Ragu for Riley

Photo provided by: Lily Erlewein

ragu for riley

People who stopped by Ragu for Riley before the basketball Homecoming game on Friday, January 15th, not only got some tasty pasta, but also helped NHS raise $1092.07. This brings the total money raise for Riley Children’s Hospital so far this year to $1592.07.

NHS will continue to raise money for Riley by participating in the Riley Dance Marathon in April.

Trump gets trumped

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Adding to a lengthy list of political blunders, or as some see them, political successes, Donald Trump has once again managed to create a PR scandal– but this time, for himself.

Trump scheduled a press conference in preparation to announce that he is receiving support from over one hundred black ministers across the nation. The move was part of an effort to appeal to the black minority in the United States, which largely supports the Democratic party. Trump sent out invitations to several ministers to come to a meeting with him to discuss his endorsement.

Earlier this year, Trump held many smaller meetings with black ministers, some of whom ended up supporting him. They all stated that Trump did not make any sort of monetary donation to the church.

However, things fell short of Trump’s expectations. Several ministers refused to meet with Trump, some even denounced the invitation. As a result, Trump canceled the press conference, which was met with a strong media response as he had been advertising the conference beforehand.

Shield Shack is where it’s at

Story by: Ashley Offenbach, Staff Writer
Photos by: Amanda Wiggins, Staff Photograper

Shield shack

There are many students who arrive at school and realize they have forgotten a pencil, highlighter, or poster board, then start stressing because they do not want a zero or a late assignment in a class. If you ever come to school unprepared for the day there is now a solution.

The daily announcements read, “Hello all! Do you ever come to school without a pencil? Ever need a hair tie ASAP? Phone dead and you forgot your charger? Come on down to The Shield Shack, a store run by students for students. Get your spirit wear, school supplies, and electronic desires! Opening today!”

The store, called The Shield Shack, opened Wednesday December 3rd and is available before and after school. It is located across the cafeteria and by the auditorium doors. Ms. Ousley’s Entrepreneurship class is in charge of the Shield Shack and she is the sponsor.

Ms. Ousley said, ¨The Shield Shack will be open for the rest of the year.  Our current hours of operation are through third block (so that we can serve students on every lunch) and SRT.  Following Christmas Break, we will have our ‘Grand Opening’ and be open from 8-8:30 in the morning in addition to our lunchtime hours.¨

Shelbi Webb, 11, said, ¨I think it is a great idea to have a small store for students. I believe if a student carries money with them they will use the store when they forget something.¨

So if you ever forget an item you need, whether for yourself or a class, stop by The Shield Shack.

 

Andrew Roembke takes to state

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photos by: Caty McGovern, staff photographer

Andrew

Mt. Vernon has an ever-growing music department and has achieved much in the past few years. Just recently a member of the MV Jazz Band, Andrew Roembke, 10, has been chosen to be a member of Indiana’s All-District Jazz Band and All-State Jazz Band. The MV Current was able to meet up with Andrew and ask him a couple questions about it.

Q) What are the All-District and All-State Jazz Band?

A) All-State Jazz Band is sort of like a “dream team.” Instrumentalists from all around the state all send in an audio recording of audition music. They then send those recordings to a selection committee that then decides who is going to be in, and who isn’t.

Q) How common is it for a sophomore to be accepted into these bands?

A) I do not know how common it is for a sophomore to make it, but I do know that only four trumpets in the whole state made it, and there were about 350 applicants. I will most likely be surrounded by all seniors, maybe a couple juniors.

Q) What is the application process?

A) The first thing you have to do is send in a written application with an audition fee. You basically just submit a form with your name, instrument, school, grade, the basic stuff for an application like this. Then you have to prepare the audition. You go online to get the PDF files from the website, print them off, and start practicing. There were 7 total excerpts that I had to play. Once you feel that you are ready for the audition, get a recording device and record you playing the excerpts. You then send that in and you wait for them to make contact with you on whether you made it or not

Q) How long have you been playing the trumpet?

A) I have been playing the trumpet since 5th grade, so about 5 and a half years. In 6th grade though, I played French horn for concert band. However, I enjoyed trumpet more, and in 7th grade I switched back to trumpet and never looked back

Q) What does this mean for your future in music? Do you plan to pursue a career in music?

A) This could actually mean a lot for my future. There will be many college recruiters at the concert for this, and them seeing a sophomore could definitely stand out. I for sure want to keep playing trumpet throughout college, but I’m not sure if I want to make a career in music.

Q) Do you know any of the other trumpet players selected to be in these bands? What grades are they in?

A) I looked at the list of accepted people in the bands and did not recognize. I did notice that they were all from some of the best schools in the state though, such as Bloomington North, Carmel, and Ben Davis.

Q) Are you nervous about being surrounded with other very talented musicians?

A) I’m not really nervous about being around other musicians. I’m more excited that I get to perform high level music that will challenge me and push me to my limit.

