UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 08, 2022

Mayor Form

St. George’s mayoral candidates debated about public concern over drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, water conservation and public property changes at the Gardner Center Tuesday night in anticipation of next month’s election.

Although there were many empty chairs and about 75 community members present, Mayor Daniel McArthur said It was one of the best turnouts they have had.

 A question was asked about the possibilities of a new recreational facility like the one in Washington, which is operating at a loss.

“Most rec centers operate at a loss; we should maintain what we have,” Contending Candidate Jon Pike said.

Both candidates agreed the private sector would profit from such a center if there is a community need.

“The city should not be in competition,  [if there is a need] then the private sector can do it,” said  McArthur.

The candidates were asked for their feelings on the Lake Powell pipe line and what they foresaw happening with the project.

McArthur and Pike said if it became a necessity, they would be in support of such a project.

It should be researched and not done at max cost, Pike said.

They both favored working on local water conservation first.

A hot topic is the old Electric Theater, located on 68 E. Tabernacle, purchased by the city. Both candidates suggested it could be turned into a preforming arts center to support all local acts.

 A question concerning the good ol’ boys of St.George was brought to the floor.  The Mayor said he is content with current city operations.

 Pike said he could see room for more communication within the community for bidders and community involvement in general.

 Both candidates were friendly and run close in their optimism for the city of St. George.

 The Mayor talked about living his life here and closed with expressing his love of St. George.

Pike expressed his concern for St. George needing a set vision, more transparency and defined values.

“It would help set [a standard] and hold ‘us’ accountable,” Pike said.

On the sidelines after the debate Pike explained his closing remarks. 

 “Yes, that is why the question about the good ol’ boys was asked. It would leave less for the public to wonder about when something happens in the community,” he said.

The November ballot for St. George also holds two city council seats and a $185 million Special Education Bond.

Many students said they planned to vote. Others were surprised there are upcoming elections.

“Really, who are the candidates?” Darin Small, senior communication major from San Diego said. “No one really knows much about them. Do I vote for the best sign?”

Small not the only one in want of information.

“I might be a communication major, but I did not get the communication about an election.” Emily Flegal, a junior communication major from St. George said, “I’m kind embarrassed. I guess I didn’t pay attention to the signs around town.”

Some students are ready to vote and confused about why otherswouldn’t want to vote.

 “Why wouldn’t you vote?” said Mike Nelson, a junior communication major from St. George.“It’s vital to be involved in the community because they make decisions on local issues and vote on local laws.”

Jenessa Nielsen, a senior English major from Spanish Fork, is adamant about voting.

“Yes, I vote,” she said. “Last year was the first year I was old enough to vote. I plan on always voting.”

According to the Washington county website, there is still time to register to vote in the November elections, but not much.

 If you would like to vote in the Nov. 5 registration, at the County Clerk office is your only option.

 If you are not registered to vote and would like to vote in the Nov. 5 elections, you must register in person with proper ID by Oct. 21 at the County Clerk office, located at 97 East Tabernacle. You may still register online or by mail, but you will not be permitted to vote in this election.

 Qualified persons registering in person after Oct. 7 but by Oct. 21 can vote only day of in person at their assigned precinct. See the website for a list of excepted registration identification.

 

 

Red Storm serve opponents tough SAC atmosphere

Another lip-biting match at Dixie State University’s Student Activity Center drew a crowd of over 250 fans to watch DSU women’s volleyball team dominate Dominican University of California.

It took all five sets, but the women came out on top against Dominican, which is an 0-2 team in conference. Dixie pulled out the scores of 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 25-17 and 15-6.

“We tried focusing on taking early control and ultimately not focusing on the error,” said sophomore libero Haylee Wilkes, an English major from Salt Lake City. “Our energy on the court was key as well.”

The first period win was due greatly to the solid blocks by senior outside hitter Shannon Young, junior middle blocker Kristin Heywood, and sophomore setter Shelby Sorenson on the net. Dominican trailed close behind in its points. The win was taken easily by Dixie, setting high expectations for the rest of the game.

But those expectations faltered in the second set.

