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Image Credit: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed September 12, 2018.

Preparing for Hurricane Florence

By: Victor Sansing

A state of emergency has been declared in the state of Virginia ahead of the incoming Hurricane Florence. This declaration includes the Shenandoah Valley and Waynesboro, Virginia.

Gary Critzer, the Director of Emergency Management in Waynesboro, Virginia, shed some light on the matter.

The incoming storm has the potential to leave serious damage in its wake. Large scale rainfall and massive winds are forecast.

Waynesboro is already taking precautions ahead of the storm.

“Evacuation is definitely a probability,” said Critzer. There is a potential for the evacuation of many areas due to flooding.

The city will have a few emergency shelters set up throughout town.

“Our primary shelter is at Kate Collins Middle School. We have a large generator there that provides backup power for that facility. Our secondary shelters are the high school and William Perry Elementary School,” said Critzer. 

Registered service animals will be allowed to enter these shelters with their owners, but other pets will be put in a separate shelter.

If they’re not service animals there will be a pet shelter set up in the area. It’d be a shared shelter with our partners in Augusta county and Staunton. It’s typically at Expoland,” said Critzer. 

“We’re working right now to determine if were using that shelter or if we will partner with private facilities in the city to house animals. Typically the animal hospitals are very good about working with us if there’s need for pet sheltering,” said Critzer.

Because there is the potential to use schools as shelters, they could be closed.

“I would anticipate that especially if we have to open the shelter; obviously, that would affect Kate Collins. If the weather is terrible and we’re having local flooding I would anticipate that happening. We’ve already been in communication with Dr. Cassle about the shelter and we certainly will be having those conversations with him,” said Critzer about the potential school closures.

“If the roads are not passable or there’s areas that are hazardous, we certainly don’t want school buses out trying to get children to school,” said Critzer.

Tim Teachy, principal at Wayneboro High School, also offered a statement about the potential for school closure.

“Everything is on the table,” said Teachey.

Flooding is also a probability especially in the low-lying, flood-prone areas of Waynesboro. “As saturated as the ground is and with as much rain as we’ve already had over the weekend the river cant handle a whole lot more. Also living next to the mountains we have to deal with all of the runoff that occurs in a major storm like this,” Critzer stated.

According to Critzer, some of the flood prone areas are:

  • Downtown Waynesboro
  • Southeast Main Street
  • South Charlotte Avenue
  • South Bath Avenue
  • Arch Avenue
  • Market Avenue
  • Club Court Area
  • Shore Road
  • River Road
  • York Drive 
  • Areas that butt up against the river
  • Meadowbrook Road

Although many places may experience flooding, Waynesboro has a plan.

“Sand and bags will be made available in all the flood-prone areas,” according to Critzer.

The city doesn’t have the resources to fill all the bags so business owners and townspeople will be given sand and bags, free of charge, but they will be responsible for filling and placing them.

People need to take these evacuations seriously and should comply with the city’s asks. The city does have water rescue services, though.

“We’re part of a regional team, and they’re available. Also, we have access to state resources and statewide water rescue teams if we would need them,” said Critzer.  

“It’s [the team] multi-jurisdictional. It’s Staunton, Augusta, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, and Rockingham, and they all share those resources. It’s called a regional team it’s made up of folks from all three jurisdictions,” said Critzer.

Critzer would like people to know that they should, “Take this storm very seriously.”

Critzer also believes that everyone should know and understand the following:

“People need to be self sufficient for at least the first seventy-two hours.”

“People need to follow the weather forecasts closely.”

“Close attention should be paid by the people who live or have a business in the low-lying, flood-prone areas.”

“Everybody needs to have a family emergency plan.”

