Monthly Archives: May 2015

A Day at the Harbor

A Day at the Harbor

HACC Baltimore Cruise

By Briana Spears, May 12th, 2015

The Cruise

After a long semester, it is time to kick back and enjoy yourself. As a reward for your hard work, Harrisburg Area Community College decides to sponsor a bus trip to the Baltimore Harbor. On Saturday April 18th, 2015 HACC took a bus trip to Baltimore, Maryland.

For a small fee of fifty dollars, the cost covered transportation by bus to and from Harrisburg and a cruise. As students boarded the Spirit Cruise Ship, the beauty of city could be seen for miles. Some felt a rush of fear, while others excitement. It was a two-hour all-inclusive cruise. Food was provided on the ship, as students were given a selection from some of Baltimore’s finest cuisine.

It was a buffet style event. Some of the selections on the menu include salmon, tilapia, baked ziti, vegetables, salad bar, rolls, and of course dessert. “This has to be from the Cheesecake Factory,” one said in reference to the Cheesecake. There was a wide range of food to choose from.

Once students were done eating the real fear kicked in. Students were eager to

Go on the roof of the ship. “Oh my I do not know if I can do this,” Jay Singleton said while climbing the stairs to the roof. Once at the highest level of the cruise students were able to see the sun as its reflection glistened on the water.

“I am going to be sure to get lots of pictures. I never come to Baltimore without my camera. I never go anywhere without my camera,” Dejay Merideth stated.

Towards the end of the two-hour cruise, students came back to the inside of the ship where they danced to music. “This is a good DJ. He actually knows current songs,” Singleton said. Playing line dances like “Dilo Shuffle Part Two,” or “Cupid Shuffle”. Even honoring couples celebrating their anniversaries by taking it back to songs like “Always and Forever”.

Enjoying the Rest of the Day

Once the cruise came to and end, students were given free time to do with it as they pleased. “We have like five hours left,” Amber Spears said. With this extensive amount of time, students decided to site see. Going to places such as “Phillips,” “The Cheesecake Factory,” or “Chick- Fil- A,” there was no room for hunger.

Students explored the stores at the Harbor and enjoyed The Galleria. At the close of the day, students were expected to meet back at the bus for departure by 6:45 p.m. that evening. “This was really nice. I had a good time because I needed to get away for a while,” Spears states. While on the road back to Harrisburg students reminisced the great day they had and made plans to come again on their own time.

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Nursing Staff Do Not Get a Pass

Links Between the Shortage In Nursing Staff and Patient Brutality

By Briana Spears, May 12th 2015


No Patience for the Patients

As possible links have been made between patient brutality and the shortage in nursing staff, it has become an alarming matter. Lately, this reoccurring issue has taken its course at hospitals in Harrisburg and surrounding areas throughout Central Pennsylvania.

It is sad to think that your loved ones are in a place that is supposed to help them, when all the while it is hurting them.

“I give orders but it is up to my staff makes it happen. I cannot be a chaperone. Morality must kick in. This is something you learn at home,” says Dr. Merritt, of the Harrisburg Osteopathic Hospital.

Firsthand From a Former Nurse

“I get it but that sure as hell does not make it right. I wore those same shoes. You are going on 12 straight hours on your feet not to mention you worked overtime the night before because someone called off. The only thing standing in the way of you going home is one patient who will not take their meds. One who tries fighting you because they do not want to get in bed. Or one crying because no one has come to see them yet,” says Tommy Reitz, former nurse.

“So you get a little forceful to calm them down,” he continued. “I have seen the same sad story a thousand times. They start off nice and crack. You literally sacrifice who you are to make sure others are okay and get no recognition for it. You must be patient. This is an industry all on its own and you have to know why you want to be a part of it. If you are not a people person there is no sense in entering the medical field”.

Putting the Patient First

Patients appear to suffer from the decrease in educational requirements for nursing staff. Generally, the “standard” nurse obtains a Bachelor’s degree before working in the field.

“Most nursing students get an Associate’s degree or online certification. “Proper credentials bring about proper training. These patients are defenseless. You must remember that,” says a Harrisburg Hospital nurse.

Simply, “The money, she said”. “It pays well,” was the response a nursing student gave when asked why they wanted to enter the field. It always goes back to money. An alarming statement as this leads one to question these caretakers.

“It is a good thing you came when you did. I am scared to have him as my nurse. Just me and him all night. I thought he was going to come in here and jack me up. They handle you just as rough, throw the covers any kind of way. You stay quiet because you never know what they will do here by yourself. I tell you all not to run your mouth so much because I am here by myself. These fake nurses. Smiling in your face and act a different way soon as you leave,” a patient at Harrisburg Osteopathic Hospital.

