To let West Chester and Liberty Township residents catch up with the news that they need to know, WestChesterBuzz.com will list and link to all of last week’s top local stories every Monday. This week, we have decided to list all the top stories from May.
New Women’s Center – UC Health recently opened a new 26,000-square-foot Women’s Center on the campus of West Chester Hospital. The center, which officially opened May 18, offers a one-stop-shop health package for women.
Prank gone good – The senior prank typically is not done for a good cause, but that is what happened at Lakota East High School May 24. Seniors surprised their classmates, teachers and administrators that morning with a school pride message on Main Street, which is the school’s main hallway, made entirely out of canned goods. The 2,013 cans will now be donated to the survivors of the tornado that ripped through parts of Oklahoma City and its suburbs, as well as to Reach Out Lakota, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing and necessities to needy Butler County residents.
Liberty Center adds dining-theater complex – Weeks after Steiner + Associates delivered Dillard’s as its anchor tenant for Butler County’s largest proposed retail project, the developer of Liberty Center signed Cobb Theatres’ CineBistro, which will offer fine dining and drinks in six of its 16 theaters.
Spark releases 150th issue – Logan Aimone, executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association, admits that he has never heard of a 160-page student publication. But that’s exactly what 140 Lakota East High School journalism students were feverishly working on – the 150th issue of Spark Magazine, which was printed and released May 30.
Lakota school district to bring back some busing – Lakota is bringing back busing. Kind of. After moving to state minimum transportation two years ago, the school district announced May 30 that it will provide busing to all kindergarten and first grade students, beginning the 2013-2014 school year. Chris Passarge, the school district’s chief operations officer, said that the service can be provided at no additional cost.
OL Jarrett LaRubbio commits to UK – Lakota East junior offensive lineman Jarrett LaRubbio said the recruiting process was getting hectic lately but he knew the University of Kentucky was at the top of his list. On May 25, LaRubbio verbally committed to UK on his unofficial visit.
IED found near ‘haunted’ bridge – There was a scare near the Screaming Bridge on Maud Hughes Road in Liberty Township when police discovered an explosive device. Deputies and the bomb squad from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Liberty Township Fire and EMS personnel, were called out to the scene around noon May 28. The Screaming Bridge, which is between Princeton and Milikin roads, is believed by some to be haunted.
Lip dub goes viral - Lakota East High School has already raised awareness and thousands of dollars for the Center for Spina Bifida Care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, but that could only the be beginning as the school hopes its “lip dub” video goes viral and attracts the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. The video already has more than 84,000 views after being posted on YouTube a few weeks ago.
Lakota East sophomore Andy Almquist delivers a pitch during the second inning of what turned out to be a 10-1 loss to Moeller in the regional semifinals of the state baseball tournament. Photo taken by Joseph Fuqua II.
Kevin Kelly reports:
A triple off the right field fence by Moeller shortstop Riley Mahan seemed to put the Crusaders at ease in the fourth inning of their Division I regional semifinal against Lakota East on Thursday.
Moeller’s Cameron Whitehead looks back at dejected Lakota East catcher Jarett Rindfleisch as Whitehead is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the sixth inning. Photo taken by Joseph Fuqua II.
The defending state champions trailed the Thunderhawks early but took Mahan’s spark and turned it into a 10-1 victory at Marge Schott Stadium.
“We knew East was going to battle us,” Moeller senior center fielder Justin Wampler said. “We were a little tight at first, a little amped up, but once Riley knocked that ball we all kind of settled down. We all started to get back to what we did the last four tournament games. We started hitting the ball hard.”
The Crusaders (28-2) scored seven runs in the seventh inning against a Lakota East team that carried a 20-game winning streak into Thursday.
It was a disappointing way to end the season, Thunderhawks coach Ray Hamilton said.
“What gets lost is the fact that we won 26 games and were 26-4,” he said. “When you have that kind of ending, that’s what gets lost, just the extraordinary efforts of a lot of kids toward one goal.”
Logan Aimone, executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association, admits that he has never heard of a 160-page student publication.
Lakota East High School journalism students senior Nugeen Aftab and senior Emily Chao work on the 150th issue of the student-produced Spark Magazine. The issue is expected to be released May 30. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
But that’s exactly what 140 Lakota East High School journalism students are feverishly working on – the 150th issue of Spark Magazine, which will be printed and released Thursday.
“Its format is a little unconventional compared to other student news media,” Aimone said.
“A lot of schools have a high school version of their city newspaper, but I think the Spark takes its inspiration from the best of the weekly news magazines. There are not many other school magazines that are doing it as thoroughly as the Spark.”
Aimone’s organization, based in Minneapolis, provides journalism education services to students and teachers in the United States and other countries. It inducted Spark into its National Publication Hall of Fame in 2010. The NPSA, since 1997, has also awarded the magazine with 10 Pacemakers, which is presented to the top student publications in the nation.
