’14 Warhawks look to build on ’13 success

NATSOT: Start of the national championship race.

Me: That was the sound of one of the most important races in the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater athletics history.  In the 2013 NCAA Division 3 Men’s Track & Field season, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks took fourth overall place at the national competition. Even though the team had the best year in school history, the team’s returning leaders look to build on the success from the previous season.

NATSOT: Coach NATSOT. Michael Johnson, or MJ as he is known to his athletes, is the man at the top of the program who believes that the returning leaders have what it takes to improve on the mark the team set last year.

MJ: I’m real excited at the outlook for this year’s team. When we first started this season, I told the guys that even though we had a good year last year, you can’t get complacent. You have to use a fourth place finish as motivation, because there are still teams that we are trying to catch. At whitewater, we have a winning tradition and we want to continue that.

Me: All-American sprinters and team captains Dylan Crafton, Moriante Brown-Griffin, and Devin Grainger are important pieces to the puzzle when it comes to helping the team get that first place trophy in 2014. Each captain took it upon themselves to improve some personal things in their game. Despite each of the three feeling that they need to improve in different areas, they all are working together towards the same goal. Dylan believes that he can better his game by losing unnecessary body fat.

Dylan: I weighed 180 last season, and I was obese in my mind (laugh). I ran pretty good times last year when I was heavier, so my goal is to get down to around 170 or so. If I get down to 170 I will become more agile, which will lead to faster times. And faster times will lead to a first place finish babyyyyyy.

Me: Captain Brown-griffin’s task seems to be a bit harder. He wants to improve his technique and speed.

Tae: Improving my technique is my main goal. Coach MJ always told me that I needed to improve my form, but I never really listened to him because I was getting great times. But this year, I feel that if I improve my technique the way coach suggests that my speed will be even better than what it was last year.

Me: Captain Grainger seems to have the most difficult task, and it has nothing to do with the work that is put in on the track.

Grainger: My job this year as a captain is to get these guys to remain hungry. I have to remind these guys that the 4th place trophy was nice, but we weren’t crowned champions. I believe if we work hard in the weight room and remained focus, we can bring that first place trophy to the dirty dub.

Me: The Whitewater men’s track and field season will begin on January 18, 2014 in Whitewater as they host the Karl Schlender Invitational Competition. For webhawk news, I’m Aaron Payne, in Whitewater. 

Athletes call for better travel accomidations

crafton,%20dylanEvery student athlete has taken a long bus ride at some point in their careers. Some athletes look forward to them; while others dread the thought of sitting in a chair for hours on end with nothing to do but look outside the window and count down the hours to arrival.

Long bus rides are inescapable, but there are some things that could help pass the time by student-athletes. UW-Whitewater athletes (and I imagine at every other school across the nation) feel that if Coach Buses used for long bus rides had stronger WIFI and more electrical outlets, the ride would be much smoother and tolerable.

4x All-American sprinter Dylan Crafton feels that the stronger WIFI signal could help him do numerous things on the long bus rides when the UW-Whitewater Track & Field Team travels to competitions.

“I could use the WIFI to take my quizzes, watch Netflix or play computer games on the way home.” he said. “I would rather do my quizzes when I can truly take my time and when I can actually focus solely on my quiz, rather than doing it at home or in the library where people aren’t always the quietest.”

Sleeping is another way to pass time, but Crafton said that sleeping on buses is hard because of the small space and the lack of leg room.

All-American sprinter Devin Grainger thinks that more electrical outlets would help make the long ride more tolerable.

According to the Greyhound website, there are 4 electrical outlets on every coach bus. There are 47 people on the Men’s Track & Field Roster, which means that almost 12 people would have to use an outlet, which clearly will not work. There is also 16 watt limit a single outlet can take, so most powerful extension cords cannot be used

“There definitely needs to be more outlets on the bus.” Grainger said. He said he can do without the strong WIFI, but everything used to pass time takes electricity. “My phone, IPod, and computer can help the ride become more tolerable, but I can guarantee they will die before we reach our destination.”

Here at UW-Whitewater, our athletic teams are lucky enough to travel in customized Whitewater-themed coach buses to competitions.  Athletic Director Amy Edmonds is the person in charge of getting these buses, making her the authority figure in this situation.

