Monthly Cause

By: Kendall Zuniga

   During the month of May, we raise awareness for those who have suffered from the effects of having a stroke as well as how their families have suffered. What is a stroke? A stroke is an attack on the brain when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off and causes death to the living cells. Effects can vary depending on where the attack occurred in the victim’s brain, they may be permanent or can be easily recovered over time, death can also be a result in having a stroke.

   How do I know if myself or a loved one is having a stroke? Signs you can look for are: numbness or weakness in the face, arm, leg, or on one side of the body, sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech, trouble seeing in one or both of the eyes, trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance and lack of coordination, and a severe headache with no known cause.

You would never think that something like this could ever happen to you or someone you love but it’s possible for it to happen to anyone. I’ve personally have had to deal with the occurrence of my own father having three mini strokes within a span of about 3 months. We were told if he were to have a 4th stroke that causes him to collapse and hit his head, he could die. 

   I remember the night my dad’s first stroke had occurred, he said that he had felt kind of numbness on the left side of his body, had been feeling nauseous, and dizzy. I told him that what he was describing were symptoms of a stroke but he insisted that he was okay and could probably just sleep it off. The next day I found out that my mom had taken my dad to the hospital in the middle of the night because he wasn’t getting any better. C.A.T scans showed signs of cell damage in an area of his brain, that was the first of my dad’s three strokes. By the second stroke, my dad had been left visually impaired and had to re-learn how to do most things others can easily. 

   Never would I have thought that something like this could happen to someone I love and care about but, that shows that the unthinkable can happen to anyone. Use my experience as a way to inform others about the dangers and effects strokes can have on an individual and their families. We can’t predict the future but we can alter the present, here are some ways you can lessen the probability of a stroke happening to you: choose healthy food and drink options, maintain a acceptable weight, get exercise regularly, limit alcohol consumption, do not smoke, and maintaining a good lifestyle can all help prevent a stroke from happening to you or a loved one.

Ways you can help:

American Stroke Association

https://www.stroke.org/

American Stroke Foundation

https://americanstroke.org/

Advice Column – Resume Tips

By: Jaelyn Morales

A resume by definition is a formal document that provides an overview of your professional qualifications, including your relevant work experience, skills, education, and notable accomplishments. It is a document that you will use to show your future job employers all of your past job and career information in the best and most professional way possible in order for them to see you as a good fit for the job. A resume should first have your personal information like your name, contact information, and work history so that the employers you are being interviewed by know how to contact you in the future and have a background on you. When these employers look at your resume they are looking for key information such as education level, skills, and certifications. A lot of people, when making their resume tend to add as much information as they can, and this is a great way to get their attention, but you also need to make sure that you are putting reliable and relevant information that your job at that time will want and need. 

To help you better understand what employers are looking for in a resume, I interviewed an employer named Frank from Pridestaff in San Antonio, where they work to help citizens find the right job for them. I asked, What’s the most important thing you look for in a resume? ” He responded with, “Definitely the format, making sure each job is detailed and clear.” I also asked for advice for students who are starting their resumes. “ The most important advice is to look at wording.” he said. He gave an example of ways to word your resume in a better and more informational way. He said when stating that you worked at a fast food restaurant, instead of saying “making food or giving people their food”, you could instead say “I assembled food or prepared food.” It may not look like a big difference, but once you read your overall resume you will see the difference. 

Another thing you can add to your resume is a summary statement, which you might think is similar to an objective statement, but there are a lot of differences between the two including pros and cons. An objective statement tells the reader what you hope to get, while the summary statement tells them who you are and what you can do for the company. In other words, instead of stating what you hope to gain, you can instead display all your accomplishments, applicable skills, past experience, and other certifications that exhibit your value as an applicant. An example of an objective statement would be, “Seeking a position in counseling at Pleasanton High School.” A summary statement might be: “Accomplished and determined counselor with 5+ years of experience. Versatile background includes counseling students from grades 7th-12th at Jourdanton High School and Devine High School. Calm and lively attitude creates an atmosphere that encourages student innovation, motivation, and learning.” As you can see the summary statement has more information than the objective statement, but doesn’t go on forever, it has just enough to show your employer what you will bring to the table. 