“It is definitely in the very top tier of student-produced magazines in the country,” Aimone said. “The kind of comprehensive coverage they do in each issue is really sophisticated, in-depth and interesting – and I think that is what sets the Spark apart. It is also what has earned the staff many, many awards.’’
Lakota East seniors and editor in chiefs of Spark Magazine Sophia Li and Natasha Rausch work on the magazine’s 150 issue. Photo by Adam Kiefaber.
Those other awards include six consecutive Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown awards, which are given to the top student publications in the nation. In addition, Spark has been ranked in the top 10 nationally by the Journalism Education Association 21 times and has been honored by the Ohio Scholastic Media Association as one of the state’s best publications 20 times.
To earn those honors, current and former students of the program have spent hours upon hours of their own time producing Spark. Now, the student-produced and student-funded magazine is working on its biggest project ever – its 150th issue.
“Most people, who aren’t in Spark, clear out of school at 2:39 (p.m.), immediately after the final bell rings,” junior Angela Ferguson said. “But every day after school and on the weekends this hallway (outside of the journalism classrooms) is absolutely packed.”
While completing last month’s 88-page issue and working on the upcoming 160-page issue, the magazine’s co-editor and chief, Jeff Back, decided to track how many hours he spent on the two projects. Back, a senior, determined that he spent up to 70 hours a week of his free time, in the afternoon and on the weekends, making sure the magazine will be ready for print.
Lakota East senior and editor in chief of Spark Magazine Natasha Rausch looks over the layout of Spark Magazine. Photo by Adam Kiefaber.
“The grunt work has been more than I expected,” Back said. “Over spring break, I took home all 149 issues and scanned the covers. That was seven hours just on that. The amount of the work that has been put into it, organizing and getting everything from the past 21 years has been pretty phenomenal.”
The 160-page issue, which is about twice the size of a typical issue, will chronicle major events that have occurred at Lakota East and in the community since Spark released its first issue, Dec. 18, 1992. It will also include follow-up stories from past years.
“It is a huge project because they have so many people researching every issue and every year to find the most compelling story that we have had,” said Dean Hume, Spark adviser and Lakota East journalism teacher. “It is an organizational nightmare, yet they have done it.”
In addition to writing copy, designing graphics, producing online videos and laying out pages, Lakota East’s journalism students are also responsible for funding the entire production of the magazine through subscription sales and advertisements, without help from the school district.
Typically, each monthly issue of Spark costs between $4,500 to $4,800 to print. The 150th issue will cost close to $11,000 to produce roughly 850 copies for subscribers, as well as an additional 100 single copies that will be available to purchase through Spark staff for $10.
Adviser: Dean Hume, has led the program since it began in 1992
Staff: 140, including 37 editors
First issue: Dec. 18, 1992
History: When Lakota split into two high schools in 1997, seniors were able to pick what school they wanted to attend; 33 of the 35 seniors who were in the program followed Hume to Lakota East.
Publishes: Seven monthly issues on a $35,000 budget
Cost: Subscription costs average $20 (discounts to students and teachers)
Awards: 14 consecutive All-American ranks by the NSPA, 10 Pacemakers by NSPA, 12 consecutive Gallup awards from Quill and School, 21 times ranked in top-ten nationally by the JEA, and 20 times given top Ohio honors by the OSMA
The senior prank typically is not done for a good cause, but that is what happened at Lakota East High School Friday.
Seniors surprised their classmates, teachers and administrators this morning with a school pride message on Main Street, which is the school’s main hallway, made entirely out of canned goods.
The 2,013 cans will now be donated to the survivors of the tornado that ripped through parts of Oklahoma City and its suburbs on Monday, as well as to Reach Out Lakota, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing and necessities to needy Butler County residents.
The Lakota East seniors have also challenged their underclassmen to match their donation by bringing in cans next week.
Cool Jazz ‘n’ Hotcakes breakfast – Jazz will be on the menu for the Lakota East High School’s Cool Jazz ‘n’ Hotcakes breakfast. From 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, the school’s Eastside Café will be open to the community for a morning of jazz performances by Lakota junior and senior high school musicians. Listen to five different ensembles while munching on pancakes and sausage cooked by parents and served by teens. Admission is $6 for all the food you can eat.
Karen Moeller, who taught 17 years at Adena Elementary, passed away June 18, 2011 at her Liberty Township home. Photo provided.
Karen Moeller Scholarship Fun Run – Two summers ago, the Lakota community lost a loved one when longtime teacher Karen Moeller passed away. Members of the community honored the elementary school teacher by creating the Karen Moeller Scholarship Fun Run/Walk, which will take place for the second consecutive year in May at Voice of America Park. This year’s event will take place Saturday and will begin at 9 a.m. around the lake at VOA Park.
Plant sale and open house at Hughes School – Antique agricultural tractors will be on display at this year’s spring open house at the former Hughes School – a one-room school adjacent to Liberty Elementary School. Sponsored by the Liberty Township Historical Society the open house runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, at the school, 6010 Princeton Road. In conjunction with the open house, the Liberty Township Garden Club will host its annual plant sale in the school’s parking lot.
