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All The News That's Fit To Tell
 
Complete News Story Archive - Page 1
 

New Town Hooters Closing Down

The New Town branch of the world famous Hooters restaurant chain (located at 803 Birch Nut Ave.) has announced that somewhere after the end of the summer, they will be closing their doors for good.

Most well known for their skimpy (by most of the world standards) uniform, and generally busty waitressing staff, Hooters often had trouble in many places they tried to move into. Local conservative or "family" groups would protest and try to keep them out of their neighborhoods, as if the restaurant chain was a strip club.

They thought New Town was the perfect place for their kind of business. They would be welcome with open arms and easily be able to fill out their staffing requirements with local girls. This was mostly true, as nobody protested their arrival or tried to block their choice of location, and they were able to easily hire a staff of young woman to fill out their ranks, but they quickly started to have other issues with the way things work in New Town.

Since Hooters is a large corporate chain, they have a number of firm rules about how their restaurants can be managed and run, without exception. The main ones being about the uniform of the waiting staff. It clearly states that although they have a few options for shirts (varying in color and how much cleavage they show), the rest is very clear. They must have on the iconic orange (and on rare occasion, black, for certain positions) shorts, which are designed to be small and tight.

The problems quickly started once some of the students who got part-time jobs realized they could not bring their uniforms back to campus without breaking the dress codes, and Hooters policies required that they handle their own care and maintenance of their uniforms. They could change into them once they got to work, but would still have to take them home with them and wash them themselves afterwards. This lead to several of them getting into trouble, either with the school for code violations or with Hooters for uniform care violations.

Most of the chain also has the waitresses wear skin colored nylons under the shorts to complete the look, but the girls found out these were actually optional as long as the waitress maintained a rigorous maintenance regime on her legs. So that, at least, allowed them to not have a layering violation on top of the shorts being against the dress code of Central U. They also tried to see if shortening the shirts to show more belly would help, but those few girls who tried that found it was actually against the rules to show any bare belly in the restaurant.

They also started to see problems arise when student working for them were suffering some kind of punishment from the school, requiring them to be in some other state of dress or uniform for the duration. These students could not put on their work uniforms without breaking the rules of the school, nor could they not wear the uniforms and continue to work without breaking the rules set forth by Hooters corporate. In most of these cases, the girls were simply told to go home and not come back to work until they were able to wear the uniform again. These cause problems for the students, who needed the money, and for the restaurant, who needed employees working those days.

Several of the girls tried to petition Hooters to allow them to wear similar skimpy orange skirts instead, but the strict rules that the chain had in place would not allow it. In the end, these problems lead to the chain losing nearly all their student employees, only being able to draw from the local population, which included far fewer young women to choose from (as even many of the local girls of the right age go to the college, at least part time).

They also started to see their numbers of patrons dropping after the initial excitement of the new popular chain opening a branch in town. Over the following several years they watched the numbers continue to dwindle until they were well below the national average for the chain, and recently started to drop to near the bottom. After several attempts to boost popularity, the chain has finally given up and announced they will be closing within the year.

The official reason given by the chain is that they were "Unable to comply with the special needs of Central University, which has greatly hindered our ability to maintain our usual standards."

Our unofficial reports show that they are just not able to compete with local businesses who have so much more to show and offer in the same areas that Hooters became famous for. With local favorites like Große Brüste Kneipe, Café Nu de Fille, and Stacks Pancake House showing off much more than the Hooters uniform allows, they are just unable to draw in the patrons like they do in other locations. Throw in their lack of support for the codes of Central U making it near impossible for any students to work there, and you have the real reasons they are closing down shop.

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Special Summer Music Project

The Central University of New Town music department is one of the most active and thriving sections of the school through most of the year, but mostly dies out during the summer months when most of the students head home or go on vacation. None of the campus bands, classes, or organizations usually have enough members on campus to continue through these slow months, so things mostly go quiet in the department.

