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Life returns to normal at Shepherd after peace talks

January 11, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The end of the Mideast peace talks here Monday meant life could return to normal at Shepherd College.

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No more spotlights shining into dormitory windows. No more helicopters carrying President Clinton buzzing in and out of the campus at all hours of the day and night.

No more orders to stay inside when the choppers were taking off or landing.

But then again, it was pretty cool, said Shepherd College student Denise Turner.

"It's just exciting to see them land on our baseball field, the baseball field that no one is allowed on except the baseball players," said Turner.

Shepherd students were on winter break, with classes resuming today. Those who stayed behind were required to follow a few rules during the talks, such as carrying their photo IDs with them at all times.

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The IDs were to ensure only Shepherd students were going in and out of the dorms, said sophomore Ryan Keelor.

Additionally, students were not allowed to open their dorm windows when Clinton's helicopter was arriving or departing.

Briana Stansberry forgot about the rule last Monday night when Marine One was leaving the baseball field.

Stansberry heard the helicopter outside her room, but could not see it through her bathroom window.

She opened it, only to be faced with a spotlight being pointed at her by a Secret Service agent, she said.

"It's kind of scary," she said.

Several students in Thacher Hall recalled an incident last week in which a student walked outside the West Woods dormitory to smoke a cigarette one night when Clinton's helicopter was landing.

The student realized he had done something wrong when he saw what he believed was a red laser beam pointed at him, students said.

One night, U.S. Marines allowed students to look inside one of the helicopters and try on their night-vision goggles, Keelor said.

The special glasses turn everything green but enable the wearers to see in the dark, Keelor and other students said.

"I've always watched it on these action films, and then to see it was unreal," Keelor said.

Monday was Frank Gorecki's first day at Shepherd after his transfer from Essex Community College in Baltimore.

Gorecki said he was home on holiday break when he saw the news on TV that Shepherdstown was hosting peace talks between Israel and Syria.

"It was like 'Whoa, I'm going to school up there.' It's kind of neat," Gorecki said.

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