The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Newsbytes: Woman of the Year, Northeast blizzards, Boars in Japan, Chicken Sweaters

By Staff Writers Heather Gan & Evie Sun

Local — Local Muslim woman named Woman of the Year
Fremont resident Moina Shaiq  was named woman of the year by Assemblyman Bill Quirk and was honored at a ceremony on March 12 for her efforts to erase the hatred directed at Muslims. Shaiq, who created the “Meet a Muslim” event, has had over 60 meetings at small venues such as coffee shops where she answers questions people have about Muslims and Islam. Shaiq hopes these meetings will help people understand Muslims better and dispel any stereotypes and misconceptions. She said, “I think people need to get to know each other. That’s the only way to dispel your fear or whatever you have in your mind.”

National — Northeast prepares for blizzard
The Northeast prepared for the incoming blizzard predicted to arrive on March 14 by cancelling more than 4,000 flights to major airports in the region, closing schools, and issuing warnings. The National Weather Service warned New York City about potential coastal flooding and wind gusts that could reach 50 mph. Downed power lines and service interruptions were expected in the region. Prior to the storm, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “This should be a very serious blizzard, one that everyone should take seriously.”

International — Radioactive boars roam Fukushima, Japan
Residents have caught hundreds of wild boars roaming the towns near Fukushima, where a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami had caused a meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. On March 9, local officials ordered people to evacuate from the surrounding four towns. The officials originally planned to lift the evacuation orders at the end of March, but then wild boars began to roam into the area. The boars ate plants that had been contaminated with radioactive elements from the disaster site. As a result, local authorities have ordered hunters to catch and kill these potentially dangerous animals.

Quirky — Retirees knit sweaters for chickens
A group of women in a Boston retirement home launched a project on March 13 which involved knitting sweaters for chickens. They came up with the idea during a holiday craft sale held by a knitting club at the Fuller Village retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts. The women discovered that certain breeds of chickens shed their feathers during the cold months of winter, so they volunteered to knit sweaters for the chickens to keep them warm during this time. Barbara Widmayer, 76, said, “I don’t think in my wildest dreams I ever thought anybody made sweaters for chickens.”

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