Durant High School Journalism

Legal Buying Age of Tobacco Increases

Similarly to smoking, vaping has proven to produce dangerous side effects, causing legislators to take action.

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Similarly to smoking, vaping has proven to produce dangerous side effects, causing legislators to take action.

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In September of 2019, President Trump stated that the Food and Drug Administration planned to take any e-cigarette that were not designed to taste like tobacco off the market. Vaping products are marketed towards teens. Companies like Juul and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., make a variety flavors to make it seem like teens are not smoking dangerous chemicals rather just a flavorful smoke.

These products are much worse than cigarettes. The different flavors that the vaping companies offer are derived from Vitamin E which is not safe to inhale. These kind of oils in the lungs can cause a sticky honey like substance in the lungs. Some may say that Vitamin E can be good for the body because there are creams and supplements, but when it is heated and inhaled it creates a bubbling effect in the lungs that burns the lungs and could cause an explosion in the lungs.

On January 1, 2020, a new bill named, Tobacco to 21 Act, was passed. This new bill raised the minimum buying age of tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21.

Over the past two years, teen vaping has increased drastically. In 2017, nine percent of seniors in high school were vaping, while in 2019, the percentage went up to 37. Federal legislation has been making it harder for teens to buy cigarettes and vaping products.

19 states and 500 cities had already raised the minimum buying age of these tobacco products to 21. Raising the minimum buying age could lead to a reduction of potentially 223,000 deaths. Approximately 1,300 of teens are killed every day due tobacco products.  

On the other hand, some say that raising the age limit on tobacco is pointless. They argue smoking has been on a decline already because of the extra taxes that are put on cigarettes and vaping products as well as, an increase in non-smoking areas. Already the percent of smokers has gone down from 25 percent in 1997 to 18 percent in 2013. The rate of smoking has gone down, but that doesn’t mean the smoking epidemic that is going among the youth is going down. 

Raising the age will cause the vaping and tobacco among teens to significantly go down because students do not have easy access to these products, like before. When the legal age was at 18, it was easy for teens under 18 to gain access to these products because older friends would buy vaping and tobacco products for them. This means that high school students would be safer because with this restricted access. 

Tobacco and vaping products effect the blood, throat, colon, kidney, stomach, lung, bladder, mouth, and liver. There are about 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and vaping products, and about 4,000 chemicals in smokeless tobacco. The raising of the age limit on tobacco and vaping products will reduce death and lung issues. The buying age for tobacco has gone up and that means that the new generation would be safer from all of the health problems caused by vaping and tobacco products. 

About the Writer
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Jayleen Nunez, Staff Writer

Jayleen Nunez is a junior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint. When she isn't writing for the PawPrint, she participates in Mindfulness...

Australia fires continue despite relief efforts

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Australia fires continue despite relief efforts

The Austrailian fires burned violently for several days, although the conditions have improved, more work needs to be done.

The Austrailian fires burned violently for several days, although the conditions have improved, more work needs to be done.

Rick Rycraft

The Austrailian fires burned violently for several days, although the conditions have improved, more work needs to be done.

Rick Rycraft

Rick Rycraft

The Austrailian fires burned violently for several days, although the conditions have improved, more work needs to be done.

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After the recent rain and decrease in temperature, attention towards Australia has died down, but it is still an important issue. These fires are still burning and continue to harm the animals and the people who live there. Almost half a billion animals have died and according to the Wall Street Journal, 26 people have died in the fires and many more have had to be relocated. However, many people and organizations, are pooling their resources to try and help as much as possible.

The Australian Red Cross is one of these organizations. The organization has sent teams across the country to help with evacuation and relief. Some of these stations include New South Wales, Victoria, and many more throughout South and Western Australia providing food, water, hygiene products, pet supplies, and much more. In some areas, mainly South Australia, the are psychological first aid for those who need it.

The Red Cross has also set up a way to provide grants to families whose main place of residence has been destroyed. The donations to the organization, are being used for helping people who have been affected. The website declares that all money and funds donated to Disaster Relief and Recovery from July 2019 solely be used towards the work to help those in Australia.

Some ways to help are happening right here in the states. Owen Colley is a 6 year-old boy who uses his connection to Australia to inspire him to help.  Colley is from Hingham, Massachusetts and when he heard about the fires that were happening, it hit home for him. His father, Simon Colley, is from Australia. According to CNN, Colley and his parents worked together to come up with a way to raise money for those affected. Owen began making clay koalas to give to people who would donate to the cause. People who donate $50 or more receive a little clay koala Colley made himself.

All proceeds go towards Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a wildlife rescue in New South Wales. They began with a fundraising goal of 1,000. However, as of Thursday, January 16th, they have raised 100,000 dollars. The family is looking into more ways to donate to other organizations in the country of Australia.

