Category Archives: News

This will be for news topics that are either local, community, or broader-scope stories.

Popular Girl Scout cookie sales go digital

The Girl Scout cookie program has decided to open its doors to the online world.

Even with the new changes, customers can still support their local Girl Scout Troop by choosing their favorite cookies online, and purchasing them.

According to CNN, girl scouts are now using an app called Digital Cookie, which connects the buyer with a troop to support.

They also offer another app called Cookie Finder. This app will direct buyers to the nearest cookie booth, which can be found outside many market places.

“The program is not available in central Ohio yet, just in other parts of the country,” said Grace Floring, who has been a girl scout for ten years.

Floring’s Troop has actually decided not to sell cookies this year.

“Our troop has a healthy bank account at this time,” Floring said. “We are able to focus on other things.”

Selling cookies can affect the experience girls get out of Girl Scouts and can bring unnecessary stress.

“When I was younger, there was always pressure to hit some ridiculous number like 1000 boxes to win a special prize,” Floring said, “I remember they offered a wii gaming system one time. I would never get that far, and [I felt] disappointed.”

Cookies sales may teach girls valuable skills, but can also bring disappointment to them. This pushes parents to help with the sales.

“I do most of the cookie sales,” said Kim Young, mother of two girl scouts “I ask friends and family and I post on [facebook] and on school e-mail. They are allowed to walk around our neighborhood and ask people, but I go with them”.

On the plus side, the addition of the online cookie shopping option will secure the safety of many young girl scouts, but the fact remains that many parents don’t want their kid to be talking to strangers.

So many kids will be selling cookies to the same people even with the online option that there might not even difference in cookie profits.

Along with the new online option, girl scouts are also starting to offer gluten free cookies. According to CNN, Three cookies are being added including,  Toffee-tastic,Trios and Rah-Rah Raisins.

Young, with one of her girls having celiac disease says that she will be buying the Toffee-tastic for her daughter, which are the only gluten free cookies available in our region.

In the end, Girl Scouts will continue to find new ways to improve their cookie marketing and customer base to meet the needs of the 21st century.

 

Columbus Zoo meets Kamina and loses baby polar bears

The staff at the Columbus Zoo is attempting to maintain full composure as they experience new challenges and changes to kickoff the new year.

During the last week of December, the zoo welcomed baby gorilla, Kimna, with open arms and genuine care. Kimna was born August 16 at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and was hand-reared after her mother refused to take care of her. At the beginning of September, Kamina was sent to the Cincinnati Zoo.

It was at the Cincinnati Zoo that the human surrogates began to teacher Kimna to behave like any other gorilla by using low grunting sounds to soothe her and coughing sounds to discourage bad behavior.

Kimna was placed with two other gorillas who did not bond with her very well. This was when The Gorilla Species Survival Plan group, a group made up of representatives of zoos nationwide, asked the Columbus Zoo to take Kimna in. She moved in during the last week of December, antsy to see if she would be able to find a new family.

Luckily for little Kimna, three female gorillas have shown interest in her. This group is led by Macombo, who was also raised by a surrogate mother. Moreover, the ultimate goal is to find Kimna a mother. When it becomes clear which female in Macombo’s group is the best match, the zookeepers will move her in with Kimna.

Since none of the female gorillas are lactating, zookeepers will feed Kimna with baby bottles through the mesh after she finds a surrogate mother. The surrogate will feed Kimna with pieces of food, protect her from group squabbles and drama, and teacher her to act and behave like a gorilla.

Zoo visitors can now pay Kimna a visit everyday from noon-2pm in the gorilla enclosure. With the addition of Kimna, the Columbus Zoo is now home to 17 gorillas.

While the zoo stuff continues to awe over baby Kimna, some are also trying to keep their heads held high over the deaths of the first polar bear cubs born at the Columbus Zoo in twenty-six years.

According to Columbus Zoo spokeswoman, Patty Peters, the mother, Aurora, delivered the first cub at 5 a.m. on Saturday, December 20. It appeared that the first cub was stillborn. The second cub, born two hours later, was alive but died the following afternoon. The cause of the deaths has yet to be identified.

