The LeSabre

The facts of the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit

The elderly woman burned herself and then went on to face public scrutiny for wanting McDonald's to pay for her medical bills.

Photo via CAOC through the creative commons license

The elderly woman burned herself and then went on to face public scrutiny for wanting McDonald's to pay for her medical bills.

In 1992 McDonald’s faced a lawsuit because there was a mishap with the temperature of their coffee. A woman believed it was too hot, sued, and won the trial. People to this day use it as an example of people suing over stupid, pointless things, but the damages are much more severe than people believe.

79 year-old Stella Liebeck bought a cup of coffee in the McDonald’s drive through. The car she was in was parked, and she was in the passenger seat. Many believe that she was driving with coffee in her lap, when she was not driving and the car was parked. She had the coffee in her lap, when she opened the coffee to put in cream and sugar, she spilled the coffee on her lap. The coffee

Her daughter claims that the reason for her passing at 91 years old, was because the burns had taken their toll
Photo via JAMES COLBURN/IPOL INC/GLOBE PHOTOS INC under the creative commons license (/ImageCollect)

served was around 180 degrees, which is hot enough to cause third degree burns in seconds. In an interview with RetroReport, she says that she remembers trying to get out of the car, while screaming in pain. She went into shock and was rushed to the hospital.

The doctor said he had never seen burns so bad. According to, she had third degree burns across her thighs and genitalia, as well as deformation. She spent a week in the hospital, and the bills came out to be around $2,000. She wrote a letter to McDonald’s asking them to cover the bills and her daughters lost wages, but McDonalds refused to pay over $800. A McDonald’s employee testified that they had also gotten roughly 700 reports that the coffee was too hot and was causing burns, but they refused to do anything about it. Liebeck didn’t want to go to court, but McDonald’s refused to offer compensation for what had happened to her.

They eventually went to court and the jury decided on a fine of 2.7 million dollars from the corporation, but the judge reduced it to $640,000, which was still above what Liebeck initially wanted. McDonald’s also had to reduce the temperature of their coffee, in order to make it safe for customers.


The story has much misinformation spread about it, including the incident and the amount of money she received. She didn’t become a millionaire, she wasn’t driving, she even admitted it was her fault that the coffee spilled. It wasn’t a greedy woman looking for a quick payout, it was a woman who was traumatized and deformed from nearly 200 degree coffee.

About the Writer
Photo of Raven Vastag
Raven Vastag, Journalist

Raven is a senior at Sartell High School. His favorite SZA song is "Doves In The Wind." His plans after high school are to be rich and famous for his music...

Major League Baseball plans to re-open near July 4th, but at what cost?


Photo via Flickr Creative Commons License

MLB players await new guidelines as MLB officials plan to re-open near July 4th of this summer.

Major League Baseball has come out with new information as to what their modified season may look like due to coronavirus. The MLB told their players and teams that their prorated salaries would contribute to an average loss of around $640,000/game over and 82-game season with no fans present in empty ballparks. This information was obtained from a presentation given by the MLB commissioner’s office to the union that was gathered by The Associated Press.

Major League Baseball games have become one of the most captivating sporting events in our country and with the new proposed layout of the season, this $10 billion industry is being shuttered by the virus. According to Kare 11 News, the 12-page document titled “Economics of Playing Without Fans in Attendance” was dated on May 12th and sparked the initial negotiations of starting the delayed baseball season around the Fourth of July.

Video courtesy of USA Today

Teams have now begun discussing the losses among individual ball clubs and have sparked more conversations about the reopening plan. Organizations are saying that even if they do start a delayed season, it would still cause a $4 billion dollar loss and give players 89 percent of the revenue gained. This figure is astronomically different from what other years of the league have looked like.

Players and teams are contending that they think they will lose more money with more games being played, while the players’ union believes differently. They believe that clubs would actually lose less money with the more games played, and clubs also have stakes in their regional sports networks, and playing more games would benefit their organizations.

Image shows a Cleveland Indians Ballgame.
Image shows Cleveland Indians versus the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. (Photo via Flickr Share-alike 2.0 CC License)

Owners voted Monday to propose salaries be based on a 50-50 split of revenue, framework players say is tantamount to the kind of salary cap they will never accept. Teams gave the players’ association their virus-testing plan Friday and have waited to make their economic proposal.

The specifics of what the public and organizations are seeking are the numbers and figures that would be primarily affected by this adjusted opening. The organizations that are most popular may be the ones that fall the most.

