Will Arizona Teachers Walkout?
by Meche Williams '19
Arizona teachers are the apart of the lowest paid in the nation and has started “weighing whether” or not they are going to walk out of their classrooms and demand more funding after seeing it happen in other states. The Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has offered teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 after that the walkout vote will start. But teachers in grass-roots groups say the plan does not address the other needs for supplies and rasis for support staff. The walk-out movements started in West virginia; their strike “garnered” them a raised, eventually Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Colorado have joined in on the movement.
The Arizona Education Association supports the #RedforEd movement which began in grass-roots and turned into Arizona Educators United group; they have informed the 20,000 members of thericks they’ll be taking by doing a state wide walkout. There is no law banning a teacher strike but a statewide strike is illegal under common law and the participants could lose their teaching credentials. The association President Joe Thomas said, “We’ve been telling our members that for six weeks, and they understand it and it doesn’t seem to faze them. That shows how upset they are. They’re willing to take this risk for their students.” In weeks since it started the rallying has brought forward stories of teachers working multiple jobs, living with their parents, teaching in poor facility infrastructure and out-of-date materials. Thomas adds, “We’ve never had a situation as dire as what we have right now, and that’s what’s truly unique, These aren’t teachers and support staff and counselors who are frustrated with their district, they are frustrated with their state governor and their state Legislature.”
Former San Antonio Lawyer Faces Trafficking Charges
by Shawn McCraith '18
A former lawyer of San Antonio was sentenced to 80 years in prison for forcing clients to have sex with him so he could provide them with legal services. The jury in Wilson County gave their judgment after about six hours of thinking it over. The case was moved from Bexar County because of its notoriety. Mark Henry Benavides aged 48 was convicted on Tuesday the 3rd of April, 2018 with six counts of continuous trafficking of persons. The attorneys of Benavides filed an appeal in the case.
Benavides still faces charges from other cases, court records show that he has two counts of sexual assault of a child, a single count of sexual assault and multiple counts of continuous trafficking of persons. As reported by the San-Antonio Express, Benavides mouthed the words “I love you” to his wife after Friday’s sentencing.
WOAI-TV reported that Benavides targeted drug addicts and prostitutes as victims which would only make their accounts less credible. He talked them into having sex with him so they wouldn’t be put into jail and he recorded the encounters. 250 DVDs of the sexual encounters between Benavides and the victims were confiscated from Benavides’ home and some were shown during the trial. A video of rough sex caused a juror to faint. The argument of whether the sex was sensual was said to be real as testified by Benavides but the prosecutor said that the cries of pain during the sex was real.
Meredith Chacon told the Express-News that,”This is human trafficking, he transported, coerced, threatened and made them feel they had no choice. This jury understood that.” The attorneys of Benavides didn’t comment on the sentencing. Mark Henry benavides was expected to run to be a district judge in bexar County but resigned from the state bar in 2016. Benavides will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of his sentence.
Documentary: The Meaning of Baseball
by Lucie Kezele '18
Oklahoma Teachers Walk-Out
by Lucia Kezele '18
There is no doubt that teachers are some of the most important people within a child’s life. They not only teach children the basic fundamentals that they need to know to succeed but they also serve as role models for kids throughout the world. They not only spend eight hours a day teaching students but they also spend countless hours of their own time as well as their own money preparing for what their students need. Right now the country is being shaken by arguments about raising teacher’s salary. The walk-outs started in West Virginia and have since traveled to Oklahoma where the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) presented their state legislature with a list of demands for what they want to see happen within their state in regards to fair teaching wages. The current starting salary for teachers in Oklahoma is set at $31,600 (set by legislators) a year yet the salary can vary from district to district.
On March 9, 2018 the OEA approached their Oklahoma legislature with demands from the teachers. The legislature was given three weeks to approve these demands or else teachers across Oklahoma were threatening to walk out of their schools. These demands totaled to about $800 million in additional funding. This funding would not just apply to teacher’s salary but also to staff’s (custodians, secretaries, etc) salary as well as additional classroom funding. According to newsok.com, the demands request a $10,000 salary increase for teachers and a $5,000 increase for staff. The OEA stated that this raise did not have to happen within one year but that the legislature could stretch the raise over three years as long as the teachers received a raise of $6,000 in the next fiscal year. Senator Mike Schulz of Oklahoma said that a $10,000 pay raise would be tough but manageable however, he then went on to say that a $5,000 raise would be much more obtainable thus cutting the teacher’s demands in half. The rest of the demands include raises in health care funding as well as funding for public schools.
This past Monday, April 2, 2018, at least 20,000 people swarmed the Capitol to protest teacher salaries. Tuesday, protesters entered the Capitol, reaching number in the 100s, to “chant” while outside of the Capitol teachers booed the lawmakers as they adjourned from their meetings. Teachers have received massive backlash from their protesting, some people even going as far as to say that these teachers do not care about their students. I approached the Assistant-Principal of Union High School in Tulsa, OK to see what she had to say about why teachers and staff are walking out. Mila Gutierrez-Trujillo, Assistant-Principal at Union High School had this to say; “Class sizes are too big, students are needing more attention. If it means getting disciplined and getting the attention in the office.” These teachers are now receiving backlash from their own legislators. State Representative Kevin McDugle even went as fair to start a Facebook live video in which he berated the actions of these teachers and said that he “is not voting for another stinking measure when they are acting the way that they are acting.” He went on to delete the video and issue a statement saying that he simply did not agree with actions that were taken at the Capitol (actions he presumed to have come from teachers) and claimed that multiple legislators have received death threats.
