Thursday, March 23, 2017

Governor Justice proposes new taxes for state budget

By: Ashtun Welling

  Governor Jim Justice has proposed a new way to close W.V. budget gap. Justice gave a “left” and “right” to get the state where it needs to be. The “left” side balances the budget without crippling the state. The “right” side will produce jobs which will help citizens get back on their feet and contribute to the state economy. Justice desires to find a way to do both. The “left” has $50 million in possible cuts, which he does not want to do, although he will do what is necessary as long as it doesn’t cripple us.  
   A new tax that has been proposed is to benefit  health of West Virginians by taxing soda and cigarettes. Soda would be taxed 1 cent per ounce and cigarettes would be taxed 50 cents per pack. This “sin tax” will include any and all nonalcoholic beverages, whether carbonated or not, such as soda water, natural fruit juice that contains any additive syrups or sugars. Natural fruit or vegetable juices won’t be including as long as no sweeter is added.
  In case the plan with these tax increases does not pass Justice has thought about alternatives to fix the state’s budget. The “left” side would also increase the consumer sales tax from 6% to 6.25%.  Also, on apart on the “left” side Justice  mentioned an S.O.S ( Save our State) fund that would consist of taxes on people who make more than $200,000+ a year.
  The “right” side of the plan would lower the gas tax instead of the 10 cents to 4.5 cents.  Also, the “right” side follows a road plan that would lead to 48,000 immediate jobs and a driving fee. It would offer an $8 EZ-pass to all W.V. who wants to drive on the Turnpike. The toll for the Turnpike would be raised to $4 for others. Half of the money would go to paying for the Turnpike, and the other half would go towards the all the other roads. This also means the Department of Motor Vehicles fees would go up from $30 to $50 with inspections every three years. This proposal also means doubling the maintenance fund from $150 million to $300 million for repairing roads, potholes, and bridges.
 The governor is continuing to work on fixing the budget gap. Members of the Finance Committees are working carefully to review the proposed budget to identify how it will save us. Their work will yield additional ways to increase efficiencies and save taxpayers money. They are committed to making a working budget plan passed before their before the session on April 8th.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blob Fish

February Piece of the Month
from the Creative Writing Class

By: Anonymous

Blob Fish

Blob fish look like Trump
They’re big fat lumps
Trump wants to build a wall
But blob fish just want a ball

Blob fish are squishy
They smell like fishy
They are not like Steel
But they are similar to eels

They swim in the deep
They won’t make a peep
They just like to eat
While they look like raw meat

Forever and Always

January Piece of the Month
from the Creative Writing Class

By: Jensen Eagle

I saw her looking out the window and I stopped dead in my tracks. The wind was beating my hair against my face and my cheeks felt like ice. Her soft, bright pink lipstick smeared lips turned into a hint of a smile. I smiled back up at her, slowly lifting my arm to wave her goodbye. I had no clue at the time that it was the last time I would ever wave her goodbye.
I saw her looking out the window at the snow-covered world. I tried to get her attention. I knew she would never be able to see me again. I was invisible to her, to the whole world. I was a ghost now, and she would never know how much she meant to me.
I saw her looking out the window, cheeks stained with black streaks of mascara. I wanted nothing more but to be able to talk to her, to wipe the mascara off her cheeks, to just hold her. I wanted nothing more but to spend the rest of my life with her. I was her ghost; she was my angel.
I saw her looking out the window, her hands wrapped around the Christmas mug I bought for her on our last Christmas together. It was white and was in the shape of a snowman. This is the first time I’ve seen her use it since I’ve died. Maybe she’s starting to get over me. Maybe she’s done being sad. God, I hope she’s done being sad, sad over me, sad because I was too stupid to see the man with the gun standing across from me. I’m so sorry, darling. I’m so terribly sorry.
I saw her looking out the window and there was someone else with her. I couldn’t see a face. I could only see hair. Long, messy, dark red.
I saw her looking out the window and noticed her necklace. It was the necklace I bought her on her seventeenth birthday. That seemed like so long ago. It’s been two years now, but she’s still wearing that necklace.
I saw her looking out the window and she was smiling, the same smile I fell in love with six years ago. She held up her hand and blew a kiss in my direction. I looked around. No one was around me. Who was she waving to?
I saw her looking out the window and noticed something was different. She disappeared from the window. Not even thirty seconds later, she was standing in front of me. “I had to be with you,” she spoke. Her bright blue eyes twinkled. “I had to spend forever with you. Like we promised.”

