A year in review: 2018

Harley LaRue, Student Writer

Each year that passes is filled with joy and tears, and 2018 was no exception. However, by the time 2018 has come to an end, it feels as if it’s been years, not twelve months. New trends took the world by storm as old ones made their reappearance in the media. The GNA Insider takes a look back on all that happened in 2018: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The storm of politics. The Trump Administration had a major decision to make this year, and it was a tough one. Who would Donald Trump appoint to the Supreme Court to fill the open seat? His administration considered 25 “highly qualified potential nominees.” However, on July 9th, they settled upon Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is a 53-year-old American lawyer who was fairly inconspicuous before his nomination, so what changed? Kavanaugh was accused of rape on multiple accounts with girls as young as fifteen. Many of the accounts date back to the 1980s, and the Supreme Court invited the women to testify during his hearing. Kavanaugh and Trump denied the allegations. When it came to voting, the parties, like always, were split. Kavanaugh was approved 50-48, one of the narrowest margins in an American election ever. Kavanaugh faced and continues to face much backlash, especially from women who have seen this happen time and time again. Kavanaugh replaced a judge who typically was the swing vote, not voting within his party lines all of the time. This means that the Supreme Court is now Republican controlled.

Tensions between parties didn’t stop there. In October, pipe bombs from an unknown sender were delivered to top Democrats as well as Trump critics and CNN officials.  Some of the victims include Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, Robert De Niro, and more. None of the bombs detonated, and no one was hurt. The FBI also suggested that more packages might have been sent. Local officials believed the manila envelopes to have originated from Florida. It is believed that all bombs were manufactured by the same person or persons. The FBI believes the bombs were created to incite fear and panic to disrupt political tensions. Donald Trump blamed his opponents, doing so by attacking Democrats for their stance on immigration.

Politics never sleep, and in November, that phrase never seemed to ring truer. As midterm elections rolled around, U.S. politics became even more brutal, if that’s even possible. Trump hoped for a Republican dominated Senate and House to help things pass more smoothly, but that wasn’t the case. As votes were being disputed across the country, it was clear first that Democrats were in control of the House of Representatives with 234 Democrats and 198 Republicans voted in office. Republicans one the house by five seats 53-47. Many politicians as well as citizens doubt much legislature will pass with an opposing Congress.

In December, both sides were at odds over funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican-American border; this issue even led to a government shutdown; the shutdown lasted 35 days before the government agreed to reopen temporarily in favor of the people while both sides were told to compromise. According to CNN, Trump “intends to sign the border security deal to avoid another partial government shutdown,” although he is not happy with the deal congressional legislators have proposed. The agreement includes $1.375 billion dollars to fund the wall, which is less than the $5.7 billion dollars Trump requested. Congress must pass a deal by Friday, February 15, to avoid another government shutdown. 

A year for music. Embracing diversity is not something America has ever been praised for in the past; however, 2018 was quite a diverse year for music with many songs featuring verses not sung in English. 2018 was a landmark in the music industry.

In terms of success within the music industry, Ariana Grande won. She released her Grammy nominated fourth studio album, Sweetener, and her third number one album. Her single “Thank U, Next” became the most viewed music video within twenty-four hours on YouTube, earning 55.4 million views. Grande has been through a lot this year with the passing of her ex- and good friend, Mac Miller, as well as the breakup that occurred between her and her fiance, Pete Davidson. Despite her struggles, she still managed to release hit after hit; many have crowned her as the “queen of pop.”

At this point, if you haven’t heard of BTS, the superstar K-Pop boy group, you’re behind. The group has been breaking records set in America as well as South Korea throughout 2017 and 2018. During the week of June 2nd, BTS became the first ever Korean artist to take the No. 1 spot on Billboard 200 with their album “Love Yourself: Tear.” It’s been twelve years since an album that was sung in mostly in a foreign language reaches number one! “Fake Love,” the title track from “Love Yourself: Tear,” entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 10, making it the highest debut for a Korean artist. The group was also invited to attend the Billboard Music Awards, or BBMAs, for the second year in a row. They were nominated for Top Social Artist and won! This is their second year winning this award, setting yet another record. Their presence on stage gained them many fans as they were also the 1st Asian artist to premiere a song at the BBMAs. Their stage presence isn’t the only thing that gained attention; their social media presence is astounding. They have the most Twitter followers for a Korean account, coming in at over fifteen million followers. The boy group had an amazing year, and to top it all off, their songs “Mic Drop” and “DNA” receive the gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.

BTS weren’t the only Korean group to break records in the U.S. Korean girl group Red Velvet debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s World Digital Sales chart with their R&B inspired “Bad Boy,” selling 4,000 downloads in the first week. Their album, Red Velvet: Series 2 “Bad Boy,” debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s World Albums chart, making it their eighth entry in the top ten. They also entered the Social 50 chart, hitting No. 9, which is their first time among the top ten! The girl group is best known for expressing their Red and Velvet sides. Red is a cute and quirky concept which can be seen through their songs like “Red Flavor” and “Rookie,” while their Velvet side is darker with more a girl crush concept, seen through songs like “Peek-A-Boo” and “Be Natural.”

Rap and R&B had an incredibly successful year with records broken by Cardi B and Drake. Drake’s album Scorpion reached a billion streams in just a week! After its release, seven of the tracks were charting within the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the Beatles’ record of five songs within the top ten. However, the Beatles remain the only artist to have ever dominated the top five. Throughout the entire Hot 100, Drake had 27 songs charting throughout. “Nice For What,” the title track on Scorpion, became the first song in history to chart at No. 1 four different times.

Cardi B currently has the most simultaneous Billboard U.S. Hot 100 entries by a woman with her album Invasion of Privacy. Thirteen of her songs were charting with in the top one hundred.

Here at GNA.

GNA rang in the new school year with new faculty, a new school, and renewed spirit.

The GNA School District has expanded with the opening of the Kennedy Early Childhood Center (KECC). All schools within the district now sit upon the same street, making it both convenient and efficient for both the faculty and students. KECC houses pre-K through second grade. To top it all off, the building is LEED  (Leading in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certified, meaning it’s low energy and low waste. Air quality and energy use are only two factors that help with earning LEED points. The school district was rewarded $300,000 in turn for the certification. The high school has also acquired a certification — the YES Certification. The Kennedy Early Childhood Center was a highly anticipated project in the community. It builds upon GNA’s withstanding educational quota. The school is dedicated to advancing childhood education and giving young children an environment that allows them to thrive. The new technology brings them one step closer to the outside world from the safety of a classroom.

The high school witnessed many changes as well with new faculty and staff. With Miss Jarman attending Harvard Graduate School, GNA was in need of a college advisor. In the 2018-2019 school year, GNA introduced Mr. Joe Yamulla who will serve as the college advisor for the next two years.

Nanticoke mayor Robert Wiaterowski passed away in December after his long battle with leukemia. Wiaterowski was an advocate for his community and supported the GNA school district greatly.  He continues to be an inspiration to his community. As the city continued to mourn the loss of the late mayor, Nanticoke welcomed a new mayor with open hearts. Nanticoke councilwoman Nicole Colatosti-Mackiewicz was appointed the new mayor of the city, making her the first woman to take the position in the history of the municipality.

Another year is gone, and so many things have changed. What are your predictions for 2019?