Durant High School Journalism

Understanding and Actions Against COVID-19

In addition to the information provided here, visist the FDA or CDC websites for helpful information on how to protect against COVID-19.

Courtesy of the FDA

In addition to the information provided here, visist the FDA or CDC websites for helpful information on how to protect against COVID-19.

In Wuhan, China in December of 2019, a patient reported to the local hospital with pneumonia like symptoms.  By December 29th, Hubei, China reported four similar cases of “pneumonia of unknown etiology” and Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization that a new strain of the coronavirus was rapidly spreading throughout the region.

Named for its crown-like shape, the Coronavirus is a common virus first identified in the 1960’s that causes flu-like symptoms.  The deadly strand of the novel Coronavirus causes a disease, named “COVID-19,” that is spreading across the globe is simply a more resilient and dangerous strand, spreading and evolving similarly to how the influenza virus changes each year (requiring a new flu shot to be administered annually). 

Doctors around the world went to work to identify the origin of the outbreak, naming snakes and bats as the possible culprit. The virus began to spread internationally, first into Japan then the Koreas, and took its first life mid-January, just a few weeks after being first identified.

On January 21st, Washington state confirmed the United States’ first case of the Coronavirus in a man who had recently traveled to Wuhan and the second American case appeared three days later in Chicago.  

With the number of infected rising, China prepared to build new hospitals dedicated to the care and quarantine of COVID-19 patients, the US joined Japan in evacuating their citizens from Wuhan and suspended travel to and from China.   The rest of the world soon followed suit, attempting to isolate themselves from the rapidly spreading disease.  

Despite measures taken to isolate this modern-day plague, the Coronavirus quickly spread to every continent except Antarctica.   Deaths began to mount in Washington state where, 21% of the nearly 40 deaths were over 80 years of age. The virus was proving to largely affect those with compromised immune systems and underlying diseases.

Cases quickly spread across the US, from California to Chicago and eastward to New York.  While the US has already reported its first intranational spread, the East Coast’s first case of the Coronavirus appeared on March 1st in Hillsborough County Florida from tourist returning from a trip to Italy.

Hillsborough County public schools informed parents of measures that would be taken to protect the health of its students and teachers via email and schools installed hand sanitizing stations at school entrances and bus ramps along with encouraging students to wash their hands frequently.  Additionally, schools began to limit large school assemblies and encourage students and teachers who feel sick to stay home.  

Durant canceled Friday’s pre-Spring Break pep rally, following this advisory and, Friday evening, the Hillsborough County School Board announced students would not be returning to their campus’ until March 30th.  Many teachers and students were prepared for the extension of Spring Break, encouraging students to take their workbooks home and check Edsby for updates. 

The Hillsborough County announcement provided a link for online teaching resources so teachers can resume lessons on Mach 23rd, when students were originally supposed to return to school.  Durant, along with other Hillsborough County schools, will be using the extra week to clean the campuses and attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

About the Writer
Photo of Lilyann Belcher
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,...

Victoria’s Secret Undergoes Major Changes

As the CEO of Tory Burch, Mehas seemed like an obvious chioce to be the new CEO of Victoria's Secret.

Business Insider

As the CEO of Tory Burch, Mehas seemed like an obvious chioce to be the new CEO of Victoria's Secret.

One of the most popular women’s clothing stores has been undergoing some company changes including the step down of the current CEO, Jan Singer. Victoria’s Secret has been highly known in women’s lingerie and beauty products for many years.

The “Angels” of the company promote the styles by holding an annual televised fashion show. However, after more than two decades of the annual show the angel era has come to an end. The show has went the opposite direction of want customers wanted when becoming ever sexier but with low quality.

Recently the company has been struggling in sales due to competition and style interest changing. They have lost over 3.8 million customers to rivals like Amazon and American Eagle’s Aerie, hurting their business tremendously. Other big retailers including Target and Walmart along with new online startups like Adore me have also affected the decrease in sales.

