Friday, December 14, 2018

Students, staff have different opinions about Viking Boost

Viking Boost is a fifteen-minute extension to class periods before and after lunch for teachers and students to work together. A student can get work done when they didn’t have time during that class. Teachers can give extra help one-on-one or in small groups.  It rotates so every class has Boost one day a week.

Principal Beverly Shatto said we have “Viking Boost because kids have things to do after school like take care of animals for the fair and do chores. We give them a chance during school to get their work done.”

The biggest difference between Boost and Power Hour is that Boost is during class and not lunch.

“Sometimes students would be required to go to more than one class during Power Hour each day.  The students and teachers had to coordinate schedules, and sometimes the students didn’t get enough help because they were running back and forth.  Separating it by periods definitely helps us to deal with one group at a time,” English teacher Emily Okes said.

This year, students can work on anything during Boost. Students are already in class so if they need to stay for Boost, then they just stay. The requirement to stay for Boost is having a 70% or lower, any missing work or zeros, over five days of absents in that class, or if the teacher wants the student to stay. 

Shatto said “Kids who are not in Viking Boost can go to the cafeteria and the main lobby but not in the hallways or around classes so they don’t disturb them.”

Teachers like Jeanette Bowlby use their Boost time to “help students with their classwork, give private lessons, allow students to advance in their musical abilities.” Some kids get work done in class but some don’t so Boost time is good for them. 

Students that useBoost like sophomore Talyson Rose and freshman Salena Crook think that it helps with grades and getting work done. However, Rose thinks that if a person works very hard on work and actually gets things done, no matter if they have absences or something missing, they should still get out of class.

“The purpose for Boost is to get work done when you don’t have time to finish it in class or at home”, Crook said.

Students that don’tuse Boost time to work on classwork like sophomore Calysta Lawrence and junior Jacob Southall think it doesn’t help because the administrators are trying to help kids that don’t want it. They think it is overall boring and a waste of time. 

Assistant principal Jeffery Haskins said, “It is the teacher’s job to encourage kids and help them get their work done. They want to make the students successful for after school to get a job and a good education.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hurry up, get last minute Christmas gifts

Christmas season is right around the corner. We have a week and a half until Christmas and everyone is getting so excited. Parents and kids are starting to Christmas shop. Also, make sure your house is all decorated for this fun season! 

We all know that sometimes we can forget some gifts and we have to do a little last minute gift shopping. You can do DIY gifts or store bought. Here are some ideas. 

Store bought presents are also really good for last minute if you are not a crafty person. Some last minute store bought gift ideas are fun socks or cozy ones, soft blankets, picture frames, candles, food and candy. There are tons more of ideas! 

Some DIY (do it yourself) gift ideas are tie blankets, scrapbooks, pictures in frames and many more. Pinterest is a good source to find some DIY gifts to make for your friends and loved ones! All of the gifts suggested above are quick and easy. You can buy these supplies for all of the projects at Walmart, Target or Dollar General. Money would not be as much of an issue for the homemade gifts. The most you should spend on these gifts would be around $15 to $20.

These DIY gifts are super easy to make. For the tie blankets because they are really popular, they have kits at Walmart you can buy and it comes with everything you will need. It would take about twenty minutes to make. You can make a tie blanket with one or two layers. With two layers, you will spread out your two pieces of fabric on top of each other and start to cut each layer about 1 inch apart all the way down on every side, then you would start to tie all of the cuts and then you have your blanket.

You could give these last minute gifts to anyone you desire, friends, family, boyfriend or girlfriend.

Just because you forget to get a special gift for someone doesn't mean that you can't get a good one last minute. There are some great ideas, Hurry up and go get yours! 

Stuff your stockings with a theme

Finding stocking stuffers during this busy holiday season can be tricky. They can be used as a bunch of little gifts to add to others, or a whole gift itself. You can personalize any stocking for your friends or family. Stockings can differ by age, gender, and interests. 

If your friend or family member is an artist, you may want to get:

  • Tubes of Paint $
  • Mini Canvases $$
  • Collapsible Mini Easels $$
  • Charcoal Pencils $
  • Gel Pens $$
  • Mini Sketch Book $
  • Brush Holders $
  • Gift Card to a Supply/Hobby Store $

These are easy to find at any art store and are cheap to buy. You can change the quality of the paint and types of art kits by their age. For example, younger kids may enjoy paint-by-number books rather than canvases.

If your friend or family member is a writer, you may want to get:

  • Mini Notebooks $
  • Leather Journal $
  • Book of Author Quotes $
  • Magnetized Poems $
  • Pens/Pencils $
  • Coffee Mug $
  • Coffee $
  • Snack Foods $

You can find these items in any Walmart or Target and are cost efficient. 

If your friend or family member loves books, may want to get:

  • Paperback Book $
  • Bookmarks $
  • Mug $
  • Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate $
  • Book Light $
  • Book on Tape $
  • Gift Card to a Bookstore $

You can find these at any Walmart, Target, or book store. They are not costly and would be recommended for any age.
If your friend or family member is a sports fan, you may want to get:

  • Ball Cap $$
  • Team Pins/Emblems $
  • Team Lanyards $
  • Tickets to a Game/Event $$$
  • Team Socks $
  • Bumper Stickers $
  • Trading Cards $

You can find these gifts online and some may cost more than others.

If your friend or family member loves to travel, you may get:

  • Destination Brochures $
  • Luggage Tags $
  • Electric Adapter $$
  • Travel Toiletries (Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste) $
  • Earbuds $
  • Gift Cards to E-Books $
  • Gum/Mints/Candy $
  • Breakfast Bars $
  • Tea Bags $
  • Postcard Stamps $
  • Disposable Camera $$
  • Travel Journal $
  • Mini Notebook $

These gifts are available online and some are available at Walmart or Target. You may spend more money on these items.

