Vaccination Viewpoint: Are your medical freedoms at risk?

By Morgan Radwick, design editor

Whether you are for or against childhood immunizations, there has been a lot happening from state to state regarding the potential for losing medical freedoms and our rights to choose what goes into our own bodies.

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Morgan Radwick

Many people are not aware that we currently have the freedom to choose what goes into our bodies, including vaccines. Too often parents are being told by healthcare professionals and school officials that it is the “law” that your child must be vaccinated in order to attend school; however, this is not true.

Currently, Pennsylvania, along with 48 other states, excluding California, have vaccination exemptions. According to Pennsylvania Law 28 Pa. Code §23.84, Pennsylvania has three exemptions.

These exemptions allow for medical, religious, and conscientious/philosophical exemptions to immunizations as requirements for attendance in public schools.

These exemptions are under attack in every state, and parents’ rights to make informed decisions for the health of their children are at risk of being stripped away.

Unfortunately, it appears vaccines are not a one size fits all. According to its website, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or NVIC, has paid out over $4.2 billion in vaccine-related injuries and death since its inception in 1986.

The number of vaccinations required by the CDC has risen considerably over the past 36 years. In 1983, the doses required were 24, in 2019 there are 72 required doses.

With the reported autism, autoimmune disorders, and childhood cancer rates on the rise, this leaves many parents questioning the safety of vaccines from the same industry that once said cigarettes don’t cause cancer, asbestos isn’t dangerous, and Roundup isn’t harmful.

In 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed, leaving vaccine manufacturers not liable for injury or death related to their products, even though they state in their own vaccine inserts that vaccines can cause harmful and deadly side effects.

Within the Constitution of the United States, we as citizens continue to have freedoms and rights under this law.

The right of individuals to make conscientious medical decisions regarding their own health is being challenged in many states, and has been completely taken away from the citizens in the state of California.

What could this mean for you if this happens in Pennsylvania? What will you do when you don’t have a choice?

Cambridge Springs community looks to future after the fire

Story and photos by Nick Archacki, news editor

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First floor of the Hardwaters brewpub location.

Last Sunday night, a ravenous inferno raged through Cambridge Springs, leaving another scar on a town that is still recovering from the loss of the beloved Riverside Inn which burnt to the ground just over two years ago.

The flames, which blazed for four consecutive hours, destroyed many sections in a historic building complex on 276 and 278 South Main Street. The building housed four apartments and was going to be the home of a new brewpub, Hardwaters Brewing, which was just six to eight weeks from opening its doors for business.

The fire caused smoke damage to Mr. Woody’s Smokin’ Barbecue, Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe, and Kelly Run Art Gallery. The Art Gallery remains open, but the other three stores are closed until further notice. The smoke from the fire remained in the Cambridge Springs vicinity two days after the flames were extinguished.

The blaze, which was reported at around 7 p.m. on May 12, supposedly started in the front part of the new pub, where the bar countertop was installed just a day prior to the fire. Due to the instability of the building and the collapse of the second floor and roof, the fire marshall has not begun an investigation as to how it started.

“It was hard just knowing they were working so hard in there to get it [Hardwaters Brewing] up and running,” Cambridge Springs Fire Chief Chris French said.

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Second floor of the Hardwaters brewpub location

French, who has been the Cambridge Fire Chief for seven years, took a moment to reflecton this fire as well as the loss of the Riverside two years ago: “When the Riverside burnt, I was in shock knowing I was just there with over 700 people for the adult prom. Emotionally, this fire didn’t affect me as much as the Riverside. However, it was still tough because I was in charge of about 200 firefighters and they depended on me to make the right decisions.”

According to French, twenty fire departments from Crawford and Erie counties were on the scene with five ladder trucks applying water on the fire. Crews remained at the scene until early Monday morning, with some departments returning later that day when the fire rekindled for a short time.

PENNCREST School District called for a two-hour delay on Monday out of respect for the community and the firefighters (who came from across the district to assist). An email from Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said: “The fire in Cambridge Springs will affect our students, residents, bus drivers, bus routes, and others. Please keep Cambridge Springs in your prayers.”

There is still hope that Hardwaters Brewing may rebuild, but nothing has been confirmed at this time. The smoke damage to Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe was extensive and has caused the future of Finney’s to be undecided. The business is currently closed as the materials that were used to make chocolate, cakes, and desserts were damaged. Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning will be moving to 239 South Main Street, and Mr. Woody’s will be moving into the location of the former Crazy Pineapple (or the Crossbow) at 259 Venango Avenue.

The Cambridge Springs pride is still strong after another heartbreaking loss. The community is coming together once again to help the firefighters and crews at the fire and aid the people affected by the blaze.

 

Maplewood Elementary ‘Terrific Teller’ releases Issue 2

The Panther Press is pleased to share with you the second issue of The Terrific Teller, a production of Mrs. Jen Wilkinson’s fourth-grade class at Maplewood Elementary School. We have partnered with the staff of the Teller this year, and we are happy to recognize and support the efforts of these young journalists.

