sound a little different.
'If he thinks he can do it, he's going to try,' said his mother, Bettye Carpenter of Granger.
That determination earned Carr a seat at Granger High School. Since the second week of September, the 44-year-old man has been attending classes, something he wasn't able to do in his youth.
'School,' he said, 'is a dream come true.'

It's better the second time around

Telegram Staff Writer

'Why is there this big dude in our class?'
That's the question 44-year-old Kevin Carr's classmates asked themselves the first day he attended Todd Grandjean's Texas history class.
'But it all turned out all right,' said Jorge Torrez, 12.
He and his 20 peers couldn't think of a single disadvantage at having a classmate like Carr.
'There's nothing bad,' Torrez said
Group work with Carr poses no problem.
'It's just like any other group,' said Bree Nava, 12. 'Work distribution is even and fair.'
Carr's decision to come back to school makes his new classmates say, 'Wow.'

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Zabcikville woman welcomes loved ones home for Christmas with a lot of beautiful decor

Telegram Staff Writer

Her house is a life-size snow globe.
Well, it would be if it had a dome-shaped layer of glass around it.
Reindeer prance in her lawn, carolers guard her doorway and icicles cling to her rooftop and tree branches.
But that's not it.
Della Green has seven Christmas trees in her house, each fully decorated. And, from bathroom to kitchen, on top of every table and counter sits a unique, handmade floral arrangement.
Fluffy bows adorn every window, serving as wreath centerpieces. Wrinkle-free and their color a vibrant red, they look store bought.
But no - the 89-year-old woman makes them herself.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

White woman spends two decades with Indians

Telegram Staff Writer

Not everybody in the 1960s wanted to go to California and wear flowers in their hair. Some people wanted to go live on an Indian reservation.
Sylvia Marrs did, and she got paid to do it.
Just out of college in 1963, her first job was a first-grade teaching post for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Arizona. She lived in dormitory housing on the Nazlini Indian Reservation.
A job fair at the University of North Texas in Denton had informed her of the employment opportunities there.
'I needed a job,' Mrs. Marrs said. 'I wanted to spend at least one year on my own before I got married.'
She was very much in love at that time, she said, but her desire to taste independence remained steadfast. When her suitor, Bill Marrs, proposed marriage, she declined.
'I wanted to wait one year,' Mrs. Marrs said.
When the 12th month came and went, Mr. Marrs mailed his intended a second letter of proposal.
'I said yes,' Mrs. Marrs said. 'On the condition that he come live on the reservation.'

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Minister has message for singles: God doesn't forget lonely people

Telegram Staff Writer

Christmas isn't warm hugs and giggles for everyone.
For those who spend the Yuletide alone, it's a lonely, much-dreaded month. News of suicide isn't uncommon to hear in the midst of the mirth.
'It's unfortunate,' said Jason Goings, assistant pastor of college and missions at First Baptist Church in Belton. 'Because when Christmas started, it wasn't like that. Christmas wasn't like the way we think it should be.'
Goings was addressing the church's singles group on Dec. 8 at Temple's Hilton Garden Inn. Two age groups, the single seniors and the single young professionals, had paired together for a holiday party.
His message was simple: 'Christmas is about the gift God gave to each one of us, His son Jesus Christ - whose presence is inside us all.'
But today's society, Goings said, has lost sight of that gift. Loneliness, he said, trumps the holiday spirit, busting it into nothing. He discussed the tragedy of December suicides to illustrate his point.
'Yes, Satan's done a marvelous thing in pulling the wool over our eyes,' Goings said. 'Somehow, the world has come to think that if there's not family, lots of plans, and lots of excitement, then there's not Christmas.'
That's a pure misconception, he said, not at all how the first Christmas happened.
'The first Christmas was when the world got the greatest gift of all,' Goings said. 'Think about how it happened.'
There was no fanfare, parade or prom.
'An angel came down and told the shepherds,' Goings said. 'And who were the shepherds? A bunch of guys who were single who hadn't shaved in four or five months.'

Church sends gifts to orphans

Telegram Staff Writer

More than 250 Christmas gifts left Temple last week, headed for orphans in Donetsk, Ukraine.
The project has turned into an annual mission for Belton Church of Christ. It's the third year for volunteers to brighten the holidays for little ones left alone in the world.
Steve Taliaferro is the man responsible for launching the program. He lived in Ukraine December 2002 through May 2006.
'I worked in the local orphanage as a missionary for World Wide Youth Camps,' Taliaferro said. 'My job was to help transition the older children from orphanages to mainstream society.'
Once they reach age 16, Ukraine children are no longer eligible for orphanage services.
'They need help starting their lives,' Taliaferro said. 'That was my job.'
The missionary, upon his return, became an involved member at Belton Church of Christ. He said he wanted to continue his service to the Ukraine orphans.
New touches to this year's holiday giveaway are the prayer bears.
'Each present will include a little prayer bear,' said Laura Huff, church secretary

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pastime keeps seniors fit, happy

