Category Archives: News

Alexa in Hospitals

   Some people love having a virtual assistant in their home, and now those same virtual assistants are starting to take on bigger projects.

   What in an Alexa one might ask? Alexa is a virtual assistant that is made by the company Amazon. Alexa can do things like make phone calls, play music, and you can even play games. While these are not Alexa’s only skills they are some of the most frequently used.

   Now, Alexa comes in two types. There is the regular sized one and then there is a smaller version. The smaller version is called an Echo Dot. A regular sized on costs usually $200, while the Echo Dot costs $50. While Amazon might decide to release new versions, these two are the most popular among virtual assistant buyers. With sizes and pricing in mind, it seems the Echo will be the most popular among hospitals. In fact that is what Cedars Sinai, a hospital, is using.

   In order to really implicate Alexa in hospitals, developers are trying to develop an app made for Alexa being used in hospitals. “There are some massive voice applications that will be built for health enterprises” this quote comes from John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. Included in this app will be; giving out any kind of medical information a patient would need and a checklist that surgeons can use in operating rooms to make sure nothing goes wrong during surgery.

   Now this application is taking a lot of research. While Alexa is already being introduced in small doses, she will not be fully inducted into hospitals until this application is sorted out. “We need a killer app before it gets mainstream, but I don’t know what that will be yet,” said Darren Dworkin, who is the chief information office of Cedars Sinai. Cedars Sinai is the hospital being used to experiment with Alexa being used in the medical scene.

   Here is the thing, Alexa already has an app for at home use. So, if and when this app for hospitals is developed, will it be released for the public to be able to download? If so it could lead to confusion among people who are trying to just get the regular Alexa app and could cause confusion among hospitals trying to get the app made for medical use. Only time will tell if there will be an Amazon Alexa confusion scandal.

   Now if Alexa is going to be put in every hospital room, there of course fun aspects to this. Like someone could listen to their favorite music or play trivia. They could even call their friends and family. They could even just ask Alexa questions about anything their heart desires.  

   Alexa overall will make technological advances in hospitals. This virtual assistant will help to make things run smoothly and make hospitals more efficient. Of course there are still the fun aspects for patients, which can increase patient happiness. While there is still development to be done and things to work out it seems that Alexa will be joining the medical scene as quickly as possible.

It’s Finally Here!!

   Findlay, Ohio got a Chick-fil-a on September 6, 2018. Many people have been waiting for this,especially students from Findlay High School.

   Students at Findlay High School really like that we’re getting better restaurants in Findlay. “I’m glad they opened, we’re finally getting better places to eat.” said Jeremiah Richard Tatum, sophomore.  Many students from Findlay High School agree. “Eat more chicken! I’m so excited to eat Chick-fil-a!”said freshman Jessica Collins.

   They are open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 am to 10pm.  It is a family restaurant and they have an indoor play area for children. They have many seats for everyone who comes in, indoor and outdoor seating. About 5,000 square feet, placed between Panera Bread and McDonalds on Tiffin Avenue.

  When Chick-fil-a opened the wait was 1-2 hours, they were packed and the line was out the door! Findlay is coming up, getting new restaurants and stores. Hopefully students get to Chick-fil-a and see their own opinions on it.

Two Trump Team Members Found Guilty

   On August 21, Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, plead guilty to 8 charges, including campaign finance crimes.

   Mr. Cohen admitted to paying Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, $130,000 for her silence. He also coordinated a $150,000 payment by the National Enquirer to former Playboy model Karen McDougal for her story.

   He claimed that both payments were made with the intention of influencing the election and they were made at the direction of the, then presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

   This claim implicated the president in a federal crime and goes against previous claims from the President that he was unaware of the payments at the time they were made.

