All posts by Maddy Williams

Iowa Caucus begins 2016 presidential race

The Iowa caucuses are seen as the official kick-off to the primary election season. For the 2016 presidential election the Iowa caucus occurred on Feb. 1.

Unlike in primary elections, where people just go to their local polling locations and fill out a ballot, caucusing Iowans must attend public meetings in schools, community centers, places of worship, libraries and coffee houses during the evening. Citizens partake in this time-consuming process to choose their preferred candidate.

The caucuses begin at seven p.m. central time. Caucuses generally begin with speeches in support of candidates before the actual voting goes underway. Each party handles their caucuses differently. Republicans cast secret ballots while Democrats gather in candidate groups and then reshuffle if some voters stood for a candidate who does not have enough support.

The Iowa caucus does not have a poll closing time like regular elections, so the caucuses can take as long as needed. The bulk of the caucuses are usually reported to the media by nine p.m. central time.

Finally, the state results are used to determine how the parties’ convention delegates are divided up among the candidates. The official candidate for each party will not be determined until around July.


Winter break activities one should not miss

A time to relax and enjoy the company of your friends and family has finally come.

To get the most out of one’s winter break, here are some of my favorite things to do over the holidays.

One place I make sure I go every year is Castle Noel. Castle Noel is located 260 South Court St., Medina, OH 44256, and it is America’s largest indoor Christmas entertainment attraction. There are original Hollywood Christmas movie props and costumes from “The Grinch,” “Elf,” and “Christmas with the Kranks.” Castle Noel costs $16 per person and children under three can get in free of cost. It is a wonderful family environment, making it a great place to take your kids.

Another great place to wander if you are feeling bored is the Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Their address is 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106. Glow transports you to a world full of seasonal cheer, where all-new wonders and returning traditions await you. Whimsical train ride, musicians and carolers, decorate a gingerbread house, decorated trees, holiday shopping, and more. If you are a member of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens your admission is free, and other than that an adult ticket costs 16$ and a child costs 12$.

Last but not least is one of my favorite family traditions. Every year my family goes to Sleigh & Carriage Rides at Ma & Pa’s. It is located in Burton, Ohio. It is open every winter all season long. Ma and Pa hitch up the sleighs and take you out through the woods and out in the field and then back to the cabin for a warm fire. Ma’s homemade bakery, hot chocolate and maple coffee is one you cannot miss. Reservations are required so make sure you call ahead. Sleigh Rides run Saturday and Sunday and some weekdays all winter long. If there is no snow, no need to worry. Ma & Pa have a sleigh that can operate without snow.

Many students participate in annual blood drive

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and on Nov. 6 the high school hosted their annual blood drive.

The high school holds a blood drive because the large number of students donating one pint of blood can save up to three lives.

“So think about the difference we can make in this world. Together we can change the world one life at a time,” committee leader of the blood drive senior Tori Price said.

Student council started setting the date with the American Red Cross over the summer but began planning this event about a month ago.

“The hardest part of a blood drive is to really just get people involved. Most people are too afraid to donate which is hard because it lessens the number of participants we have,” Price said.

Before signing up there are age, height and weight requirements along with being healthy. Students are asked to stay hydrated the morning before giving blood.

The whole process takes around an hour but one is only giving blood for eight to ten minutes.

This morning before the blood drive, student council spent it setting up tables and chairs in the lower gym.

After students give blood, student council provides bagels, fruit, crackers and water to show their appreciation towards their participation.

The blood drive had 101 participants this year and hopes that number keeps growing for future drives.

Junior Gabriella Kingston said, “I believe the blood drive is a great way for the students to volunteer and give back to the community.”