Illuminating the News for the Students by the Students
  • Lighting the Torch
    • Roller Coaster Road
    • Car Quirks and Crash Dummies
    • Accident Tally
    • The Fear
    • The Jesse Higginbotham Memorial Garden
    • The Roads Less Taken
    • The Hannah Landers Story
    • The Aftermath
    • Torch Staff

Lighting the Torch

Torch is the Lamplighter's serial podcast; one episode in the story will be released each week. Accompanying the audio are videos, photos and articles to clarify ideas touched upon in the episode or to satisfy a listener's desire for more information. The title of our podcast, Torch, was chosen to represent the stories that guide students through common difficulties that are shared by many at Dunbar. It is also reminiscent of our school publication’s name, The PLD Lamplighter. Please, help yourself.

April 28, 2015

 

 

Episode 1: Roller Coaster Road

Pamela Stravitz

Episode 1: Roller Coaster Road

Senior editor Pamela Stravitz delves into details of the car accident that caused the death of Dunbar senior Hannah Landers in 2008. What exactly happened on May 5, 2008? What do current Dunbar students think about taking risks? What can be done to prevent another accident? These questions and more to be answered on Torch. In this episode, discover what events led up to Hannah's accident. Featured in this episode are Dunbar's Mrs. Amber Faris, Mrs. Brooke Noe and Mrs. Alicia Henning.

Episode 2: Car Quirks and Crash Dummies

Courtesy of Sarah Hunt

Sarah Hunt poses on the hood of her beloved Cabriolet, the car involved in her accident.

Episode 2: Car Quirks and Crash Dummies

In this episode, we get honest representations of high school crashes; how does it really feel to fear for your life while fearing for your license? Featured in this episode is senior Sarah Hunt.

 

 

Episode 3: Accident Tally

Pamela Stravitz

Episode 3: Accident Tally

Driving is usually better with friends; there's someone to be your backseat driver, control the AUX cord and keep you company. But accidents with friends are a different story. This episode features Dunbar's Kennedy Kruger and Olivia Casey.

 

Episode 4: The Fear

Courtesy of Pamela Stravitz

Episode 4: The Fear

"We make things up to fit the reality we want." This episode features Dunbar senior Kelsey Folsom and alumna Melissa Stravitz.

Episode 5: The Jesse Higginbotham Memorial Garden

Courtesy of Jim Adams

Episode 5: The Jesse Higginbotham Memorial Garden

17-year-old Jesse Higginbotham had many admirable qualities; which of these you might hear depends on who you ask. But the single quality that resounds among Jesse's loved ones? Light. This episode features Mrs. Wendy Turner, Mr. Jim Adams and senior Yutong Gu. Several weeks ago in the midst of senior prank season, Jesse's parents arrived at the school, their car rolling under toilet paper that had been strewn over the trees. Jesse's father, Jerome, said that he thought it was harmless. However, when the couple pulled around to work on the garden that following Monday, they found "WE WILL WALK" painted across the picnic tables by the cafeteria. These tables, each of which represents a Dunbar student who has died during attendance, are painted with the students' favorite colors and symbols. Hannah's table is purple with hands shaped into hearts. Jesse's yellow table is decorated with simple video game characters. Many students don't know this; few ever venture outside to eat lunch. By the end of the day, Jesse's parents had painted over the vandalism and again worked on the garden. They love the school and the students so much and serve to make Dunbar beautiful in times of sadness. If you would like to help, come to Dunbar, preferably around the back, every sunny or cloudy Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. You might want to wear old clothes and be prepared to get messy to create something beautiful. Explore more of the plant species at jessehigginbotham.com/nativeplantlist.pdf.

Pamela Stravitz

The memorial garden, which holds over 120 Kentuckian plants, is currently closed to students because of previous inappropriate behavior. Jerome said, "Betsy Rains said it was either cut back all the trees so we could see in at all times or close the garden."

Episode 6: The Roads Less Taken

Pamela Stravitz

Episode 6: The Roads Less Taken

Some people think that bringing 16 items into the "15 or less" line at the grocery store is risky. But for others, like our Mystery Man, risk takes form in other, more illegal ways. Unlike the others that have come before, this episode is stripped down; no music, no distractions. Just an honest guy and a reporter hoping to convey the serious danger out in the cut.