Teachers have tried for years to get the legislature to increase their salaries. However, the House could not come to a decision. Democrats endorsed tax and budget cuts while republicans endorsed tax raises. The legislature requires a ¾ majority for a bill to pass and they just haven’t been able to come to a consensus on this issue. This year is different; teachers have all banded together and stuck with what they threatened. If the demands presented by the OEA were not met then there was a planned walk out for March 28th, and another for April 2nd if nothing was done. Last week teachers did, however, receive a raise that averaged to $6,100.
On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, the teachers were on their third day of striking. However, not all teachers were still in the process of “walking out.” Some districts ordered their teachers to return to schools and begin teaching. The schools still participating in the walkout lie within the ten largest school districts in Oklahoma. These districts include the two largest cities in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City (pop. 579, 999) and Tulsa (pop. 391, 906). Teachers have said that they plan to continue their walk-out until something is changed while some teachers have decided to walk from their hometowns to the capitol, they should arrive there by Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
Nonprofits Depend on Arizona Give Day
Meche' Williams '19
The Arizona Gives Day Organization is formed by Arizona nonprofits and Arizona grantmakers that started in 2013 and has raised more than $10.1 million for nonprofits state wide. In Arizona the first Tuesday during the month of april has been important to small nonprofit organizations because they’re getting support and money from “Arizona Gives Day.” Jennifer Purcell the director of community engagement for the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits said, “With Arizona Gives Day, we are really trying to build a spirit of philanthropy in the state. We have lots of people who live here part-time, and because of that, they often give in their home states. We need those people, along with those living here year-round, to understand that their dollars are helping to make Arizona’s community as strong as it can be.” Over 1,000 nonprofits participate in Arizona Gives Day hope to have a record breaking amount in 24-hours since the donation opened. The whole idea behind Arizona Gives Day is “empowering nonprofits”, “paying it forward”, and “giving flexibility.” So far there are 1,053 different nonprofits you can donate to, of a wide range “representing diverse interests”: animals, art, children, community development, education, the environment, human services, seniors and more. The sanctuary www.hoofsnhornsfarm.org has been a non profit since 2013: majority of the animals they take in have special medical needs and specialized care. The Founder and CEO Shelby Brawley said, “Lots of the animals that come here have no other options: We are the last stop for them. Many rescue organizations can recoup fees by rehabbing animals and finding them homes, but we don’t have that option. We are somewhere between a hospital, hospice and retirement home. Often you feel like you are competing with so many big nonprofits, but a rescue partner said that Arizona Gives Day has really helped them and other small nonprofits, so we are thrilled to be able to participate and hopefully get our name out there.” If you’re interested to see the total amount of donations check out https://www.azgives.org/ and it will give you the amount and details of the nonprofits they help.
"Suitcase Killer" Executed
by Shawn McCraith '18
The “Suitcase Killer”, known as Rosendo Rodriguez III, was executed in Huntsville, Texas on March 28th when Rodriguez’ attorney made one last attempt to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court to stop the execution from happening. As reported by the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal Rodriguez, who is 38, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing and raping 29-year-old Summer Baldwin in 2005 in Lubbock. While Resendo was strapped into a gurney on the evening of March 28th he said “stop the death penalty” to “ save his brothers from death row” and urged people to contact the inmates on death row and “get to know them” which was also reported by the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal.
Rodriguez became the fourth inmate this year to be executed at 6:46 pm on Tuesday. The prosecutors discovered evidence that Rosendo had beaten, raped, and killed 10-week pregnant Summer Baldwin by suffocating her in a suitcase. The suitcase was then thrown into the trash. Workers found the suitcase in September 2005 only to find the remains of Baldwin inside. A testimony at Rodriguez’ trial in 2008 revealed that Baldwin may have still been alive when she was stuffed into the suitcase.
Rosendo Rodriguez was a former United States Marine reservist who was in Lubbock for training. He was linked to several other sexual assault cases including the confession of killing a 16-year-old girl who was reported missing; her remains were found mummified in a suitcase at the city dump. These cases were shown by court records that were obtained from The Associated Press. Assistant Texas Attorney General Tomee Heining said that the appeal was a “last ditch effort.” The appeal was denied thirty minutes before Rodrigues was scheduled to be executed.
