Marching through KICs

Well, folks, we have reached the point of second semester in which we feel so close, yet are still so far. All March is really good for is being the intermediary before the review for AP classes in April and testing blocks in May. Alright, really, we are right in the middle of the semester, but a student has got to hope. Just keep going! This week we have a shipwreck in the Mediterranean, a Georgia man disappearing in Louisiana, a celebration for the PTC Rotary Club, protection of the Okefenokee Swamp, and criticism of the Willow Project.

February 27 – More than 100 casualties in Mediterranean shipwreck

On Sunday a boat in the Mediterranean Sea was carrying 200 people to Italy when it crashed into rocks and sank. The boat carried migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Iran. 

The shipwreck was caused by unexpected bad weather. Of the 200 passengers, 62 migrants were found dead, including 12 children. Eighty people survived the wreck, and the rest have not been found. The boat was supposed to arrive in Crotone on Sunday.

Those who managed to survive were brought to the town of Isola di Capo Rizzuto, Italy. Italy is doing everything they can to help those who were affected by the catastrophe. 

February 28 – Georgia man mysteriously disappears in Louisiana 

A Georgia man disappeared on what was supposed to be a business trip in Louisiana on February 27. A 42-year-old construction worker, Nathan Millard, had flown to Baton Rouge to meet with a client and never made it back to his hotel. 

Millard had gone to a basketball game with a client and never made it back to his hotel. He was last seen walking back to the hotel room, but he never arrived. Millard’s wife said they FaceTimed shortly before his disappearance.

Millard’s wife assumed something was up when he did not text her after the FaceTime call, and the next morning when Millard did not arrive at his meeting, the client had called the police. Millard’s credit card was used multiple times after his disappearance, and his phone was found four blocks from where he was last seen. 

March 1 – PTC Rotary celebrates 8 years of service with 8 new members

Now is the eight-year anniversary since Joel Norris, a past president of the PTC Rotary Club, was inspired to do more for the community by expanding volunteering opportunities for individuals who may not have chances to participate in these self-esteem-boosting activities. 

Because every community has disabled people occupying it, Norris considered the possibility of the PTC Rotary Club becoming a “sponsor” of the Rotary Community Corps, which was created for disabled individuals. After receiving approval and the funds required to start, the first meeting of these combined groups was on February 9, 2015.

Eight years later, this inspiration has continued to play out in reality. 

March 2 – New protection act could ban mining around Okefenokee Swamp

A new bipartisan bill, named the Okefenokee Protection Act, would protect one of Georgia’s most precious landmarks. In the early 2000s, a similar bill was rejected, but it got stuck in committee review. 

The Okefenokee Protection Act, created by Rep. Darlene Taylor, a Thomasville Republican, would ban any mining along Trail Ridge, an old coastline that keeps water in the swamp. Specifically, it would prohibit the Georgia Environmental Protection Division from creating or renewing mining permits on Trail Ridge. Mining that close to the swamp dangerously impacts the wildlife, water quality, and stability of Trail Ridge. It also weakens the wall that holds water in, creating a danger to civilians and wildlife. 

The bill is said to be supported by both political parties, with six co-sponsors, and is signed by 40 legislators. It is also said that it is very likely it will be passed and it is expected to have a hearing in the next few weeks.

March 3 – White House keeping eye on climate advocates who do not support the Willow Project

The Willow Project is a major oil drilling venture at Alaska’s North Slope that the U.S. climate advocates criticize. One of the project’s points is to create new jobs and domestic energy production. 

Environmental groups oppose the project due to global warming. This started #StopWillow on social media, especially among younger voters. The approval of the project will go directly against President Joe Biden’s campaign of no new oil drilling projects on federal land. Biden’s administration examines the possibility to reduce the number of drilling pads from three to two. 

Alaska locals are divided about the new project because villagers had to evacuate last year due to a gas leak. A spokesperson from the White House announced an expected final decision on the project will be next week.