At least that's how it usually went.

This year, Freshman Elizabeth Schmidt (Liz, to most) decided to do something about it and worked hard to arrange a way to keep the music alive through the summer. Rather than just let all the separate groups fall apart, she went to each of them and convinced their remaining members to join together into a new super-group that can perform over the summer. She dubbed this group the Summer Music Project, or SMP.

Liz wanted to see SMP become something special and planned to have several public performances over the summer, but wasn't sure people would be show up, since there really hasn't been a history of music over the summer coming from the school. She knew she had to have them do something special to capture the attention of the locals and remaining students alike.

TruthGirl Was Here
Although she had a number of ideas of what they could do to get the attention of the locals, Liz said it was her Music Appreciation teacher, Mrs. Leigh, that inspired her the most. Christine Leigh made a deal with her class as the holidays approached in order to keep their attention on their work. Liz said that Mrs. Leigh's idea would work on a larger scale to get the crowds in to see SMP too.

When asked about it, Mrs. Leigh said "I am proud that I was able to inspire my students to thrive and think creatively through their problems to see that the arts don't die."

Liz said it was more than just inspiration that Mrs. Leigh gave her, "The strength and courage she showed doing that in front of her class proved to me that we would be able to do this too. She is a real role model."

So this summer, SMP will be starting their performance season this week with four days of shows performed on stage in a minimalist costume. The public will be allowed to come for a small price and students will be able to get in free. This opening week extravaganza is just going to be the start. They say they have a whole month's worth of shows prepared and this one is just to capture the attention of the public and let them know more is coming.

So if you are interested in seeing a creative and diverse musical show, that shows a lot more than just amazing musical talent, then you should come on down and check out SMP as they start their season.

SMP will be performing starting Next Wednesday in the Rebecca Thompson Art Center at 7 PM. On Saturday they will have two shows, one at 2 PM and another at 7 PM. They will be announcing their full summer schedule at the show.

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Summer Sentinel Success Story

The Sentinel was started as a school run newspaper back in 1958, with a staff of only eight students and two staff members. The paper was printed on cheap paper using an old mimeograph machine and had a print run of less than 200 papers a week. By the mid-60s, the department had grown to include dozens of students and an actual black-ink printing press. Today the department is still relatively large, but the paper has grown to also include a digital web-presence in addition to the printed paper (with a current print run of over 6,500 papers per week and over 20,000 unique impressions on the site per day).

Thanks to this digital revolution, the Sentinel is now read all over the world and people of all walks of life are keeping up with the events of Central University. Most would think that this easy to access, free, digital version of the Sentinel would cause a serious decline in the print edition, but it seems to have had the opposite effect on this small town paper. Instead of a decline, the paper's popularity has actually grown and flourished, and not just locally.

Before the digital version gained the popularity it has now, the paper was only selling locally and had a print run of less than 3,000 papers a week. Since the change in leadership and direction several years ago, the digital front was expanded and grown to be the front of the paper, instead of a small side project. This allowed the paper to gain international attention and grow to having almost 3,000 mail-order version of the print edition.

The majority of the remaining print papers are handed out on campus and sold around town, allowing all locals to keep up on current events and what shows are going on at the school. It is not unusual to see many students around town reading the paper as they relax between classes or during the weekends and holidays.

Even during the summer, the print run does not decline, as students and locals alike can be seen reading the paper around town, on campus, and everywhere they go. It's not unusual to see students and locals around the lake or even away at the bay reading the paper as they sit out in the sun. Even outside of New Town itself, you will likely see some people reading the Sentinel throughout the entire region.

Just because the majority of classes are not going on during the summer, doesn't mean the news and events stop and people want to read about them. The Sentinel is the best source for that news. When you want to know what's going on around campus and what shows are hot or upcoming, get a copy of the Sentinel and find out. It's the hottest thing coming out of Central U and is available every week, even during the summer.