Telegram Staff Writer

She wants to be at the bowling alley when it's her time to die.
'If it happens that way, that would be great,' said 90-year-old Hazel Machalek of Temple. A smile was on her face.
Her wish isn't out of the realm of possibility. She visits Action World Bowl Center fairly often. Miss Machalek routinely plays for the Tuesday and Friday bowling leagues, the Silver Strikers and the PrimeTimers.
The Law of Averages may very well align itself with Ms. Machalek's request. Her bowling average - 128 - after all, is very much in her favor.
She's not alone in wanting to die with bowling ball in arm and body in ready stance. There's several silver-haired bowlers at the Temple bowling alley who say they think the same way.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sermon inspires craftsman to create image

Telegram Staff Writer

His portrait of Jesus was born of a sermon.
For six weeks, the Rev. Thomas Allen of Grace Presbyterian Church spoke about prayer, its importance and its many forms. And for six weeks, Lowell 'Kirk' Kirkley of Temple listened.
Once the sermon series ended, the owner of K&D Crafts went home to his workroom.
'I had an image in mind,' Kirkley said, pointing to a drawing of a praying Jesus by German artist Volker Arnold. 'I wanted to capture it in wood.'
His first step was to transpose the glossy picture to red oak plywood. Then for six hours, Kirkley said he sat on a stool, hunched over a scroll saw - a cutting tool that uses a serrated blade as thin as a nail file.
An image of Christ at prayer was what remained after the sawdust was wiped from the surface.
Kirkley held a replica of his original Jesus portrait toward the setting sun. As light shined through the sawed-away places, a silhouette of Jesus appeared.
The original hangs at Grace Presbyterian Church, on a bed of black felt, framed in maple.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Needle works art into hobby

Telegram Staff Writer

A needle may be pulling thread, but the term is not always 'sew.'
'It's stitch, not sew,' said several members of the Heart of Texas Needlework Guild.
None of the seamsters would comment about their craft until that was understood.
'Stitching is what we do,' said Betty Bunker of Temple.
To sew is to link pieces of material together with needle and thread, she said, whereas to stitch is to adorn and decorate.
Embroidery is an example of stitch work.
'Some of us sew, too,' Mrs. Bunker said. 'But stitching is what we're about.'

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cathedrals spark students' creativity

Telegram Staff Writer

'It is wise to learn; it is God-like to create.' - John Saxe, 19th century U.S. poet
If it's God-like to create, then the halls of St. Mary's School are divine.
The cathedrals that decorate them are the proof, for they were borne from the imaginations of its students.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Temple Free Clinic helps couple

Telegram Staff Writer

She's the lady who escorts patients to the exam rooms at Temple Community Free Clinic. Her days are filled with answering phones, filing and lab work - the daily administrative tasks that help keep health care available and affordable for people in need.
But Jackie Hutton isn't a typical employee who sought her job via an interview and application.
Her seven-year tenure as clinic secretary is a result of the six years she spent as clinic patient.
'Coming to the Temple Community Free Clinic was one of the best moves I ever made,' Mrs. Hutton said, emphasizing that she is very grateful during this holiday. 'Everything I have today is because I came to be a patient here. This clinic saved my husband's life.'

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Local artwork has role in Julia Roberts movie

Telegram Staff Writer

Paintings from a local family will decorate the set of 'Fireflies in the Garden,' a spring 2008 Dennis Lee film starring Julia Roberts.
Now the property of Monice Bittenbinder of Temple, the dozen paintings are the art of her mother, the late Lynn Brazelton of Waco. Mrs. Brazelton and her husband, the late William Brazelton, owned the Brazelton Art Gallery in Waco, 1975-1995.
Carla Curry, a member of the movie's set crew, found one of Mrs. Brazelton's paintings at an Austin resale shop earlier this year.
'She saw it, fell in love with it and had to have it for the movie,' said Debbie Haber of Austin, the movie's art department coordinator. 'Her boss took a look at it and said he wanted as much as he could get from that artist.'
Untamed but sullen, the soft-colored painting looked like something that Ms. Roberts' character would own, Ms. Haber said.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Homeless help group is in time oftransition

Telegram Staff Writer

Its purpose is to help homeless families find places they can call their own.
After providing them with shelter and food for a month or so, Family Promise of East Bell County finds its success as homeless families secure steady jobs.
But as the non-profit organization faces the close of its third year, it finds itself needing help from the community.
Nobody's available to man the Family Promise office.
'We need volunteers to work at the office and help with administration work,' said the Rev. Pat Dietrich, Family Promise board president and interim director. 'We're in transition, right now. We need help for everything from filing to stocking to answering phones.'

Sunday, November 4, 2007

City Federation honors the woman who takes care of club business

Telegram Staff Writer

She's the voice on the phone when you call, and she's the face you see when you go inside.
Her name is Nayeola Ford - the manager of the City Federation Clubhouse at 219 King Circle in Temple.
October marked her 20th anniversary. The Federation presented her with a plaque and bouquet of red roses to thank her for her two decades of service during a special program on Oct. 9.
Her job hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday - a schedule that fits her title of general manager.
But her tasks and workplace are anything but common.