   The plea deal doesn’t require Cohen to cooperate with prosecutors, though he still has the option of providing information to Robert Mueller’s investigation.The deal also states that Cohen will serve four to five years in prison and must pay a $20,000 to $1 million fine

   Within minutes of the Michael Cohen pleading guilty in Manhattan, the first trial of the Robert Mueller probe came to an end in Alexandria, Virginia. The jury found Paul Manafort, former chairman of the Trump campaign, guilty of 8 out of 18 counts, including five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failing to disclose a foreign bank account. The judge declared a mistrial on the last 10 counts.

   The Manafort trial did not address reports of Russian collusion, the main focus of the Mueller probe, that will be covered in a second trial set to start September 24 in Washington DC. The August trial instead focused on Manafort’s personal finances, including the millions he made advising a pro-Russia political party in the Ukraine. The prosecution displayed the lavish lifestyle Manafort lived, including a $15,000 Ostrich Jacket, $1,500 dress shirts, and a flowerbed in the shape of an “M” at his Hamptons estate.

   Prosecutors also had to prove that Manafort has concealed $60 million in 31 foreign bank accounts that he lied to the US government about.

   Witnesses included Rick Gates, a long time business associate of Paul Manafort who served as a deputy under Manafort while he was chairman of the Trump campaign, and accountant Cynthia Laporta.

   Gates was on the stand longer than any other witness. The defense tried to discredit him and paint him as the mastermind behind the crimes.

   Gates also testified that Manafort approached him with the idea of making Stephen Calk, the founder and CEO of Federal Savings Bank, Secretary of the Navy, along with other favors. Federal Savings Bank gave Manafort a sizeable loan during the period in 2016 when Manafort was working pro-bono for the Trump campaign and had no income.

   The prosecution claimed that banks like Federal Savings Bank gave Manafort these loans, adding up to around $20 million, because he added millions of dollars in fake income to his financial statements. The defense denied this, claiming that banks knew of Mr. Manafort’s net worth of over $20 million and that his valuable real estate served as a form of collateral.

   Cynthia Laporta, an accountant for Mr. Manafort who was granted immunity, also testified that she was forwarded documents from Paul Manafort to bank loan official, even though she believed they were falsified.

Beloved Teacher Retires

The last bi-annual fashion show last Wednesday, showcased the hard work of the spring fashion design classes. Unfortunately, this may have been the last event because coordinator, host, and beloved teacher Laurie Collert is retiring this year.

This show has been a source of pride for students for a long time because they spend their semester going through a rigorous course of learning the basics of sewing and design, and the reception allows them to wear the very things they’ve worked so hard on for friend’s and family alike to see. But interspersed in learning , they are consistently making things from mittens to garments and absorbing skills that can be used for the rest of their lives.

Whether it’s learning how to read patterns to cutting fabric on grain, the class hits on topics many beginner level courses do not, making it incredibly valuable and enriching. Especially for people considering going into the fashion industry, because learning how clothing construction works as early as freshman year is an huge advantage Collert’s students benefited from.

Collert’s students also benefited from having the kind of teacher who never fails to go the extra mile to help them with whatever they need, cares deeply about their education, health, and happiness, and is just all around an absolute joy. She will be greatly missed, and her influence will continue to touch the students she’s worked with for years to come.

The Real Cost of College

When deciding where to attend college, money is a big factor in a final decision. How much is a scholarship worth? Does financial aid really help? How long will I be in debt after four years? On top of those pressing questions, parents are nagging about jobs and how college will be paid for if they’re not paying for it. Your parents paid for their college tuition, so now they’re making you pay for yours. The price to attend college has skyrocketed throughout the time that our parents have been out of college. No matter what college you look at, the prices have increased a notable amount.

To put things in perspective, The Ohio State University’s in-state tuition in the 1990-91 school year was $2,343 and out-of-state was $6,942. Now, in 2016, you never would’ve guessed tuition for OSU was once that low. For incoming 2015-16 college freshmen, the cost of in-state tuition is $10,037, a 328% increase from the 90s. The cost of out-of-state tuition is well above that, totaling nearly $28,000, a 303% increase. These price are just tuition and fees. The total attendance cost for an in-state student would be $25,631. The total attendance cost for an out-of-state student would total around $43,000. Room and board accounts for a large portion of the cost— almost $12,000.

