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‘Sadness and Regret’ Teen Driver’s Life Changes After Crash Written and Photographed by Emilie Kerr

Many teenagers look forward to getting their licenses when they turn 16. While there are known financial costs that come with driving, one sophomore has learned about the emotional costs as well. “We were just driving and listening to music,” sophomore Dillon Swafford said. On Jan. 8, Swafford was driving with his friends, sophomores Cayden Hoth and Alex Lancaster after leaving a basketball game at Oak Park High School. The crash left Hoth partially paralyzed

and with severe spinal cord injuries. “I feel a lot of sadness and regret,” Swafford said. This is a big burden for a sophomore to have to bare, but now Swafford has to do just that. He said that it has even affected him when it comes to friendships and friends getting in the car with him. “I’ve had a couple people say that they didn’t want get in the car with me,” Swafford said. But there have also

been supportive people. Swafford said a lot of people are comforting about it. “It might be something he will have to live with the rest of his life, but Cayden isn’t going to make him feel bad about what happened,” sophomore basketball coach Nick Dicappo said. Hoth was transferred from Children’s Mercy to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo., on Jan. 26 where the plan is for him to stay 75 days. The other two students were not seriously injured. With the basketball season still going after the

crash for Hoth’s teammates Swafford and Lancaster, they showed support for him. Swafford and Lancaster wrote Hoth’s basketball number on their shoes, and they had a large cutout of Hoth’s face made to bring to every basketball game. “I’ve tried dealing with it, but I don’t think I’ll be able to overcome it,” Swafford said. Legal actions have not been taken regrding the case. According to Sgt. Kari Thompson of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department, the case has not been closed.

Deputy Thomas Q&A

Teen Driving from a Different Perspective

Q: What do you think causes the most teen accidents? A: “Being distracted; texting is probably one of the worst. When you’re impaired and drinking.” Q: Is teens drinking and driving common? A: “Probably more than you think there is. It’s big with events like the dances and prom and in the summer.” Q: What do you think teens can do to have fewer accidents?

Deputy Cody Thomas School Resource Officer

A: “Definitely keep your eyes on the road, and don’t get distracted over a text message. That text can wait; just put your phone down. Also, don’t drive while intoxicated and don’t get in the car with someone who has been drinking.”

Driving Do’s and Don’ts

All three sophomore boys, Cayden Hoth, Dillon Swafford and Alex Lancaster, who were involved in the crash, played together on the sophomore basketball team along with their friend sophomore Movonn Banks. The boys took on St. Joseph Central High School on Dec. 15 in the Falcon Fieldhouse and lost 53-62. Photo Courtesy of Dillon Swafford

DO drive the speed limit DON’T text and drive DO wear your seat belt DON’T drive under the influence DO keep your hands on the wheel DON’T run red lights DO look both ways DON’T talk on the phone and drive DO make room for bicycles DON’T leave valuables in your car DO pay your parking tickets



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Graphic by Kelsey Bennett

If you could choose one person to be president, who would it be and why? Photos by Jen Hulen


Volume 9 Issue 2 Talon

Jennifer Clark his mom "She's a teacher, so she's used to dealing with young annoying people all of the time. And she's steel under pressure," said junior Jake Clark.

Social Media smackdown

Election 2016 People Share Political Opinions The looming 2016 election has caused controversy because the race is so close, and there are so many undecided voters. Many voters said they are undecided because they dislike and distrust the candidates, and they believe they are unfit to be president. Many voters are planning to vote Independent or third parties because those candidates correspond more closely with their views. According to the Pew Research Center, more millennials identify as Independent than as Democrat and Republican combined. This lack of support for either candidate comes with the overexposure of candidates personal lives and will play a major role in the election, according to The Huffington Post. “I think that one of the big differences is that social media has played a huge part in getting information,” U.S. History teacher Melissa Wilt said. The access to personal information through social media has given people the opportunity to form judgements about the candidates based on things that may not be related to

the campaign. The candidates’ controversial behaviors have left many people undecided. Both candidates have been involved in scandals, which have furthered America’s distrust with the debates. Trump has been accused of sexual assault as well

"I'm a little disappointed in the American system of government, and the way we elect our leaders shouldn't be a joke." -- junior Jake Clark as been filmed saying degrading things about women, while Clinton has been involved in an email scandal. During the debates, the candidates have spent more of their time attacking one another rather than addressing the issues facing America, which has led

to the debates as well as the candidates being viewed as a joke by many and turned into viral memes. “To be honest, I’m a little disappointed in the American system of government, and the way we elect our leaders shouldn’t be a joke,” junior Jake Clark said. Along with the scandals, there has been a heavy focus on the personal lives of the candidates. Clinton has remained under attack for being a female as well as for her husband’s actions as president. Trump has not only been under attack for his actions in today’s media, but also for his business and reality television background. “Neither of them are really cut out for it,” Skyler said. Teacher Bob Buck’s College Government class held a mock election during lunch on Nov. 1. Donald Trump won by 50 out of 396 votes over Hillary Clinton. This election gave students the opportunity to experience voting even if they aren’t old enough, as well as share their voice about the upcoming election. Written by Jessica Jordan

Michelle Obama first lady "She isn't a puppet. She's the type of woman leader that I would like to see as president," social studies teacher Missy Wilt said.