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Millersville University: Mac Miller Comes to the Ville

MU’s Spring Fling 2015

By Briana Spears, May 7, 2015

The Word is Out

Hundreds of students lined up for what would be one of the best events of the year. When news broke that Mac Miller would be performing at Millersville University, it drew the attention of students from schools across the state.

Malcolm McCormick, better known by his Rapper name of Mac Miller, is a Pennsylvania native. He is best known for hit songs “Donald Trump” and “Knock Knock”.

On Saturday April 11th, the doors of the Pucillo Gymnasium opened to the public at 6:45 p.m. Shortly after, the gymnasium was full of students eager to see him perform. The crowd began to get restless as 8 p.m. approached and he had not yet arrived.

Many left the scene as 8:30 p.m. came and he still had not arrived. “He posted on Twitter that he was stuck in traffic,” one boy in the crowd shouted, referring to Mac Miller.

Behind the Scenes

The University’s Student Organization Concert Committee is responsible for the planning and producing of the event. Time and hard work went into making this event a success.


“A lot of work went into making this happen. We to come out and have a good time. It is the close of a long and stressful term so what better way to kick back and get a little crazy before the heat of finals hits,” states one Committee member.

Tickets went on sale February 25th, selling at seven dollars for student admission, and sold out weeks prior to the day of the event. “The tickets haven’t even officially gone on sale yet and there is a line out the door. I even have a friend from Temple who wants me to buy her a ticket,” one Undergrad student says.

The Night of the Event

Rapper Choo Jackson opened the stage and just after 9 p.m., Mac Miller hit the stage. Performing hit songs like, “Happy Birthday,” and “Clap Your Hands,” Mac Miller really got the crowd going. Later in the concert, he refers to himself as “Mac Millersville”, saying he felt a special connection.

He shares his testimonial of being from Pennsylvania, saying, “I am from PA so I know what it is like. I have been in your shoes before. I am one of y’all”. After leaving the stage, Mac Miller came back on stage for an encore, where he performed “Donald Trump, and “Loud” to conclude the show.

“The crowd seemed to have mixed opinions of the performance,” Allie Remis says. “Some people left immediately”, she continued, “While others danced and enjoyed themselves. Because many people left in the middle of the concert and many arrived late, people were going in and out of the gym all night”.

“It was a good turnout. It was pretty live. I was actually kind of surprised,” Freshman Nicholas Carter said. “I mean it was really just something to do,” he went on. “I do not know a whole lot of his music but this is a big deal for our school. I just wanted to hear ‘Donald Trump’ and he performed that so I am good. You know nothing big really happens here so when it does everyone goes. Everyone knew it was going to be live. This was my first ‘concert-concert’ though so I did not really know what to expect but I had fun”.

Students were not so much worried about the event itself and whether it was good or not but what it represents for their school. When something as big as this happens, students come together as a community to support and to make it something fun.

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Harrisburg School District School Issues for Suspension after Prom Dress is Deemed Inappropriate



Alexus Miller- Wigfall Threatened with Suspension, Mom Fights Back

By Briana Spears

Issuing the Suspension

Harrisburg School District’s Prom was held Saturday April 25th. Days later, one senior was issued a suspension for what appeared to be “too revealing” of a dress.

Alexus Miller- Wigfall, was suspended for what her mother believes to be nothing more than the “targeting” of a “plus-size” individual.

“You have more boobs than other girls. They have less to show,” are the alleged words of the school’s assistant principal to Miller-Wigfall. She was informed about the suspension the Tuesday following Prom. She later received a written referral that Wednesday.

Sneed was previously informed by a school counselor that the suspension would be overturned, however.

Sneed Fights Back

Miller- Wigfall told her other, Sneed, that a school administrator ripped up the referral in her face,  Sneed then took matters into her own hands, bringing attention to the matter. She claims she was never contacted to discuss the reversal or the cause of the suspension.

When asked, the District declined a confirmation of the reversal for privacy concerns.

lexx  “Other students wore dresses more revealing but were not punished,” Sneed said. Miller-Wigfall informed Penn Live that no one approached her about her dress at the prom except for Superintendent Knight Burney, who apparently complimented her dress.

Getting Answers

According to Kirsten Keys, a school district spokeswoman, stated that Miller-Wigfall was the only student suspended for prom attire from the SciTech campus of Harrisburg High School. It is a shared prom hosted between SciTech and the main campus.

Harrisburg School District was asked to provide the dress approval process with guidelines and approval deadlines. Most questions were refused an answer.

Sneed said she and her daughter jumped through several hoops already, trying to get the dress approved. She made it known that school officials did not call her back that week when she tried to get approval. School officials say Alexus failed to get her dress approved by the deadline, however.