Nine points in and the Red Storm seemed to be on track for another easy win, until Dominican hit back with a rally that gave it eight consecutive points and the lead. The accuracy of the hitters wasn’t enough to pull up the points that would put them ahead of Dominican.

Despite the tie, the Storm were producing jaw-dropping recoveries from bad rallies that, for certain, looked like they would fall out of bounds or get blocked onto their side of the net.

“We came out of the match with more digs,” Wilkes said. “They were statistically the No. 1 digging team in the conference and the No. 2 team (in the conference). It was our goal from the beginning of the game to out-dig them. We knew it was going to be a battle of defense for both sides.”

The Red Storm had to take the win in the fourth period to beat Dominican. Just like the eight-point strike Dominican had in the second game, Dixie produced a seven-point streak coming out of a timeout.

Dixie defense dominated the fifth set, keeping the ball out of their territory and hitting another consecutive seven-point run, which ended the game 15-6.

“When you know your team can make up for what you can’t do, it’s easy to play with confidence and cohesion on the court,” Wilkes said. “I look forward to protecting our undefeated record in conference and playing with this team that I love.”

The team also brought heat, a pumped up crowd, and edge-of-your-seat anticipation in its game against Fresno Pacific University Saturday.

After all five games and a roaring crowd of more than 300 spectators, Dixie State defeated Fresno Pacific in Dixie’s first victory over a ranked opponent in the school’s history.

Both teams fought for the lead in the first set. The Red Storm stayed close behind the Sunbirds, closing the match within three points. Ten minutes in, Dixie called a timeout with a 15-18 score. Dixie planned a strategy to push ahead of Fresno.

“It took game one for us to adjust to the tempo of Fresno,” head coach Robyn Felder said. “They run a lot higher of a tempo than we do, so our blocks were early and we were out of system quite a bit.”

Under the pressure of plays slipping up, Dixie consistently recovered and used the Sunbirds’ errors to its advantage.

Fresno’s tall front line blocked its way against the Red Storm offense, taking the first win of the game 25-19.

Dixie had a stronger mindset at the beginning of the second period. It maintained a three-point lead by attacking spikes at the Fresno defense, eventually playing for game point at 24-14. Fresno squeezed in five more points until Dixie took its first win.

Some spectators in the crowd believe the way the crowd cheers during the game impacts how the teams play.

“If we are roaring and supporting, then the crowd is having fun while the girls on the court are getting pumped up to play,” said Caleb Baldwin, a sophomore communication major from Ogden. “Fresno was definitely shaken by our cheering, and it most likely helped the Dixie girls dominate in the end.”

The third set was the real game changer as Fresno took notes of Dixie’s strategy and spiked its way to match the plays one point at a time. Sophomore setter Shelby Sorenson’s sets,  and the resulting serves and attacks helped turned the game around for the Red Storm as they cruised to another win.

Felder was impressed by the way all of the women played but could not highlight just one player.

“I feel like all the girls contributed in so many ways,” Felder said. “As far as offense goes, Shannon Young, Maddie Rex and Kendahl Weiland were solid thanks to stellar setting by Shelby Sorenson. Defensively, Weiland and Makenzi Bird were a huge force for us as well.”

Retaliation came quick for the Sunbirds in game four. The score was 3-3 within the first minute until an advantage showed itself to the Red Storm. Fresno kept bumping and setting the ball too high, making it bounce off the ceiling and out of the player’s reach.

Although game four ended in Fresno’s favor, Dixie had no intention to crack under the pressure and plowed its way to its final win, scoring 15 against Fresno’s 11 points.

“I told the girls before the game that we needed everyone on the court to be a producer,” Felder said. “They came together, trusted each other and battled. It was a great win for this program.”

DSU hosts Azusa Pacific University, a 3-0 conference team, Saturday at noon in the Student Activity Center.

Island souls breeze to DSU in concert

Island Souls brought bouncy reggae beats and a refreshing breath of island culture to Dixie State University.

Artists including Fiji, Bonafide and Sauny J performed at the Burns Arena Friday night. Students and community members of all backgrounds gathered close and let the jams take them away to paradise.

