Montana State News reactivated for 2015

This is the site of the51783ee40e3b2.image News and Public Relations Writing class at Montana State University. Student-generated news and feature stories will be posted here throughout the semester. Check back frequently for updates over the next four months.

Some black history not so heinous

By HELEN SMITH/Montana State News

Most Americans have heard African American history from the southern point of view. It seems there is a different side to this story in the north.

Most history begins with the account of the first slave ship arriving in Virginia in 1619. This version does not tell of how slave traders bringing the first slaves to Massachusetts were arrested by the Puritan/Pilgrim government.  These slaves were allowed to return to Africa. According to historian David Barton, most students are taught the “bad and ugly” of history rather than positive aspects.

Very few have heard of men like Wentworth Cheswell. Considered  the first African American elected to office in New Hampshire in 1768, Cheswell was the first black landowner in New Hampshire. At age 21, Cheswell was already well established. He was even a stalwart in his church. In 1767, he married Mary Davis and the couple eventually had 13 children. Continue reading “Some black history not so heinous”

Montana State News up and running for 2014

This is the site of the News and Public Relations Writing class at Montana State University. Student-generated news and feature stories will be posted here throughout the semester. Check back frequently for updates over the next four months.

Programs make independent living possible

By MATT PARSONS/Montana State News

Ty Sherwood and Nick Fordyce seem like any other twenty-something roommates.  The only difference is that in their Bozeman bachelor pad there’s no beer in the fridge and the toilets seats are down.

Despite disabilities, Ty Sherwood and Nick Fordyce are able to live independently.
Despite disabilities, Ty Sherwood and Nick Fordyce are able to live independently.

And on the back side of their front door is a note that reads “Is it after 9 p.m? If it is…STAY INSIDE!” I wonder what this means. But I decide not to ask, not yet at least. I had just arrived.

Inside their three-bedroom, two-bath duplex, Sherwood and Fordyce lounge around in t-shirts and basketball shorts. Fordyce has a Hewlett Packard computer in his lap and Sherwood is busy cleaning up the kitchen where French toast is frying in a skillet.

Fordyce shows me what he’s been working on.

“It’s a menu for the coming week,” says Fordyce. “Ty and I take turns cooking dinner every other week.” This week was Fordyce’s. His menu looks pretty appetizing – spaghetti, pork chops, a variety of vegetables. Thursday night just says “leftovers.” Sundays are reserved for dinner with their parents.

At this point you’re probably wondering what is different about these two young men. They plan out their menus a week in advance? They clean the kitchen? They put the toilet seats down? That’s just not normal, certainly not for a 20-year-old male. Well, you would be right.

In fact, it’s quite extraordinary, especially considering that Sherwood and Fordyce have mental disabilities that prevent them from doing some of the things that many of us take for granted.  Continue reading “Programs make independent living possible”

Treating disabled modernized in Boulder

By LEVI WORTS/Montana State News

16C—the ward for the most severely mentally disabled at the Boulder River School and Hospital. Infants suffering from large accumulation of fluid in their brains are kept here.  Some do not even have brains, just a brain stem to keep the body functioning on the lowest level.

The facility houses a wide range of persons with intellectually disabilities and mentally illness; the residents include children to adults that vary from completely non-functioning to deaf. Families can show up and drop off persons with mental disabilities for any reason.

This was the state of mental health care in Montana when Gene Haire, the current superintendent of Montana Developmental Center, first arrived in Boulder in the early 70s.

“There were people who should not have been here but were committed because they were deaf,” said Haire. He arrived in Boulder at a time of drastic change in mental health care in Montana. In 1975 Montana legislation changed the rules for committing persons with intellectual disabilities, according to Haire. Continue reading “Treating disabled modernized in Boulder”

MSU’s first online grads walk this spring

By KEVIN KNAPEK/Montana State News

Spring of 2013 marks the first graduating class in Montana State University’s Extended University Liberal Arts Degree program.

For now, the program is classified as a completion degree, but Josef Verbanac of the English department at MSU hopes it will transition into a full, four-year online degree once the infrastructure and resources are in place.

A completion degree is where students come into the program with credits already accumulated (at least two years) and finish their degree completely online. This completion degree program was just approved last year.

The current costs for online classes at MSU are $222 per credit for residents.

So why does it cost more to take an online course? It would seem that not having a face-to-face class would be cheaper in the long run. After-all, the students are using their personal computers and the school is not paying for the electricity for the machines to be used and lighting required in a normal classroom. Continue reading “MSU’s first online grads walk this spring”

MSU grad featured in Travel Channel series

By ALEX KOMSTHOEFT/Montana State News

Bozeman resident and Montana State University graduate Kevin Michael Connolly, is starring in a television series called“Armed & Ready” on the Travel Channel.

Connolly is easily recognizable. He was born without legs and uses a skateboard to get around. He has been lauded as. He has been lauded as an inspiration by many people. Connolly  Connolly has become a well known author, photographer and thrill seeker who has a knack for pushing the limits.

Connolly’s desire for adventure is featured in “Armed & Ready,” where he creates new rigs to travel anywhere, conquer anything and push the limits of the world around him. From mountain boarding on lava rocks to jumping off a 40-foot cliff, his physical limitations are put to the test. Continue reading “MSU grad featured in Travel Channel series”

Navy SEAL sniper killed at gun range

By PATRICK HILL / Montana State News

Navy SEAL and sniper Chris Kyle was shot and killed at a Texas gun range Saturday.  Officials say he and a fried were shot and killed while working with soldiers who had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Kyle, who served four tours of duty in Iraq as a SEAL sniper was the president of Craft International, a training company serving military and law enforcement officials.  Credited with the most kills of any American serviceman at 160, Kyle is also author of the bestselling autobiography “American Sniper.”

Around 3:30 p.m. both Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, were at the Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles southwest of Forth-Worth, when Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine who had also served a tour in Iraq, allegedly shot both men with a semiautomatic handgun and fled the scene. Routh was captured at his home in Lancaster and is currently being held at the Erath County Jail on a $3 million bond. Continue reading “Navy SEAL sniper killed at gun range”

Snow fails to dampen Pow Wow

By JESSE POWELL/Montana State News

Despite a desperate attempt to remind Montana of winter, Friday’s snowy weather did not keep hundreds of people from witnessing the First Grand Entry of Native American royalty at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. The parking lot was full a half hour before the event and the fieldhouse floor crammed with visitors and participants.

Native American dancer takes part in the annual MSU Pow Wow last week. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Krogstad.)

Pounding drums and loud singing in native tongues shook the rafters and drowned the noise as drum groups representing various nations, like Rocky Boy and Crow Agency, thundered in the pageantry.

The opening prayer to the competitions honored fallen warriors; the JROTC was present in the color guard. The solemn ceremony of remembrance and recognition was for those whose sacrifice continues to maintain our freedom. There was a significant cultural celebration as well.

“You want to have the Native perspective,” Orlando Runs Above nods his Denver Nuggets cap, giving his neck a rest from hard dancing with his tall headdress, “to have a full understanding of anything, you have to have a wide perspective and listen to many things before you can state a judgment of anything…despite what you may believe in the beginning. You must be open.”

The causeway between merchandise vendors and food vendors never let up being jammed as it ran next to the dance floor and encampments of drum teams. Part of the spirit of celebration could be felt in the knots of kindred catching-up or being introduced. There was no separation between observers and performers. Shuffling in line to get an Indian taco, one sometimes had to dodge the magnificent plumages of headdress and shoulder “wings.” Continue reading “Snow fails to dampen Pow Wow”

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