For the students who attend Lincoln Elementary and McGary Middle schools, for their parents and teachers who work at them, those schools provide a sense of community, of passion and pride. The scores that students at the schools achieve on state-mandated tests matter to their alumni, staff and community, but for them the schools are about more than academics.
EVANSVILLE - Michael Schaefer — one half of the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in Vanderburgh County — said he was in tears when he heard that an Evansville-based federal judge had struck down the state's ban on gay marriage. "I didn't even get showered, cleaned up or anything, I just said ‘Hurry up, get dressed and run,'" the 36-year-old Schaefer said.
The fashion industry suffered a great loss this past week. American fashion designer L’Wren Scott passed away at age 49 in her Chelsea apartment on March 14. Investigators believe her death to be suicide, though the official autopsy has not been released. Suicide is not something typically covered by this publication, but due to a number of suicides on campus this past year, I felt a calling of sorts to not only pay respects to a great talent, but discuss the seriousness of taking ones own life.
College Heights Herald, Western Kentucky University
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At 5:44 a.m. on Wednesday morning, officials from the National Corvette Museum received calls that a natural disaster had struck. A sinkhole that measured 40 feet wide and 25-30 feet deep tore through the Skydome, swallowing eight of the museum’s prized automobiles. No one was injured during the collapse.
Despite not receiving a planned budget increase, the Student Government Association recently finalized their budget for the 2013-14 school year.
With hammers in hand, volunteers from World Changers began work Monday on a variety of projects on homes throughout the city. The group of 150 volunteers divided into smaller groups of 10 to 15 people and set out to work on each house.
The group will work on 18 projects this week.
One group of 10 was sent to the Fifth Street home of Mary Anderson, a 90-year-old widow in need of a new porch and accommodating ramp for her walker. Her previous porch had been damaged, had weakened wood and, as Anderson said Wednesday, “felt like you could go through it.”
World Changers, a volunteer organization that is an entity of LifeWay Student Ministries, says on its website that its mission is to serve and equip volunteers with opportunities that meet needs and demonstrate God’s love. Groups travel to cities across the country, meeting local needs by repairing homes.
Anderson has lived in her home for 20 to 25 years. She said the ramp will help a lot, as she could no longer get down the steps that used to lead down her porch. She’ll be able to enter the house from the front door again.
“They’re doing a great job, aren’t they?” she said.
The group, having torn the remnants of the old porch away, will cut and lay new wood for the porch and ramp, finishing it off with water sealant by the end of the week. The group is in town through Friday.
Candace Bennett, 26, of Kingsport, Tenn., was one of the 10 working on Anderson’s house. She and a group of young women were cutting the wood for the porch as the young men were building a new frame. This is her second project with Word Changers, with her first one taking her to Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The crowd is smaller here, and it’s a completely different area,” she said. “In Cincinnati, we were in an inner city area. Here is like a home away from home.”
World Changers appealed to Bennett because it is a way to help others and share Christ.
“I couldn’t turn it down,” she said. “It’s an amazing experience, and everyone should do it.”
Caelan McDonald, 17, of Hopkinsville sat between two beams of wood, hammering in nails for the porch frame. This was also his second project, his first one taking him to Charleston W. Va.
He was encouraged to participate by a fellow church member and from his love of traveling and meeting new people.
“It has been really good,” he said of the experience. “The crew is great.”
McDonald said only four volunteers in the group of 150 came from his church, Hopkinsville First Baptist. Eight churches were represented, coming from Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
Anderson is both excited about and appreciative of the work being done to her house, and of the volunteers completing the task. The volunteers introduced themselves to her before starting their work. She looks forward to being able to sit in her swing and enjoy her new porch.
“I’ll like my new porch, but I hope they put my swing back up,” she said, laughing and turning her eyes to watch her new porch progress. “I never got a new house, but I’ll have a new porch!”
World Changers worked primarily on houses between West Second Street and Parrish Avenue. Work varied from place to place, but generally centered around painting, landscaping and smaller renovations. Funding for the materials came from the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association, according to a press release, with the goal to revitalize substandard housing in the city.
Area churches volunteered their time by helping to feed and care for the volunteers, who were housed for the week at Apollo High School.
This is World Changers’ 23rd summer of operation, and its volunteers will complete 90 projects in more than 85 cities across the country this year.
“Our partnerships are the hey to the past 23 years,” John Bailey, team leader for World Changers, said in a press release. “Relationships with cities and churches have provided an avenue for students to make a difference in communities across North America.”
With hopes to broaden their horizons, learn another culture and research the natural wildlife of the Amazon River area, five students and two faculty went abroad over winter term to Iquitos, Peru. There, they not only studied and developed in their coursework, but they also gained personal experiences that left them wanting to return for more.
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