A new year brings new wages for Ohio workers. While the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25, minimum wage in Ohio has increased from $8.30 to $8.55, and jobs which rely heavily on tips can expect an increase from $4.15 to $4.30.
This news is certainly positive for those working low wage jobs, especially for younger generations. A raise of 25 cents may not seem like much, but every penny matters on a paycheck.
Talk of a minimum wage increase started in 2006, when Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment to increase the wage by the rate of inflation, according to Cleveland.com.
However, not everyone currently making minimum wage can count on their hourly pay to go up. According to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), the increase only applies to businesses making an annual gross receipt of more than $314,000 per year.
Although this raise seems promising and beneficial at first, some feel that the raise is too little to make any big change, and might cause more harm than good.
“I feel like raising minimum wage might help for awhile, but then everything will even out so it seems kind of pointless,” junior Audrey Stone said.
Others feel that since the majority of younger adults or first time workers are the ones working minimum wage jobs, then the pay increase is not worth some consequences they believe will follow..
“I think that minimum wage jobs were meant for teenagers and other first time jobs, so it’s nice, but I feel like increasing the money too much will cause more problems such as inflation and tax increase,” junior Kaleigh Bozick said.
Yet many people still feel that the raise will be an asset in the long term, and also pushes progress in Ohio, considering that surrounding states like Indiana and Kentucky still have their minimum wage set at the federal line of $7.25.
“I personally think the increase is good. For high school students, a 25 cents increase can be a big deal considering most of us do not have a lot of expensive bills to pay,” junior Shelby Burgess said.
Even with differing opinions surrounding this topic, one thing everyone can do no matter their wage, is continue to work hard and hope it pays off. Experts will have to see if the wage increase hurts or helps the state economy in the months to come.
The sixth annual Kent Beatle Fest took place in the pubs and coffee shops of Kent on Friday, February 22. Several
locations offered live music from bands and individual singers, all singing famous tunes from the widely loved British rock
band, The Beatles.
The presumed “best group of all time” consists of four artists: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo
Starr. Originating in Liverpool England, the band started the so-called British Invasion, a cultural phenomenon of the ‘60s
when British musical acts became immensely popular in the United States.
Instantly, The Beatles gained an extreme amount of love in the United States. Fans continue to grow and love The Beatles
for their distinct style and influence. For the devoted fanbase, Downtown Kent hosts the Beatle Fest annually.
Consisting of tribute band lookalikes, individuals and duos, Kent Beatle Fest brings out the nostalgia and deep fondness
Beatles fans thrive on. Just one of the many talented bands, The Sunrise Jones, performed at Zephyr Pub.
The Sunrise Jones brought a surfeit of people into Zephyr, gleaming with their faithful, upbeat tone. Much of the crowd
loved the band, stoked by the lead singer’s voice being “oddly similar to John Lennon’s.” Lennon is an especially loved and
respected member of The Beatles, as lots of the lyrics and beats of the band came from Lennon himself. The crowd at Zephyr
Pub beamed with delight whenever his songs were performed.
The Sunrise Jones played many inspiring tracks written by Lennon. Ranging from the heartfelt, peaceful melody ‘Let It Be’
to the intense, hopeful song Lennon wrote when he was overwhelmed with fame ‘Help!’, the crowd ecstatically sang along.
The Sunrise Jones performed other appreciated hits, such as ‘Here Comes The Sun’, a song about becoming happy after
dark times, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, a typical love song about being close to somebody and ‘Day Tripper’, what Lennon
called a “drug song.”
A rare but popular hit of the night called ‘We Can Work It Out’ written by McCartney and Lennon was performed, leaving
the crowd in chatter and awe. The song has a more personal meaning to McCartney; although, another loved lyric by Lennon
completes the track. “Life is very short. There’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.”
Another band by the name Abbey Road played at Dominick’s Pub. Some of the crowd at Zephyr said the band was a
“mirror image” of The Beatles, as they played with the same models of guitars, amps and drums the four used in their concerts.
At the end of the night, Kent was highly influenced by the fab four’s talent and uniqueness. Fans said The Beatles
“indefinitely changed America’s culture and altered the way music was made.”
The Kent Beatle Fest is a fun way to ‘Get Back’ with your friends and family for a night of rock and roll and dining. Kent
Beatle Fest happens each February 22.
This year’s junior class play, The Crucible, came to life at Stow-Munroe Falls high school. Director and set designer, Robert Putka, announced the junior class play, last year, and drama club has been preparing ever since.
Along with Putka, Tim Pokelsek assisted as the producer and Kyra Raymond-Smith and Josof Ruttig worked on the show as student directors.
Cast and crew auditioned and was determined back in Dec. and started rehearsal in Jan. After two months, the cast and crew was geared up and ready to perform for the four showings.
Lead roles this year included juniors Libby Tritten as Abigail Williams, Dallas Mapes as John Proctor and Ocean Noland as Mary Warren.
“I think we had a lot of success and I am proud of our performances because we all worked really hard, and we came a long way from our first rehearsal,” Tritten said.
The Crucible was written in the 1950’s by Arthur Miller but was set to take place in 1692, in Salem Massachusetts, during the Puritan era.
Miller wrote the play during times of questionable communism in court. He wrote it to portray the fact that the same events happening had already happened hundreds of years ago during the “Salem Witch Trials” in hopes to stop it from happening again.
Over the course of the play nearly one hundred people in the town had been accused of witchcraft and there was no way to prove who actually was a witch. The event started when a group of teenage girls, lead by Abigail Williams, were caught dancing in the woods and the daughter of the town’s reverend was in a Coma. The girls figured out a way to get out of trouble and and the result was lying and putting innocent people in jail and innocent people being hanged. Other townspeople went to court and were just trying to make it all stop, but things did not really go as planned.
“My favorite part of all of it was meeting new people and making new friends in the cast and crew. During the first performance I was nervous but after it went so well, I was no longer nervous because I had so much trust in myself and the cast and crew and knew we could all do it,” Tritten noted.
Everyone in the audience could easily tell how much hard work and thought was put into the production from the costumes, to the set, to the actors, to the accents and most importantly to the emotion.
“I enjoyed watching because the acting was very good, and you could tell the cast and crew worked hard. My favorite part would have to be the conversation between John Proctor and Elizabeth because the acting was spectacular and the scene was interesting,” junior Charisma Carnes said.
The Crucible was filled with dramatic scenes along with cast members bringing some joy, passion, humor and remorse to the play.