Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coordinators prepare for Harvest Homecoming

By Christina Belcher
Features reporter
For 43 years, hundreds of eager people flock to down town New Albany to partake in the fun fall festival at Harvest Homecoming. The 2010-2011 Harvest Homecoming Committee [HHC] president Kerry Nicolas plans the upcoming events taking place the first weekend in October.  


Bagpiper: What is new this year? 
Kerry Nicolas: “Our new event is the Riding Lawnmower Races for ages 18 and over, which is at the 4-H Fair arena on Sept. 25.  You can get details about the race or any other events on the Harvest Homecoming Committee website.  We also have a new souvenir this year.  It is a Harvest Homecoming keychain.  It will be for sale at the HHC Souvenir booth.”
BP:What are some of the traditions surrounding Harvest Homecoming? 
KN:”The Pumpkin Decorating event is our oldest event and a longtime tradition.  The Parade, the Balloon Race and booths days are definite traditions that many people look forward to.  There are many other traditions also: such as the kids events, our entertainment, etc.”

BP:Why is Harvest Homecoming so popular? 

KN:”Harvest Homecoming is so popular because it’s like a large community reunion with great food, craft booths, events and entertainment where people can run into someone they haven’t seen in years.”


BP:What is one thing someone should know about Harvest Homecoming if they have never been before?  

KN:”They need to know that Harvest Homecoming has something for everyone, no matter what age. We have many different food booths, craft booths, events and entertainment for everyone’s taste.”


BP:What’s your favorite activity to do at Harvest Homecoming?  

KN:”My favorite activity at HHC is eating lots of different foods and enjoying the entertainment .  I’ll go get a sandwich, etc. and go sit where there is entertainment to eat my food.  That’s if I have the time.”


BP:What’s one thing everyone should make sure to do at this year’s festival?  

KN:”Everyone should make sure they take advantage of what our different booths have to offer as well as our great entertainment and events.  There isn’t just one thing, there are many things they should do to enjoy the festival.” 


BP:What goes into planning Harvest Homecoming? 

KN:”We plan all year for the festival, starting right after the festival ends for the next year. The vice president meet ten times a year and the Board of Directors meet five times a year. It takes a lot of work and many hours, by hundreds of volunteers, to run the Harvest Homecoming Festival.”

What is your favorite thing about Harvest Homecoming? What is your favorite food?

Carmen Schreiber, Grade 11 I love selling chocolate covered bananas in a banana suit, and my favorite food to get is chicken and dumplings.

Courtney Wells, Grade 9, My favorite ride is called twister and my favorite food is the corn
Alex Lawsterer, Grade 11,My favorite thing about Harvest Homecoming is definitely the food stands and I always get a pork chop sandwich.Mathew Oser, Grade 10, I just walk around and talk to my friends. My favorite ride is the gravitron.
Mathew Oser, Grade 10, I just walk around and talk to my friends. My favorite ride is the gravitron.

Columnist speaks out against abortion

Garret Receveur
Forum Editor

I am pro-life. Always have been, always will be. Abortion is one of the worst crimes any human being can commit, up there with genocide. The victim is defenseless and does not know what is happening. My stance on abortion puts me more on the conservative side of the political scale.

More often than not, I find myself cheering on the Republican in the presidential elections rather than the Democrat. I like to think that I have no affiliation with any political party, but this obvious bias for Republicans says otherwise.

Yet, I do not always agree with everything a Republican president does during his term(s), nor do I always disagree with the Democratic president’s policies.

Take June 20, 2007 for an example. On that day, former President George W. Bush issued a veto, which overruled a measure attempting to remove Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research. Until that day, I had supported almost all of Bush’s policies on multiple occasions. But this was not one of those times.

His presidency ended sourly over a year later, due to the worsening economy and his ultra-conservative policies, which even a Republican like me could not stand.

Then Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Those who know me know that I detest Obama, his policies, and his idea of radical change. The numerous bailouts will not fix the economy; the Obama-care health plan is completely unnecessary and socialistic. But that is another column.

Recently, Obama has started to move onto my good side, despite his ultra-liberalism. Perhaps most important is his removal of the stem cell research ban, a monumental decision, up there with his removal of combat troops from the Middle East.