We are covering everything you need to know about local events, including the annual school car wash and all the hottest performances by the school's art departments. So pick up a copy and keep up with the students and staff of Central U.

If you have a story that you think the Sentinel should know about, contact the staff and let them know. We are always looking for good new story ideas.

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New Punishment Cages Installed

After the extended trial period of the punishment cages over the last several years, the school has finally decided to upgrade the makeshift test ones and install several permanent ones around campus. This news came on the heels of the finalization of the new contracts signed with the teaching staff and some say was added as a rider in that deal. No matter how it came about, the new cages are being installed, with more to follow.

According to the official statement from Dean Wallingsford, although the ruling came through around the same time as the new contracts, it was not connected to them. The school board was meeting on several subjects at once, with the strike negotiations only being one of them. There were several decrees on the docket and the passage of the permanent cages was just one of them. She went on to discuss several of the others, but they were not related to this story.

The original testing cages were simple temporary builds of aluminum tubing and chain link, more in line with fences you see around shipyards than actual cages. The new cages will be built of either welded metal or wood and metal construction, depending on their location. The first of these were purchased last year for smaller events, and some were even used for special punishments and stress tested with multiple inhabitants at once.

Most of the indoor cages will be smaller and made of wooden frames with metal bars. Some of them will be larger and stronger, mostly in central display areas, but the majority of them will be these smaller single occupancy cages for shorter-term punishments. Some of them will even be built into the architecture or furniture of a given area.

The popularity of the multiple person cages, even if they were too small, only encouraged them to make several of the permanent installations large enough to comfortably house more than one inhabitant at a time. The plans show these going up at several key locations around campus, with the first being placed along the path through Forest Park just a few days ago.

As they all get installed over the course of the coming two years, the school will start moving more of their minor offenses and dress code violations to standard cage punishments, at least as one of the offered options. So get used to the idea of spending some time in one of these if you plan to try and get away some minor break of the codes.

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Strike! School Opening Delayed

As some of you may have noticed—especially if you've wandered the Commons, near where the main offices are located—the main educator's union on campus has gone on strike. Most of the professors, and even several of the lesser deans are all members of the union, causing the first day of school to be pushed back indefinitely until the board and the union can come to terms.

Most of the main office buildings that ring the Commons have had picketers in front of them and filling their main halls all day since people started to come back to campus after the holiday weekend. Most of the core picketers are made up of the professors and other members of the union, but they have been joined by more and more student supporters as they days grow on. As of this writing, nearly half of the picketers collecting in Albert and Phinney Halls by late afternoon are student supporters.

This is not to say that everyone is supporting the strikers and the union. Although the numbers are skewed seriously in the unions favor, there are several student organizations and local groups on the side of the school board and think that the union is asking too much. As with most business disagreements, neither side is clearly in the right or wrong. Everything is subjective and up for scrutiny by those involved.

The main sticking point, as usual, is money—with the union demanding an increase in the standard annual cost of living raise—but several other issues have been brought forth to the table. The school board has put forth several counter offers so far, but none of them have included enough to get to the union to even call for a vote, but most involved say they seem to be getting close.

One of the largest points the school has given the most on is the amount of control instructors will be allowed to have over their classes and how things are handled within their rooms. As most already know, instructors already hold a high level of control over what is and isn't allowed within their classes, but they can't go against many of the school codes.

The union says they want this to allow the instructors to demand things that might go against the codes but would help them maintain a better environment for education. The main example they give is requiring the students to dress and act more modestly than is directly required by the codes. As it currently stands, students have to be following the rules of the dress codes in addition to whatever rules are set forth by their professors, but this would allow their instructors to supersede the school's dress codes within their class and set forth their own, possibly stricter, dress codes. The new rules being offered would allow nearly any school rule or code to be suspended while in the classroom in any way the instructor required, with only the most core safety tenants still being required to be followed—such as the rules against rape or physical abuse.

