Memories from Members of DHS

Five years after the Dexter Tornado, two students, a teacher, and an administrator reflect on the how the day has changed their lives

By Megan Sarns and Julia Bell

Having formerly lived in Florida, sophomore Kara Young and her family are used to ominous weather conditions.

“We had hurricane after hurricane near our house,” she said.

So, when a storm started rolling into Dexter on March 15, she didn’t think much of it. The family was actually getting ready to go to church for weekly “Thursday night dinners.”

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BREAKING: Phil Jacobs Named DHS Football Coach

Jacobs comes to DHS from Siena Heights University

By Joe Ramey

With no usurp needed, Dexter’s former varsity football coach Garrett Chapel (who held the job for 22 days), resigned, calling for a new search to begin and a new spot to be filled.

Within a month of his resignation, the spot has been filled and it been filled heftily. Phil Jacobs, a former varsity coach at Adrian High School and current outside linebackers coach at Siena Heights, was named head coach on Thursday.

Jacobs plans to make an appearance next week to talk to student athletes about his decision to move to Dexter as both a coach and a teacher.

“I feel very privileged to be the head football coach at one of the top school districts in the state,” Jacobs said in a statement. “I am very eager to begin work at Dexter as soon as possible, to spend time with our student-athletes, and to get to work. We will work hard to bring a brand of football that the Dexter community will be proud of.”

His philosophy is one of strength and integrity. Literally. His plan has always been to better a program in the weight room and ensure his team is the “strongest pound for pound” in whatever league they play in.

With a career record of 67-45, Jacobs intends on bringing a winning record from his previous positions to Dexter. His former position included a head coach position at Adrian with five SEC titles and two district titles under his belt. Along with his head coaching position at Adrian was his involvement in the Siena Heights program, most recently as an outside linebackers coach. Of his 25 years of coaching, 11 came at the collegiate level, garnering praise nationwide.

His name was recognized as one of the top 20 turn around coaches in the state and in 2010, and he was recognized as the National Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly.

“We promised our kids we would find a successful coach and teacher to lead the program,” Superintendent Chris Timmis said in a statement. “Phil Jacobs was at the top of our list. Not only is he an incredible coach, but he is also a gifted teacher and tremendous role model for our student-athletes. We could not be more excited to have Coach Jacobs leading the DHS football program and teaching our students.”

The Warm Weather Problem

Winter temperatures reach record highs in Michigan, but residents should fear its implications of severe climate change

By Tessa Kipke

 

First things first: I hate winter. Truly, I do. In the dead of winter in Michigan, when the sun is a mere distant memory, and the cold is so deep, so complete, that it burrows into your fingertips, toes, and ears, threatening to numb them forever, I find solace in daydreaming about the beach, about green grass and leaves on trees and leaving the house without 20 layers on.
When the first hints of spring come after long months of ferocious cold, it’s like the world is finally waking up. It’s exhilarating and makes me remember that there are parts of Michigan weather that aren’t torturous. However, the winter of early 2017 was different. It was slightly anticlimactic, as though the world had tensed up for a hard blow that just never came.
In the fall, I had been dreading winter, as always, but then November rolled around and the weather barely shifted. In fact, the last two days of November 2016 reached nearly 60 degrees, which, for someone native to Michigan, barely warrants a light jacket. December and January got a bit cooler – we even got a few snow days – but the winter never reached the frigid magnitude of my memory. There was even a day in December that was over 50 degrees, which is practically unheard of. Now, in February and March, when winter traditionally begins fade away very, very slowly, spring seems to already have sprung. The high in February of 2017 was 45.2 degrees; the normal high is only 35.
All of this culminates in the fact that creeping shift of global climate change is starting to feel less sluggish. We can feel it, in the air and on our skin, and it feels real. But it’s also easy to be conflicted because, living in Michigan, where we’re accustomed to lengthy, brutal winters, this feels like a reprieve. The thought of warmer winters in coming years is welcome, even celebrated. Being able to go outside during the winter months and not want to immediately die is kind of great.
But the greater implications are far from positive. As the global climate increases, our polar ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and other natural disasters increase in frequency and intensity. In the past, these consequences seemed like a worrisome-but-distant threat, but now they hit a little too close to home. Ecosystems worldwide are shifting, unsure how to react to an unprecedented wave of heat, and humans are not excluded. We don’t quite know what to do with ourselves in a world transforming like never before.
A couple of weeks ago, a weekend in mid-February hit 68 degrees (the average normal temperature in February is 27 degrees) and scores of people fled outdoors to enjoy the warmth. Instagram pictures and Snapchat stories were filled with views from picnics and park benches, showing people gleefully donning sunglasses and short sleeves. It was wonderful and terrifying.
I love warm weather, but I don’t love the unnatural reality that’s been causing it lately. I don’t think we need to actively feel guilty about liking this early spring, but it’s imperative that we’re aware of the changing world around us. Though gentler weather is unbelievably nice, we must understand the underlying consequences of climate change.