The New York Yankees alone would have $312 million in local losses when calculating their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. New York’s figure includes about $100 million toward the bonds that financed the new Yankee Stadium, money that already has been paid for 2020.

With the Yankees being one of the most loved and hated ball clubs in the nation this is a huge hit to the ecological standing of their organization.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were at $232 million in local losses, followed by the New York Mets at $214 million, Chicago Cubs at $199 million, and Boston Red Sox at $188 million. Detroit would have the lowest negative EBIDTA, which is an accounting measure used to assess profitability, at $84 million, with Baltimore at $90 million, and Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay at $91 million each. Figures exclude distributions from the central office, which projects to collect $1.34 billion in media revenue.

The Kansas City Royals gather to shake hands after a home win.
The Kansas City Royals gather to shake hands after an impressive home win. (Photo via Flickr Share-alike 2.0 CC License)

Organization leaders will not be able to fully predict what this new layout might look like for the MLB and there are many variables that could cause the losses to skyrocket or to stabilize. You have to take into account MLB Network purchases/cancellations, viewership on local sports stations for teams on major networks like CBS, MLB, and more. Viewership is going to be a paramount issue and the media needs the fans to continue watching and supporting the league to help them stay afloat. 

The figures were calculated by MLB and its clubs, and the frequently skeptical union already has requested a slew of documents from MLB. MLB said 2019 revenue was 39% local gate and other in-park sources, followed by 25% central revenue, 22% local media, 11% sponsorship, and 4% other.

Teams fear a second wave of the coronavirus would devastate finances if renewed government restrictions cause cancellation of the postseason, which brings in $787 million in media money. The document details who pays what: $370 million by Fox, $310 million by Turner, $27 million by ESPN, $30 million by the MLB Network, and $50 million from international and other.

The immense amount of losses for MLB teams is going to be large no matter the proposal because of the absence of fans. The only thing that fans can do is continue their endless support for their local teams and the MLB as a whole.

About the Writer
Photo of Dylan Pringle
Dylan Pringle, Journalist

Dylan Pringle is a senior this year at Sartell High School. He is adamant about his constant involvement in music both in and out of the school day. Dylan...

13 Reasons Why has controversial history; newest season set for June 5th

Screenshot from the Netflix website

This is a screenshot from of the show's description and tags.

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original show based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher, with its fourth and final season being released on June 5th. When the show was first released, there was much controversy surrounding it and criticisms from the public.

The synopsis of the story is this: Clay Jensen receives a package from Hannah Baker, a classmate who killed herself two weeks earlier. The package contains seven cassette tapes with 13 stories, 13 reasons why she decided to commit suicide, and Clay is one of them. Tapes in hand, he traverses the town he lives in while listening to find out what part he played in her life and her death.

Many mental health professionals had problems with the representation of mental health in the show and the aftereffects it had for some teens who watched it. In the month after the show released, there was a rise of almost 30% in the suicide rates for youth aged 10-17 in the United States, which was deemed statistically significant. This could be attributed to the fact that producers of the show disregarded the advice of mental health professionals telling them not to release the first season and the fact that they described and showed the way in which Hannah committed suicide.

The three-minute segment in the first season that depicts Hannah’s suicide was removed over two years after the premiere of the first season after Netflix had conversations with more mental health professionals. The scene was a cause for controversy for the show from early on in its release, with mental health groups explaining that scenes like the one in question could put teens at risk for copycat actions and triggering experiences. Both these things were seen soon after the show’s release.

A 23-year-old from Peru tragically ended his life and left tapes behind, seemingly replicating the situation that occurs in the book and TV show. In another case, two teen girls from California committed suicide just days after completing the show, both of which were battling depression prior to watching the show.

This situation could also be aided by the fact that Hannah’s final tape is addressed to Mr. Porter, her school counselor. Hannah sought help from him after a traumatic event, but he dismissed her and told her to move on. This demonizes the idea that if someone is struggling with something, they should get help from a trusted adult, potentially preventing them from getting the help they may need.

Another controversial part of the show was the multiple scenes that depicted violent sexual assault. Though many labeled them disturbing and potentially triggering for sexual assault victims watching the show, the scenes were not removed or reedited. Creator Brian Yorkey defended the inclusion of the scenes in the name of showing realistic stories of what young people may be experiencing.