Edmonds has been notified of the suggestions from the student-athletes to get stronger WIFI and more electrical outlets, but there isn’t too much she can do.

“I have indeed heard the complaints of not only the track team, but all the teams that use our personalized buses”. she said. “But at the end of the day, I have to abide by the bylaws of the Lamers Bus Company.”

Edmonds said she asked for more outlets on the new buses, but due to the wattage limit, the request could not be granted.

As far as the stronger WIFI request goes, Edmonds said that the WIFI signal depends on where the bus is. If the bus is traveling in a more urban area with more towers to get a better signal from, there will be a better signal. But if the bus is traveling in a more rural area with fewer towers to get a signal from, the signal will be weaker.

In closing, bus rides can be long and uncomfortable. Stronger WIFI and more electrical outlets among other things can help make the ride more tolerable.

Drunk mayor causes two car wreck

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On Saturday afternoon, there was a traffic accident at the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road in the town of Frontenac in Schuylkill County.

The drivers in the accident were identified as 40-year-old Robert H. Doane, a resident of Kittatiny and 54-year-old Gustavus G. Petykiewicz, mayor of Kittatiny.  Doane was behind the wheel of a 1997 Buick Le Sabre while Mayor Petykiewicz was behind the wheel of a 2006 Ford Explorer.

When Deputy Gordon J. Slivovitz arrived on the scene, he saw both the Buick and the Ford upright in a farmer field on the eastern side of Highway 117.

The Buick had heavy damage to its driver side while the Ford had heavy damage to its front end. Both vehicles were declared inoperable and were towed from the scene.

Mayor Petykiewicz, driver of the Ford, was found at the wheel of his vehicle, still conscious but disoriented. He was not wearing a seat belt, and luckily did not have any apparent injuries.

24-year-old Alice Q. Margarian was driving northbound on State Highway 117 “several car lengths, just enough for me to stop safely and pull over” behind Doane’s vehicle when she saw the accident.

Margarian reported that Doane was going northbound at about 55 MPH when Petykiewicz came from the west end of Fonebone Road. The mayor appeared to hesitate at the stop sign, and then proceeded to pull into the intersection, striking the driver side of Doanes car.

Doane, who had been wearing his seat belt, was found at the wheel of his car bleeding profusely from his head. His 1997 La Sabre was not equipped with airbags.

He was conscious but disoriented and complaining of abdominal pain. He was then given medical attention by the county ambulance, which arrived at 1:23.

Paramedics were concerned that Doane might have sustained a spinal injury, so a “Flight for Life” helicopter was called in and arrived on the scene at 2 p.m.

The helicopter crew removed Doane from his car via the passenger-side door and placed him on a back board that was equipped with a head brace.

He was then taken to the Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in nearby Wilkes-Berre, PA.

Later Saturday night, Doane was listed in satisfactory condition, but sustained several broken ribs, a broken jaw along with various abrasions and contusions to the head, chest and abdominal area; however there was no spinal injury.

Mayor Petykiewicz was suspected to be drunk. His speech was slurred, the vehicle reeked of alcohol, and there was an open, half-empty bottle of Fleicshmanns vodka on the floor of the passenger side.

When asked if he had been drinking, the mayor responded, “You’d be drinking too if you were me.” He then said “Do you think we could just keep this quiet? I’m the mayor of Kittatinny.”

Petykiewicz was removed from his inoperable vehicle, and gave consent to deputies to conduct a breath test and a field sobriety test.

He blew a .14, which is almost two times the .08 legal limits in the state of Pennsylvania. He also failed his field sobriety test, falling to the ground several times while in the process.

After failing both tests, Petykiewicz was transported to the Schuylkill County Jail in downtown Kittatinny where he was booked, fingerprinted, and his mug shot was taken.

Petykiewicz exercised his right to remain silent but did not request an attorney.

His wife Gloria arrived at the jail at 3:02 p.m. where she posted his $500 bail and then took him home.

Calls to the mayors’ home were made Saturday night. His wife answered the phone but said “no comment” and quickly hung up when she found out it was a reporter on the phone.

Later on Saturday night, I went to the mayors’ home.  The lights were on inside, but all the curtains were drawn. I knock on the door, but to no avail.