Emergency plans need to be detailed and everyone should be readily equipped with the following:

  • Food and supplies. Have at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food. For children, have infant food and diapers and for pets, food and supplies.
  • Medical needs. Keep at least one week of medicines and copies of prescriptions. Have a first aid kit and antibiotic ointment.
  • Protective gear and clothing. Keep extra warm clothing, sturdy shoes, and blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Emergency funds. Funds should be available to take care of you and your family for several days. Government funds take time. Plan for funds to cover lodging, fuel and meals. Do not rely on credit cards or debit cards because networks such as the internet or electrical infrastructure may be damaged. Withdraw plenty of cash before the storm.
    Image Credit: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    Image Credit: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed September 11, 2018.

    Image Credit: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed September 12, 2018.

    Image Credit: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed September 12, 2018.

    All of the information in this article is subject to change with the constantly updating forecasts. Still, people should not take this storm lightly and be prepared for anything that could happen as a result of the incoming cyclone.


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The outing class is not the average elective


By Jisell Lopez

Waynesboro High School has been offering the outing club to students for about 13 years.David Hennel has been teaching at Waynesboro High School for about 15 years,and he started the outing club on his second year here.The outing club isn’t just a club anymore it is actually a one credit class, Which is for the students interested in learning about the outdoors and group size Hennel never has more than a dozen students. “I’m basically teaching skills and informational things they need for hiking, backpacking, paddling, and also cycling plus they’re getting a lot of other outdoor related type education too,” said Hennel,the Outdoor Education,CTE Marketing,Economics,& Finance teacher at WHS.

”I moved here because there’s so much to do. I chose to come here and I’ve loved the outdoors all my life and I looked at this place as a nirvana for outdoor activities,” said Hennel. According to the Waynesboro visitors page, the City of Waynesboro is 3 miles from the junction of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, so there are many hiking trails to chose from, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Waynesboro also offers backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, bouldering, and mountain and road biking.”We have fabulous paddling opportunities.  We’ve got great places to ride bicycles. It’s heaven for somebody that likes the outdoors and recreation stuff like that. You know, we’ve got two national parks here, and we’ve got national forests all over the place,” said Hennel.

Waynesboro also offers activities like disc golf, geocaching, and The South River

Disc golf is a nine hole course at Coyner Springs. Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a global positioning system  receiver to hide and seek containers anywhere in the world.The South River, a favorite destination for fishermen,and is one of only two urban fisheries in the state.

“I have a small group of students that really enjoy it and want to keep going with it,” said Hennel. “Personally, I like the outdoors and knowing we  have a class about it made me excited,”said Alyssa Corbin Balsley, a senior at WHS.Wesley Seay, a senior at WHS, said the outing club “let me experience new things that I wouldn’t  do if I weren’t  in the outing club.”

According to The Huffington Post eating right and having a healthy diet, can help students maintain a healthy weight and boost your metabolism. Sometimes it’s hard to exercise due to class or work. An easy way to get some exercise in is to walk to class or work. Getting seven to nine hours or sleep and improve overall health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight loss or gain, headaches, and it could also reduce brain function. Drinking water can help you in overall health by keeping you hydrated and just detoxing the body. Most people stop working out or playing sports after high school,but it’s important to stay active throughout college and even after that. Staying active and keeping a healthy diet throughout college is much harder than in high school.

Mo Kappes the advisor for a student organization at the University of Wisconsin Madison that does team building and high and low ropes courses workshops for students on campus. “The purpose of the program we offer is to help people learn more about themselves and those around them,”said Kappes. Kappes background is in outdoor education,but what she’s begun to appreciate is character and leadership development with college students this is now her 6th year working with college students.

“The outing club is theirs,so I tell them,if you want to do something,plan it and we’ll do it,”said Hennel.Everything the students wish to do from hiking to bike riding. The students have control over the club. If  they wish to go hiking,they would plan it and Hennel would ask teachers or another adult to join.

The Outing Club is open for anyone willing to learn about the outdoors.