Meet Star

Star is a senior at Ripley High. She is the youngest in her family; she has older siblings, Gage and Katie. She also has two dogs named Bella and Anna, and a cat named Mo. 

If she had to pick any food to eat for the rest of her life, it would be Italian because it’s her favorite food. Her ideal date would be going out to a movie and eating at Outback. 

Maroon is her favorite color; she thinks maroon is a good color for any kind of clothing. Her favorite thing about her birthday is it’s during the fall and that’s her favorite season. Christmas is her favorite holiday because she loves family dinners and they gather all together during Christmas. Her favorite thing about school is getting to see her friends. Her favorite subject is English; she’s very good in that subject. 

Star would like to be a sonographer when she gets older because she’s had some experience along with having heart problems and being used to seeing sonographers. She is planning to go to Marshall or BridgeValley for college when she gets out of high school.

How Students Avoid Stress during Finals

Semester finals are coming up QUICKLY! For those of you who haven’t experienced such a thing as finals, don’t worry! It does sound stressful, but you will feel relieved once you finish your last week of this semester.

Our finals will be on the week of December 17-21. We will have our regular schedule; the only difference is the classes with Viking Boost for that day will be the classes you take exams in. However if you do miss a day, Friday will be our make-up day along with free time if you’re caught up with everything.

Many different kinds of exams or projects are used by students for their finals. For example, some seniors in Civics will be taking an exam on their government facts of the day from the whole semester. Some other classes might not take a test, such as Creative Writing; they will make a portfolio to write specific things and turn it all in. It just depends on the teacher and the class. If you are unsure about your final, please do not hesitate to ask your teacher(s)!

Studying for a final is very important. If there’s a study guide provided for a final, use it. If not, then make your own. There are many ways you can do in order to study such as using Quizlet, diy flash cards, or writing answers over and over to memorize it. Ask the teacher questions if you’re curious or unsure about something.

You can study anywhere! As long as you’re not distracted. Usually, the library is always a good place for everyone to go and have some time to sit down and study. Pick a room where you won’t be as distracted as others. Also, the volume in the room will influence on your studying; if you’re at the gym where there’s a lot of activity and noises going on, you probably should move. Your bedroom might be a good place to study; the kitchen table or in the living room. Anywhere that you feel the most comfortable preparing for a final.

Another way to stay focused is to eat properly. Have a full breakfast that’ll leave you feeling satisfied for most of the morning. Eat a well balanced lunch and dinner. Add some snacks throughout the day if you feel like. Like your eating routines, sleep routines are very important and must not interfere your studies and focus. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, at least from 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

Don’t think the world is coming to an end if you’re extremely stressed. Focus on the important things for this coming up week and you will feel better once you have everything completed. You’re not alone! Everyone else around you might seem like they have everything under control but really, they don’t. If you need time to calm down or destress, talking with another buddy or teacher about finals or something else to take your mind off school will help a whole lot. This is just the first semester of this year. You should be proud you’ve came this far and before you know it, the second semester will be over soon!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Meet Franki

Franki Harrah she is 17 years old. Her birthday is on September 23; the date of her birthday is also her favorite number. She has a younger brother named Joseph. She is planning on going to college but right now she is undecided where. Franki does know that after college she wants to do something that involves the subject English. Her favorite subject in school is also English just because she has always been good at it. Her favorite thing about school is seeing her friends after having a long summer. 

Franki’s favorite color is and she said the color yellow because it makes her happy when she sees it. She has a pet at home which is a cat. The cats name is Sunny, because it reminds her of yellow sunshine. Franki’s favorite kind of food is anything with cheese; she loves cheese. Her ideal date would be to go bowling, then after to go out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. Television is not really her thing she said, she doesn’t watch it much but if she would have to pick her favorite show it would be “Gilmore Girls”. Her favorite season is fall because her favorite holiday is Halloween. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Girl's volleyball team prepares for next season

The Ripley volleyball team has had a challenging season this year. As a small triple A school we play some powerhouses. The girls have worked really hard, but they do think they will be better during the next season.

“We are not as good as last year, but we definitely have the potential to pass and serve better next year,” said junior Ella Casto.

Volleyball is a very tough sport. It takes a lot of practicing to make your passes, sets, and serves consistent. These girls practice every day after school to improve for this season and so they will be better for next season. The team stretches and practices passing before games, too.

“We usually work on our passing and serving a lot during practice and we do some running drills too,” said sophomore Olivia Banton.

There are only two seniors on the volleyball team out of 16 this year. They will definitely be missed. These seniors have had an amazing season for themselves and they have made a lot of great memories with the team and coaches, Dusti Fisher and Tabby Craddock.

“My best memory throughout these past four years would probably be all the friends I have made. I'm definitely going to miss them,” said senior Haylee Casto.

“The friends I have made and all the fun times we have had. Both winning and losing, on and off the court, we all have each others backs,” said senior Taylor Johnson.

The 14 other players can come back next year to continue growing as a team. They will be working hard and coming up with new drills to practice.

“I know we can work harder for next season and it will be better,” said junior Paige Nations. 

New "Halloween" movie is the same old story

The legend of Michael Myers continues! Or does it? The release of the newest “Halloween” movie has caused a debate whether or not it’s a good movie or a bad movie.  Many people think it is overkill since it is the 11th movie in the series.  Others thought it brought back the nostalgic feeling of the old movies.