Have yourself a merry little vote

MV Center Stage is currently vying for top honors in the B105.7 Christmas Choir Competition. MV is competing with four other area schools. The winner is decided by votes on the station’s website. If Center Stage wins the contest, they will earn $2500 which will be used to help fund their trip to New York City in June of 2016.

You can help MV win this contest. Just go to this website and vote for Center Stage’s performance of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Socktober is here

socks

Did you know that socks are the least donated clothing item? With fall in full swing and winter quickly approaching, local shelters are in desperate need of clothing donations.

In order to help fill this need, National Honor Society is collecting new socks that will be donated. Students should bring in new, packaged socks to their first block classes. Donations will be accepted through Friday, November 6.

As an added incentive, NHS is offering a donut party to the class that brings in the most socks.

Want to learn more about Socktober? Check out this video by Kid President. 

Indy car driver killed in crash

Story by: Connor Curts, staff writer

On August 23, 2015, the racing world lost yet another driver in a deadly crash. With only one race left in IndyCar season, driver Justin Wilson, driving car number 25 was involved in a crash during the ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway.

IndyCars are designed to reach speeds of close to 230 MPH, and because of the aerodynamics used, the driver is not covered with any type of protection aside from their helmet. Because drivers are exposed to the outside world, Wilson was hit in the head with a piece of debris from the race leader’s car, leaving him unconscious.

He was immediately taken to a hospital, where it was announced by doctors that Wilson had slipped into a coma. The next day at approximately 9pm, an IndyCar spokesperson held a press conference to announce that Wilson had died. He was 37 years old.

“I think IndyCar definitely needs to make some improvements to the safety of their cars. The current model is getting people killed, and it needs to be fixed,” said Brendan Pratt, 11.

This marked IndyCar’s first on track death since Dan Wheldon was killed back in October of 2011. Wheldon had won the Indy 500 race earlier that year, a race that Hoosiers know well and has been nicknamed “the greatest spectacle in racing.” He was 33 years old.

Both Wheldon and Wilson died from a head injuries that occurred due to their bodies being exposed while inside their cars. It now raises an important question, one that’s been overlooked often over recent years: Does the IndyCar need to be redesigned, with an emphasis on safety?

John Oliver takes people to church

Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions Editor

In August, John Oliver focused on the issues regarding televangelists, preachers who make appearances on television to appeal to the public for funds, on his show “Last Week Tonight.”

Oliver’s aim in the episode was to point out how fraudulent and manipulative televangelists can be when asking for money. After citing multiple examples of preachers who had used the funds intended for religious prosperity for personal uses, Oliver went on to announce the establishment of his own church, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.

The church is named this as a way to emphasize the ease with which churches can receive tax exemptions. Any organization, such as Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, that can verify itself as a religious one is exempt from taxes, .

“And that is when I realized, the message Robert Tilton was sending me was that I should set up my own church to test the legal and financial limits of what religious entities are able to do. So, that is what we have done,” Oliver stated.

Surprisingly enough, his church was flooded donations from people all over the world in just one week. In his next episode, he displayed the thousands of letters that contained various amounts of money, totaling thousands of dollars.

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption has a donation page that states all assets the church has acquired will “be distributed to Doctors Without Borders.” Doctors Without Borders is an organization that works to send medical aid to areas where it is severely needed, in order to better improve the lives of people around the world.

Alexie Evans, 12, “I think that’s amazing. That makes me really happy. It’s nice to know that they’re actually donating to a good cause, unlike some churches who use the donations for personal reasons.”

Fortville fresh food Thursdays

Story and Photos by: Halee Evans, staff writer/photographer

farmer's market breads

The Fortville Farmer’s Market, which is every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. until September 25, has a variety of foods to buy.

They have everything from tomatoes and squash to apples and cakes.

This market isn’t big by any means, but it is all local ingredients and foods.

“All the ingredients we use are locally sourced. I think it’s important to use locally grown foods,” said Jedediah Martin, a frequent seller at the market.

Martin and his wife make baked goods out of their home and bring them to sell in the market every Thursday.

These aren’t just your normal cinnamon rolls and brownies though. The baked goods Martin and his wife sell are traditional Scandinavian recipes.

The couple went to Norway on their honeymoon and fell in love with the food. They then decided to bring a piece of the back home to Indiana and share it with anyone willing to stop by and try it.

A few of the more decadent treats the Martins make are a chocolate rolls the size of your hand and something similar to a cinnamon roll farmer's market cardamom rollcalled a cardamon roll. The difference between the cardamom roll and the classic cinnamon roll is that the cardamom roll is made out of a seed. You can also make cardamon bread.

Also selling baked goods at the farmers market was Tiffany Runyan, who is a fortville resident, who uses Hosier grown ingredients in all of her recipes.

Runyan is a pastry chef and has a culinary arts degree from a local culinary school.

