Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Year Later: Human Remains Found in Italian Cruise Ship

Erin Gouris Staff Writer Over a year later, the Costa Concordia is still sitting where it capsized off the coast of Italy. The cruise ship was on its side until recently when it was righted by engineers, somthing that is not common with ships that large. It was an attempt to locate the two bodies that were never found. A week later, human remains were found that are perhaps the missing people. Out of the four thousand people on board, thirty two died and sixty four were injured. The Costa Concordia was sailing near the Giglio Island when it hit a reef and flipped onto its side. BBC reports Italy's civil protection agency’s head Franco Gabrielli say that it was “almost a miracle” that the remains were found after 20 months under the cruise ship. They are being tested and need to be identified with DNA, but are most likely the two missing passengers. The Italian captain Francesco Schettino claims he is a hero, and shouldn’t be blamed for the deaths. There was a miscommunication when the captain told the helmsman to turn left, and instead he turned right. Reported from CNN Schettino is possibly faced with 20 years in jail for his actions.In addition to be tried for manslaughter, Schettino is said to have abandoned the ship while there were still passengers on board trying to evacuate. He wants to do a recreation of the night, this time walking with the judges alongside him to explain himself.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lights On!

Maggie Dougherty and Mackenzie Garvin
Staff Writers

The board meeting on Monday, Oct. 7, had students and parents clapping and cheering on their feet when the New Hope-Solebury school board voted to rescind the decision to end night games after this fall season. The auditorium seats were practically filled, many opinions were voiced, and the tensions were high for this issue that so many cared about. The meeting was not only emotional, but informative.
 The board discussed the possible idea of a new stadium field and the budget the school has for such a plan in detail. This was the first article on the agenda, but barely anyone stirred during this consideration. When the issue of whether to take back the rash decision of Sept. 16 to turn off the stadium lights was brought to light, kids and their parents became full of spirit. After the board discussion of these two topics, the floor was opened up to the public, and many people took the opportunity to express their opinion.
 Students of all grades who spoke at the podium were Connor Smith, Kristen Aquaro, Anna Vidakovic, Chloe Verwiel, Andrew Dorsi, Chloe Lemunyan, and Emma Singer, who stated: “By taking away the lights, you would be taking away a huge source of pride and spirit for the students.” These enthusiastic members of the school were all applauded immensely by the crowd for their aplomb and passion. But they were not the only speakers! In fact they were the minority, for many parents and other adults gave their opinions as well.  
 These community members were also very ardent and a few had to be reminded to direct their comments toward the board. However, not all of the speakers spoke on behalf of saving the lights. There were voices from both sides of the argument. Neighbors shared their opinion of how they felt they were not being respected. These unhappy neighbors expressed their feelings on how the lights and sounds of the stadium disrupted their family lives. However, the vote at the end of the meeting was 5 to 2 in favor of rescinding the removal of the lights decision. At least for now, students and adults will continue to enjoy the thrill of a game under the lights.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NHS Security Watch: Raptor System Installed in all New Hope-Solebury Schools

Heather Borochaner
Staff Writer

Security is a must have in all schools. Recently, New Hope Solebury schools have installed what is called the Raptor System. This system requires adults trying to enter the school to scan any kind of government given ID, like a driver's license or a passport, and have a full analysis of criminal records before being allowed to go anywhere in the school. If an adult has already had their ID scanned, the only thing they are required to do is give their last name, and their name is searched up, which tells the office worker if that person has been scanned into the system. If they have been scanned and checked over, they are given a badge that contains their name, picture, and the date they are coming into the school. If the person trying to get into the school is alerted to be a criminal, alerts will be sent by text and email to all school authorities, and the situation will be handled from there.
 "We are working on a way to get all of the scanning done outside the school," says Ms. Nealis, one of the office workers who has tended to the Raptor System. The system itself is set up just outside the school's front entrance, close to where students scan their Key Cards. The adult is let inside and directed straight to the office where their information will be given.
 Mr. Radaszkiewicz, the information technology director of the school, says: "In order to have the scanning done outside the school, there will be a kiosk or a self service area that automatically does the scanning. Either way, there will have to be physical changes to the school buildings."
 The Raptor System was installed in all New Hope-Solebury schools about two weeks ago. The idea to get the system installed was given to many of the school authorities while they were visiting other schools that had the system installed, like the school principal Mr. Malone and Mr. Radaszkiewicz. A meeting concerning the system will be held in around a month to discuss how the system can be improved.