Morgan's Point man remembers teaching '60s & '70s pop star: Joe Scarcella was B.J. Thomas' choir instructor

Telegram Staff Writer

All the raindrops in the world can't flood away the fact that B.J. Thomas got an F in choir.
'Now, it's funny,' Thomas said in a recent phone interview. 'I walk into a room and say, 'Hey, I failed choir,' and nobody believes me. But it's true.'
The man who gave Thomas that F is Joe Scarcella of Morgan's Point - a member of the choir at Taylor's Valley Baptist Church in Temple. He's a 1955 graduate of the Baylor School of Music.
'I had forgotten about it,' the 73-year-old Scarcella said recently, laughing. 'But that's right. That rascal. He had missed a weekend activity that was mandatory. He knew the rules.'
It took Thomas a few minutes to admit that.
'I knew failing was a possibility,' Thomas said, almost whining. 'Didn't think it actually would happen.'
His exaggerated bitterness faded with a laugh. He holds no grudge against Scarcella, finally saying he accepts full responsibility for the F.
'Mr. Scarcella was always a wonderful guy,' Thomas said. 'He's a very nice guy. I had a great time in his class, and I learned a lot from him.'

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Recovered sex addict to speak at local church

Telegram Staff Writer

'I was a sex addict.'
For the Temple-born Jonathan Daugherty, the truth of his sentence inspired him to launch Be Broken Ministries - a national Christian outreach effort that offers counseling services to sex addicts and those who love them. He and his wife, Elaine, operate the ministry out of San Antonio.
'In August 1999 I sat by myself on my living room couch. Alone and scared,' Daugherty, 32, said, noting that summer was when God planted the ministry's roots in his heart. 'I (was trying) to piece together what 13 years of sexual addiction had just torn apart.'
His obsession with pornography, prostitutes and strip clubs, he said, drove his wife out of the house. The couple had been married four years at the time.
'She did the right thing by leaving and protecting herself from any more unnecessary pain,' Daugherty said. 'My life was unraveling, and I couldn't harness my out-of-control behaviors. I remember thinking I might be better off dead than alive.'

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The fun's about to start for boy with muscular dystrophy

Telegram Staff Writer

Like every other kid, Joshua Dubcak is exited because it's just three days to Halloween.
'I want to be Spiderman,' the 14 year old said.
The costume is ready, said mom Carrol Dubcak of Temple. 'He and his dad are ready to go out Wednesday night to trick-or-treat.'
Joshua was all smiles Thursday afternoon as he listened to his mother talk about the fun week ahead.
He had just got out of the pool where he had swum and splashed with Katy Cunningham of Harker Heights. The lad was absolutely jazzed.
Why shouldn't he be?
Halloween isn't the only fun thing on his calendar.
The eve of spooks and witches is but a prelude to the more exiting day that follows - the day he leaves for Disney World.

Artist corrals horses, ideas with photographs

Telegram Staff Writer

It took more than 20 years for the professional photographer to find his eye. It was in the last place he thought to look - a Mexican cemetery.
No, no - Keith Carter didn't spend two decades chasing after a runaway eyeball. The eye he had missed for so long was his own way of looking at things.
'The eye of every photographer is different,' Carter said. 'It takes a long time to find.'
On that Mexican graveyard stroll so many years ago, Carter said he saw dozens of things he could photograph.
'But those pictures had all been done before,' Carter said. 'I wanted to do something different, something that was me.'
The stroll was long, he said - so long and boring he'd thought it was a waste of time.
But then Carter looked up, and saw tattered paper streamers hanging from tree branches.
'They looked like they were ghosts, floating over the tombstones,' Carter said, adding that the memory still gives him chills.
It was at that moment, Carter said, that he finally figured the purpose of his pictures.
'I never was into literal photography,' Carter said. 'I didn't want my picture to be a mirror. I wanted it to be a window toward what I felt.'

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nursery worker retires post at Temple church

Telegram Staff Writer

For hundreds of children, hers was the face that smiled at them every Sunday morning.
In the 33 years that Marlene Wagnon was there, pastor Jeff Loudin said the nursery at Taylor's Valley Baptist Church in Temple was a happy one.
'She loves the kids, and the kids love her,' Loudin said. 'She has been an incredible blessing to us.'
Her career ended earlier this month with an Oct. 18 retirement celebration. The church presented her a formal black plaque, thanking her for her three decades of service.
A special guest at the ceremony, Temple Mayor Bill Jones III gave Mrs. Wagnon an honorary certificate - something that Mrs. Wagnon said was very much a surprise.
That certificate says, 'Marlene Wagnon is well-known for the loving care she as bestowed upon the children who were entrusted to her care and protection over the years.'
More precious to her, though, are children.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Terminally ill man talks about special friendship