Not only did mental health professionals have critiques of the show, but so did a few friends of mine. I decided to interview them, and their reactions to the first season and subsequent seasons in later years were less than positive. 

I think it is important to talk about suicide and rape, but I don’t think they did it in the right way.”

— Junior, Lily Rasmussen

The first person interviewed was my good friend Lily. She said she decided to watch the show because she knew it was controversial, and she wanted to know why. Lily mentioned that Hannah’s suicide felt glorified, making people think that “if they did the same thing, they might get back at the people who hurt them and get the love they may not have gotten otherwise,” which is clearly shown by the copycat actions taken by some after finishing the series. Lily stopped watching after the second season because she felt that the show was being made just to be controversial.

The second person I interviewed was my close friend Maddy. Maddy decided to watch the show because she had just finished the book when the TV show aired its first season. “I was young enough that I didn’t really see the problems with the portrayal of mental illness and suicide.” She ended up finishing the first season without many problems with it but mentioned that the show had made her uncomfortable. As it is a show about deteriorating mental health, this is no surprise. “It was shortly after [the first season aired] when I realized  how hurtful it could actually be.”

Maddy then went into detail about her experience watching the second season. After reading about the controversy online and reforming her opinions on the show, she still decided to watch the subsequent season, if only for the fact that she is a completionist. “Season 2 took me around 6 months to finish, simply because it negatively affected me so much.” Maddy discussed how the show put her in a bad state of mind and left her feeling disturbed.

It was shortly after [the first season aired] when I realized  how hurtful it could actually be.”

— Junior, Maddy Loberg

At this point in time, Maddy has solidified her opinions on the show as something that should not have been produced. “I think it was a massive lapse in judgment that the creators and Netflix had.” She then went on to talk about the negative effects the show had on the mental health of teens around the globe and how she used this to justify her pessimistic view of the show.

Maddy, Lily, and many others were disappointed to find out that there was going to be another season produced, if only for the fact that there is no way to know how the show is going to affect young people who watch it until the damage has already been done.

About the Writer
Photo of Emma LeMieur
Emma LeMieur, Journalist

Emma LeMieur is a junior at Sartell High School. She is involved in band and morning drumline at the school and loves them both. In her free time, she...

The Buzz on Honey Bees


Charlie Monson

Aww look how fluffy this honey bee is! Perfect for caring pollen from plant to plant!

As summer is just around the corner our helpful little bee friends are becoming ever more prominent. This piece of writing is much different than what I normally write, but bees are so fascinating! I wanted to share some things I’ve learned about these little creatures before I go off and start having fun summer adventures. 

I was inspired to start learning about bees not only for a school project but also because of Nicole Tompkins who recently became a beekeeper herself. Which can be a huge undertaking at times, but she seems to be having a ton of fun. 

Honey Bees specifically are the type of bee that I will be focussing on in this article because beelieve it or not these little guys have been on the struggle bus lately. Remember earlier this month when Murder Hornets were spotted in the U.S for the first time? Yeah, those guys are extremely detrimental to honey bees. The murder hornets invade the hives, decapitate the worker bees, eat all the larvae and pupae, and leave behind only the weak bees; in just a few hours. 

Murder hornets, however, are not the only thing damaging our bee friends. 

Size guide comparing the murder hornet to all of its bee and hornet relatives. (photo via WLOS )

There are a variety of mites that can be harmful to bees; the varroa mite, for example, attaches itself to the honey bee like a parasite and over time weakens the bee. These mites destroy a hive from the inside out and are only found inside honey bee hives. Honey bees also struggle with a weak immune system, which makes the commercial transport of bees very dangerous, especially for such a delicate insect. Besides murder hornets, mites, and illnesses, the most detrimental thing to honey bees, like most insects, are pesticides. Farmers have gotten better at using bee-friendly pesticides but are never truly finding the safest ones.

Alright, enough about all the bad things happening to our bee friends, let’s talk about some good things, and ways we can help them.

Without the help of bees (and other pollinating insects) we would not have the diverse food choices we have with their help. Most of the food we eat is thanks to bees. Some foods like almonds or apples require the help of bees and other pollinators to reach maturity. Bees also pollinate 80% of the world’s plants. Honey bees are also super hard workers. They are not only taking care of their hives and their queens but our Earth too!

Since bees are going to be super busy this summer, why not lend a hand to help them out?

