Mount Hood

Elihu Cobb

Escrito por: Jaylin Hardin | Redactor de deportes

Historically, fewer than two percent of National Collegiate Athletic Association — NCAA — athletes play on professional sports teams for any period of time — in professional basketball, this drops to 1.2 percent. These numbers are specific to Division I athletics; Division II drops even lower. 

Western athletes going professional has happened twice before in the school’s recent history — football player Tyrell Williams was drafted to the San Diego Chargers in 2016, and basketball player Tanner Omlid signed to play professionally in the Spanish Leagues in 2018. Basketball player Elihu Cobb is now the third Western athlete to go professional.  

In 2021, Cobb came to Western from the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, an almost three-hour drive from where he went to high school. In Cobb’s sophomore season, he reached 10 double-doubles — where a player accumulates double digits in two of the five primary statistical categories — and averaged nearly a double-double every game during the season. 

At Western, he continued to dominate, completing 70 of 113 field goal attempts in his first and second seasons combined as well as maintaining a strong presence on the court. 

“He’s dedicated,” said Coach Wes Pifer. “He got stronger every single year on the court and off the court.” This is seen in Cobb’s stats: his points scored, free throws and blocks all increased in his second season at Western.

Cobb was described by his coach as “a warrior” and “an everyday guy,” concerning his work ethic and attitude as a player. Pifer and the rest of the coaching staff had stayed connected with Cobb during the recruiting process, something he accredited to why he had chosen Western. “We still maintain that relationship to this day,” Pifer said. 

On top of being an everyday guy, Cobb is extremely humble in his playing level and ability. Even though his improvement is reflected in his stats, he stated, “I didn’t have the career I feel like I’m capable of having.” Coach Pifer stated Cobb had finished fourth in the league in blocks and shots and called him “a presence on the court.” 

Cobb would consider his defining moment to be receiving an education and getting his bachelor’s degree in business, as well as his associate’s degree from the College of the Sequoias. “I got my business degree, so I got an education out of it and they have also given me the opportunity to continue playing at the pro level,” Cobb said.

When asked, Cobb did not see himself as much of a leader on the court, but he did feel as if he could be a guide for the freshmen players, “They can talk to me and ask questions. I help them with how to act professionally, and like what we can do, what not to do.” 

Coach Pifer, however, thinks highly of him as a leader.

“I think he’s a great guy when it comes to leading by example: how hard he plays, exhibiting the right traits,” Pifer said. “He’s one of those guys that leads by example all the time.”

For Cobb, evolving from Junior College to Division II changed him from a raw player with only a few years of organized basketball under his belt, to learning what he could bring to the court and how he impacted the team.

In his time at Western, Cobb had the opportunity to go to states he had not originally been to, like Alaska. “I had never seen that much snow around and there was ice everywhere,” Cobb said. “It was just an experience going to different places.”

He also described the exhibition games the team played during the 2022-2023 season — games against the University of Arizona and Corban University. “The crowd was packed, it was a fun experience,” Cobb said. 

He played in both of these matchups as a finisher, contributing three rebounds and a block during the game against Corban and similar stats during the Arizona game. While Western unfortunately lost in these matchups, it is clear that it was an experience that Cobb will remember when looking back on his college career.

Cobb will continue his basketball career with the Vancouver Volcanoes, a professional team playing in The Basketball League. The team was originally founded in 2005 and played in the International League before the league was disbanded in 2014. In 2020, The Basketball League announced that the Portland Storm was approved for franchise expansion for 2021 — which was ultimately canceled due to COVID-19. The team was then relocated to Vancouver for the 2022 season, and the Volcanoes joined the league. 

“I think I’m feeling really confident, it’s gonna be more space,” Cobb said when asked about his feelings towards going pro. “I think it’s gonna be different because it’s going to be more freedom on the court for me and I’m gonna be able to do things I couldn’t before.”

The Volcanoes opened their season on March 1 against the Emerald City Jaguars, winning 118 to 101. Their next game is against Great Falls Electric on Sunday, March 17.

