Sgt. Naylor reaches end of watch

NaylorEdit

The entire loop came to a stop and paid respect to Midland County Sergeant Mike Naylor. No one honked a horn or tried to go around. A few people stepped out of their vehicles and bowed their heads.

The silence was palpable. The procession flashed their lights in unison.

More than 750 police officers from the area and as far away as Chicago participated in the procession.

On Thursday, Oct. 9, Sgt. Mike Naylor was shot in the line of duty while serving a warrant. The suspect who may have shot him is in custody. Naylor died at the hospital, much to the despair of all who knew him.

Midland was not the only community to mourn his passing. Family, friends and fellow law enforcement traveled to his funeral in Midland, and a motorcade led the procession to Hobbs, New Mexico. He was buried in Prairie Haven Cemetery on Tuesday, Oct. 14.

Several Midland College employees honored him through their testimonials.

“Sergeant Naylor is a former EMT student and to date did lectures on mental health emergencies for the EMS Program,” EMS Program Coordinator Leland Hart said. “His dream was that all the staff in the Mental Health Unit at Midland County Sheriff’s Office be EMT certified. Naylor was caring to everyone he met, whether it was stranger or a person in a mental health crisis. He really did change the world around him and certainly made a difference.”

Dean of Health Sciences Carmen Edwards also will miss Naylor. “Mike showed genuine compassion for the clients with mental illness,” she said. “He supported the nurses and helped in any way he could.”

She worked at a local psychiatric hospital by the airport for 10 months.

Allison Chair of Journalism Bob Templeton said he remembered the unique friendship and talents of Naylor.

Eight years ago Naylor saved Templeton’s son when he had an incident at his group home.

Templeton and Naylor worked together in the jail-diversion or mental health unit of the sheriff’s office.

It was created in 2005 when Templeton was a trustee of the Permian Basin Community Centers of MHMR governing board.
“Mike and his team have devoted their lives, now sadly literally, to protecting the marginalized such as my son Brian,” Templeton said.

Commentary: Cinema evolves

“Cinema is dead,” director Quentin Tarantino declared at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Tarantino went on to express a general sense of hopelessness for future generations. Tarantino’s focus was digital projection and DCPs as the root cause for cinema’s demise. Tarantino is not the first filmmaker to make this claim.

Cinema is more than 120 years old and has been declared dead numerous times throughout its lifetime. The common thread throughout all of these declarations: the film industry was in a state of change, and the established filmmakers and critics seemed jaded or perhaps jealous of the new innovations that were changing their beloved cinema.

Entertainment as a whole is in a state of change. No one is sure where it is headed, but the experts agree that traditional models are no longer going to be the standard. Websites like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix are changing how audiences watch films and even to some extent why they watch.

A group of kids in Challis, Idaho, can become internationally successful because of a video they uploaded to YouTube. Almost everyone has a phone capable of shooting video and then uploading the video to the Internet.

Perhaps directors like Tarantino, who struggled to become successful and have refined their craft over the last several decades, are stunned by how easy the process has become. The challenges that filmmakers faced 20 years ago no longer exist, and the only real challenge is creating something that rises above the noise of all the other junk on the Internet.

We live in a time where anything is truly possible, thanks to crowd-funding websites like indiegogo.com and kickstarter.com. If you want to start a business where you make hats for cats, you can get funding. More specifically to filmmaking, a lot of indie directors are going to crowd-fund to get the money they need to make their films.

The entertainment is shifting into a new and uncertain future. I can understand why this scares the establishment, but I am excited to see what is around the corner.

Perhaps traditional cinema is dead, and while it’s sad, the new form of cinema might just be as artful and profound as its predecessor.

Netflix on a nickel 03

Life sometimes gets heavy, and thankfully we can take a break by watching movies.
Here are some silly and fun movies to check out.


Dabangg 2

dabangg-2-posterBollywood is the Hollywood of India; the primary difference is most of their films are musicals. Every genre has a musical counterpart, everything from romantic-comedies to action-flicks are made into musicals.

Imagine Dabangg 2, as a musical mashup of Jackie Chan’s Supercop and Rush Hour, it has the over-the-top action sequences and the great comedy cop moments. However, it doesn’t stop there, it also gives you amazing dance sequences with a catchy musical score.