“Halloween” as a movie series first started back in 1978. The first “Halloween” movie was set 15 years after Michael murdered his sister on Halloween in night 1963 and was sent to a mental hospital and escaped. He went back to Haddonfield to kill again. The next nine movies he keeps killing people. The newest “Halloween” movie in 2018 is about Michael (Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney) escaping another mental hospital and hunting down Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) who is the person who escaped his attacks four decades ago

I’ve watched the movie and all i’m going to say is that I did not enjoy it. It wasn’t scary enough since it is repetitive after all the “Halloween” movies. Same characters and the same problems keep happening. 

So I do not think it’s worth the time and money going to the theaters. However it could be an ideal movie to watch with your friends and families.  It is not that it is horribly filmed or that the story doesn’t make sense.  The ideas are not new. The reason it got so much hate was because of the fact everyone gets it, Michael Myers seems to not die and neither will the movies.

Monday, October 22, 2018

National Bully Prevention Month Brings Awareness

It’s October, which means it’s National Bully Prevention Month! Many people don’t know about this event which started in 2006.  This is the time of the year where everyone is reminded about the causes and effects of bullying to be more aware and stop violence.

This event was originally started by PACER Center, an organization that supports families of children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are often targeted with bullying so that’s how it was created. PACER has some very important and educational websites on different tips for teens, parents, and resources to use all year long.

They created this campaign to keep all youth safe from bullying and to be aware of it. It was originally started in 2006 whereas it was a week long. Then in 2010, they decided people should be aware more about it so they changed it from a week to a month long.

People who are commonly bullied have many reasons of why they could possibly be bullied for. Some are usually those who have more in life (such as family, love, or things) than the bully. Some reasons could be because of their weight; whether they’re “too skinny” or “too chubby.” They might be picked on by their style of clothing or being poor. Even the color of their skin or their religion might be the reason but those are not as common as other reasons.

One thing everybody needs to be aware of is bullying can lead to devastated and mostly long term effects such as low or no self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression. One thing to look for is not the profile of the person - what others expect - but the behavior change because it might be a lead to the occurence of being bullied or bullying.

For example, if someone has trouble or sees bullying at home, they might see it as acceptable or okay at school.

Bullies commonly have social power. They could be high in the popularity of the class or school. They sometimes could be concerned about their power as if they want more friends or attention just by bullying. Or people could expect the opposite, they could be more isolated, depressed, or aggressive. They might have a tendency to bully so they can feel better about themselves or they might have family issues at home that leads them to think bullying is okay.

Higher authority is always the way to go to report or stop bullying. If there is bullying happening, adults should be aware of where and who. Parents of the child and the bully should be notified. They could help by talking through the situation and try to solve it.

If you ever see any type of bullying going on, you should always tell a trusted adult. If it’s not too serious, you could step in and help out the victim and still tell someone. If it is serious, then you should stay out of it and tell someone. It might change the fact that they can’t just talk but there might be more action required out of the situation.

Meet the New Staff

The 2018-19 school year has brought new staff members to almost every department. Our new teachers include Kayla Dixon in math, Donell Haynes in special education, Mat Richards in science, Sarah Roark in foods and consumer sciences, Lindsay Quesenbery in Spanish, and Nancy Ullom in science. We also welcome our new secretaries - Debbie Barnette, Brenda Miller, and Connie Waybright.  

New Spanish teacher Lindsay Quesenberry loves it here at Ripley High. She teaches grades 9-12 and likes to spread a little culture through the school by showing different Spanish and Hispanic traditions. She has been married for 12 years, teaching for 11, and has two little girls. She has taught many other subjects in the past, such as family consumer science (foods and parenting), applied design, fashion merchandising, life skills, and international foods.

Quesenberry said, “The kids are awesome. I’m so blessed. I couldn’t imagine teaching somewhere else at this moment, this is my calling. This is where I’m supposed to be.”

Nancy Ullum, new biology and earth science teacher, teaches ninth and tenth graders. Ullum has taught every grade from kindergarten to seniors. She has been teaching for 19 years all together.

She said, “For 15 years I taught at Ripley Middle School and I was off a year when I was ill and now I’m over here.”

Although she is not originally from West Virginia, she has lived in Jackson County for 23 years. She has three sons who are now adults and one granddaughter. She graduated from Ooltewah High School from Ooltewah, Tennessee.

The school is looking forward to having these new faces and personalities!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Girl's soccer team goes to sectional's

The girls’ soccer team for Ripley high school has had an amazing season so far. There team has had 17 wins, 2 losses, and 3 ties. “We have won seventeen times, and each time we win we get even more excited,” said junior Grace Walsh. Soccer is a very active and tough sport, these girls have worked very hard this season. “We work really hard the whole season during practice, we like to win,” said junior Gracie Smith. There are five seniors on the team this year out of 19. Those five seniors are great leaders. Coaches Steve Gandee and Toni Carpenter and players are definitely going to miss them. “The seniors show leadership by helping the team keeping our heads up during practices and in games. We will miss the seniors a lot because they always know how to make us laugh and make us all closer,” said junior Olivia Broom. The seniors have made a lot of good memories these past four years. “My best memory would be being able to score my first goal during the championship game when I was playing FCLA in Greensboro, North Carolina,” said senior Allison Knox. “Probably when we were playing at Capital. The team picked me up and I crowd surfed because it was my birthday,” said senior Mackenzie Gillispie. The Ripley soccer team has definitely improved from last year in some areas like being able to pass better and learning how to pay more attention to the game.The team has worked very hard this year and there chemistry as a team has grew a lot. The girls all get along pretty easy so it makes them pass better on the field and makes them understand each other more. “We stay connected through social media, text, and hanging out outside of school,” said junior Olivia Gandee. There season is now over, they made it through the first sectionals game with a win over Parkersburg High. The second sectionals game they lost unfortunately against Parkersburg south. “We played a tough game, we tried and never gave up,” said Junior Sydni Cunningham.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

There Are Many Fall Events Coming Up

It’s getting to be fall time. Lots of things are happening in autumn than just Halloween and Thanksgiving. Many fun and spooky events are going on this and next month.