Many people are also coming together to try and rescue the animals still in harms way. One group put their effort towards Kangaroo Island. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 1,700-square-mile island is not only a popular tourist attraction, but also a wildlife preserve to multiple species.

It is run by Sam Mitchell and his wife Dana. With the fires overrunning almost half of the island, they are trying to save as many animals as possible. According to BBC, Mitchell and his team have set up makeshift clinics on a area of the outside grounds with volunteers trying to save as many animals as possible.

The injured koalas are brought in daily, some too badly injured to be saved. The park is running entirely on generators because the fires have destroyed the power lines. The clinic has run out of space for all the animals they are trying to treat so they are having to create alternative housing, like laundry baskets, to hold the koalas. Mitchell and his family have also started a GoFundMe campaign to help their efforts in saving the animals that live here. “[We want] to get them back to where they want to be – and that’s back in the trees.”

Many volunteers are still trying to do the best possible for these koalas.

Even though it has began to rain, many more fires are still happening. There are multiple places online to donate to organizations trying to make a positive impact on a bad situation. The dry season isn’t over and many worry there is worse to come. For more information on how to make an impact please contact the Durant Pawprint.

About the Writer
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Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Researchers use ancient DNA to examine life during the Stone Age

An artist created an interpretation of what

Tom Björklund

An artist created an interpretation of what "Lola" may have looked like.

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In recent weeks, researchers were able to design a face to match the human DNA found in a 5,700-year-old piece of “gum”.

“Lola”, researchers call her, was an ancient human-gatherer that lived on a small island in the Baltic Sea around 3,700 B.C. Using the DNA found in a small piece of tar, researchers were able to construct a picture of what this human may have looked like. Because their findings are based solely off what her DNA provides, researchers cannot confirm some specific pieces of information, such as how, when, or why she died. However, the DNA of the girl provides majority of her biological footprint; therefore, this discovery is groundbreaking, and provides an abundance of new information as to what human life may have been like during the Stone Age. In this case, Lola’s DNA was found in blobs of birch pitch (tar) after human teeth-marks had been discovered on the ancient “gum”.

While the birch pitch is not the same gum in today’s world, excavated artifacts show that ancient hunters and gatherers put together spears or arrows by heating the birch and using it to hold together stone blades and handles. “Due to the antiseptic nature of birch bark, it may have also had medicinal properties,” (National Geographic).

Like several popular ancestry-tracing companies, DNA found in saliva provides an array of information about a person and their genome. From the specimen, researchers used her DNA to utilize her oral microbiome, and determine some characteristics of her health, including her diet and some of her physical features. Her DNA suggests the ancient European girl had a diet that consisted of ducks and hazelnuts, and that she was likely to have physical characteristics that resembled many of that time, such as blue eyes and dark skin.

The girl’s DNA also provides insight that she may have been lactose-intolerant, and possibly suffered from gum disease. From National Geographic: “Her genome also reveals that she was lactose intolerant, which supports the theory that European populations developed the ability to digest lactose as they began to consume milk product from domesticated animals.”

While these artifacts had been long discovered, never had they been used to provide information about a specific person. “Non-human material” has never been used to construct the face of an ancient person, so this discovery is particularly remarkable, and suggests that this method of research can be used to visualize other ancient specimens.

“This is the first time we have the complete ancient human genome from anything other than [human] bone, and that in itself is quite remarkable,” says Hannes Schroeder, an associate professor of evolutionary genomics at the University of Copenhagen’s Globe Institute and a co-author of the study published in Nature Communications.

“They would look at this crummy little piece of fiber, and I would say the museum has curated this for over a hundred years. And nobody could figure out why we had bothered to save this little thing. Then I’d say we got human DNA out of it, and their eyes would just go wow”, says archaeologist Steven LeBlanc, former director of collections at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

About the Writer
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Meghan Dulay, Editor-in-Chief of Design

Meghan Dulay is a senior at Durant High School and she is Editor-in-Chief of Design for the PawPrint newspaper. Meghan is part of many other clubs at Durant,...

Cell phones have a variety of potential dangers

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Cell phones have a variety of potential dangers

X-Ray showing bone spur growing on back of head, one of the negative effects of excessive cellphone usage.

X-Ray showing bone spur growing on back of head, one of the negative effects of excessive cellphone usage.

Washington Post

X-Ray showing bone spur growing on back of head, one of the negative effects of excessive cellphone usage.

Washington Post

Washington Post

X-Ray showing bone spur growing on back of head, one of the negative effects of excessive cellphone usage.

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Each day people across the world consistently check their cell phones, looking at a variety of notifications. Many may not realize how much their cell phones affect them. Recent studies are beginning to show how bone spur development can be an effect of cell phone use.