There’s no right or wrong answer to the question, “Should resumes still include objective statements?” It’s really up to the employer and his preference, but remember a summary statement is your first impression to your could be new employer, so if you do decide to write one make sure to use details and express to them as many skills and experiences as possible to let them know you are the right person for the position. 

True Crime vol. XXVIII: Springfield Three

By: Courtney Henson

Sherrill Levitt was born on November 1, 1944, she later had a daughter, Suzanne Streeter on March 9, 1973. Soon after, Stacy McCall was born on April 23, 1974 who would grow up to be Suzannes best friend. Suzanne and Stacy graduated from Kickapoo High School on June 6, 1992 and attended graduation parties that whole weekend. The two girls returned to Streeter, and Levitt’s, home at about 2am on June 7.

The pair had made plans to spend the day at a water park with their friend Janelle Kirby, and her boyfriend. When they failed to show up at Janelle’s house, it was discovered that the front door of the home was unlocked and none of the girls were to be found. Despite this, the girls’ cars, clothing, jewelry, and purses remained at the home. Janelle also reported that the glass lamp shade on the porch light was shattered. Once they entered the home, Janelle and her boyfriend found Streeter and Levitt’s dog, who was very agitated. While inside the home, Janelle received two calls of a sexual nature from an unidentified male before leaving the home. After several hours, McCalls mother visited the home after many failed attempts to reach Stacy after noticing that all of the belongings had been left behind, seemingly not in a hurry, McCall called and reported the three women, Sherrill, Suzanne, and Stacy, missing. After placing the call, McCall listened to the home phone’s answering machine where she heard a “strange message” that was later accidentally deleted. The message is not believed to be connected to the calls Janelle received. When police arrived on the scene, there were no signs of a struggle and there was no available evidence to be gathered. The girls had seemingly disappeared into thin air. 

After no progress was made on the case for many months, on December 31, 1992, an anonymous caller called the Americas Most Wanted hotline with information about the woman’s disappearance but the call was soon disconnected. Police urged the caller to contact them again, but he never did. Although their cases are still officially filed as missing, Levitt and Streeter were declared legally dead in 1997. This same year, 1997, Robert Craig Cox, a convicted kidnapper and robber, and suspect in many murders, told journalist that he knew the women had been murdered and buried and that their bodies would never be recovered. In 1992, Robert had been living in Springfield but at the time told investigators that he was with his girlfriend and she corroborated. She later recanted this statement and says that Robert paid her to say that. Police were unsure if Robert was actually involved in the case or just wanted attention. Robert stated he would disclose what happened to the women after his mom died. In 2007, investigators received a tip that the three bodies were buried in the foundations of the south parking garage at Cox Hospital. After using a GPR (ground penetrating radar), authorities found three objects “roughly the same size” as the women and in a “grave site location.” The garage began construction in September 1993. Police told the public that because there was no logical reasoning or evidence behind the tip and because it would be very expensive to dig up the area, they would not be further investigating the area. 

As of 2022, the disappearance of Suzanne Streeter, Stacy McCall, and Sherrill Levitt, is unsolved. Despite over 5,000 tips about the women’s case, no advancements have been made in any of the three cases. In June of 1997, a bench was dedicated to the three women inside the Victim’s Memorial Garden in Sprigfield’s Phelps Grove Park.

Sweet Treats

By: Autumn Webster

This special treat is an Easter flavored blast plus easy to make called an Easter Bark.

The ingredients you’ll need for these treats are:

  • Chocolate 
  • Food coloring 
  • Chocolate mini eggs
  • Sprinkles
  • Half sheet baking pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cooking Pot or Microwave

Now that you have the ingredients you’ll have to follow these easy steps to make your sweet treat

  1. Prepare. Line the large baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat then set aside. Gather half of your chocolate mini eggs, crush them then set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate either on the stove or microwave. (For a microwave, leave it in for thirty seconds on high to fully melt the chocolate.
  3. Repeat step above but for the Melt White Chocolate.
  4. Dye the white chocolate by dividing it into 2-3 separate small mixing bowls. Add pastel colored food coloring to each bowl and mix until combined. 
  5. Spread chocolate out into a melted semi-sweet thin layer forming an approximate 9×12-inch rectangle, about ⅓ inch thick. Use a toothpick to swirl the sweet and white chocolate together.
  6. Add toppings. Arrange the chocolate eggs (½ of them will be whole while the other ½ will be crushed) Press them lightly onto the chocolate.
  7. Set the pan into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to stay for 45 minutes.

