The Rocket Flame

How Do You Like That AppleFest?

Vendors are set up along the square of Chambersburg for Applefest.

Vendors are set up along the square of Chambersburg for Applefest.

Vendors are set up along the square of Chambersburg for Applefest.

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Elijah Blair (7) devours a pretzel twist at the Chambersburg Applefest.

On October 20, The Downtown Business Council had their annual Chambersburg AppleFest.  AppleFest is a family tradition with lots of entertainment, crafts, and food vendors. The festival lasted from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.  The event is free and has many activities for the whole family. The Festival covered around six blocks of downtown Chambersburg with over 180 vendors.

Tony Diehl sells Denim Coffee at the Chambersburg Applefest.

“When we found out we could put a table outside and serve right in the community we jumped on it and we are happy to be out here! ” said Tony Diehl from Denim Coffee.

Denim Coffee is a roaster based in Shippensburg that is taking over C&C Coffee on the square of Chambersburg.  Many businesses use the AppleFest as a way to get out in the community and promote their products.

This is the case for Angela Martin, a first-year vendor at the Chambersburg AppleFest with her business Amenity Therapeutic Herbal Wraps.  

Angela Martin sets up her booth at the Chambersburg Applefest.

 “It’s going wonderful, I’ve been so busy this morning I haven’t had a chance to eat my lunch … I’ve always visited this Festival and then I started my own business in 2015 and I thought it would be fun to come sell my product,” said Angela.

Some of our own teachers were at the AppleFest, some would say it was a “JB reunion.”  James Buchanan Faculty Ms. Amy Violante, Mrs. Lynn Troutman, and Ms. Amanda Kuchinski were at the Apple Festival with their families and friends.  Watching the Mar-Le-Nie dance performance was a hit with the James Buchanan Faculty because Troutman’s daughter, Claira, performed.

Amy Violante (faculty) left, (Dietrich Troutman), Lynn Troutman (faculty), and Claria Troutman sit in the food court at the Chambersburg Applefest.

The food vendors were another big hit with the festival. “I’m coming back later today with my mom and I hope we’ll go to the Falafel Shack vendor… it’s my favorite restaurant.” said Violante.

Along with the Faculty, there were also many students from James Buchanan at the Applefest.  Mallory Peck (11) and Madison White (11) were just two of the many students participating in the Apple Festival.

“The AppleFest is tons of fun, it’s a family bonding experience,” Peck (11) said.  

Mallory Peck (11) enjoys a apple cider slushie at the Chambersburg Applefest.

  She has been going for many years and would even consider it a family tradition.  Peck enjoys walking around and looking at all the different products people are selling.  

Next October, put AppleFest in your calendar for a memorable experience.

Senior Trip to Cedar Point

Outside the Kalahari Resort and Hotel

Outside the Kalahari Resort and Hotel

Outside the Kalahari Resort and Hotel

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The senior class traveled six hours to Sandusky, Ohio for one last hoorah together May 23 to 25. The Senior Class trip was voted on by the class and Kalahari Resort and Cedar Point Amusement Park was chosen.


The senior class officers, Abigail Mackling (12), Renee Sollenberger (12), Saige Eckard (12), Rachel Manikowski (12), and Madelyn Hissong (12) worked to plan the best trip they could with the help of their advisors, Mrs. Lynn Fleury-Adamek (Faculty) and Mr. Matthew Riegsecker (Faculty).


“It took a lot of collaboration between all of us,” Mackling said. “We had to represent the whole class, not just what we wanted.”


The trip began with departing from the school at 6:30 A.M. on Wednesday. After one stop the class arrived at Kalahari Resort around 12:00 P.M. The resort consisted of an indoor waterpark, outdoor waterpark, an arcade, and several restaurants from which to choose. There was plenty to do to keep busy.


“I really enjoyed the arcade,” Claire Alfree (12) said. “There was a lot to do in the arcade like laser tag, bowling, and games.”


On Wednesday the day was spent in the resort for time to enjoy the waterparks and other attractions. The resort even held a private pasta bar for the class as a free meal.

Lobby of Kalahari Resort and Hotel


Thursday, the class then traveled to Cedar Point Amusement Park and spent the day there. Cedar Point is known as, “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”


“We thought Cedar Point would be a great place to go,” Sollenberger said. “The park is huge and there are plenty of rides for everyone, whether you like roller coasters or not.”