I saw her looking out the window and I walked up behind her, wrapping my arms around her waist. “Forever and always,” I whispered in her ear. She chuckled and leaned her head back against me. “Forever and always,” she repeated.

Love is Green

November Piece of the Month
from the Creative Writing Class

By: Levi Simpkins

It’s 3:46 in the morning, we’re sitting in the back seat of my friend’s sprinting car as we drive down these small town roads I know so well. My hand is resting on your thigh as your drowsy head rests on my shoulder. Short beams of light dart in through the window, temporarily illuminating the emerald green rings around your beautiful hazel eyes. For a minute I sit there and think.
I think about how the green in your eyes are the same green as the trees in summer, fading out into a vibrant amber in autumn.
I think about us and how we have grown. People usually associate the colors red or pink with romance, but when I think of you and I, the color that comes to mind is green.
If everyone else’s love were flower beds, our love would be the Garden of Eden. Your tenderness and devotion has planted vibrant roses in my heart and lush greenery in my lungs and even to this day when I speak to you, the butterflies flutter back to my chest, searching for the sweet nectar of your affection.

 I think about those nights we spent together killing time, one in particular we spent laying in the middle of the parking lot of some abandoned building beside one another. Our only company the street lights and the moths that danced around them. The dark November sky was the same color as your hair and the pale glow of moonlight escaping the clouds bounced off your porcelain skin. As we looked up into the night sky we saw a shooting star, I wished that you and I would be forever. You asked me if I would ever leave you, I told you I couldn’t if I tried. My roots have burrowed deep into the rich soil of you. You have nourished me, my branches have grown so long that I feel like I could touch the clouds, and my leaves are the same shade as the green in your eyes. And if these roots are ever torn from the ground, my god will it hurt, but for now I will be ecstatic with the place I am in as long as that place is with you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Biological Warfare could kill more than Nuclear Warfare

By: Shianna Pennington
Imagine if out of nowhere, the plague or any other disease started rapidly sweeping through the nation. But it isn’t just your country, it’s everywhere. Massive amounts of people are being knocked out and dying from this rampage of disease. That could be an act of a bioterrorist, making an act of biological warfare.  
Biological warfare, also known as germ warfare, is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. During World War I, the German Army developed Anthrax, glanders, cholera, and a wheat fungus for use as biological weapons. This spread plague in St. Petersburg Russia, and infected mules with glanders in Mesopotamia. During the past century, more than 500 million people died of infectious diseases. Several tens of thousands of these deaths were due to the intentional release of pathogens or toxins, mostly by the Japanese during their attacks on China during the Second World War.
Whether we like it or not, biological warfare exists, and eventually someone, somewhere is going to create mass chaos from disease.
It’s not an issue for solely one country, this threat is everywhere. “It’s not if, but when these events are going to occur again,” said Peter Salama, executive director of the World Health Organization. “We need to ramp up our preparedness.”
There is much worry about the world’s ability to stop a deadly pandemic since Ebola killed thousands in 2014, while governments and militaries struggled to stop it from spreading through West Africa. There are few, if any, measures in place for response to an epidemic.

Once again, it isn’t an if these weapons are coming, but a when. Bioterrorists have the tools to create a deadly disease with the touch of a button on a computer. And nobody anywhere in the world has the means to handle such epidemics. Basically, if someone releases disease into our world, we can expect a drastic amount of deaths, and mass chaos and panic.

