Durant High School Journalism

Continous conflict between Iran and the United States

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Continous conflict between Iran and the United States

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

As he U.S. and Iran continue to fight, they will inevitably end in an intensive battle, 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.

Mani Mehrabi

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.

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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
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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,...

SpaceX creates first private shuttle to the International Station

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SpaceX creates first private shuttle to the International Station

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

The Crew Dragon shuttle is a private venture, not a public venture, 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.

Inverse

Inverse

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

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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.

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...

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.

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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,...

Cash Snubbed for Manager of the Year

Kevn Cash, a native to the Tampa Bay, has managed the Tampa Bay Rays for five years.

ESPN

Kevn Cash, a native to the Tampa Bay, has managed the Tampa Bay Rays for five years.

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On November 13th MLB announced that Rocco Baldelli had won A.L. Manager of the Year. He was one of the 3 finalists, including Aaron Boone, manager of the Yankees, and Kevin Cash, skipper of the Rays. The final vote totals were 106 for Baldelli, 96 for Boone, and a staggeringly low 33 for Cash. After reports from Ken Rosenthal that it would be close between Boone and Cash it came as a surprise that not only that Baldelli won, but also that Kevin Cash got beaten so badly.

Not only should it have been at least close between Cash and Boone, but Cash was truly the most deserving candidate, not Baldelli or Boone. Kevin Cash led the Rays to 96 wins, the second straight year of 90+ wins with him at the helm. That’s impressive for any team in the majors, but when you have the lowest payroll in the sport it makes it that much more amazing. On top of all that, the Rays used 57 players, 30 pitchers, and Kevin Cash trotted out to change the pitcher an incredible 603 times, 2nd most in baseball. And if that wasn’t enough, the Rays won those 96 games while residing in the A.L. East, the toughest division in baseball including juggernauts like the Yankees and Red Sox. 

Aaron Boone was deserving as he had injury problems of his own, dealing with 30 players being injured 39 times. However, lets face it, Boone was given a Ferrari and told not to crash it, and even if he somehow did, he had 200 million dollars to repair it. Cash had to deal with a 60-million-dollar payroll, while talented, he did not have a whole lot of resources to back it up in case of mass injury. The Rays not only had more injuries, they had less than a third of the Yankees’ payroll to fill the gaps. 

Rocco, who was the least deserving to win, but somehow came away with the award. While it was his 1st year managing and he did win 101 games, his team plays in the A.L. Comedy Central, the weakest division in baseball, and feasted off the weak teams such as the Royals, White Sox, and Tigers. He basically had no adversity to face as injuries were limited, they had the 2nd fewest in MLB history and cruised to the division, with the second-best team finishing 8 games behind them. Yet he was voted on as the winner, taking votes away from the more deserving managers such as Cash and Boone. 

The thing that seems to be the real problem is how Cash got so little amount of recognition only receiving 33 votes, finishing 66 votes behind Rocco. The manager with less payroll, more injuries, and more overall adversity not only lost but lost in a landslide. Looking at the postseason provides a great example of Cash’s leadership. The Rays and Twins both were down 2-0 heading into Game 3 of their respective series. The Rays, facing Houston, rallied back at home to tie the series 2-2 and bring the series back to Houston, while the Twins didn’t even put up a fight, losing in front of the disappointed home crowd 5-1 and failing to even win a game in October for the 19th straight year. 

Kevin Cash was the most deserving manager to win this award and he was robbed blind by the Writer’s Association who voted. At the very least he deserved more recognition for his incredible accomplishments this season than the meager 33 votes he received. Kevin Cash didn’t win the A.L. Manager of the Year, but he was the most deserving candidate and it’s a disgrace he wasn’t the winner.

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...

Trump attempts to investigate former President and First Lady Obama

This is the poster for the first movie fromHigher Ground Productions featured on Netflix.

Netflix

This is the poster for the first movie fromHigher Ground Productions featured on Netflix.