After that you´ll be able to enjoy your sweet chocolate Easter bark treat to hop hop hop with enjoyment.

Track & Field: Flying Eagle

By: Courtney Henson

On March 10, the Eagle Track teams traveled to Somerset High School to partake in the 11th annual Sonny Relays. At this meet, the boys varsity team placed 2nd overall with 133 points. The highest scorers for the team include Este’van Jackson with 25 points, Jayden Palacios with 24 points, Juan Lopez with 23 points, and Sean Ramos with 19 points. The girls varsity team placed 3rd overall with 100 points. Key runners for the girls this meet included Alexandria Balderas, Lillian Krause, Raegan Hollis, Ciarah Garcia, and Jillian Barcomb. The boys JV team places 6th overall with 69 points. The girls JV team placed 3rd overall with 103 points. 

At this meet, Sophomore pole vaulter Preston Pilgrim was able to break the pole vault school record. This record, previously held by Zach Wood at 14’9 set in 2004, was broken completely when Pilgrim jumped 14’10. Soon after this, Preston jumped another impressive height of 15’4. This impressive 15’4 height became both Preston’s new personal record and the new school record. This jump allowed the Sophomore to qualify for the Texas relays, the 2nd largest track meet in America. Preston has been pole vaulting since the young age of 9 and has had an intense passion for the sport since. The adrenaline and competition that pole vaulting so excitedly brings is what Preston says is his favorite part. His mom, Krystal Pilgrim, says that, “While balancing the extreme dedication to his sport, Preston has been able to maintain an all A average,” which continues to make her immensely proud. Preston hopes to make it to state for each year of high school as well as hopes to return to Nationals at AAU Junior Olympics during the summer season. As only a sophomore, Pleasanton High School is excited to see where pole vault takes Pilgrim. 

Shortly after spring break, the track teams began to get back into the groove of things. At the Ro-Hawk Relays at Randolph High School, the boys varsity team placed 4th overall with 80 points. The girls varsity placed 3rd overall with a score of 75.5, Ciarah Garcia scoring 19 of those, and the girls JV placed 5th overall with 44 points.  

On Wednesday, March 30, the track teams traveled to Devine High School to compete in the Devine Relays. The boys varsity team placed 1st with 108 points. The placers of the meet include Juan Lopez, Jayden Palacios, Sean Ramos, the 4x100m relay team, 4×200m relay team, 4×400m relay team, Evan Guardiola, and Preston Pilgrim. The girls varsity team places 4th with 51 points. The members of the team who placed include Kassidy Vickers, the 4x100m relay team, the 4x200m relay team, the 4x400m relay team, Mikayla Theis, Jillian Barcomb, Megan Mayse, Ciarah Garcia, and Victoria Urbanczyk. The boys JV team placed 1st with 105 points. The placers of the team include Joe Turley, Paul Bernal, Mason Little, 4×100m relay team, 4x200m relay team, 4×400m relay team, Joe Turley, Jordan Mendoza, Steven Minniear, Nathan Din, Stephen West, Adrian Ortiz, and Demetrius Jimenez. The girls JV team placed 2nd with 86 points. Placers of this meet include the 4x100m relay team, 4x200m relay team, Svetlana, Jauslyn Ramirez, Harmony Young, Kaylie Rodriguez, Teairra Garz, Kennedy Miller, Desire Gonzales, and Genavieve Alvarado. 

As the track season continues forward, we wish the Eagle track teams the best of luck. Congrats on a season well done so far. Pride! Pride!

Softball

By: Noah Ramos 

This month our Girls Varsity softball team battled against Somerset on April 19th and took victory with a final score of 7-4 after a hard fought game. Throughout the game our team kept their defense up for a solid match to prevent our opponents from scoring. We have a couple of players who were outstanding such as Maggie Maddox who pitched 3 strikeouts along with 1 walk throughout the game. A freshman by the name of Elizabeth Salinas helped her team get their hitters to 4-4 while Maddie Estrada and Aubry Cantu both got the chance and went 2-4 to the plate. 

