Category Archives: Photos and Video

The day the U.S. changed forever

Many people forget specific details of certain events.  Putting names to faces, and experiences to dates seem like daunting tasks.  On Sept. 11, 2001, Americans collectively witnessed hostile takeovers of four planes that led to the destruction of three buildings, and the end of 3,000 lives.  That day, those faces, and that experience, everyone remembers.

Twelve years later, those who lived through the terrorist attacks still recall precise details that changed the U.S. forever.  Local entrepreneur Laurie Debelak, co-owner of Perpetual Childhood on Lawrence Ave., recalled the day quite well as she worked next to the Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township.

flag“I worked at FedEx, and I remember people started getting phone calls from various people [that morning].  Then, a family member called to see if I was OK because I was near an airport,” said Debelak, a resident of New Castle. “I thought the first plane crash was accidental, but I remember we all watched on this small TV as the second plane hit.”

The scare distracted an entire nation, and halted most workplace operations.  Some parents of school students picked their children up in a panic, while executives and service workers alike focused solely on the news reports streaming from the closest radios and televisions.  Fombell resident Travis Curtaccio remembered the shock of arriving to school that day.

“I was at CCBC, and when I got to my class, no one was there.  I went up to the administrative office to see what was going on, and the assistant pointed to a TV,” recalled Travis, who also served in the United States Army.  “She looked at me and said to go somewhere safe.”

In the days after the 9/11 attacks, daily life seemed dramatically different for mostly everyone, especially for Debelak.  Her daily walk outside of FedEx normally included scores of planes taking off and landing every few minutes.  But, the routine strolls immediately following 9/11 completely lacked precedent.

“It was so weird.  Normally, planes were always going by during my lunchtime walk.  In the days after [the attacks]…nothing,” said Debelak.  “Today, I wrote the date down for an order, and thought back [to that].”

The events of that day drove many American citizens to join the United States military.  Ellwood resident Mike Shuttleworth discussed his transition from a car dealership employee to a member of the United States Army after 9/11.

“I was working at North Star in the parts department.  I remember not much work got done that day because we all wanted to keep up with the story.  It mentally and emotionally took its toll on everyone,” said Shuttleworth, who left the Army three years ago.  “Without question one of the deciding factors to me joining the military was 9/11.”

Sept. 11 now seems like a normal day in 2013.  It takes a reminder, such as a 24-hour shift in a fire department, to stop and remember what occurred a dozen years ago today.  Firefighter Travis Neupauer moved away from Ellwood City to join Engine 1192 in Kure Beach, NC.  Though, he was only in fifth grade during the travesty, he experiences the everlasting effect of losing brothers in arms daily.

“I remember my mom came and picked me up from school right after I found out.  I was terrified, because my brother was a firefighter,” said Neupauer, who spent his morning reminiscing.  “It’s easy [to remember] when you’re working a 24-hour shift at the department.  I spent my entire drive to work today thinking about the 343 brothers lost that day.”

This date represents more than just the day America was attacked by a terrorist group.  Sept. 11 is a date for reflection and remembrance, shared through the stories of everyone involved.

So, what were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

 

 

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Badger invites kids with disabilities to inspiring event

After 17 years of holding the Down on the Farm event, Wampum resident Joan Badger saw attendees increase from 60 people to over 400.  On Sept. 14 at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., year 18 commences.  The event, free to all families with a disabled family member, provides a new experience for adults and children with disabilities.  Badger explained that Down on the Farm is fun for the entire family.

“The event provides the opportunity to support the under-served community.  Over 100 volunteers show up to bring their horses, as well as help out with the activities.  It is a family event…modified so that everyone can participate and share the experience,” said Badger, a former family and consumer science teacher at Lincoln High School.

Badger’s daughter, Josie, who has muscular dystrophy, came up with Down on the Farm, which now sees attendees from places such as Pittsburgh and Erie.  The aptly-named “Autumn Bash” includes hayrides, horse rides, crafts, pumpkins, carnivals games, and a bonfire, which are all fully accessible.

