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Issue 1 News Briefs

Issue 1 News Briefs


This year, unfamiliar faces of East have the opportunity to join the New to East Community Club, held after school every Thursday in room 511. The club, co-founded by juniors Maddie Seymour and Kaiden Koerner and senior Jared Taylor, was created to aid new students in becoming comfortable at East.  

According to Seymour, returning students are welcome to contribute their knowledge about the school. Inspiration for the club came from Seymour’s own experience as a new student.

“I moved here a year and a half ago, halfway through my freshman year,” Seymour said. “It was just hard to make friends [because] it’s such a big school.”

During the first week of school, new students received gift bags with invitations to the first meeting. The club’s weekly meetings focus on creating a smooth transition into East, playing get-to-know-you games and providing advice on which activities to get involved in.  Members occasionally use their lunch period to guide new students around the school. According to Seymour, they are also planning on attending a football or basketball game as a group.

“If nothing else, they can meet at least the people in the club, have a few friends to start off,” Seymour said.    


Prairie Village will be hosting its eighth annual Jazz Festival on Sept. 9. The festival will take place from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Harmon Park.  

Tickets are $5 for anyone over the age of 18. The event is self-funded with profits going towards next year’s festival. Since it’s debut in 2010, the festival has grown to a crowd size of about 3,000.  

According to Prairie Village Public Information Officer Meghan Buum, the jazz festival was created with the intent of bringing a signature festival to the city. This year’s headliners include: Oleta Adams, The Project H, Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle, Sax and Violins,The Bram Wijnand Swingtet and the Shawnee Mission East Blue Knights. The Blue Knights consists of 22 people, and forms the top jazz ensemble of East.

All of the performers originate from Kansas City. According to Jazz Festival committee member and Shawnee Mission East band teacher, Alex Toepfer, an emphasis is placed on local talent performing.  

The festival is sponsored by the City of Prairie Village, Republic Services, First Washington Realty, and Meadowbrook Park as well as several smaller level sponsors.

“It brings jazz, which is kind of an urban thing, to Prairie Village, a suburban area,” Toepfer said.  


Hurricane Harvey, a category four hurricane, hit Rockport, Texas on Aug. 25. According to ABC, the storm brought winds up to 130 mph as well as heavy rain to Rockport as well as other areas of Texas. The hurricane went from being a category one storm on Thursday to a category four storm hitting land Friday night.

Prior to the storm, a state of disaster was declared by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and President Trump issued a disaster declaration for the state of Texas.  

According to Fox News, the storm was downgraded to a tropical storm once winds dropped below 73 mph. Wind speed dictates the difference between tropical storms and hurricanes. Catastrophic flooding was the primary concern and led to the failure of bridges and roadways.The Weather Channel reported southern parts of Houston receiving 43 inches of rain in about three days.  

“It was just so crazy to think that one storm could cause so much damage to so many parts of Texas,” sophomore Brooklyn Beck, who has cousins in Texas, said. “It’s not just where the storm hits, but there is so much rain and flooding that goes all over.”   

Tropical Storm Harvey remains strong and is spreading to other states. GoFundMe set up a page for donations and the United Way of Greater Houston’s relief fund has raised 7.2 million as of Aug. 29.

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Jackie Cameron

Jackie Cameron is a sophomore at Shawnee Mission East and is a page designer and writer for the Harbinger. Jackie keeps herself busy with tennis, soccer and episodes of The Office. This will be her first year on staff and she's excited for what's to come. Read Full »

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