Monday, February 27, 2017

Ripley High students going to county level for Young Writer's competition

By: Anna Sheets
   Every year the Young Writer’s competition is hosted by the board of education. For each age group, there are different word limits.
   Ripley High School has four finalists in the school: seniors Ariel Dillion and Samaria Oiler, sophomore Sidney Sheets, and freshman McKayla Kemp. The two county finalists selected from Ripley High School were Oiler and Sheets, whose writing will be entered into the county contest against the two finalists from Ravenswood.
   Sheets has won the young Writers’ competition on the county level two times prior.
   “Winning this contest has encouraged me t continue doing what I love, and it has influenced me to think about a writing career in the future,” said Sheets.
   Oiler has been writing since around the fourth grade. She wrote an entire novel that has yet to be finished and edited, but she says she would like to publish it eventually. A short year later, she won her first writing contest for a short story, and she has won four other writing contests with the Jackson County Public Library.
   “Winning this contest feels almost monumental to me, especially since I plan to be an English major. It’s sort of validating because my parents are naturally worried how I’ll fare as an aspiring writer. It’s almost as if I have proved to them, if only slightly, that I am capable of becoming the writer I yearn to be,” Oiler said.
   This is the first time in several years that Ravenswood High School has submitted anything to this competition, so we are hoping to prove our superiority as a school academically, in addition to our already having won the Hatchet.

   The statewide winners of the competition will be announced in April, and those lucky few will go on to a workshop at Charleston University to speak to published authors from West Virginia and obtain a few professional opinions about their writing.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Come eat with favorite characters to support Theater Dept.

By: Calista Boggess
  The annual Character Breakfast is February 25 from 8 a. m.-10:30 a. m. in the cafeteria at Ripley High.
  The Thespian Club is having a fundraiser to go to the State Thespian Festival on
March 16-18. Each ticket will cost $5 per person. Babies who cannot eat the pancakes will be free.
  A variety of characters will make an appearance, including not only Disney look-a-likes but Cat in the Hat, Charlie Brown, Princess Leia, Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy, Buzz Lightyear, and Cruella De Ville. Ripley High students choose which character they want to play based on the costumes that they have or what club adviser Christina Iman has access to. Even students who are not in theater or the Thespian Club can be involved if they talk to Iman beforehand.
  “I’m doing it again this year because it is a good opportunity for theater and I love acting. It’s so fun to dress up as your favorite character,” said sophomore Bethany Johnson.
  Pancakes and sausage will be served for the meal with Iman and other parent volunteers cooking. A lot of the food being served is donated from students that are a part of the Thespian Club and their parents.
  Kids, especially the younger ones, see these “celebrities” and the characters all seem so real to them. Reactions vary from clinging onto the character all morning to becoming very shy when near the character.
  “I can't wait to see the little kids’ faces when they meet their favorite character that's going to be there. Staying in character will be the challenge though,” said Junior Kara Hill.
  Last year when the Thespian Club hosted this event, it was successful, earning them $400. However, this year there has been more advertising such as sending flyers and papers to daycares and elementary schools, and also advertising on Facebook.
  “With all the extra advertising we have worked on, we hope to raise even more money this year!” said junior Lucas Smith.
  Some of the students volunteering say it all comes together with the help of a little magic. Come Saturday with a young one to have a good time and support the Thespian Club.


It’s a Boy!

American Girl makes history
By: Katie Bailey
  American Girl has released its first boy doll in 31 years of Mattel’s history. His name is Logan Everett, a drummer in a boy band. His birth is a huge change in the company’s traditional work, making it more acceptable for boys to play with dolls.
  In the past, American Girl’s traditional work has been female dolls that can come with a story based on a particular time or place. They also can be customized to look exactly or fit the liking of the child buying it. It was a way for girls of all ages to collect and play.
  To further diversity from their traditional all-girl figures, the American Girl franchise decided to design a boy doll hoping to boost sales. Their revenue was flat last year at $570 million after a long period of constant growth.
  There has been criticism over the idea of a boy doll entering the realm of a girl world with the stereotype that girls play with dolls. This new doll encourages boys of all ages to collect and play.     
  Even with this stereotype a spokeswoman for Mattel said, “The company remained committed to its historical characters and that customers had been asking for a boy doll for a very long time.”
  For many it is important to let boys explore in the realm of dolls for social skills, non-gender specific stereotypes, and it can teach them to be good fathers in the future.
  Logan is priced at $115 like most of the other American Girl dolls and comes with his very own storybook. Male dolls are not available for customization; Everett is the only boy piece available at this time.

