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  1. UNT adds parking option View Full Article
  2. Scott’s trial may be delayed till summer View Full Article
  3. Elections employee back after being fired View Full Article
  4. Wednesday, January 18 Calendar View Full Article
  5. Commissioners amend abatement deal View Full Article
  6. Sadia Saeed | Staff Writer On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee hours before his death. A congregation hung on to King’s every word as he spoke about equality, boycotts and the ideal future. Pouring out his speech, King assured the crowd and all people of color that he has seen the future and it looks bright. “Well, I don’t know what will happen now,” Dr. King said. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!” That day, Martin Luther addressed both the present and future. King’s message still stands strong 49 years later amongst citizens as they pay tribute and reflect on Martin Luther King Jr. Day across the globe on Jan. 17, including Denton. Denton celebrates MLK Day Denton’s annual MLK Day and march brought the community together as they celebrated the life and legacy that Martin Luther King Jr. left behind. This year’s theme, “Our Past Will Shape Our Future,” had a variety of events, ranging from a MLK march, organized by UNT’s Eta Epsilon Chapter, to programs for the whole family at the MLK Jr. Rec Center. 01/16/2017 Denton, Texas Citizens of Denton gather around the UNT Union waiting for the Martin Luther King Jr. day march to start. Celebration in Denton started with a youth flag football tournament, then a rally and march from the UNT Union to the Martin Luther King recreation center. Jennyfer Rodriguez As an annual event for the Eta Epsilon Chapter, the organization’s president, Durel E. Dolford, said this year’s program was meant to be different than the past years. “Since my freshman year here at UNT, the Alphas have held this event and it has been large,” Dolford said. “Last year, when I joined the fraternity, my line-brothers and I wanted it to be better than the previous years. I really wanted our guys to be more involved within the program and utilize the talents they possess, so we do have a few curve balls for everyone.” The Eta Epsilon Chapter, which has been around since 1970, has deep roots in this event. Preparation for such large events starts early on. “We started [in] November on the actual programming, but [ideas have been in works since] late September,” Dolford said. “A lot of work has been done by us and the staff over at the MLK Jr. Rec Center. We wanted to make this year’s event different and have a unique feel to it and I feel like our plan will come into fruition.” The Martin Luther King Jr. March extends from the UNT Union and proceeds to Fred Moore Park, ending at the MLK Jr. Recreation Center. Through the years, those involved in the MLK celebration have tried listening to the community to see what they want integrated into this unifying event. “The ideas come from people in the community, [the] people who’ve lived in the community for years,” said Bobbi Givens, the center supervisor for the MLK Jr. Rec Center. The event brings in multiple members throughout the community, including members of churches and various individual organizations. In addition, sororities and fraternities from UNT and Texas Woman’s University participate. As Denton has grown, so has its community, resulting in the event to expand, said Givens. More people become involved year after year. “The more we spread the word, the more people will come out,” Dolford said. After 49 years, the issues that Martin Luther King Jr. fought for are still being fought today in modern day America, and Dolford said MLK Day allows for a time of reflection. “It will most definitely feel more empowering to the community because we are marching with more pride,” Dolford said. “The recent activities with Black Lives Matter has enhanced black pride and I also feel like we will be more aware of our culture, our surroundings and of what it truly means to be black in America.” Givens said that although his speeches were delivered almost half a century ago, his legacy is still important throughout the country. Especially during this time, Givens said it is important for people to stick together instead of pull apart. “We want to make it something where Martin Luther King would be proud to know that we have people from all nationalities, all different cultures and all different backgrounds that are part of this celebration,” Givens said. “For the march, signs were made, songs were sung, [and] togetherness will make our community feel more comfortable and unified throughout that day and will probably carry most people for the rest of the year.” As Martin Luther King Jr. stood upon that mountaintop during his memorable speech, he reflected on the future and created waves of change for all mankind. Now as he rests in his grave, the inscribed words still rings out. “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.” Featured Image: The attendees of the Martin Luther King Jr. day march start moving out of UNT campus. Celebration in Denton started with a youth flag football tournament, then a rally and march from UNT Union to the Martin Luther King recreation center. Jennyfer Rodriguez View Full Article