“It was [my daughter's] idea, and it took off.  It is for people who have never been on a hayride, or to a bonfire.  We build a ramp for the hayride, and have two side walkers and a horse leader [for horse rides], so people can enjoy them with their brothers and sisters,” said Badger.

Down on the Farm includes hot dogs and beverages.  According to Badger, the food is cooked in hot dog cookers instead of over the fire, which is there for setting.

“We are dealing with a different group who never had bonfires.  When we first started, I passed out hotdogs on sticks to cook over the fire.  Instead of roasting them, some kids ate them cold, and one asked if I could microwave his,” Badger said jokingly, “Now, we cook them instead.”

The Lawrence County Fairgrounds donated the use of their land for the event, which is also positively impacted by the assistance of the Center of Independent Living.  The fairgrounds are located on Rt. 108 in New Castle.  For more information, feel free to contact Disability Options Network at 724-652-5144.

 

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National Grind offers unique local experience

Owner Robert Rivers helps a customer at National Grind

Owner Robert Rivers helps a customer at National Grind

National Grind, located on the corner of 4th Street and Lawrence Avenue, holds open mic night once a month.  Tonight, however, the coffee shop opens its doors for a free acoustic performance by local band The Rough and Tumble from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Owner Robert Rivers explains that the venue provides a unique experience for nostalgia vieweveryone to enjoy.

“I think what people look forward to coming into an event is that they can enjoy something that can’t be experienced anywhere else in Ellwood.  No other places offer open mic nights or free acoustic concerts other than in the plaza,” said Rivers.  “People come in for the atmosphere itself, and to enjoy a really good cup of coffee or tea or latte.”

The alluring ambiance of National Grind grasps each sense.  Nostalgic images plastered on the walls and intoxicating aromas surround patrons as they enjoy their beverages.  The music simply enhances the warm, relaxed community-centered environment.

“We want to be more than just a business here.  We wanna involve the community in as many ways as we can.  All of our products are local.  Our milk, baked goods, and cups come from Beatrice Food Service.  We [also] have some amazing loose-leaf teas that come from a woman in Pittsburgh,” explained Rivers, who spent over ten years in the food service industry.

Although the aura seems similar to Starbucks Coffee, the price and product quality at National Grind exceed what the mega-chain offers.  The shop menu includes several choices of coffee from all over the world, along with an array of different teas.  Rivers also mentioned that his shop strays from typical ‘mainstream’ drinks.

“A lot of [Starbucks] stuff is over-roasted and its all mainstream for ease-of-use.  Also, nothing on my menu, including tax, is more than $5.  We get our coffee from all over the world, and it changes every couple of days.  From Columbia to Honduras to Guatemala.  Literally everywhere,” discussed Rivers.

Even with such an elaborate assortment of beverages, Rivers sticks to a simple choice of drink.

“My go-to is always coffee.  Just a regular coffee,” said Rivers.

Tonight’s free acoustic set is for people of all ages, and free wifi is available.

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PHOTOS: Family Safari

Wild World of Animals visited Ellwood City over the weekend at the Community Plaza on Lawrence Ave.  Many people gathered for a day full of festivities, including an interactive showcase full of exotic animals presented by nationally recognized trainer Grant Kemmerer III.

The event brought the town to life as children of all ages watched Kemmerer’s breathtaking presentation of animals, such as turtles, snakes, and a bird of prey.  The event, A Family Safari Celebration, was put together by the Ellwood City Enrichment program.

 

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PHOTOS: Panthers fall hard to Quad-A Hurricanes

In the midst of their wretched stretch of early season games against WPIAL powerhouses, the Riverside Panthers made their way to Quad-A New Castle Friday Night and were bounced 47-12 by the Hurricane.

The defeat left Riverside 0-2 on the season after its defeat at the hands of Beaver Falls in Week 1.  The Panthers host Aliquippa this coming Friday in what is the third and final game of a tough early season schedule. [See The Panther Schedule]

After trailing 47-0 through three quarters, Panther Jason Dambach found Marcel Cleckley with a 68-yard pass to collect the first score of the contest for Riverside.  Dambach finished the game 8 of 15 passing for 144 yards and two touchdowns with most damage coming late. Zach Gould collected an 11-yard touchdown pass from Dambach to round out the scoring.

