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Special Presidential Election Coverage



Issue 3 November 2012

The Independent Voice of Abraham Lincoln High School

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Metro Crossing offering job opportunities Students take advantage of new businesses in the community

Sarah Bertrand ‘14 works at Orange Leaf, a frozen yogurt shop, which is one of Metro Crossings new businesses that has recently opened. Photo illustration by Hayley Hochstetler

What’s Inside:

rumored to have wonderful food--Browning said one man mentioned that he came for lunch and dinner. Managing a job is not the only priority of students. Trying to make money, while juggling other activities is a little difficult, for some. “It’s a hassle sometimes and I have a lot of other activities like, cheer, drum lessons, and homework,” Bertrand said. Senior Gabriela Valdez, employed at Metro Crossing’s TJ Maxx, says that soccer practice and a second job at DEB’s makes managing time difficult. “Making sure you do your homework is important, after that I have to go straight to soccer practice,” Valdez said. Managing a job, among having other priorities, allows students to get experience they’ll use later in life.


Council Bluffs hosts its first “Zombie Walk”


Try out your knowledge of Thanksgiving with our crossword



Metro Crossing is becoming the new hotspot of Council Bluffs. Businesses are going up fast, meaning an up rise of new jobs. Students are taking advantage, and speedily becoming employed. Sprouting fast in popularity is a newly opened frozen yogurt shop, Orange Leaf. With all of Orange Leaf’s unique flavors and delicious toppings, students haven’t had much negative feedback. Working in a chicly decorated frozen yogurt shop may be a splendid job for some. “Not many other kids have a job like mine, it’s really interesting, and fun,” Sarah Bertrand ‘14 said. Since Orange Leaf is new, and the atmosphere’s really fresh, working there

made my taste buds dance; I’d love to work there, the environment is just super rad,” Rachel Harold ‘15 said. The wewest edition to Metro Crossing is Cox Bros. BBQ, is bringing the spice to Council Bluffs. With only three franchises, reviews averaging around four out of five stars, it’s surely something people are looking forward to. “I’m excited to check it out and see if it’s as good as everyone says it is,” Amanda Smith ‘14 said. Ready for opening day, senior Hannah Browning, mentions how speedy the application process was. Opening on Oct. 25, Browning said her first day was quite busy. “It went great! It was exactly what I expected; fastpace, and busy,” Browning said, “I enjoyed it, the time went by fast.” Cox Bros. BBQ is



isn’t comparable to others past jobs. “I worked at Texas Roadhouse and the atmosphere was a lot duller. Orange Leaf’s upbeat and there’s a lot of communication,” Javier Lopez ‘14 said. A stop at Orange Leaf’s neighbor, Qdoba Mexican Grill, for lunch/dinner before, is a wise choice. Qdoba is also favored by many, and highly nutritional for an easy meal. “I’m glad it opened in Council Bluffs, otherwise I wouldn’t have ever tried it; their food is really good,” Brittany Hutchens ‘15 said. Setting them apart from competitors, Qdoba’s known for its wide variety of fresh and innovated ingredients, constructed into their handcrafted burritos. With an ethnic spin it’s likely to be an enjoyable job. “Qdoba was amazing,


By Katie Hiers

Football team reflects on the season


Suzanne Peterson | News Editor



Sing it loud and sing it proud

Thousands of students competing in All State Choir By Brooke Criswell Reporter

Students have been practicing for nearly three months for this day--The All State Choir Competition will be held in Harlan. “We have to practice everyday. Ms. Boyd puts a lot of detail on things such as crescendos, decrescendos, and musical items,” Cody Self ‘13 said. When competing, Self will be escorted by the rest of his quartet, this includes seniors Isabella Taylor, Taylora Christensen, and Seamus St.Clair. Even though they will be performing their audition in a group, each person is appraised and ranked individually. There are also 15 other students auditioning. “Two past years I’ve done All-State for percussion, but I wanted to try something new. It would mean a lot because it is my senior year if I made it,” Taylor’13 said. “It would be great if I made it with all of my friends so we can train and learn together.” On audition day, these four and many oth-

“The music they will be asked to sing is very difficult. And the competition is tough. Over a thousand students try out in our area and only 120 will make it.” Lynn Boyd, choir teacher ers will go against all the other high schoolers in Iowa. Out of everyone, only a few over a hundred will move on for All State competition. Continuing forward to competition is very selective. “The music they will be asked to sing is very difficult. And the competition is tough. Over a thousand students try out in our area and only 120 will make it,” said Lynn Boyd, choir teacher. This is not the first time Self has gone through the procedure of auditioning. He has learned what he needs to do to make this year, his. “Usually there are eight different random

cuts from music. Sometimes they’re in different languages. You have to hit every note and do something to make you special and stand out,” Self said. Most teenagers that pursue with All State have always been involved someway in music. Students put in a lot of their time focusing on vocal skills. Items the judges will be listening for are things such as: tonation, annunciation, whether the singer’s in tune, and the creativity to have a remembrance performance from others. “You would have to blend and find a balance in the piece and try to fit each style,” Taylor said.

Not only is making it to All state a huge accomplishment, it’d be great for college applications. “If colleges know I’m one of the hundred that got chosen, that’s even better,” Self said. Self plans to become a vocal performer in college. “Students that participate in all state make a huge improvement in their vocal technique. Most of these students need the challenge of difficult music,” Boyd said. Everybody who auditions has multiple reasoning for why they’d want to move forward with the competition. “I wanted to do it because of the experience and to make my voice stronger,” Taylor said. From past experience, there is proof of how strenuously difficult the workshops are. How challenging the music they have musicians sing can be. Above all though, just how rewarding participating really is. “All state was by far the most professional music experience in high school,” Brian Williams (an A.L graduate to get a call back to All State) said. “All state choir teaches you how to work in an ensemble from auditioning through the performance. I am honored to have been able to be part of such a prestigious group.”

The Walking Dead Council Bluffs holds Zombie Walk By Brooke Criswell Reporter

On October 20, Council Bluffs hosted its very first Zombie Walk. For the past five to seven years, Omaha has been acquiring people to join them for the same concept. “There has been a lot of excitement for this year,” Shane Major, the coordinator for CB Zombie Walk, said. “It felt like the right time because Council Bluffs needed a little more.” With this being the first year of the walk, budgets can start off a little low. With help from the city members, Shane has been using flyers, posters, Facebook, and people’s word of mouth to help spread the word. “Facebook has been such a big help for us starting out, that is how most people know about it.” Major said. The idea behind a zombie walk is to get dressed up in costumes and for participants to get their hair/makeup done to look more realistic. Also, people who participate should stay in character and act as if they were a real zombie. “My favorite part about this was going in a costume and dressing up as a zombie, I had fun as that,” said Nickel Hermanson, a previous student that attended the Omaha Zombie Walk. Looking more like zombies couldn’t be done without the help of local salons, they volunteered their time to do hundreds of people’s makeup. Places such as EQ Hair School students have timing down to about two minutes per person. They asked for a $3 donation. “There is no theme this year, I know Omaha’s having an ‘80s zombie theme.” Major said. “I’m really excited to see all the creative zombies.” Not only was this a walk, but there were

Photos by Francisco Franco

contests for all ages. The list includes: Best male and best female, best child, best family, and the best group of zombies. Along with these competitions, there was live music, food, and games that were provided afterwards. A silent auction was also held, and raffle tickets sold. All proceeds will be going to Make A Wish Foundation, Iowa. Major’s goal was to raise over 1,000 dollars for his charity. The final production total came out to be around 1,100. He was very proud and already making plans for next years’. This mission of Make A Wish Foundation is to give children that have some sort of medical condition, a chance to make one of their dreams come true. Over 25,000 people are apart of this organization. Volunteers help out as wish granters, fundraisers, special events assistants, and in many other capacities. Wishes are granted in a four step process. The first one is to check eligibility of a child, they have to be between two and a half years old to 18. Next is to determine whether there is an actual medical condition involved. Then there will be volunteers that set out to connect with the kids to figure out their dream. Lastly, everyone comes together to make that dream come true. “I chose this charity because it’s a great cause. They started small and grew to help a lot of kids achieve what they wouldn’t usually be able to.” Major said. In the past, Eric Hahn has been the coordinator for the Omaha walk. On average they earn around 2,000 dollars. “Every year we have done this, we always get over a thousand dollars every time.” Hahn said. Doors opened at twelve in the afternoon. Activities were ongoing all night until 11:00. Anyone could have came and gone as they please. This event was held at 1000 South Main Street in Council Bluffs. Any donations were greatly appreciated.