Telegram Staff Writer

The unknown never was something for him to fear.
For more than 35 years, Chuck Tredway was a truck driver, forever pulling in some new city. Every face he saw was a stranger's.
But it didn't bother him. Every road led home to his wife.
Now, Tredway is 54 and attached to a tube that feeds him his breathing air. He's on hospice care - living while dying.
It's been a year since Tredway's doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer and chronic heart failure.
'There's tightness in my chest, shortness of breath and dizziness,' Tredway said, his voice strong but crackly. 'And here recently, my short-term memory has started to go.'
The broad-shouldered man paused a moment to take a breath. He wiped the sweat from his brow with the hand towel on his lap.
'I know I'm dying. I could die tonight - or I could die next month. There's no way to tell,' Tredway said matter-of-factly, explaining his death depends on when the blood flow to his brain stops. 'It's all set up for when it happens. A nurse will come to administer the morphine drip. I imagine when the brain and heart stop at the same time, it hurts pretty bad.'
Tredway laughed. He says he has no desire to confirm his assumption.
'The only thing I'm afraid of now is not being on the right side of the track when I do die,' Tredway said, smiling.
It's not a fear that nags at his every thought, though.
It's a fear he's faced. One Tredway said he has come to understand.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pastoral care is a difficult, but rewarding calling

Telegram Staff Writer

Watching people die isn't routine for most of us.
But for those in the field of pastoral care, it is.
Comforting a person as he or she takes the last breath is a duty for chaplains, church leaders and caregivers, said Vic Killian, chaplain at King's Daughters Hospital.
'The role is a special one,' said Killian, who will be moderator for the Oct. 27 conference designed to educate the community about pastoral care.
For Judy Hoelscher, chaplain with the Scott and White Hospice team, the role is an honor.
'When a person passes, it is a sacred, holy moment,' Ms. Hoelscher said. 'It is a privilege to be with someone when they go from this world to the next.'
For Rodney Kruse, another chaplain from Scott and White Hospice, the job is rewarding.
'Because they have given me something - a real, honest visit,' Kruse said. 'That's something that's important to me. A good visit is a gift.'

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Belton Belles share a longstanding tradition - cheesecake photographs

This Temple Daily Telegram story was picked up by the Associated Press

Telegram Staff Writer

Their photo album seems like it could belong to anybody.
It's full with pictures of friends enjoying themselves on vacation - rafting, hiking, sightseeing, chatting and laughing. But then come the bathing suit pictures.
There's picture after picture of six women in bathing suits, posing in the middle of Times Square or on a pirate ship in Cancun, Mexico.
It's tradition for the album's owners: Janette Kornegay of Amarillo, Pat Parker of Belton, Nita Pate of Temple, Edna Drake of Arlington, Janice Wright of Temple and Patricia Gray of Crisfield, Md.

Patricia is the youngest at 691/2, Edna's the oldest at 71 - and the rest are 70. The close friends - who say they're more like sisters - have been taking bathing suit pictures for 19 years. "It started in 1988," Janette said. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

California crash kills Belton grad

Telegram Staff Writer

Before a bunch of medals adorned his U.S. Air Force uniform, he was the star of a group of Belton friends who called themselves the Magnificent Seven.
The late Lt. Col. Raymond Roessler had a dynamic personality, said Mike Beevers of Belton, one of the Magnificent Seven graduates from Belton High School's class of 1982.
'He was outgoing, popular, witty and fun,' Beevers said. 'He was our alter ego. He was the way the rest of us wanted to be.'
Roessler, 43, died early Friday morning while piloting a single-engine plane that crashed near the top of Cajon Pass, between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Growing up special: Families adjust to life with unique children

Telegram Staff Writer

'People think it's sad to have kids like ours, but it's not,' said Barbara Kane of Killeen. 'We laugh more than anything.'
Mrs. Kane's 8-year-old son, Matthew, was born with Negative 2P, a rare chromosomal disorder that limits physical and intellectual ability.
'We make sure there's a lot of laughter,' Mrs. Kane said. 'You don't think about the future. You never know about tomorrow. All you have is today.'
That philosophy, she said, makes the good things so much more special and the bad things not worth mentioning.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

No detail escapes tis graphite artis

Telegram Staff Writer

A pencil is all he needs to make others go 'wow.'
Jonathan McGinnis doesn't just draw. He draws detail. The faces from his portrait art look like reflections from a mirror.
'He did a drawing once of Johnny Cash,' said Michael Donahue, chair of the Temple College art department. 'Every wrinkle and down to every pore in his nose, Jonathan got it right.'
After graduating from a Kansas high school five years ago, McGinnis attended TC on an art scholarship, earning his associate's degree in 2005. While there, Donahue said, McGinnis excelled and started to expand his creativity.
'I mainly do pencil drawings - with graphite,' McGinnis said. 'But there was an exercise where you were given a blank canvas and told to do whatever you see in your head. Most of those, I like to do in marker with bright colors.'

