On May 1st, 2019, roughly 32 school systems and 4 charter schools closed in North Carolina. Why you may ask? Well, the N.C. Association of Educators organized a rally. The rally was for the teachers of North Carolina to be able to stand up for school budgets. Last year the school systems had a very similar rally. The rally attracted at least 20,000 people and 42 out of the 115 school districts in the state closed so that their teachers could attend the rally. The main points of the day are the arrival, the march to the general assembly, the rally, the legislative visit, and the bus pick-up.
This rally happened because on April 28 2019, the state house education budget papers were released. As you may have guessed many teachers and school attendees disagreed with what was in the budget. One of my school teachers, Miss Forsythe, attended the rally that happened in Asheville. When I asked her why she went, this was her response. “I have gone to the rally for the past two years because I believe that North Carolina should value education more than it does. This includes paying teachers a competitive salary so that they are not leaving of the state, and funding schools properly so that students can have everything they need like mental health services, supplies, and up to date resources.” Also many teachers and attendees of schools that weren’t canceled also had rally’s in their own cities, Asheville is one of those examples.
Many teachers went because they disagreed with the budgets, but for what reasons? The NC superintendent’s letter stated that the new average teachers salary was now $54,000 per school year, though the most a teacher can make currently in NC is just above 52,000 per year with 25+ years of experience. Many teachers think that people with higher degrees should get a higher pay, which was one of the rally’s demands. Some also wanted to expand medicare for the teachers and students. Some people did oppose the rally though, people like Senate President Phil Berger and State Superintendent Mark Johnson. Mark Johnson asked that teachers took action while school was not in session but the teachers didn’t take no for an answer. The teachers rallied up in Raleigh and protested for a better budget. As of now no official changes have been made to the budget.
Story by Hadley Wallace
The CIA is our nation's main security branch. We had many different security forces in WWll before the CIA was established. CIA stands for Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA was established in 1947. It was officially created when President Truman signed the security act. By 1953 the CIA was an established part of our government. Unlike the FBI the CIA has no law enforcement function.
Some of the intelligence agencies before the CIA were Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI). Which was founded in 1941 and lasted for 337 days. It was founded because the U.S needed an intelligence agency during WWll. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) it was established in 1942. And lasted for 3 years and 3 months. Strategic Services Unit (SSU) was founded in 1947. It lasted for 1 year and 5 months. It was founded because we needed an agency to temporarily take over for the OSS in London, Paris, Rome, and Cairo until and permanent solution could be found. The last agency before the CIA was the Central Intelligence Group (CIG). It was founded in 1946 and lasted for 1 year and 3 months. It was founded because we needed an organization not only to analyze info but also produce info.
All of the version above were used in WWll. The CIA is tasked with gathering and processing international security. The CIA reports to the Director of national intelligence. It also analyzes international data. It has grown in size since the 9/11 attacks. Its headquarters are in Virginia. The CIA is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert operations.
Story by Maddy Peeples
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) named one of their numerous facilities after Katherine G. Johnson, who computed trajectories for John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission to orbit Earth and Neil Armstrong’s Apollo’s Lunar Lander. The Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility (IV&V) was renamed February 22, NASA announced. President Donald Trump signed a law in December calling for the redesignation, NBC Washington says. The New York Times writes that Joylette Hylick, one Johnson’s daughters, says that her mother is living comfortably and is humbled by the recognition. Hylick added that she hoped the dedication would inspire others in the future, beyond Black History Month. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “I am thrilled we are honoring Katherine Johnson in this way as she is a true American icon who overcame incredible obstacles and inspired so many.” Previously, Johnson won the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015 and countless other awards for her prestigious talent for mathematics.
Johnson, along with Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, were three main characters in the 2016 film Hidden Figures, which chronicles the journey of these three African-American women and their success at Langley Research center in Hampton, Virginia. The film was based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly and won three Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. CNN reports that “Johnson's contributions, like those of many female ‘computers,’ were often overlooked in history.” That’s certainly true. Johnson was born in 1918 in West Virginia, where equality was hard to come by. Her skill led her several grades ahead of her age. When she was only 13, she was attending high school and when she was 18, she had enrolled in college. Johnson graduated with honors and took a teaching job at a segregated public school, although her sights were still set on math.
