Sunday, August 31, 2008

Plane Crash in East Windsor

According to, on Friday morning, two people were rescued by firefighters after crashing their 1935 Tiger Moth biplane into the trees. "They were flying to Block Island from Skylark Airpark, which lies in East Windsor." said. They crashed 300 yards away from the Skylark Airpark runway into a tree, which was surrounded by marshy land. "They were rescued at 12:35 pm by the Enfield Fire Department." according to The Coast Guard were going to help by using a helicopter but the Enfield Fire Department were able to quickly respond to the emergency and were able to save the two people in the airplane. The reason for the crash was that the plane lost power and the pilot did know what to do. Bradley International Airport sent a rescue truck to help the people but the vehicle got stuck in mud and had to get to the crash site by smaller vehicles. The fire department were able to get the people down with ropes, pulleys, and a rescue basket.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hassle or Security?

This year all of the staff at RHAM are required to wear picture identification cards. It will have a picture of them, which was taken the Tuesday before school started, their name and their department. Mr. Leslie says that this is for safety reasons. It would make strangers more noticable. Also for new students it would make it easier to get to know your teachers. But teachers who know everyone might find this to be a hassle.

To see teacher and student feelings on this subject watch RHAM News for a follow up story.

Hurricane Gustav Headed Straight For Louisiana

Hurricane Gustav is nearing a category 5 strength and is headed straight for Louisiana. It is currently off the coast of Cuba. The National Hurricane Association is ordering a hurricane watch for Mississippi, Louisiana, and parts of Texas. According to, a million residents have already fled from the coast causing jammed highways and gas stations to run out of fuel. A mandatory evacuation is expected to be put into place on Saturday night. Gustav has quickly been getting stronger, going from a tropical storm to a category 4 hurricane in about a 24 hour time period. The hurricane has already taken 80 lives while traveling through the Caribbean. 
Gustav is scheduled to hit land on Tuesday morning. Forecasters do not expect New Orleans to take a direct hit, but it is too early to tell. The city of New Orleans is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina which hit in August 2005. Katrina caused about 81.2 billion dollars of damage and took at least 1,836 lives according to 
Members of the National Gaurd have been going door to door in many areas warning people that they should evacuate as soon as possible. Although most people are evacuating, some people refuse to leave their homes. Dale DeBruyne said "I stayed for Katrina, and I'll stay again." Under these circumstances, what would you do?

King Of Pop Turns 50

Wow Michael Jackson turned 50 on Friday August 29!! He has nine brothers and sisters and the whole family is musical. That is amazing!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ralph Nader Continues to Campaign (updated)

Connecticut native Ralph Nader is continuing his campaign for the independent party in the presidential election. He recently held rallies in Denver, Colorado in order to take some of the attention away from the Democratic National Convention. According, he plans to do the same next week in Minnesota where the Republican National Convention is being held.
Nader has been running in presidential elections for almost 20 years as part of the independent party, hoping to take voters from democratic candidates. Although he agrees with democrats on Medicare and civil rights, he feels that the current democratic party should focus on the poor, not only the middle class. By saying poor, he is referring to the 100 million people who make the least amount or no money in the United States. Nader says that these people "service us in all kinds of ways while they are underpaid, while they are overcharged." ( By getting American citizens to vote for him, Nader hopes to steal votes from democrat Barack Obama and deny him the presidency. Nader feels he has made a difference in the past, denying Al Gore the presidency in 2000 with the Florida tally. 
Nader plans to do a lot of campaigning in Connecticut, hoping he can persuade the "home-state crowd." According to, he has managed to take a higher percentage of votes in Connecticut compared to other states. He plans to visit the Constitution State sometime before November.

Follow-up: John McCain: Where Does He Go From Here?

image source: J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Sen. John McCain announced today (incidentally, his 72nd birthday) that his running mate on the Republican ticket will be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The McCain campaign, as quoted by ABC, said,

"Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president... Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today."

His choice of running mate is unexpected, as former Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty were the favorite prospective VP candidates during the pre-announcement speculation. The McCain campaign, according to National Public Radio, made a risky pick - one that carries great potential reward, but also a significant chance of undercutting the campaign.