These other companies have given customers a variety of more sizes for an everyday fit that branch out to more women, they also make it more affordable while still providing the comfort. With that, the company will gain the new CEO, John Mehas, who plans to make major changes in order to keep up with rising competition.

One huge change is the closing of 53 of the company’s stores, still leaving more than 950 stores in the United States. Big changes in advertisement have been rethought, to relate to the “everyday women” that are represented by other companies in order to draw them back into shopping at Victoria’s Secret.

By having the Angels represent the entire Victoria’s Secret brand, the company created a limited view of the typical customer. Many women feel uncomfortable buying from a company that doesn’t include a wider variety of sizes that represent the brand. Model figures in their advertisements create insecurities due to many customers not fitting the guidelines as to what an “acceptable”size/body type is, shown in their advertisements and social aspects of branding.

Mehas who is also currently the president of Tory Burch has a plan to move forward with the company with his strong background in managing business. He clarifies that “Our number one priority is improving performance at Victoria’s Secret Lingerie and PINK. In doing so, our new leaders are coming in with a fresh perspective and looking at everything… our marketing, brand positioning, internal talent, real estate portfolio and cost structure.”

Wanting to bring the company into a new phase that fits women demands Mehas has taken many suggestions for the brand into thought. 

In 2016 Victoria Secret had discontinued their swim line to focus on other clothing lines, however, in 2019 the much-loved swim brand has made a come back introducing new bikinis and one pieces. Many of the lines have change slightly to hopefully increase the sales and increase the number of customers to where it once was.

About the Contributors
Photo of Marina Hawkins
Marina Hawkins, Social Media Coordinator, Photo Editor

Marina Hawkins is a junior at Durant and is the Photo Editor and the Social Media Coordinator for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of the Varsity...

Fast Food Chains’ New Doughnut Creations

These are the two new Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Each a part of Krispy Kreme's partnership with Butterfinger.

Courtesy of Delish

These are the two new Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Each a part of Krispy Kreme's partnership with Butterfinger.

One of America’s most beloved treats is the donut. These mouth-watering pastries have been around since the late 1700s. In fact, they used to be called “Olykoek,” which means “oily cake,” and they did not even have a hole in the middle when they first came out.

In the early 1800s, a man named Hanson Gregory decided to cut a hole in the middle of this pastry to make it more accessible to consume, and now no one can imagine these classic treats without the hole in the center. These treats have been and continue to be wildly popular and relevant in today’s society. With the treat’s popularity, donut companies are constantly trying to create new flavors for the beloved pastry.

Krispy Kreme is one of the most iconic donut companies in the United States. This company is widely known for having fresh donuts at their stores along with many other donut flavors; recently Krispy Kreme has announced that a new flavor will be added to their menu. Krispy Kreme has combined the popular candy bar, Butterfinger, with their own pastries to create two separate donuts inspired by the candy.

The first donut is a standard glazed donut with a hole in the middle topped by the Butterfinger ingredients, stuffed with peanut butter inside of the treat. The second donut is a fudge cake donut, with no hole in the middle, and also has the Butterfinger flavors, peanuts and chocolate, topped onto the pastry.

As of February 20, these appetizing donuts are available for a limited time at participating locations. However, this collaboration with Butterfinger is not the only thing that Krispy Kreme has up their sleeve.

In January, Krispy Kreme launched their mini donuts, to celebrate the New Year. Not just any mini-donuts, but 90-calorie mini donuts. Krispy Kreme states that, “The intention is to help dieters stay on track with their New Year’s resolutions without feeling guilty about treating themselves.”

Donuts are being included in everything from diets to candy bars. Even fast food chains are hopping onto the popular donut trend.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is known for their chicken, it is their namesake after all. Recently Kentucky Fried Chicken has revealed their new limited time item, Chicken and Donuts. A customer can have their choice of if they want the combination in a basket or in the form of a sandwich.

