Author Archives: imb5076

“Anything But a Statistic”: Remembering Laura Hoover

By Monica Fiore

Copy Editor

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – “She was a free spirit. She just loved life” is how Steve Hoover described his daughter, Laura.

Laura Hoover

Laura Hoover, Photo Courtesy of TribLive 


In 2016, Laura Elizabeth Hoover was a Burrell High School student, but she wasn’t any ordinary student.

“She got it,” said Burrell High School World Cultures teacher, Adam Rossi. “She understood what life was about. She was an extremely old soul. She was mature beyond her years. She saw the big picture with everything. She was a force, a quiet force. She was the embodiment of everything that is good about humanity and that can’t be lost. We talked about everything; environment, politics, music, art, religion, spirituality. You name the big topic and we discussed it at length. You can tiptoe around those topics with other students her age, but she really had an understanding of those because she was well-read and she was well-versed; she knew what she was talking about.”

Hoover was preparing to graduate that May when tragedy struck. Hoover tragically passed away May 26, 2016. She was found dead in her car the early hours of that morning.

“We’re not sure what happened and we’ll probably never know,” said Laura’s father, Steve Hoover. “I’m still in shock. That’s the only word, but it doesn’t do it justice. It’s taken me a long time to cope.”

What was even more tragic was Hoover was to graduate along with the rest of her graduating class at Burrell High School later on that day.

“I was already awake so I knew I wasn’t dreaming,” said Rossi. “It was sort of a ‘holy hell’ moment.”

During the graduation ceremony, Hoover’s seat was decorated with flowers, an afghan, and pictures of her and family and friends. The calling of Hoover’s name during the graduation ceremony was not met with a moment of silence, but with a standing and clapping ovation. Following the graduation ceremony, the graduates stood around the flagpole with candles to remember Hoover.


Laura’s Classmates gathered at their Graduation. Courtesy of TribLive.


The autopsy report revealed Laura died as a result of a prescription drug overdose.

“She took Prozac for depression and she had somehow gotten Tramadol from her aunt’s house and that combination caused her heart to stop beating,” said Hoover. “The doctor said if she had taken anything else but Prozac, this probably wouldn’t have happened.”

“The story is being mistold time and time again to the point where if you hear it so many times, you just believe it, which isn’t the case,” Rossi said. “Laura was mixing two prescription medications. It’s as simple as that. It wasn’t like she was in a back alley somewhere, shooting up.”

Rossi went on to say, “This is something that can and does happen to anybody. I’m hopeful that the stigma and the stereotypes and finger-pointing at people who are impacted by this is going to subside and that our society is going to become more open to the fact that this can and does happen anywhere to anyone and you’ll see a collective push by our society to do something about this.”

In honor of Hoover’s memory, “her family has started the ‘Laura Hoover It’s All Good Foundation’, which is going to be a multi-faceted approach towards remembering her life and continuing on with things that were important to her,” said Rossi. “One of the aspects is they are looking to procure land somewhere in the area so they can build a dog park. That was important to Laura; her dogs. The second aspect is a travel scholarship for students either at Burrell or applicants in the immediate area if there are none at Burrell. They are looking to pick a non-traditional student to award with a scholarship to travel abroad in the summertime to pretty much where anywhere they want to go. A third aspect is looking to involve students at Burrell and Penn State New Kensington in hands-on learning experiences that are going to hopefully clue them in as to the reality and dangers of climate change.”

“The kids are going to build a solar-based air conditioner for Adam’s room,” said [Steve] Hoover. “It was extremely hot and miserable last year. The point is to teach these kids how to recognize a problem and solve it.”

“She doesn’t want us to mourn, she doesn’t want us to be sad,” Rossi said. “She wants us to take the work that she was doing and carry the torch and move on with it. The best way that you can remember someone and keep someone’s memory alive is to not only follow in their footsteps, but continue on with the path that they were taking.”

And carrying the torch, we will do to remember Laura Hoover and the beautiful person she truly was.

“You don’t want her story to be lumped in with everybody else’s because if it’s lumped in with everybody else’s, then she becomes a statistic and she’s anything but a statistic,” said Rossi. “She’s anything but a number on a page or on a stat sheet.

For more information on how to get involved with the “Laura Hoover It’s All Good Foundation”, please go to

Journalism Ethics During the 2016 Presidential Election

By: Isabella Bordonaro

Managing and Online Editor

Each year Penn State New Kensington holds a Research and Creative Expo where students have the opportunity to do research on things they find interesting, and share them with faculty, students, and members of the community.

As an honors student, I am required to submit a project based on one of my classes, and share it at the Expo.

This year, I am taking a media ethics class with Abhinav Aima, Instructor of Communications at PSNK. In the class, we talked about how elections are covered, and how sometimes the practices that journalists use are not what would be considered ethical, according to the SPJ codes, which is basically the 10 Commandments for journalists.

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The Don

By Sam Elliot

Staff Writer & Reporter

LOS ANGELES, Ca. – Born out of the darkness and into the light, an insult comic to brighten up life, has passed away at the age of 90, will be forever missed, that is true, therefore Don this one’s for you.

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The Next And Last Frontier

By: Nathan Traini

Copy Editor

Right now, it seems hard to imagine, but we are on the cusp of a great adventure. By “we,” I mean the 7.3 Billion people that live on this planet. The adventure of space, the final frontier, is more complicated than anyone is prepared for. There are various world problems that need to be solved and there are solutions in the works to solve world thirst/hunger, climate change, and terrorism. There will always be crime, but war between nations must stop before we embark on this adventure to end all adventures.

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Women Cannot Climb the Mountain If Society is Holding the Rope

By Monica Fiore

Copy Editor


Most likely, we’ve all heard the saying, “boys will be boys,” implying that it is ok for boys to act in ways that women cannot. For example, I’m sure in your life, you’ve heard somewhere that it isn’t okay for women to sleep with a lot of men (what number exactly is “a lot”?) because it establishes them as slutty, but it is okay for men to do it because they’re men. That’s what they do.

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American Government, Eco-Unfriendly?

By: Nico Regoli

Staff Writer and Editor-in-Chief

We all live on planet Earth.  The people of China might live a different lifestyle from the people of Spain, or Canada from Australia, or New Zealand from Zimbabwe, but where common ground is found is the planet we call home.  Yet, in the case of America, it feels like we’ve stopped caring about home maintenance, and we’re just willing to let our neighbors suffer if it’s convenient for us.

On January 28, 1969, Union Oil experienced a blowout that leaked tens to hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Santa Barbara Channel waters.  Public response to the incident, as well as potential political gain brought noted enemy of hippie culture, President Richard Nixon, on board the American conservation movement.

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Wikileaks: Friend, Foe, or Great Informer?

By: Nathan Traini

Copy Editor

Wikileaks is a organization which receives censored or restricted information, verifies it, and releases it in a searchable format. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing seems to depend on what end of the leak you find yourself on.

In the aftermath of the Iraq War, Wikileaks dumped a trove of information that showed the US Military knowingly allowed Iraqi soldiers to use torture and even execute people without trial. In the same leak it showed a US airship with the call sign Crazyhorse 18 killed two journalists and two other individuals after they surrendered, according to the BBC.

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