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Disability in sports

Escrito por: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer     Robin Winn | Freelancer

Sports, as a whole, is an extremely significant part of many individuals’ lives — inspiring unity, patriotism and a sense of community. Unfortunately, not everyone has been fairly represented in sports and those in disabled communities have had to fight for equal rights and opportunities in all areas, particularly in sports. The history of activism and the Disability Rights Movement dates far back to the 1800s, when meetings and events were conducted demanding civil rights for disabled individuals. 

The 1973 Rehabilitation Act provided many elements that inspired the Disability Rights Movement, specifically Section 504 which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace. This was written, but not implemented — frustrating supporters of the movement. This dismissal also encouraged the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, ACCD, to conduct sit-ins in different government buildings, finally forcing President Nixon to sign all regulations. 

The first step made towards raising representation of disabled athletes, besides the obvious rights movements, was the Deaflympics. The first game took place at the 1924 Paris International Silent Game, where nine European Nations participated — making it a first for any group of people with disabilities. 

The games were organized by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, CISS, which eventually established the Deaflympics, the longest multi-sport event since the Olympics. At a time when society viewed the deaf as intellectually inferior, this was a huge step in paving the way for accurate representation of disabled individuals. 

This inspired German neurologist and father of the Paralympic Movement, Ludwig Guttmann to continue disability activism. Guttmann believed that sports could be used as a method of rehabilitation for disabled individuals coming back from WWII and opened the Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Refusing to believe that paraplegia was a death sentence, his work revolutionized the field and changed the way many view disability as a whole. 

Building on his belief, Guttmann organized a sports festival for retired servicemen in wheelchairs called the Stoke Mandeville Games — named after the hospital where it took place. On the opening day of the London Olympic Games, Dr. Guttman made a statement by running a concurrent event where disabled individuals could participate in wheelchair archery not only as part of their rehabilitation but also as a way to showcase their abilities. This eventually grew into an international event now known as the Paralympics. This event allowed those participating to no longer be just patients, but athletes as well. 

Dr. Guttmann made tremendous progress when it came to the inclusion and representation of disability in sports, but unfortunately, there were still obstacles that disabled athletes would have to overcome. During the 1960 Rome Games, over 400 athletes with disabilities lined up to participate, but were met with issues like lack of accessibility to facilities and funding. 

After a long fight, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee reached an agreement to host both events at the same time, with the first official Paralympics held alongside the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.

Currently, there has been major progress made in terms of disability in athletics. The NCAA, or National Collegiate Athletic Association, is currently committed to supporting college athletes with disabilities and providing guidelines that best accommodate their needs. Many colleges have adaptive and inclusive sports programs directly focused on disabilities, including two schools here in Oregon. Oregon State University has a club wheelchair basketball program and Portland State University has an Inclusive Recreation program including wheelchair basketball tournaments, adaptive climbing, swimming, goalball and an adapted gym.

While school athletics, particularly K-12, still fall short of providing a fully inclusive environment or fall back on the “inspiration p–n” trope, many improvements and advancements are being made every day.

Many organizations also focus on providing opportunities and resources to disabled athletes across Oregon, such as Oregon Adaptive Sports. Across the country, organizations such as Athletes Without Limits and the Northwest Association of Deaf Basketball or NWABD, and organizations from across the world, including a nonprofit focused on helping athletes with disabilities receive equipment and aids to help them play their sport, are all working to create an inclusive space for disabled athletes. 

Meanwhile, the Paralympics is still ongoing, with the next games taking place in Paris starting Aug. 28. A similar organization, the Deaflympics, which includes a variety of sports, is currently holding its Winter Games in Turkey from March 2–12. Special Olympics Australia, a year-round organization focused on supporting athletes with disabilities by providing resources and a welcoming community, recently held a fundraising event called SPLASH.