Gov. Palin's pro-life and evangelical stances will appeal to the right wing of the Republican party, which has fallen out with McCain in the past. The McCain campaign also hopes to draw disgruntled supporters of Democrat Hillary Clinton by providing a female candidate, according to the New York Times. Democrats, however, disagree. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California stated, “If John McCain thought that choosing Sarah Palin would attract Hillary Clinton voters, he is badly mistaken. The only similarity between her and Hillary Clinton is that they are both women. On the issues, they could not be further apart.”

The danger that Gov. Palin poses to the campaign is her lack of experience - she rose from PTA to City Council to Mayor of Wasilla (a town near Anchorage, the capital of Alaska) to Governor, a post she has held less than two years. Since the McCain campaign has so strongly criticized Sen. Barack Obama's lack of experience in foreign policy (and also used his VP pick of Sen. Joe Biden, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as evidence for that criticism), his selection of Gov. Palin as a running mate seems inconsistent. She has drawn attacks from Democrats and the Obama campaign:

"John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same," (from Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman, as quoted by NPR).

So where does John McCain take his presidential bid with 66 days until the election? As his running mate pick indicates, he will likely try to shore up support within his own party (especially women and the religious right) and win over undecided voters by pointing to his own military service and foreign policy experience, which Sen. Obama does not posess. He will also endeavor to make the election a contest between himself and Sen. Obama, as he has often criticized the Obama campaign for trying to make the election about President George Bush. The real question, though, is whether he can make enough of a difference in the next two months to gain a decisive victory over Sen. Obama. With a slowly-eroding support base in the South and Midwest, traditionally Republican strongholds, finding key swing votes will be essential to winning the election. But in a politically charged atmosphere, I think there will be few undecideds, and the divisions within the Republican party (not to mention the legacy of President Bush) may keep the McCain campaign from gaining momentum. As with Sen. Obama's campaign, we'll see how it goes.

Child, 2, Dies After Accidental Shooting

Today in Connecticut a 2 year old boy from Jewett City was pronounced dead at approximately 11 a.m this morning. said that the father, Jason R. Matteau was a loving man, seen in many pictures holding his son close to him. These pictures were found on his Myspace account. Also on the account was one of Jason's hobbies listed as firing his pistol and rifle.

According to, the innocent young boy found the loaded gun in the house, alledgedly picked up the gun and fired it.

This was followed by countless screams and cries for help. Many of these screams were heard from the neighbors. The courant said one neighbor that came over to the house to try to help called the scene, " ... a pretty brutal sight." (

According to, all neighbors were shocked to hear the news. Some neighbors asked why the gun didnt have a lock on it, and others asked the most obvious question. Why was a loaded gun in easy reach of a 2 year old? The State Police will conduct a thorough investigation to make sure that this in fact was an accident. And, according to, investigators will also try to see if any laws were violated, including those about the location and possesion of handguns. For more information visit or

Is it still vandalism?

[Picture Source: "The Grammar Vandal"]

Vandalism is a term used to describe the defacing of property. But what happens when a few simple corrections on street signs takes a turn into something much more questionable? Recently, two students that attended the University of Dartmouth have claimed to have found 200 public signs containing a variety of errors. The two discovered these mistakes and decided to just fix them without there seeming to be any problem. They first made a correction to a hand printed sign coming from the 1930's at a Grand Canyon watchtower. They thought they were just doing an innocent favor, but their consequence was not so forgiving..

The two college graduates did indeed plead guilty to "vandalizing" the government's property and they were each sentenced to a year's probation. This statement exclaimed that neither of the two grads could enter a national park or modify ANY public signs. Also, as a lucky bonus for them, they were ordered to pay up $3,035 to repair the watchtower sign.

For public signs to display such errors as incorrect spelling or punctuation is just not necessary. Naturally, whenever someone finds an error, they are bound to correct it right? But does this make it right to correct public signs created by the authorities? According to the law and Kate McCulley an avid "grammar vandal" blogger says that even though the sign makers should be more cautious when making signs, the public has no right to correct the sign even if it does contain mistakes.

