Shooting at Floridia State University

by Jordan Higgins

On November 20th at about 12:30 AM 3 students were injured at Florida State University’s library. The University made an announcement that the students should find shelter. The police also announced to the students and faculty that a shooting has occurred, and that they would search the library building. The Tallahassee Police Department said that the gunman fired 4 gunshots at the library. The police had ordered him to drop his weapon on the stairs to the library, but the gunman opened fire at the police and they shot him to his death.

John Thrasher the University President had this to say, “The Florida State University community is extremely saddened by the shootings that took place early this morning at Strozier Library, in the very heart of campus, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who have been affected.” The situation has appeared to be under control after 2 AM. The Police confirmed that the 3 students were taken to the hospital. The University remained open on November 20th, but all classes were cancelled due to this shooting that had gone on earlier this morning. The security on and around the campus was immediately increased.

Information from Circa news app 



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That’s the first thing that came to mind after getting a first look at the iPhone 6 in May, when YouTube user and technology geek Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) was given a “dummy” model from another person who got their hands on it. The dummy model is the model that Apple sends out to case makers so they can start designing and manufacturing cases months ahead of the release of their newest phone. He posted a video revealing the shape and size of the newest iPhone on his YouTube channel.

The iPhone 6 is like when taking a test you felt really confident about, thinking you’re getting an A, but then getting a 74. And the iPhone 6 Plus is like when on that same test you got a little smiley face on the back page for getting the two-point extra credit right.

Apple could have done so much with this newest iPhone! They could have made it waterproof. They could have given it the best camera ever put into a phone. They could have slapped on a metal back and a screen that would make the whole thing shatter proof.

But what did they do? They made it bigger. Incredible.

First off, Apple is way behind the competition in terms of innovation of their mobile phones. The Nexus 4, released in November of 2012, had the same size screen as the iPhone 6, released in September 2014. That same Nexus 4 had the same megapixel camera as the iPhone 6. Also, Apple raves about its new “Retina HD Display”, which is just over 720p, but in reality, the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 had the a better resolution screen since early 2013.

In 2010, Steve Jobs claimed nobody would want a phone the size of larger Samsung phones, but Apple finally gave into the pressure and created 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen phones to rival other smartphones. Apple shouldn’t give in to other smartphone companies. The iPhone 6 Plus is a whopping two inches bigger than the iPhone 4 and 4S, nearly twice the size (screen sizes are measured diagonally; a 10 inch screen is twice as big as a 7 inch screen). That may not seem like much, but look at the picture below. What I’m getting to is this: I think there will eventually be a point where screen size on a phone tops out. People won’t want a phone that will barely fit into their own pockets. Honestly, I’m happy with my iPhone 4S screen size. Yeah, I’d rather see seven or eight messages at a time in a conversation instead of four or five, but I also don’t want to be making calls on an iPad. As much as I like the bigger screen, Apple obviously forced the issue here because the screen makes the front of the phone look so awkward. Apple should keep doing what they used do best and simply make new upgrades that are original to them.

All that said, do you think I’m gonna get one the first day I’m available for an upgrade? Of course I am.

But let’s look on the bright side:  First, when I pick up the phone, it is really really light. A phone that large and powerful should not be that light.

It’s also incredibly thin. At a whopping 6.9 millimeters, this phone’s thinness is amazing when considering its power. However, this comes with a few disadvantages. First, the battery in the phone is not as big as it could be. Like I said before, Apple could have made a phone with a record-setting battery or some other specs that could put it above and beyond the competition. But they chose to go the thin route. Also, the thinness may make it easy to drop, which, with the way people treat their smartphones nowadays, is probably a bad thing (but hey, if people keep needing to buy replacements, I guess that’s an economical advantage for Apple). Lastly, the thinness causes the improved camera to protrude out of the back, making it prone to be scratched, and that’s probably the last thing you want to be scratched on a phone other than the screen.

