Setting a goal for equal pay

Story by: Sydney Blankenship, staff writer
Photo by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer

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The battle for equal pay has been long and ongoing, and the fight has moved its way into soccer. Five women of the United States women’s national soccer team have filed a wage-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) using the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the USSF’s 2015 financial records, the women made about a quarter of what the men earned. The EEOC will conduct an investigation to determine if the findings warrant compensation for the team. They are working with the law firm Winston & Strawn.

“In early January, the Women’s National Team Players Association submitted a reasonable proposal for a new CBA that had equal pay for equal work as its guiding principle,” Joe Kessler, co-chairman of the Winston & Strawn, said. “U.S. Soccer responded by suing the players in an effort to keep in place the discriminatory and unfair treatment they have endured for years.”

The law firm is currently in a legal dispute with U.S. Soccer over the terms of their collective bargaining agreement. The federation filed a lawsuit earlier this year hoping to clear up the contract with the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Players Association that runs until December 31.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has recently joined the fight for equal pay. At a discussion for women’s equal pay, Clinton complimented one of the women on the team, Megan Rapinoe, midfielder, for her efforts for equal pay. The men’s United States soccer team is also cheering the women on.

“I think it is something that needs to be done,” Avery Haines, 12 said. “The women’s team brought in more revenue than the men. The men lost most games, while the women won the championship, so it is only fair women fight for equal pay.”

Recently, five players from the women’s team threatened to boycott the Olympics in hopes of closing the wage gap. The debate is still in progress.

Baseball season starts

Story by: Blake Slunaker, staff writer
Photos by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer

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Spring is rapidly approaching, which means two things are coming: warmer weather and baseball.

During the week of March 14 through March 18, Mt. Vernon held tryouts for anyone interested in playing baseball. The tryouts were held outside on the baseball fields after school.

“We should have a pretty good team this year. I am excited to get going,” said Kennedy Parker, 12.

The first game for the marauders will be on April 5 at home against the Southport Cardinals. Mt. Vernon is also ranked 9th in the state for class 4A to start the season.

baseball swing“I am really excited for this season. We have a great group of kids and I’m thinking we will have a pretty good year,” stated Coach Carr.

The Marauders will be looking to live up to the hype surrounding this season and build off the success from last season.

Athlete of the month: Gloria Gonzales

Interview by: Blake Slunaker, staff writer
Photo by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer

Gloria

Q: How did you get started in swimming?

A: “My mom put me and Eve (her sister)  in swim lessons when we were 4 because Eve didn’t know how to swim and almost drowned. Eve and I really enjoyed it, so we started at the YMCA for a while, then joined a summer league, then joined a club, and started swimming year round.”

Q: What are your interests other than swimming?

A:“The other interests I have other than swimming are art, watching sports, and hanging out with friends.”

Q: What are your plans for after high school?

A: “I am committed to swim at Eastern Illinois University and major in Environmental Management”

Q: What are your personal goals for this season?

A: “My personal goals for this season are to break a minute in the 100 back, break 2 minutes in the 200 free, and improve my turns.”

Q: What are your goals for the whole team this season?

A: “My goals for the whole team are halfway accomplished. We are such a close team. I am hoping for big time drops for all the girls at sectionals, and I am hoping for two of our relays to win at sectionals to advance to state

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in your high school career thus far?

A: “My biggest accomplishment in my high school career was probably when I made the senior state cut in the 100 backstroke at sectionals last year because it was a really big turning point for me. It was the beginning of getting into swimming competitive times and transitioning into the college level.

Man behind last year’s bomb threat sentenced

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

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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.