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.

‘Infinity War’ destroys box office records

By: Maisie Stout

“Avengers: Infinity War” is the 19th Marvel movie to come out since the first “Iron Man” in 2008. It has been anticipated by Marvel fans for more than a year. “Infinity War” will include appearances by multiple characters from the Marvel Universe, hopefully including a classic cameo from creator Stan Lee. 

Throughout the years we have seen many superheroes including the original “Avengers” (Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Iron Man), but Infinity War is the first movie where nearly all characters will join together. 

“I liked the first ‘Avengers’ movie because it was action-packed and funny. I hope that too many people do not get killed in the new movie,” senior Kara Hill said. 

Each new movie and phase, we are introduced to new members of the Marvel cinematic universe. In 2014, “Guardians of the Galaxy” blew Marvel fans away and earned over 700 million in the box office. Initially it did not seem that the “Guardians of the Galaxy” would correlate with the heroes back on Earth, but previews show that they are in the new movie. In fact the villain of “Infinity War”- Thanos- was featured in “Guardians” as the father of one of the main characters. 

Later, Marvel came out with “Ant-Man” and “Doctor Strange”. While these two movies did not do as well in the box office, they are still vital to the Marvel Universe as a whole because both new characters appear in later movies. 

“Black Panther” was released February 15 and had the fifth biggest opening weekend of all time with $202 million. However, the new “Avengers: Infinity” War takes the cake by making $258 million in the first weekend. It is projected to be the most successful Marvel movie thus far. 

Why is it doing so well? Before it was released, Infinity War was labeled “the most ambitious crossover event in history.” This label became its own meme, as everything does, and quickly became an internet joke. However, this did not deter people from seeing the movie because it was still very successful. 

The plot of “Infinity War” is fairly simple. Thanos is searching for the six infinity stones, while the Avengers are trying to stop him. The stones represent different parts of time and space, and are sources to many characters powers (Doctor Strange and Vision). Arguably the most significant part of the movie, though,  is trying to fit all of the characters and give them room to breathe.

Avengers: Infinity War is playing now in theaters everywhere. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

‘Water Assassins’ Causes Tidal Wave in Ripley Community

By: Lilly Sayre
The 2018 senior class is going out with a splash. After a group of seniors heard of Parkersburg South’s water assassin game they couldn’t resist hosting one of their very own.  

Starting April 18 a practice round for the Ripley high water assassins game was held. 
Students pair together and try to eliminate each other with water guns.Those  wanting to participate had a formed signed with parent permission and then both team members paid $10 to verify their entry. The two person teams were assigned a target which consist of another team participating in the game. There is a prize that consist of the money taken up from the teams as an entry fee. 

They have a week to hit their target assigned by the “Godfather” with water from a single-handed water pistol. Students are unaware of who is after them so safety is key.  They only have to assassinate one partner from a team to eliminate them. After that you wait until the end of the week before your new target is assigned. If they do not hit their target within the time limit or fail to get photographic/ video evidence of the kill then their team is eliminated.

Senior Megan Hughart said, “It was kind of a hassle videoing the kill, but the thrill is so worth capturing on camera.”

Locations around the Ripley community were classified as “kill zones” and “non-kill zones”. Non-kill zones are places such as churches, Jackson County School property, sports practices, places of employment, and etc. Places such as Walmart, Sheetz, and parking lots are legal kill zones. If you assassinate on private property, the kills must take place from 5 a.m. through 10:59 p.m. to avoid being mistaken for a criminal. This curfew only applies for privately-owned property. Other locations are open for legal kills till 1 a.m.

Senior Abby Cravens said, “It was tons of fun waking up early, and hiding out to get our target on his way to his car in the morning.”

Many students are excited to see who comes out on top when the game is over. Some plan to make a bracket to see how far their favorite team makes it.

Senior Najee Jones said, “I am having a very fun time. Me and my partner make a good team. I think we have a chance at winning the game.” 

The game has a possibility of lasting until project graduation. The final two teams will dual for the win.  The first official round of the game started April 30. Stick around to see which teams comes out on top as water assassin champs!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Everything English Night is big hit

By: Maisie Stout

The English Department put on an Everything English Night for students to come to school and get help with homework and make up missing assignments on April 19. English Night was the brainchild of teachers Saunyell Atkinson and Melissa Sheets who thought of the idea while talking about creating an English equivalent of IXL Night for math.

“I would say that English night was a success. We had a lot of kids come and do work. We even fed them pizza, and most of the teachers involved allowed students to have bonus points,” Saunyell Akinson said.