Like Nicole, you too can become an urban beekeeper. It’s going to take a lot of learning but can be a super fun experience. You can also look into local apiaries to learn or donate. Or maybe the simplest thing you can do is to plant your own organic garden; free of nasty pesticides and full of plants in need of pollination.

Just remember if you do happen to come across a bee anytime in the near future, there is no need to be scared (unless of course you are allergic). They are just going about their honey-making, pollinating bee lives.

About the Contributor
Photo of Charlie Monson
Charlie Monson, Journalist

Charlie Monson is a junior at Sartell High School. Her hobbies include watching movies, playing video games, painting and listening to music. She is currently...

Doctors urge the end of lockdown


photo via Wikimedia under the creative commons license

The Capitol Building, located in Washington, DC.

On May 19th, President Trump received a letter signed by over 600 doctors from all 50 states, urging him to end all coronavirus restrictions and reopen the country completely. These doctors urge Trump to issue an executive order to undo all restrictions immediately, or face a “mass casualty incident.”

The group of doctors urge that stay at home orders as well as the shuttering of businesses around the country already has done harm to Americans, and if continued will lead to “exponentially growing health consequences.”

In the letter, which was obtained by Fox News, doctors claim that during the lockdown, massive amounts of people have health problems that at this time are unable to be treated. They cite very concerning statistics, such as that during the lockdown, 150,000 Americans per month would have had early cancer diagnoses, millions more are unable to receive dental treatment that will cause problems later in life, and hundreds of thousands of people suffering from substance abuse as well as child abuse. Suicide hotlines are receiving 600% increases in phone calls.

Many Americans are not receiving medical treatment that could save their lives. These deaths will be added to COVID death statistics, although inadvertently. The doctors argue that “the indirect consequences of the lockdown outweigh the direct consequences of lifting them.”

Many states around the country are already exploring their options in regard to the crisis. 

About the Writer
Photo of Josh Harrington
Josh Harrington, Journalist

Josh Harrington is a senior at Sartell High School. After high school his plan is to go to the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and obtain his Bachelor's...

How the 2020 AP test adapted to the global pandemic


Alyssa Haus

Students prepare for a new kind of AP testing this year this time with notes.

As the first week of AP testing comes to a close, students are beginning to see a few problems with the new system of AP testing. 

The pandemic opened the doors for new problems for College Board. One of the main and earliest issues was that of cheating: how do you keep the students from cheating when there is no one to hold them accountable? 

One thing College Board did to remedy this issue was making the test open note, however, when researching online, students were unable to use sources from other people, and plagiarism rules were strictly enforced. Students were expected to form their own opinions and stay away from anyone else’s work.

This opened many students up to confusion on the loose terms of someone else’s work. Take the AP United States History test for example, while it was fine to look up dates and straight facts for your essay, any facts from opinion articles could be considered cheating. 

While there were rumors of College Board putting false information on sites like Wikipedia, nothing was confirmed. However, this still deterred some students from looking up information to help their studying or test. One student who took the AP United States History exam said, “I heard the rumors and I stayed away from those sites, both during studying and the test.” 

This also brought up the question of how College Board was going to enforce these new rules. Because there were no teachers present to watch the students, College Board took a different route.

College Board admits to monitoring social media sites and even posting on social media to deter and catch students looking to cheat. 

On student tests, College Board used “plagiarism detection software and post-administration analytics” to ensure the validity of students’ exams. Alongside these students, exams were sent to teachers to try and verify it was the students writing style. 

Many students taking a variety of AP exams were faced with different prompts than that of their classmates. While this may seem like a good system, things are different when you take a closer look. Rating the difficulty of these prompts is completely subjective, so that begs the question: are all the prompts given to students the same level of difficulty? How does College Board decide which prompts to use?

Some of the tests such as Literature and Composition and the United States History exams had a variety of questions. This brings up the problem of fairness. While the difficulty of prompts is subjective, some students may have an unfair advantage or disadvantage with certain questions. 

Students also had trouble submitting their work once they were finished. College Board has since stated that outdated browsers seem to be causing a glitch in student responses. This makes submitting responses near impossible for the students with outdated browsers. 

College Board recommends students use the updated version of Google Chrome, however, at Sartell, some students ran into issues downloading the updated version and were forced to use other browsers. 

In Sartell, there are still some students taking their tests within the next week, but of the approximately 385 exams taken 96% of them were submitted successfully. That leaves 4% of exams that had issues in submission, forcing the students to either retake it in early June or forfeit all their work.