Lastly, about the iPhone 6 Plus: On September 23rd, Unbox Therapy (Lewis Hilsenteger) posted a YouTube video (that had over 50 million views as of October 3) after he got several reports of the iPhone 6 Plus bending in people’s pockets. The video consisted him explaining the reports that he got, and then he tried to bend the phone with his bare hands. Now, keep in mind, he applied as much pressure as he could for about 10 seconds, and, I have to admit, the test came back positive. The iPhone 6 did indeed bend. It was significantly bent on the side of and just below the volume buttons. It was still usable, but a consumer would probably not want their brand new device that they spent a large amount of money on to be misshapen. Now, I must ask you this: Do you really think one of the richest companies in the world would just allow their most recent and best product to bend in a pocket? I don’t think they would. And even if it would, Apple said in a statement released after the video went viral that they would be more than happy to replace it free of charge. So if you’re thinking of buying a sleek new iPhone 6 Plus, don’t be worried about it bending.

Although the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are quality phones, in terms of innovation, Apple laid an egg. With as great a company as Apple is, I just feel like they could have put themselves into another stratosphere with their newest device, but they added features that have been around for several years now. The next generation of the iPhone is a disappointment, simple as that.

Matthew Tulli

Jordan vs. Chamberlain

by Matthew Tulli

In spite of the NBA Playoffs starting, I am debating who is the best basketball player to ever play the game. Over the past decade, there has been much debate over who is the best basketball player to ever play. More recently, LeBron James, arguably the best basketball player at the moment, proclaimed the four people on his NBA “Mount Rushmore,” or who he thinks are the four best players of all time.

For the best player of all time, the majority of people will say Michael Jordan, some will say Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, some will say Magic Johnson, and some will say Larry Bird, as well as a few others. But in my mind the best basketball player to ever play was Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain holds an astounding 71 NBA records, 63 of which are individual records. Luckily, my friend and basketball fanatic Alex Krahulik is here to debate this. He believes that Michael Jordan is the best player of all time.

Alex: So Wilt put up some big stats, but lets also look at the time period he played in. Rebounds were no big deal at the time. There were many other players that put up rebounding numbers on a night to night basis that would make them the best in the league right now with no competition. That’s because back in Wilt’s era they took way more shots per game. They shot so much that in the 14 years that Wilt played, only one team ever shot over 50%. Usually only four players in the entire league would shoot over 50% every year. So his rebounding numbers aren’t as spectacular as they may seem.

Matt: Wilt also played Bill Russell, one of the top centers of all time, 12 times in his incredible 1961-1962 season. Now, Boston and Philadelphia only play each other four times per season. Also, rebounds may not have been a big deal, he averaged 27.2 rebounds in his second season. Also, he pulled down 55 rebounds against Bill Russell. There’s no doubt the rebounds were less impressive back then, but there’s no denying that he was the best rebounder of all time.

Alex: Wilt had many hall of famers in his era, but a very small number of them were guards. The game was almost completely dominated by big men, meaning that he would get the ball almost every time on offense just for the sake of he was big. While Chamberlain played against some of the greatest big men to ever play basketball, he also had more support too, and didn’t have nearly as much success as MJ. He played with a total of eight HOF players: Tom Gola, Paul Arizin, Nate Thurmond, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and Gail Goodrich. And yet with his dominance and their help, he went 2-5 in the finals.
Wilt played poorly in the playoffs. All of his statistical numbers dropped in the postseason and he only snagged the trophy 2 out of the 7 chances he got at it.

Matt: Well thanks for proving my point by saying “the game was dominated by big men.” Can you imagine a Wilt Chamberlain going up against some of the centers of today? It was rare if Chamberlain played against a bad center, since there were only nine teams. The talent of players had to be better if they wanted to make it to the NBA.
Also, Wilt only played with his Tom Gola and Paul Arizin for three seasons and two seasons, respectively. He played with Elgin Baylor for three seasons and Jerry West for four seasons, and he won a championship in one of those seasons, as well. Yes, he played with many great players, but those stats are a little bit inflated.