Best places to hide Easter eggs for younger kids, older kids, or even your friends

By: Calista Boggess
  Hiding eggs on Easter has been a tradition for years. The story of the Easter Bunny has been around since the 19th century. Rabbits are a symbol of new life because when they give birth they have large litters so when the bunny hides and decorates eggs, is also a symbol of new life.
  Children love egg hunts so creating them for younger siblings, cousins, or other kids you know is always a good time filled with smiles. However, thinking of hiding places can be stressful. There are hunts inside and outside so that is double the hiding spots to create.
  For younger children, eggs should be hidden in easier places to find and reach. Outside eggs can be hidden in large grass patches, flower beds, in bushes, on the playground, inside the doghouse, or anywhere low to the ground so they are easy to reach. Inside eggs can be hid in a pile of toys, inside shoes, under the couch, in the cookie jar, or in the microwave.
  Older kids might want the eggs to be hidden in more difficult places so it is a challenge. Outside could include in trees, inside or on cars, in the entrance of a pipe, under the porch, in a tire swing, inside a grill, places they have to look up, or just in less obvious locations. Inside could include in jacket pockets, in an egg carton, in a lamp where the bulb goes, attached to a pets collar, in a cereal box, or on top of the ceiling fan.
  Easter egg hunts aren't only for kids though. Teens or even adults can get in on the actions. Create an easter scavenger hunt throughout town where each egg includes clues to where the next one is hidden like in a library or the local park. One thing with that is you have to hide them extra hard so people who aren’t playing won’t be able to easily find them and mess with the eggs. Play the confetti egg game where you hide regular plastic eggs around with one filled with confetti. When an egg is found, participants smash the egg on top of other players’ heads and whoever gets confettied wins the grand prize.  
 No matter what age Easter egg hunting can be fun for all because there is something for everyone.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Celebrating National Women’s History Month

By: Katie Bailey
  This month people all over the United States are celebrating National Women’s History Month. Ever since the 1970’s women’s history has been a widely unknown topic in schools and in public. It has moved from a single day to a whole week and by the 1980’s, a month-long celebration. In 1986, 14 states had declared March as Women’s History Month to try and get Congress to support the whole month of March being a holiday. A year later Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month forever.
  In celebration of this month, we honor women who have contributed to our country:
Barbara Hackman Franklin (1940- ) Franklin was former Secretary of Commerce under President George H.W. Bush. She assisted five other presidents in different roles and led efforts to increase the number of women in government. In 1971, she led the first White House effort to recruit women for high-level government jobs as a staff assistant to President Richard Nixon. This effort resulted in nearly quadrupling the number of women in those positions
Alexis Herman (1947- ) Herman is the first African American to serve as Secretary of Labor and only the fifth woman in the history of this office to be appointed. During her four-year term, she fought to improve conditions for women’s employment and succeeded in getting several corporations that included Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines. They were created to hire women for upper-level positions.
Jane Addams (1860- 1935) Addams was a dedicated peacekeeper and outspoken activist for women’s suffrage. She came up with the idea of houses that offered night classes for adults, a kindergarten, a coffeehouse, a gym, and social groups meant to create a linked community. She also was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Molly Pitcher (1754- 1832) Pitcher is recognized for her patriotism in battle. At the battle of Monmouth, she brought water to Continental soldiers in the field and in camps, and helped those who were wounded on the battlefield.
Harriet Tubman (1820- 1930) Tubman was a leader on the Underground Railroad, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom. She also acted as a spy for the United States Army during the Civil War.
Mary McCleod Bethune (1875- 1955) Bethune was an advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt, she gathered a group of African Americans to advise the president on issues involving black youth, and worked to organize African American leaders in favor of New Deal. She also formed a black school “Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls.