NHS competes for Katy Perry's Attention with a Bullying PSA

Jackie Gouris
Staff Writer

    While you had been acclimating into the new school year, Chloe Lemunyan and Melanie Davis had been busy creating a music video that would feature the new hit single “Roar” to be entered in a GMA contest to win an in-school concert with the artist Katy Perry. Chloe and Melanie were working on the two minute video in and out of school that would promote anti-bullying.
    The music video showcased Melanie traveling throughout the school with makeup that resembles a tiger. She eventually ends up standing up to her bullies. Others who worked on the music video were members of Mask and Zany, Student Government, and Journalism classes, with makeup done by Erin Male and video equipment provided by Heather Borochaner. She hopes it will reflect self empowerment and motivate people to stand up for themselves.
“It’s a video about finding your voice and not letting bullies stand in your way. I really want people to identify with the video. The song is very strong and powerful, and I want the video to be like that too,” Chloe said. The best school’s video will win an in-school concert with Katy Perry that will be filmed live by Good Morning America. The deadline for video entries was October 1.
    The concert would take place on October 25, which also happens to be Katy Perry’s birthday. To watch other school’s videos or check the results, visit Stay tuned to watch the final cut of the video and find out the winning school. Go New Hope!
Chloe Lemunyan hard at work    Photo by Jackie Gouris

Mr. Malone Enters the High School as Principal

Anna Sirianni
Web Editor 

In September 2013, New Hope-Solebury High School was introduced to principal Charles Malone, previously the New Hope-Solebury Middle School Principal. Malone attended Temple University. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Secondary Social Studies Education, as well as a Master’s degree of Arts in Educational Administration.
 The students at the High School range from grades 9-12, so opinions on this drastic change in power varied. Mr. Malone spent several years as the NH-S Middle School principal. This position gave him knowledge about the New Hope-Solebury School District and the students within.
 The new principal can be seen by most at least once a day throughout the school, which has been rare and difficult for previous principals. He can be seen holding doors for students as they enter the building or in the hallways between classes. Malone even knows many of the current freshmen and sophomores from their time in the middle school.
 During his term as middle school Principal, Malone posted weekly updates on the school website. He incorporated the happenings of our global community into these writings.
 On January 2, 2013, following the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Malone applied the current event to his “refocus on safety and security” procedures in the middle school. It was obvious that the students were preoccupied with this national news, and he acknowledged this in an appropriate way.
 Though Malone knew these students several years ago, he now gets the privilege to see an obvious increase in maturity, attitude towards school, and outlook on life overall from these familiar faces. Malone’s boundless spirit is a refreshing change of pace at the high school. His best interest is very obviously in the favor of students.
 It seems that Mr. Malone’s only motives are success and happiness for New Hope’s students. Students of NH-S High School are eager learners, and only positive results can come from this new, spirited force leading them. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

James Miller Talks About the Power of Great Journalism

Sienna Lee

On September 23, James Miller came to New Hope-Solebury to talk about the relationship between ESPN and the upcoming documentary about the NFL. Mr. Miller is the author of several books, including Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, and articles such as Live from New York, An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, and numerous others. He is currently in the spotlight for his article in The New York Times:N.F.L. Pressure Said to Lead ESPN to Quit Film Project.”

 Mr. Miller wrote this article for the New York Times, which quickly received a lot of mixed reactions. The article focused on how ESPN ended their affiliation with PBS and “Frontline,” with whom they co-produced the documentary League of Denial, which airs on Oct. 8. This documentary is about the health issues that NFL players may face as a result of severe head injuries during the game, referred to by Frontline as a concussion crisis. Soon after learning about this documentary, the NFL made it clear that they were not happy that ESPN was associated with it. Mr. Miller wrote in his article that "the face-off with ESPN comes at an unusually sensitive time for the NFL, which is engaged in a potentially far-reaching legal dispute with more than 4,000 retired players and their families, who have charged the league concealed for years and even decades what it knew about the long-term dangers of repeated hits to the head." Since then, the NFL has agreed to a 765 million dollar settlement after being accused of concealing a link between professional football and traumatic brain injury by over 4500 retired players.
 The meeting, which took place in the library during third period on Monday and was available to all journalism students, was very interesting and informative. Mr. Miller went very in-depth with this issue and answered a few questions from students. One of the questions that he was asked was about the backlash that he received after writing this article. He said that while there were some strong reactions to his article and not everyone was happy about it, it is important as a journalist to write about these issues anyway, even if it does upset some people. He also showed the trailer for the documentary and asked our opinions on it. He also pointed out during the meeting that when writing the article, he never expected it to get as much attention as it did, emphasizing the point that any one person can make a huge difference with their writing, even us at our age. This visit was a great way for students to learn more about this issue and get some interesting insight into what the life of a journalist is like.

