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table of contents

Letters to the editor can be on any topic or of any length. They may be edited for length or libelous content. Letters to the editor are accepted in room 220.


Operation Christmas Child Manga Books, Library FBLA Trip Republican Candidates Occupy Wall Street Arab Spring Christmas Spending Movie Prices Fast Food Lack of Sleep

3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 13 20


Facebook Weird TN Laws Boys Basketball Dance Team Lady Vols New Year’s Eve Top Ten Christmas Movies The Five People You Meet in Heaven

15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23

Volume 44 Issue 3 Editors Shelby Andrews Lauren Brooks Maggie Feith Jackson Lay Sean Stapleton Chris Wagner Assistant Editor Katherine Keller Business Managers Corena Hasselle Maria Yousuf Photography Editor Jill Vondy Production Manager Chris Wagner Circulation Manager Aubrey Andrews Reporters Suzanne Schultz Alex Agee Elizabeth Butler Grant Semmel Mary Byars Jed Finley Morgan Reed Sarah Hasselle Basmiah Homran Sydney McNeill Advisors Suzanne Edwards Laura Wright


Trojan Torch Dyersburg High School 125 Hwy. 51 By-Pass Dyersburg, TN 38024


FCA brings smiles to children overseas through Operation Christmas Child Sydney McNeill Reporter y participating in Operation Christmas Child, Dyersburg High School has brought smiles to many children in foreign countries. Created by Samaritan’s Purse in 1993, Operation Christmas Child is a program in which boxes full of gifts are collected and sent overseas to children in countries like Brazil, Russia, China and the Philippines. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Dyersburg High School has been putting together Operation Christmas Child boxes for the past seven years. This year, DHS collected about eighty boxes. “Next year, we are shooting for 250 to 300 boxes,” FCA sponsor Kim Decker said. In order to collect more boxes next year, more students are going to have to bring gifts. “To promote students to bring gifts next year, we might create a department or have a classroom competition,” Decker said. Operation Christmas Child begins in early November each year, and national collection week is the third week of November. Boxes can be made with an Operation Christmas Child box, a regular shoe box or a small plastic tub. A box can be made for one of three different age categories for both boys and girls: ages two to four, five to nine or ten to fourteen. Operation Christmas Child is an opportunity for students to share their fortunes with kids around the world. “We don't have the best economy right now, but we can all give a little. When we all contribute what we can, we are ultimately left with a bigger result than anticipated, which really sparks that idea of ‘We Can Make a Difference,’” junior Shelby Hubbard said. Items that can be included in each box are school supplies such as pencils, paper and coloring books; clothing like shoes, socks and t-shirts; hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs; and small toys like teddy bears, yo-yos and bouncy balls. “Additionally, girls enjoy baby dolls, purses and diaries while the boys enjoy trucks, games and books,” senior Kayla Wright said. All of these are simple things that most American children take for granted. However, in impoverished areas, these little items can make a huge difference. “You don't really have to hit a home run with flashy presents because they are grateful for anything!” senior Joseph Smith said. In addition to physical gifts, the children also have the opportunity to learn about the Gospel. “Along with their box, they are given a booklet titled ‘The Greatest Gift of All’ which explains the story of Christ and salvation through Him,” the Samaritan Purse website said. FCA will be sponsoring Operation Christmas Child again next year, so be watching for information on how to participate. “The work for Operation Christmas Child is worth it knowing that a child will receive a Christmas present and will be shown the love of Christ,” Decker said.



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Library circulation increases dramatically Maggie Feith and Cole Langford ince the new library’s opening at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, circulation has improved significantly. “We have already passed last year’s number and it’s not even Christmas,” said librarian Patricia Twilla.


Why has circulation improved? Besides the intrigue of a new library, popular books have been purchased that have drawn the attention of many students. Manga, urban fiction, and a variety of paperback fiction books are among those that have spurred the literary craze at Dyersburg High School.

Sophomore Marshall Dowdy reads a new Manga book during his free time one day after school.

Manga books derive some of their popularity from the large, elaborate illustrations that follow along with the story line.

Photo by Suzanne Schultz

New Asian literature becomes popular among students Sam Shankle and Chris Wagner anga books, the new hit Asian literary sensation, can be found in Dyersburg High School’s library. Manga books are similar to Japanese cartoon books, except for the fact that they are not only targeted at children or teens, but all ages. They are also similar in the way they follow the traditional way of Japanese writing. The book is read from right to left instead of left to right, but still from top to bottom. Manga books, a relatively new phenomenon to Dyersburg High School, have surprisingly been around for an astounding two decades. They are a multi-billion dollar industry that have kept pages turning for the students of Dyersburg High School. “Library circulation has increased dramatically,” Twilla said. “Manga books are checked out before school, at lunch and at the end of the day. DHS student, Marshall Dowdy, has currently read 185 books!” These books were introduced to the school library by the Dyersburg Middle School librarian Sally Maddox. She had a couple that seemed too old for middle school students so she sent them high school librarian Patricia Twilla. The school now purchases their Manga books from online sources and used book stores. With helpful “how-to” guides for illustrating Manga in the DHS library, students now have the ability to create


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their own Manga masterpiece. With the help of the Dyersburg High School library, students of all ages can access and create Manga for their own personal use.