The impact of the Paralympics is nothing short of huge, and it has successfully integrated itself into mainstream sports — raising awareness for inclusion. During the 1960 Rome Games, China refused to participate in the Paralympics as they stated, “Disability simply doesn’t exist here.” Now there is an established Chinese Sports Association for Disabled Athletes, and in 2021, China sent 250 athletes to participate in the Paralympic Games. Though there are still debates about issues amongst the misrepresentation of disabled individuals and the games like the 2000 Paralympic cheating scandal, there is no doubt the Paralympics has helped foster the spirit of inclusion and has opened the door for disabled individuals everywhere.  

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Oregon cat transmits plague to its owner

Escrito por: Claire Phillips | Redactora de Entretenimiento

In February of 2024, an Oregon resident was diagnosed with the bubonic plague. New cases of the plague always cause a small panic, but this case hasn’t been the first in the last decade. 

The patient, who was treated with antibiotics in Deschutes County, was speculated to have been infected by their pet cat. 

The plague is on the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s long list of nationally notifiable diseases because a single case can prompt the need to check for other cases. Other nationally notifiable diseases include cholera, Lyme disease, smallpox and measles.

Due to the plague’s gruesome history of death and destruction, public panic is another reason for concern. While the bubonic plague can spread among a population with drastic effects, in modern times, there is not much reason to panic. 

The Oregon resident was diagnosed and treated quickly, meaning they posed little risk to their community. Additionally, the bubonic plague is not transmissible between humans — only between an animal and humans. 

The bubonic plague wiped out a third of Eurasia during its initial outbreak. There are an average of seven cases a year in the United States. The association of the word “plague” sounds scary, but there are now methods of fighting back — bloodletting, leeches and religious cures have been left in the medieval ages.

Two methods used to combat the bubonic plague are quarantining and social distancing. Post-COVID, it’s no wonder Americans are worried about the spread of the plague. However, it’s safe to say that the bloody history of the plague can be left in the past.

Seven hundred years ago, humans were living among rats and fleas. They had no access to the treatments modern society has now. Health experts discourage the hunting of rodents by cats so Oregon residents don’t have to worry about their beloved pets.

In Oregon, the most common transmitter of the bubonic plague are squirrels, and officials warn against feeding one’s local squirrels to avoid future outbreaks.

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Weapon epidemic

Escrito por: Hannah Field | Redactora de noticias

Advertencia sobre el contenido: this article contains mentions of gun violence and death

Across 13 school districts in Oregon, 48 students were disciplined for bringing guns on school grounds in 2023 — an uptick of more than double the cases reported during the 2018-2019 school year, the last before the pandemic. That year, only 18 cases of guns on campus were reported.

The school districts of Centennial, Corvallis, Crook, Glide, Greater Albany, Jefferson, Medford, North Clackamas, Oregon City, Pendleton, Portland, Reynolds and Salem-Keizer reported student possession of a handgun, shotgun or rifle. The Oregon Department of Education released these records after a request for information filed by KGW. Four out of all 48 cases were middle schoolers.

Juvenile probation officer, Kyle Kinion, has worked closely with West Albany High School for 17 years, holding a unique position in Oregon as the school’s resource officer. West Albany High School sits in the Greater Albany School District, one of the listed 13 districts having reported guns caught on campus. “The (kids) that I work with haven’t shown up with weapons at school because they want to be the bad guy. It’s because they feel that they’ve been pushed to a certain point — (like) they need to protect themselves,” said Kinion. “So much of being a kid, unfortunately, is fear.”

May 2024 will be the upcoming 26th anniversary of the Thurston High School shooting, an Oregon shooting preceding Columbine by nearly a year. Fifteen-year-old Kipland Kinkel was suspended on disciplinary action due to his admission of keeping a stolen handgun in his locker. Following the suspension, he shot his parents, supposedly because of the shame he felt, and, one day later, open-fired in the school cafeteria — killing two students, Ben Walker and Mikael Nickolauson, and wounding 25 others.

Kinkel entered Thurston High School with two knives, two pistols and a rifle, with more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. After firing into a crowd of more than 300 students, it was reported that Kinkel was taken down by his peers — screaming, “Just kill me!” as he fell.

The story has been a grim reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and school disciplinary action — leading to action across Oregon in schools.

