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Joshua Wagner

REVIEW: Local Mexican restaurant ‘enjoyable’

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Photo By Joshua Wagner | The Ranger
March 28, 2012 By Trey Holt |Ranger Reporter   CHIPS AND salsa, rice, refried beans and the sound of a traditional Spanish ballad are just a few of the things that come to mind when most people think of Mexican food. For the past several years, locally owned Mexican restaurant Fernando’s has delivered all that and so much more. A recent change in location – from Paramount to the former Marty’s building – has not amounted to a change from the same friendly service that always has been offered. From the moment you walk in the door, you are greeted by a friendly, smiling face. As you wait to be seated, your eye is drawn to a beautiful fish tank strategically placed against the wall at the entrance. You can become so entranced by the fish that your table is ready before you even realize it. After being seated, the first thing you get is the usual, complimentary chips and salsa that the restaurant staff makes certain never runs out. One thing that sets Fernando’s apart from most other restaurants of its kind is the extensive salsa bar. It has 10 kinds of salsa to offer, including the house salsa, and is entirely free to customers who dine in. You also can have a jar to take home for a reasonable price. I enjoyed my experience at Fernando’s new location. After ordering a traditional chicken enchilada plate with sour cream sauce, I expected to be waiting awhile for the meal to be ready. To my surprise, however, it was ready and delivered piping hot after only 15 minutes. Another surprising aspect was the high quality of the food prepared in such a short time.  It was quite amazing. With its delicious food, fast and friendly service and reasonably priced entrees, Fernando’s definitely was one of the most enjoyable restaurant experiences I’ve had. Read more [...]

What a coffee shop should be, Roasters provides freshness, perfect atmosphere

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Photo by: Joshua Wagner | The Ranger
February 8, 2012 By Kendal Kuehler |Ranger Reporter As Roasters nears its 20th anniversary in business, it still  provides customers with friendly service and high-quality coffee. Coffee is just the beginning of what Roasters provides for  customers. With its calming atmosphere, the brewing coffee  lingering in the air, the place has multiple purposes. The relaxed environment is great for meetings, study time or just down time. Roasters’ philosophy is to bring people a great cup of coffee that leaves them rejuvenated and refreshed. The company strives to deliver a place that “allows you to un-wind from the day-to-day grind,” according to the Roasters website. All the locations have comfortable seating available, ranging from regular tables and chairs to couches, to give an at-home, peaceful feel. It allows customers to have the ability to achieve their purpose for the space. Not to mention that Roasters has free Wi-Fi available for customers. Also for customers’ convenience, Roasters provides drive-throughs at all three locations for those who are on the go. The staff is polite and will even bring the coffee to the table once it is ready to be served. That should be no surprise, because Roasters was voted Amarillo’s favorite coffee shop in 2011. Roasters is famous for its products that aren’t from just anywhere. The goal is to keep customers with the freshest products available. The business constantly trades with companies all the way to Australia. Not only does Roasters trade all over the world, it roasts its  coffee beans daily. Don’t be afraid of running out of something to order. It will not happen here, even though the chance is high that customers will get hooked on the first product they taste. By offering more than 80 drinks on the menu, Roasters keeps a variety of choices for its customers. The drink menu offers various coffees, espressos, non-espressos, teas, frappes, smoothies and seasonal drinks. This Read more [...]

