Keyser High School’s Tornado TV gets “Locked Out”

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Keyser High School’s Tornado TV (TTV) recently created a 10-part miniseries titled “Locked Out,” available to watch in its entirety on the Tornado TV Facebook page.

Filmed over the course of four months (from September to January), showrunner Logan Cook, and fellow TTV members Jonathon Myers and Jerrod McGann, used an iPhone and the video editing software iMovie to bring “Locked Out” to life.

According to KHS journalism teacher Michael Staggers, who oversees the production of the show, TTV used to be a daily announcement show broadcasted via television to every room at KHS during the early 2000s. Now that the wiring in the television sets has gone bad due to age, TTV has become a web series that still acts as a news show for the school, but Staggers has also given his students the creative freedom to explore their storytelling talents.

Cook, a junior at KHS and an aspiring filmmaker, created the 10-part scripted comedy miniseries “Locked Out,” a series that acts as a clever excuse for why the TTV crew can’t film in their recording room while they are remodeling it. “I wanted to clean up the room,” Cook said, “but to clean up the room I couldn’t film [in] the room, so I had to have a reason why we weren’t in the room.” The series gets its title from the very reason the crew can’t film in their regular recording room: someone has locked them out of the room, and it’s up to them to find out who.

Episode one of the series begins with Cook whistling as he tries to find the correct key to open the TTV room. After testing every key on his keyring with no success, he calls his journalism teacher, Mr. Staggers, to try his luck with the keys. When none of them work for him, Staggers notifies Cook that they have been “locked out” of the room. At the end of the episode, a mysterious masked figure dressed in black from head to toe appears at the TTV room door and disappears in a flash as soon as he’s spotted.

Episode two has Cook bored out of his mind as he sits in class with nothing to do since the TTV room is locked. Before the episode comes to an end, Cook comes face to face with the masked figure again in the hallway after a bathroom break.

In episode three, Cook starts to descend into madness as he creates a list of clues and evidence on a whiteboard to solve the mystery of who the masked figure (now known as Nemo) is and why he locked the room. Staggers chose this episode as one of his personal favorites from the series. He enjoyed watching Cook at the end of the episode kicking and screaming as McGann and Myers drag him out of the classroom. “I also enjoyed the whiteboard in general just because it had a lot of inside jokes and stuff like that written on it that people might not have gotten,” Staggers said.

After crying hysterically over their locked room, Cook, McGann and Myers walk out on an interview with KHS cheerleaders outside of the TTV room and decide to go against Staggers’ wishes and hunt down the mysterious Nemo in episode four.

Episode five has the TTV crew interrogating three KHS students they suspect are secretly Nemo in a series of good cop-bad cop-funny cop scenarios. McGann sited this episode as his favorite from the series.

Episode six of “Locked Out” is packed with so many twists and turns that to spoil even one of those elements would be a disservice to the creativity of the TTV crew. However, Staggers also sited this episode as one of his favorites because at one point in the episode, the TTV crew visit his former co-anchor from when he was a member of TTV, Keyser Primary School teacher Stephanie Stephen, at her classroom in KPS to seek her help in finding Nemo (pun intended).

Cook, who directed every episode of “Locked Out,” said his favorite scenes were the last scenes of each episode.

Staggers said Potomac State College students will enjoy seeing a show completely produced by students in their age range. “[PSC student’s] humor is similar to I’m sure what [TTV students] have, and they would probably laugh at a lot of the same things that these guys find funny.”

With 1,197 likes and 1,247 followers, the TTV Facebook page continues to upload new episodes weekly. Other episodes available on their page include “Mr. Staggers, I Have an Idea,” “The Fazz and the Fureyous” and “Tornado TV 3017.” TTV can be found on Facebook at Tornado TV.

 

Classic Westerns Return To Site of Keyser Theatre

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Photo by IMDB.com

The classic film “High Noon” returns to the silver screen at the site of the former Keyser Theatre where, over half a century ago, audiences gathered to enjoy it.

This dramatic showing is just one of several cinematic selections that are being studied in a course on the American western film genre at Potomac State College.