  7. Little Elm police detective killed in shooting View Full Article
  8. UPDATE: Little Elm police officer dies View Full Article
  9. UPDATE: Little Elm police officer shot is identified View Full Article
  10. Clay Massey | Senior Sports Writer Entering the fifth and final year of his contract with the University of North Texas men’s basketball team, head coach Tony Benford knew he had to do one thing – win. He and his squad adopted a win-now mentality around its group of core seniors. As the season rages on, so do the issues surrounding the team. Currently, the Mean Green are on a six-game losing skid. Hindered by injuries, North Texas is tied with Florida International University for dead last in Conference-USA, and have yet to win a game against a conference foe. With two key contributors in senior guards Deckie Johnson and Keith Frazier battling injuries that have sidelined them, Benford knows they have not lived up to their potential. This is especially true with junior forward Jeremy Combs, who is still feeling the effects of an offseason ankle surgery. Combs has not been his explosive self this year after averaging a double-double in 2016 and being named to the preseason all-C-USA team. “I can’t control injuries,” Benford said. “That’s why we’re in the position we’re in. Injuries have really hurt us, especially with the team we have this year. We’ve been having to rely on a lot of young players.” Combs averaged 14.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last year while playing in every game except one. This season, Combs has played in just 13 games, with his scoring and rebounding dipping to an average of 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Despite the decrease in production, Combs believes he is almost at 100 percent. “I’m feeling good,” Combs said. “I’m rehabbing twice a day everyday.” The Mean Green have adjusted to the personnel available by using a small-ball style approach with mostly guards on the floor. North Texas tries to move the ball around to get easy looks, which chews up a majority of the shot clock. As a result, they are often forced into bad shots late in possessions. Ball movement should lead to assists, but for the Mean Green, most of the time ball movement leads to turnovers. North Texas sports a conference worst 0.77 assist-turnover ratio. They turn the ball over, on average, 14.3 times a game, which is the 253rd worst average in the nation among DI schools. “We’re not getting any easy baskets,” Benford said. “Our turnovers are coming from guys trying to do too much at times. We’re capable of getting assists if we move the ball and make simple plays, but then we have to make shots.” At the head of the offense is a rotation of point guards that includes senior J-Mychal Reese and freshman Ryan Woolridge. Woolridge transferred to North Texas after not playing a minute for the University of San Diego. While Woolridge is averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, Benford thinks he needs to slow the tempo at times. As a point guard, Woolridge has more turnovers, 22, than assists, 17. “Ryan’s doing a good job for us,” Benford said. “But at times he needs to slow down. I think he’s got good speed and quickness, but he’s got to make simple plays when guys are open. He’s going to be fine moving forward.” Woolridge feels as if he’s adjusted to the new system, and just needs to shake off a little rust. “I’m still trying to work it off,” Woolrdige said. “I’m not 100 percent playing as well as I can. I’m getting there.” The Mean Green’s struggles are due in large part to the 296th-ranked offense in the country among 347 DI schools. North Texas averages just 67.2 points per game after averaging 74.6 points per game last season. And even though the Mean Green returned 82 percent of its scoring from last season, North Texas’ scoring average per game has fallen 7.4 points per game. In an injury ridden season, plans have to change. Now, the Mean Green find themselves squarely behind the eight-ball with a road contest against the University of Southern Mississippi looming on Thursday. Because if the C-USA tournament started today, North Texas would be watching at home watching on the couch. “Hopefully we get all those guys back,” Benford said. “I think if all our guys were healthy, we’d have a different record right now. We’ve struggled on the road in the last two years. Hopefully we can play well and get a W.” Featured Image: North Texas junior forward Jeremey Combs (1) drives the baseline for a layup against Delaware state. Colin Mitchell View Full Article