According to the Washington Post, research done by the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia proposes a new hypothesis that due to the constant use of cell phones and other hand-held devices, a new bone spur, or “horn”, is developing from the skull of young people. The researchers in charge of the study are David Shahar, a chiropractor who recently completed a PhD in biomechanics at Sunshine Coast, and his supervisor, Mark Sayers, an associate professor of biomechanics at Sunshine Coast.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Bone spurs are caused by when inflammation damages cartilage that is used to cushion joints and the body attempts to rebuild by growing more bone. One main cause is when humans perform repetitive motions, like consistently looking down at a phone. By doing this for multiple hours a day, bone spurs begin to grow.

This is not the first physical effect of cell phone use on the body. According to ABC News, Margot Miller, a physical therapist and president of Occupational Health Section of the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, states that the reason for “texting thumb” is  “they are really repetitive stress injuries – pain, numbness, discomfort in the base of the thumbs from overuse.”

By consistently using thumbs to send messages and control a phone, symptoms like “texting thumb” may occur.

Another negative aspect of cell phone use is the constant distraction that they cause. According to NBC News’ article “Cell phone-related head and neck injuries on the rise,” a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery observed reports from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, looking for injuries and reports related to cell phones.

The authors estimated that based on the reports these kinds of issues were rare until 2007, when the first iPhone was released to the public and injury reports began to rise. The article states that users ages 13 to 29 were about 40 percent of those whose injuries were caused by cell phone distraction. The injuries caused ranged from people falling due to texting while walking, to being hit in the face when their device slipped. The author Dr. Boris Paskhover suggest that a way to help this problem is for people to stop allowing phones to be a distraction and focus on what they are doing.

The harmful effects of cell phone use while driving goes past looking at text. According to ABC News, research at Carnegie Mellon University showed that by studying brain waves, they were able to find that listening to a conversation while driving reduces brain activity designated to driving by 37 percent.

The article suggests that in May 2008 a survey done by Nationwide Insurance Poll displayed that over 40 percent of people surveyed stated they have either been hit or almost hit by another driver talking on a cell phone. This is part of the reason many states, including Florida, have required Hands-Free drivers. As of January 1, Florida officers are to issue tickets to any drivers using their phone, without a warning. The fee is $30, but is doubled in school zones.

People spend hours on end each day looking at cell phones, but don’t realize what effects it could be causing on their bodies. As people become more aware, they will be able to protect themselves from these and many more issues.

About the Writer
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Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Online shopping overtakes local malls

The online shopping phenomenon is the new dircetion of holiday shopping. This could lead to a decrease in comercial malls.

The online shopping phenomenon is the new dircetion of holiday shopping. This could lead to a decrease in comercial malls.

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In an era of convenience, it’s not shocking that people prefer sitting on the couch eating lunch while they order their loved ones’ Christmas gifts. This is especially ture after a long Thanksgiving Day, for many it is easier to take advantage of Black Friday deals without waiting in lines, getting ran over by rabid shoppers, or even camping out fir the hottest items of the season. Simply click a button and your gifts are on their way to your house. 

So when the news broke that online shopping overtook a major part of retail for the first time ever, unless people were living under a rock, no one was surprised. The main disadvantage of online shopping is waiting for items to be shipped. Amazon eliminated this issue when they introduced Amazon Prime, a service provided where if you pay a small yearly fee you get  quick shipping.

Malls have too many obstacles to climb for the short attention span of this new generation. There’s the ridiculous traffic to fight through, the insane walking patterns, the people and of course the infamously rude shop clerks, one of the few stereotypes in this world that holds up. Why deal with that when you can just click a button in between games of Call of Duty? There’s a reason Amazon has been so profitable, it really doesn’t give the malls a chance. 

It’s the same reason why platforms like Netflix and Hulu profit so much and take customers away from cable and the movie theaters. It’s just, you guessed it, convenience. Why deal with the ridiculously priced popcorn or cable bills when you can pay a monthly fee and watch all the movies and shows you want. You can watch as much as your heart desires, making it easier to enjoy your favorite TV shows.

Even Black Friday, which ropes in shoppers from all around to get those ridiculous deals, online is beating out retail stores. What used to be a crazy day for stores like Walmart and Target have turned into massive amounts of clicks for websites like Amazon. Do not not be concerned, as retail stores like Walmart aren’t going out of business anytime soon. However, to say that online shopping can’t compete with those same stores would be a blatant lie. 

Simply put, online shopping is the future for shoppers looking for the maximum amount of convenience. No lines, no people, no hassle. Just a click and your holiday shopping is done. This is just the beginning, sites like Amazon will only grow bigger and slowly but surely beat out stores such as Target. It’s all about convenience and Amazon has it.

About the Writer
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David Fackson, Staff Writer

David is a junior and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint Newspaper. He is a huge baseball fan, specifically a Rays fan who loves writing about the...