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Barack and Michelle Obama have recently resurfaced in the White House. This caught social media’s attention when they informed the public on their plans after serving their two terms as President and First Lady. Their plans include book deals and Netflix partnerships, both first announced in May 2018. Both ventures will give the public an inside look as to what it was like being the first African American President and First Lady.

It was not a huge surprise when the couple announced their Netflix deal, since entertainment and politics are becoming increasingly intertwined. The Obamas created the joint production company, Higher Ground, to capture inspirational stories that will include controversial topics that the Obama family have experienced throughout the years. 

Their goal is to create  entertainment for a variety of ages, they believe their series will contain something for everyone to enjoy. Over the next couple of years, the Higher Ground production company will be releasing a number of series: American Factory, Bloom, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, Overlooked, Listen to Your Vegetables and Eat Your Parents, Fifth Risk and Crip Camp.

With the controversial information that will be supplied to produce these series, it has raised some questions with the current President. President Trump wants to advise an investigation on the Obamas’ “ridiculous” Netflix and book deal. With the Obamas’ book deal being worth around 65 million dollars and the Netflix partnership being an ‘high-8-figure’ deal. Trump has asked the government to look into the details.

Trump’s reasoning for this investigation suggestion was to focus the attention off him for a change as he says “…for the privilege of being your President – and doing the best job that has been done in many decades.”

 He mentions the Netflix deal on Twitter where he suggests Democrats look into Obamas’ business deals and not his own, as he has been under fire for quite awhile. 

As this is not Trump’s first time complaining about the former President, the media was not surprised when he threw out the investigation. President Trump hoped to push over the negativity on his own scandals asl well as the scandals of his administration such as Justice Kavanaugh’s, to the Obamas’ new business arrangement, although deals with Netflix and book contracts are legal and free to carry out. 

However, Trump’s attempt to deflect negativity about himself onto the Obamas might have failed greatly. The widespread use of social media networking has come back to say that if the investigation was turned around onto some of the tweets and plans Trump has made, this battle would be fast ending.

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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...

Planned Parenthood withdraws from Title X

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Planned Parenthood withdraws from Title X

Protest in New York against Trump administration's additional Title X regulations.

Protest in New York against Trump administration's additional Title X regulations.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Protest in New York against Trump administration's additional Title X regulations.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Protest in New York against Trump administration's additional Title X regulations.

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On Monday, August 19th Planned Parenthood withdrew from the Title X program. Title X is a federal grant program used to provide family planning and healthcare services. The program allows low income families access to medical supplies and services: including contraception counseling, breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, as well as pregnancy diagnosis and counseling.  

Title X is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, regulations regarding Title X have been revised and many clinics receiving funding are being censored on what they can speak about with their patients regarding abortion. The new regulations regarding the grant prohibit doctors from referring their patients to clinics or physicians that provide abortions.  Planned Parenthood attempted to persuade Congress to pass a bill nullifying the Presidents new regulations however, they were unsuccessful.

Acting President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Alexis McGill Johnson, released a statement stating the organization will “not be bullied” by the Trump administration, and has decided to withdraw from the grant. 

 According to National Public Radio the new regulations are prohibiting doctors from referring their pregnant patients to clinics that provide abortions. Many doctors are afraid this new set of rules will begin to negatively influence a doctor’s freedom in the exam room, compromising doctor patient relationships.  

Ted L. Anderson, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, released a statement addressing the ACOG’s views on the new regulations. 

“Title X plays an essential role in ensuring that millions of women have access to the full range of reproductive health care. Restricting clinics that provide abortion referrals from receiving federal funding represents inappropriate intrusion in the patient-physician relationship and creates unnecessary limitations for patients to access non-abortion reproductive health care.”  

Roughly 4 million people rely on Title X funding in order to see a physician. Roughly 1.5 million of those patients are served through Planned Parenthood, the organization receives about $60 million dollars annually from the grant to aid the community in a range of health care related issues. (nytimes.com)

According to plannedparenthood.org in 2016 , “health centers used Title X funding to provide 720,000 Pap tests, more than four million STD tests (including HIV tests), and nearly one million women with breast exams.” 