College Board is offering retests, however, there is only a 48 hour period after the test to sign up. The students get a confirmation at the end of the retest form and an e-ticket two days before the retest. However, it was easy for some students to overlook this, and without a confirmation email, students are left wondering if their request was accepted. 

On top of technological issues, students had to face early wake-up times and unfair disadvantages of 3 AM and 5 AM testing. Because all tests are to happen at the same time, students in countries outside of the United States are forced to wake up at the early hours of the morning to take the test. This leaves these students at a major disadvantage as they are forced to wake up and take the test in the hours when they would normally be asleep. 

As College Board rises to the challenge of testing during a global pandemic, some of the new testing protocols taken present new challenges for the students.

About the Contributor
Photo of Alyssa Haus
Alyssa Haus, Journalist

Alyssa Haus is a junior at Sartell High School. Her favorite activities include drumline and marching band. Reading and watching musicals are just a few...

Teachers have become the real heroes for students during distance learning


Photo via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0 License

Teachers are being vastly under-appreciated by students and parents during this unprecedented and trying time in their careers.

The world has been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic and education has been changed especially. Teachers are the building blocks for students to grow into better individuals and more educated students. With curriculums needing to be changed overnight and struggling with motivating kids to get work done, teachers are more heroic during this time than people might seem to realize.

While some colleges and universities nationwide are considering not resuming in-person classes until January 2021, social media conversations show that many students and professors across the country are still struggling to try to adapt to the recent, sudden transition to virtual learning due to the pandemic.

In one Twitter thread in April, Rose Casey, assistant professor of English at West Virginia University and a single parent of younger children who are now also learning at home, shared this: “Okay. I actually cannot do this. I simply cannot teach while parenting 24/7 entirely on my own. Genuine question: what should employers, specifically universities, be doing to mitigate these literally impossible demands?…Knowing that we’ll be evaluated for how we respond to a crisis certainly adds to the stress. (Like most people I know, my teaching remains student-centered and it involves even more time than if this hadn’t happened.)”








Our teachers and professors should for one not be getting evaluated as harshly as they are. This pandemic has forced businesses to hunker down and mitigate, but nobody is harshly criticizing their livelihoods and making them out to be the bad guys. I really hope that if people receive anything out of this quarantine, it is how much we need to appreciate our teachers throughout America.

Media specialist Holly Wieber from Becker Middle School had this to say,

Pullquote Photo

I have worked harder in these eight weeks to keep my kids engaged than ever before and we are still being made criminals by some parents.”

— Holly Wieber (Becker Middle School)

Wieber teaches two classes at Becker Middle School and commented, “ I cannot imagine being a four or five-course teacher right now and how much of a toll that must be on them.”

She stated, “Managing only two classes has weighed on me a ton and is a media specialist with all of these teachers being thrown into a brand new pool of technology and education. These teachers deserve the most praise possible and a new appreciation for them.”

College students are uniquely vulnerable to stressors, according to Psychiatric Times, and the disruption of campus life due to COVID-19 has “increased anxiety and distress among many college students.”

“Naturally I’m not seeing the same energy with my students online,” says Bob Hutton, senior lecturer, history, and American studies at the University of Tennessee, who explains that natural conversations evolve easier in an in-person setting. “Students are not going to have the same ability to learn under these circumstances, especially when you have to suddenly shift gears,” he tells Changing America. Hutton says he is being very understanding of all that the students are going through and trying to keep everything as normal as possible. “Higher learning… is a dialogue, and I’m trying to preserve that.”

The teachers of America have been under-appreciated for years, and amidst this pandemic I hope they will come out the other side the appreciated and heroic people that they have been to all families and students.

About the Contributor
Photo of Dylan Pringle
Dylan Pringle, Journalist

Dylan Pringle is a senior this year at Sartell High School. He is adamant about his constant involvement in music both in and out of the school day. Dylan...

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

photo via flickr

Captain America: Civil War

While this is not the first Captain America, it is the first of the Marvel one-off movies that feature many of the known superheroes. Not only that, but Civil War also introduces new heroes, as a sort of promotion for their upcoming movies.

Tom Holland as the new Spiderman

Some of the new superheroes are Spiderman, played by Tom Holland, Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman, Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd, and the Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. Each of these heroes have their own movies or are a recurring character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain America: Civil War is a very important movie in the Marvel Universe. It portrays two characters, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, fighting each other because of their conflicting views. Steve wants to save his best friend, Bucky Barnes, but Tony wants Bucky to pay for killing his parents.