The basket comes with one or two donuts and boneless or bone-in chicken. The sandwich is boneless chicken between two glazed donuts. This sweet and savory mixture will be available at all Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chains nationwide through March 16. The chief marketing officer of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Andrea Zahumensky, stated, “It’s a finger lickin’ good dish filled with glaze and glory.”

This year, National Donut Day is on Friday, June 5, and even though it seems far away it will come fast. On National Donut Day, Krispy Kreme gives away one free donut per customer at participating stores, no charge. Until then, the public can enjoy Krispy Kreme’s Butterfinger donuts, mini donuts, and KFC’s Chicken and Donuts. “Donut” miss out on all of these delicious donuts!

About the Writer
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Mattie Powers, Staff Writer

Mattie Powers is a senior at Durant High School and a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. Not only is Mattie Powers involved in the PawPrint, but...

Another Pegasus Airlines Plane Crashes

The image shows how the plane split during the crash.

Muhammed Demir

The image shows how the plane split during the crash.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, a passenger plane skid off the runway and broke into three pieces while landing at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport in Turkey. The Boeing 737 left from Izmir to Istanbul, Turkey.

The plane landed at 6:19 p.m and not long after the skid parts of the plane seemed to have caught on fire. Luckily the fire was extinguished quickly. The second section of the plane, closer to the tail, was broken off in some parts. People were seen crawling out through openings of the plane.

One person died during the accident and another 157 people were injured during the crash, caused by poor weather conditions. Aboard the Pegasus Airlines plane were 183 people, including six crew members, 175 adult passengers and two young children.

The plane skidded up to 60 meters after landing before falling into a ditch about 40 meters down. About 22 of the passengers suffered from injuries on their heads and legs. About 14 passengers suffered from broken bones in different places on the body. Firefighters, police and medics worked diligently around the clock, trying to help passengers and victims evacuate the scene. Dozens of first responders helped passengers reach nearby hospitals.

According to Reuders, the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, said that three of the injured required surgery and two needed intensive care but none of the passengers that were injured were thought to be in life threatening danger.

The Weather radar showed a line of thunderstorms during the time of the incident which might have caused winds to pick up and be one of the causes for the crash, but nothing has been confirmed. A similar incident occurred about a month ago on January 7.

A Pegasus plane with 164 people on board skidded off the runway in Istanbul at the same airport. Passengers were able to safely evacuate the plane. No deaths or injuries took place during the incident.

Back in 2018 there was also a similar accident where a plane skid of the runway with 162 passengers on board. Passengers were able to evacuate the plane. No passengers or crew members were hurt during the accident. Pegasus Airlines confirmed that the plane was a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The plane was seen sliding down a cliff dangling right above the Black Sea coast. The airport is now closed, flights being prohibited to Istanbul because the Turkish Prosecutor’s office launched an investigation on the case. The airport is taking safety measures seriously due to cases in the past. The Turkish Prosecutor’s office is trying their best to figure out the causes and solutions that need to be put into place to ensure safety.

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...

Coronavirus Poses A Major Threat

Orange+nations+represent+where+at+least+one+person+has+been+infected+by+the+coronavirus%2C+the+virus+is+spreading+quickly+all+over+the+globe.

CDC

Orange nations represent where at least one person has been infected by the coronavirus, the virus is spreading quickly all over the globe.

The most important festival on the Chinese calendar, Lunar New year, was January 25, but in the Chinese city of Wuhan there were few reasons to celebrate. A deadly outbreak of coronavirus entered the city in the last month, endangering the 11 million inhabitants.

Within weeks of the outbreak the virus has spread killing 170 people and there are more than 7,000 cases that have been confirmed in mainland China. The Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread across Asia and the rest of the world.

People are taking the incident very seriously and have been seen walking around with face masks for their safety and the safety of others. Police and security officers have also been seen in face masks standing outside of the city’s center market, Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

The coronavirus was traced back to the Wuhan market where live wild animals such as bats, rats, snakes, dogs, and monkeys were being sold. Scientists believe that the animals that were sold at the market might have contained the coronavirus. People consumed these wild animals in unhygienic conditions which created the spark for the coronavirus outbreak.