The park had many attractions, including restaurants, roller coasters, games, and animals.


“One of my favorite parts of Cedar Point was the petting zoo,” Caitlin Heise (12) said. “It was very hands on you could pet goats, sheep, llamas, and even ride horses.”


Thursday night and Friday morning were spent in the resort. After a long day at Cedar Point, the class was ready to head back to Kalahari to relax. Departure from Kalahari was at 3:00 P.M. Friday, and arrival back to the school was 9:00 P.M.


The class officers saw all their hard work pay off after the trip with positive feedback from the rest of the class.  


“Everyone seemed to love Cedar Point,” Mackling said. “People also liked how we didn’t have strict schedules and we could do whatever we wanted.”


After months of planning and four years of fundraising for the officers and advisors, the trip was finally complete.


“I personally believe the trip went really well,” Mackling said. “Everyone was just there for one last good time as a group.”


After one last time as a class the James Buchanan Class of 2018 is ready to graduate and open new chapters in their lives.


Hannah Mellott, Staff

Hannah Mellott is a part of the JB Student Media staff this year, and it is her first year as a part of the staff. She also plays the flute in the concert...

Filed under Features, Off Campus

Sewing Together the Perfect Night

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The weather was a little dreary with the rain but everyone was dressed to the nines in gorgeous gowns and tuxedos. The air was filled with the smell of flowers and all around people were taking perfectly-posed photos in front of the gorgeous venue at Green Grove Gardens.


Girls spent all day doing their hair, makeup, nails and getting dressed. Boys look almost unrecognizable in their tuxedos, compared to their everyday school attire.


Prom is one of the most memorable events for all high school students, but for two particular girls the night was made even more memorable by getting to show off their own unique handmade prom dresses.


For Aria Jewel-Barnett (11), creating her own prom dress is a special memory


We began planning (the dress) two weeks before prom,” Said Jewel- Barnett.  With the help of her mother she was able to finish the project at the last minute.


On the day of prom, we woke up early to finish up the last step of the dressmaking,” she said. “Our old sewing machine broke down, causing utter mayhem and frustration; It was very stressful because we were in such a time crunch.”


For last year’s and this year’s dance, Lauren Fleming (12) started her dressmaking process early.


“I started making my dress in January,” said Fleming.  


She was inspired to create her own dress because, “I always hate wearing a dress that someone else could wear, I like uniqueness.”


Sizing was another reason for crafting her own gown.


“Making your own dress means you could make it the exact way you want it and for your correct size.”


Designing a completely unique and personalized dress is also a good way to cut spending during prom season.  For Lauren, crafting her dress only cost her $20 for a dress pattern and Aria spent only $50 to create her gown. Comparing this to the $300 dollars the average teenage girl will spend on a prom dress, designing your own dress can be a huge money-saver, as well as a memory that will last a lifetime.


Creating a handmade dress takes a lot of hard work, creativity, and can pose a list challenges to any skilled dressmaker. In the end, the finished product is worth all of the time and effort.


For any beginning seamstress, the girls gave some pointers and tips on what to pay attention to while embarking on making your own dress.


“Always start out with a small project and work your way up,” Fleming said.


“I would highly suggest having to start at least a month before prom,” said Barnett. “That way you won’t be so stressed on the day of your prom. “

Filed under Features, Off Campus

New Experiences and Changing Lives

JBHS Ag Teacher, Ms. Brittany May, is changing lives with her appearance on the Today show

Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

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She has been an inspiration to a school, a community, a state, and now to a nation.  Her life changing transformation has shown millions that it is possible to change the course of your life.  Ms. Brittany May (Faculty) had once weighed over 500 pounds, but after taking her life into her own hands, she has lost almost 300 pounds.  Her perseverance has been seen all over the nation through her appearance on the Today Show.


“It was such a surreal experience being able to share my experience on a national platform,” said May.


On May 3, 2018, May was a guest star on Megyn Kelly Today.  She was part of the “Mind and Body” special that morning.  May, along with her mother, discussed the

the dedication and determination that she has had to have to make it to the point she is at now.  Megyn Kelly, amazed at May’s courage, asked her questions about her life as a teen, the journey she has taken, and the plans for her future.

