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  1. The Mean Green volleyball team earned its first Conference USA victory Sunday, defeating Florida International University 3-0 in straight sets. North Texas (7-10, 1-1) took advantage of early errors made by the Golden Panthers (6-9, 0-1) in the first set, jumping out to an early 9-6 lead. Back-to-back kills by junior middle blocker Holly Milam secured the 25-21 win later in the frame. “We really had a good team effort today,” Milam said. “If we can keep that up I think it will continue to help us.” North Texas experienced even more success in the second set, due in large part to freshman middle blocker Emma Eakin. Eakin racked up seven kills in this set alone and was a big reason the Mean Green was able to build on its early lead. She led the team in kills and total attacks, setting a near career high in both categories. “Over the last week or two we’ve decided we need to put Emma in there and just mature [her] as a player,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “What I think has helped her the most is that she’s opened up and isn’t as quiet on and off the court. Her personality has come out.” The third set was no different for the Golden Panthers, as North Texas pounced on them from the outset. After a block by Eakin and an ace by Milam, the lead continued to grow until a kill by Milam sealed the set and the match. “I’m just going to keep working even harder in practice,” Eakin said. “Just have to focus on the little things to get even better.” Up next: The Mean Green will take on the University of Texas at San Antonio at 6 p.m. on Friday in San Antonio. View Full Article
  2. Kanye West, ‘Ye, Yeezy, Pablo or whatever, made his stop on the Saint Pablo Tour in Dallas Thursday night, and it was everything you would expect and hope for it to be. For someone who isn’t really entertained by the idea of Kanye himself, the husband of a fame whore (almost literally speaking here), claims he is in personal debt, has an oversized ego, this was much more than your generic concert at the American Airlines Center. It was a show worth seeing — and worth the trek down Interstate 35 during rush hour. The highly publicized floating and contorting stage was surreal to see in person. Although the AAC was very dim, except for the spotlights that occasionally shone down upon West, or when the beat dropped in a song, I could feel the music in my body. I didn’t actually see his face despite how amazingly close I was, but hey, it was Kanye. The crowd was hyped, as they should have been. Kanye is a lyrical genius and producer who undoubtedly creates some of the best beats and concerts. The show was sold out, filled with artificial smoke and with people of all ages clad in overly-priced Saint Pablo garb. Before he came out, people in the crowd were chanting “fuck Taylor Swift, fuck Taylor Swift,” and out came Yeezy. He made a lot of references to fame, Taylor Swift and his haters. Hey there. “This is so Yeezy-esque,” one of my best friends who was with me said. Yes, yes it was. Kanye is known for his dark and simple aesthetics, from his plain clothes to the small amount of speaking he did. My friends and I snuck onto the lower level by the floor from our peasant level nosebleed seats, where the stage maneuvered its way to us at one point. I felt a connection with Ye. He made an intimate connection with the audience, he moved around all over the stage and actually shook the place. Maybe it was the darkness that put me in the feels, maybe it was the simplicity of the stage, but it made me wish he wasn’t so annoying off of the stage. When the stage moved around, the herds of people under him followed him in the directions he was going to like fish with a finger. I feel like the whole theme of this concert is based on people truly worshipping him, reaching for him as if they were reaching for a god. From someone who doesn’t like Kanye but likes Kanye, I honestly enjoyed every second of this show. When he played “All of the Lights,” every single cellphone in the AAC was shining, and sorry about the pun, but it was truly lit. I had come to this show because growing up, all of my friends would play Kanye West songs at parties or in the car, so I thought it would be a show worth while. And let me tell you, it sure was. View Full Article
  3. The Denton County Republican Party and Denton County Democratic Party are both actively registering voters and holding events around the city and UNT campus. The DCRP has been tailgating at UNT football games while the DCDP has been hosting booths at several events. Both parties aim to inform and educate voters about the issues facing Denton County and the country. Lisa Hendrickson, the Denton County Republican Chair, believes it is the mission of the Denton County Republican Party to help inform and educate voters in any possible way. “A majority of the time the voter only has a snippet, but not all the information regarding the candidates and their stance on issues, which is not fair to them,” Hendrickson said. This past week the DCRP had an event at a local gun range and volunteered in Flower Mound to register