Seven-year-old Aurora has been holed up in a special birthing den that is soundproofed and dark except for red lights that let zookeepers monitor her with built-in cameras.

Polar bears have been born at the zoo twice, in 1984 and again in 1988. In 1994, the zoo closed the polar-bear exhibit, but the bears returned to the zoo in 2010 when Polar Frontier opened. Polar bear populations have been diminished by disappearing sea ice, and about 20,000- 25,000 are left in the wild today.

 

7-year-old loses entire family in plane crash

According to CNN and the Huffington Post, Sailor Gutzler, a seven year old girl  trekked 3 miles of woods to reach help for her severely injured family when their aircraft crashed near Paducah, Kentucky.

At the end of those three miles Gutzler came to the home of Larry Wilkins who then called 911. Gutzler was then treated at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Kentucky, and was released a few days later to a relative.

“I was shocked to hear that this young girl was able to find her way through the woods to find help,” said Junior McKenzie Confer, “the fear would have pushed my adrenaline to keep walking and such, but I’m sixteen. Even to me it would seem so surreal. She’s only seven”.

Sailor and her family were flying from from Key West, Florida to their home in Mount Vernon, Illinois.

The family contacted air traffic controllers claiming that they were having engine problems and would be heading towards Kentucky Dam State Airport, shortly after all contact was lost with the plane.

“I would be heart broken. My little sister is in a lot of ways my rock,” said Kathleen Duffy referring to her twelve year old sister Mary Grace Duffy, “Just imagining that she would have to go through such a devastating experience breaks me because she’s one of my favorite people in the world.”

Along those deceased in the plane crash are Sailor’s parents Marty Gutzler, 48; Kimberly Gutzler, 46; and Sailor’s 9-year-old sister, Piper Gutzler, as well as her cousin, 14-year-old Sierra Wilder.

“I can’t even imagine what the passengers were thinking,”Confer said. “If I was on the the plane and even a minor issue was announced, I would be going crazy.”

According to the Huffington Post, Gutzler is going to be fine. It’s best for people to be aware that things like this can happen, and that in times of tragedy communities need to stick together.

 

Border crisis red flags government to take action

Keeping Americans safe and out of war are some of the top priorities for the government. As of this past year, the border patrol is one of the biggest agencies in our government and has the largest level of technology and equipment.

The government has faced many cutbacks, but even still Congress and the Executive Branch decided to develop Border Patrol. According to Homeland Security, the Border Patrol has a budget of about $3.5 billion.

“As far as the most recent immigration reform is concerned, this is an issue that demands attention,” said Gregory White, a government teacher. “Illegal immigration is an issue that touches of the lives of many, this issue can serve as a positive, while also creating a huge disservice to others.”

The changes in  security and patrol have been significant. The new improvements to fencing include the number of patrol agents, primary fencing, secondary fencing and vehicle fencing. According to Homeland Security, in 2000 the total amount of fencing was 77 miles, now it reaches 700 miles across the southwest border.

Other advances have been made in border lighting, underground sensors, and mobile video surveillance. According to an interview with the secretary of Homeland Security, the Border Patrol  has about 23,000 personnel and 20,833 agents who work at the border.

“More than the large number of people and equipment, I have a high regard for today’s Border Patrol,” said Jeh Johnson secretary of homeland security, during an interview with DHS Press Office  on October 9th 2014. “Over the hot summer I observed the Border Patrol and it’s leadership take on the unprecedented number of kids and families crossing the border in south Texas.”

During the summer, President Barack Obama made a statement ordering his team to make executive actions by the end of the summer. People were concerned because Obama has suggested taking action without permission from Congress.

“The President became frustrated with lack of action by the Legislature, so he decided he would use [his executive privileges] to enact a change,” White said. “There is currently a push by the Republican controlled legislative branch to overturn the President’s recent Immigration reform.”

Aside from the huge improvements and development, during the summer of 2014 the Border Patrol had to handle an increase of immigration. A large percentage of the immigrants came acrossed the Rio Grande Valley; the low water made it easy for children and families to cross. Many of these people came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

There were large numbers of unaccompanied children as well as adults. This is typically normal, but the difference was a lot of these kids and families expected to be apprehended after they crossed the Rio Grande. The Border Patrol responded to this there were processing centers that opened across the border that would handle the immigration.

