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Today's word on journalism

January 13, 2009


"I get the feeling that the 24-hour news networks are like the bus in the movie 'Speed.' If they stop talking for a second, they think they'll blow up."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Ross Martin)

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."




Photo 101: How to take better pictures
I am often asked as a photojournalist, what makes a great picture? That sounds like a simple question to answer, however, things are rarely as simple as they seem. If I had to sum it up in one word, that word would be emotion, but I have to be a realist, and one word can't answer that question. / By Patrick Oden


Culture shock affects USU students in U.S.-China exchange
Foreign exchange students to and from China have culture experiences most students in the United States are not familiar with. / By Michon Winget

Atheists find surprisingly fertile ground at USU
"Atheism is the lack of belief in God or gods. It's not the rejection of God. It's a lack of belief." That's how Jon Adams and Jordan Daines defined atheism. It was out of this belief that Adams, Daines and a few others started the Secular Humanists, Atheists, and Free Thinkers club in January 2008. / By Andrea Romero


Drug abusers' young kids suffer the nightmare and anxiety
She is scared of red and blue flashing lights. Her reoccurring nightmare is one of men in dark blue uniforms and badges coming in cars with flashing lights to take her away. To her, the police are the bad guys, not the white substance controlling her life. / By Debra Hawkins

Why choose to be Greek?
To some, being part of a fraternity or sorority means having a home away from home. That includes the ups and downs. / By Caresa Alexander

Freshmen reflect on work, independence of first semester at USU
As their first semester comes to a close, USU freshmen expressed their opinions about the pros and cons of campus life and living on their own. / By Kayla Harding

She was raised a Mormon, then fell for a girl
Her senior year in high school Bailey Bell fell in love. But, unlike previous crushes, she was in love with another girl. / By Leah Lopshire

Student teaches nuances of deaf communication
The basement of the Lilly White Building is as quiet as a house at midnight. It seems that everyone has left for the day. Yet all the rooms are occupied with silent students. This is where Ellen O'Hara spends hours each day assisting in the progress of education. / By Leah Lopshire

Foster families filling in where original parents failed
"It snowed outside," 9-year-old Ashley says, looking out the front window of her foster parent's house. A few minutes later, after walking to the back of the house, she exclaims, "Look, it snowed it the back yard too." After growing up in a house where meth was created, her brain is unable to process the idea that when it snows, it snows everywhere outside, not just where she can see. / By Debra Hawkins

Living a normal life with Asperger's
Alisa Jenkins knew something was wrong when she saw her oldest son, then 6, lie down in the middle of a soccer game, curl up, and begin to cry. It wasn't that he was sick, or unable to play. It seemed as though any type of activity that included running made him upset. / By Charissa Ingraham

How to make fried ice cream (and you know you want some!)
There is a gap in our education system. I was shocked to discover that many of my friends had never experienced the joy that is fried ice cream. For me this tasty dish is found in the deep fryer of the Mexican restaurants in Cache Valley. / By Shannon K. Johnson

Pursuing an advanced education through touch and sound
It's Kasondra Payne's first day of another school year. The classroom hushes abruptly as the teacher enters the classroom. Payne feels her way to her seat in the front row. Although the hard, battered chair is tortuous to her back, Payne doesn't care. Her professor asks the class to take out their textbook to view their first lesson. Throughout the lesson Payne never looks straight at her teacher. / By Chelsie Hansen

USU student survives school and the constant prick of a needle
At age 10 Aubrey Hartley discovered a condition that changed her life. During her fifth-grade year she said she was sick with what her mother thought to be the stomach flu. She had no energy, was losing weight and had to constantly urinate. / By Melanie Fenn

Apple Pi 'forority' -- mix of fraternity and sorority -- offers party alternative
Fraternities might pull out a keg, whereas Apple Pi chooses to party alcohol free. While Greek houses have strict initiations and rushing procedures, Apple Pi welcomes any who are interested and remains open to new membership. Greek life is often stereotyped by lewd lifestyles and unhealthy addictions; Apple Pi embraces a clean image. / By Rachel Christensen

