Trump to Announce Supreme Court Pick

by Jack Long

Tonight at 8:00 pm, Trump is set to announce his nomination for Supreme Court Justice, filling the vacancy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Trump said last week that his nominee is a, “person who is unbelievably highly respected,” and that we will be impressed with his nominee. Promising to appoint a strict conservative, two Justices make Trump’s short list: Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit, and Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit, who was previously nominated to the bench by George W. Bush.

Judge Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court has also been flagged as a potential nominee. However, Willett, also known as the Tweeter Laureate of Texas for his constant online outreach to young law students, has shown criticism of Trump during the campaign.

Boys basketball: the season so far

By: Sara Wolf

The varsity boys’ basketball team has already experienced a share of wins and losses within their first 9 of 22 regular season games. Varsity coach Donnie Tate started off the boys’ road to a successful season by holding two practices a day, one before and after school. With intense days like those combined with hard work and new focus, they’ve earned victory over Eaton, Northridge, Waynesville and Monroe, holding a 4-5 record.

Most recently, the Eagles defeated Monroe 39-37 in overtime on the Hornet’s home ground. Senior Nathan Cordonnier lead the team with 14 points, but points from junior Donnie Crouch brought the team to secure the win in the final moments. The Eagles lost 35- 50 to rival Oakwood on January 14, constantly fighting Oakwood’s leading offensive players Connor Dinkler, Andy Neff and Brendan Talarczyk. Oakwood’s starters refused to lose power and energy throughout the entirety of the game, despite the shouting of both packed student sections and the tiring rival atmosphere that filled the home gym. Crouch had 15 and Cordonnier had 9 of Bellbrook’s 35 points.

Local Young Woman Marches on Washington

by Maddie Crane

On Saturday, 21 January, I traveled to D.C. to attend the Women’s March on Washington. This was a world-wide march that focused on inclusion and rights not only for women, but also for minorities and the LGBTQ community. People were holding signs for why they specifically went, but the overall message was to remind the President and his cabinet that women were not going to be swept under the rug.

The journey to Washington was long but worth it. We boarded a charter bus late Friday night, which made it difficult to sleep due to bathroom breaks every two hours and lack of leg room between the seats. But the excitement started to build when, about an hour outside of D.C, we took a break at a truck stop, where there were hundreds of buses lined up to let women use the bathroom. It gave us a hint of just how many people are really going to be at this protest rally.

We then boarded a subway to take us into the city from the outskirts, where the bus dropped us off. When the train arrived at our stop, we could barely get out of the car due to hundreds of people trying to get up to ground level. We were just inching forward in the line, but I didn’t mind because, to everyone else, the protest had already started. People were shouting chants and holding up signs in the cramped space, exactly how I pictured a protest rally. But the coolest part was when we emerged from the subway to see thousands of people lining the streets of Washington, D.C. People climbed up in trees, lampposts, and buildings to get a good view of the stage. Large screens and speakers were dispersed in the streets so that everyone could see the speaker on the stage. It was so eye opening to see that many people peacefully unite for a common message.

The speakers on the stage spanned from famous feminist leaders like Gloria Steinem to celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson and Madonna. Lots of Latina women gave speeches about the journeys to America, and what it means to be American, but one of the speeches that gave me goosebumps was given by a strong-voiced six-year-old named Sophie Cruz, who delivered her speech flawlessly in English, and then proceeded to give the speech in Spanish, ending with the crowd chanting, “Si se puede,” or “Yes we can.” Many of the speeches were centered around abortion rights and immigration, two issues that are threatened by Donald Trump’s presidency. My two favorite performances were when Alicia Keys briefly sang, “Girl on Fire,” and Madonna sang, “Express Yourself,” inviting the crowd to sing along.

As we tried to make our way away from the stage and to the White House, the crowd was not letting up. For the entire two mile walk, the march was packed with people shouting different chants. “What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like!” The chants were the most impassioned part of the protest. No criminal violations took place, and no one was arrested, despite the thousands of people there. The city was only planning for about 200,000 people, but according to the Washington Post, it surpassed half a million people. This isn’t surprising, because it seemed that every street was packed with protesters, every food truck was selling out of food, and every Port-A-John had a long line. There were so many people, cell phones were considered useless because no one could get cell signal. The amount of people was one of the many things that surprised me at this rally.

As the night progressed, the streets cleared out almost immediately. The streets were transformed from earlier that day with posters replacing people on the streets. Posters were tacked onto fences and trees as a sign that just because the people were leaving doesn’t mean the message is. Once I finally got my cell signal back, I was amazed to see that the protest had spread worldwide. Major cities from Los Angeles to Paris to Sydney hosted sister marches where thousands of protesters voiced their opinions. Overall, this was an opportunity that is going down in history, and I will be glad to tell future generations about this experience.

Republicans Begin Affordable Care Act Repeal

By: Meghan Malas

As most expected, the newly established and now Republican-controlled Congress made their first order of business to begin the repeal process of the Affordable Care Act. Since its implementation in early 2010, the act (also known as Obamacare), has stirred up a fair amount of controversy among both parties. Prominent conservatives like Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have repeatedly supported defunding or eliminating the act and the Republican Party’s strong opposition contributed to a government shutdown at the beginning of the fiscal year in 2013. Many GOP candidates in both the 2012 and 2016 elections made the removal of the Affordable Care Act a main part of their platform. When questioned why they believe Obamacare is disastrous, many conservatives note that the act is not business friendly, that companies and employers will have to pay more for health services. However, beyond this, any other problems with the ACA have yet to be discussed on a largely public scale.

