Nigerian Army Saves Hundreds

by Sarah Rovinsky

On Tuesday, April 27, the Nigerian army announced that it had rescued hundreds of kidnapped women and children. In the same region of northern Nigeria, where the abducted were retrieved, new evidence came to light of a mass killing committed by Boko Haram, a notorious terrorist organization in the area.

Later that day the army tweeted that 200 girls and 93 women were liberated. They were abducted from the Sambisa Forest, an area that Boko Haram has been suspected of operating in. The New York Times says, “The mass abduction ignited international alarm at Boko Haram’s unchecked rampages across northern Nigeria. In response, the government has repeatedly declared in the past year that it had reached a cease fire with Boko Haram, that the girls would soon be rescued, that they had been located and even, on a previous occasion that they had already been rescued. The claims quickly proved to be untrue.”

Mr. Monguno said in the same interview, “How could they rescue over 200 women without getting Shekau (Abubakar Shekau, the leader of B.H.) or the top B.H. commanders? How many were killed? Without clear explanation people will always believe they just want to cover up.” Recently, the Nigerian army and other forces have recovered ground lost to Boko Haram, and the terrorist group remains on the defensive.

Justin Bieber Crashes Prom

By: Allison Petkoff

Justin Bieber crashed prom last Saturday at one of Los Angeles Unified School District’s schools. Students were thrilled to have Bieber show up unannounced to their prom. The students posted photos and videos all over social media thanking the pop star after the event.

The district, however, was not so pleased. Ellen T. Morgan, a representative from the district said, “The school was aware that Mr. Bieber was at the venue recording, but was assured that he would not come out to interfere with the program,” according to a statement released by Yahoo News. The district representative was also concerned at the fact that Bieber and his entourage pushed their way through security and someone could have gotten hurt. Fortunately, no one got hurt in the 3 to 4 minutes that Bieber stayed at the event.

The run-in was met with overjoyed Chatsworth Charter High School students. Many students posted on their Twitter accounts about how they got to dance with Justin and how his attendance made it their best prom ever. Bieber even posted on his own Twitter account thanking the high school for having him and also noting that this was especially nice because he never had the opportunity to go to prom.

Mayweather-Pacquiao Tickets Sell Out in 60 Seconds

By: Megan Bias

On Thursday, April 23, tickets to what some may call the boxing match of the century sold out in less than sixty seconds. Boxing fans everywhere have waited many years for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to face each other in the ring. The fight will take place on May 2 in MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

On April 28, the best and only ticket option remaining according to StubHub was a $41,000 ticket. Tickets on the secondary market are listed for as much as $128,705. According to CBS News Showtime Sports general manager Stephen Espinoza, “Everyone involved, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, knows this fight simply had to happen.  All of us are thrilled to be able to deliver this event to boxing fans around the world.”  Mayweather and Pacquiao encountered each other at a Miami Heat home game and exchanged phone numbers during half time. That was the first time that the two boxers met and, according to Fox News, was a big part of getting the boxing match to happen.

“Anything Goes” a Bonding Experience for Cast Members

By C.J. Destefani

Bellbrook High School’s performance of Anything Goes, directed by Ms. Grace Brown, was a great success April 22-26. The audiences from all showings were very complimentary of the show and the talented direction of Ms. Brown. This was Ms. Brown’s first time directing a musical. The cast had a great time with the shows, and the seniors say they will miss the program next year. The cast has grown into a tightly-knit group of friends over the last few months as this production of Anything Goes was put onto the stage. Here are some of those special moments as captured by Emi Ford.

2015 American Country Awards

By: Allison Petkoff

The 2015 American Country Awards were held in Arlington, Texas, on April 19. Miranda Lambert took home more awards than any other artist this year. Lambert achieved Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. Lambert had four total awards. Entertainer of the year, the highest achievement at the American Country Awards, was given to Luke Bryan .

In addition to all of the awards, multiple people performed songs during the three-and-a-half hour awards show. Garth Brooks performed an emotional song titled “All American Kid” which honored US troops and the song was received positively. Alan Jackson performed a similar piece titled “Where were you when the world stopped turning.” This song is based on the 9/11 attacks and was also an emotional piece in the night. Brad Paisley performed his song “Crushin’ It” which was received well due to its upbeat nature. Paisley threw his acoustic guitar to the side and opted for an electric guitar in order to get the momentum going in the audience.