Photos by Jill Vondy

Photos submitted by Kevin Danley

Members of the Dyersburg High School FBLA stand in front of the Arkansas State Capitol building in Little Rock during their convention.

Students walked across this bridge that spans the Arkansas River. They also visited the rock after which Little Rock was named.

FBLA attends National Fall Convention in Little Rock Corena Hasselle Business Manager BLA (Future Business Leaders of America) recently attended the National FBLA Fall Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, with many other students from across the country. Business technology teachers Nancy Austin and Paul Decker, FBLA sponsors, took the students. The members enjoyed going to several inspiring workshops that included business sessions on how to become a better leader. “The most important thing I learned actually wasn’t about business. I learned from all the motivational speakers that life is amazing--and a blessing--and no matter what, you should not just be alive, you should live,” FBLA president Dakota Simpson said. “The best benefit of being involved in FBLA is getting to travel to places you have never been to before and meeting new people while learning new leadership and business skills at the same time,” FBLA vice president Jesse Cochran said. “There was one workshop that really affected me,” junior Ellen Staggs said. “The presenter taught us the importance of fixing ourselves in order to become a great leader. He told us to stop telling ourselves we aren’t good enough to accomplish a certain goal. The speaker compared it to the radio: when you’re in the car and your favorite song comes on and you start singing at the top of your lungs and then a stupid song comes on and ruins your mood. He said you just reach over and change the


song, just like what we should do when you tell yourself you aren’t good enough; tell yourself you’re playing a whack song in your head and just change the station.” On the trip, the students went out to eat several times, including a few places on Markham Street, attended a Saturday night dance at the Peabody, explored Little Rock, made new friends with about three hotels full of students from across the country and went shopping at the mall. “We had a nerf gun war on the top level of the parking garage and locked Coach Decker’s keys in his car. It was so much fun, and the dance was a blast,” Staggs said. From educational conventions to going out to eat, those who went had a great time. The students returned to Dyersburg on that Sunday, looking forward to the next trip they will take. “The best experience I had on the trip was just walking with my friends on the road. It’s nice to sometimes be in a different environment besides Dyersburg,” Simpson said. “I participated in a ton of activities; some of the most memorable were going to the dance, going on the River Walk and visiting the State Capitol,” Cochran said. “FBLA is truly a life-changing club. I can say I have learned so much about life and leadership through these conferences we attend. And I would also like to thank Mrs. Austin and Coach Decker for being such great sponsors and helping FBLA constantly improve,” Simpson said.

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Photos courtesy of ABC

Newt Gingrich (left) and Mitt Romney (right) are the two frontrunners of the Republican primary race.

Presidential hopefuls run for 2012 Jed Finley Reporter t is about one year until the 2012 presidential elections. This means that the U.S. is now in the presidential primary season. The primary season is when the party not in power (the Republican party in this case) undergoes the process of selecting a candidate to nominate and pit against the opposing party’s nominee, usually the incumbent (President Barack Obama in this case), in the general election. There are many individuals seeking the Republican party nomination. As the primary season has progressed, numerous people have chosen to run, and a few candidates have already dropped out of the race altogether. The candidates who remain include Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Charles Roemer III and Mitt Romney. Among these candidates, a few stand out and have received significant media attention: Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Romney and Gingrich. These candidates have received such significant media attention for a number of reasons. Bachmann and Perry have come under significant fire for a number of things they have spoken. Cain has encountered several accusations of alleged sexual harassment from several sources. One claim involves an affair spanning thirteen years. In response to these accusations Cain has recently declared his campaign is “suspended.” The issues this primary season are the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, healthcare, social issues, entitlements, immigration, energy, the environment and foreign policy. Many of these issues always have been and always will be present.


However, one issue is imperative. This issue is the economy. Every candidate has offered opinions and steps they plan to take. Some candidates have even offered comprehensive plans. Cain’s plan received significant media attention. Cain offered his 9-9-9 plan. This plan entails a 9% business flat tax, a 9% individual flat tax and a 9% national sales tax. In response to Cain’s plan, Perry now offers his Cut, Balance and Grow Plan. This plan includes the option for Americans either to stick with the current tax code or to choose a 20% flat tax, an option that is lucrative for Americans earning a low to middle income. Former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives Gingrich has recently experienced a surge in the polls, overcoming Cain’s popularity that has since declined due to the allegations of sexual misconduct. Gingrich and Romney, who has been a long time favorite for the nomination, now appear to be the frontrunners and the two clear options for the republican nomination. While the economy is the most important issue to the United States today, many other issues face the country. Every candidate has some type of position on each of these issues. “Our young people are capable of doing some incredible things. Get involved! Care! might consider getting politically active in an effort to change the situation. Who knows, years from now some students in a government or history class may be studying your effort!” said AP government teacher Mark Stenberg.