The two most recent presidents passed groundbreaking laws about stem cell research, both of their positions loosely defining their presidency. So what is it about embryonic stem cell research that makes, or breaks, a presidency?

Stem cells are unique cells that we are all born with. They have the ability to transform into any kind of cell the body needs, whether it be a heart cell, a brain cell, or even a simple skin cell.

This is big news for the medical community. Is grandpa dying from Alzheimer’s? Transform a couple stem cells into brain cells. Is he struggling with diabetes? Generate some pancreas cells. The possibilities are literally endless.

However, the best kind of stem cells to harvest can only be harvested from embryos. And this is where the controversy starts.

More often than not, the embryos are killed when scientists harvest the stem cells. At first glance, this is a premature form of abortion and my pro-life self should not support it in the least. Why then do I support it?

Abortion is the killing of a living being before it is born. But I do not consider an embryo a living being. A living being must have the ability to perform complex actions, including but not limited to motion, production of energy, and transport of that energy throughout the organism.

This criteria means that embryos are not alive until about the fifth week of pregnancy, which is the time their brain and heart start to function. Until then, I do not consider them alive. Therefore, feel free to harvest stem cells from them until we find a better way.

There is a group of scientists out there who are working on a way to convert adult skin cells into stem cells, but it has not produced the same versatility. That is the magic of embryonic stem cells. It can be easily transformed into any kind of cell in the human body. Once an organism is born, the cells pretty much stay the same type of cells throughout the organism’s lifespan.

The best time to harvest stem cells is before the fifth week of pregnancy. Think of all we as a species could accomplish with access to a ready supply of stem cells. Debilitating diseases like stroke or Alzheimer’s would be a distant memory. Paraplegics or victims of muscular dystrophy would gain full use of their limbs again.

With all the promise of this field of research, it makes little sense for one to restrict it. I am pro-life and have never been in support of killing an unborn child, but the promise of major medical advancements and ability for numerous people to pursue a life of happiness is too great. Sometimes, you have to be willing to sacrifice one life to save millions.

Reasonable morals

Jon Ferguson

Co Editor-in-chief

When I was created, God thought it appropriate to provide me with his greatest creation: the human mind. With this gift, I have come to make my own ideals, morals, and virtues in the only logical way a person should.  My life has been, as every life is, an interconnected web of events that each inevitably led to the next. Every moment of my life before now has defined what I am and how I think today, and how I will tomorrow. I like to explain my beginning with separate parts.

Part one: the catholic school era – The first four years of my schooling were spent at a New Albany Catholic school. It was there where I first started my higher level education and learned to shape my morals. Through my religion, I learned that it was wrong to lie and to steal, and what was considered virtuous and all the other Sunday morning, Disney channel virtues that are taught to almost every child. At this school I also had my first encounter with something that was understood by everyone except me. We went to confession about twice a week there, and I remember one confession in particular. I approached the priest and he asked me what I was sorry for. I told him, thinking I had accomplished something, that I had nothing to be sorry for this time, which I had gone the whole week without lying, steeling, or talking back to any elders, especially my parents. To my surprise, he told me to be sorry anyway: there is always something to be sorry for. I was obedient, and I prayed on my Rosary afterwards, but I wondered at the same time why. I wondered why I was supposed to repent for doing nothing wrong. They said it was because we were imperfect, and we could never be perfect.

To this day, this rubs me the wrong way. I could not understand why I could not be perfect, why I could not strive for perfection. I will repent when I have done wrong, I will admit to being imperfect, but when I accomplish something why can I not say I am perfect? When I create the perfect White Chocolate and Vanilla Iceberg at Hobknobb, why can I not say I am perfect in that moment? I found it very hard to strive for success when always in the back of my mind I knew I was imperfect, and could never be imperfect.

Part two: the public school era Starting in the fourth grade, I attended a couple different public schools in Floyd County. It was here that under a teacher at Greenville Elementary named Mrs. Donna Emly, I first took my education seriously. She saw something that teachers had never seen before (or if they had, they did nothing to encourage it.) She saw potential. She pushed me more than I have ever been pushed, and gave me a work ethic that I have kept up to this day. She is the first and the primary reason I am in newspaper today, since she was the first to see the writer in me.

