Students shine at YSU English festival

16 April, 2014 | Local, News | By: Alexia Erdos

By Erin Sherry, Editor In Chief

“What you guys probably don’t realize is that you were born in the middle of a golden age of Young Adult literature,” award-winning author and guest lecturer Jordan Sonnenblick said to a packed room of high school students in Youngstown, Ohio on April 9. “You’ve grown up with Harry Potter, The Giver, John Green…you’re excited about books from a young age, and that’s amazing.”

Erin Sherry, with Saegertown librarian Mrs. Betty Litke, author Jordan Sonnenblick, and YSU English professor Jeff Buchanan, receives her first place award in the Candace Gay Memorial Essay Contest.

Each spring, over 3,000 students “excited about reading” gather at Youngstown State University for the annual English Festival; a three day event that promotes reading and writing among middle and high school students throughout Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Students are asked to complete a reading list of seven Young Adult novels prior to attending the festival, where they participate in various panels, workshops, and activities all based around the selected books. This year’s guest speaker, Jordan Sonnenblick’s, novels “Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie,” “After Ever After,” and “Notes From the Midnight Driver” were featured on the festival reading lists, and festival goers had the opportunity to hear Sonnenblick speak about his unexpected career as a writer and inspiration for his novels, as well as line up for autographs and pictures.

“Loved the YSU English Festival so much!” Sonnenblick stated on his Twitter page after the final day of festivities wrapped up. “I wish I’d had more time to talk with each teen. Everyone was super nice and smart!”

Prior to the festival, students can enter various art, music, and writing contests, such as the Jeremy Salvner Memorial Music Contest, the Festival Art Contest, and the Candace Gay Memorial Essay Contest. The competitions are open not only to all 3,000 some attendees, but to any student in Pennsylvania or Ohio who wishes to participate. This year, two high school students, juniors Lexie Erdos and Erin Sherry, entered the Candace Gay Memorial Essay Contest, where they were prompted to write about their favorite book on the festival reading list. Erdos claimed one of ten honorable mention awards for her essay, and Sherry was awarded first place, with an introductory speech by Librarian Mrs. Betty Litke, and a prize of $250 and a signed book by Sonnenblick.

On April 10, junior high students attended Day 2 of the festival, accompanied by Mrs. Norwood and Mrs. De Frances. Melanie McClearn, Sydney Kightlinger, Lindsey Armold, and Melanie Twifford received honorable mention awards in various festival contests, including the Impromptu essay contest and the Not So Trivial Pursuit competition.

“The English Festival is awesome!” said senior Jenna Williams, whose favorite part of the day was participating in a “zombie hunt” on the YSU campus and hearing Sonnenblick’s light hearted and inspiring lecture. “I think more kids should definitely come! If you love to read, it’s a day you’ll never forget.”

‘Pom Pom Zombies’ takes the stage at SHS

16 April, 2014 | Entertainment, Features | By: Alexia Erdos

In case you missed it, here are some scenes from the SHS Theater Department’s April 11-12 production of Pom Pom Zombies:

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Man on the Street Episode 7: (April 2, 2014)

10 April, 2014 | Man on the Street, Media | By: Erin Sherry

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Seventh graders complete DIRT Projects

10 April, 2014 | Local, News | By: Erin Sherry

By Dustin Steiger, Junior High Correspondent

Seventh grade DIRT projects are done. After three weeks working on projects based on fantasy books for Mrs.Nicole DeFrances’s reading class, the seventh graders recently shared what they learned with their classmates.

Many students read “The Chronicles of Narnia” books, but the books ranged much farther than that. Students read Harry Potter, “The Hobbit,” Percy Jackson, The Ulysses Odyssey, and more. “I read the book Narnia, and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves adventures,” said Brendan Leech. As they were reading, the students completed DIRT logs (Daily Independent Reading Task) every week. Once the students were done, Mrs. DeFrances gave them several ideas for projects.

At the start of the week, the students began to show their projects. “I like the DIRT projects for the third grading period because there was a lot bigger selection than from the first and second grading period,” said Jared Frazier.

Some of the most interesting projects shown were culinary pieces. People brought in wide varieties of food, but the projects that appeared most often were cupcakes.

