News Comment #14

December 13, 2021

Tiny Pac-Man robots have learned how to reproduce.

The little video game-like creatures work not exactly like the metal machines you may be thinking of. The cells of the African clawed frog work together to self heal and reproduce-not genetically but with stem cells.

It doesn’t matter the media company I use, the most interesting section is science. This article talks about something that I don’t have a lot of knowledge on, but it still caught my attention. I would say that the writer broke it down into a simple way for people to imagine, and to make it sound more interesting.

This isn’t groundbreaking, or anything that impacts us, but it makes for a lighthearted fun story.

Classmate Anecdote

December 12, 2021

When I asked my roommate Megan Keller what word describes her best she chose “responsible”.

Megan Keller is from Omaha, Nebraska and she is a sophomore at Morningside University studying for a degree in elementary education. Keller hopes to become a grade school teacher, most preferably for grades fourth or fifth.

Keller chose responsible to describe herself because she is usually well organized. Keller stated, “If I were to become an elementary teacher I would need to hold myself accountable for grading, classroom organization, and much more. If I do that now my job will be more fun”.

Keller admits she enjoy naps and relaxation but she also takes on the responsibility of self discipline and she hopes to be a good role model for her students.

Keller also says that she is responsible for taking care of her fish, Jefferey, because he is high-maintenance but it is her responsibility to keep him alive and happy.

Article #4 The Profile FINAL

December 7, 2021

Mabel Applehans, at 96 years of age, refuses the covid vaccination.

Seeing loved ones for the past couple of years has been a challenge for many families, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any individual with a compromised immune system is at risk of contracting the virus and suffering severe symptoms. Many businesses and facilities have recognized the severity of this and have established requirements such as masks, social distancing, and even proof of vaccination for both workers and consumers. However, there is a lot of speculation about the effects of the vaccination. Since the start of covid vaccinations, the state of Wyoming has statistically shown that they have been one of the most hesitant of the fifty states. According to the Mayo Clinic vaccine tracker, just forty-six percent of Wyoming’s population is fully vaccinated.

Mabel Applehans, a 96 year old citizen at the Homestead Living Center in Riverton, Wyoming, is in the small percentage of people who are 65 and older and not fully vaccinated. Applehans tells her daughter, Nadine Wilkinson, 70, “I may be old, but I don’t want to be a statistic”. Nadine explained that Applehans is the only resident over the age of 85 that has persistently refused the vaccination in her assisted living home. Mask and social distancing precautions are enforced throughout the building but they are a bit different for the mulish woman. Applehans is restricted to her room and the dining hall. She is required to wear a mask outside of her room and test once a week for the virus. Her caretakers, who are all fully vaccinated, are still required to wear masks and other protective garb when entering her room.

The most difficult restriction on Applehans and her family is the visiting policy. Applehans lives in a small apartment that has her own living area filled with her valued trinkets she has collected throughout her life, accompanied by a personalized bathroom and bedroom. At the beginning of the pandemic, The Homestead Living Center informed Applehans’ family that visitors were not allowed in the facility, nor were they allowed to take Applehans out of the facility in order to prevent any exposure to their other elderly residents. Her daughter Nadine was fearful that her mother would get lonely due to the isolation, so her and the family found a way around it.

A small window resides next to Applehans’ sleeping chair. Here, she spends most of her days and nights because she is unable to walk well or sleep in a bed. Many of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews all gathered around her window so she wouldn’t miss a birthday, holiday, or a surprise visit. As time progressed, the living center began to loosen their visiting policies. Applehans, being the only resident unvaccinated, is allowed to leave the facility and have visitors but every visit results in two weeks of quarantine.

