Seniors: Exercise Your Rights

By Kate Barton

Now that the senior class is age 18 or close to it, it is now the time to register to vote! There are many important voting opportunities approaching such as the general election on November 3 and the legalization of cannabis, also on November 3’s ballot. All approaching voting opportunities can be found at:

http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/soselectioncalendar.pdf

It is important that every citizen votes so the Ohio votes represent the people. Voting registration is due October 5 to be able to vote on November 3.

Voting registration is very easy, and can be found at:

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/publications.aspx#vrf

“I registered to vote at the Popcorn Festival! It’s that easy,” says senior Rachel Stewart. “Voting is the first way I can affect this world and express my beliefs.” Exercise your rights!

Getting to Know Mrs. Scohy

By: Joseph Spirk

Students returning from summer vacation may have seen a new face in the Guidance Department this year. Mrs. Scohy is the new guidance counselor who took over for retiree Mrs. Pernik. I recently sat down with Mrs. Scohy to ask her some questions.

  1. Where did you go to college and what career did you plan on going into afterwards?

I went to college at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Originally I thought I was going to do engineering, that was one reason why I wanted to go there. Eventually I decided to major in Psychology. So I spent five years in the Air Force and during that time I received my Masters in School Counseling and that led me to where I am today.

2.  What made you pick the Air Force Academy over other colleges and what are some of your best memories from your time there?

One reason I picked it was the money issue. My family didn’t have money to send me to college so I was looking for something that I could get the most amount of college paid for, also the prestige of the academy. Lastly, I wanted to play sports in college so that was a determining factor as well. I was part of the volleyball team.

3.  Where did you work before Bellbrook and why did you choose Bellbrook High School?

I first worked at Fairborn City Schools for seven years working at the high school, middle school, and elementary school. Then I transferred to Tipp City and worked at Tippecanoe High School. I chose Bellbrook because I live here and my kids are in school here and most importantly the community. We have great students that I want to help mold those kids as best I can, and if I’m going to influence someone why not someone who lives in my own community.

4.  What do you like the most about Bellbrook High School so far?

The thing unique about Bellbrook compared to the previous schools I’ve been at is not only is the staff very welcoming and friendly, but also several students have approached me, introducing themselves and I love that. I was shocked at how friendly the students were, just a very welcoming community overall.

5.  What advice would you give to students who are going through the college admission process?

My number one advice is to do your research. There’s a lot of information out there and you have a lot of resources available to you and it’s hard not to get lost in all of that. I recommend making lists of the different colleges you’re interested in to be able to compare and contrast what they can offer you because every school has something different to offer. You have to go somewhere where you’ll fit in the best and that can offer you the best degree and success available after college.

NFL Season Opener

By: Mitch Hughes

Sports fans across the country rejoiced this week as the NFL began its 46th season. The much-anticipated weekend provided fans with nonstop action with sixteen games spanning four days. Though things were just getting started, every game had its fair share of some serious play-making.

On Thursday, September 10, the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the New England Patriots for the first official game of the season. The game was preceded by a good deal of hype surrounding Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady who narrowly escaped a four-game suspension for his alleged role in the team’s “Deflate-gate” scandal in last year’s playoffs. The Super Bowl 45 champion Patriots went on to defeat the Steelers 28-21.

Sunday, September 13 brought with it the majority of the week’s excitement as 13 of the 16 games were played. The Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins 17-10. The Indianapolis Colts fell to the Buffalo Bills 14-27. The New York Jets had a 31-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Texans 27-20. The Carolina Panthers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-9. The St. Louis Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 in a very thrilling game. The Green Bay Packers outplayed their conference rivals, the Chicago Cubs 31-23. The Detroit Lions fell to the San Diego Chargers 33-28. The Arizona Cardinals beat the New Orleans Saints 31-19. The Denver Broncos defeated the Baltimore Ravens in a close game. The Oakland Raiders suffered a bruising 13-33 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Tennessee Titans trumped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-14 and the Dallas Cowboys mounted a big comeback to defeat the New York Giants 27-26.

