Friday, October 31, 2014

Netflix becomes even more addicting with classic shows

By: Haley Taylor

Netflix puts movies and TV shows online for a price. Recently added that has caused a lot of hype is “Gilmore Girls” which first aired in 2000. The full set of “Gilmore Girls” was released to Netflix October 1. Netflix believed that “Gilmore Girls” never got the full recognition it deserved. It was an extremely full, personal show which kept the audience alive. “Gilmore Girls” never really had closure, so fans are excited to continue watching indefinitely.

   Sophmore Allie Hamilton, said, “My life is now solely dedicated to watching Gilmore Girls.”

   To date, the biggest announcement Netflix has ever made is “Friends” will be available on the website January 1. Netflix announced the big news by publishing a video featuring  the show’s theme song by The Rembrants. The full set will be available, which includes 236 episodes and “lost” ones as well. Viewers would spend approximately 83 hours to watch them all. The Netflix deal comes with “Friends” is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a Central Perk pop-up coffee shop in New York. This marks the first time that NBC series will be available on a streaming service.

   Junior Skye Stover, said, “Friends is the best thing that has happened to Netflix.”

   A Netflix original that will be aired on March 2015 is “Bloodline.” The entire first season of 13 episodes will be available all at once. “Bloodline” will focus on a “close knit family with secrets and scars.” It will feature Kyle Chandler, known for “Friday Night Lights.” It is expected to be ranked as high as “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards.” 

   Netflix will continue to gain a following of teenagers much like the past with classic hit TV series becoming available.
 Viking marching band finishes competition                                        
By: Perri Williams
   The Ripley High Viking Marching Band just finished up another competition season with this year’s theme, “Go West.”  It was an extremely successful season for everyone involved including Field Commanders senior Megan Frampton, senior Caleigh Neil, and sophomore Samantha Border.
   The Field Commanders won first in open class at the Poca festival, being the first from Ripley in more than three years.
   “I didn't know how to react,” said Frampton. “Tears just started rolling down my face when I heard. It feels great knowing all our hard work this year paid off, especially with our luck in previous years.”
   Speaking of winning, the Color Guard finished off the season undefeated. Captains senior Alyssa Ballard and senior Elizabeth King led the 18 member strong flag group pulled off this amazing feat with no coaching all competition season. Though a coach choreographs all routines in the summer, after that, it’s up to the girls to pull everything together.
   “It was an honor to get to be a part of such a great group of girls. I’m so proud to know that Elizabeth and I helped everyone accomplish an undefeated season,” said Ballard.
   Director Sherry Poole is proud to have been as successful as the band was this season. However, she wishes they could have gotten the judges more on their side.
   “It’s  a little aggravating knowing that we were the crowd favorite all year, but the judges just wouldn't feel the same,” says Poole. “I had parents from other bands come up to me to tell me that we deserved to win, but sadly the judges didn't agree.”
   Though she isn't telling her ideas for next year’s show theme, it’s sure to entertain, as the band never disappoints.
   “I’m grateful to have wonderful kids in my band, and I’m ready to finish out this football season with a bang!” she says.
   Congratulations to the band, guard, and field commanders for a great competition season!

Grab-n-Go breakfast becoming popular

By: Krissa Scarberry
After a few years of Grab-n-Go lunch, Grab-n-Go breakfast is now and option here at the school.  Grab-n-Go breakfast  is one 3 options that are listed in the 2013 West Virginia “Feed to Achieve” Act. This new law was put in place to ensure that every child in West Virginia is offered the opportunity to receive a minimum of two meals per day. Other options include Breakfast after 1st period, and breakfast in the classroom. Grab-n-Go is the most popular program offered in West Virginia.
“The goal was to offer additional opportunities for students to receive nutritious meals and be ready to learn.” Said School Nutrition Program Director Debbie Harper.
Grab-n-Go breakfast is available at the concession stand in the main lobby of the school. It is available every morning, and students may pick up a bagged breakfast and go, in exchange for their student ID number. Grab-n-Go breakfast may be eaten in the time before school starts, or in the first five minutes of 1st period.
“During this 2014-15 school year, meal counts for breakfast have gone from a low of 39 to a high of 182. While the number of students taking the grab-n-go has gone from 7-60, Ripley High School averaged 169 breakfast served per day in October 2014 as compared to an average of 173 per day in October 2013.” Said Harper.
“I never used to eat breakfast in the mornings because it always took away time for me to hang out with my friends. The only bad part about it is that it makes me sleepy in first period, but overall I think it was a great idea,” said freshman Donovan Jeffers.