“Our young people are capable of doing some incredible things. Get involved! Care! ...You might consider getting politically active in an effort to change the situation. Who knows, years from now some students in a government or history class may be studying your effort!” -AP Government teacher Mark Stenberg trojan torch


New movement occupies nation Jill Vondy Photography Editor he Occupy Wall Street Movement has been ongoing for several months and has raised many questions regarding its goals and accomplishments to date. The movement has declared on its website,, that it is “fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multi-national corporations over the democratic process and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.” The movement claims to be inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and “aims to fight back against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.” The sheer number of Occupy Wallstreet Protestors’ goals is confusing. Some protestors cry for the end of “the modern


guilded-age,” “joblessness” and “poverty”; others feel they are representing “the 99% who are repressed by the by the wealthiest 1%.” The Occupy Movement has reminded people of their rights to free speech and peaceful protest. Equally important, the Occupy Movement has given a voice to concerns about the growing division in the economic and social structure in America. For the most part, the protests are thoughtful and nonviolent. Some see the Occupy Wallstreet Movement as noisy and irrelevant. With so many inconsistent goals, many feel that they are not accomplishing much. This is the first modern progressive movement to break the status quo of elevating a marginalized class of Americans. Instead, they seek to pull the wealthy upper class down to size.

Nationwide Occupy Wall Street demonstrators from all walks of life use their voices, signs and sheer presence to protest. The Occupy Movement has been active in all 50 states.

Occupy demonstrators protest in a variety of ways. Some protests have been much more violent and emotional than others. The movement has been active in Tennessee in 7 locations including Memphis, Murfreesboro, Knoxville and Johnson City.

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Arab Spring: Sarah Hasselle Reporter ince last December, several protests for pro-democracies have occurred in the Arab world. This revolutionary wave of massive protests, “the Arab Spring,” has inspired many minorities to speak out for their own civil rights. What started in Tunisia picked up in Egypt and eventually moved to more protests in Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Success in other countries created a domino effect over social and political problems. Syria’s people are advocating for political reforms, civil rights, and the end of the long-running


The fight continues for democracy in Syria

1963 state of emergency to seek democracy for all Syrian people. Bashar AlAssad, the president of Syria, inherited his position from his father when his father died in 2000. Al-Assad’s regime has been called an “accidental dictatorship,” because his brother was meant to resume his father’s power but was unable to because of a fatal car crash. The government is run by the Ba’ath party, which has been well established for forty years. Seventy-four percent of the population of Syria are Sunni Muslims, but Alawis (only twelve percent of the population) dominate the Ba’ath party and their system of government. Therefore, many Syrian government officials are afraid of making their government more democratic, because it might cause discrimination against the Alawis that once existed before they took power. The largest ethic minority in Syria, the Kurds, makes up about ten percent of the population and is undeniably repressed by the Syrian government. Laws rule against the Kurdish language being taught in school, and Kurds cannot hold a passport or ID card. The territory owned by Kurds has been given away to Arab Bedouins. The Kurds are one of the few groups warily attempting to seek appropriate representation in the revolution and in the Syrian National Council (SNC), a coalition that was created recently to protest the government. Five major economic problems exist in Syria: unemployment, drought, monopolies, declining oil revenues and major income inequality. The youth of Syria has the highest unemployment rate, which has increased by thirty percent. The unemployed youth were the driving force of revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. “Assad has his teeth sunken too deep in Syria. And with all the vioWikipedia lence retaliations and deaths, it is

apparent he’s not willing to give up without a fight,” web commenter Jeff Raines said. Torture and murder are commonly used against protesters, and it has been reported that as many as 4,000 citizens have been killed since March. Many have claimed to be tortured with electricity and beaten with sticks. Assad’s military and secret police openly shoot citizens, often for no apparent reason. It has been about a year since the demands for reformation have begun. Libya’s government collapsed. Why have rebels in Syria have not been successful? In contrast to Libya, most of Syria’s cities are located inland, and the Syrian military and secret police are much stronger. Also, many people believe that Syrians are scared to revolt with opponents against the regime being shot and killed. Many of Syrian jobs belong to the private sector, so many people continue to support the regime out of fear of losing their jobs. Since the government has been run by the Assads for at least forty years, the revolution has gained little support from neighboring countries. Many are afraid that opposition to government could spread to their own country or cause more unrest. Because the government has been ruled strictly by the Ba’ath control for forty years, the opposition is less organized, but the SNC is gaining some organization. On November 20th, the Council met with Libyan authorities to negotiate a deal to smuggle weapons across the Turkish border to Syria’s resistance groups. The United States has listed Syria as a supporter of terrorism, especially to the terrorist group, Hezbollah but the United States has also sent top terror suspects to Syria to be tortured. The United States has suppressed imports from Syria and has encouraged the Arab League to act against the Syrian government. Syria, in response, has been cooperative with the United States’ accusations.