The Haunted Trail at the Jackson County Fair Grounds is happening October 26 and 27 from 8:00 to 11:00 PM. This year will be the 10th year they have been putting on this horror trail. The hike lasts a about a half a mile. Children 10 or under must have a parent with them. It’s not recommended for young children because the employees jump out at you wearing masks and scary costumes. The people running the trail are selling shaved ice and different snacks. The trail itself is $5 per person to get in. The wagon rides are less scary and cost $3 and the safe petting zoo for $1. They also have face painting and a photo booth.

The Ghost Walk of Downtown Ripley is happening October 31. It starts at 6:00 PM at the Courthouse. It is a good walking distance of a mile long. This experience includes stops talking about the death of Harry Ripley and the last hanging at Ripley in 1897. The walk costs no money and people of all ages can go.

Trick-or-Treat in Ripley starts at 5:30 PM October 31 and ends at 7:30 PM. Trunk-or-Treat starts and ends at the same time in the back parking lot of Ripley High School. Trunk-or-Treat is going to be run by the FFA. Even if you aren’t part of the FFA, you can still help out.

Gritt’s Farm in Eleanor, West Virginia has lots of wonderful, fun things to do during their Fun Farm event. They have a corn maze, wagon rides, a slide mountain, pumpkin bowling, hay mazes, a rope maze, bunnies, and goats. They also have places to get food. Nellie’s Kitchen has many sweets like pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, apple pie, caramel apples, and homemade ice cream. Nellie’s Kitchen also sells shirts and other merchandise. Gritt’s Gourmet Food Truck sells things like burgers, BBQ, fries, and drinks. Fun Farm is open until October 27 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on weekends. On weekdays, they are open until November 2 during the same times.

Only Freshman Girl on the Ripley High Golf Team

Although ninth grader Ashlyn Donohew is not the first girl to join the Ripley High golf team ever, she is only girl and freshman currently on the team. She jokes, “...and the shortest.”

She thinks golf is a lot of fun. She likes the new friendships she has been able to develop by being on the team. Donohew decided she wanted to try playing golf over this summer.

Donohew felt like playing golf would be a fun change from volleyball. She says she will not continue playing volleyball but she does plan on playing golf again in future seasons.

Her cousin taught Donohew how to play golf earlier this year. Donohew has only been playing since the beginning of the season. She tells us that it’s kind of weird being the only girl on the team, but everyone talks to each other.

The other golfers are all nice to her but some tease her in a big brother type of way. She did not know anyone on the team before she joined.

She has played her first all girl tournament ever this golf season on September 18th. She placed 38th out of the 52 girls who played.

She will eventually play tournaments with the boys if she qualifies. As of right now, she does not get as much playing time as the boys. They are all much more experienced than she is.

“I think it is a really fun sport and I think everyone should get involved,” says Donohew. She thinks it’s definitely a sport worth trying.

What Time is it? It's Election Time!

Election Day is coming up very soon and it’s usually on the Tuesday after November 1st. Votes goes to local, state, and national levels. In order to vote, you’ll need to be register and be the age of 18. This is a perfect opportunity for seniors, especially those who turn 18 right before November, to be able to vote. Find your nearest polling place and vote!

Important races, positions, or officials West Virginians will be voting for are the U.S. Senator and the U.S. Representative, your State Senate and State Delegate, and Amendments to the West Virginia Constitution that are being focused on right now in 2018.

This year’s U.S. Senate candidates will be Patrick Morrisey (Jefferson Co.), Joseph Manchin III (Marion Co.), and Rusty Hollen (Harrison Co.). Morrisey has been the Attorney General of West Virginia for the past five years and he is also a Republican. Manchin is the Democratic candidate; he has also worked on focusing on education. Hollen is a Libertarian Party candidate.

Our U.S. Representative candidates are Alex X. Mooney (Jefferson Co.), Talley Sergent (Kanawha Co.), and Daniel P. “Danny” Lutz, Jr. (Jefferson Co.). Mooney is a Republican candidate, Sergent is a Democratic candidate, and Lutz, Jr. is a Mountain candidate. All three candidates are running for positions of the U.S. House West Virginia District 2.

The State Senator candidates are Eric J. Tarr (Putnam Co.), Brian Prim (Mason Co.), and Amy Nichole Grady (Mason Co.). Tarr is a Republican, Prim is a Democratic, and Grady is a Non-Partisan Association candidate. They are running for the 4th Senatorial District.

Then, our candidates for State Delegates are Steve Westfall (Jackson Co.) and Missy Morris (Jackson Co.). Westfall is a Republican and Morris is a Democratic candidate. They both are running for the 12th Delegate District.

The Amendments that are being focused on right now is Amendment No. 1: No Constitutional right to abortion Amendment. The other one is Amendment No. 2: Judicial Budget Oversight Amendment.

The Abortion Amendment, which is No. 1, is to clarify that there is nothing in the Constitution of WV that secures or protects the right to abort or funding for abortion.

The Judicial Budget Amendment, which is No. 2, is set to be reviewed and understand the rights for the budget, including keeping track of it after what happened last time of stealing and misplaced or misused money of the Judicial branch budget.

For example, the whole WV Supreme Court has misused the money out of that budget only for redecoration that nobody will see. You can choose whether to support the Amendments or not to. Therefore, that is why we have that amendment set up for voting and also the ballot for some positions of the Supreme Court which you can find online or on paper copy at your nearest city building!

Be prepared for Election Day and make sure you know who or what you’re voting for!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

1st Female Principal at Ripley High school

Have you ever wondered about the new principal Bev Shatto? 

