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IT chief resigns

Amarillo College Vice President of Information Technology Lee Colaw has resigned from his position effective April 12. Terry Kleffman, assistant chief information … Keep Reading

Music department captures area award, commits to continue tradition of success

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Corey Cowart, left, Amarillo Symphony executive director, Steven Weber, chairman of the Amarillo College music department, and Jim Rauscher, an AC piano instructor, pose at the 34th 
annual Golden Nail awards April 7 at the Amarillo Civic Center. Weber received the award on behalf of the music department for its support of local fine arts.
Written by | Alma Bustamante | Both Amarillo College and the AC music department received the Golden Nail Award April 7 for their community partnerships and support of the fine arts in the area. During their 34th annual gala, the Golden Nail Awards recognizes individuals and businesses that have made a noticeable contribution to fine arts in this area. Michelle Fortunato, chairwoman of the board of regents, accepted the award on behalf of the school, while Steven Weber accepted the award on behalf of the music department. “It was a great honor for me to accept the award on behalf of the music department,” said Weber, chairman of the department. In his acceptance speech, Weber recognized two former department chairmen who have strengthened the fine arts not only at AC but in the community. According to Weber, Dr. Dale Roller was a visionary who implemented ideas to engage the Amarillo community with the AC music department. “There is not a person who loves Amarillo College or is more invested in Amarillo College like Dale Roller,” Weber said. Also recognized by Weber was Dr. Jim Rauscher, a piano instructor and former department chairman, for helping cultivate the ideas and making the AC music department an important part of the arts in the community. Roller’s ideas helped organizations such as the Amarillo Master Chorale, Amarillo Youth Choirs and the Suzuki program to develop and exist, Weber said. The music department is known for its high standards and high quality of teaching. “I feel like this department is a dream team department,” Weber said. Mary Jane Johnson, a voice instructor, said it is a great department where students get to experience opportunities to grow and learn. “We are very much like a small family,” Johnson said. “We are proud of what we do here.” Not only is the music department recognized locally but also nationwide, since AC also is accredited with the National Association of Schools of Music for its music Read more [...]

Students take advantage of free dental services

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Students take advantage of free dental services

‘Film Riot’ does the impossible

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Visit youtube.com/user/filmriot to view sketches and filming/production highlights.
Written by | Austin Ulen | For those who ever have wondered how to make a crowbar out of foam or maybe how to set a car on fire without going to jail or who simply ever have seen something in a film and said, “I wish I could make something like that,” Ryan Connolly’s YouTube channel, “Film Riot,” makes it absolutely possible. Not only will the “Film Riot” crew show how it can be done, but they’ll show how to do it on a budget. Started in May 2009 as part of the “Revision3” multi-channel network, which it now no longer is a part of, “Film Riot” gives those who might not have a Hollywood budget the tools to create a film that still should be on the big screen.   The show is hosted by Connolly himself, and the channel has several different themes for its episodes. Most episodes begin with a sketch that incorporates and highlights a certain aspect of pre-production, filming or postproduction. The sketches usually are comedy-driven and cleverly written. Connolly then gives advice and walks viewers through the process of creating the effects seen in the sketch.Other episodes feature the crew reviewing a piece of equipment used in the process of filmmaking. Reviews have included cameras, lighting, rigging, sound equipment, software, online resources and more. Connolly also takes questions via Twitter, Facebook and email and answers them on episodes called “Film Riot Mondays.” They are episodes that tackle tough questions ranging from copyright issues to practical effects vs. CGI effects to how to shoot in extreme weather, all things that might not be covered in a standard episode. “Film Riot” could be called a family affair. Connolly, along with brothers Josh and Tim and sister Emily, all contribute to the channel’s success. The siblings banded together not only to create the “Film Riot” YouTube channel but also Triune Films, an independent film production company. The company has released several short films that also Read more [...]