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Christmas spending:

Ways to avoid breaking the bank

Sean Stapleton Editor oney: it’s a major concern for millions of people during the holidays. Not only do we become so wrapped up in stretching every penny simply to cram one last present under the tree, but also we shove long-standing family traditions and—at the risk of sounding cheesy—the true meaning of Christmas to the background because we are too worried about giving expensive presents and managing every last nickel in our bank accounts. During December, it seems like people become infected with a need to spend, and signs of this disease are everywhere. Herds of people flock to every shopping mall and superstore hunting for deals on anything that might pass as a gift to give to family, friends, coworkers and maybe even acquaintances. Each department store seems to have its own version of the overly merry, winter-themed commercial raving about 10% discounts on flip flops or scented candles. Of course, it is obvious why people become carried away in the rush of the holidays: giving and receiving gifts can bring about warm, delightful feelings. However, the holidays may become loaded down with unnecessary stress when every consideration of Christmas Day is tangled in the material and superficial. Presents are a staple throughout the history of Christmas, but we must not allow everything that has to do with presents—comparing and selecting and bargaining and buying and wrapping—to overwhelm the other seasonal customs and take up all of our time. Instead of giving loved ones just another book, electronic or toy, try spending more time with them. Doing something as simple as taking a friend to get coffee and talking with him or her would probably be more appreciated than any predictable item meticulously wrapped in shiny paper (not to mention that it would cost less, too).


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If you aren’t entirely comfortable with the whole “being sociable thing,” then just relaxing and watching a movie or football game with your family is better than huddling in a dimly lit room with your nose stuck in a book or your eyes locked on a video game. You don’t have to talk to anyone, but they’ll at least enjoy your company. Also, setting aside a significant amount of time to fully participate in something like decorating the house with lights or setting up the Christmas tree is a much better way to share the holiday with others. Enjoying wholesome family traditions is one of the most important aspects of Christmas. Furthermore, with a little thought, one might be able to come up with an inexpensive present that would be more heartfelt and easier to put together than having to scour countless shelves and write big checks for that “one special gift.” Artists, poets and photographers can all use their talents to come up with personalized presents for friends and family. Obviously, your mom doesn’t want a picture of the family cat in a frame with beads hot-glued to it, but it is possible to handmake a funny or loving present that can actually induce a genuine emotion on Christmas morning. And if you just happen to have some spending money and truly want to make a difference, almost all charitable organizations are willing to accept donations to help make Christmas enjoyable for everyone. While it may be the season of giving, it isn’t the season of blowing your bank account or feeling obligated to do something “nice” for someone else. Spending money isn’t a requirement to have an enjoyable holiday, and none of your actions should be forced just because of the time of year. Sincerely thinking of others and doing things for them that have true meaning and value are what actually drive the holiday cheer.

Movie ticket prices: Are they worth it? Laurie Williams Reporter ccording to the National Association of Theater Owners, the average movie ticket price is $7.94. Although there has been a slight decrease from the average price of $8.01 in 2010, many people are wondering if it is even worth it to make the trip out to the movie theater anymore. There is no doubt that Americans love going to the movies: the freshly popped popcorn, the huge fountain drinks, the candy in little boxes and, of course, the chance to see a motion picture on the big screen before the ending is ruined by somebody else. However, the cost of the ticket without snacks or drinks is enough to make most people think twice about shelling out big bucks just to see a new movie. If you have ever stayed late after a movie is done, you have probably noticed the hundreds of names listed in the credits. Each one of these people or corporations receives a share of


the profits that the film makes, contributing to the increased cost of movie tickets. Also, your local movie theater wants to turn a profit. This profit often causes the theater to jack up prices even higher. Although seeing a brand new movie with friends or family is enjoyable, there are also other ways to spend the same amount of money or less and have just as much fun. For instance, movie rentals are much cheaper than seeing movies in theaters, and it usually only takes a few months for films to make it to store shelves. Eating dinner with friends at a local restaurant can be relatively cheap and still gives one the feeling of companionship one gets from going to the movies in groups. Even attending the matinee showing of a movie instead of the evening showing can save a great deal of money. On Tuesday, the Carmike Cinema in Dyersburg also offers a special movie package, Stimulus Tuesday. On Tuesdays until 5:00 p.m., moviegoers can purchase a drink for one dollar and a popcorn for one dollar, which is a great deal, considering the normal concession prices. Without a doubt, people will want to have the movie theater experience every once in a while: it is as close as most will ever get to famous actors and actresses. However, if the trend of rising ticket prices continues, theaters may show a drop in sales and profits, especially with the current state of the economy.