Monday’s games were just as unpredictable as the previous days. The Philadelphia Eagles fell to the Atlanta Falcons 24-26 and the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 20-3. This weekend provided NFL fans with the first real glimpse of how their favorite team will likely perform this season, but the NFL is often as unpredictable as it is exciting so one shouldn’t be too joyful or too concerned because a team’s luck can change in a moment’s notice.

What You Need to Know For Empire Season 2

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By: Harmony Takhar

Empire Season 2 airs on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Did you miss the first season but desperately want to watch this show? Or maybe it seemed interesting, but you just didn’t watch it? I got you covered. Here’s a recap of Season 1:

Our main characters in this show are the members of the Lyon family. There’s the father, Lucious, the mother, Cookie, and the three sons, Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem. It was Lucious’s big dream to become a musician, and when Lucious has a dream, it’s in anyone’s best interest to not get in the way. The Lyon family was poor way back when. They are living in Cookie’s sister’s home, working their butts off to make their dream come alive. Cookie is saving up her money for their future. One day, Lucious was caught up in a fight in the streets, and he ended up killing someone. The police found out, and Cookie took the bullet for Lucious. She didn’t know she’d be in jail for 17 years as a result.

Skip forward 17 years and it’s time for Cookie to get out. While she was locked up, Lucious made it in music. His albums went platinum and he became a billionaire. He started his own record label named Empire, hence the show name. His three sons and he were all living large. Lucious has a new woman in his life now too, named Onika, and they are engaged. So when Cookie gets out, Lucious gives her a job at Empire, as it was only fair of Lucious to do. A few days later, Cookie’s cousin, Biggie, is found dead. (IT WAS LUCIOUS, but no one else knows.) Biggie knew Lucious’s money to build Empire was from illegal drugs and Biggie was blackmailing Lucious. (I told you that no one should come in between Lucious and his dream!)

Just a little later, Lucious discovers he has ALS, and it’s fatal. Most of the season becomes a competition to see who will get Empire once Lucious is gone. There’s Andre, the oldest child, who helped build Empire with his father after he went to business school. Not only that, Andre was the main man behind the idea of making Empire go public on the stock market. Then there’s Jamal. He is an up-and-coming artist, reaching the top of the charts with his singles. Next there’s Hakeem. He is the youngest, and is also an up-and-coming artist, but he raps too. Lastly, there’s Cookie. She believes the company belongs to her because Lucious built it on Cookie’s saved-up money, but she’d give it all up for her boys.

Cookie and Lucious re-connect a couple times, and this enrages Onika. So Onika starts working with Lucious’s main rival, Creedmore. Cookie realizes she loves and hates Lucious at the same time, so she just can’t be in a relationship with him. She decides to focus on her job as a manager for Jamal, Tiana (Hakeem’s ex-girlfriend), and Elle (Empire’s first artist).

Hakeem wasn’t exactly getting along with his mother at first, because he believed she loved Jamal more, but Hakeem eventually came around. Hakeem was who Lucious envisioned to take over Empire, but things changed. Hakeem was dating a way older girl, who Cookie saw as a gold-digger. Because Cookie doesn’t approve, Lucious gets rid of her. Hakeem found out and turned on his father.

Andre believes he should have Empire because he has done so much for the company, but mid-season, Lucious ends this dream of his when he says he’ll never hand over the company to him because he married a white girl. Andre freaks out and goes to therapy. We then learn Andre is bipolar. He stays in therapy for a while, goes to church, finds God, yada yada yada.

Jamal and Lucious’s relationship wasn’t so good at the beginning of the season. Lucious wasn’t quite as accepting of Jamal as the rest of the world was when he announced he was gay. Jamal and Lucious eventually become closer as they bonded through music. Jamal gains Lucious’s trust when Jamal proves himself to him to show how much he’d do for his father. (He almost killed Billy Beretti, the owner of Creedmore!) Lucious decides to give Empire to Jamal. Everyone is flabbergasted, except Jamal of course.

But all of this is stopped when a doctor tells Lucious he doesn’t have ALS. He has MG, a disease with very similar symptoms as ALS and totally treatable. Cookie, Onika, Andre, and Hakeem decide to do something, because they can’t stand the thought of Lucious still ruling over Empire. They decide to perform a hostile takeover.