AZ Governor Suspends Driverless Ubers
by Meche Williams '19
Arizona state's governor, Doug Ducey, announced Monday that they are suspending Uber testing vehicles after one of their vehicles hit a pedestrian. Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle across an intersection late in the evening on March 18 when the autonomous vehicle hit her. Due to the extent of her injuries she died at a local hospital. There is a video released showing the 2017 Volvo XC90 SUV striking the women in Tempe, near Phoenix. After watching the video Ducey wrote, “I found the video to be disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona. As governor, my top priority is public safety.” The Governor also said it raises questions about the ability of Uber to continue their testing in the state of Arizona because the video shows that it doesn't slow down or alter its course to avoid the pedestrian. The Uber company said, “We proactively suspended self-driving operations in all cities immediately following the tragic incident last week. We continue to help investigators in any way we can, and we’ll keep a dialogue open with the governor's office to address any concerns they have.” As of now there are currently twenty-two states that have passed laws for the use of autonomous vehicles according to the National Conference. Uber posted a statement on Twitter saying it has already suspended testing of self-driving vehicles in four cities: San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, and Toronto.The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident to find out if Uber can continue and what caused the accident and how to better prevent it.
Last Week's Poll Results!!
Last week we asked Ambush! Poll takers whether they thought the state champion wrestler mentioned should be in the male or female division: 100% of Poll takers said that the wrestler should have to compete in the male division.
Arizona Law Requires Disclosure of Need for Abortion
by Shawn McCraith '18
Lawmakers in Arizona have reviewed a law that requires a woman having an abortion to disclose the information as to why she will be having an abortion. The Senate Bill 1394, introduced by Nancy Barto from Phoenix, which requires a doctor to obtain the information that cause their patients to want an abortion and that information would be reported to the Arizona Department of Health. Some possibilities to choose from would be “rape”, “abuse”, “separation”, “divorce” and “extramarital affairs”. The bill has been passed by the Arizona Senate and was presented to the House Committee for Judiciary and Public Safety on Wednesday afternoon. A Democrat from Tucson by the name of Kirstin Engel said that the law is invading the privacy of women and that government will now be involved with doctor-patient relationships.
The bill was developed by Cathi Herrod, who supports anti-abortion and whose Center for Arizona Policy has been adding more laws for abortion over the past years which is making it tougher to obtain one. In the United States the mortality rate is the highest in the world. Jodi Liggett the vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Arizona said “It's a bad joke to ask women about the reasons for their abortions when you have no intention of ever addressing any of those needs, now or in the future.” A reason that there may be so many abortions is because the slashing of funds to welfare programs so women would feel like they can’t support the baby if it was born. The Arizona Public Health Association, the Arizona Medical Association, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have opposed Senate Bill 1394.
Family of Four Found Deceased in Van
by Meche Williams '19
Written on March 16, 2018
A family of four was found dead in a van on March 15 around 8:40 p.m. The officers were dispatched at 8:35 p.m. to 12031 Brookhurst St. to investigate a suspicious car. The officer arrived at a CVS drug store parking lot in Garden Grove and found a family of four dead; out of those 4: 2 of them were children believed to be under the age of 4, a boy and girl. A woman told the police that as she walked nearby the van she smelled a foul odor. The van had the windows covered with a blanket and a sunscreen; the four family members have not yet been identified. But there were two females and two males inside the van; the cause of death is unknown and there has been no appearance that they suffered any noticeable trauma. It was also suggested that they were homeless and the witness that discovered the victims said the white Honda van has been sitting in the parking lot for several days, Whitney said. Officer Whitney said, “It is an officer’s worst nightmare to come across a family who appears to have died together, it’s sad for everyone involved.” Friday morning the van was towed away by the Orange County Sheriff's Department crime lab for processing.
NM Students Fight For School Safety
by Meche Williams '19
Wednesday, March 14, 2017, students attending Sandia, La Cueva, Eldorado, and other surrounding schools in New Mexico took part in a peaceful protest by walking out of class early Wednesday afternoon. They planned to leave for 17 minutes; each minute for all 17 students that were killed in the Stoneman Douglas shooting. Eldorado High School’s message was “enough is enough” that can be found online by the looking up “#enough”. The students decided to meet up in the courtyard at 10 a.m. and used snapchat to remind the students of the walkout; they did their 17 minutes of silence then used there remaining time to rally on about school safety with speeches, chants, and solutions. The students at Eldorado plan to stay involved and participate in the community-wide rally March 24. Eldorado students are not the only ones staying involved and planning to continue their participation for safer schools and stricter gun laws, Cibola and La Cueva students are as well. Cibola Junior Joliana Davidson said, “I think that the NRA is an extremely powerful company that is paying off our government, and I think they need to work harder to change things and care more about our livelihood over the money.” Highland High School students put together a “sit-in” Wednesday at their school, filling the hallways in “solidarity of the Parkland Shooting.” Volcano Vista Principle Vickie Bannerman planned to have a fire drill at 10 a.m. because it fulfilled their monthly fire drill and allowed her students to take part in the national remembrance for the Stoneman Douglas High Victims. Bannerman had the faculty monitor the students; students released 17 balloons at 10:17 a.m., gave speeches, and let a special bell ring for 17 minutes. The principle was satisfied with the way the students and staff handled things. The national march for gun control and school safety is also planned for March 24.
Transgender Wins State Title 2 Years in a Row
by Meche Williams '19
Written Friday, March 9, 2018.
