My experience at a Trump rally

Story by: Connor Curts, staff writer
Photo by: Mackenie Carpenter, Photo Editor


When Donald Trump visited Indiana shortly before the Indiana Primary elections at the beginning of May, I was able to attend one of his rallies which was held in Indianapolis at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. I went with two of my friends, and we showed up around 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time. When we walked in, the amount of security was crazy. There were secret service agents everywhere.

When we discovered that we had the opportunity to walk down to the floor of the arena, where there was standing room only, we decided to take the chance. Long story short, my spot for the rally was 10 feet away from the stage, and I was lined up exactly with the podium.

We weren’t sure what to expect from the people at the rally, as many of our friends had told us to stay safe, thinking the Trump supporters would be violent. I am pleased to say they were the complete opposite. Instead, what we found was that they were some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I had the pleasure of meeting a man named Gale Roberts from Montana, who runs a website and campaign called “Hillary’s Lies Matter,” with the sole intention of making sure Hillary Clinton is not elected. Roberts goes to every single Trump rally, following him around the country. At the time of this rally, he had logged 7,000 miles on his rental car.

During Trump’s speech, I found that he did not lash out and say anything dumb, silly, or offensive. Instead, he spoke intelligently, while still getting the crowd fired up in the classic Trump way. He would leave the stage to chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and I can honestly say that it was nothing less than an insane experience.

Sanders rally

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photo by:Mackenzie Carpenter, Photography Editor

Bernie rally

I recently had the pleasure of attending a rally for Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in Indianapolis. It was a very positive experience, and it only confirmed my furthered support for the candidate. Being my first political rally, it was also an interesting chance to take in the atmosphere and compare it to what I have seen of rallies for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

The rally started around 7, but I arrived at about 5. Monument circle was already packed with supporters for the candidate, cheering with signs and singing songs. There were a number of performers who kept the atmosphere alive with folk music before Sanders arrived. In addition, the main Sanders organizer for the area, a local IPS English teacher, gave a short speech about her support for Sanders before he arrived.

There was something different about this rally that what I have seen of Trump’s rallies. There was more of a sense of community among the members. Of course most of us were there to see Bernie Sanders, but we were also there to support each other. At Trump rallies it often seems like the members gather in some sort of weird, adulative ceremony for Trump, fuling his ego.

Sanders finally arrived, by way of helicopter, which was the only viable mode of transport considering he was campaigning in Fort Wayne a few hours earlier. In his speech, Sanders focused primarily on his plans to improve America, rather than speaking about other candidates. It is notable that Trump’s speeches are often accusatory. Although Sanders had points in his speech where he accused others for contributing to problems in America, they were not the focus of his speech. He also laid out his plans to cover the cost of his plans, something which candidates have attacked him for not doing.

MV students who attended the rally had positive opinions.

“I thought that Sander’s speech was powerful and really moving,” said Geneva Pleasant, 11.

All in all, the Sanders rally was a success and I am glad to have been able to attend.

Allegiant fails to live up to expectations

Story by: Sydney Shurman, Reviews Editor
Photos by: Mackenzie Carpenter, Photography Editor


Allegiant, the second-to-last installment in the film adaptation of the young adult book series Divergent, hit theaters March 18th. I was finally able to see it, and I have to say that I feel very let down.

While I cannot say the book trilogy was the best series I have ever read, I did thoroughly enjoy it. It had a nice balance of action and romance, as well as character and plot development. However, the Allegiant movie had none of these aspects.

The most glaringly obvious mistake with the movie that lead to all of its other problems was the fact that for some reason, the people in charge of making it decided to split it into two parts. This seemed incredibly unnecessary because the book did not have enough content to create two movies.

Because of this, I found that the two hours I spent watching the movie dragged on. The plot developed incredibly slowly, and I felt that the majority of it was not that exciting. Most scenes just included talking and explaining, whereas the previous movies included more action scenes. I realize that explanation is necessary to explain the plot, but if the book had been made into only one movie there would have been a much better ratio of explanation to action.

allegiant 2I also felt that the plot was completely predictable. I did not find a single plot twist in the whole movie and every time something happened, I was not surprised in the least. The characters all made decisions that I could see coming a mile away.

These predictable decisions were probably due to the fact that the characters were also very one-dimensional, which was disappointing. In the books, they were far more complex and well-developed. However, Four was barely shown throughout the entire movie, and he spoke about ten words the whole time. Also, Tris did not have nearly the emotional appeal and strength that she should have had.

