Then to now: Differences from 2000-2001 to 2018-2019

By Nick Archacki, news editor

When this year’s seniors were born, our world was an undoubtedly different place from what it is today. The year 2000 was the beginning of a new millennium and 2001 saw the September 11th terrorist attacks. Due to events like 9/11, technology innovation, smartphones and music, our world has changed dramatically over the span of almost two decades. Here’s the list.

2000- Best song: “Breathe” by Faith Hill, the first country song to be ranked number one on the Billboard charts.

2000- Best artists: Eminem, Nelly, Destiny’s Child, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, 3 Doors Down, Bon Jovi, P!nk, U2, Shakira, Santana, Britney Spears, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera.

2000- President: Bill Clinton

2000- Best-selling vehicles: Ford F-series

2000- Best-selling car: Toyota Camry

2000- Best-selling SUV: Ford Explorer

2000- Minimum wage in the United States: $5.15

2000- Median household income: $43,162

2000- Best movie of 2000: Gladiator. Honorable mentions are Cast Away, X-Men, O Brother, Where Art Thou, and Requiem for a Dream

2000- Best animated movie: Chicken Run. Honorable mentions being Dinosaur and Rugrats In Paris: The Movie

2001- Best song: “Hanging by a Moment” by Lifehouse

2001- Best artists: Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Staind, Usher, Train, 3 Doors Down, Nelly, P!nk, Smash Mouth, Outkast, Shaggy, and Shakira.

2001- President: George W. Bush

2001- Best-selling vehicles: Ford F-series

2001- Best-selling car: Honda Accord  

2001- Best-selling SUV: Ford Explorer

2001- Minimum wage in the United States: $5.15

2001- Median household income: $42,228

2001- Best movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Honorable mentions being Mulholland Drive, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Donnie Darko, Ocean’s Eleven, and A Beautiful Mind.

2001- Best animated movie: Monsters, Inc. Honorable mentions are Shrek and Spirited Away.

2018- Best song: “In My Feelings” by Drake

2018- Best artists: Drake, Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Cardi B, XXXTentacion, Imagine Dragons, Travis Scott, Maroon 5, Juice WRLD, Khalid, Halsey, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, BTS, Marshmello, Kane Brown, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa, Eminem, Camila Cabello, The Weeknd, and Migos.

2018- President: Donald Trump

2018- Best-selling vehicles: Ford F-series.

2018- Best-selling car: Toyota Camry

2018- Best-selling SUV- Toyota RAV4

2018- Minimum wage in the United States: $7.25

2018- Median household income: $63,517

2018- Best movie: Black Panther. Honorable mentions are Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Avengers: Infinity War, Blackkklansman, A Star is Born, A Quiet Place, and Eighth Grade

2018- Best animated movie: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Honorable mentions are Paddington 2 and Incredibles 2

2019- Best artists: Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Panic! At The Disco, Imagine Dragons, The Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, Khalid, Taylor Swift, BTS, Billie Eilish, P!nk, Sammy Hagar, Logic, Lady Gaga, Dan+Shay, Luke Combs, and Florida Georgia Line.

2019- Best songs: “7 Rings”, “Thank U, Next”, and “Break Up with Your Girlfriend” by Ariana Grande, “I Don’t Care” by Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran, “Better” by Khalid, “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Sunflower” by Swae Lee ft. Post Malone,“Me!” by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie, and “Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers.

2019- President: Donald Trump

2019- Best-selling vehicles: Ford F-series

2019- Best-selling car: Toyota Camry

2019- Best-selling SUV: Nissan Rogue and Rogue Sport

2019- Minimum wage in the United States: $7.25

2019- Median household income: $63,688

2019- Best movie (so far): Avengers: Endgame. Honorable mentions are Captain Marvel, Shazam!, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Dark Phoenix.

2019- Best animated movie (so far): The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Honorable mentions are How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dumbo, and Aladdin. (Spoiler: Toy Story 4, Lion King, and Frozen II are expected to be the best films of 2019; they haven’t hit theaters yet.)

‘State of the Art’ technology fuels future success

By Mason McClure, staff writer

Monday through Sunday, night and day, Saegertown students use their electronics and technology for homework and in-school assignments. Technology is everywhere; it’s entwined into almost every aspect of our culture.

Junior Josh McWright adjusts the battery on a bot for the RoboBots competition.

Using technology in the classroom gives teachers the opportunity to develop their students’ digital skills. It’s one thing to use electronic devices; it’s another thing to know how to use them correctly and responsibly.