Yearly debate on the shift from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays

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Yearly debate on the shift from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays

The 2013 survey identifies how particular groups align themselves.

The 2013 survey identifies how particular groups align themselves.

Public Religion Research Institute

The 2013 survey identifies how particular groups align themselves.

Public Religion Research Institute

Public Religion Research Institute

The 2013 survey identifies how particular groups align themselves.

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As society becomes more accepting of diversity, it has adapted to acknowledging the different holidays celebrated by the myriad of religions and identities present in the U.S. In the past, the U.S., schools and department stores were allowed to tell people “Merry Christmas” without being certain that the individual celebrates Christmas.

Independent, an online news publisher, traces the acknowledgment of holidays beyond Christmas began in the 1930s and 1940s as advertisers wanted all readers to feel included. These ads began to say, “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” to ensure inclusiveness, this also served as a way to please consumers to increase sales.

According to History.com, this terminology shifted to businesses in the mid-2000s as the term “War on Christmas” was coined by conservatives in response to ex-President George W. Bush leaving Christmas out of the White House holiday card. Businesses decided that it was more professional to make the holiday season secular.

This meme illustrates the negative view of some customers about the saying.

According to Education World, there are at least ten other major holidays celebrated in December. These include Three Kings Day, Saint Nicholas Day, Fiesta of Our Lady Guadalupe, Kwanzaa, Saint Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Omisoka, Yule, and Saturnalia, celebrated by identities all over the year. No matter what the majority celebrates, you cannot assume everyone celebrates the same holiday given all the options.

Many Christians believe that not saying Merry Christmas is personal, as if people not saying “Merry Christmas” shames the idea of the celebration. However, the intention is not to disrespect anyone with the shift in the language.

According to the Chicago Tribune, in 2016 as President Trump campaigned, he said, “If I’m president, you’re going to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in department stores, believe me, believe me.”

This insistence of “Merry Christmas,” used exclusively as a holiday greeting goes against the First Amendment right of freedom of religion. This element dictates that the U.S. cannot establish a national religion and therefore cannot enforce celebration. Therefore, despite the increased emphasis on consumerism as a part of Christmas, the holiday is Christian in origin, thus whether he likes it or not, President Trump cannot force businesses to shift their seasonal greeting back to only acknowledging Christmas.

As society becomes increasingly aware of labels, it is appropriate that seasonal greetings shift as well. It shows that Americans overall are not ignorant to the alternatives. This does not mean that people are never allowed to say, “Merry Christmas”, but it should be limited to situations where it is absolutely certain that the recipient celebrates Christmas.

About the Writer
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Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Durant awards Teacher of the Year

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Durant awards Teacher of the Year

Congratulaions to beloved Randy Sawyer for winning the 2019-2020 Teof the Years.

Congratulaions to beloved Randy Sawyer for winning the 2019-2020 Teof the Years.

Christian Castro

Congratulaions to beloved Randy Sawyer for winning the 2019-2020 Teof the Years.

Christian Castro

Christian Castro

Congratulaions to beloved Randy Sawyer for winning the 2019-2020 Teof the Years.

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Randy Sawyer has been a teacher for 15 years, this year marking his fifth year teaching at Durant. He teaches AP Statistics, Algebra Readiness and is also the Math Coach for Durant. Sawyer was awarded the honor of Teacher of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year.

The entire administration visited Sawyer’s Algebra Readiness class with balloons. Sawyer was in disbelief as the entire Durant administration announced his win. Sawyer described the experience, “I was shocked because I just show up and do my job.”

Sawyer adapts his teaching style to benefit the students in his classes. This is one of the qualities that his fellow teachers and the Durant administration saw in Sawyer, leading to his nomination for Teacher of the Year. Sawyer changes his teaching style and gets to know the students in his class making the lessons personal, which facilitates learning.

The students in Sawyer’s classes agree that he is a unique teacher based on the way he structures his class. Senior Robert Malloy stated, “Sawyer’s a funny teacher and allows us to explore the concepts on our own. He relates his jokes to the lesson, making the lessons more memorable.”

Sawyer believes that by using this technique, students want to perform even harder, for him as well as for themselves. He also believes this would benefit all teachers, as it would help boost student learning across the board because it will create a willingness to learn.

While Sawyer’s mentality about teaching has not changed, he sees the benefit of administration awarding a Teacher of the Year. “As a teacher, the biggest thing we get out of is a way to move out of the classroom completely and into a position Downtown”

Sawyer’s ultimate goal is to leave students with more knowledge and understanding than they previously had. To Sawyer, passing is not always the most important part of teaching. “It’s about how is this going to affect them next year, and the years after.”

Overall, Sawyer appreciates the honor of Teacher of the Year, but will maintain his dedication to helping his students succeed. His attention to detail and his dedication to teaching are two of the things that helped Sawyer win this esteemed honor.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Durant Journalism Succeeds at FSPA

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Durant Journalism Succeeds at FSPA

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

Majortity of the Pawprint staff gathers to celebrate their victories.