Photos by Laurie Williams

Sophomore Vanessa Beard braves the exorbitant movie theater fees to see a new film with her family and friends. Students have recently realized that attending the matinee showing after school is much cheaper than cashing out for a late-night trip to the movies.

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First United Methodist Church 100 McGaughey St. Dyersburg, TN 285-6454

Electrical Contractors

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Making healthy choices at fast food restaurants Maggie Feith Editor


ay I have a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, large fries and a large sweet tea? Oh, and I’d like about 10 packs of ketchup. Thank you!” Do you remember ordering something similar the last time you were at McDonald’s? That oh-so-tasty Double Quarter Pounder (don’t forget the cheese) had 730 calories. The large fries and 10 packs of ketchup? 620 calories. Finally, that amazing southern staple (the sweet tea) had 230 calories. You consumed over 1,500 calories in one meal. The average number of calories a person should consume in an entire day is 2,000. That’s scary. Eating like that is acceptable on occasion, but if you consider that meal to be normal, you should definitely change your eating habits. Believe it or not, there are

healthier options at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A, to name a few. I’ll start with McDonald’s just to repair the reputation I might have given them. You can order one of many great salads, or, if you aren’t a salad-eater, simply downsize whatever you usually eat. Get a six-piece chicken nugget meal instead of a ten-piece or even order a kid’s meal. Drinks and french fries can be downsized as well -- who really needs a large? Taco Bell has a “fresco” menu with many low-calorie options. You get your chicken, steak or bean burritos in a much healthier way. At Chick-fil-A, you can get wraps, salads, or again, just downsize your meal. Also, they offer an option for the chicken to be grilled instead of crispy. That’s the way to go. At any fast food restaurant, you can order water instead of a sugary drink. Also, using fewer condiments with your meal will decrease calorie intake. The boxy ketchup packets at Chick-fil-A are indeed cute, but using so many of them is unnecessary. Once in a while, it’s fine to treat yourself to the standard, greasy, American meal. However, the rest of the time, make sure you think about what you put into your body.


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Facebook alterations throw off users Morgan Reed Reporter f there is one thing a teenager does on a regular basis, it is logging on to the social media network Facebook. Much is being changed on the popular online social media network to improve it. Facebook has changed, and it has sparked controversy within the teenagers’ realm of gossip. Facebook has made several alterations concerning its overall layout, including how things work and how things are seen. Some of these changes include the new “ticker.” The “ticker” is the new gadget that streams constant newsfeed, consisting of the statuses, pictures and videos people post. “It did not change anything for me. Facebook is Facebook; if people do not like it, they can get off,” junior Savannah King said. “I think they should have left it the way it was; the new ticker makes me feel like I am constantly stalking these people,” sophomore Taylor Sharp said. The new tool shows every action that is taking place at that very moment. Then they are fed to the ticker, where anyone who has the sidebar pulled up can see what his Facebook friends are doing, what they are commenting on, or what they are liking at that exact second. “At first, I did not like the new Facebook changes, but now I do because I have gotten used to them,” senior Anna Davin said when asked how she liked the changes. With many new features, including the more technical ways people can make their profiles private and having to accept a tag made on photograph, a few of Facebook’s users seem to find the changes a little confusing. “They are too complicated,” sophomore Fantasia Buntyn said. However, some “Facebookers” find that the changes are an improvement.


“I think it (the changes) makes Facebook classy,” sophomore Gage Dean said. Some of the commonly agreed upon advantages of the new Facebook changes have been items like the new birthday tool, which allows users to write a quick “Happy birthday!” on all of their friends’ walls at one time. This tool eliminates the hassle of having to click on each person’s individual profile. Another positive change has been the photo viewer. Facebook has made changes to the way users view pictures to make it more modern looking, as well as easier to do. Aside from these positive changes, there are the ones that some of the Facebook users would rather not have been implemented. These include the new sidebar and having to constantly refresh the page in order to see the most recent newsfeed. Everything changes at some point or other, and it is no surprise that Facebook changes as well.

