Signs Point to Controversy

Billboards were proposed near Dexter schools to gain additional revenue; board tables discussions

By: Nick LeBlanc and Caden Koenig

To kick off the year, Dexter Community Schools created a proposal to increase revenue for all of its constituent schools. The proposal is for two electronic billboards that would project advertisements.

According to dexterschools.org, the billboards are predicted to generate over $40,000 each year (twenty thousand each). The billboards are planned to be placed on the corner of Shield and Baker Road and on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road, east of the current traffic light. To go along with the two billboards, the proposal also included a request for one pedestrian-actuated warning system — a crosswalk much like the one already on Shield Road, where lights flash to warn passing cars of pedestrians. This would make the trip shorter and safer for students who walk or bike to school. Lastly, the school would get free advertising at anytime on both of the billboards.

If the billboards do become a reality, according to dexterschools.org, every advertisement has to follow Board Policy 9700, which states that there cannot be any advertisements that promote alcohol, drugs, sex, religion, political opinion, violence, or R-rated material.

The reason for the proposal of these signs is that they would help the school district immensely with funding for certain academic necessities that run out near the end of the school year, such as lined paper. In addition, planners have been fading out due to lack of funding, leaving students without the commodity that has been consistently provided at the high school in previous years. Some teachers at the high school have discussed the positive outlook on the billboard project’s ability to provide revenue for the school.

“Wherever the revenue ends up, it will hopefully loosen up money from the general fund for other student-driven initiatives,” DHS math teacher Paige Lumpiesz said.

However, as always, there is opposition to this proposal too. People feel like the light pollution could be annoying, the billboards could be distracting, and some don’t see why the school system can’t just pursue a grant.

Some opposition may be unwarranted, however, because according to the proposal, the billboards have no light effect on any nearby houses due to their low-light nature. The proposal continues by saying neighboring houses with porch lights on will have more of an effect than the billboards. The argument that they may present a distraction is viable. The distraction to drivers is a possible danger because there are constantly new drivers going to and from the high school, and they could grab the attention of experienced drivers too much as well.

As of early March, discussions between concerned citizens and the school board in regards to the new billboards have been pushed back until later in the year.

How to: Politics

A complete guide explaining how to navigate yourself through politics at DHS

By Tyler Valentine

Politics have been a sensitive topic of conversation at DHS recently. There are people whose new trigger word is Trump, and other people that will take the excitement of him winning the election to their grave. It seems as if people are having trouble sharing their opinion without offending others or just taking it to unnecessary extremes. If we can all follow these three simple steps, our school will become a much more enjoyable place to be, and we could bring social media back to better times

Step 1: Sharing your opinion

Liberals:

Guys, we get it, Hillary lost, our country is doomed and the world is more likely than not going to burst into flames. Seriously though… it’s been two months. It’s time to get over it and accept, despite your hashtags, Donald Trump is your president. People want to hear you cry about that just as much as you want to hear people celebrating about Trump

Conservatives:

Congratulations, Donald Trump has won the election and is now the most powerful man in the world. We are all very aware of this. So, just like the Hillary supporters, feel free to stop celebrating anytime now. How would you feel if Hillary had won and her supporters were still talking about

Step 2: Social media

Liberals:

The best way to go about politics on social media is to just keep the two completely seperate. I’m sorry to break it to you, but seeing someone tweet things such as “#NotMyPresident” annoys the majority of your followers just as much as when you see someone retweeting Cloyd Rivers.

Conservatives:

Now I’m not totally against the Cloyd Rivers account. Some of it is positive things about veterans that nobody minds reading. It’s seeing my timeline full of Cloyd Rivers that angers me. Don’t play dumb. We all know the difference between good tweets and ones meant to piss someone off.

Step 3: Accepting other opinions

Liberals:

Remember the Golden Rule? One of the first things we were taught way back in kindergarten? Well, if not, it stated: “Treat others how you wish to be treated.” I’m sorry to say it, but the liberals seem to be the ones that are the least accepting of political opinions. I know they’re always preaching about how we all should be accepting of race, religion, etc. yet continue to ridicule conservatives for what they believe in. I may be wrong, but that seems pretty hypocritical to me.

Conservatives:

Conservatives, don’t think you’re off the hook with the whole Golden Rule idea. I see how you try to play victim for the liberals judging you based on your opinion, yet you do the same thing. In the end, we are all the same, judgemental people with views that slightly differ from one another. So how about instead of criticizing each other we look at ourselves first.

