Dallas

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Freshman pitcher Connor Mayes got a pair of big outs to help Texas escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and propel Texas to its first win since March 22.
Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns’ road back to the College World Series will start in Dallas this weekend.

Texas was selected as the No. 3 seed in the Dallas Regional and will face Oregon State at 1:30 p.m. Friday, the selection committee announced Monday morning. Dallas Baptist and Virginia Commonwealth are the other two teams in the double-elimination tournament.

Just a couple weeks ago, the Longhorns seemed destined to miss the NCAA Tournament for the third time in three years. Texas was 2–10 against the top-four teams in the Big 12 and needed to win the conference tournament to reach the regionals.

But the Longhorns went on a run this past weekend in Tulsa. Senior Parker French, junior Ty Culbreth and freshman Connor Mayes each threw complete games, and sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz lined a go-ahead RBI single in the championship game Sunday as Texas went 4–0 in the conference tournament.

Duplicating that success in the Dallas Regional, however, will be no easy task.

Dallas Baptist, which just fell short in its bid to be one of the eight national seeds, is hosting a regional for the first time in its history. The Patriots led the Missouri Valley Conference in a number of offensive categories and was second in the conference with 3.40 team ERA.

Oregon State, Texas’ opponent for Friday, finished second in the Pac-12 this season. The Beavers have relied primarily on their pitching with a 2.88 ERA, but they have also drilled 40 home runs this season.

VCU got into the tournament by winning its first-ever Atlantic 10 Conference Championship with a 5–3 win over Rhode Island on Saturday. The Rams led the conference with a 2.97 team ERA, and VCU had three pitchers in the top six in ERA in the conference.

The winner of the Dallas Regional will face the winner of the Miami Regional in a best-of-three Super Regional series next weekend for a spot in the College World Series. 

Alternative band Chipper Jones always strives to do better. For the duo, this means touring more, writing more and making music a full-time career. 

UT alumnus James Lambrecht and childhood friend Charlie Martin both moved to Austin from Dallas, their hometown, and only rekindled their friendship when they ran into each other on campus two years ago. Since that moment, the Chipper Jones bandmates have been inseparable. 

“I kind of recognized him on campus,” Lambrecht said. “We started talking, and slowly, we started to get time to play together.”

Austin-based media label company Raw Paw will host a release party at Spider House Cafe & Ballroom for the duo’s two-song vinyl, Tropics | Cosm. The band members said the record plays more like a full-length album even though it is only two songs. The release party kicks off the band’s East Coast and Canadian tour, which runs through May. 

The songs on Tropics | Cosm will be featured on Chipper Jones’ upcoming full EP. The duo recorded the vinyl at Orb Studios using multitrack recording techniques, which the band members said results in a fuller, more dynamic sound than their previous live-recorded EP, Two Rooms. 

The band’s music, which does not include vocals, has been described as capturing African-influenced, electronic melodies. Clementine Kruczynski, director of operations at Raw Paw and host of the release party, said Chipper Jones is a refreshing dose of music in Austin.

“They are the creative energy of Austin made audible,” Kruczynski said. “The purity of optimism settles over you as you listen.”

Since its first house show in December 2013, the band has gone on two tours, and this upcoming one will be its third. Its first tour in July 2014 ran through the Midwest  regions, including Dallas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Earlier this year, the band toured through the West Coast, going from New Mexico all the way up to Seattle.

“Any time a new band tours a new region for the first time, you have to make sure you give an awesome live performance every time,” Lambrecht said. “You’re not just playing to friends or family anymore.”

Lambrecht said the two appreciate the feeling of returning home to the diverse and supporting music scene in Austin. 

“We always love coming back to Austin because there is so much love and support,” Lambrecht said. “It’s from touring that we notice Austin is such a great place to call home.”

Jordan Spieth, bottom center, celebrates with the men’s golf team after winning the 2012 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship. Spieth broke multiple records at this year’s Masters Tournament and tied Tiger Woods’ record for lowest overall score.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

Jordan Spieth has much in common with the average UT student. The former Longhorn, who attended the University from 2011–2012, calls Dallas home, avidly roots for the Cowboys, and celebrated his 21st birthday in July.

