Pennsylvania Double Homicide Case

by JOANNA ZEGARRA

Staff Writer

Raghunandan Yandamuri of Norristown, Pennsylvania has recently been accused of killing a ten month old infant girl and her grandmother in what is being suspected as a robbery and ransom kidnapping turned deadly.

Twenty seven year old, Yandamuri is serving as his own lawyer, facing the possibility of the death penalty. As the case goes, he had broken into his friend’s family’s home, while the parents were at work, with a grandmother and baby there. He knew the family personally and used this to his advantage, such as knowing when they would be gone. To support his gambling addiction, he had planned to steal some money, supposedly without the intention to hurt anybody. But what he says what happened was that when the grandmother tried to forcefully stop him, he “accidently” killed her in a struggle involving a knife he carried. As for the baby, he put a handkerchief over her mouth to quiet her and left her in a filthy, unused sauna in a basement fitness center and when he returned hours later, she was unconscious.

Though he did end up stealing a substantial amount of jewelry, the police forced him to confess to the murder crimes. But later on, Yandamuri claimed that the murders when committed by two other men. He also says the police denied him any phone calls from prison, infringing on his rights as a prisoner, saying that he wife would have been his alibi.

The Importance of Art

by  ELEXA SIERRA

Staff Writer

Originality, empathy, and  self expression – all are results of admiration and utilization of art in our community.  Art is not like the rest; art is freedom, beauty, awareness; art is for everyone. To me, art is a release, somewhere I can pour myself into and get exactly what I need. Art is a big part of my life, and for many young adults, art is the only way they can fully express themselves to no limit.

Imagine schools stop funding art programs and art classes.  No dance, no choir, no drama, no band or orchestra, no studio or 3d art; meaning no dance or drama shows, no choir or orchestra concerts, not even any decorative posters around campus or swinging tunes at the football games.  Life would be colorless and bland. Students would be parched for freedom expression. These programs, not just for this campus, are too important to the lives of students and staff to take away. If we do not have art, we do not have the basic elements who make up who we are.

The importance of art is more than just for ourselves as well. If we can pass down our ideas and thoughts to further generations, we can change the way we think and the way we act and the way we see this world. When we create or dance ,when we make art, we show the world how we see it through our own eyes. When we sing or play, or make beautiful music, we send a gift to the universe, to all who listen. Not to mention pre-occupying high school students statically lowers rates of danger and misbehavior.

To say our community needs art is an understatement.  Art brings out our true self, and without it, we would be bottled up inside; unsure and unaware of our nature. It brings us to life, the importance of art is essential. A wise man once said, “Art  enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Issues Band Review

by TOMMY VANTICHELT

Staff Writer

Issues is an American metalcore band from Atlanta, Georgia. The band consists of Tyler Carter on clean vocals, Michael Bohn unclean vocals, Josh Manual on drums, AJ Rebollo on guitar, Skyler Acord on bass, Ty Acord on keyboard, Case Snedecor on drums, and Ben Ferris on synthesizer. Each member of the band brings something new to the band as a whole. Although they associate themselves with the metalcore genre they’re a mixture of nu-metal with the influence of R&B. Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn are also former members of the band Woe, Is Me and A Path Less Traveled. The band is signed to Rise Records. I’ve personally seen Issues perform live and their stage presence is astounding. If the crowed isn’t pumped, they’re getting the crowd pumped. They address common issues in their music (hence the name “Issues”) and put it into amazing lyrics. They honestly just sound sick.

They even did a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” and did it so much justice; someone who hates Justin Bieber would then love that song. They write amazing songs for sensitive topics on things such as toxic relationships and even abuse. They bring light to dark corners that some people are afraid to speak on. They have an amazing album, an EP, singles, and some amazingly done music videos to go along with someone of their more emotionally oriented songs. Honestly, Issues is one of my favorite bands as well as Tyler and Michaels Previous band, Woe, Is Me. They just know how to have fun when they’re performing and to make everyone else have a good time. There are just so many different tones and sounds to their music that each member of the band brings to the table. It’s almost like taking 3 genres and mashing them into one nu metal child. Everyone should check them out!

Gun Control

by JAQUELINE GRAJEDA

Staff Writer

Gun control has been debated for quite some time now and there are many different views on how this should be handled. Many believe that in order to stop gun violence, we should outlaw guns.  To do this would obviously be to no avail; people will get what they want, when they want it, regardless of its legality. The issue that we face are the minimal laws we have around this weaponry. There are other ways to control who has a gun and what they do with it.

For example, the government could set up tests in which people would be gauged on their mental states.There’s a statistic that says signs of mental illness does not show up until the age of 26; there should be a yearly test for those who own guns to ensure that they are mentally stable enough for such weaponry. The tests should be for both those already owning guns, and those who wish to.

I feel that if we were to set up these tests for people, it would help to control the amount of murders in this country. I think that it is okay to own a gun for protection, don’t get me wrong. To help decrease the amount of shootings that happen however, it would be a good idea to take away the guns from those who show signs of a mental illness. By doing so it would give off a slimmer chance of someone getting injured by this certain someone in the future.

This is one other way guns can be controlled other than just taking them away. It would be impossible to get rid of guns in general because there would always be a way to get one. Therefore, making sure everyone is on the same page of a mental state is a better form or control.

Volleyball Game

by ELEXA SIERRA

Staff Writer

 

On Tuesday night, Oct. 14, the Miners took on the Trail Blazers in volleyball at the El D gym. As the first game came to an end, the Miners won 25-11. In the second game , the Miners took a 25-18 lead. They ended up taking the second match 28-26. Out of  the 5 games, our Lady Miners won three sets, winning the entire game. Though the Blazers were ahead most of the game, the Miners pulled through with a win.

