Category Archives: National

Its the end of the world as we know it

(Yes like the R.E.M. song)

By: Reed Morris

All around the world, we are facing disastrous natural phenomena. The magnitude of these events seem as though they are straight out of Hollywood movies. Here is a compilation, and explanation, of some of the most major events from the late summer of 2022.

To kick off the month of August, a major flood in Kentucky had a rising death toll, passing 37 on August 2nd. In the wake of the flood, lay 12,000 powerless homes, empty schools, and millions of dollars worth of damage to local infrastructure. There was a frantic mass exodus which saw excessive looting.

Because of these factors the state was put under curfew and was essentially locked down for a short amount of time. Intervention by the federal government was eventually deemed necessary, and Biden sent federal support to Kentucky to assist localized teams of rescuers and national guardsmen in the evacuation process. 

Another case of these extremely strange and sometimes deadly weather phenomena is the case of coasts, East vs West.

Recently, at least, the US has seen an increase in extreme weather. This year was the first time we truly realized how intensely different weather can be from one side of the country to the other.

In August and September of 2022, the west coast of the United States was under extreme stress from the absurd heat that it was experiencing.

Temperatures in LA flew into the triple digits. People were asked to turn off their lights and stop using electricity to try to keep the power grid alive. With everyone living in intense heat, the power grid was struggling immensely to support the AC units needed to keep the entire population cool.

Now, we move to the east coast. For almost a month straight, during August, there was torrential rain, hail, and flooding. A direct example of this is what happened to Kentucky, as mentioned before.

We usually think of our country as better than most, but when it comes to the wrath of the sky and earth, everyone is equally powerless.

The largest of these recent natural disasters struck the Middle Eastern country of Pakistan.

While American students begrudgingly returned from their summer vacations and turned back to a life at school, children and families in Pakistan were struck by a much worse predicament.

An excess of water struck Pakistan seemingly out of nowhere. With the countries fluid infrastructure not being modern, it was quickly overrun by the extreme load. Dams lost function, levees broke, and the agricultural artery of Pakistan was its ultimate demise.

Where this really becomes truly shocking is the number of real people that have been displaced by the disaster. Over 30 million Pakistani residents have been forced to move, and over 600,000 have been forced into relief camps. One third of the country’s population is in a dire situation. This is terrifying, but it’s just the beginning.

Deadly weather phenomena are something we as a species must learn to overcome. The only issue is, we don’t know how to. Natural disasters are like our planets version of a check mate. There is nothing we can do to stop it when it happens, we can only plan to make it more difficult for our opponent to get us into that position.

This is where I must bring up global warming. We are simply not doing enough to avoid the horrendous fallout our species has laid unto ourselves. I am not going to pretend to be an atmospheric fluid dynamic professor, or a well spoken well researched activist. I’m just someone who has noticed a problem and feels that not enough people are addressing it.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do as individuals. The only chance we have is by operating together. Writing legislation and finding new ways to do what needs to be done without killing this planet that has so graciously allowed us to thrive.

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Purple heroin and the dangers associated with it

By: Abdihakim Mohamoud

Purple heroin is an illegal drug that is a combination of heroin, carfentanil, brorphine, and fentanyl. Purple heroin is especially dangerous because of the last two ingredients, brorphine and fentanyl, which can cause overdoses quickly.

The name purple heroin comes from the drug’s purple color, and it is a compact tablet which looks similar to fancy chocolate. After an unnamed person died in Van Buren County, Michigan, with a connection to the deadly drug, police in the region have been on high alert.

Someone who is overdosing on purple heroin can have a number of symptoms which are similar to other overdose situations. Confusion, difficulty staying alert, and blue nails or lips are some common symptoms of a purple heroin overdose.

Purple heroin is a psychoactive drug, meaning that it alters brain activity, and can change perception, mood, behavior, and consciousness. This drug acts as a depressant on the central nervous system, which is similar to other opioid drugs.

One of the main meeting points for the selling of the drugs are malls and colleges, and police are keeping a keen eye on these places. Raids are also being conducted to further stop the selling of this incredibly dangerous drug.