Click here to read: Terrific Teller Issue 2

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Column: Tiger Woods wins Masters, completes the re-birth of a legend

By Nick Archacki, news editor

The Masters is undoubtedly the most anticipated event of the year on the PGA Tour. The best golfers from around the world earn their way to the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia with the hopes of walking away with the famed green jacket.

Before the 2019 Masters started, unsurprisingly, the sports world was buzzing about Tiger Woods, arguably one of the greatest golfers to ever play the game.

Of course, there were many questions surrounding the living legend. Where would he place? Would he make the cut? Would he place in the top ten, top five? Would he win?

These speculations arose due to a magnitude of roadblocks Tiger has faced in the past ten years in his personal life and golfing career. Through that time, Woods has dealt with sports critics and long-time golf enthusiasts who said he would never win a tournament again.

However, in Tiger-like fashion, he made the critics eat their words. He brought in the crowd and fans like it was 1997 when he won his first Masters at age 21. He played the Masters like it was 2005 when he won his fourth Masters.

After all of the pain, agony, defeat, doubt, and criticism the icon has faced since 2008, Tiger has thoroughly made golf whole again with his most recent comeback. Finally, after 11 years without winning a major, the 43-year-old, who had four back surgeries in a span of four years, won his fifteenth major title, the 2019 Masters, his fifth Masters.

His Masters win ended the longest drought between Masters titles in golf history, 14 years. Woods is now second for the most wins in Masters history, behind Jack Nicklaus. On a side note, Woods is chasing Nicklaus for the most major titles in golf history; Jack has 18 major wins to Tiger’s 15 major wins.

When Woods sunk his two-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the tournament, he clenched his fist, picked his ball up, and let out a roar to the berserk crowd with both hands in the air, holding the putter that has won Woods 14 of his 15 majors.

Woods walked off the green straight to his family; yelling, shouting, and embracing the historical moment. He won a major in front of his kids and a new generation of golfers for the first time in his life. In an interview, Woods said, “to have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in ’97, and now I’m the dad with two kids there.”

As a long-time golfer and Tiger Woods fan, for me to watch him win a major, acknowledge the importance of it, and remember it, I can’t express how elated I was when he knocked his final putt into the hole. I think everyone who’s involved with sports was happy to see Tiger win this tournament and watch his comeback become a perfect ending. This victory is without a doubt the greatest comeback in golf history.

Six-time NBA champion, Michael Jordan, shared his thoughts on Tiger’s victory and return to golf immortality. “To me, it was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen,” Jordan said. “He [Woods] had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit. They [Woods’ tour opponents] got problems. You don’t know what Tiger’s capable of doing.”         

Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods, without exception, is one of the greatest athletes to ever live. For golf, he is the Michael Jordan of basketball; he is the Michael Phelps of swimming; he is the Muhammad Ali of boxing. Woods will be remembered for bringing youth, vibrancy, fans, and excitement to golf. Tiger changed the sport from a formal game to an exhilarating one.

Woods will also be remembered for his comeback and trek back to the top of the golf world. Woods said that he was “completely done with golf” two years ago. Nonetheless, you can’t kill a champion, especially when that champion’s job isn’t finished, even if he couldn’t tie his shoes two years ago.

With his performance in the 2019 Masters, he showed everyone that if you put your mind to your passion and never give up, you can achieve your goal. Tiger is now on the hunt, again, in chasing Sam Snead for the most wins in PGA Tour history. Snead has 82 victories to Woods’ 81.

On May 6, Woods received the highest honor any American civilian can acquire. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Trump for his courageous fight to make it back to the winners circle on the toughest stage in golf. Woods is now the fourth golfer ever to receive the award with predecessors Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Charlie Sifford being the other recipients.

The question now stands, will one of the greatest golfers, if not the greatest, of all-time achieve 82 wins? I think yes… I think he will get more. Will Woods win the most majors in history? Possibly. I do believe, however, that Tiger will tie Jack Nicklaus at 18 major championships.

Saegertown Trap Team shooting for success in 2019

By Samantha Thomas, staff writer

Snapchat-1419980013Saegertown students in grades 6-12 are taking to local shooting ranges for the 2019 Trap Shooting Season. The club, which was founded in 2016, has already become wildly popular in Saegertown, with 38 active members this year. Darin Ashbaugh is the head coach and assistants are Richard Johnson, Jason Bailey, John Jordan, and Doug Jordan. One of the team mottos for this year is: “Creating good stories about kids with guns.”

The team participates in the Crawford County Trap League (a traveling league) that includes Maplewood, Cambridge, and CASH. These teams compete on Tuesday nights. Saegertown is currently 2-1, posting wins over CASH (146-121) in week 1 and Cambridge (161-157). They lost a close match to Maplewood on May 7 (166-160). Their next travel match is on May 14 at the Saegertown Sportsmen’s Club.