Sunday, September 2, 2007

For two men, the code still calls: Volunteers bring Morse code to railroad museum

Telegram Staff Writer

To the untrained ear, it's gibberish or white noise. The quick-to-come dashes and dots sound like never-ending bullet shots or beeps - depending on the volume and type of key used.
But to 90-year-old Norman Resor and 79-year-old Floyd Bumpus, the shots and beeps make perfect sense.
'I don't hear dots and dashes, I hear words,' Reser said. 'When I speak, you don't hear 't, h and e.' You just hear 'the.' It's the same for me.'
The two gentlemen work the telegraph booth at Temple's Railroad and Heritage Museum. Telegraphy is a method of communication that predates the telephone; it uses Morse code. For more than 100 years since the Civil War, trains talked to each other with telegraphs.
'If you have one train coming from one direction and another train coming from the opposite direction on the same track, and if you don't have a way to talk, well then you have a problem,' Reser said. 'Morse code was how the depots would communicate arrivals and departures.'

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Residents say singles scene needs help

Telegram Staff Writer

Being single is a way of life. Some people like it, some don’t. Saturdays are often lonely, and dinnertime can be an obstacle that must be overcome. Do I eat alone tonight - again? Or is there someone who might want to go with me?
Where you go to meet people “can make or break” the productive single life, according to the local singles the Telegram interviewed last week.
Of the 30 people contacted at random, 19 said it’s no fun being single in Temple.
“It sucks being single in Temple,” said Jackie Morris, 25, as she dined alone at Duckhorn Tavern. “I’ve been single for way too long. There are places to go and things to do here, but there is no variety. All of the community events draw the same kinds of people, either way too old or way too young.”

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sylvia's smile: Shoppers sad to lose their friend behind the counter

Telegram Staff Writer

She wasn't famous, and she didn't have a million dollars.
But Sylvia Womack had a lot of smiles, and her friends and co -workers said she gave them away generously.
Mrs. Womack, 53, died July 17 - leaving a hole in the lives of dozens of Temple shoppers whose store of choice is the H-E-B on 31st Street. After 27 years, the smiling lady at register 3 isn't there anymore.
The Telegram received two letters from shoppers Beverly Bonnet and Barbara Brown who grieved Mrs. Womack's natural, but unexpected, death.
'For years and years, I stood in line so that Sylvia could check me out,' Ms. Bonnet wrote in her July 26 letter. 'She was accurate, speedy, friendly and always cheerful. She will be sorely missed by many.'
In a follow-up phone interview, Ms. Bonnet said Mrs. Womack was so special to her that she had to step outside her comfort zone to express her grief.
'I've never written a letter to the editor, but when I heard that Sylvia died, I had to do something. She's the reason I went to H-E-B,' Ms. Bonnet said. 'So many people must have felt the same way. After overhearing my name at restaurants and stores, random people have come up to me and said, 'I don't know you, but thank you for writing that letter. She will be missed by a lot of us.' '

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Goodbye, sweet nurse: Temple College sees end of an era

Telegram Staff Writer

Her 27 years at Temple College started with a TV - or more precisely, a TV commercial.
“The idea of being a nurse came along as I grew up. I always knew I wanted to do something with people. I just wasn’t quite sure what,” said Virginia Leak, the about-to-retire TC division director of nursing. “But then I saw a TV commercial that said, ‘Be a nurse,’ and I thought, ‘Maybe I can . . . maybe I will.’”
She did.
Mrs. Leak worked seven years as a staff nurse at Temple’s three hospitals before becoming an instructor for the TC vocational nursing program in 1980.
“But the real fun didn’t start until three years later,” Mrs. Leak said, her laughs coming quick and full spirited.
That’s when the college started its Registered Nursing program.
“It’s my baby. It’s become my life,” she said, starting to talk about the thing that lays claim to the last 14 years of her life.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Temple native wins plus-size beauty title

Telegram Staff Writer

Some of us would like to blame our jeans when we discover they’re too tight to hoist over our hips.
But we can’t because somewhere inside our heads, a little voice says it’s all our fault. And the picture-perfect models we see on TV only make us feel worse.
“In the media, on the Internet, everything you see today says that plus-sizes are bad,” said Sabrina Mathis of Hutto, the Temple native who was crowned Ms. Plus America 2007 on June 7. “And these days, you’re considered overweight if you’re anything over a size 14. The message should say, ‘you can be beautiful and overweight.’”
The extra weight shouldn’t send a person headfirst into depression, she said.
“It’s important to love yourself and the skin you’re in,” Mathis said. “Forget about counting calories. It’s more important to maintain a body that is happy and healthy. And that’s a different thing for each person.”

Thursday, March 22, 2007

For businesses, it was business as usual

Telegram Staff Writer

Wednesday's water worries didn't dampen business efforts for local stores and restaurants.
For most, it was business as usual.
Only Wal-Mart reported an unusual morning because of the water line break. Management said the retail store sold out of bottled water by about 9 a.m., but the shelves weren't empty long.
A truck full of extra water was at the store before the last bottle was checked out, store representatives said. Another truckload of water had been ordered, they explained, to make sure the store would have enough water to meet the day's demands.
HEB management said they didn't have to order additional stock of water because of Wednesday's incident. But they did have several shoppers Wednesday afternoon who said they were in the market specifically to buy water.
'Yeah, I'm stocking up,' said Luke Shoemaker, a Temple resident who lives off of 31st Street near Brentwood. 'They're telling us not to use our water. So it's a preventative measure just in case things get worse.'