Grab-n-go breakfast is the newest addition to the school’s meal plan and seems to be a good strategy this school year. Many students are taking this opportunity and using it to their advantage. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure you stop by and see what’s on the menu.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Miss(ter) Pretty in Pink Pageant raises funds

Miss(ter) Pretty in Pink pageant raises funds
By: Lucas Blankenship
   Saturday October 18, the Ripley High School cheerleaders put on the Miss(ter) Pretty in Pink pageant to raise money not only for themselves but also for breast cancer research.
   The evening was kicked off with a speech by Becky Tucker, a breast cancer survivor.
   “I got Facebook messages, text messages, phone calls, flowers, quilts, letters, cards, and anything else you can think of, some from people I didn’t even know,” she said.  “Remember the blessings.  You are not alone.”
   The event was hosted by English teacher Jamie Meckley who introduced the contestants: seniors Easton Berry, Morgan Graves, Bradley Knotts, Triston Lanham, and Eldrick Millares; juniors Tyler Hilbert, J.J. Mahan, Cody Pittenger, and Aaron Wilkinson; sophomores Dalton Fisher, Anthony Jarvis, and Todd Withrow.  The Senior Division included Coach Luke Parsons and Morgan Clendinen.
   Meckley gave a performance of her own with a rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” between the introduction and talent portions.
   “I enjoyed singing on stage,” said Meckley.  “I love entertaining, which is why I enjoy teaching as well.”
   For the talent portion, most contestants danced or lip synched, while some did something different.
   “My mime routine was a last minute decision,” said Withrow.  “I didn’t want to do the same thing as everyone else.”
   Next came the evening gown competition where the contestants paraded in their finest dresses.
   “Now I know why it takes girls so long to get ready,” said Wilkinson, who looked like a princess in his pink ball gown and tiara.  “I felt pretty.”
   During the intermission, attendees got the chance to vote for their favorite contestant by dropping money into pink paper bags with the participants’ names.  Lanham won “Fan Favorite” as well as the overall competition with his shocking jump split at the end of his dance routine during the talent portion.
   “I thought it was a good experience and a lot of fun,” said Lanham who was not expecting to win.  “After that split,  my legs were shaking and my back was numb.  Bradley Knotts had to help me down the steps because I could barely walk.  That split was pure adrenaline.  I just did it and threw my earrings into the crowd.”
   The cheerleaders raised over $500 for themselves and more than $360 for breast cancer research.

   “The pageant was very successful,” said cheerleader Kelsey Holmes.  “The boys had a lot of fun.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ebola panic sweeps nation By: Alexa Johnson

   Unless you have been living under a rock, you have most likely heard about the ever- so threatening Ebola virus. The Ebola virus originates from West Africa, it first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, Yambuku and the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola is spread by direct contact such as, broken skin, organs or other bodily fluid of infected people.
   The first symptoms of Ebola include fever, fatigue, muscle weakness, sore throat and in some rare cases internal or external bleeding. Despite the gruesome symptoms, there really is not much to worry about. The single digit of people in America that have it are being quarantined and cannot come in contact with anyone not wearing a biohazard suit. The safety measures in America are so much stronger than in third world countries why it spreads so easily in those countries. So for those worrying about an outbreak you have nothing to stress about.
    While Ebola is a terrible disease it has been prevalent in Africa since the 1970s and the media has just now caught up with it when it came to America so living in constant fear that you will catch Ebola won’t really help matters. Also, living in a very progressive country we have more medical knowledge and supplies to fight off an outbreak should one happen. The Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) is doing everything they can to screen people coming from the effected regions of Africa.
    The first Ebola diagnosis in the U.S was reported September 30 at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and sadly, the patient died on October 8. The CDC then reports a second case diagnosed on October 11th, a nurse at the same hospital the first patient was treated in. 
    A third case at the same site, another health care worker caring for the patient, was diagnosed October 15. Among earlier confirmed U.S. Ebola cases were two Americans who returned already ill from West Africa for treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. They were treated and released virus free. In a Gallup poll of over one thousand Americans taken on October 5, 2014, one fifth were worried about contracting Ebola. Still, the chances you'll be exposed to Ebola in the United States are very low because of the tight infection control practices of public health workers here.
   CDC workers are taking steps to identify anyone who may have been in contact with the first patients with Ebola, who were hospitalized in Texas. Health workers are stepping up infection control practices that will include isolating any of the patients' contacts who may become ill. Tom Frieden M.D director of the CDC stressed in a public statement that the situation here in the United States, where health care systems are strong, will be far different from the experience in West Africa. He noted that he has no doubts about the ability to contain Ebola here.