USU students doing the ChaCha to get answers to life's questions
Want the answer to any question you can think of? Just use your refined cell phone texting skills and the answer is there in minutes. ChaCha is a relatively new, free service to anyone who has the ability to use the Short Message Service, SMS or texting, on their mobile phones. / By Brady Cox

Professor makes life work of preserving Navajo way of life, including sheep
Lyle McNeal's office at Utah State University is a collection of organized chaos. Books overflow from the shelves of his tiny work space and several stacks of papers litter his desk, computer stand, and virtually any unused surface area. Figurines, stuffed animals, and pictures of sheep of all shapes and colors peek out from every corner. / By Rachel Christensen

Gift-wrappers raise money for sub-for-Santa
The USU Community Partnerships service group and Cache Valley CAPSA are sponsoring a gift wrapping fundraiser for sub-for-Santa. / By Trisha Fletcher

Meals on Wheels: 'So no senior goes hungry'
Volunteers are driving cars full of what looks like really big lunch boxes, and in some ways that is just what these Meals on Wheels are. / By Jake Ipson

Shop With a Cop -- 39 kids, 50 kids and Santa arriving from the sky
The sun was still sleeping when 5-year-old Calob was escorted by a police officer, in a car with flashing lights, to the parking lot of Kmart in Logan. The temperature was about 32 degrees and Calob was dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and a red coat. His green name tag hung around his neck. / By Brittny Goodsell Jones

Students take flight with USU aviation program
The Professional Pilot Program at Utah State University is nationally ranked and draws students from all over the world, yet it is less expensive than almost anywhere else. / By Jamie Urruty

At 26, Amy had it all: A happy marriage, a new baby, and -- breast cancer
Amy and Trevor Merritt were content with their life. They had been married for two years and had a 1-year-old daughter. Late one night in August of 2007, after nursing her daughter, Amy said she felt a "pea-sized lump," in her right breast. / By Diane Denning

Gay, lesbian students struggle for acceptance
Kolby Kent Nelson, a former USU student and a current graduate student at Penn State University, is openly gay. When he came out, his older sister told him that if he were to choose "that lifestyle," she did not want her son to know he existed. / By Satenik Sargysan

Clarkston native revels in memories of 90 years on the same patch of ground
In all of her 90 years, Sybil Goodey has moved maybe 150 yards. As the middle of five children, Sybil T. Goodey was born and raised in the farming community of Clarkston, Utah. "I grew up, married my neighbor, and we've moved half a block in our life," Sybil said. / By Courtney Schoen

Restaurants pinched by rising costs of food, supplies
Many might think eating out is too expensive with today's economy, but keeping food on the table is more the challenge for restaurants. The cost of groceries and non-food items, like paper products and supplies, has greatly increased. / By April Larsen

Stuff-a-Bus nets 10 tons of food for the needy
The goal was 15,000 pounds of food. But Nov. 24, volunteers for the "Stuff-a-Bus" service project not only met the goal but exceeded 20,000 pounds of donated food for the Cache Community Food Pantry. / By Megan Wiseman

Open adoption -- bringing families together
Mark McNeil struggled down the hall to the conference room, nudging his 6-year-old son, Tyler, every step of the way, with an infant-loaded car seat in each hand. / By Amy Macavinta


You thought 'Twilight' the book was good? Skip the movie
Opening weekend Twilight reeled in around $70 million and satisfied many fans while others left feeling very disappointed. I, personally, am one that was quite disappointed. / By Stephanie Bassett

It's true! Chick flicks trigger curative tears
At the close of a rather difficult weekend, I decided I needed some girl time with Eurgelgrue, the ancient, remote-less television at my apartment. So I popped in P.S. I Love You and plopped down on the couch with my blanket and a couple slices of pizza. / By Britta Anderson