Coyote hunting comes back

By: Brooke Nichols
  The first coyotes were discovered on September 18, 1804, in present-day Chamberlain, South Dakota.  After the first attacks they have been hunted ever since. Sense then, they have become very popular. The killing of coyotes is because of them attacking people. Mutilating their bodies and the person being so tore up that it leads to their death. So for it to stop happening we decided to start hunting the coyotes.
  According to CNN the first attack by a coyote was on singer/songwriter named Taylor Mitchell from Toronto. On October 23, 2009. She died three days later on October 23, 2009 at age 19. Of injuries and blood loss after coyotes mauled her while she was walking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park's Skyline Trail. Her death is the only known fatal coyote attack on an adult, as well as the only known fatal coyote attack on a human in Canada. But four months prior to Taylor’s fatal incident, an urban coyote bit a two-year-old girl on a playground at Central Elementary School in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.
  Now, coyote hunting is very popular hobby to do recently with competitions being organized and also trapping them. Coyote season is open continuous, but from January 1st through July 31st allows you to use night vision technology. Competitions are held during the hunting season and there is no limit on the open continuous or the January-July date on how many you can kill.
   Hunting does help with the population control, but there is a certain way that people should go about it. Because your dog, cat, or other housepet could wander into the woods and get caught in the traps or maybe a child, you must be very careful in setting them. This is a good way to regulate the coyote population, just like any other big game animal. Also, while the trapping is legal, it's not very humane because when the animal's foot gets trapped, it tries to free itself by pulling and crying. It will lay there in pain and starving until you come back to check your traps and put it out of its misery. While just simply hunting them is much less inhumane for the coyote because it's shot right then and is not left there to suffer.
  Whether or not the animal attacks that besides the point. Any animal will attack if it feels trapped and has no way out. Trapping is an inhumane way to hunt any kind of animal especially for the animals that they trap wasn't made for.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Boys’ track team being tested

By: Seth Gainey
   The first track practice is February 27. But before the first practice the team has to take the Wonderlic test. The Wonderlic test consists of each runner’s full name and what event they are running. Only the boys’ team is taking the test and the boys have to know the entire boys team.
   “We’re taking a new approach on track this year. Track is going to be more serious,from the team's school work to working hard in practice. We’re taking a step forward during this season.” Coach Michael Bright said.
   Bright is requiring all of his athletes who have a C or below in a core class go to Power Hour until they bring the grade up to a B.
   “The reason I’m making the team acquire and maintain a B average or above is because the runners could lose scholarships if they have bad grades,” Bright stated.
   There are a few runners planning to run in college.
   “I think since Bright is making runners have good grades is a good idea. We don’t want people to lose a potential full ride to college because of poor grades due to focusing on sports,” junior Drew Swisher said. 
   The runners have plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming season because it starts February 27.