For the school year of 2018-2019, Shatto was introduced as the new Ripley High School principal. She had served as assistant principal for years at the school.

“It was time for a new challenge, and I wanted to go outside my comfort zone,” said Shatto.  

Before becoming principal, she had experience in other fields. Shatto had taught in every level including elementary, middle, and high school. She had three years in state training, several years working as an administrator, and had coached at seven different schools. 

Shatto decided she wanted to apply for the job in hopes of making a difference. Over the summer she explained how people were “coming to her, and at large people wanted me to take the job.” 

“I had to decide to do it for myself in the long run,” she explains. 

Being a woman has lots of challenges in today’s society also, and Shatto explains some of these challenges. 

“I was afraid people might not take me seriously, or might doubt my ability to do this job,” she said.

Luckily, she has not experienced this problem yet. 

Her goals for this school year include maintaining Ripley High School’s performance, making gains in mathematics, and expanding to more programs related to certain occupational fields. 

Shatto hopes her being principal will make a huge difference to this school, and bring a positive outlook to it. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Schools should prepare for lockdowns to save lives

No matter if it has only happened once in the entire history of the world, it would still be too many times…

This is a common saying after a school shooting happens.  Everyone believes it and people are trying to prevent more from happening, but it isn’t enough.

There have been at least 27 gunfire attacks resulting in injury or death on school grounds in 2018.

February 14, 2018 was Valentine’s Day. But also, the day that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had a school shooting. Seventeen people died. There were multiple people injured. 
The shooter had been expelled from that school, so he was no longer attending.  He had just about as much access as any member of the public.  

We should care about the shooting months later because people lost their even though they knew procedure. 

Knowing procedure and practicing are two very different things. Marjory Stoneman Douglas students didn’t practice the Code Red very often. During the shooting, students were thinking fast. One girl decided to put books in front of their faces to shield them. Another girl played dead and got under an already dead boy to make it seem realistic. They had to come up with new ideas in the heat of the moment since they were not taught to them. 

Practicing is very important. Taking it seriously is also important which some kids didn’t do.

“Some kids were on their phones. A lot of kids were trying to snapchat everything because they thought it was a joke and it wasn’t.” said by another survivor of the Parkland shooting.

School has been in session for two months in Jackson County, but we still haven’t practiced our Code Red Procedure.  We need to practice so kids know what to do, they won’t have questions, and we will be prepared.

Here is how we can be better prepared in school:
Practice Code Reds often. Go through the plan of what needs to happen. It’s not just the students that need to practice. It’s the staff too, teach an updated ALICE training to students and teacher, and practice real situations instead of just locking down. It can be unexpected. 

Now, many schools including MSDHS have lines of tape in the corners of the classrooms showing where to stay so a shooter can’t see anyone from the door. If they had been less prepared, there would have been a lot more deaths. 

Things you can do to save yourself and others during a shooting:
- Shades down, doors locked, lights off.
- Move window to other side of door so can’t reach handle or make bullet proof. Or, get rid of the windows completely and use cameras to see outside the door or use peep holes. 
- Decide what students should be the fighters if you need it.
- Find things that you can use as a weapon on the shooter such as – a chair, hole puncher, something heavy and/or hard, etc.
- Find things to hide behind like a desk are a cabinet. 
- Make sure you have things to cover your body if you are in the view of the shooter so you don’t get seen or hurt.
- STAY OUT OF VIEW – as best as you possibly can. 

These things happen. “That doesn’t happen here” isn’t true. We need to be prepared.
If you agree, share this. Let people know. This needs to change

Monday, October 1, 2018

Mental health in teens should increase in importance

Mental health problems are increasing more each day for teenagers. According to Mental Health America, there are over 1.7 million youth with major depressive episodes that do not receive treatment. Also in a five year period, rates of severe youth depression grew from 5.9% to 8.2%. 

Mental health is about emotions and connecting with the world around us.  Problems happen when we don’t understand and deal with them.  This is a very serious topic and to this day we are seeing it increase more each day, especially in younger kids. 

“ My definition of mental health is the state that your mind is in,” said senior Taylor Miller.

“I think that mental health occurs mostly in ages eleven through your early twenties. Our brains aren't fully developed until we are in our twenties,” said senior counselor Tina Holley. 

There are several types of mental health concerns such as anxiety, ADHD, ADD and tons more. Anxiety and ADHD are the most common in teenagers.  

“I think anxiety is the most common mental health concern in teenagers because there is a lot of stress and peer pressure put on us teens,” said senior Jaylyn Sheppard. 

Mental health issues are increasing here lately because we have more stressors around us. Teens have always stressed about school, relationships, and friendships.  However, they stress more about drugs, sex, bullying, money, and violence than people before them.

It is important to do something about it so it doesn’t get worse.

Some people go to the doctor to get prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. Other people go to counseling and that seems to help them out too. Doctors like to make some of their patients do both; sometimes that works better for them. 

“If I were to have depression and anxiety I would probably like to go to counseling better than taking a pill everyday, “ said senior Hayley Gibson. 

Some things you can do to help decrease your stress before it gets to the point where you need professional help: exercise, read a book, draw a picture, take a deep breath, counting, and walk away.

Flooding Preparations in Case of Another Flooding

Hurricane Florence has taken on quite a toll of flooding in a lot of places. One thing we could do to prepare for emergencies is to plan a evacuation plan and make several accessible kits we could use at a time in need.

Many people know there’s a flash flood watch and a flash flood warning. It is important to know the difference between those two. If you hear there is a flood watch, then that means you have to keep an eye out for any flooding; that it is possible. A flood warning means there will be flooding soon or there is already flooding and you need to take precautions QUICKLY.

