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Gamers in Texas who want to share their passion with a crowd of like-minded individuals have had a few limiting options to do so in the past. There’s QuakeCon in Dallas, which is mainly focused on PC games. If you’re into pinball and classic arcade games, there’s the Texas Pinball Festival in Frisco. The ScrewAttack Gaming Convention is a little more general, but still relatively low-key, and Austin’s South by Southwest only has a small portion dedicated to gaming. While these events are popular, with attendance in the thousands, they pale in comparison to what folks on the east and west coast have been enjoying for years. Early next year, Texas gamers will finally get to see what they’ve been missing out on with PAX South.
On April 12, during the second day of PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts, Penny Arcade announced that they are bringing their extravagant gaming festival to San Antonio, Texas starting in early 2015.
Many consider PAX to be a gaming mecca, a celebration of all corners of gaming, from video games to tabletop. Fans from all over the world congregate at PAX events to celebrate their love for games by getting together to play video games, roll dice and toss cards in board games, throw down the gauntlet in competitive “e-sports,” demonstrate their creativity with their own independently developed games, and show off their costuming skills in game-themed cosplay.
In addition to the legion of fans in attendance, large game publishers also use PAX as a means of showing off the latest and greatest in the gaming world. Previous events featured showings from big companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, debuting games that have never been seen before. Industry figures from games media and game development also use PAX as an opportunity to connect personally with their fans through informative and highly entertaining panels and workshops.
PAX South actually marks the fourth iteration of the convention, joining the ranks of PAX Prime in Seattle, PAX East in Boston, and PAX Australia in Melbourne.
In a press release, Penny Arcade president Robert Khoo stated, “Since its launch in 2004, PAX events have doubled in size almost every year, and our Seattle and Boston events represent the two largest gaming festivals in North America. We’ve been hearing for years that those in the south had a tough time making it to the northern corners of the country; PAX South has always been a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if.’”
PAX attendance numbers have grown to more than 70,000 attendees at each event. Three-day passes for the recently concluded PAX East 2014 sold out within 3 minutes of going on sale, 154 days before the actual event. For those interested in attending PAX South in January, be on the look out for when tickets go on sale in the coming months, or you might risk missing out on the biggest gaming celebration in Texas.
PAX South will be held next year from January 23rd to the 25th at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio.
By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra
Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten registration for students planning to enroll at North Lamar Independent School District for the 2014-2015 school year are now in progress through April 30 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Parents are encouraged to register their child at W. L. Higgins Elementary or Aaron Parker Elementary in order to plan for an adequate number of students.
The only qualification for those entering kindergarten in the fall is that the student must be five years of age on or before September 1, 2014.
Qualifications for pre-kindergarten students include: be four years of age on or before September 1, 2014; unable to speak and comprehend the English language; or from a family whose income qualifies the child to receive free or reduced lunches; or homeless; or the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States who is ordered to active duty by proper authority; or the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was injured or killed while serving on active duty; or the child has ever been in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services following an adversary hearing. Those attending Higgins must have transportation at midday. Pre-kindergarten will be offered only for children according to the above criteria provided an adequate number of students preregister.
Items needed for both kindergarten and pre-kindergarten registrations include: child’s birth certificate; child’s shot record; child’s Social Security card; verification of residence in NLISD; and custody paper if applicable. Verification of family income is needed only for pre-kindergarten.
For more information or to inquire about later registration hours, call Higgins Elementary at 903.737.2081, Parker Elementary at 903.732.3066, or North Lamar ISD Administration Building at 903.737.2000.
For Lamar County Head Start registration, call Parker Elementary School or the Head Start Office at 903.737.7469.
Special services are available to eligible children from birth through age 21. For questions or concerns regarding a child’s abilities, please call ECI at 903.885.6437 or North Lamar ISD at 903.737.2031.
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The Lamar Delta County Medical Society will host another “Walk With a Doc” on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 6 pm at Dragon Park behind Paris Junior College (across from the Love Civic Center).