President Trump released a statement regarding the adjustments to the Title X grant. “For decades, American taxpayers have been wrongfully forced to subsidize the abortion industry through Title X federal funding,” 

While taxpayers’ dollars indirectly support facilities that offer abortion services, the majority of the money granted to clinics is not funding abortion services. 

According to NPR.org, in a 2013-2014 budget report only 3% of the 10.6 million dollars funded abortion services the group provided that year. A large portion of the expenses was saved for STD/STI testing. 

   Planned Parenthood directly influences many of the lower-class citizens throughout America. By withdrawing from Title X the organization will be financially impacted due to the fact that the majority of their funding is through the government. Despite that Johnson has vowed to keep their doors open and to continue serving the public.

About the Contributors
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Jennifer Dages, Editor-in-Chief of Writing

Jennifer Dages is a senior at Durant High School and is the Editor-in-Chief of Writing for PawPrint newspaper. In her free time, she practices Brazilian...

Disney Bans Smoking and Over-sized Strollers in its Theme Parks

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Disney Bans Smoking and Over-sized Strollers in its Theme Parks

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

Disney

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

Disney

Disney

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

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Earlier this year, Florida’s Disney theme parks concluded that the toleration of designated smoking and large strollers would be banned from their facilities. Claims state that the announced ban will allow for guests to have a more enjoyable time in each park. The removal of such will allow for guests to move along more freely without the feeling of being congested by others who are taking up too much space.

While the ban has set to be in effect as of May 1st, Disney has also reported that loose and dry ice, generally carried by a guest containing the ice in a cooler, to also be banned. The report states the the loose and dry ice ban is in effect immediately after announcement.

Various sources have expressed their views on the matter and while some believe that the new policy is a plausible decision, others have expressed their annoyance with the ban.

According to the New York Times, the President of the International Theme Park Service, Dennis Speigel, stated that the Disney theme parks chose the “right course.” He continued to explain that in a family-oriented setting, nobody wants to encounter a person smoking.

Alongside the distraction of a smoking individual in a family-crowded facility, smoking in general poses a health risk toward the other guests inside the Disney parks themselves.

At Durant High School, 12th grader, Kyle Harper, explained that those who are smoking in the theme park create a hazard toward guests who have a difficulty breathing or struggle with asthma-related symptoms.

“Including myself, it’s not fair for those who have to worry about other people spreading hazardous smoke in the air at a theme park like Disney, where they should be able to enjoy their visit without worrying about symptoms acting up,” Harper said.

Even though smoking may be an enjoyable way for people to relax at their favorite theme park, other guests are put at an unfair risk. With the new rule being put in place, Disney hopes  that their action will allow all of its guests to feel safe from hazardous chemicals that put their health at risk.

According to a New York-based study in 2007, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  scientists concluded that the implementation of laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars and other indoor workplaces would reduce the amount of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction in 2004.

Disney’s new rules will completely reduce the number of guests who are victim to secondhand smoking on theme park property.

In addition to the composed health risks, guests who are victim to secondhand smoking would face congestion within the theme parks due to guests taking up space to smoke. Confirmed in an interview by the Tampa Bay Times, the communications manager at Walt Disney World Resort, Lisa Mendillo, stated that designated smoking areas will no longer be available to guests to clear space in the park.

Another ban taking place to clear up the congestion within the walkways of Disney parks is the prohibition of oversized strollers. Strollers that exceed a width of 31 inches or a length of 52 inches will now be prohibited nder Disney’s new restrictions.

Photo credit to FavoriteGrampy.com

Among the list of banned strollers, the infamous “wagon stroller” (pictured above) is no longer accepted into Disney theme parks. Photo by FavoriteGrampy.com

Similarly to the smoking ban, the banning of oversized strollers will allow Disney fans to walk more freely among the parks.

Durant High School seniors, Delton Newsome and Omar Gonzalez, shared their views on the current circumstance of oversized strollers in Disney parks.