Student Council hosts successful blood drive

By: Maisie Stout

February 10, Student Council hosted the annual school blood drive. Student Council hosts this blood drive every year with hopes to help one senior receive a scholarship, and also to help improve the lives of sick people. Friday morning, Red Cross workers set up in the music building and prepared to take blood for the entire day. Student Council members worked shifts throughout the day; jobs included greeters, walkers, and snack distributors.
A list was put up in the office for students to sign up to come donate. In order to donate blood, you had to be at least 16 years old (if you were sixteen you needed parent permission). Many people from our school and our community came to give blood and help a worthy cause.
The process of giving blood is a lot more intense than one might assume. Donors had to be very clean and healthy in order to donate. Many people were turned away because of health issues, medications they may have been taking, or even just having trouble locating a vein.
The first part of the process of donating blood was signing up. Once a student signed in and read over a booklet of requirements, they were pulled back into a makeshift cubicle where they would be asked a series of questions on their health. After the participant answered the questions on a computer a volunteer would come over and confirm any misconceptions or resolve any issues. Then the volunteer would prick the donators finger to get their iron levels. Once everything was figured out, you were sent to another area of the Music room with beds. Here, you would find an empty bed and another nurse would come take your blood pressure and start to find a good vein. At this point, you would lay back and they would start the process of taking your blood. Though the process is the same for everyone, each student had a different experience.
Junior Carson Broom had a very “colorful” story about how his blood squirted onto a nurse’s face. Other than that, he had very good things to say about the experience.
“Pain is temporary but having the opportunity to potentially save three lives makes it all worthwhile,” Broom says.
Senior Isaac Sergent was one of the few students asked to donate a double amount of blood and was hooked up to a “double red machine.” His donation took a lot more time than other students because he was donating a lot more blood. Even though it was his first time donating he thought that it “went pretty easy” and hardly seemed phased.
Workers also had interesting things to say about the blood drive. For many people, it was their first time working a blood drive.
“I felt it was my civic duty as a class officer to help out,” junior (historian) Katelin Sinclair said.
Lisa Hall, who is in charge of Student Council, says that she definitely thinks that the blood drive was successful. In order to receive a scholarship our school needed to donate 35 usable pints of blood, and they ended up with 38 pints. Over 50 people showed up to donate and even more showed up to help out behind the scenes.

Circus closing causes commotion

By: Maisie Stout
The end of an entertainment era is occurring this spring with the permanent closing of The Ringling Bros. Circus. The circus was founded over a hundred years ago in Baraboo, Wisconsin and was family owned until it was sold to Feld Entertainment in 1967. The show has many acts including acrobatics, crazy stunts, but is just as famous for its many “tamed” animals (tigers and elephants).
The “greatest show on earth” is proving to be just the opposite as CEO Kenneth Feld admits that ticket sales for the Circus XTREME show have been declining for years due to a basic loss of interest. They experienced an even greater drop in sales when they terminated the use of elephants in their show. A few years ago criticism over the treatment of the elephants was reaching new heights, and Feld Entertainment pledged to stop using elephants in their shows.  This promise was fulfilled May of 2016, and the eleven elephants that were in the show at the time are now resting peacefully in an elephant refuge center in Florida.
Many animals rights groups like PETA were grateful when the circus stopped using these endangered elephants in their show. However, other members of the circus loving community were disappointed because the elephant show was a favorite among many visitors. Although the animals rights groups played a part in the growing animosity of the circus, Felds claims that they are not the sole reason that the circus is closing. Felds also says that they will continue to travel to different cities and perform shows, but the last show will be in New York on May 21.
The circus has been coming to the Charleston Civic Center for many years and their last performances in West Virginia will be May 4 through May 7. The closing of the circus will also bring about the end of many family traditions of going to the circus. Our generation will be the last to experience the thrill and excitement of going to the circus.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Black History Month brings past into focus

By: Hannah Gandee

  Black History Month is a time to make known all the accomplishments of African- Americans and their roles in history.
  Black History Month was first officially recognized by president Gerald Ford in 1976 when he designated the event to take place in February. Ever since then, every U.S. president has officially designated this month as Black History Month. However we are not the only country to dedicate a month to the celebration of black history. In fact it is also celebrated in Canada and the U.K. But how did such an event get started?
  It all started after historian Carter G. Woodson and pastor Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) in the September of 1915. The group sponsored the first Negro History Week, the ancestor of Black History Month in 1926. They had chosen the second week of February for this event in order for it to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
  The Black History Month we all know, however, did not start to become a full month until the late 1960’s when Negro History Week began to evolve into Black History Month on many college campuses.
  African- Americans have played a huge role in shaping today’s world, oftentimes with their inventions. Here is a list of African- American inventors who made life safer:
  • Garret Morgan- In 1912, Morgan developed the first gas masks and then the first automated traffic lights.
  • Charles Drew- In his attempt to prolong the life of donated blood until it could be used, Charles Drew developed the first blood banks.
  • Benjamin Bradley- Bradley made his mark on history by inventing the first steam engine.
  • Daniel Hale Williams- Williams is known for his medical advancements such as being the first surgeon to successfully complete an open heart surgery. More importantly, he was the first doctor to open the chest cavity and not have his patient die of infection.
Patricia Bath- Bath worked in the medical field for many years, starting with an internship working in cancer research at the age of 16. Then she moved into optometry and in 1981 she created a device for laser eye surgery.

