Mini-Marauders move to Fortville

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photos by: Samuel Jobe

preschool

At Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation, there is a vast amount of resources at their fingertips. They have a competent transportation department, a reliable janitorial staff, a caring special-ed department, and much more. This year, there will be another program added to the community: The Mini-Marauder Early Learning Academy.

The new school’s goal is to provide quality education to kids ages three to five in the district at an affordable price. Although there is already a preschool existing at Mt. Comfort Elementary School, it is for children who are developmentally delayed. The new preschool will accept all children within the age range. It will be located in the administrative building, previously known as Fortville Elementary, and begin running in the fall.

“I have heard of [the Mini-Marauder Preschool],” said Mrs. Terrell, a teacher at MVHS and mother of two. “I believe that MV will successfully implement the program, similar to how we successfully implement most initiatives. I think the Mini-Marauder Preschool is a great idea.”

The cost for this preschool is $125 a week, which is competitive in the county, but high enough to bring revenue to the community, both benefiting the school and the parents of the preschoolers.

presschool 2It was Dr. Robbins’ idea to start the preschool program for the children of MVCSC who are not old enough to enroll in one of our three elementary schools.

“As I have spent my time evaluating our operational structure and the opportunities we have before us, it became evident early that opening a preschool at the Administration building was something I thought would benefit our community,” said Dr. Robbins. “The developmentally delayed preschool at Mt. Comfort will relocate to the administration building and we will open a typical peer preschool program. This will provide our community with robust and well rounded programming opportunities.”

The current administrative building used to be Fortville Elementary but closed and remained vacant for some time. Dr. Robbins took advantage of the empty, ventilated building and made it the new admin building. The old admin building is now the home of the Department of Transportation. It is the center of the bussing for students who are not dropped off or given rides to school.

There will be specific personnel for children who qualify for special needs assistance.

Dr. Robbins is very confident in the success of the program.

“I think the access to an organized learning environment is a plus. I also feel that the early structured introduction to a blended learning environment is an advantage for students entering our school district. Finally, I feel like our program is a very cost effective program.”

The preschool is currently accepting applications for staff members who want to be a part of this new program. Parents of children who want to attend the preschool can apply now as well. It is open to children of the community, including the children of students of MVHS.

“I am definitely considering the program, but I would like the gross-motor play time to be a bit longer,” said Mrs. Terrell.

Hopefully this program will benefit the children of MVCSC. They are offering full and half day enrollment.

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The Adventures of Dog Leg: Bake sale and a musical

Photos by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor

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Dog Leg had a busy weekend. First there was the Best Buddies 3V3 tournament where Dog Leg helped the newspaper staff sell baked treats.

Dog Leg at Seussical

Later, Dog Leg headed to Ten West to catch a sold-out production of Seussical, the Musical. Dog Leg thought the performance was delightful.

This book is A+

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photo by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor

FanGirl

When I first heard of “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, I expected it to be either the best thing I have ever read, or totally offensive. I am a fangirl myself, so fantastically it was the former.

Initially, I did not know how I felt about Cath, the protagonist from Nebraska. She seemed too stereotypical in the beginning and it almost made me stop reading. Thankfully, I kept on and found out that she and I actually have many things in common.

We both believe that stories do not just end when the author decides to stop writing the books. It continues by the willpower and passion of the fans, which is exactly what Cath and her sister Wren do.

“I love how ‘Fangirl’ is not just a charming story about a love story between two people, but it is also a love story about books, fandoms and the power of words,” said Leann Winegard, 12.

I liked that Cath is not just some insignificant fan who writes fanfiction. She actually has some popularity because of her writing which is refreshing to read. Most stories I have read about fangirls consisted of them just starting out as fanfiction writers and being quite terrible at it. Cath is the exception. I was sad to see her stop being friends with Nick, but her relationship with Levi made up for it ten times over.

I still do not know how I feel about Wren. In the beginning, Wren was becoming more distant from Cath and forging her own path, which led to her sting in the hospital and subsequent alcohol-poisoning that shook Cath and even her father to extreme worry.

I cannot wait to read the fanfiction that Cath wrote, also published by Rainbow Rowell called “Carry On.” It is about Simon and Baz through the eyes of Cath which is shown in excerpts throughout “Fangirl.” I recommend this story to everyone who enjoys a little bit fantasy with their reality.