Fancy Nancy Tea Party – In the community room of the West Chester Library there will be two tea parties this Saturday. The hour-long event, which is called Fancy Nancy Tea Party, will begin at 10:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. The event is geared to “Fancy Nancys” ages 4-6 and their chaperones. The event includes a storytime, followed by light refreshments. Children are encouraged to dress up. Cameras are welcome. Call the library, 513-777-3131 about registration.
Great Amazing Race – Modeled after a popular TV reality show, the contest at Voice of America Park pairs family members on a mile-long course that leads them to a string of challenge stations. Typical challenges range from a piggyback obstacle course to a “mummy wrap,” in which adults robe their youthful partner in toilet paper. The event organizer, Greg Benton, describes it as a family version of the TV show, “The Amazing Race.” The race will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. and costs $40 for a team of two. Visit greatamazingrace.com for more details or to register.
Acoustic Jam session – The community is invited to listen or join in a public acoustic jam session at Keehner Park this Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. According to westchesteroh.org, similar events will be held on the first Sunday of the month at Keehner Park now through September.
Lakota East High School’s Cool Jazz ‘n’ Hotcakes breakfast will take place May 4. Photo is from last year’s event.
Sue Kiesewetter reports:
Jazz will be on the menu for the Lakota East High School’s Cool Jazz ‘n’ Hotcakes breakfast.
From 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, the school’s Eastside Café will be open to the community for a morning of jazz performances by Lakota junior and senior high school musicians.
Listen to five different ensembles while munching on pancakes and sausage cooked by parents and served by teens. Admission is $6 for all the food you can eat.
Guest emcee is Lakota East grad Zach Crammer, now with 88.1, Dayton’s Classical Public Radio. Rosie Red will also be there and will be available for pictures.
Buy a $5 raffle ticket for a drum head signed by jazz drummer John Von Ohlen. Or buy $1 tickets – six for $5 – for raffle baskets that include passes to Newport Aquarium, golf at Beckett Ridge Golf Course, along with passes to Monster Mini-Golf and Web Extreme.
Shop the Main Street Marketplace along the school’s main hallway where vendors will be selling crafts, gifts and other items.
All proceeds benefit the Lakota East band programs and the Jeff Durham Scholarship Fund. Durham was president of the Lakota East Upbeat Club when he died eight years ago.
Typically the event raises between $4,000 and $5,000 each year.
The Performance Schedule:
8 a.m.: East Freshman Band
8:45 a.m.: Liberty Junior 7th Grade Jazz Band
9:15 a.m. Eastside Jazz Ensemble
9:45 a.m.: East 2 O’Clock Jazz Band
10:30 a.m.: Hopewell Junior 7th Grade Jazz Band
11 a.m.: Eastside Jazz Ensemble
Two Lakota East High School seniors are among 1,000 students nationally who are receiving corporate scholarships in the National Merit Scholarship program.
Scholarships range from $500 to $10,000 per year, with most renewable for up to four years. Exact amounts of the scholarships are not released by National Merit.
Jeffrey Back is receiving a Macy’s award and plans to study industrial design. Jamie Silver is receiving a Siemens scholarship and plans to study computer programming.
The scholarships can be used at any college or university in the country. The announcement is the first of four scholarship releases of corporate, college and National Merit scholarships that will be awarded between April and July to finalists who represent less than one percent of all seniors nationally.
Altogether, about 8,000 finalists will have been selected to receive scholarships valued at more than $35 million by the end of July.
The finalists were among 1.5 million who entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors.
Lakota East senior Kaitlin Lange was named 2013 Ohio Journalism Education Association Journalist of the Year at the annual Ohio Scholastic Media Association state conference last week at Kent State University. Lange is the managing editor and a three-year staff member of Spark Magazine, an award-winning publication produced by high school students.
Kaitlin Lange. Provided.
Lange is the sixth Spark journalist to receive the honor since 1998. Previous winners include Melissa Harris, Sara Thomas, Matt Faig, Betsy Brown and Sarah Massey.
In addition to the state honor, Lange is also entered in the JEA national Journalist of The Year competition in San Francisco in late April. There, Lange will be going up against seniors from 35 states. If she wins, she would receive a $5,000 national prize in addition to her $500 state award.
In this year’s OSMA state contests, Lange earned the only superior in first-person narrative, was part of in-depth teams that earned a superior and an excellent, had an honorable mention entry in news feature, plus a first place on the LEHS Spark broadcast team in the day-of video story competition.
“Covering all those school board meetings paid off for Kaitlin,” said Dean Hume, who serves as the magazine’s advisor and as a Lakota East journalism teacher. “She covers hard news and soft news with equal resolve and thoroughness.”
Lange, who is also a varsity cheerleader, is planning to study journalism at Maryland, Indiana or Ball State.