Newer electronics and machinery are essential for modern-day careers, so it only makes sense that our schools should have them too. In classes like Robotics, Wood Tech, and Tech Education, students are taught how to properly use modern technology. Students choose electives like these to expand their knowledge, or even to help themselves pursue long-term goals.

According to an article from securedgenetworks.com, “If used correctly, mobile devices and the applications they support, will help prepare students for their future careers.”

Robotics teacher Mr. Nahay emphasizes that, generally, schools should invest more funding into modern advancements and machinery, “Students need experience using modern technology, comparable to technology in workplaces,” he said.

Junior Zane Schlosser, a robotics student, shared his input about the importance of technology in school: “I think technology should be utilized in every subject for school. It can help you prepare for the workforce. Any career you decide, technology will be a huge factor.”

Students and faculty members should have more input on the school’s investment into these advancements. “You have to continually invest in technology,” said Mrs. Stacey Hetrick, journalism advisor and English teacher. “I appreciate the iPad initiative, but I hope the district will continue to invest in computers. I also wish the district would reinstate the ‘bring your own device’ program.”

Schlosser hopes the district will continue to make cutting-edge technology a priority: “The closer to state of the art, the better. When entering the workforce, you will be using newer technology. If our school decided to invest in more advanced technology, we would have a better look into possible future careers.”

Picketing with my father: United Electric lockout strikes home

By Kaitlyn Kozalla, features editor

On Sunday, March 3, I picketed with my family to show support for the plight of United Electric members after a nine day lockout. I was overwhelmed by the community’s encouragement and positivity. Trucks ushered wood for burn barrels so families could stay warm, restaurants supplied food, while the refrigerators and freezers in the united electrical radio and machine workers union hall overflowed. Three days later, United Electric 506 and 618 reached a consensus to end the lockout in Erie’s manufacturing facility.

Union members gathered in front of Wabtec’s corporate headquarters in Wilmerding, Pa. during the lockout.

The union passed a vote on Feb. 26 to initiate a lockout on the facility formerly owned by General Electric (GE) Transportation, which is now owned by Wabtec Corporation. This lockout was passed the day after Wabtec’s purchase of the plant was made official.

As the daughter of a 13-year GE employee, I witnessed first hand the impact of Wabtec’s corporate greed. The day of the purchase, the company released an official statement that included the changes being implemented. Some of these changes included a wage cut of almost forty percent, mandatory overtime and to relegate 20 percent of workers to part-time positions with no benefits.

The introduction of Wabtec’s two-tier wage system was the breaking point for many employees. Former GE employees would retain their wages, while new employees would have their wages slashed. What Wabtec failed to clarify is what would happen to employees who are laid off and later returned – they too would receive a wage cut.  

After walking the picket line for about an hour, I learned of Wabtec’s regulations on strikers. According to the official statement, only ten members (at least five feet apart) could walk the picket. While all this was occurring, Wabtec employees acted as monitors from their warm vehicles.

Union members shouted: “Who are we? UE!” and “What do we want? A fair contract! When do we want it? Now!” Passing motorists honked in shows of support, some possibly being former GE employees

Harborcreek Township resident Chris Merit, a 30-year GE employee, said: “You can’t just bring in people off the street to do what we do.” Wabtec claims to offer competitive wages, but fails to take into account the common adage “skilled labor isn’t cheap and cheap labor isn’t skilled.”

I continued to follow the situation through local media, but saw no change. Another blow was dealt when I learned my family had lost our insurance. Through the bad; however, the union supported workers as much as they could by helping families pay their bills if they couldn’t afford to do so.

This issue quickly gained national support. Senator Bernie Sanders wrote a letter to Wabtec asking the company to keep the existing contract until a compromise could be reached. Sanders continued by saying he will provide his “full support and solidarity” until a contract is set.

UE President, Scott Slawson, spoke for Local 506 and 618 at a Bernie Sanders rally in Brooklyn. He urged Wabtec to respect hardworking families and find a fair deal for both sides. News outlets including CNN covered the story, which promoted worldwide support for the UE members. The UE Facebook page UE Members 506 was filled with messages of support from working families from California to Connecticut and as far away as Italy, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

Wabtec and UE reached an agreement containing a 90-day contract that allows more negotiations towards a long-term deal. It is unknown whether an agreement will be reached by the end of the term, but both parties claim they are optimistic. At this time, the plant will not close and wages will be maintained at their present levels.

Never have I thought that my family would ever go through this. It was, and still is uncertain of what will happen next, and if i’m honest, it’s nerve-racking. I know in the end everything will turn out, we will persevere no matter the case.