STUCCO holding annual blood drive By Britteny Johnson Features Editor Every year Student Council holds a blood drive. This year the blood drive will be on Nov. 16 and will start at 9:00 a.m., and go through 2:00 p.m, giving the Student Council enough time to take down the stations and clean up before leaving for the day. Periodically throughout the day, students will receive passes to go down to give blood. Once there, students will need to sign in at the front desk, answer a few questions about themselves, and once approved to give blood the student will have their blood taken. After having their blood drawn, students are encouraged to hang around for a bit and eat a snack to assure they are stable. Though the blood drive starts at 9:00, the Student Council will be at school setting up at 6:30. Not only will they be setting

up, but throughout the school day they will be running the front desk, snack station, and more. Students who want to give blood must be at least 16 years of age, with a parent permission slip, and 17 without one. Students who need to have a permission slip signed, will receive the slip when registering with STUCCO. The blood drive is through the American Red Cross. Once the blood drive is over the Red Cross will be sending the blood to where it is needed. After the blood has been brought to its respected places, the Red Cross will send a note in the mail telling where the blood has ended up. “I’m nervous (about giving blood) because I don’t like needles,” Devin Rogers ‘14 said. According to blog.inceptsaves. com, someone in the U.S. needs blood every

two seconds. That’s 30 times a minute. Blood is impossible to manufacture, so donors are the only way to get the blood needed for transfusions. “There is such a need for it, there are so many people that are able to live because people gave blood. A lot of babies have to have blood transfusions, some right after they are born. There is different reasons people need blood transfusions, so that blood is always needed,” Michael McIntosh, English teacher, said. If one is not of age at the time of the blood drive, yet still wants to give blood, one does not need to wait for the next STUCCO blood drive. One can still make an appointment with the American Red Cross once of age. There is always opportunities to give blood, no matter if one gives blood through the STUCCO blood drive or not.

Facts about blood needs

• Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. • More than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day. • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. (2006). • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints. • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O. • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs. • Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives. • More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment. • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

Information from

Council Bluffs residents recognizing Veterans Day By Katie Hiers Reporter

November is a month of many events, such as Veteran’s Day. The traditional use of term refers to those who have served our country in the armed forces. Veteran’s Day always occurs on Nov. 11. The reasoning

time to honor, and a time to reflect. Veterans at a certain point fought for people’s freedom, allowing their country to remain safe. Veterans have and continue to make the lives of others easier by fighting for their rights as beings. “I think the general public should have an understanding of what families of soldiers, and soldiers/veterans go through, and recognize them for their duties,” said Roger

politicians together. It’s expected that the people whom tend the parade should respect the effort put in the parade and all authority, recognize, and respond accordingly. ROTC is also preparing to march in the Council Bluffs parade. Along with the parade, ROTC visits nursing homes, and Kirn Middle School to entertain and perform for

Suzanne Peterson | News Editor


Did you know..

Soccer is the most watched and attended sport in the world Coca-Cola originally contained cocaine Most lipstick contains fish scales Grapes explode when you heat them in the microwave The movie “Wayne’s World” was filmed in two weeks A piece of paper cannot be folded more than 7 times 55% of all movies are rated R In every episode of Seinfeld there is a reference to Superman Information collected from

Senior Update

11/13/2012: Drake University College Visit @ 9:30 11/13/2012:

“The general public should have an understanding of what families of soldiers, and soldiers/ Midland University veterans go through, and recognize them for their duties.” College Visit @ 1:30 - Roger Frieze, Vietnam Veteran behind this is that during World War I (The great war) conflict ceased during the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. Whereas this day stood for an occurrence that beheld so much destruction and torment, that many hope isn’t repeated. Therefore Nov. 11, 1918 is referred to as “The war to end all wars” and was declared Veteran’s day on June 1, 1954; as congress altered the title from “Armistice” to “Veteran’s.” This day is to celebrate peace, rejoice, and honor the ones here today, and ones that are deceased that fought for everyone’s peace. For people who have had relatives or close friends serve, this day is very important to them. Veteran’s Day is a

Frieze, Vietnam War veteran and resident of Council Bluffs. In honor of Veteran’s Day, a parade takes place on Nov. 10 at 11:00 AM. Along with many veterans, organizations, businesses, schools and whom ever wants to may participate in the parade. There are many steps in preparing for the parade. Including getting a permit from the city, a permit to have the parade, contacting the police to have security and set up barricades, then notifying the fire department of the barricades set, and having paramedics on site along with security. The day of the parade they have to get everyone in order, and make sure there isn’t and conflicts or clashing such as putting two different

students helping them gain knowledge about Veteran’s Day. “Veteran’s Day is very important, and ROTC goes around many school and organizations to inform others,” Lt Col Steven J. Ament said. Ament also was a launch officer during the Cold War. Veteran’s Day affects a lot of students as well. “My Uncle’s a veteran of the Iraq war, therefore Veteran’s Day means a lot to me,” Patricia Nowlin ‘15 said. To acquire more knowledge, say thanks, or show appreciation towards veterans, you can listen to a veteran’s story, read a war memoir, and create thank you cards.

11/14/2012 : Peru State College College Visit @ 10:00 12/4/2012:Senior Financial Planning Night @ 6:30 in the Cafeteria. 12-8-2012 : ACT Test Date


Page Design by Jaidlyn Bookout | Opinion Editor



The great debate: Mitt Romney vs Barack Obama By Tiffany Ferrer Reporter

By Brooke Criswell Reporter

Even though both of my parents are supportive of Barack Obama for multiple reasons, I have my own reasoning to go with Mitt Romney. One of the reasons is his educational beliefs. Romney wants to lower rates to get student loans and grants. He wants to put more money into schools to make sure everybody has the skills they need in a more affordable way. Under Obama’s terms, about 50% of graduates from college cannot find jobs. Another factor is he wants North America to be energy independent. Obama has spent 90 billion dollars in solar and wind, but Romney wants to use the resources we already have here. An example of that is coal; we have more coal than anyone. Romney plans to drill all over private and federal land. We have plenty of resources here instead of outsourcing from other countries, which is more costly. This will cause the gas prices to decrease, which is a huge concern in day to day living. Obama has put too many restrictions on the permits for EPA drilling. This has only caused prices to increase. Not only has gas prices doubled under Obama’s presidency, he has lost the average household up to four thousand dollars in their paycheck annually. Obviously we need a new perspective. Obama came into office with a $5 trillion deficit, and the amount has tripled to $15 trillion. Romney has a plan that will help balance out our budget in the economy. If we would lower rates to keep revenue, that would

help get rid of loopholes and exemptions. Overall, that helps balance the tax dollars to help offset the deficit. Obama has already increased taxes on middle class. Romney doesn’t want to raise taxes on the middle or high class. With more people being employed, they will make more money to spend in our economy. Romney is about finding new ways to develop jobs, to get Americans working again. Over the past four years, Obama has lost 700,000 jobs. There are 23 million people unemployed including 451,000 additional women. Millions of people stopped looking for jobs simply because they thought it’d be easier to just get paid from the government. There is no incentive for those who are poor to get out there again. The rich are being punished for making money. This is a supporting reason of why we went from 32 million people on food stamps to 47 million. One in six people are living in poverty. Obama is saying he’s okay with immigrants sneaking over the border as long as they aren’t criminals, which I don’t believe in. Romney wants to impose fines on the businesses that hire illegal immigrants. By doing that, immigrants will be out of work and be deported. I favor Romney’s perspective to not make everything a nationwide concept. He wants to give the states more control. That’s only right because what works for one state might not work for every state. A main

