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volume 104 . issue 4 . Feb. 13, 2012 Kearney High School

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters at the American Douglas Metals in Orlando, FL, Wed., Jan. 25, 2012. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)

Table of Contents Politics for Dummies Become familiar with the howto on everything from registering to vote to the basics on each party.

Candidate Recap An easy-to-follow guide on the basics of each possible candidate for the 2012 election.

YUDA Band project A philanthropic project makes a huge impact on students in Kearney and third-world countries.

Haiti Orphan Group A Kearney family makes a difference thousands of miles away by funding an orphanage in Haiti.

Pinterest A new website phenomenon has allowed users to ‘pin’ all of their interests from creative crafts to zesty recipes. Editor: Asst. Editors:

Alyssa Cody Maddy Christensen Justine Runge Kellie Warren Adviser: Chris Johnson Technology: Jake Bunger Leslie Wilson Advertisement: Cierra Graf Tyler Loebig Shelby Miller Railen Ripp



Look Beyond, See Within


Downfalls of Technology


Health Shenanigans

10 11 Senior Reporters:

A look at the life skills students at Kearney High.

How social networking and technology hinders this generation.

What teens need to know about the health hazards in their everyday lives.

Wrestling Insider A behind the scenes look at a wrestler’s journey to state competition.

Must have apps A guide to the best apps on the market for Apple gadgets.

12 14 16 18 20

Hanna Allen Junior Reporters: Taylor Garrison Virginia Gormley Cait Graf Ann Holen Dillon Graf Rachel Kermmoade Victoria Heineman Bri Mazankowski Katie Higgins Anna Nelson Cassie Kernick Melissa Troyer Jacob Larsen Sophomore Reporters: Christa Lovitt Lauren Mimick Shelby Janke Tiffany Valleau The ECHO Victoria Crow Kearney High School

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3610 6th Avenue Kearney, NE 68845 308-698-8060

Not sure which party is for you?

Political Party Quiz For the questions below, choose the answer that fits you best, then tally your points at the end. Remember that you probably will not agree with all the things a single party stands for. That is normal. Choose the party that you agree with most. 1. What is your stance on abortion? A. It should be illegal everywhere, all the time. B. It should be illegal in every state with certain exceptions like rape or incest. C. It should be up to the states to decide, but it should be monitored for health and safety. D. It should be legal everywhere. 2. What is your stance on gun control? A. Guns should be legal, with restrictions on who can buy them, and where. B. The details should be left up to the states, but it should be legal to buy or carry guns anywhere. C. The government has no right to regulate citizens’ right to carry, buy, or sell guns. D. Guns are dangerous and should be tightly restricted or illegal for civilians. 3. How do you feel about government-controlled healthcare? A. The government should not regulate it for anyone. This is an individual’s responsibility. B. Most people should purchase and control their own healthcare, but the poor could have programs. C. It should be optional for any person. D. Government-run healthcare with equal cost and opportunity for all citizens is the best option. 4. How do you feel about welfare programs like food stamps? A. People are responsible for their own livelihood. The government should not pay for them. B. They should not be available for anyone but the most needy members of society. C. It is good for those who need it, but should be checked for people abusing the system. D. It is the government’s job to take care of its citizens whenever they need help. 5. What is your stance on same-sex marriage? A. It should be illegal everywhere. B. It should be up to the states, and marriages in other states should not be recognized. C. It should be up to the states, but marriages in other states should be recognized. D. It should be legal everywhere. SCORING: Mostly A’s: Radical conservative Mostly B’s: Moderate conservative

6. What is your stance on capital punishment? A. People who deserve it should get it. B. It should be an option, but it must be clear that the person has committed a serious crime. C. It should not be used except in extreme cases. D. The death penalty is unfair in all cases. 7. How do you feel about illegal immigration? A. People should go through the system, no matter how long or hard it is. That is what it is for. B. Most people should have to go through the system, but there should be exceptions for some. C. The system should apply, but people in the middle of applying should have some rights. D. Our system is too hard to use and should be overhauled, then exceptions should be possible. 8. Is it more important to spend money on education or military defense? A. Without military help, there would not be a school system. Military is more important. B. Both are important, but more focus should be placed on the military. C. Both are important, but more focus should be placed on education. D. Education is the country’s strongest asset. It should receive the most funding. 9. Should marijuana be legal? A. Under no circumstances should it be legal. B. Marijuana should be available to people who need it for medical reasons. C. It should be legal with taxes and age restrictions, like with tobacco and alcohol. D. People should be free to decide what they put in their bodies. 10. Should the government be involved in environmentrelated issues? A. No, global warming is a myth and has no scientific basis. B. Environmental decisions should be left up to businesses and individuals. C. Environmental laws should be left to the states. D. Yes, it is our job as citizens of the Earth to be responsible with our emissions.