However, there are some drugs such as Narcan and Naloxone that can be used to reverse an overdose, and save one’s life. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, around 78% of drug overdose deaths involved at least one opioid in 2018, and 2,011 deaths in total.

“Parents should be very cautious if they come across any chemicals or anything suspicious looking. Reach out and contact our office and we will send someone out to look at it,” said Van Buren County Undersheriff Kevin Conklin.

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America’s fastest growing cities

By: Caelyn Hippen

Image taken from:
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Cities all over the world are rapidly growing, and most populations live in urban areas. 80% of Americans live in urban areas, and 55% of the entire world’s population live in urban areas. This number is already large, but that percentage is expected to increase to 68% by 2050.

Big cities and urban areas are becoming more popular because big cities have bigger, and more, job opportunities overall. The more jobs offer a higher pay.

Another pro to a big city is that there are better schools and more opportunities for a better education. Better schools are more often found in big cities with better and more qualified teachers, and better opportunities for students.

There are 3 main factors to a city’s success and growth.

  1. Transportation and housing supply – the more available houses there are, the more people there will be that move in. Then, depending on the availability of parking, people will want easy access to transportation to get to work.
  2. Amenities – specifically natural resources. People want to live in a city that is industrial and modernized, but people also want a place to go to relax and enjoy the outdoors. An example of this is in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a huge city that has many different types of homes, restaurants, transportations, etc. But then, you see Vondel park. Vondelpark is a 120 acre park that has ponds, food, walking and biking trails, and a lot of flowers and trees. It is a great place to relax in such a big city.
  3. The 3rd and final factor is education – I talked about education before, but like I said, parents want the best for their children. Having good schools near their new home or their job is very important and could decide on what city people live in completely.

According to Worldpopulationreview.com, Phoenix, Arizona is the fastest growing city in the USA (as of 2020). In a one year period, the population in Phoenix grew by 25,000 people, compared to the other fast growing cities of the year, which only grew by 10,000 people.

Between 2012 and 2017, Seattle was the fastest growing city, with a population increase of 14.2%, followed by Austin, Fort Worth, and Miami.

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Oxford High School shooting

By: Citlaly Castillo-Thoren

On Tuesday afternoon, November 30, a gunman entered Oxford High School and opened fire, injuring 10 students and a teacher. 4 students died from their injuries.     

Security cameras showed 15-year-old suspect, Ethan Crumberly walking in the bathroom and exiting with a firearm, moments after he got out of a conference with school staff and parents about his “concerning behavior”.

Shorty after he exited the bathroom, he walked down the hallway pointing the gun and shot students.

The suspect surrendered when cops approached him. 

The teen had a permit to legally hold and fire a gun in certain locations, like private property and the gun range.  He used a semi automatic handgun, or a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol, that his dad bought on Black Friday.   

The superintendent put out a statement video that is 12 minutes long. First he apologized to the families who lost loved ones from the shooting. Then, he goes on to say that the schools will not be able to reopen for weeks.  “This school is a wreck. It’s a war zone,” Superintendent Throne said.

Ethan has been charged with 24 felonies, including four counts of murder, and one count of terrorism. He is being charged as an adult.

The parents of Ethan are facing charges of four counts of homicide, and involuntary manslaughter.  Many sources say that the school or his parents could have prevented the shooting. Moments after the school announced there was an active shooter in the school, Ethan’s mom texted him: “Please Ethan don’t do this.” 

James Crumley And Jennifer Crumley pled not guilty to the charges against them. After their son did the shooting, they left town. They said they were unaware of the scheduled arraignment time and said they weren’t fleeing prosecution.                                                

What’s happening with Pipeline 3?

By: Sarah VonBerge

Line 3 has been a pipeline that’s been running since the 1960s, when it was originally built. It was originally a pipeline that stretched 282 miles from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin, United States of America. Overtime, the pipeline has eroded and once carried about 760,000 barrels of oil per day but now only carries about half of that amount.