   Meanwhile, public health officials are working hard in West Africa to contain the disease and prevent its spread. Researchers around the world are looking for ways to prevent and treat Ebola by searching for a vaccine and cure. The first human safety tests of a new trial vaccine are underway, developed with the U.S. National Institutes of Health. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

News Briefs
By: Kaitlyn Thomas
 Ebola hits the United States
    Ebola is an infectious and often fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids. Three people in the US are infected currently. They are all from Texas. Three other people have recovered, also from Texas. The symptoms of Ebola include: fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain and unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding and bruising). The symptoms will appear 2-10 days after exposure. There is currently no cure for the virus, but if you recover from the virus you will be immune to Ebola for up to ten years.
ISIS is back to killing and torturing 
   Three girls from Denver skipped school and were on their way to Syria to join ISIS. Many people from the US have tried to leave and join the terrorist group over 100 of the foreign fighters have come from the United States. ISIS seems to behind the reason for all of the Americans leaving. Seven troops from the US were killed by ISIS members for things they were posting on social media.
Puppy mill in Jackson County
   Over 135 dogs were rescued from Shirley Rhodes home in Cottageville. She was charged with 45 counts of animal cruelty. The dogs were seen to be in very bad shape. Many had health issues such as eye and ear infections. The dogs smelt of urine and feces. All of the dogs were small breeds like malteses, pugs and many more. Anyone willing to adopt one of these poor dogs can make a quick stop by the humane Society or Jackson County, (located in Cottageville). Feel free to call if you have any questions, 304-372-6064.
First choir concert of the year

   On Tuesday, October 21 the choir hit off their first concert in the auditorium of Ripley High. They have 16 members leaving this year after graduation, 13 of members of chamber choir, and three are a part of Concert Choir. Senior Caleigh Neal, said “I do not want senior year in choir to ever end because it is my very favorite part of the day!” It seems bittersweet when you attend your first and last event of the year. The choir has many more great concerts coming up. Come out and support your fellow classmates! 
New academic policy putting more students on social probation  

By: Abbey Vidrine

   Social probation is a restriction placed upon a student who fails to demonstrate responsible behavior and who has chosen to violate the school's code of conduct, school board policy or the law. Several factors can decide whether or not a student will be placed on social probation, which some are new to students. Social probation has always dealt with attendance, behavior, and WESTEST scores. However, an academic component has been added to the list this year.
   If a student receives two or more F’s on their six- week report card, they will immediately be placed on social probation. The punishment will last six weeks. Many students question why their grades determine if they will be placed on social probation.
   Junior Caylee Painter adds, “What if they put you in classes that you don’t want to be in, but you can’t switch out, and it’s too hard for you to do?”
   However, Principal Will Hosaflook explained, “If students give maximum effort, there is no way that they are going to fail.”
   He went on to explain that academics are also Ripley High’s mission statement, and that is what he is trying to protect. It is all about accountability, and preparing students for their life beyond high school.
   Although this may only last six weeks, students still have an opportunity to be relieved from their punishment. Any student placed on social probation can attend after- school tutoring for 18 hours. This would be equivalent to nine school days, compared to a whole six weeks. Academic social probation is based on every six week’s report card. Therefore, students always have the chance to bring up their grades and get off probation. Other arrangements can be made with the administration to relieve a student from social probation as well. They can also do credit recovery or attend summer school.
   When on social probation, participation in extracurricular activities will not be permitted. Violators will be escorted from the premises, and trespassing charges may be filed. Administration is always looking out for students on social probation during after school activities. At sporting events, the staff uses student WEVIS numbers to print off pictures of everyone on social probation. Also, Students cannot buy any dance tickets prior to or at the dance.
   Social probation is a result of misbehavior, violation of the school’s attendance, and its academic policy. It has affected several students at Ripley High School and will continue to do so.