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Durant’s Journalism Program found great success at the 2019 Fall Florida Scholastic Press Association Conference.  Over 800 students attended the conference at USF on November 1st.  Three students from Durant’s newspaper and yearbook classes won on the spot contest awards in the district and four won in the state of Florida for their articles written in various categories. Durant’s Newspaper teacher, Mrs. Kious, also won Teacher of the Year in District 4.

Mrs. Kious, who has grown the PawPrint from seven students to 15 in the span of four years, won teacher of the year throughout Hillsborough, Polk, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, and Pinellas county.  Mrs. Stone, Durant’s yearbook teacher, nominated her co-worker for the award at FSPA because of the success the PawPrint has had under Mrs. Kious. Mrs. Stone said, “Mrs. Kious has … revitalized the newspaper program… she, like, threw herself into it.” 

She attributed the success of the PawPrint’s web presence and stronger, motivated writers originating from the newspaper program to Mrs. Kious and said she is “a good teacher and deserves recognition.”

Durant Pride Yearbook
Mrs. Kious shares words of wisdom with Web Editor Angelique Robinson, Business Manager Jordan Dabbourand Staff Writer Nick Travis as they enjoy lunch at FSPA.

Mrs. Kious will be entered for teacher of the year in the state of Florida and is very deserving of the honor.  

Many of the PawPrint’s staff writers won awards for FSPA’s Fall Digital Contests in various categories as well.  Students who won digital contests placed in the top 10% of winners in the entire state of Florida.

David Fackson, a junior who joined PawPrint this year, wrote an article about the Tampa Bay Rays’ 2019 season for the Sports Feature category.  Despite not being able to make it to the conference, his article won in Florida. “It was nice to feel, nice to see,” he said about winning at FSPA. 

He also said he had never won something like this, and the award confirmed that he was on the right track with his writing as a journalist.

Lily Belcher, a sophomore, also placed in the state for a Sports Feature on Kevin Cash, thanks to help from Mrs. Kious and Jennifer Dages, the Editor-in-Chief of Writing for the PawPrint. 

Marina Hawkins and Adamari Jaimez won in Academic Photography with their photos of a Durant’s chemistry teacher, Mr. Haley, conducting an experiment during class.  Marina is the Social Media Coordinator for the PawPrint and said, “It feels good to know I could put that on my college resume or applications.”

Adamari is a junior who is considering a career in Photo-journalism.  She said that winning at FSPA has motivated her to work harder in journalism and consider Photo-journalism as a potential job in the future.  

The PawPrint also saw success in the On-the-Spot Contests at FSPA.  Mattie Powers, who also joined PawPrint this year and hopes to eventually work in broadcast journalism, won third place in the News Anchor Challenge.  She had ten minutes to memorize the story and report it as a news anchor would. Mattie also takes TV Production at Durant and is working on her articles for the winter edition of the PawPrint.  Mattie said “Winning at FSPA meant the world to me because it really confirmed what I wanted to do as a career, which is to be a news anchor.”

Durant Pride Yearbook
The staff begins to brainstorm their ideas for their on the spot contests.

Two students from Durant’s yearbook won an architectural on-the-spot photography contest.  Javier Lopez and Merrick Wigington featured photos of architectural aspects of the USF Marshall Center.  

FSPA has provided many journalism students with validation for their dreams of becoming a journalist.  It gave potential journalists the opportunity to improve their writing, interviewing, and broadcasting skills.  It allowed staff writers to explore different types of journalism and to discover their journalistic passions.  

About the Writer
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Lilyann Belcher, Staff Writer

Lily Belcher is a sophomore at Durant High School and she is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of Durant’s Flag Football team,...

MLB Predictions for the 2020 season

While the performance of teams can be unpredictable, based on performance this season, these are the most likely outcomes of the 2020 season.

Steel Maiden

While the performance of teams can be unpredictable, based on performance this season, these are the most likely outcomes of the 2020 season.

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The 2019 MLB season was full of surprises, from break out teams such as the Rays, A’s, and Twins, to teams failing to meet expectations like the Mets, Phillies, Cubs, and Red Sox. Of course, the most unpredictable of all, the Nats going from 19-31 to 2019 World Champions. Some say baseball is unpredictable, something you shouldn’t bet on. Well, it’s worth a shot!