Mostly C’s: Moderate liberal Mostly D’s: Radical liberal Want to know more? Keep reading...

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e h t g n i k c o R

Voting makes a difference, whether for the president or for how the school system works. But first, you’ve got to register.


Turning eighteen is a big milestone in a teenager’s life. At eighteen, we start to become adults, start planning for college, and begin taking responsibility for things we once left for our parents. One of those things that gets far less attention than it should is that when a person turns eighteen, he or she can register to vote—not only for the president, but also on local issues that impact a teenager’s life far more directly. Unfortunately, politics are intimidating. Just looking at a list of candidates frightens many young people away from the responsibility of voting. Add paying attention to each platform, each debate, each opinion held by the individual candidates, and all the other relevant information to actually make an informed choice, and it is not surprising that there are so few young voters in America. Registering to vote—and then actually voting—are two incredibly important tasks in a newly adult life. Our government system runs, at least in principle, on the simple fact that individuals in the nation have the power to make decisions that affect the entire country. Teenagers are opinionated and headstrong by nature. Why complain about the government over lunch or in class, and then completely ignore your right to actually make a difference? The process of registering is simple, and once a person has done that, there are only a few more steps left before heading to the polls. Google search ‘registering to vote’. Up come thousands of results, hundreds of them aimed at giving teenagers the resources to register. Many sites, like Rock the Vote, link directly to a digital version of the voter registration form. Fill in some blanks, choose a party, hit submit, and you are officially a registered voter of the United States. If you prefer to register in person, your county’s courthouse, post office or library carries copies of the voter registration form to be filled out and mailed appropriately.


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Once a person is registered, he or she can legally vote on any ballot issue, including voting for the president. Voting in a presidential election, specifically, is slightly more complicated than most people think. The election has several different stages. First, each political party holds caucuses and presidential primaries in each state in order to elect a candidate. During these elections, registered voters vote within their party for a candidate to officially run for president. After a single candidate has been selected for each party, the general and popular elections take place. In the popular election, any registered voter may vote for whomever they like, regardless of their party. The electoral college of each state collects these votes, and then casts the state’s official presidential vote. These results from the electoral college eventually elect the president by majority rule. However, before a voter can help pick the president, he or she must first make a very important choice: which political party they subscribe to. This is often the source of most indecision among teenagers registering to vote—many young people do not really know what the parties stand for, and so they end up choosing their parents’ party, the party their friends like, or the party with the coolest name. But, as already mentioned, choosing the party you really belong in is serious business. During the presidential primaries you can only vote for your party. If you are not registered to the party that fits you best then you may not like any of your choices.


v. Republican

The facts on America’s two most famous political parties.

Democrats • • • • • • •

Also known as ‘the left’ Mascot is the donkey Typically considered to be more liberal-minded Generally support gun control Most are pro-choice Support social programs like organized healthcare, publicfunded education and crime prevention Usually supportive of minorty rights, i.e gay marriage, womens’ rights and racial equality

Independent •

A special note on the Independent Party: most people assume that, if they are ‘undecided’, or cannot choose between Democrat and Republican, that Independent is the way to go. That is not necesarily the case. The Independent Party has its own values and is generally considered to be conservative in nature. Choosing Independent is fine, but remember that it has its own, distinguished views on things, and is not just a party for those stuck in the middle.

Republicans • • • • • • •

Also known as ‘the right’ or the ‘Grand Old Party’ Mascot is the elephant Typically considered to be more conservative-minded Generally support gun ownership rights Most are pro-life Support military and defense spending and strongly established moral traditions Rights and equality based on traditional, conservative values

When selecting a party, keep a few things in mind. First of all, Nebraska is a conservative state. That means that most local news programs and political ads are going to present the Republcan Party in a positive way, and cast the Democrats in a negative light. Similarly, a liberal state will favor the Democratic Party. What is important is doing real, honest research, not simply adopting the party of one’s parents, friends, or state. Also, no one conforms perfectly to one party. Choose the party that is most in common with your values. It is acceptable and very common to change parties later on. It is very common for people to change their political opinions as they get older, sometimes several times.