Freedom to marry legalized in West Virginia
By: Hannah Johnson
October 9, Supreme Court order in the Fourth Circuit legalized gay marriage in five states, causing the legalization in West Virginia. West Virginia is the twenty-ninth state to legalize same sex marriage, followed after the legalization in Wisconsin on October 6, 2014.
Legalization in West Virginia is important due to three court cases filed by Lambda Legal, a representative law firm, claiming that the ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional. In one case, McGlee v. Cole, the couple were married for 16 years in another state but once they resided in West Virginia their marriage was no longer valid, which can cause conflicting issues with the Constitution under “full faith and credit”. Full faith and credit clause-Article IV, Section I in the Constitution, identifies that all states must recognize legislative acts, judicial decisions, and public records of other states. Ripley High School history teacher Steve Sayre gives his opinion about gay marriage in accordance to the Constitution saying that, “In the Constitution same sex marriages should be recognized by all states when one state issues these licenses. Whether a person agrees with this or not, the laws to allow same sex marriage should be constitutionally legal.” However, the same sex married couple in McGlee v. Cole and their child no longer gained the benefits they received in the previous state because West Virginia did not recognize same sex marriage.
West Virginia’s attorney general and governor agreed to put an end to defending the state’s anti-marriage ban and ultimately brought an end to the ban on same-sex marriages and ended three pending court cases.
To some, this is an upset, but to others it is a move further to equal opportunity. Emma Barnette states, “Gay people should have the right to get married, just like everyone else.” Same sex couples that do marry are required to complete the same marriage certificate as a heterosexual marriage. Being married, each spouse will receive the benefits of a married couple, including being acknowledged by the state of West Virginia.
Marriages can still be performed by a minister if the minister wishes to conduct the marriage. However, ministers can also decline to perform the ceremony. Same sex couples can also get married at a local court house and still be legal because marriages do not have to be recognized by the church.

States are moving toward the ideals outlined in the Constitution by legalizing gay marriage. This leads the government into purposing a Constitutional Amendment protecting the rights of same sex married couples; first, by making it a state law to allow same sex marriages. However, as of right now, the amendment is pending.  Because the amendment is still currently pending, groups such as Fairness in West Virginia and Lambda Legal continue to fight for equality not only in West Virginia, but in all states.

Friday, October 24, 2014

My name is Krissa Scarberry and I am currently a junior. I am a varsity cheerleader and I run track. I also play trumpet in the Ripley High Band. I have four siblings, two of which are half sisters. I have a little sister that's 3 years younger than me and I have an older brother that is currently serving in the U.S. Navy. I go to Church at Mill Creek Baptist, and I love my church family.I take part in the Viking Buddies club at the school and I am the President of Mill Creek Maniacs 4-h club. So as you can see I take part in a lot of extra-curricular activities and I am kept very busy. I love animals and I love the outdoors. There are alot of freshmen that are taller than me, so I guess you could say I'm pretty short. I'm also really shy when I first meet people, but other than that I'm really energetic and I'm basically always happy. But anyways, that's me!

State represents well in college football with nationally ranked teams

By: Audra Thomas
    Going into week 10 of college football, Marshall and West Virginia both have been doing extremely well this far.  In week 8, Marshall was ranked 25th in the nation, and West Virginia, even after a big road win against Texas Tech, was still unranked.  
   Last weekend, the Mountaineers took on number four ranked Baylor Bears in Morgantown.   After a rough start to the game, WVU came back and upset the Bears 41-27.  The standout of the game was quarter back Clint Trickett always finding wide receiver Kevin White.  Trickett threw for 322 yards total against Baylor, while White had a total of 132 yards and two touchdowns.  While a lot of the work was being done through the air, Wendell Smallwood and Dreamius Smith had a combined 126 rushing yards.  Another big impact on the game was kicker Josh Lambert, who had two field goals, one from 50 yards and the other from 54.  Although the offense had a good game, the defense also played a huge part in keeping Baylor out of the end zone.  After the Mountaineers huge game against Baylor, they moved up into the top 25 being ranked at 22nd.  October 25th the Mountaineers will be traveling to Oklahoma State who has the same record as WVU at 5-2 on the season.
    The Marshall Thundering Herd is still holding on strong to their undefeated record of 7-0 defeating teams such as Miami (OH), Ohio University, and Middle Tennessee.  In week 9, the Herd played Florida International University, easily taking them down 45-13.  During the game, Rakeem Cato, Marshall’s standout quarterback set the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision for throwing a touchdown pass for the 39th consecutive time.  Cato also finished off the game with 214 total passing yards and four touchdown passes.  Along with Catos outstanding performance in the game, Devon Johnson also had a good game.  Johnson finished the night off with 117 rushing yards, 79 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. After that game, the weekly rankings placed Marshall at 23rd.
   The Mountaineers finished last season 2-7 in conference play and 4-8 overall.  Along with that, the Herd had a winning season finishing with a record of 7-1 in conference play and 10-4 overall play.  This season both teams are looking onto be powerhouses and could go on to win a bowl game.