Neil Degrasse Tyson scientist "America could really benefit from someone who isn't going to pretend climate change doesn't exist," junior Skyler Clark said.

@2016GRADPARTYFASHION Written By Alexis Howard Photos by Christopher Spry

The upcoming graduation of the class of 2016 means graduation parties. Having to decide whether to dress formal or causal can be tough. To meet in the middle of those two for girls, add a statement watch or a pair of heels/boots to up a laid back outfit. For guys, wear a button up and roll up the sleeves with a pair of jeans.

16 | Volume VIII | Issue 5 | Talon

For both girls and guys, slip a cardigan over the outfit to add a classy style. For girls, add earings or a bulky necklace for more sparkle. Adding a bright nail color will add more of a summer vibe. Make sure not to over accessiorize or layer too many patterns over each other.


Volume VIII | Issue 5 | Talon | 17


Bypass the Hall Pass STUDENTS SHOULD BE TRUSTED Written by Emilie Kerr Cartoons by Amber Lewis

In high school, students gain a lot of privileges compared to middle and elementary school. Turning 15, 16, 17 and 18, there are more privileges that students get to do by themselves. When someone turns 15, they can get their permit. Then the following year at 16, they can drive. Then two years later, at 18, they become a legal adult. Among other things, they can enlist in the military and can vote. During these four years, students are also expected to get to class on time, keep up with school work and also have a social life. If students can do all of these things, why aren’t they trusted enough to go in the hallway without an official hall pass? The passes that are needed to have in hand every time they enter the hallway must have the destination, and in some cases must have a reason why. Why else would they need to go to the bathroom other than to go to the bathroom? It would be one thing if they were allowed to be in the hall with a laminated pass or a symbol from the teacher that indicates that they are 4 | Volume VIII | Issue 3 | Talon

allowed to be in the hallway, but they have to have the specific hall pass. Some students have already enlisted in the military, but they can’t walk to the bathroom without written permission? Assistant principals Kevin Kooi and Sharon Roberts said the passes are required so that every student is treated the same, so that there is consistency throughout the whole school. Some students are allowed to go in the halls permitted by the teacher without a hall pass, and some student’s teachers won’t let them go without having a pass. All students should be treated fairly, but do they really need to written permission to go to the tech office, library or bathroom? As a student body we should be trusted. Yes, there are a ceratain few who have proven that they shouldn’t be trusted in the hallway. But shouldn’t others get a chance before they have to have a specific hall pass? Students should not be punished or regulated with rules when it comes to hall passes, especially when they haven’t done anything to not be trusted. Life would be so much easier if each teacher could have a laminated, already signed pass. Teachers wouldn’t have to write a long, drawn out pass, and the students could get in and out of class a lot easier.

Lame Ways to try and Dodge a Hall Monitor: 1. Make direct eye contact, smile, and pretend like you’re a teacher.

2. Stop, drop, and roll into the wall so they can’t see you.

3. Just stop in the middle of the hallway and pretend you are a tree.

4. Do the potty dance so they can’t deny you a basic right.

5. Squeeze yourself in a locker so they think you are a huge backpack.

6. Rise and soar like a falcon above their reach.

7. Use a blanket as an invisibility cloak.


My Mind, Not Yours BE TRUE TO YOUR POLITICAL OPINION Written by Christopher Spry

Teens need to stop choosing their political beliefs just because of what their parents believe. They must get their own opinions and learn to back them up. Young adults are caught in a political world where everyone’s views and opinions are right in their face. Not knowing a lot about how the government actually works, young adults look to the people who are most trusted and respected in their eyes. When going to school, kids hear other people talking about their political views and opinions. Many teens don’t understand politics but still believe that they are a part of a certain political party based off of what was heard at home or school. Parents or teachers don’t always force opinions, but when kids don’t know much about a certain subject, they strive for an answer and often cling to what they have heard. When the voting season approaches, signs are often put up in yards

to show the party that a certain person is voting for. Some households put out signs, and that allows people to see what political party their parents are voting for as well as friends’ families. When developing their political ideals, students need to be careful not to view the government or choose political parties based on adults. There are many ways to decide to choose whether to identify as a Republican, Democrat or Independent party. Students should research all parties and see the pros and cons of each. Online, there are surveys such as Pew Research Center that can help students find out which party they agree with most. It doesn’t hurt to talk to adults about the different parties or their opinion on the parties, but this information can often be biased. Watching unbiased TV and learning about what they both can offer and what makes them each special is another way to find the party that fits their beliefs. When voting, young adults should not make decisions based on who has the same political views and opinions as their parents, and instead, vote for the one who shows more knowledge and whose opinions and goals match their own. Volume VIII | Issue 3 | Talon | 5