The cupcakes were creative and unique, and all different. “I liked the last project because you got to cook,” said Renee Allen, who made cupcakes with monsters on each one. Some cupcakes formed a lion’s head, or were put together with little signs on top of each one. Whatever the case, no single cupcake was the same.

Other projects included graham crackers covered with vanilla and fruit snacks, grab bags filled with stuffed animals, and movie posters.”I think everybody had fun, and it was nice to see everyone connecting through books,” said Mrs. DeFrances.

(This is Dustin Steiger’s first contribution as junior high correspondent for The Panther Press. We hope there will be more news of the junior high to come. Great job, Dustin.)

Basko brings home the bronze in driving competition

8 April, 2014 | Local, News | By: Alexia Erdos

Senior Luke Basko received the "big check" for his performance at the Young Driver Skills Competition on April 8.

By Eric Kisner, News Editor

Three hundred dollars. That’s what senior Luke Basko earned today with his third place finish at the sixth annual Young Driver Skills Competition presented by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and area law enforcement at New Beginnings Church in Meadville.

The competition gauges three primary driving skills with a series of tests, including a skilled driving road test, a PA Road Knowledge Test and Perception Test, and a Car Trip Check.

“It was awesome. I am so glad I went. I encourage people to participate in the future,” said Basko.

Along with the money, Basko may have the chance to compete for scholarships of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 at the state level competition on May 13 near Harrisburg, Pa., which is sponsored by PMTA (Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association). The day’s top winners, aside from Basko, were Cochranton’s Chad Eisenhooth (second place) and CASH’s Ron Kasper (first place). First and second place automatically advance to the state level, but if one of them is unable to go, Basko will be the next in line.

At the moment his name was called as a winner, Basko said, “I was kind of surprised because everyone there had the same qualifications going in. Things just kind of went my way. Anyone could have been a winner.” Basko plans to put his winnings in the bank and will likely use them to purchase gas.

The event’s host, Crawford County Sheriff Nick Hoke, said, “It was a great day. I hope all the kids enjoyed the competition. They got a lot of good information, even if they didn’t win.”


7 April, 2014 | Entertainment, Features | By: Alexia Erdos

Complied by Brandon Darling, Staff Writer

Criminal offense app

The new “oh crap app,” created by an Iowa law firm, was made to educate the public about their legal rights. The app is designed to be used in emergency situations where someone is stopped and questioned by law enforcement. The app has already been downloaded 4,000 times and gives helpful tips during an investigation. Bob Rehkemper, co-creator and attorney said, “One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they know their rights.” More on this app at UPI.

911 operator helps father on first day

On April 1 in DeKalb County, Georgia, 911 emergency operator Crystal Marrow got a distress call from her aunt within the first four hours of work. Her father had gone into a diabetic shock. “Because there was so many people being in the room, I didn’t think I would get the call, and it’s crazy that I got it on my first day,” said Marrow. She was panicking inside but remembered her training and remained calm and helped her aunt, who never knew the rookie operator was her neice, step-by-step through what she needed to do.  Danielle Harvey, a colleague and the one who trained the rookie operator said, “She handled it well.” More of this story at yahoo news.

Man gets police sting messages

On March 31, a man in Glendale, Arizona received several worrisome text messages. The messages uncovered a sting by undercover police officers. “It just gets a little more in depth so it gets a lot scarier,” said the anonymous man.“After a while, I’m reading the texts and then it seems these people are going to steal a car because they had a site plan, they had a place to meet, a place to go, how fast, who was covering each exit, I didn’t want to reply to that.” He then contacted the Glendale police, who apologized to the man and confirmed it was a mock police investigation. The officers during  the mock sting entered an incorrect phone number. Cell phones would not have been used during an actual surveillance operation. More on this mistake at yahoo news.

Boys Volleyball: Panthers play region opener tonight at Cambridge

3 April, 2014 | Sports | By: Erin Sherry

By Morgan Schenberg, Staff Writer

Tonight at 7 p.m., the Panthers take on the Blue Devils in a best of five volleyball match at Cambridge Springs High School. Last Saturday on March 29, the Saegertown boys participated in the Northeastern Tournament in York, Pa.  where 43 teams competed, including some of the best in the state. The Panthers had an off day and took 32nd, but they kept improving throughout the day. That same day, the Blue Devils of Cambridge took first place at a local tournament at Maplewood High School.