When West Virginia decided to desegregate schools in 1939, a professor chose Johnson and two male students to enter the West Virginia University graduate school. NASA says that Johnson left the school at the end of the first session to marry and raise children. In 1952, Johnson was told by a friend that a spot was open at the Langley laboratory in Hampton, Virginia. Johnson, then Goble, moved to accommodate the position at Langley. During that time, she analyzed data from flight tests. Katherine’s husband, James Goble, died of cancer shortly before Sputnik’s launch. Johnson did some math for a compilation of documents. The engineers of this compilation later formed the Space Task Group and Katherine “moved along” with them. She did the trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 and coauthored a report describing how to know where a spacecraft would land. Johnson then completed the work she was known for. The IBM machines (the first computing machines, or computers) were prone to blackouts and technology problems, which made everyone at NASA cautious of them. John Glenn basically refused to go into his capsule, Friendship 7, until Katherine Johnson had checked them herself. She retired after 33 years at Langley and several year’s worth of important work in service of America’s space age.
Now, after her work being held from the outside world for more than a half a century, Johnson deserves this recognition. Katherine, be proud of this. Your talent and prestigious skill makes all of us proud and inspires young women like me to follow in your footsteps.
Story by Caroline Barton
SOURCE FOR PICTURE: https://www.makers.com/profiles/591f267c6c3f646439558630
On January 20th, 2017 Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, during his run for president against Democrat Hillary Clinton the election was a close call and many were hopeful for the first woman to be president. From the beginning, President Trump's election has been viewed critically by many political leaders and citizens of the United States. President Trump has made a statement that he will build a wall on the southern border to keep illegal immigrants and terrorists out of the United States. Many professionals and celebrities have made the comment that not everyone that comes into the United States are terrorists and drug lords but President Trump has refused to believe them. Enforcing the idea of a 1,000 mile long wall from Arizona to Texas to keep thousands of famlies from coming to the United States. The wall could take up to 8 billion dollars to build according to nbcnews and millions to take care of every year taking funding away from important departments.
President Trump recently has declared a state of national emergency regarding the 8 billion dollar wall he hopes to build, after President Trump proposed the amount of money the wall will take to build, Congress passed a bill only allowing 1.375 billion to be used causing President Trump to consider the national emergency. The Pentagon announced they would send an extra 3,750 troops to the wall for more protection. Congress is on the verge of formally repudiating President Trump's national emergency making it a historic first and many agree with this idea. Many celebrities have tweeted comments such as "Speaking of borders, I do believe loving people know that regardless of politics, there are some lines you do not cross. Protecting children seems to be one we can all agree on."- Jennifer Nettles along with many others tweeting similar posts.
A national emergency can be declared by the government during three different situations civil unrest, disaster, or armed conflict. There have been 59 national emergencies in U.S. history and 31 of them have been in effect for many years. Some of the National Emergencies that are still in effect today are the national emergency with respect to Iran in effect because of the Iran hostage crisis and was put into effect on November 14, 1979, and the national emergency with respect to prohibiting certain transactions with respect to the development of Iranian Petroleum Resources this was put in to effect in March of 1995 along with 29 other emergencies still active today these are just a few. Most of the national emergencies still in effect are active because the U.S. is still considered to be in a state of crisis.
Story by Barret Bryson
Closing the awards season this year, the 91st Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, made history in many ways. From daring fashion statements to setting new records, the 2019 Oscars didn’t fail to impress us. On Sunday night at 8:00 pm the curtains rose on a smoke-filled stage. Emerging from the background, world famous guitarist Brian May emerges with frontman Adam Lambert to open the show with Queen’s first live TV performance since 1985. Performing songs “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” brought the awards ceremony to life. When the performance ended, stars Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph open the show and announce that there will be no host for the 91st Academy Awards. This hasn’t happened in 30 years. Even without a host, the show turned into one of the most memorable, record-breaking Oscar ceremonies ever held. Here are some of the highlights of the night!
One of the most monumental records set was "Black Panther" production designer Hannah Beachler’s win. She was the first African-American winner in the production design category. Her speech was tearful and inspiring, saying “I give this strength to all of those who come next to keep going and to never give up and when you think it’s impossible just remember this piece of advice I got from a very wise woman: I did my best, and my best is good enough.” Legendary director Spike Lee also won his first competitive Oscar for “BlacKkKlansman,” even after being discouraged for not winning any direction awards for one of his biggest films, “Malcolm X” (1992). This was such a big moment for Lee. After he heard his name, he ran up to the stage and jumped up onto Samual L. Jackson for a huge hug! The room was ecstatic from the pure energy Spike Lee brought onto the stage.
After Lada Gaga won the Oscar for best original song with “Shallow” featured in “A Star Is Born,” she stunned the crowd with a live performance of her award-winning song alongside Bradley Cooper, her costar. Throughout the whole song, all viewers felt a strong sense of chemistry between the two and questioned whether there was a secret romance between them. The day after the performance Lady Gaga tells Randee Dawn, a reporter for ‘Today.com,’ “Yes, people saw love, and guess what? That's what we wanted you to see.” On a much funnier note, Mellisa McCarthy surprised the crowd when she confidently walked on stage wearing a gown covered in bunny stuffed animals. It was a tribute to the nominated film “The Favourite.” McCarthy managed to walk on to the stage and hand out the Oscar for best costume design with a straight face!