Walkers will enjoy a refreshing walk with Dr. Amanda Green and other health care professionals, who will provide support and answer questions during the walk. There will be a 5-10 minute presentation at the beginning of the walk, and a limited number of free pedometers and T-shirts will be available for participants.
Blood pressure monitoring will be available on site. Dr. Green encourages anyone in the community of any age to join the walk. This is a free program and preregistration is not required. Future walks will be announced via the Walk With a Doc website,http://www.walkwithadoc.org/, and are currently scheduled for May 15 at 6 pm.
The Paris Walk with a Doc program is part of a state-wide initiative funded by a grant from the Texas Medical Association Foundation with major support from the Aetna Foundation. The grants help TMA doctors host walks with their patients, as well as provide marketing and promotional materials, and cover technical support from the Walk With a Doc organization.
Walk With a Doc is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of the country. “This program has had tremendous participation and success in many other cities around the country, ” said Dr. Green. “I’m very pleased to be part of this exciting and simple program that shows improved health results for so many people.”
Why walk? “There is no question that increasing exercise, even moderately, reduces the risks of many diseases, including coronary artery disease, breast and colon cancer, and Type 2 diabetes, ” said Dr. Green. “Research has even shown that you could gain two hours of life for each hour that you exercise regularly.” According to the American Heart Association, walking as little as 30 minutes a day can provide these health benefits: improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, help maintain a healthy body weight and lower the risk of obesity, enhance mental well-being, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
“Walk With a Doc allows physicians to interact with their patients outside the office, where they can see their doctors practice what they preach. What’s discussed in the office is put int motion outside the office,” said Debbie Fuller, MD, vice president of the TMA Foundation and immediate past chair of the TMA Council on Health Promotion. She said patients’ comments and questions during the walks tend to feed off one another as they discuss general health and lifestyle issues with a person they trust – their physician. “It’s me and my patients, real-life in sweats together, just talking about health and well-being while we’re out getting exercise,” she said.
About the Lamar Delta County Medical Society (LDCMS): LDCMS members include 60 local general medicine physicians as well as subspecialists. The membership has supported the local Kids’ Marathon, Hard Hats for Little Heads, as well as 5-7 $1000 scholarships yearly to promote Paris students interested in health careers. To learn more, go tohttp://www.ldcms.org/
About Texas Medical Association (TMA): TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. FMA Foundation raises funds to support the public health and science priority initiatives of the TMA. To learn more, go to http://www.texmed.org/.
About Walk With a Doc: Walk with a Doc is a non-profit organization that encourages healthy physical activity in people of all ages, to reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of the country. Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir, a board certified cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio. To learn more, go to http://www.walkwithadoc.org/.
Helen Darnell Burks, 84, of Paris entered into eternal rest just minutes before her 85th birthday Monday April 14, 2014 in Paris. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday April 17, 2014 at Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home with Bro. Herb Bullock officiating. Burial will follow in Providence Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home 1 hour prior to service from 10 until 11.
Helen was born on April 15, 1929 in Lamar County a daughter of Buford and Wanda Finch Darnell. She was a graduate of Blossom High School. She married Elwood Burks on December 14, 1952. She was employed for 8 years at Franklins Dress Shop on the west side of the Plaza. She later went to work for Beall’s Department Store on the north side of the Plaza and retired after 27 years working in sales in the ladies department. She was a charter member of Springlake Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband Elwood Burks in 2002.
She is survived by 2 children Debbie Burks of Paris, Linda White and husband Albert of Windom, TX, grandchildren Aaron White and Amanda, Bryan White; great grandchildren, Sage, Ayden, Peyton; a brother Joe Darnell of Owasso, OK, sister-in-law Billie Burks Becknal of Lubbock; an aunt Frances Finch Hoover and husband Raymond of Paris; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of friends including Leonard and Alma Johnson.
Pallbearers will be Leonard Johnson, John Draper, Larry Grinstead, Fred Fangio, Bryan White and Aaron White.
Online condolences may be made at www.fry-gibbs.com.