6th Man to make RHS history
By: Perri Williams
   More than 125 members strong, the 6th Man Club is ready to make a mark on Ripley High basketball. Girls’ basketball coach John Kennedy and our new boys’ coach Evan Faulkner, are the brains of the operation.
   “Our goal is to create an intimidating atmosphere at home games,” Faulkner says.
   The club’s president, Senior Bradley Knotts, and vice president, Senior Easton Berry, really have the students fired up, leading cheers and chants.
   “We are going to re-establish Ripley High as a championship school for boys’ and girls’ basketball. The 6th Man will definitely help us achieve that,” says Kennedy.
   How can you be a part of 6th Man? All students have to do is buy the T-shirt sold in the gym at lunch. The shirt costs $15, and includes a ticket to Midnight Madness and the Tip-Off Dinner. The best part of the deal is if you wear the shirt to any home game, you get in free! Be sure to buy the shirt before Friday October 31, or the price goes up to $35. You can, but don’t have to, be at the club meetings in the gym every club schedule Thursday.
    November 14, Midnight Madness will really create excitement in the community and give people a chance to get to know the team earlier in the season. There will be three-point and dunk contests, and many other fun activities for the members to participate in. There will also be the unveiling of the 6th Man banner in the Gym.

   6th Man will reestablish a student section at our school, and help motivate the basketball teams during games. It will help bring our students together as a whole. It’s time to make history Ripley High. Are you ready?

History classes will journey to D.C.

   The hot topic for history lovers in school is the D.C. trip which is coming up November 7. Our AP U.S. History, AP Government, State and Local Government classes, and some students from the Civics class have been fortunate enough to receive this opportunity. Students and staff are very excited for the upcoming trip.

   Junior, J.J. Mahan said “D.C. is a very historic place and a lot of my friends are going so I can’t wait to add on to my Washington D.C. memories.”

   History teacher Jo Phillips has arranged historical trips since 2010 to take students to either Philadelphia or Washington D.C. There are 47 students attending, three parents, and five staff members including Phillips, history teachers A.J. Cooper, Steve Sayre and former teacher Dan Barnette, counselor Bea Isner. The cost for each student is $327. Phillips got $20 per student from WVUP for teaching a college class (State and Local Government). Students had to come up with the rest but they did fundraise by selling donuts to get some of the trip paid for.

   Phillips has made up the itinerary for the whole trip.

   Many are looking forward to the advantages of this trip to Washington D.C. since most went in eighth grade.

   “This trip is not as rushed, more in depth trip for as far as where they go. The 8th grade trip is great to build further knowledge. Maturity level is also a big factor in appreciating this trip more,” Phillips said.

   Compared to the eighth grade trip students, will be able to go to more places such as the White House, Newseum, and Ford’s Theatre. Phillips is excited to go, because a couple years ago when students were able to tour, they got to meet Bo Obama (the First Dog). The tour was arranged by an RHS graduate student who is now a Secret Service agent. The agent is assigned to the West Wing, the presidential office area in the White House. He met with their group and talked about his job.

   “It was a great experience” said Mrs. Phillips.

   The Newseum is another different place to tour that “student’s love.” The Newseum benefits students because it is all about government in the news. It is a forum for the First Amendment study, exploration and education.

   Ford’s Theater is another attraction added to the itinerary that differs from the eighth graders. Ford’s Theater celebrates the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and explores the American experience through theater and education.

   This will be a great opportunity for students to explore our nation’s Capital.
Horoscopes for October, November, December

Scorpio- November 24-November22
Saggittarius-November 23- December 21
Capricorn- December 22- January 19

Scorpio: Have a crazy stalker that won't leave you alone? MAke sure to not wash your hair, they won't want to get your crusty dandruff flakes all over them. Don't brush your teeth either. Keep it mellow yellow. Nobody likes a crust with dog breath.

Sagittarius: Batter up! You better have your catcher's mitt with you. Your immune system could be weak and fragile. You better watch who your getting close to. You're liable to catch the daggum Ebola. Better get some tissues for your issues because it's gonna be a long month.

Capricorn: Unlike your unlucky friends the Scorpios and the Sags, you're bound to have an epiphany. Let your creative side run free like a gazelle. Your artsy side is bound to show this month.