In May 2014, according the the U.S Border Patrol, about 10,580 unaccompanied children passed the border. The rest of the year the numbers were high, but began to decrease. By the end of the year the immigrants totaled 68,434.

“The worst is over for now, the president and I are committed to building an even more secure border.” Said Johnson during an interview with DHS Press Office. “The spike in migration we saw could return,”

The reason for all of this migration is because of the poverty and violence happening in many other countries. This is a huge push factor for people to want to leave their country and go to the U.S which seems like a more stable economy and safe place.

Illegal Immigration can have a big impact on the national economy and government of the United States. Illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes, and take potential jobs from tax paying citizens or legal immigrants.

“However, what we have seen in practice is that many of the jobs that illegal immigrants are willing to perform, are not jobs that tax paying citizens are striving to do,” White said. “Many of these jobs are labor intensive and carry long hours, neither of which many Americans are excited to endure.”

The increase in migration was a red flag to the government. The return of children and families could happen this summer, but whether or not the government is ready is another matter. Only time will tell what happens to the future trespassers at the Southern border.

 

New classes provide students opportunity

Hayes is in the midst of scheduling and it is important to consider all options before committing to classes.

Teachers and administration have worked hard to give students the most innovative school environment possible. For next year, there are going to be many new courses available to students.

“We’re looking to offer college credit courses,” said Jennifer Pollard, the counseling department chair. “That’s going to be a big push for us in the next several years. For us to offer more and more classes that have college credit with them.”

Next year, the current PSEO and Dual Enrollment courses will now be called College Credit Plus. Although they both offer college credit, AP and College Credit Plus are very different.

“They are definitely in competition with each other,” Pollard said. “The state is really pushing College Credit Plus for students who plan to enroll in public institutions in the state of Ohio and don’t intend on going out of state. AP is a national curriculum. It is very rigorous, very college preparatory.”

When coming up with new courses, college credit is not the only thing administration considers.

“When we are looking for new courses, we are looking at what students need,” Pollard said. “Where do we have gaps in our curriculum that these courses could help fulfill?”

These curriculum gaps have occurred in many subject areas, including math, English, science, history and elective courses. Next year, students will more educational opportunities offered in these subjects.

“I think there was definitely a need for…some other [science] electives,” said Pollard. “Science is ever changing… Materials and Engineering is a new course that is being offered. This is an emerging field even for adults in the working world right now, so I think… we need to also prepare students for careers in that field.”

Excursions in math, a new College Credit Plus course, is being added for students who are not necessarily strong in this subject.

“Excursions in math is replacing FST,” Pollard said. “We really had a need for students that were not… strong math students… That’s kind of like a liberal arts math that will kind of fill that need.”

In order to make these changes for next year, some teachers need to prepare over the summer.

“AP Psychology is [a course] that Mrs. McGrew offers for next year,” Pollard said. “She will have to go through AP training and get AP certified this summer. So she will have to go to… a couple days or a week session to get trained in order to teach that course.”

During this certification process, Caitlin McGrew is going to learn from other AP teachers.

“I am beginning to plan out the curriculum by looking at the resources that College Board has established for us to see, what other AP teachers are doing and have done and have posted on the College Board website,” McGrew said. “I’m going to go to a summer institute that the College Board hosts and sometimes they’re run by professors or AP teachers and they kind of just get you ready to teach AP [classes].”

McGrew is very excited about this new course available to students. She believes AP Psychology will be beneficial for any student who wants to learn more about the topic.

“I’m really passionate about psychology and I’m really excited to meet some new students and have like a year long course as an elective with upperclassmen about a topic that I love,” McGrew said. “What else could I want?”

With all of these new courses available, it can become overwhelming for students to select their classes for next year.

“[Student should] have conversations with their parents, have conversations with their school counselors, have conversations with their current teachers about their concerns during academic options,” Pollard said. “This year teachers have google docs and they are recommending every single one of their students for courses for next year… Hopefully that relieves a little bit of stress because they already know what their teachers are telling them they should sign up for and then we, of course, will be available whenever we do the actual scheduling to answer questions and… try to help them through that process.”