A.L. East:

1) Rays

 2) Yankees

3) Blue Jays

4)  Red Sox

5) Orioles

A bold prediction to say the least, but the Rays will win the East. Before an injury crisis struck Tampa Bay, sitting down two of their three best pitchers in Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow, and two of their best hitters in Brandon Lowe and Yandy Diaz, the Rays led the East through June before succumbing to the Yankees and settling for the second Wild Card. If they can manage to stay healthy they are a superpower in the American League. The Yankees are no slouch and should make for a good race atop the standings. The Blue Jays, with their new young core of Vlad Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio, could be on the rise and be a sneaky playoff team. The Red Sox, in the opposite direction of Toronto, are looking to cut payroll, which could also cut wins putting them in fourth. The Os, in the midst of a massive rebuild, are staring another disappointing year in the face, which is saying a lot considering they’ve lost 219 games in the last two years combined.

 A.L. Central:

1) Twins

2) White Sox

3) Indians

4) Royals

5) Tigers

The A.L. Central, home to two of the three worst teams in the A.L. in Detroit and KC, might find a way to look worse in 2019. The Twins, who slugged their way to their first division title since 2010 leading all of baseball in homeruns, will repeat their success in 2020. The White Sox, led by their rising core of Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, and Lucas Giolito, will be the break out team of 2020. The Indians, who, similarly to Boston, are looking to slim payroll, will trade away valuable pieces such as Francisco Lindor and Corey Kluber, causing them to slide to third place after just missing the playoffs in 2019. The Royals and Tigers could be interchangeable due to their equal incompetency to win games but Detroit will be the worse of the two, possibly snagging the number one pick.

A.L. West:

1) Astros

2) A’s

3) Angels

4) Rangers

5) Mariners

The Astros dominance of the West, winning their fourth straight division title behind the seemingly unstoppable core of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Justin Verlander. Despite losing Geritt Cole to free agency they will ride the arms of JV and Zack Greinke to victory. The A’s will finish just short of a division but will put up a good fight, winning 90+ games yet again in a tough American League. The Angels and Rangers will both add this offseason possibly making some big splashes such as Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon but will still manage to be mediocore due to lack of pitching depth, causing Mike Trout to miss yet another October. The Mariners, with their always creative General Manager Jerry Dipoto will improve through trades but they are the last dog at the bowl in a tough division, finishing last for the second straight year. Expect this race to go down to the wire come late September.

N.L. East:

1) Braves

2) Phillies

3) Nationals

4) Mets

5) Marlins

In 2019, the N.L. East probably the most disappointing. What was expected to be a strong four team race between everyone but the Marlins, turned into Atlanta running away with the division whilst the Mets and Phillies failed to win 90 games. However, the Nationals snuck into October and made the most of it, winning the whole thing for the first time in franchise history. The Braves, however, will reign supreme again, behind the strong rotation led by Mike Soroka and Mike Foltynewicz, and a powerful lineup including the likes of Ronald Acuna Jr and Freddie Freeman, who both hit over .290 with 30 bombs. The Phillies will manage to snag second place just behind the Bravos but ahead of the reigning champs in the Nationals riding the bat of Bryce Harper. The Nationals, losing Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman to free agency will struggle to fill the gaps, missing October. The Mets continue to be a mess, burning through another manager and somehow losing with a rotation that stars Jacob Degrom and Noah Syndergaard. They will follow that trend in 2020, not even making the top three in the division. The Marlins will carry on their rebuild, remaining one of the worst teams in baseball again in 2020.

N.L. Central:

1) Cardinals

2) Cubs

3) Brewers

4) Reds

5) Pirates

This division might be the most competitive in all of baseball. For three months of the 2019 season all five teams were within six games of each other, something simply non-existent in today’s baseball world of tanking and super teams. However, in 2020 the Cardinals will come out as division champs for the second straight year, edging out their hated rivals from Chi-town. The Cubs, with their new manager David Ross, will continue to be good, but not good enough as they will miss out on October again in 2020, due to an aging core that isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. The Brewers, who are losing Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas to free agency will regress from 2019 and also miss October. Their heavily used and taxed bullpen and thin starting pitching they refuse to address will be their undoing. The Reds are the opposite, lacking hitting with plenty of pitching in the form of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer. The Pirates will begin their rebuild with a new president, general manager, and manager causing a new ideology to take over, which will result in a rough year for the black and yellows.

N.L. West:

1) Dodgers

2) Padres

3) D-Backs

4) Rockies

5) Giants

The Dodgers, who have mauled the West for the past seven years, will continue their dominance, winning their eighth straight division title but will be meet with more resistance in the form of the up and coming Padres, who will utilize their deep farm system, which is second best in Major League Baseball. Youngsters such as Chris Paddack and Fernando Tatis Jr will lead the squad to a wild card berth, breaking their 13-year playoff drought. The Diamondbacks surprised fans last year, sneakily winning 85 games on a low budget payroll, but still missed the playoffs. They will improve but not enough to win a Wild Card spot in a very competitive National League. The Rockies will continue to falter due to a lack of starting pitching, who pitched to a staggering 5.87 ERA last season. The Giants will lose franchise icon Madison Bumgarner and with their aging core, they will have a rough season, possibly being the worst team in the national league.