Photo by Jessie Adkins difference in Romney’s and Obama’s plans is the health care. Obama is forcing insurance, even if you don’t want it. This is costing families 6,000 dollars more per year. While Romney wants more insurance companies, because competition will cause lower prices, he also wants to stop ObamaCare. When voted in the House of Representatives, Obama only had input from Democrats. Obama is telling you what’s best for you, but I’m sure, I know myself better than anyone. Romney wants you to have more options. I believe in Mitt Romney, because I believe in change. The data shows we’re not going in the right direction. I believe he will lead this economy and lead America down the path that Americans need to walk upon.

Being the fact that I’m under age, I cannot vote, but if I could, I would vote for Barack Obama. I believe he has done a good job in the past four years. By that I mean, who on Earth can fix the world in four years? Honestly, time flies faster then most think, especially when your time is completely busy. There are several strong points that I believe in the most that come from Obama. First off, I believe Obama runs this country through political views, not fighting under his beliefs in religion. In the second debate between Obama versus Mitt Romney in town hall, when asked what they plan on doing with the country, Romney started straight off with, “I believe in God...” then stated “I believe we are all children of God.” Not

that I believe his thoughts are wrong or right, but not everyone in the country believes in God. One of the reasons our country is popular is by our freedom of religion. Therefore this leads me to my second point, which is having the right to be in a gay marriage should be legal. Found in almost every newspaper or online, Obama stands for gay rights. If our country is so free and gays are not allowed to get married, then neither should a man and a woman. Another reason why I personally would vote for Obama is his stand for women’s rights. I don’t believe women should get abortions, however, I believe women should have the choice over their own bodies. Having a choice to get an abortion or not is the choice of the female. It should not be illegal to have that done, even though it is your own decision. Obama is for more women’s rights, in my mind. I feel that Obama cares more on what the people have to say. I absolutely think that Obama is trying his best for this country. Like in the second debate in town hall, Romney kept saying “I knows” like he knows about what exactly is gonna happen in the future--I’m sorry but you don’t know what tomorrow or what the next day brings. Therefore, you don’t know the future. A very popular topic that comes up a lot is the trade with China and the jobs in China. In a lot of the debates it’s said that Romney wants to just cut it all, and just like Obama said America will get a lot of arguments if

that happens. Obama states that we can’t stop the trade and jobs going over there, because businesses want to pay less and get the most out of their money. However if we train workers and bring more business over here we will open up more jobs. This brings me to an accurate point, taxes and jobs. Being middle class, I really am concerned about taxes in my family. With Obama, taxes won’t be so high, because I am not a “victim.” I also would have good health care with Obama, even if it’s harder to afford, especially when jobs are hard to get. With the small economy, getting a job is hard, especially for the students coming out of highschool and going into college. As stated in “The American Job Act,” Obama plans on cutting taxes in half, creating more money for payrolls. Having this opens more jobs, plus having the money to plan for the schools education, which creates more educated minds. With all these reasons, this is why I would vote for Obama. For more freedom and a better, more controlled life. Obama stands for what I stand for, I stand for my rights as an American to have the right choices made. In my own personal opinion both the big named candidates should put their ideas together and we have a better plan. However, that can’t happen, so in all honesty Obama is a better choice. With all opinions set aside, may the best candidate win. For more presidential coverage, please see pages 6-7.

Best friends for many years and more to come

By Emmalee Adams Business Manager By Amanda Peters Advertising Staff

For hundreds of thousands of years, each person has needed a best friend. Whether it be man’s best

friend, your “bff”, or just some person to complain about your life to. Now, don’t quote us on this, but we’re pretty sure that cavemen had best friends. In the past we have been told not to be a “bungee cord buddy,” which means to always be attached to your friend, but the question we ask is, why? Having a friend there for you is the greatest thing, not to mention that the longer you know them, the more they’ll do for you. We, meaning Emmalee and Amanda, have been best friends for close to 13 years. We met in kindergarten and are even closer today than

ever. Let us tell you, having a best friend is a wonderful thing. Having someone by your side to help you through everything is great! Someone to do anything and everything with. See, we even have to write stories together. Some people may think it’s “bad” or “unhealthy” that we only have one person to do almost everything with, but we say that it is okay! Without each other we would be even bigger outcasts than we are today. We can also be brutally honest with each other since we’ve known each other for so long. There are things that

most people would believe to be inappropriate and rude to say to their friend, but we have been friends for so long it’s only normal and it would be weird if we actually complimented each other for once. Telling each other if the other’s hair looks completely trashy or that they really need to shower is for the benefit of both of us. It’s important to have that person there because without them, life would be a cold, dark, lonely place to be. Not only is it important, it’s just fun to have someone around. Going to Walmart alone is so-so. Going to Walmart with a best friend

can make it an adventure! Best friends can make even the most boring task enjoyable. Simply having their company makes everything worthwhile. Best friends can come in any shape, size, or breed. The only thing that matters is the connection. A best friend should make you feel comfortable at all times, unless they’re doing something intentionally to make you uncomfortable which we do on an everyday basis. Bottom line is, if you can be yourself with the person with no limitations of yourself then it is truly meant to be.

Letter to the editor: student praises Echoes I would just like to start out by saying everyone has amazing articles and they all deserve positive feedback for the hard work and time they put into making our

school paper as good as it is, but for now I really wanna give credit to Evan Giles for his story. He is so lucky for the experience he gets to encounter,

Honestly, he is going through the experience of a lifetime and it’s something he will never forget. The way he worded his story and how he really described

every detail of his first moments of his new transition really made me feel like I was almost there. The part where he said “When it was time to

finally say goodbye I knew that if I saw my mother cry I would cry too” I could feel the emotion in what he was saying. I can’t wait be able to read the next part of

his journey because I know there is way better stories from him to come. -Ashley Smith ‘13



Jaidlyn Bookout | Opinion Editor


Staff Editorial

How to respectfully debate your opinion

Illustration by Tiffany Ferrer As you undoubtedly have found out during this year’s election season, everyone has an opinion. These

opinions are probably their own distinct views on the world and how it works, and it isn’t going to be the same

as your view on things. Now can we all just get along? If only it was that simple. Surprisingly, it seems that lots of teenagers are opinionated when it comes to politics. That is a great thing, and we at the Echoes are glad that others care about the country and where we are headed as a nation. Learning how to respectfully express those opinions is where things get tricky. So hopefully this is article can help us get a better idea of how to share opinions respectfully. It seems whenever a group of students are having a conversation and it turns political one of three things will happen. #1, “The Lone Ranger”: The person who brought up a political issue is the only one who knows about said topic and the conversation dies a

slow death as everyone else listens to a rant from the opinionated person. #2 “The cool kids”: Everyone in the group shares the same opinion and they all go off about how wrong the other side is and usually mock them. This isn’t the best place to get your information regarding politics. Getting your information all from one place (cough cough, your parents) makes you extremely biased and will keep you from understanding the vantage point of all people and not just your cozy corner of the country. #3 “the disaster”: This is the most common scenario and also the most heated. Someone brings up a heated topic and the room explodes as everyone tries to throw out their points and “debate”

only with the sole purpose to make themselves look correct. So really there are a few simple things to remember whenever you find yourselves in these situations. First off,don’t get emotional, it will only get everyone irritated. Listen to what everyone has to say. Hear all sides of an argument even if you don’t agree. Then go out and do your own research (however that may be) and form your own individual opinion. You can’t change anyone’s mind by yelling at them so please don’t freak out. Politics is rarely about facts and almost always about personal opinions/bias. So if you’re smart enough (or dumb enough) to start a conversation about politics this election season, then please don’t be a know it all.