5G Network Coming Soon to Ann Arbor

Verizon is going to be introducing a 5G (fifth-generation) mobile network. 5G is expected to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G networks.

Network testing will be occuring in 11 cities later this year. Ann Arbor will be one of the 11 cities they will be testing in. With Ann Arbor only ten miles away, some Dexter students may be able to participate in the trial.

“That’s really cool that Ann Arbor is getting it and it’s so close to us,” junior Nick Barnes said.

The other 10 locations are Atlanta, Georgia; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Sacramento, California; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C.

Other companies like Nokia and AT&T are also starting to test these 5G networks with their customers, but have not released specific details yet.

ALFK – Black Lives Are (Still) Relevant

The Black Lives Matter movement hasnt gone away.  Nothing will stop it any time soonYou still need to fight.

By Claire Ward

There is a war waged on people of color in this country. Statistically, over 250 black people were killed by police in 2016, and while blacks only make up 13 percent of the US population, almost half of the incarcerated population is black. Institutionalized racism was brought to light during the 2016 Presidential Election, and our current president brings to light the power of racism as a joining force against humankind. African Americans were granted full freedom legally in 1890 under the 13th Amendment, then further protected from legal barriers by President Johnson in 1965. The fight for freedom has been a long one, and it’s no where close to over.

It’s hard to talk about race in a place as white as Dexter. It’s hard to talk about race being a white person with a lot of privilege (if you’re still confused about privilege, send me an email) who hasn’t really had a chance to experience racism firsthand. It’s hard for me to sit here and say black lives are tough when I don’t live one. Sometimes, the hardest things to say are what need to be said the most.

Living in a community like Dexter, we are guarded. Sure, we can read the news and stay caught up on current events, whether nationwide or worldwide, but we don’t experience a lot that others do. Those in a big city have more chances to see violence, racism, and discrimination; the list goes on as the population increases. Yet, at the same time we are almost more exposed to racism than those in big cities. Cities are accepting, filled with people of all genders and races and religions. Here in Dexter, we are divided into the accepting of all, and the accepting of some (with conditions for why you can’t accept certain groups). This division can be felt more strongly due to the size of the school. We split into groups with similar beliefs to us, and a smaller population means these groups seem smaller and smaller.

I have seen blatant racism countless times at DHS. I have seen it in students, in media, in parents. From slurs yelled out in anger, to discrimination from social groups because of the shade of someone’s skin. I have seen racism in Ann Arbor, in East Lansing, in Detroit, and probably every city I have ever been in. Maybe this is because of the groups I’m in, surrounded by white people and very underexposed to different cultures. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent my life working to acknowledge and fight racism, in turn making me more cognizant of the racism, using the privilege I hold to benefit others. Whatever the reason, the fact is it’s still there.

We have a system set up against people of color. Plea bargains are often offered to those who are faced with criminal charges, leading to 97 percent never reaching a trial. Innocent men and women fill penitentiaries simply because they cannot afford $40,000 bail, and may be faced with a longer sentence after going through the court process. It is easier for someone to spend three years in jail (where the government would rather have them) than anywhere else. Many people don’t know that companies like Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, and Microsoft use prison labor to manufacture goods. Inmates can be paid to do work for less than a dollar, while prisons and the government make an $11 million profit on them. “Non-profit” companies, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), lobby politicians to make laws (like the Federal Crime Bill in 1994 that doubled mass incarceration) that make it extremely challenging for the African American population to escape prison. These companies go on to profit off of the prisons.

Black lives are constantly viewed as worth less than white lives. It has been 398 years since the first African was brought to the US in slavery. It has been 155 years since the Emancipation Proclamation. It has been 147 years since the right to vote was granted, but only 52 years since their right to vote was protected by law (which still isn’t guaranteed through voter registration laws). The black population has been fighting constantly, and have never caught a break in their battle for equality.