“A larger stroller could be used to contain important supplies that a parent may need to provide aid to their kids,” Newsome stated.

While it is important for a parent to meet the needs of their children, Newsome agreed with the Disney’s restriction because certain strollers may be excessive. Restricted oversized strollers allow for guests to walk around the park with more ease.

“The rule is justified for those who want to walk around the parks more freely because too many families take advantage of the walking space that Disney provides for every guest,” Gonzalez added.

In order to make the parks safer and easier to maneuver to guests, Disney’s new restricts are now in affect until bigger issues arise. For more information regarding Disney’s park restrictions and policies, visit the official Walt Disney World website.

 

 

 

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Preston Jones, Business Manager

Preston Jones is a former Business Manager for PawPrint newspaper. Preston graduated from Durant in 2019.

Extreme cold sweeps across United States

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Extreme cold sweeps across United States

this is a photo of the frost coming off Lake Michigan  beside the city.

this is a photo of the frost coming off Lake Michigan beside the city.

WTAJ Weather

this is a photo of the frost coming off Lake Michigan beside the city.

WTAJ Weather

WTAJ Weather

this is a photo of the frost coming off Lake Michigan beside the city.

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Cooler weather has graced Florida for the past few weeks. The weather in Florida is not the only weather being affected. Throughout the United States, there has been weather much colder than usual. The cold has become so extreme it has been labeled as an arctic freeze.

Global warming is part of the cause of the arctic, but because science is not advanced enough, it cannot be labeled as the generator of the arctic freeze. There is a common misconception surrounding the idea; generally, people believe that the only thing global warming affects is rising temperatures. However, as global warming affects extreme heat, the antithesis, extreme cold, is affected the same way. The misconception is that people believe that global warming should generally make winters warmers. According to Kerry Sheridan of phys.org a jet stream is what brought the extreme temperatures to the United States. A jet stream is a powerful band of air currents, the flow of these currents create wind. Sheridan explains that jet streams get more unstable as the contrast between the humid hot air of Central America and the dry icy air of the Arctic Circle.

This is where global warming plays a factor, because the tropics are warmer the contrast has increased, making the jet streams more unstable, causing them to flow quickly and bring freezing temperatures to the nation from the Arctic Circle.

The temperatures in the North were very extreme. The coldest states were Minnesota and North Dakota. According to the National Weather Service, areas in both states experienced temperature below negative 60 degrees.

Other states like Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa had similar temperatures that have been in the negative 40s and 50s. The National Weather Service released a chart showing that none of these states have experienced cold weather this severe since the mid-1990s.

Over the course of the arctic chill, there have been lots of effects. The most serious and lasting effects were all the people who have died due to the chill. The arctic chill has claimed at least 21 victims across the Midwest. According to SBS News, the ages of the victims ranged, university students and the elderly all fell victim to the cold.

Many schools across the Northern states have been closed for most of this past week. Even colleges put classes on pause due to the cold.

College freshman at Christopher Newport University, Sam Rzonca stated that “While it wasn’t too bad for me, one of my friend’s school had to close because it was so bad that pipes busted and the heating in the dorms was not strong enough.”

The U.S. Postal Service was severely affected. According to USA Today News, “The USPS announced that no mail will be delivered in parts of Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.”

Many people in these states would receive packages late as USPS also halted deliveries in these Northern states.

FedEx continued to deliver throughout the storm. According to People, one of their truck drivers was found dead Thursday, January 31. The driver was 69 years old.

For many people this was a dangerous life experience. Many had majority of the week off and were able to remain in their homes away from danger. Luckily for the nation this crisis only lasted a few days.

About the Contributors
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...

Deadly shooting at Jacksonville Madden Gaming Tournament

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Deadly shooting at Jacksonville Madden Gaming Tournament

Retrieved from CNN

Retrieved from CNN

Retrieved from CNN

Retrieved from CNN

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Jacksonville, Fla.–A deadly shooting occurred at the Aug. 26 Madden Gaming Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.