Steve and Tony get into a battle and recruit other heroes to help them. This movie focuses on the importance to look at a situation through someone else’s eyes and to see it how they see it. If Tony had seen it through Steve’s eyes, he would have realized that Steve didn’t want to watch his best friend die for a second time. If Steve had taken a moment to look at the situation from Tony’s perspective, he would have felt Tony’s anger at what Bucky did.

This movie shows that some conflicts can’t be solved with a simple apology. Even though the movie is from Steve Roger’s perspective, I really liked how the director didn’t try to persuade the viewers to root for Steve or Tony. Instead, it had a nice balance of Tony’s side and Steve’s side, which is difficult to create, especially in a one-off movie such as this. The viewers find themselves believing one side more than the other.

This movie was one of my favorite Captain America movies that Marvel has created, because of the character development. Steve Rogers tries to do everything right, but he still manages to become a public enemy. It proves that even though you are a hero, you can still be a villain in someone’s eyes.

Steve Rogers and Tony Stark (photo via flickr)


I applaud the Marvel directors for making something as bold as to pin two lovable characters against each other, but it was definitely important to the plot of the story and to the character development.

Over all, I would definitely watch this movie over and over again. It has so much emotion and the actors truly seem to understand the pain their characters are going through. It is a wonderful movie and I would definitely recommend watching it! (Just watch the previous Captain America’s first!)


Captain America Civil War is extremely bold. It has battles between heroes, conflicting viewpoints, and amazing cinematography”

— Junior Grace Radeke

About the Contributor
Photo of M. Franzmeier
M. Franzmeier, Journalist

Madison Franzmeier is a senior at Sartell High School. She is involved in multiple choirs including her school and community choirs. She loves performing...

Making music with Maddie guitar edition

Making Music with Maddie: Guitar Edition

In my other article, Making Music with Maddie: ukelele edition, I talked about how, in this time of uncertainty, I have turned to playing music.

Now I will move on to the guitar. I have been playing the guitar for a longer amount of time than the ukulele. I grew up with many guitar players in my family and have taken small lessons and learned from them. It took me a while to get used to the way the strings felt on my fingers and how hard to press down on the strings to get them to make any sound, so don’t feel bad if you don’t make the right chord the first time around.


Electric guitar (photo via pxhere)

There are two main types of guitars: acoustic and electric. Since I have only practiced with an acoustic, I don’t know much about electric guitars.

My acoustic guitar (photo via M. Franzmeier)

Acoustic guitars do not need to be plugged in to play them, so the sound is a lot less loud and boisterous and are instead a lot gentler and country-like. Acoustics are split into two groups based on their string types.

Classical guitars have nylon strings. This was used in the old days, hence the word Classical, when they could only use nylon for their strings. Classical guitars can be used in folk music, pop, jazz, and flamenco.

Steel-string acoustics are exactly that. Their strings are made of steel, and it creates a soft and mellow tone compared to the classical. These guitars are commonly used for country music.

Medieval guitar, guitarra latina (photo via wikimedia)


The guitar was an adaptation of the guitarra latina from Spain, which was a thinner, narrower instrument with four strings instead of six. As time went on, two more strings were added, and the base was widened to accommodate these changes, creating the guitar we know today.

As stated before, the acoustic guitar has a strong influence on country music, but electric guitars are also used for rock bands and pop music as well!

About the Contributor
Photo of M. Franzmeier
M. Franzmeier, Journalist

Madison Franzmeier is a senior at Sartell High School. She is involved in multiple choirs including her school and community choirs. She loves performing...

Making music with Maddie: ukelele edition

If you’re like me, this quarantine has got me a lot more bored and lazy than usual. I lounge around the house all day, open the fridge, close it, and then open it a second later, I stay up late watching Netflix, and rarely go outside.

But I have found a suitable hobby that keeps me occupied while also furthering the knowledge of what I love to do.

Playing music!

If you are anything like me, you have a ton of Spotify playlists filled with music of all genres, whether it be Indie, pop, rap, musical theatre, or even country. But it’s one thing to just listen to music, as after a while it gets boring as well.

So, I turned to playing music. I have a guitar that was given to me by my grandfather and a new ukulele that I just received as a gift for my birthday.  I also have a piano in my basement at home.

