North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 95, No. 8, Ed. 1 Friday, January 29, 2010 Page: 1 of 12
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Electronic band to make stop
in Denton on Saturday
Friday, January 29, 2010
Volume 95 I Issue 8
35° / 26°
North Texas ] Daily
SCENE see insert
The Student Newspaper of the University of North Texas
hero dies at 92
By Shea Yarborough
Senior Staff Writer
A Texas legend
left a larger-than-
life legacy for UNT's
Walt E. Parker
died Jan. 22. He
was 92. The Fort
Worth native wore
many hats during
his career, from
Texas state repre-
sentative, to UNT faculty
to the white referee cap in
two Super Bowls, to Denton
Of all his accomplish-
ments, football was where
he left his mark, said his son,
Walt E. Parker Jr.
"Football was his passion,"
Though he stood 6-feet-
1-inch tall and weighed 220
pounds, Parker was called
"Walt the Giant" by his
teammates on the North
Texas State University foot-
ball team, not because of
his size, but because of his
heart, his son said.
"It was his energy," Walt
Parker Jr. said. "But he was
also a hard man to bring
down on the football field."
Parker's son said he
remembers hearing stories
about the summer his
father spent working in Fort
The Giant wasn't as strong
as he wanted to be, Parker
Jr. said, so he worked at the
Swift Meat Packing Plant
carrying sides of beef. His
goal was to get bigger.
"He wanted to move posi-
WALT E. PARKER
tions," his son said. "He
wanted to play running
Parker got to play running
back that fall, lettering twice.
He played on the 1939 Lone
Star Conference champion-
In 1955, Parker
was inducted into
Hall of Fame.
tually began to
work on legisla-
tion for UNT as
affairs, which is
where he met Phil Diebel.
The two were friends for 29
years, Diebel said. With a
30-year gap in their ages,
Parker became a teacher and
mentor for Diebel.
Diebel said he once asked
Parker how long it took him
to make an influence in the
Legislature. It was imme-
diate, Parker said.
"I asked, 'I thought it took
a while?'," Diebel said. Walt
replied, "'Not if you are tied
up umpiring the Super Bowl
your very first day of the
Parker was also a rancher,
even though he was a city
boy at heart. Parker and his
wife Mildred Brock Parker
ranched in a little town west
of Fort Worth called Joy, but
Parker wasn't one for riding
horses, his son said.
"Dad would round up
the cattle in his 1940 Buick
convertible," Parker Jr. said.
"He was incorrigible."
But football remained his
passion, he said.
"It was his running of
the bulls," he said. "And he
got to run with them every
Photo by Clinton Lynch/Visuals Editor
Safe Ride is a UNT student organization that provides free rides to UNT students who need a safe ride home late at night.
Program provides Safe Ride'
By Tim Monzingo
Bars and clubs around town
have seen increased business
as students return to their old
stomping grounds on the Denton
Square and Fry Street, and one
student organization has kicked
off its program to get partiers
UNT's new Safe Ride student
organization started canvassing
bars and local hangouts with
fliers advertising a "safe, nonjudg-
mental rides home" Jan. 21.
Michelle Simms, the president of
the organization, said the results
last weekend were remarkable.
"Our first weekend of oper-
ations was last weekend and
it really well," Simms said.
"Everybody was just so excited."
The program has been in the
works for about a year, so the
turnout was rewarding, Simms
Although the program has just
begun, the members have high
hopes for it.
"It's a little bit of a work in prog-
ress," said Alex Kamkar, a grad-
uate student in real estate who
works with the program,. "We're
going to keep growing."
Kamkar was a member of the
CARPOOLprogramat Texas A&M
University, which was the first
Safe Ride program in the country
and has spawned other models,
like the Driving Jacks program
offered at Stephen F. Austin
University in Nacogdoches.
Simms said she hopes the
UNT organization will someday
boast the credentials of A&M's
"They have 300 members and
a waiting list out of this world,"
Simms said. "I foresee all those
things coming to UNT's student
Andrew Spurlock, an
economics senior, said the orga-
nization gave about 10 rides home
over the course of the weekend.