Pamela Stravitz

As Kennedy and I traversed the rusted exterior of the mill on Pauls Mill Road, the only thing that reminded us of reality was a small ADT security sign bolted to the door of this building.

Episode 7: The Hannah Landers Story

Courtesy of Michelle Coulter Landers

Hannah wears bracelets for Jesse Higginbotham and Josh Shipman, two Dunbar students who had died in the previous two years.

Episode 7: The Hannah Landers Story

In the past couple of months, I have conducted a lot of interviews, answering my question "Well, what was she like?" Some say she was light and hopeful and others claim she lit up a room when she walked in. At this point, seven weeks in, I have no doubt that these things are true. Even seven years after her fatal car accident, Hannah's loved ones still remember her this way. They remind us that she will never be forgotten and what happened to Hannah should never have to happen again. This episode features Dunbar's Mrs. Wendy Turner, Mrs. Amber Faris and Ms. Brooke Noe.

Courtesy of Michelle Coulter Landers

After her junior year, Hannah went on a mission trip. Most of her time was spent with children like the ones pictured.

 

Episode 8: The Aftermath

Photo Courtesy of Kentucky.com

The Nissan Altima lies on its roof after Maddie Jackson's wreck on Feb. 9, 2015. All lanes of Versailles Road were closed for several hours after the accident.

Episode 8: The Aftermath

And here we come to the end of season one of Torch. Unfortunately, the problem of reckless driving doesn't have a visible end. Even in 2015, there are hard-to-swallow stories that are reality for Dunbar students. "I peer pressured her to get a Twitter," said Madison Dedman about Woodford senior Maddie Jackson. "But now there are no more posts. No more retweets. no more favorites." But Madison has shown that if we choose to #LiveLikeMaddie, sadness will turn into pride for those lost. This episode features Mrs. Amber Faris and Dunbar alumnae Madison Dedman and Kira Pauley.

Photo Courtesy of Madison Dedman

11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Locte holds a sign that reads "Stay Strong Bluegrass Marlins. <3 Maddie." The photo was taken in Charlotte, NC in the days following Jackson's accident.

Torch Season 1 Staff

I'm Pam Stravitz and this is the Torch staff page. I am the creator and voice of the Lamplighter podcast series Torch. I am a Dunbar alumna of the class of 2015 and am enrolled at Northeastern University.

I’m Pam Stravitz and I am the creator and voice of the Lamplighter podcast series, TORCH. I am a Dunbar alumna of the class of 2015 and am attending Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

 

Wendy Turner is the adviser of the Lamplighter and Broadcast Journalism classes at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, where she has taught English and Journalism since 2003. She is an ASNE Reynolds fellow, a JEA certified journalism educator, and the recipient of the 2014 KY Media Adviser of the Year. She is pictured here with her husband, Frank, and two children, Jacob and Ella.

 

Kennedy Kruger is our Broadcasting Editor. She is a Dunbar alumna of the class of 2015 and is currently attending the University of Alabama.

Kennedy Kruger is our Broadcasting Editor. She is a Dunbar alumna of the class of 2015 and is currently attending the University of Alabama.

 

Bitten by the radio bug as a teenager, Alan Lytle got his start start more than 30 years ago volunteering in Clermont County, Ohio for WOBO-FM. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati and worked at a variety of radio stations in the Cincinnati market, then made the move to Lexington in the mid-1990s. Lytle has served as WUKY News Director since 2002 and been the recipient of numerous Associated Press, CASE and Communicator awards.

Alan Lytle got his start start more than 30 years ago volunteering in Clermont County, Ohio for WOBO-FM. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati and worked at a variety of radio stations there before move to Lexington. Lytle has served as WUKY News Director since 2002 and been the recipient of numerous Associated Press, CASE and Communicator awards.

 

Keaton Allen is our featured musical artist on season one of Torch. He is a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Keaton Allen is our featured musical artist on season one of Torch. He is a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

 

Emily Liu is our Online Editor; she prepares the web for your listening enjoyment. She is a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Emily Liu is our Online Editor; she prepares the web for your listening enjoyment. She is a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

 

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