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Strange, outdated laws still in the books Maria Yousuf Business Manager icture the following scenario. Regular Human: I have just had the worst day ever. And I have here a bottle of fine wine, which, in my frustration, I will now hurl at a nearby tree. Regular Human hurls said bottle. A police officer sees the action and arrests the Regular Human, who succumbs at once to bitter tears. In Bell Buckle,Tennessee, it is actually illegal to throw bottles at trees. This statute falls under a law about “throwing missiles,” which could possibly hurt someone and was consequently made a crime. Most laws considered utterly pointless and even ridiculous today were once relevant but simply stayed in the books because no one really cared to repeal them. For instance, in Lenior County, you must fire a gun out your window when pulling


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up to a stop sign to warn horse carriages of your arrival. Even in Dyersburg, it is against the law for a woman to call a man for a date, and if you are a bar owner in Kimball, you must, on no account, permit your patrons to make loud, unusual noises. There is a law in Memphis that may be seen as inconsiderate or even highly offensive: A woman cannot legally drive a car unless there is man running in the front with a red flag to warn the innocent, surrounding community. According to the law, you cannot own a cheetah in Nashville. Some laws even had the potential to make sense. Importing skunks into Tennessee is illegal to prevent the entrance of the diseases the animals are known for, such as rabies. And across Tennessee, interracial marriages are still frowned upon in terms of

legality, and stealing a horse will result in hanging. Some Dyersburg High School students offered their own ideas of amusing laws. “Dating should be illegal,” said senior Brakkos King. “Blinking should not be allowed while driving,” said junior Jade Box. “If you have to blink, you must pull over to the side of the road and do it.” Now picture this. Damsel in Distress: I cannot believe I was not allowed to date my one and only true love! I will blink extremely hard in frustration, and then I will be rebellious and not pull over. D.I.D. overestimates ability to blink while driving and forgets to fire her pistol at a stop sign. A horse carriage comes along.

sports With multiple losses of last year’s seniors, Trojans strive to fill open seats Mary Byars Reporter s warm weather starts to fade, Trojan basketball begins. After numerous practices and workouts over the past couple of months, the team is sure to be ready for this season. The team started off the season with wins against Chester County in a Hall of Fame Contest game, Carroll Academy, Riverside and Crockett County. While the Trojans practice during fifth period every day, the team works on passing drills, plays they use during the games, shooting skills and a mind-boggling amount of endurance activities. The team is practicing as hard as they can to adjust to new roles each player has to


take on because of the loss of multiple seniors. With these losses the team as a whole has had to step up and take the initiative to move forward and push harder to gain the trust and strength to work together in how they play. “The practices have been pretty good up to this point in the year: our guys have really competed and worked hard to get where we are at right now. They have worked extremely hard in practice up to this point in the year. Of course, basketball is a long season, so we hope to keep it up,” assistant coach Jared Street said. One of the team’s main goals is to make it through the season with very few, if any, losses. Another goal that is

The boys! basketball team runs a down the court drill to prepare for the upcoming season. The Trojans have been rewarded for their work with an impressive eight and two record.

set every year is to compete for a district championship, and this year is no different for the team. One last goal of the Trojans is to work towards growing as a team and as basketball players. “We are ready for this upcoming season, and we will work together to do our best to go a long way this year,” sophomore Wilson Armstrong said. The team to beat this year is Haywood County. Haywood is ranked number one in the district. With many games still ahead of them, the Trojans will keep focused on their main goals so they are ready to represent their school as they suit up for each game.

Sophomore Jemeereo Spain rebounds his teammate!s shot during preseason practice.

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Dance team:

New season, new sponsor

Alex Agee Reporter he purpose of a dance team is to promote school spirit, to represent the school at all community and competitive events and to provide entertainment during halftimes at sporting events: that is exactly what the Dyersburg High School dance team plans to do throughout the year. With a new sponsor, English teacher Laura Wright, the dance team is changing the way they do things. For example, the team is trying to go to a competition this year to showcase their dancing abilities. “We’re going to try to go to a competition this year, but it’s not set yet. We definitely have the talent to do well in a competitive setting; it’s just a matter of fundraising and finding a competition that fits our schedules,” Wright said. Competitions are only one of the few places the dance team will be performing. Basketball games will be their primary venue, although the team will try to dance at spring sports’ games, pending the coaches’ approval. The dance team will also be representing the school at non-school related events. The team performed at the R-U-N 4 FAW fundraiser for Fine Arts Warehouse in October. They participated in the Dyersburg Christmas parade and plan to participate in other community events as well. “The primary goal for the dance team this year is that the team represent the school in spirit as well as performances,” Wright said. So where did this team learn their routines? Cathy Bona, the director of Fine Arts Warehouse here in Dyersburg, created and taught the routines the dance team will use this year. The dances they perform are usually pom and hip-hop. “At the end of last year, the team didn’t have a sponsor. Some of the girls wanted to continue having a team, and asked me if I would be the sponsor for them. They’re such a great group of


girls, and I wanted them to be able to continue doing something they love, so I agreed,” Wright said. “All of us girls are just so grateful to have Mrs. Wright as our sponsor!” junior Tiera Cole said. The biggest obstacle the dance team has had this year is funding. The team account was in the red at the end of last year, and it is hard to get started without money. “We are fortunate to have an administration that has been understanding of our situation as we started a new year,” Wright said. Another problem the team has run into is scheduling because the girls on the team are so busy and involved in other activities. “We are trying to show the school and members of the community how hard we have worked on our routines, and we hope everyone enjoys them,” freshman Kendra Lyte said.