The course consists of both a classroom portion on campus and a cinema portion in the restored theatre at The Indie On Main, Keyser’s budding destination for art and film enthusiasts.

“The western is the story we tell ourselves about America,” said the instructor, professor Richard Hunt, “This film is a morality play; it’s about duty, honor and community.”

The other films being explored in the course are:

 

This selection represents the genre that remained popular all throughout the twentieth century and starred famous actors such as Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Grace Kelly, Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood.

The students not only immerse themselves in the history of American filmography, but also the history of Keyser itself. The renovated theatre retains the architecture from when it was first constructed in 1939 and served the residents of Keyser as the town’s sole movie theater until it closed its doors in 1977.

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Now, the building has been refurbished and reinvented as much more. In June of 2017, Stephen Settmiti purchased the venue and transformed it into The Indie On Main.

“When I saw the old Keyser movie house for sale, I decided to go headlong into reopening it as a mixed arts venue,” Settmiti said. His goal is to create an environment where students can get involved and experiment with the arts.

Students who are interested in the visual arts may wish to take advantage of The Indie’s studio space and art classes; musicians and entertainers can perform in front of an audience on open-mic nights every Thursday; and fans of cinematography can enjoy cult classic films on the weekends. More information on events taking place at The Indie On Main can be found at the venue’s website or Facebook.

The STEM Festival Returns to PSC

By Cody Brazil

Drone Photo for Online

David Miller tinkers with his drone before the STEM festival. Photo by Cody Brazil.

The time for the Potomac State College student body to showcase their knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math is almost upon us. The STEM festival, which is a day for the community to learn about many interesting topics in those fields from the students themselves, will be taking place on March 24, 2018 from 12-4p.m.

Past favorites such as green screen technologies and Rubik’s Cubes mosaics will be making a return this year, but some new and exciting demonstrations will be on display this year. One of these displays will be the drone demonstration put on by David Miller of the PSC library.

Miller explained that he will be setting up an obstacle course for people to fly a training drone through, so that they may learn the basics of operating a drone. Miller went on to talk about how bigger drones have built-in GPS to keep them level in the wind and smaller ones do not. Teaching people to fly on a smaller drone helps them to build the skill to manually keep their drone level if the GPS were to ever go out.

Drones are going to play a bigger part in industries, such as shipping, so it is important for people to get comfortable with the use, and soon we will have to decide laws on how drones will be allowed to be operated. So it is important for people to gain experience in order for them to make informed decisions,” said Miller on why it is important to learn about drones at a young age.

“Hands on Anatomy” is a display that will be returning this year that aims to teach the public a little more about their bodies. The display consists of posters that will be created by the Anatomy and Physiology 2 students. Each poster will cover a different organ system that the students will be on site to explain. Along with the posters there will be actual dissected organisms on display for viewers to interact with. This display is put on by Sheri Chisolm the PSC Anatomy and Physiology professor. Chisolm explained that she loves the STEM festival because she enjoys interacting with the public and seeing her students be able to teach the materials that she taught them.

“A lot of what we will be teaching transcribes to human health, so hopefully you’ll be able to be your own advocate at the doctor,” said Chisolm

The engineering department is doing a Moon Racers Robotics Obstacle Course and a Solar System Rocket Launch. There will also be a display on identifying different kinds of trees and a math activity about triangles.

“It’s a can’t miss opportunity for families to explore all aspects of science,” said Andrea Schafer, STEM Festival organizer. The event is free.

Greenback Observatory Researcher Lectures at PSC

By Matthew Timbrook, Contributing Writer

Green Bank Pictures

Andrew Seymour gives his lecture in the Davis Conference Center. Photo by Matthew Timbrook

The students and guests gathered in the Davis Conference Center to experience a close encounter of the third kind, but it wasn’t an extraterrestrial who had come to deliver a message.

Dr. Andrew Seymour, a researcher from Arecibo Observatory and Green Bank Observatory, came to share a presentation on the subject of radio astronomy.