“There’s always plans in place. I sit on it — it’s the School Threat Assessment Team, STAT team. Most school districts, communities, or counties have this and this was put in place after the Kip Kinkel Thurston shootings,” said Kinion.

Former Western student Julius Hardman was attending class at Parkrose High School in Portland his junior year when a classmate entered the school with a shotgun under his trenchcoat — loaded with only one bullet intended for himself.

Hardman was in the B-wing of the school when a peer burst through the door shouting that they “gotta go right now.” Upon being asked by the teacher to calm down and explain the situation, she stated that “there was a guy with a gun.”

“She was too serious to be faking,” said Hardman. “Two minutes after she came in, there was an announcement on the intercom saying this is not a drill. (After that) there was a convoy of dudes in army camo.”

The student with the weapon was allegedly heartbroken after his split from his girlfriend, a fellow student. He was disarmed effectively before anyone was hurt — going on to live a relatively normal life after receiving psychological help, while leaving hundreds of former high school students possibly traumatized for life.

“I know that girl who busted into our classroom — she was in the room that (the gunman was in),” said Hardman. “She was f——g terrified.”

Skylar McNett, a current Western freshman, experienced a lockdown in their high school due to a call that there was a shooter on school property. Little did the school know, it was a hoax.

“We’re (all) sitting in lockdown, completely unaware, with the doors barricaded. Some of us have scissors in our hands and books, stuff like that, in case a person tries to break in, because we don’t know what’s going on,” said McNett. “We check online, and all we see is that three people are dead and that there was an active shooter. And it was so terrifying.”

They watched as SWAT officers passed by the windows, securing the perimeter with “giant assault rifles.” Two hours passed before it came out that it was a false call — the perpetrator of which was never discovered.

“I want to be a teacher,” said McNett. “I’m going to have to deal with school safety and be responsible for the lives of like thirty students in (situations) that I can’t control.”

The hoax followed the 2015 Umpqua Community College shooting in McNett’s hometown of Roseburg — an event of which McNett knew the victims.

“Somebody saying something to me in the hallways — because I’m a grown man — isn’t going to be the same as a fifteen-year-old who’s in the throes of puberty, with all these things going on in their head. On top of some mental health issues they are going through,” said Kinion. “ … We need to make sure that the community is safe. We need to make sure that they’re safe also. That’s the double-edged sword — making sure we do what’s best for the youth, but also make sure they’re going to be safe and that people around them aren’t going to be harmed.”

Kip Kinkel had his own query in 2023: “How could I have gotten to this point at 15 that all these things came together — where my humanity collapsed, and I did this horrific thing to people I loved and to people I didn’t know?”

The fear Hardman and McNett felt has been resounded by thousands of students across the nation as shootings have become a well-known travesty.

Yet, in 2023, 26 years after the Thurston High School shooting, 48 kids were disciplined for bringing guns to Oregon schools — a statistic emphasizing hundreds of kids’ fears. 

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Not alone

Escrito por: Libby Thoma | Redactora

According to the Legal Information Institute, abuse is described as “an action that intentionally causes harm or injures another person.” Abuse can happen to anyone — any gender, race and sexuality is susceptible to abuse. Although abuse is mainly perceived to occur in romantic relationships, it can occur in any interpersonal relationship. 

Multiple forms of abuse exist such as physical, sexual and verbal abuse along with, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, digital and financial abuse. Coercion is also a type of abuse, which includes reproductive and sexual coercion. Lastly, stalking is also considered a form of abuse.

Many people are not properly educated on what constitutes abuse. This can lead to victims not knowing that what they are experiencing is, in fact, abuse and may struggle to find a way out. Experiencing any physical violence, threats of physical violence or any language that is aimed at controlling, scaring or isolating a person is abuse. Abuse doesn’t only exist within these lines and is more complicated than what can be quantified. Control is the main factor behind abusive behaviors. If one is feeling controlled in any sense of the word, one may be experiencing abuse and should reach out for help. 

According to the domestic violence hotline, 24 people per minute are victims of abuse by an intimate partner, and this excludes all other interpersonal relationships in which abuse can occur. 