Dabangg 2 is the story of Chulbul Pandey, an honorable cop who fights against corruption. Salman Khan, often referred to as the Sylvester Stallone of India, stars as Chulbul Pandey and his performance is thoroughly enjoyable.

If you want to watch a film that literally has something for everyone, check out Dabangg 2. This is especially true if you think modern action films take themselves too serious and miss the campy cheese of yesteryear.

Troll Huntertroll-hunter-poster

For the last few years, amazing films have come out of the Norway and Sweden region. Films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Let the Right One In did so well internationally that Hollywood did big budget remakes. Troll Hunter is a Norwegian horror/adventure film that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Troll Hunter is about three students, who enter the Norwegian woods to film a documentary on a bear poacher who claims that he really tracks trolls for the Norwegian government.

I strongly dislike the self-shot movie, but there are a few exceptions. Troll Hunter is one film to make it work well. All of the trolls are computer-generated, and it is obvious from the beginning. However, the way the filmmakers incorporate practical effects makes up for sub-par CGI. When the trolls slam the ground, dirt explodes or if a giant pushes up against the trees, the actual trees move and bend.

If you are a fan of creature movies or just love fantasy check out Troll Hunter.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

tucker_and_dale_vs_evil_posterCombining dark comedies and slasher flicks from the 70s describes Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, starring Alan Tudyk (Frozen, Serenity) and Tyler Labine (Monsters University) as the titled characters. Together the two are hilariously brilliant and make the film fun from beginning to end.

Expecting to relax at their “vacation” cabin, Tucker and Dale’s trip turns into a nightmare when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids. The film quickly starts referencing redneck/hillbilly slasher flicks and never loses its edge as it embraces the comedic moments.

A great introduction to the slasher sub-genre, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is for both people who do not enjoy slasher flicks and cannot get enough.


For the next issue, I will be reviewing different TV series that are on Netflix.
If you have any movie suggestions for the next issue, email me at
commoncollegestudent@gmail.com, and in the meantime, watch more movies!

Netflix on a nickel 02

Halloween is coming and I’ve got some spine-chilling, hair-raising and bloodcurdling movies for you to watch. Clear out your queue and prepare to scream, it’s horror movie mayhem!


All Cheerleaders Die

All Cheerleaders Die PosterLucky McKee is a popular name with horror fans; he is credited with creating amazing and shocking new horror films.

All Cheerleaders Die is the definition of modern horror. McKee hits all the appropriate beats while maintaining quality. The beginning of the film starts out as a self-shot teen flick; thankfully that ends quickly.

A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle. All Cheerleaders Die is fun and fast-paced while maintaining the gore and scares. While full of superficial jokes and plot devices the film also covers gay rights, bullying, rape, and domestic abuse .

All Cheerleaders Die is a horror film that most people can enjoy but because the target audience is 18-to 21-year-olds it might fall flat.

ContractedContracted Poster

Some films ask the audience to be patient, with the promise that the film’s experience will be rewarding as a whole, Contracted is exactly this kind of film. The pace is slow and the plot slowly unfolds which might bore modern audiences. Eric England, the indie director from Arkansas, wrote and directed Contracted.

A young girl, Samantha, contracts what she thinks is a sexually-transmitted disease but it is actually something much worse.
Najarra Townsend’s performance as Samantha is captivating and her emotional journey is a rollercoaster of extreme ups and downs.

The scares come in the form of the grotesque infection and Samantha’s physical transformation. Personally I loved Contracted and enjoyed it from beginning to end. However, because of the slow pace, it is not for everyone. Fans of infection films should check it out.

Argento’s Dracula

Argentos_Dracula_3D-posterDario Argento is famous for combining the grotesque and the beautiful, as he showed in Suspiria. Combining Argento with Stoker seems like a match made in horror heaven, but the reality is quite disappointing.

Argento’s Dracula has copious amounts of nudity and gore but no plot and phoned-in acting. Thomas Kretschmann plays the infamous Count Dracula like he’s constipated with laryngitis. Van Helsing is played by the legendary Rutger Hauer. While Hauer has the best moments in the film, he seemed to need an oxygen machine or a nap based on his overall performance.