New law takes toll on enrollment

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Photo by: Joshua Wagner | The Ranger
By Chris Major Ranger Reporter Texas colleges faced a new hurdle in student enrollment this spring. A new state law requiring incoming students under 30 to receive a bacterial meningitis vaccination caused many students to put off their education, said Dr. Robert Austin, vice president of student affairs. “The big challenge is the cost of this vaccination,” Austin said. “A lot of students had money set aside thinking they needed about $1,000 and now they have to pay another $150, which isn’t covered by financial aid.” Over 11,000 academic students enrolled in the fall and Austin said a small drop off of 1 to 2 percent from last spring was expected this semester. Preliminary enrollment numbers show a decrease in enrollment of about 5 percent. “We had a difficult time getting the word out about the vaccine,” Austin said. “We sent letters, emails and put up fliers to let students know, but we think some students just decided to put off dealing with it. It also challenged us because we have a system set up so that if someone wanted to come in, register and do everything they needed to at once, they could. The vaccine messed with that since we don’t have a health center on campus.” According to Austin, about 58 percent of all applicants enroll for classes. This spring, only about 42 percent of applicants registered. John Brooks applied, but put off going to school this semester due to the required vaccine. “I just didn’t have the money for it,” Brooks said. “It’s like adding another book to the list of things you have to pay for.” Although enrollment is down, Austin said retention rates, or the number of students returning from last semester, is expected to be up. He  said they are looking at several options to make next semester’s transition smoother. “We have a few ideas we are looking over,” Austin said. “Nothing is in place yet.” Crystal Murphy, radiography major, said she wished the school Read more [...]

Project, plans underway at all six AC campuses

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Photo by Joshua Wagner
BY LINDA CORTEZ Ranger Reporter   Construction, renovations and project planning are underway on all Amarillo College campuses this semester. Out of a $68.3 million construction bond, AC still has about $23 million to wrap up the ongoing projects, including the soon-to-be Everett and Mabel McDougal Hinkson Memorial Campus in Hereford, which is scheduled to be complete in Hereford by spring 2014. “The expansion of Amarillo College is vital to its continued growth,” said Donovan Cook, a psychology major. “Not only will the renovations and additions interest prospective students, it will be a great asset to the community as a whole.” In response to the continual growth in population and a demand for higher education, AC now has campuses in Hereford and Dumas. “By having extension campuses, we are making the possibility of a college degree accessible to a larger population and graduates will have Amarillo College to thank for that,” said Bruce Cotgreave, physical plant director. “AC has been a real leader and an innovator in terms of branch campuses,”said John Hicks, chairman of the board of regents. “The renovations are intended to enrich the learning experience of Amarillo College students and will allow the college to better facilitate its growing population in Amarillo and surrounding communities in means of square footage but, most importantly, advanced equipment.” Renovations to the allied health building on the West Campus is scheduled to be complete this month. Hicks said the regents are excited to see the beginning of phase two of the construction projects. “We’ve got mostly everybody moving back in the next two weeks in radiology and into a new pharmacy area,” he said. “Our projects are moving right along.” A complete renovation of the Byrd Business Building on the Washington Street Campus is scheduled to be complete in six to eight weeks and the music building should be complete Read more [...]

Student Workers Balancing school, work, all that personal stuff and whatever else life may throw at you is tough enough. On-campus jobs save students time, stress and maybe even a little gas money.

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Photo by Joshua Wagner | The Ranger
BY DAVID LEWIS| Ranger Reporter Finding a job that works with a college student’s school schedule can often be a difficult task. With the rising need to earn money and attend school at the same time, students may struggle to find the perfect solution. “Honestly, I love my job,” said Sara Hernandez, a student associate at Lynn Library. “I get to meet new people all the time and they really work around my school schedule.” Working on campus provides a number of benefits for students. “There are plenty of benefits that come along with working on campus,” said Doug Cundall, current employment associate at Amarillo College. “The biggest is that the job naturally works around your school schedule, you never have to worry about having to ask your boss to let you off of work.” He also explained that as classes change, work schedules naturally adapt. “The benefits are that working on campus works with your school schedule, and you don’t have to go anywhere - you’re already at work,” said Josh Blashill, a student associate in the Carter Fitness Center. “You just go where you need to be. I basically just come here, and get my homework done as I work.” Cundall said normally the school is looking for involved, outgoing students who are in clubs or honors classes to employ. Hernandez said that as part of her job, she had to be enrolled in at least six credit hours of classes and that she had to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average. The best time to look for available job opportunities is toward the end of the semester when classes are being let out, Cundall said. All on-campus job openings and information can be found at Read more [...]
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