The sale of live animals has been temporarily banned, but should be completely banned because of the threat to human survival posed by the disease within these animals. The market is being guarded and civilians are prohibited from entering the area.

People are starting to fear and speculate that it may turn into a possible epidemic. The Wuhan government has tried to contain the outbreak, but their efforts were too late, as the virus was able to spread to several provinces across the country. China has gone on lockdown in attempt to prevent further spreading. Other countries have taken preventive measures to avoid outbreaks by shuting down flights to China.

Tour agencies have banned Wuhan from allowing anyone out of the city,placing the city under quarantine. Passengers are provided with masks, gloves, and are having thermometer checks on their heads for fevers.

President Trump has 20 US airports checking passengers for symptoms of coronavirus since there has been six confirmed cases, two in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington, one in Illinois and the first person to person transmission in Chicago. U.S health officials say the risk in the U.S remains low.

There are more than 1,000 Americans stuck in Wuhan. The Trump administration was considering a complete travel ban on China to prevent spreading. Scientists across the US are trying to create a vaccine for the coronavirus but are struggling to make the vaccine available.

People are encouraged to watch out for the symptoms the virus may cause as it is becoming a huge threat to humans. Washing hands, covering coughs, and making smart choices when purchasing meats should be considered. The virus continues to spread across the globe and has reached 17 countries including Thailand, Hong Kong, France, Germany and the United States. The coronavirus has called for a global emergency and countries are trying their best to help the situation and prevent spreading. Could this be the start of a worldwide deadly epidemic?

About the Writer
Photo of Adamari Jaimez
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...

Sports legend Kobe Bryant Passes Away

Much of society took to the Internet to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant, as well as to mourn the other crash victims. This tragedy impacted far more people than just NBA fans.

Mashable

Much of society took to the Internet to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant, as well as to mourn the other crash victims. This tragedy impacted far more people than just NBA fans.

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter, Gianna, 13, were confirmed dead in a helicopter crash Sunday afternoon.  The fiery crash took place over Calabasas, California killing all eight passengers and the pilot aboard the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.  

The helicopter crashed far from homes or roadways, but the brush fire, ignited as a result of the crash, delayed first-responders arrival at the crash site.  

Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire 20 year professional basketball career, retiring in 2016 as a basketball legend.  He was a five time NBA champion, two time NBA Finals MVP, and 18 consecutive NBA All-Star.  

Bryant was active on Instagram congratulating Lebron James on surpassing him for third on NBA’s all time scoring list just 15 hours before the crash.  It would be his last social media post.  

Bryant followed in his father’s, Joe “JellyBean” Bryant’s, footsteps.  Kobe Bryant lived with his two sisters and parents in Italy while his father played in the Italian league in 1984 after his career in the NBA and was active in soccer and basketball from an early age.  

When his family moved to Philadelphia in 1991, Bryant joined Lower Merion High School’s basketball team, leading the Aces to four state championships.  Bryant was drafted as the 13th overall draft pick to the Charlotte Hornets, but was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal in 1996 and won the next three NBA Championships in ’96, ’97, and ‘98.  Two years into his NBA Career with the Lakers, he was voted onto the 1998 All-Star team, becoming the youngest NBA All-Star at just 19 years of age.  After O’Neal left the Lakers in 2004, the shooting guard continued to shine, leading the league in scoring in 2006 and 2007.  

In 2008, Bryant played along side basketball stars Kevin Durant and Lebron James in the 2008 and 2010 Olympics, winning two gold medals for the US.  The Lakers won the next two NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010, the most recent NBA title for the team.  