New movies coming in 2017

By: Shianna Pennington

-Before I Fall
Premiering March 3, this movie tells the story of Samantha Kingston. Kingston, a girl who had it all: the perfect friends, perfect guy, and a seemingly perfect future. Then after one fateful night, Sam wakes up with seemingly no future at all. Trapped reliving the same day over and over again and seeing things from different views, Sam begins to question how perfect her life actually is. As she begins to untangle the mystery of her own life that was suddenly derailed, she must also unwind the secrets of the people closest to her and discover the power of a single day to make such a difference. What if you only had one day to change absolutely everything?

-Beauty and The Beast
Another one of Disney’s animated classic takes on a new, real-life form, premiering March 17. Starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, this movie tells the tale of a young prince imprisoned in the form of a beast who can only be freed by one true love. Based on previous Disney remakes, such as the “Jungle Book” or “Pete’s Dragon”, you can expect a fantastic viewing. Nothing could or will ever beat the classics, but how exciting is it to see these mystical movies come to life?

-Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Dead Men Tell No Tales premieres May 26, 2017. Disney has come up with yet another Pirates movie. Featuring some of the same characters as the other movies, such as Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, this new movie takes a new twist. Captain Salazar, Jack Sparrow’s biggest and oldest nemesis, is introduced in this new film. Salazar escapes the Devil’s Triangle and releases the most deadly ghost pirates of the sea. The ghost pirates hunt on every single pirate on the sea and the only hope to survive is to collect the legendary Trident of Poseidon. This weapon is the most powerful and the handler gets control of all seas. Watch to discover if Captain Sparrow collects the weapon and avoids being killed by Captain Salazar and his pirate ghosts. For the most part these movies have held steady in the box office, so you can look to expect the same quality and story aspects from this one.

-The Mummy
The Mummy is set to premiere on June 9, featuring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella An ancient princess whose destiny was stolen from her is awakened in our current day. When she wakes, she is furious,with an anger which has grown over many, many years. Her anger and frustration is one which terrify and defy the human kind.

Featuring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart, this spin-off of a Robin Williams classic is set to premiere on December 22. In this brand new Jumanji adventure, the tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji’s world. In order to survive they’ll have to play as characters from the game, and to beat the game and return to Earth with their lives in tow, they will have to start seeing things in an entirely different way. Though I am sure Sony Pictures take on this movie will be fantastic and quite comical, nothing could ever beat the classic version with the beloved Robin Williams.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Super Bowl LI makes history

By: Seth Gainey

  The New England Patriots played the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 5.
  The Falcons had the lead early in the game early, scoring in the second quarter. The Falcons’ running back, Devonta Freeman, rushed for a touchdown. After that, the Falcons’ cornerback, Robert Alford intercepted a pass by Brady and returned it for an 82 yard touchdown.  The score at half time was 21-3. All the fans that the Falcons were definitely going to win the game.
  In the third quarter, the Patriots kicked a field goal to have their first points of the game. The Patriots kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, kicked another field goal to make the game 28-9 going into the fourth quarter.
  To start the last quarter Gostkowski kicked another field goal. The Patriots’ receiver, Danny Amendola, caught a touchdown pass. Patriots’ running back James White, scored a two point conversion after the receiving touchdown by Amendola. The Falcons got the ball back, and drove it down the field, but Patriots’ linebacker, Dont’a Hightower, sacked Ryan. The Falcons had to punt the ball back to the Patriots. Brady took the team 91 yards down the field, and White ran it in for a one yard touchdown. White also scored the two point conversion to send the game to overtime .The Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady threw 466 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 284 yards, and two touchdowns. The Patriots’ leading receiver was Julian Edelman. Edelman had five catches, and 87 receiving yards. The Falcons’ leading receiver was Julio Jones. Jones caught four passes, and had  87 receiving yards.
  During the first overtime in Super Bowl history, the Patriots received the ball first and drove down the field to score, and won the game! The final score was 34-28.