Honolulu Grill sponsored the event, and the concert was a fundraiser for DSU’s Polynesian Club. Vice President Kathleen Tupou, a sophomore CIT major from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., said the concert will help spread the word and help Polynesians get more exposure at DSU.

“People want to see more Poly artists in St. George,” Tupou said. 

Tupou said posting fliers for the Island Souls concert around campus helped their culture become more student-centered.

On the contrary, community member Kallie Pettichord said they didn’t advertise enough. She said she only saw fliers in certain restaurants and novelty stores. Pettichord said the music scene is wide-ranged here, but there aren’t many performances to attend.

“If there’s something going on (in St. George), you better go,” Pettichord said. 

Sauny J kicked the night off, exciting the crowd. By the time the band was preparing to leave the stage, nearly half of the audience was up and dancing.

Bonafide was the next act. It brought heavy bass and synchronized beats to the arena straight from Jamaica. The band members’ long dreadlocks and big smiles set the mood, and the audience awarded them with an encore.

The headlining band of the night was Fiji, and nearly everyone was standing when it came on stage. People crowded the front of the stage, waving their hands in the air and singing along to Fiji’s smooth, bouncy vocals.

The concert provided a refreshing reminder of what life would be like living in the islands. Tupou said America is so different from her culture, and it’s hard to find balance in life here compared to the islands. 

“Our culture has a high-value system,” she said. “In America, you’re more likely to loose your culture.” 

Tupou keeps her culture alive in many ways. Lately, it’s especially important for her to wear black. In her culture, after a family member dies, the mourning process includes wearing black every day for a year following the loss. In this case, it was her grandmother. Despite her efforts, she said Polynesians still lose their culture here. 

“Every day, we fall short,” Tupou said. 

Tupou said one of the main focuses for the Polynesian Club is to also emphasize higher education in the lives on Polynesian Americans.

“We want them to realize the opportunities we have out here,” Tupou said.

The Polynesian Club is already organizing next year’s event.

“Be on the lookout for next year’s event,” Tupou said. “It’s going to blow everybody’s mind.”

The Polynesian Club meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Multicultural/Diversity Center on campus in the bottom floor of the Student Activity Center. They hold history nights and luaus, and they hope to work on more fundraisers. Tupou encourages students from different backgrounds to learn more about their culture. 

“We want to see people keep the culture alive here in America,” Tupou said. 

37th St. George Marathon launches Saturday

Running a marathon is mind over matter, and it tests a runner’s endurance, strength and will.

The 37th St. George Marathon will be held Saturday. Runners will race to qualify for the world-renowned Boston Marathon, which will take place April 21.

Ross Decker, a math associate professor and cross-country assistant coach, has raced in the St. George Marathon 25 times.

“Completing a marathon is extremely fulfilling,” Decker said. “The skilled runners that I have coached are very motivated by testing their physical and psychological limits. Running a marathon can really do that.”

A marathon is 26.2 miles, and to qualify for the Boston Marathon, an 18 to 34-year-old male must run within three hours and five minutes. For the same age group, females must cross the finish line within three hours and 35 minutes.

David Holt, a Pine View High School history teacher and cross-country head coach, has qualified for the Boston Marathon.

“Boston is a lot of fun,” Holt said. “It’s a neat experience. There are a lot of people from St. George that qualify for Boston and go back there.”

Holt said he trains year-round, while others may train only three to four months ahead.

“I generally run around 100 miles a week,” Holt said.

According to www.stgeorgemarathon.com, the St. George Marathon was labeled the “Most Organized Marathon” in the country. 

“I love the volunteer help,” Decker said. “The support of the home crowd leaves you with a really good feeling for the quality of the St. George community.”

Running a marathon is a goal in itself, but many others have goals of their own. 

“I have never won my age group,” Decker said. “One year, I was nine seconds away. I guess you can say that I have a goal of winning my age group some year.”

Holt finished with a time of 2:29:53 in last year’s marathon and is always in good shape, thanks to being a cross country coach.

“One of my goals is a sub-two hours and 30 minutes,” said Holt. “Injury kind of set me back a little bit, but I think a sub 2:30 is a good possibility.”