citizens. Starting September 29th, the DCRP will have volunteers at the UNT campus to register voters. They plan to have these booths set up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to inform students about the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump. “His platform is to make America great again and uniting the country that has been divided,” Hendrickson said. She said she hopes to convey the message “of supporting our veterans and to create and inspire a society that appreciates and values the previous generation.” Uniting the country is the reason why Hendrickson said she can not listen to the Democrats Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because “she mentions color in her speeches makes it about race when it is not, that does not unify the country.” The DCDP also plans to team up with the college Democrats and have both set up in the Gateway Center starting at the end of September to get students to register and vote. The party also plans to inform citizens about the platform of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said Phyllis Wolper, the Denton County Democratic Chair. “She has stressed about the importance of helping women,children, family and education,” Wolper said. “One big issue is the enormous debt of student loans and finding ways to help students.” Wolper believes two of the biggest issues in the political race are immigration and stressing how “we are not at war with Muslim but with terrorism.” “[Terrorism] just happens to be happening in that area, but people must know that the people mean no harm, they are fleeing from these countries because they are in danger,” Wolper said. “Most leave behind family and friends in such for a safer environment and we must help them.” One particular piece of information the party is trying to convey is the fact that a voter does not a have to show a photo ID to vote. “We want to educate voters on voter laws because there is a lack of information out there because the government hasn’t been doing the best job to inform voters about the issue,” Wolper said. Both party chairs say they hope to see students attending their events which they said students can find updates on their local chapter’s social media pages. They both also have official websites with a calendar of several events being hosted in Denton County and surrounding areas. View Full Article
  4. The construction for three new fraternity houses that began Sept. 5 means more housing for UNT’s growing Greek life, but it also means less parking for the rest. More than half of the parking in lot 40 is being removed to make way for the new fraternity houses, System Landscape Architect Traci Jones said. The construction is expected to cause minimal delays to road and foot traffic and is expected to finish early November. It will cost $2.02 million. After the project is complete, parking will return to the north end of the lot. “This project is the grading, draining and utility work for the future houses,” Jones said. “This project itself is not for building [the] houses.” After the completion of this phase of the project, plans will prepare the two neighboring lots for fraternity housing, Dean of Students Maureen McGuinness said. She said that this construction follows the current UNT master plan to greatly expand the state of Greek life on campus and that the entire lot will eventually be converted into housing for Greek life. Since all sororities on campus currently have housing, McGuinness said the current plan is to only build fraternity housing. Victor Argueta, a biology freshman and Phi Gamma Delta member, feels that Greek life is important and needs the expansion. “Some fraternities don’t have houses, so I feel like they should get a chance to have one,” Argueta said. “There’s so much other parking [on campus], and UNT could always build more spots in the future.” View Full Article
  5. DJ Low Down Loretta Brown, otherwise known as Erykah Badu, performed at Oaktopia at 6 p.m. on Saturday on the UNT Stage. Badu not only acquired a large crowd at her show, but also brought something unique to Oaktopia. Badu, who was born in Dallas, goes by several different names such as Analog Girl in a Digital World, Annie and Medulla Oblongata. Her journey into stardom started in 1994, when she opened for D’Angelo in her hometown. Soon after, she signed for a record deal and her debut album, “Baduizm,” was born. Badu is considered by many to be the mother of neo-soul. Badu has many classics in her repertoire that fans were happy to sing and dance along to at Oaktopia. Titles such as “Window Seat,” “Tyrone,” “Didn’t Cha Know” and “Appletree” are always crowd-pleasers. No matter where you go, someone in the surrounding area is sure to be familiar with Badu’s music. Many in previous generations, as well as millennials, grew up listening to her albums. “I’ve known Erykah for more than 20 years. I’ve been working with her most of her career, since about 1997,” DJ Big Texas said. “We definitely enjoyed the show, the crowd was into what she was doing.” Badu dressed comfortably, but her style was not lacking. She arrived with her bodyguard and ready to