We all just need to take a deep breath and chill on the politics, both on social media and just in general. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I would like nothing more than to have a politics-free social media and school environment. Let’s all just be more accepting of each other’s beliefs and maybe take a second to see them for more than just their face value. If you think you’re right and anybody that doesn’t think exactly like you is wrong, please, for the well-being of everyone around you, keep it to yourself.

Senior Wrestlers Take Over The Palace

Will Feldkamp claims second while Kyle Burton finishes eighth to lead the Dreads at the state finals in Auburn Hills

By: Tyler Woelfel

Four Dexter wrestlers, all seniors, had great seasons that culminated in the Michigan state finals. Adam Burton wrestled in the 160-lb weight class as he appeared in his first state finals. For his first time wrestling at states, he did well but was unable to place. Wrestling in the 152-lb weight class, his brother Kyle Burton did great, earning a spot on the podium for eighth place in Division 2. Ryan Clements, wrestling at 119 pounds, earned his hundredth win this year, capping off a great high school career. Clements did well at the Palace, but he was unable to place. The fourth wrestler to make it to Auburn Hills was William Feldkamp. Feldkamp is in the 189-lb weight class and was the only wrestler to repeat a regional title to bring him back to the state finals. This year, Feldkamp was trying to cap off an amazing career at Dexter High School by winning the state championship. He had some extra pressure when wrestling that weekend; The Feldkamp family’s wrestling history is arguably the best in Dexter. They have always dominated, and the latest Feldkamp definitely lived up to that tradition throughout his four years in high school. He got off to a hot start at states by pinning two opponents in a row. Heading into the semifinal match, he said he was very nervous. The match went down to the wire after he was able to force an overtime period. He stuck it out and was able to win the match, giving him a chance at a state title. In the finals, he faced last year’s state champion, Warren Lincoln’s Jelani Embree. After a hard-fought match, Feldkamp fell just short, 7-2, finishing second in the state. All four seniors finished off their final season as a Dreadnaught with an accomplishment most people can’t say they have, and for that reason, this year was incredibly successful for the wrestling team as a whole and the individuals involved as well.

The Day After

On March 16, 2012, the Dexter community quickly came together to overcome a natural disaster that affected many

By: Nick LeBlanc and Caden Koenig

The peace that preceded the tornado was followed by shock. Dexter’s bubble finally popped.  A community that once stood in silence came together. Adversity was a rare thing for the 4,127 citizens of Dexter to face, as nothing serious has ever happened in the small, peaceful town.

Before the sun rose that day, the streets of each neighborhood were packed with insurance companies, disaster relief companies, and newscasters getting prepared to deliver a story about  a village in southeast Michigan.  News about the tornado reached all over the nation reaching even to Hawaii.

Dexter exemplified a close knit community. Local businesses and restaurants donated food and other goods to the devastated areas. Busch’s played a key role in helping families by donating cases of water and having a cookout that night. To add to this, Mill Creek Middle School and Creekside Intermediate both combined with The Red Cross, and opened up their doors for people who needed a place to stay that night

Gloves, long pants, boots, protective eyewear, tools.  All were used to collectively gear up the people of Dexter.  Adults and kids alike came from all over the district to help the unfortunate families in Huron Farms, Horseshoe Bend, and numerous other businesses and households.  Kids ventured out into the neighborhood to help clean up the possessions of others like drywall, insulation, siding, furniture, roofing shingles, and, sadly, more.  Despite the chaos of the tornado, citizens of Dexter were at their friendliest.  People walked around with food and water for the affected and for the workers.  Businesses, like Busch’s by Huron Farms, opened their pantry to help feed families that lost their ability to fulfill the task of preparing something as basic as food.

The winds that the tornado produced equated to those consistent with an EF3 tornado; easily ripping through the seemingly insignificant village.  Over one hundred houses were hit and thirteen were completely totaled.  In total, the damage took a

In all, while the people may have had different opinions, goals, and lifestyles, in the end the community came together and put aside their differences.  This is because we’re all human and deserve love during times of grief.  By coming together during the tornado the people of Dexter shows why we live by one phrase: Dreadstong.