For an enjoyable horror experience watch the original 1931 Dracula or even the 1992 remake but avoid Argento’s Dracula.

Big Trouble in Little Chinabig_trouble_in_little_china_poster_01

John Carpenter is the horror master, known for Halloween, The Thing, Christine, The Fog, They Live, In the Mouth of Madness, Vampires and The Ward. Few directors have the scope and the longevity that Carpenter has. Not all of his films are horror, and some, like Big Trouble in Little China, combine horror, action and fantasy with generous amounts of humor.

Big Trouble in Little China is the story of Jack Burton, a trucker who thinks he is a living legend and a self proclaimed ladies’ man, as he gets dragged into centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. The effects are dated and the film is definitely a product of the 80s, but it holds up.

Big Trouble in Little China is loaded up with cheese, memorable quotes, and ridiculous over-the-top action sequences. While not a horror film, it will provide an entertaining and fun palate cleanser between horror films this Halloween.


 Have a terrifying and creeptastic Halloween. If you have any movie suggestions for the next issue, email me at commoncollegestudent@gmail.com, and in the meantime, watch more movies!

Net neutrality overturned: ISPs destroy digital ecosystem

LEARN network image

LEARN’s network covers the majority of Texas.

Imagine a world in which corporations control your access to information on the Internet. Net neutrality affects everyone, yet the majority have no clue what is or why they should care. There are plenty of corporations that want to keep it that way.
Net neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally. Basically a YouTube video should receive the same treatment by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) as a movie from Netflix or a commercial from Verizon. Net neutrality guarantees access to content will not be manipulated whether it comes from a non-profit or a major corporation.

In January, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of ISPs, basically revoking net neutrality. In 2010, the FCC had classified broadband as an information service, leaving it up to legal interpretation, and established “Open Internet Rules,” which were: 1) ISPs need to be transparent about how they manage network congestion, 2) they can’t block traffic on wired networks, no matter what the source, and 3) they can’t put competing services into an “internet slow lane” to benefit their own offerings. The court’s ruling removed the last two rules, and the first rule is vague enough that ISPs can avoid it altogether.

Freed from any legal restraints, ISPs can monitor everything you do and say online, then sell the information to the highest bidder. ISPs have direct control over your connection to the Internet and the devices you use to connect to it. Internet users already face a minefield when it comes to online privacy. Social networks constantly change their confusing privacy controls, and “free” websites and email providers routinely harvest and sell our personal information to advertisers. The old rules were created to protect Internet users. The January 2014 decision has unraveled these protections.

Net neutrality allowed minorities to tell their own stories and to organize for racial and social justice in the digital age. The open Internet gave marginalized voices an opportunity to be heard. But without net neutrality, ISPs can block unpopular speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without net neutrality, minorities will lose a vital platform to shape debates on issues that impact their communities’ well-being.

ISPs have proven that they will censor, block, and manipulate information on the Internet if allowed to do so. In 2005, Telus was involved in a bitter labor dispute, and the telecom blocked its Internet subscribers from accessing a website run by the union that was on strike against them.

In late 2007, Verizon Wireless cut off access to a text-messaging program by the pro-choice rights group NARAL that the group used to send messages to its supporters. Also in 2007, Comcast, the second largest ISP, intentionally slowed down its customers’ Internet connections. The FCC took legal action against Comcast for abusing their customers rights.

During a performance by the rock group Pearl Jam in Chicago, AT&T censored words from lead singer Eddie Vedder’s performance. The ISP, which was responsible for streaming the concert, shut off the sound when Vedder voiced his opinion on the current president.

Altering online information has serious implications for education and educators. Dennis Sever, vice president of information technology and facilities at Midland College, maintains the college’s network and computer systems. He said MC is a part of the Lonestar Education and Research Network and would not be affected by net neutrality. LEARN is a large computer network covering more than 3,200 miles of Texas.

Mike Phillips, executive director of LEARN, said it was a “digital ecosystem” designed to support research, education and innovation. LEARN is partnered with Google, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, and others. The infrastructure and its partners is what allows LEARN to maintain net neutrality on their network.