The biggest international record set this year was for "Roma." This movie became the first film from Mexico to win the Oscar for best foreign language film. The dialogue in “Roma” is in Spanish and Mixtec. Another new record set this year was Rami Malek receiving the award for best actor. This was his first nomination and first win. During his acceptance speech, Malek says, "I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I am a first generation American, and part of my story is being written right now and I could not be more grateful." This makes him the first Arab American to win the best actor award at the Oscars.
A Hollywood award show wouldn’t be complete without a red carpet report! On Sunday night, singer Billy Porter stole the show with his tuxedo top the flowed into a magnificent gown. He later told stunned reporters that he wasn’t part of the drag community, he was simply a “man in a dress.” This red carpet outfit has hopefully opened up a new world to all boys watching, teaching them that stereotypes about boys not being able to wear skirts and dresses are unnecessary. Billy Porter taught everyone to move past gender stereotypes and do what others were afraid to do. After all, he ended up being the star of the red carpet at the 2019 Oscars!
Story by Lily Crum
On Sunday, July 29, 2018, in an aquarium in San Antonio, workers discovered that one of their sharks went missing out of their ‘interactive touch tanks’. The shark was a 16-inch female horn shark which is part of the bull shark family. Her name was Miss. Helen. She was good with kids and being touched and that is why she was in the touch tank. This also explains why she didn’t fight back or bite the men when she was getting ‘sharknapped’. After this was brought to the attention of the aquarium manager, they went through every piece of security footage from the time frame of when the shark was stolen. This then turned the attention to the security team and how they didn’t see anything wrong.
After going through all the security footage, the aquarium called the police to take over the investigation. The police then found the three suspects, brought them into custody, and then questioned them. Once they were confronted, all three confessed. Also according to abc news 13 eyewitness news the three men staked out for more than an hour by the exhibit. Now, this confused the police. Why didn’t the employee’s see anything wrong with the men? According to abc news 13 eyewitness news the men distracted the employees by dumping a bucket of bleach into the aquariums cold water filtration system. All this happening right by at least two different employee’s.
Currently the shark, Miss. Helen is back safe and sound in the aquarium. In the end Miss. Helen was stolen at about two pm. She was found alive in a makeshift tank in a garage in a San Antonio home. Investigators say that if the thieves didn’t know what they were doing the situation would have ended very differently. As of now one of the men has been charged with theft and as for the other two suspects charges are still pending. The three men got away with stealing the shark by putting it in a baby carriage and disguising her. The three men's names have not yet been released.
Story by Hadley Wallace
SOURCE FOR PICTURE:
I'm sure you've heard of the 2018-2019 government shutdown. But I bet you didn't know, unfortunately, there was $3 billion that will never be recovered from the shutdown. It was the longest government shutdown in the history of the U.S.A. Ms. Kelly Spencer, a contractor at the Justice Department, said she thought she wouldn't be able to pay her mortgage because she was one of the many people that didn't get paid during the government shutdown. Many other positions got affected also, for example, as said by PayScale, the department of education, health, and human health services, transportation, and more didn't get paid either.
The government shutdown took an economic toll, and cost the U.S. about $11 Billion, as said by New York Times. According to The WSJ President Trump wants to take money from the defense budget for funding for the wall. He also signed a bill that will fund the government for 3 weeks, while they negotiate the security on the southern border. The reason the government shutdown was because President Trump and the Republicans wanted to build a wall between the U.S.A. and Mexico for National Security. On the other side, the Democrats disagreed they did not want the wall.
CNN said that our President, Donald Trump got offered $2.5 billion from his vice president and chief of staff, for the wall but turned it down because he needed $5.6 billion. In conclusion, the U.S. has lost a lot of money to the government shutdown. Most employees that work for the government did not get paid. The government is on a bill to fund them, and President Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Story by Rowen Dollar-Raynolds
SOURCE FOR PICTURE: Picture
A 3-year-old, Casey Lynn Hathaway, was found on January 24th after claiming he had hung out with a bear for two days, according to CNN. The three-year-old, who is just over 2 feet tall, disappeared from his grandmother’s house in Craven County near New Bern. According to ABC 11, the boy disappeared on January 22nd. He was playing outside with two other boys and according to Fox News, the others went inside but he did not. The authorities first learned of Casey’s disappearance 45 minutes later when his family called the police. In the call to the police, Casey’s great-grandmother states that Casey usually didn’t go missing and that he’d been in the woods for at least 45 minutes at the time of the call. Many organizations, including the US government, joined in the search, including the FBI, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, the Chocowinity EMS, NCIS, and the Marine Corps.