“I liked to bake when I was a kid but I didn’t really want to become a pastry chef until I burned out of my career working with troubled youth,” said Runyan about her career as a pastry chef.

Being mostly self-taught, Runyan spends most of her time baking cakes for parties and other events. She even has her own facebook page for the mini company.

To create such intricate designs, Runyan uses fondant and satin ice, both of which are very thick and very sweet tasting.

“I personally like to use what is called a marshmallow fondant. Which is basically marshmallow fluff and sugar. A lot of people don’t like the taste of regular fondant so I find that my customers like this the best,” said Runyan.

For those wanting a little more of an herbal experience, stop by Barb and Eral Smith’s booth where they are selling hemp soap.

Also at their booth the Smiths sell raw milk for your pets, a variety of cheeses, and honey.

“We have a dairy farm, with hives on the property. We also raise beef, pork, chicken, and rabbits. But we don’t eat the rabbits,” said Barb Smith about her farm.

Along with the honey the Smiths sell bee pollen. Bee pollen is the honey farmer's marketpowdery stuff that bees get off plants to make honey.  Bee pollen does a multitude of good for your body. It not only builds immunity from allergies, but it builds red blood cells, helps with arthritis, and it gives the same effects as a steroid would, but without the harmful effects on your body. Just take one teaspoon a day with another food such as cereal.

So if you’re looking for raw or organic foods, or just want to walk around and talk to people, come down to the farmers market before it ends September 25.

Mt. Vernon finally goes online

Story by: Dakota Fisher, News Editor
Photos by: Dakota Fisher, News Editor

MV goes online

To kick off the 2015-2016 school year, students have gone through the transition into the brand new 1:1 program.

Students K-5 are using Apple iPads while in school, however, they are not permitted to take them home. Middle and high school students were assigned Google Chromebooks which can be taken home.

According to new superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins,the goal of this new and revolutionary program is to “motivate, engage, and challenge students to learn 21st century skills.” Along with this new program, MVCSC has adopted the Edmentum curriculum. The Edmentum curriculum strives to provide over 8,000 school districts with an adapted 21st century learning style.

Teachers will also learn to adapt to this new learning environment and will be trained on how to effectively implement them into the classroom.

“The Chromebooks will be a great resource to have this year,” said Betsy McCleery, 10.

“I really think that they will help students learn valuable skills and how to live in the modern world.”

Technology is ever growing, so exposing young learners to the wonders of technological education from such a young age can really help aid them in the future. With the new curriculum, students will have a modern learning environment while still meeting all of the basic educational needs. Students will have a “blended” learning environment, meaning there will still be books, paper and pencils in the classroom. MVCSC does, however, intend to get rid of the textbooks entirely in the future and have a completely digital classroom.

“Research shows that students are learning more with the application of new technology that enables a greater amount of collaborative instruction, opens the doors of communication, and takes education beyond the classroom and into the community as a whole, ” said Dr. Shane Robbins

Not only can this new technology help in the traditional classroom, but also it can make the fine arts and foreign language classes more interactive by using applications like Sound Trap, which enable students to compose their own music, digitally.  

With apps like Garageband or Duolingo, students are exposed to a whole new realm of learning, making classes more entertaining, keeping students better engaged and eager to learn. Garageband is an app on the Apple store that turns your device into a  full featured recording studio giving students the ability to make their own music on the go. Duolingo is an application that helps students learn over 20 different languages including French, Spanish, and Ukrainian. Electronic learning has a huge impact on the way this generation, and generations to come, will influence society.

French teacher, Mr. Freeman, has been working this year with the new mv goes online 21:1 program by having an almost completely online class using a program called Plato. Plato is a part of the Edmentum curriculum and teaches students French using powerpoints and recorded commentary as well as conducting quizzes at the end of each lesson to check the student’s progress.

“The new 1:1 program makes things snappier. Students are far more efficient,” said MVHS Physics teacher, Mr. Everett.

In physics, students utilize this new technology in many different ways, including a flipped classroom, and having access to the online textbook, which eliminates the need for physical textbooks.

While there are many positive advantages to this new program, there have also been several complications. Students have had issues logging onto the wifi. The technology department has been working very hard around the clock to try to get this complication fixed and the new computers working well for students.

Dr. Robbins assured both students and parents that the new program will soon be running seamlessly, “As with anything new we attempt to accomplish, we will learn from our mistakes and use the knowledge to improve our practices.”

This new program not only empowers students, but it also helps prepare them for the workforce, and provides individualized learning. 1:1 helps students learn at their own pace and gives students the opportunity to take control of their education.

“I will end with this,” Dr. Robbins said. “From 1927-1941 Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted Mt. Rushmore.  A 60 foot high representation of four U.S. Presidents.  It was done utilizing tools, hard work, and creativity.  In our 1:1 computing environment, the device is only a tool that will allow for greater levels of creativity relevant in today’s society.”