The two victims, Taylor Robertson, 28 and Elijah Clayton, 22, were competitors in the tournament alongside the shooter, David Katz, 24,who opened fire in the middle of the tournament. Robertson and Clayton were killed, and 10 others were injured. Katz, after the shooting, committed suicide with his weapon.

Katz was prescribed multiple psychiatric medications; and, based on the divorce filings from Katz’s parents, as a teenager, he was hospitalized twice in psychiatric facilities as first reported by AP News. The gun that Katz used was was legally purchased. “It appears that the [mental health] disqualifications [in purchasing a gun] did not apply to David Katz,” said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

In 2018 alone, there have been 234 mass shootings in the United States. Sunday’s shooting marked the 234th shooting this year. The FBI defines a “Mass Killing” as the killing of three or more people in a public place, and the federal agency also defines a “Mass Murderer” as someone who has killed four or more people in the same location.

Since the shooting has occurred, CEO of game-maker Electronic Arts announced the cancellation of the three upcoming tournaments. According to an article by The Los Angeles Times, an apology was release by EA Sport, who owns the Madden franchise, saying: “We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage…This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.”

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Alli Couture, Photo Editor

Alli Couture is a senior at Durant High School and is Photo Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves anything to do with animals - especially dogs!...

Red tide impacting tourism in Tampa Bay area

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Red tide impacting tourism in Tampa Bay area

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Sept. 9, 2018

Plant City, Fla.–The infamous “Red Tide” has quietly been killing untold numbers of manatees, turtles, millions of fish and other marine animals, while making human eyes itch, coughing and breathe in an unbearable stench. August has been a rough month for tourism in Florida, with red tide turning blue waters to a rusted brown and many dead fish washing up onto the shores.

Mcshane, who traveled from Ellicott City, Md. with her parents for a week long vacation in Tampa Bay, was excited to have fun except for when she got to the beach she came to an empty beach and she wondered if it was even safe for her to be there.

Red tide has caused tourism to the state’s beach to fall tremendously, which has led to business downfall as well.

Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., had big decisions to make when it comes to the animals dying and businesses struggling. Scott is also facing pressure from citizens who want answers and immediate action. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has given $3 million in a grant to help local communities affected by red tide. Florida’s tourism agency will receive $500,000 to create an emergency grant program to help promote travel in red tide areas, and Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Fla. will receive $100,000 to help with animal rescues.

Counties affected by the dangerous red tide in Florida are Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota. These counties will be provided money and resources by the state grant to fix the problems red tide has caused.

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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...

Underpaid Oklahoma Teachers are Protesting for a Change

A news story regarding the recent teacher walkouts in Oklahoma.

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Underpaid Oklahoma Teachers are Protesting for a Change

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Recently, teachers in Oklahoma have walked out of schools to protest for higher teacher and support staff raises, and increased funding for education. Oklahoma teachers are marching and rallying at their state capitol to exemplify how important the matter is to them. Oklahoma is amid the bottom three states in teachers’ salaries.

These teachers are fighting and protesting for their students and are explaining how these kids will be the future leaders of America. Oklahoma educators are exclaiming how unfair it is they are being underpaid even though their job is shaping the future of America.

This is about students, our kids, and the very future of our state. That is why we are here,” said Dionne Liebel, an English teacher at Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Teachers all over the U.S. are showing their support for the teachers in Oklahoma and agree that those teachers in Oklahoma are underpaid and deserve a raise. Teachers in Oklahoma have not had a raise in over 10 years.

“We’re sending a message. If we continue to stay united, they [lawmakers] cannot turn away from us, they cannot turn their backs on us,” said Lesley Buckner, a language arts teacher in Oklahoma.

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Celeste Mott, Editor-in-Chief of Communications & Operations

Celeste Mott was a former staffer and former Editor-in-Chief of Communications and Operations for the PawPrint newspaper. Celeste graduated from Durant...