At first, the searchers were worried that the temperatures, which were dipping near freezing, would work against them and Casey. ABC 11 reports that Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes was worried that the boy was not dressed for the weather. The first night dropped to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and on the second night, Craven County received 2 inches of rain, CNN writes. Major David McFadyen of the Craven County Sheriff’s Office says that there are bears in the woods of the county, but there’s no evidence to prove one of them stayed the nights with the boy. McFayden says that all that matters was that something was there to comfort him during the three days. He says, “We are very pleased he had that type of comfort. There were very brutal conditions out there.” Many volunteers turned out for the search to find Casey, but they were reluctantly turned away; the conditions were so bad. Hendrix Valenzuela, a Multi-Hazard Field Planner with the DPS, reports, by Thursday late evening, our hopes to find him in a well-being state was diminishing. According to historical search and rescue data, our window of opportunity was closing. And eventually with any operations the situation shifts from search and rescue to recovery. (Meaning they then would search for a body, not a live person) He also says that the searchers had never mentioned the “possible negative outcome” to one another but knew deep inside that it was probable that Casey wouldn’t survive another night.
Casey was found on January 24th in good condition, the FBI confirms. The searchers had received numerous tips and followed them all, Hughes reported. "It was folks giving us tips and leads," Hughes said. "We hit every one of them immediately and it paid off." A search team followed a tip from a woman walking her dog, reporting that she’d heard a child calling out in the woods, and found Casey Lynn Hathaway in “a tangle of vines and thorns.” Reportedly, Shane Grier, the captain of the Chocowinity EMS, found him along with Valenzuela. “We responded to a tip and found him by voice," Grier said. "Disentangled him from some briars and brought him out." Grier said as soon as he got to the location, he heard Casey calling for his mom. "He was cold. He was verbal," Grier said. "Considering the conditions, I think he's doing very well." Sheriff Hughes believes that Casey was not in the same area the entire time. "I think he moved around," Hughes said.
The FBI says that he is in good health and is talking and has been reunited with his family. “We were at the right time and right place, and glad we could follow that lead to reunite Casey with his family,” said Valenzuela. “The entire search over three days was a team effort, all the agencies did a heck of a job.” Casey’s mother, Brittany Hathaway, says that Casey is, “He’s good, he’s good, he’s up and talking, he’s already asking to watch Netflix” and “eating Cheetos, nuggets, and watching ‘PAW Patrol.’” He’s currently being treated at Carolina East Medical Center, where he is being evaluated and will undergo a forensic psychological exam this week, CNN reports. On January 25th, the boy’s aunt posted an update on the Casey on social media. “Casey is healthy, smiling and talking,” Breanna Hathaway wrote. “He said he hung out with a bear for two days God sent him a friend to keep him safe. God is a good God. Miracles do happen.” In any case, thanks to the professional searchers and volunteers alike who helped find Casey and get him back to his family safe! Oh, and the bear. You can’t forget the bear.
Story by Caroline Barton
SOURCE FOR PICTURES:
How are they numbered?
The United States Interstate sign is a red, white and blue shield and has the word “interstate” on the top, the state housing the interstate, and the route number.
Interstates are one, two, or three digit numbers. If a interstate has a “0” at the end, (examples: 40, 70, 90) the interstate is running from east to west. If an interstate has a “5” at the end, (examples: 5, 15, 35, 95) it runs from south to north. The interstates are numbered going from west to east. Interstate 5 is on the west coast, I-95 is on the east. Interstate 45 is running up the middle of the country. The east-west interstates are numbered starting with the south. Interstate 10 is running at the bottom of the country, while interstate 90 is running at the top. I-40 is running through the middle. If the interstate is a three-digit number, then it is a route that either is a spur or a circle around a specific space. (examples: 495, 240, 305) The end two numbers depends on what the parent interstate is. For example, if there is a route coming off of interstate 94, a three digit route may be 794. The first number depends on whether the interstate is a circle route (connects back to the parent interstate twice, making a circle) or a spur route (has only one end connecting to the parent route). If the first number is a even number, then it is a loop route. (examples: 440, 836, 205) If the first number is a odd number, it is a spur route. (examples: 770, 515, 926). There are other routes that do not end with a “0” or “5”. It is still the same rule, if the last number is a odd number, it runs north to south, if it is a even number it runs east to west, it is just it does not span the whole country.