“I keep getting messages from people telling me how I have touched them,” May said, “My heart is beyond full.”

She has given many people the courage and determination that they have needed to change their lives.  As others change their life, May continues to change hers.

May said, “I joined a gym three weeks ago because its fun.”

Along with her healthy habits she has learned, she is trying new things.  May started off her journey being stubborn, but as she kept moving forward she realized that she could not be afraid to try new things.  She now has become a coach of her weight loss program, Optavia. May guides her clients through their journey by touching base every day for the first week and then weekly from there on out.  She continues to chat with her coach on a weekly basis about her healthy habits and things she can do to continue to improve her life.

“For the first time in my entire life, this summer I won’t be thinking about losing weight or being in the process of losing weight,” May said.

Her weight loss has allowed May to have more energy and do an increasing amount of hands on activities in the classroom.  She has been learning a lot from her experiences that she is able to bring back to the classroom to her give her students the best education she can.


May said, “I can’t wait to see what I will do and accomplish next year at this time.”


May plans to continue Optavia and be there to support her clients through their ups and downs.  She also plans to continue teaching using the knowledge that she continues to gain from her new experiences her transformation has allowed.

Ms. May meets Meghyn Kelly prior to the interview.
Kirstyn Black, Staff

Kirstyn Black is a first-year member of the James Buchanan Student Media staff.  She is a senior and has many interests.  She enjoys playing volleyball...

Filed under Off Campus

April Snow Causes May Flowers to Not Grow

The Reasoning Behind the Fluctuating Weather

An Example of the Relentless Snow in 2018.

An Example of the Relentless Snow in 2018.

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones

An Example of the Relentless Snow in 2018.

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Typically the beginning of April brings Easter, rain, and warmer weather, followed by flowers blooming in May.


But this year, Mother Nature had different plans.

It began the week of February 18, when the weather went from 30 degrees up to 80, all in the span of a few days. Since then, there have been a majority of winter-esque days, with a few summer ones in the mix.


This also included the snowstorm in March that brought 13 inches of snow and closed school for a few days.


On the second day of April, the wavering temperatures still showed their true potential. The day after Easter, an inch of snow was present on the ground as people went off to work, but by the end of the day, there was not a trace of it in sight.


Last week, Monday called for anywhere from 32 to 36 degrees, but on Friday and Saturday, the weather had a high of 80 degrees.


Even though the weather may be confusing, have you ever wondered what has been causing it?


Let’s dive into the controversial topic of global warming, or should we say, “global freezing.”


It’s a common misconception that since we’re getting cold, brutal weather in Pennsylvania in the spring, that earth cannot be getting warmer. However, this could not be more inaccurate.


It turns out that the growing warmth in the Arctic is causing colder winters up in the northeastern United States. According to Climate Central, multiple studies have come up with the conclusion that “abnormally warm Arctic temperatures make severe winters in the Northeast two to four times more likely.”


The answer to this topic lies the in two important factors: jet stream and teleconnections.


Scientific American states that the jet stream “[transports] air masses” as well as “[creates] clashing zones for storm formation.” Thus, jet stream is what directs our weather patterns.


Teleconnections explains how the weather in a particular place can affect other continents. This is why harsh winters are being seen up here in the Tuscarora School District.


On the bright(er) side, April will bring more days of slight warmth and with summer around the corner, being cold will be a thing of the past.

Sydney Jones, Staff

Sydney Jones is a senior at James Buchanan High School. In addition to Student Media, she is involved in many activities throughout the school, including:...

Filed under Off Campus, Showcase

Taking a Closer Look at Prom 2018

This year's Prom tickets are rubber keychains that look like wood to represent the

This year's Prom tickets are rubber keychains that look like wood to represent the "Enchanted Gardens" theme.

Madi Dorsey

Madi Dorsey

This year's Prom tickets are rubber keychains that look like wood to represent the "Enchanted Gardens" theme.

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Junior Class Officers are preparing for one of the most PROMinent events of the year! Many aspects must be thought out to make the event go smoothly and successfully, ensuring everyone has a good time and a night they will remember forever.


This year’s Prom will take place on May 19 at Green Grove Gardens in Greencastle from 7-10 P.M. Tickets are now on sale through April 27 and prices are $35 for a single and $60 for a couple.