The marathon begins at 6:45 Saturday. 

Shallenberger leads Dixie to redemption

Coming off a 5-1 loss against Hawaii Pacific University, the Red Storm bounced back against Chaminade University Monday night.

The Red Storm reported back to the field just 48 hours after their loss to Hawaii Pacific University Saturday to take on Chaminade University. Having no time to rest, the Red Storm rose to the challenge.

DSU lit up the scoreboard Monday night, notching its second victory of the season.

“The guys actually took advantage of the opportunities tonight, which is a big difference,” head coach Danny Ortiz said. “We’ve had those opportunities before, and we haven’t capitalized on them, but today we [did].”

Junior midfielder Erik Shallenberger scored the first goal of the game, which was his third goal in three consecutive matches. Ten minutes later, freshman forward Michael Gray scored the second goal in the first half.

DSU came out strong in the second half, with goals from freshman midfielder Sean Jenne, sophomore defender Wade Canon and freshman forward Justin Brinkerhoff.

Senior goalkeeper Tyler Walters had two saves to end the game, preserving the shut-out.

Ortiz said the team used this game to bounce back from Saturday night’s embarrassing loss. 

A lot of action was seen on the field for the Sea Warriors the first half, where they scored four goals early in the game.

Ortiz said he is not disappointed about the way the men played because of the diligent fight they put up against HPU.

“I don’t think we played bad soccer, we just gave up some bad opportunities early,” Ortiz said. “At every level, you’re going to have a day where [your opponent] has a day like that.”

Ortiz said DSU didn’t play a bad game overall. He said he gives credit to the men who did a good job of staying competitive and focusing on taking opportunities in the second half.

DSU needs to use the home field to its advantage the next couple weeks with HPU being the first of the five-game home stand.

One of the big games coming up for DSU is the rivalry game against Brigham Young University-Hawaii. The Seasiders defeated HPU, making this game important for the Storm.  

Last year, DSU defeated BYU-H 2-1. This year, the Storm hope to use that win as motivation to take control of the Seasiders yet again.

“We [need to] focus on what we need to do and play our game,” assistant coach Nyle Ortiz said. “When we make the other teams worry more about us then we worry about them, that’s when things go better for us.”

Nyle Ortiz said the Seasiders’ biggest threat against DSU is the size of their players. He said the Storm have always played very well, so he believes the team can come out and win again.

The Storm take on BYU-H Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.

Marchbanks finds scoring touch

Dixie State University’s sophomore midfielder Megan Marchbanks played much bigger than her 5-foot-2-inch frame Monday afternoon.

Marchbanks scored the golden goal just minutes into overtime as DSU defeated Chaminade University 4-3.

The Red Storm put themselves on the scoreboard in the 24th minute with a goal from junior forward Kimberly Thurman, assisted by junior defender Mindi Beckstrom.

 Dixie kept the ball in Chaminade territory throughout the game, consistently earning opportunities at goal.

Head coach Kacey Bingham praised the defense for keeping the Silverswords behind midfield.

“I think we did a good job possessing the ball,” Bingham said. “I also feel like our forwards never stopped fighting up top to find a goal.”

Chaminade struggled to gain meaningful possession in the second half as Marchbanks converted mistakes into goals for DSU.

“I think Megan had a standout game,” Bingham said. “She scored two important goals for us tonight, including the game winner. If she can continue to put away goals for us, our front line will be extremely dangerous.”

The Red Storm were coming off an impressive victory Saturday against Hawaii Pacific University.

The Red Storm punished HPU with two goals early in the second half by Thurman and Marchbanks. The two goals proved to be the difference as DSU defeated the Sea Warriors 2-0.

The two teams were at a scoreless draw going into halftime. DSU came out of the locker room strong, with Thurman scoring an unassisted goal just 22 seconds into the half. She dribbled the ball 30 yards before beating the keeper with a great shot for her second goal of the season.

Head coach Kacey Bingham said the Red Storm performed well to begin the game but couldn’t get any good efforts at goal the rest of the first half. She said she was pleased with the second half performance by her team.

“It’s all about the mentality of getting to goal and being hungry to score,” she said. “I think we definitely came out with that in the second half.”