But on Sunday, Spieth made history, trading in his burnt orange for a green jacket and joining a slightly more prestigious club.

Spieth won the 2015 Masters Tournament with a score of 18-under par, tying a record set by Tiger Woods in 1997. Spieth is the fifth player in history to lead the tournament from start to finish and the first wire-to-wire champion since Raymond Floyd in 1976.

It was a record-breaking weekend for Spieth, who set the Masters record for lowest score through 36 holes (-14) and 54 holes (-16) and tied the 72-hole score record (-18). Additionally, he broke Phil Mickelson’s record for most birdies at the Masters with 28 and became the first person to reach 19-under par at Augusta. Spieth is also among the youngest winners of the tournament, barely older than Woods was when he won almost two decades ago.

CBS anchor Jim Nantz called Spieth’s Masters showing “one of the epic performances in the history of the sport,” claiming that “a new era has arrived.”

It is undeniable that Spieth’s success at such a young age rivals only that of four-time Masters champion Woods. It’s been nearly two decades since Woods arrived on the scene and revived the sport in the late 1990s. With his classic good looks, southern charm and rare ability to play golf nearly perfectly, Spieth is well on his way to reigniting golf’s waning popularity.

“It’s truly inspiring to see the type of things you can accomplish by putting in hard work, especially when they are done by a guy as nice and humble as Jordan,” said Connor Bush, mechanical engineering junior and a former high school classmate of Spieth’s. “It’s crazy to think that someone I used to walk by in the halls every day is going on to accomplish such incredible feats.”

Incredible feats they are. This marks Spieth’s third win on the PGA Tour. Following this Masters win, he will rise to No. 2 in the world. 

“What a week and day for Jordan,” said Ryan Murphy, former Texas men’s golf assistant coach. “He’s a very special young man, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach and be around him during his time at Texas. His winning the Masters does not surprise me. He’s as strong mentally as any young person that I have been around. It is a great day for the Spieth family as well as the Longhorn family.”

Goals came aplenty Friday night as Austin got its first taste of Major League Soccer action.

FC Dallas and D.C. United combined for six goals as both teams won their respective matches to advance to the final of the inaugural ATX Pro Challenge Sunday afternoon.

The first match between FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew featured the theme of many missed chances. The Crew created the match’s first real big chance as forward Kei Kamara managed to get the ball past FC Dallas keeper Chris Seitz, but the ball ricocheted off the post. On the other end, Dallas found itself with the ball in the box on multiple occasions, but failed to pull the trigger.

Finally, in the 29th minute, FC Dallas forward Blas Perez ripped a shot from just outside the box past Crew keeper Steve Clark to put the Texas side up 1-0.

Then the match became the Fabian Castillo show.

Just minutes after the Perez goal, Castillo got the ball in space on the left side of the pitch and beat his defender. The subsequent shot was blocked by Clark, but midfielder Ryan Hollingstead was there to get the rebound and double the FC Dallas lead.

Six minutes later, the Columbian forward repeated the same play, getting a shot on goal only for Hollingstead to put the ensuing rebound into the back of the net to give FC Dallas a 3-0 lead into halftime.

Columbus would score 20 minutes into the second half as midfielder Kristinn Steindorsson finally managed to get a shot past Seitz; however, FC Dallas managed to hang on in the end for a 3-1 win.

D.C. United’s match against tournament host, the Austin Aztex, proved to be much easier.

Fielding a starting lineup of primarily second and third teamers as well as one trialist, United opened the scoring nine minutes into the match as midfielder Miguel Aguilar drilled one past Aztex keeper Devin Perales.

Less than 10 minutes later, United forward Connor Doyle capitalized off of an Aztex turnover to double the lead.

Austin had its fair share of chances, however, it was thwarted primarily by the offsides flag. The Aztex were called offsides four times in the first half, including once where the ball ended up in the back of the net.

FC Dallas and D.C. United will square off for the tournament title at 3:15 p.m. Sunday with Columbus and Austin preceding that at 1 p.m.

Before her pageant career began, Monique Evans, reigning Miss Texas 2014, never imagined she would be able to effortlessly deliver a speech, much less deliver speeches to large audiences on a daily basis. 

