Category Archives: Photos and Video

Morabito on set of Bigfoot: The Movie

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Bigfoot during the shoot

Prior to the shooting of Bigfoot: The Movie on Nov. 8, Treasured Memories owner Dani Morabito received a very unexpected phone call.

“I was at my mom’s house, and a California number came up on my caller ID.  I had no idea who it was, so I didn’t answer,” Morabito said.  “Jared Show left a message that said he would love for me to take pictures for the movie he was filming here.”

The director and star of Bigfoot: The Movie wanted to utilize the photographer’s talents to capture behind-the-scenes footage of actors, as well as some general photography.  Of course, Morabito jumped at the opportunity, and took on the ‘role.’

The local business owner typically takes family portraits and wedding pictures, so capturing shots of some comedic actors along with Bigfoot certainly changed her perspective a bit.

Jared Show, Curt Wootton, and Nathan Magill

Jared Show, Curt Wootton, and Nathan Magill

“It’s all been a blast.  The casting crew is excellent; and Curt, Nate, and Jared are absolutely hilarious.  Out of nowhere, Curt just cuts into character, so it is hard to remain serious,” Morabito explained.  “And, when Bigfoot started growling for the first time, it made me very uncomfortable.”

Morabito maintains a full-time management position, as well as her business that she opened up earlier this year on Sixth St.  And, most importantly, she holds a family together at home.  Between her jobs and kids, she still finds time to make it out to the movie set everyday.

Joanie Dodds on a quad during movie shoot

Joanie Dodds on a quad during movie shoot

“Jared is very ambitious, and works so hard.  Sometimes we are on set for 8 to 12 hours at a time.  Recently, they shot a five-minute-scene.  It started at 6:30 p.m., and lasted until 11 p.m.  I don’t think people realize how much time everyone puts into the movies we see, and Jared does not cut corners because he wants every angle,” Morabito added.  “He is very thorough.”

The actors and crew seem to feed off of Show’s dedication, so Morabito ensures that she gets him the best shots possible no matter how messy the situation gets.

“Jared snapped a few pictures from his iPhone during a scene.  Then, I showed him mine, and he couldn’t believe the shots I got.  In one scene, I laid down in the mud to get the perfect picture,” Morabito mentioned.  “I got the shot.”

Bigfoot silhouette

Bigfoot silhouette

With filming set to wrap on Nov. 25, Morabito assures potential viewers of Bigfoot: The Movie that they will be impressed.  She also mentioned that Show plans to release the film by next Halloween, and his attention to detail will show in the final cut.

“I thought the trailer was so good, but it doesn’t even compare to the work put into the actual movie.  I saw a few scenes prior to any editing, and the lighting mixed with incredible special effects really amazed me,” Morabito said.

When filming ends, real life starts again for the photographer.  But, that seems just fine for her because she loves her job.  As one of the only certified professional photographers in Ellwood City, Morabito’s pictures show up all over town in all types of publications.

Jared Show films during Bigfoot: The Movie

Jared Show films during Bigfoot: The Movie

“I won’t know what to do without meals being brought to me while I am working, but I really enjoyed the movie.  The business came so far this year, and I am beyond thrilled with what we’ve accomplished,” Morabito explained.  “I don’t just want to take an average picture, I strive to capture that treasured memory.  And, all of the local support is very humbling.”

Morabito’s photography contains several unique products available to anyone who wants great pictures.  She recently created Christmas cards with ornaments popping out, and she continues to make dog tags and key chains.

To book an appointment with Treasured Memories by: Morabito Photography, visit the website at www.treasuredmemoriesonline.com, or call 724-752-1314.

All photos taken by Dani Morabito.

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PHOTOS: Halloween costume contest winners

Two winners emerged from the pack in the annual EllwoodCity.org Halloween Costume Contest.

Contestants submitted photos of their children in Halloween costumes to the EllwoodCity.org staff, who then posted them on its Facebook page.  Website visitors then ‘liked’ their favorite photos, and the greatest number of ‘likes’ determined the winners.