Bryant’s final years of his professional career were plagued with injuries, including tearing his achilles in 2013, but he didn’t walk off the court immediately after the injury.  He finished the play, taking and making two free throw shots before retiring to the locker room. Tim S. Grover, Bryant’s long-time sports doctor, outlined Bryant’s resilience, especially during his 2013 games, in his novel “Relentless.”    

Bryant’s final injury came in January of 2015 when he tore his rotator cuff.  Nine months later, he announced he would retire at the end of the 2015 season.  After his retirement, Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner said, “Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game.”  

Bryant wrote a short poem entitled “Dear Basketball” at the end of his career, which was turned into a movie of the same title.  The Disney produced movie went on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2018.

Bryant partnered with After-School All-Stars, a non-profit after school program for kids and ran a summer school camp for young, aspiring basketball players after his retirement.

His second daughter, Gianna, was following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps with hopes to be in the WNBA.  Bryant proudly coached his daughter and her AAU teammates in California and was reportedly on his way to a travel ball game.

Bryant was as inspirational off the court as his play was on the court.  His death reverberated across the country and tributes flooded social media for the father of four.  The game will miss him, but, as he said in “Dear Basketball,” “its time to say goodbye.”

Gianna and Kobe Bryant are survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant and their three other daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. 

About the Contributors
Photo of Lilyann Belcher
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,...

A Very Gary Christmas! Check out this special edition PawPrint Holiday news magazine for 2019 featuring Mr. Graham!

“A Very Gary Christmas”

Check out this special edition PawPrint Holiday news magazine for 2019 featuring Mr. Graham!

 

 

Continous conflict between Iran and the United States

As+he+U.S.+and+Iran+continue+to+fight%2C+they+will+inevitably+end+in+an+intensive+battle%2C+leading+to+a+multitude+of+casualties.

Mani Mehrabi

As he U.S. and Iran continue to fight, they will inevitably end in an intensive battle, leading to a multitude of casualties.

On December 27, 2019, Nawres Hamid, an Iraqi-American contractor, was killed in a rocket attack on a US military base in Iraq while working as a translator for US troops.  The US blamed Iran for the fatal attack that killed the father of two from California and resulted in injuries to other US troops.

In retaliation, the US launched “precision defensive strikes,” as they were described by the US Department of Defense, in areas of Iraq and Syria killing 25 Iranian backed militias.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this strike was to warn Iran that the US would not sit idly by while Iran attacked the US or its allies, echoing former National Security Advisor John Bolton.  Bolton previously had said, “any attack on United States interests or those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force” foreshadowing the efforts taken to squash the violent attacks from Iran.

This strike was met with threats of retaliation from the Iranian government the following day.

Militia backed protests ensued in Iraq and dozens stormed the US embassy in Baghdad.  Although there were no fatalities, President Trump tweeted, “[Iran] will be held fully responsible” for the storming of the US embassy.

On January 2, President Trump ordered a drone strike near Baghdad’s International Airport which targeted and killed a known terrorist, General Qasem Soleimani of the Iraqi Republican Guard.

The Pentagon said in a statement, “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more…”  

President Trump ordered the attack based on intelligence that placed Soleimani at the airport while planning extensive terrorist attacks against US interests.  Presidents Obama and Bush used military forces against known US threats, such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda respectively, based on similar intelligence gathered. While Congresses since the 1973 War Powers Resolution’s inception have argued such use of the military isn’t Constitutional, no Congress has done more than pass resolutions condemning the use of such force.

Six days later, Iran launched 16 ballistic missiles on US forces.  President Trump said, “No Americans were harmed,” but recent reports have refuted this assessment. 

Eleven service members were reportedly brought to hospitals in Kuwait and Germany with concussion symptoms. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said, “[The attack] was a blow to the U.S image as a superpower.” 

 This was seemingly a veiled threat of the power Iran holds over the U.S., but no counter strike has been conducted against Iran.

These recent events have merely added onto the preexisting conflicts between the US and the country formerly known as Persia before the 1950s. Prior to 1953, US-Iran relations were beneficial to both countries; the US provided military resources to Iran, who supplied oil and natural goods to the US.  