Last year, last movie, forever long memorie

By: Megan Frampton
   Since the age of nine, senior Wes Withrow has been intrigued by the idea of filming and the movie making process. His assistant producer, senior Matt Groves, has shared the same passion since he was in middle school. Together, and with friends, they have made about 20 movies/videos, but the three main movies known by them are: “The Summer People,” “Post Hocalyptica,” and “The Adventures of Captain English.”
   In the making now is their fourth movie, titled, “#2 School Street.” The plot of this story is about a nerd (senior Adam Bailey) who only has one friend who happens to be the most popular guy in the school (senior Nick Jefferies). The story is inspired but not exactly based on “21 Jump Street,” “Superbad,” and a previous original movie of their own.
   Withrow said, “The reason that we are doing this is to go across the stereotype that the popular kid is always a jerk.”  
   Throughout the series of events, the duo becomes aware of gang activities that have been happening in their school and are determined to find the root of the cause. Many seniors actors will be helping in this movie: Justin Coles, Morgan Pierson, Tucker Miller, Brandon Well, Brandon Parrish, Jacob Comer, Arik Sheets, Madison Sanders, and Caleigh Neil.
   To Groves and Withrow, the best experience of making these movies is spending time with friends and having fun. Withrow says, “When we try to do serious movies, we end up breaking out laughing. Especially twice as much when we are actually making a comedy.”
   Throughout their high school career, Withrow and Groves have constructed four movies for their classroom assignments. They have done one for former Ripley teacher Tricia King, “A Mid Summers Night Dream”, one for 10th grade teacher Emily Okes, “The Summer People”, and two for AP teacher Jamie Meckley (formally known as Ms. Kerns), “The Marvelous Adventures of Captain English” and “Post Hocalyptica”.
   When asked if she felt Withrow put in a lot of work in his videos, Meckley responded with, “Absolutely! Wes is highly creative when having a vision for a task. He executes it with 110% regardless of the minimal requirements; he will always go above and beyond.”
     She describes Groves as, “ambitious, driven, hardworking, and always ready to take the lead.”
   Meckley believes that these qualities will enable Groves to be successful in his film making future.
   Meckley hopes to use these films for her future students to provide an example and hopefully “raise the bar.”
   These boys along with the rest of the crew have worked extremely hard and are excited to begin the filming in November. If you would like to stay updated with their journey to the end, they welcome you to follow the twitter account @2SchoolStreet. There is also a trailer link to YouTube on the Twitter page.


Puppy Mill Raid in Jackson County

By: Cassidy Tolley
   October 1, more than 130 dogs were seized from a puppy mill in Sandyville.  The dogs were living in terrible conditions and were nearly starving.  Currently, the majority of the animals are residing at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.  These animals are in desperate need of donations and care as the shelter is at its maximum capacity.
   On the day of the seize, officials took note of the dogs surroundings.  Over 130 dogs were crammed into a small house.  Their fur was matted, their food (if any) was moldy, and feces covered the floor.  The raid was provoked by a video of the residence that was posted to Facebook.
   The woman who operated the mill was Shirley Rhodes. October 6, Rhodes was arraigned on 45 counts of animal cruelty.  Her pre-trial date is set for February 9, 2015.
   As of press time, the shelters of both the Jackson County and the Mid Ohio Valley are seeking donations.  They are in need of supplies such as blankets, food, cleaning supplies, money, and especially volunteers.
“Volunteers are most valuable,” said Rachel, a Humane Officer at the Animal Shelter. “So many people have graciously donated supplies, but now we need help.”
   In Ripley High, many clubs, such as the Thespian Club and Main Street Teens, are accepting donations to give to the shelter.  Monetary donations for vet costs can also be made at Ripley Animal Clinic and Ripley Paws.
“Anything helps.” said Shelia Chambers, a worker at the local shelter.

   It is extremely important that we as a community band together to help the shelter.  Many of the dogs seized in the raid are ready for adoption.  The shelter started accepting applications October 19.  As of press time, over 150 applications have been sent to the shelter. If you would like a new member of your family, make sure to adopt from the shelter!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New date, rules change Homecoming game