Enbridge, the company who is building the pipeline, said that it would be cheaper to just completely make a new line instead of repairing the old one. The new Line 3 is expected to go 330 miles instead of only 282 because it is now being built around the Minnesota Ojibwe Leech Lake Reservation, which adds about 50 miles. According to Reutuers.com, as of September 1, 2021, Enbridge is planning on being able to transport 620,000 barrels of oil per day beginning October 1.

There are conflicting thoughts on whether a new pipeline is a good idea. Some agree with it and others do not; on one hand, it will bring more oil and on the other it could bring even more climate change than the world is already facing.

Some agree with the new pipeline, saying that it will make getting oil from place to place very easy. Pipelines are safer for transporting oil than trucks or trains, after all. The rebuilding of Line 3 is expected to make 4,200 jobs in the 2 years of construction, although it will only make about 20 permanent jobs.

All over Minnesota, people are constantly fixing roads and other power utilities, so many just see this new Line 3 as the same thing. Even though we have a limited supply of oil and they’re looking at better ways to use power, the demand is still high and oil means money.

Enbridge has already spent $100 million on safety measures for both the workers and the environment. The towns and cities that have been around the building of the pipeline are currently booming. The line is bringing more people into their hotels, restaurants, and stores, which is bringing in more money for them. In the end, the new Line 3 is expected to boost the economy by $2 billion.

Many are concerned about how this new line will affect the environment. The USA’s biggest inland oil spill came from Line 3 in 1993 and split 1,700,000 gallons of crude oil into the Prairie River in Grand Rapids, MN. Even 30 years later, the river hasn’t completely recovered. Many are worried it will happen again in multiple places but especially in the Mississippi River, as it crosses it twice.

The new Line 3 will bring more carbon-intensive oil for decades to come and blocking Line 3 instead of rebuilding it will help stop/limit emissions. Our earth is suffering and many are upset that we aren’t doing anything to help, but instead doing things that will only make it worse.

One of the biggest concerns about Line 3 is how it will affect indigenous people. Even though it will go around the Leech Lake Reservation, there is still a chance of a spill which will disturb their ways of life. If oil spills into their lakes, rivers, or wild rice fields, it will greatly affect their food supply. Because they are so dependent on the environment, they, and others, are very worried about how this new line will affect them; not only while it’s being built, but also in the future.

Not only are they worried about their environment around them, they are also worried for the women. Native women are going missing in extreme numbers and many have never been found. In June, state locals arrested 6 men involved in sex trafficking in Beltrami County. 2 men who were arrested were working on Line 3. At the beginning of this year, another 2 Line 3 workers were arrested in Itasca county for the same thing.

Line 3 is very dangerous, not only to the environment, but to people. Enbridge swears that they will make sure that everyone who interacts with line 3 in any way will stay safe and protected but there’s really no way to do that. No amount of money will guarantee people won’t go missing or that the environment will get healthier. There may be good news and thoughts on the other side as well, but neither out weigh each other.

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New Texas law restricting womens’ rights

On September 1, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abort signed a law that would ban Texans from having an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. He said, “Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion. In Texas, we work to save those lives.”

The six-week limit is before some women are even aware they are pregnant. The law also allows private citizens to sue doctors who provide abortions to women, and women who get an abortion. Despite that it is a constitutional right for women to have an abortion, the Supreme Court refused to block the abortion law; the vote was a 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the liberals.

People for abortion have promised to challenge the new law, they have considered this law one of the most extreme nationwide since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The Roe v. Wade decision is a 1973 law that the Supreme Court agreed on to protect the rights of a pregnant woman to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

The President said the Texas abortion law is “[A]lmost un-American.” He specifically pointed out the fact that private citizens get to sue any doctor who helps a woman get an abortion. He also said that “[T]he most pernicious thing about the Texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system.”

After the Supreme Court’s decision on the law, he said it was an “[U]nprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade, which has been the law of the land for almost fifty years.”

Young people have used social media to also protest against this law, by sharing short videos and guides on how to flood the Texas Right to Life website with misinformation, memes, and pranks.