Officers Alyssa Blair (11), Chesney Carbaugh (11), Madi Dorsey (11), Shaelyn Kaiser (11), and Tori Hutchison (11), have always held meetings to agree on decisions for events and fundraising. As juniors this year, they will put together the Prom.


“We’ve been preparing since spring of last year so I feel like we’ve been doing a pretty good job at getting everything together,” said Kaiser.


A big aspect of prom is the theme. The theme is the story that decides what the decorations, food, tickets, and favors will look like.


“The theme is Enchanted Gardens and it’s going to be really pretty,” said Dorsey. “We’re going to have a lot of flowers and lights. We’re hoping that it turns out to look very enchanted.”


The officers spent a chunk of their time flipping through big prom magazines that companies send them filled with theme ideas. They all had to come to agree on a theme that would be fun and fit with the venue.


“We were actually thinking of a Starry Night theme,” said Kaiser. “But since Green Grove Gardens already has a nice garden theme on the outside, we thought it would correlate very well with the inside.”


A lot goes on when prepping for the big event. It is not all just simply picking and choosing. Officers must keep a budget, time, and what students will like while making decisions. They want to make the prom look nice but still keep tickets affordable so students want and are able to attend.


“It’s difficult to stay within the budget sometimes because we want certain things but the expense might be too large so we have to work around it,” said Kaiser. “We’re doing the best we can to keep the tickets cheaper because I know that was a complaint last year.”


With the help of the junior class doing multiple fundraisers since their freshman year, including Joe Corbi, Yankee Candle, Fisher’s Popcorn, and Krispy Kreme donuts, ticket expenses will be lower and more money can be added to the budget.  


“There’s a lot of stress that goes on behind the scenes. You have to talk to decorators, multiple decorators, so you can see who has the best price for what you want,” said Dorsey. “Also, you have to think about what you want and agree on it with your other officers and that’s kind of hard because we all have different tastes.”


Despite different tastes, the junior class officers met in the middle to decide on the best choices for an enjoyable prom that will be remembered by students for a lifetime.

Filed under Off Campus

What on Earth are You Doing on Earth Day?

Surrounded by lush plants and flowers, a tree grows in the safety of old rubber boots

Surrounded by lush plants and flowers, a tree grows in the safety of old rubber boots

Surrounded by lush plants and flowers, a tree grows in the safety of old rubber boots

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It’s April 22, 1970. Nobody seems to be noticing the increasing pollution in the air from cars and factories or the damage that oil spills can have like the one that occured a year prior in Santa Barbara, California. That is everyone except for a Wisconsin senator by the name of Gaylord Nelson. Using the zest and motivation from the students and people holding anti-war protests against the Vietnam War, Nelson decided to create a national day in honor of environmental awareness; this day is known as Earth Day.


When the first Earth Day occured in 1970, it was a huge hit. According to The History of Earth Day article, 20 million Americans took part in rallying and cleaning the Earth. Many schools would even hold demonstrations teaching people about the effects of pollution. From there, Earth Day became an annual event that is always celebrated on April 22.  


The next big celebration of Earth Day took place in 1990. On this year, Earth Day spread from only being honored in America, to being honored worldwide. The number people that celebrated Earth Day grew from 20 million to 200 million throughout 141 countries.


Today, Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people all over the world. Within our school, there are several people who are planning on commemorating this day. For instance, the James Buchanan Student Council is planning a service event for Earth Day. One of the co-chairs of the Community Service Committee, Claire Kriner (10), hopes to clean waste around the school or even the town of Mercersburg during the weekend.


“Every month, the Community Service Committee co-chairs have to come together and scheduled an event or activity which the student council has to participate in,” Kriner said. “For April, we saw Earth Day as a perfect opportunity to give support to the environment and clean up trash.”


A teacher at James Buchanan, Mr. Michael Mele, is a huge advocate for the environment. Every year, Mele and his family always take time out of the day to recognize how important a clean and healthy environment is.


“Protecting the environment is one of the most important things we can do as people, not just for ourselves, but for our kids and then their kids and so on,” Mele said. “Every year, my wife and I recognize Earth Day and talk about it with our kids and tell them the importance of protecting the environment. Then we usually plant a tree every Earth Day.”


  Many people view the Earth’s environment and how important it is differently. However, Earth Day brings many people together to honor our one and only home, Earth.


