Farewell Whitewater

Just like many people who go to college, I had no concrete plan when I arrived on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus.  I had a tarnished view of college based on films and shows that it is a crazy place full of pool parties and drinking.  Sadly enough, I came to realize that I would never attend a pool party in Whitewater, but instead I would turn into a man.  Life in high school was really relaxed and the worries were slim.  After the first week of living in the constricting dorm room and sleeping on the slim bed, I wanted out.  I remember calling my mom in a depressed mood and saying I want to come home.  She ensured me everything would be ok, and that I needed to just give it my best shot.  I quickly learned that I couldn’t just rely on other people when I had problems anymore; it was up to me to solve them.

Life got better after the first week.  I met a whole floor of new friends and was busy with all the work of college.  Sure I didn’t have Mom’s amazing meals every night, but the freedom turned out to be worth the poor nutrition of the college meal plan.  College taught me how to problem solve.  Not just math problems, but REAL LIFE PROBLEMS.  When I got sick it was up to me to go to the doctor and buy medicine while also remembering to take it every night.   Every year I became smarter and smarter and my thinking skills only increased.  I started finding ways to deal with stress.  Drinking became one of them (although I didn’t always enjoy it), but on a serious note, I found another way: working out.  Working out was something I never really did in high school, because I was highly involved in playing basketball and really didn’t have time.  Once I started getting into working out I never looked back.  It turned into my number one passion and hobby.  I can’t go a day without doing it because not only does it provide fun for me; it is also my way to vent problems in life and is my own personal therapy.

When it came time to declare a major, I had no clue what I was going to do.  I enjoyed writing and playing sports, so I decided to become a print journalism major.  I started out by writing stories for the Whitewater football team on an alumni site called whitewaterfootballclub.com.  I finished off the year of writing for the website to learn that it just wasn’t for me.  It was too late to change major though, because I wasn’t the kid who wanted to stay in school forever, so I just decided to add a minor in marketing.  Marketing became my passion in school.  I acquired many books to read on my phone and became heavily involved in the idea of marketing.  Although I didn’t want to become a journalist, I began to realize that learning how to write would only help my marketing skills.  Why? Because most business students I’ve ran into throughout my college experience CAN’T write.  I found my own niche position in the business world.  I had marketing knowledge with refined (no where near perfect) writing skills, and that is how I advertised myself to companies.  It landed me a nice summer job at Lexus of Brookfield, where I would write descriptions for cars while also doing online marketing for the company.  For once I was excited about my journalistic future, because I could integrate my major to real life businesses without having to write stories everyday.  It made me think about this world a different way.  I knew that working hard enough would get me the college degree I’ve came here for, but I could also create my own path into the business world without having to follow the “typical” path.  I’m hoping the current opportunities I have at Lexus will open the doors into a new career that will be full of wealth and exciting opportunities.

If I could go back and change the path I took throughout college, I probably would go into accounting and marketing or possibly personal training.  I do not, however, regret any of the decisions I’ve made because these important decisions have shaped me into the person I am today.  I learned that I can’t look back and dwell at the past but instead should look into the future and be excited about possible opportunities.  I have come to realize, as graduation is right around the corner, that I could not have had these learning experiences and life lessons without going to college.  It has been an amazing experience that I will cherish forever, and I am more than grateful for everyone I have met during this crazy ride.  But it is time for me to move and an attack the real world head on.  Goodbye Whitewater, thanks for all the memories.

James Sayers’ Audio Feature Story: Tattoos


Tattoos have become more and more popular during the past decade.  From celebrities to supermodels, tattoos are found on millions of people.  Even in the little town of Whitewater, Wisconsin the young and the old come to get tattoos.  Tattoo artist Jim at Fink Ink Tattoo has had his fair share of unusual customers.


Jims Part- Grandma getting tattoo


Jim has even seen and heard advertising for tattoos.


Jims Part- advertisement


So why do people go through the grueling pain and ear cringing noise while getting a tattoo?  Well unless you have one, you may never know.  Tattoos have been traced back almost 5,000 years when in 1991, a 5,300 year-old mummy was found with over 50 tattoos.  Although they have been around for so long, meanings and tattoos have changed.  One thing that hasn’t really changed is the perception of people with tattoos.



Tattoos are considered taboo because of the stigma they carry.  Most people associate tattoos with thugs or gang members, which strays people from taking the permanent leap and get a tattoo.


Whitewater student, Mark Hackendahl has different concerns holding him back from getting tattoos.