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Mr Wion

During the bomb threat on October 17, 2016  Mr Wion went to the soccer field  because they had to evacuate because of the threat. Although he wasn’t playing soccer at that time, he caught his foot in the grass. Wion had to wait about 45 minute to get some ice for his ankle, and he didn’t want anyone to worry because there were crisis already going on because of the bomb threat. After the bomb threat Wion was rushed to the emergency room. His injury was very inconvenient , and he was very frustrated  getting around and not be able to do things. “Little things like washing your hands might be difficult because the soap,water, and paper towels are far away from each other and being on crutches might be dangerous because you might slip and fall”, said Wion.

Wion hurt his fibula. The fibula forms the calf bone and it doesn’t hold any weight at all, For Wion it might of have caused stress since he loves to be outside running a he doesnt get to do all the things he use to like before.Here are some symptoms that  he can suffer deformity of uneven leg lengths and inabiltiy to stand or walk. Bruising or discoloration may indicate damage to the blood vessels. According to the Children Hospital.

      Wion was struggling a bit with teaching because he couldn’t  get to every student as he used  to ,and he was  working slower which made him sad because he  loves to be active and help  each  student. All his plans for the fall have been ruined now because he can’t do most of things he loves to do. Instead of enjoying nature, he spends  more time watching TV . The day before his injury happened he was running at night on the mountain, and Wion  never thought of getting hurt the day after. He got the nickname   scooter guy since he was on a scooter, and some teachers were  planning  on decorating his scooter with some flames.

According to U.S. NEWS,teachers are always there most of the time because they get hurt or there seriously ill. Students can get affected also because, if a teacher is seriously ill or injured the school has to  keep looking for a substitute.

The students won’t be able to understand the concept that they’re learning from a substitute. Also getting a teacher to substitute is a lot of money, in a study in year 2012-2013 the school spent  $424 million dollars nationwide in every school and 1,800 for each school indivinal. Wion’s  injury will  probably take  4-6 weeks to heal.

One of Wion’s  Earth science student  Jisell Lopez said that she struggle more because she couldn’t focus on her work  because everyone was louder than usual with the substitute.But Lopez managed to get back and focus. Wion is off his scooter now , then he was on  crutches for a while. Then two weeks later he was not going to use his crutches anymore, and after Thanksgiving he  started  therapy so he could get better and stronger than ever.

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Staying safe while staying educated

By Millineum White


   Students at Waynesboro High School, can  learn about the dangers of being on a college campus from news media. The media, from Facebook to CNN, have covered the situation. Stories like the Rolling Stone article with Jackie, who accused a group of frat brothers of raping her, help students see the need to be informed on how to stay safe.

   There are many ways to stay safe on campus, including “Code Blue”, the Patronus app, and campus security. Students should familiarize themselves with the school’s campus safety office. Every school has a campus safety or security office, and part of college tuition funds it. Students should make the most of this resource by utilizing its services. Your college’s website likely provides information like office hours and phone number, but you can also visit in person when you arrive on campus.

   One of your options is to educate yourself by calling or visiting the campus safety office and requesting information about their programs. Find out if your campus has the following services and how you can take advantage of them: blue light emergency phone stations or ”Code Blue”, campus escort services, safety maps with suggested secure routes or support for a safety app like Patronus.

   On average, sexual assaults and other crimes are more likely to occur at night. In about 80 percent of campus crime, students are the perpetrators, according to the nonprofit Clery Center for Security on Campus. But tensions make students wary.  While you shouldn’t scare yourself into assuming danger is around every corner, you also shouldn’t take unnecessary risks, such as walking alone at night. Instead, use the buddy system or call campus security for a ride.

  “Longwood also has a service called Night Walkers, which is where students can call and get an escort from another Longwood student from our Criminology majors from point A to point B,“ said Jillian Dudley, a former Waynesboro High School student.

   Most college campuses across the United States employ the blue light emergency phone system as a preeminent security feature, and students become familiar with the system during campus tours and freshman orientation.When someone feels unsafe on a college campus, he or she can push the ‘call’ button on the blue phone, and campus police respond through a speaker and arrive at the location.