Recognizing what to be thankful for By Christina Rivera Reporter

What does being thankful mean to us? Does it mean having a new IPhone 5, a sporty muscle car, or having sufficient food on the table? Each of us have our own opinions over this subject and as I was assigned this story, I began to think, what exactly am I thankful for? Well, I’m more than glad to have been placed on this earth and experience what

it means to live. We can go on and ask what “living” the life means, but we won’t get into that right now. Most of us, like myself, when we think about being thankful the first thing we think about is Thanksgiving. Out of the 365 days in a year, this is the one day where we take the time to think about what we are thankful to have. Around this time of year, someone usually pops the question, “What you are grateful for?” If you’re like me, I tend to be very busy. I don’t think about the things I’m thankful

for daily. However, when I do get the chance to think about what I am thankful for it is often times the small things. Don’t get me wrong, a million dollars would look great in my bank account, but it’s the things that money can’t buy that I am thankful for. Millionaires, who can buy anything materialistic, sometimes never find love. I think surrounding yourself with people who love you and care for you is a privilege because not everyone experiences it. I am also thankful because I am able to walk down

the street, see the seasons change before my eyes, and talk to new people. Although, we may not think about it very much, there are people out there who are born unable to walk or see and we often forget how fortunate we are to be able to do these things. If we acknowledge the things in our life that we are able to do, and make us happy, that’s what being thankful is all about. So, rather than waiting until Thanksgiving to think about this, ask yourself what are you thankful for?

Student continuing transition to Paris

By Evan Giles Foreign Correspondent We arrived in Le Pouligen at night and already a feeling of comradery was floating around the air. It was so easy to befriend all of these new people because they were going through the exact same thing I was. Before I knew it, small groups were beginning to form among the district, nothing like a social class but just people finding who they enjoy being around the most. I can’t imagine life without my Finnish, German, and Brazilian friends. As day

two rolled around everyone was eager to begin their first full day in France. After we had breakfast some friends and I walked to the ocean. It was that moment as I walked down the street, French architecture on both sides and the gaping ocean sitting before me, that everything began to get exciting, maybe a little too exciting. That night the Rotarians (the people that work for the Rotary which is the program I am doing my exchange through) found over two gallons of vodka on the campus and a few drunken kids. We were told that all of the boys would be sent home because the alcohol was found in the boys dorm, yet I am still here, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that! When I think about my first four days in Le Pouligen I can’t really recall what we actually did, it was mostly socializing and getting to know the district but it was fun never the less. On the last day of the orientation

camp all of the students host families arrived periodically through lunch. Whenever a new family came the exchange student would get up to talk to them. Everyone would clap and get excited because they could see that every student had been waiting for this moment. And now the exchange really begins! Promptly after saying goodbye to all of my exchange friends I got in my host family’s car and we went blazing through the western salt fields to their friends beach house for the night. I couldn’t say that my first French meal was delectable but it was an...experience. We drank wine, and ate raw pickled swordfish steaks long into the night until I almost fell asleep at the dinner table. The next morning we drove from the ocean to my family’s weekend house. Here, there is a small farm which is maintained by my host father’s 80-year-old

parents, and a vineyard in the Loire Valley which my host father owns. The Loire Valley is arguably the best place to make wine in the world although that can easily be opinionated. Speaking of wine, I think that I’ve had almost as much wine and champagne as I have water, who would have thought? Even through all of the excitement the one thing I was really looking forward to ever since I left was going to Le Mans, my city, and my home. A 45 minute car ride through the wooded French countryside was hardly a price to pay to finally see the city. When I unpacked my suitcase I just sat on my bed thinking “Man...this is awesome” but I didn’t really know what to do now. After 10 seconds of this thought in my head my host sister, Emma, came into my room and asked me if I wanted to go to the city with her friend, I don’t even think that was a question! We walked for what seemed like forever,

winding through the narrow French neighborhoods. When we finally got out in the open I saw the massive cathedral on the hill sitting completely unnoticed. In my head, I was thinking, “Do you guys seriously not see this amazing work of art right in front of your eyes? How could anyone take advantage of seeing this everyday?” (As of today I take advantage of seeing this cathedral...I know I’m a terrible person). For the next few hours I was dragged around the city by my host sister and her friend who were speaking the fastest French I’ve ever heard, so after an hour of not understanding anything they said I just admired the old architecture that was everywhere I looked. Catch the rest of Evan’s story as he shares his experience of going to a new school in a totally different county in the next issue of Echoes.


Editors-in-Chief Lauren Myers Blake Willadsen Section Editors Suzanne Peterson Jaidlyn Bookout Britteny Johnson Business Manager Emmalee Adams Advertising Staff Arianne Boehme Amanda Peters Brooke Criswell Photographers Francisco Franco Alex Snipes Graphic Design Editor Hayley Hochstetler Copy Editors Jessie Adkins Emmalee Adams Arianne Boehme Reporters Victoria Holcomb Joe Vrenick Christina Rivera Krystal Hopkins Katie Hiers Melloney Keller Tiffany Ferrer Brooke Criswell Megan Figueroa Kaylee Wiladsen Nathan Vorce Tristan Agersea Multimedia Specialist Joe Vrenick Foreign Correspondent Evan Giles Adviser Gerry Appel The Echoes is published by the newspaper staff of Abraham Lincoln High School, and exists to serve as an open forum for the students, faculty, administration and community. All state and federal laws regarding the publications of student materials shall apply, and the Echoes will not publish materials which also fall under the guidelines established by the Council Bluffs Public Schools system, and are deemed libelous, obscene, or a material and substantial disruption to normal classroom activities. The views expressed are not those of the Council Bluffs Public Schools, faculty, or administration. Any student, faculty, or staff member wishing to contribute materials will need to submit a letter to the editor within deadline restriction; however, final publications is at the discretion of the staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged, and must be 400 words or less in length and signed; letters will be printed as received. Every attempt will be made to verify the authenticity of the author, and no anonymous letters will be published. Advertising will not be accepted for all products or services that are illegal for minors to possess or utilize. Advertisers wishing to reserve publication space should call 712-328-6481 ext. 425.

Member Publication



Britteny Johnson | Feature Page Editor

2012 Election focusing more on young adults By Megan Figueroa Reporter

Photo courtesy MCT Campus

69.4% of students polled would likely vote Obama

*Opposed invasion of Iraq. *Ended Military operations in Iraq. *Repeal Bush tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000.