Harvard University has also showed a significant raise in tuition and annual costs. In 1990, the attendance cost for both in and out-of-state students was the same. Students during the 1990 school year paid $13,545 to attend the prestigious college. Now, for the 2016-17 school year, the attendance cost for Massachusetts residents and non-residents still remains the same, but the price has risen greatly to $59,607, a 340% increase from 1990. Tuition accounts for $40,418 of the cost and room and board accounts for almost $15,000. Books are totaled at $1,000, but not everyone will spend exactly that much on books.

All the prices given do not account for extra things students will buy to keep in their dorm rooms or gas money if they have a car on campus. Depending on the cost of books and where you get them from (rent, used, the school’s bookstore, etc.), the costs vary, but are still high. Extra activities outside of classes or campus will also cost extra, as well as food and snacks. Scholarships and financial aid are available at most schools, but will likely not cover the whole cost. About 60% (12 million) of students take out loans to assist them with paying for college.

Though the costs are high, The U.S. has some of the best colleges in the world. As of 2016, eight of out the global top ten colleges are located here, #1 being Harvard University followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology at #2.

Remembering Nancy Reagan

On March 6, 2016, former first lady Nancy Reagan (1981-1989) passed away at the age of 94. The cause of her death was reported as congestive heart failure. She will be buried next to her husband and former President of the United States Ronald Reagan, who passed away in 2004 due to pneumonia at the age of 94.

Nancy Reagan’s funeral was held at 11:00 am on Friday, March 11. Current first lady Michelle Obama was in attendance, along with former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter. Former president George W. Bush brought his wife Laura to the ceremony. Diane Sawyer, John Stamos, and Larry King were only few of the well-known names that attended the funeral.

Nancy Reagan was an aspiring actress in New York. In 1946, she starred on Broadway in Lute Song, though it was a minor role. She eventually moved out to Hollywood, where she landed a contract with MGM Studios. She starred in a few films, such as The Doctor and the Girl and Night Into Morning.

Nancy and Ronald Reagan met in the early 1950s, when they were both in the acting business. They were married on March 4, 1952, shortly after they’d first met. 15 years after their marriage, Ronald Reagan became the governor of California. While Ronald was busy governing the state, Nancy Reagan took an interest in visiting different groups of people. She spent time with veterans and the handicapped, as well as the elderly.

When her husband was elected 40th President of the United States in 1981, Nancy continued these visits with different types of people. She also joined the fight against drug use by the younger generations with her “Just Say No” program. She also took time to visit rehabilitation centers and invited people to the White House for a conference that brought worldwide attention to drug and alcohol abuse among youths. Mrs. Reagan was a member of the Girl Scouts throughout her life and earned the title of honorary President of the Girl Scouts while serving as the first lady. Nancy Reagan once said, “I am a big believer that eventually everything comes back to you. You get back what you give out.”

Remembering Antonin Scalia

On February 13, 2016 Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in Shafter, Texas of natural causes after a hunting trip. Scalia was appointed to the D.C. court of appeals by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and in 1986 was appointed to the
Supreme Court where he served for 30 years. Justice Scalia was considered to be the most conservative justice on the court often opposing topics such as same-sex marriage, abortion and other controversial issues. Justice Scalia was known as an originalist which means that he strictly interpreted the Constitution and looked at it through the eyes of the men who wrote it over 200 years ago.

Antonin Scalia was the only child born to Salvadore and Catherine Scalia on March 11, 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey. Being an only child was rare among Italian Catholic families at the time. Scalia grew up in a multi-ethnic neighborhood in Queens, a borough of New York. He attended St. Xavier high school and in 1953 he enrolled at Georgetown University. In 1957 he graduated from Georgetown as Valedictorian and Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in History. He went on to Harvard Law School and in his final year met his wife of almost 50 years, Maureen McCarthey. The couple went on to have 9 kids and over 30 grandchildren. He started his Law career at a Law office in Cleveland, Ohio in 1961. In 1967 he took a teaching job at the Virginia University Law School. In 1982 he was appointed by Reagan to the D.C. district court of appeals and in 1986 he accepted his placement on the Supreme Court as an associate justice. While on the court he came to be very highly regarded and had a very conservative record. In 2011 Judge Richard A. Posner wrote about Scalia, “He is the most influential justice of the last quarter century. On February 13, 2016 at the age of 79 Justice Scalia died at a resort in Texas after a hunting trip of natural causes, he also had heart issues and high blood pressure.