Marks Part


Regardless of the risk, people will continue to ink of their body.   With an estimated 15,000 tattoo parlors around the nation, there is no shortage in options.  Around one third of Americans aged 18 to 25 have a tattoo and the popularity keeps growing.  Businesses are booming making an estimated $2.5 billion a year despite the economic struggles.  So if you are planning on joining the fad, the time is now.  Just make sure if you get one, it means something.   For Webhawk news, this is James Sayers in Whitewater

Weight Lifting Without Headphones

Here is my audio news story about not being able to wear headphones in the William’s Center Weight Room.  By: James Sayers

Government Shutdown Aftermath: A REAL Estate Problem

The government shutdown came to a halt Wednesday Oct. 16, suspending the Congress’ decision to appropriate funds until Jan. 15, 2014.


According to federaltimes.com article “Number of furloughed workers shrinks as shutdown drags on”, there were an estimated 800,000 furloughed government workers and around 1.2 million who showed up to work but didn’t do normal government duties during the 15-day period.


The lack of government workers was detrimental for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development.  Both government organizations play a large role in real estate transactions and housing around the U.S.


The IRS has computers that generate liens, which according to Forbes.com are legal documents that state if the IRS has a legal claim against the property.  During the government shutdown, the IRS’ computers were down, which prevented the IRS from generating new liens.


Liens prevent people from purchasing homes because of their failure to pay income taxes or failure to pay property tax.  According to Forbes.com article “As IRS Shutdown Drags On, Some Taxpayers Face Big Problems”, during 2012 there were over 20,000 liens generated by the IRS each week.


The IRS is also needed in a house closing.  Real Estate Agent Katie Sayers experienced the effects of the government shutdown during one of her closings,


“When the lending process goes through, during the final step, the IRS has to do background checks on income taxes.  But if the IRS is shutdown they can’t verify it so the loans go no where,” Sayers said.


She went on by saying, “I had one happen. The lender could not qualify the loan because of the process glitch.  We are going to start to decline in property sales if another shutdown happens.”


31-year-old Brad Sayers bought his second home around a year ago and currently has his first house on the market.  He is worried about the real estate market because of the potential of another lockout,


“The FHA loans are getting really tight and government programs that help first-time homebuyers are slimming down.  It’s making it hard for my realtor (Katie Sayers) to sell my house,” he said.


The U.S. Housing and Urban Development not only runs the FHA, but it also protects the U.S. against house fraud, creates housing for the elderly and people with disabilities and it enforces federal laws against discrimination in community housing.  According to Realtor.com article “Government Shutdown Updates”, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development only had 4% of workers on staff during the first week of the shutdown.


The FHA loans were affected during that period, because just like with the IRS, lenders and lending firms had to wait for the FHA to provide them with a case number prior to an appraisal on a home.


With another shutdown looming in the next few months there is a large concern from real estate agents, lenders and sellers about the future of real estate.  Recent college graduate Chris Pendergast remains optimistic about his home-buying future,


“I’m not worried.  I’m not really in a rush to buy a place, but if I needed to I’m confident that I could obtain a loan,” Pendergast said.


Real estate took a hit during the shutdown but lenders and agents couldn’t be happier it’s over; just as long as Congress can make a decision by Jan. 15, 2014.




Follow Your Heart to Find Your Dream JOB(S)

(Palo Alto, Calif.)-  60-year-old Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., is not the average commencement speaker.  But any Stanford graduate would love to have his success.


During today’s commencement speech at Stanford University, Jobs told the graduates about his bumpy road to success. A story that can make anyone a believer.


Jobs’ took an unorthodox approach to school.  At 19 years old, he dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Ore., after only six months.  He didn’t find value in school but believed in himself.  That’s all that mattered.


“The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting,” Jobs admitted to the graduates.


Living on virtually no budget, Jobs found a calligraphy class and learned about typefaces that would later become a core competency for the Macintosh computer.


When he was 20-years-old, Jobs started Apple with a friend, Stephen Wozniak or “Woz”, in his parents basement. Jobs and Woz took Apple Inc. from a garage idea to a $2 billion company in ten years.


When looking for funding for Apple, Jobs and Woz persuaded Mike Markkula, a retired millionaire and ex- marketer for Intel, to join Apple because of his sufficient funds and market knowledge.  After a good first year, Markkula and Jobs began to disagree and Jobs was fired from his own business.


“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life,” Jobs said to the graduates.


Jobs explained how he never let failure ruin him.  He could have given up after his embarrassing fallout with Apple, but instead Jobs went on and started two more companies and met his wife, Laurence Powell.


Jobs’ company, Pixar, went on to making the first animated computer film, Toy Story, and is one of the top animated studios today.  As for his other company, NeXT, Jobs explained how Apple ironically bought out the company for its technology, which placed Jobs as the CEO of Apple.


“About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer… The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months,” Jobs explained.


Jobs had a tumor on his pancreas, and the doctor ordered Jobs to say goodbye to his family and prepare for death.  Although Jobs had failed before, he had never faced something like cancer.