I talked to some of my peers at school about what they have heard about the new Texas law, and this is what they had to say:

“I heard that private citizens can sue people who get an abortion and the doctors who give the abortion.”

“I’ve heard if you get an abortion after the six weeks limit, the father of the child can sue the mother

“I’ve heard a lot of people are angry about it and I know that it is a very controversial subject so a large sum of people will be mad either way. I don’t think many other states will do the same just because of the potential riots or protests it may cause.” 

“I heard that a lot of people are saying it’s unconstitutional.”

“I’ve heard that Texas is banning abortions after a woman is six weeks along, and the doctors who perform abortions in Texas can be sent to jail. Also, that if someone knows of someone who went out of state or somehow got an abortion, they can report it, and sue anyone who aided the abortion.”

Overall, I would say that the high school students I talked to were aware of the new law, and seemed informed about it. They also seemed to have opinions that were in line with other young people across the country.

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Xiaojie Tan a victim of an Asian hate crime

By: Hayat Osman

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Xiaojie Tan was one of eight people killed in an Atlanta-area spa shooting. Six victims of the shooting were Asian women. Since the beginning of COVID-19, the amount of hate towards the Asian community has increased tremendously.

Image taken from: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/26/us/g eorgia-spa-shooting-victim-funeral-xi aojie-tan/index.html

Tan, her daughter, and her ex-husband, Micheal Webb, emigrated from China to the U.S. more than fifteen years ago. In 2004, Tan enrolled in nail school to get a license, and become a nail technician. Later on, Tan and her family moved to Marriettta, Georgia where she bought her first nail salon. Eventually, Tan sold the salon and bought two other spas, located in Acworth, Georgia, where Tan’s life was cut short.

The family members, and loved ones of Tan, all described her as a hard working woman who was living the American Dream. With her savings, Tan bought her mom a home in China, and financially supported her daughter through college.

According to Tan’s ex husband Micheal, Tan had been planning to retire soon. In the future she hoped to travel; she wanted to visit Alaska and Europe. Tan Xiaojie’s daughter shared that they were planning to celebrate her mother’s 50th birthday soon, but they never got the chance.

The tragedy of this event reminded many of the true virus of racism and hate in our society that took the lives of many. According to Micheal Webb. “We as a country should be ashamed. If only our country could learn from Xiaojie’s example, the violence and bloodshed and pain might stop.” We as a Nation must stand in solidarity with the Asian community. Stop Asian hate.

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Atlanta Shooting

On March 16, 2021, Robert Aaron Long killed eight people at three different spas in metro Atlanta. Of the eight victims, seven were women, and six were Asian. At the time of the shooting, the question remained if this was a hate crime. The seven female victims that were killed are:

  • Soon C. Park: She worked at the Gold Spa. She was the oldest among the victims that were killed.
  • Hyun J. Grant: Ms. Grant, 51, also worked at the Gold Spa. She was a mother of two boys.
  • Suncha Kim: Ms. Kim, 69, worked at Gold Spa.
  • Yong A. Yue: She worked at the Aromatherapy Spa. She was 63, and was one of the last victims to be shot. 
  • Xiaojie Tan: She owned Young’s Asian Massage.
  • Daoyou Feng: Feng worked for Ms. Tan, and she was 44 years old 
  • Delaina Ashley Yaun: She worked at the Waffle House restaurant, the day she was killed, she was on a date with her husband

The male victim was:

  • Paul Andre Michels: Mr. Michels was a businessman, he was 54 years old and had moved to Atlanta 25 years ago.

The murderer, Mr. Long, was charged with eight counts of murder, and one count of aggravated assault. He is being held without bond in Cherokee County. He told police he went on the killing spree because it had been “a really bad day.”

This should not be a debate. Having “a bad day” should not be an excuse for killing eight innocent people. Repeat: having a bad day doesn’t mean you can go around and murder eight innocent people.

It was a bad day for the families of those that were murder. Since COVID-19 has begun, Asian hate crimes have been on the rise. Asian Americans shouldn’t have to live in fear wondering whether or not they will be murdered by someone who is having a bad day. 