In fact, 126 students showed up. The English Night was held in the library to accommodate such a large group. Atkinson mentioned looking for another place for the event to be held because there were issues with WiFi.

“I had fun, and got to catch up in my English class. We also had a LOT of pizza, which was awesome,” senior Grace Bumpus said. 

Even librarian Gail Benford came to help out and allowed students to check out books and take AR tests. 

“We were a little disappointed in how few kids checked out books and took AR tests. This is a also a good time to turn in books or pay fines.  The students just need to remember their IDs” Benford said. 

At the English Night, students could work on anything from missing assignments to vocab jams on Vocab jams are sort of like Kahoot, but for vocabulary words that many English teachers have incorporated into their assignments. 

“I worked on No Red Ink, which is a site that you can practice grammar on. I had fun and would definitely go again,” sophomore Brandon Tomblin said.

The event went well enough that the department plans to hold one more this year and have them regularly next year.

“For such short notice on a new event, we had great participation.  The math teachers really helped by laying the groundwork with IXL night,” teacher Emily Okes said.

The next Everything English Night will be May 17.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Avicii's death reminds us the importance of mental health

April 20 the music world lost a profound DJ and musician, Avicii. Avicci was found dead in his hotel room in Oman, he was 28 years old and had been in the music industry since 2008, but his music really blew up in 2011.

Avicii had been in love with music ever since he was little. At the age of eight he started mixing and making music. His discography includes: two studio albums, one compilation album, one remix album, one mix album, 48 singles, and 29 music videos. Avicii found his love for music at a very young age, and it only grew as he did.

He collaborated with 35 different songwriters, DJ’s, or other musicians in his career. This made him very well liked. He had such a buoyant soul, who put so much love and thought into his music. Steve Aoki, a very close friend to Avicii. Aoki, said he taught him the whole meaning of their career was to have fun with it, and not freak out about the performance.

Despite being a shining light for others, in his life there was also darkness. Avicii has had multiple health problems including: his appendix removed, gallbladder removed, being hospitalized for multiple days at different times, and a heavy drinking problem. He had said in a recent interview (about six months ago) that if he continued living this lifestyle it was going to kill him. Little did anybody know that six short months later Avicii would take his own life, because he just couldn’t handle it anymore. The busy lifestyle, the crazy tours, the long nights, the constant partying was too much for him. He had said he wanted to quit touring and doing shows, but was pressured into continuing by close friends and people in the music industry. All the crazy tours, long nights, and constant partying became too much for what Avicii wanted and could handle.

Mental health is such a huge problem in our world today. People try to suppress the pain or illness when they really need help. Men especially are known to try and suppress their problems because in society men should not be viewed as being weak, such as seeking help for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. This horrific societal trend needs to be broken. Seeking help for mental illness does not by any means make you weak. If you ever get the feeling you want to hurt yourself, please reach out and contact the suicide hotline, 1-800-273-TALK. This goes for any person, man or woman, child or adult. Somebody will be there to help you.

Waffle House shooting example of a need for gun laws

Sunday April 22, 29 year-old Travis Reinking approached a Waffle House in Tennessee at 3:30 a.m and used an “assault rifle type” gun to shoot two people standing outside and two people inside. The shooting ended when a customer, James Shaw Jr., wrestled the weapon away from the gunman, who then fled on foot. The police searched for the shooter for 34 hours before receiving a community tip leading to Reinking's arrest in a wooded area near his Nashville apartment on Monday. This incident is leading many Americans to ask the burning question: When do all of the shootings end? 

Most people are pointing fingers at gun rights, saying that it’s too easy for the wrong people to purchase a gun. Other people are blaming it on mental health, saying that mental illness is always the case when you hear about a shooting.

Senior Brandon Ball said “I think it’s both. I don’t think that we should take guns away from everybody. But only the people who shouldn’t have a gun in their hands.” 

Many Americans are saying that we can take one step closer to a peaceful nation if we follow a certain law. People who suffer from mental illness to the point where they are a danger to themselves or others, or those with multiple run-ins with the law, will not be allowed to possess guns for a certain amount of time. Which begs another question: Will that solve all of the shooting problems?

Sophomore Evan Bain said, “I don’t think it will stop all of the shootings. It may slow it down vaguely. We are only tackling the people with criminal records and dangerous mental illness. That doesn’t include the nobodies who just show up and kill people.”

Making gun laws more strict will not stop all violence. Masses of people won’t die at the same time as often, but people are still going to kill people. But it is one step closer to saving many lives from the hand of a criminal.