  11. BREAKING: Standoff underway after Little Elm police officer shot; neighborhood, schools locked down View Full Article
  12. Nathan Williams | Contributing Writer “La La Land” is easily one of the most critically lauded films in the past decade. Awards are raining down on it so much that the cast and crew may have to build an ark to stay afloat. It has entered the hearts and minds of film lovers and casual viewers alike everywhere in a shockingly expeditious fashion. But does it live up to the hype? Undoubtedly, yes. Yes it does. Let me say first that I am no fan of musicals, whether they’re on stage or on film. Frankly, I’d rather be waterboarded by Pennywise the Clown in Freddy Krueger’s boiler room than subject myself to “Moulin Rouge,” “Newsies” or other films of that sort ever again. But every once in a while, there comes a film that transcends this genre, which is rich with films that are, more often than not, akin to crimes against humanity as opposed to actual movies. “La La Land” is such a film. I could spend this entire review talking about what a technical marvel it is, but at the end of the day, we don’t go to the movies to fawn over cinematography and editing. We go to enjoy ourselves, and this movie is entertaining and delightful through and through. The movie follows two struggling artists in Los Angeles, a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an actress (Emma Stone), as they fall in love and support one another in their attempts to achieve their respective dreams. Yet, as always, there’s trouble in paradise and it comes down to a point where they must choose their dreams or their relationship. The straightforward story could easily fall into banality, but it never does, and it tells its love story in the freshest way. Director Damien Chazelle, two years after making his other masterpiece “Whiplash,” pays homage to the Golden Age of movie musicals, when legends like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were churning out hits with precision and ruled the box office as a result. In turn, “La La Land” is complete with tap dances, vibrant numbers, classic-style jazz and even the CinemaScope logo that introduced films from 1953 to 1967. It perfectly captures the feel of Old Hollywood that you find in flicks like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Band Wagon,” while managing to transport that mold into the 21st century. Furthermore, the chemistry between Gosling and Stone is overwhelmingly wonderful, and they each turn in performances that are just as good as any in their filmography, if not better. Their dance sequences rival those of classic musicals, and their duets are equally fantastic. Chazelle’s film is everything you want in a musical and more. Please go watch “La La Land” in theaters. Whether you are a fan of the genre or not, it’s truly meant to be experienced on the big screen and it’s worth far more than the price of admission. Featured Image: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Summit Entertainment’s “La La Land.” | Wikimedia Commons View Full Article
  13. Gabriela Macias | Staff Writer Few films have had the capacity to make me question, feel heartbreak and realize the importance of the story being told. “Moonlight” is one of those films, which many people know as the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama and the frontrunner for the upcoming Academy Awards. It’s a breathtaking reminder of the importance of representation in the film industry. This is rare for a movie of color, especially since this film doesn’t have the usual Hollywood formula that would make it such an obvious pick. Directed by Barry Jenkins, it tells the coming-of-age story of a black boy living in a rough Miami neighborhood. Based on the play “In Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the film explores the themes of manhood, love, race, sexuality and identity. The film is a beautiful invitation into the life of Chiron, demonstrated in the film through three different acts. As a boy (Alex Hibbert), teenager (Ashton Sanders) and adult (Trevante Rhodes), his character arc is punctuated by fright and confusion. The first time we see Chiron is when he runs away from a group of boys. We quickly understand the vulnerability of the character. In this scene he meets a drug dealer named Juan (Mahershala Ali), who becomes the closest thing he has to a father figure. His mother Paula, played astonishingly by Naomie Harris, is an absent single parent who goes from casually smoking crack to being absolutely consumed by it. These relationships become the markers of his life, experienced through characters who are not easily pigeonholed as “drug dealer” or “addict.” Within this complexity, we see the brilliant awareness of Barry Jenkins, not in his attempt to humanize the characters, but how he delves into the lives of fully realized people without being emotionally manipulative. Jenkins tells this story by dropping the audience into the streets of a foreign neighborhood, but at the same time