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PHOTOS: Riverside Girls Soccer Shutout By Lancers

The Riverside Panther girls soccer team fell to Neshannock 2-0 Tuesday afternoon.  The Lady Panthers, who finished 5-12 last season, next play Knoch in a non-conference, 7:30pm soccer match on Thursday, September 5th and travel to Mohawk for a Saturday morning match-up with the Warriors at 10:00am.

The defending WPIAL Class-A champion Riverside Panthers boys soccer team hosts Perry Traditional Academy this afternoon at 3:30pm in varsity-only action.  The boys soccer team defeated Greensburg Central Catholic last November in a double-overtime thriller to claim the championship.

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Rotary Club Meeting: Aug 29

 

District Governer Patty Meehan stands with Rotary Club President Jim Mason at Aug. 29 meeting

District Governer Patty Meehan stands with Rotary Club President Jim Mason at Aug. 29 meeting

The Rotary of Ellwood City held their weekly meeting on Thursday, Aug 29th.

Jim Mason presided, while Bruce Thalmann led the singing of “America,” and Louise Carroll gave the blessing.  The 50/50 raffle was collected by Jean Barsotti, and won by Ann Mason.  Barsotti also collected happy bucks, and Kathy Thalmann Blank was the “jokemaster.”

Bob Young, visiting Rotarian from Dearborn, MI, gave Gerald Crowley a plaque commemorating his year as Rotary President.  Bob and Gerry graduated high school together.  Special Guest for the evening was District Governor Patty Meehan of Greenville, PA.

Meehan met with the Board of Directors prior to the meeting to get an understanding of the club’s work, and to share her goals for the coming year.  After the meal, Meehan explained the major projects promoted by the Rotary District to the club members, such as the international campaign to eradicate Polio.  The club gave her two contributions:  The first for Polio Plus, and the second for district projects.   In honor of her visit to the club, President Jim Mason presented

Meehan with a card letting her know that the club will be making a contribution to the Polio Plus on her behalf.

The next meeting will be held Thursday Sept 5th at 6pm.

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VIDEO: Panthers-Tigers Friday Night Highlights

Riverside VS Beaver Falls (08-31-13) from Dinosaur Studios on Vimeo.

The Beaver Falls Tigers used early dynamic play making to put up 35 first half points in cruising to its season opening victory over the host Panthers Friday night.  The Tigers scored on five of their six first half possession and out-gaining Riverside 364-36 before halftime.  Three Beaver Falls scoring plays of 30-plus yards in the first half doomed Riverside as the Panthers fell to 0-1 on the young season and will travel to powerhouse Quad-A New Castle Friday night.

PHOTOS: http://news.ellwoodcity.org/2013/08/31/photos-panthers-shutout-in-season-opener/#ixzz2debtXl8c

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PHOTOS: Wolverines Drop Season Opener

Ellwood City tailbacks Jared Meyers and Nick Ioanilli each rushed for over 100 yards on the turf Friday night as the Wolverines outgained New Brighton in total offense, but five turnovers doomed Ellwood as they fell 42-21 to the Lions.  New Brighton scored 28 unanswered points to seize first-half momentum.  The two teams combined for over 600 yards of offense and 60 total points in the contest.  Ellwood City travels to Freedom on Friday to battle to Bulldogs.

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PHOTOS: Panthers Shutout In Season Opener

The Beaver Falls Tigers used early dynamic play making to put up 35 first half points in cruising to its season opening victory over the host Panthers Friday night.  The Tigers scored on five of their six first half possession and out-gaining Riverside 364-36 before halftime.  Three Beaver Falls scoring plays of 30-plus yards in the first half doomed Riverside as the Panthers fell to 0-1 on the young season and will travel to powerhouse Quad-A New Castle Friday night.

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