The big fish tank

Story by: Emme Longman, staff writer
Photos by: Zoe Jenkins, staff photographer


The Newport Aquarium was an adventure that I had been looking forward to since I traveled to Cincinnati in the sixth grade. On the trip, students were allowed only an hour to look at the entire museum, which was not long enough for me. Luckily, my family and I were able to find time to go during spring break, and I had no idea what I was in for.

The first sight when we walked in was children, heaps of little children, screaming and running around frantically. While the aquarium is a beautiful place, it is also crowded and a popular field trip spot. If the visitor prefers a less crowded place that is peaceful and calm, Newport is not the place to travel to.

The aquarium has numerous fish exhibits, but some of them are very unappealing to my eyes. They were dirty, murky and filled with bits of fish food. When looking into the exhibit, the fish were sometimes not visible because of all of the dirty-looking water in the tank.

The aquarium in general was more on the smaller side. Also, it felt a little bit cramped when full of visitors, especially when the exhibit was filled with elementary children on a field trip. They did not know what the phrase “personal space.” When the aquarium is crowded, it gives a sense of being rushed, and can be difficult to explore the exhibit.

Once the aquarium cleared up and was less crowded, it was a sight to see. The inhabitants in the exhibits were exotic. When I did not feel crowded, I felt like I had more time to really appreciate the exhibits and see more of the aquarium.  

“My favorite part about Newport aquarium is seeing animals that aren’t in Indiana,” Ava Hampton, 9.

jellyfishAnother positive part of the aquarium is that it is truly beautiful. Walking under the tunnels full of fish swimming around is something that never gets old, and gives the visitors such a feeling of excitement. Also, the jellyfish exhibit is beautiful and is one of the more exciting parts of the aquarium. It is dimly lit, and the tanks are displayed in blue light, which made their clear or light pink color stand out more.

“If I went to an aquarium I would be most excited to see the sharks,” Gabi Sternari, 9.

There were plenty of exotic sharks and exciting stingray. One of the newer exhibits is a shark walk, where the visitors got to walk over a shark tank, covered by a bridge. It was something that a normal person does not get the chance to do every day, and gives a very exhilarating feeling.

Overall, Newport Aquarium is a great place to go on vacation and see sights that are not something that are seen every day. It is a beautiful place to explore exotic creatures and learn a little about them too

The happiest place on earth

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

Disneyland castle

Disneyland California, which ranks in the top 10 best amusement parks in America, contains over 80 different attractions. Thousands upon thousands of people are in attendance each year and on Friday February 12, 2016, I was one of them.

Disneyland entranceUpon arrival, bags are checked and metal detectors are used to insure safety, but as soon as guests pass the security checkpoint the magic begins. To enter the park, guests pass under a bridge with a plaque (see left)  that reads “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy,” which is a nod to two of the lands within the park, Tomorrowland and Fantasy Land. Tomorrowland was my  favorite of the two.

The park itself is easy to manage; however, a map is recommended as the sea of people can make travel a little more challenging.

The Star Tours ride in Tomorrowland was by far my favorite attraction. Star Tours is a 4D Star Wars experience that races through the depths of space and takes riders through deadly, high speed chases while weaving in and out of asteroid fields and running from the infamous Boba Fett.Disneyland cars

Another highlight of Tomorrowland was the Jedi Training. As a 16 year old,
I was not eligible to participate; however, watching the performance of the “New Jedi” was absolutely adorable.

One of the most magical things that happened in the 14 hours I was at the park was
the night parade. Each character paraded down Main Street accompanied by incredible dancers and each character rode on a float of their own with music. The characters were so cute and energetic that it was impossible to get bored.

I can definitely see myself visiting Disneyland again in the very near future and experiencing the magic over and over again.


Wonderful winter flavors

Story by: Caty McGovern, Staff Writer
Photos by: Caty McGovern, Staff Writer


When winter and the holiday season comes around, many places start using all the elated holiday seasonal feelings to market seasonal drinks. Many of these drinks are based off holiday favorites like peppermint candy canes, gingerbread and chestnuts. The flavors often come in hot latte form such as the peppermint mocha latte, gingerbread latte, and chestnut praline latte. These are some of the flavors the popular coffee franchise Starbucks has. I found similar flavors at the school coffee shop, Coffee Connection.

My question is: How do all these flavors taste from coffee shop to coffee shop?

When I tried these flavors, there were both hits and misses. I started with peppermint mocha latte. I enjoyed the Starbucks drink over Coffee Connection’s, as the Starbucks drink had the delicious peppermint flavor I expected. Now, mocha wise, Coffee Connection nailed the chocolate to coffee flavor ratio. Yet, overall, Starbucks has the better of the two peppermint mochas.

The next drink I tried was the gingerbread latte. In the Coffee Connection drink, I could actually taste the ginger, but it was rather strong for my taste. The Starbucks gingerbread latte was outright disappointing, as it had zero ginger flavor and was just nauseatingly sweet. If I had to recommend this drink to anyone, I would say to go to Coffee Connection as they will not disappoint ginger-wise.

The next flavor I tried was the chestnut praline latte. It is also known by the simpler name, coffee connectiontoffee nut latte, as both are made with toffee nut syrup. I preferred Coffee Connection’s toffee nut latte over Starbucks’ similar drink, the chestnut praline latte. The reasoning behind my decision is that the toffee nut latte has the nutty taste that one might expect when hearing any type of tree nut in the name of a drink. It also had an undertone of caramel that caused the drink to be great.

I think each coffee shop had their strengths and weaknesses. Neither shop was an obvious winner since both had lackluster moments.

AC/DC can still “Play Ball”

Story by Gavin Craig, staff writer
Photo by Mackenzie Carpenter, staff photographer


Nothing lasts forever in life. This cold hard fact is especially true in the music industry, as one can see by looking at some of the popular artists of yesterday.

Band members such as the famed rock guitarist Slash and drummer Peter Criss have been replaced due to creative differences and petty feuds. Singers like Paul Stanley and Axl Rose have lost their famous singing voices after years of performing and drug usage.

These sorts of issues have a negative impact on a music group’s sound, which leads to mediocre albums and tarnished reputations for bands that once dominated the charts.

Remarkably, the Australian rock band AC/DC has not suffered this fate. While bands like Guns ‘n Roses, KISS, and Aerosmith have lost their touch, AC/DC is still going strong. They have endured the death of their original lead singer, Bon Scott, and have continued, or should I say, continue, to tour and release new albums even after 42 years.

They have remained popular and successful over the years despite constantly changing musical trends and demographics. They are without a doubt one of the best rock bands around today, and have been for much of their career. Why? Because they bear in mind the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality that so many rock bands have ignored.

AC/DC has stuck with the same powerful, unique style and sound for as long as they have been together. Their newest album, “Rock or Bust,” is a perfect example of both their sound and their commitment to it.

Released back in November, “Rock or Bust” can best be described as eleven tracks of the loud, bold, head-banging hard rock that AC/DC is famous for. The high point of the album, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is the song “Play Ball.” Guitarists Angus and Stevie Young provide a catchy and infectious melody that is complemented perfectly by lead singer Brian Johnson’s unique, raspy voice.

The following track, “Rock the Blues Away” wins big with this critic thanks to its upbeat lyrics, and “Dogs of War” and “Hard Times” have the slow, dark tempo that AC/DC has perfected over the years.

In short, “Rock or Bust” is an excellent album, and serves as a testament to AC/DC’s longevity and overall success.