Campbell High School Class ‘Builds Houses’

What does 80 pounds of flour, 24 pounds of butter, 34 pounds of brown sugar, over two gallons of molasses, 60 pounds of powdered sugar, nine pounds of meringue powder and countless pounds of candy yield?  A school full of gingerbread scented hallways.

The Campbell High School Introduction to Foods class embarked on an epic adventure into the world of gingerbread.  By combining math skills, physics, physical coordination, teamwork, and a whole bunch of creativity, 15 baking teams each constructed their own signature gingerbread house from the ground up.

Throughout the month of November, these students worked diligently on creating gingerbread creations that would be judged by the students and staff of CHS.  They quickly discovered that this would be no easy task.  Weeks were filled with churning out dough, whipping up royal icing, dealing with successes and failures as roofs, sides, doors and windows cracked and needed repair or replacement.  Finally, the much-anticipated phase of decorating arrived and the houses began to come alive.  Traditional and not-so-traditional houses emerged.  The variety of food and candy used was incredible, since the students had imposed their own rule that everything on their houses must be edible.

On December 7, all the houses fit for transport were displayed outside the CHS cafeteria.  A bulletin board behind the display chronicled the long, tedious process of their projects.  The results were spectacular.  Students and staff were invited to cast their vote for the following categories:  “best overall house,” “most colorful house,” and “most original/creative house.”  A log cabin inspired house with a porch you’d like to put a rocking chair on, won both the best overall and the most original house categories.  A bohemian, crazy colorful house, looking like it should be in the Bahamas, won the most colorful house category.  But looking over the sea of colorful, whimsical, and edible creations, it was easy to see that everyone who participated in the project were winners.

A deluxe gingerbread house was constructed by the CHS Consumer Science teacher Roberta Tarsia.  This house was used as a teaching and inspiration piece for the students.  In the spirit of the holiday season, Mrs. Tarsia decided to raffle off her spectacular house for charity.  Raffle tickets were sold during lunch periods at the high school, and those ticket sales raised $155.  The CHS school store, “The Cougar Den,” matched that amount, and a total of $310 was donated to the Marine “Toys for Tots” Foundation.

The winner of the gingerbread house raffle is Patty Gouveia, a Litchfield School District parent and school substitute nurse.


Officer Akim Fitted for Bulletproof Vest

by Doug Robinson

It’s no secret that Hudson police officers wear bulletproof vests.  These vests have been worn by police officers for many years in an effort to protect these community servants who are often in harm’s way. 

Thankful for the generous donations by both Hudson citizens and Hudson businesses, Officer Kevin Sullivan has been able to purchase a bulletproof vest for his K-9 partner, Akim.

But Akim is not like your usual household pet.  In fact, Akim is a well-trained, commissioned police officer of the Hudson Police Department.  His specific skills, talents and abilities give the department an added edge.

He has the ability to search out drugs in quantities of less than one gram.  Akim can jump tall fences and run faster than any person.  He also has the ability to track and locate children and adults who may be lost in the woods, or trapped in a building.  He always rides as sidekick in “Sully’s” cruiser.  In fact, the cruiser has been specially equipped to accommodate Akim.

Now Akim has his own protective vest to protect him from the bad guys. 

“The versatile built-in load-bearing harness system enables the vest to be worn on all deployments:  track, search, rappel, extract, and apprehend,” according to the vest’s manufactuer.  The custom-fit vests are built to protect officers from a bullet being shot from a .44 caliber hand gun.

The vest is also equipped with a three-way light with different functions.  When the light is flashing green, the dog is considered to be in a tracking and search mode.  When the light is red, the dog is in an attack mode.  The light also operates as a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) enabling Akim to be located if he were to enter into a wooded area and couldn’t be located by his handler. 

The vest is equipped with a special harness that allows the dog to be dropped by helicopter into wooded areas to complete search and rescue missions; the harness can lift up to 2,500 pounds.

Thanks to the generous donations provided by the businesses and citizens of Hudson (at no cost to the taxpayers) Officer Akim will now be protected from many of the dangers that face every police officer every day of the year.


Alvirne’s Junior ROTC Drill Team Takes Second Place


Team members, front row, left to right:  Jasmine Carroll, Brett Kearley, Caitlin Sullivan, and Ashley Lopez.  Back row, left to right:  Ariel Robey, Mike McCrady, Nicole Filadoro, Bria Shorten, Team Leader Connor Abreu, Evan LaRoche, Esia Rosenberg, Sam Luszcz, and John Ayer.

On Saturday, Alvirne High School’s Junior ROTC Drill Team competed in a Drill Competition at Lowell High School in Massachusetts.  The New Cadet Drill Team brought home the second place trophy.  In this event, you can either compete with 10 or 13 students.

Obviously with 13 students, there are more chances for mistakes, but all of the kids worked so hard that they wanted to have as many kids compete as possible.  This was the first time Alvirne ever entered 13 students and a freshman lead this team with two sophomores and 10 other freshmen, all of whom, as the category implies, are in their first year of JROTC.


Alvirne’s winners, left to right Ariel Robey, Shawn Judd, John Ayer, Spencer Prescott, Kyle McGranahan, Evan LaRoche, and Shaela Sarno.

At the end of the meet, we have a competition called Individual Drill Regulation.  We line up all 300 plus competitors from eight schools on a gym floor and start giving drill commands.  As the students make mistakes, the judges tap them on the shoulder and eliminate them in what amounts to an enormous game of "Simon Says."  The last 15 students remaining all get medals.  Alvirne had seven of the 15 medalists in this competition.

The next drill meet will be at Alvirne High School on Saturday, January 27 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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