 

AFJROTC program develops character

Of the many clubs and activities at Hayes, one of the most visible, but continuously overlooked, is the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or simply JROTC.

“The [ROTC] program now numbers almost 900 units worldwide,” Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Russ Anible said. “Of the original 20 the air force activated in 1966, ten are still active, which makes us one of the ten oldest units in the world, in the program. We’re very proud of that; and, of course, we want to be around for years to come. In two years we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary.”

The JROTC is not just for those interested in a military profession. It is funded, in portion, by the Air Force, which is why students (called cadets) wear the blue military uniform once a week. While next year, first year cadets are allowed the choice of wearing the uniform, they will still be held to military grooming standards and wear an Air Force t-shirt once a week. Second through fourth year cadets must wear the uniform.

“The charter given to us by Congress was to develop citizens of good character. That’s what we’re all about,” Anible said. “Truth be told, the majority of our graduating seniors do not enter any of the armed services, which is fine with us because that’s not what the program’s primary goal is.”

Despite its limited military involvement, some members of JROTC do desire a career in the armed forces.

“[JROTC] teaches me really good leadership qualities for the future,” senior Andrew Kennedy, the JROTC Corps Commander, said. “I [also] want to pursue a career in the military, so I feel like this is best for me.”

The JROTC program covers a variety of topics. The classes taught emphasise developing public speaking skills, effective communication skills, practical skills such as personal finance, and other topics people need as they transition into adulthood. The main academic program for this year is “the science of flight,” with emphasis upon the physiology of flight and the things that happen to the body when subjected to high altitudes.

“Each year is a little different. We are tweaking our curriculum a little bit this year,” Anible said. “We have the freedom to [change the course] given the fact that it’s an elective course, we have a wealth of materials, and we’re able to change it out time to time, keep it fresh.”

The main emphasis of the JROTC program is to build the character of its cadets and make each member the best citizen that they can be.

“I’ve seen people that were bad in school go from bad to really good. It actually does help, more than people think,” Kennedy said. “It teaches us things for the future that normal classes really don’t.”

There are also many other opportunities for extracurricular activities revolving around JROTC. These skills range from volunteer work to drill team, color guard to air rifle marksmanship.

“I believe that the real fun, and to a large degree the real value of the program, lies in extracurricular voluntary participation,” Anible said. “The ones who really get into it, who really get into the volunteer extracurricular aspect of it, those are the ones that appear to have the most fun; they appear to derive the most benefit from the program, maturity, confidence, team building, leadership skills, and that’s really what the program is all about.”

Along with the color guard that presents the flag before each home football game and during some assemblies, one of the most recognized programs from JROTC is the drill team.

“The drill team is voluntary, but the drill team, for those who join it, is a lot of fun and develops a lot of great teamwork skills, the same as any athletic event,” Anible said. “The beautiful thing about drill is that you don’t have to be strong or fast or tall or muscular or anything like that to excel. you just have to be willing to focus, concentrate, practice hard, [and] work hard because it’s all about precision synchronized marching.”

The next drill meet competition will occur on February 14th. It will include at least ten teams from all over central and southwest Ohio as well as a team from Pennsylvania. This will be the 12th annual drill meet held at Hayes.

Although the JROTC program works hard, they also like to have fun. While those that join the Air Rifle Marksmanship Program, color guard, or drill team enjoy their time in it, they are participate in a variety of field trips, picnics, parades, and banquets.

“I think it’s closer than any club here… you spend all four years together,” Kennedy said. “That’s probably the best thing, just having everybody around you.”

Whether interested in pursuing a military career or simply wanting to become a better citizen or leader, the AFJROTC program is available for not just Hayes students, but also students of Big Walnut, Buckeye Valley, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty, and Olentangy Orange High Schools.

“Cadets… come back a year or two later and they will tell us that the citizenship and leadership and teambuilding skills they learned in our program applied anywhere,” Anible said. “It applied in college, it applied in civilian career, and when we hear that, we know we’re accomplishing our mission.”