Seymour is an experienced astronomer who has worked as a research associate at Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico made famous as the setting of the 1997 lm “Contact” starring Jodi Foster. In addition to working on the cutting edge of radio astronomy, Seymour attended Potomac State College in 2002 and was a research assistant in the Department of Physics at West Virginia University from 2010 to 2014.

In his presentation, entitled “Fast Radio Burst: The Eagles of The Universe,” Seymour showed the relative size of the massive satellite dishes used in radio astronomy, discussed some of the techniques currently being applied to discover pulsars and explained how radio waves can be identi ed by likening them to bird calls.

The students in the audience asked questions about some of the technical aspects of scanning the skies.

Seymour emphasized the importance of passionate students offering fresh perspectives “Radio astronomy is a eld that still has engineering puzzles to be solved,” he said “Finding new solutions to these problems will quickly result in great scienti c advances.”

At the end of the presentation, the students were given details and directions on how to sign-up to further their education through research programs.

For more information on the Arecibo Observatory and Green Bank Observatory, you can visit outreach.naic.edu/ao/landing and www.greenbankobervatory.org

PSC Fly-Fishing Course Coming Back this Spring

 

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Students and community members will get the opportunity to learn the aspects of fly-fishing in PSC’s returning Spring course. Photo by The New York Times.

By Levi Linn

 

Students and members of the community can take a course that isn’t about hitting the books — it’s about learning how to fly fish. Potomac State College’s Introduction to Fly-Fishing course returns this spring.
Professor Tom Sydow is co-teaching with Charlie Laffey who has extensive knowledge of the Savage River watershed and regional Brook Trout streams. “He’s like a walking encyclopedia,” said Sydow regarding his colleague.
In this course, students will gain all the tools and knowledge they need to pursue this unique hobby. Students will learn about the equipment used, knot tying, entomology (the study of insects), how to read the water and on-stream tactics. All equipment for this course will be provided by the instructors.
“I’m always excited,” said Sydow when asked how he felt about the class starting soon. Sydow has been fly-fishing for almost 30 years and still enjoys it. “It means spring’s here.”
Sydow describes fly-fishing as far more advanced than regular fishing. It’s more difficult but more rewarding and far more interactive as opposed to sitting and waiting for a fish to bite. “Students will be interested because it’s an entirely different style of fishing than most people are used to,” said Sydow, “It’s interesting and takes a lot of skill.”
As for teaching with his colleague Laffey, Sydow can’t wait to get started. “It’s always fun with Laffey,” said Sydow, “We’re both easy going and very enthusiastic about teaching this subject.” Sydow and Laffey have fished together for years.
The fly-fishing class starts on March 8, with meetings every other Thursday in Science Hall 120 from 5-8 p.m. The cost is $99, and the course fills up quickly. The course is open to both students and the public, and registration is available on the PSC website. For more information on the course, contact
Sydow at Tom.Sydow@mail.wvu.edu

PSC’s “Willy Wonka” Opening on March 16

 

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Photo from Potomac State College Website.

 

by Sevohn Hunter

On Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m., Potomac State College’s theater program will present its spring production of “Willy Wonka” at the Church-McKee Arts Center.
This production of “Willy Wonka” is based on Roald Dahl’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and will include all the songs from the 1971 movie. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” tells the story of Charlie Bucket, a poor boy who lives in a tiny house with his parents and grandparents. Charlie and four other children find the five golden tickets placed in Wonka Bar wrappings and win a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
The cast and crew are comprised of college students and community members. The five golden ticket winners are played by middle and high school students: Elizabeth Badillo, Dylan Dolley, Brendon McCabe, Clayton Muir and Brielle Windle. The adult roles are played by community members who have participated in other productions or are parents of children participating. Willy Wonka is played by Robert Godfrey, who is a veteran of PSC productions.
Sean Beachy and Debi Beachy are the music directors for the production. Debi Beachy teaches vocals, and Sean Beachy provides accompaniment. Kimberly Rowley is a co-director who also creates and teaches all choreography.
Jordan Kline is the director the show. Kline previously directed productions in Frostburg and Cumberland, Maryland. Kline also performed in previous productions at PSC. Brian Plitnik is the producer of this production and chooses each year’s show. Plitnik said he cannot credit himself for the idea of recreating “Willy Wonka.” Rowley originally proposed the idea, and she and Plitnik agreed that “Willy Wonka” would be a great success for PSC.
Cast members shared how much they love the story of “Willy Wonka” and how eager they were to join. McCabe auditioned because he “loved the book, movie and any work by Dahl.” Windle said her dreams are coming true because she “always wanted to play the role of Veruca.”
“Willy Wonka” will be showing from March 16-18 and March 23-25. General admission tickets are $12 for children and $18 for adults. Regular VIP tickets include a backstage tour and priority seating. VIP Golden Tickets also include a chocolate reception as well as other VIP benefits. To reserve tickets, call the PSC Box Office at (304)-788-6855.