A performance that got more mixed reviews was one performed by Nick Jonas and Dan + Shay. The unique pairing sang Jonas’ “Jealous” and “Chains.” The songs that were sung were not country to begin with and Jonas formerly was never known as a country artist. This threw many people for a loop, and many people were disappointed when the performance was not exceptional to most people’s standards. However, the American Country Awards were a huge success this year as they are every year.

Easy 10 Step Guide: How to Be Productively Lazy

By Maria Gerbic

1. Weigh the options of whether you would rather spend time (1) with others getting things done and improving your social skills or (2) with yourself, food and the TV. This requires the power of introspection and analytical skills. Choosing between the two will greatly improve your problem-solving strategies!

2. Choose the second option.

3. Take a shower. That is one of the most productive things you can do. Not only will it make you smell good, but it will release a bunch of happy hormones because who doesn’t like feeling clean?

4. Open the blinds. It creates the effect that you are experiencing some quality time outdoors, even if its just through UV blocking float-glass windows. The brightness ensures a sunnier day! (literally and emotionally)

5. Put on socks. Socks are what people who have their life together wear.

6. Watch an intellectually stimulating documentary ( ESPN 30 for 30 The Price of Gold or I Hate Christian Laettner or The Pixar Story are all sufficient options) followed by a 7-hour marathon of your guilty-pleasure TV show. The two will cancel each other out.

7. Take a 15 minute break every couple of episodes. Especially if you start to get a headache from straining your eyes by staring at the screen for too long. Go downstairs, grab a healthy snack like a bowl of low-fat vanilla ice cream/maybe some kale and take a lap around the kitchen. Spritz water on your face. Stretch a few times.There’s your exercise for the day! 

8. Remind your mom/dad that the reason why you don’t come downstairs anymore is because you are so over-scheduled with “homework” and “extracurriculars” during the week that you need a good 12 hours to reboot and recharge. “No, Mother, I am not wasting my teenage years away. And I do have friends but they aren’t in my grade. Their names are Michael Scott, Michael Scofield, Dr. Derek Shepherd, and Leslie Knope.”

9. Talk to your siblings. Remind them kindly that there are too many people on the Netflix account and that there is no way that Gossip Girl is more important than criminal agents solving murders or inmates breaking out of prison.

10. Sleep. Sleeping improves memory, curbs inflammation, spurs creativity, improves grades, and sharpens attention. Sleeping while listening to music is even better. It can enhance brain power!

11. Optional recommended step: balance productive activities and social activities with TV watching. While TV is a great way to turn off the stressed-out mind, it should be done so in moderation. While I’m not an expert, I’d say that moderation is at the most 1 or 2 seasons a day. Read a book instead!

Photos of Harold are courtesy of Shutter Stock.

Nepal Earthquake Kills Thousands

By: Maria Gerbic

An earthquake devastated Nepal on Saturday, April 25, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale and killing 4,000. The earthquake is the country’s worst natural disaster in more than 80 years.  The damage spread across the country, with most of it centering around the capital city of Kathmandu, where about 3 million people reside. The country is now the target of massive relief efforts by the US, China, India, and the UK, among other nations. Emergency responders are racing against time to find survivors and save those who are trapped by avalanches on Mount Everest.

Parbati Dhakal, a Saurpani villager who lives in an ethnic Gurkha town at the epicenter of the earthquake, said, “We have no shelter, no food and all the bodies are scattered around” (Fuller). Villages such as this one are in distress because they are surrounded by landslides that block off aid. These isolated villages make it difficult for the the armed forces to identify the number of casualties and who is in need of the most help, and the aftershocks that occurred through Monday contributed to the chaos.  According to the National Emergency Operation Centre, more than 6,500 have been injured, including three Americans and Tibetan monks who sought refuge in Nepal.

Mount Everest was also hit by Saturday’s disaster, and at least 18 climbers were killed by avalanches.  Several survivors described the harrowing experience to the New York Times. Rob Besecker, a Chicagoan who has severe health problems, made the journey to climb Mount Everest in order to advocate that illnesses shouldn’t rule people’s lives. He said, “Emotionally, I felt like this trip was so much bigger than the actual physical journey.”

Rescue efforts are still underway in order to evacuate trapped civilians from their flattened homes. Water is needed desperately and many are worrying about the risk for disease. As the death toll rises, members of  the Pashupatinath temple are performing cremations quick in order to reduce health hazards. Foreign aid and domestic rescue efforts are coming together to help Nepal during this desperate time.