The strained relationship is a result of a series of diplomatic missteps and post WW2 alliances.  The US and Britain supported the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and replaced the Iranian leader with the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.  Essentially, the US replaced the leader the Iranian people chose with the leader America wanted. The total disregard for the will and culture of the Iranian people laid the foundation for a lasting conflict.

The US also sided against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980’s.  Iran fought back by taking a number of US hostages and bombing US ally ships.  These events have built the wall higher and solidified the wedge between the two countries.  

Since 1953, the US has failed to acknowledge the Iranian government’s rich culture and the US’s ignorance has become more prominent throughout generations.  One CIA agent has even been quoted asking about the Iranian religious leader saying, “What is an Ayatollah?”  

If the US’s own intelligence agents do not know the title of the Iranian leader, how can they decide what is best for Iran?  The combination of America’s painful ignorance and forcing themselves into a foreign country’s domestic affairs has proved the US is pressing its boot on the neck of the Iranian government.  

However, the US has been trying for years to deescalate the situation with Iran.  American diplomats have tried to use diplomacy or nonviolent sanctions to control the situation with Iran, but Iranian officials have continued to resort to violent measures to demand respect from the US.  The Iranian out-dated negotiation tactics of Iran cannot be changed by the US or any external force. But the US does have a responsibility to protect its citizens and foreign interests. So, until Iran recognizes the benefits of peaceful negotiation, the US will continue to fight fire with fire to protect its people and allies.

About the Writer
Photo of Lilyann Belcher
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,...

Durant Theatre Company shines with Brainstorm

The+entire+theatre+company+poses+proudly+with+the+trophy+representing+their+Superior+for+Brainstorm.

The entire theatre company poses proudly with the trophy representing their Superior for Brainstorm.

Before Thanksgiving Break, the Durant Theatre Company performed “Brainstorm: A Journey Inside the Teenage Mind” for Durant students, family, and faculty.

“Brainstorm”, a one act play, was written by Mr. Arment and his students, making the show personal and unique to Durant’s production.  Sydni Burge, a sophomore and actress for the Durant Theatre Company, said, “Every production of “Brainstorm” is different, because we play ourselves and our parents.  Everyone has a unique relationship with their parents and the show highlights that.”

The script, originally formulated by Ned Glasier, allows the school using the idea to fill in their own characters, based off the students of their drama club, and personalize it with interesting facts about their unique cast.  Mr. Arment commented on the development of the script, saying, “We had to do a lot of initial work on the background of each of the cast members. We really had to dive in through worksheets and conversations and collaboration to discover what has gone on in the lives of these kids.”

The play explained the teenage mind to the audience through comical and interactive scenes.  “Brainstorm” portrayed each student’s fears of growing up and the struggles they face as a teenager, such as those that come with homework, chores, and extracurriculars, all while trying to maintain healthy relationships with their parents. 

Jordan Maddock, a stagehand for “Brainstorm”, said, “The [on stage] survey [with the cast] shows how the teenage brain functions.” It also showed how many of the cast’s teenagers struggle with the challenges that come with being a young adult. 

Each student had the opportunity to portray one of their parents, resulting in laughs from the audience, but also showing how teenagers view their parents.  Isabelle Hoofnagle, an actress for the Durant Theatre Company, said, “[The portrayal] actually took a fair bit of preparation too. I had to watch my dad and study his mannerisms and his voice.” 

Burge said, “Our portrayals of our parents are a way to lighten up the show, but also to say things we’ve never gotten to say [about our parents] before.”

The cast then played Never Have I Ever with the audience to show them that they are just like the cast of teenagers.  Never Have I Ever also allowed the adults in the gallery to remember parts of their teenage years and reminded them of the similar struggles they faced.

The show concluded with the cast showing letters they had written to their parents on poster boards.  Mr. Arment said, “The cast was coming from a place of such honesty and bravery that it really just set the play apart from other plays that I have done.”