 

Girls Water Polo vs Golden West

by BRIDGET CAHILL

Staff Writer

 

The girls water polo team played Golden West on the 14th. The girls played hard, but lost in overtime 11-10, Trailblazers. Andy Morales led the team in goals with 3. Allison Baker, Emily Helpio, and Brenna Hatcher each had 2 followed by Chelsea Battle, Rylee Pierce, and Makenzie Huskey, all with 1 goal. The team now stands second in WYL to Golden West whom they will see again on November 6th to battle it out for the paddle. The El Diamante polo teams take on the Pioneers on the 21st at home.

 

Cross Country

by RAYMOND WELCH

Staff Writer

 

Last week on October 11, El Diamante Cross Country traveled up north in the Clovis Invitational of the Men’s 5,000 Meter Championship and both Men’s and Women’s 5,000 Meter Division 3 Varsity (Medium). Many school across California and some from other states also competed in this event. In the Men’s 5,000 Meter Championship, Elijah Armstrong from Pocatello High School from Idaho, finished 1st with the time of 15:01.00. El Diamante’s own, Senior Jacob Bilvado, finished 19th with the time of 15:36.13. In the Men’s 5,000 Meter Division 3 Varsity (Medium) Placer High School came in 1st with a score of 99. El Diamante came in 30th with a score of 817. 1st place was taken by Jack Van Scoter from Flintridge Prep High School, from La Canada, CA. He had a time of 15:51.71. Our own Even Kimura ,Senior, finished in 134th place with the time of 18:08.71. In the Women’s 5,000 Meter Division 3 Varsity (Medium) El Diamante achieved 23rd place with 605 points.  Our own Sydney Scott-Hyde came in 108th place with a time of 23:11.33. Shannon Mackellar from Esperanza High School, from Anaheim,CA, took 1st with a time of 18:45.61.

 

Innocent inmate freed from death row after nine years in prison

by RUBY AUJLA

Staff Writer

Manuel Velez, now 49, has been freed from a Texas prison, where he stayed for nine years. He was originally convicted for murdering a year-old infant, but the conviction was overturned, as Velez did not commit the crime.. Four of the nine years Velez spent in prison were on death row.

Velez has an IQ of 65 and is illiterate in English and Spanish. He was represented in court by the American Civil Liberties Union, whose attorneys stated that Velez had not committed any sort of crime. Lack of evidence to prove that Velez was nearly a thousand miles away working on construction at the time of the infant’s murder and a state prison expert’s testimony to persuade the jury that Velez was a danger to the public if freed contributed to Velez’s death penalty.

The murdered infant was the son of Velez’s then-girlfriend, Acela Moreno. In October 2005, Moreno pleaded guilty to charges of intentionally or knowingly causing the death of her child. She took a plea-bargain offer and was sentenced to ten years in prison for the act. Velez was convicted of capital murder, earning him a death sentence.

With the American Civil Liberties Union defending Velez, Velez chose not to accept a lesser charge of injury to the child to avoid repeating the same injustices in court. Velez’s attorneys claimed that the jury made no effort to actually find Velez innocent of murder and was too focused on the death penalty instead. Fortunately, Velez is now a free man after nine years in prison; unfortunately, the years of injustice in courts cannot be erased.

 

Boy’s Water Polo

by HANNAH JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

 

On Tuesday October 14th, El D faced off against our rivals, Golden West. The Miner’s persevered through scores by the Blazers, and made some goals themselves.

However, unfortunately the Miner’s were not victorious. The end score was a Golden West victory, 7-12. El D’s goals were made by Callen Bruening, Berny Lawrence, Austin Martin, and Wesley Hatcher.

After the game, Berny Lawrence stated, “Being a young team with two sophomores starting, we need to gain a chemistry that other teams have. They have been playing together for so long, and we haven’t. That’s the difference between them and us. By next year we will definitely be a competitor for Golden West and the Valley title.”

 

Although the Varsity boys have been off to a rocky start this year, the season is not quite over. They still have a chance to redeem themselves in the next few weeks.

 

Girl vs. Sports Retail

by ALEENA BEIG

Staff Writer

A 12-year-old girl from Arizona called out Dick’s Sporting Goods for failing to include female athletes in its 2014 basketball catalog and got plenty of backup on the web.

Now the company’s CEO has responded and offered to apologize in person to McKenna Peterson and her family.

McKenna’s letter to the company, which her father tweeted, drew attention to the lack of gender equality in its latest basketball ads.

“I think that girls should be treated as equally as boys are treated,” McKenna wrote. “I, myself, enjoy playing and watching basketball, WOMENS basketball.”

The self-proclaimed “Fabulous Basketball Player”(McKenna Peterson) was praised on Twitter for bringing attention to the issue.

Although the basketball catalog does include women, they are portrayed in passive or supportive roles: “sitting in the stands” or “mentioned once in the catalog for some shoe ad” or as “cheerleaders on some coupons.”

A Dick’s representative later contacted the family by phone.

They said that they liked her letter and that in future publications they will consider putting more women in the catalog. It was a very nice conversation that McKenna re-stated her opinion that there needs to be more girls represented.

Dick’s CEO Ed Stack addressed McKenna’s concerns in a letter the company posted to Twitter. Stack said Dick’s “messed up” and promised to include female athletes in the next basketball catalog. He also offered to meet with the family during a future trip to Arizona.