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The Race is




Newt Gingrich

Mitt Romney Mitt Romney served as the governor of Massachusetts for one term, but declined to run for re-election after announcing his bid for the presidency. Despite his loss to John McCain in 2008 for the Republican nomination, Romney again announced the start of his presidential campaign on June 2, 2011, and has become a strong front-runner. As governor, Romney reduced the state’s $3 billion deficit. He is seen as a candidate aptly suited to solving the nation’s financial problems due to his background in business. Romney graduated from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School in 1975 with both a law degree and an M.B.A. Until the founding of his own investment firm, Bain Capital, in 1984, Romney worked for the management consulting firm Bain & Company. Critics of Romney are most skeptical of the bill he signed into law that provides nearly universal health care for Massachusetts residents. Although he supported this bill in his own state, Romney opposes health care reform in general. He also takes many other traditionally conservative stances on issues such as abortion, taxes, the economy and the war on terror.


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During Bill Clinton’s term as president, Newt Gingrich became the first Republican Speaker of the House in 40 years. Although his time as speaker was spent in opposition of many of Clinton’s policies, they agreed to reform welfare, a capital gains tax cut and a budget deal that led to four balanced budgets. Many of his legislative items in his “Contract with America” were passed by the House and became law. In 1999, Gingrich resigned from Congress. Gingrich’s style in Congress was determined and combative. He and a group of Republican delegates formed the Conservative Opportunity Society in 1983. Their ideas had great influence on many of Ronald Reagan’s policies. After ousting Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright in 1988, and replacing Dick Cheney as House Minority Whip, Gingrich used his influence in the Republican party to draft the Contract with America. This contract included 10 platform policies such as welfare reform, tougher crime laws, a balanced budget and other common conservative policies that they would push for if the Republicans took the majority in the mid-term elections.

Ron Paul Paul attended Duke University School of Medicine and received his degree in 1961. He was a doctor in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. After his time in the military, Paul opened his own medical practice in Texas. Throughout his career, Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies. Paul became a member of the House of Representatives in 1996 and has managed to gain re-election every term since. He strongly supports a decrease in federal power and taxes and is pro-life. Even with these conservative stances, he voted against both the Patriot Act and the Iraq war. However, he did support the military action in Afghanistan. Paul has also voted against farm subsidies and regulating the Internet, which shows his seriousness on his platforms of reducing government spending and the role of the federal government. Saying that the government’s efforts in the war on drugs has actually been a war on doctors, he opposes this cause. These controversial, not entirely conservative, stances have caused tension between him and his party. This may explain why he was not successful in either the 2004 or 2008 presidential race. Perhaps 2012 will be his year.

Rick Santorum Rick Santorum grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, with his devout Catholic parents. After graduating high school, Santorum attended Pennsylvania State University where he received both his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a M.B.A. He then attended Dickinson School of Law and received his law degree in 1986. At just 36, Rick Santorum was elected to the Senate as a Representative of Pennsylvania. He won re-election once more, but was replaced in 2006 as Democrats made sweeping gains throughout the nation. After his loss, Santorum did not continue his career in politics, partly due to a scandal concerning comments he had made about gay marriage. Instead, he began practicing law again and reported for the conservative news program Fox News.  Santorum is known for his strictly conservative stances that are heavily influenced by his Catholic upbringing. He is pro-life, against gay marriage, evolution being taught in schools and euthanasia. He tried to attach legislation to President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act that would allow the teaching of intelligent design in place of Darwinian evolution. Santorum was known for his blunt and aggressive style in Congress.

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Wear a Band, Change a Life Interact sold YUDA Bands to sponsor students in third world countries


“Think your life is hard? Think again. Three billion people live on $2 per day. Eighty percent of humanity has no running water or electricity. Half the world is malnourished. You need to know this because this is your world. Think you can’t make a difference? Think again. Youth Empowering Youth. aYuda=Help. Sales from YUDA bands provide education in third world countries. United States of America has 6% of the world’s population and 50% of the wealth. Wanna share? Handmade YUDA Bands create jobs in Guatemala. Changing the world never looked so good.” - YUDA’s Think Again video Take a second and imagine your life without school. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Think about it again. Really consider your life without an education. No hope for college, a career or a successful future. It doesn’t sound so great anymore, does it? Unfortunately, this is a reality for kids all across the world. Just because it doesn’t directly affect us, does not mean it is still not our problem. After all, this is our world. This was the mindset of Kearney High’s Interact club when they embarked on their YUDA Band project last January. A YUDA Band is a bracelet made out of leather and coconut. Each band is special, sporting it’s own design or color. Senior Molly Osterberg especially appreciated the aesthetics of the bands. “I really like that for once, bracelets for a cause are actually fashionable and in style, rather than the typical rubber band ones.” The most special part about these bands is that they are handmade in Guatemala. That is one major part of the program because it creates jobs for people who would otherwise not have them. The higher the demand for the bands, the more Guatemalans are employed. After looking into the countries and people involved in the program, Interact found it to be a worthy cause. This