Through The Heart of Kansas City Streetcar Carries Kansas Citians By Emilie Kerr

Going through the heart of Kansas City, the streetcar is a free way to experience everything about downtown KC. Starting at the City Market, it takes people all the way to Union Station and back. It has a total of 10 stops, three of them on the perimeter of the City Market. At each stop, there is a kiosk that will say how long it will take for it come back and lists nearby restaurants and shops. There is even a camera to take selfies, and it’ll send it to visitors’ phone if requested. All of the stops include: City

Market, City Market West, Rivermarket, Northloop, Library, Metro Center, Power and Light, Kauffman Center, Crossroads, and Union Station. The City Market’s shops and restaurants are open daily; check individual ones for the specific hours of operation. But the farmer’s market is open every weekend on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Some shops and restaurants around the City Market include: Sportibles, Habashi House, Bo Lings, Cascone’s, Dragonfly Tea Zone, Carollo’s Gourmet


Grocery and Deli, Dutch Flowers, KC Soda Co., and many more. Power and Light is located at 14th and Main by the Sprint Center. There is also a Chipotle, Insomnia Cookies, Pizza Bar and several other places around the stop. The Kauffman Center at 16th and Main, is where the Kansas City Symphony and “The Nutcracker” will be held this year. Crossroads is located at 19th and Main. Every month on the first Friday, local businesses feature local, regional and national artists

as well as live entertainment. There are also several food trucks featuring dishes of all sorts. There are several restaurants, including LuLu’s Thai Noodle Shop. Riding the streetcar can be stressful, especially if someone is new to the city. But between all of the 10 stops and Kansas City’s welcoming atmosphere, there is something for everyone.

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Best Burgers in Student Reviews Local Restaurants Written by Alexis Howard Photos by Leidy Venegas

Tay’s Burger Shack Tay’s Burger Shack is a small hole-in-the-wall place. Even though it looks like an actual shack on the outside, it resembles a fast food place but with a comfortable atmosphere. You just order and sit down anywhere, then the food is delivered to you. Out of all the restaurants,

they provided the best customer service. They switch it up with having sriracha ketchup and sriracha mayo as options for condiments. The sriracha ketchup had a kick to it and was somewhat spicy. For the burger, it was delicious and juicy. For a cheap price, it was surprisingly big.

1019 Armour Rd, North Kansas City, MO 64116

Steak n’ Shake Open 24/7, this 50s-themed diner is good for a quick, late night bite to eat with friends. From burgers to onion rings to shakes, they have a traditional American menu. I ordered a double cheeseburger with a side of

fries. Although the burger was tasty, the bun quickly became soggy and wasn’t anything too special. Even though it always seems like there’s only one person serving at a time, the service is quick and the food is reasonably priced.

9500 NE Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64157 [18] TALON - VOLUME 10 - ISSUE 3 - FEATURE


Westport Flea Market The Westport Flea Market was so confusing, but it had a good burger. Ordering is a little hard to understand if it’s your first time. A waiter comes by to get your drink order, then you have to go up and order your food. Even though it took a little for them to call us up to

get our food, the burger was worth it. There was also a chooseyour-own-toppings bar, which I have never seen in a restaurant before. I loved that because normally I have to pick toppings off my burger.

817 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111

KC Smoke Burger KC Smoke Burger, which just reopened and is under new management, was my favorite place of all five. The burger was brought out on a mini grill, and they placed in on top of the bun. The burger tasted like it was from a cookout, smoky with perfectly melted cheese.

The burger itself was huge, and on the top bun was “KC” cutely stamped on top of it and the bun toasted added a nice crunch to the burger. The fries were thick and perfectly seasoned. Overall, it’s a mustgo-to place, and I would recommend it to anyone.

1610 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64111

Hayes Hamburgers Hayes Hamburgers is a small burger joint that opened in the 1950s. I ordered a single cheeseburger and fries, and they delivered it rather quickly. The burger was small in comparison to the other

places. Honestly, the patty was undercooked, thin, and it tasted bland. For the price I paid, I wasn’t expecting anything special, but I was disappointed by the size and how the burger tasted.

2502 NE Vivion Rd, Kansas City, MO 64118


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