So is it ok for people to correct these almost embarrasing mistakes? As the law and Kate McCulley say, it is completely wrong to deface any property or street signs by any matter with vulgar language or offensive material; but if people want to correct mistakes, become a copy editor.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama: Where Does He Go From Here?

image credit: Reuters

Barack Obama just finished up his nomination acceptance speech a couple minutes ago.

What struck me about the speech was that it wasn't about politics and it wasn't about policy. The speech, even though it did contain politics and policies, was one of ideology. Sen. Obama made repeated references to the "promise of America" and compared his campaign to just about every hard-hitter in history (e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr., women's suffrage). He emphasized change driven not only by people but also by communities, contrasting himself with Sen. John McCain, whom Sen. Obama described as out of touch with the common U.S. citizen.

But with Sen. McCain's VP pick to be announced Friday, I think it's unlikely that Sen. Obama will be able to ride the wave of popularity his speech will generate for very long. Both candidates have been their party's presumptive nominees for quite some time now, so the convention does not really represent a turning point in the election. But now, with only two full months remaining until Election Day, there is a strong incentive for both parties to turn on the pressure. This is a very politically charged election, not only because it is the first time an African-American man has had a genuine chance at being elected, but because the campaign has been drawing on the controversial events of the past eight years. In his speech, Sen. Obama specifically cited President Bush's "failed policies", which ought to appeal to critics of the current administration's policies.

So where does Sen. Obama go from here? Despite the close race, I think that Sen. Obama has a fairly broad appeal. At last year's Hebron Harvest Fair, I saw a man walk up to the Hebron Democratic Town Comittee booth and request a form to change his voter affiliation from Republican to Democrat. His reason? He was tired of the Republican party making choices he didn't agree with and wanted to get out in time for the election. While that can't account for a whole lot of Sen. Obama's support, and I'm sure it happens in Sen. McCain's favor as well, it indicates to me that party loyalty is not playing a huge factor in the election. I guess we'll see how that turns out in November.

Despite some harsh remarks the candidates have made about each other's stances (in the speech, Sen. Obama said, "If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have."), they have each made conciliatory gestures. Also during the speech, Sen. Obama praised Sen. McCain by saying,

"The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect... The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain."

Sen. McCain's campaign aired a commercial before and after the speech, in which Sen. McCain directly adressed his opponent, saying,

"Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we'll be back at it. But tonight Senator, job well done."


FYI, you can edit/update your posts by clicking on the little pencil icon at the bottom if you don't want to create a whole new post...

Summer Construction at RHAM

As most students have noticed, the RHAM building is undergoing some changes. The linoleum flooring in the main hallway, removed at the end of last year due to water damage, has been replaced. The problem, caused by a sheet of plastic installed underneath the school during construction, may also have affected other areas of the school. If the damage is more extensive than anticipated, it is likely to manifest itself in the spring, when the water table is high. The repairs are being payed for by a $1.1 million legal settlement with the contractors who originally installed the floors. $300,000 of that was used to cover legal costs, and enough of the remaining $800,000 is still available that the school district will be able to cover further repair costs.

In addition to the hallways, there is an extension being built in the front of the school to house administrative office space for the superintendent (Dr. Robert Siminski), the director of finance and operations (Mr. William Mazzara), and the administrative assistant (Ms. Kathy Mund). The extension is on schedule and due to be completed the week of September 22nd. According to Dr. Siminski, who until now has worked out of an office in Hebron on Liberty Drive, which is near the center of town behind the post office, a significant amount of time has been wasted in transit between the school and his office, a problem which will be solved by the new office. Dr. Simiski "looks forward to enhancing cooperation" between the school and district administration in his new, more accessible location.

Amazing Sand Castles

I found this article through and i thought it was pretty cool.There were a bunch of amazing sand castles made resently. And they are huge and have so much detail.And the salt water is actually what keeps them together so well.And now there are people who have become really skilled at it.So take a look at some of the picutres at there web wite.