By: Breana Swisher
   Homecoming 2014 is quickly approaching.  The football game and parade are October 24 and the dance is October 25. However, some changes have occurred.
   This year’s Homecoming is significantly later than that of last year’s. Homecoming 2013 was September 28.  In fact, the school has not seen an October Homecoming in several years. Homecoming is so late this year because we didn’t have a good selection of dates.  The school had five home football games and the last one has to be senior night.  The first two football games were very early in the season, too early to have Homecoming.  That left two dates; October 3 and October 25.  October 3rd there was a prescheduled band festival (Viking Fest) and volleyball tournament, so that left October 25 as our Homecoming date.  Though some people dislike anxiously waiting for Homecoming to arrive, some students like the later date.
   Junior Aaron Wilkinson said, “I like having a later Homecoming.  It allows more time to plan everything out.  It also gives you more time to settle into your school schedule before another major event occurs.”
   Every year each grade gets to build a float for the parade and there is a competition. The winner gets points in the class competition. Float building is a major category and arouses a lot of excitement.
   However, in order to standardize and to prevent one grade from having an advantage over another, some new rules have been applied. Over the past few years there has been some controversy about some grades having more money than others and having an overabundance of parent help.  There is no major change to the budget this year. Student council gave each grade $100.  There is no limit to the amount of money a student can spend out of pocket.  In addition, students are allowed to solicit donations from local businesses.
   There has also been some dispute about the location of the float building.  Many students like to construct their float at someone’s house, but in order to make sure everyone is included, that is no longer allowed. This year each grade was assigned a public location in walking distance from the school.
   The freshmen and seniors will be building their float at the Transportation Department across the street from the school.  They were placed at the same location so the seniors could help the freshmen if needed.  The juniors will be building their float at the Republican Headquarters and the sophomores will be building their float at the Fire Department.
      The scoring rubric is the same as it has been for the past few years.  A new addition is a handful of judges are just spectators who rank the floats 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Also, each chaperone who helped with the float is worth five points.
   These new rules are stricter than before and a few students disagree with them.
   Junior Skye Stover said, “I disagree with the new rules about location.  I really liked where we built our float for the past two years and I feel like everyone was welcomed.”
   Student Council Sponsor Becky Neal and student body president Jade Donohew worked hard to compile these new rules to create an even playing field.
   When asked what she would like to see the most out of students building the floats, Neal replied, “I would like to see teamwork and students having fun outside of class.  It is important for kids to realize it takes all of us to make the world go around.”
   Homecoming is a wonderful time of the year for students to learn the value of teamwork and unity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The legality of gay marriage

   Since West Virginia legalized gay marriage, all anyone has seen on their social media are a lot of heated debates.  The polarized battle of “Equal Rights” against “Religious Belief” has so consumed people that respect commonly gets thrown out the window.  Many people do not even know what their opinion is and decide to scroll through their feed as innocent bystanders.  Whatever your opinion, context is necessary to understand the legality of this hot topic.
   Marriage is a legal institution, meaning that it does not have to be recognized by a religion to receive benefits from the government.  For example, atheists and agnostics get married and do not commonly have a religious ceremony.  In the Constitution, it states that the United States separates church and state.  This means that the government cannot be involved in religious matters.  Therefore, under the premise of the separation of church and state clause, gay marriage is constitutional, legal, and necessary.  Still have questions?  Read along for explanations.
   Along with the separation of church and state, the Constitution also has the clause of full faith and credit.  This means that every state must respect all laws of another state.  For example, if two men/women get married in the state of New York, the state of Minnesota must recognize that marriage license.  Even if West Virginia did not decide to legalize gay marriage, the state would have to recognize every marriage license of every gay couple that moves here.
   Legalizing gay marriage also contributes to equal rights.  Gay couples are not asking for any special rights or treatment; they are not an interest group.  All they have wanted is to be able to be married.  If they are citizens of the United States, they do have the right to be married.  It is unconstitutional for the government to deny the basic right of marriage to a person based on their gender.
   All of this being said, if the couple were to seek out a religious ceremony, a preacher could choose to not do the ceremony.  If the preacher were to do this though, there is a possibility that they could be accused of discrimination.  In a way it is, but if they have a spiritual dilemma, then the preacher’s decision should be respected.  Many preachers are turning in their marriage license, due to the possibility of being accused of discrimination.  It should not be that way though, and the religious sector should have their views protected as well.  This issue though has not been discussed in the media yet, and will most likely not be dealt with till a court case, or controversy happens.  Going along with this possible issue, the government does not govern religions, allowing the churches to make their own decisions.
   Respect is the biggest issue of gay marriage though.  Everyone has a right to have an opinion, but everyone should be polite to each other.  Freedom of speech (First Amendment) gives one the right to openly express their opinion, but one should also be aware to express it in a way that will not come off as offensive.  One should also accept that others have the right to respond.
   The lesson to be learned though, is that gay marriage is not unconstitutional.  It is completely legal as it should be.  Marriage is something that should be allowed to everybody.  Gay marriage is not a slippery slope to the end of the world.  The other lesson to be learned is that is ok to religiously disagree with it.  Having conflicting views is ok, but remember that marriage is also a legal institution.  More important than the previous lessons though, is that everybody can happily coexist if everyone respects each other’s views and choices.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meet Lucas

Hey, I'm Lucas and I'm a 16 year old junior.  I play golf an am in student council.  I am an avid Netflix watcher and car enthusiast.  I am really in to music and you can follow me on Spotify to see what I like at the moment: lucas98blankenship.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Meet Megan