Rise Of The Real

Senior McKenna Sgroi focuses on individuality with unique lyrics to pursue his life-long dream of rapping

By: Marissa Rafail

Sitting next to McKenna Sgroi in class, you’d assume he’s like every other student at DHS. When he leaves school and stands in front of the microphone, the real McKenna shines through as he raps to his own music.
The senior dedicates most of his time working towards his long-term goal of becoming an artist and producing music. Recently having released his first studio-produced single “Rise of The Real,” Sgroi is already eagerly working on his next song with an underground artist from Ann Arbor, Eon Zero.
“Making music is a therapy for me,” Sgroi said. “It was the only thing able to shine a little light on a dark situation in my life. Music is what got me through it, and that’s why it means so much to me.”
His love for music dates back to his early childhood. From Eminem to Chris Webby to Dr. Dre, Sgroi grew up with a developing passion for music. At age thirteen, he got into rapping himself. His motive behind making his own music was to create a unique sound that shows who he is as an artist. After a few months of rapping and freestyling by himself, Sgroi took the second step towards making his music more official.
“Two years ago, my cousin said he knew about a studio I could visit, so I went with him and have been going back two-to-three times a month since,” Sgroi said.
Since Sgroi writes his own songs, his inspiration for his music and lyrics can come from anything, including his moods or the music itself. While writing, he makes sure the lyrics are different because he doesn’t want to sound like every other rapper. With the goal of individuality in mind, Sgroi lets the beat of the music help guide his songs.
“Anything can spark ideas for lyrics,” Sgroi said. “I’m always thinking about them, and if I’m in class and think of something, I’ll write it on my hand, paper, or in my notes so I won’t forget them.”
Throughout his journey in the music world, Sgroi met one of his favorite artists, Chris Webby, and talked to him about his passion for music on two different occasions. Meeting one of his idols and talking to him about music only strengthened his passion.
“He was surprised that I rapped at first, but he really just told me not to give up and that even if it’s not good now, it will be,” Sgroi said.
From showing friends his lyrics, to letting them get sneak peeks on upcoming music, Sgroi makes sure his friends know whats going on and leans on them for support.
“For where he is in life, his music is really good,” said Kyle Rook, Sgroi’s close friend. “His lyrics have a really good flow, and he puts a lot of time and thought into them.”
Sgroi plans on continuing to go to the studio in the future and to keep progressing with his lyrics and releasing new music. With long term goals of making money off his music and turning musical production into a profession, Sgroi’s determination and perseverance are helping guide him into the music world and achieve his lifelong dreams.

March Madness’s Sweet 16

Teams to watch out for in this year’s edition of March Madness

By: Nick LeBlanc and Alex Strang

Madness is in the air.  The sights and sounds of seasons being crushed, top seeds being overly confident in their ability to “win it all”, and lower seed hopefuls quickly ruining said hope is going to become all too familiar.

Before jumping into this year’s bracket, it’s important to first remember those whom have fallen in last years season of March Madness and learn from their mistakes.  In memoriam of No. 2 Michigan State, who lost in the first round to No. 15 Middle Tennessee; No. 4 California, who lost first round to No. 13 Hawaii; and No. 3 West Virginia, who lost to No. 14 Stephen F. Austin.  Bracketeers everywhere will never underestimate the power of an upset because of your mistakes.  Thank you.

“There will be more upsets this year than there has ever been before,” senior Brandon Wright said. “This year, there are no teams that are significantly better than others like there has been in the past with Duke or Kentucky.”

Jumping into this year’s bracket, here are some of the overly confident high seeds and hopeful low seeds to look out for.

Within the South region of the bracket, arguably the three top teams in the nation, No. 1 North Carolina; No. 2 Kentucky; and No. 3 UCLA, all have to fight for national championship glory within one region.  Having the most top heavy region shows as the top four seeds in the region all advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.  The only interesting upset came from No. 12 Middle Tennessee in the first round.  Other than that, expect either North Carolina, Kentucky, or UCLA to be representing the South region on April 1st in the Final Four.   

In terms of the south region, Sophomore Logan Eggleston thinks UCLA will come out on top: “UCLA is going all the way.”

On to the Midwest, the team to look out for is Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen.  They are red hot coming out of their conference championship victory and have something to prove as underdogs.  In terms of the Midwest No. 1 seed, Kansas, expect them to continue their trend of choking under the pressure of March Madness: they lose to Purdue in the Sweet 16.

“Michigan is hot right now, but not talented enough overall to win the whole thing,”  junior Janie Harshe, a Michigan fan, said.