I spend most of my time playing the ukulele, as it is an instrument that suits me the best, the ukulele tutorial will be shown here!


First off, you will need to know a little bit about the instrument. 

Three of the four types of ukuleles

The ukulele comes in four different types. The highest pitch is a soprano ukulele. Soprano ukes go out of tune a bit faster and are much smaller than the rest, but have a clear sound and are great for beginners! I started out playing a soprano ukulele but since then I have moved on to the next type, a concert ukulele.

Concert ukuleles are lower in sound, but still in the higher range. These ukuleles stay in tune for a lot longer, but there are more rules and regulations about how to take care of it. This kind of ukulele has a beautiful sound and can reach higher notes because of its elongated neck.

The next type is a tenor ukulele. This is a larger ukulele and gives off a deep, resonant sound. The tenor ukulele is a less common form compared to the first two, and it doesn’t have the bright sound usually associated with the ukulele.

The last and final form of ukulele is the baritone. A baritone ukulele is the biggest form and sounds more like a guitar. Baritone ukuleles are easier to play if you have larger hands and fingers, and can be good to play for beginners. Although, the baritone ukulele is tuned differently than the others, so it may be a bit difficult as a starting ukulele

The ukulele was an important instrument in the Hawaiian culture. The ukulele was adapted from a common Portuguese instrument, a machete. The ukulele can be compared with many different instruments, such as the guitar, autoharp, banjo, and of course, the machete.

I personally love playing the ukulele much more than my guitar, even though I got my guitar first. The ukulele for me fits my personality a lot more than a guitar does, and since it is smaller, the uke fits my hands as well. It’s a lot easier to play four strings than six, like the guitar has, and is easy to carry around and doesn’t take up too much space.

It’s important that you find an instrument that fits you the best. I happened to find mine in the ukulele! Try out the tutorial if you think the ukulele is the right instrument for you!

About the Contributor
Photo of M. Franzmeier
M. Franzmeier, Journalist

Madison Franzmeier is a senior at Sartell High School. She is involved in multiple choirs including her school and community choirs. She loves performing...

Social media affects the confidence and mental health of teenagers


Kylie Reisinger

Social Media creates unrealistic expectations and standards for all users.

Social media is a huge part of many teenagers’ lives. There are so many social media platforms, and it can be hard for parents to keep up on restricting their kids from being on those platforms. Some of the most popular social media platforms are Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Facebook, and TikTok. Many people go to social media because of the need to feel connected socially to live an acceptable life.

According to, there have been many studies that have shown that excessive social media use has lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicide.

Center4Research conducted a study in 2016 and reported that an estimated amount of 44.7 million people aged 18 or older in the US had a mental health illness.

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Depression is a massive side effect of excessive social media use.

They also stated that the American Academy of Pediatrics described “Facebook Depression” as a “depression that develops when teens and preteens spend time on social media sites and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression due to the intensity of the online world.” One of the main reasons that social media increases depression is because teens now spend less time connecting with peers outside of social media and more time connecting with peers on social media. The connections they have on social media are less emotionally satisfying which then leads to decreased happiness and mental health.

The Child Mind Institute included in an article that that sleep deprivation is a huge factor in depression in teens and preteens. In the article, they stated that past research showed that 60% of adolescents are looking at their phones in the last hour before they sleep, but among that they also get significantly less sleep than their peers who aren’t invested in social media.

Anxiety is also a very common side effect of excessive social media use.

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Social Anxiety and Anxiety, in general, leads to loneliness and isolation.

Data has shown that anxiety comes from social media use because when users aren’t on social media or aren’t able to use it, they felt withdrawn which creates anxiety. Psychology today states in their article that social media doesn’t create anxiety in users, it fuels the anxiety due to the withdrawal but also the feeling of needing to be liked or good enough on their social media posts.

Social media has also been known to increase the severity of those who have Social Anxiety Disorder or SAD. included a lot of information about this link in their article but the facts that stood out were the following:

  • People who suffer from SAD are more likely to be passive Facebook users but will be less likely to leave comments or share opinions due to the anxiety they suffer from.
  • People with Social Anxiety are also more likely to suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder. Internet Addiction Disorder is described as not being able to function daily without being on social media sites, video games, and other internet platforms.
  • People with SAD are more likely to become addicted to the Internet because they can stay behind the screen and stay at home but still stay connected to the world and other people without facing the anxiety of being face to face with others or being around other people.