Fearless of COVID-19, Apllehans states, “I grew up in a very hard time… when the economy was at its lowest”. Applehans, along with her five other siblings, lived through the harsh years of the Great Depression. She recalls many days of blistering heat as she and her elder sister did chores, and many nights of going to bed hungry even after a long day. She also recalls how the influenza pandemic in 1918 turned heads just like the COVID-19 pandemic has in our present time. “It was very scary”, Applehans adds, “but there was no vaccination that came out of the government’s ass right away either, to me that’s even more scary”. Having lived in the small towns of Wyoming all of her life, Applehans has become more accustomed to the conservative perspective of life and refuses to change.

Although politics may influence Applehans refusal, she has also lost family members who had received the vaccination before their untimely deaths. Nadine explains, “My nephew lost his life at just 52 after he got the vaccination for his job at the police department. He had heart complications to begin with, and a lot of those genes run through our family and the vaccination makes that a life or death risk”. Applehans has spent many of her days in the hospital as she has grown older and frail. “I have undergone three major surgeries in my old age, I’ll be damned if a vaccination takes me”, declared Applehans.

In a conversation with Applehans’ caretaker Miranda Schell, she expands on her concerns for Applehans and her other residents. “I appreciate her tough character. But it is difficult to see her be so lonely” says Schell. Schell has worked at the facility for three years now, and she explains that the pandemic was something “very new and unpredictable to work with”, she jokes, “so is Mabel, but more old fashioned”. Although she is stubborn, Applehans still understands her caretaker’s perspective. She respectively tells her, “I appreciate what these people do for me… I just want to live my life how I want”. It may be impossible to change this 96 year old woman’s mind, but she claims it is her stubbornness that has kept her this long.

Simultaneously, Applehans remains obstinate against the vaccine and free of the virus, living her life to her fullest.

Analyzed AP 9-11 Photos

December 7, 2021

There is not much of a difference between the stories written in class besides the resources I used to gather information for my stories. Most of the stories I write are stories I have multiple resources on and what is considered newsworthy. The press release is more of an announcement of something that will effect the community in some way.

For this particular press release I believe the audience is the families of those who were lost in the 9/11 attacks and to commemorate the destruction and reconstruction of the World Trade Center. The release made it very obvious that the purpose of releasing the tragic photographs is for the commemoration of those lost and to reflect on the acts of terrorism and the heroic efforts made to rebuild the area.

The only question I would ask is why aren’t these photos available after the anniversary of 9/11?

3 Minute Broadcast Script

December 2, 2021


Astronomers may have discovered the first known exoplanet outside of the Milky Way.

According to Lisa Grossman of Science News, the planet is located in the Whirlpool galaxy-light-years from Earth. This discovery suggests there are many other planets outside of our solar system to be found.

The challenge comes during the search for the planets. Considering other galaxies are lightyears away, astrophysicist Rosanne Di Stefano explains that “they always assumed there were other planets in other galaxies, but to actually find something, is a beautiful thing. It’s a humbling experience.”

Some scientists speculate how coincidental the discovery actually is to find something in such a small time frame. Di Stefano counters, saying that the observations her team has done leads them to believe that there are many other extragalactic planets to be found. Morningside College student Megan Keller also believes there is more to be found, (Student Audio).

This particular planet will take many decades to be visible again, but more studies are in the future.


Morningside made a splash in its home pool this weekend hosting a dual against St. Ambrose.

Distance swimmers Kirsten Verplanke and James Spicer kicked off the meet with two first place finishes for the women’s and men’s teams in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Verplanke swam in to first place with a time of 12:05.82 and her teammates Elaine Morgan and Payton Miller finished just behind her taking second and third in the event. In the same event Spicer swam a respectable 10:45.68, nearly 45 seconds ahead of second place. Ron DeFauw another distance swimmer commented on his performance at the meet, (student audio).

For team scores the women’s team earned a total of 63 points and the men’s team 73 points. St. Ambrose won the dual with almost double the points for both the men’s and women’s teams.

The Mustangs will be competing in their home pool for the second time this season for the Morningside University Invitational on Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday Nov. 13.


People magazine has named Paul Rudd as the Sexiest Man Alive for 2021.