18-year-old Mack Beggs is a transgender wrestler from Texas. Mack Beggs was born as Mackenzie Beggs, a female, but identifies as a male; who won the state title in the 6a-110 pound division twice. He attends Euless Trinity High School as a senior and entered the Texas state tournament with a perfect record. The championship match was on sunday february 25th and he was against Chelsea Sanchez and he beat her for the title. Once he was named as the state champion for the 110 pound division the crowd had a mixture of boos and cheers. Beggs said, “It definitely felt different” to the Dallas Morning News. Mack wanted to compete in the men's division but do to University Interscholastic League rules they forced him to compete in the girls division because the rules state the athletes must compete in the gender division that's is shown on their birth certificate. Beggs has not undergone gender reassignment surgeries yet but since his freshman year he's been taking small doses of testosterone injections prescribed by his doctor. The competitors feel that it's unfair that Beggs is competing in the girls division because he’s been taking testosterone injections since freshman year and it gives him an advantage. One parent from Texas High school has filed to sue UIL, but the UIL still stands firm with its rules. Even still when more than a dozen other states and NCAA allow the athletes to compete in the gender they identify themselves as.
Utah Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence
by Mariah Tso '21
In Salt Lake City, Utah thousands of students walkout to join their friends in a nationwide protest against gun violence. Students walked out at 10:00 am. It was one month since the tragic shooting in Florida took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The students who walked out stayed outside or on school property for 17 minutes, one minute for each victim who lost their lives on February 14, 2018. At Brighton High School students walked out to the football stadium and read one name of each victim each minute and sat in silence to show respect. Also at Syracuse High and Timpview High dozens of student walked out and gathered together with school staff while security looking over them. Many are calling for stricter gun laws and improved school safety. Hundreds of students from multiple Utah high schools, junior high schools and even elementary schools participated in the event. At Salt Lake's Bryant Middle School, students walked out of school and tied orange ribbons to a chain-link fence on the south side of the school campus also wrote messages promoting peace and kindness at school on pieces of orange paper, which were linked in a paper chain. But in Parkland, Florida they bowed their heads in honor of the dead for the 17 victims they also carried signs with messages like “Never again” and “Am I next?’ They also repeated over and over “Enough is Enough”. In a wave of protests one historian called the largest of its kind in American history, tens of thousands of students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday to demand action on gun violence and school safety.
Last Week's Poll Results!
Last week we asked Ambush! Poll takers if they had ever used Uber: 67% said no while the other 33% said yes.
Teen Brings Homemade Bomb to School
by Mariah Tso '21
A student at a southern Utah high school has been charged with bringing a homemade bomb to the school. It was discovered in a backpack emitting smoke and prompted an evacuation said police. This incident happened on March 6th 2018. The boy was arrested Monday night. After Pine View High School was evacuated for two hours that afternoon while the FBI and a bomb squad investigated. The boy name has not been given out the police have refused to give the boy identity and his age.
Police said no one was hurt and no damage was reported. The school reopened Tuesday morning. Police did not describe the homemade bomb in detail but said it "had the potential to cause injury or death." According to police, the homemade bomb had enough explosives within it to possibly cause serious injury or death. The teen had been researching ISIS and showing interest in promoting the organization. Police also said more charges are pending as a suspect in raising an ISIS flag on a pole at another school last month. That happened on February 15, a day after a mass shooting at a school in Florida. The authorities though putting up the flag was a school prank.
Independent Uber Trucks Deliver Goods Across AZ Border
by Shawn McCraith '18
Uber, for the past year of 2017, has been contracting with trucking companies to use their autonomous Volvo big rigs to travel across Arizona for transporting goods. The self-driving trucks meet with human truckers to transfer loads and meet another conventional human trucker on the other side of the state where the human trucker can then deliver the goods to a big city. With this new technology Uber could get rid of long haul drives that are completely autonomous and have no one at the wheel of the trucks. Another scenario is Uber could sell this new technology to trucking companies so that driver’s can sleep while the self-driving truck takes care of the long distance driving which would allow the jobs of truckers to be accomplished much quicker. Alden Woodrow the lead of Uber’s self-driving truck effort said that “the big step for [them] recently is that [they] can plan to haul goods in both directions”, meaning the ability to coordinate drop offs and pickups.
Uber Freight is an app that matches loaders and shippers utilizing the Uber’s ride hailing technology. The technology to make the autonomous truck happen is still in a young age and has to be regulated by the government. A truck that would allow sleep during the long hauls would be profitable but investments would have to be made for the trucks as well as trust would need to be built upon the self-driving trucks. Woodrow does not believe that the company will own many of the trucks because it would mean buying them from other companies. The Uber program driving the trucks only stays on the highways because of the difficulty of driving in urban traffic. The Volvo trucks receive loads at weigh stations. The Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group has self-driving car testings in Arizona, Pennsylvania and San Francisco.
Last Week's Poll Results!
Last week we asked Ambush! Poll takers if they though gun laws needed to be stricter within the United States; 50% said they thought the laws needed to be a little stricter while the other 50% said that the laws need to be made stricter.