So next time you go to purchase something from a department store, do a little research and see just who your money is going to. Check yourself before you join in on your friends banter about African American culture, or partake in a peaceful protest against injustice in your community.

Black lives still matter. Just because the mainstream media isn’t telling you that anymore doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. This fight is far from over, and it’s time we all use our privilege to aid in the resistance.

How Businesses Helped Out

Shortly after the tornado struck Dexter, local businesses stepped up as the community tried to recover from the devastation

By Truman Stovall

In the aftermath of the tornado five years ago, businesses in Dexter and surrounding cities assisted in the relief effort. When affected families were in need, they took it upon themselves to generate money, food, and shelter.

A minute’s walk away from the path of destruction through the Huron Farms subdivision stands the local Busch’s Fresh Food Market. The Dexter branch of the southeast Michigan chain set up tables of food with artificially low prices to make basic necessities more affordable. The grocery store also asked regular customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar so that the remainder could be donated.

Equally close to where the tornado hit, the Dexter LaFontaine automotive dealership became a big player in the recovery.

Despite having nearly all of its cars sustain hail damage, Tony Duncan of LaFontaine insisted that the dealership got “very lucky. When [the two initial tornadoes] combined, that’s when it hit hard. We were up on a higher plane; it followed the valley.”

LaFontaine, like other businesses in the community and across the country, believed it had an obligation to use its relative fortune to assist however it could.

“We were doing relief work for a good two-week period. Our biggest thing was helping people who didn’t have a place to go or to eat,” Duncan said.

LaFontaine also helped a family that lost both of its cars find short-term replacements before coming to a permanent agreement later, and the dealership gave discounts on automobile purchases to customers who donated to relief funds.

The Ace Hardware in downtown Dexter, a place where many supplies were bought to rebuild damaged buildings, offered a variety of discounts and gave away many supplies for free.

Wings n’ Things, Chelsea State Bank, the radio station 102.9 W4 Country, and countless others all found ways to help make Dexter’s quick recovery a reality. Despite the tragedy of the tornado, it was a great demonstration of the selflessness of the Dexter community.

BREAKING: Head Football Coach Garrett Chapel Resigns

By Nick LeBlanc, Mason Monroe & Alex Strang

Dexter’s new head varsity football coach, Garrett Chapel, resigned Wednesday, 22 days after being hired.

In addition to being hired as a football coach, Chapel was also hired as a physical education teacher to fill a vacancy created by Eric Santor when he resigned earlier in the year.

“He got our hopes up and crushed our dreams,” sophomore football player Khalid Dimo said. “In his speech to the team he said that we can win here and we won’t quit. And then he quits.”

According to Superintendent Dr. Chris Timmis, Chapel stated that the cause of his resignation was due to immediate family business.  Despite the resignation, Chapel was devoted to the students and players at DHS.

“Mr. Chapel actively pursued this opportunity and showed extreme interest in DHS and our kids,” Timmis said in a statement.  “Every indication we had was that Mr. Chapel was fully invested in our players and Dexter.  It is unfortunate that we have this sudden change in direction.”

After losing their new coach so swiftly, a multitude of emotions were shown by past and current Dexter football players.

“It’s disappointing that the football program keeps suffering setbacks as it’s trying to move forward,” sophomore varsity football player Alex Mills said. “I’m playing tennis [next year].”

“It’s unfortunate,” junior quarterback George Deljevic said, adding he is still planning to play football next year.

“I saw him recruiting a lot of kids so he seemed really committed to turning the program around, so I was surprised when I heard the news,” senior football player Joey Hiser said.

After hearing the sudden news, the administration at DHS plans on re-starting the process of hiring a new coach immediately.

“We will find a high-quality and committed leader for our football program and our students,” Timmis said. “We firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and this opportunity will lead to a greater future for DCS and our students.”

Chapel had been hired to replace former Head Coach Ken Koenig who was asked to resign in late November.

The Hidden Gem Reviews

By Heather Brouwer

Knight’s Steakhouse, conveniently located on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road, has a wonderful ambiance. The lights are slightly dimmer than many restaurants, and the tables are small enough that in the slightly noisy atmosphere you can still hear the person sitting next to you, which gives off a more intimate feel.

There were options of booths and tables. The tables had extremely comfortable rolling chairs that are nice when you want to look someone in the face but don’t want to go through the trouble of making a ruckus by moving an ordinary chair.

Knight’s does, however, have a slightly older clientele base of middle-aged people. But it had a large variety of food options that are enjoyable to everyone as well.

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