The 52-year old marvel actor often trends online as the internet periodically praises him for is ‘inability to age’.

In an interview with People Rudd revealed that his wife Julie was the only one he told beforehand, telling interviewers she was ‘stupefied’. Rudd explained that she laughed with shock but sweetly said “they got it right”, to which Rudd humbly denied.

Rudd has worked his way into fame playing roles in Friends, Roll Models, and Marvels Ant Man.

Morningside student Brianna Courtney had some thoughts to share about Paul Rudds new title (Student Audio).

News Comment #10

November 7, 2021

On Wednesday morning, hauling over 120 calves near the causeway of Boysen Reservoir in Shoshoni, WY.

The writer of the article must have been on scene I am assuming because they used a lot of quotes from community members who were actively saving the remains calves alongside the firefighters. Although there was a lot of quotes the author used, I feel he could have maybe paraphrased the story a bit more, giving readers more of a description of what happened. I can see that the main reason the writer did use so many quotes was to emphasize how the community came together for ‘The Wyoming Way’. Many of the community members mentioned in the article are local ranchers that many locals know, but anyone else reading the article may be lost or uninterested with all of the unfamiliar names.

I also noticed that the writer saved the reports of human injuries for last, I would consider that to be more important information that could be mentioned first.

Science Scavenger Hunt

October 28, 2021

Astronomers may have discovered the first known exoplanet outside of the Milky Way.

According to Lisa Grossman of Science News, the planet is located in the Whirlpool galaxy which is about 28 million light-years from Earth. Astronomers say that the planet orbits both a massive star and a dead star. This discovery suggests there could be many other planets outside of our solar system to be found.

Over 4,8000 planets have been discovered orbiting other stars inside the Milky Way. Scientists know that there is no doubt that other galaxies hold planets just as our own galaxy does. However, the challenge comes during the search for the planets, considering other galaxies are lightyears away. Astrophysicist Rosanne Di Stefano explains that “they always assumed there were other planets in other galaxies, but to actually find something, is a beautiful thing. It’s a humbling experience.”

In 2018, astrophysicists began searching in archived data for objects that blocked out bright X-ray binaries. After looking through three different galaxies, only one turned up planet-like. The Saturn-sized exoplanet discovery is “quite intriguing and would be a great discovery,” says astrophysicist Ignazio Pillitteri.

Some scientists speculate how coincidental the discovery actually is to find something in such a small time frame of observation. Di Stefano counters that the observations her team has done encourages that there are many other extragalactic planets to be found.

Media Comparison

October 27, 2021

I chose a story from my hometown that went viral a couple years back while I was in high school. In the written article titled “‘Racism is a taught behavior’: High-schoolers disciplined for wearing white robes and a hood on ‘Spirit Day’”, I found writer went into much more detail of the towns history and population of the town of Riverton, Wyoming. The author of this article interviewed a Native American activist of Riverton to get an insight on how such incidents may increase tensions in schools and int he community. Exclaiming that ‘tensions have only escalated in recent years’ the author even mentions another completely unrelated incident that occurred just outside of the Riverton Walmart where a Native American man was shot and killed by police. The article also used very specific descriptive words saying how the boys ‘stormed’ through the door with ‘grins on their faces’ as they wore white robes and pointed hoods resembling KKK member attire. The written article got a different point of view by reaching out to the Native American community other than just the school administrators.

The broadcast story was much more simple than the article from The Washington Post. They mostly used phone recordings from the superintendent for their source. Superintendent Snyder apologized and explained that the incident is not a representation of Riverton High and that the students will be punished appropriately. The video was a visual story that would catch the attention of people who don’t like to read.

News Comment #7

October 22, 2021

This is an article about the tragic accident that occurred on the set of “Rust” resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and leaving director Joel Souza injured and currently recovering in the hospital.

This event happened on Thursday afternoon, and as of today it is still being reported live and being updated. This particular news website “New York Times” is a well known company so I’d imagine many people follow their stories and enjoy the live updates.