 

Bus routes change, improve efficiency

Mallory King • News Editor

Riding the bus this year is like the new cafeteria changes; hectic at first, but in the long-run, beneficial for most students.

Last year, the bus routes were challenging for students and administrators alike.

“It took us almost a half hour every day to get kids from the bell onto the bus and out,” Principal Ric Stranges said. “Thirty minutes everyday.”

For a lot of students, this 30 minutes was not enjoyable.

“There were kids who were out in the cold, kids in the rain, kids in transferring busses, so with the help of our wonderful transportation department… they decided to look at it differently,” Stranges said.

This is when Stranges and the transportation department decided to collaborate and create a new system.

“Last year, and previous years, Hayes and Dempsey let out exactly at 2:30, and it just didn’t make any sense,” Stranges said. “So, they moved [Dempsey’s dismissal] ten minutes later, so they are 2:40, which allows us to pick up and exit in less than eight minutes.”

Many students this year can feel the effect of these changes.

“Usually I have to wait at least ten minutes, maybe, so a lot better than last year.” junior Tessa Kidd said. “Last year we had to wait for… 25 [minutes], because I was on the second round of busses.”

The changes to the bus routes has also allowed the district to become more energy efficient and save money.

This year, there are thirteen buses, instead of the thirty used in previous years.

“Thirteen buses load up and pull out in eight minutes or less,” Stranges said.” Kids can get home quicker and start their homework.”

With this being said, not all students believe the bus is the best use of their time.

“The bus ride to my house is 20 minutes longer than walking home,” junior Melissa Mason said.

Mason’s bus route was combined with another, in order to improve the overall efficiency of the bussing system.

“Dempsey kids, at one point would have to get off the bus and just stand around,” Stranges said. “Students are no longer having to transfer buses. There is one run that runs through.”

Having only one wave of buses helps the flow of buses to other schools.

“All the elementaries are benefiting, because we get out faster,” Stranges said.

When the students get out faster, that means the bus drivers get their job done more easily.

“[The bus drivers] are so thrilled, and I think the students are too,” Stranges said. “I see happy bus drivers.”

Putting the few negatives aside, Stranges believes this new system will benefit students.

“I don’t see anyone losing in this deal, unless… they are on the bus too long,” Stranges said. “I think honestly, it’s like lunch; I hope we are all going to benefit from it.”

Abduction scare prompts safety awareness

Mallory King • News Editor

It takes a village to raise a child; everyone in Delaware can do their part to help protect kids from potentially dangerous people.

According to This Week News, an adult male attempted to lure a twelve-year-old girl into a car while she was walking on Troy Road, by offering her candy. She ignored him and continued walking.

When this incident took place, the girl was unaware of her surroundings.

“In this instance, the young girl didn’t get a real good description due to self admittedly having her head down,” Officer Larry Lucas said.

Luckily, the girl was not abducted, but dangerous situations like this can be prevented.

“Probably one of the biggest prevention tools…is to try not to be alone,” Lucas said.

Being with others can help in case of an emergency.

“That’s an extra set of eyes to be cognitive on what’s going on,” Lucas said. “It’s an extra mouth to be able to yell and get help. Its an extra set of feet and arms to get away and get help.”

When walking with others is not an option, technology can be a great alternative.

“If you do have a cell phone… call a friend [or] call a parent,” Lucas said. “They’re on the other end [and] they can walk with you, so to speak.”

Taking the extra step to plan ahead can allow students the ability to remain safe in vulnerable situations.

“[Educate] kids on what to do in their surroundings so they can maintain their safety,” Wellness teacher Laura Frisch said. “We have to just make sure that we know enough about our surroundings so we don’t put ourselves in a vulnerable situation where we don’t know where we are.”

Kids can also learn self defense, in case of an emergency. Sean Duffy, a health teacher at Hayes, teaches students at Wesleyan about safety in his self defense classes.

“I teach my students an awareness and also movements that not necessarily guarantee their safety but empower them about their knowledge,” Duffy said.

According to Lucas, the best way to prevent abductions is education.

“Education is the key,” Lucas said. “The thing about abduction, and the thing about any type of crime… is crime knows no boundaries. It hits small towns, big towns, every demographic you can imagine.”