Choose kind all week

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photo by: Amanda Wiggins, staff photographer

choose kind

One of the weeks that Student Government sponsors throughout the year at Mt. Vernon is Choose Kind Week. This year it lasted from Feb 29 through March 4. On Monday the 29th, a special guest was invited to give an inspirational speech for Choose Kind Week. Kevin Wanzer has been a motivational comedian for over thirty years. The Mt. Vernon Education Foundation allowed Kevin to give one of his more popular speeches to MVHS because Emily Fleming, 12, wrote a grant to the MVEF.

I feel like the convocation was inspiring and relatable,” said Hailey Davidson, 9. “Kevin Wanzer made it funny and easy to learn what it means to truly be kind, and to understand what it means to be kind. I believe that the convocation was very empowering.”

Kevin was enjoyed by all that attended, and it is all thanks to Emily Fleming.

“He was an incredible speaker and the moment I looked onto the crowd and saw everyone truly engaged, I knew that he needed to come to Mt. Vernon,” said Fleming. “I was then lucky enough to go back to the camp the following year and heard him again. So, this year I wanted to make it happen. I started talking to Miss Naum, the guidance intern, and she absolutely loved the idea. After contacting Andrea from the MVEF, I think it was a done deal.”

Tuesday was a day to pledge to Choose Kind, Wednesday the StuGov placed meaningful quotes on every locker in the school, Thursday was the placement of kindness zones around the building and Friday was high fives all around.

This book is “Everything”

Story and Photos by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor

Everything review.jpg

Great books have the ability to deliver a person’s soul to a place they never had dreamed of visiting. “Everything, Everything” did that for me, just as Madeline Whittier’s, the protagonist, books did for her.

Madeline is an eighteen year old girl with SCID, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, which prohibits her from leaving her house in fear of dying from almost everything. She lives in a bubble of safety, being cared for only by her mother and her nurse Carla. That it, until she meets Olly.

I loved the entrance of Olly, the boy who just moved next door, because he’s full of mystery and edge, which are two things Madeline is not used to. He is also introduced wearing all black, which is a contrast to Madeline’s life which is basically white: her room, her clothes, everything. From the beginning, there is already that contrast between them, but opposites attract, as the cliché says.

Everything review 2Her story is told in a variety of styles, such as vignettes, diary entries, and exchanged emails, so the story stays interesting throughout the whole book.

The end was not something that I expected, kind of a microexplosion in my head because I never saw it coming, yet it made so much sense.

As Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, “Everything, Everything” it is one which I recommend to all people who enjoy reading scientifically correct and well-told stories that beautifully yet simply tell of love and freedom.

Fuller House

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor

The house down the street just got fuller, ladies and gentleman, because the American sitcom “Full House” is back with a twist.

DJ Tanner-Fuller was, at the end of the original series, only 18 and graduating high school. In the revival, she is a 40 year-old widow and mother of three. Her kids become too much to handle on her own, so she invites her sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy to live with her, just as her father had done in the original series.

The setting has not changed and the tall white and grey house with the red door is shown in the trailer, which shows the famous Golden Gate Bridge and the green lawn across the street from her house. The audience gets to see the kitchen and the living room with so much detail that was not in the original series. A puppy is scratching at a door when it hears the voices of the old cast, even one of Joey Gladstone’s catchphrases, “Cut. It. Out.”

Most of the original cast will be shown in all 13 episodes of the Netflix series, except for Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, which means no Michelle Tanner.

Nevertheless, the cast will be coming back better and ever with John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse, as an executive producer.

There is much promise with the new series, which will be released on Netflix on February 26, which is just around the bend. Don’t forget to catch it when it released and see just how much fuller this house has become.

Man behind last year’s bomb threat sentenced

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photos by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer

bank robbery main.jpg

On March 20th of 2015 at 10:30 a.m., a man by the name of Matthew Irwin, 30, made the students and faculty at Mt. Vernon High School feel unsafe in their own building by phoning in a false bomb threat to the school office and robbing Fortville Bank.

Students from the high school and eighth grade academy, who were in the midst of taking finals, were instructed to move to the two nearest buildings.