The author of this article has done good job portraying the chain of events as they had happened and then updating the readers about Alec Baldwin and the condition of Souza. Along with the updates the author was able to pull sources from twitter which are live updates within themselves.

Of course the pictures and the tweets also add to the ‘drama’ of the tragic event. The article explains the heart-wrenching investigation then shows pictures of Baldwin emotional while talking on the phone.

The photographs and twitter posts are also the only solid sources that the author had to work with considering the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting and have yet to release much information.

The pressure is on for Iowa lawmakers as neighboring states begin to legalize marijuana. Law reforms are growing prominent statewide, including Iowa State University students supporting the advocacy group NORML.

I asked Morningside University students their opinion on the legalization of marijuana in Iowa, and if they think a program like NORML would be of interest on our campus.

“I think legalizing marijuana would provide a lot of jobs in our area, and there is a lot of money that can be made for the state in taxes”, says Brenndan Gorski, a senior business major here at Morningside. Gorski, familiar with economics, explained how beneficial this would be for the economy not only because of the money but it would also open up space in jails if it were decriminalized. Gorski believes decriminalizing marijuana would “make the community a better place if the more dangerous and violent people were locked up and not people who recreationally use marijuana”.

In the article “Iowa State University students seek to legalize marijuana”, it is stated that under Iowa law the punishment for the possession or use of marijuana recreationally includes a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail.

Ron DeFauw, a senior Biology major, agrees with Gorski on the legalization of marijuana.

“For Iowans to be put in jail for smoking weed, it is doing the opposite of building our economy” DeFauw said. DeFauw explains that a lot of tax payers money “isn’t paying for the right kind of people to be in there” and that the laws that vary from state to state do not give Americans equal opportunities.

DeFauw also explains that law makers should consider the medicinal opportunities that marijuana provides.

From a biology majors perspective, he states, “Since it is a federally banned substance it makes it illegal to experiment on it and do further research on things like the endocannabinoid system”. DeFauw says that there is a lot of benefits that can come from the research of marijuana. “…it can provide jobs for scientists, there could be medical breakthroughs, and I’m sure the list could go on” says DeFauw.

Although these students support the legalization of marijuana in Iowa, some students like Bri Courtney, a junior nursing major, are more skeptical about taking this step.

“I think it has its benefits, but I don’t think it is for everyone either” says Courtney. She continues to elaborate, saying that not many young adults are responsible enough to maintain healthy lifestyles if it is recreationally legalized.

Although Courtney doesn’t support it she states she is on more of a middle ground. “I don’t really think it’s all that great but other states that are really close to Iowa that have already passed laws, like Illinois, are just bringing that kind of stuff here so it doesn’t matter anyways.”

Many students state-wide are actively advocating to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana.

“I want to provide an outlet for Iowans to share their voice on this important cause of cannabis law reform” says Josh Montgomery, a student apart of the organization NORML.

In an effort to further spread awareness, would a reformation group like NORML be supported at Morningside?

Gorski replied, “I think some sort of organization like that would be a great way to make it more of an easier subject to talk about and less of a ‘taboo'”.

DeFauw also agrees, “The more this is talked about seriously the faster change can happen”.

“I would definitely support a group like NORML here on campus… in fact, I think a lot of people would” DeFauw said. DeFauw believes that something like this on campus may not make any large legal changes for Iowa, but he says the community should be more informed so support numbers grow and “maybe we can reach this reformation to a federal level someday”.

Although Courtney is undecided on whether she supports the legalization of marijuana, she states, “I think that would be a great way to inform people like me so I can understand how it could be beneficial”.

The student organization NORML at Iowa State University has created a website in support for legalization of marijuana and they hope to gather 10,000 signatures. Although federal law prohibits states from lightening penalties and fines, creating local reform groups here at Morningside could create the same impact as it did at Iowa State University.