To support our Asian friends, donate to:

  • Armed Patrol Security Guards for Oakland Chinatown
  • Asian Americans Supporting Justice
  • Enough is Enough
  • Hate is a Virus
  • Heart of Dinner
  • Stop Asian Hate
  • Stop AAPI Hate
  • They Can’t Burn Us Al

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​The crazy weather In Texas

​By: Charles Fragrassi

Image taken from: “Texas A&M Expert Says Upcoming Weather Will Be A Record-Setter.” Texas A&M Today, 17 Feb. 2021, today.tamu.edu/2021/02/12/texas-am-expert-says-upcoming-weather-will-be-a-record-setter/.

Around two weeks ago, the whole entire United States was hit with a pretty crazy snow storm, which sent a majority of Southern states into single digit temperatures. Texas, which as we know, is a historically warm state, was sent into shock during this snowstorm.

Texas is normally a warm state, so this means its houses and buildings don’t have as much insulation as the colder states do, and this led to floods, power outages and residents who could not rely on their home for a heat source. People have even slept in parking garages with their cars running all night just to be able to stay warm.

This storm did a lot more than some minor home inconveniences though. There have been about 35 cold weather related deaths in Texas alone from this storm.

Texas also had 400,000 COVID vaccines scheduled to be delivered, but those had to be halted until the weather was more permissible.

As for the amount of snow they actually got, it varied from half an inch all the way to 10 inches. That may not seem like a lot, because of the fact that we live in Minnesota, but for a state that rarely ever gets into below freezing temperatures, that can be a pretty big deal.

There were also over 100 car crashes, due to slippery roads, in San Antonio alone, along with frozen pipes and frozen water treatment plants leaving many Texans without clean water.

Luckily, this past week, things have started to take a turn for the better, because the temperatures are starting to warm up not only in Texas, but nationwide, so hopefully, for the sake of Texas, we have no more winter storms the rest of the year.

For more information, please visit:

  • “What’s Going On in Texas?” ​slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/02/texas-snow-cold-blackouts-why.html
  • “Deadly Winter Storm Strikes the U.S. What’s Going on?” ​www.deseret.com/u-s-world/2021/2/16/22285356/deadly-winter-storm-texas-northeast-forecast- what-happened

How the Joe Biden administration plans to handle the climate crisis

By: Hayat Osman

Image taken from: https://climate.nasa.gov/solutions/adaptation-mitigation/

Climate change is known as long-term change in weather patterns having a huge range of effects on the Earth’s surface temperature. Since the early 20th Century, changes in the Earth’s climate have been recorded by scientists and have been found to be dangerously increasing.

What researchers found was that certain human activities are leading to irregular temperatures.  NASA points out that fossil fuel burning, which increases the heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, is a main source.

As the effects of climate change continue to worsen, scientists urge our world leaders to take action against climate change. In 2015, under the Obama administration, the U.S. along with 190 other countries formally entered the Paris Agreement Treaty. The goal of the agreement would have reduced the greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by 2025.

Although Obama signed an executive order confirming the U.S. entering the Paris Agreement, he didn’t submit it for Congressional approval. Later, this allowed the Trump administration to have the U.S. retract the commitment to the treaty.

Now, the U.S. is under a new president: Joe Biden. He has promised to take action against climate change before the effects are irreversible to our planet.

According to President Biden’s website, Biden’s agenda on climate change is to ensure the U.S. achieves net-zero emissions no later than 2050, with the first targets at the end of Biden’s first term in 2025. The Biden administration will take action against fossil fuel companies and other polluters who profit over the harm of our environment and endanger our communities. Biden wants to ensure the safety of communities across the U.S. like Flint Michigan. The Biden climate and environmental justice proposal will make a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next decade. The goals of the proposal include clean energy and climate innovation research, as well as clean infrastructure and communities.

Biden also promises to recommit the U.S. to the Paris Agreement, and rally allies to meet the threat of climate change.

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