Sarah Kimmel, Staff

Sarah Kimmel is a sophomore at James Buchanan. She likes to be involved within the school by being a staff member of the student media, a member of the...

Lessen the Stress- How Prom expenses are still rising and how to keep costs down

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When you are preparing for what could be the most magical night of your high school career, spending any amount is worth the cost for the perfect dress, a limousine, and pristine hair and nails, right?

With Prom season right around the corner, millions of teens across the country are already getting ready for the event. Though most start the search for a dress early  in the spring to ensure they’ll find the perfect one, saving up for that dress starts even earlier.

According to USA Today, the average American family spent roughly $700 on prom in 2017. That’s a $200 increase from the 2016 Prom season, where according to the Alabama Living Media Group the average teen shelled out over $500 on the event.

The average $700 is made up of dresses that can cost upward of $200, and dinner rounding in around $75 per average couple according to Alabama Living. Along with tickets for the dance itself costing teens at the very least another $50, many families look for ways to cut spending expenses on an extravagant night.

One way in which many girls choose to save money is by thrifting a prom dress. Whether buying a used dress from a friend or purchasing one from a second-hand store, both help make Prom just as special while sticking to a budget.

Another way to keep spending low is by DIY-ing your makeup. The average girl spends $35 to get professional makeup done, but with a good bit of practice and help from friends and family, you can create your own personalized and unique makeup look at a much more pocket-friendly price.

Other ways you can cut costs include: doing your own hair can eliminate $50 hair salon bills, and painting your own nails could save you around $30.   

Carpooling to the dance, and having a formal dinner at a friends house before the dance rather than spending another $50 on eating out can both be ways to lower prom costs.

For guys rather than renting a tuxedo, a cost-efficient way to still look your best is by purchasing a nice suit ensemble. You’ll still look sharp and you’ll be able to get more than one night of wear out of it as it can be worn for other future events. For the rest of your outfit, browsing local thrift shops and online sites for lightly used formal wear can help save money while still dressing sharply.

With prom coming up, taking these tips and using other creative ideas can be super beneficial when trying to plan the most memorable night of the year, while trying to have more fun for less.

Filed under Off Campus, Showcase, Sports

Bringing Home the Gold

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To some, snow and the cold are what makes them frown deeply; to others, it is beautiful and inspiring. To Winter Olympic athletes, the snow and cold is their chance to make their country proud; wearing a gold, silver, or bronze medal is what they have worked so hard for.


The 2018 Winter Olympics are underway, and many athletes are skating and skiing into victory. Being held in PyeongChang, South Korea, many nations have collected their best Olympians to compete for the gold.


The tradition of the Olympics has been around since ancient Greece.


Speaking of how the Olympics first originated in 776 B.C. in Olympia, Greece, author Dr. Stephen Instone said, “The Games were an attractive means of getting men fit. Another factor is the traditional Greek view that the gods championed a winner, so by establishing a competition aimed at producing supreme winners, they were thereby asserting the power and influence on humans of the supreme god, Zeus.” In the beginning, the games were mostly racing but eventually led into other sports that we know today, such as boxing and wrestling.


The Winter Olympics came not too shortly after the first modern-day Olympics.


When the Olympics reappeared in 1896, according to the History Channel, there were no winter sports included like today. The History Channel said, “Germany planned a Winter Olympics to precede the 1916 Berlin Summer Games, but World War I forced the cancellation of both.”


Eventually, Scandinavians, who already had a winter sports competition called the Nordic Games, agreed to stage an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sanctioned International Sports Week.


It was so popular among the 16 participating nations that, in 1925, the IOC formally created the Winter Olympics, retroactively making Chamonix the first,” said the History Channel.


During the 2018 Winter Olympics, there have been several new things occurring, such as giving stuffed animals in place of medals.


The keepsake that rewards Olympic medalists this year is a white tiger named Soohorang, the mascot of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics,” said author, Sara Begley. Adding on, Begley explains how there is a ceremony held where winners receive their medals later on.


2018 Olympics continue to develop new circumstances with the arrival of North Korea’s cheerleaders in the midst of the world’s nuclear tension with the country.


The cheerleaders have been praised as human olive branches, a preliminary way to ease tensions during the current nuclear crises. They have been criticized as singing, dancing spearheads of a strategic North Korean propaganda campaign at the Games,” said author Andrew Keh.