Out-of-State Dogs Being Adopted in Denver
by Shawn McCraith '18
Over the past few years the populations of dogs has increased all over the country due to a cycle of reproducing in the summer. A rescue organization called Denver Dumb Friends League has multitudes of dogs transported from Vinita, Oklahoma to become apart of a caring and loving family in Colorado. Since 2016, Denver Dumb Friends League has been in partnership with the Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter and has documented around 30,000 dogs that came out-of-state to the Colorado animal shelters where hardly any dogs are euthanized due to the live release rate which is above 90 percent. Overpopulation in many states is a problem because of the reputation of shelters where no one wants to adopt an animal in this case a dog or puppy.
Many dogs are transported into Colorado because it is an ideal place for dogs to be adopted. States that neighbor Colorado like Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas send candidates to capitalize on a seemingly endless demand. Communities in Colorado emphasize on the values toward owning a dog and adopting a healthy dog. Humane education, spay and neuter procedures, and an outdoors-oriented region which boosts the state’s status as extremely pet-friendly.
Thousands of dogs are transported with a downside since Colorado has 260 registered operations there is also an unknown amount of operations that transport dogs from various areas without safeguards. States near the Gulf put Colorado’s shelters at risk due to the warm, humid temperatures. Heartworm, parvovirus, and distemper are prevalent in animals coming from the Gulf states which can leave the adopters with heartbreak or a hefty bill due to veterinary needs. So as Colorado recognizes dogs as family members, the business start to have more dog-friendly policies to create a market for four-legged companions.
Lawmakers Want Gun Legislation Immediately
by Mariah Tso '21
Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico says gun laws must be talked about at the federal level.He also said he wants to see a federal ban on bump stocks, high-capacity magazines, and to clarify the rules on universal background checks. When he says he wants talk about guns laws at a federal level he wants to speak about it with the three distinct branches (legislative, executive, and judicial), whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president, and the federal courts, respectively. The guns laws in New Mexico are on foot, no permit is required to carry a firearm unless it is both loaded and concealed.
Concealed carry of an unloaded firearm is legal without a permit in New Mexico, however the same restrictions that apply to openly carried firearms apply. But however Senator Tom Udall said in a statement, "As these atrocities grow ever more frequent and deadly in the United States, we cannot allow ourselves to become desensitized to such preventable horror — or become numb to our responsibility to act. I plead with my Republican colleagues to move beyond the extreme positions of gun lobby SuperPACs and special interests who have opposed closing the gun-show loophole, expanding federal background checks, and other common-sense gun safety rules. It’s time for both parties to show political courage and take common-sense steps to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of those who seek to kill innocent people."
Last Week's Poll Results!
Last week we asked Ambush! Poll takers if they would take the CCTE Program: 50% said maybe while the other 50% said no.
JROTC Students Awarded with Medals of Heroism
by Shawn McCraith '18
The United States Army has awarded three students for their heroism in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, February 14. Peter Wang (15), Alaina Petty (14), and Martin Duque (14) were apart of the schools Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Wang was posthumously accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point by the United States Military. Wang was gunned down holding the door open so his classmates could escape. Peter Wang had a lifetime goal of attending West Point. To receive the Medal of Heroism, “the achievement must be an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding that it clearly sets the individual apart from fellow students or from other persons in similar circumstances. The performance must have involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.” is what the U.S. Army’s criteria reads.
One of Wang’s classmates told CNN that “He died a gentleman holding the door for other students.” Lin Chen who is Wang’s cousin said that Wang was wearing his standard JROTC uniform shirt when he left that morning. Wang was reportedly buried in his JROTC uniform with his medal awarded during his funeral service to be pinned in his uniform too. Wang’s family also received a second medal as a keepsake for Peter’s duty on that day. Duque’s family was awarded his medal on Saturday during his funeral and Petty’s family received hers on Monday for the funeral service as well. The other two students also had heroic reasons as to why they received the medal also. Other members of the JROTC program barricaded the doors with kevlar and stood guard during the shooting. In the past 20 years about 48 JROTC heroism medals have been awarded.