Alex: I can see where you come from. I guess the Hall of Fame stats were a little bit inflated but Wilt still had many opportunities with great teams, but didn’t convert. Now let’s turn it over to Michael Jeffrey Jordan, the greatest player of all time. Your turn to start.

Matt: There’s no denying that Michael Jordan was an incredible player. I call him the second best of all time, and here’s why. Jordan played in a time period that was easier to win championships. When Jordan played in the late 80’s and 90’s, there were twenty-seven teams. That’s three times the players as there were when Wilt had the best single-season ever. It was easier for MJ to score because he was constantly playing against average players. Wilt had to play against the other eight best centers that were in the league at the time.

Alex: Wilt had some absolutely amazing centers to play against, but there were also some amazing guards MJ had to play against, like Gary Payton, Clyde Drexler, and Reggie Miller. Wilt lived in an era that revolved around big men, so he got more touches and therefore extreme stats. MJ put up some extremely impressive statistics with fewer opportunities to make plays than Wilt had. Also, MJ, unlike Wilt, only played with two hall of famers his whole career but had great success. His regular season numbers were amazing, and his postseason even more impressive. MJ averaged 33 ppg in the postseason for his entire career, more than anybody ever (Wilt dropped to 27 a game during playoff time). He also reached the finals 6 times, and every time he converted. He didn’t back down from the pressure like Wilt did to Bill Russell and others.

Matt (closing argument): Wilt led the league in assists in 1972 as a center, while also shooting an insane 68% from the floor while shooting 14 times a game. Leading the league in assists is an incredible feat, especially as a center. This is something that MJ never did, even though there was only one team ever shot over 50% over Wilt’s entire career. Longtime 76ers statistician Harvey Pollack said that one game he kept track of blocked shots, and he recorded 26 blocked shots for Wilt. Wilt could literally do anything he wanted to on the basketball court, and all of these reasons are why Wilt was the best player to ever play.

Alex (closing argument): Michael Jordan was the greatest player of all time because he played in an era far beyond the era that Chamberlain played in. Players were better shooters, they were more athletic, and they were just overall better basketball teams. MJ also played much better in the clutch, winning all six of his NBA Finals appearances. He also won back-to-back-to-back championships on two separate occasions with a worse supporting cast than Wilt had. Lastly, MJ had less opportunities to put up stats than Chamberlain did. Wilt took 39 shots per game when he scored 50 points. The game was run through big men, and Wilt did basically everything for his teams. Sorry Matt, but Michael Jordan was a far superior all-around basketball player than Chamberlain.

Penn Manor’s top five favorite outdoor activities

By Lauren Hillegas and Alexis Cunningham

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We recently surveyed a total of 45 students in grades 9 through 12 about their favorite outdoor activities from a list of 10 and then the top five were recorded. The top five are as follows:

1. Outdoor games and sports

2. Swimming

3. Music festivals and concerts

4. Camping and bonfires

5. Boating and kayaking

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Local places to go for these activities:

Sports- parks, fields and yards

Swimming- Millersville pool, Conestoga pool and Mountville pool

Music festivals- Longs Park, Chameleon Club and personal preference

Camping- Muddy Run, Outdoor World and Tucquan Park Family Camp Ground

Boating- Susquehanna river, Conestoga river and other large bodies of water

The forthcoming of Gatsby

By Abbey Bailey

The much-anticipated Great Gatsby movie opens on May 10.
The much-anticipated Great Gatsby movie opens on May 10.

From the mind and hands of renowned director Baz Luhrmann, known for Moulin Rouge, Australia and Romeo + Juliet, comes the retelling of the iconic story “The Great Gatsby.” The release date of the film is May 10.