Schuylkill District Attorney Robert J. Morgenthau said that there will be a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning at 9 for Petykiewicz. He will face a felony charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, a charge that carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

Jobs Delivers Commencement Speech

Today at commencement, 50-year-old Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs spoke to the 2005 Stanford University graduating class. In his speech, the technology genius gave students an overview of his success and how he got to the point where he is now.

Jobs, a technological genius was once fired by Pepsi CEO John Scully, broke his speech down into three parts. The first part was about connecting the dots, the second part was about how to deal with love and loss in life and  the final part was something you cannot avoid; death.

The first point in his speech is connecting the dots, or in other words, putting your life together. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward”, he said. “You can only connect them looking backwards”. Or in other words, you don’t know how your past experiences will affect your future until it actually happens.

Jobs starting out by saying that he dropped out of the prestigious Reed College in Oregon, and that this commencement speech was the closest he’d ever gotten to a college graduation. “After 6 months, I couldn’t see the value in it”, Jobs said. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out”.

After dropping out, Jobs began to take the classes he was actually interested in, ones like his cholography class that helped shape the Mac computer as we know it today, instead of the ones forced upon him.

He had no money, to buy clothes or food and he had no place to stay. Jobs was so poor that he slept on the floor of his friends dorm rooms and returned Coke bottles for the 5 cent returns to buy food. His only actual meal of the week would come on Sunday nights from a Christian Temple, but he had to walk 7 miles to get it because he didn’t have a car. This helped shape his motivation and drive to be the man that he is now.

Jobs’ second point in his speech was love and loss. He began by saying how Apple started in his garage with him and his good friend Steve Wozniak (Woz) and how it is now a 2 billion dollar company with over 4,000 employees.

Jobs mention he got fired from his own company by someone who owned more share in his own company than he did, and how it affected him. “What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating”, he said.

A few months after his firing, Jobs began to get back on his feet. He started an animation company named Pixar, another computer company named NexT (who was later bought by Apple, allowing Jobs to return to his former job), and fell in love with the woman who would become his wife, Laurene Powell.

Pixar went on to create the world’s first animated film, Toy Story, and is the most successful animation studio in the world.

The third and final point is Jobs’ speech was death. He said that it has an impression on him, and he wakes up every day and thinks to himself, “if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today”.

Jobs stated that in 2004 he was diagnosed with cancer, and also found out that he had a tumor on his pancreas. Doctors told him to prepare to say goodbye to all of his family and friends because the tumor was un-curable and he could expect to live no longer than three to six months, or so they thought.

After being diagnosed, Jobs went through a biopsy. Sedated through the whole process, his wife told him when he awoke that the cells taken from his tumor were tested and found to be curable with surgery.

Jobs had the surgery and his fine now, but he was thankful that he was able to come out alive. “That was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades”, he said.

In closing, Jobs encouraged the graduates to not waste their life, living someone else’s life because there time is limited.

His last words to the crowd were ones that can be applied to anyone, no matter what stage in life you’re at: Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Fans get first look at Marquette men’s and women’s teams.

*On Friday October 11, 2013, 4,000 basketball fans packed the Al McGuire Center on the Marquette University campus to meet the men’s and women’s Golden Eagles basketball teams.

The women were introduced first, and fans were very eager to meet them. Head coach Terri Mitchell introduced the team to the fans and she spoke on the some of the big games the women’s team will be hosting this year. “ESPN chose you guys to host a national powerhouse, Duke Blue Devils, in this gym, because you guys are great”, she said. “I want this place to be rocking and I want to show the college world that the Marquette fans are just as wild as the Cameron Crazies (Dukes fan section).

After the introductions, the team played an intra-squad in front of the crowd. The white team defeated the blue team after one 12-minute half.

One of my buddies who I attended the event with, Rob Dvorak, was pleased with what he saw from the women’s team. “I was impressed by senior Katie Young”, he said. “She was very aggressive in getting to the basket, and her jump shot looked very smooth”.

Young, along with senior forward Katherine Plouffe, and sophomore guard Brooklyn Pumroy, will lead the women’s team this year as they try to build off of last year’s 16-16 season.

After the women’s team was introduced, the men’s team was up next.

The crowd went crazy when the men’s team was introduced. The highly touted freshmen were introduced first, with the sophomores, juniors and seniors being introduced after them.