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Celtic crosses crop up in art, fashion

Telegram Staff Writer

Taking its roots in the time before Christ, the Celtic cross was a tool for early sailors to explore water ways between Ireland and other parts of Europe. The stone structures stood about six feet into the air and were detailed with symbols for geographical landmarks.
With each passing voyage came another map - or design.
Clans from the various settlements within medieval Ireland and Scotland started to associate themselves with particular maps.
That was then.
Now - the nowhere near defunct Celtic cross comprises its fair share of American art and fashion.

Area residents flock to bird show Saturday

Telegram Staff Writer

Here a 'chirp,' there a 'squeak' and everywhere a 'tweet, tweet.'
Yesterday's feathered guests at the Frank Mayborn Civic and Convention Center were part of a bird fair organized by the Texas Bird Breeders and Fanciers Association.
Their owners had traveled from all parts of Texas with the hope of making a few bucks. All the birds were on sale, ranging in price from $8 to $2,000.
'Some of our vendors are professional bird breeders,' said Director Carla Crowe. 'But for most of them, birds are their hobby.'

No arrests made in east-side slaying

Telegram Staff Writer

It was loud yesterday evening at Lorena Taplin's house.
Her son, Ray Lee Taplin, was shot Friday - and last night, at least a hundred out-of-town relatives were milling around Mrs. Taplin's Barton Street property, trying to make sense of what happened.
The Temple police made no arrests yesterday regarding the Friday shooting on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive that resulted in the death of the 42-year-old Ray Lee Taplin. They cited self-defense as a potential reason for the shooting because of the additional weapons they found at the crime scene.
'What the police are saying ain't right,' said Mrs. Taplin. 'He didn't go over there with no weapons. That's just not the kind of person he was. My boy never bothered nobody. He wasn't mixed up in gangs and never did anyhing to disrespect nobody.'
Mrs. Taplin and her family said the incident was not accidental.
'He was called over there,' Mrs. Taplin said, referring to phone call that was made to her residence early Friday morning. 'The number is still on the Caller ID.'

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Garage sale offers all kinds of knick-knacks

Telegram Staff Writer

Princess Di was at the Bell County Expo Center yesterday, with an $11.50 price tag on the back of her head.
The life-size cardboard cutout of the famous royal figure was one of the garage sale items of the 14th annual fund-raising event for the Bell County Museum.
'I didn't want to sell her,' said Vanda Gardner of Gatesville, the vendor who brought Princess Di to the Expo Center. 'I just wanted to set her up to attract attention to my booth. But then my husband told me to put a tag on her. He said everyone was just going to ask how much it was.'

Cats rule at Civic Center

Telegram Staff Writer

For a few hours Saturday, the Frank Mayborn Civic and Convention Center was a fully operational cathouse.
Not one run by a madam, but one full of actual cats doing tricks (legal ones) for judges.
Not that the kitties put forth too much effort. The felines just sat there while a human poked, prodded and squeezed various parts of their bodies.
'The judges look at each cat's color, softness, grooming style and skull shape,' said Judy Yearsley, owner of Celeste, a silver mackerel competing in the Persian Open portion of yesterday's cat show sponsored by the Show and Tell Cat Club. 'Health is key. If the cat doesn't feel well, then it won't be at its best.'

Cloth may not be sewn in Wal-Mart's future

Telegram Staff Writer

Nobody objects to grandma's making a quilt for the new baby.
The ruckus is about where grandma's going to buy the fabric for the quilt.
On Tuesday, a sewing-loving grandma marched outside the Seguin Wal-Mart, protesting the national chain's decision to get rid of its fabric departments.
Doreen Taft was circulating a letter that said Wal-Mart's booting of the fabric department would devastate rural customers who sew. In that letter, she said with no Wal-Mart, she'd have to go to New Braunfels for fabric.
Joy Graham, a resident of rural Thorndale, said she very much agrees with Ms. Taft's stance.
'If we can't buy fabric at Wal-Mart, then residents in rural areas like Thorndale and Rockdale would have to drive 40 to 60 miles for cut fabrics,' Ms. Graham said. The lifelong recreational seamstress said they would have to drive to Round Rock, Bryan, College Station or Temple for 'cut fabrics.'
In February, Mrs. Graham started a petition that read, 'Keep fabric department in Rockdale, Wal-Mart, Texas.'