Business routes are loops or spurs around a city that have the same parent number as the interstate it is coming off of. The sign is a green shield with the word “business” at the top, whether it is a loop or spur, and the parent route number.
Here are some real-world examples of what I just explained above.
I-40 is probably the best example because it covers everything I just talked about.
I-40 goes from California to North Carolina, (east to west) therefore the last digit is a zero. There are many spur or loop routes coming off of Interstate 40. An example would be in Nashville, Tennessee. There is a I-840 and I-440. They are both loop routes, because the first digit is an even number. In Fort Smith, Arkansas, there is an interstate 540. This interstate is a spur route and only has one end connecting to I-40. In Winston Salem, North Carolina, there is a I-40 Business loop around the city.
I-95 is a interstate running from Florida to Maine, going north to south on the east coast, hence the name, 95.
Interstate 95 goes the whole way up the country, going from the most southern point of Florida (Miami) to the border of Maine with New Brunswick, Canada.
Interstate 95 goes through a total of 14 states, not including Washington D.C. It goes through many large cities such as Miami, Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Portland.
I-95 is the parent of 24 interstate routes. There are two city loops and one spur route coming off of I-95 just in Washington, D.C.
I-27 goes south from Amarillo to Lubbock, Texas. Since it does not end with a “0” or a “5”, it does not span the whole country. The end number is a odd number, so that means it runs north to south.
The US highway system is over 160,000 miles in total that is somewhat similar to the US interstate system. The US highway system is also very different. The odd numbers are usually run north to south, (example: US-21 runs from Columbia, SC to Charlotte, NC, which is north to south.) which is the same as the interstate system. What isn’t the same is that the smaller numbers in the US highway system start on the east. (US-1 starts in Jacksonville, FL and US-101 starts in Los Angeles, CA). The even numbers, just like the interstate system, run from east to west, but unlike the interstates, the lower number is on the canadian border while the higher ones are at the gulf coast and Mexico. (US 2 is against the Canada border while US-98 is at the bottom of the country. The most major routes usually end with a 0 or 1, but there are many exceptions to this (US-51 goes from the southern part of Louisiana to almost the Michigan-Wisconsin border. An acception to this would be US-25 which runs from Georgia to Ohio. There are also, just like the interstates, spur, loop and business routes. There are also “alternate” routes and “direction” routes.
Business routes (US highways)
Business routes are pretty much exactly the same as interstate business routes, they are spur or loop routes off of a major US highway. The only thing that is different is, well, there’s a lot more of them. In a town called Sedan, Kansas with about 1,000 people (as of 2017), has a business route going through it (Business US-166).
Another thing that US highways and Interstates have in common is loop, spur, and parent routes. They work a little bit differently though. Just like interstates, a 3-digit US highway has a parent route. You find the parent route by looking at the last two numbers of the 3-digit highway (Example: the parent route of route 643 would be 43). The 3-digit route does not necessarily have to connect directly to the parent route. It can run closely beside it or just be connected by other routes. Technically, route 936 could be across the country from route 36, it would just have to be connected by other highways. US-395 runs closely to the left of US-95. US-422 is directly connected to US-22 in Pennsylvania. US-431 is only connected to US-31 by other routes, not directly.
Story by Ryan Oast
Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e9/Greensboro_road_signs.jpg
The government shutdown has been active for one month so far - the longest in history. To learn more about the shutdown itself please look to another article here on cougar news which will hopefully explain why it's happening etc.
The government shutdown has made many government-owned buildings close down temporarily. Specifics include; Museums, Embassies, The Pentagon, National Archives, and National Parks. There are most likely more but my focus is on National Parks and, before you ask, yes ALL government buildings are closed down until the shutdown is lifted. The outrage of Park fans is that even some people could be in danger, as people who are invading national parks are getting injured because staff aren't on duty to stop people from getting hurt. For example, a person walking their dog in Yosemite ended up having to chase it and fell off into Nevada Fall. This wouldn't have happened if staff were there to tell him to not take his dog.
Including this incident, there have been 7 deaths and 4 of which have been suicides, and of course, we give our condolences to those families of all of the victims.
Not only are people in danger but the wildlife in these National Parks are being hurt by other people and some VERY rare trees and plant life, that have been the reason that the sites became Nation Parks in the first place. The most important type of which is the rare Joshua Trees, which as IFLScience says ¨Will take some national parks years to recover¨. It has now been a month, the longest in history so far, and while it continues it will be a hard record to break. Another park near us is Blue Ridge Parkway which, had to put up a BRPA on their website to warn people to be careful. We also ask all people who plan to enter national parks to be careful.
Story by Skye Robertson