Traditions of St. Patrick’s Day

By: Katie Bailey
  Who was Saint Patrick? Saint Patrick, of Britain, was born about 390 A.D., and while he was growing up in Wales was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. He dreamed of seeing God while in imprisonment and was told to escape with a getaway ship. He finally escaped back to Britain and then to France where he joined a monastery because he saw God and believed he helped him escape. When Patrick became a bishop he dreamed while asleep that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to tell them about God.
  There he converted the Gaelic Irish and often preached which led him to make conversions in royal families which upset the Celtic Druids (leaders in the Celtic community).  He was arrested several times and escaped each time, continuing his travels through Ireland, establishing monasteries.
  It is said that St. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Christian trinity; this refers to the combination of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He died on March 17, A.D. 461.
  Every year on March 17, the Irish and many others around the globe celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the ‘saint of Ireland’ has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.
  St. Patrick’s day was first celebrated in America in New York, 1762 by a group of Irish soldiers in the British military who marched down Broadway. This began the tradition of a military theme in the parade.
  Corned bacon and cabbage is the traditional meal enjoyed on St. Patrick's Day. The recipe has been transformed today to corned beef. The original meat in this Irish served dish was Irish bacon. The corned beef was changed from bacon to beef by Irish immigrants to America that could not afford the pricey meat. The holiday eventually changed from the religious celebration of St. Patrick’s conversions into the holiday we know today.
  In America and some other countries, we associate St. Patrick’s Day with leprechauns and wearing green. The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. He looks like a small old man and is about 2 feet tall. There is a legend that wearing green on this day makes you invisible and leprechauns can’t pinch you because they can’t see you. There was no real reason why the leprechauns would pinch, and it was probably a reason to ward people away from their gold. Today, St. Patty’s Day is a reason to party, drink, wear green, and go around pinching people that aren’t wearing green.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Terrible storm hits WV

By: Maisie Stout
Early morning on March 1st many people were awoken by thunder and loud wind as a powerful storm came bustling through many parts of West Virginia. Flash flood warnings were in effect at around 7:30 until 10:30 am. According to the National Weather Service, winds speeds reached 60 miles per hour. It continued to storm all morning, making many students and teachers anxious. Many counties decided to have an early dismissal as a safety precaution, although Jackson was not one of them.
  To make matters worse, a tornado warning went into effect at around 10:00, advising people to take shelter. Students at Ripley High were instructed to remain in their current class rooms and stay away from windows. These precautions only lasted through one class period though, so other than the actual storm it was a regular school day.
“I thought the tornado warning was stressful,” sophomore Brooke Hatcher said.
  Results of the storm are wide-spread; thousands of people all across West Virginia lost power. More than 93,000 Appalachian Power customers lost power Wednesday, and many of them will likely not get it back until the weekend. Many members of Jackson County also lost power, around 1,200 people were out of power as of Wednesday evening.
  “I lost power in the storm and it isn’t scheduled to come back until Saturday at ten pm. My house has been like an ice cube for the past couple of days,” junior Kalyn Ring said.
  Although many people lost power, there was no significant flooding or damage done by the storm.

Try Cinderella's closet

By: Brooke Nichols
As a little girl you always loved the idea of dressing up, looking pretty, and having a date just like the Disney princess Cinderella. As you get older you go to dances, but you can’t wait to be a junior or senior and go to the prom. Because prom is just one of those special days and for some the last dance of being in high school, even though you dream about having the most perfect dress and the perfect date,  finances may be too tight to pay out that fantasy.
 So  at Ripley High Cinderella's Closet is something that Anne Hancock inherited from the former choir director. It used to be housed in the Annex teacher's lounge, but the choir director before her decided she would take it on as a project to be housed in the Music Building.
  Hancock says, “I am the only faculty member that oversees the Closet, but I do have several students who are very enthusiastic helpers when it comes to helping their peers choose their items.”
  She also has several pairs of shoes, costume jewelry, some hair accessories, sample-sized lipsticks and eyeliner.  She also has a box of corsages that are made of silk flowers.  The Cinderella Closet is open to any young lady at Ripley High who wants to attend any dance or formal event - school or otherwise - who needs something appropriate to wear.  There are a lot of ladies at Ripley High who have donated gently used dresses, shoes, and costume jewelry to the Closet.  Some faculty members have donated, also; as new items have come in, some of the older, outdated dresses and shoes have been donated to Goodwill or used for fabric for some of the costumes for the spring musical last year.  
  The closet is like having your own fairy godmother; it's filled with dresses that you can borrow and wear to prom, homecoming, or any dressy event you can think of. The Cinderella Closet is a selection of formal dresses, from size 0 to size 26, in many different styles and colors, all kept in the choir storage area.
To try on the dress you just have to go down to the music building and speak with Hancock. She or one of the girls that helps out will take you back to Cinderella’s closet and let you look around and choose. Or, if you’re not sure and you need help, there are many girls and even Hancock herself would be glad to jump in. Then, you can go to the bathroom and try them on. If you like the dress and or tux, then Hancock will let you take it with you to wear, but you have to bring it back.
  If you’re a boy though and Cinderella doesn’t have what you’re looking for maybe ask a friend or you could talk to Hancock, principal, or faculty member and they could help you out in some way. So you can enjoy yourself and feel good about yourself during your special occasion or event.
  Don’t be shy go down to Cinderella’s closet and borrow a beautiful dress and or tux. Go to the dance with the perfect dress and your perfect date. Have the night of your life with no worry of how much this or that cost just have fun and slay the night.