People can find easy ways to look for information or get help. You can listen to your local radio station or the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric) radio for any updates or preparations. There are also websites such as American Red Cross, TV stations about the weather you can look into, and some apps that can send alerts through the phone. If you need help, only if it’s urgent, then calling Red Cross or 911 would be the best option in case you’re stuck or in an emergency situation.

What should we do to prepare beforehand if we come across a flash flood warning? Make sure you have an emergency kit with you; always double check to see if you’re missing anything. Make another additional kit with supplies you think you might need; the only difference with this additional kit is you might run out or lose/damage supplies in your original kit. A few suggestions would be batteries, a flashlight, some canned food, and blankets. Store extra materials in your own car, too.

Always think ahead. If you have kids or pets, you would want to take some food and toys along with your kit to provide for them in case they go hungry or bored. Always check to make sure your car has gas. Different areas has different spots for higher ground or shelter to go to for flooding; make sure you know a place you can evacuate to so you are not rushing ahead and running out of time (and gas).

If you are most likely to lose things or have anything damaged, take pictures of everything of your property. Later on, if it is needed, insurance can help cover the costs and the loss of your items.

Never drive through water. You shouldn’t walk or swim in water either. Water is powerful enough to move a car or even a big truck even if it is only three feet or less. Water is strong enough to break the pavement or crack it. Avoid any contact with water; don’t drink it or use it because most chances it will be contaminated.

Keep an eye out. Be prepared. Stay safe!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Haunted House Coming to Ripley

Get ready for the scare of a lifetime! The Go-Go Scare Show is a new haunted house coming to Ripley.

Charessa Wilkinson, owner of the haunt, says, “We chose Ripley because they support local businesses.” Wilkinson describes the haunted house as a “19-scene, 7,500 square-foot maze theatrical production.”
Going into the haunt, visitors will enter a sideshow-type party waiting area with music and actors. The room is filled with terrifying animatronics and black lights. There are no lines - just a huge area to mingle and dance. Groups of 4 to 5 people will be called into the actual rooms by the number they are given. Once they are in the first room, they will told a few warnings about the haunt. If you have health concerns, there are strobe lights throughout the haunt.
The mood of the rooms will go from light to dark with different twists. One room will have gummy bears, and another will have killer clowns from outer space. Rooms may have some tricks along the way.  For example, you may not know how to get out.
Wilkinson rented a building space in the same plaza that Cozumel is on. She and volunteers have built walls, painted, and decorated every room in the haunt.  She wouldn’t have been able to complete the haunt without the help from so many great people. Brandon Tomblin, junior, has helped put up tons of walls, ceilings, and has helped decorate.

He says, “We have something for everyone. Clowns, blood, murders, and the scariest of all - children. If you have a fear, you can bet we will exploit it.”

Trey Starcher, sophomore, is one of the actors at the haunt. He got involved when a friend told him about it and asked him to act. He has helped build the haunt since August. He says, “It’s going to be great.”

You may find actors hiding or standing in the middle of rooms.
The Go-Go Scare Show is a family-friendly event, although they suggest children under the age of 12 not to attend. Wilkinson says, “We want to share scares, not nightmares.”

The Go-Go Scare Show will run at 108 Academy Dr. Ripley, WV (by Save-A-Lot and Rent-A-Center) on September 28-29, October 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, and November 2-3. The haunt will be open from 7pm-12am. Tickets cost $10 per person.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Vikings prepare for Homecoming

We got spicy deets for the homecoming game coming up this Friday! Ripley High School will be playing a home game against Brooke High School at 7:30 as usual. The football team is pumped about it.

“We will go through the game plan to see whatever the coach thinks fit,” senior Andrew Dolin said. “We’ll also look through old game films and watch some of the plays and pick which ones would work best,” he said.

Preparation is also a mental game.

“We’re gonna put our heads together and play tougher than the other team,” wide receiver Justin Wheeler said.

The team is preparing by doing a lot of conditioning and some offense and defense practice.  The Vikings are hoping for a better score this year compared to what we had last year’s homecoming game.

“Last year, we played against Huntington. We didn’t win,” fullback Jeremy Harper said.

We took a big loss last year as we played against Huntington which is another reason for the players to be mentally ready for this Friday’s game.

Nose guard Griffin Craddock adds, “[This year’s] score will definitely not be 49-7 - only if we’re winning.”

The coaches are also enthusiastic about the game.

Coach Ronnie Mullins is a graduate of Ripley High School.  He adds, “[I] really want to beat them because we lost to them when I was a senior during the playoffs.”

It seems like everyone is all set for the game! All the players are excited and ready to take the win home. We’ve won three out of four games so far so it’s looking like the Vikings are setting a stronger season this year. Come on out and cheer on our team from the bleachers as we prep for another victory!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Homecoming parade will be ‘Marvel’-ous

Homecoming this year has students super excited! Even the pep rally for the game has a theme. The theme of the pep rally is Hawaiian. Everyone is encouraged to wear grass skirts, leis, and Hawaiian shirts.

The homecoming theme for the parade and dance is incredible - Disney/Marvel! A lot of people voted for this theme just because we have never done something with superheroes.

The marvelous homecoming court includes: seniors Caydan Keeler, Olivia Miller, Jahlea Bumpus, Jonathan Zuniga, Kelsey Hill, and Easton Perry. The junior representatives is Emma Ray Hartley and Isaac Robertson. The sophomore royalty are Bailey Landfried and Matthew Moore. Last but not least, the freshman homecoming court is Toryn Scholl and Austin Litton.

Each class chose a different theme for their float. The seniors chose Spider-man.

“We will be putting lots of decorations on the float to look like a city,” said senior Jaylyn Sheppard.

The Juniors chose Pirates of the Caribbean.

“The people on the float are going to be wearing pirate costumes and bear onsies [to imitate the Bruins],” said junior Stormie Wilkinson.

