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.)

Seniors recognized for ‘My Game Plan’ locker displays

By Kaitlyn Kozalla, news editor

Today at graduation practice, senior social studies teacher Justin Hayes presented people’s choice awards for the “My Game Plan” project students completed in Economics 12. The seniors displayed their future plans on their lockers and presented them to students from other classes. Everyone in the building had the opportunity to vote for their favorites.

Top prize went to Morgan Radwick who plans to become a forensic scientist. Second place was Courtney Hess, and honorable mentions went to Dustin Steiger, Lydia Betts, and Samantha Evans.

Hispanic Fair enjoys second-year success

By Sheena Byham, sports editor

IMG_4336The Spanish classes participated in the Hispanic fair on May 30 that represented all 22 Spanish speaking countries. The students in Spanish I, II, and III completed eight projects throughout the school year under the direction of Senorita Nova Dinsmore. They then display their projects at the year-end fair.

This year Dinsmore invited fifth-graders from SES to visit the fair along with any students from the junior and senior high. “I do the Hispanic fair for students to experience the Spanish culture,” Dinsmore said. The fair was held from 9 – 2 during the school day, and then from 4:30-6:30 p.m. as part of Arts and Academics Night so that adults could come to visit the displays.

IMG_4320The students had put a great amount of time and effort into their projects, so Dinsmore collected donations at the Hispanic fair to help pay for the funds to complete the students’ projects next year. She received a generous grant of $200 from the Northwestern REC for this year’s fair.

Dinsmore plans to continue the fair in the following years for students, teachers, and the community to experience Spanish culture.

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.


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

Cambridge 2

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.


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

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 2.53.12 PM

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.