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is why: In the average third world country, public schooling is only provided until the 6th grade, although many do not even get to that point. After that, tuition for one year is approximately $300. In a country where getting food on the table is a daily struggle, that sum is simply out of reach. Because of this, kids are forced to quit school early on. Instead, they work in fields and live on merely $1 a day to help support their family. In turn, their children will have no money for school, and so the poverty cycle continues. This relates to the popular saying, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” The YUDA Band program allows students to have another chance. They are selected based on academic achievement, commitment to education and economic need. It is a priority to select students who will not drop out of school. To enable them to complete their education, the students stay in the program until they have enough funding to finish high school. However, it does not stop there. In return for the financial aid, the students will be required to participate in monthly training that teaches principles of success, community service projects and attend meetings to help set up

goals that will better prepare them for the future. This will train students to implement their education into their community. The YUDA program takes education even further than just the international students. They think that it is just as important to educate those wearing the bands of the conditions in the countries they are helping. In turn, they can educate their school and community. It is referred to as the YUDA Band Revolution. Whenever people look down to see their bracelets, they are reminded of their blessings and the service they provided for those in need. The project is made easy for anyone willing to lead it. A project manager is assigned to every group. This person provides a step-by-step guide on how to coordinate a successful project. Along with this, they are available any time of the day to answer questions concerning the project. Perhaps the most important part of the process is the student selections. This is where the club decides which students they would like to fund. On the YUDA Band website, a profile of each student within the program is listed under their country. The information includes a picture, general information, personal goals and how many years they have left to complete. It was from this that Interact was able to select the following students. Byron Javier, from Ecuador, is 12 years old and in the seventh grade. His dad works as a driver, and his mom works in a restaurant. His favorite subjects are English and Math, and he likes to draw and study in his free time. In the future, Byron wishes to be an engineer to help his parents and siblings.

Junior Marissa VonAschwege volunteered to sell YUDA Bands during lunch. The bracelets sold for $7. photo by Dan Fong

Byron Javier (top left), Edison Bravo (top right) and Maxime Jean (bottom left) are three of the students that the Interact Club chose to sponsor. Also from Ecuador is Edison Bravo. He is 12 years old, in the seventh grade and lives with his mom and two siblings. His brother suffers from an illness called Hydrocephalus and has one valve in his brain that has prevented him from walking. His mom tries her best to find treatments and support him, but it is a constant struggle. This has been his driving motivation through this process. He hopes to graduate from a university as an electrical engineer. Maxime Jean is the student from Haiti they chose to sponsor. He is nineteen, but still has two years of high school left to finish because of a late start. He really enjoys math and computers and is hoping to get his own laptop to do his school work. His passions are music and soccer. Maxime has played a significant role in helping his fellow countrymen recover from the natural disasters. The Interact members have especially enjoyed this project knowing that the final outcome will be directly affecting these kids in a profound way. Freshman Abby Garden said, “I loved the opportunity to help the kids. People are always saying that what they do is like a drop in the ocean. Well, we kind of made a tidal wave in their lives.” Garden’s main role in the YUDA Band sales was advertisement. She organized posters, announcements, TV interviews and newspaper interviews. This recognition played a huge part in the project’s success. Interact, Kearney High School and even the Kearney community, did their part in breaking this cycle. Selling 175 bands means one student sponsored. Simple enough. In hopes of sponsoring three kids, Interact far exceeded their hopes by sponsoring five students. Approximately 1,000 bracelets were sold, raising enough for five more kids, just like you, to have the opportunity to fulfill their ambitions and make a better life for themselves and for their community.

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Haiti Orphan Group

Dave and Jennifer Huebner had the opportunity to visit an orphanage on their last trip to Haiti to meet the kids they help. photo courtesy Jen Huebner


A Kearney family raises money locally to build an orphanage for homeless children in Haiti. Jennifer Huebner answered questions about this worthy cause.

Q: A:

How did Haiti Orphan Group (HOG) get started?