Addison the Teddy Bear received the most votes with an astounding 133, while Maura the Flower collected 106.  EllwoodCity.org presented the girls with cash prizes of $50 for winning the contest.

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Annual LHS alumni football game tonight

Tonight, former Lincoln High School football players take part in a relatively new tradition as the alumni football team travels to Union to face the alumni Scotties.

The third annual alumni football game includes Ellwood City players that graduated as far back as 1976, to as recent as 2013.  Former high school standout and 2000 LHS graduate Scott LaPenta discussed the reason he keeps coming back for more football.

Scott LaPenta on the bench during the 2011 alumni game

Scott LaPenta on the bench during the 2011 alumni game

“Football was everything to me in high school.  When it was over, I felt empty,” LaPenta said.  “Alumni football gives me a chance to strap up and play again to fill the void.”

Football develops a brotherhood unlike many other clubs and sports, as each player plays a pivotal roll in the outcome of every game.  Alumni Football USA, sponsor of alumni football events across the country, allows former teammates to put pads back on and fight beside one another at least once a year.

Any former player aged 18-58 qualifies to play in the alumni game.  Alumni Football USA provides all pads and uniforms, as well as all on-and-off-field personnel.

Also, Alumni Football USA gives 50% of pre-sale admission ticket proceeds to the school, as well as 100% of concession and raffle rights to the hosting school in exchange for the field.

The game begins at 7 p.m.

For more information, check out the Alumni Football USA website.

Ticket Information

Available at the gate.

Adults: $8
Children ages 9-17: $6
Children under 9: Free

Roster

Roster

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PHOTOS: The Wizard of Oz opens tomorrow

The Story

After a few trial runs in full costume, the cast and crew of Lincoln High School’s The Wizard of Oz production is ready for a weekend chalked full of fun and exciting shows.

This past week consisted of several dress rehearsals that truly brought the characters to life.  A full-on performance yesterday during a school assembly set the stage for opening night this Friday in the LHS auditorium in front of the entire town.  Director Felicia Greco discussed the difference between acting in costume as opposed to casual clothing.

“The make-up definitely helps them step up their game, so to speak.  They begin to realize that the big performances are on their way, so they truly get into character,” Greco said of the actors and actresses.  “The big test is performing in front of their peers at the assembly.”

Plenty of hours went into creating the incredible visual effects for the musical.  The opening sequence includes a black-and-white background, which changes into the colorful dream world known as Munchkin Land.  High school stage crew members work tirelessly with limited space to create flawless imagery for audiences to enjoy.

In what Greco considers the toughest scene to conduct, viewers find themselves involved in Dorothy’s world as winds crash and paper blows around the auditorium.  During the storm, characters such as the Wicked Witch of the West fly across the stage.  The crew and assistants must focus fully on their tasks at hand in order to flawlessly execute the performance.

“The cyclone scene is the toughest because there are so many different sequences.  Also, it takes five operators to make the flying scenes successful; four dads and a teacher,” Greco discussed.  “About 15 kids, and a few adults, make the scenes come to life.  They work fast, and with a small amount of space.  They do a great job.”

The orchestra, which includes roughly 17 local volunteer musicians, sets up several musical numbers during climactic scenes.  Conducted by former LHS graduate Laura Adams, the orchestra consists of several involved community members, such as faculty member Dave Braymer, as well as the talented husband and wife duo: Sandi and Jerry Rectenwald.

Many of the performers consistently play in the Lincoln High School musicals, while some, such as Rectenwald Music School owner Noah Rectenwald, found their way back to the pit for the first time in several years.

“It’s really fun to play with area musicians.  I played the same part in this musical several years ago.  As an adult now, it feels very worthwhile to sit in the orchestra pit with so many talented musicians,” Rectenwald explained.  He then jokingly added, “And, I like to showcase my musical ability.”

The 2013 production of The Wizard of Oz is a must-see for Ellwood City residents.  From Dorothy’s abrupt arrival to Munchkin Land, to her strenuous trip back to Kansas, the tremendous cast of characters and audio/visual effects are sure to keep audience members at the edge of their seats throughout each performance.  Also, Musical scores such as “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead,” sang by a host of munchkins that burst through the rear auditorium entrances, will encourage audience sing-a-longs.