Provide A Voice For Animals

By: Ashtun Welling

  Animals have always been victims of abuse, and in most cases of animal abuse, it’s not compiled by state or federal agencies. This makes it hard to estimate just how many animal cruelty cases reported every day. It’s time our furry friends got the love they desperately deserve.
  Animals in the U.S. are still considered as property, in  some cases they are treated no better than a table. There are laws that protect animals but there are too many loopholes. It’s time to take the Animal Bill to Congress, so it’s clear that animals have basic rights. Without some legal protection, animals are defenseless against abuse of humans. There is puppy mills, dog fighting rings, and animals confined by hoarders in horrid conditions, just to name a few examples.              
  Currently, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) tries to regulate the treatment of animals, but only those used in exhibits, transportation, breeders, and in laboratories. However, it does have its limitations of its effectiveness since it excludes blooded animals, farm animals, birds, mice, and rats used in research.  Even those animals that are covered by the AWA lack true protection because of deficient resources.
  A vast amount of progress has been made on policies to protect animals from cruelty and abuse. In 2016, new laws were passed to protect animals in W.V. The state has upgraded the penalties for killing or injuring public service dogs. A law was passed requiring to keep the sweet-tasting liquid antifreeze and engine coolant away from animals and children to prevent them being poisoned.  It is unlawful to intentionally train it to attack, ride an unfit animal, abandon them to die, not provide animals with shelter in bad conditions, and withholding proper sustenance, such as food and water. Any person who violates any of these is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than three hundred nor more than two thousand dollars, or confined in jail not more than six months; in extreme cases, the offender can be both fined and put in jail.  or both. A person who intentionally tortures or maliciously kills an animal is guilty of a felony and shall be confined in a correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years, and can be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.

  Overall, animals deserve to be treated with kindness. Even farm animals deserve an environment that satisfies their basic and psychological needs. No animal deserves to be treated less than a living being.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Boys’ track team needs improvements

By:Seth Gainey
  The first track meet is March 18. As the runners and coaches prepare, there has been some drama.
  “We have guys skipping the workout or just not doing it. We have a chance to be top five in the state if the guys put in the work. If they don’t do what they’re supposed to do then they're done. If people keep cutting workouts then they will be off the team. If they don’t want to be great then they can’t be here,” coach Michael Bright stated.
  The student leaders have been talking to the team and told everyone to stop cutting the workouts and actually do the work.
“The distance runners weren’t doing what they were supposed to do. I gave them a talk and I think it motivated them to stop skipping workouts and to pick it up. I have put in work and I think I deserve to be a captain. Bright is a good coach, he knows what he is doing. I do what he tells me to do and it paid off. My times improved tremendously and I became a state runner. That's what I’m trying to teach these younger guys,”Senior Fisher said.
  As the varsity spots for all the events are still undecided, there is still time for people to improve and become varsity runners.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Baseball team swings into season