Love you, 'of Montreal' -- even in 'Hissing Fauna'
I drive to my favorite coffee place, and the album begins to play. The first song, Nonpareil of Favor starts out with a jovial tickling of the harpsichord (or a keyboard sound-alike), which is met with a steady electro-synth-poppy beat, a signature of the band. Ahh. It makes a smile stretch across my face. / By Kelly Greenwood

Wild Art

Jingle go the cash register bells / Photos by Leah Lopshire

Book Buy-Back at USU / Photos by Leah Lopshire


Biz Features

Black Friday: 'Ladies and gentlemen, start your shopping'
The alarm clocked beeped at the disturbing time of 4:15 a.m. I rolled over to my husband with sleep filled taste buds and eyes and whispered, "Are you ready?" / By Diane Denning

The Island Market: Penny candy, cold beer and fountain drinks, oh my!
With the coldest beer in town, 2-cent candies and fountain drinks with quarter slices of lemons or limes, the Island Market on the corner of 400 East and Center streets is one of the few "ma and pa" stores left in Logan. / By Kasey Harker


Growth brings highway congestion -- 'a UDOT issue' -- to Providence
Folks in Providence see different things when they look at the stretch of SR-165 that passes through their city, from Macey's grocery and fuel supercenter to the brand-new Zions Bank branch. / By G. Christopher Terry

Providence youth council has successful food drive
The Providence Youth Council, a service group for kids in grades 8-12, held its annual Christmas food drive Dec. 6. The group's leader, Terri Wennergren, said the event generated 150 cans of food, which were subsequently donated to a local charity. / By G. Christopher Terry

In nod to diversity, Christmas Tree Lane becomes Holiday Lane
The Associated Students of Utah State University Traditions Committee changed the name of Christmas Tree Lane to Holiday Lane this year to be more accommodating to growing diversity. / By Lexie Grant

Invisible and illegal, teenage immigrants work hard to fit in
Maria Gomez could have been your waitress at one point. She could be your friend. You could have run into her at the store. This 17-year-old girl would blend into a crowd and you never would guess that she is in the United States illegally. / By Seth Bracken

Food pantry, Sub for Santa offer help in tough times
Rising gas prices, food shortages, and employers cutting back on the hours allotted for employees are all factors affecting Cache Valley as the rest of the United States. / By Jami Elzinga

Providence OHV enthusiast pleased with new law
Jim Beazer, an Off-Highway Vehicle hobbyist, said he is pleased with Providence's new law allowing the operation of OHVs on city streets, and has not witnessed the new law being abused. / By G. Christopher Terry

Pioneer monument coming soon to Old Rock Church
A deal to turn the northwest corner of the Old Rock Church lot into a civic monument to Providence's pioneer ancestry is final, and Providence Pioneer Monument Inc.'s drive to raise $40,000 in private donations is halfway home. / By G. Christopher Terry

Tough times for Tremonton businesses
Lately, downtown Tremonton is a little less populated than it has been in years past. / By Dave Archer

Nibley says no more 'monstrosities next door'
What would you do if your neighbor built an addition to their house that is bigger than your house? / By Aubreyann Hansen

Jewelry store alarm leaves no clues
An intrusion alarm that went off at a jewelry store left police scratching their heads with no answer to what triggered the alarm. / By Melissa Salcedo

North Logan P&Z discusses park possibilities
The Planning and Zoning Commission met Thursday night to discuss possible uses for an office park. The land, five acres at 1625 N. 200 East, is surrounded by multi-family housing and commercial property. / By Melissa Salcedo

ATV website wins broadcasting award
The A-TV News website of the Journalism & Communication Department has won first place in Region Six of the National Broadcasting Society competition for "Best Overall Website." The competition is open to college and universities in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.