Make sure to get your tickets today!  Don’t miss out on your chance to see The Wizard of Oz live!

SPOTLIGHT Series

Check out these exclusive interviews from cast members:

http://news.ellwoodcity.org/2013/10/28/spotlight-the-wizard-of-oz/

http://news.ellwoodcity.org/2013/11/04/spotlight-the-wizard-of-oz-2/

http://news.ellwoodcity.org/2013/11/13/spotlight-the-wizard-of-oz-3/

Click the link to check out the background story:

http://news.ellwoodcity.org/2013/10/23/wizard-of-oz-to-provide-heart-warming-entertainment/

Show Information

Adults: $12
Students: $10
Seniors: $10
Saturday Matinee Show: $6 all ages

Showings:Friday, Nov. 15 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 16 – 2PM and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 17 – 2 p.m.

For more information, please call Lincoln High School at 724-752-1591 Ext. 3002.

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Honor Wagon for fallen veterans

cartOn Monday, the United States celebrated Veterans Day to honor current and former military personnel.

On Friday, Nov. 8, two Ellwood City companies joined forces with the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Vietnam Veterans of Beaver County, and two other businesses to show respect in a different way.

The groups got together in response to the way that airports transferred fallen military men and women upon their return home to the Pittsburgh International Airport.  According to a recent press release by the Allegheny County Airport Authority, changes in protocol allowed for employees to transfer the caskets indoors in order for friends and family to privately receive their loved ones’ remains.

cart 2This new rule made caskets seem like typical luggage, which failed to sit well with Mark Chamovitz, Duty Manager of Airfield Operations.

“That situation didn’t go over well with any of us,” Chamovitz explained in the press release.  “We felt it was nice to move the ceremony indoors, where the weather wouldn’t be a problem and the family receiving the casket would have privacy.  But, we didn’t feel that it was very respectful that the casket was being treated like another piece of luggage.”

Chamovitz, along with Jim Moorhead, the Supervisor of Field Maintenance, and John Wakely, a field maintenance laborer, realized that people needed a “dignified” way to transport remains of fallen soldiers.

cart 1Thus, the Honor Wagon came about.  The three men contacted several companies who volunteered time and resources to create a transportation cart that paid homage to those who served and lost their lives.  Wakely discussed the Honor Wagon, and the difference it makes in moving the caskets.

“One of the great things about this is that no matter the weather, the flag-draped casket will be visible at all times,” Wakely said.  “I think we’re a little overwhelmed.  We had no idea when this started how it would grow, and how emotional it would become.  Hopefully, other airports will learn about this, and those that may be in a similar situation will be able to follow suit.”

Companies involved in creating the Honor Wagon include: Hall Industries, Signs by Sam, Beachem’s Sandblasting Service, and Paff Custom Welding.  The unveiling ceremony occurred at the Airport Heavy Equipment Building in Moon Township.

Photos provided by Beth Hollerich, PIT Airport Graphic Designer.

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SPOTLIGHT: The Wizard of Oz

Lincoln High School presents the Wizard of Oz on Nov. 15,16, & 17 at the LHS auditorium.  This weekly profile details the musical through the prospective of student actors/actresses.

This week:  Dorothy and the Wizard!

  • DSC_0393Dorothy – Marina Thetford

Coming off of a year in which she took home the Henry Mancini Award for Outstanding Female in a Supporting Role as Cosette in Les Miserables, Marina stars as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.  The lead  role showcases the many talents of the actress, who will appear in her third consecutive musical. Marina’s performance as the main character will truly take over the show, and keep everyone in attendance mesmerized and enthusiastic.

Why did you go for the Dorothy role?
Everyone aspires to be lead.  It is a fun role, and a dream come true.  The story is preposterous, which makes it even more fun.