Baseball team swings into season

By: Kindra Sarver

  Standards are always set high for the Viking baseball team, and this year is no different. Saying goodbye to seven seniors last year will not stop the team from being as successful this coming season. There are five seniors this year; Remy Boyce, Jacob Brannon, Lane Casto, Anthony Jarvis, and Ben Mack.
  “It’s all bittersweet. The past four years have gone by fast, but I am excited for this season,” said Mack.
  Although sevens player graduated, they have gained six freshmen. The six new additions have played together for years.
  Freshman Isaac Robertson said, “High school baseball is a lot more work than middle school. We work out more and practice more, but the freshmen quickly adjusted to the high school level.”
  Along with new freshman, we can expect to see junior J.T. Kemp play for the Vikings this year. Kemp moved from Parkersburg South.
  “I realized really quickly that baseball here is more of a job. Ripley continues to be more successful because of how serious they are about the game. I came here because I like their take on the sport,” Kemp said.
   When asked what the team’s goal is this year, the players did not hesitate to say the goal is to win it all. The team’s first game will be Saturday, March 18 at home again Greenbrier East.

March Madness gets angrier

By: Seth Gainey

  March Madness starts March 14. March Madness is a basketball tournament of division one colleges that face each other to see who will be in the national championship.  The final teams for the bracket will start March 12 at 5:30pm and end at 7:30pm. However fans are looking forward to the championship because of the prize money.
  A player to watch is Lonzo Ball. Ball is 19 years old and he is a point guard for the UCLA Bruins. NBA basketball recruiters say he will be a top ten draft pick in the NBA draft. UCLA will be tough to beat in this year’s tournament because Ball is one of the best players in college.
“The team I’ll probably pick to win is SMU. They have a record of 30-4 and in my opinion the best team in college right now,” Sophomore Brandon Cochran stated.
  One team to look out for is Vermont. Their record is 28 wins and 5 loses. They are on a 20 game win streak. Wichita State is another tough team to beat. Wichita State’s record is 30 wins and 4 losses. They have won 15  games in a row.
  Spectators will be able to create a bracket on March 12. You can build a bracket online. If you predict the winners of all 63 march madness teams you will win one billion dollars courtesy of the Buffett and Quicken Loans. March Madness ends April 3.

Cheap spring break 2k17 saves money

By: Calista Boggess
  Spring break is from March 27-31. Fun places to visit include the usual Disney, indoor water parks, amusements parks, beaches, or the more expensive trip, traveling to another country. However, some of the less common trips include going to a national park, a museum, camping, or a concert. There are also some fun cheap things to do at home with friends or with family.
1.     Plan your own water field day in your backyard with giant slip-and-slides and sprinklers. You can get light duty tarps at Walmart for under $3 each; wide enough for a two person race. Place your tarp preferably down a hill, not too steep, or somewhere in your backyard. Buy a ton of dish soap to make it slippery. If possible place near a hose so it is easiest to get it wet. Place the hose at the top of the hill so there is a steady stream of water. If you have a lake or pond that’s fairly clean, you can slide into that, but if not baby pools work great as well but not the plastic ones. Use inflatables to slide down on in case there are rocks or bumps in your yard so it doesn’t hurt. With the slip-and-slide there can also be water balloon fights, relay races, corn hole, and many other activities to make this water field day a blast.
2.     Grab your four-wheeler, jeep, ATV, or truck and go mudding. Taking to your rambunctious side can always be fun, and driving through mud holes shows it. Also, I predict water fights as you wash the cars off later.
3.     Have an at home movie night with blanket forts. The best way to build a fort is with blankets or sheets, pillows, heavy objects such as books, clothes pins, safety pins, and chairs. Start by putting the chairs to form a square shape facing away from each other. Use a big blanket or a sheet, since it is lightweight and will stay up easier, or if you have smaller blankets safety pin them together. Lay them overtop of the chairs. Use books or other heavy objects and put them on top of the seat part of the chair. Use clothespins to keep the blanket in place by pinning the blanket to the top of the chair. Add blankets, pillows, and maybe some Christmas lights if you are feeling festive. Make sure you create this in front of a TV. Grab movies, snacks, and a friend and you are ready to party.
4.     Go Geocaching. Geocaching is like an international scavenger hunt where prizes are hidden in parks, on streets, in trees, etc. This can be only about the adventure, only about the prize, or both for some. When these prizes are found you take one out and put something else in to become a prize for another geocacher. These range from small, pencils and bead necklaces; to medium, figurines and small toys; to large, bigger toy or no toys. Some large prizes are tiny so they are harder to find and all they have is a log in them. When you find a prize you sign your name in the log which they all should have. There is a free app on the app store than can be downloaded to the iPhone or a Samsung phone, and a website you can sign up for for free. This app uses longitude and latitude to direct you to prizes. However, if you want to find the biggest and best prizes the premium version costs $30 per year.