Several American Olympians have already won gold.


17-year-old Red Gerard made it through the swirling winds to capture the United States’ first gold medal of the 2018 Olympics,” said Jennifer Earl and Kaitlyn Schallhorn. “At 17, Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal during the Winter Games.” Following these two athletes, there was Jamie Anderson, Shaun White, and Mikaela Shiffrin.


The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang is giving Olympians the chance to win for their country, just as the Summer Olympics do. Many people are gathered around TV screens, laptops, and some in the actual stadiums, cheering and hoping for the victory these athletes are aiming for. Still, have a ways to go, the games take place until Feb. 25, and then the Paralympics occur Mar. 9-18.

Madison Dorsey, Editor

Madison Dorsey, better known as Madi, participates in several extra curricular activities, such as Tennis, Art Club, Drama Club, JBHS Student Media, Relay...

The New Shop in Town

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As you drive through Mercersburg you may have noticed there is a new shop in town. In the square there is a new coffee shop called One North. They haven’t been open very long, but have had a busy start. The grand opening was the night of the Christmas Tree Lighting and they entertained the customers with a musician performing live music.


Lena Eckstine is the owner of the shop, and has been working closely with the manager Audrey Birkhimer. Eckstine and Birkhimer met in person in September when Birkhimer told Eckstine she was on board to help her dream of starting a coffee shop.


Birkhimer was working at another shop at the time but said, “Things just kinda happened and fell into place.”  


Since then Birkhimer and Eckstine have been working hand-in-hand to get the shop up and running.


“I did the menu, I did the hiring, I did some of the work around here [the shop]” said Birkhimer.


Working in a coffee shop has been a dream of Birkhimer’s since she was in high school, so for her this was like a dream come true. Working in the shop hasn’t been as hard of a task for Birkhimer as one might think.


“It was nice to get into the rhythm again,” said Birkhimer. “I’ve been a barista before so it was nice.”


Although the barista side of things for her was easy, she had never been in complete control of the hiring process like she is at One North. Birkhimer went through all the applications and did all the hiring. One of our own students, Savanna Riley (11) was lucky enough to become a member of the staff.


One North is open Monday through Saturday every week. So far the shop has not had an exact estimate on when their busiest times are, but when the Mercersburg Academy students have their free time, they like to come in and hang out in the shop. Their grand opening was held on a Saturday and that has been the most popular day.


“Throughout the week we get busier,” Birkhimer said. “So Mondays aren’t super busy then Tuesdays pick up, Wednesdays are busier and then it kinda leads up to Saturdays.”

The shop offers a variety of drinks on the menu, from lattes to smoothies to cappuccinos.


“Chai Lattes and London Fogs are super popular,” said Birkhimer. “But other than that, probably just a plain vanilla latte, people love those”.


A Chai Latte is two pumps of concentrated chai syrup and the rest is milk. A London Fog is a pump of vanilla syrup and earl gray tea and steamed milk.


In the words of Birkhimer these are “really yummy.”


The shop also does a specialty item of sticky buns on the weekends that seems to be very popular. As of now this is the only specialty item that they have, but there is a possibility for more things in the future.


One North has plans to hold different events in the shop to make it like a hang-out space for the community. So far they have had a musician come in and do live music and other things could be coming in the future.


“Poetry slams [and] live music is definitely on the list,” Birkhimer said. “Different things the community would be interested in we would want to host.”


Along with the baked goods and drinks, there is also a gift shop located inside of One North. There are different items you can peruse t and purchase while you are waiting for your order.


The shop also offers free Wi-Fi that customers can use while they are at the shop. A variety of people come to the shop for a drink or snack, but also some to work. Some people come to work on things because they work at home or they are allowed to work remotely. A lot of students come in to work on homework and connect to the shops Wi-Fi.


From couches and loveseats to tables and chairs there is a variety of comfortable options to sit at in the shop making a place where all people can feel welcome.


“We never want this to be an area of unrest or contention,” said Birkhimer.  “It’s for everyone in Mercersburg and beyond to come and just hang out.”

The gift shop located inside of One North Coffee and Bake Shop.

Hannah Myers, Editor

Hannah Myers  is in her second year as a member of the James Buchanan Student Media staff. She is a senior and an editor JBSM.   She is employed at Lizzy's...