Getting fired up with AC courses

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Written by | TASHANA SMITH | Amarillo College has a fire academy that gives individuals the opportunity to become certified firefighters anywhere in the United States. According to Dennis Eaves, the fire protection instructor, students rent their fire gear from an independent company because AC is unable to pay for it. The fire trucks and the facility that are used during training are owned by the city of Amarillo. The fire academy has an agreement with the city to use them. Along with the students, professional firefighters also can take courses and training to achieve promotions and advancements. There are classes in the daytime for those who cannot attend evening classes and evening classes for those who cannot attend day classes. Fire academy students receive more than 500 hours of training. Forty percent of that training is spent in the classroom taking tests, and the other 60 percent is spent on the field. Most of the instructors teach part-time and are firefighters from around the Texas Panhandle. The students are taught from state, national and local standards. When they train, they enter a building that is smoking but not actually burning and go searching for the dummy that was placed inside to represent a victim. They make sure everyone in the building has been evacuated. Students train using hazardous materials and also perform vehicle extractions in case there is a victim stuck in a car. When practicing, they have various groups such as Engine 2, Engine 3 and Engine 5. “We have a really good completion rate from our students,” Eaves said. “We also have had a minimal accident rate this year. In the past years, we may have had maybe one or two, but this is a better year.” Toward the end of the program, students gear up and actually go inside a burning building to see if they can find any dummies simulated as victims. During the exercise, they report back to the leader on a walkie-talkie to let the leader know the currency Read more [...]

‘God’s Not Dead 2’ teaches importance of faith

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High school history teacher Grace Wesley, played by Melissa Joan Hart, comes under fire for answering a student’s question about Jesus. When Wesley refuses to apologize, the school board votes to suspend her and threatens to revoke her teaching certificate.
Written by | NATALIE VILLARREAL | Let me start out by saying that God’s Not Dead 2 is phenomenal. One would not expect that since it is a sequel, but for me, this movie was better than the first one. The storyline is incredible and really displays that faith always is on trial and that you have to stand up for what you believe. The film focuses on a teacher accused of preaching to her class when asked a question about Jesus and responding with scripture in an attempt to compare the movements of the Rev. Dr. Martin King Jr and Jesus Christ. With Melissa Joan Hart playing the leading role, you can see how her faith is displayed throughout. Not once does she lose her character, and you can see that her faith isn’t just in the movie but also is the same faith she has in her everyday life. Personally, some parts of this movie made me teary-eyed. Just to see the power of God in a movie that displays every emotion I feel on a daily basis is amazing. The plot of this story is incredible, and it shows that the real reason Hart’s character Grace Wesley is put on trial is not because of her answering a question about Jesus but because the prosecuting lawyer hates what she stands for. This situation displays the true discrimination that some Christians in our society do face on a daily basis. Another thing I really enjoyed about this movie is the movement that it stands for. In the last scene, right before the ending credits, the movie shows the reason that sparked the plot and also shares the teachers who were on trial in similar conditions. Seeing a situation taken out of context and used to attack someone based on their beliefs spoke volumes to me. Though the first movie is phenomenal, I strongly suggest looking for the first one on Netflix if you plan to see God’s Not Dead 2. I truly feel that this is one of the best movies I have seen. I enjoyed the plot, actors and message. It is a good movie that displays standing up for what you truly believe, Read more [...]

Conference to bring awareness

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Written by | SAVANNAH TARBET |

The Amarillo College Criminal Justice Program and more than 50 local businesses will host the 16th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference. The event will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today in the Amarillo Civic Center. The registration fee is $25, which includes lunch. The conference’s purpose is to bring awareness and provide information about child abuse prevention to the Amarillo area, especially during April, which is National Child Abuse and Neglect
Prevention Month.

“Our Conference Steering Committee works hard every year to design a conference that will appeal to a broad audience of professionals working in the criminal justice, social service and other related fields,” said Eric Wallace, director of the AC criminal justice program. Guest speakers will include Joe Laramie and Chris Baughman. Laramie is a program manager with the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College.

Baughman is a consultant on MSNBC’s show, Sex Slaves, a former police detective and author. They will talk about technology and child sexual abuse investigations, child pornography and crimes related to human trafficking, among other topics. “It is our sincere desire that this conference will provide valuable information and insights that will help participants achieve both their professional and personal goals,” Wallace said.

Child abuse is a growing problem all over the world, and Amarillo is no exception. “As far as child abuse statistics for this area, it is a problem,” Wallace said. In 2015, the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle saw about a 10 percent drop in the number of reported child abuse cases compared to 2014, while some counties have seen rates increase. Wallace said he hopes the event will benefit the community. “It appears progress is being made, and this conference is one more way to help make a difference,” he said.

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