The 2012 year is coming to an end, and as it does, campaigning for president is getting more intense as decisions on who people will vote for are being made. The race comes down to two men, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. While watching TV, commercials come on with each trying to win another person’s vote, trying to capture viewers’ attention by saying the right thing, and trying to one up each other. Some students here will be able to vote for their first time, others will sit back and leave the job to older generations. In the past, campaigning had focused on young adults to get more of them involved in the election, such as Rock The Vote from MTV they had started to make an impact in the ‘90’s, each year there was an increase in young adults voting. There was a turn in later years when campaigning did not focus as much on younger generations

because that age group often did not vote or a very small percentage did. However, the idea of younger generations having to solve problems in the future is bringing an interest to them once again and campaigning is back to trying to catch their attention through social media sites. Bryan Pregon, American Government and Legal Studies teacher, is one who believes it is important to get younger generations to vote. “In recent years there have been a lot of different initiatives to try and get young adults to vote more than in the past, because, from my point of view, a lot of the problems the government has to solve are going to end up falling on the shoulders of the younger generations to fix, so having a say in how government deals with those problems I think is important,” Pregon said. Some students are not into politics, and do not know much about either candidates, but some have realized the importance of the election this year and how it is necessary to vote. Like Pregon, Jeremy Vogel ‘13 understands the need for young adults to vote

and understand that future problems falls into younger generations hands. “This election in particular is really important, for everyone. Especially people of our age, because it kind of sets up what we have to deal with when the majority of us become adults.” Turning 18 and being able to vote for the first time is a big deal to some people, being able to have your voice heard and share your opinion is a big step. For some they are positive on who they are voting for, others are not sure on their political view. Some do not agree with Mitt Romney or Barack Obama and plan on writing a name in, such as John Howard ‘13. “I’m voting for Ron Paul, because I don’t agree with the political stand point of Mitt Romney, or Barack Obama...Its a good feeling to finally know that my voice and opinion is finally being heard even if it is a very small percentage of the opinion its nice to have my part,” Howard said. Forming an opinion about the election can be hard, deciding who is right and

wrong, and who you want to be president are all steps to voting for the election. Voting right when you turn eighteen and sharing your political views is important in Iowa or any state. Pregon said voting in Iowa is especially important. “In this election, Iowa is one of the swing states. The election is pretty close, and it will end up coming down to a couple key battleground states, and Iowa is one of those states this year. So I think its important for everybody in Iowa to kind of recognize that this is a chance for Iowans to have a big impact on the election this year,” Pregon said. The Echoes recently polled students during second period, and the results were unexpected by many, if someone were to take a poll from Iowa at this moment it’s likely that the numbers would come out almost exactly at half. At school, the polling results were not close, with Obama defeating Romney 418-184. There are some guesses as to why that happened--Pregon makes a point that Obama has tried to focus more on younger voters.

“This poll, in our school, ended up being Obama outscoring Romney 2 to 1. The only thing that I could speculate is that President Obama has always had, even since the last election, more focus on younger voters, trying to get them more involved and interested. I think that there is probably more of an internet presence for President Obama, although the internet is being used by both candidates quite a bit. The only thing I can think of is the name recognition of President Obama, and his kind of appeal to a younger audience that Mitt Romney doesn’t have,” Pregon said. An election for presidency only occurs every 4 years, this year on TV, YouTube, and on the radio you often don’t go a single commercial break without hearing from one side or the other. Even on social networking sites like Facebook there are pages made that are biased to each candidate. This makes it clear that both sides are trying to reach the younger generations to get them to vote.

What’s the most important subject to you during this election?

Photo courtesy MCT Campus

30.6% of students polled would likely vote Romney

*Wanted to keep troops in Iraq to reduce casualties and maintain a democratic government in Iraq *Wants to make Bush tax cuts permanent

*Supports same-sex marriage

*Cut taxes and regulations to encourage businesses

*Believes states should not be able to ban abortion

*Opposes same-sex marriage

Information gathered at Romney

“Overall, because of how many people it effects, health care. I like Obamacare and I don’t think old people should be left up to a voucher system. I don’t think people without the money should be left up to the mercy of whoever decides they need help.” -Trent Kutchara ‘14

*Believes states should be able to ban abortion

“The economy, because that’s our biggest problem. We owe other people too much money.” “I would say how the government is going to be spending my tax money and who has to pay the most taxes.” -Bryan Pregon Government teacher

-Kendra Jenkiewicz, ‘14

Information gathered at Romney

“Foreign affairs and military, because I don’t think we should cut back on the military and I like foreign affairs.” -Jon Florea ‘13 Photo poll by Jessie Adkins

Thank you to those who participated in the election poll.




Britteny Johnson | Feature Page Editor


Students appreciate family this holiday season

By Nathan Vorce Reporter

As the celebrations ensue and school takes a break this holiday season, people truly recognize the things they

usually take for granted or at least, give less thought to on a daily basis. There are many things people are thankful for, and many reasons why they feel that way about them. Family is something that students are thankful for this holiday season. “I’m thankful for my family. They’re there for you

whenever you need them and they help you through tough times,” Kelly Hickey ‘15 said. Many people are thankful for their families, and have different reasons for it due to different experiences. “I am thankful for my family because they are always there for me,” Erin Stuckey ‘15 said.

One student says nothing is more essential than family. “I am thankful for my health and my family because I don’t want to get sick and because my family is the most important thing in my life,” Ryker Rudd ‘16 said. Some students are thankful for more things than just family. Noah Larsen ‘15

says there are many things to be thankful for. “Freedom, grace, entertainment, a good home, food on the plate, education, transportation, clean air to breathe, entertainment, friends and family,” Larsen said. Different people are thankful for different things. Health, family, friends,

freedoms, education, there are many things that people often neglect that they should be thankful for not only this Thanksgiving, but every day, regardless of the occasion. Everyone should take the time and appreciate the important things in life and urge everyone to do the same, so that everybody can enjoy the day.

Student strives to stay active and be involved By Krystal Hopkins Reporter

Emma Preston ‘14 is actively involved in both in-school and out-of-school activities. Some of these activities include track, speech (both independent and group), student council, NHS, and her favorite, cross country. There are many reasons that Emma enjoys running in cross country. “I run because I can”, Preston said. “I almost feel like it’s a privilege, especially during the autumn when the leaves are changing color.” The cross country season overall was a success for Emma as well as the rest of the team. “I try to keep up with her but she’s top dog on the team,” Kayla Beck ‘14 said. Kayla and Emma are good friends both on and off the team. She believes her biggest achievement this year was breaking 16 minutes in the two and a half mile run. She also placed 4th in conference which placed her in the all-conference group. In order to be considered all-conference one would have to place in the top 15 out of the varsity runners at the meet. Each team has approximately seven runners so there were around 35 to 40 runners. However these activities can take up a lot

of time. “I like staying busy,” Preston said,” I also like getting to know different types of people.” She also works at Christy Cream, and interns at the democratic office that is helping with Obama’s campaign in Council Bluffs. At the Democratic office Emma helps to get in contact with people in the community to make it easier for them to vote. They make sure that people are registered to vote and know where to go to vote. “I think after the last debate President Obama has a great chance of winning the election,” Preston said. “If i was old enough, he would definitely get my vote. Its going to be pretty close, but either way i’m glad that I’ve been able to have this experience” At Christy Cream she takes customers’ orders and helps prepare the food, along side her grandpa and dad. “It’s super awesome to get paid to work with my family,” Preston said. One of Preston’s main focus right now is on her Talented and Gifted (TAG seminar) class with Sarah Steinmetz. After finding out about the water crisis occurring in Africa, she has decided to help the people that are affected. Her goal is to get a clean water source to an African Village in Rwanda. To do this Preston has partnered with a 100 percent non-profit organization called Charity: Water. She will need to raise a large amount of money by organizing projects. One way shes doing this is having students from College View, Hoover, and Edison collect pledges for the amount of miles they walk during recess, which helps to show the

amount of miles African women walk to find water for their families. Many women and children have to walk for hours to find water and the majority of the time the water is not clean. Another way Preston is raising money is if teachers make a small donation they can wear jeans for that day. She is in the process of planning other fund raisers at Kirn Middle School and around the city. “I just really hope that I can raise enough money to make a difference in these peoples’ lives,” Preston said. “It’s crazy to think that there are people who are just like us that were simply born into a less privileged Photo by Jessie Adkins community, and therefore don’t have access to things we take for granted, like water.”