Originally written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, “The Great Gatsby” is a book that many high school students are familiar with. Fitzgerald tells the story of Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate and WWI veteran who gets a job in New York and moves to Long Island. He is immediately attracted to the lifestyle of his flamboyant neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Carraway meets and bonds with many people whose lives connect with his and Gatsby’s in different ways he can only dream of. The island holds many secrets.

There are many renowned stars in this film, such as Tobey Macguire and Carey Mulligan. Macguire is known for his role as Peter Parker in “Spider-Man” (2002-2007), and Mulligan for her debut portrayal as Kitty Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice.” Mulligan has also starred in many British television hits, like Doctor Who and Northanger Abbey. Macguire will play Caraway in the film depiction of Fitzgerald’s classic novel. Mulligans is to play Daisy Buchanan, Jay Gatsby’s one love. But the biggest star of them all is Leonardo DiCaprio who will portray the eccentric Jay Gatsby. DiCaprio starred as Romeo Capulet in Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” (1996), so the two men have worked together before.

The anticipation for the movie grew when Warner Bros. made the decision to postpone the release of the movie due to the original date in December being close to many other hits, such as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Les Misérables” and “Django Unchained.” Dicaprio also played Calvin Candie in “Django,” which also interfered with the making of “Gatsby.”

Penn Manor English teacher Tim Joyce , who teaches “The Great Gatbsy” in his 10th-grade American literature course, expressed his anticipation for the movie. Mr. Joyce enjoys the directing styles of Luhrmann, along with the soundtracks chosen to go along with his movies.

“I like the way he [Luhrmann] puts a modern spin on classic literature,” says Joyce. Luhrmann did this in the 1996 film version of “Romeo + Juliet.”

The film trailer was released in mid-March and caused a frenzy of excitement in movie goers and fans of the book alike. There will be a midnight premiere of the film at Regal Cinemas in Lancaster on May 9 starting at 10 p.m. for 3D and 10:30 p.m. for 2D.

Hambright Elementary students find “The Leader in Me”

By Jordan Machado

Students at Hambright Elementary school are participating in a new program to find "The Leader in Me."
Students at Hambright Elementary school are participating in a new program to find “The Leader in Me.”


Inspired by a book a teachers at Hambright Elementary read called “The Leader in Me” by Stephen R. Covey, the the teachers and students of the school have implemented a program to teach students some of the important points in the book. This program began in September 2012.

There are seven habits in the book that have been incorporated into the school’s culture. The entire school has learned and uses them in their everyday lives.

Hambright Principal Dr. Jerry Egan is proud everyone took part in this school-wide effort.

“The habits made a significant change in the culture of students and discipline has dropped by at least half,” said Dr. Egan. “Hambright has gone through many changes and this by far, is one of the best.”

These habits consist of the following:

1. Be proactive – you’re in charge
2. Begin with the end in mind – have a plan
3. Put first things first – work first then play
4. Think win-win – everyone can win
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood – listen before you talk
6. Synergize – together is better
7. Sharpen the saw – balance feels best

This program is the product of three years’ work. Beginning in summer 2010, the teachers read the book to familiarize themselves with it. Later, the teachers raised $10,000 by holding a chicken barbecue, cookie sales and dress-down days to hold a two-day training to learn everything they wanted to pass on to the students.

The 2012-2013 school year was the beginning of the actual “Leader in Me” program. The students have picked up these habits very quickly and use them as much as possible.

“All the students show and prove they like to use these skills all the time, many have told me they use them at home and even pass it onto their siblings to learn. This program is heading in the right direction.”

The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey with Expected Quality

the hobbitBy Bennett Manning

The Hobbit, a three-part series directed by Peter Jackson, launched with its first release, An Unexpected Journey, on December 14. Director Peter Jackson is well known for his work with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and it is no surprise he has decided to continue making films based on Tolkien’s work. Now, I found The Hobbit to be a very good movie, but is it as good as it could be?

First of all, there are a couple things I noticed fairly quickly into the film.