mix in baggy sweat pants, a light jacket and traditional Japanese wooden shoes. Her hair, styled into micro braids, fell all the way to her lower back. Around her neck, she wore several chains, one of which was a large clear quartz crystal with a small Ankh attached. Once she took the stage, her DJ face was on and she was ready to perform. All of the music she played were her own original mixes. Much of the music that she mixed with, however, were old school jams including Biggie Smalls, Marvin Gaye and A Tribe Called Quest. Although Badu was accompanied onstage with DJ Big Texas, she handled the computer work, the scratching and even sang along on the mic from time to time. The crowd was large and many people were surprised by seeing Badu perform as a DJ. “Erykah has a really good way of making her shows personable,” Oaktopia attendee Alcynna Lloyd said. “It feels like we’re all just hanging out because it’s a lot more intimate.” Badu was enjoying the Denton crowd so much that she lost track of time and went over by 10 minutes. Her audience didn’t complain. When her show ended, the entire backstage area began to swarm around the stage, waiting for her to come down the steps. Badu was happy to greet fans and allowed many of the photographers to take pictures of her. She also took many selfies with waiting fans, commenting that she prefers a selfie over anything else and even offered to take the selfies herself to showcase her skill. She lingered for at least 10 minutes after her show, chatting and signing things for people backstage. “The show was groovy,” attendee Christian Breann said. “I like her older stuff and I kind of wish she had sang more, but it was good, I would come back to another show of hers.” Badu is not new to the smaller venue scene. She has been known to indulge in smaller, more intimate settings with her fans. Her bodyguard, Chris, had two arms full of Badu’s things and quickly ended the after-show mingle. He guided Badu back to her vehicle, where they loaded up her things and left the scene, Badu in the driver’s seat. The show, overall, was similar to Badu as an artist – exciting, funky and soulful. She certainly helped create a unique vibe on the last night of Oaktopia. View Full Article
  6. Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee, otherwise known as hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd, performed at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 on the UNT stage. The two brothers, although born in California, spent most of their childhood years in Tupelo, Mississippi. They were raised in the Ida Street housing projects, a place where some of the worst crimes in the state occur. As if that was not enough, their parents divorced early on in their youth, leaving the brothers to seek shelter in abandoned homes throughout the already dangerous area. With very few role models surrounding them, the pair found inspiration from David Banner, another Mississippi native doing big things in the music industry. It was then that music became their peace-of-mind amongst all of the chaos and crime around them. “When we were growing up, it was just about perseverance,” Slim Jxmmi said. Having that attitude served them well. The brothers taught themselves how to DJ, record beats and use their natural born gifts as performers to generate a local buzz. What once started as local abandoned house parties, soon turned into an appearance on BET’s “Wild Out Wednesday” segment for 106th & Park. They caught the attention of a producer in Tupelo by the name of P-Nazty, who then introduced the duo to super producer Mike WiLL Made-It’s Eardrummers Entertainment production team. The rest is history. The brothers were scheduled to play at 10 p.m. but because of the rain, the show was pushed back a half hour to ensure the safety of the equipment and the artists as they performed. Many people took shelter under nearby vendor tents as they waited for the storm to pass. Oaktopia’s official twitter page assured everyone that the show would continue and their word was kept. By 10:15 p.m., a large crowd of people had regathered at the UNT stage, ready to”start a party.” “Their show was something that I’d been wanting to see,” Oaktopia attendee Derek Nelson said. “They bring a lot of energy and excitement and it radiates to others. They’re so diverse that a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds can have fun at the same time.” At a Rae Sremmurd concert, if anything is certain, it is that fans can expect showers of champagne, water and pineapples. The DJ took the stage before anyone else, using his time before the show to set up, smoke and interact with fans. On the table were huge bottles of water, champagne and a single pineapple. The show began promptly. Slim Jxmmi entered first, wearing a large pink mink coat and smoke goggles. Swae Lee followed just behind him in a long green jacket, wearing all white underneath. They wasted no time going into their first song, “Start A Party.” They hopped and danced around, smoke shooting out of the stage. The crowd sang along, waving their arms and dancing excitedly. “Their performance was pretty lit,” attendee