Navy Yard Shooting Leaves 12 Dead

Max Charney
Staff Writer

Twelve people are dead from a mass shooting at a Navy Yard in Washington D.C on Monday Sept 16. authorities have concluded that Aaron Alexis acted alone in the shooting. Alexis was 34, he was later shot by police that same. Officials are still looking for a possible motive that would have prompted this attack.
  Alexis was able to enter the Navy Yard like any of the other of the workers (or any normal worker). He had a proper security pass and walked through, with a bag that held the disabled Remington 870 shotgun, upon further investigation, the shotgun revealed unexplained phrases sketched into the side, one saying: “Better off this way,” and the other reading “My elf weapon.” Alexis assembled the shotgun inside a bathroom at the headquarters of the Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) also known as Building 197. Video surveillance shows Alexis entering the bathroom with the bag and leaving with the shotgun assembled. Then started to fire the shotgun at random. Investigators believe Alexis then went floor to floor shooting workers. He also shot and killed a security guard, Alexis took the security guard’s pistol as well and used it in the attack.
 Thirty minutes later law enforcement arrived and hunted down Alexis, he engaged in multiple firefights with police. He died from a gunshot but it is still unclear about how exactly he died. The Navy Yard does have their own police, but only seven officers were working that day. The capital was on a lockdown for several hours following the shooting.
 Alexis was a former Navy reservist and was a military contractor at the base. Alexis was diagnosed for insomnia but never sought out help for his condition, he also claimed that he heard voices in his head, and was being force to do the shooting because he was being controlled by low frequency radio waves.
 This shooting was the eleventh deadliest shooting in U.S history, followed by the July 20, 2012, movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo that left 12 dead. This is the thirty first shooting linked to a mental illness in the U.S. Adam Lanza was responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, connecticut. Which was the second deadliest shooting in U.S history. He was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder (SID). He was also responsible for the deaths of twenty elementary school children, and seven adults including his mother. Almost all the school shootings in the past eight months have been related to mental illness. Adam Lanza was not treated for his mental health issues.
 Last Sunday, September 22, there was a memorial service for the victims of the shooting, president Obama was at attendence. The service was held at the Marine Barracks Washington, in southwest Washington. Those killed were Michael Arnold, 59 years old, Kathy Gaarde, 62 years old, John Roger Johnson, 73 years old, Arthur Daniels, 51 years old, Richard Michael Ridgell, 52 years old, Martin Bodrog, 54 years old, Vishnu Bhalchandra Pandit, 61 years old,  Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46 years old, Mary Francis Knight, 51 years old, Gerald Read, 58 years old, Sylvia Frasier, 53 years old, and Frank Kohler, 50 years old. Eight others were injured during the attack. Officials do not think that Alexis was targeting anyone specific.             

Lights Out!

Maggie Dougherty
Staff Writer

The school board of New Hope Solebury High School voted on Monday, Sept. 16 to silence the cheers and turn off the lights for the stadium field. Due to nearby neighbor’s complaints and the issue of field space, the board has decided to cancel night games after the fall season.
  During the vote that confirmed this decision, there were three board members who were not present. President Amanda Elefante had recused herself and Jonathan Adar and Joseph Harraka did not make it to that meeting. Mr. Harraka was surprised by the vote and said it was an “unfortunate decision which I would have adamantly opposed.” The motion to cancel the night games was a surprise because it was not on the agenda or advertised publicly. What was on the agenda was the possible plan to resolve this issue: to build a new stadium named field 13 which would be far enough from neighboring homes to avoid conflict. This would be funded completely by private donations.The next school board meeting is scheduled for October 12th, and it is open to the public. If the decision is made final on this night, 75% of the planned season for this year will have to be rescheduled.   
  The superintendent, Dr. Raymond Boccuti, made the statement “We want to be the best neighbors we can. I’m also interested in whatever is best for the students, and we need more fields. What’s nice is that members of the community are offering to help pay, so no one loses.”
  Not everyone agrees with Dr. Boccuti’s statement. Judy Finn, mother of a freshman football player at New Hope, has created an online petition using Facebook to spread awareness and appeal the decision to turn off the stadium lights. Past New Hope graduates, including former 2013 class president, Zachary Wenz and former 2012 president, Chris Warden, have written letters to the school board expressing their disappointment in the quick decision to cancel night games. Also, many of the students feel that this decision is unjust. Senior Kyle Chapin says “It’s only a few complaining neighbor’s compared to the entire student body, and it’s not fair that they got their way.”
  The school board’s job is to make decisions that will positively affect the student body. Chris Warden reflects the opinion of many students when he writes in his letter to the school board: “Those who matter most to the board--the students--are the ones who you have hurt by your decision to remove the lights and sound ultimately ending night games.”  
  It is anticipated that the anger towards the choice to end the night games will drive many students, parents and others affected to arrive at the next board meeting and let their voices be heard.