Photos submitted by Robin Anderson

Members of the dance team pump up the audience and instill school spirit by performing a new routine.

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Junior Emily Taylor does a toe touch in one of the dance team!s new routines to entertain the basketball fans.

First Christian Church

770 Hwy. 51 By-Pass Dyersburg, TN 286-2446

770 Hwy. 51 Byp. Dyersburg, TN 285-8601

Sunday Service 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Service 7:00 p.m.

2496 Lake Rd. & inside Walmart Dyersburg, TN

“Proud supporter of the Trojans and the Trojan Torch”

The Road to Success is Always Under Construction

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Accepting: Commercial Care


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400 Tickle St. Dyersburg, TN 285-2410

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470 Mall Blvd., Ste. C Dyersburg, TN 285-3410

Randall P. Prince, DDS, FAGD 427 Troy Ave. Dyersburg, TN 286-1583

Family Nurse Practitioner

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Lady Vols head coach fights early-onset dementia Katherine Keller Assistant Editor at Summitt, the Lady Volunteer basketball head coach, was diagnosed with early-onset dementia in May 2011. After months of erratic behavior, Summitt could not figure out what was going on with her health, and finally decided to go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She underwent many tests with the belief that her rheumatoid arthritis was causing the problems. The doctors realized that it was not her arthritis, but a condition called early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Summitt went through stages of denial, anger and frustration when she discovered the cause of her illness, but is now moving forward. She has decided to take a more positive outlook and is going to do everything she can to remain healthy. “There’s not going to be a pity party, and I’ll make sure of that,” said Summitt. Early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, is a disease that is caused by the destruction of brain cells. It typically progresses very slowly and causes a decline in abilities. As a coach, Summitt has 1,071 victories; she has lead the Lady Vols to eight national championships and coached the United States to the gold medal at the


Summer Olympics in 1984. Over the years, she has become a figure head to the women’s basketball world and women’s athletics. Summitt has spent 37 seasons at UT and is college sports most successful coach. She is going to continue to coach as long as she can and has not even considered retirement. Her doctor even advised her to coach, saying that she could work through it if she truly wants to. It’s not going to be easy, but she won’t quit until she has to. “I feel better just knowing what I’m dealing with, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s not going to keep me from living my life, not going to keep me from coaching,” said Summitt. “There was anger. 'Why me?' was a question she asked more than once. But then, once she came to terms with it, she treated it like every other challenge she ever had, and is going to do everything she possibly can to keep her mind right and stay to coach," said Summitt’s son, Tyler. Summitt established an organization called the Pat Summitt Foundation to raise awareness for her condition and for others like her. The foundation will educate families and patients about Alzheimer’s disease, support services and treatment for the disease and perform re-

search to help find a cure. One can donate to the foundation by going to Summitt treats her team like family. She loves them like her own children and met with the team to discuss her condition, assuring them that nothing could stop her from pressing towards the goal of her ninth national title. "More than anything, she just emphasized that she's our coach and that she wanted us to have complete confidence in her, and we do," said junior guard Tabor Spani. "Coach Summitt, you never cease to amaze me with your strength and courage. Whenever you face adversity you tackle it head on! True inspiration for me and one of the strongest women I know. I love you, and we will handle this together as the Lady Vols always have, like FAMILY," said former Lady Vol star Candace Parker to her old coach. Summitt has grasped that there will be good and bad days, but she is ready to tackle this challenge by continuing to do what she loves, coaching. She will not stop “as long as the good Lord is willing.”

Information for this article can be found at and

Photos from

Pat Summit cuts down the net after winning her eighth national championship with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers.

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Summit coaches another successful team from the sideline during a game at Thompson-Bowling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.


New Year’s Eve sparkles as fun holiday film Lauren Brooks Editor irector and producer Garry Marshall invites audiences everywhere to bring in the new year with his latest flick New Year’s Eve. The film, similar to Marshall’s own 2010 hit Valentine’s Day, features several vignettes centered around the love lives of various New Yorkers and their good times on the New Year’s holiday. The film features a star-studded cast including Academy Award winner Robert DeNiro (A Few Good Men, Meet the Parents), Josh Duhamel (Life as You Know It), Zac Efron (Charlie St. Cloud), Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy), Seth Meyers (head writer of Saturday Night Live), Lea Michelle (Glee), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City), Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns), Til Schweiger (The Three Musketeers), Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Ludacris and Jon Bon Jovi. The film also reunites Valentine’s Day co-stars Jessica Biel (I Now


Pronounce You Chuck and Larry), Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman) and Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men). The feature was shot entirely on location in New York City, contributing to the pulse and promise of the year’s most illustrious night. The intertwining stories and excitement make for a fun romantic comedy sure to please audiences everywhere. Catch New Year’s Eve in theaters starting December 9th.