Most of the student groups who stand against the union in this disagreement also see this point as one of the largest problems with the deal being worked out. Even with the proposed safeguards, they think the offer being given with this point gives far too much power to the teachers. Most of them already feel that they have too much power in their rooms and it should be scaled back, not increased. Despite these counter-arguments however, this appears to be the one point the school is most likely to give in on no matter what agreement is reached in the end.

Over the course of the last several days many student groups that support the union and the strike have started to perform special demonstrations. Some have been simple additions to the existing picketing chants, but others have become far more than that. Performance art and other kinds of shows done in support of the instructors that seem to only be growing in scope as they days drag on.

With the size of the picketing groups growing each day, and the demonstrations being put on growing more elaborate and provocative, it's not likely that the strike will last much longer. More than likely a proposal will go up for vote by early next week and most likely we'll see one accepted and ratified by the union soon after, if not that first one. The head of the union says this is good news for them, as everything seems to be sliding in favor of their cause. We'll just have to wait and see what happens as the new week begins.

If you have any opinions or feelings about the strike—on either side of the issues—feel free to post about them in the forums or talk them out with your classmates at any of the gathering places around campus.

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Camping Season Is Here Again

With the heat and sun of the Summer months upon us again, as well as the end of the normal school year, there is one activity that is suddenly on the rise in the area, both with our student body and visitors to the area. That activity is camping.

Whether it's some friends hanging out for the weekend, a family on their yearly outing, or a whole organization gathering for some corporate retreat, camping is a great way to spend the time. Sunny days in the woods, around the lake and near the riverbank, and dark nights around the campfire and in your tents, camping is a great way to get away from the every day doldrums.

The greater New Town area is full of great official camp grounds and numerous unofficial places you can hike and find your own place to plop down your gear. It doesn't matter if your idea of camping is loading up the RV with all the comforts of home and finding a power source to plug into for the week or packing anything you might actually need onto your back and trekking into the deep woods, you will find something to your liking around here.

One of the most popular locations is the Northlake Estates Campground, which has both powered spots for the RV campers and nothing but clear spots in the woods to plop down a tent. Unfortunately for you, if you are looking for a place to go right now, they have been booked solid for the whole summer since before fall even began. You will have to look elsewhere or book early next year. This is usually the case with the larger lakefront campgrounds around Lake Claremont.

If you are looking for something more outside of the town proper, you will have much more luck finding a place at this late of a date. You can also check with certain school organizations, as they book several spots in the area for their own members and events, even without actually having them filled internally yet. You may be able to find a usually unavailable spot that way.

And you need not worry about being treated poorly at any of these local campgrounds. All of them are very used to the college and the way things are here, so they are highly accommodating to the special needs of students and staff. Even those who are suffering some kind of school punishment are usually wholly accepted within them. So do not worry that your state of dress or the chains of some court-mandated punishment would prevent you from enjoying your summer camping.

As with most campgrounds and state parks around the US, there are only some basic rules you must make sure to follow. These are fairly easy to follow and understand the need for.
• Contain and monitor all campfires: Do not let them spread or get too large, as this can lead to serious problems, forest fires, and even death.
• Take out what you bring in: This is the basic "Do not litter" rule. Anything you come in with should leave with you or end up in an official waste disposal receptacle.
• Respect others using the grounds: You are not the only people in the woods or campground. Show others the same respect you would expect to receive.
• Leave nature the way you found it: Don't mess with the animals or plants. Leave them alone and enjoy looking at them, but don't go around disturbing them.

The one rule they don't cover is the one about having fun. But most people seem to know about that one without having to be told. You are supposed to enjoy camping with your friends or family.

So get out there and have a great time.

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Punishment Booths Installed

After the success of the early testing, the school board decided to go forward with their plan to install a number of permanent punishment stations around campus. The initial test booths were temporary and made of simply plywood and some rubber sheeting to protect the holes. You can see one of the early test subjects in the image here.