Spurlock said the weekend was
"definitely a great start to what
our plans are for the semester
and what we want to do with the
While the organization's main
way of promoting itself has been
distributing fliers around Denton,
organizations in the Dallas-Fort
Worth area have also helped.
"We actually have an ad on
the radio on about four or five
stations," Spurlock said. "You hear
it on 102.1, you hear it on about
Volunteer students run the
program, which has between 20
and 30 members right now, but
the program is looking for more
help. Kamkar said working with
an organization like this is a great
opportunity for many reasons.
"If they just want this to look
good on their résumé, it's a great
opportunity," Kamkar said.
"There are a lot of social aspects to
our group. We want to be service-
oriented and social."
The program operates Thursday
through Saturday from 10 p.m. to
3 a.m. Rides will only be provided
to those going home, not to other
parties or bars. Students must
have their UNT ID.
"If you can get a ride home and
you have [a designated driver],
great. If you don't, callus," Kamkar
said. "If you're going to drink, be
When: 10 p.m. to
3 a.m., Thursday
(7433) with UNT
N'1 students compete for Miss America title
By Morgan Walker
Senior Staff Writer
UNT students Kristen Blair and
Nicole Miner will battle against 51
other contestants to see who will
become the next Miss America.
Blair, a vocal performance
junior, will compete with Miner,
a music education senior, in
the Miss America pageant. The
pageant airs live at 7p.m. Saturday
on TLC from the Planet Hollywood
Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Blair and Miner met three years
ago when they discovered they
had classes together in the UNT
Miner said she decided to come
to UNT because of its distin-
guished music department.
"I could not resist that music
program at UNT," she said. "It was
perfect for me and it was exactly
what I wanted to grasp for my
The two immediately shared a
bond and became friends.
After they learned they were
both competing in the Miss
America Pageant, Blair and Miner
worked out, shared makeup tips
and went shopping together as
part of the training process for
During the preliminaries, the
contestants are not allowed to
have cell phones and rarely get
to see their families, but Blair
and Miner said they have been
supportive of each other.
"It's nice to know that she and
I have a connection," Miner said.
"If I'm walking alone and she sees
me, she'll always come by my
Contestants compete in the
preliminary swimsuit, evening
wear and talent contests.
Photo Courtesy of Frank Frost/Frank Frost Photography
Nicole Miner, a music education senior, will compete as Miss New Mexico at the 2010 Miss America Pageant.
The women will also participate
in an interview and be asked an
Blair, 23, and Miner, 23, will
each perform a vocal routine for
the talent portion of the compe-
"We have completely different
voices," Miner said. "She is singing
classical, andl will be singingmore
of a pop style."
Miner, originally from
Albuquerque, was crowned Miss
New Mexico in June 2009. She said
she did not become involved in
pageants until 2006 when she was
pursuing her education degree at
the University of New Mexico.
One night, she was performing
with her dad's jazz band when
a woman from the Miss New
Mexico Organization approached
her and suggested that she start
"I said no, I grew up with four
boys and I don't even know where
to begin with pageants," Miner
Months later, when she was
approached again by another
person from the Miss New Mexico
Organization, she decided to get
Blair, who was crowned Miss
Texas in July2009, is from Houston
and said she became interested in
pageants at age 18 when she lived
She said she has lived in several
states throughout her life but
decided to apply to UNT when
Photo Courtesy of Julie Englemann/Premiere Photography Studio
Kristen Blair, a vocal performance junior is competing as Miss Texas on Jan. 29.
she and her family moved to
"When I came to Denton, I
just thought it was the perfect
place to be," Blair said. "You have
a small college-town feel, but at
the same time you're so close to
Blair said she was also
impressed with UNT's music
Whenever Blair and Miner
are not busy, they get together as
much as they can.
"There are days when we go
out and have dinner, and we tell
each other we're not going to talk
about pageants or school," Blair
said. "But those were our common
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North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 95, No. 8, Ed. 1 Friday, January 29, 2010, newspaper, January 29, 2010; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth145762/m1/1/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.