Many other girls on the team advanced runners using a well timed sacrifice fly where the game finally tied in the 7th inning. However, Jaelyn Morales hit a home run that allowed the eagles to score a 3 man play leaving the score at 7-4. After this the Eagles went on the defensive making a 4-6-3 double play going from Salinas to Estrada and finally to Morales. 

Baseball

By: Farah Standley

On March 8th, the Pleasanton Baseball Team took on the Lytle Pirates and took the win 10-0, the boys gained some confidence and went into a tournament with high hopes. The Eagles came home with a clean up! The boys fought hard to win all 4 games against the Natalia Mustangs (6-0), the Bandera Bulldogs (8-4), the Pearsall Mavericks (9-1), and the Carrizo Springs Wildcats(10-3). The next couple weeks the Eagles kept it going with wins against the Uvalde Coyotes(11-5), the LA Vernia Bears(11-1), and the Geronimo Navarro Bears(14-6). The boys faced a hard game losing to Cornerstone Christian(3-12), on March 26, but got back to it, with two wins against the Cuero Gobblers(6-1), and the San Antonio Alamo Heights Mules(5-4). The last game before District was a tough one. The Eagles took one last loss against San Antonio Home School(1-12).

Going into District was exciting for the team, the boys began to prepare. It’s game time. The boys started District off on their own turf with the guest being the Somerset Bulldogs on a cool Friday night on April 8th. The National Anthem played, the sound of the crowd radiated, and the boys were ready. Once our group of athletes took the field it was too late for the other team to turn around. We took the win gracefully with a score of 7-2, and that Monday, April 11th, we were on the way to Hondo to take on the Owls for the second District game. It was a sure nail biter, and the boys played hard. The Owls were really good, but not good enough. The boys scored 4 runs in the 5th inning to win the game! The final score was 9-6, and the boys went home excited. Then, right before Easter break on Thursday, April 14, the boys took on the Devine Warhorses in Devine for the 3rd District game! It was a struggle, but the boys got their head on straight and pulled through with a 2-1 win. The boys came back from the break with another game. The boys loaded the bus to go to Somerset to face the Bulldogs once again. The boys took the field with Jayce Krauskopf on the mound. The boys got loud as the score went up and up. Cheers rose from the stands, and the Eagles finished the game with a 12-1 win after 6 innings. 

Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Stacy Downs

By: Brian Avery

One of the reasons PHS runs so smoothly is because we have so many people working behind the scenes to make sure it runs smoothly. One of them includes Mrs. Downs, our academic dean, who assists teachers in making sure their instruction is smooth.

Mrs. Downs went to CT High School, just north of Austin. She was very active within her school, as she was a cheerleader,  and in academic clubs such as Spanish and Science. After high school, she went to Angella State University, where she got a degree in Elementary Education.  She later got her masters in Curriculum and Instruction, which brought her to PISD.

Mrs. Downs started working at the Middle School campus, back when it was known as the PIC. She worked as an Instructional Coach-which is the same as an academic dean-and assisted teachers with their instructional process and lessons. She moved up to the Central Office, where she continued the same job for five years, before she joined us at PHS. She has been working on our campus for 10 years, and 20 years overall at PISD.

Mrs. Downs stated that her favorite part of working at PHS was being around so many people, and seeing how everything is changing everyday, adding that she was remorseful that she couldn’t see the change happening faster and being able to see the end result quicker.

Our campus would not be the same without Mrs. Downs working behind the scenes to make sure we have the best education possible. Thank you Mrs. Downs!

Monthly Cause: Sexual Assault Awareness

By: Kendall Zuniga

Every 68 seconds a person becomes a victim of sexual assault or rape in the U.S. On average 463,634 victims are ages 12 and older, 1 in every 6 women and 1 in every 33 men are victims. These numbers are continuing to go up at rapid speeds each year and victims are becoming much younger as time passes.

The effects of being sexually assaulted can really damage a persons mindset and body. Many victims of assault develop things like PTSD, depression and anxiety. When these things are triggered many effects can cause the victim to be sent into a spiral. 

 Feeling like you are losing control of your life or your mind, re-experiencing assault over and over again through flashbacks, problems concentrating and staying focused on the task at hand, guilty feelings, and developing a negative self-image; feeling “dirty” inside or out are just a few examples of how sexual assault can deeply effect a victim.