About the Writer
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David Fackson, Staff Writer

David is a junior and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint Newspaper. He is a huge baseball fan, specifically a Rays fan who loves writing about the...

The Durant wrestling team prepares for 2019-2020 season

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The Durant wrestling team prepares for 2019-2020 season

The wrestling team gathers to celebrate their camaraderie in anticipation for the upcoming season.

The wrestling team gathers to celebrate their camaraderie in anticipation for the upcoming season.

The wrestling team gathers to celebrate their camaraderie in anticipation for the upcoming season.

The wrestling team gathers to celebrate their camaraderie in anticipation for the upcoming season.

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As the Durant wrestling season rolls around the corner, wrestlers are beginning to prepare themselves for a successful season.

Last year, wrestler Hendon Haley placed second in districts, won regionals which then took him to placing fourth in the state tournament. It was a great accomplishment for the team and Haley being the last out of his five brothers with a history and experience in wrestling, made his family and coaches proud and brought motivation to his fellow wrestlers. He is the team captain for the Durant Wrestling team and is a role model to others.

 This year three of the events will be home matches which is a great opportunity for people to come support the team.

 There are two kinds of tournaments in wrestling; dual and individual bracket tournaments (IBT). Dual tournaments are team against team matches where the team with the most points earned wins. IBT is more of a one on one competition where each wrestler enters a competition with everyone in their weight class to determine best of the best. Preparing for tournaments can be challenging for most wrestlers as they must maintain a certain weight to be able to compete in one of the fourteen weight classes.

“Don’t eat junk food and drink lots of water. Just maintain your diet and stay active,“ said Christapher Perez [10].

 Although wrestling practice may be difficult, it motivates and brings out the best from the wrestlers. Perez was one of the first freshman to make it to regionals in thirteen years. He won an underclassmen of the year award for his outstanding performance and is looked up to by many of his team members.

 “It’s fun to do and it gives you motivation for other things too because if it’s not as hard as wrestling then it’s obviously not that hard,” said Austin Bovee [10].

Bovee joined wrestling as a freshman. Being a first-year wrestler, he did an extraordinary job and it made a huge impact on him.

 “It brings out another part of you that you never knew was there, “said Jorge Palacios [11].

 Palacios enjoys wrestling and has found an inner potential in himself that ties him to wrestling.

Most of the wrestlers are looking forward to the state tournaments and are trying their best to reach their goals.

 The coaches for this year are Coach Kauderman, Haley, and Beaty and they are helping their wrestlers reach their goals but they also have a goal as they prepare these young men for success.

 “It’s not just about wrestling, wrestling is fun and builds confidence. Some guys don’t wrestle because they are afraid of the one on one competition but those who do, get beyond that and once they begin to experience success they are locked in, “said Beaty.

The coaches try to encourage wrestling to others as it builds character, integrity and honesty. “Being able to overcome obstacles even though there are disadvantages I think is very important and what I try to teach as a coach, “said Kauderman.

 The wrestlers, coaches and families are full of anticipation for this year wrestling season and what it has to offer.

About the Writer
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Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

Adamari Jaimez is a junior at Durant High School. She was a staffer for the Durant yearbook and then became a Staff Writer for the Pawprint newspaper to...

Legislation is not improving climate change

The graphic explains the projections of the sea level and which areas of the United States will be directly impacted.

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The graphic explains the projections of the sea level and which areas of the United States will be directly impacted.

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There are several different beliefs as to why the implemented laws aren’t making a significant impact on climate change. To start, while there has been an increase on the quantity of laws, many question the effectiveness of them. The issue is not the laws themselves, but enforcing them. From Vice.com, the “…shortcomings of environmental policies [are broken] into four categories: institutions responsible for the laws, civic engagement, environmental rights, and justice for those who break the law.”

In other words, while the amount of countries that have implemented environmental laws in their governments, each country has its own struggles when it comes to enforcing the set laws. It was uncovered  by Vice.com in the mid-2000s that some Asian countries “…lacked clear or sufficiently comprehensive mechanisms to limit and require monitoring of pollution discharges, file criminal or civil cases, take emergency response actions (such as closing a facility), impose penalties, or order corrective measures.” 

This is very concerning; if those in power don’t have the ability to enforce their own laws, then it’s almost impossible to say that the laws will have a significant impact in stopping the rise of temperatures, and will inevitably cause irreversible damage to the climate and environment.

In the U.S., the issue concerning the effectiveness of climate change laws and agreements previously made have become a burning topic between Democrats and Republicans. Since President Trump’s election in 2016, Democrats argue that he has contradicted himself several times throughout his presidency when discussing he position on climate change. In the past, Trump has referred to climate change as a “hoax”; NewReupublic.com, mentions that Trump has “…begun dismantling environmental protections against dirty coal, and installed cabinet heads whose ‘meh’ stance on climate science is a new form of denial.”

