Durant High School Journalism

The World Ponders the State of North Korea’s Leader


Courtesy of BBC

The latest reports on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un support that he is indeed alive after recently opening a fetilizer plant.

On Sunday, Apr. 26, 2020, TMZ news reported North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong-Un was dead after his heart surgeon accidentally messed up his heart surgery. This led to many reports out on social media saying he was dead. 

It is still uncertain if he is dead or not. Although the New York Post reported that South Korean officials know where Kim Jong Un is located. Unification Minister, Kim Yeon-chul reported that the government is aware of Kim Jong Un’s location. President Trump was also aware of Kim Jong-Un’s condition, but has no knowledge of his location. North Korea will not share the location of Kim Jong-Un at the moment. 

In the event that Kim Jong-Un is dead, his sister, Kim Yo-Jong will take over as North Korea’s Supreme leader. The Supreme leader is the highest position to hold in North Korea. It is important to know if Kim Jong-Un is dead or alive because people don’t know who will be next in line to take over as Supreme leader and how their new policies will be since North Korea has a dictatorship government. 

Kim Yo-Jong would take over for Kim Jong-Un and people are worried that she would be more strict than he was and won’t do as well as Kim Jong Un. There are a lot of rumors going around from many news sites saying Kim Yo-Jung will take over as Supreme leader. 

Most of the world is afraid of North Korea because of the nuclear weapons they have. North Korea does missile testing and it’s scary to other people around the world because they could use it on other countries. 

Kim Jong-Un has not been seen since April 11 and he missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather and North Korea’s founder, Kim II Sung. The New York Post also reports that Kim Jong-Un may have missed a key holiday on April 15 due to concerns over COVID-19. Kim Jong-Un has been North Korea’s leader since 2011. 

Fox News reported on May 1 that a North Korean lawmaker is 99 percent sure Kim Jong-Un is dead, yet there is no evidence that he is dead. He may be at a resort compound in North Korea after satellite images spotted luxury boats. 

North Korea has also canceled some large events and have imposed a border lockdown in effort to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19. 

A lot of world leaders are paying close attention to this developing story. 

About the Writer
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Jordan Dabbour, Business Manager

Jordan Dabbour is a junior at Durant High School and is Advertising Business Manager for the PawPrint newspaper. He is an avid sports fan, and loves to...

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
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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,...

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, 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
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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...

Australia fires continue despite relief efforts


Rick Rycraft

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

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
Photo of Faith Miller
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...

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