Mike Fox said. “We needed that little personality to come through the city and turn things up, especially with all of the bad that’s been going on.” As their set went further on, the crowd at the stage grew larger. Rae Sremmurd’s sound quickly overpowered the stage beside it. The brothers went through several crowd favorites such as “No Flex Zone,” “Come Get Her,” “No Type” and “Up Like Trump.” With each song the crowd became more invested. At one point, the brothers instructed the crowd to grab something they all could throw. When the beat dropped, they wanted them to throw everything up in the air. The crowd obeyed and sure enough, up went beach balls, hats and even shoes. “The show was cool, I loved it,” Rae Sremmurd’s DJ Jay Sremm said. “I saw a lot of forty-year-olders out there, but we liked you guys’ energy.” The duo thanked the fans for partying with them before they left the stage, adding that they were planning on attending a few other parties in the Denton area and may even attend the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday. They encouraged the crowd to come and hang out with them while they were in town. View Full Article
  7. Blotter: Condo left burglarized by unknown suspects View Full Article
  8. Oaktopia for all tastes View Full Article
  9. Black history enshrined, examined in capital View Full Article
  10. Family’s fight for services not rare View Full Article
  11. ‘Gametopia’ serves as a break from flood of live music View Full Article
  12. For the first time since 2013, North Texas football got a win on the road. After falling behind 17-0, the Mean Green (2-2, 1-0) fought back to defeat Rice University 42-35 in double-overtime. It was only the third overtime game in the history of North Texas football. Facing a fourth and inches in the second overtime, the Owls (0-4, 0-1) quickly snapped the ball. With the game on the line, senior running back Darik Dillard got the handoff but was dropped for a loss by senior defensive end Jareid Combs, ending the game and ensuing pandemonium on the Mean Green sideline. “I’m extremely proud of our coaches and our young men,” head coach Seth Littrell said. “They didn’t blink. They just kept playing through it.” Although North Texas eventually got the win, it was tough sledding for the first 15 minutes, as Rice dominated the first quarter of play. But two members of the Mean Green offense weren’t willing to go down without a fight. Led by careers days from freshman quarterback Mason Fine and junior running back Jeffrey Wilson, the offense got back on track and kept the team in the game. Fine finished with 221 passing yards, going 15-for-26 with one touchdown. Wilson finished with 157 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns, setting new career highs in yards and touchdowns. View Full Article
  13. Profile on Professor Ian McQuire Going on his fourth week of teaching here at UNT, Professor Ian McGuire shares some of his experiences as a fiction writer and teacher along with some of the differences between teaching in the US and UK. Creative writing Professor Bruce Bond says McGuire’s writing is “very lush, energetic, colorful and intense. He is one of the most skillful writers of memorable sentences that I’ve ever encountered. He’s a brilliant stylist and we are very fortunate to have him.” Colm Toibin in The New York Times Book Review, calls McGuire’s latest published novel, The North Water, “Riveting and darkly brilliant…” and Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times says “The North Water…is a great white shark of a book ― swift, terrifying, relentless and unstoppable.” McGuire grew up near Hull, England, and has written fiction since he was a teenager. He studied and taught at the University of Manchester, where he is the cofounder and codirector of the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, and the University of Virginia. He has published stories in Chicago Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. His most successful novel, The North Water, was recently published and was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. “I’ve been writing for 30 years and I’m still learning things,” McGuire says. “There are many pleasures to writing fiction. The most rewarding aspect is the writing itself rather than any sort of reward you get afterwards.” McGuire is also satisfied with working with language to create something. Writing fiction, he says, is a satisfying personal experience that allows him to “create something that has beauty, but has appeal to someone else as well.” McGuire’s ability to help other people by passing on some of the knowledge that he has learned through trial and error has been one of the most rewarding aspects for him being a teacher. “That’s what you do when you teach fiction really,” McGuire says. “You help people find out things they would probably find out for themselves, but it might take many years for them to do that. So you speed up their process as a writer.” McGuire also loves seeing student’s work develop and change. He says he is often surprised when students he didn’t expect to improve get better and students he expected to get