Review: New “Thor: Ragnarok” Film Shines

Ryan Cook with the “Thor: Ragnarok” poster at the Country Club Mall in Lavale, MD. Photo courtesy of Cook.

by Ryan Cook

 2017 has been an excellent year for superhero movies. First, we were treated to the groundbreaking Wolverine film “Logan” in March. Then came the colorful and emotional “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in May.

Audiences across the world fell in love with Gal Gadot in the blockbuster hit “Wonder Woman” in June, and July reintroduced Spider-Man to fans of all ages in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Now, Marvel’s mightiest Avenger returns to the big screen in “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Directed by indie-filmmaker Taika Waititi (“What We Do in the Shadows,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”), “Thor: Ragnarok” picks up two years after the events of 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is now on a quest to stop the evil goddess of death, Hela (Cate Blanchett), from unleashing Ragnarok, “the end of all things,” upon his home world of Asgard.

After Thor’s first encounter with the goddess of death doesn’t go his way, the mighty Thor is cast off to the savage planet known as Sakaar.

It’s while he’s on Sakaar that Thor reunites with his fellow Avenger, Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

Comic book fans are treated to one of the most epic gladiatorial movie fights in recent years between Thor and Hulk before the plot of the film really starts running.

In a year with no shortage of great comic book movies, “Thor: Ragnarok” doesn’t disappoint. Hemsworth gives his best and most comedic performance as the god of thunder yet.

With “Ragnarok” being his fifth outing as Thor, Hemsworth seems to be having more fun than ever in his role.

Tom Hiddleston is outstanding as usual as Thor’s adopted brother, Loki. While he still lives up to his nickname of the god of mischief, Loki has a significant change of heart in this movie, and Hiddleston plays this to perfection.

The Hulk has never been more interesting than in this movie. For the first time in movie history, the Hulk speaks in full sentences, which provides some great comedic moments with Thor.

What makes this Hulk more interesting is that because his intelligence has improved, Banner and his Hulk side are fighting for mental control. Ruffalo brilliantly portrays this as both Banner and Hulk.

As for the new characters in the film, Blanchett’s Hela is a force to be reckoned with. Blanchett brings the perfect balance of humor and pure evil that makes Hela the best villain of the Thor franchise since Loki in the original film.

Jeff Goldblum (“Jurassic Park”) also joins the cast as the Grandmaster, and every line of dialogue he says is appropriately golden. No one can deliver a line quite like Goldblum, and his talent is on full display in this movie.

One of the many standout characters in the film is actually played by the film’s director, Taika Waititi.

In “Ragnarok,” Waititi plays Korg, a giant rock monster with a gentle, soothing voice who tries to befriend Thor.

It’s impossible to do the character justice by describing his appearance and lovable personality, but it’s definitely a highlight of the film.

Overall, the “Thor” franchise takes a pleasing direction with “Ragnarok.” The film has a similar look and color palette to Marvel’s other space franchise, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, but  “Thor: Ragnarok” has a very different sense of humor and adventure than the other superhero movies that were released this year.

The film has a runtime of over two hours, but it never feels too long. The jokes are related to the plot, and the sense of urgency in the movie makes its runtime fly by. “Ragnarok” is a funny action/adventure film to watch over Christmas break.

Heads up to Marvel fans who know to stay seated when the credits start to roll — there are two scenes during the credits of “Ragnarok.”