Both Sever and Phillips agreed that the private consumer would be affected by the reversal of net neutrality. Plenty of organizations and groups are petitioning the FCC to re-define broadband.

More information is available at http://www.aclu.org or http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality.

Men unite to walk a mile in her shoes

WalkinhershoesBACKUPPepper-spray, rape whistles, personal alarms, stun-guns, anti-rape condoms, and most recently a nail polish that detects date rape drugs help deter sexual assaults.

Such deterrents help women, who often see every unknown male as a potential threat.

A full-time student, who also works full-time as a waitress, shared a horrifying story during class. Normally she does not have the time to do her hair or makeup. One day, she found the time, and went to work. She felt confident, made a few more tips, and had a good night. After closing, she walked to her car and saw a note on the windshield.

The note said: “I just wanted to let you know, I got my eye on you and your p—-.” She no longer felt safe; confidence and happiness were replaced with fear and violation.

Another woman in the class, obviously upset, said: “Just because you wore makeup.” This woman wasn’t blaming the victim and was simply frustrated because the one day she dressed up she was violated. The way it was said struck me at my core.

This had nothing to do with her wearing makeup. It had everything to do with the person who left the note. That person either had no idea what is acceptable behavior, or actually believed that it was a flattering comment, or even worse, knew that it was wrong but did it anyway. It was easy to dislike this person, but then our culture helps create this person’s attitude and it is part of a larger problem.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, an average of 237,868 people are victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year. That is one every two minutes. Sixty percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police and 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail. Approximately two-thirds of the assaults are committed by someone known to the victim; 38 percent of rapists are a friend or an acquaintance.

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (2008-2012), sexual assault has fallen by more than 50 percent in recent years. Does that mean we went from one rape every minute to every two minutes?

Why do women fear men? The answer is sadly, because we, as men, have allowed our society to become perverse and corrupted. Some might argue that rape has always existed, but should we sit idly by and just shrug?

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Awareness has spread in recent years. Frank Baird created Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® in 2001. According to the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes website, “What started out as a small group of men daring to totter around a park has grown to become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs.”

Men, the next time another guy says something lewd or vulgar, call them on it, regardless of who it is. Would you allow them to say that about your mother or sister?

I’m not advocating confrontation or violence, but silence is the same as outright toleration. If you want to make the world safer for your mothers, sisters and daughters, you have to be willing to speak out.

For information or help, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or the Midland Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy Center at 432-682-RAPE (7273). More information is available at http://www.RAINN.org or http://www.mrccac.org.

TOMS founder to visit MC next semester

Toms shoes can be seen being worn by all age ranges over the world. Founder of Toms shoes, Blake Mycoskie will be at the Chaparral Center Tuesday March 24, 2015 at 7:30 P.M.Mycoskie will be speaking as part of the Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series. Midland College has hosted the lecture series since 1996. Lectures are given once every fall and spring.

Mycoskie is most known for being an entrepreneur, philanthropist and author. The Toms shoes company was founded in 2006. Mycoskie has also started an eyeglass brand named One for One. The eyeglasses have the same concept as the shoes. For every one bought, one is given to someone less fortunate.

Mycoskie was invited to speak at MC by Dean of Community Relations and Special Events, Rebecca Bell.

“I’m in touch with several speaking agencies and one of the agencies mentioned to me that they were representing Blake Mycoskie,” Bell said. A committee, on which Bell serves, decides on who to invite to be a part of the lecture series. “I know the students of philanthropy groups here at Midland College had read Mr. Mycoskie’s book, so I mentioned to the committee that he was available and that I thought he would appeal to students,” Bell said.

The lecture series is funded by an endowment that was given to MC by the Davidson family in 1996. Funding is taken from the interest on the donation. A group called the Friends of the Series also donates money to make the lecture series possible.

“They give $1000 a year. They can give money to our performing arts series or our lecture series,” Bell said.

The name Mycoskie may not sound familiar to all students, but his shoe brand might make them more intrigued to hear him speak. “Even though students might not know the name ‘Blake Mycoskie’ they know the name Toms Shoes,” Bell said.

