The Trojan Torch

Dyersburg High School's online newspaper


February 2019

New Tennessee legislation may ban same-sex marriage

Sara Clifft Section Editor

On February 8, two Tennessee state legislators, Senator Mark Pody and Representative Jerry Sexton, reintroduced a bill aiming to ban same-sex marriage in Tennessee.

  The “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” was first proposed in 2016 and seeks to “defend natural marriage between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.”

  Pody and Sexton argue that because the state has already passed its own law and constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is “unauthoritative, void and of no effect.”

  The bill would prohibit government officials–including clerks issuing marriage certificates–from recognizing any court ruling that affirms same-sex unions, and also states that officials cannot be arrested for withholding marriage certificates from same-sex couples.

  “The far right’s dream scenario is this would go back before the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court would accept it,” Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBTQ rights advocacy group said in an interview with the Tennessean.

  In addition to the possible legal arguments against the bill, there are also economic concerns surrounding the bill. In 2017, the General Assembly estimated that the Natural Marriage Defense Act could cause approximately $9 billion in federal funding to be withheld from the state.

Senator Mark Pody (pictured above) and Representative Jerry Sexton reintroduced a bill seeking to ban Tennessee officials from granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X bring back foldable phones

Kamil YousufReporter

The age of flip phones may be coming back once again, albeit in a more modern fashion. Phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X are attempting to create a new type of phone that includes a larger display in a smaller body; a small tablet and phone in one.

  The Samsung Galaxy Fold is one of the first foldable phones announced, and has many features unique to a phone that folds, one of them being the display itself. The phone has both a 4.6 inch and 7.3 inch display.

  The 4.6 inch display is used when the phone is folded. However, when the phone is unfolded, it reveals a 7.3 inch display, which can be used for more intensive tasks and viewing pleasure. While it is slightly bulkier due to the extra components, the phone can still fit inside most pockets; even though the phone has a larger display, it is still just as portable as an ordinary phone.

  The Galaxy Fold is not the only foldable phone planned, however. The Mate X, created by rival Huawei, is another foldable phone with similar specs to the Galaxy Fold. However, unlike the Fold, the Mate X has a larger screen which spans the entirety of the phone and has a smaller rim.

  What both phones definitely have in common, however, is the price. Both of these phones cost much more than their ordinary counterparts: the Fold starts at $1980, while the Mate X starts at $2299. As this is top of the line technology never before seen, it has a higher price tag than one would expect from a flagship phone.

  Foldable phones are currently not practical for the ordinary consumer, primarily due to the price tag and the experimental technology. Over time, however, consumers can expect the price to drop and the technology to become more widespread across phone manufacturers.

Lady Trojans defeat Bulldogs

Dylan Stewart – Reporter

The Lady Trojans defeated the Lady Bulldogs to end their regular season. Three days after this, the two teams met again in the postseason. The Dyersburg girls ended the game with 62 points against Milan’s 26.

  To start the game, Cloe Messer, Lyric Latham, and Mari-Hanna Newsom gave the Lady Trojans a 15-3 lead. After the Lady Bulldogs responded with a couple shots, Newsom added two more points to end off the first quarter. This left the Lady Trojans with 17 points and a ten point lead.

  The second quarter started with points gained on both sides. But Latham and K.K. Howard were able to put a stop to the Lady Bulldogs. Aliayah Toles was also able to help end the first half with a score of 36-15.

  The third quarter consisted of both Messer and Newsom scoring for Dyersburg. Milan was able to get a couple of shots in later in the quarter, but were unable to gain a lead on Dyersburg. This created a 55-21 lead going into the last quarter of the game.

  In the final quarter, Coach Joel Ayers cleared his bench giving younger players a chance to play in the first postseason game. This also gave the experienced players a break after playing the first three quarters. Milan was able to gain five points, but they were unable to put a stop to the Dyersburg girls. This marked a win for the Lady Trojans in the quarterfinals of the District 13AA Tournament.

Second Korea Summit planned


Ben Gregson Reporter

On Tuesday, February 5 2019, President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union Address in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. Stakes were high for the speech, as it had been delayed due to the recent government shutdown as well as contention in deciding the location for the event.  Among talks of immigration reforms and calls for bipartisanship, Trump also made an announcement; a second summit with North Korea is planned for later this month.

  The original summit was held last summer on June 12 in Singapore, a neutral location for both nations. As well as President Trump, North Korean President Kim Jong Un was also present. Both leaders will again be present for the second meeting, as well as being accompanied by advisors and cabinet members. Last summer, The United States urged North Korea to make steps towards scaling down their nuclear arsenal. North Korea stated that they would make strides towards peace between the two nations.

  This time, however, it is unclear what the main topic of discussion will be this year. The summit is set to take place on February 27 and 28, and will be taking place in the neutral country of Vietnam.

21 Savage in country illegally


Parker MillnerReporter

The popular rapper/hip-hop artist 21 Savage, Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was found to be illegally staying in the US on an expired visa. He reportedly immigrated into the United States in 2006. ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, agents apprehended 21 in Atlanta, Georgia, the city he claims to be from.

  On February 3, 2019, 21 Savage was detained by ICE agents and is being held at Irwin county Detention Center, which is three hours from Atlanta, Georgia. But according to sources, he has recently been released and is awaiting an immigration hearing.   

