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Buckeye Boys take pride in the Hetuck

It was only the first day that the Buckeye Boys State was running, but on Sunday, the Hetuck newspaper staff, which occupies a Harshman second-floor computer lab, was already filled with the hectic confusion that is so familiar to the journalism world.

Buckeye Boys State is a program that was designed to help young men in high school learn about state government. They will be housed on campus in Kreischer and Harshman residence halls for the next week. Their hands-on experience will include governmental elections, strict traffic laws and their very own functioning newspaper.

The Hetuck, which means “buckeye” in an Native American tongue, is in its 68 year of production. It was created two years after the Buckeye Boys State program itself.

The newspaper staff consists of 18 young men, all of which have been through an application and interview process to receive their position with the paper. The Hetuck has all the usual positions available, such as editors, reporters, photographers, and computer operators.

Timothy Kay, 16, is filling the position of news editor.

“I heard that this will be our home outside of home for the next eight days,” he said, laughing, but he admitted that he is thrilled with his position and excited for the days to come. “I love working with the guys here, and I’m really looking forward to the next eight days of hectic madness.”

Edward Yorukoff, a World War II veteran and a member of Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) as well as the American Legion, is the publisher of the newspaper. He has worked with Buckeye Boys State for 21 years. Gary Cox and Bob LaBounty, both trustees as well as veterans of Vietnam and Korea, respectively, help Yorukoff and the boys with the newspaper.

“It’s a high-stress job,” said LaBounty, “Because we have a true deadline. [The newspaper] must be ready by eleven o’clock.”

The Hetuck prints stories that pertain to Boys State current events. The Buckeye Boys State is comprised of 32 cities, each with about 40 young men, and the paper serves to keep the citizens informed of government events in other cities.

“Many of the people who run for office see their office only,” said Bob LaBounty, “But they don’t know what’s happening in legislature and other areas.”

“At the end of the week when it’s all over, we combine all the papers from that week and make it into a book, and each young man gets a book,” said Yorukoff.

Not only do the participating boys receive authentic news experience, but those who work for The Hetuck also go to the local Sentinel Tribune to see a professional newspaper in action. There, the boys learn that what they have been doing is not far from the real thing.

“[The only difference is that] we don’t have ads and inserts and flyers,” said LaBounty.

The members of the American Legion who help with Buckeye Boys State take pride in the fact that this replication of a state government is accurate, and the newspaper is no exception.

The Hetuck is printed daily and distributed to each participant, and those interested can also view a copy online at http://www.ohiobuckeyeboysstate.com.

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