   “Longwood’s campus does have the blue safety poles around our campus. Standing anywhere on our campus you should be able to see at least 3-4 blue lights,” said Dudley

If your phone gets stolen or the battery is dead, the original Blue Light phone system isn’t going anywhere. The phone system will still work and connect you directly to public safety. According to the company website, for over 25 years the blue light emergency phone has been a pioneer in developing and producing durable emergency communications solutions. Using the blue light phone system is not required. If you feel threatened or unsafe, there are other things that you can do to feel secure.

   “I personally have not ever used the blue light located on campus because Longwood does an amazing job of making me always feel safe, so I don’t have to use them. I also do not know of any of my friends who has had to use the either, but it’s great to know that we have them there just in case they were needed,” said Dudley.

   College campuses are full of safety options, so students need to be aware of all the safety features. “I will always be aware of my surroundings,” said Trinity Conway, a Waynesboro High School senior.


Photo by “Student Safety Services.” Intensive English. 24 June 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

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Sickness in school

 By:Makayla Glass

How many colds have you had this school year? Maybe you need to find a way to eliminate the germs.

“The average american child gets 6 to 10 colds a year,”  according to  Children in school can get germs from sharing pencils, pens, drinking from the water fountain, and door knobs. Most students don’t even think about touching these things and then touching their face and eyes. Germs can get spread so easily through everyday life, and we don’t think twice about touching so many things that are covered in germs.

How do parents know if their student is too sick to be sent to school?  Well from the  Parents should start by looking at the different symptoms to find out if they should take their student to the doctors or just give them something over the counter. If students have a cough or a cold they should not return to school if they have a whooping cough and should see a doctor, but the student is feeling better within 24 hours can return to school. How long should students with a temperature stay home? A student with a raised temperature of 101 or higher they should stay home roughly round 24 hours but if they start to feel better within that 24 hours they can return to school the next day.

Everyone at some point in their life has experienced a headache or a sore throat,  but if a student has a sore throat it could be a common cold or strep throat, the student should stay home and return once the student is feeling better for the next 24 hours or has started antibiotics.If a student has diarrhea this could lead to dehydration so make they have plenty of fluids, should return when a doctor say so,but if they are vomiting  they should see a doctor as soon as possible and should not return until the next 48 hours.

 Kristen Ritchie, the WHS school nurse said “October is the start of when everyone starts getting sick.” Six students were sent home October 7 through the 11 due to an illness. With everyone getting sick and spreading germs around, students may miss multiple days of school. If this happens,  you may start to fall behind on your school work.

If an illness is serious and a student needs to be out of school for a substantial amount of time, we look to see what resources the school division or community may be able to offer for that student to get their appropriate education,” said Bryan Stamm, an assistant principal at WHS. Not only will they, the WHS staff, help your student stay updated with their school work, but they want to help and see [the student] succeed.

Christine Benson-Sapp, an English teacher,said the hardest thing for students trying to get caught up on their work is that subjects maybe harder to grasp because they have less time to learn the material. Not only is it hard for the student to get caught up, but it’s also difficult for the teacher to get the students caught up because the teacher is trying explain just how important the make up work is to your grade. Students missing school can affect the whole class. “Usually, it means that one student ends up having to complete the assignment on his or her own, or change his or her assignment completely by joining another group if a student misses a lot during project time,” said Benson-Sapp.

Cheyanne Brown, a WHS sophomore, has missed a total of 7 days of school due to an illness, including two days for pneumonia, two days for a cold, and three days going to doctors appointments. “ I have had to stay after school for 9 days to get caught up,” said Brown.

How can you prevent yourself from getting sick? You can’t protect yourself from every germ in the world, but you may be able to dodge a couple of colds by learning germ etiquette. Germ etiquette is something everyone should learn. Cough and sneeze  into your elbow, washing your hands, and using hand sanitizer after blowing your nose.

You still may get sick, but at least you know when you should stay home so you don’t spread it. You could eliminate some the germs, and you could also save a lot of people from getting sick and missing school.