Monday, March 5, 2007

Sights to be seen on leisurely trip

Telegram Staff Writer

Up a hill, around a curve and between the limestone quarries, the train that thought it could, did.
Albeit, two hours later.
But speed wasn't the point of Sunday's 33-mile trip from Cedar Park to Burnet.
It was 'for us to be on the great big choo choo train,' said 3-year-old Megan Maddry from Harker Heights. Dressed in pink, the little girl grinned as she sat next to 'the biggest window (she'd) ever seen.'
Miss Maddry was part of 'the Temple group,' as so dubbed by Train Conductor Steve Barry.
The 50 Temple people were assigned to Rail Car A of the Hill Country Flyer, an authentic passenger train built in 1922 by the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. They had boarded the train at 10 a.m. after a bus trip from Temple to Cedar Park.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Camera catches grin for berry soda label

Telegram Staff Writer

The Rosebud kindergartner doesn’t know what Fu Fu Berry Soda tastes like, but she loves the way it looks.
Six-year-old Reagan Maxfield looks at the pink drink, sees herself and then giggles. Her face is printed on the label of the Jones Soda product.
The youngster owes her soda-bottle stardom to the photographer — her 18-year-old cousin, Lynnsay Crittenden of Temple.
“The label turned out so good. I surprised myself with how good it was,” Lynnsay said. “But then again, it’s hard to take a bad picture of Reagan. She is so photogenic.”

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Locked up, not lost: Female inmates laugh for God

Telegram Staff Writer

A series of three locked fences led the way to the chapel.
About 150 women stood in a single-file line as they waited to pray.
Each woman wore a white jumpsuit with orange cuffs. Most of them also wore a green overcoat, for the night wind was cold.
When the clock chimed seven, armed guards issued the order for the lot of women to move.
As each woman entered the chapel, she was no longer a 'female offender,' the official term for those imprisoned at the Hilltop unit of the Gatesville prison. To the man standing on the far side of the chapel, near the Crucifix, each woman was a child of God. That man was their chaplain, Wallace Nelson.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Faiths unite in prayer for peace

Telegram Staff Writer

Two Hindus, a Muslim and a couple of Jews joined a pair of Christians on a stage. Their prayer is that one day that sentence won't sound like the beginning of an offensive joke.
Praying for unity and acceptance, representatives of the major faiths within the Temple community met Feb. 11 at First Presbyterian Church. The occasion was the third annual Interfaith Service of Prayers for Peace, Unity and Justice.
'This is a historic night,' said host pastor the Rev. Margaret Boles. 'Never have we had so many people from so many faiths come together in prayer. It's a beautiful, blessed opportunity.'

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Couple finds love where they left it 25 years before

Telegram Staff Writer

The little girl was 6 years old when her daddy left.
Confused and sometimes sad, she watched him marry another lady. She watched her mother marry one man, then another and another.
The little girl knew about the hurt feelings that caused her parents' divorce, but, in her eyes, the shouting was about anger, not hate.
'My parents loved each other so strongly that they couldn't get along,' said Gayla Rogers of Belton - that little girl now 32.
Throughout the 25 years when her father was 'just someone who showed up on Christmas and birthdays,' Gayla believed that mom and dad would one day rediscover the way to each other's arms.
And they did. Jimmy and Pamela Wilson of Belton married for the second time on Aug. 19, 2006.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cheers to the Chief

Telegram Staff Writer

At least seven generations of the chief's clan came to celebrate his 90th birthday.
The festivities on Feb. 4 at Heights Baptist Church in Temple were neither a day late nor a day early. Woodrow Wilson Robbins, the man of the hour, was born Feb. 4, 1917.
Woodrow is a name full of character, summoning thoughts of Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. President, or Woodrow McCall, Gus McCrae's pal in Larry McMurtry's 'The Lonesome Dove.'
Family members say the Robbins man of that same name is full of bravery, wit and warmth, 'just like the famous Woodrows.'
They call W.W. Robbins the chief because he was Chief Petty Officer Robbins of the U.S. Navy for the majority of his adult life. In 1950, he implemented the Navy's first recruiting station in Temple.

Temple church opens doors to addict

Telegram Staff Writer

Make the pain go away. If I could get just one more high - just one more - then the hurt will stop. Numb to everyone and everything, I can survive. It'll be OK.
That's the thought process of an addict.
'I know - I've been there,' said Amanda Moore of Temple. The 25-year-old is recovering from a four-year addiction to crystal meth.
'It controls your life,' she said. 'Your every thought is about how to get that next high.'
The 'it' that produces the desired high varies from person to person. For Miss Moore, 'it' was methamphetamine.
But for someone else, 'it' is food. For another, 'it' is sex.
The 'it' list knows no end. 'It' can be nicotine or crack cocaine. 'It' can be exercising, shopping, fighting, hoarding or manipulating. 'It' can be anything.
But 'it' doesn't have to win.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

God found on death row: Unique events lead musician to life of ministry

Telegram Staff Writer

A convicted killer introduced him to God.
'She radiated the presence of God,' said Terry Strom, 46, of Temple about Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman in Texas to be executed.
'Meeting her was a life-changing experience. That was the first time I knew there was a God.'