Only minutes after Thurman’s goal, Dixie struck again when Marchbanks controlled a beautiful pass from junior midfielder Ashley Wade. She took a soft touch and let a powerful shot loose that found the back of the net from 24 yards out. The stunning goal was the first of the season for Marchbanks.

“That [shot] was beautiful,” said Danica Pickett, a senior communication major from Las Vegas. “She was at a hard angle from that side, and, somehow, she got it in.”

Pickett led the strong defense for the Red Storm, holding the Sea Warriors to just four shots in the second half, none of which gave the DSU goalkeepers any trouble.

Pickett, the lone senior on the squad, has assumed the leadership role to help Dixie exceed expectations.

“I want the girls to know that this isn’t going to be a building year,” Pickett said. “We’re here to win and do our best.”

DSU continues a pivotal stretch in the schedule against Brigham Young University-Hawaii Thursday before finishing the home stand against Hawaii-Hilo University Saturday.

“Every game is important to us, but at home we have to take advantage of being able to play on our field,” Bingham said.

Bingham said the key to being successful from this point forward is attacking harder to start games.

“We always need to try to come out and score early goals,” she said. “That’s something we’ve struggled with all season, so we’re going to continue to focus on that.”

With the victories, the Red Storm improved to 4-1 in PacWest play this season. 

DSU will host BYU-Hawaii Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.

Sand Hollow Mayhem ends summer nights

Volleyball, a water blob, water slides and food were just a few of the attractions at Sand Hollow State Park Saturday.

The annual Sand Hollow Mayhem event gave students a chance to hang out on a beach all day and have a dance party at night with live bands and disc jockeys.

The Heart of Dixie, owned by Jared Keddington, set up Sand Hollow Mayhem this year.

“I see dances that happen all over Utah,” Keddington said. “They’re all the same thing. This is a really unique opportunity in a really unique venue and a cool way to have a good time by playing in the sand, the sun and the water.”

Students had a myriad of reasons to be at the event.

“I’m a really sociable person, and I (knew) there (were) going to be tons of people there,” said Morgan Miller, a junior dental hygiene major from Salina.

Students said the advertising was better this year.

“We got so many fliers for it,” said Alexis Finch, a freshman psychology major from Nephi. “It sounded so cool. We looked online and found out about it.”

Students were able to sit on the beach and have a place to socialize with friends and meet new people.

“I really wanted something to do for the end of summer,” said Kathryn Sassman, a sophomore graphic design major from Ivins. “What’s better than the lake?”

Saturday was the fourth time the Sand Hollow Mayhem was held, but only the second time the Heart of Dixie hosted it. 

According to the official website, www.sandhollowmayhem.com/site/index, this weekend had many more activities, food, people, sponsors and prizes.

“The sand volleyball games get really fun,” Miller said. “The skim boarding contests are always fun.”

Sassman and Miller said their favorite activity was the water blob.

The water blob is a blown up vinyl air mattress. One person sits on an end while another person climbs up onto a platform to jump on the other end. It launches the other person in the air and into the water.

“I really want to go on the water blob,” Miller said. “That’s all I really want to do.”

A beach dance party started at 8 p.m. until midnight. Fireworks also went off at 10 p.m.

“We do fireworks at night and have a bonfire down here,” Keddington said. “We do paddle boards and kayaks also.”

The Heart of Dixie is hosting an upcoming college-aged Monster Mash dance Halloween night. Keddington is also planning a foam dance and a paint dance, which were held in the past, and those will be in January and February.

For updated information, find the Heart of Dixie on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theheartofdixie or on the official website at www.myheartofdixie.com.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2:” loony, yet visually scrumptious

 Jordan says, “Yum!

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” has stunning visual effects of food that has become alive as animals.

It is funny, it has a great cast and amazing animation. It is a great film for viewers of all ages.

If you haven’t seen the first movie, the beginning of the film gives you a quick rundown of what happened.

In the first film, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is a young inventor who eventually creates the “Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator” or “FLDSMSFR,” which is a device that turns water into food.