very strong don’t change. “It’s interesting as a teacher and rewarding to see how student’s work develops and changes quite a lot over time, or even in a short amount of time,” he says. However, he does have some slightly selfish reasons for teaching. “It’s helpful to me as a writer to go over different ways of telling a story and to go over what works and doesn’t work,” he says. “There is a way in which teaching is also a part of learning.” He has taught literature in the past and has considered it a privilege to get paid to read great stories and novels and talk about them. He also considers it a way to improve his own writing by letting the work of other great writers seep into his subconscious. Teaching, however, has not come without its challenges. McGuire says that when he first started teaching, it took him a few years to get used to being comfortable in a classroom and in front of a group of students. “The transition from being a student to being a teacher is sometimes a bit tricky,” he says. “Early on, there’s also the challenge of knowing how to engage with people whose experience and level of knowledge is very different from your own.” McGuire has also had some challenges as a novelist. “The first challenge is just deciding what you’re going to write about, which is actually pretty difficult sometimes,” he says. “I tend to have quite a few ideas… but not many of them are that good… It takes me a while to find out what are the good ones and what aren’t the good ones. After that it becomes a day-to-day process of finding time and committing to writing. As the years have gone on, I’ve found that part has become easier.” His preferred time to write is in the morning, not at night, so at about mid-afternoon he’s pretty much finished. “I’m a slow writer compared to some people,” he says. “I tend to go back over what I’ve just written and polish it before I go on writing. Some writers write a really rough first draft and burn through it whereas I like to think what I’ve written is reasonably solid before I continue.” While McGuire has studied and taught as a graduate student at the University of Virginia twenty years ago, he has been struck as much by some of the similarities as the differences of teaching at UNT compared to the University of Manchester. “I suppose there are probably fewer differences between there and America than there were twenty or thirty years ago,” he says. “We live in a global world where people watch the same tv shows and movies, and read the same books.” He suggests that the internet is the big difference that softens the cultural differences between countries, especially countries like America and the UK that share a language. He did point out some differences between colleges in England and in the US. Some differences, he says, are somewhat stereotypical. “Students in England are much less talky and more comfortable with silences,” he says. “You could ask a student a question and he just wouldn’t say anything or wouldn’t reply.” He says college sports are also completely different and foreign to the UK. “No one would dream about getting excited about university sports in the UK or paying to see it,” he says. “It doesn’t function as a kind of step into professional sports in any way. People still play sports, but they don’t get scholarships for it.” There are other differences in England that he mentioned, such as the lack of loyalty to the university in the form of alumni, the crowdedness, and, of course, the weather. “The thing I like about America is how big it is, the openness and space, and that things aren’t as crushed together,” he says. “England is kind of a small country and is quite densely populated. There’s of a sense of crowdedness.” McGuire says he likes Denton as a city and has always liked the United States. His wife is American and his kids have passports. As much as McGuire loves the space, he said he’s not a big fan of the 100 degree heat. However, he said he would take it over the weather in England. “It’s so rainy and cloudy there,” he says. “There are a lot of days where you hardly see the sun. If I had to choose, I’d be in a place where it’s very hot and there’s lots of sunshine.” Other students enjoy McGuire being here as well. Steven Kanter, 25-year-old senior majoring in creative writing, says, “I really enjoy having an accomplished novelist as an instructor. His insights are always specific and easily applied, and his demeanor is down to earth and approachable.” McGuire says that each success he’s had has been equally exciting. “I remember when my first story was published in the Chicago Review,” he says “That was a great excitement. So there’s a difference at every stage… My latest novel is the most successful so far, I hope. I’m working on a new one now.” View Full Article