Late-night ruminations on making Christmas out of thin air
I don't know why I can't get it together. I've had plenty of years in college (plenty -- I'm 23 and still have two semesters to go). You'd think I would have the system down. / By Kelly Greenwood

Finals week: Survival of the fittest
A pit full of anxiety isn't all Finals Week does to a student. It also seems to bring out the sarcastic, somewhat impatient and occasionally rude side of people. It's as if a gas is released the week before finals that brings out everyone's inner beast. / By Greg Boyles

Ten bucks to the food bank -- what a difference that will make
I've never been one for taking handouts from people. I take pride in being completely self-reliant, always working hard and providing for my family. I make sacrifices in some areas in my life that aren't completely necessary to ensure that I am always able to provide all necessities for my family -- to make sure there is always food on the table. / By Craig Morris

The takeover of the female operating system
Women are confusing. Wait, that was a poor sentence. Women are extremely confusing, beyond comprehension, absolutely baffling, impossible. / By Seth R. Hawkins

If you treat your waiter like an idiot, you'll be the obvious jerk
It's my turn. I am sick to death of hearing the horrible, uneducated opinions of the random customers who come into the restaurant where I work. / By Seth Bracken

Feeling bored? Don't try this at home
When I was 17, I was hanging out with my friends on a Friday night. We were looking for something to do. Then my friend, Jake Thompson came up with the dumbest idea. He suggested that we try jumping out of his truck while he drove it at about 15 mph. / By Ron Wallace

Why don't more women support female victims of sexual assault?
After an incident where a woman had felt sexually violated, many times it is better for her to open up to a man rather than another woman about what happened and how she feels. / By Britta Anderson

Forgiveness is my key to healing from childhood abuse
A wise person once told me when your life is difficult, write about it. So that's what this is. / By Britta Anderson

OK, I am the Cat Lady -- koo-koo ka-choo!
Sometimes she perches regally on my red-cushioned pine chair as if it were made just for her, her endless fur leaving its remnants when she leaves. She often retreats to the windowsill, where she'll chirp at swirling autumn leaves that ride on a harsh gust of wind. / By Kelly Greenwood

The end is near -- and I couldn't be more ready
The end is near. By "end" I mean the Apocalypse, and by "near" I mean the year 2012. If you believe the hype, and I do, the world is about to end catastrophically in approximately four years. Although this means I will have considerably less time to complete my life "to-do" list, it could be a good thing. / By Amanda Mears

One perfect rainy day at the Lincoln Memorial
As I dug through my closet to find his favorite shirt of mine -- a white, trench-style, button up shirt with a large stiff collar -- I thought about what I was going to say and do first when I saw him in the airport. Was I going to run and jump in his arms, or casually walk to him and wrap my arms around his neck? / By Kelly Brinkerhoff

At Whit'd End: Bustin' up the not-so-full house
How rude! I'm sure that's what Cody Herpin, Jodie Sweetin's soon-to-be ex-husband, is thinking (or what the voices in his head can't stop eerily replaying). Sweeten, who played Stephanie Tanner on the show Full House, just filed for her second divorce. / By Whitney Schulte

At Whit's End: Spears looking better, but the spark is gone
Is there anyone out there who doesn't know that Britney Spears released a new record last Tuesday? Circus is Britney's newest attempt at a comeback and apparently it's working for her. As of Dec. 5, Circus was projected to sell almost 500,000 copies in its first week. Also, for the first time in over four years, Ms. Spears is embarking on a 29-stop world tour. / By Whitney Schulte

Too much Chrsitmas too early, or not enough? Aggies sound off
Can we start Christmas even earlier, please?!! / By Russell Maxfield

ChapStick saved my life, not just my lips
ChapStick -- you should never leave home without it. It could save your life. I can honestly say that it saved mine. / By Seth Bracken