Jobs had to think about what the doctor said all day until he got a biopsy that reported his cancer could be cleared.  Surgery went well and Jobs had his cancer removed, but it became a life lesson far more important than anything Jobs has ever learned: “Death is very likely the single best invention of Life,” Jobs said.


To Jobs, death means out with the old and in with the new.  Death provides the youth with opportunities and that’s what Jobs stressed to the graduates.


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary,” Jobs said to the graduates.


Jobs powerful commencement ended with farewell message that he stumbled upon when he was around the age of the graduate students.


“Stay hungry. Stay foolish,” Jobs repeated to the students.  Although students can’t duplicate Jobs’ journey to success, he provided life lessons and the motivation needed to overcome obstacles in the road to success; an unforgettable event for the graduates and people who attended the commencement.

All Drama No Scare

(Whitewater, WI)-    Edgar Allen Poe once said, “We loved with a love that was more than love.”  But what if that love is unwanted?


*A current trend in vampire art, whether it’s a movie or a play, is drama.  The play “Dracula,” which showed Monday Oct. 7, was no different.  The play portrayed love with a creepy sexual twist.  An all too familiar theme unwanted by several audience members and viewers.


Tyler, an usher for “Dracula,” described the play as a totally unexpected event and was disappointed with the little amount of scare it provided.


“I personally wished the play was scarier and didn’t have the kissing scenes.  I felt like they were too much for me… at least what I expected the play to be like,” Tyler said.


“Dracula,” directed by Angela Iannoe and based on the tale of Bram Stroker’s Dracula, was about Count Dracula’s quest to England.  Dracula follows the main protagonist Lucy and brainwashes her to obey his command.


Lucy’s loved ones try to track down and terminate Count Dracula, but fail because of the elusiveness and secretiveness of Dracula.


Act two of “Dracula” started with Lucy kissing her fiancé and Count Dracula within a matter of minutes.  This event sparked a love triangle leaving the traumatized women protagonist Lucy pickled between the two males.


The all-too-familiar love triangle shows up in the popular Twilight series and TV show “The Vampire Diaries.”  Posing the question, what happened to scary vampire plays and movies?


An audience member named Cassie described the play as sexually creepy but was not scared the whole play.  She was disgusted when Dracula and Lucy started kissing and thought it was unnecessary.


Nick, an audience member attending the play, said, “I felt like I was watching a chick flick with all the making out going on.  It was kind of awkward and just not my cup of tea.”


Nick went on saying he didn’t enjoy the play and is really getting sick of vampire because of movies like Twilight who turn the horror of vampires into a love story.


Most audience members seemed to enjoy the play, but there was a general displeasure in the lack of horror involved in a play.  Are vampire movies and plays forever doomed to the drama genre?


Many members of the “Dracula” play in Whitewater hope not.  Coming into the play hoping for horror, they left unsatisfied with a familiar plot direction that crowds box offices today.




Shark Attacks Surfer in Shallow Water

Wednesday November 22, 2012 started out as a normal day for University of Florida senior Kyle Telford.

Telford took advantage of a break in school during Thanksgiving weekend and went surfing at Bathtub Beach in Stuart, Florida.

Telford grew up in Stuart and has been surfing since he was 12 years old.

“It rained that morning and the water was murky, but me and my buddies had to take advantage of the monster waves.”  Telford explained.

After riding his first wave to shallow water, Telford got off him board, took a step forward and felt the worst pain he has ever felt in his life.

“It felt like a million little knives were ripping through my foot.   I instantly jumped and screamed and the shark swam off.”

Telford was bitten by a three-foot bull shark and was rushed to the emergency room, receiving 67 stiches on his left foot.

He blames the attack on the murky water conditions and he believes the situation could have been avoided if he thought about his safety instead of the waves.

When asked if he is afraid of going surfing and being bit again by a shark, he quickly replied, “No.  Surfing is what I love to do.  I was born by the water and grew up with my friends in it.”

Telford went on by explaining that the attack was a learning experience, and that he has a scar that will always remind him to be smart when deciding when to surf.

“It has been hard to not think about the attack, but as soon I hit a big wave, I begin to forget about the past and just have fun.”

Telfords Left Foot

Telfords Left Foot

Florida is known to be the most dangerous state for shark attacks, particularly on surfers.  Telford doesn’t know another person who has been attacked by a shark, but explained that he always hears about attacks in neighboring towns.


Stop the Run

On the morning of the opening day of the 2013-14 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers are looking to reverse what happened last year against the San Francisco 49ERS and stop Colin Kappernick.  Is the read-option a fad or are the 49ERS going to punish the Packer defense again with their athletic offense?  We will all find out a 4:15 E.T. and boy will it be a good one!