An anonymous source spoke about her story, “I had no clue what I was getting myself into. In the beginning, there was no abuse, it was a normal relationship. But as time went on he began to hit me, assault me and limit what food I ate and how much I ate. It’s so hard to see it when you’re in it too, because they’ll apologize while also isolating you from everyone. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how bad it was, and it’s almost three years later.”

There are many resources available for those experiencing abuse. 

The Domestic Abuse Hotline — (800)-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline — 1-800-656-4673,

Abby’s house — (503) 838-8219

One may also visit the Victim Connect Research Center

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Blooming spring recipes

Escrito por: Taylor Duff | Redactor


From start to finish: 20 min

Greek red wine vinaigrette dressing (purchase or make) 

Red onion 


Grape tomatoes 

Fresh parsley 

Olives of choice 

Banana peppers 


Salt and pepper to taste

Feta cheese to top

Begin by chopping your red onion, cucumber, grape tomatoes, banana peppers, olives and avocado and add to a large bowl. Next, roughly chop your parsley and sprinkle on top of the veggie mix. Then, drizzle the red wine vinaigrette over the veggie mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, toss together and sprinkle with feta cheese.       


From start to finish: 45 min 

2 Tbs Chicken bouillon powder 

Angel hair pasta 

Half a stick of butter 

1Tbs of minced garlic 

1 Tbs of red pepper flakes 

Fresh parsley 

1 Cup grated parmesan 

2 lemons squeezed 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Start by boiling a pot of water large enough to fit the angel hair pasta and season the water with the chicken bouillon powder. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and stir periodically. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain your pasta once cooked according to the package. On medium heat in a large pan add the half stick of butter, minced garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until melted and combined. Now add in the drained pasta and some of the reserved pasta water with the fresh parsley, grated parmesan, juice from the lemons, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until combined and serve. 


From start to finish: 70 min

1 cup of flour

1 cup of white sugar 

1 cup of milk 

1/4th cup melted butter 

A pack of mixed frozen or fresh berries about 2 cups 

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar and milk — whisk until combined. In a 9 by 13-inch pan, pour the melted butter, moving it around so it coats the bottom. Pour the mixture over the butter and top with the mixed berries. Place in a 180-degree oven for 50 minutes or until cooked through the cobbler. Let cool and enjoy.   

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Spring break inside

Escrito por: Taylor Duff | Redactor

With spring break approaching, many students do not have the funds to travel or participate in expensive activities, leaving them to wonder what they will do during their break. Some are most likely catching up on sleep, but here are some ideas for how to spend one’s spring break, other than sleeping.  

Read a new book — Reading is proven to be beneficial to the mind, and there are many options out there for any genre or length. Audiobooks are also a great alternative because they can provide a more immersive experience for some. TikTok and other social media sites have many recommendations to discover.  

Watch a new TV series or have a movie marathon — Streaming services have many choices for film and TV. If one isn’t sure what they might like, try watching the first episode of a show or the trailer to see if it’s something one may be interested in. 

Play board games — Board games are underrated as there are always more to try out. Games are always fun to play time and time again. 

Try a new hobby — A new hobby can be exciting and something that could get a person out of their comfort zone. The most popular hobbies include painting, cooking, writing, gardening, video games and so much more. Another fun hobby one can try is pottery; many pottery shops offer a chance to try it out or paint some pottery pieces that have already been made. 

Try a new recipe — The internet is full of delicious and adventurous recipes that give one a chance to practice cooking skills and learn a thing or two. Not much of a cook? Try a new restaurant in the area and step outside of one’s comfort zone; this could lead to a new favorite dish.   

Listen to some new music — Music is a great way to decompress and enjoy the moment no matter where one might be. Try listening to a new artist and discover what one likes and dislikes.

Declutter — With spring coming, spring cleaning is also an option, which many don’t like to participate in, but if the moment arises and boredom is too prevalent then decluttering is a great way to get cleaning done and feel refreshed. This is also a good time to redecorate or take care of household tasks one has been putting off. 

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