Shooting Threats Increase in a Short Time
by Meche Williams '19
*Written on February 23rd*
In Florida there was a shooting that took 17 lives and since then New Mexico schools have received more than 10 threats in the week after the Florida shooting. In total, there have been 17 threats to schools in New Mexico and 1 bomb threat; of those 18, the police have arrested 6 of the people sending the threats. The 18 schools are: Silver High School; received threats on social media to SHS, but police are still investigating, and Las Cruces High School; received a threat on snapchat saying “Mexican School Shooter 2k18 jk guys” from 18 year old Earnest Padilla, who was arrested and is being charged with unlawful carrying a deadly weapon on school premises. The threats went to Alamogordo High School; a freshman made verbal threats and was arrested, several Ruidoso Schools; received threats on social media but no one has been arrested and police believe it was a copycat of the Rio Ranch Threat. At Los Lunas High School a snapchat warned student to skip school because of potential shooting threat but no one has been arrested then at Belen High School; on snapchat one student said, “All BHS students prepare to see my wrath tomorrow…” causing a two hour delay and police tracked the suspect down through is I.P address. Tony Hillerman Middle School and Volcano Vista High School received threats as well; a Virginia man was making threats to the schools and the police arrested him, James Monroe Middle School; received threats through snapchat but no one was arrested, and at Cibola High School; a student made threats through snapchat and police arrested him and are now charging him with interference with the educational process which is a misdemeanor. Rio Rancho High School has received multiple threats on social media but so far no one has been arrested, V. Sue Cleveland High School; threats were made through social media but no one has been arrested, and Ortiz Middle School; a student heard someone make a threat and asked school officials to take him out of school but the police are still investing before they can make arrest. Santa Fe High School received threats on snapchat but the police have not arrested anyone yet, Pojoaque Valley High school; a note found at the school referenced to a threat but police officers have not released what the note said, so no one has been arrested, and Española Valley High School; threats were made through snapchat and two students were arrested and are being charged with Interference of Educational Process. At Grants High School a threat was written in the urinal of a shooting on Feb. 23 and two students are being interviewed but the FBI in connection with the incident. At Kirtland Central High School one student was arrested for leaving a bomb threat in the boys restroom and is being charged with causing a bomb scare which is a felony. The shooting threats all happened in the span of 4 days starting from February 20th to February 23rd.
by Mariah Tso '21
Distracted driving means driving while not fully paying attention to the road; for example, not having your eyes on the road. There are many thing that can cause distracted driving. Examples are reaching for your phone, taking a picture, or putting makeup on, or anything to do with taking your eyes off the road. Many people think it's not dangerous, but it is very dangerous. You could get in an accident. In 2012 there were 3,328 people killed due to distraction-related crashes. The most common distraction is cell phones, but there are apps that help you with distracted driving. Distracted driving is not something new, it has been around and continues to grow everyday. A lot could happen, and it can only take 5 seconds of your eyes off the road, but a lot can happen in 5 seconds.
Everyday in the United States around 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured due to distracted driving. If you do not know what distracted driving is, it’s when you do not have your full attention on the road because it’s somewhere else. For example, texting. In 2010 there were 3,092 deaths and in 2011 there 3,331. In the year of 2010 to 2011 there was a huge increase in the number of people being killed due distracted driving. There are things one can do to prevent more people dying and it's just to stay off your phone.
Texting is one of the major issues but there are texting alternatives. The first one is Voice Recognition which translates words into text, but you still have to use your hands to send the message. Another is Auto Responder. The autoresponder sends out a pre-written message to a caller when you get instant or email messages. This message can explain why you are not answering at the moment because you are driving. Example phrases include “can’t talk right now” and “I'll call you back”. The last one is Text Blockers, an excellent way for teens to message their friends and to prevent teens from texting while driving. It disables texting when the vehicle is going over 10 mph.
There are two disadvantages to distracted driving. The first one is that is dangerous. It is dangerous because you could get into an accident and get seriously hurt or possibly get killed. Researchers have also found that people cannot multitask, the brain can only do one thing at a time. Driving and texting need full attention and you can not do both at the same time. The second reason is the is is against the Law. In New Mexico, texting or talking on the phone while driving is illegal. Also anyone under 18 years old is prohibited from using a cell phone (in any way) while driving. In Utah it's the same law but you could only use your phone if there is an emergency. The state of Colorado bans everyone who is driving from texting and driving, except for emergencies. Drivers who are under 18 years old are can not use any mobile device while driving. As a general rule, drivers should make every effort to move to a safe place off of the road before using a cell phone for example pull over. However, in emergency situations a driver must use their judgment regarding the urgency of the situation and the necessity to use a cell phone while driving. The safest thing is you could do is just pull to the side of the road or park somewhere where you could answer the phone.
Texas Massacre Adds 4,000 Names to Gun Ban
by Shawn McCraith '18
Last November Devin Kelley, an ex-US airman of the United States Air Force, opened fire on a church congregation in Sutherland Springs, Texas killing 26 people. The U.S. military failed to add Kelley to a gun ban list because of his dishonorable discharge. In Kelley’s case he was charged with aggravated assault, which should have hindered the individual from being able to purchase a gun. After the shooting, the Department of Defense has pushed to properly update the FBI’s system to keep any military personnel who were kicked out of the military for violence to be barred from ever purchasing a weapon. Within the past three months since the shooting, more than 4,000 names have been filed into the system which is a 38% leap. The FBI system identifies reasons to keep civilians and former military personnel from buying guns, which includes any that have been dishonorably discharged or convicted by a general court martial.
Ever since 2015, a massive 11,000 dishonorably discharged personnel has been published online and is now at 15,597. The Department of Defense has not taken note of the jump in submissions and so for an unknown time period there was 4,000 people who could have bought guns even though they were legally barred from it. The main three branches of the United States military have been scrutinized because of their failure to backlog the names of the people who were not supposed to have been able to buy weapons. The Air Force has been focused on because the shooter was an ex-US Airman and the Secretary of the Air Force has reported that they are reviewing cases dating back to 2002. Lawmakers have been set into action because of the shooting, and are now trying to strengthen the national background check system.
