Here you will find stories that were written by our staff but not published
Shootings in Jackson are a common occurrence. If you are a curious visitor googling Jackson, instead of sights about the Cascade Falls or the Ella Sharp Museum, you are likely to find headlines on shootings and other gun violence in our city. According to citydata.com, Jackson's crime index, which is a measurement of crime rates, is 97.5 percent higher than other U.S. cities of similar size. Shootings will strike in Jackson anytime, anywhere. On September 17, Jackson High School went into lockdown because of a shooting about three minutes away from the school at the corner of 4th and Washington around 8:00 a.m.
MLive reports that the Jackson Director of Police and Fire Services, Elmer Hitt, said,
“Initial data shows that almost all the shootings in Jackson are being committed by less than a half-percent of the total population, or about 150 people,”
Gun violence affects everyone, it is a city crisis.
“I don't feel safe in the streets of Jackson, like when I am walking home from a basketball game or out at night,” junior Dorion Riley said.
Seemingly, gun violence has increased in Jackson over the years judging from the number of news articles covering gun crimes.
When my mother was a child growing up in Jackson, it was unheard of to have a shooting in Jackson. ”It's sad to see a city that in past years really ever have shootings to now having one just about every day,” Laurie Cunningham said.
People have arguments with others, it’s human nature. But they must be resolved in peace.
“People resort to deadly violence too easily. People don't seem to end their issues in peace, but instead with bullet casings,” Riley said.
Jackson is one of many cities struggling with gun violence, including Chicago and St. Louis as well as other major cities. Gun violence in Jackson is a growing infection in the city and it must be stopped.
A bullet doesn't just hurt the one it hits; it hurts the city and the people surrounding it.
School Starts too Early
A high school student wakes up to the sound of their alarm at 6:30 a.m. They get up and eat a quick breakfast as they look out the window at the pitch black sky outside. They drive to school on a road lit up only by headlights and streetlamps. Two hours later, a man wakes up for his day of work. He eats a leisurely breakfast and looks out the window to see the beautiful rising sun. He drives to work on a road that does not need headlights or streetlamps to be seen. School is supposed to be preparing us for adult life and yet we get up earlier and lose the sleep that we need to get through the day. Students get up early, they don’t get the sleep they need, and when they are at school they are tired, unfocused and just want to go home.
According to a study by the Center for Disease Control, 93 percent of high schools start before 8:00 a.m. Teenagers are simply not conditioned to wake up that early. Their bodies tend to make them fall asleep later than usual. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most teens undergo a sleep phase delay, meaning that they will not fall asleep until around 11:00 p.m. and will often feel wide awake during that time even if they are tired. These studies show that teens are not getting the eight to ten hours of sleep they need a day.
There have been schools that have tested out the later start time and the results speak for themselves. According to a study by Kyla Wahlstrom, the director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement at the University of Minnesota, eight schools applied a later start time of 8:35 a.m. and saw a quarter step rise in grades, which is like moving from B to B+ or B+ to A. If moving back the start time to 8:35 a.m. does that to student grades, imagine what starting even later would do.
Seattle Public Schools changed their school start times from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and showed a decrease in student absences and tardies and an increase in grades. I think if Jackson High implemented a later start time they will see improvements in students’ grades, attendance, and tardies. I think the Jackson High teachers will also see improved focus in students and less sleeping or dozing off in class. Schools’ number one goal is to help students be as successful in school and eventually in future life as possible, and yet they ignore the proven facts that starting school later will help them do just that.
Area 51: Close Encounters of the Humankind
In late June, another blasé college student searching for a quick fix to his boredom turned to the Internet for help. As Matty Roberts took to Facebook, he created a group called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," as a spoof of another event posted for stealing Minnesota's 11,842 lakes. It was intended as a practical joke about searching for aliens and spacecraft in the highly classified Air Force facility, but not everybody got the memo. Now, the only space that he will be hoping to see is between him and the barbed wire shores of Groom Lake.
"I'm trying to advocate against the storming as much as I can," Roberts said to CNN in August. "I just want a gathering of all these weirdos in the desert."
Unfortunately, there was a batch of bad apples, or should we say "weirdos," who took the gag overboard on September 10. Two Dutch YouTubers by the names of Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep and Ties Granzier were reported to police and arrested inside the perimeter. Their vehicle was found three miles inside. Although they read the "no trespassing" signs, they were persistent in their goal to "see them aliens," as the Facebook event put it.
"It has always been a dream to be here," Ties said in an Instagram post about the Grand Canyon just before he was arrested. "Now to take crazy recordings of crazy adventures."
Roberts believed that people had taken his joke out of hand. After attempting to organize a festival called "AlienStock," to divert the people from the raid scheduled for September 20, he soon realized that this would only somewhat fuel the fire.
"Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival," him and his team said via the AlienStock website. "We are not interested in, nor will we tolerate any involvement in a Fyre Festival 2.0."
As an alternative, much of the party has migrated to Las Vegas. Roberts' team began promoting a free Area 51 Celebration party for September 19, in the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center. Bud Light is also planning an event in Vegas with Area 51-inspired beer.
"Nothing says we come in peace like sharing a beer with friends from another place or another galaxy," a "Bud Light operative" stated.
Nevada authorities stated that roughly 40 people gathered at the gates to the Nevada Test and Training range, but most of them got lost in Vegas. Merely one arrest was made and it wasn’t for trespassing or anything expected, but for public urination. Since the ten days before the raid that the two Dutch men were arrested on, they were sentenced to county jail for a year, but it was diminished to a monetary fine and three day imprisonment. As a way of poking back at the “raiders,” a PR arm of the US military, DVIDS tweeted a photo of a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber as the last thing raiders would see. The unit later mentioned that it reflects their stance “in no way.”
̈ ̈Last night a DVIDSHUB employee posted a Tweet that in NO WAY supports the stance of the Department of Defense,¨ they tweeted, ¨It was inappropriate and we apologize for this mistake.¨
As the gates shut on the storming and hungover millennials are homebound, we find that the real storm was the collective confusion of the entire nation over how the military should react in such a massive act of rebellion. In addition, this whole event was an arguably fantastic demonstration on how digital footprints can lead to real world footprints behind restricted fences, ones that possibly end in blood or tight handcuffs.