In the West lies more uncertainty.  Teams like No. 12 Princeton and No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast had the potential to pull off their respective upsets against No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 3 Florida State, but fell short.  Now, after the round of 64, the only upset to take place in the West was No. 11 Xavier over No. 6 Maryland.  No. 1 Gonzaga, after coming off a 32-1 season, has the potential to not make the Final Four even after their tremendous season as the stout, No.4 West Virgina and No. 2 Arizona stands in their way.

After the defending champ, Villanova, was knocked out of the tournament by No. 8 Wisconsin, and No. 2 Duke was knocked out by No. 7 South Carolina, the East bracket is left wide open for the remaining teams participating in the Sweet Sixteen.  Expect No. 4 Florida to seize the opportunity and make it to the Final Four.

Before the tournament began, the Squall staff predicted Duke to be the winner of the biggest tournament of the year.  In a revised pick, the Squall is now taking Kansas to cut down the nets.  Personally, we believe UCLA will take home the trophy, but we also picked Michigan State to win it all last year, so take the advice with a grain of salt, because in reality, you have a better chance of winning the Powerball or getting struck by lightning than picking a perfect bracket, even from here on out.

Pizza, Nosebleeds, Chaos

Then seventh graders, two editors remember how a 5:15 greenish sky distruped the calm, forever impacting their lives

by Caden Koenig and Nick LeBlanc

Caden Koenig:

Remembering back, as a seventh grader all the days seem like a blur. As a seventh grader the experiences of the whole year feel like one memory. This is with the exception of March 15th and the few days that followed it.

The day started as an average Michigan day: 70 degrees and sunny… in March. All morning, the weather was celebrated with T-shirts and shorts. It was a fantastic surprise considering the prior days were 40 degrees at the most.

Now, like I said, most of my memories blur as just being an average day and so was the beginning of this day. In fact, I even remember walking home with friends.

It was about 3:30 pm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The day slowly progressed with my friends, and I was likely playing basketball or football outside.

Around 4:30 the clouds quickly started to roll in and the sky got darker and darker.  My parents had ordered Jets pizza for dinner.

We planned to eat on our patio in our backyard. By the time my dad went to get the pizza, 10 minutes later, the Severe Weather Warning Alert blared through the television. Immediately following, the tornado siren from the village started echoing.

At about 5:15, the sky was a green tint, the thunder was loud, the lightning lit up the sky with every strike, and my dad and I were eating Jet’s on the porch. However, this did not last long due to a mix of the uncomfortably high wind speeds, and my mom freaking out about us being outside. So, we rushed to the basement with our candles, flash lights, and pizza due to the power outage.

By 6:00, it was over. The shock set in almost instantly. The roads were flooded. Trees were uprooted. Clothes, rugs, and furniture lay throughout the neighborhood. My family and I sat on our porch for hours unsure what to do.

I had always looked up to my parents when I didn’t know what to do, but at this moment it seemed like nobody knew how to act.  It seemed surreal, not only that night but the days that followed as well.

Nick LeBlanc:

Calm. The sky, the temperature, the people.  All was calm. The birds chirped welcomingly till it became a normality to the ear. The pleasantly curious warm air tiptoed through the trees and reached as the breeze caressed human skin. Kids walked and played as the seductive nature lured kids to embrace the day.

I took my time on the walk home that day.  Fully indulging in the surprising beauty of the day. Even the sight of my colleague, Caden Koenig, leaking blood from his nasal cavity wasn’t enough to take away from the grace of the day. Besides the spontaneous nose bleed and the warm winter day (yes, March 15th is still considered winter), the day was normal.

After my arrival home, things settled down as I waited for my father to return home to take me to baseball practice. That’s when the peace of the day began to change. Seemingly out of nowhere, an overcast of distasteful clouds took to the sky.  The welcomingly chirp of the birds was halted.  Kids went back inside as a brigade of dark clouds approached from the distance.

Being a curious kid, I was constantly checking the sky behind my deck.  As per usual, when a storm was in sight, I made constant, annoying suggestions claiming there was a tornado.  As cliché as it sounds, I was actually right for once.

The wall of wind was in the distance, but since I knew the approximate travel of the storm, I felt the urgency to tell my brother and father. While my brother and I decided the best idea was to run into the basement, my father thought the best idea was to inspect the tornado from up close. After realizing that the cone of wind was indeed a tornado and in our neighborhood, he finally came to the conclusion that maybe he should be in the basement.