We got invited to the Global Orphan Project’s yearly fundraiser. We were enticed to “give” because every dollar you donate goes directly to the orphans. So after this fundraising event, we decided to fund a boy’s home. That year, over New Years, we made the trip to Haiti and saw our home 99% complete. We visited five orphanages and took them supplies. Upon our return, Dave and I were sitting at dinner one night and were trying to decide what is was that God was calling us to do. We decided we should do more, so we formed HOG. So, this past year was spent fundraising; selling bracelets, doing talks, poker tournaments, finding corporate sponsors (businesses willing to donate), promoting HOG, and getting the word out as much as we can. To date, we have raised around $65,000. This includes our family making a substantial personal financial donation yearly as well for the next four years. We also made another trip over New Years this year. We went to visit several orphanages, including our own in Marmalade, Haiti. There is already a church and school house present. They have about 30 kids now living with members of the congregation or other families who don’t have parents. It was amazing to see. Once they finish phase I, we will begin phase II, and then support the orphanage for three years.

Q: What is your overall goal? A: Our overall mission is to raise enough funds to finish build-

ing this orphanage and to support it for three years after that. At that time it should become self-sustaining. That fund total is now $150,000. Right now we have $65,000 in our HOG account, so we are short about $85,000.

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Why do you think it’s important to help those in less fortunate countries?


Poverty is different in Haiti. When you see a homeless child digging in the garbage or living in the streets, they literally have nowhere to go. In the U.S., there’s foster care, WIC, food stamps, and reduced or free lunches to those in poverty. If you’re homeless, you go to a shelter, and if you’re hungry, you go to a soup kitchen. It’s the basics we are giving them, and a little love when we go visit.


Why is it important to educate people on the conditions in Haiti?


I think people have this perception that Haiti is a lot like the U.S. It’s not. The Haitians don’t have any of the options I listed above. If you don’t have money, healthcare is not an option. They don’t have clean water for the most part, unless you’re one of the fortunate. You cross a river and you see people bathing, urinating, drinking and washing laundry in the same river. You sincerely think about how lucky we are and how easy we have it.

Q: What has been your favorite part of the project so far? A: Visiting our orphanage and meeting our pastor in Marmalade, Haiti, and finally seeing what it is that we have been working so hard raising funds for. Also, visiting the orphans. This last trip to Haiti, we went to an orphanage that was one of the poorest we had visited. It was so difficult to get building supplies to it, so they got railroad cars up to the top of this mountain and made them into homes. The kids lived in these. There were 14 beds for 60 kids. They shared or slept on the floor. Their water well was almost dry and their pastor was bringing in water from two hours away.

Pinterest: an online outlet to pin all of your interests

BY SHELBY JANKE Pinterest, the country club of the web, has hit Internet browsers across the nation. Spreading like wildfire, this picture-sharing website is the new StumbleUpon. Its purpose is simple: to keep pictures and videos of ideas and inspirations in one place, organized by categories. A combination of Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon, Pinterest is useful for plenty of aspects, such as “liking” photos or videos, finding links to websites and following other Pinterest users.

Getting Started The exclusiveness of Pinterest is what makes it desirable. In order to become a member, one must request an invitation from the website itself. This will only add the person to the waiting list, and within a range of two days to more than a month, the invitation will be received via email. However, faster ways of becoming a member are possible. If a person has an account, he/she can send an invite to a friend, and the recipient will receive the invitation instantly. Since not everyone is immediately able to acquire an account, the suspense makes Pinterest in higher demand.

Once A Member After an account is assembled, the fun begins. First, boards must be created. They are the groups where one will put pictures and videos according to a specific category. Boards consist of themes ranging from wedding ideas, dream travel destinations or recipes; the possibilities are limitless. A member can follow virtually anyone who has a Pinterest account, whether it’s a friend, or just someone who pins things that are intriguing to them. An unlimited number of boards can be created, and the number of items that can be “repinned” are endless. All in all, Pinterest is a crossroads of personal interests, interacting with others and being inspired.

Junior Cait Graf’s project inspired by Pinterest. The final result of junior Katie Higgins’ crayon project.