Evans, who is pursuing a degree in nutritional sciences from Texas, plans on applying to medical schools to become an osteopathic physician in preventative and integrated medicine. 

She began competing in pageants in 2011 and has since earned the titles of Miss Austin 2011, Miss Hunt County 2012, Miss Dallas 2013, Miss Park Cities 2014 and Miss Texas 2014. She recently competed for the Miss America 2015 title in September and placed in the top 16 as a semifinalist. 

“Competing has made me lose my shyness and really come to enjoy public speaking, but what has kept me in the pageant system is all the community service work,” Evans said. “It gives you a warm feeling in your heart.” 

Taylor Oglesby met Evans as sophomore when they both joined the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and they have been close friends since. Oglesby said Evans is a perfect fit for Miss Texas. 

“One thing I really admire about Monique is that she cares so much about everyone, and she always finds the time to help you,” Oglesby said. “Being Miss Texas allows her to help and care for so many people.”

Evans is now on a year-long speaking tour of Texas, which includes over 300 appearances at festivals and schools throughout the state. To fulfill the busy schedule her job demands, Evans was obligated to take a year off from school.

“When my parents asked if taking a year off from school was something I really wanted to do, I immediately said yes,” Evans said. “There is so much more to be gained this year than to be lost, and I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”

At her speaking engagements, Evans stresses the importance of healthy eating habits and exercise as preventative measures against heart disease under her platform “Remember Your Heart: One Beat at a Time.”

“What I really want to do this year is focus on our next generation and try to encourage them to take the little steps in the day to be healthier,” Evans said. 

During Evans’ freshman year in college, her father survived a heart attack he had while jogging. That incident, along with her brother being born with a heart condition, prompted Evans’ heart-healthy campaign and influenced her decision to pursue a career in preventative medicine. 

“My brother’s condition was genetic, but my father’s heart attack could have been prevented,” Evans said. “Watching what my brother has endured all his life and witnessing my dad’s recovery inspired me to work to help others live healthy lives to prevent heart disease.”

Leigh Allen, Evans’ coach and friend, met Evans in 2012 while judging the Miss Dallas pageant and said she instantly fell in love with Evans’ engaging personality. 

“Monique is really special, and one of the greatest things about her is her humility,” Allen said. “She is more concerned for others than herself, and she has made her life about serving the community.”

According to Evans, while her job as Miss Texas is not as glamorous as many people assume it is, she loves it all the same. 

“You are on the road a lot, meeting many different people and attending hundreds of events,” Evans said. “It is a tough job, but is also an extremely rewarding job, and I would not change it for the world.” 

People of different faiths from the UT community share dinner at Nueces Mosque in West Campus on Oct. 15.  

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Saifuddin Merliahmad | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s Note: “Peace be upon him” (abbreviated “pbuh”) is a salutation for the prophets of Islam. It is a mandatory practice per the Quran and hadiths. In addition, note that Muslims believe that Jesus was a Prophet.”

Two weeks ago, on Oct. 15, the University Interfaith Council hosted the “Progressive Dinner” at Nueces Mosque, a Muslim place of worship located in West Campus, where the Muslim community engaged in meaningful dialogue and strengthened the bonds between the University’s different faiths on campus. Next week, on Nov. 2, Nueces Mosque will host an Open House Interfaith Dinner. These events are steps in the right direction, but we must do more. 

Without a doubt, the majority of extremists today cite Islam as their justification for their bloody acts of terrorism. However, I would argue that the way to combat extremism, which most Muslims spurn, is not to attack Muslims or Islam but the opposite. By citing differences and inflaming tensions between Muslims and the rest of the world, we empower extremists. Just this past Friday, Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas spoke on “The O’Reilly Factor,” stating that to his congregation, he preaches that Islam is a false religion and its Prophet Muhammad (phuh) is both violent and false. Sadly, this is not just a Fox News problem. Bill Maher recently came under fire for his sweeping generalizations and Islamophobic comments as well. If we want to hold the extremists at bay, we must start by discouraging and condemning the pastor’s and Maher’s rhetoric, and additionally, we must realize that Islam is not inherently incompatible and antagonistic to a peaceful and civic society. As a Muslim, I feel alienated, but as the following two examples will point out, we have lived together for a very long time, peacefully and productively. 