When those who go through a traumatic experience like this, they tend to not speak up about the occurrence/s with the fear of not being believed or feeling like no one will understand what they went through. When you don’t speak up about an assault, you’re at risk of having these effects occur as well as putting other potential victims in harm’s way. 

What do I do if I or someone I know has been sexually assaulted? Don’t be afraid to speak up if this has happened to you, speak to a trusted parent, guardian, or friend about the occurrence. Multiple helplines can be found all over the internet and local health offices, listed below are a few of the many help lines. 

You are not alone and you do not have to go through this alone.

RAINN.org 

RAINN helpline: 800-656-HOPE(4673)

www.nsvrc.org/states-territories/texas

NSVRC helpline: 844-303-SAFE(7233)

https://avp.org/

AVP helpline: 212-714-1141

Advice column

By: Aaliyah Herrera 

Need some advice on how to be more environmentally conscious? I have some advice for you! 

  • How can I be more environmentally conscious?

Think twice about the things you do to the environment before you cause harm not only to yourself but to others such as animal life and the plant life. Be more aware of what you throw out the window of your car and the trash you leave behind outside when you go out. 

  • What are certain things you can do to help your environment?

You can go out with family and friends and go out on the side of the road and pick up trash and other items that were left there. You could also encourage people not to throw trash out in your community environment. Some other specific things you could do to help is sign up for a help your community group and go help your environment little by little. 

  • Is joining a help the environment group good for your community and environment?

Yes I positively believe that it is good to join a help the environment group for your community. It is always good to be helpful for your community for the sake of your environment that we humans live in. 

  • Why should we be more environmentally conscious?

You should be more environmentally conscious because you would be doing a big favor for the health and well being of the world around us, you would be a positive role model for your community to get involved in helping to save the environment from toxic waste,trash,oil spills, etc. it is good to want to be a positive role model for your community than not at all. 

True Crime vol. XXVII: The Mad Sculptor

By: Courtney Henson

On August 5, 1907, Robert George Irwin was born in Pasadena, California. Robert George Irwin was born on August 5, 1907, in Pasadena, California. His father was Rev. Benjamin Hardin Irwin, who was a prominent figure in the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church, and his mother was Mary Jee Jordan, who acted as a traditional mother figure in the family. Benjamin abandoned the family before Robert was three years old, which left the family in extreme struggle. Robert himself grew up to be a prominent artist and sculptor who often saw big success with his lifelike sculptures. 

For his whole life, Robert illustrated strange and at times violent behavior. He threatened to hurt himself with a razor which resulted in Robert being committed to a state mental hospital, where he stayed for a year. Upon being released, Robert moved to a New York City house owned by Mary Gedeon where he fell in love with her daughter, Ethel. After this love was not returned, Robert was committed to another state hospital where he remained until the summer of 1936. During this time, Ethel got married prompting Robert to make a number of sculptures of Ethel with a snake around her neck.

Shortly after his release from the hospital, Roberts enrolled in the Theological School of St. Lawrence University but he was expelled on March 18 for instability. This is the event many people feel led to Robert committing his crime. He shortly returned to New York City and rented a house just a few blocks from the Gedeon house. On March 27, 1937, after suicidal consideration, Robert decided instead to walk to the Gedeon home in hopes of stumbling upon Ethel. 

As relatives arrived at the Gedeon house on March 28, (Easter Sunday) for dinner, they discovered the bodies of Mary Gedeon who had been stabbed and strangled, Veronica Gedeon who had been strangled, and Frank Byrnes, a waiter, who had been stabbed.

Police initially suspected Mary’s ex-husband but after the discovery of a soap sculpture was discovered at the scene, Robert was declared the prime suspect. In June of 1937, Robert agreed to tell his story to the Chicago Herald-Examiner before promptly turning himself into New York Police. In his confession to the newspaper, Robert said he had intended to kill Ethel but after discovering she was not at the home, he instead turned on Mary, and later Veronica, before killing Frank to avoid witnesses. Very famous defense attorney, Samuel Leibowitz, quickly came to represent Robert in court when he was held for three counts of first-degree murder. 