The machine starts creating food that is problematically humongous, so Lockwood ends up having to try to destroy his greatest creation.

The second film begins only minutes after the first one ends. Lockwood is contacted by big-name scientist Chester V. (voiced by Will Forte), who requests him to come to San Fran Jose to work for him.

Lockwood accepts the job opportunity and is soon sent on a mission to stop the “FLDSMSFR,” which the viewer finds out isn’t destroyed. Lockwood goes with the same crew of misfits who helped him destroy the machine the first time.

The animation of the film is incredible because of the way the producers created animals made out of food. There are elephants made out of watermelons, chimpanzees made out of shrimp, and a spider made from a cheeseburger and fries. The movements of the characters had life-like fluidity.

The way the producers made the animals out of food, or “foodimals,” was awe-inspiring. The names of the “foodimals” were hilarious and fit perfectly with the real names of the food, like”shrimpanzees” and “watermelephants.”

The voices fit perfectly for each of the actor’s respective characters. In most films, I’m not the biggest fan of the way Anna Faris acts, but her quirky voice was perfect for the film.

Hader is hilarious in all of his movies. He even has me laughing in his T-Mobile commercials. Andy Samberg voiced Brent McHale, and he is one of my favorite comedy actors. The guy’s voice alone can make me laugh.

Overall, I liked this movie virtually from start to finish. The cast is awesome, the storyline is wonderful, and the animation is amazing. The only thing I thought could improve the film was the jokes. Some of them made me laugh out loud, but others were just too similar to each other.

I am giving this movie an A-. With better jokes, it would have easily been an A, if not an A+.

Matthew is on the fence

“Cloudy 2” is a lot like some of the girls I meet in St. George. It’s really pretty, and it’s fun for a few minutes, but there’s not a whole lot of substance.

Sony Pictures breaks what I consider to be the cardinal rule of animation (and Dreamworks is guilty of this, too): An animated character should be voiced by a person with an animated voice. 

When you’ve got characters like Bill Hader’s Flint Lockwood who sounds like Bill Hader and Anna Faris’ Sam Sparks who sounds like Anna Faris, then you’ve got dull characters. Neither Faris nor Hader use any sort of real cartoonish inflections in their voice overs, and that really bugs me because I know both of them are capable of doing cartoonish voices.

However, Kristen Schaal’s voice is a different story, and you can’t go wrong with Will Forte’s, either. Barb and Chester V. were both fun to listen to. I only wish they got more air time. 

I can appreciate the word mashups. It takes a smart cookie to come up with a term like “tacodile” or “shrimpanzee.” 

But the wonderful wordplay and beautiful imagery doesn’t make up for the sheer ridiculousness of the story.

With all the chaos and color, I can see why this killed at the box office over the weekend. It’s the perfect place to take a screaming child. The story is so scattered that it doesn’t matter if the theater is full of whining brats. Any plot points you miss won’t matter because the film doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to begin with.

But hey, this movie’s target audience isn’t adults. So I can’t fault it for being batcrap insane. 

In the end, I’d give “Cloudy” a B-. It’s visually stunning, and I might bump that grade up if I could watch it with the sound turned down and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” playing instead.

X96 personalities come to DSU campus

Salt Lake City Radio personalities came to Dixie State University for a live broadcast and took the time to give students advice about their career choices.

Gina Barberi, Bill Allred and Kerry Jackson from X96’s “Radio From Hell” show were on campus Friday for a live broadcast of their show.

Barberi, Allred and Jackson told audio students what it was like to work for a radio station and gave them tips that will help them progress in their field of choice.

“Being involved with the school radio station is a good start,” Barberi said. “I did radio as a student at the University of Utah, and it was a great experience.”

Neither Barberi nor Allred planned on being radio personalities.

Barberi only participated at the station on campus because it was fun and something to do. It wasn’t until she got an internship at a station that she decided radio was for her.

“My dream was to become a news anchor,” Barberi said. “I interned at different news stations, and things just did not fit.”

Allred tried acting, but it did not turn out like he thought it would, and he started working at a bar. He then realized he did not like the environment and chose a career in radio.

“Radio definitely slowed down the road to alcoholism for me,” Allred said.