First, every Christian knows the religion’s holiest sites are in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre or the Church of Resurrection, is the holiest of those sites. This church is believed to be where Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. Did you know that the holiest site in Christendom is opened and closed every day by Muslims?   

To be specific, two Muslims, from two Palestinian clans who have been the custodians of the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre since the twelfth century, open the doors every day at 4:30 a.m. In an article by the International Business Times, the history of their stewardship is narrated by Nuseibeh, of the Nuseibeh clan, one of the two families to which the Church is entrusted.

“After the Muslim conquest in 637, the Caliph Omar guaranteed the Archbishop Sophronius that the Christian places of worship would be protected and so entrusted the custodianship to the Nuseibehs, a family who originated in Medina and had had relations with the Prophet Muhammad,” Nuseibeh said.

“It happened again in 1187, after Saladin ended the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem,” Nuseibeh said. “He chose our family again to look after the peace between the different Eastern and Western Christian confessions, which were at odds over control of the Sepulchre.”

Next, there are multiple narrations describing how Muslims saved the Jews during the Holocaust. In one such article, titled “Meet the Muslims who sacrificed themselves to save Jews and fight Nazis in World War II,” Noor Khan served for the British’s Special Operations Executive as a wireless operator in Paris, a position in which the average employee survived six weeks. She was later captured and murdered by the Germans.

My argument is not to say that Muslims have made more positive contributions relative to other faiths. Followers of all religions have at one point committed at least one crime against another, and it would be counterproductive to argue whose religion has been the aggregate plus for humanity. What I am arguing is that Muslims and non-Muslims have lived harmoniously and productively in the past, and we can do so now and into the future. Our scriptures encourage it, and our overwhelming example does as well. I’ll end with an excerpt from a letter sent by Imam Ali’s (pbuh), the fourth Caliph and first Imam for Shiites, to one of his governors. 

“Be not in face of them a voracious animal, counting them as easy prey, for they are of two kinds: either they are your brothers in religion or your equals in creation.”

Rizvi is a government senior from Dallas.

Amber Vinson, one of two Dallas nurses infected with Ebola, is free of the virus, according to Bruce Ribner, a doctor at Emory University Hospital.

Vinson was originally diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas about two weeks ago. Vinson was one of the nurses caring for Thomas Duncan, the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with the virus. Health officials transferred Vinson to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment and released her from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

At a press conference Tuesday, Ribner said Vinson has completely recovered from the virus.

“We have determined that Ms. Vinson has recovered from her infection with Ebola virus and that she can return to her family, to the community and to her life without any concern about transmitting this virus to another individual,” Ribner said.

Vinson is one of two Dallas nurses who was diagnosed with Ebola after caring for Duncan. The other nurse, Nina Pham, was also declared Ebola-free last Friday.

Ribner said he was not sure why Vinson and Pham recovered relatively quickly from the virus. 

David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, released a statement Tuesday confirming that Vinson was cleared of the virus.

“We are so pleased that [Vinson] has been declared free of Ebola,” the statement said. “Through excellent health care and her own courage, she beat the disease. Based on the clinical and lab findings, people are not at risk of getting the disease from her, and she has been completely cleared. We wish her the best as she transitions back to a normal life, and we welcome her back home to Texas.”

Before being diagnosed with the virus, Vinson boarded Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas. On Oct. 17, the University announced a UT student was also onboard the flight and will not return to campus until Monday.

In this podcast, Anthony Green and Madlin Mekelburg discuss the reinstatement of the controversial state voter ID law, the impending launch of Google Fiber in Austin and the ongoing Ebola epidemic in West Africa as well as the two Dallas health care workers who have tested positive for the virus. They are joined by crime reporter Natalie Sullivan to discuss this week in crime and Austin’s stricter implementation of the city’s sound ordinances.  

Gov. Rick Perry in a press conference Friday recommended a ban on travel from countries affected by Ebola.