What is the best part about being Dorothy?
It is so much fun.  I love animals, and I get to have a dog!  I go through all of the extremes as Dorothy, which makes it really fun to play the part.

What other character(s) would you like to be, and why?
The Lion, because he is so funny!  He is very strong, but doesn’t realize it.  And, of course, his songs are very fun.

What is your favorite scene to perform, and why?
I love the “Merry Old Land of Oz” scene.  It captures the happy spirit of the show.

In what other musical would you most like to play a role?
Phantom of the Opera.  Christine sings really high, which seems like it would be a lot of fun.  There are not many shows like it, in that it is dramatic and deep.

  •  DSC_0396The Wizard of Oz – Andrew Short

From playing Foster Wilson in 2011’s Annie Get your Gun and Farmer/Revolutionary in Les Miserables, to his acting in his biggest role yet as the Wizard of Oz, Andrew Short aims to steal the show in 2013.  The main characters seek the Wizard throughout the entire performance, as he is the star attraction in Munchkin Land.  Andrew’s role creates a whirlwind of imagination, and should captivate audiences.

What made you want to be the great Wizard of Oz?
I can really be myself while acting as the Wizard.  I like the aspect of reading my lines as myself.

How are you and your character alike?
Like me, he makes up stories, and he is quick on his feet.

What other character(s) would you like to be, and why?
The Tin Man.  He is just a really cool character.

What is your favorite scene to perform, and why?
The flying scene for sure.  There are amazing theatrical effects.

What will the audience enjoy most about your performance?
I’d say the theatrical effects.  There are going to be some great ones.

Tickets are on sale now for “The Wizard of Oz.”

Adults: $12
Students: $10
Seniors: $10
Saturday Matinee Show: $6 all ages

Showings:Friday, Nov. 15 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 16 – 2PM and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 17 – 2 p.m.

For more information, please call Lincoln High School at 724-752-1591 Ext. 3002.  Check out the full story here.

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ON LOCATION with Bigfoot: The Movie

Jared Show directing a member of the production crew during Monday's shoot

Jared Show directing a member of the production crew during Monday’s shoot

Director and actor Jared Show began filming Bigfoot: The Movie on Friday in Ellwood City.

On Monday, the cast and crew moved to Oak Grove Inn on Portersville Road for a daylong shoot. Show referred to the sequence of shots as the “big acting” scene for his character, Burl.

“Someone personal to Burl just passed away, and he believes Bigfoot killed him. This scene is where he decides to join the team in their hunt for Bigfoot,” Show explained while offering up a shot of iced tea.

The laid-back atmosphere on set allowed for several comical moments not caught on film. Co-stars Nate Magill and Curt Wootton joined in the scene as “Dale” and “Chuck,” two friends meeting their friend to comfort him at the bar. Between takes, Wootton, fully immersed in his role, sang Poison songs and talked about Steve Perry rejoining Journey. Also, Magill and Wootton shared multiple side conversations off-camera, and never broke character.

Both characters dressed up in accordance to their individual personalities thanks to costume designer Ricky Lyle. The West Virginia-native turned Californian talked about preparing the actors for the scene.

Curt Wootten, AKA "Chuck," walking behind the bar between scenes.

Curt Wootton, AKA “Chuck,” walking behind the bar between scenes.

“Chuck has his own sense of style. He is wearing a black denim tuxedo with brown boots because he just came from a funeral. Dale is an average dude with no real sense of style. His suit is a hand-me-down from his grandfather. Chuck also has a lot of ‘sleeveless surprises’ during the movie. Also, one of the characters pays homage to Ellwood City during this scene,” Lyle said. “But, I don’t want to reveal too much about that.”

Bigfoot: The Movie stocked up with local flavor. Jaime Jones, who works at Studio 175 Salon in the Lawrence Village Plaza and set hair stylist, got involved with the movie a few months ago when she made friends with Show. She discussed the excitement of working on a movie set, and preparing Wootten’s ‘business-in-the-front/party-in-the-back’ hairstyle.