In 2015, the U.S. was one of 196 countries that signed the Paris Climate Agreement, promising to significantly cut emissions- the U.S. alone promised to cut emissions by 26-28 percent.

One year into Trump’s Presidency, he announced to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. In his speech on June 1, 2017, Trump explains that the previous agreement was harmful and limited growth of the American economy. When discussing the coal industry, he explains that the agreement is flawed in the sense that it puts the United States in a financial disadvantage. “In short, the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs- it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries. This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

Since his election in 2016, the growth of the economy has been at the top of his list of priorities; however, many argue that his notions in making that happen will ultimately lead to severe damage to the climate. “Withdrawing from the deal could result in an additional 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere each year, speeding up the rate of rising sea levels and melting ice sheets,” (CBSNews.com).

Trump claims that he cares very much about the environment, and by making his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, he is open to working out a new agreement with the Democrats- one that benefits both the environment as well as the American economy. But for now, while trillions of people argue for or against Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, one thing is for certain: if the world can’t come together to solve this worldwide issue, then the planet may face irreversible damage.

About the Writer
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Meghan Dulay, Editor-in-Chief of Design

Meghan Dulay is a senior at Durant High School and she is Editor-in-Chief of Design for the PawPrint newspaper. Meghan is part of many other clubs at Durant,...

Climate Change: It’s Warmer Than You Think

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Climate Change: It’s Warmer Than You Think

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

Mashable

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

Mashable

Mashable

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

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Over the past few decades, the issue of climate change has become a pretty heated topic that has only grown more popular as the globe’s temperature increases.

Despite any opinions one may have, here are the facts: the planet is heating up, and at a fast pace. From LiveScience.com, it has been found that “the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °Cover the past 100 years.” And that’s just the start.

The effects of global warming can be seen all over the world, from the increase in severity of extreme weather events, to the bleaching of coral reefs in Australia, to the significant rise in sea levels.

Severe Hurricanes Are Becoming the Norm

Greenhouse gas emissions have significantly contributed to the increase in higher temperatures; one prime example of the effect these emissions have on the environment is the increase of severe hurricanes. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have become the norm for millions living on the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean.  Hurricanes grow in strength with warmer waters, and due to the increase in temperatures, the Atlantic has become susceptible to more severe hurricanes.

LiveScience states that, “The global number of intense Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has nearly doubled in number, jumping from 50 per five years during the 1970’s to 90 per five years in the last decade.”

The graphic demonstrates how climate change has affected hurricanes and the potential dangers.

Coral Bleaching in Australia

Aquatic ecosystems are also suffering from the staggering increase of climate-change temperatures. The endangerment of the ocean’s coral reefs has become a severe problem due to these higher temperatures. Majority of the heat emitted from the greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, is absorbed by the world’s oceans, which ultimately causes temperatures in the water to increase. This is detrimental to coral reefs, as these are the rainforests of the ocean, and are vital to aquatic ecosystems. “Temperature spikes of only 1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (1-2 degrees Celsius) can trigger mass bleaching events,” says LiveScience.com. Warmer waters cause corals the loose their algae that covers them, leaving them vulnerable. Once the corals die, the entire ecosystem practically fails.

Rises in Sea Level

Sea levels have also dramatically increased, due to the melting of the historic ice sheets from both ends of the world. This poses various threats, including habitat loss for hundreds of different species, an imbalance of populations among species, and, of course, the steady rise in sea levels. This is bad news for states next to oceans, such as Florida. With the rise of levels comes the threat of catastrophic flooding, which is concerning considering the number of people living on the coasts of Florida and other sea-side states. According to National Geographic, “In southern Louisiana coasts are literally sinking by about three feet (a meter) a century, a process called subsidence.” In combination with rising sea levels, this creates a huge concern for those living near the water, and raises questions how people can be protected from this inevitable flooding.

This visual better demonstrates the extent to which the changes impacts the rising sea levels.

Law Implemented

Countries around the globe have been working to come up with solutions to limit the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. There has been a significant increase in climate-change related laws since the 1990s, and from CarbonBrief.org, “In 1997, the database shows, there were just 60 laws in place, with the figure having risen 20-fold to reach 1,260 today.”

While there has been an increase in the amount of climate change related laws, they don’t seem to have a significant impact in the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Why? If there has been an increase on laws and specific protocols that companies must follow, then why are climbing temperatures continuing to be a topic in today’s new?

Stay tuned for part two next week.

About the Contributors
Photo of Meghan Dulay
Meghan Dulay, Editor-in-Chief of Design

Meghan Dulay is a senior at Durant High School and she is Editor-in-Chief of Design for the PawPrint newspaper. Meghan is part of many other clubs at Durant,...

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