We looked out the windows in the basement and all we saw was the gray of the storm. We heard the wind rushing against the house and the hail bombarding the siding. Eventually a tree fell and blocked our view of everything, even the ominous gray color.

The sun came out. It seemed calm again, but after the shock dissipated, it was clear that nothing was calm. My friends and I decided to walk the neighborhood.  Police, people, and the remnants of destroyed houses were a common sight around evry block.

The calm scene that was set earlier was gone. The new scene had rolled in: chaos.

Spring Break Horoscopes

Predicting your spring break with the characteristics of your zodiac sign

By Julia Bell and Megan Sarns

Aries: Aries are spontaneous and love to take risks. You may find yourself packing your bags on Friday night and hitting the road on Saturday morning.  While spontaneous trips are often the most fun, it is important that you find yourself in good company. You tend to be impatient and short-tempered and hours in the car with the wrong people is a recipe for disaster.

Taurus: Tauruses are a grounded sign that prefer familiarity and routine, so this spring break, you’ll mostly likely enjoy spending time at home. But you don’t have to take a lavish holiday to have a great time! In fact, there a plenty of fun things you can do without leaving the comfort of your house: binge-watching a show on Netflix, spending quality time with your family, studying the Communist Manifesto, or doing arts and crafts projects. Get creative!

Gemini: Gemini are indecisive and struggle to make plans; we’ll help you out. As a social sign, you love crowds. Set your sights on the biggest party destinations. This break you’ll meet a lot of new people and return to Dexter with many new friends. Buy a new bathing suit, pack your sunscreen, and make this break one to…remember.

Cancer: Spring break is the perfect opportunity to channel your imaginative mind into a creative project. You’ve been putting your artistic pursuits on the back burner this month, and it’s about time you roll up your sleeves! Whether it’s dusting off that guitar you haven’t played since last summer or painting an impressionist portrait of the family pet, work on improving your talents. Do it now, for soon it may be too late…

Leo: You’re a natural leader and you don’t like following the crowds.  This break avoid Panama City and Daytona Beach and lead the way to an exciting new destination. Take the road less traveled and discover a place that nobody has thought to explore. Since Leos like to be the center of attention, it may seem like a good idea to update your Snapchat story every 10 minutes. It’s not.

Virgo: You’ve been studying hard all semester, and now it’s time to relax. Whether you indulge in a luxurious spa getaway or, just pamper yourself at home, you favor a calm spring break to a wild adventure. But beware: amidst all the rest and relaxation, a new challenge will arise this month that will put your reserved and cynical nature to the test. I mean, we can’t tell you what it is or anything, but just take our word for it.

Libra: Libras love the outdoors. Pull out your Eno, grab a good book, and spend your days in the shade of your favorite tree. When the weather doesn’t permit peaceful hammocking, head to Quality 16 to catch that movie you’ve been waiting to see, or make some popcorn and cozy up on the couch with your siblings.

Scorpio: Scorpio’s are a notoriously passionate sign, and your spring break is going to be all about the romance. The relationship between you and your significant other may have been tested last month, but this month, you’ll be stronger than ever. For the single Scorpios, keep your eyes peeled for a handsome stranger while you’re at the beach. Spoiler alert: their name starts with a letter.

Sagittarius: As a Sagittarius you have been looking forward to spring break since school started this fall. You can’t wait to pack your bags and leave Dexter behind. Sagittariuses love traveling, and you have big plans for the coming weeks.  Whether you’re heading to the beach to catch some rays or the mountains to catch hypothermia, this break is sure to be the best one yet!

Capricorn: Capricorns are a smart and studious sign, but unfortunately that means bad news for spring break. In the days before break, one of your teachers is going to assign a massive project that will ruin your plans of a relaxing week off. But don’t worry, all your hard work will pay off in the end when you’re rewarded with an A. Feel free to show this horoscope to your teacher as evidence.

Aquarius: Aquarians are a humanitarian sign and tend to love others. This spring break is full of opportunity to lend a hand to those in need. Volunteer at an animal shelter, carry groceries for your elderly neighbor, or clean out your closet and donate your clothes to Purple Heart. However, don’t become so involved in helping others that you forget to take care of yourself.

Pisces: This spring break has you feeling like a fish out of water. You’ve been lonely and ignored by your friends this month, which may make spring break a difficult time for you. But your compassionate and adaptable personality means new friendships are on the horizon. You won’t be feeling like a lone wolf for long.