1) Obviously there were some heavy special effects put into the film. The characters look almost exactly the same in The Hobbit as they did in Lord of the Rings, despite a lengthy time difference. Also, the scenery and a lot of the shots in The Hobbit seem to be very spiced-up visually. Whether or not that was intended, it still gives off that vibe.
2) The Hobbit is lighter and more humorous than Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit had me laughing (or at least smiling) many times throughout the film, but it still had the action scenes that people love. Things like that are what make me really enjoy a movie.

For me, the more important criteria for a good movie is a good plot. Now, although Mr. Jackson and New Line Cinema and, well, anyone involved in creating this film are not responsible for the original story (based on the book The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien), most of everything from the movie is fairly accurate when compared to the book..

Next, what makes a great movie is some sort of action. Not needless, this-explosion-looks-cool, let’s-show-off-our-special-effects action, but action that is well-choreographed and makes sense with the film. The Hobbit does this well, but there is one thing that I didn’t like too much: the repetition. The main characters in this movie are constantly thrown from one near-death situation to another and somehow made it out alive. It became quite predictable by the third time it happened. That said, the situations were always nerve-racking and made me feel worried. They were also all pretty original for the most part.

Another contributing factor to a good film is the ending. Since The Hobbit is a three-part series, obviously the first movie was going to end in such a way that it makes you want to see the next movie. A fairly common way of doing this is using the cliffhanger technique, which The Hobbit uses. After watching a movie that seems almost interminable (The Hobbit is almost three hours long), I think any ending would seem abrupt, but when I saw it in theaters it was pretty obvious that the movie was coming to a close.

The last thing that a movie needs is an amazing soundtrack. Music is what sets the tone for the production. One of the reasons I’ve seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy more times than I care to admit is because it has one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard. In The Hobbit, they kept some of the same songs (which I loved) and added some great, new ones. All in all, the music is perfect.

So, after considering what I think makes a great movie, I can say that, yes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is as good as it could be. It’s a movie I plan to see many times in the future. Naturally, there are some things that could be fixed (the three-hour run time, maybe), but this movie is something to remember. Or see, if you still haven’t done that.

A Bazaar Success

By Mrs. McMichael’s and Mrs. Taylor’s Life Skills and School to Work classes

Students from the Penn Manor High School Life Skills class joined other classes from Lebanon-Lancaster Intermediate Unit 13 to show and sell an assortment of homemade crafts. The bazaar, held at Burle Industries in Lancaster, is is an annual event that the Life Skills class participates in each year. It is designed to help prepare the students to learn basic work skills, good communication and money skills.

The Life Skills class had a lot of success selling a variety of holiday crafts, including cinnamon ornaments and Silly Santas made from old Christmas balls.

“I liked the smell of the cinnamon as we were rolling out the dough,” said Jordan Hillery, a Penn Manor student.

“I had fun being creative,” said Freddie Antes of making the Silly Santa ornaments.

One customer purchased the entire box of Silly Santas.

The students also made neck warmers with different fragrances. Aaron Dimm helped sew the neck warmers.

“I had fun learning to use the sewing machine ,” said Aaron.

Some of the students’ parents helped the class with the Christmas Bazaar, including Mrs. Barb Phibbs, Mrs. Kristina Bates-Ross and Mrs. Di Ann Duick. The students were grateful to benefit from their creativity, generosity, help and support.

Some of the money the class earned from the Holiday Bazaar will be used to pay for a trip at the end of the school year for the students of both the Life Skills and School to Work classes.  The Life Skills class will also use some of the profits to purchase items for their classroom as needed throughout the school year.

Remaining holiday crafts will be for sale at the tables in the cafeteria from December 11-13 during all lunches. Teachers are encouraged to stop by Room 239 prior to the sale in the cafeteria to purchase Christmas gifts and décor.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Holiday Tradition with a Long History

By Elise Klingaman

Many citizens of the United States have different traditions for Thanksgiving: baking turkeys, watching It’s Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown!, or traveling to different areas to be with their families for Thanksgiving Dinner.  One holiday tradition commonly shared among Americans is the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade.