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Look Beyond... A typical day of life skills

BY CASSIE KERNICK Throughout one’s life there is often discussion of erasing barriers between social cliques. Middle school is seemingly where these definitive separations were instated. Quickly, everyone was defined by what they did in their free time. As students moved on to high school, obvious groups such as the popular kids, the jocks and the nerds were segregated, almost as if life had actually become a cliché movie. Soon, anyone who was slightly different was no longer accepted. As easy as it is to observe this and think that this is unacceptable, many fail to realize that this segregation is only miniscule. This is demonstrated when compared to humans who are defined solely by their differences, those often derogitorily referred to as retards. These students who possess special needs are rarely seen throughout one’s average school day. Even their classrooms are located in a wing off to one side of school, completely discouraging interaction between them and the rest of

A common craft these students participate in is making homeade birthday cards for all of the KHS faculty members. Photo by Victoria Heineman


Mrs. Sloan guides student Ann Leise's arm while using a smart board, during a mathematic lesson reviewing the cost of daily necessities. Photo by Tiffany Valleau the student body. Although this may be accidental, due to their different needs within their classroom, it still represents the large separation that occurs. The fact that these students do possess qualities that are different from majority of the student body does not mean they should be treated as lepers within a society. If regular people were more eager to interact with these students, both could learn and grow from one another. The first step to breaking down the now standing barriers is to begin to understand the life and daily activity of these special students. Separated between classrooms, students are divided

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due to their ability levels. Mrs. Sloan’s room mainly deals with students who are considered lower functioning, also referred to as non-verbal, meaning the students rarely speak. However, it is not uncommon for these students to use sign language to express their wants or needs. It is these students whom usually receive the least attention or interaction from others. A typical day begins with them attempting to conquer the curriculum that is designated monthly. During January, they mainly focused on health skills, such as brushing their teeth, and other important factors to hygieniic living.

...See Within students at Kearney High body, it does not change the fact that they are still humans. If people made an effort to interact more with these special students, they would discover that their differences really are not that vast. Whether this is changing your lunch plans for one day to get to know these students, simply saying ‘hi’ when you do pass them in the hallway, or even stopping the derogatory usage of the word “retard,” these little changes can help to

Anthony Willson enhances his motor function by placing puff balls into old medicine containers. Photo by Victoria Heineman Also during first block they focus on reading skills. Second block is when IEP occurs which is when they work on their individual education plan. This is when they practice skills necessary for life such as folding and sorting laundry and washing dishes. During second block is also when the students assist the janitorial staff by collecting the recycling each day. For these students, who mostly stay in one classroom the entire day, lunch is one of the few times they get to venture out into the rest of the school. Following lunch, the students return to their room for rest time. Due to the learning-packed morning, most find they are exhausted and fall asleep. Concluding the day, fourth block is packed with arts, crafts and a number of related games such as Yahtzee and Uno. Two times a week, they participate in Adaptive P.E. during this time. Although their schedule is quite different from most of the “normal” student

a very eye-opening experience. Things were very different than one would expect but if you take the time to get to know them, you will meet some pretty cool kids.” So step out of your comfort zone for one day, and maybe you will make a new friend, because when you stop looking at the differences in people and begin searching for similarities, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you discover. Those who are looking for more one on one interaction with the students also have the opportunity to become a peer tutor. This allows them to personally focus more on interacting with a single student, and assist them with accomplishing their daily tasks. According to Mrs. Sloan the motto for her students is, “Look beyond…see within.” If everyone could begin to live by this quote, and begin to judge others by their emotional integrity, rather than simply observing others differences, then Kearney High School, or possibly even the world, might become a better place.

Peer tutor, senior Jayden Wescoatt, embraces student Jennifer Linden, while working on a puzzle. Photo by Victoria Heineman tear down the social barriers currently in place. People who are searching to become more involved and are willing to give up just a little of their time, the Special Ed. Department is always looking for willing student aids. One student, junior McKenna Urbanek, had a very positive experience when she took the time to aid. “It was

Another peer tutor, junior Emma Brandt, assists student Rheanna Adams as she places beads on pipe cleaners to help enhance motor skills. Photo by Tiffany Valleau

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Are we really connected? BY VICTORIA HEINEMAN


he most powerful weapon of today’s society

can start a revolution without casualties, yet cause someone to commit suicide. It can connect people from all over the world, but dissolve face-to-face communication. Save a life, but kill in a matter of seconds. The phenomenon: social media. In the twenty-first century, everyone is familiar with texting or some form of online social media. The text message pandemic started in the early 90’s and in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created the world-dominating social network, Facebook, which has 800 million active users. Of the 800 million, 50 percent log on everyday. Advances like these in social communication are both beneficial and detrimental. However, with a generation so adapted to technology, it will not be long before having a cell phone in your hand 24/7 is the norm.


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cyber bullying Texting has been observed as a hindrance to ‘traditional’ communication skills. Along with losing the ability of firsthand confrontation, when not communicating in person but rather through texting, the users become more “gutsy” with what they say through text. This is a result of the users not having to deal with the repercussions immediately. Often, they do not have to deal with them at all. For instance, believing a suicide does not have anything to do with them because it was not face-to-face communication.