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Christmas movies capture holiday spirit Suzanne Schultz Reporter s Christmas approaches, everyone needs that one movie to make his or her holiday complete. Fortunately, every year a new Christmas movie hits the stands trying to catch the eyes of younger generations. From classics to modern versions, the world of cinema has every style to offer. DHS students have spoken on the movies they enjoy most during December. Tenth on the student list is The Santa Claus, in which Tim Allen takes a break from hammers and nails to help save Christmas and restore his relationship with his young son. Santa’s accidental death causes Scott Calvin to take over his position as the head honcho at the North Pole. This 1994 comedy never fails to create laughs and smiles around the fireplace. Next on the student list is holiday favorite and 50s classic, White Christmas. This movie pops colors of red and white, allowing viewers to get into the Christmas spirit. In 2009, the classic, A Christmas Carol, was converted to an animation, placing eighth. The movie successfully appeals to all ages. After this choice, one of the most memorable movies, It’s a Wonderful Life, seems to continually touch a deep spot in people’s hearts. “You can never go wrong with a classic,” junior Laura Beth Cherry said. Coming in sixth, all he wanted for Christmas was a Red Ryder BB gun. A Christmas Story aired in 1983, winning over much of its audience. The Polar Express has also caught attention of DHS students. The magical adventure of one boy turned into a national phenomenon is the perfect movie for families to watch and enjoy during their Christmas holiday. Next


on the list, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation cast Chevy Chase in the lead role in a hysterical, family adventure. No one can go wrong with a good comedy to get into the Christmas spirit. Winning the third spot, another favorite of all generations, is Home Alone. This film series adds an interesting twist to the holidays. Christmas is filled with chaos in the McAllister home. “He is so mischievous,” sophomore Elliott Feith said. No one can predict what a seven-yearold is capable of when he is left at home alone on Christmas Eve. In a close second is an interesting remake from 2000 of the classic cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Grinch may not know it at first, but he comes to find just how big of a heart he really has. Placing first, love for the comedy Elf g r o w s stronger every year. With many memorable quotes, Elf has laughs for everyone. Buddy (Will Ferrell) leads a life only an elf could dream of. While snow is falling and hot chocolate is brewing, all one needs is a movie to get the complete effect of the winter holiday.

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven uplifting read Lauren Brooks Editor ost are aware of a general concept of heaven. A person dies and, depending on his life, goes to heaven or hell. He enters through the pearly gates, and all is well. Right? Author Mitch Albom further explores the concept in his novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven. The Five People You Meet in Heaven begins with Eddie’s eighty-third birthday, which he spends as he has spent many of his previous--completing the daily jobs and tasks as the maintenance manager at the amusement park Ruby Pier. It is a seemingly normal day at the Pier: the park is full; the rides are operating; the booths are sprightly with activities. But with one moment--in which an exhilarating new ride, a snapped wire, a falling cart and two small hands all interweave--everything changes. Upon his death, Eddie must travel through five places of heaven--in each one meeting a different person. The people


help Eddie understand his time on earth: the chances he took, the choices he made, the people he affected. From two people he never even met to an acquaintance, his Army captain and his beloved wife, Eddie must face again his life’s hardest obstacles. Through his journey throughout heaven, Eddie learns that there are no random acts, and that all are connected to one another. He learns that sacrifice is the greatest act of love, forgiveness the necessity of healing. Finally, he learns that he himself has made the ultimate difference in saving someone else’s life. Albom’s story of faith, healing and love is one that is not to be missed. It is a fantastically-written, thought-provoking, light read that will leave the reader with a feeling of peace and understanding. For more, check out the 2004 feature film directed by Lloyd Kramer and starring Jon Voight.

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Miss DHS

A Winter Wonderland

Senior Jamal Fleming laughs while dancing to “The Cha Cha Slide� Saturday night.

December 10, 2011

Seniors Jeff Betonio and Lana Haight pose during a song at their last Miss DHS dance.

Photos submitted by Connie Wright

2nd maid sophomore Hannah Wright, 1st maid junior Ciara Dycus, Miss DHS Regan Watson, Mr. DHS Johnny Shaw, runner up Mary Evelyn Peckenpaugh and runner up Alexis Hopkins smile after the crowning.

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Issue 3 11-12  

Issue 3 11-12