As the trial began, lots of back and forth between the defense and the prosecution ultimately resulted in Robert being tried as if he was sane at the time of the crime. Robert pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty.  Judge James Wallace sentenced Robert to 139-years-to-life in prison. After being sent to Sing Sing prison for a psychological evaluation, Robert was finally ruled insane. On December 10, 1938, he arrived at Dannemora State Hospital. 

In 1975, Robert died of cancer in the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Fishkill, New York. His burial site is unknown. Mary and Veronica both rest in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Westchester County, New York. Frank Byrnes rests in Saint John Cemetery in Queens County, New York.

Movie Review: Morbius

By: Kristina Mertz

Marvel’s latest film added to the MCU consists of Morbius, starring Jared Leto, Michael Keaton, Matt Smith, and Adria Arjona. The film was directed by Daniel Espinosa and received a rating of 16% according to Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.2 on IMDB. Although the film wasn’t met with a wide range of praise, this film was a big deal for Marvel fans.

For some background knowledge the film Morbius wasn’t allowed to be even written for the big screen, because Marvel believed it was too dark for their target audience. However, it was approved in the last coming years, and therefore was adapted for film purposes. 

The movie’s backstory involving the science behind how Morbius was made added to the story a whole bunch, however by the end of the movie the story line was lacking. Although, the relationships between all of the characters, whether it was brotherly, friendship, enemies, even to lovers was great, the way the main character resolved all of the issues was absent.

This movie was missing a mark personally, the strory line was wonderful and kept me hooked, however the ending and resolution was lacking a bit. I would give it a score of 6, however I don’t think I would watch this film again.

Sweet Treat

By: Ricky Fabrow

The ingredients you’ll need for these treats are:

  • Chocolate 
  • Food coloring 
  • Chocolate mini eggs
  • Sprinkles
  • Half sheet baking pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cooking Pot or Microwave

Now that you have the ingredients you’ll have to follow these easy steps to make your sweet treat

  1. Prepare. Line the large baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat then set aside. Gather half of your chocolate mini eggs, crush them then set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate either on the stove or microwave. (For a microwave, leave it in for thirty seconds on high to fully melt the chocolate.
  3. Repeat step above but for the Melt White Chocolate.
  4. Dye the white chocolate by dividing it into 2-3 separate small mixing bowls. Add pastel colored food coloring to each bowl and mix until combined. 
  5. Spread chocolate out into a melted semi-sweet thin layer forming an approximate 9×12-inch rectangle, about ⅓ inch thick. Use a toothpick to swirl the sweet and white chocolate together.
  6. Add toppings. Arrange the chocolate eggs (½ of them will be whole while the other ½ will be crushed) Press them lightly onto the chocolate.
  7. Set the pan into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to stay for 45 minutes.

After that you´ll be able to enjoy your sweet chocolate Easter bark treat to hop hop hop with enjoyment.

Monthly Cause

By: Kendall Zuniga

Black History Month is celebrated every February to recognize achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, additionally devoting a month to celebrating Black history.

In the year 1915,  almost half century after the 13th amedment had abolished slavery in the United State, historian Carter G. Woodsen and Minster Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association For The Study Of African American Life and History. This association was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other people of African descent. 

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

But why was February chosen as the designated month for black history? February was chosen primarily because the second week of the month coincides with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Lincoln was influential in the emancipation of slaves, and Douglass, a former slave, was a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery. 

Forty years after President Ford formally recognized Black History Month, it was Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, who delivered a message of his own from the White House, “Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington or from some of our sports heroes, It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America.”

Each year during Black History Month a theme is selected, this year’s theme, Black Health and Wellness, pays homage to medical scholars and health care providers. The theme is especially timely as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected all communities and placed unique burdens on Black health care professionals. 

To support the cause, go to www.asalh.org to learn more about history and join the cause.

True Crime vol. XXVI: Dr. Death

By: Courtney Henson

Dr. John Baxter Hamilton of Oklahoma City met Susan Baxter in 1985. When they met, they were both divorced with 4 kids between the two of them. Soon after, the couple married and settled into a very privileged life. John worked locally as a respected obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) at his own clinic, where Susan began working reception part-time. 

