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Leticia Bodine

Fire on West Campus estimated between $350,000 and $400,000

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April 26, 2012 By Leticia Bodine | Ranger Reporter Amarillo College staff and personnel have pulled together to keep the motorcycle operator training courses on track since the March 22 fire in Building B on the West Campus destroyed 20 of the 28 motorcycles being used in the program. Classes were canceled the weekend following the fire, which the Amarillo Fire Department determined was accidental. Luke Morrison, coordinator of personal enrichment, said classes resumed the last weekend in March. “The classes that were canceled the weekend before doubled up with the classes when they resumed in the back parking lot of the West Campus motorcycle range,” he said. “We were able to schedule one class after the other. While one class was in the classroom, the other was on the range, so we were able to juggle them to make it work.” Of the 20 bikes that were destroyed, 16 were long-term loan bikes from the Department of Public Safety, two were loaned from Tripp’s Harley Davidson and two belonged to AC. “All bikes were insured, so insurance money will go to all those that the bikes belonged to,” Morrison said. A new training bike ranges anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000, but only three were new. Some of the bikes were from 1990, so there is not an exact total value for the bikes because it is based on depreciation, Morrison said. “We have received sympathy and empathy by all the dealers and the motorcycle community,” he said. “This course is a community-supported program that meets a community need.” Eight additional motorcycles that were not destroyed are on long-term loan by the DPS motorcycle division. “We try to keep the bikes not all in one location,” Morrison said. “Because we have two sites where we have classes, as much as we are able to, we keep them separated. We are trying to look at a long-term storage solution for the bikes, but nothing has been finalized.” “The only way that the fire affected me was that it moved Read more [...]

Opinion: The true meaning of giving

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Leticia Bodine
Opinion By Leticia Bodine YOU SEE, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God. It was never between you and them anyway. – Mother Theresa “Thank you.” That’s what most would expect to hear after giving something to somebody, but what if the giver gave and the receiver did not know from whom his or her gift came? What does it truly mean to give anyway? The dictionary would tell us that to give is to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation. I would say that when most people give something to somebody, they may not be expecting anything in return, but I’ve found that some form of appreciation always is an expected direct response. So in the end, who is the gift for, anyway? I once was given an assignment to give an anonymous gift to someone, and it was an enlightening experience. It is one thing to give something to someone and have him or her thank you afterward, but it is a different matter altogether to see or hear of their gratitude, not knowing whom to thank for their new treasure. This type of giving makes the gift totally for the receiver, and all the giver gets out of it is a sense of knowing that somebody was blessed. It leaves no room for acknowledgement or recognition for the giver. Some people do it in a similar way at Christmas time when they draw names and are to get a gift for the person whose name they drew, but they can only address the gift without telling who it is from. Usually when I am given a gift, I automatically feel the need to get that person something in return, especially if the gift was given to me for no specific occasion. In this case, the gifts tend to go back and forth until, finally, one person stops giving – which is cool, too. At other times I have been given something and at the time I had no way to pay it back, and all the person asked was that I do the same for someone else when they are in need. That type of gift-giving, by paying it forward, is intriguing Read more [...]

Homeland, cyber security potential programs

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February 8, 2012 By Leticia Bodine | Ranger Reporter            NEW OPTIONS could be offered as degree plans as early as fall 2012 if the curriculum committee accepts the proposals. Homeland security and cyber security are being proposed to start this fall after going before the curriculum committee, said Dr. Shawn Fouts, dean of career and technical education. If the curriculum is approved, the criminal justice associate degree plan will include a homeland security option for students. The computer information systems department is proposing a certificate in cyber security that will go right into an associate degree, either in networking or CIS. Some of the cyber security classes would be incorporated into the homeland security program, but students would have to take a few more classes to get the cyber security certificate, Fouts said. In addition, the cyber security program would prepare students to take industry certification courses. “The new options are being added to existing degree plans with the goal of starting a homeland security program within the next couple years,” Fouts said. “The criminal justice side appeals to new students out of high school and existing police officers.” Students, the community and organizations that are mandated to secure their computer systems will benefit more from the CIS option, said CIS Department Chairwoman Carol Buse. Even if students do not get hired as security experts, having the knowledge learned in  the courses will allow students to be better employees, she said. “It will be a good addition to the existing degree plan,” said Criminal Justice Director Toni Gray. “The classes in the current associate degree plan are more theoretical. With the homeland security option, a more practical and contemporary side is taught. “My police officers will understand the global structure. They already receive a lot of local and state information, so this will broaden their Read more [...]

Agriculture workers earn GED’s with help from HEP

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By LETICIA BODINE Ranger Reporter   Amarillo College’s High School Equivalency Program is helping individuals who are determined to better their future by   attaining their General Educational Development diploma. “My little brother got his diploma fast and he motivated me to do the same because he made it seem so easy,” said Israel Rodriguez, future HEP student aspiring to pursue a nursing degree. “HEP will benefit me and my family.” Michael Rodriguez, a nursing major, got out of high school before his time to graduate. It only took about a month to complete his GED exams and the HEP program covered the cost because he met all of the specific requirements. Michael Rodriquez not only inspired his older brother Israel to seek help from HEP to get his GED, but he also inspired his father. “My youngest son, Michael, inspired me to better my future by getting my diploma with the help of HEP so that I can succeed,” said Samuel Rodriguez, a nursing major. HEP is an education program that is created to meet the specific needs of migrant and seasonal farm workers in pursuit of a GED diploma. HEP is intended to provide assistance for these students in the preparation and successful completion of GED exams. “The only people who are missing out are those who do not qualify for HEP,” said Raul Dominguez, a recruitment and placement specialist for HEP. Qualifications include migrant or seasonally employed agricultural workers or someone in their immediate family who has worked a minimum of 75 days in agriculture-related employment within the last two years. Agriculture jobs include beef packing plants, ranching, feedlots, cotton gins, farming, dairies and grain elevators. Qualifying participants in the program must be at least 17 years of age, cannot currently be enrolled in school and cannot have a secondary school diploma or its equivalent. They also must take and pass an admission pre-test. If an applicant does Read more [...]
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