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/373396-us-military-added-4000-to-gun-ban-list-after-texas-church-massacre-reportpurchasing a weapon
Dog Thrown to His Death
by Meche Williams '19
Saturday February 10th a little four year old Chihuahua that was had fur the color of black and tan named Dunky was thrown to his death. Near San Francisco Union Square, a man tried to break into the car Dunky was in at Sutter-Stockton Garage in Union Square. When he broke into the car there were pieces of glass covered in blood from Dunky and a bloody trail leading to the railing that was seven stories high where the dog was thrown off of. Later that same day, in the afternoon drivers passing by the garage around 2:00 pm saw the animal dead outside Stockton Street Tunnel near Sutter Street.
When the police were notified and started their investigation they looked at the scene and noticed there was a camera that had the view of the railing in it. They watched the video taped and recognized the man from previous contacts. The man suspected of throwing Dunky to his death is 35-year-old, Wakeen Best a San Francisco resident. Sunday February 11th they arrested Best at Polk and Bush streets and he is now being charged with suspicion of felony burglary, animal cruelty, possession of stolen property, vandalism, grand theft, carrying a concealed weapon and probation violation. And to top it all off he is being held without bail for suspicion of misdemeanor counts of possession of burglary tools, violating a court order and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Ambush News Interviews Floyd Kezele,Professor for UNM-Gallup, about the CCTE Program
by Lucia Kezele '18
Ambush News Interviews Students about UNM-Gallup CCTE Program
by Meche Williams '19
by Shawn McCraith '18
by Mariah Tso '20
Your Decisions Affect Those Around You
by Meche Williams '19 and Shawn McCraith '18
Suicide is a problem around the world and it can’t be solved with the flick of the wrist or a simple speech.
Studies done in January 2017 by the New Mexico Department of Health say that New Mexico has the fourth highest rate of suicide in the United States. NM studies show that suicide is the eighth leading cause of death but is the second leading cause of death for the ages group of 10-49 years old. For white people the age group more susceptible to commiting suicide is from 35 years and older and for Native Americans the age group more susceptible is from 35 years and younger. But if we look at it from another perspective like gender, men were three times higher than women to commit suicide. Men from the age 75 years and older and women 45-54 years were more likely than any other age to commit suicide. About 53% of suicides used a firearm of some sort in 2011-2015 and it's still increasing.
If we look at a the bigger picture and look at the statics of the United States suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. There are on average 44,965 deaths per year just in the US from suicide. Just as New Mexico in the US the men are 3.57 times more than women likely to commit suicide and on average there are 123 suicides a day. The different methods of suicide include: suffocation (25.9%), poisoning (14.9%), firearm (51%), and other (8.2%) that were done in 2016.
One quote comes to mind when I think of suicide by Kirkup, “Suicide doesn’t end the pain. It just passes it on to someone else.” It’s so powerful and true; when ending your life you don’t just get rid of it completely but rather pass it on to your parents, friends, spouse, or siblings. They feel the heartache and pain because they lost you. Most of the family members that lose a loved one are stuck with such a huge question, “Why did they do it?”. It stays with some for months, years, or decades after the death of their loved one and they start to lose themselves because of it. Some family members who lost a loved one go through so much emotions such as, guilt, intense emotions, longing for the loved deceased, emotional pain, question religious beliefs, become isolated, anger at the deceased, rejection, lose of appetite, and wondering how they could of prevented it.
I joined a support group for families affected by suicide and asked if one person wanted to share their story or say something to someone who is facing suicide or a family affected by suicide as well. A woman messaged but wanted to stay anonymous so we’ll call her Amy, her brother took his life seven years ago and she felt sadness, anger, and then more sadness. She still misses him and carries this grief with her and can't believe it happened. Amy said, “If I could say something to someone contemplating suicide it would be to get help. There is someone out there in your same position and knows what you're going through. Don't be shy or embarrassed. Talk to someone, anyone. Don't leave your loved ones with the sadness of feeling like they could have done more to help or save you. It's a pain I can't even put into words. So many questions.. When they feel like they can't go on keep trying. It's only temporary things will get better. The best quote I've seen and I completely agree with is you're not getting rid of the pain you're just passing it to someone else aka friends and family when you're gone.” Amy knows the pain and intense emotions of losing a loved one and struggles through it everyday but she keeps pushing through it because she has a family of her own that need her love, care, and support.
The absolute best way to reach a counselor or someone to speak with when in a crisis is to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. The online chat is inefficient for reaching actual counselors. The average wait for an online meet would be close to 30 minutes to an hour because of the waiting line on the website. Two chats were attempted with no luck of actual contact with a representative. When reaching out for a counselor the wait in line is lengthy and not at all effective for people who need immediate conversations or questions. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline callers will be immediately directed to an assistant for care and management. The New Mexico Crisis Line is excellent in speaking to callers about any type of crisis and can try to answer questions to the best of their abilities. They keep their phone lines clear to speak with people that need assistance in whatever they need relating to a crisis or suicide.