The couple was married for 14 years and seemed to be deeply in love. Known for being a romantic, John often showered his wife with expensive gifts and holidays. On Valentine’s day in 2001, John left the house early in the morning to perform an operation. He returned home midday to exchange gifts with Susan before returning to work but instead returned home to find Susan’s dead body. John called 911 saying, “Please send police. Please send an ambulance, please, I think my wife is dead.” He told the operator he was trying CPR. “Please send somebody quick,” 

As police arrived on scene they could clearly see that Susan had been strangled and had experienced severe blunt force trauma to the back of her head. The weapon used to enforce this trauma was never found. Police also were having problems with how hysterical John was on scene. He was covered in his wife’s blood and screaming for help. At the scene of the crime there was no evidence of forced entry, nothing was stolen from the house or off of Susan’s body, and no footprints or fingerprints were found. 

Police had no suspects initially. They began to think that possibly Susan had been killed by one of the anti-abortion protestors who frequently threatened John’s clinic as well as the family personally, but no evidence led to this. Soon, John became the prime suspect in the murder. John told the police he had tried to perform mouth-to-mouth but there were no obvious or even traces of blood on John’s face despite the severe injury to Susan’s head and face. 

Police also found the Valentine’s day car Susan had given John that morning, it read, “I bought this two weeks ago, so I guess maybe it doesn’t seem as appropriate. But I do love you. Have a good day. Susan” Her words made the police and the public question whether the marriage was as perfect as it seemed. Some of the couple’s friends revealed that the couple had been fighting recently over suspicion that John was having an affair. Friends also said that Susan had confided in friends that she was considering a divorce. 

John was arrested and charged without bail. On the ride to the police station, John was scraping his knuckles on the mesh divider as if trying to hide an injury on his hands. 

During the trial in December of 2001, it came out that Susan’s blood and skin were found on John’s steering wheel. Also, it was revealed that when Susan’s family was going through her stuff, they discovered jewelry stuffed in her laundry as if to look like it had been stolen. Prosecution argued that the blood splatter on John’s shows was consistent with an ‘alive’ Susan, whereas the defense argued that the bloody splatter was consistent with John’s story of trying to save Susan. After the defense brought a blood expert to the trial, he testified that there was blood on the inside of John’s cuff that was likely to have been as a result of John striking a blow to Susan’s head. 

It took the jury a short two hours to find John guilty of first-degree murder. Later, John was sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole. The motive of the murder is likely the fact that Susan wanted a divorce but John did not agree. John continues to appeal his conviction but has not been successful. John was transferred to the state penitentiary in McAlester where he still resides today. Susan is laid to rest in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Monthly Cause: Blood Donor Month

By: Kendall Zuniga

In the month of January, blood shortages are at a critical stance. This tends to happen because people choose to stop donating during the cold and flu season, donor stations also become snowed out in some states preventing people from donating. About 38 percent of the population actually gives blood, and blood supplies can’t always meet the proper demand due to only 3 percent of the population being age-eligible. Every 2 seconds a person in the United States is in need of blood. Blood donations are used for patients in need of surgery, cancer treatment and transfusions for blood loss from traumatic injuries.

What do you know about your own blood and blood type? Your blood type is determined by the presence or absence of certain antigens, these are substances that can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to the body. There are four major blood types: A,B,AB, and O.

 A protein called the “Rh Factor” can be present by positive or negative antigens in our body giving us the eight main blood types:  A+, A-,  B+, B-,  O+, O,  AB+, and AB-.

Thinking of donating blood but not sure how the process works? First make sure you meet the appropriate guidelines before donating or making an appointment to donate blood. When arriving at the donation center you will be asked to sign in and present your ID, such as your drivers license or your school Id. You will be asked to read some information about donating, such as why you should donate as well as how donating benefits yourself and others. A certified nurse will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand new needle for drawing the blood, the needle is only a quick pinch and should go away within a matter of seconds. During the blood drawing process it should only take about 8-10 minutes, and in the duration of your  time you’ll be seated or lying down comfortably. Once approximately one pint of your blood is collected, your donation is complete and a staff person will bandage up your arm. When your donation is complete, you’ll be given a snack and something to drink and are allowed to leave and continue on with your day after 10-15 mins(this is just to make sure you’re feeling well and on your feet).

Feel like spontaneously donating blood? You can go to www.redcrossblood.org, go to the red drop down tab and enter your area zip code to find popup donation centers near you!