Assistance for students seeking ACT prep help By Lauren Myers Editor-in-Chief

By the time one enters high school, maybe even middle school, it seems something one always hears are things that focus around being college bound and preparing for the future. A part of all that involves taking the ACT (American College Test),an entrance exam for college that assesses a student’s academic readiness. To help students prepare for the exam, there was an ACT Review offered to students in October sponsored by the Assistance League of Omaha. Test preps have been offered to students in the past either offered by the school or a testing agency. A test prep session is one way students can work on improving their test taking skills and scores. During the ACT Review, instructors went over test taking skills and techniques,

English usage, mathematics, reading comprehension, and science techniques. One reason test prep sessions are being stressed is due to low scores. According to, ACT scores from 2011 showed that only 1 in 4 students who took the exam meet all four areas that are suppose to show readiness for success in a student’s first year of college. The national average composite score that year was a 21.1 out of a possible 36. “If the prep program is followed correctly (it can help students either prepare for the ACT or improve their score),” Sarah Steinmetz, Talented And Gifted Strategist, said. “The importance (of the ACT) comes from the school and scholarship money. Every school is different on their importance of the score and the higher the score usually the more money is offered to you.” One student attended the Westside session because it helped her with finding her

own way to test and would recommend it to others. “I took the ACT Prep class at Westside,” Brittany Bourlier ‘13 said. “I really enjoyed it! It helps you find a way to take the ACT that’s your way because not all people test the same way. I feel like I’ll be more prepared the next time I take the ACT. They also helped us by giving some practice questions and gave us hints on the questions they try to stump you with. I would encourage anyone to take it!” For one student, a test prep offered in the metro area helped with taking the ACT. Not only are there preps offered in the metro, community schools are currently offering a test prep program to students. “Both AL and TJ are currently offering the John Baylor Test Prep Program,” Steinmetz said. “Anyone is welcome to the program, they just need to come see me or Mrs. (Christy) Heckman and we will get them signed up. I will be teaching a class during the

Photo by Francisco Franco day third trimester.” After graduating college and returning to his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, John Baylor created some test-prep courses. According to, The John Baylor Test Prep Program is an online and inperson ACT prep course that

boost scores an average of more than two points. Though there are many test prep sessions out there, even class time devoted to ACT prep, one may think about some factors that may affect students when taking the ACT despite test prep materials or test prep

sessions, such as student achievement, behavior, and perceptions (according to Even though some things may affect a student’s score on the ACT, test preps seem to be working well at preparing students for the ACT as well as improving their scores.



Lauren Myers | Entertainment Editor

Op op op op oppan Gangnam Style


Korean-pop video gains popularity, becomes viral sensation

Bri Harding ‘13 dances to “Gangnam Style” at Homecoming Olympics Photo by Scott Brown By Jaidlyn Bookout Opinion Editor With half a million views on it’s first day, “Gangnam Style” has become a viral

sensation. Korean rapper, songwriter, dancer, and record producer Park Jae-Sang is commonly known as PSY. PSY first released Gangnam Style on July 15th of this year and shortly after became a comical song everyone had to hear. The catchy song somehow managed to land a spot in the Guinness World Records as the most liked video on YouTube by mid-September and is now the most viewed Koreanpop video on the site. Gangnam Style has also won an award from Vevo for getting 100 million views and holds the number one spot on the YouTube 100. PSY is continuing to spread his unique horseriding moves to millions of people and is now being nominated for the best video by the MTV Europe Music Awards. Although the pop song was never intended to spread so far, PSY’s song is being heard and played by people all around the world. So what do students really think about the new hit song? “The first time I heard this song I was just listening to the radio and to be honest, I changed it,” Kirsten Galla-

Josh Ryan ‘13 performs with the cheer team during an assesmbly for their co-ed dance Photo by Hayley Hotchstetler her ‘14 said. “I didn’t think it would become famous, or even close to that being that not many can understand but a few words.” Considering Gangnam Style’s lack of English, some of you may be wondering what the song is actually about. Gangnam Style is a Korean phrase that is referring to a certain way of life seen in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea. Seoul is known for it’s “high class” and being the richest and most influential area out of all of South Korea. Despite the fact that the

majority of people can’t fully understand the new song, it has somehow demanded much attention anyway. The Gangnam Style video has intrigued the eyes of many, leading to flash mobs, numerous parodies and continues to pull the attention of many celebrities. PSY has been seen on shows like Extra, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Today Show. With all the attention, it’s no surprise that Gangnam style has opened some new opportunities for PSY. In early September, PSY made the decision to

sign to Schoolboy Records with Scooter Brauns. Brauns just happens to be the manager of Justin Bieber, The Wanted, and has also signed Carly Rae Jepsen. Brauns is said to have plans to “make some history” with the new music sensation according to “I think that because he’s becoming so famous from that song is ridiculous. Yes, people may like that song but that doesn’t mean they like his singing,” Shyann Vangerpen ‘15 said. “I have a strong feeling his next album will be a waste of time and money.” Before all the publicity from Gangnam Style PSY had planned on promoting in Japan but has now chosen to postpone his promotion due to the surprising international demands of the listeners. According to PSY’S WORLD. com he is planning on visiting numerous countries. Will we be seeing more of the the horse-riding, sideeyeing pop star in the future or is this just a unique one hit wonder? PSY has yet to release another song that appeals to people in America

Hayley Hochstetler ‘13 dances to viral sensation, Ganganam Style Photo by Scott Brown like Gangnam Style, but with a new record deal that just might change. Whether you favor Korean pop or not, only time will tell how long the Korean sensation will last here in the U.S.

‘Nerd’ podcast catches student attention By Joe Vrenick Multi-Media Specialist Podcasting has been around for several years now and has burst into the mainstream. Whether it be for the news, or fantasy football, or even for kicks and giggles, we listen (or watch) some sort of podcast. But there’s one podcast in particular that has gotten people’s attention. That podcast happens

to be The Nerdist! The Nerdist is a podcast (available for free on iTunes) created by comedian Chris Hardwick (comedy duo Hard ‘n Phirm, Nickelodeon’s Back at the Barnyard) who wanted to expand his blog to a wider audience to view. So with the help of his friends, comedians Matt Mira and Jonah Ray, they bring on someone who is famous in “nerd culture,” as they call it, and talk about what that famous person is doing at

that point in time, and share fun, wacky, and often hilarious stories about their past. Some guest stars on their show include JosephGordon Levitt (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Looper”), Matt Smith (“Doctor Who”), Bill Nye “the Science Guy”, even Stan Lee (co-creator of “Spider-Man”). “The Nerdist Podcast is super funny,” Chase Davis ‘15 said. “The funniest episode of that Podcast, in my opinion, is when they had

Thanksgiving Crossword: By Nathan Vorce


1 Across: The name of the holiday. 2 Down: The year of the first Thanksgiving feast. 3 Across: The bird of this event, as well as your probable dinner. 4 Down: The group of people, along with (5 Across) that celebrated the first feast. 5 Across: The people whose divisions included the sioux, cherokee and wampanoag. 6 Across: __ cream or __ topping. Whichever you call it, its a great addition to pies. 7 Across: Original landing area for the pilgrims. 8 Down: Side course often eaten with Turkey. Its made of eggs, sausage and other ingredients. 9 Across: Mother country of the original 13 colonies. 9 Down: Direction the english traveled to reach America (this one’s a filler). 10 Across: Group of Indians the pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving with. 11 Down: Goal of the holiday back in 1621 was to achieve _____ among the two groups. 12 Down: The Friday after Thanksgiving, when Christmas shopping begins. 13 Across: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day ____ 14 Down: If you break this with another person and get the bigger half, you are lucky. 15 Across: The sport of Thanksgiving and all of fall. Nebraska-Iowa is a big hint here. 16 Down: The first “town” founded in America for the English. It’s located in Virginia. 17 Across: First colony to be admitted into England’s Royal States. It is now one of America’s 50 states, and its football team is the Cavaliers. 18 Across: The ship which brought the pilgrims to America.

Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Wil Wheaton as a special guest star. They all had some crazy stories from their past and its interesting how Smith and Gillan came to be who they are on Doctor Who.” Since their first episode in February of 2010, The Nerdist has really grown. It has made different Podcasts that branch off the name, and are hosted by people who work at Nerdist Industries; for example, The Comic Book Club hosted by Justin

Tyler, and The Indoor Kids hosted by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. On the premium channel BBC America, The Nerdist has its own TV show where they do the same thing they do on the original Podcast, except it’s in front of a live studio audience and it’s in front of TV camera and that allows Hardwick, Mira and Ray to do some more wackier things than what they do on the original podcast. And most recently, The Nerdist

has created its own YouTube channel. On their YouTube channel, titled The Nerdist Channel, they have mini shows like “Celebrity All Star Bowling” and “COPS: Skyrim.” Their partners at Meltdown Comics started a news series with The Nerdist called “The Nerdterns.” It is uncertain what will happen in the future for The Nerdist. But for all we know, the future looks bright as their popularity grows larger by the day!


Lauren Myers | Entertainment Editor



Rapper in the making is popular among many

Lewis Central student raps about being positive, living life By Suzanne Peterson News Editor

By Melloney Keller Photographer

“I hope to make a positive impact on people’s lives. I hope that I will be able to make music that people will be able to relate to and also music with a positive message that could change someones life for the better,” Ryan Higginbotham said. Ryan Higginbotham is a senior at Lewis Central High School, but not just an ordinary student. Higginbotham is a rapper in the making. He has started writing raps since his freshman year, and started recording in December of his junior year. Higginbotham raps about a variety of things, usually what’s on his mind; being positive, living life, women, and many other things. He raps because it was something he’s good at and he thought he could use to make positive changes due to the fact that today’s youth are heavily influenced by it.

Even though Higginbotham attends a school in a different district, he has over 420 Facebook “likes” on his music page, “Reazon.” Students from A.L enjoy Higginbotham’s music too. Devin Owens ‘13, has known Higginbotham for about a half of year. “His music is actually really good, for being just a teenager. He’s a good kid. He wants to be heard and he stays out of trouble. If he keeps working hard, he’ll end up getting popular.” Higginbotham choose the name Reazon, because there is a reason he does music and there’s a meaning behind his songs. “I’ve known Ryan for about a year and a half,” Austin Russell ‘13 said. “We work together at Menards. He’s a really nice guy, and really energetic.” Christian Freed, a sophomore at Papillion LaVista, is close friends with Higginbotham. “I’ve known Ryan for about 8 years. I met him because he moved right across the street from my grandma’s house and we have been hanging out on the weekends

Ryan Higginbotham, a senior at Lewis Central High School, is a rapper in the making known as “Reazon.” Submitted photo ever since then. I would describe him as a very creative person. He’s always thinking about new crazy ideas.

His music is different from a lot of stuff I’ve heard before,” Freed said. “His writing and his lyrics are his stronger point within the mu-

sic. He still needs to polish up on certain things but nobody’s perfect. I think he has a good future ahead of him. He just needs to keep working hard at what he’s doing and good things will come out of it. My advice for Ryan would be to keep working hard and to give his 100% into whatever he does.” Higginbotham’s favorite artist is either Eminem or Hopsin. “Eminem (is one of my favorites) because he rapped about real life and has stayed in the game longer than any other rapper. He is also lyrically a genius. I like Hopsin because he started from the ground up, and is now building himself an empire from his own efforts alone.” Higginbotham produces music at his house. He has his own makeshift studio that he built. If he doesn’t have a busy schedule, or writer’s block, you will find him writing songs. “I’m always going over rhymes in my mind or quietly to myself. I’m at work most days of the week so I work on a lot of songs there. A few people from my school and other schools support me. I

have a decent amount of people that support me from my school. Most of the kids that don’t support me at least respect me for doing my thing and not caring if people hate on me for doing it.” For those who might want to pursue a career in rapping, Higginbotham’s advice is to not be like everyone else. “Don’t think that rapping about money, sex and drugs you will get famous. That’s the mistake that most up and coming rappers are making. Rap about something that is real and something that people can relate to. Don’t put out an image that you are something that you are not.” Fans can check out his music on YouTube; ReficulLives, “like” his Facebook; Reazon and follow him on twitter: @ReazonRap. “To the haters, I’ll keep it simple; Thanks for the motivation,” Higginbotham said. “For people that don’t like rap, well, they are entitled to their opinions. People shouldn’t be afraid to do the things they want. Follow your dreams and don’t let people stop you from achieving your goals.”

Art piece creates mix reviews among community Students express opinions about the viaduct bridge artpiece “Sunset Gateway” By Tiffany Ferrer Reporter An entire city can be brought together by numerous things, even unique artwork. However, some may think that Council Bluffs is still split in two but the new viaduct bridge in town has been restored and brought art with it along with the meaning of connecting the city. The piece is called the

people thinking up the art. I think we are going in the right direction, but nothing is beautiful yet,” Deahnna Dreher ‘15 said. “The intention is good, however, I think they should fire whoever they have coming up with the art in Council Bluffs. They need someone who knows the history of the city.” Even though the bridge doesn’t represent some of the history of our town, the colors of the bridge, Orange

art. Personally it’s the art that makes the piece of art good,” Castro said. However, some students don’t like the artwork for a numerous amount of reasons. They feel that the artwork doesn’t represent Council Bluffs and it was a waste of money because it cost about $2 million. “They are like tornado killers, if one was to come down they would potentially kill us. I feel it has a bad

“I think having art in Council Bluffs is a good idea. But maybe, we need better people thinking up the art. I think we are going in the right direction, but nothing is Ed Carpenter’s artpiece “Sunset Gateway” over the viaduct shows the connection of the east and west sides of Council Bluffs. Photo by Hayley Hochstetler and Alex Snipes

beautiful yet,” Deahnna Dreher ‘15 said Sunset Gateway. The artist of the bridge, Ed Carpenter, decided to make the bridge to show the connection of the east and west sides of Council Bluffs. The bridge was designed after the sunrise and sunset. On one side of the bridge it is orange and on the the other side its yellow. The colors connect in the middle which is Carpenter’s idea of showing a visual of every day and every night. However, students have their own opinions of the art. “I think having art in Council Bluffs is a good idea. But maybe, we need better

and Yellow, represent shades of a sunrise and sunset. The colors even change throughout the day representing this. During the day you see the bright colors and by night they change. On the tips of every poles are lights, plus the regular street lights toward the bottom of the poles, which also light up and show a completely different look. According to Deidra Castro ‘15, she loves the art work. “I think it’s creative art. The bright colors make me happy. How people view the artwork and what they believe it means is part of the

taste in representing Council Bluffs, and there is just no point for it other than to be there. It also is a big distraction to me while I drive,” Amber Mullen ‘15 said. With its bright colors and tall height, anyone can recognize this piece from a distance away. But regardless if you like it or not, the artpiece represents the connection of the city. It is there to show that both sides of the city come together both day and night, bringing people closer together. Also, it represents a new piece of art in the Council Bluffs community.