After the introductions, head coach Buzz Williams took the microphone to tell the crowd about his close relationship with 6th-year senior Chris Otule. Following Williams emotional speech, Otule was presented with the inaugural “Marquette Lifetime Achievement” award.
Following the award presentation, a 3-point, dunk and horse contest took place. Redshirt senior Jake Thomas, freshman Deonte Burton and junior Todd Mayo won each contest respectively.

Another buddy who I attended the event with, Dylan Crafton, was impressed with the overall athleticism of the team. “The past couple years for Marquette men’s basketball have been wonderful”, he said. “With the athleticism of this team, which is better than it has been the past years, I don’t see why they can’t have just as much, if not more success than the past teams have had”.

Every fan in attendance that night received a free t-shirt and a poster of each team containing the season schedule and picture of every player on it.

Mayor injured in 2-car crash

On Thursday afternoon, there was a traffic accident that occurred in the 300 block of      Main St, affront of Henderson’s Hardware Store in downtown Podunk.

The drivers in the accident were 19-year-old Justin Scalia, a student at Podunk State University and 52-year-old Louis Brandeis, the mayor of Podunk. Scalia was driving a 2005 Ford Taurus and a Brandeis was driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.

When Podunk police officer Travis Bickle responded to the scene, he found Brandeis’ Camry on the sidewalk on Main St. The front of the vehicle was heavily damaged and it damaged Henderson’s Hardware Store. “The automobile impacted the front of the retail establishment at a considerable rate of speed and breached the front window.” Bickle said.

Mayor Brandeis was found bleeding from a cut to the face and he initially thought his leg was broken. Podunk police officers called for an ambulance and he was taken to Podunk General Hospital.

Police chief Maryann Magarian called the hospital at 4:30 p.m. and spoke to the nursing supervisor. The supervisor told chief Magarian that Mayor Brandies is in surgery and directed her to call back later.

Magarian held a news conference at City Hall about a half-hour after talking to the nursing supervisor. “We are told the mayor’s condition is not life-threatening and he is expected to recover.” she said.

A second call was placed to the hospital around 7:30 p.m., nursing supervisor Anna Bechstein confirmed that Mayor Brandeis indeed did have surgery to repair a broken right knee; his right leg is in a cast so he will have to walk with crutches, but he is listed in satisfactory condition.

Scalia, the driver of the Ford Taurus, was unhurt and refused treatment from medics. His car was intact but had a long scrape and dents down the length of the driver’s side.

Police officers said that both drivers were going the appropriate speed limit in the downtown area, which is about 25 MPH.

Magarian said that the accident was suspected to be the result of Scalia texting and driving. “Police officers recovered a Samsung Model QX-5600 smartphone from the passenger-side floor of Scalia’s automobile.” she said. “Analysis of the phone showed Mr. Scalia had been sending a text message at the time of the collision. The message was unfinished.”

She went on to say Scalia admitted he was distracted by the message and that she will seek criminal charges for this offense. According to district attorney John Jacobson, Scalia will be charged with inattentive driving.

Scalia was placed under arrest and taken to the county jail. He was booked and given a $500 bail, which he posted, and was ordered, to the Podunk County Courthouse Friday morning.

Chief Magarian hopes that this accident will get the safety of driving across to the public. “This should send a message to everyone: Don’t text and drive.” she said. “If used improperly, that little phone can be a deadly weapon.”

Petykiewicz proposes new budget

On September 30th, 2012, the city of Kittitany held a town hall meeting. The meeting was called together by mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz to discuss the proposed budget for the city for the year of 2013.

Mayor Petykiewicz knows that everybody will not agree with his proposed plan, but he feels that it needs to be done to save the city.  “There will be elements in this budget that people disagree with,” said Petykiewicz.  “The reason we have to make these cuts is because our local economy has suffered.”

The city is in such poor shape because its largest employer, Susquehanna Steel Corporation, shut down a unit due to the lack of demand for their products and foreign competition. Due to the shut down of the unit, 600 Kittatinny residents were left jobless and the city lost $100 million in industrial tax pace.

The biggest issues raised from the public about this budget are the reduction of police force, the new cost of the garbage pickup and the tax increase.