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Students, faculty raise safety concerns at Waynesboro High

Editor’s note: In recent months, there have been several significant events taking place involving Waynesboro High School. To get an inside perspective on how people at the school feel about these situations, the News Virginian staff worked with the student reporters at the high school’s operation. This is one of several stories we’ll run this week, high lighting some of the feelings about issues like safety and school construction.

WAYNESBORO- With recent school shootings happening nationwide, the topic of school safety is on the mind of students, staff, and administration. On Nov. 25, some Waynesboro High students stayed home from class, after a rumor was spread about a classmate planning to bring a gun to school. It raised the question about if students and  staff are safe on campus. In a survey done by the student journalism class, 221 Waynesboro High students were polled. Out of that number, 108 said they feel safe, 93 said they don’t feel safe and 10 were undecided.

Keith Smit, band teacher at WHS, said that a problem he’s noticed is kids walk off in random directions going wherever and coming back whenever, though he’s not not sure how that problem can be fixed. Smith also mentioned that students are in danger when fights happen because the teachers and faculty are outnumbered by students.

“The band room is a little different (from the usual emergency protocol) because if there was an emergency like a shooter in the school and we knew the shooter was close by, we ave 2 exits (that go directly outside),” Smith said. “We’ll get out and get safe, which goes and doesn’t go with protocol because you’re suppose to have everyone together. If students have the opportunity to get away from the building and be safe somewhere away from a dangerous situation, then that’s what I would do.”

Other teachers don’t believe that protocol is helpful in these type of situations.

“If we ever had a real emergency any protocol in place wouldn’t actually be followed,” said Christopher Mattern, a math teacher at WHS.

Mattern added that safety has improved at the school over the last few years, including the addition of a security camera system and the numbering of entrance/exits of the building. However according to Mattern, there are some flaws with the security cameras because they don’t have audio, they’re not in classrooms, and they’re not recording all the time. Hem said that is the situation isn’t in the frame of the camera, then it’s not going to help. The cameras aren’t all around the school which is another concern.

Student and staff awareness is another issue mentioned by several WHS students and teachers.

“We just need to pay a bit more attention,” said Olivia Piper, a WHS junior. “I feel like not everyone pays as much attention to the environment around them.”

Math teacher Bill Krzastek said that the best way to stay safe for students is to let faculty, administration, or resource officer know when they believe a problem exists. Smith agreed that everyone needs to be more aware because kids find ways to get in trouble.

An additional concern that many teachers and students have about the school is the unlocked doors and the multiple entrances into the building.

“I don’t always feel safe at the school because some doors are never locked and kids just walk in and out of the school as they please,” said Mackenzie Coburn, WHS freshman. “Anyone can get in.” She also mentioned having an ID card for teachers and students as the way to get into the building and officers stationed at entrances would make her feel safer. Junior Brandon James said he’d feel safer with more than one officer at the school because just one officer can’t be everywhere at the same time.

Last year, the district installed a new multi-camera system at both the high school and middle school, one that monitors all entrances and exits at the facilities. The school district was able to afford that upgrade due to a state grant. That system has already paid off, leading to an arrest of someone who attempted to break into the high school after hours earlier this year. Teachey hopes at some point to enhance that system. There are 27 doors leading into the school and he would like to have a system that lets Waynesboro High officials know when there’s an issue.

“I want an alarm system that will alert to a door being opened that’s not supposed to be opened,” Teachey said. He added that in a perfect world, he’d like to require a student or staff IS to get access to the building, but there’s not enough money to cover that expense.

Every summer, Teachey said, administration and faculty work to make things safer around the building. He added that people from central office come over to the school and cal a code red to see how faculty reacts.

At the end of the day, safety is on everyone’s mind. Teachey’s first priority is keeping “his kids” safe.

“When people talk to me about what my job is and my SOL scores and education kids, none of that matters if they don’t feel safe,” said Teachey. While you don’t see it written very often, my number one job is making this place safe first. Then I work on the other stuff.”


By Emily Kratzer, Classroom Manager of

As featured in The News Virginian

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