Today marks the Region 1 opening match for both teams. “We had a slow start at the Northeastern Tournament, but it will be a great match against the Devils today,” said junior Brendon Barclay. The starting line-up for the 2014 Saegertown boys volleyball team includes seniors Morgan Schenberg, libero, and Brendon Paden, weak side. Juniors are Brendon Barclay, outside hitter, Alex Barclay, outside hitter, Joey Reynolds, middle hitter, and two sophomores, Garrett Johnston, libero, and Peter Mattocks, middle hitter. JV action will start at 6 p.m. tonight, with the varsity to follow.

Saegertown sends twin bots to RoboBOTS this Saturday

3 April, 2014 | Local, News | By: Alexia Erdos

By Casey Fetzner, Asst. Sports Editor

Senior Luke Basko prepares for the RoboBOTS competition that will be held April 5 at Meadville High School. Photo by Casey Fetzner.

RoboBOTS is a competition of hands-on robot-building for high school and middle school students sponsored by the northwestern Pennsylvania chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association. Meadville has had this program since 2007, and it has sparked interest in students.

Saegertown is one of 20 schools that has constructed bots to compete in Meadville. This year Saegertown put together two teams and two twin bots.

Team: Birds of Prey

Bot: “Black Hawk”

Players: Luke Basko, Kyle Wise, Joe Monico, Tyler Walters, Drew Durasa, and

Matt Thompson

Team: Menace

Bot: “Black Widow”

Players: Matt Sowers, Quinton Ross, Jason Nageotte, John Adams, Spencer Price, and Casey Fetzner

The RoboBOTS Event takes place this Saturday, April 5, at Meadville High School gymnasium. Doors open at 8 a.m. competition starts at 9 a.m.

Nutrition, Inc. promotes ‘Go for the Greens’

2 April, 2014 | Local, News | By: Alexia Erdos

By Maegan Duda, Marketing Manager

Free samples of green foods were provided on March 21 as part of 'Go for the Greens.' Photo by Casey Fetzner.

On Friday, March 21, Nutrition, Inc. celebrated “Go for the Greens” by providing samples of brussels sprouts, edamame, guacamole, kiwi, and honeydew in the cafeteria at lunch time. The favorite of them all was the kiwi while the brussels sprouts didn’t get quite the same reaction.

According to Food Service Director Marla Perseo, “PANA (Pennsylvania Advocates for Nutrition and Activities) requests that schools celebrate this to open students’ taste buds to the greatness of green fruits and vegetables as part of healthy meals.”

The foods were selected because fruits are an essential source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and foliate. Vegetables include potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. These nutrients can help reduce blood cholesterol and may lower the risk of heart disease, growth and repair of all body tissues, heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Eating dietary fiber can help provide a feeling of fullness without consuming as many calories. Junior Colleen Michaels said, “It was all really good. The brussels sprouts were delicious.”

Mrs. James wins the Golden Apple Award

27 March, 2014 | Local, News | By: Alexia Erdos

Susan James was honored by JET TV and Edinboro University with the Golden Apple Award. Photo by Annie Young.

By Eric Kisner and Annie Young, News Editor and Asst. Design Editor

This week’s Edinboro University Golden Apple award was presented to Mrs. Susan James in recognition of her teaching accomplishments in her music, theatre, and chorus classes. On Wednesday, March 26, Jet-TV and the Panther Press captured the moment Principal Mr. Wilson delivered the award to James. “We nominated her because she is amazing and she deserves it,” said seniors Brandon Peters and Todd McKinney, who submitted an essay of nomination to the organization.

During fourth period, Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Kantz, along with WJET TV’s Lou Baxter and Edinboro Chairperson Dr. Mary Jo Melvin, approached the elated James with the news of her award.

“Singing and theatre in general is just something they [the students] can take with them for the rest of their lives,” said James in an interview regarding the significance of musical and theatre education.

“She just has the passion, she loves music and she loves the kids. You can see that,” said McKinney. Peters, who has been involved in theatre, chorus, and chamber singers with James throughout high school, said, “Mrs. James has been with us from seventh through twelfth grade. She really builds this lasting relationship with us, and it really teaches us not only music, but also about life.”