“I chose not to see Allegiant, because I did see Divergent and I didn’t think it was what I thought it would be,” said Mrs. Ballard, media assistant.”I also went online and saw that it had bad reviews, so I didn’t want to pay to see in the theater.”

In addition, the plot was not even that similar to that of the books. It was loosely based at best. All of these factors came together to create a great big disappointing mess. I can see why it got such bad reviews.

No mo fro yo

Story by: Emme Longman, staff writer
Photos by: Mackenzie Carpenter, Photography Editor

orange leaf main

The Orange Leaf franchise was recently sued by Patel, an Oklahoma City-based franchise, for about $33 million dollars for not paying their rent lease. The Orange Leafs that are located in shopping malls have to pay the monthly rent of anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000.

The franchise is in court right now, but the Orange Leaf stores in Indiana were not closed for bankruptcy. Three Indiana buildings were closed without warning for “personal reasons.” The corporate office says they plan to reopen in the “very near future.”

“They need to get out of their lawsuit because the joy and happiness of having orange leaf is not justified by not being able to have it,” said Ava Hampton, 9.

orange leafThe closing is unfortunate because Orange Leaf was a place where people could have dessert that had 4 grams of sugar per serving rather than the 7 grams of sugar per serving in ice cream, which is better for people’s health.

Now, all the children who live in Carmel, Fishers, Muncie, and Noblesville will no longer have the flavor of Orange Leaf frozen yogurt close to home.

“Hello” Adele

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photo by: Mackenzie Carpenter, Photo Editor

Adele CD

Adele Adkins has taken the stage once again with her new album, “25.” The album is the first after a four-year sabbatical that the star took in order to raise her son, Angelo Konecki. It has enjoyed record sales, surpassing the record for most first-week sales of any song, although this may also be due to the fact that music is now widely available for download on the Internet. Adele’s prowess has yet to heed as her album was at the top of many charts in the end of 2015.

The album is beautiful, featuring many heartfelt songs as one would expect from Adele.  From the popular “Hello” to “Remedy,” the album features slow songs with powerful vocals and telling messages. Adele opened her heart in “Remedy,” which was the first song she wrote that ended her period of writer’s block, according to Adele.

“I really enjoyed ‘When We Were Young,” said Mary Decker, 12. “Adele’s voice was so powerful and soulfull.”

My personal favorite of the album was “When We Were Young.” Adele crafted this song with a certain subtlety, yet the lyrics spoke volumes, conjuring images and sentiments of nostalgia from prior relationships.  Her soulful voice lulls the listener with beautiful lyrical phrases that cannot be ignored in Adele’s lyric-centered work. Her backup singers provided support during appropriate times in the song, pulling it together and making it seem complete. It is the kind of song where you just sit and soak in the music, listening silently, without a care in the world.

I cannot pick out a major negative point for the album. As a whole, it was a very soulful work, and I could feel Adele’s personality and experiences shining through the work and her carefully crafted lyrics. The album is near perfection, and I would award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Marching band success

Story by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer
Photos by: Mackenzie Carpenter, Photo Editor

Marching band

The Mt. Vernon High School Marching Band has been doing considerably well this year, and are working very hard as a group to improve their performances each year. The band director, Mr. Ellinger, has made the MVHS Marching Band more successful over the past two years and has each and every student working precisely and putting as much dedication into it as they can.

The students in marching band spend many hours a week practicing to improve their scores at competition as well as practicing for performances.

Katie Smith, 11, put many hours into practicing and perfecting routines in order to get better scores and feel more accomplished.

¨We normally practice during school (1st block) as well as two 3 hour practices after school during the week,” said Smith. “On competition days, we practice for about 3-4 hours and then we prepare to perform that day, so we will be at band from about 7:30 in the morning to 9 or 10 at night some days. We also do football games on fridays and those like to run from after school until the end of the game. On the saturdays that we don’t have a competition, we usually have 8-5 practices

Mr. Ellinger challenges the students who participate in marching band each year, in order to get them to improve. Setting goals is important to Mr. Ellinger and he works extremely hard to help students achieve their goals as well.

¨Competitive marching bands are judged by six individuals rating their musical and visual talents in addition to judging the show itself,” Mr. Ellinger said,  “We want to make sure each student is performing their music while marching at a high level, but also performing in a way which makes “story” we are performing make sense. When instructing the students, our staff is dedicated to ensuring each student is doing their part. We all must contribute equally if we are to be successful. This is our primary goal…equal contribution

Marching band percussionMany upperclassmen in the MVHS Marching Band have put four hard years of dedication and commitment into the marching band.