Former people who have spoken for the Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series vary from authors, historians, actors, comedians, musicians and former presidents. “We’ve had former president of Mexico Vicente Fox, Jane Goodall, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ken Burns, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ben Stein, and our very first one was David McCullough,” Bell said.

The event is open to everyone and all are encouraged to go.

“I think it’s an excellent learning opportunity. They would be very hard pressed to be able to get this anywhere else for free,” MC Executive Vice President Dr. Richard Jolly said.

The Friends of the Series get preferred seating, but there will still be plenty of good seating left. Jolly said, “There isn’t a bad seat in the house. Friends of the Series usually get a yellow or green ticket and they sit on the floor. Anybody else that goes gets a different colored ticket and they sit in the stands in the Chap Center.”

Students are thrilled to get the opportunity to see Mycoskie. “I’m excited to hear what he has to say. I know he does a lot of good, charitable things for people, so it would be nice to see someone so generous in a world that lacks positivity,” MC student Marla Wilson said.

Students are invited to bring whoever they want.Jolly said,”I would highly recommend that everyone go, and that they get a ticket early.”

Some students are already planning on attending and bringing others along.

“I’m definitely bringing my friends. We all have worn Toms Shoes and we support and admire him,” Wilson said. MC staff and students think positively of Mycoskie and praise him for his work.Jolly said, “What a wonderful thing that he’s done. He gives water to underdeveloped communities and it’s fanned out to shoes and eyeglasses. You buy one and for every one he sells, he gives one away. That’s called social responsibility. That’s something we can all learn from.”

Mycoskie will be In Midland during the spring for one night only. Tickets are not required for general admission, but for preferred seating. For more information, visit http://www.midlandcollegefoundation.org or call (432) 685-4526.

Drag Queens offer different outlook

Having duct tape, a lace-front wig and a fierce walk is just the beginning of being a drag queen.  The number of drag queens is growing, and they are taking over stages and clubs across the country. When hearing the term ‘drag queen,’ some just think of cross dressers, when being a queen takes much more. In 2009, television network Logo TV aired the first episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

The show has been going strong for six seasons and shows audiences how much work goes into being a drag queen. From what I can tell, queens have a much better wardrobe, makeup and hair style techniques than I do. It’s amazing to see the queens after they “beat” their faces. Some of the contestants from past seasons of Ru Paul’s Drag Race have gone on to make their own music videos, star in other TV shows,  model for clothing companies, and star in music videos for pop artists like Lady Gaga and Ke$ha.

It takes much more than just looking and acting like a girl to be a drag queen. Queens have to have to be funny, know how to act, perform, put outfits together that often require sewing, have a drag name. They have to have a personality larger than life. Queens are so inspiring in many ways because they aren’t afraid or ashamed to be who they want, no matter what anyone says. They work hard to leave their mark on the world and spread their name as far as they can.

Queens don’t give up, no matter how difficult things become. Assuming that majority of drag queens are homosexual or transgender, they get more criticism and face more obstacles than the rest of us. Some of my favorite queens are Courtney Act, Adore Delano, Sharon Needles, Alaska and Bianca Del Rio. My other three favorite queens are from cities close to home and have performed in clubs as close as Lubbock. Miss Alyssa Edwards is from Mesquite, Shangela is from Paris, and Laganja Estranja comes from Dallas.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for drag queens. They encourage eachother and build eachother up instead of kicking them down is inspiring. The amount of love and self respect they have for themselves is contagious. It’s refreshing to see people who have lacked support, love from others, and acceptance believe in themselves and push themselves to accomplish goals and live dreams. I can’t imagine the positive vibes that radiate off of them in person. I feel more positive about everything by just watching them.

There are many celebrities who admire drag queens as much as I do. There is a celebrity wish list for guest judges on season seven of Ru Pauls’s Drag Race. Johnny Depp,Daniel Radcliffe, Iggy Azalea, P!nk, and YouTube stars Tyler Oakley and Shane Dawson are among the 200 on the list.

Their fun personalities spark up a room and have people laughing until it hurts. Queens are dramatic and quirky. They even have their own set of definitions for average words. For a queen, Shade doesn’t mean a place to get out of the sun.