Freshman….Do you think you really know them?

Lexi Anderson
Bailey Hendricks
Staff Writers

Freshman year: Everyone was there once...and some of us still are. The middle school teachers prepared us for years, everyone talked it up, but what’s this year really like? We asked around and found out how everyone really feels about the class of 2017. From freshmen to seniors, we all have our opinions. Everyone is looking forward to the year to come, whether it be sports or social events, this year is going to be great!  
 The first day of school was a big day for the freshmen. Besides going to the beach and hanging out with friends, many students spent some time stressing over the year to come. With everything happening, there must have been a lot of emotions and thoughts running through everyone’s heads. On the first day, most of the freshmen said they felt nervous, lost, intimidated, anxious, tired, and even stupid.
 “I was nervous and lost because I didn’t know where any of my classes were the first day” said freshman Matt Firth.
 Everyone was expecting the day to go a lot worse than it did,  one major change between the middle school and the high school is that the classes are completely different. The curriculum’s different and all the teacher’s are people you’ve never met. According to the new freshmen, the classes are good, but a lot more difficult than expected. The teachers are also a lot better.
 “The teachers are really nice, they don’t stress you out.” said freshman Heather Borochaner.  Some of the classes are stressful, but they’re a nice change from the classes in middle school in the way that we’re studying more interesting topics and the classes are taken more seriously.
 Freshman Cassidy Smith says “I feel intimidated and small around them.”The upperclassman are always a reason to feel nervous in the high school. They’re a lot older than freshmen and there are so many of them. This is why many of the freshmen said they didn’t associate themselves with any of the upperclassman yet, and they don’t intend on doing so. The only way freshmen have made friends with them has been through sports and after school activities.
 One of the drags about high school is the amount of homework and classwork. There’s such a big change from middle school that’s almost overwhelming. The students said that there is definitely more homework this year. It’s a lot to handle with sports, it’s bothersome and there’s too much at one time. Although the students don’t like the amount of homework, it is helping them understand the material in class more. Freshman Victoria Kalinovich has a more positive look on things, “All the homework is pretty relevant. There’s more but it serves its purpose and helps me do good on tests.”  
 The freshmen have been in the middle school for three years! Entering the high school is a lot to adjust to. The freshmen said that the high school is much better. You aren’t treated like children and there’s a lot more freedom. Also the teachers aren’t on your case about everything you do.  “I like high school better, there’s more freedom and in general everything’s better.” says freshman Hannah Reszka.
 Finally, we wanted to know what the freshmen are looking forward to this year. There’s so many more events to partake in and people to meet! The freshmen said they’re all looking forward to homecoming, especially the dance. They’re also hoping to make some new friends and to get involved with clubs. Besides homecoming, freshman Elizabeth Both says “I’m looking forward to see how I will change over the course of four years.”
 Of course the Freshman know the freshman, but what about the upperclassmen? From sophomores to seniors we got some very different answers.
 When asked how they feel about the new freshman we got everything from “annoying” from the sophomore guys to one of the most popular answers “ We don’t really know them, but they seem very nice.” from Arian Behpour. So, freshman get out there and get involved. Let everybody know who the Class of 2017 is!
 With one of the biggest grades in New Hope history, there is lots to look forward to. If you haven't seen them on the field, the freshman girls are bringing a lot to the soccer field. Another one to keep an eye out for is the freshman girls coming to the basketball courts this winter. According to the sophomores and juniors the freshman girls will be a big boost to both teams! (Freshman Guys, where are you?)
 What would we do without a little more advice to top of everything we’ve gotten so far? Freshman, listen up because the upperclassmen have some good stuff: Stay on everyone’s good side; don't make any enemies; do all the homework; keep your head up, and according to Aaron Nagg the most important thing to remember is to “Ignore all distractions, especially pressure concerning doing drugs and alcohol.”
 So this is where it all starts for us, The Class of 2017!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Flood Waters Devastate Colorado