Blake Willadsen | Sports editor



The boys of fall Football players cap off the season 3-7 By Krystal Hopkins

Victoria Holcomb


The players are throwing in the football and turning in the pads because football season is over. The Lynx finished the year with a 3-7 record. They lost to Dowling Catholic after qualifying for a playoff berth for the third straight year. Most of the team would say the year has been full of ups and downs, and many changes and corrections were made throughout the year. “Our team hasn’t played to their full potential,” quarterback Jared Thompson ‘14 said. “We have mostly made mental mistakes.” Head coach Justin Kammrad would agree with Thompson. “The season was full of ups and downs,” Kammrad

(Top) The Lynx line up on offense against the Waukee defense. (Bottom) Jared

said. “We have gotten better every week and are becoming fairly competitive...we’re doing really well at starting to play together as a team opposed to playing as a bunch of individuals.” This season there was a couple close games that the Lynx nearly won. “The team is pretty productive,” wide receiver Billy Coats ‘13 said, “But we could’ve done better if we would have finished or won some of the close games.” “There is a good talent on the team we are always looking for a win we have a good shot,” right tackle and defensive end Jeff Reddish ‘13 said. Although every game hasn’t been a victory, the defense is a definite strong point to the team. “We’re really good at bending, not breaking,” center Josh Ryan ‘13 said. “We let them (opposing team) get yards but not touchdowns.” This “bend, don’t break” mentality has helped keep them in most of their games. “Defense is good at stopping the run,”

Coats said. “Sometimes they are out there too long so it lets the other team get a touchdown.” Football isn’t all about playing ball. Friendships can be made stronger along the way. There are many traditions that the football team partakes in to help the team bond. The Thursday before some of the home games the team would have a spaghetti dinner to get ready for their upcoming game. Then in the locker room a team prayer is said before they go to the field. “When people are down we pick them up,” defensive tackle Sean O’Brien ‘12 said. “We have a very tight friendship, like a brotherhood.” Another player agrees. “Our teamwork was sloppy at the beginning,” Robert Jungferman ‘13, full back said. “But came together as a family and worked better towards the end. Dinner and after-game traditions helped to bond,” With all the successes and losses this year, the players used those moments to come together as a team. They followed the coaches pointers and improved, creating bonds that will last in seasons to come. They may have started out playing as individuals, but soon learned the assets of working as a team.

Thompson breaks away from defenders for a big gain. Photos by Francisco Franco

The real pregame: tailgating with the Lynx By Tristan Agersea Reporter All over the country, students and their family and friends pack themselves into vehicles and ship off to their favorite sporting events games. This sports-lover’s phenomenon is called tailgating. Tailgating during these events is a way people have made their journey to their favorite sporting events while saving gas, money and time by doing this. Tailgating can be safe, efficient and fun. Efficiency is something that a lot of people want and need in their budgets when it comes to traveling. By tailgating and putting more people into fewer vehicles means less gas for more people, sports fans can save money and gas and spend time with friends. “Car rallies and tailgating in theory if all the laws are being followed then it’s a good thing but at one point in time there was some problems with this activity to the point where the police got involved threatening to arrest students so it can be really

(left) Nathan Mott ‘13, Connor Dean ‘13, and Tony Outlaw ‘15 play games in the parking lot.

bad, but if the people were to follow the law, I think it’s a great way to show school spirit,” said Activities Director Jeff Novotny. Safety is another important factor in this activity. Though this can be a smart idea, it can go wrong very easily. “Be sure that you trust the driver to be safe and responsible because the driver is responsible for everyone in the vehicle,” Officer Matt Kuhlmann said. In order to stay safe be sure to be careful and be sure not to put too many people into one car. only allow as

many people as there are seats. Tailgating can be a very fun experience as well. Students and families alike can have a great time in this practical activity. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s getting prepped for a game and it’s just a really good time with either friends or family getting pumped up for a game,” Carl Shnackel ‘13 said. Though this is not a school endorsed activity, it is still possible. The fun and excitement of this tailgating experience is achievable

as long as everyone is being safe and responsible, the students will be able to join in this activity. Staying safe and abiding by the law is the best way to get pumped up with school spirit and pride with family and friends for the game.

photo by Hayley Hochstetler


Blake Willadsen | Sports editor

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When it comes to being a serious competitor, people who compete in martial arts are some of the most serious out there. From vigorous training and hardcore competing, martial arts competitors are not to be messed with. Many people have heard of karate and taekwondo (tie kwan dough) but most do not know the specifics. Many people might ask what is the difference between the two? Well, the truth is, to an everyday person who has never taken a martial arts class, there would not be much of a visible difference in the classes. Some might argue that karate focuses on striking with the hands while taekwondo focuses on hitting with the foot, but both mar-


lieved to be different. Karate classes seem to be more focused on the uniformity and ritual of this ancient sport. Synchronized movements are emphasised in most of these classes. Taekwondo is looked at as more on the sport side of the spectrum. These classes are usually very fast paced and done at usually a higher level than karate. Many taekwondo classes give students more freedom such as finding their own yells, within the established guidelines. With any other sport though, it all depends on where one takes the classes and with whom it’s taken with. The rules for this ancient artform are quite simple. Steven Monson ‘13 says that the main rule to a match is, “don’t die.” Although there are more rules than that, they’re not too hard. Competitors have two minutes to either knock the opponent out or score the most points. Points are awarded to a player for legitimate strikes

Kicks to the head are given 2 points but only if the hit is with the part of the foot below the ankle. Points are given if the opponent is knocked down. Punches to the head are not allowed, but punches to the body are if it is done with a tightly clenched fist. For some people martial arts is a lifetime commitment. “[My favorite part] is watching old people compete,” Monson said. Logan Sanders ‘13 thinks that the best part of this sport is board breaking. Board breaking is where one is given a board and receives points for breaking it. Competitors are given 8 points if the board is broken on the first try, 6 points on the second try, 4 points on the third try, and no points if the board is not broken. Martial arts is something that can really stick with someone for a long time. Monson and Logan Sanders, who are both 3rd degree black belts, have both been doing taekwondo for nearly 10 years. Mackenzie Sanders ‘16 has been doing karate for 2 and a half years and is a purple belt. Sanders ATA Black Belt Academy is located in the Mall of the Bluffs.

photos by Jessie Adkins

AL Soccer forming indoor team

Boys and girls look to become better in prep for Spring By Blake Willadsen Editor-in-chief

The boys and girls soccer teams are starting a new indoor league team to compete as a team during this offseason. Several members of the

team have already been involved with an indoor team for quite some time. Salvador Martinez ‘13 is playing soccer as a yearround sport. He has been kicking around the ball since he was three and is involved on several club teams as well as the AL team. He is currently playing on CB Barcelona. “(The season) It’s going pretty good. We’ve managed to become one of the top teams in the state right one,” Martinez said. “Currently I’m looking forward to doing

my best and doing the things to get prepared for high school soccer season. Hopefully (I can) come back give a good effort after not doing so good my last three years.” Indoor soccer makes for good practice to improve your game on the grass. Many people such as Spenser Ward ‘13 are trying indoor soccer for the first time. Ward has played soccer since around the age of five and is looking to improve her skills in a different kind of environment. “Playing indoor soccer

gives you more practice. It will help keep us in shape. The more practice we have the better we will play in the spring.” Kayla Beck ‘14 has played soccer since she was young also, but has some club experience. She played for the Rangers in an Omaha league, but is excited to work with her teammates on their game in the offseason. “I joined the AL club team so I can get to know the girls better and get a good feel for the team, Beck said. “I like indoor soccer because

there is no grass so it’s off the wall and you have to be really careful with the ball. Between practice and games it will take up 2-3 days a week.” Playing soccer on the indoor turf can be a lot different than just playing on grass. The size of the field is smaller, the walls are tight, and the ball flies over the synthetic grass faster than on real grass. “For indoor field one of the biggest things you might notice, even if you don’t play, is that the ball goes a lot fast-

er. On a regular soccer field, the ball goes fast, but not as fast as an indoor field,” Martinez said. “Indoors, I tend to get injured more because its a hard surface underneath the synthetic carpet. It’s easier to get hurt. There are walls also and you can get shoved into them and easily get hurt (this is a penalty but it still happens from time to time).” The contrast in the indoor game will be an experience for the players as the first Lynx indoor team gets started. Lynx outdoor soccer will start in March.

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Issue 3 of this years echoes