The Harbinger Online

News Briefs Issue 7: Week of Dec. 3


Student Council members are volunteering at the Johnson County Christmas Bureau on Dec. 3—the largest benefit project that StuCo holds each year.

The members will be stocking shelves and guiding families who qualify for free goods around the store. The holiday shop is a nine-day event where families, living below poverty line, can get the food, gifts and clothes that they need for the holiday season.

Student body president Jet Semrick has been working on the fundraiser, such as organizing volunteers, planning the talent show, and looking forward to volunteering at the bureau.

“It’s a very humbling experience because it allows StuCo members, who have been working hard all year, run the can drive connect with and get to know the families that the can drive benefit,” Semrick said.

According to their website, the bureau aims to keep families warm and fed and bring awareness to the poverty issue in Johnson County.

This fundraiser is one of the many events StuCo has put on including the can drive and most recently the talent show. So far, StuCo has raised upwards of $5000.


The city of Mission is working towards ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation and will vote on them Dec. 19.

The ordinance is meant to reflect on Mission as a place for all individuals, and doesn’t focus on sexual orientation, according to Mission’s website. The goal is to promote bonds between the LGBTQ community and the rest of the community, according to the ordinance.

The topic will be discussed and expanded on during Mission’s next council meeting, Dec. 12. It was initially introduced by board members who wanted to expand the current non-discrimination act.

According to Mission’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance document, it is meant to “Communicate that all people living, working and transacting business in Mission are worthy of respect and fair treatment… It would also create a local enforcement process for complaints of discrimination.”

The ordinances will protect gender identity and sexual orientation in the same way as sex, race and religion when facing discrimination.

East’s Gay Straight Alliance strives to create a safe environment to discuss issues such as the ones that the ordinance would defend against. A member of East’s GSA, junior Sean Paddack, describes the alliance’s goal to “create a friendly group for LGBTQ students to feel included and cared for in the school.”

“It’s horrible that there is a need for a discrimination ordinance, but it’s necessary,” Paddack said. “I think it would be great for the LGBTQ+ community, since this would mainly help fix discrimination in the workplace.”


The first blizzard of the 2018-2019 season hit the Midwest on Nov. 25, prohibiting travel and hitting areas from Topeka to Chicago with 6 to 18 inches of snow.

Nearly 2,000 flights were cancelled after the National Weather Service warned of dangerous travel conditions. Having 748 flights cancelled, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was hit the hardest.

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer declared a statewide disaster emergency, closed off parts of I-70 due to low visibility and strongly recommended postponing travel plans, as the state was covered in snow ranging from 2 to 14 inches.

This affected many travelers like East alumni Morgan Biles, who was returning to Boston after being home for the holidays.

“I had [a flight] that was supposed to be at 2:30 on Sunday and it got cancelled,” Biles said. “We were able to book one on Monday morning that also got cancelled… It’s kind of been a mess trying to figure out flights so I can get back to school.”

However, Biles wasn’t the only one stuck — the Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year according to American Automobile Association. Drivers were told not to head west and those heading east in Kansas would be stopped at the Colorado border according to the Kansas City Star.

50 mph winds caused whiteout conditions in the Chicago area and left 200,000 without power. Kansas City got 5.8 inches of snow, making it the second-snowiest day in November on record in Kansas City. MCI was shut down Sunday afternoon and reopened Sunday night.



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Lucy Hoffman

Lucy Hoffman is a senior at Shawnee Mission East and is the Mobile Media editor. In her free time she enjoys running and does track and cross country. She also participates in Coalition and Share and likes helping others. »

Elizabeth Ballew

Elizabeth Ballew
If you can’t find senior Elizabeth Ballew in the j-room, you might want to double check the sonic at 107th and Roe and try to find the Rav-4 playing early Taylor Swift songs at a reasonable level (she doesn’t blare her music, what a loser). This will be Elizabeth’s third year of pulling out her hair at writer’s deadline and of course highly productive gossip sessions every class period. While it’s certainly debatable if Elizabeth has a life outside of room ... »

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