Fish isn’t an animal that swims in water, and sickening is not a bad thing. Their lingo, jokes and opinions might be hard to swallow at times, but can become part of your everyday life. Without realizing it, you won’t go to class in sweats and baggy T-shirts anymore. You’ll be serving couch potato realness. Before asking yourself “is that a girl or guy,” remember that it doesn’t matter because even if they’re a part-time girl, they are still people with jobs, worries, dreams and insecurities just like you.

Zombie scares American audiences

Horror movies, costumes and fear-filled nights are what people expect around Halloween. Here to satisfy is rock star, writer, and director, Rob Zombie who has given America the privilege of attending an event that provides everything anyone could want on Halloween. There are two locations for visitors to attend, Scottsdale, AZ and Villa Park, IL.

Opening night for Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare started in September. The last day to go will be Nov. 1. The hours are 7-10p.m. Thursdays and Sundays. and 7-12p.m.  Fridays and Saturdays

The first two opening nights, Zombie performed for visitors, who headlined with The Devil Wears Prada. Other bands visitors can expect to see are Ghost Town, Vampires Everywhere! and the Butcher babies. Other events included are three attractions at each location. There is also an area named Blood Boulevard where there are freak shows, horror themed refreshments, vendors, music acts and characters that roam around.

Everything is indoors. It is advised to not wear flip flops or high heels. Though the attractions are open to all ages, it is suggested that no one bring anyone under the age of 13 because of how terrifying things can get.

The haunted houses at the Villa Park location include the Haunt of 1000 Corpses, Lords of Salem in Total Black Out, and El Superbeasto in 3D.  The Haunt of 1000 corpses takes visitors through the Museum of Monsters and Madmen, a recreation of the one from Zombie’s movies House of 1000 Corpses. It also includes a murder ride which allows riders to come face-to-face with infamous serial killers like Charles Manson and John Wayne Gacey.

The Lords of Salem attraction takes visitors through a 60-degree maze. According to a video posted on the website, all visitors have a bag placed over their heads throughout the entire maze. Those who are afraid of the dark or who have claustrophobia are advised against going through this attraction.

The El Superbeasto attraction incorporates humor and fright. It is based on another film by Zombie and is an attraction for visitors with faint hearts. It has a surprised entrance and is guaranteed to have visitors laughing and screaming.

The Scottsdale location also has the Lords of Salem attraction. The other haunted houses are The Devil’s Rejects and Captain Spaulding’s Clown School in 3D. Both attractions are based on Zombie’s movies The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses. The Devil’s Rejects attraction makes visitors a part of the group of state troopers who are searching for a family of murderers, the Fireflys. Captain Spaulding’s Clown School is promised to scare the bravest person and make visitors feel as if they are hallucinating.

Those who attend are likely to have a great time. Granted, Zombie is a genius when it comes to making people scream, cringe and jump from fright, his haunted houses are sure to exceed expectations. A website with more information, ticket sales, videos and pictures is http://www.greatamericannightmare.com/

Tickets can be purchased online or at the location’s box office. For general admission, tickets are $25 online and $30 at the box office. There are two VIP ticket options. VIP1 gives visitors a t-shirt and faster access to attractions. VIP2 tickets give visitors a t-shirt and immediate access to attractions. VIP1 tickets are $36 online, $45 at the box office. VIP2 tickets are $50 online and $60 at the box office.

Paranormal activity reported in downtown Midland

Unexplainable sounds, moving objects and disappearing items are just a few experiences some Midland residents and visitors have witnessed at three haunted buildings located on Main Street. Cigar Frogs is a local piano bar that has been serving a variety of music, wine, beer and cigars to its customers since it’s opening in August of 2009. Before opening, owners Joe and Martha Dunham knew the building was haunted from the time they started renovating it.

The first indication they had that assured them something was going on was when one of the people working on the building went to get a chalk line from a table which tools were kept on, and it was missing. He asked the rest of the crew if they had seen or taken the tools and no one had. “Two weeks to the day, they walked in and the chalk line was on the table,” Mrs. Dunham said.