According to The New York City Tourist website, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a New York holiday tradition since 1924.  The website also states that the Macy’s Day parade attracts more than 3.5 million people to attend the streets of Manhattan and more than 50 million to watch the parade on the fourth Thursday of November.

According to the TLC Family website, in 1924 there were only three floats in the entire parade, each one pulled by horses.  There were also four bands and groups of camels, elephants, donkeys, and goats, all from the Central Park Zoo.  Santa was last in the lineup, a tradition still carried to this day.

In comparison, the 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade included 24 floats, 800 clowns, 11 marching bands, 1,900 performers, and 42 balloons.

The famous-and sometimes comical-giant balloons in the Macy’s parade first appeared in 1927, because the zoo animals were beginning to frighten the children.  The first balloons were of cartoon characters, such as Felix the Cat. The balloons used to be released into the air at the end of the parade, but in 1932 a pilot almost crashed into one of the balloons and that tradition came to an end.

The New York Police Department does not release the exact number of police officers are stationed at the parade. Officers are found riding along the outskirts of the parade on their motorcycles and watching from the Sky Watch, a portable two-story building that allows the guards to view the parade from above and can be displayed with multiple cameras.

Before the parade begins, all objects that could damage or obstruct the balloons, such as lampposts, street lights, and trees are either removed or altered.  By 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, all of the floats and balloons and prepared and ready to go.  The parade begins at 9 a.m.

Immediately following the parade, each of the structures and balloons is taken down and deflated.  The Sanitation Department estimated that the cost of cleanup after the 1990 parade was about $30,000, including mechanical sweepers to clean up the mess.  According to the book, Imponderables-The Solution to Mysteries of Everyday Life by David Feldman, the parade’s trash rarely exceeds 10 tons.

Keystone Exams to Replace PSSAs

By Amarilis Pacheco-Cruz

Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, students will no longer be taking the PSSAs because the tests have been replaced by the Pennsylvania Keystone Exams.

The Keystone Exams are end-of-course tests that are intended to assess students’ proficiency in the subjects Algebra 1, Literature and Biology. Keystone exams are similar to a final exam in college.

Because the exams are brand new, there are concerns about how to prepare students.

“I think the Keystone is going to be very hard for our high school students,” said Penn Manor School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Cheryl A. Shaffer at the school board meeting on October 1.

“I am concerned about the Algebra 1 Keystone Exam that may cover more material and ask questions in a different way than we normally do in our Algebra 1 course,” said math teacher Jen Kroesen. “It is a good opportunity for us as teachers to review our curriculum and make any necessary updates. It will also put more accountability on the students to study and pass the exam.”

Starting in 2017, students will be required to pass the Keystones in order to graduate from high school. Beginning with the class of 2019, students will also take a composition test, and the class of 2020 will take an additional test in civics. The composition exam will be first given in the 2015-16 school year and cvics in 2016-2017.

There is current legislation that is being proposed that would make Keystone Exams in Algebra II, Geometry, Chemistry, US History, and World History available as an option to schools. But at this point, this is only being proposed.

According to Dr. PhilGale, Penn Manor High School principal, the school is taking a number of steps to prepare students to take the Keystone exams.

“We are having students take full year courses in English and math at this time and may have students take full year classes in Biology,” said Dr. Gale. “We are also offering the Keystone Prep Sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays for students who do not have English or math during the fall semester.“

Teachers at the high school are also taking steps to help students prepare for the exams.

“In order to prepare my students this year for the Algebra 1 exam in my Geometry courses, I am doing practice problems for warm-ups. This is a good review and a way to re-teach material these students may not have seen for up to two years,” said Kroesen. “I have chosen warm-up questions based on the sample problems and standards that will be covered in the Keystone exam.”