Girls Basketball: Back in Full Force

By: Allison Collins & Myame Lara

With winter rolling back around, that means our Lady Eagles Basketball season bounces back into full force. With the new season already started, we wanted to make sure you were up to date with your Lady Eagles Basketball team! We interviewed PHS junior, Mikayla Theis, and Lady Eagles Varsity head coach, Stephen Rentfro. 

As of right now, our Lady Eagles Varsity team has a 4 game winning streak. Good job Ladies! Coach Rentfro expresses, “ We play to a standard, and we measure ourselves on how close we can get to that standard.” Our Lady Eagles love a good challenge and are looking forward to the Tilden Classic to play some great surrounding teams.  

Basketball is known to be a sport which requires harmony and unity, this is no problem for our Lady Eagles! Since the first practice of the season our Lady Eagles have made much improvement and progress as a team. The girls are challenged to live plays and team scrimmages to provide room for learning and improvement. Coach Rentfro explains “Challenges lead to learning, learning leads to fewer mistakes.” This practice tactic and Coach Rentfro’s coaching style has helped our Lady Eagles tremendously. The Lady Eagles post, junior Mikayla Theis, expressed her love for the competition and team. She says, “The memories made are super important, as well as our improvement as a team.”

So far, our Lady Eagles basketball team is currently standing at 11-7 overall. We can’t wait to see what else our Lady Eagles have to offer as the season progresses and to see the improvement in the team. Pride Pride!

Monthly Cause: Marine Toys For Tots

By: Kendall Zuniga

During the months of November and December, Marine Toys For Tots Foundation is a charity made for children who are less fortunate to receive joy and hope through the gift of a new toy that they aren’t usually able to get. The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas. This assistance includes providing day-to-day leadership and oversight of the Program, raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots Campaigns, to provide promotional and support material and settle the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots Campaigns.

Toys for Tots began in 1947, when Diane Hendricks, the wife of Major Bill Hendricks of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, made a doll for a needy child to receive for Christmas. When the couple determined that no organization existed to provide the doll to a child, they started a campaign to provide toys to children. Approximately 15 million American children live in poverty. Studies reveal that growing up in poverty can have an adverse psychological impact on a child. One of the adverse impacts is low self-esteem – a by-product of little or no hope for the future.
Each child has a choice of two paths to the future. One path leads to a productive life as an asset to the community. The other path leads to a life of dependency on the community for support. Without outside help, the path of least resistance is too often the path to a life of dependency. Economically disadvantaged children who receive toys through the Toys for Tots program have an opportunity to observe first hand how young men and women, just like themselves, have achieved success.

Since Christmas 1980, Marines have distributed only new toys. One of the principal reasons for the change was that delivering a “hand-me-down” toy sent the wrong message. A second hand toy gives a youngster the impression that he or she is a “second-class” citizen, worthy only of someone’s cast-off toys. Marines want to create and enhance self-esteem and deliver a message of hope. This can only come in the form of a new toy.
When looking back on your own life and you remember how happy you were to receive that new toy on Christmas day, you can’t help but realize how much of an impact that small toy had on you as a child. We can all agree that we would want the same for those who are less fortunate than us.

Ways to donate:
Go online to https://www.toysfortots.org/Default.aspx
Click on the “Donate a Toy” tab and follow the steps listed when donating a toy.
You can also find Marine Toys For Tots drop boxes at your local grocery stores.

Breast Cancer

By: Wanish Tortes-Mcginnis

In the month of October every year we commend breast cancer patients and their strive and strength to overcome such a disease. Although many people don’t know how the human body is affected by breast cancer. Breast cancer is a cancer that forms in the cells of the breast. Breast cancer can occur with both men and women although it is more common in women. Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast. Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling or a newly inverted nipple. Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin. Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange. Breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass. Cells may spread through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts. Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules or in other cells or tissue within the breast. To prevent breast cancer, ask your doctor for exams and tests such as a monogram. Make sure you keep yourself moderately healthy like food, water, and exercise if your doctor allows you to. And if you do drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Depending on the patient and how high risk they are, some patients get their healthy breast surgically removed.Some patients also take medication such as estrogen-blocking medications, selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors, reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with a high risk of the disease.