Mayor Petykiewicz says the morning shift from 4 a.m. to noon is usually the slowest, which with the proposed budget will no longer be patrolled by the Kittatinny police force. The Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Department will now take all the emergency calls that come in during this time frame.

Roman Hruska, chief of police for the city of Kittatinny, disagrees with the mayor and is upset about this cut. “I don’t feel good at all,” said Hruska.  “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day.”

Hruska does not think that the cut will increase crime during this time frame, but he is concerned that the response time to crime will be greatly decreased by this cut.

The police department also needs to add a new car to its three car fleet. Two of the cars in the fleet are in good condition, but the third car is 9 years old and has 221,000 miles on it. The police don’t want to be responding to an emergency and have the engine go out, thus why a new car is needed.

The next big adjustment in the budget proposed by the mayor is to raise the city tax rate. The current tax rate is at 4 mills. The mayor wants to raise the city rate to 4.3 mills. So the owner of a $100,000 home will be paying $30 more a year.

Denalda Penoyer, the president of the Kittatinny City Council is pushing for the taxes to be raised, but she also wants to keep it within reason. “Some increase in taxes is inevitable given the financial climate,” said Penoyer. “But we want to keep at it a minimum because we know people don’t like to see taxes go up.”

In addition to all the tax questions, Penoyer was asked if she is going to rebuild all the residential properties in the city that were not reassessed this year and sell them off as estates. “Actually, at this point there is no market for them,” she said.

The final big adjustment in the budget proposed by the mayor is to cut the garbage pickup entirely from the budget. Today the garbage pickup requires about $187,000 in budget money. Mayor Petykiewicz feels that the money used for the garbage pickup can be used elsewhere

            Penoyer said that she is not happy about the mayor’s decision to cut the garbage collection cost, but she does understand it.  She understands that this is not ideal for citizens but this is something that the council is able to negotiate and work on.

The new budget must be agreed upon by December 1 so that it can be set into place by the first of the 2013-year.

The Big Leap

One of the most nerve-wrecking things in life a person can do is move to a new city, now imagine moving to a whole new COUNTRY. In the fall of 2000, Amal Ibrahim and her family did just that.

Ibrahim, along with her family grew up in the midtown section of Cairo, the capitol and largest city in Egypt. Ibrahim knew all her life she wanted to be a teacher, so after graduating high school she enrolled in Cairo University (the oldest school in the Middle East) and studied Mass Communications and got her masters in six years.

After graduating from Cairo University, Ibrahim was given the opportunity to come to America to earn her Ph.D. and at the same time get some teaching experience done at Georgia State University, located just outside of Atlanta. Ibrahim and her family initially had trouble adjusting to such new things, but they managed to do very well. “The first move was challenging, between family, teaching and adapting to a new place…it was definitely a BIG culture shock” she said. But overall, it was a positive experience.”

Once Ibrahim graduated from Georgia State, she and her family returned to Cairo and she began teaching there and expanding her family. Ibrahim currently has two sons, 14-year-old Mohamed and 8-year-old Joussef and a wonderful husband Ashraf.

In the summer of 2013, Ibrahim was offered a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. After some extensive research on the city of Whitewater, and the university, Ibrahim accepted the offer.

Ibrahim has again adjusted well to American college students. She believes that there truly is not that big of a difference between Egyptian and American students (besides the freedom of speech in discussions) because at the end of the day, both sets of students still value their education and are working towards the same goal.

Although Ibrahim does not currently live in Cairo, she is still very close to her family. “With the technology of today like Instagram, Facebook and Facetime we still talk almost every day.” She said.

As far as current events goes, Ibrahim is still on top of everything that happens. The Muslim Brotherhood recently had their activities banned and their finances frozen, and Ibrahim approved. “I’m very happy. Majority of people back home are happy as well. When Mubarrak left office, there were happy and peaceful protests in the Tahrir Square.” She said.

Ibrahim and her family currently live in Whitewater and she says nothing has changed. “My family is still very close. During the week, we get tied up in activities, but during the weekend we use that time to catch up and explore our surroundings like Madison and Milwaukee. We are very happy.” She said.

Caron Butler comes home

Racine, Wisconsin native Caron Butler was traded home to Wisconsin in late August and  will compete for the Milwaukee Bucks this upcoming NBA season. Butler has been in the NBA since 2002 and has played with the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers before coming to the Bucks.