Students in marching band dedicate a ton of time to perfecting their routines.

¨Our state finals week saw a more intense practice schedule,¨ said Mr. Ellinger. ¨While we normally practice every morning and Tuesday/Thursday evenings, our state finals week schedule saw practices every morning and every evening from 6pm-9pm. The performance at state finals was very solid. The students did not let the high winds or rainy weather alter their performance. Sometimes bands will enter a state finals scenario and become nervous or ‘over-hyped’. I was glad the students were calm and focused the entire day. I could not have been happier with their final show.¨

Evan Schacherer, drum major, 12, explains how marching band has made a difference in his life and helped him decide what his passion was, music.

¨Marching Band has allowed me to discover my passion for music and allowed me to decide what I want to do in life,” said Schacherer. “Marching Band has had an enormous impact on my life which has made me into who I am today. I will always continue to use what I have learned in Marching Band because it is a part of who I am.¨

The MVHS Marching Band just went to a competition Saturday, October 24, and because of all their hard work and dedication, they received fourth in the state.

marching band guard

Theater under the sea

Story by: Tess Barnett, staff writer
Photo by: Mackenzie Carpenter, staff photographer

10 West

Something huge is coming to Fortville. Ten West Center for the Arts, whose most recent production was “Grease,” is going to have a childrens’ show.

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” is going to show the weekends of June 19-21 and June 26 and 27. The majority of the cast is going to be between the ages of eight and thirteen, with older students playing the lead roles.  The show is under the direction of Stephani McDole and Ryan Dockery.

The cast is composed of students from Mt. Vernon, Pendleton Heights, Arsenal Tech, and Greenfield. Mt. Vernon’s Shana Stutz, 9, and Arsenal Tech’s Elijah Wood, 10, are playing Ariel and Prince Eric, respectively.

“I’m so grateful to have been given this wonderful opportunity and I’m so excited to start this new journey doing what I love with the people I love,” said Shana Stutz, 9.

Other Mt. Vernon actors include Skylar Mayes as King Triton, Shelby Caldwell, 12, as Allana, the second oldest mersister, Dakota Fisher, 9, as Aquata,  and Cody Smitley, 9, as Grimsby. Mt. Vernon graduate Sydera Theobald was cast as Ursula.

This cast of both seasoned and first time actors is sure to bring a new level of excitement to the world of theatre in Fortville. Hopefully, it will be as successful as “Grease,” which sold out all three nights that it ran.


Story by: Tess Barnett
Photo by: Mackenzie Carpenter


The latest installment in the “Divergent” series has finally hit movie theaters. I had the pleasure of viewing it on opening night and it was an excellent way to spend my evening.

The trailer was action-packed and obviously meant to attract an audience that had not read the book. Although I was originally drawn to the series through the books, I appreciated that the films have sought to attract those who are not avid readers.

“Insurgent” follows the struggles that Tris and the other divergents face after Erudite leader, Jeanine Matthews, goes public with her plan to eliminate all Divergent from society.

I was drawn into the danger that Tris and her companions faced as they fought against the Erudite. The movie is full of surprising twists and turns, and there are many times when I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if this is the end of Tris Prior.

Director Robert Schwentke did an excellent job of keeping my friend and I engaged, and was true to the book. There was never a dull moment. When the action stopped, the romance began, which gave the audience insight into the personal lives of our beloved characters.

Shailene Woodley, who portrayed the rebellious heroine Tris, wowed be once again, just as she had in “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” which came out last June.

I look forward to the final movie of the trilogy, “Allegiant,” and I am sure that it will not disappoint.

Heard it in the Hallways: Resolutions

By Stephani McDole, staff writer
Photo by Mackenzie Carpenter

resolutionsThanks to the new year, talk of resolutions fills the halls. “New year, new me,” seems to be the theme of the month.

I am all down for change, and if someone wants to be a better person or accomplish a goal or two, they should go for it. However, why do we wait until the new year to decide it is time for change?

It is not that making resolutions is pointless, but waiting until the start of the new year might be. People make resolutions and goals to make a change in their lives. Some people decide that they need to get fit or eat healthier. Others want to pursue new careers or travel, and that is just great.

The thing that bothers me is that people wait around for the start of a new year to take action.

Resolutions should be made year round, not just on the first of the year. Do not hold back and wait for a new year to step up and make a difference when tomorrow is a new day that is just as suitable for change.

Need a new job? Find one. Want a new look? Cut your hair and go shopping.

As Harold Hill, from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” would say, “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.”