(Thanks to and popularmechanics)


UPDATE 8/29: Blog re-opened to the public. Nice work, guys!!!!

UPDATE: I'm closing the blog to the public until you've all had a chance to remove your full names. I'll re-open it after the names have been edited.

Please edit your Google profiles so the Display Name does not show your full name - for security reasons. Also, please do not include other personal information such as your actual photo, address, etc.


Upcoming Hebron Harvest Fair

(Picture From

Great news everyone! The Hebron Harvest Fair is coming to the Lions Fairground on Route 85, in Hebron, Connecticut. The fair is open Thursday, September 4th through Sunday the 7th. The Hebron Harvest Fair is a fun time for the whole family, consisting of all sorts rides, vendors and other interesting attractions. Some of theses attractions include Antiques Building, Arts and Crafts Building, and the Better Living Building, along with places to look at various farm animals.

According to, the Hebron Harvest Fair originated 37 years ago, a small district fair located on donated grounds near the center of Hebron, which bloomed quickly. The small fair that ran for only three days gathered thousands of people and in the years to come, became a large state fair. In 1972, the Hebron Lions club purchased over 70 acres of land that would soon be presented as the Hebron Lions fairgrounds. The fairgrounds and its huge popularity made the Hebron Harvest Fair the fun filled attraction it is today.

Its biggest attraction from the past year was new to the fair. Last year, the first rollercoaster was added to the many rides available. Also, there are always musical performances, free of charge, while the fair is going on. According to, highly known band America and local rock band Columbia Fields will be playing during the fair. As for this year, other surprises may be in store, you will just have to visit and see.

Woman Willing to go to Jail Over 'Dangerous' Book

JoAn Karkos of Lewiston, Maine is willing to go to jail over a book she deemed ''dangerous,''as an act of civil disobedience. The book "It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health," talks openly about puberty all teenagers face. According to, a judge ruled that Karkos had until 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon to return the book or be found in contempt of court. It is not clear why Karkos  felt the book was dangerous, but she obviously wanted it off the shelves of the library. Is it worth going to jail for something you believed in?

School Bus Crashes into Car in Tolland!!!!

(picture taken by the Hartford Courant)

According to, at 4:15 pm, yesterday afternoon, a school bus collided into a car. This accident happened at the corner of Grant Hill and Gehring roads in Tolland. The person that was driving the car lost consciousness a little time after the crash. She was brought to the hospital with chest injuries but was then later released.

The only other person injured in the crash was a 9 year old girl. She was brought to the hospital but only as a precautionary move to make sure she was all right. She was released later out of the hospital. Nobody else was injured. The bus driver was issued a ticket because he didn't give the car the right of way.

Marlborough- Things that happened over the summer!!

Hey everyone out there its Nikki,

Hey guys I live in Marlborough so i thought that this was a great story to do for a first blog.

In the town of Marlborough we have Lake Terramuggus in our town. surrounding lake Terramuggus we have a playscape and tennis courts along with baketball. Over the summer our town members participated in what the town called the Blish Park Playscape Renovation project. In 1988 the first playground was built. that is a long time of kids playing on one playground. So The Marlborough Park & Recreation Commission had once again turned to Leathers and Associates for help in the renovation of the playscape. And over the summer the town of Marlborough did what they wanted to do and that was to rebuild the new playscape and make it better. Well with the help of all the volunteers that helped out. Thank you to everyone. Here is a picture of what the playscape looks like. Picture off of the Marlborough home page. To learn more about the project visit the Marlborough home page.

Fake Auto Insurance Cards

Regulators in Connecticut are reporting a rise in the sale of fake auto insurance cards. Having auto insurance is required by law here in the state of Connecticut. These cards also must be carried in a vehicle at all times. These fake cards have surfaced over the years, but now they seem to be making a comeback. Some attribute this rise as a result of the recent economic strain. According to, "While legitimate insurance coverage provides protection for you, your family, and other people injured in a motor vehicle accident, trying to use fake insurance leads only to trouble," the Connecticut Insurance Department says. In fact, if the department finds out that fake insurance cards are being used, severe consequences can follow. Vehicle registration will be voided and license plates must be surrended.