  21 was born at Newham, East London and traveled to America with his mother when he was a teenager. He became affiliated with gangs and even started to sell drugs after high school. According to an interview, he is reportedly a ‘softy’ from Britain and had to put on a persona of harshness to make it in the rap business.

  21 Savage started his rap career in 2014 with his debut single “Picky,” which peaked at number 23 on Billboard 200.

  “21, that’s my gang, that’s my crew,” 21 Savage said. “Savage came out of nowhere. I was just looking for an Instagram name.”

  21’s first number one Billboard Hot 100 song was ‘Without Warning,’ which was a collaborative song with Offset and Metro Boomin. Even through the controversial immigration-related issues he is facing, he continues to be a favorite amongst numerous rap fans.

Earth is losing its blue

Lexi GeorgeReporter

According to a recent study done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Earth is losing its blue color.

  The study shows that in about 80 years, the planet’s colors will be visibly altered due to climate change. Climate change has significantly altered the number of phytoplankton, tiny sea creatures that live in the oceans and reflect light, which will lead to the drastic change in color.

  “There will be a noticeable difference in the color of 50 percent of the ocean by the end of the 21st century. It could be potentially quite serious. Different types of phytoplankton absorb light differently, and if climate change shifts one community of phytoplankton to another, that will also change the types of food webs they can support,” MIT research scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz said.

  The Earth’s oceans are blue because water molecules absorb a majority of sunlight, except for the blue part of the color spectrum. Light can bounce off any organism floating in the water, which causes other colors, such as green to be reflected.

  The study shows that as temperatures and phytoplankton levels increase, certain areas of the world will be affected. Blue regions, such as the subtropics, will turn shades darker. Regions that are greener now, like the poles, will have a deeper hue.

  “Many students do not take the well-being of the very planet they inhabit into consideration. I assume most students also refuse to believe that climate change will affect them because they cannot see it. However, the Earth is our home, and we should all become more aware of the environment around us,” senior Emily Golson said.

  Global temperatures have been predicted to rise three to five degrees by the year 2100. Climate change has already affected the makeup of phytoplankton in the water, causing the slow but steady change in the color of Earth’s oceans. As the planet continues to heat up and phytoplankton levels keep increasing, the world may never appear the same.



Mojo’s Sports Grille and Bar Opens

Ben GregsonReporter 

On February 1 2019, Mojo’s Sports Grille and Bar opened for the first time. Mojo’s is a casual dining restaurant opened on Mall Boulevard.

  Mojo’s was announced on July 23, 2018. The restaurant was under construction from summer of 2018 to the start of 2019. The restaurant experienced a rush of business since opening. At the moment, they have only been open on certain days for lunch and dinner hours.

  The atmosphere in the building looks and feels great; the decorations fit the modern, sporty theme. The walls are peppered with televisions playing sporting events of all kinds. On February 5, the grille was almost packed out.

  The food, however, was decent at best. The Early Bird sandwich, which had chicken, bacon, hashbrowns and an egg on it, was my dish of choice. It came on toasted bread, and the portion was a good size. The sandwich was nothing special, but the fries, which were cut like potato chips, were fantastic. The service was nothing special, which is about what you would expect from a newly-opened restaurant.

  Mojo’s is open for limited hours at the moment, and I recommend giving it a try. Check out Mojo’s Grille and Bar on Facebook for specific operating hours.


Smoking age raised to 100 in Hawaii

Emmalynn VanDykeSection Editor 

After the Civil War, smoking became widely popular in the United States. Despite the fact that smoking has declined from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 15.5 percent in 2016, there are still states trying to change the law that allows people to smoke.

  “I think smoking needs to be banned. Smoking doesn’t benefit the body, and people would be more likely to live longer if they stopped smoking,” junior Lauren Lutrell said.

  Hawaii lawmaker Richard Creagan is trying to eliminate the number of millenials who are smoking by changing the legal smoking age from 18 to 100. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to raise the minimum smoking age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. Now, it is trying to take an even larger stance (not right word i can’t think) to eventually ban smoking altogether.

  “Because smoking rates are getting so low, we can actually start thinking about what I call end-game strategy, meaning we’re at the point where we can feasibly just make smoking history,” Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health, said.

  Creagan serves as a State Representative in Hawaii and a medical doctor who is working to ban the purchase of tobacco products. The legislation is aiming toward banning by raising the purchase requirements.

  According to USA Today, the age requirement for purchasing tobacco products will be raised to 30 years old in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022 and 100 in 2024.


DHS Cheer heads to Nationals

Sydney Bevis – Online Editor

On Wednesday, February 6, the Dyersburg High School cheer team started their journey to Walt Disney World for the Universal Cheer Alliance Nationals. 

   This is the teams fourth year to travel to nationals, but the first time, the cheer team will be competing in the Medium Varsity Non-Tumble Game Day Division. In this division, the team performs in a game day aspect; what this means is that they will do a band dance routine, an offense/defense scenario, a crowd involved cheer and their fight song. 

    The cheer team named their competition team back at the end of last school year. Throughout the summer and the entire school year they have practiced, they have performed at games and they have rigorously worked for this weekend.

  The cheer team placed 8th last year at nationals, and it hopes to carry on the tradition of placing in the gameday division. They will compete Friday, February 8, at 2:29 EST.


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