Rank amateurs take aim at everyone

Telegram Staff Writer

The opinions expressed Friday night at the Cultural Activities Center in Temple were not necessarily those of the people who said them.
The pun on the common disclaimer opened the 30th annual Rank Amateur Night. The two-hour parade of satirical jokes and mini-musicals ridiculed last year's most memorable news stories.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Family stirs up love for foster children

Telegram Staff Writer

She's 6 years old, and Monday was a big day for her.
It was the first time ever for her to go the whole day at school and not get a timeout.
It was a big deal, well worth the congratulatory cake and turkey dinner prepared in her honor.
Her mommy didn't bake her that cake. Her daddy didn't cook the turkey.
Donna Merrill did. She and her husband Kenneth are foster parents.
'We were so proud of her,' Mrs. Merrill said. 'She's been working at it, and we didn't want it to go unnoticed.'

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Heart attack survivor talks fact

Telegram Staff Writer

The heart attacks a woman differently than it attacks a man.
Though the end results are similar, both genders do not share common symptoms during a heart attack.
That's the message Carol Allred of Harker Heights shared Tuesday night, Jan. 23, with the Bell Chapter of the American Business Women's Association.
Mrs. Allred is a heart attack survivor.
'By the grace of God, I'm here,' Mrs. Allred said. 'There's a payback for that. Educating women is my payback.'

Hispanic Leadership Council names new leader, new goals

Telegram Staff Writer

The Temple Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Leadership Council (HLC) announced its strategic plan for 2007 as John Alaniz passed the gavel to Jodi Lane-Vazquez, incoming president.
'Our special project is to reduce teen pregnancy rates this year,' said Alaniz, the council's outgoing president, during the its Jan. 19 meeting.
'The Hispanic Leadership Council calls for abstinence in the youth of our community.'
This statement segued into the introduction of HLC's new partnership with the Scott and White Worth the Wait Program.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

¿Comprende? Language program expands at FBC

Telegram Staff Writer

Simple. If you know the language like you know the back of your own hand.
But for people learning English, the components of these words are as abstract as algebra's x.
The u in computer sounds like you and ewe, the latter a female sheep, but nothing like the u in your uncle's perturbed public image consultant.
Chalkboard starts with a double-lettered sound of ch as in church. Its ch is quite different from the k-like ch in anchor. That ch steals the sound of k in ankle.
And neighbor's a word full of tricks. The word plagues some native English speakers well into the fifth-grade.
Its nei rhymes with a horse's whiny nay, and the not-so-ghostly gh may as well not be there for the lack of a detectable sound.  

Obscure rules, true in one instance but not another, are the topics the novice English speaker must master to communicate effectively.
The English-Second-Language (ESL) program at First Baptist Church (FBC) in Temple helps foreigners achieve that goal. Their livelihood depends on it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

You're getting sleepy: Professional hypnotist talks about her job

Telegram Staff Writer

Eyes are closed.
Her soft German voice guides the imagination.
'You are in a kitchen, your favorite kitchen,' the professional hypnotist said.
Looking around the dining hall at the Howard Johnson Inn in Killeen, every woman's chin rested on her chest with her shoulders slumped.
The 30 women were at the hotel for Thursday night's meeting of the Central Texas area council of the American Business Women's Association (Please, see related story on Page 3B).
But while the voice spoke, the ladies were there to do as the voice commanded.

Precious memories: Alzheimer's patients find favorite items to trigger thoughts of long ago

Telegram Staff Writer

The photograph was in a gold frame. A lady in a long, white dress stood beside a man in a black suit.
But Alzheimer's patient Elaine Stevens couldn't find the words to describe her wedding day. The note on the back of the picture read '1949, married in Stillwater, Oklahoma.'
Mrs. Stevens brought her wedding picture to First Lutheran Church for this week's Thursday Club meeting. The week before, co-director Joyce McKinney said all of the patients were asked to bring a favorite object that had special meaning. The program, 'Precious Memories,' was in honor of the club's first-year anniversary/birthday.
'It's a way to unlock memories, a recollection exercise,' Mrs. McKinney said.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Retired into service

Telegram Staff Writer

With a slew of RVs parked in its lot, the First Baptist Church of Troy looks like it might be hosting a carnival or rodeo.
But the two-week guests resemble neither carneys nor cowboys.
The 25 men who call those RVs home are retired teachers, accountants, bankers and lawyers. Instead of slacks and briefcases, they now wear hard hats and overalls with hammers and saws hanging from their belts.
Their wives call them the Hammering Grandpas.
And their nametags say 'Texas Baptist Men Retiree Church Builders (TBMCB) building for the glory of God.' Developed in the late 1960s, the statewide organization has at least 80 members.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Transferring treasures: Program teaches importance of keeping memories alive

Telegram Staff Writer

The list of our treasures goes on forever, but we don't.
After our funerals, the half-decayed ornament that little Billy made the year he lost his first tooth will become an unidentified mass of goo that finds its final resting-place in a Hefty bag.
But our life's bounty deserves a future.
'These things are part of our heritage,' Ilene Miller said Thursday, Jan. 4, to about 20 members of the Housekeepers Club gathered for a meeting at the City Federation Clubhouse in Temple.
'They make us special as families. Otherwise it's just stuff,' she said.