Self-Image has been one of the things that have been affected by social media the most. Teens and Pre-teens are constantly looking at pictures or videos of models or social media influencers who have the “perfect body.” To those teens and preteens, they begin to see themselves as not good enough because they aren’t as pretty as them or they aren’t skinny enough. Social comparison which is a very common effect of social media is leading to self-image issues in teenagers which then can lead to eating disorders or body dysphoria.

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Eating Disorders have become a huge problem due to social media.

Eating issues and body dysphoria have been linked to social media because there is an ideal “body type” of how girls should look nowadays. The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulemia, and also Binge Eating Disorder/Purging. Body shamers are on every social media platform and target teens, preteens and even adults.  They shame people on the appearance of the body whether they are too skinny or too fat and need to work out.

PolicyLab stated in their article that new photo editing apps are also leading to increased eating disorders because they can edit their body to look the way they want it to. Another piece of evidence they stated is that teens and preteens also look up to many celebrities that have had eating disorders and follow their social media and can also develop eating disorders since those celebrities have had them or have them. Two famous social media influencers who have most of their following on TikTok

Wikipedia under Creative Commons License/ Collage by Kylie Reisinger

Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae Sterling have been victims of body shaming. Charli D’Amelio has 54.5 million followers and Addison Sterling has 39.2 million followers. Both girls both got their fame from doing popular TikTok dances and that is the main content they produce on their accounts. There have been multiple comments on their videos saying that they are too fat, or they’ve gained weight, then once they start losing weight people comment and say that they’re too skinny or they can see their ribs. Both stars have responded on their social media about these comments and have said that they want those comments to stop and it is their body which is their own business. Charli has responded more than once on her Twitter page both to comments and also to Perez Hilton who has body-shamed Charli more than once.  Both stars promote self-love and self-confidence in many of their posts and have still continued to do so.

About the Contributor
Photo of Kylie Reisinger
Kylie Reisinger, Journalist

Kylie Reisinger is a senior at Sartell High School. She plans on going to SCSU for college and is going to major in early education to become a kindergarten...

My quarantine adventures in makeup



I think almost everyone can agree quarantine has been a very interesting time, and we’ve all needed to find new activities to keep us occupied, so I choose makeup. I’ve always found makeup to be very interesting and fun to look at, but until now, I never really had the time to learn to use it. Everything I have learned to do thus far I’ve learned from my friends and I’ve taught myself. 

I always start by shaving my face if I have to, then using moisturizer to help to keep my skin from drying out. After I moisturize, I go in with some oil reducing primer to keep my skin from breaking out and help keep the base of my makeup smooth. 

I then proceed to use my 2 in 1 foundation and concealer, although I would recommend getting both foundation and concealer separately. I dot the foundation onto my skin, then use my damp beauty blender to buff it into my skin. After that, I would usually go in with a concealer, but I did not have a concealer at the time I recorded this. After foundation, I use powder to set my face. 

Once I’m done with the base of my face, I start on my eyes and eyebrows. I first put eyeshadow primer onto my eyes so that my eyeshadow won’t crease. I start my eyebrows by combing them with my eyebrow spoolie, then I go in with my eyebrow gel. You can also use an eyebrow pencil, but I find that harder to use for beginners. After brows, I do my eyeshadow. I usually either do just a shimmery eye or I go in with gold. To finish off the eyes, I use mascara, which I also find to be the hardest step with my eyes. 

At this point, I was just beginning to learn how to contour, now I have learned a few other techniques for contour that seem to work better. The next steps are usually my favorite to do: highlighter and blush. I put highlighter usually wherever I want, then I go in with blush. 

After blush comes lipstick, and when I do lipstick, I usually like to make it more bold. Some of my favorites to use are purples, blues, plums, and reds. Though, I will occasionally use a nude or pink color if I have gone with a bold eye look. The final step is to use setting spray to keep everything in place and fanning my face to help it dry.

Moisturizer, primer, foundation, beauty blender, powder(Ethan Johnstone)
Eyebrow spoolie, eyebrow gel, eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow pallet(Ethan Johnstone)
Contour pallet, blush pallet, highlighter stick, lipstick(Ethan Johnstone)
Setting spray and fan(Ethan Johnstone)











About the Contributor
Photo of Ethan Johnstone
Ethan Johnstone, Journalist

Ethan Johnstone is a junior at Sartell High School. His activities include jazz band, marching band, and winter drumline. His hobbies include reading,...

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