“It is really neat. Ellwood is such a small town, and things like this don’t happen here. The first few days I was star-struck, but now I am good to go,” Jones said about her experience. “Chuck’s mullet was sort of done when it got to me, but I did cut it to blend in, then pinned it back.”

Jared Show looks on between scenes at the Oak Grove Inn

Jared Show looks on between scenes at the Oak Grove Inn

Aside from local help, Show also recruited friends and family members to help make the movie a reality. His cousin, set designer Sarah Smith, also assisted him in the trailer shoot. Smith’s father grew up in the Ellwood City area, though this marks only her second trip to the town. She discussed the rigors of creating a movie set, as well as the embracing nature of local residents and businesses.

“I was here a few years ago for the trailer, and I did hair, make-up, and set design. The big thing [about set design] is logos. We have to hide everything. Fortunately, we got permission from Yuengling, which is huge around here, to use the name. Also, we got our National Grind coffee and mugs,” Smith explained. “Everyone here is so accommodating. Whenever we need something, we just ask, and everyone jumps on board to help. That never happens in LA.”

Behind the scenes at the Oak Grove Inn

Behind the scenes at the Oak Grove Inn

The crew left the warmth of California just in time for the first true snow of the year in Pennsylvania. For some, the trip lasted only a few hours via plane. But, for assistant director Joel Wallis, who met Show during a film school internship, the trip took a little longer than anticipated. The Art Institute of California Los Angeles graduate, and Seattle native, sat alongside the director/creator/star during a cross-country drive to Ellwood City.

“It took about 42 hours. I flew from Seattle to LA. Then, we packed up Jared’s Prius, and drove all the way. We work well as a team,” Wallis explained. “This place is very relaxing and laid back. It is very close to where I’m from with all the land. I love dirt bikes, so I kind of just want to get out there and start riding on the trails.”

The initial trailer for Bigfoot: The Movie drew thousands of views online, but during a scene break, Show mentioned that a few things stand to change in the current production.

“A couple things change. The motivation is somewhat different, and a few different obstacles occur. The idea is to set up the comedy, and to be scary,” Show added. “It’s a comedy for most of the movie, but I hope that people are also scared when they’re not laughing.”

Everyone on set got to experience true-to-life aspects of Ellwood City, both with electrical and residential interruptions. The power failed multiple times during filming, and a few local patrons forewent the ‘closed’ sign on the door. One man claimed, “it’s OK, I’m over 21.”

After one day of filming at the Oak Grove, the cast and crew plan to move on to the Hazel Manor in the near future, as most visitors do.  Actress Joanie Dodds, set to arrive in Ellwood City within the week, will make her first appearance in that scene.

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Golden Agers honored

golden agers 2013 1 (2)The Golden Agers of the Bell Memorial Presbyterian Church were honored with a dinner on Sunday, November 10th.

Helping with the dinner were Kathy Newton, Carrie Young, Debby & David Caccia, Linda Cambio and Mark Durban,
Cindy Lokey, Kathy, Claire and Caryn Brandes.

In attendance were seated: Paul McConahy, Laura McConahy, Betty Freson, Betty Fontana, Mary Ann Gearhart,
Dottie Wallace, Frank Wallace and Mary Tincani.
Standing are: Jim Schlemmer, Betty Rice, Mary Jean Schlemmer, Ruth Kuntz, Marjory Ferrese, Peggy Campbell,
Louise Carroll, Walt Freson, Rosalie Blatchford, Joan Poholsky, Al Poholsky, Don Hairhoger,
Ed Tincani, the Rev, Bill King (interim pastor of Bell Memorial) John Stasick, Rose Marie Stasick and Pat Graham.

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POLICE: Meth lab uncovered in Franklin Twp

A Franklin Township man faces seven charges after police uncovered a methamphetamine lab at his residence Tuesday.

Police arrested Robert Wallace Lordo, 43, of 113 Broadway Ave., after the officers noticed a suspicious substance in a plastic bottle in plain sight on the property grounds.

According to the report, on Nov. 5, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a Franklin Township police officer noticed a fire in the front yard of the Broadway Ave. residence during a patrol.  The burning ordinance permits burning on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.