On December 4, the Durant Theatre company took their One-Act to the District 9 One-Act Festival at USF.  The cast performed a revised version of “Brainstorm” in order to fit the 40-minute time limit. The Durant Theatre Company received a “Superior”, the highest score achievable.  “Brainstorm” proved to be another successful production of the Durant Theatre Company.

About the Writer
Photo of Lilyann Belcher
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,...

The rap industry loses another artist

Juice+Wrld+gained+immense+popularity+from+his+single+%22Lucid+Dreams.%22

TMZ

Juice Wrld gained immense popularity from his single "Lucid Dreams."

In the rap industry, it is difficult for upcoming rappers to gain fame. Nowadays, rappers are coming from small apps like SoundCloud or Spotify, expecting to become legends, although reaching legend status takes time, dedication, and effort. Many rappers now are writing more emotional lyrics to prove a point or be inspirational.  

For example, XXXtencion is known by young adults and teens for being more relatable and emotional. Sadly, there is a more twisted side in being a rapper. Many rappers involve themselves in salacious activities, ranging from drugs to gang affiliation. Even though XXXtencion was young, fresh, and on the verge of becoming one of the best rappers of the time, he was shot because of being involved in salacious activities.

But more recently, Juice Wrld, a young rapper as well, who had just recently signed with the major record label Interscope Records, died on Dec. 8 after suffering cardiac arrest at a private hangar at Midway Airport. 

Around 2 a.m., according to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said, “Paramedics were called to hanger operated by Atlantic Aviation.” 

Juice Wrld‘s real name is Jarad Higgins, passing away just six days after turning 21. Higgins died just after he arrived at Midway on a private jet. Higgins was immediately taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where they announced his death at 3:14 a.m.

It was determined that Higgins died after having a seizure. Many of his fans believed that he was faking his death. Not to long before his unexpected death, he posted on Instagram that his lifetime goal was to successfully fake his death. Juice Wrld’s younger audience believes that this was his doing to shine brighter and become famous, but he suffered a seizure and began bleeding from his mouth. The cause of his seizure is not yet known. The medical experts who examined the body, did find traces of drugs but more tests are required to confirm.

When Higgins was still in school, he left a huge mark in the schools he attended. The teachers and staffs always knew him to be highly creative and talented in what he does best, make music. Higgins was a very caring person even before he was famous, he would make sure someone was okay if he noticed something was wrong with them. His former teachers, staff, and classmates always thought he was a generous and hardworking; they are very devasted that Higgins is gone now, and he will be remembered by many people who looked up to him. 

About the Writer
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Rodnasha Williams, Business Manager

Rodnasha Williams was a junior at Durant High School and was the Business Manager of Fundraising for the PawPrint Newspaper. When she was not taking pictures...

SpaceX creates first private shuttle to the International Station

The+Crew+Dragon+shuttle+is+a+private+venture%2C+not+a+public+venture%2C+although+given+major+funding+from+NASA.

Inverse

The Crew Dragon shuttle is a private venture, not a public venture, although given major funding from NASA.

As of 2011, NASA retired their line of space shuttles. This means that American astronauts rely on the Russian Soyuz to travel to space. In 2014 this caused NASA to give Boeing $4.2 billion to create the CST-100 Starling, they also gave Elon Musk’s company SpaceX $2.6 billion to develop the Crew Dragon because NASA did not want to continue relying on Russia to send American astronauts to the moon. The Crew Dragon is the solution to this problem, not the private shuttles to Mars, SpaceX’s other major project.

The Crew Dragon is the first of its kind to be developed. The shuttle is the first American space craft to automatically dock at the International Space Station, is the only commercial shuttle to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, and is the only space craft with the ability to return cargo to Earth. The shuttle will also be free flying, meaning it will be autonomous, but on-board astronauts have the ability to monitor and control the shuttle when necessary.