Jackson, on the other hand, knew he wanted to be on the radio since he was in middle school.

“I would talk to adults and they would say they didn’t know what they wanted to do for a career,” Jackson said. “I was in middle school and knew, without a doubt, I was going to be on the radio.”

Jackson went to a broadcast school for only three months when he was offered a job at a local news station.

They addressed students’ questions about what steps they can take to have a successful radio career.

“The No. 1 rule in radio, to make sure you have a long career, is not to make your sponsors mad,” Jackson said. 

Students were also concerned about whether jobs are available in radio today.

“Stations are using fewer people now,” Allred said. “Computers are taking over everything.”

Allred said computers have changed the way radio is ran. Companies want to save money, and having computers lets stations keep money and still get the job done. 

Barberi said the job at the station is great, but she has long days.

“My day starts off at 3 a.m. every day,” Barberi said. “I then go to the station at 5:30 a.m. to get things ready for the show. We are then online from 6-10 a.m., and then we go to parties and charity events.” 

All three agree radio is hard work with bad hours, but, in the end, it is worth it. They are glad they chose to pursue the career.

“James and the Giant Peach:” fitting for children’s theater

A giant peach squished the first play of the semester at Dixie State University flat, just like it did to Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker.

The play is designed as a children’s theater production, but, even so, the play seemed a little too childish. While children’s theater is meant to be over-the-top and fast-paced, it is not meant to sound like the actors are talking down to children. The lines felt over-acted, like they would in a rehearsal. From the costumes to the set, the whole thing felt like a high school theater production.

Matt Russell, who played Centipede; Justine Davis, who played Spider; and Andrew Bullard, who played Earthworm, were, by far, the closest to what I see children’s theater being. They were outlandish without being extreme, and the children’s laughter in the audience during their scenes made them seem like the favorites.

Some of the other actors were extremely difficult to hear. From where I sat in the fifth row, I was only able to hear about half of the lines spoken by Grasshopper and Ladybird. There was also one scene where the ship captain and two of his crew members were right in the orchestra pit. Despite how close the orchestra pit comes to the audience, I couldn’t hear anything the crew members said. The only characters with microphones were Centipede and the narrator when other cast members could have used microphones as well.

Part of the difficulty of hearing the actors were the sound effects, which were overpowering for the most part. They could have been cut down to a seagull sound effect and maybe the boat horn instead of adding in the creaking noises for the peach or the raven noises at random. 

I was also rather distracted by most of the bug costumes. A few of the costumes would have been impossible to tell what they were if the bugs didn’t have their species as character names. The main costume choices that seemed confusing were Glowworm and Ladybird. The costume for Glowworm was too much fabric and drowned the actor. Ladybird’s costume was an awkward mix of human and bug characteristics.

Not all of the costumes were awkward, though. James and Aunt Sponge were costumed perfectly. I do have to give kudos to Danica Christensen, playing James, who appeared to have cut off all of her hair for the show. When I originally spoke with her before the show opened, she had long, black hair. In the show, she had a pixie cut.

Jacob Beecher, who played Aunt Sponge, had outrageous makeup that worked for the role as such an eccentric, and his ability to seem comfortable in a dress was cause in and of itself for applause.

Other aspects of the technical side of the show made the play unique. Director Mark Houser chose to give the play a storybook theme, complete with the edges of the stage looking like an open book. The set included multiple two-dimensional cutouts to help achieve the pop-up book feeling. The best example in the show was, by far, the very beginning scene showing Mr. and Mrs. Trotter being chased by a wild animal.

The play’s lighting also kept the fantasy feeling alive. Multiple scenes used stencils over the lights to give them a more whimsical feeling.

The only suggestion I would offer on the technical aspects of the play is to be wary of actor and technician movements backstage. I could see people moving around behind the scenes multiple times, even though I was sitting in the center of the audience.

Overall, the play was a little bit overdone, and it was condescending at times because of how over-acted the lines seemed. “James and the Giant Peach” is still a good show, and it is great for children, but don’t go in expecting anything but children’s theater. 

The play continues on the Eccles Main Stage Oct. 1-5.