In the season finale, the police catch up on Lucious and he’s sent to jail for killing Biggie. A hostile takeover takes place with Lucious gone, and at this point the only one of Lucious’s side is Jamal (and me of course). Thus begins Season 2. Oh, and in the season finale, Andre’s wife, Rhonda, accidentally kills Lucious’s right-hand man, Vernon. They don’t call the police though: they hide the body because Rhonda is pregnant!

Oh Man, The Man Booker Shortlist is Announced!

by Rachel Stewart

On September 15, the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced.  The Man Booker is a prestigious prize, and according to its website, “the world’s most important literary award.”  Every year, the prize is awarded to one book that was written in English and published in the United Kingdom.  The winner receives £50,000, and all shortlisted authors receive £2,500 and a designer-bound copy of their book.  The shortlist includes six novels, with authors coming from a variety of places across the globe, and this is only the second year that the prize is open to all nationalities.  Before then, the prize was only open to authors hailing from the UK and Commonwealth, Ireland, and Zimbabwe.  This year, there are two authors from America, two from the United Kingdom, one from Nigeria, and one from Jamaica.  The winner will be announced on October 13, 2015.

The Shortlist:

1. A Brief History of Seven Killings- Marlon James (Jamaica)

This book of fiction explores the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in Jamaica in the 1970’s.  It spans decades and continents, and is described as “brilliantly inventive” and “stunningly ambitious” by the Man Booker website.

2. Satin Island- Tom McCarthy (UK)

This is a postmodern novel set in London, centering around a main character named U.  It’s a very complex work, and is “a work reflecting disjointed times,” the Man Booker website reports.  Due to the nature of the work, a good summary is hard to come by, and even the examples one can find online aren’t easy to follow, so it may be best to just go into this book “blind,” and expecting something different from the usual.

3. The Year of the Runaways- Sunjeev Sahota (UK)

This is a novel set in both England and India, dealing with past and present, and issues such as immigration.  It is the “story of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance” according to the Man Booker website, and shows the bold dreams and daily struggles of this family.

4. The Fishermen- Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)

Narrated by a shy nine year-old Nigerian boy, this novel combines traditional African storytelling and contemporary literary fiction by revolving around four young boys who have an evil prophecy of violence told to them.  Consequently, this prophecy threatens to tear this family apart and while doing so sheds light on Nigeria “in all its historical, political and cultural complexity” the Man Booker website reads.

5. A Spool of Blue Thread- Anne Tyler (US)

This novel is, at its core, all about family.  Throughout the pages of this novel, we peel back the curtain of one particular family, the Whitshanks, and witness the events of three Whitshank generations.  We see the tensions and hopes and fears that define family.

6. A Little Life- Hanya Yanagihara (US)

A brick of a novel clocking in at around 720 pages, this is an epic about love and friendship.  The Man Booker website describes it as “a depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.”  We follow four graduates from a college in Massachusetts as they move to New York, and the decades that follow as their friendship matures and darkens. This book is also said to delve into some of the darkest places fiction has ever gone, so may not be for the faint of heart.

 

 

Apps to Make Students’ Lives Easier

by Emily Bunsold

In this day and age, technology is an essential part of how we live our lives. Our computers, televisions, and cell phones all take part in making our lives easier. Some might argue that technology is doing nothing but distracting us from the real world and that we are better off without it, but in many ways, the apps we use on or phones can help us in ways that we didn’t even know we needed help to do.

I’ve compiled a list of 7 helpful apps targeting teenagers for school, which are all (except one) free!

 

EU Establishes Border Restrictions

by Kate Barton

Due to an unprecedented number of migrants, the previously “border free” EU is creating border controls.

Germany, for example, is expected to receive 800,000 refugees this year. Germany has just imposed checks on its border with Austria due to the large number of migrants. Not all countries are welcoming; Hungary has built a wire fence 110 miles long to keep migrants out who mostly pass through to get to Germany.

These migrants are fleeing instability in the form of war in their countries, especially in Syria and Afghanistan. People seeking asylum must prove that being sent back to their own country would cause them harm or death.
Migrants cross the sea in overloaded boats, causing many hazards such as sinking and drowning.

The issue now is that aid organizations are running out of money. The new plan is to try to negotiate with the warring sides.