it’s all too familiar. Because of this disorienting beginning, “Moonlight” allows viewers to grow with Chiron. It is films like “Moonlight,” “Hidden Figures,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Selma” – all award season favorites – that give America glances into the reality of being a minority. While the #OscarsSoWhite campaign had its problems, the prospect of telling diverse stories allows audiences to stop and listen to one another. In times like these, when we couldn’t be more divided, “Moonlight” and its ilk ring truer than ever. Jenkins’ specific film is an exposé into the façade of black Americans, and how many black men grow up believing masculinity lies in having a rock-solid exterior. At the same time, it is difficult to pinpoint a single subject that this film is about, because what makes it so magnificent is how it never intends to be just one thing. Worthy of every one of its Oscar nominations, “Moonlight” reminds viewers of the importance and value in everyone’s story. If it wins the prestigious Best Picture, the #OscarsSoWhite allegations of yesteryear can finally be satiated. Featured Illustration: Antonio Mercado View Full Article
  14. Cesar Valdes | Staff Writer In its first action in nearly two months, the Mean Green tennis team participated in the SMU Invite and picked up key wins during the three-day event. The tournament served as a tune-up for the team before they begin the regular season against Oklahoma State University. Saturday 1/14/17 The Mean Green struggled out of the gate in their first action since November, but managed to salvage the day with a strong performance from freshman Haruka Sasaki. The Japan native won a singles match before teaming up with senior captain Alexis Thoma in a doubles win over Rice University. Sophomores Laura Arciniegas and Minying Liang started off the invite with a quick loss to Rice senior Alison Ho and junior Priya Niezgoda in a 0-6 sweep. That loss was followed up by another with Maria Kononova and Alexandra Heczey falling to Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang in a 3-6 match. The bright side of the doubles round against Rice was the dominant preformace from Thoma and Sasaki. The duo helped guide the Mean Green to the team’s only doubles win against Fernanda Astete and Savannah Durkin. North Texas continued their struggles into singles play with Liang losing 3-6, 7-5, 1-6 and Arciniegas, Ivana Babic, and Thoma losing straight sets. Kononova won a back-and-forth battle against SMU freshman Sarai Monarrez. After winning the first set 7-6, Kononova took full control of the tiebreak 7-2. She closed out Monarrez with a hard fought 6-4 finish. Heczey and Sasaki added North Texas’ single win total to three by winning in straight sets. Sunday 1/15/17 In the second day of the invite, it was Kononova who shined for the Mean Green. The sophomore knocked off Rice’s Lindsey Hodge – a 2016 First-Team All-Conference USA singles player – in a hard fought match. In addition to Kononova’s big win, the Mean Green saw Sasaki step up again. Sasaki kept her winning streak rolling after she took down Rice sophomore Fernanda Astete 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. “Just unbelievable,” head coach Sujay Lama said of his freshman. “Unbelievable. The character – she’s so coachable. She shows up every single day like that, so, you know you’re going to get your best from Haruka.” The freshman credited her success to Lama, who has played a big role in the strong start to the 2017 leg of the season. “[My coaches] really helped me out and I’ve worked hard every day,” Sasaki said. “Coach Lama gives me a lot of positive [feedback] and brings a lot of energy. I love it.” Kononova and Babic capped off the day with singles wins. Kononova overcame Rice junior Lindsey Hodge 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. Babic clinched her first win over SMU freshman Sara Jamal 6-0, 7-6. Monday 1/16/17 Thoma closed out the three-day invite with the team’s eighth singles win, knocking off Brigham Young University’s Natella Nabieva (6-4, 1-6, 7-5). But despite the success in singles action, North Texas didn’t stand much of a chance against SMU in doubles play, as it was easily swept 0-3 by the Mustangs. The losing continued into the doubles round as the Mean Green fell to BYU 1-3. Lama said the team still got some positive playing time out of the day, as sophomore Laura Arciniegas caught his eye. “Laura is a very smart player, especially in doubles,” Lama said. “She uses the angles, she uses the touch, she uses the drop ball. Indoor [is] a little different because it’s a little more power game and sometimes she doesn’t get the time, but I thought she did a real good job today with Haruka.” Next up: North Texas will travel to take on No. 5 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, OK beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. View Full Article
  15. Cernan, last man to walk on moon, dies View Full Article