Irwin has since been sentenced to five years and received 278 days of credit for time already served, which is lower than the 10 years average sentence for bank robbery and up to 25 years for making a bomb threat. He was charged with robbery, false informing, conspiracy to commit robbery, intimidation and being a habitual offender.

Irwin’s accomplice, Brittany Krieg, 20, of Anderson, also faces counts of false informing, conspiracy to commit robbery and intimidation.

Since his bomb threat nearly a year ago, there has been another bomb threat on Mt. Vernon, which took place during the first nine weeks of the school year.

Plainfield and Avon have also received bomb threats. Both were dismissed as non-credible, but both schools were shut down for the day as a precaution. Many schools in Ohio have also received bomb threats as well in the past month.

“I think that the increase in threats made to schools has to do with the publicity of the threats,” said Braydon Titley, 10. “People who want to harm schools see how big of a reaction [the schools] make so they take advantage of that.”

The police of Fortville have done their best to help the school deal with the recent threats.

bank robbery“I appreciate all of the help from the citizens and businesses in both communities and the hard work of the dedicated officers of the Fortville Police Department, Anderson Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the officer’s assigned to Community Hospital,” said Lieutenant Patrick Bratton of Fortville Police. “We had overwhelming community support with the tips and just kept following up on them until it led us to our suspects.”

The students and staff of Mt. Vernon are also beginning to wonder if the threats are results from spikes of violence or if school corporations are taking threats more seriously.

“The last two years have been a bit unusual as we went some 2-3 years without any threats to the general student population,” said Principal Bernie Campbell about the topic of the increased amount of threats made on MVHS. “On the surface I do not see any common threads, but with the increased use of social media, there are more opportunities for students to make reckless and dangerous comments. Secondly, students have grown much more responsible about reporting threats to an adult.”

The suggestion that students are getting better at reporting potential threats may be a the reason for the entire country seeing an increase in threats

These kinds of occurrences are happening all over the country. Twenty-six schools in New Jersey have received bomb and shooting threats in the past two weeks, so have fifteen in Massachusetts and three in Iowa.

These increased occurrences could be linked to students and other members of the community becoming less careful with their words or more knowledgeable in the fact that these threats are taken so seriously that the school can give students permission to stay home that day with a parent’s or guardian’s permission.

Over six-hundred students stayed home because of the most recent threat made to Mt. Vernon. There was a shooting threat made on Friday, January 15. Bags and backpacks were checked upon students’ arrival on Tuesday, January 19. There was a heavy police presence in the building, but thankfully the student responsible was taken into custody and confessed.

Lifeline app will give you a lifeline to fun

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photo by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor

Lifeline

When I first heard of this game, Lifeline, I thought of the movie “The Martian” with Matt Damon stuck on Mars. I was very wrong.

The game starts out with an astronaut messaging you from the wreckage of their spaceship, the Varia, and in need of help. Let me just say that I was a goner by this point, there is no not finishing this game. This gender-nonspecific, sarcastic, and lovingly sassy character tries to find a way to survive on this moon near Tau Ceti. Whenever Cadet Taylor asks you a question, the game gives you two options to choose from, which makes you think a lot about your decisions, because remember, Taylor can die because of your choices.

This incredible game was the reason for my first panic attack, and for people near the end of the game, they know the reason for it. During the whole game, I was hooked to the story. It’s entirely told from Taylor’s point of view, which can get annoying, especially when I think of the hours they have left me alone with the “[Taylor is busy]” message on the screen and the many times they have passed out or lost signal with their last words being”OH MY GOD,” which is a lot.

I love that Taylor doesn’t use pronouns, so Taylor could be blonde white dude with really bad decision-making skills or an Asian-American women with long blue hair. The character’s physical appearance is totally up to the player. Thank you Dave Justus. You are a fantastic writer for doing that.

The game also goes by real time, so if Taylor says they are eating breakfast, Taylor will literally take a half hour to be done eating, and Taylor sleeping will surely take hours.

I recommend this app to people who are not faint of heart or have free time to spare, because this game had me sneaking my phone out in the middle of class to see what Taylor was up to at that point in time, and I can’t wait to purchase the sequel game “Silent Night.”

I became very attached to Taylor during this game. I felt personally responsible for Taylor’s life, which kinda sucked because I killed them the first day I started playing.

Please, play this game. It will make you cry and want to fling yourself off a cliff. But in a good way.