One Sunday the owners and crew were working on décor for the building. “I had laid a pair of scissors down on the bar to go to Michael’s. I came back and the scissors were gone. The bar was closed. When we found them, they were in the back storage room,” Mrs. Dunham said. Another time while renovating, more tools went missing. “I had two, old claw hammers. When we came in the next day they were gone and two others were there that didn’t belong to anyone,” Mr. Dunham said.

The Dunham’s aren’t the only ones who have witnessed anything abnormal in their bar. “We had a young man ask ‘Do y’all have anything unusual happen or things moved around? My family used to own the Jewelry store in this building and we had things like that happen all the time.’ ”, Mrs. Dunham said. Not only have people experienced their things going missing, but some believe to have seen an apparition. “A couple of times, customers have caught glimpse of a young man who is described as Hispanic, young and slim built. I’ve never seen him,” Mrs. Dunham said.

The ghost is called Jack and has never been harmful to anyone who has entered the bar. “He’s not mean, just mischievous,” Mr. Dunham said. Jack has been said to be fascinated with electronics.  “He turns the hand dryers on in the bathrooms and turns off the lights. Water has started running on its own,” Mrs. Dunham said.  “I was in the bathroom and the lights turned off. I yelled, ‘Jack, turn on the lights,’ and they turned back on,” Mr. Dunham added.

The security cameras have never caught evidence of Jack, but has detected that someone was in the building. “The dot that blinks at the upper left (of the security camera), that only blinks when somebody is in the picture. Sometimes there will be no one there, but the light will be blinking,” Mrs. Dunham said. Once, the humidifier in the humidor was turned up while the bar was closed. It was thought to have been a customer, but the security camera showed that no one touched it.

Most of the activity happens in the area between the bar and the sports room. “One time, my husband and a customer were sitting at the bar and a glass slid from one end of the bar to the other, fell and broke,” Mrs. Dunham said. There are glass refrigerators used to store beer located behind the bar that Mrs. Dunham has seen the reflection of someone in while she was the only one there.

A Cigar Frogs employee, Katelyn Craft, who has worked there for over a year believes that there is someone or something that haunts the bar. “Sometimes you’ll walk in and it will feel still. It feels a little uncomfortable, but as soon as you get into your routine it goes away,” Craft said. The lounge area closest the bar has had its share of odd happenings as well.

“We had a group of people sitting right here (lounge area) and one of the light bulbs unscrewed itself and shattered on the ground,” Craft said. She explained that the fan had been on, but at a low setting. Craft has also seen someone in the bar while there alone. “You can just be standing here. It’ll just be you and you can see someone moving around in the humidor through the security cameras,” Craft said.

Craft has also heard noises throughout the building. “You can be here completely by yourself and the doors will sound like they had been opened, but they won’t be open,” Craft said. Once there was a couple who didn’t believe that the bar was haunted. They were sitting around the same area where the light bulb fell, and decorative ivy that was hanging on the wall fell down beside them.

Two of the buildings next to Cigar frogs are said to be haunted too. A former manager of Cigar Frogs was working when two ladies came in who appeared to be flustered. “She (manager) said they were both white as sheets. She asked if she could help them and they asked if they could have a bottle of water and sit down for a few minutes. She asked if something was wrong. And they said yes,” Mrs. Dunham said.

The two ladies were working on the building next door and heard a scream coming from the third floor. They ran upstairs and there was no one there. “They didn’t know they were alone until they got to the third floor and realized they were the only ones there. They said they would never go back,” Mrs. Dunham said.

Another building next door to Cigar Frogs, formerly known as The Ritz is also said to be haunted. Mr. and Mrs. Dunham originally rented the building to start Cigar Frogs but the building was bought by PBS. Before it was bought out, the Dunham’s, along with a group of others including a professional ghost hunter and psychic went into The Ritz to do an investigation.

During the investigation, the psychic felt a presence and asked Mrs. Dunham if the name Jack Dial meant anything to her. “I tried researching that name but never found anything,” Mrs. Dunham said. After the investigation, the people from the group had discovered orbs in photos of The Ritz. One of the people from the group also complained about feeling someone being too close to them and feeling uncomfortable.

The buildings in that area are some of the older establishments in the area. The building where Cigar Frogs is located was built in 1935. The things that have happened throughout the years in those three buildings are unknown, but one thing for sure is that paranormal activity has taken place.