Part three: the atheist era in junior high, I lost my faith. I thought I was scientific and smart. I thought it was what the cutting edge person was doing. To me, a person who believed in God was aggressively ignorant and had no understanding of science and logic. I spent long hours contemplating existence and creationism, and the improbable circumstances of the “Bible” and its stories. This was obviously the time when I got myself into the most trouble. My language got worse; I was cussing a lot. I lied without reason since I knew there were no repercussions. I never did anything like as bad as steal or picking on other people for no reason, but it was no question my morals were significantly off.

Part four: Freshman year – By far the most significant year in my life, my freshman year brought me many changes. Most importantly I renewed my faith. After losing a family member, I started to think about the choices I had made. I needed a religion in that moment, and I have kept it ever since.

High school also brought along the usual changes most kids go through at that age. I found a new group of friends; a couple have remained my best friends to this day. To me, they are closer than a brother ever could be. Through them I have learned the importance of not trying love everyone: to be friends with everyone. Though I do love meeting new people and I can talk to anyone for hours, I will never love anyone as much as I love the people I have chosen to label as friends. To me, the more people I call friends, the less valuable they become.

I also met several new teachers, who without them I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today. Though all of them have remained close companions to this day (and yes, a couple I call friends), One in particular has had the most impact on how I view my high school career, and some aspects of my life as well. He was the first teacher who said to me grades aren’t what matters in high school. He said what really matters is what you learn there. Though it seems like it should be obvious to everyone, this was a totally new idea to me. I went in to high school preparing to take easier classes and get a high GPA, but after his class I changed my mind completely. When this year is over, I will have taken 6 AP or duel credit classes. If not for him, I would have a the GPA to get in to any college I want, but I would not know have the things I know today.

So at the end of this column, I know you are wondering why I wrote this. You are wondering how this should apply to you, or anything at all. This is just an introduction, a basic outline of the things I believe in. Hidden in the words above are ideals, some new and some old, that I have come to create for myself through my life. This is what is important. Not the ideals themselves, but how I came to them. I came to them through life experiences and, more importantly, logic.

A religion is important: it gives you a basis for morals at the beginning of your life, but it is not what morals should be based on later in life. Friends are important; they share similar thoughts and beliefs to you, but they are not what you should base your beliefs on. You are wondering, if morals are not based on religion, and not on your surroundings, then what should they be based on?

The gift God gave me he also gave to you. The human mind, though it has been corrupt in several instances, has created the most significant things on this earth. It created bridges and tunnels through the mountains that were too tall and rugged for us to pass through. It created boats and ships for the oceans that are too wide and wet for us to pass through. It has created medicines and vaccines for the diseases that end some lives too early. It created languages, mathematics, the arts, love, and everything that is meaningful. If it can create all those, why can it not create its own code of morals and ethics? After you are educated through high school, (not working for a GPA) your mind is prepared to rationally take instances from life and deduct them reasonably. My morals are not the code of a religion, or the code of another man. My morals and virtues are a code set by me, and it is up to me to live up to these virtues I have set for myself.

Ask Alexandra, Turning warm weather clothes cool

How can I wear my summer clothes in the winter?

-Sophomore, Cheyanne Taylor

Dear Cheyanne,

I am so glad you asked how to wear transform your summer looks into fall and winter looks! It’s a great question that I am sure people other than just you are curious about. If you wore boots with bohemian or baby-doll dresses this summer, those would be an obvious pieces to tie into your winter wardrobe. Scarves and tank tops, believe it or not, are also a great choice. To make your tank tops transfer, think layers. If there is one thing you get from this answer it is that! Layering is key, especially with scarves and other accessories as big as they are for this season. Cover up with fly-away sweaters, cardigans, denim, or leather jackets. Wear your favorite plaid or oxford shirt under a hood-less sweatshirt for a comfy-chic look. Add statement jewelry and a messy up-do so that you do not come across as over-thinking your outfit. For extra warmth, wear leggings under jeans, or socks with heeled booties. You can still wear your favorite summer dresses by adding tights and a cute t-shirt underneath. Military style is really big right now as well, so I would invest in what I call “band” jackets that look great over a roomy-tank and worn with your best skinnies. Personally, I love blazers right now too, so before it gets too cold you could try a neutral blazer with denim shorts and some comfy gladiator sandals. I hope this helped, and keep reading ‘Couture in the country’ in the FCHS Bagpiper for more style questions answered!

Thank you for reading,