Sleep? Oh, the great stuff we could do if we didn't snooze
Sleep is the biggest waste of time. I mean, people always complain because there are only 24 hours in a day, but when you think about it, there aren't even that. It's more like a piffly little 16 or 18 hours when you factor in that senseless laying-down business. / By Lisa Christensen

Aggie writers, check out 'Cow Math' if you're stumped for a QI class
Utah State requires that students complete a Quantitative Intensive course to graduate. I found this appalling because I am completely lost when it comes to math. Math 1050 was a nightmare, and I don't like to talk about my social statistics disaster. / By Bethany Crane

One thing I know for sure: Timing is everything
In the 21 years I've been kicking it here on Earth I've learned two things. The first is that people rarely care what your opinion is but will listen anyway, just to see if you'll say something funny or stupid. / By Greg Boyles


Bison no match for Aggies as Quayle gets double-double
Jared Quayle had a heyday, netting 17 points, grabbing 11 boards and dishing seven assists as the Ags coasted, 84-54, past Howard University. / By Craig Morris

Ags need all but 0.1 seconds to pull out close game against Utah
The Aggies kept their home win streak alive as Tai Wesley's tip-in with 0.1 seconds remaining gave them a 66-64 victory against Utah. / By Craig Morris

Are you tough enough to wear pink, cowboy?
Pink isn't exactly a color that is usually associated with strength, yet the question has been raised, are you tough enough to wear pink? Cowboys and cowgirls throughout the United States have set out to prove that they are tough enough to wear pink by showing their support to find the cure for breast cancer. / By Michelle Johnson

Aggie fans bummed that BYU avoids playing in Spectrum
Some USU basketball fans were outraged when the decision had been made for BYU and Utah State University to play each other at the Energy Solutions Arena for future games. This included Saturday night's game that resulted in the Aggies first loss of the season with BYU winning, 68-63. / By Cambry Beazer

How Logan survives the winter: Skiin' the Beav
At Halloween there is the North Logan Pumpkin walk. During the summer everyone flocks to Summerfest and the Cruise-in. Every morning you can catch the valley gossip at Angie's Restaurant. In the winter however, if you really want to fit in you need to "Ski the Beav." / By Andrew Grewe

Aggie Roy Hurst: "It's sports or the street -- I chose sports"
USU senior cornerback Roy Hurst has seen a lot in his 22 years. Growing up in east Oakland, Calif. he was forced to grow up quickly and make a decision most are not faced with a life in sports or a life on the streets. / By Tim Olsen

Earsplitting 'home' crowd not enough as Aggies fall to Cougars
Tai Wesley, Gary Wilkinson and Tyler Newbold combined to score 45 points and grab 24 rebounds, but the Ags' comeback came up short against BYU, 68-63, Saturday at Energy Solutions Arena. / By Craig Morris

Defense rises to occasion against BYU, but Aggies lose game on turnovers
After USU's Tuesday basketball game against UC Irvine, Coach Stew Morrill said his defense offered little resistance, and if the Aggies were going to win against teams like BYU they would need to step it up. / By Connor H. Jones

'Better lucky than good,' Stew says of latest Aggie victory
In the book the Aggies are still perfect -- 5 wins, 0 losses -- but with games against in-state rivals BYU and Utah coming up, the Aggie defense needs to step up. / By Connor H. Jones

Get rid of finals tension -- come train for the Ice Bowl
Tim Ray was swamped by school, stressed out, questioning why he came to Logan for school, late for a chemistry lab, and to top his day off . . . it was snowing. Unable to take anymore he called up some buddies on a whim and invited them to come play some football on the Quad. / By Jean West

Aggies start slow, finish big, move to 5-0
Tyler Newbold carried Utah State on his back with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Ags beat the Anteaters, 74-62, at the Spectrum. / By Craig Morris

Aggies roll over Cal-Poly, 97-57, to remain undefeated
Gary Wilkinson scored 21 points and grabbed nine boards in just 21 minutes on the floor as Utah State made it 4-0 on the season. / By Craig Morris



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