In the 2008 case of Megan Meier, then 13, she began texting “Josh Evans” after flirting with him on her MySpace account. He then began tormenting the girl, sending rude and awful messages. She committed suicide after being told “the world would be a better place” if she were not in it. “Josh Evans” did not exist. Lori Drew, 47, who lived four houses down from the Meier’s, created him. She knew the family well enough to know that Meier had been prescribed antidepressants. Drew went on trial in Nov. 2008 for phony online identity used to bully.

In 2009, Alex Brown, a 17-year-old from Texas, died in a car crash because she was texting and driving. The Brown family was featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in 2011. Sprint provided a new office for the Browns and donated $50,000 to the family for their mission. The family travels around to schools in Texas bringing Alex’s totaled car on a trailer. Their mission is to educate students about the dangers of texting and

driving. The family also created thumb rings to remind people, teens specifically, to not text and drive. “When I see someone else texting and driving poorly it’s just annoying,” said junior Zack Wayman. According to USA Today, 3,092 people were killed in 2011 due to texting or general cell phone use while driving. Out of 100 students surveyed at Kearney High, 67% text and drive.

moment.” The network has immensely intensified to more than just the latest gossip, even bringing about patriotism and a successful independence strike. “The Day of the Revolution Against Torture, Poverty, Corruption and Unemployment.” This was the title of the Facebook event that started the Egyptian revolution of 2011. “Who does a Facebook event for a revolution, you know?” said Mahmoud Salem, an Egyptian blogger. Whether the Facebook Event plays into the invincibility aspect, or the fact that they have limited places to congregate in

public, they were able to start a revolution with online social media. “I think they’re innovators. It shows how advantageous technology today can be,” said senior Nick Lieth. The protest instructions were clearly posted on the Facebook page: Stand 5 feet apart, so as not to break Egyptian laws against public demonstration; be absolutely silent; no signs; wear black, as determined in an online vote; stand on the banks of the river or sea for one hour only, then walk away. The revolution successfully overthrew their ruler, King Farouk.

Tina Meier holds two pictures of her daughter, Megan. (Gannam/AP)

texting + driving

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revolution The social network giant, Facebook, has created a way for friends and family to stay in touch no matter where they are. Originally created for a college campus, Facebook as evolved into an international sensation that easily connects people from all over the world. With a couple clicks, an almost complete life story can be displayed for anyone to see. The main intention was to connect college students and provide basic information such as a birth date, picture, relationship status, gender interest, what type of relationship they are looking for, and a general “thought of the

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Sleep On average, nine hours of sleep is needed for teens, but they rarely get it. Studies show that more than 90% of teens sleep less than the recommended amount. Lack of sleep has obvious side effects, such as: inability to concentrate, mood swings, falling asleep during class, and other behavioral problems.

TANNING These days, tanning is a common practice amongst teens. However, many serious risks are involved with this seemingly simple act. It has been shown that the UV rays in tanning beds are two to three times more powerful than natural sun-produced UV rays. Excessive exposure to these UV rays can cause skin cancer, skin burns, eye damage, and premature skin aging. Using a tanning bed just once a month increases the likelihood of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, by 55%.


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VEGETARIANISM Another popular choice made by teenagers is the option of going vegetarian; that is, cutting meat out of their diet. However, some go about it the wrong way and do not take the necessary steps to remain healthy. Due to the lack of meat, other foods need to be eaten to make up for nutrients that would be consumed in a normal diet. In particular, nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acids are necessary. They can be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. In addition, whole grains help to maintain a balanced diet.

caffeine People drink caffeine for different reasons. Some drink it to stay awake, some to wake up and some just like the taste. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine merely decreases the feeling of being tired and does not actually eliminate the need for a proper amount of sleep. However, everyone’s reaction to caffeine is different. It causes water loss from the body, and can bring about dehydration. A large amount of caffeine can cause anxiety, headaches, moods, dizziness and interference with sleep. Stopping abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, muscle ache, and even temporary depression. Many people think that a little bit of caffeine causes no harm, but new research shows that low doses over a long period of time can impair the long term memory. Immediate effects, however, are much more noticeable. With smaller amounts, side effects include: shaky hands, elevated heart rate, sensation of being awake and smaller appetite. page designer lauren mimick



Journey to State BY KELLIE WARREN

Walking down the halls of Kearney High School, it is easy to spot the wrestlers. They wear their team jackets with pride and they have reason to. The Kearney High wrestlers have a tradition of success. Not a year goes by that at least one does not attend the state wrestling tournament at the end of the season. While everyone knows about the wrestling team, not many actually know what they go through in order to achieve all that they do. To be a wrestler, one must adjust to a new lifestyle. Sometimes this means a new diet, vigorous training during the offseason, ‘boot camp’ and grueling training once the regular season has begun. It is a long and difficult journey for a wrestler. Only the toughest have the strength to come back and take that journey every year.