Photo Credit: Michael Baez | Daily Texan Staff

President William Powers Jr. announced Friday that a University student was on the same flight as a health care worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus, but the student is not showing any symptoms.

According to Powers, the student was onboard Frontier Airlines flight 1143 on Oct. 13. Amber Vinson, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who was involved in the care of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, was also on board the flight and was later diagnosed with Ebola. Powers said in an email to the UT community that the student was not sitting near Vinson on the flight.

“The student was not seated in the zone of concern on the plane, is not showing any symptoms, is monitoring body temperature, and is in daily contact with health officials, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Powers said in an email sent to the UT community. “The student has been fully compliant beyond the CDC recommendations for possible Ebola exposure.”

At a press conference Friday at Austin City Hall to discuss the matter, Philip Huang, medical director and health authority for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department said out of an abundance of caution, the student is voluntarily restricting his or her own activities.

“This individual is very low-risk, and from a public health standpoint, there are no restrictions that have been recommended,” Huang said. “This is not someone who has Ebola.”

Currently, three people in total have been diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the U.S. Huang said as Ebola is transmitted through contact with blood and bodily fluids, and there is no evidence of the University student coming in contact with these substances.

“The people who have developed Ebola disease in Dallas were health care professionals that were [directly] dealing with the patient,” Huang said. “In that setting, that’s a whole lot more exposure.”

Powers said in his email that the student would be staying home from class at their private residence. He or she will not return to school until Nov. 3, according to Bob Harkins, associate vice president for campus safety and security, who also spoke at the press conference.

Harkins said he has already talked to some parents of University students with general concerns about the virus, and he anticipates there will be more calls. He said the University has an infectious disease plan that is revisited it every year in case of an endemic. 

“We visited it back in July, specifically to look at what were doing in the event that we did have an Ebola outbreak,” Harkins said.  “All of the agencies on campus – whether that’s Housing, or Student Affairs or the provost’s office – have specific tasks that they’ve gone through now to upgrade our perfection levels, as has the Medical Center. We feel that we’re about as ready as we can be to try and ward off any of the bad infections.”

This story has been updated since its original publication.

A health care worker in Dallas has tested positive for the Ebola virus, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Sunday. This is the second known case of the virus in the U.S., and, if the preliminary results are confirmed, it will be the first time the virus has been transmitted between humans in the U.S.

In a press conference Sunday, CDC Director Tom Frieden said the health care worker is a female nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. According to Frieden, the nurse had provided care and had “extensive contact” with Thomas Duncan, who died last week and was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.

Frieden said officials are examining the case to try and figure out what caused the nurse to contract the virus, since she was in full protective gear when caring for Duncan. 

“We don’t know what occurred in the care of the index patient, the original patient in Dallas, but, at some point, there was a breach in protocol, and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection,” Frieden said. 

Officials plan to examine kidney dialysis and respiratory intubation, which were both performed on Duncan, as procedures in which the virus might have spread.

According to a press release from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the nurse developed symptoms Friday, and a blood sample was tested for Ebola in a lab in Austin. 

“The individual was self-monitoring, and, immediately on developing symptoms, as appropriate, she contacted the health care system, and, when she came in, she was promptly isolated,” Frieden said. 

The press release stated health officials have interviewed the patient and have identified only one possible contact that could have been exposed to the virus. 

David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said the department has been ramping up control measures to prepare for further possible transmission of the virus. 

“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” Lakey said. “We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.”

Frieden said the CDC plans to focus on four things related to the second Ebola case — caring for the worker, assessing her possible contacts from when she developed symptoms, evaluating other possible exposures to the virus, and launching an investigation to find out how the breach in protocol happened. 

Frieden said the CDC has sent additional staff to Texas and plans to implement increased training of health care workers at Texas hospitals, limit the number of workers and procedures related to Ebola patients and examine procedures used for personal protective equipment.  

“What we do to stop Ebola is to break the links of transmission,” Frieden said. “We do that by making sure every person with Ebola is promptly diagnosed, that they’re promptly isolated, that we identify their contacts, and that we actively monitor their contacts every day for 21 days.”

The 48 people who have possibly come into contact with the virus are still being monitored, officials said.