Hopefully one of these sounds interesting and fun to you so you can have a fun, affordable spring break.

Friday, March 10, 2017

FFA awards banquet

By: Brooke Nichols

  The FFA Banquet was held Friday, February 17. Before the banquet, the FFA officers and alumni put together a dinner for the families and guest, then moved to the auditorium. To recognize honored alumni, and sponsors and even FFA members were awarded. For all their hard work and long hours put into competitions, activities, and even the community projects. Some of the awards that were given out to the recognized members and alumni are as follows: scholarship pins, jacket ceremony, and senior cords, agribusiness, and honorary members are some of just the few recognitions given out. The awards were presented by principles Will Hosaflook, Jeff Banton, and Agriculture teachers Craig Canterbury, Trevor Cummings, and John Kessel and even the FFA officers.
  FFA members are known for missing a lot of school for many different things but they are expected to keep their grades up to a 3.25 or higher, which is why the scholarship pin was given out to 38 out of 143 members got the honor of receiving this honor
  Another award recognized was the jackets that sponsors give money to put forward to buying the jackets and then given out to students. To receive one of the jackets, students were required to write an essay of “What the FFA jacket means to them”. And everyone that wrote an essay ended up receiving a jacket.And then the jackets were given out to these students.
  Lexi Knopp says, “It’s an honor getting another FFA jacket because it represent so much and it feels good to get in official dress and put the blue suede jacket on to show what i've accomplished.”
  Another one of the many things recognized was the seniors that were given their cords for graduation. The cords are blue and gold with a FFA emblem on them. They submitted baby pictures and recent pictures and they had a senior tribute of how different all seniors have become since we have grown up.
  Kat Stewart said, “Being a senior and leaving this schools is sad, but I know I’ll always have a family in the FFA chapter and can always be apart of something bigger than myself alone.”
  Three students were also recognized for Star Agribusiness, Star Farmer, and Star Green Hand. The students that were recognized in those three categories are Samantha McClain in star agribusiness, Desi Rose in star farmer, and Alexis Knopp in star green hand. They received money for winning and also they received a plaque on stage at the banquet for their outstanding work.
  Sadly a few days after having the banquet the FFA chapter, friends, family and local community lost David Bourgeois on February 28. He was a former FFA teacher, a loving man that touched many lives with everything he did. In the dedication to a great man gone but never forgotten in all the amazing things he did with everyone with the FFA chapter. The FFA chapter wore official dress to school and took black ribbon and placed it through the middle of the FFA emblem on their jackets. It was a privilege that he got to attend the last FFA banquet and be able to give him his award.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Time to set the clocks forward

By: Shianna Pennington
This year, the date to set our clocks forward is March 12, at 2 in the morning. So that means when the clock strikes 2, the time will actually jump to 3 in the morning. The main purpose for Daylight Savings is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the spring and summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, and the fall months we move it back so there is more daylight in the morning than the evening.
Daylight Savings is manmade; it isn’t something set out by nature. Benjamin Franklin first brought about the idea jokingly in an essay called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” in 1784. New Zealand scientist George Vernon Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in 1895 where there was interest in the idea, but it was never followed through. Then in 1905, British William Willett suggested setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April and switching them back by the same amount on each of the four Sundays in September. A bill was introduced to the House of Commons in 1908 and the first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted in 1909, but there were so many that opposed it, mainly from farmers, that it was never made a law. Willett died in 1915, the year before the United Kingdom started using DST.

Daylight Saving time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year. Benefits of it include having more daylight in the evenings in the summer, which everyone enjoys, saves energy by not having to have lights on for as long in the evenings, and reduces accidents because people aren’t driving in the dark as much.