    I feel as if I am on a very busy schedule. I am always participating in something that the band does. Whether it be a football game, volunteer work, parade, or festival, you will find me there. This year I am the head drum major/field commander for the Pride of Jackson County. In the spring, I will be busy playing tennis for the high school. I play both doubles and singles. When I play doubles I am accompanied by my best friend Arin Shatto. Last year, Arin and I qualified for the state tournament and we are looking forward to finishing in the top five this year.  When I am not in school, I am doing activities with my youth group at church. Also during the summer, my family and I go camping and engage in several outdoor activities such as kayaking, biking, hiking, fishing, and many more. As for personality, I feel as if I ma a pretty easy person to get along with. I am honest, hardworking, and try to be the best person that I can.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meet Haley

Hi I am Haley Taylor. I am 17 year old senior at Ripley High.  I am the co-head editor of the Viking Press. I am active in clubs at our school such as, student council, Hi-Y, and 6th man. I am the captain of the Lady Vikes volleyball team, as well as being rewarded a 4 year letterman. Outside of school I enjoy reading, fishing, and watching Netflix. Some of my favorite shows to watch are Scandal, Revenge, and Grey's Anatomy. After high school I plan to pursue my dream of becoming an elementary school teacher at West Virginia University. I try to live a positive lifestyle, which is why I always have a smile on my face.

Meet the Press: Abbey

What's up? I am Abbey Vidrine, and I am a Junior here at Ripley High. I have several hobbies, but I mostly just hang out with my best friend Tori Grogg. However, I also enjoy playing basketball and hanging out with all of my other friends. My life is pretty boring. Sometimes exciting things happen though, and that's really all there is to know. Have an amazing day yo.

Meet the Press: Hannah

Hello, everyone! My name is Hannah Johnson and I am the Sass-Master of the Senior Class at Ripley High School. I am the History Club President ('Merica!), Venture Crew Treasurer, and Senior Class Historian. I am a Pug Enthusiast and I like to keep life spicy. I plan on attending Marshall University in the Fall and enrolling in the Pre-Medicine Program (Go Herd!). I'm always after A Great Perhaps.

Meet Cassidy

What up. I'm 16 years old and am a junior this year. I have run track for three years now and am a member in student council.  In my free time I'm usually at my job at Pete's Hotdogs.  This is my first year writing for the Viking Press, and so far its been hard work, but I enjoy it.

Meet Alexa

Hey! I'm Alexa and I am a senior ( thank goodness) at dear ole Ripley High. When I am not at school I am usually in a gym. A gymnastics gym that is. I am a level ten gymnast, the highest you can get to in junior Olympic competition. I spend about twenty hours a week at revolution gymnastics which is about a forty-five minute drive from where I live one way. gymnastics and school take up most of my time but when I finally get a break from both I enjoy watching lifetime movies with really bad acting and reading Nicholas sparks books. so yeah, that about sums it up.

Meet the Press: BryAna

Hello reader!  I am BryAna Stearns, Editor of The Viking Press.  I am a Senior in high school, and an aspiring WONK at American University in Washington, D.C.  I spend my free time with the only man I have ever loved, my cat, Sassy.  My hobbies include:  running, reading, eating, and sleeping.  I run cross country in the fall with my Oh My Quad Squad (that's is my team's nick name).  I am an avid traveller of the East Coast, but hope to travel the world eventually.  Keep it spicy.

Meet The Press: Bree

Hi, I'm Breana Swisher. I am a 16 year old junior. I have a 4.08 cumulative GPA. I am very active in student council.  I have played volleyball for 6 years and I am on my way to be a four-year Letterman. I work at Pete's Hotdogs. I have a dog named Emmie. I plan on going to college at WVU and majoring in nursing.

Meet The Press: Kaitlyn

Hiiii, I'm Kaitlyn, (KT). I'm a Junior at Ripley High School. This is my first year attending this school and I love it so far! Along with this class. I love to play sports. I'm apart of the Lady Vikings Basketball Team. I'm an extremely shy person. I don't really jump out to people to make new friends. But I do take risks sometimes! My favorite color is blue, so that's a plus at attending this school.

Meet the Press: Perri

Hi, there! I'm Perri Williams, an avid Netflix-er and cat lover. I also play trumpet for the Viking Band. I hope to someday pursue Fashion Merchandising at FIT in New York City. I want a loft apartment with the bare necessities, a couple cats, and a coffee shop downstairs. Remember me, you might see me in the fashion scene someday!

Seven students join military as graduates

Seven graduating seniors at Ripley High School have made the commitment to serve their country in the United States military.