Durant High School Journalism

Trump attempts to investigate former President and First Lady Obama

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

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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.

About the Writer
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Marina Hawkins, Social Media Coordinator

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

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

About the Writer
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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.

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Angelique Robinson, Web Master

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Master 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

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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

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

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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