SpaceX
The sleek interior of the Crew Dragon has room for up to seven people.

When the shuttle launches for the International Space Station, it leaves from the Kennedy Space center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., the launch site for all of NASA’s missions to the moon as well as shuttles to the International Space Center.

The development of the shuttle has not been simple for SpaceX, but there have been more triumphs than challenges. The major challenge in the shuttle’s development occurred in April of 2019 when the shuttle exploded during a test. The shuttle failed the launch-abort engines test, which is designed to test a rocket’s system in response to an emergency during the launch or as the rocket is in flight. According to NBC, the failure caused a great concern for the human tests that had been scheduled for later in the year.

The astronaut trials have been pushed back due to the launch failure, as the company had to ensure the problem was solved. According to Musk and NASA officials at a headquarters vent October 10, astronaut tests, Demo 2, should be expected in the first quarter of next year, from January to March 2020.

On the other hand, recently many improvements have been made. The shuttle passed 13 Mark 3 parachute tests and the SuperDraco thrusters, which power the escape system, were successfully added October 29, as shown on the SpaceX official Twitter.

The technology to take humans to the International Space Station is becoming more complex. The continued developments are making the shuttle more complex and more efficient. Once the Crew Dragon is fully operational, the U.S. Space Program will be autonomous once again.

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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...

Armwood High School students create English Language Learners Bill

The English Language Learners Bill is an effort by Armwood High School seniors to ensure equality between native and non-native English speakers when taking English Graduation Tests.

The English Language Learners Bill is an effort by Armwood High School seniors to ensure equality between native and non-native English speakers when taking English Graduation Tests.

Two-term Florida Republican Representative Kevin Ambler originally began the county wide “Ought to Be A Law” competition to encourage students to propose bills to congress.  Fifteen years later, Kevin Ambler is out of office, but Armwood High School civics teacher, Tony Pirotta, and his students kept it going.

Senior Maria Medina noticed one of her fellow classmates, who transferred to Hillsborough County’s Armwood High School after moving from Cuba, struggling with English.  Her classmate was passing all her other classes with flying colors, except for English.  English Graduation Tests assume the test taker understands the language fluently.  The student has already completed the English Language Learner’s program (a program designed to teach non-native speakers English), but those classes, crammed into 4-7 years, cannot teach the entirety of the English language.  The fine-tuning that comes in high school level English classes can’t be understood by students who are still struggling to learn the complicated components of the English language.  Therefore, understanding English on the level they are expected to understand for English tests is nearly impossible-which is where Pirotta’s student’s bill comes in. 

House Bill 143/ Senate Bill 376, the most recent bills originating from Tony Pirotta’s civics club, “exempts certain English Language Learners from specified graduation requirement[s].”  In this case, the graduation requirement would be English Graduation Tests.  Both bills have been referred to their respective house’s “PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee” on September 23 and hope to be approved by July 1, 2020.

In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, senior Haley Manigold says “We believe that every student deserves an equal opportunity.  If you take a test and you can’t understand it, then the test is not effectively showing what you know.” 

Similar bills have been introduced by Democratic Senator Annette Taddeo and Democratic Representative Cindy Polo (HB 1213/SB 1590).  These bills state that non-native English speakers should be able to take tests required for graduation in their native language. 

Many students have joined Pirotta’s it “Ought to Be A Law Club” to help their fellow classmates who are challenged by the English requirement.  Zachary Mills, a member of the club says, “I just want to be part of the group that makes things better.”

With the help of their teacher, the members of the club have communicated with Democratic Florida Representative Susan Valdes, who has assisted the students in getting the bill into its respective committee and onto the Senate and House floor.  The English Language Learners bill will increase graduation rates for non-native English-speaking students and will promote fair high school testing for students of all nationalities.  Haley Manigold and a few of her classmates hope to travel to Tallahassee to lobby the bill in Congress for the 2020 Legislative Session, which begins January 14.

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,...

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