DSC_0446The officer walked up to the front door and noticed a strange odor coming that began to burn his eyes emitting from the residence.  He encountered a very nervous woman after knocking on the front door, and told her about the ordinance.  She agreed to put the fire out, and the officer left the premises.

At approximately 8 p.m., the officer returned to the location to check on the status of the illegal fire.  He observed that the woman again started a fire in the yard.  She met the officer outside and stated that she did not realize it started again.  The woman then went inside and got water to put the fire out, at which point the officer again smelled the odor from the previous visit.

The officer walked to his car to obtain a copy of the burning ordinance, and upon returning he noticed three plastic bottles lying on the ground near two propane tanks.  One bottle contained a white, hard substance.  The officer left the scene, then contacted his lieutenant about the suspicious odor and substance because several reports of methamphetamine  manufacturing in the area.

“It’s not something we see frequently in Franklin Township,” said Lt. Brian Speer of the Franklin Township Police Department.  “I told him I would contact someone I know who has experience in the matter.”

DSC_0450Lt. Speer contacted a state police trooper with experience in methamphetamine manufacturing.  The trooper met with two officers at the scene and questioned the woman about the bottles.  He then requested a search warrant, and along with the officers got everyone out of the trailer and secured the residence.

Four parties exited the home, including Lordo, who was wearing rubber gloves that covered his hands and most of his forearms.  The officers, who never entered the residence without a resident past beyond the front doorway, along with the state trooper, transferred the accused to the North Sewickley Police Station.

After interviewing all four parties, police found that only Lordo manufactured methamphetamine, but the other three all purchased Pseudo-ephedrine at some point for the operation.  The three all stated that they used the drug, but never paid for it because Lordo never asked for money.  They also stated that the accused never sold the drug.  Instead, he make it for personal use.

DSC_0447Police transported Lordo to the Franklin Township Police Department, and detained him until Pennsylvania State Police finished processing the crime scene.  At the scene, the investigators discovered cold packs of ammonium nitrate, syringes, aluminum foil, and pseudo-ephedrine.  The items mentioned are all common ingredients of manufacturing methamphetamine.  Also, police found three plastic bottles with suspected methamphetamine residue.

Lieutenant Brian Speer offered special thanks to all of the officers and troopers involved in the investigation.

“I want to thank Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the North Sewickley Police Department, for their help in taking down this operation,” Speer said.  “Their experience and support possibly helped us stop a catastrophe.  I am proud of our guys, and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”

Lordo is being held at the Beaver County Jail with bail set at $25,000.  Due to the ongoing investigation, the names of the other three people involved are not available at this time.

Charges:

  • Manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture of deliver
  • Operating a methamphetamine lab
  • Possession of Red Phosphorous with intent to manufacture controlled substance
  • Intentional possession of a controlled substance be a person who is not registered
  • Use/possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Knowingly possessing ephedrine
  • Recklessly endangering another person
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PHOTOS: End of an era, beginning of a new

Big Dawgs shut its doors for good in 2013 after over 13 years of serving Ellwood City.  The bar and grille, formerly located at 708 Lawrence Ave., continues to play host to a few pool leagues, but soon a new chapter will commence for the ever popular hangout spot.

After facing some liquor license challenges, owner Greg Ottaviani decided to sell the business to Alex Pagley, who plans to turn the establishment into a restaurant.

“I’ve known [Pagley] for a while, and we coached together.  I was just sort of worn out, and I told him I was putting the place up for sale,” Ottaviani said.  “It ran its course.”

No date exists for the restaurant opening, but a large renovation project is underway at the downtown location.  Currently, construction of a new dining area and bar are underway, with only a few workers on location, including Ottaviani.

“We hope to get a crew in here soon to help with some of the bigger projects, like the bar area.  It’s just us right now, so with a crew it will go up a lot quicker,” Ottaviani explained about the remodel.

Constructed in 1903, the building housed businesses such as McDowell Hotel and, most recently, Big Dawgs.

Few details currently exist about the new business.

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