The sophomores chose Toy Story and the freshman chose Winnie the Pooh.

“The Sophomores are wearing costumes. Gage Songer is dressing up like Barbie,” said sophomore Laney Harper.

The freshman are dressing like Hundred Acre Wood.

“We are wearing costumes. There are a lot of them actually, owl costumes, donkey, bear, tiger etc,“ said Freshman Chase Pepper.

Students will be dismissed at 12pm to go to the middle school to get ready and the parade will start at 1pm.

Minaj album ‘Queen’ stays true to previous work

Queen is the first album Nicki Minaj has released since 2014, and it’s definitely an album you should listen to. Minaj’s original release date for Queen was set back in June, but she waited until August to release it because of her “perfectionism.”

Lil Wayne said Queen is one of the best albums yet. It is similar to Minaj’s older albums but includes singers from different music genres. Like usual, Minaj talks about sex in most of her songs, but the beat behind this album is different. It seems slower to have a feel compared to her other albums although her rapping is still quick . She also features a variety of artists, such as Eminem, Labrinth, Lil Wayne, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Swae Lee, Future, Foxy Brown, 6ix9ine, and Murda Beatz.

Minaj is known for sexualizing herself and using profanity in songs and she does this on every track.  She is very confident in her own sexuality and is not afraid to show that.  

Minaj’s most played song on the album, and my personal favorite, is “Barbie Dreams.” “Barbie Dreams is basically a diss track. She calls out Meek Mill (her ex-boyfriend), DJ Khaled, Drake, 50 Cent, Lil Uzi Vert, and many other artists. She even talked about Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants wide receiver) in her song for taking part in the KiKi Dance Challenge. Every artist she calls out is mostly because of a personal grudge or what the media has focused on in the past.

Overall, Queen was an amazing album. It is very catchy, although I would not recommend playing this album in front of your parents. If any album is worth your time and money, Queen is it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Great ideas for senior trips

By: Maisie Stout
As summer quickly approaches, many seniors are planning trips with their friends. Popular destinations for high school graduates include the beach, but there are many other places to go if you cannot afford a week at the beach or a long vacation.

Seniors who are looking for a vacation that is fun and fairly cheap should consider a camping trip. There are many places in West Virginia that are fun to go camping, these places include Old Man’s Cave, Audra Falls and even North Bend State Park which is only a few minutes from Parkersburg. There are many things to do at parks like canoeing or kayaking, hiking, swimming, and biking. This would be a fun way for friends to get to spend a little more time together before they separate in the fall.

Other ideas for senior outings could be day trips to an amusement park, zoo or some other destination hotspot. The high school is even taking seniors to King’s Island on May 22. A trip like that would be fun for a group of friends to take, and it would also be relatively cheap. You could visit the Columbus Zoo and waterpark which is only about two and a half hours away. There is also shopping and good food in Columbus, so the day trip can turn into a weekend one. 

If going out of state is still on your to-do list for this summer, but you want to do something different than go to the beach, there are many options for students to go on vacation. A trip to the nation’s capital could be informative and fun. There are many national monuments that are interesting to see, like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Memorial. Pittsburgh has great food and it is only a little ways past Morgantown.

Senior trips do not have to be just about going to the beach, although that is always a good option. To all the seniors going on a senior trip: have fun and be safe!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Senior Graduation Scheduled for Perfection

By: Lilly Sayre

The class of 2018 is set to graduate May 25 at 8 p.m., but before that they have quite a few things to accomplish.

Senior Madison Jones said, “We do have a lot of things to practice, but it will be worth it when we walk across the stage at graduation.”

The busy line of events starts with the mandatory practice for Formal Awards. The practice takes place at 12:05 p.m. in the auditorium Thursday, May 17. During the practice, seniors will need to wear their caps with the tassel. Please remember to write names inside of the caps in order to keep them with their rightful owners.

Friday May 18, seniors must be in the gym by 7:40 for Formal Awards. Attendance is mandatory with the event starting at 8 a.m. Caps and gowns are required along with dress clothes/ shoes.

Tuesday May 22 seniors who are traveling to King’s Island will leave at 6 a.m. They plan to depart and make their way home around 4 p.m. The final deadline to sign up for the trip is Wednesday May 9. If there is not enough student participation the trip will be cancelled.

Senior Megan Hughart said, “I think the King’s Island trip will be lots of fun for all of us going.”

May 23 kicks off the start of graduation practices. Starting at 9 a.m. the school cooks will be serving a special breakfast for all of the seniors in the cafeteria. At 10 a.m., prospective graduates will move to the gym and begin the first practice for graduation ceremonies.

The evening of May 23 at 7 p.m. Baccalaureate will be hosted by Tim Britton, state advisor for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in the Auditorium. Seniors should be properly dress and in the gym by 6:40 p.m. After the ceremony, the slide show containing senior baby pictures will be played.

Thursday May 24 there will be another mandatory practice held at 9 a.m. in the gym for graduation ceremonies.

Senior Mercedes Quick said, “I am nervous to walk across stage, but I am ready to be a graduate.”

Friday May 25 the final mandatory practice will be held at 9 a.m. in the gym and on the football field.

The evening of May 25 the senior class is expected in the gym by 7:40 p.m. in dress clothes along with their caps and gowns. Graduation ceremonies will begin at 8 p.m. sharp.

Some important reminders are:
All financial obligations must be paid to the Annex office by 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 24.  If the bill is not paid for the student will not receive your diploma at the ceremony. 

If any senior is in need transportation for any of the practices or ceremonies, please tell Liz Sayre, graduation coordinator, or one of the administrators PRIOR to the scheduled event.

If for some unforeseen reason or emergency, a student must miss practice, please call the school and notify Miss Kristy of the absent and the reason for not attending, PRIOR to practice.