In order to become a Supreme Court Justice a person must be nominated by the President and approved by the Senate. The steps of how this occurs are in our Constitution, “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The current Republican majority Senate has voiced its plans to block any appointment President Obama has for Scalia’s vacancy and let the next President pick who they would like to fill Scalia’s spot.

A Saint in the Making

Blessed Mother Teresa, How About Saint Mother Teresa?

On December 17, 2015, Pope Francis approved the second miracle through the intercession of Blessed Mother Teresa allowing her canonization and sainthood. Mother Teresa was declared “Blessed” by Pope John Paul II in 2003 after recognizing her first miracle. To be recognized a saint in the Catholic Church is a great honor and means that the person lived an honorable life devoted to the service.

It is a long and hard process to be declared as canonized saint with particular requirements. Fr. Scott Woods of St. Michael the Archangel Parish here in Findlay describes the lengthy process of which an individual goes through to become a canonized Saint.

“There is typically a five-year waiting period after someone dies before a “cause” for sainthood can be opened.  It begins with the local bishop, who investigates and decides whether or not there is a case for pursuing a declaration of sainthood. This is based on the holiness of the deceased person, and testimony from many people is gathered. The bishop may then forward the cause to the Congregation for Causes of Saints at the Vatican,” Fr. Woods said.

If the person passes all of those obstacles, the case passes on to the Vatican.

“The body further investigates the life and holiness of the person in question, and if there is evidence of the person having been a true martyr and/or having lived a life of heroic virtue, the cause is referred to the Pope, who bestows the title “Venerable” on the possible saint. If the person died for the faith, they are beatified and are then referred to as “Blessed.”  If not a martyr, a miracle has to be verified, having been bestowed by God through the intercession of the venerable person. Once that is verified, beatification occurs.  Finally, a second miracle bestowed by God through the intercession of the martyr or confessor (one who lived a life of heroic virtue) must be verified.”

A person who went through this tedious process is Mother Teresa.

She was born in Skopje, Macedonia as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to a very devout Catholic family.  Her mother taught her to be a very compassionate and charitable individual and by age eighteen, she found out her true calling and devoted her life to God by becoming a nun. She left Macedonia and joined the Sisters of Loreto Order in Ireland where she chose the name Teresa. In 1929, she left for Calcutta, India to teach. While in India, after completing her Final Profession of Vows, she became known as Mother Teresa. While on a retreat to Darjeeling she had a “call within a call” to leave teaching and help the poorest and sickest of Calcutta. For the forty-seven years, Mother Teresa cared for and helped the unloved and unwanted people of Calcutta. In 1997, after years of declining health, Mother Teresa died at the age of 87. She was given a State funeral for her exemplary work toward the people of India, an honor few in India receive outside dignitaries.

During her life, Mother Teresa became close with many world leaders including several Popes most notably Pope John Paul II, and United States President, Ronald Reagan. Mother Teresa also received many awards and achievements including the Jewel of India, and the Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa was one of two people to ever be honored as an honorary citizen of the United States while still alive; the other being Winston Churchill.

Many people are elated at the fact Mother Teresa will be canonized as a Saint. They feel that the life she lived in service to God and others is exactly what a Saint should be. One person who feels strongly for her Sainthood is Geri Leibfarth the Religious Education Director at St. Michael’s.

“I fully support her canonization. She is one who lived her life in pure charity, giving totally to the least of God’s Kingdom. I feel blessed to have lived in her lifetime and been witness to how she brought Christ to others,” Leibfarth said.

