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Which surprise songs could Taylor Swift play in Kansas City? The Eras Tour visualized

Published in The Kansas City Star on July 7, 2023

No one does suspense quite like Taylor Swift.


From her extensive use of Easter eggs in music videos to the creative promotion of her most recent album “Midnights,” this queen of pop can send millions of fans into a tizzy with a single, cryptically-placed exclamation point.


Eras Tour concerts are filled with carefully choreographed references that Swifties dissect in group chats, TikTok videos and Twitter threads. The set lists for the three-hour concerts are the same from city to city with one exception: the surprise songs.

Design by Isa Luzarraga

‘I’m not leaving’: How a 21-year-old Salvadoran immigrant is fighting for medical justice

Published in Keke Magazine on June 29, 2023

Design by Isa Luzarraga

The biting November wind propelled 17-year-old Katherinne Zabaleta through the doors of the emergency facility at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Her clothes were soaked with sweat, her dark hair plastered to her forehead. She adjusted her sweater, preparing to be sent home—for the third day in a row. 

Zabaleta initially went to the ER in late 2020 because of shortness of breath she believed to be a symptom of COVID. At the center, she tested negative for COVID. The doctor sent her home and told her to rest—even though she had been feeling faint and lost feeling in her fingers and toes. The next day, she returned to the center, only to be told that she would be fine with rest. On the third day of her relentless sickness, a pediatrician called her back to the ER because of her abnormal vitals. 

After being passed off to multiple ER staff, a pediatrician wrapped a blood pressure snugly around Zabaleta’s arm. Despite her blood pressure of 240/160, Zabaleta didn’t feel sick anymore. The three days of non-stop fatigue, perspiration, and tingling had rendered her body numb. The ER staff called an ambulance for a confused Zabaleta. A pediatrician told her that her life was in danger and that she was at risk of having a heart attack. 

Eight cozy, winter romance novels from New England authors to sweep you into the new year

Published in The Boston Globe on Dec. 23, 2022

Photograph by Suzanne Kreiter for The Boston Globe

We’re basking in the aftermath of the giving holidays and with New Year’s Eve on the way, this week offers one more chance to crack open a feel-good, seasonal novel with sparks of romance. December in New England is equally beautiful and brisk, so here are eight winter romance novels written by New England authors to bring the heat into New Year’s. Heat up your cocoa and don fuzzy socks to get the full experience.

“I’m Just Ready To Get On-Stage:” Youth-led Bands Take on the Omaha Music Scene

Published in The Reader on June 29, 2022
Photograph by Isa Luzarraga

Like most bands, UN-T.I.L. owes its origin to a concert. The only thing is, the three members weren’t even there.

It was their moms who met each other weaving through the crowd of an Ex Hex show at Reverb. They struck up a conversation, bonding over being too short to see through the crowd, their music taste and, most importantly, their daughters.

“I don’t really know what they were talking about, but somehow it got back to us,” 14-year-old drummer Tierney Coughlin said. “They were like, ‘Our kids should play together. You guys can meet each other and play some music.’ So we did, and the first few times were really, really awkward.”

But once they pushed past the discomfort, Lena Seavey, 14-year-old bassist/singer; Inara Seavey, 12-year-old guitarist/singer and Tierney bonded over their love for “Stranger Things,” the Pixies and of course,  playing music and formed UN-T.I.L. About a year later, they found themselves playing to a crowd of hundreds at the 2021 Maha Music Festival. 

“I’m Still Gasping For Air:” Chemical List Released after Nox-Crete Fire, Residents Still Concerned

Published in The Reader on June 11, 2022
Photograph by Chris Bowling

When Nancy Valentino stepped outside to smoke a cigarette the evening of Memorial Day, she didn’t expect to see anything out of the ordinary. The residents on 19th and Dorcas streets heard pops, but they all assumed they were firecrackers. Then she saw black, billowing clouds of smoke.

“There was all that smoke over those trees,” she said looking south toward the charred remains of the Nox-Crete chemical warehouse about 2,000 feet from her home. “There were car crashes because they had to detour traffic. I was concerned about what was in the air. I have grandkids in the house.”

On May 31, Nox-Crete Manufacturing reported a three-alarm chemical fire in its warehouse near 20th and Woolworth streets, which houses concrete sealant chemicals. It took more than a week for the Omaha company to provide a list of what chemicals burned in the fire, despite making one days earlier, and local agencies are still determining potential effects. 

The impact of performative social media movements on Latine voices

Published in The Intersectionalist on Jan. 22, 2022
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Screen Shot 2022-04-28 at 1.17.37 PM.png
Graphic by Hailey Akau

First-year Sofia Farres said she and her family were happy that others were finally attentive to Cuban people voicing their political, social, and economic struggles through #SOSCuba in July of 2021. Farres lost many family members during former president Fidel Castro’s regime, which many Cubans suffered under, she said. 

The #SOSCuba movement to inform American audiences of the injustices in Cuba flooded Twitter and Instagram with images of the Cuban flag and disapproving messages regarding the island's repressive government. Former Cuban president Fidel Castro’s ideas of liberty did not align with what the citizens of the country needed, resulting in censorship and repression that continues to this day. Castro’s rule was defined as authoritarian, with increased surveillance, unjust incarcerations, and acts of repudiation.

“What if it was you”: A Nebraskan student body’s movement to dismantle campus rape culture

Published in Keke Magazine on Sept. 8, 2021
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Photograph by Will Ramsey

“…and after he was done, he threw her on the lawn.” Students around campus describe the assault to one another. Women clutch their keys like weapons. Many take detours around Greek row. They fear the vulnerability that comes with nightfall. They prepare for the worst.

On Tuesday, August 24th, a 17-year-old female student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was raped by a member of the UNL’s chapter of fraternity Phi Gamma Delta. Reports from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Police Department (UNLPD) detail the woman getting picked up by a friend and escorted to a local hospital. She talked with authorities after receiving medical attention.

Following this incident, thousands have been advocating for the termination of UNL’s chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) across social media and in the streets of Lincoln.

In a statement released by the fraternity, members said they were working closely with police to investigate the matter.

Among friends, the Millard mask debate has a different tone

Published in Flatwater Free Press on Sept. 7, 2021
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Design courtesy of Flatwater Free Press

Sarah Moore and Amber Lichti have lived in the same Millard cul-de-sac for seven years, separated by one house. They share the occasional glass of Prosecco and chat about parenting their school-aged children. Their daughters, Lily and Annabelle, are self-declared best friends, most of the time, and go to fourth grade at Bess Streeter Aldrich Elementary School, a three-minute drive from home.


They are similar in parenting style. And yet these two Millard moms disagree about whether their daughters should have to wear masks to attend fourth grade — even as they both worry about the Delta variant and the school year ahead.

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