  14. Saturday evening, Lee Fields and the Expressions took the UNT Stage for the final day of Oaktopia. The group, a soul and rhythm band from Brooklyn, New York, is inspired by the funk and blues of the 60s. Their performance showed exactly that. Lee Fields and the Expressions shared their soul and swagger with the Denton music scene. Fields is a singer from North Carolina and the Expressions are his entourage, including a guitarist, bassist, saxophone player, trumpet player, pianist and drummer. Their performance kept the crowd interested and enthused. “He killed it,” said Oaktopia attendee Greyson Morgan. “He brought high energy and changed up the vibe.” For a man in his 50s, Fields was spinning and jiving to keep the momentum of the show going. According to Hero Major, an Oaktopia attendee who was a part of the energized crowd, said no one in Fields’ audience was static. “I liked his interaction with the crowd,” Major said. “Everyone was dancing. Nobody could stand still.” The crowd danced and sang along to the hypnotizing melodies. Everyone was engaged by the soul music grooving through the air. The audience members were excited to get a taste of something different from what they had been listening to previously at the festival. Lee Fields and the Expressions brought a different sound to Oaktopia Fest. They offered a unique flavor to the music scene, connecting the audience to a genre out of their time and experience. Lee Fields and his love for early rhythm and blues diversified a festival that mostly featured local talent and alternative bands. Fields has a sound similar to that of James Brown, an artist way before the young audience’s time. Brown’s sound was preserved through Fields and could be appreciated by audiences of today. Fields could connect the audience with an authentic experience of the culture surrounding soul and funk. During the show, singer Lee Fields kept engaging with the crowd. At first, he commented on how attractive the crowd was and would encourage the audience to clap along to his music. During a few of his songs, he even held out the microphone so the crowd could sing along with him. He continued to make positive comments to the crowd that kept them pleased and interested. His kind smile hung over the audience between each song as they cheered him on. “Denton has the most beautiful crowd I have ever seen,” Field said between songs. Lee Fields and the Expressions put on a memorable show. From the classy suits of his entourage to Fields’s groovy dance moves, they provided a show that gave Oaktopia Fest something to be excited about. The audience members were kept engaged until the moments after Fields waved off of the stage. Everyone seemed pleased about the energy of the show. View Full Article
  15. Saturday evening, Lee Fields and the Expressions took the UNT Stage for the final day of Oaktopia. The group, a soul and rhythm band from Brooklyn, New York, is inspired by the funk and blues of the 60s. Their performance showed exactly that. Lee Fields and the Expressions shared their soul and swagger with the Denton music scene. Fields is a singer from North Carolina and the Expressions are his entourage, including a guitarist, bassist, saxophone player, trumpet player, pianist and drummer. Their performance kept the crowd interested and enthused. “He killed it,” said Oaktopia attendee Greyson Morgan. “He brought high energy and changed up the vibe.” For a man in his 50s, Fields was spinning and jiving to keep the momentum of the show going. According to Hero Major, an Oaktopia attendee who was a part of the energized crowd, said no one in Fields’ audience was static. “I liked his interaction with the crowd,” Major said. “Everyone was dancing. Nobody could stand still.” The crowd danced and sang along to the hypnotizing melodies. Everyone was engaged by the soul music grooving through the air. The audience members were excited to get a taste of something different from what they had been listening to previously at the festival. Lee Fields and the Expressions brought a different sound to Oaktopia Fest. They offered a unique flavor to the music scene, connecting the audience to a genre out of their time and experience. Lee Fields and his love for early rhythm and blues diversified a festival that mostly featured local talent and alternative bands. Fields has a sound similar to that of James Brown, an artist way before the young audience’s time. Brown’s sound was preserved through Fields and could be appreciated by audiences of today. Fields could connect the audience with an authentic experience of the culture surrounding soul and funk. During the show, singer Lee Fields kept engaging with the crowd. At first, he commented on how attractive the crowd was and would encourage the audience to clap along to his music. During a few of his songs, he even held out the microphone so the crowd could sing along with him. He continued to make positive comments to the crowd that kept them pleased and interested. His kind smile hung over the audience between each song as they cheered him on. “Denton has the most beautiful crowd I have ever seen,” Field said between songs. Lee Fields and the Expressions put on a memorable show. From the classy suits of his entourage to Fields’s groovy dance moves, they provided a show that gave Oaktopia Fest something to be excited about. The audience members were kept engaged until the moments after Fields waved off of the stage. Everyone seemed pleased about the energy of the show. View Full Article