Father Scott Woods shares a similar opinion.

“Blessed – soon to be Saint – Teresa of Calcutta clearly lived a life of holiness. She was known the world over thanks to television and print media, and her life of virtue was most certainly evident.  She is a model of love and respect for all of us – regardless of our religious beliefs – because she cared for each and every person she encountered with tenderness and compassion,” Fr. Woods said.

Mother Teresa’s life is summed up well in one of her most famous quotes when she says, “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”

Hungry in Syria

Syrian refugees became a huge topic of discussion last year, especially after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Syrians desperately continued to look for homes outside of Syria where they would be safe. Now, in Syrian cities, hunger is becoming a major problem. 400,000 people are suffering in fifteen besieged cities.

The people of Madaya, Syria have been without much needed aid for almost three months. They are slowly dying of starvation, getting more and more weak by the day. When they try to leave the area, they are injured in some way, or even killed. The residents have already slaughtered the city’s stray cats and dogs.

On January 11, the city of Madaya received their first visit from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), or UN Refugee Agency. They received the help they terribly needed. The visit was covered on Twitter where pictures and quotes were posted. Some pictures showed small children who were very fragile and tired looking. The children, along with the adults, made leaves as a meal to fill them up or hunted for grass. If they wanted a kilo of rice, they would have to pay at least 300 USD. To put this in perspective, one kilogram is about 2.2 pounds. 20 pounds of rice is available from Wal-Mart fro $8.98.

“They were desperately looking for something while we were offloading cars… kids and everybody around the cars were asking for anything (to eat),” Sajjad Malik, representative of UNHCR, said about the UN’s arrival to Madaya.

It was reported that 300-400 residents were suffering from malnutrition. The people of Madaya lack electricity, blankets, heat of any kind, and most importantly medicine. The UN Refugee Agency delivered blankets to shield the citizens from the harsh weather, more medicine, and food from the 40 vehicles that were miraculously let into Madaya. In the past year, 90% of the requests to deliver aid the area were denied.

Two other cities, Foa’a and Kefraya, were also aided by the UN on January 11. They have been lacking food and basic materials for life since October of 2015.

Madaya was visited again on January 14, along with the cities of al-Fouaa and Kafraya, which have been under a rebel blockade. 44 trucks arrived in Madaya and 20 trucks reached al-Fouaa and Kefraya. Doctors and nurses that came with the UN treated citizens from Madaya that needed urgent treatment.

There is no plan to evacuate starving citizens from Syrian cities, so the people of Syria must rely on aid from the UN for as long as this war is ongoing.

We the People

We The People, a student government group that competes with other schools to analyze different aspects of history. Senior Bella Spearman shared why Government is her favorite class this year.

“I think it’s partially because Mr. Dickman loves the AP Gov. class since Findlay is the resigning state We The People champions,” Spearman said.

She enjoys that it isn’t a typical class. WTP is split up into six units that each specialize in a different part of the government.

“I am in unit six, which examines modern day democracy.”

Other units focus on specialties such as war powers, the constitutional convention, and early ideas of the government. The class also includes chapter/vocab tests, and all but those are to supplement their studies for WTP.

“I wouldn’t say the workload for the class is bad,” Spearman said. “But the commitment is definitely large.”

Every unit is responsible for answering three questions at state, and hopefully three more at nationals.

“Your unit becomes experts on these three specific questions, and you work with not only Mr. Dickman, but Mr. Bell and various attorneys to perfect your answers.”

Even though government is a lot of work, Spearman feels it’s worth it.

“Despite all the effort that must be put into the class during the dreaded time of ‘senioritis’, the class really comes together and supports one another, as a team should.”

Spearman continued to praise the class.

“I would definitely recommend taking AP Government because it is vital as a senior to understand the impact you will be able to make very soon in local and national elections.”

We The People is available to take senior year. It provides great insight on the government while being actively involved with challenging and deciphering the ideas of our ruling body.