Democrats and President Obama himself have admitted that Obamacare is not perfect, but it has fulfilled its intentions. The Obamacare informational website reports that 16.4 million people have gained health insurance with the ACA since 2010. This number is significant by any standard, and the immense amount of people who are now insured under the Affordable Care Act is one concern for those who do not support the act’s repeal. Little has changed in the conversation about healthcare since 2010, and though many Republicans are still pro-repeal, no obvious plan of replacement has been discussed. Some Republicans have even opposed its repeal, in fear that the millions of now uninsured Americans will now be at risk of losing their lives, or using welfare resources. In an interview with USA Today, Governor John Kasich of Ohio inquired, “Let’s just say they got rid of it, didn’t replace it with anything, what happens to drug treatment? What happens to mental health counseling? What happens to these people who have very high cholesterol and are victims of heart attacks, what happens to them?” More moderate Republicans, like Kasich, cite the federally funded health care policy, Medicaid, and its success in the individual states that chose to expand it.

Popular opinion of the Affordable Care Act’s removable is less than favorable as well. NPR reports that 75% of Americans say they either want lawmakers to leave Obamacare alone, or repeal it only when they can replace it with a new health care law. Twenty percent of those polled say they want to see the law killed immediately. A report by the Kaiser Foundation states that Obamacare isn’t even people’s top health care concern. The vast majority, 67%, say their top priority is finding a way to lower their health care costs. As of now, Congress says the plan is to “give the law time to sunset while they come up with a replacement that will give the millions of people covered under Obamacare access to insurance through some other vehicle.” But this is not a plan many Americans, including doctors, insurers, and hospital workers, are comfortable with. Dr. Andrew Gurman, president of the American Medical Association, pleaded with lawmakers on the basis that, “Patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform.”

The situation as a whole is riddled with uncertainty, fear, and division. But this decision of repeal or expansion will be one that will continue to affect the lives of Americans and their families for years to come. Thus, any act to drastically change the healthcare system should be taken with tremendous caution.

OPINION: Support Your Local Art Programs

by Jack Long

I’m sitting off to the right of Mr. David Deitrick, the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra Conductor. The seventy-piece orchestra sits in a cramped fluorescent-lit room.

The brass begin to blow, at first cold and metallic, then sweetening into warm, deep sounds.

The string section violently saws away at chromatic passages.

Woodwinds sit quietly wetting their reeds, except for the flutes— who talk jokingly with their heads tilted to the right and the tip of their head-joints pressed in the left corner of their lips.

The percussionists beat out rhythms with drum-sticks on backs of chairs, the snare, or the cymbals suspended in air.

This incoherent music, this warm-harsh noise fills every musician with envy— and raises our stress levels just slightly.

The orchestral cacophony settles and rests with one glance. From Conductor to Concert Master, the command of “Tuning” is quickly received. The Concert Master shoots a look to the oboist, who, in gentle inclination plays a lonely “A.” Slowly, the Bass voices begin to hum the note, then the Tenors, the Altos next, and finally the Sopranos. My pulse quickens as the consonant stress of the entire orchestral body excited. This wave of sound grows slowly but is short lived.

The Conductor takes a step onto the podium. He adjusts his stand as he whispers out the title of the first piece. The flutter of turning pages and the sound of plucked strings follows.

This exercise takes no more than two minutes, but every musician knows the anticipation of this moment. Whether in rehearsal or in concert, a musician’s entire body quivers with nerves. It is one of the most indescribable feelings, and a feeling only performers are privy to.

Supporting local orchestras, bands, dancers, and artists is one of the most worthwhile things a person can do. Seeing people in your community participate in the things they love builds a deeper understanding and bond in the community. Whether that community is your neighborhood, or Bellbrook, or Dayton, it doesn’t matter.

One of the biggest problems in community programs is funding and patron-ship. We often don’t visit local museums, let alone a world-famous art museum that we have in Dayton. We don’t visit local orchestras or bands. We don’t make time to build our pride in our community. So, I challenge you. Go visit the Dayton Philharmonic or the Dayton Art Institute, or both. It is more difficult to take less pride in your community when there are a plethora of art programs.

I realized this in a cramped rehearsal room at Centerville High School. I also realized the necessity to support our local programs so that the future generations can enjoy them too.

Popping The Question, High School Style

by Jaimie Franz

Somewhere along the way, students have turned the simple request of going to a high school dance into a surprising public display of funny puns and sweet remarks. A few months after the Homecoming dance, with the Winter Formal soon approaching, Bellbrook is starting to feel the frenzy of dance proposals once more. Only this time the tables have been turned so that the girls will be doing all the asking.

The proposals have ranged from involving food, to sports references to simple straightforward signs, all asking the same question. Most are usually accompanied with a nervous, smiley person inquiring, surrounded by friends backing him or her with support and cameras at the ready.

The ideas for these proposals are endless and full of creativity. Here are just a few of my favorite dance proposals from Google images:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The winter formal will be taken place on February 4th, 2016. The JROTC will be putting it on from 7pm-10pm, costing ten dollars each person for admission.