If you are in need and want to talk to someone please take that step. There are people out there who want to help you or listen to you if that's what you need.
You can call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 they also have lifeline chat
New Mexico Crisis Line at 1-855-662-7474
Utah High School Will Stick With Problematic Mascot
by Shawn McCraith '18
A new high school in the town of Farmington said that they will not change the name of their mascot name, “The Phoenix”.
It could have been the Fascists or the Farts but “Phoenix” was chosen instead. The mayor of Farmington, Jim Talbot, joined some concerned parents about the disapproval of the new chosen mascot name. Talbot wrote in the city’s newsletter that “the plural name sounds like male anatomy.” He has been calling for the district to bypass student’s suggestion and to call the mascot “The Eagles” a numerous amount of the community members wanted to have that option in the survey. Jim Talbot also wrote that “it is their responsibility as leaders” to ensure that the students take pride in their everyday high school life and that a mascot is an immense part of a schools pride.
A spokesperson for the David School District named Chris Williams said that submissions had “inappropriate” suggestions. Williams pointed out that obviously the Farts or Fascists was not a suitable mascot name for the Utah high school. Farmington High School’s principal ,Richard Swanson, is standing beside the students because it was a name that they chose and informed the parents that schools always find a way to create a new time cheer for opponents. Kyle Fraught, who is a Farmington resident, was the one to bring the attention of the mascot name, garnered more than 3,000 signatures. Fraught believes that the name will make the high school vulnerable to would-be hecklers or opposing schools. He said that he isn’t a “prude” and is only looking at the situation through a “non-prude lens” which makes the name a problem. Swanson hopes that the problem will be put to rest. Farmington High School is currently under construction and is scheduled to open this fall.
by Meche Williams '19 and Sage Addington '18
The women's march was on Sunday, January the twenty-first, in Santa Fe, New Mexico is the second annual. It started last year, the day after Trump's inauguration, in support for human rights because many felt threatened by Trump's administration about rights for women, abortion, LGBT community, access to healthcare and many more, it also helped jump start the #MeToo and #TimesUpNow campaigns. One of our editors/writers, Sage Addington, attended the women's March Sunday, so here is her experience:
“I impulsively drove to Santa Fe Sunday morning when I got a Facebook invite for a Native Women's Walk. The invite said to come in traditional attire or contemporary clothing and that the event would be held at The New Mexico State Capitol. Unfortunately, I came about two hours in and by the time the 3 hour even was coming closer to an end, all the Natives had dipped. Earlier I heard talk of a group of Native women storming the stage and taking back the event I thought they had organized and the music of Pueblo drums. The only women I could see were, well, white women in bright pink pussy hats. I could have sworn this was going to be a Native event so I was bit disappointed, but a Women's Walk made sense. At the end of the rally, when the crowd had really thinned out and some women enjoyed dancing to music, all that was left of the Native women's impression was a sign, hanging on a snow covered pole. I'm all for women's rights, believe me, but... I felt really out of place with all the glances I kept getting, wrapped in my pendleton blanket because it was beginning to snow again.
I’m not saying this to invalidate the struggles of other races, but some of the statistics are shocking. Data gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice says that Native American women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the USA in general. Additionally, more than one in three Native women will be raped during her lifetime, whereas, for women as a whole the risk is less than one in five. Native American victims of intimate and family violence are more likely than victims of all other races to be injured and need hospital care. It is described that the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is substantially higher among Indigenous people.”
California House of Horror
by Meche Williams '19
On January 14th, 2018, the thirteen children of David, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, were freed from their shackles, that were put on them by their parents. The children's ages ranged from 2-29 years old. Their home was filthy and was in horrible condition for kids to live in. On Sunday, one of the daughters, who was 17 years old, managed to escape from her home through a window and ran to call 911 from a deactivated phone she found in the house. She talked with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, telling them her parents, that were holding captive her and her other 12 siblings and had photos to corroborate her story. Six of her siblings were under the age of 18 and many of them were said to be “small” stated police officers including, Daniel Hoffman, a professional nutritional science professor. He had said “The problem is not having enough energy or micronutrients -- key nutrients like zinc, folate, iron -- for an extended period of time" he said. There had also been no sign of sexual abuse done to the children as far as they could tell."Kids can become 'stunted', meaning they're shorter than they should be for their age. If you lack micronutrients, you can meet energy to live everyday and even have a normal body weight, but growth can still be stunted.” The oldest son was a star college student; on his transcripts he had all A’s and was taking 15 credits per semester. He attended school from 2014-2016. The parents are being charged with torture and child endangerment and are scheduled for a hearing. Their bail was set at $9 million. The crazy part is that on social media or in public they seemed to be “the perfect family” but when you really analyze or look at them they look unusual; the boys having similar hair cuts and the girls as well. To add to that in their family pictures they had the children all dress alike. In a brief court appearance the parents we told not to contact the children unless they do so through the kids lawyer and so far no further action on their case has happened.
Last Week's Poll Results!
Last week we asked Ambush! Poll takers if they thought instances like the one with the fifth grader would increase as more states legalize marijuana: 50% said maybe and the other 50% said yes.