This appears to be a Trend

One mother of a student at SciTech had this to say, “My daughter experienced a similar situation with SciTech over a skirt that many girls wore to school but for some reason my daughter was dressed inappropriately.  The rules in Harrisburg School District only apply to certain students.  There is nothing wrong with how this young lady is dressed”.

Some say this is a common issue with the school. While some students are targeted others can go free. “They have favorites,” one former student says.

“Last year I got mine approved after school hours,” she continued. “The principal told me I better be glad she likes me because I am supposed to have an appointment. We laughed and she went on to approve my gown. Don’t get me wrong, they try to be fair but I don’t think they realize that sometimes they aren’t”.

Miller-Wigfall took to social media, “Again thank you to everyone who shared positive opinions on the dress and the situation!”, handling the matter gracefully.

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Saying Hello to the GMO

By: Corrie Lingenfelter


In an industry breakthrough, Chipotle has announced they have removed one of the things that consumers want least in their food: GMO’s. The fast food chained announced April 27, 2015 that it is the first national restaurant chain to use only non-GMO ingredients. Co- CEO Steve Ells states,” the Denver- based chain has hit the goal not only at Chipotle Mexican Grills but also at the company’s ShopHouse Southeast Asia Kitchen locations.” he adds by saying, “There’s a lot of debate about genetically modified foods. Though many countries have already banned the use of GMO crops, it’s clear a lot of research is still needed. We decided to move on non-GMO ingredients.”

This move is not surprising for the food industry.Food makers and restaurant chains want to remove ingredients that younger consumers do not want in their food or beverages. We have seen Pepsi Co announce that they would be removing aspartame from the diet Pepsi and also McDonald’s announcing that over the next two years it will stop using chicken treated with antibiotics commonly used for humans.Not only is this a trend on the macro level of things but also on a micro level in our own communities. We locally see different trends and lifestyle choices being incorporated in restaurants in our very own region.

In Pennsylvania located in the sweetest place on earth -or what others refer to as the town of Hersey sits a restaurant called Harvest. Inspired by local and regional ingredients, Harvest offers a fresh take on American cuisine perfect for the whole family. The menu features fresh seasonal fare and a variety of beverages including micro-brews, cocktails, and an American wine list.It is run by Sous Chef Timothy S Cook. I got the pleasure of sitting down with him to discuss some of the issues and myths in the food business about GMO’s and their rise to food fame.

Chef Cook finds that this GMO discussion has somewhat been blown out of proportion. “It’s all about education.” he states, ” There are foods that have been able to be taken from one area and been able to be grown in another cause of a change. Some farmers believe things like being able to grow  products in areas where it was too cold or not enough rain fall or ones that can fight off diseases that would have ruined entire crops can save the farming industry. Some do not the see it as destroying what is natural.” Cook goes onto say, “I feel that every case is different. Like pumping antibiotics in poultry it started out in the 1940’s and it was for a good cause then it got out of hand in the 90’s. its all about education and knowing what we want to put in our bodies.”

Our conversation goes on with the biggest culprit of GMO’s and that is Monsanto. Anyone who knows anything about food or GMO’s knows that Monsanto is the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds on the planet. Accounting for over 90% of the GE seeds planted globally in 2003. Monsanto introduced a genetically modified product (Roundup Ready Soybeans) that were resistant to Roundup. The first crops introduced were soybeans, followed by corn in 1998. “Roundup Ready” crops greatly improved a farmer’s ability to control weeds, since glyphosate could be sprayed in the fields without harming their crops. Some chefs do refer to Monsanto as the worst corporation in human history. Chef Cook’s opinion is that, ” Monsanto is a large organization with a lot of companies underneath it. So as you can imagine some parts are good and some parts are not so good. its a debate like i said before is about education. i know some local farmers that hate the company. but there are other farmers that think its saving the everyday farmer.” Dennis Wilson, an environmental science professor at Harrisburg Area Community College surprisingly agreed. ” See sometimes we as scientists are assumed to automatically be in agreement to the GMO thing. That is not always the case for most of us. I personally feel that there needs to be more research first before presenting society with some of these products. Monsanto is a business and like any business they are out to make a profit any way possible.” He goes on to say, ” There haven’t been research that says GMO’s are harmful, but like I said there also hasn’t been enough research to show the long term effects of GMO’s in our products either. Society needs to focus on the different things we are putting in our body. America is very overweight and its caused by the amounts of processed foods we intake and not looking at what is going into our bodies through certain foods.”

