Firefighters and empty promises

Sophia Bender and Grace Maneein

Nobody can deny that this week was an eventful one for Starr’s Mill High School. With a complete explosion over senior Abri Hausman’s opinion piece came the sudden recognition of The Prowler as Starr’s Mill’s school newspaper, as well as a large public outcry from those in the Starr’s Mill High School circle. While this was happening at Starr’s Mill, the world continued to move on, and time continued to tick. News became news. With a Waffle House mugging, Baltimore’s local “blaze of glory,” and Elon Musk’s promises, The Prowler has the stories.

Waffle House gun confrontation (10/15)

On Oct. 13, Fayetteville police were called to a Waffle House at 11:30 p.m. for an altercation. An alleged man had pointed a gun at a group of Whitewater drama students who were going to the restaurant for a meal. The man was also originally at Waffle House to eat. According to the students, he was sitting with a woman and wearing a Superman t-shirt, black jeans, and a hat.

The first altercation was just verbal. Allegedly, one student and the man got into an argument because the drama students were being loud. The officers were told that the student who argued with the man then left. The full altercation came when both groups were leaving simultaneously. The man reportedly pushed one of the female drama students and then went to his car. As he was backing out, he is said to have pulled out a gun and pointed out the window.

The man was said to be driving a white car that was either a Tundra or an Avalanche. After pulling out of the parking lot, students said that he headed south down Highway 85. The investigation is still ongoing and the restaurant tapes will be viewed for evidence.

Impending election: Kemp v. Abrams (10/16)

The entire state seems to be split over Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams. Abrams is supported by former President Obama, while Kemp is endorsed by current President Trump. Recent polls show that Kemp has support from 47% of likely voters and Abrams with support from 46% of likely voters.

This same poll found that top issues Georgians are concerned over are healthcare and the economy. On these policies, and several others, potential voters are evenly torn regarding which candidate to support. On healthcare, 43% of voters believe Abrams has a better policy, while 38% believe Kemp has a better policy. It’s looking to be a close race next month.

Kemp has come under fire for his support of Georgia’s “Exact Match” law which has kept 53,000 voters from being verified to cast ballots because of identification problems. However, he has defended himself by saying the law is constitutional and similar to one in Georgia. Meanwhile, Abrams is running a progressive platform and opposes “religious freedom” laws that allow private businesses to refuse service based on religious beliefs.

Apartment goes down in a ‘blaze’ of glory (10/17)

In Baltimore, Maryland, nine people were injured in an apartment fire that was apparently caused by a gas explosion in northeast Baltimore’s Belair-Edison/Parkside area. Seven of these people were firefighters who had arrived on the scene. They all had first and second degree burns. One had to be rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries.  

The fire was originally reported at 3 p.m. where firefighters and multiple medics were called to the scene. Just after 7 p.m., firefighters commented that it could take another four hours to turn off the gas. They worked to contain the fire with heavy water, but the fire was still able to spread to other nearby parts of the apartment complex.

Officials say that an explosion occurred after two firefighters entered the building. This caused them to fall through to the basement floor and also injured five others. Officials also say that the leak is still ongoing and currently being investigated.

Religious celebration ends in death (10/18)

Last Friday, a speeding train ran over a crowd killing at least 50 people in northern India. The victims crowded the rail track on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state. They didn’t see the train coming, which failed to stop after the accident. Amrinder Singh, the state’s top elected official, told reporters that he had reports of 50 to 60 people dead. Thirty bodies had been removed from the site by Friday as relief work was being hampered by nightfall.

This isn’t the first railroad incident in India. Accidents are relatively common on India’s sprawling rail network, but Friday’s was among the deadliest in recent years. The crowd was there to watch fireworks, but many began to wonder why the festival was held so close to the tracks. An eyewitness said the train didn’t even whistle as it sped past the site, where hundreds were busy watching the burning of an effigy of demon Ravana during the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

“Why did authorities allow the fireworks display so close to the railroad track?,” he asked on TV.

Following the accident, a large number of people rushed to the site and shouted at railway officials for not taking precautions in view of the festival. Police also worked to take some of the injured to nearby hospitals.

Another unfulfilled promise? (10/19)

Elon Musk has been known to make some big promises, and on Thursday evening, the Tesla CEO announced that the company will begin selling a new, mid-range version of the Tesla Model 3 electric sedan, with a sticker price of $45,000 — or about $35,000 after federal and state tax rebates in California. However, it’s still not the standard version he has been promising for a long time. Musk said the “true cost” of the car in California would be “closer to $31K after gas savings.”

The announcement comes almost one month after Musk agreed to step down as Tesla’s chairman for three years as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Part of that settlement includes that Tesla “enhance controls with respect to Elon’s public communications regarding Tesla and to pre-approve any such written communications that contain, or reasonably could contain, information material to Tesla or its stockholders.” So when’s the new car coming? Sometime early next year, according to Tesla. In a statement, the car company said their delivery estimate for customers who ordered the standard battery is “4 to 6 months.”

Musk shared that the new Tesla will use a battery with fewer cells than the one currently in the existing Model 3. While the more expensive model has a top speed of 145 mph, the lower-cost version only reaches 125 mph. Musk has a history of setting ambitious delivery goals and not meeting them. But in July, Musk remarked Tesla was officially a “real car company” after it met its goal of building 5,000 Model 3 sedans in a week. Perhaps this time he will keep his promise.