Matt Firth
Staff Writer

On September 12, a flood devastated over 2,000 square miles of the Front Range of Colorado. Over eight inches of rain soaked the area. Many have called it a “thousand year event” because of the excessive rain and unprecedented flooding. So far eight people have been found dead, over 100 miles of road damaged, and thousands of homes have been ruined.
 Almost Immediately after the floods, President Obama, as well as Governor John Hickenlooper stepped in. The day after the floods began, Obama gave the Federal Emergency Management Agency permission to begin giving aid to the region. On Sept. 13, Hickenlooper said in the Denver Post, “Each time an issue arises, we’re saying ‘all right, do we need a special session or can we deal with that,’ “ on the topic of convening a special session to assess the damage and decide what to do. The next day he signed for $20 million for disaster relief.
 Everything began on Monday, Sept. 9, as rain began to fall over the Front Range. In just 24 hours almost a year’s worth of rain was dropped on the area. Over 2,000 homes were destroyed by the torrents of water that surged down roads and transformed small creeks into rivers. Roads and bridges were badly damaged and many were destroyed. Along with the eight dead, thousands of people have been evacuated.
 Approximately 14,000 people were evacuated, due in a large part to the National Guard who began to evacuate people on Friday. Three thousand people and 900 pets have been evacuated by helicopter, and hundreds more from “high profile” trucks that “wade” through the water. Of the thousands originally missing, the final six were found alive on Tuesday. There is only one person left unaccounted for, but is believed to be dead.
 Among many activists there has been a severe concern about the multitude of fracking wells in the path of the floods, and recently their worries were confirmed. Many fracking and oil wells were destroyed, releasing chemicals and oil into the water. In Weld County, the site of thousands of fracking wells, many were submerged, and even some tanks containing the waste produced by the fracking were torn away. This connects to people living in Pennsylvania because of the immense amount of fracking going on in the state. Due to the high concern the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took helicopters out to do an aerial survey. They were looking for oil sheens, but were also on the lookout for any signs that an event like the Yellowstone River pipeline rupture of 2011 could happen again.

New Hope is told to ‘Get out! Get up! Go get it!’

Nick Damarodis

New Hope students were clapping, laughing, and feeling energized when motivational speaker Laymon Hicks came to visit middle and high school students on Sept. 13. An exciting presentation was made to help students become inspired and follow their dreams and passions. His continual motto of the day was “Get out! Get up! Go get it!” and tell all the people who are close to you in life that you love them.
 Laymon Hicks was raised by his grandparents with no main father figure in his life. Hicks told us that after his grandparents divorced, his own life situation started to deteriorate more than it already had been. He ended up around a group of friends who were making poor decisions, and started to follow along to fit in with everyone. It became such a problem that he eventually was kicked out of the National Honor Society after cheating on a test.
 For a time, as Hicks explained to the students, he felt like he did not have any opportunities or options left for him to succeed. After spending some time feeling guilty about all that he had done, he decided that his time to change was the present. He went back to working hard at school and earning good grades. By the time Hicks ended high school, he had a 4.0 GPA and was accepted to Florida State University.
 Hicks was proud of himself, but he wanted even more. He went on to run for and become the Class President at FSU, and attained a master’s degree.  Hicks wanted all of the students to know that they should always be working to earn more, and be more than they ever thought they could be. Of course there will be ups and downs along the way, but Hicks thinks everyone should let themselves know that “failure is not fatal” and they can try and try again to eventually succeed.
 Along with feeling good about yourself, Hicks also tells everyone to let your family members know they are loved. Some of the stories he had were quite depressing, including when siblings were at the same speaking engagements together and would not say I love you to each other. Hicks would not have it though, and forced them to say it. At New Hope-Solebury, one of the students went up to the front stage to call his dad to let him know that he is loved. Everyone was also asked to text one person through their cell phones to tell that person that they love them.
 It was an interactive event, and everyone was asked to cheer, clap, and text together. The environment was positive and uplifting, and at the same time exciting. Hicks did not tell students what to do, but explained his story and told us what he hopes for everyone to learn from it. New Hope-Solebury students are definitely ready to chase their dreams after Laymon Hicks’ presentation.
Laymon Hicks inspires students (photo by Mary Schwander)