In addition to the travel team, all members shoot on Sundays for points that may qualify them for competition at the next level, which is the state shoot at Elysburg, Pa. on June 22. Students competing in the state tournament are divided into divisions based on their age and seasonal average. Outstanding shooters then move on to the National Tournament in Mason, Michigan.

Snapchat-1316138064On May 18, team members will participate in a “Shoot for Youth” fundraiser at the Saegertown Sportsmen’s Club. The open registration event will include a day of shooting and a meal. There will also be a Chinese auction, prizes and awards for the best shooters, and other fun activities.  “Shoot for Youth” starts at 10 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m. Fifty birds and a pulled pork d dinner are included for $15. Non-shooters pay $8 for dinner.

The club will also host a pike and panfish fishing tournament to raise money for the program. The fundraiser will be held on June 1 on Conneaut Lake. The entry fee will be $60. For more information,  contact Darin Ashbaugh at (814)-795-2470 or stop into Myers’ Sports Connections in Saegertown.

 

Panthers face Bulldogs tonight for region title

By Taylor Munce, sports editor

 

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Senior Will Phelan serves the ball during a recent match against CASH.

The boys volleyball team began their stellar season with a record of 10-0 in the district after an impressive win over McDowell on May 2. They took down the AAA powerhouse in five sets with scores of 18-25, 25-21, 25-21, 17-25, and 16-14.

 

Senior outside hitter Will Phelan attributes the recent successes to teamwork. “It’s crucial in volleyball to have a good connection throughout the team because we pick each other up when we’re down,” Phelan said. Senior Eli Draa, right side hitter, echoed Phelan’s sentiments. “There are always six people on the court, and if one person gets mad everything crumbles,” said Draa. “We try to work together the best we can.”

Phelan celebrated his last home match with the memorable victory over McDowell, but still looks forward to the remaining matches.  “It was great to come out with a win on our senior night, and I loved the energy and spirit from the crowd,” he said. “But we still have some volleyball left to play.”  

With their win over Maplewood last night, the Panthers remain undefeated. Tonight, they face rival Meadville Bulldogs for the region title. The Bulldogs are also undefeated. 

Action begins at Meadville Area High School at 7 p.m. Follow @PantherPressSHS on Twitter for live updates.

Track and field: DeYoung headed to districts

By Mason McClure, staff writer

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Senior runner Gabe DeYoung

The Track and Field team traveled to Franklin on Saturday, April 13, where eight runners participated in various track events. Senior runner, Gabe DeYoung, qualified for the District 10 championship, which will take place at Slippery Rock University on May 18, in the 1600 meter race with a time of 4:46:41 and the 3200 meter with a time of 10:33:44. Gabe finished sixth in 3200 and ninth in 1600.

Club adviser William Hetrick said, “Overall, I was very proud of all of athletes who ran, and having Gabe qualify in both events already is exciting as it is his senior year.” 

After competing at Franklin, the runners traveled to Hermitage, where both Gabe DeYoung and Paige Fuller, a freshman runner,  beat their own personal records in the 3200. “It was a goal to do better and improve,” Fuller said. DeYoung agreed: “I’ve been trying to break my own record of 10:30 for a long time. It’s nice to finally be under that time.”

Hetrick expressed his appreciation for the Track Club, “We have ten members who run; it’s not an approved sport so members cannot receive letters but they volunteer to run and better themselves,” Hetrick said. “I think it’s great they run for their benefit as opposed to just running to receive a letter.”

The team also ran at Oil City at the Oil Country Invitational on May 4. Gabe DeYoung took first place in the boys 1600 with a time of 4:42.92, a personal best. He also took first in the boys 3200 in a time of 10:26.78, also a personal best. The team has two races this week one today and one Thursday at Meadville Area High School.

 

                                       

Triola takes third in driving competition

By Will Phelan, social media editor

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Senior Grace Triola

Senior Grace Triola has a knack for driving that recently earned her $300. On April 30, she showcased her students showcased their safety and knowledge in driving during the Crawford County Driver Skills Challenge.  

Several schools in the area tested their students before the competition to create teams of three intelligent drivers.  The SHS team consisted of seniors Eli Draa, Emmitt Hershelman, and Grace Triola.

Each of the 21 total students participated in four different tests including written, perception, driving, and safety versions.  

Despite Emmitt Hershelman placing first in the preliminary team-forming tests, Grace Triola finished third among the field of contenders, earning herself a $300 reward which she plans to put toward college.  

As this was her first experience in the competition, Triola anticipated less written testing and more skill evaluation.  “I expected the challenge to be more driving based,” she said.

Students observed fabricated situations in which distractions in the form of texting and drinking impaired the ability to drive.  Of the event as a whole Triola said, “It was a good opportunity to learn about distracted driving and being safer on the road.”