Traditions of Hanukkah

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A growing holiday in the United States is Hanukkah. This holiday lasts for eight days.  and has six key components. The holiday is centered around the lighting of a menorah, foods prepared in oil, special songs, games, and gift exchanges.


An article Better Homes and Gardens states “The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the hanukkiah, also known as the menorah.”


The menorah holds nine candles. The center one is lit first and then is used to light the other eight candles. The eight candles represent the number of days celebrated during Hanukkah. When lighting the menorah,  the candles are lit from the left to the right. After the menorah is lit, it is typically displayed in the window of the Jewish home for everyone to see. Before candles, the menorah used to be lit with olive oil.


“The miracle of the oil lasting eight days is not only celebrated through the lighting of the menorah, but also in the traditional foods that are eaten. The author Brynn Holland states two of the most popular dishes, latkes and sufganiyot


The two main foods prepared for the Jewish holiday are called latkes and sufganiyot, states the The latkes are basically a potato pancake which are made by grated potatoes with eggs to form a batter. It is then poured onto a skillet where it is fried in oil. The other dish sufganiyot are a lot like jelly doughnuts. This is made by baking dough and inserting jelly into it, and topping it off with powdered sugar.  


Hanukkah comes with its own set of carols that are sung within the household, to represent the meaning of their religion. Some songs include “On Chanukah, Sevivon,” “Mi Y’malel,” and one of the most famous, “I Have a Little Dreidel.” The carol “I Have a Little Dreidel” is so prominent because it is the song that is sung when playing the game dreidel.


The game dreidel is almost like a gambling game. First the dreidel has four sides and each side has a hebrew letter on it. Any number of people are able to play. Each player is required to have the same amount of game pieces, things that can be used as game pieces are coins, raisin, and chocolate. Then someone spins the dreidel and depending on which side the dreidel lands on then each player has to either give or take a piece. The player who has the all game pieces first wins.


The author Natasha Rosenstock states that Hanukkah gifts were not traditionally a part of the holiday, however it has become a huge tradition to get a gift each day.


Since Hanukkah consists of eight days, each day a present is given from the parents to the children. Presents include puzzles, games, clothing, candy, and coins. Presents are given to keep the tradition of Hanukkah going and  to spend time with the family.


Hanukkah has so many traditions from the lighting of the menorah, the food that is prepared, songs that are sung, games that are played, and the gifts that are exchanged.

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The Flu Ends With You!

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       With winter approaching, sports aren’t the only thing starting their season; the flu is also rearing into full swing. The temperatures are dropping and the spreadable flu bug seems to be everywhere!  Is there any way to avoid it?


There is, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC): the flu shot is a good option to keep illnesses away.  The flu shot, as described by the CDC, is  a “vaccine that causes antibodies to develop in the body,” which then allows the antibodies to “provide protection against infection with the viruses.”


Who can get the Influenza shot?  “The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age or older get the vaccine,” said Mrs. Bethany Snyder ( Faculty),


“It is most important ( to get the shot)  for those who may have a weakened immune system or ability to fight off the virus,” Snyder said.


So why are people against getting vaccinated?  Many people are against getting the shot because of misinformation about it. A lot of people think it either protects all strains of the flu or that the shot gives you the flu.



“It is true that it doesn’t actually protect against all strains of the flu,” said  Snyder.


The strains are chosen by national influenza centers around the country based on the CDC ‘s prediction of which types of flu will be most present in the year coming.


“ The flu shot itself does not give you the flu,”  explained  school nurse  Mrs. Kimberly Clopper (Faculty),  “The only risks with the shot are side effects that are expected with any shot, such as redness, swelling, and achiness in the injection site.”


Along with the CDC recommending frequent shots, they also suggest getting the latest version that applies to the current year.  This season the CDC recommends the use of injectable influenza vaccines and to avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine during 2017-2018.


Other than getting the recommended injectible vaccines, there are other precautions you can take to avoid falling ill. “Practice good handwashing techniques, take vitamins, and try and get plenty of rest,”  said  Snyder.


Along with Clopper who suggests  “Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, “  to help ward off the flu.


The best way to avoid the flu any season is to research what treatment options best work for you. “ Educate yourself on the proven risks and benefits of receiving a flu shot,” said Clopper “ There is a lot of wrong information regarding the flu shot”.

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