June 3 Weekly News Digest: Graduation, Final Exams, and U.S. aid to Ukraine


Credit: Thea Pipe

News Team

KPS News 

The Loy Norrix Class of 2022 graduated this week, on Wednesday, June 1. The commencement was held at Wings Event Center. Principal Christopher Aguinaga and KPS Superintendent Rita Riachoudhuri spoke alongside student speakers: Justine Blackwood, Shatonio Anderson, and Chanel Wilson. The LN Master Singers performed the “Star Spangled Banner,” “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. A live stream of the event can be found here

The mask mandate in KPS schools is now lifted through the end of the school year.  Mask-wearing is optional for students and staff at Loy Norrix, and masks are still available for anyone who wants them in the tower.  

Final exams for 9-11 graders start on June 8th.  Stay cool, school will be wrapping up soon!

June 8th: Full day, 5th period exam

June 9th: Half day, 3rd and 4th period exams

June 10th: Half day, 1st and 2nd period exams

Local News

On Friday, June 3 from 12-8 p.m.. and Saturday, June 4 from 9-5 p.m.. the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair will be held at Bronson Park. According to the KIA website, “You’ll find jewelry, photography, sculpture, painting, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, wood, and more all handcrafted by over 125 jury-selected fine artists from across Michigan.”

On May 31st, in the West Main Hill neighborhood of Kalamazoo, a closed off “play street” opened.  It is considered an extension of the nearby Jones Park, and cars aren’t allowed: this space is just for children and others who want to walk, play, bike, or skate.  This street is serving as a pilot, and if it goes well, more play streets could be opening through Kalamazoo in the future.

State News 

Five of ten republican primary candidates have been disqualified from the republican gubernatorial primary election. This leaves Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Ralph Rebant, Kevin Rinke, and Garrett Soldano all running for the Republican nomination. The primary is to take place on August 2 and the winner will join the race for governor against incumbent Gretchen Whitmer. You can read more about your Republican candidates here. (Put link to Elias article)

National News 

The horrific school shooting which left 21 dead last week in Uvalde, Texas has left the nation traumatized and as more facts come to light, the narrative surrounding the mass murder has become even more terrifying. According to Steve McCraw, the Texas Department of Public Safety Director, “It was later revealed that the gunman was in the school for over an hour before he was taken down.” This counters an original claim by McCraw that the shooter was in the school for 40 minutes to an hour. Additionally, despite earlier claims that police officers were able to detain the shooter, McCraw said, “Rather than keeping the gunman pinned down, officials were unable to enter the classroom and stop the rampage, despite the lives at risk.”.

On Wednesday, May 25, Joe Biden signed a police reform executive order. The 25th marked the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death. According to NBC News, “The order creates a national registry of officers fired for misconduct.” It implements a mandate that “all federal agents wear activated body cameras,” and encourages tighter restrictions on no-knock warrants and chokeholds. 

International News:

The United States has provided $700 million worth of artillery to the war effort in Ukraine. According to AP this assistance includes HIMARS, seven radar systems, 2,000 additional Javelins (anti-tank weapons), artillery rounds, and security assistance. “More is on the way,” AP reported, “Congress last month approved $40 billion in aid to the country.”

According to USA Today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed a bill on Monday to potentially ban the “buying, selling, transferring and importing of handguns in Canada.” This proposition comes after national and international outrage at the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.