Key Club creates library for the laundromat

By Amanda Crowl, staff writer

The shelf is stocked with donated books from the Saegertown community.

The Saegertown Laundromat on Main St. is now home to a fully stocked bookshelf thanks to the Pantherian Key Club at Saegertown High School.

Every year, Key Clubs across Pennsylvania complete a ‘Youth Serving Youth’  (YSY) project. The theme for this year’s project is literacy. To promote reading, members of Key Club decided to put a bookshelf in the Saegertown laundromat.

The bookshelf is filled with children’s books donated by Saegertown students. Parents who regularly use the laundromat can take and return books or read them to their children while they are at the laundromat.

Key Club president Stephanie Polach is excited to see how this project impacts the community. “We had talked about doing this project for a while, and we had the resources to do it,” Polach said.

Sophomore Isaac Levis received the bookshelf from Key Club adviser Marlene Jenkins, and had to stain, paint, and finish the bookshelf. “I had the tools, and it was something inexpensive,” Levis said. The biggest setback for Levis was waiting for the vote to buy paint for the bookshelf, but it was soon approved and the bookshelf was finished.

Polach and Levis were delighted with how the project turned out. “It turned out a lot better than I hoped because we received more books that need to find a home than we thought,” Polach said. She hopes to expand this project in the future.

The Premiere Broadcast and the Review: Alumni Jacob Perrett wows with ‘Weird Fiction’

Broadcast by Sam Shelenberger, broadcast director

Review by Braeden Kantz, managing editor

“Weird Fiction,” a local independent film, premiered on Oct. 3 at the Movies at Meadville. The low-budget film captivated the audience, many of whom had purchased seats several weeks in advance to ensure a spot at the first showing. Produced and directed by Saegertown alumni Jacob Perrett, “Weird Fiction” created a near-perfect rendering of the greatest moments in 1980s horror cinema.

Perrett has undoubtedly displayed all of his skills as a director in his most recent film. By breaking the film into four shorter segments, Perrett masterfully created a universe of cliche 80s horror. Locally casting and producing the film, Perrett faced a variety of adversities including trouble finding actors and an extremely low budget. Despite a lack of resources, the cast managed to piece together a proficient rendering of the 80s lifestyle and fashion.

The film consistently surprised the audience with shocking plot twists and amazing visual effects that developed a realistic setting with characters to which audience could easily relate. “Squid,” the last short’s antagonist, was the peak of the film’s visual excellence. The make-up and visual effects seemed flawless and stunned the audience, who were aware of the limited resources spent on the project from the pre-screening discussion with the directors. 

Perrett is currently in the process of developing his newest film, the title of which has not yet been released. “Weird Fiction” also showed at the Tinseltown Theatre on Oct. 12 and will show again at the Park Avenue Cinema on Oct. 31 for Perrett’s “Monster Mash,” where anyone who comes to the showing dressed in a costume will be admitted for free. Be sure to attend to support local aspiring actors and directors.

 

Junior high students voice Homecoming opinions

By Taylor Munce, sports editor and Sam Hetrick and Grant Anthony, junior high reporters

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Seventh graders Joelle Jackson, Fayelynn McWright, and Hannah Hyden are looking forward to the dance Saturday night.

Homecoming is an opportunity for junior high students to rub elbows with the upperclassmen. With all the buzz surrounding court and who will reign as King and Queen, their voices often get lost in the noise.

Seventh grader Fayelynn McWright is looking forward to seeing how her friends and peers look. “I’m not wearing heels, though, I don’t want to break my neck!” She feels that homecoming should not just be about getting a date for the dance. “I don’t need a man to feel good about myself,” McWright said. “I just like hanging out with my other Single Pringle girlfriends.” Her friend Joelle Jackson agreed: “We’re all fries in a McDonald’s box. We stick together.”

Freshman Kat Diesing feels similarly about dates and homecoming. “I am too good for all these men,” Diesing said. “I need to go with my best friend Aidan. She always makes it a blast.”

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Seventh graders Collin Jones and Alyssa Arblaster will be attending the dance together.

Most of the Junior high students agree that friends make the dance all the better. Seventh grader Collin Jones said that he looks forward to hanging out with friends at the dance. “I’m also looking forward to singing, dancing and having a great time,” Jones said.  Both Jones and fellow seventh grader Alyssa Arblaster are looking forward to the music. Both agree that their favorite song is “Africa” by Toto.

The Homecoming dance is not the only event that students are looking forward to; many are also excited for the football game.“The football game is fun and exciting because you get to see who the King and Queen are,” said Arblaster. “Getting to know new people at the dance is fun as well.”