Students Walk Out

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Students Walk Out

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Tampa, Fla.—In the wake of the recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, an uproar has begun across the nation rallying for change. However, this is not a new issue, with 31 school shootings having happened in the United States since Columbine in 1999. Parkland reignited old flames calling for reform, that were brought up after dozens of recent school massacres; most prominently Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook.

This movement against the status quo is being led by the survivors of the recent shooting. This is evident by protests in Tallahassee, Florida calling for gun reform, and a town hall coordinated by CNN where survivors and parents of victims asked questions to Florida Senators and State Legislators. These protests are underway just a week after the attack, demonstrating the resiliency of the Parkland attack’s survivors. These survivors were not alone, as hundreds of other students went to Tallahassee to protest alongside them, and thousands of others continuing to participate in walk outs of schools across the nation.

Other scheduled walk outs are gaining momentum online through news websites and social media. Currently, the two most prominent scheduled walk outs are the National School Walk Out planned for March 14th, and the March for Our Lives Walk Out scheduled for March 24th.

The National School Walk Out is planned to happen at 10 am in all time zones on March 14th. The plan is to walk out for 17 minutes to represent the 17 lives lost.

The survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting will head to Washington DC for the March for Our Lives protest on March 24th. Further details on this event are still unclear, but what is known is that dozens of sister city marches are planned in various locations across the United States, and even throughout the world.

It is clear students are upset and want their voices heard. The lack of legislation in the wake of so many school shootings has encouraged students to take matters into their own hands. These protestors are speaking about and against gun violence, and are calling for more gun regulation and control. The night before protests in Tallahassee, the Florida Congress voted “no” on debate whether some semi-automatic weapons, like the Ar-15 used in the recent shooting, should be banned along with high capacity magazines. Some legislators agree with protestors’ views that legislators are not acting swiftly. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said in an address to the Senate floor on Feb. 14, “These shootings are a consequence of our inaction.”

Students are outraged because their friends are dying and students feel unsafe in an environment that should be focused on education.

Durant High School in Plant City, Florida saw some of its own students head to the recent rally in Tallahassee—juniors Taylor Chandler and Patrick Valdez. Chandler, who is actually from Parkland, felt personally affected by the shooting, saying she felt unsafe after the attack. Chandler thought it would be a good idea for a walk out pointing out that, “people should be focusing on the students because students are the ones who are dying and being affected by it.”

Garret Kost, a senior at Durant, stated, “I am tired of seeing nothing happen and seeing these shootings still happen.” Kost was undecided about the walk out, believing that it would be a powerful message, but maybe not the most effective way of conveying that message. Kost has written letters to state legislators and believes that writing letters to government officials is a strong way to have your message heard.

Mr. Irovando, an AP government teacher at Durant, stat that it’s going to take a lot of voices, as well as voting to change things. He believes a walk out that would be peaceful and done properly would be reminiscent of the sit-ins of the 1960’s that were done in response to the Jim Crow laws.

Another way for students to express their discontent of current gun control laws and regulations is to write their representatives and senators. Durant High School students live in the 15th district of Florida, which is represented in congress by Dennis A. Ross. To contact Representative Ross, go to his website, https://dennisross.house.gov/contact/, and email him directly.

The other option is to email either of the two senators representing Florida in the United States Senate, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. To contact either of them, go to their respective websites: https://www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact-bill and https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/.

Many students at Durant have questioned what the possible consequences would be if they were to walk out in a protest. Some students have questioned why they should be punished for expressing their discontent for the inaction of their legislators, when it is the students who are the ones in danger.

Durant High School administrators discouraged a walk out during school hours, suggesting that it would disrupt the flow of education. Durant Principal Bowden and Durant Assistant Principal Witchoskey encouraged other ways for students to express their viewpoints that they felt might be more impactful. “It’s great the kids are coming together for the cause, but I think [a walk out] would have a negative effect,” said Witchoskey.

Witchoskey suggested students can help keep our school community safe by reaching out to administrators and school safety officers if they see anything out of the ordinary. “If you see something, say something,” said Witchoskey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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