This  lead us into the conversation of local foods and it’s benefits to society. At Harvest Chef Cook works  very hard to bring in as much local food as i can.”If i can buy from a local farmer I’m getting the freshest ingredients and my money is going  right back to my community. There is proof that eating local vegetables while pregnant and/or young can reduce the risk of allergies. It is not just a thing “farm to table” its a whole change of culture when done right.  The carrots i bring in from Lancaster cost me almost 3 times the amount then California. So i can bring this in and not pass all the cost off on the consumers. It was very eye opening to head from these two knowledgeable people on just how much we don’t educate ourselves before going with the latest trend. Chef Cook leaves us with this thought, “Its your responsibility to know what’s going in your bodies. Some people don’t take pain relievers, don’t eat anything but organic or free range, and some people need a quick cheap meal and stop at McDonald’s. None of these things will kill you its just about moderation.” I end this piece with expressing again how important it is for our society to explore the different food lifestyles out here and to educate yourself thoroughly on the effects good or bad it will have on your total health. 

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


KEYS bill goes to Senate

By Corrie Lingenfelter


They KEYS program helps students succeed at community college.

A KEYS bill has been passed unanimously in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 198 to 0 on May 5, 2015.  The bill is to lengthen the allowable Vocation Education time in KEYS. The next step now is getting it through Senate. The total allowable time for KEYS students is 12 months. This bill will extend the time to 24 months if passed.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Hard News


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How Kieff Coached Her Players

By Dejay Meredith

Michele Kieff

Michele Kieff

The fans of HACC basketball know Coach Michele Kieff’s signature pacing up and down the sideline. As she would stare at her players each game demanding them to play with more intensity. Her body language told the whole game’s audience she was all about winning while mentally pushing her players to better themselves in the game as well as in life.

Kieff coached women’s basketball team for thirteen seasons before she left. Last February, she decided to hang up her whistle. While she was coaching, Kieff helped students reach a potential that they were not aware they had.

Kieff had to work hard taking in the important traits that she would later use in her coaching career. Coaching greatness does not simply fall from the sky. She understood the game from playing four years of varsity basketball for Trinity High School before playing four more at Boston College. Kieff didn’t really come into coaching until she became the assistant basketball coach of her high school after six years of college. Kieff was then was hired as the head coach for the HACC women’s basketball team.

“She always had a way of making players better; players would join the program with good skills and would leave better than they started” said Lisa Cleveland, HACC Athletics Director. “Michele was intense; she was direct and up front with what she wanted from her players.”

Players say Kieff knew the game so well that she always used what talents she could fine in each individual and use it to the team’s advantage. Kieff always had a unique approach to building a team no matter who was playing for her.

“I played with the hand I was dealt and I wanted each player to know no matter what their talent level was, they had an important role to play” said Kieff. “Every season was a new team; I always felt I could prepare my team to be competitive no matter what kind of talent I had.”

There were certain lessons Michele wanted her players to learn that would stay with them for life while they play for her. She wanted each of her players to go beyond their own expectations.

“What you put in, is what you’ll get out; Nothing is ever handed to you; Persistence will get you somewhere” Kieff said. “Leave everything on the court. So whether you win or lose, you know you did everything possible to help your team win; it takes a team to win.”

Kieff was also big on communication, whether it was with coaches or players. “One piece of advice would be communicate; Communication is the key to being successful, everything else will fall into place.” Said Kieff.

At times there were defining moments where what Kieff taught her players wasn’t enough. There were times she wanted to put on a jersey and play to motivate her team. All she could do was stay on the sideline and give them words of encouragement.

“The times my teams were struggling was when I wish I could have gone on the court to help them.” Said Kieff. “But as a coach, you need to motivate them to play better—encourage them to push a little harder; I would say to them ‘I can’t play for you, this is your game.’ ”

Kieff always had great relationships with her players while letting the players know they could do great thing with what talent they had.

“She pushed me to be better” said Ashlan Clark, who played 2010-2012. “I’m so glad I had her as my coach, she taught me so many things and helped me take my game to a higher level.”

Kieff worked with all kinds of young women throughout her years at HACC, some of those women never played organized ball on an actual team.

Tawni Ruby who played 2010-2012 had this to say, “Coach always found a way to make people better, didn’t matter who was on the team or if they ever played.”

Kieff connected with her players as well as the next coach but she had a special way of challenging a player to do better. For instance, Kieff once came to practice dressed to play ball and personally guarded one of her players the entire time the team ran the floor just to make her hustle more. Michele didn’t mind lacing up the basketball kicks to help one person so that one person could help the team.

Within her style of coaching, Kieff always seem to know what she was doing whether it was with the team or with an individual.

“It was great watching her, you know she was great at giving her all and she expected the players to do the same” said Cleveland. “Michele demanded that everyone who puts on a jersey to give it their all, to do the best they can.”

Michele Kieff will always be known as one of best coaches in Harrisburg Area Community College history without a doubt. It is what she did with the players individually and as a team that everyone who knows her personally will remember. Kieff wanted her players to remember the lessons that would help them on the court as well as in life.

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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Feature Stories


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