With 'Force Awakens,' 'Star Wars' expands its universe

Thu, Dec 17, 2015 - 12:00pm

by Stephen Humphries

In 2015, people across the world are divided over gun control, terrorism, immigration, and whether the term “Christmas” should come with a trigger warning.

But there is one thing that can unite almost everyone: the release of “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.”

The resumption of George Lucas’s space opera offers a shared cultural experience that transcends generations, gender, race, and politics. These days, that’s rarer than water on Tatooine. The popularity of “The Force Awakens”– ticket pre-sales are $100...

Coppell tech program celebrates first graduation

Fri, Dec 18, 2015 - 8:00am

by Mike Albanese

Students sat around the rectangular table on Saturday at the First United Methodist Church. 

Their faces fixated on the screen, illuminated by the light emitting from their devices. 

Thirty students, ranging from fourth grade to as young as first grade, graduated from the Colaberry Kids STEM Community Initiative on Saturday. 

“We did not expect it would grow this much,” said Colaberry CEO and founder Ram Kotamaraja.

Kotamaraja founded the program a year ago and it began with 10 people. 

He said the program helps encourage children to be involved in...

Tags: faculty, STEM, TAMS

Professor: Invest in housing market

Fri, Dec 11, 2015 - 11:46pm

by Jullian Gill

John Baen, Ph.D., a real estate professor at the University of North Texas, stood on a chair several times Friday afternoon as he presented his five-year economic forecast to a banquet room full of city officials and political candidates at a Denton Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

He was not shy about delivering his advice in a dramatic way.

It had been more than 10 years since the lively professor was the featured speaker at a chamber event, and this year he emphasized the importance of investing in a hot North Texas housing market with rapidly increasing values.

“The city of Denton...

From Oak Park to Nashville with a bullet

Thu, Dec 3, 2015 - 8:00am

by Stephanie Bertholdo

A sophomore at Oak Park High School was among 150 students nationwide to earn a spot in the 2015 All-National High School Concert Band.

Ruitao “Ray” Zhang, a clarinet player, performed with the group from Oct. 25 to 28 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn. He is one of seven students in California to play with the band this year.

The ensemble is organized by the National Association for Music Education, said Zachary Borquez, Oak Park High’s band director.

Ray said he was thrilled to perform with such a prestigious group and was particularly happy when...

Award honors 10 US librarians for public service

Thu, Dec 3, 2015 - 8:00am

A librarian in California who champions diversity and one in Texas who makes librarians look "cool" are among 10 recipients of the I Love My Librarian Award.

The awards announced Thursday by the American Library Association and the Carnegie Corporation of New York honor "exceptional public service" and include a $5,000 cash prize for each winner. Librarians were nominated by patrons, with more than 1,300 submissions turned in for 2015.

Sylvia Cieply of the Otto A. Fischer School in Orange, California, was praised for adding a wide range of books to her school's collection, from career guides to ones with LGBT themes...