Senior year is coming to an end quickly. Make sure you know where to be and when for your big day!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Kanye’s slavery spiel creates another uproar

On Tuesday, May 1 Kanye West was in a live TMZ interview, the interview started off as West being questioned about a recent twitter post with him wearing a Make America Great Again hat. This post sparked a huge controversy on social media, many people were furious Kanye supported Trump. It even cost Kanye nine million followers in a matter of minutes. Kayne then proceded to say that Trump is “my boy” and has his full support, and has been a huge part of the rap game for the past few years.

It seemed to be pretty normal for a Kanye interview until he said, “Slavery was a choice.” “When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.” West then added, “You (as in the slaves) were there for 400 years and it was all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.” 

It was clearly visible that TMZ employees were distraught from Kanye’s outlansidh actions on the show. The employees were asked by West “Do you think I’m thinking freely?” Office employee, Van Lathan fired back at the question: “I don’t think you are thinking at all right now. While you are making music, and being an artist and living the life you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives.” Lathan said, “We have to deal with the marginalization that’s come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people (African Americans) was a choice.” Lathan said he was “disappointed, appalled, and unbelievably hurt” by Kanye’s words and thoughts.  

Kanye has since taken to Twitter to try to clear up his jumbled thoughts. Stating that, “To make myself clear. I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will.” Many people, even some celebrities also took to Twitter to blast West for his statements. @russbengston tweeted, “Slavery wasn’t a choice, but listening to Kanye is.” This is not the first time He has made an outlandish statement that has caused a huge uproar with citizens. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Ripley High Students Visit Europe

A group of Ripley High students will embark on an adventure across Europe June 15-22. The trip is organized through the school and will visit England, France, Germany, Austria and Belgium. Each of the five students going paid around $5000, but the experiences will last them a lifetime.

This is not the first time that a group from the school has taken a summer trip. Last year, 20 students visited Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. This year’s tour will focus on World War 2 in Europe, and students will get to visit many historical monuments and locations. They will see the beaches at Normandy, Versailles, the Churchill War Rooms and the Berlin Wall.

Students will also have the opportunity to earn college credit while on this vacation. For a price of $300 and a written report after their trip, students could earn three hours of college credit in Interculturalism and Global Exploration through Southern New Hampshire University. Even for those who don’t want to pay for this credit, educational opportunities will be present everywhere. The tour will visit museums and many heritage sites throughout Europe.

Kristin Dewees, one of the leaders on the trip, thinks that the trip will benefit the students education.

“I think that the trip helps students get a bigger perspective of their world and its always cool to see the things you read about first hand and understand other cultures. The historical monuments by themselves are worth the trip, I’m very excited to go”, she said.

Not all learning comes from the classroom. There are countless opportunities around the world to broaden your worldview. All that you have to do is take the chance.

Ripley High School Changes Schedule

As the school year draws to a close and students begin picking their classes for next year, rumors of a change in next year’s schedule have been flying around . The current model of the same classes eight periods a day and five days a week have been all that students here have known. A change could have a huge impact on next year’s classrooms.

“Monday through Thursday students will have three periods in the morning, and three periods in the afternoon. What two periods we do not have will switch each day. Friday we will have the regular 8 period schedule”, assistant principal Bev Shatto said.

“I think that less class periods could help test scores,” junior Easton Perry said. “I would much rather have a few longer periods than changing classes all the time”.

Mr. Banton also says that “power hour” could look different next year.

“One change that we care considering is that instead of having power hour at lunch, we would have it during one of the classes during the day. This would given even more instruction time to teachers in this period. We will still have two lunches”, he said.

Fewer class changes will mean more class time for students. Classes could be as long as one hour next year. This longer instructional time could benefit education. It also offers a chance for students to attend power hour once a day. One problem that we had this year was students not going to their assigned power hour, this schedule fixes that problem.

The exact details of the schedule change are not set in stone. There are bound to be some tweaks between now and the start of classes next year. However, the new class schedule could be a boost to student education at Ripley.


Local gym makes changes under new ownership

By: Lucas Smith

The local gym is under new ownership and is seeing many new changes. New owners Barry Stober and Max Knapp have been working to renovate the gym and to get more members by purchasing new equipment and by adding new classes to the schedule.

The gym is offering several of their original classes, but they have also established some new programs. Some the classes include interval training, yoga, pilates, boot camp, and zumba.

“I take Zumba typically twice a week. I really like it because it is a lot of fun and it gets me back into the swing of dancing from when I used to be in dance a few years ago,” said senior Chloe Hayman.

The gym is used by many high school students. Freshman Bailey Landfried attends and keeps a detailed exercise routine.

“I warm up by running on the treadmill, then lift, and then I do the stair climber and the bicycle. I like to exercise at the gym because there are people there to motivate me and there are more machines to work out on,” said Landfried.

The prices of the gym vary depending on the kind of membership you get and if you decide to take any of the classes that are offered. The price for a single-adult membership for one month that is automatically renewed every month is $37. If you do not have that membership on auto-renew, the fee is $42. Class fees vary upon which class you decide to take. For Zumba, you pay $10 for each time you attend the class. 

In order to attend the fitness center, you have to have to be at least 14 years of age and be accompanied by an adult or be 16 years of age to attend by yourself.

Earlier in the year after the gym became under new ownership, a contest was held in schools around the county for students to submit a new possible name for the gym.

After the top names were chosen, the gym owners “took a poll through Facebook and let the community decide,” said employee Kaylee Maynard.

Formerly known as the Community Fitness Center, the name that received the most votes was Rip City Fitness.

If you would like to purchase a membership or take any of the classes offered, call Rip City Fitness Center at (304) 372-8381.