Preseason Training:

For the majority of wrestlers, preseason begins when school does so they can be in top shape when the normal season rolls around. It consists of training five days a week on their own time. Although every wrestler has a different routine specialized to their needs, the basic structure is weight lifting with running every other day. This is so they can build up muscle mass as well as endurance. Once the regular season is drawing near, optional team practices are scheduled. ‘Open mat’ is held a couple days per week so the boys can reacquaint themselves with moves and


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techniques that they use throughout the season while practicing with each other. Every year, Coach McCann holds an intense ’boot camp’ a couple of weeks before normal practice.

Losing Weight:

If the correct measures are taken to go down a weight class, the wrestler will have a strength advantage over their opponent. They will have more muscle mass over the wrestler they are facing, than if they were to wrestle in the weight class above them. Also, weight loss is natural when someone begins to work out, so they have to keep a carful eye on their weight so that they do not fall short of their desired weight class by two or three pounds. If a wrestler wants to lose weight, the most effective method is to do extra running or jump roping when they are at home, along with a healthy diet. Diet is different for every wrestler on the team. Some begin their season with a very strict diet to lose a lot of weight. After a couple weeks of strict dieting, they are back down to the weight that they are used to and the diet loosens up. Practice everyday helps to maintain their weight throughout the season. Others said that all they do every year is cut out soda from their diet and hold back on the sweets more than usual and the rest is simply sweated off in practice. A lot of sleep is also vital to any diet. Not only does a good night’s sleep help speed up the metabolism the next morning, but weight can also be lost while sleeping.

Daily Training:

Team practice is held everyday after school. A typical practice begins with the entire team jogging together to warm up. That is usually followed by around 20 minutes of drilling. Just like other sports have plays, wrestling has a never-ending list of moves and combinations to fit every possible scenario on the mats. Drilling time is used to learn a new move or to refine the technique on an existing one. The moves can be ones that the coaches feels needs improvement or that the individual knows they can do better on. After approximately an hour after practice started, the boys go live. They pair up and compete against each other in live matches. Situational wrestling is also done at this time. This is when the coaches put the boys in specific situations and they have to decide from there what to do to get out of that situation and come out on top. This is particularly helpful to teach the boys how to think on their feet in a live match before they ever attend a competitive meet. Practice is finished off by sprints to improve the wrestler’s stamina. Some of the wrestlers go above and beyond by training even more on their own. For some, this is weight lifting, jump roping or extra running at home.

Sophomore Isaac Stansbury and junior Kalen Mazankowski playfully wrestle before the real work of practice begins. photo by Kellie Warren

Day of the Meet:

Varsity meets usually take place on Saturdays and take almost all day. They are held in a traditional tournament style and at the end of the day an award ceremony is held for the winners of each weight class who competed. Meets start out with weigh-in to make sure that all of the boys are signed up in the correct weight class. Between matches, the boys have to drink plenty of fluids so as not to become dehydrated during one of their matches of the day. When there is still time before their next match, the boys can watch other matches, size up their opponents and go about their regular business. When a match is drawing near, however, it is strictly business for Kearney High wrestlers. Each boy warms up by himself before their match begins. They all have their own routine used in order to become mentally focused and ready to compete from giving themselves a pep talk, to thinking through Senior Jacob Oertle takes down his opponent during the their upcoming match, to listening to music in order to stave home wrestling meet, the Kearney Invite. off nerves. photo by Joseph Quail

Day after the Tournament:

The recuperation routine for the day after the tournament differs from time to time. The team usually gets Sunday off after a Saturday tournament. However, they do have the option to go in during the afternoon if they would like to work out or improve on something that did not go quite right during a match the day before. Most boys, however, choose to simply hang out with friends and forget their diet for a day before intensive training begins again on Monday. When the state tournament is drawing near, though, the coaches have the option to start training back up the very next day.

Signs in the wrestling room display the names of all those who have placed at the State Tournament. photo by Kellie Warren

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The ECHO - Issue 4  

This fourth issue of the Kearney High ECHO.