April 5, 2016

Get Out and Get Active: Disc golf is a sport anyone can enjoy

By Ryan Costello

As spring gets closer, and the trees begin to bud, there is a relaxing and enjoyable pastime that can be enjoyed by almost anyone. This activity is called Disc Golf. There are many disc golf courses right here in Clinton County.

The name is pretty much explanatory. This game is played like golf. In a basic equipment set up, the player will have three discs, which are a driver, a mid-range, and a putter. Courses are designed to mirror typical golf holes, with water hazards, deep woods, long stretches, tall grasses, and more. One of the only differences is that there are no sand traps, as the player picks up the disc to throw. The object is to make your discs work for you, to get the putter or mid-range into a large basket with chains that captures the disc. Holes are labeled the same, as in golf holes that grade them by pars. (Par 3, 4, etc.)

Believe it or not, there are several courses that are close by in Clinton, and surrounding areas. Eagle Point Park has 18 holes, and is set in the beautiful northwestern area of the park. Millcreek Park in Fulton provides 9 holes. Just a run up Hwy 30 is Lake Malone Park, with 12 holes, and West Brook Park in DeWitt, with 18 holes. There are other places around as well, such as in Folletts, Savannah IL, Sterling, IL, and numerous ones in the Quad Cities.

Disc golf allows players to take it easy and relax, or provide challenge to the enthusiast. Since most of them are centered around woods, bringing a bird journal would not be a bad idea either.

March 23, 2016

Team Trivia means fun for CCC Students

By Jamie Jones

A fun afternoon and maybe a break from class took place in the CCC auditorium on February 7, as students got together to form teams and participate in Team Trivia.
            Eight teams participated including the Jetsons, Maniacs, and Titans to name just a few. The victory of the day went to the Regulators who won by getting the most right answers in the first round. The second round was won by the Titans.

            Some students brought in their children, and faculty even formed teams for the event. Competitors displayed their knowledge on a variety of topics which included black history and general knowledge. Team Trivia did not disappoint and was well worth taking a break from class.

March 9, 2016

The food industry operates behind closed doors

By Jennifer Matje

Artificial, processed foods have been controversial ever since they made an appearance on our grocery store shelves. Why do we buy these chemically driven foods? This would be because most of us do not care what we eat as long as it tastes good. The flavor industry is very good at getting us to buy their products even though we don’t know what they are really made of. Not that this information is easily available to us these days, but they sure know how to work our stomachs and help us enjoy these unfit foods. The flavor industry may be important to our society today, but they need to scale it back and be aware of how their products could affect the common everyday person.

The flavor industry has become so important to us because this is how we have adapted to eating our food. We have become accustomed to the taste of the artificial and natural flavorings. Eric Schlosser, an award winning journalist, explains, “The distinction between artificial and natural flavors is that we focus more on how the flavor has been made rather than what it actually contains”. If we took all of that away the fast food industry would take a huge decline. The food industry plays an important role in our society, but in terms with caring about the health of the people they are selling too and how they take natural foods and turn them into something that will sell is going a little above and beyond the point.

The corporations that produce our yummy snacks always try to make their packages look nice and appealing because that’s what the little kids will look at and want their parents to buy. How about

Synthetic marijuana a problem for Clinton residents

By Ryan Costello

It is sold in gas stations and tobacco shops, with the appearance of a harmless sachet of potpourri, incense, or a natural herbal smoking substance. But underneath the retro styled colorful packets, lies a very dangerous, and usually unrecognized combination of drugs.

Commonly known as K2, Spice, or Fake Bake, these potpourri like concoctions of different herbs are not what they appear to be.

The truth is, these herbal combinations have been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids, most of which have never been tested by pharmacology. Side effects experienced from smoking, vaping, or ingesting these products can be extreme, including psychosis, heightened heart rate, heightened blood pressure, hallucinations, heart attacks, strokes, or even death.

These products have been on the scene since the early 2000’s, and most of the chemicals sprayed on the herbs are made overseas in uncontrolled labs. One impending problem with these products is

February 29, 2016

Now or later? Almost half of CCC students are ‘non-traditional’

By Jamie Jones
            When I graduated from high school the plan was to get a job and move out of my parents’ home. My parents didn’t go to college so it wasn’t really an option I thought of, yet years later I always find myself having a weekly conversation with my teenage daughter about attending college. I felt it was time I practiced what I preached.
It’s not uncommon to see older adults attending college this modern day. If you take the time to look around at your classmates, many are just as old as, if not older than, the instructors.
The Dean of Student Development at Clinton Community College, Lisa Miller, said that 45 percent of CCC students are non-traditional, meaning they did not attend college right out of high school.  Miller stated that the number of non-traditional students has stayed pretty consistent over the

December 15, 2015

CCC to implement butterfly garden from PTK

By Ryan Costello

Photos by Amanda Drake and Ryan Costello

Work has been done on a plot of ground on the southwest side of the main campus. Dimensions for a new butterfly garden have been mapped and flagged by PTK members for a large, triangular piece of ground, located behind the main Clinton Community College sign.

PTK student members Ryan Costello, left, and James Watts
prepare the weed barrier for the butterfly garden at CCC.

Pollinators have been a hot-button issue for a few years, and the PTK Honors in Action program hopes to raise awareness about bees, butterflies, birds, bats, etc. This garden will be planted with spring, summer, and fall blooming flowers, to provide a pollinator paradise in an urban setting.
Crucial to over 1/3 of the worlds’ fresh fruits and vegetables, pollinators are key to human survival. 

Without direct pollination, these varieties of food will cease to exist. Honey bees have been in a disturbing decline since 2006, prompting environmentalists to raise awareness of the problem. Monarch Butterflies have seen an almost 90 percent decrease in population in the past couple of years, causing the government to take notice and begin to take action. However, community involvement is the best way to spread the word on what can be done at a local level to help provide food sources for these species.

Volunteers are welcome to help with the planting and maintenance of the garden, with planting beginning in the spring. Contact Jane Marlowe, Shirley Turnis, or Gina Bielski to find out when planting will begin.

CCC environmental science instructor Ryan Welch, left, and
PTK student member James Watts place the weed barrier on the butterfly garden plot. 

Cell Phone Detox!

By Anya Wiedenhoff       

            When my family is celebrating a holiday or birthday, several are on their phone while at the dinner table.  They are updating Facebook statuses, texting, playing games, or even watching live sports games.  Do these people have bad manners or is everyone so addicted no one cares?  Cell phones are taking over people’s minds in an addictive way.  When I look around it is rare to not see a cell phone in someone’s hand or sitting right by their side.  People have become so addicted to their cell phone, they have put all manners aside.  Although people will blame the generation before labeling addiction, I really think removing the cell phone for a period of time will make them think differently. 
            This generation you always see people on their cell phone, but I think the convenience and additional perks are damaging personal relationships.  Advanced technology makes the cell phone brilliant; worldwide communication is in your hand for personal and professional use.  It is becoming