Even though abductions cannot be prevented, kids can learn about steps to take during an emergency situation.

“It’s key to get anything like this reported immediately,” Lucas said. “Every second in delay between reporting is going to be a second delayed in law enforcement responding.”

Taking steps to improve children’s safety ultimately prepares them for difficult situations.

“We just want people to be prepared, not scared,” Lucas said. “It takes a whole village to raise one child.”

Columbus Ronald McDonald House becomes largest in world

Mallory King News Editor

Ronald McDonald serves up more than “Happy Meals;” he gives hospital patients hope.

According to the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio website, the house opened in 1982 and by 2008 had a total of 80 rooms. In 2014, it was expanded again to now have a total of 137 rooms, making it the largest in the world.

When a child is admitted to the hospital, families are welcome to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, free of charge.

“We are a home away from home for moms and dads and brothers and sisters…of children who are seriously ill or injured,” said Ryan Wilkins, the Community Relations and Marketing Director of Ronald McDonald House Columbus.

This provides peace of mind to guests.

“[The Ronald McDonald House] honestly just [gives families] a place to go to have a nice sleep that is close to the child that is in the hospital,” said Erin Gassin, a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. “It just gives them peace of mind so that they can have a little bit of normalcy.”

The Ronald McDonald House not only cares for families with patients admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, but they help other families in need as well.

“About 95% of those patients are being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, but we do support families that have children in any area hospital here in Central Ohio,” Wilkins said. “The only requirement is that there would be a child that is being treated at the hospital and then the family could stay here so they can be close to their children.”

Some hospitals around Central Ohio have recently expanded their facilities in order to provide the best care possible for their patients.

“At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, there’s a brand new tower that is 12 stories tall and they are treating a million patients now every year,” Wilkins said.

This new tower allows room for even more patients, which has prompted the expansion of the House.

“All of that growth really is what precipitated us needing to grow the Ronald McDonald House,” Wilkins said. ”We were running a waiting list on a regular basis and we really wanted to do everything we could to provide a home away from home for as many families as possible… in order to do that we had to add on some more space.”

The expansion will allow the Ronald McDonald House to serve even more families.

“With our previous facility of 80 guest rooms we were [helping] 3,000 families [per year], so now we are going to be able to serve even more than that,” Wilkins said. “So right now we are able to provide 137 guest rooms for families here at the House… every single night.”

According to the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio website, the expansion also included a rooftop garden and larger kitchen.

With this new expansion, volunteers are more essential to the House than ever. Running the House takes the effort of many people working together for one common goal, helping families.

“Everything that you would imagine that needs to be done at a hotel is done by volunteers here at the Ronald McDonald

House,” Wilkins said. “From greeting folks at the front door to helping families get checked into their room to the housekeeping.”

The volunteers also do the laundry, cleaning and cooking for guests.

“We really take pride in what we make them,” Gassin said. “We call and find out what the people are making so we don’t repeat the dinner and…we enjoy going down there and making something good and healthy and yummy.”

Volunteers are tremendously impacted by their experiences at the House.

“Just [making] them feel like they are at home, seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing them say ‘thank you,’ that means everything to me, more than anything,” Gassin said.

Faith in Humanity

Keera Wilmoth

The power of social media is an extraordinary thing. A YouTube video can go viral in the span of hours, pictures of missing people can be spread throughout the nation by the click of a button, and a 15-second video called the “Ice Bucket Challenge” can add millions of dollars in donations to help awareness and research for  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

ALS is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

The Ice Bucket Challenge includes being “nominated” by another person, having a bucket full of ice dumped on their head, “nominating” three other people to accept the challenge, then donating $10 to help the cause. If a person chooses not to accept the challenge, they must donate $100 instead.

There have been many complaints about how the Ice Bucket Challenge swallows up all social media and people are “wasting clean water to avoid donating money to charity,” but is that really correct? Donations for ALS have reached over $94 million and continue to skyrocket.

In order to help society develop and grow in a positive and beneficial way, do not be afraid to look a little silly! In the end, I would rather all of my social media accounts be dominated by videos of people throwing ice on their heads rather than have people be unaware of such a condition.