Shooting at a parade in Hartford

Hi everyone it's Zack and i found this story on

Back on August 9th there was a parade in upper Hartford on Main Street. The person that was suspected to have done the shooting has been caught and placed in custody. He turned out to be a 17 year old named Michael Ledbetter and he has a $1.4 million bond. Ledbetter is believed to be a part of a gang known as West Hell and he was caught on Wednesday near Bowles Park. He is charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon, aiding and abetting (not sure what that is), unlawful discharge of a firearm and risk of injury to a minor. Sadly, a 21 year old man named Ezekiel Roberts was killed as well as injuring a 7 year old boy, four teenager, and others. Police Chief Daryl Roberts says 3 suspects were taken into custody and 3 guns were recovered. The police expect to make several more arrests related to the shooting at the August 9th parade.

For more information go to,0,687807.story

Clinton Seeks to Unify Party at Convention

Last night, Bill Clinton spoke to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO. Before the speech, Clinton didn't seem to be fully behind Obama as a candidate. This was partially because he had previously supported his wife, Hilary Clinton, in her effort to become president, and also because he had been unwilling to answer questions when asked if he thought that Barack was ready to assume the presidency. In fact, he avoided a question from an ABC reporter asking just that. He said, "You could argue that no one's ever ready to be president."

However, after the speech was delivered, there could be no doubt that the former president now stands behind the soon-to-be Democratic nominee. During his speech, he said "Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and to restore American leadership in the world... [and] Barack Obama is the man for this job."

By setting aside the differences between himself and Obama, Clinton was trying to unite the party behind a single candidate in order to ensure that a Democrat was elected to the White House in November. This alone will not be enough to win Obama the presidency, though. According to Andrew Dowdle, assistant professor of political sciences at the University of Arkansas, "The Democrats need to win the independents and the undecided voters to take the White House, and those people likely weren't even watching this convention." Dowdle says that Obama will need to continue to tour the country and make the American people familiar with him and his policies if he wishes to gain the White House. A few electrifying speeches at the Convention alone will not be enough to push him over the top.

Clearly, Obama still has a ways to go, but the action at the Democratic National Convention was no small part of what will need to happen for Obama to win. The Convention continues tonight when Barack will formally accept the Democratic nomination and deliver a speech of his own.

Mr. Helwig - Marathon Runner

Hey everyone, Shelby here; I decided to make a quick blog post before I go running..

Mr. Helwig, a new P.E teacher at RHAM had a very interesting summer. He ran a 25 hour race from Mt Hood in Oregon to the Pacific Ocean, or "The Coast" of Oregon. Helwig got the idea from a friend in college who was interested in the race and Helwig decided that this year he wanted to participate. The race consists of 12 relay members and each member runs about 3 legs which equals out to about 4-8 miles. It is 197 miles long running from Mt. Hood Oregon all along the Pacific Coast. The runners will switch off every leg and there are vans which carry relay members 1-6, and 6-12. There are restroom facilities and buildings along the way for the runners to use and take a break. The race itself is actually 26 hours and 45 minutes as Mr. Helwig says. But he did not run it all himself; with the help of his teammates he was able to accomplish this goal and finish the race confidently. The gym teacher says that this is only his second year of participating in the event and that he enjoys running and as well as taking part in a race in a very nice location.

For more information on the race and Mt. Hood log on to

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our new blog

Hey. If you're signed up for Live TV this year you'll be working with this new blog. We'll post news about school happenings, short videos of RHAM students and staff doing interesting things, etc. This is a great place for sports scores, short news items, or people features that wouldn't make sense as full-sized packages on the weekly RHAM News broadcast. Other kids can come in and add their comments about what we post. So, look it over, come up with some ideas for content, and add your comments below. See you soon.


Early attempts at online video

Last year we made our first attempts at online video...

A New Media Outlet

Hi, everyone. My name is Paul Bancroft and I'm the broadcast journalism teacher here at RHAM High School in Hebron, CT. I'm experimenting with blogs as a new distribution media for my students' work.