Last week saw the reveal and installation of the small punishment booths, which they placed at strategic locations around campus. The campus security staff had a celebratory event upon their reveal and several students awaiting punishment were given the option of using the booths instead of their planned punishments as part of the ceremony. All of them were awaiting more severe punishments, so they gladly agreed and became the first official students to be punished using the booths.

In addition to these permanent installations, the school also commissioned several portable booths that they can install in any location they want to house temporary punishments. These booths are currently being stored, but can be moved out by handcart or truck to nearly any location, on or off campus. Currently they have no active plans for them, but say they will be used for special events and overflow as needed. Some on the board think they could even use them an alternate source of fundraising, especially at special events.

Since then they have been in fairly regular use due to the fast acceptance by the court system and their quick turnaround of guilty parties. It used to be that there had to be numerous mass events to punish the large number of guilty parties for minor infractions, but these booths give them a good regular source for punishment. There is rarely a time of day that these booths do not contain someone who deserves the punishment being doled out.

In addition to all the small single-person booths (both permanent and portable), the school also installed a small number of larger permanent punishment booths that allow them to place more than one person in them at a time. These are used for groups that are to suffer punishments together, or multiple single punishments being performed at the same time. The rules within these small room-sized booths are a little different, in order to keep the subjects from using the extra space to avoid the punishment they earned. As such, most of these larger booths are regularly monitored by a representative of the courts or a authorized inspector at all times.

If you are not familiar with the punishment booths yet, let me be the one to briefly explain. The guilty party is expected to strip down and spend a certain amount of time within the walls of the booth. Since the booths all have a number of holes in them (at various heights), anyone who wants to is allowed to reach in and touch the victim inside. This semi-anonymous embarrassment and discomfort is used as the punishment and is designed to help dissuade others from committing similar crimes.

Most of these installations were opened after the initial ceremonies, although several more locations are still finishing construction and should be open in the next couple weeks. So far they seem to be a huge success, both with the student body as a whole and with the student court system. The next step is to see what the portables bring in the coming months.

If you've had any first hand, hands-on experience with these booths (from either side of the holes) and would like to tell your tales, feel free to head over to the forums and share it.

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Glass Floors Installed Around Campus

As some of you may have noticed, there have been a number of construction sites and remodels springing up all over campus. Some of them are the permanent punishment booths being installed and others are the expansions to hold the expanding student body. But there was one more kind that most didn't see coming. The glass floors and walkways.

Most of the main building lobbies, gathering areas, and most of the raised walkways around campus have had their floors replaced with large reinforced glass planes. Since many of these areas are also several stories tall, this means that students will regularly be on and under these new glass floors.

Although there are only about five or six large open areas with these floors (depending on how you look at it), the most prevalent use of them is in the raised walkways. Numerous buildings have them and some buildings even have them between each other. Nearly all of them have been converted into glass walkways and many even have had their sides replaced with glass instead of walls or railing.

According to the School Board, these new changes were made for security and safety reasons, but they wanted to make sure to it was aesthetically pleasing at the same time. One member was quoted as saying "Glass was chosen to allow security and inspectors to have a wider field of view without resorting to more security cameras. This way they can be out among the student body where they can be most useful instead of stuck in a security booth looking at a screen."

Most of the inspectors we've talked to about them seem to love them. Such as Inspector Ariel Dean, who said, "I think they're going to be great for us. So many new angles to see potential violations and far fewer places for people to try and hide from us."

Inspector Brad Hogarth said, "The walkways will be amazing. No girl is going to dare try and get away with panties ever again."

Already several student groups have started protests and performance pieces about the glass floors, taking stands on both sides of the subject. Some groups claiming they are just a waste of money, others calling them further invasions of privacy, and some actually saying they are great new additions to the campus. Since the glass floors have just started to be unveiled, I have a feeling these performances and protests have just started.

Where do you stand on the issue?

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Last modified on 2017/6/10 by Admin
 
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