Blizzard releases WoW Expansion

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Early winter weather catches wisconsonites offguard

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Iron Gauntlet: is it better than a team tournament?

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In the wake of the Warmachine and Hordes World Team Championship all eyes in the gaming community are pointed towards the next big event: the Warmachine Weekend. The two highlight events will be the Invitational and the Iron Gauntlet.

The question many people are asking is whether or not these events, both single participant, one on one games, should remain. The alternative to them is a team tournament, where teams of between three and five people share scores and compete to become the highest rank team.

The team format has become the staple of tournaments in the European meta, but in America, where the biggest tournament is Warmachine Weekend, the solo format is still dominant. Warmachine Weekend is sponsored and organized by Privateer Press, the company that produces the miniatures game played at these events.

To support their game Privateer Press recently released an organized format called Iron Gauntlet. Iron Gauntlet forces players to qualify in other events to be allowed to compete at Warmachine Weekend, where they are allowed to play using looser restrictions than game normally allows.

“Iron Gauntlet is our world championship event for Warmachine and Hordes,” said Organized Play and Volunteer Coordinator Will Hungerford. “The format provides an arena for competitive players to display a true mastery.”

The problem is that Iron Gauntlet is a strictly solo event. A number of people in the community have voiced their desire for the presence of a major team event in America, mostly on the forums of websites like the one Privateer Press has on their website.

The two events would hardly be mutually exclusive, but with so much attention being given to Iron Gauntlet, a format that has been receiving a mixed, if mostly positive, response and no attention at all being given to the inclusion of a team format, some people are starting to chafe.

One suggested alternative was to shift the focus of Iron Gauntlet, transitioning it from the format it is to a similar one with a team format. In lieu of that it’s been asked that an additional format at least be added.

Despite these expressed community desires, Privateer Press appears unlikely to accommodate. According to Hungerford they stand by their format, which they see as successful and have no desire to change.

“Don’t get me wrong, team events are awesome and incredibly fun, but for Iron Gauntlet our vision is to crown a single player as champion each year,” Hungerford said. “Our desire is not to turn the format into a team event at this time.”

Mayor involved in alcohol related accident

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Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz was arrested on this past week. Petykiewicz was part of a car accident that resulted in two overturned cars and a man in the hospital.

Petykiewicz along with Robert H. Doane collided shortly after 1 p.m. on Saturday. The accident took place at the intersection of state Highway 117 and Fonebone Road in Frontenac. Doane had the right of way, but Petykiewicz reportedly drove straight through a marked stop sign.

Petykiewicz was traported to the Schuylkill County Jail. He was charged with causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. His wife, Gloria Petykiewicz, posted cash bail of $500 for him later that day

According to Alice Magarian, a witness on the scene, Doane was proceeding at approximately 55 miles per hour, which Magarian described as a prudent fashion. At this point Petykiewicz approached at an intersection and, after appearing to hesitate, crossed the road and struck Doane’s car.

Gordon Slivovitz, a deputy and first responder on the scene, found Doane at the wheel and bleeding profusely from the head. Doane was conscious but disoriented, and complained of abdominal pain.

Petykiewicz was in the other car and Slivovitz reported that his speech was slurred. An open, half-empty bottle of vodka was found on the passenger –side floor of the vehicle.

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

The man consented to and was given a breath test, which indicated his blood alcohol content was 0.14, well above the legal limit of 0.08. He then failed a sobriety test, falling to the ground several times. He was placed under arrest after being examined by paramedics on the scene.

District Attorney Robert Morgenthau says that Petykiewicz court hearing is set for Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Schuylkill County District Court.

Doane was taken by helicopter to the Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre after paramedics expresses concern that he may have sustained injuries to his spine. A nursing supervisor at the hospital confirmed that Doane had no such injury and is in satisfactory condition, albeit with several broken bones and other assorted injuries.

Petykiewicz was approached for questioning but declined to comment.

Jobs delivers commencement speech for Stanford grads

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Dots, love, and death were the three key topics covered by Steve Job when he gave the commencement address at Stanford. Preaching hope and a never ending pursuit of greatness, Jobs worked to inspire the class they went forth.

Jobs, 50, never actually graduated from Stanford, or any university for that matter. After graduating from high school Jobs attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but dropped out after only six months.

This lead to the first point Jobs had: connecting the dots. Up until that point Jobs said his life had to lead to college. But after spending a semester at Reed College, a school that was almost as expensive as Stanford, he just couldn’t see the value in it.

“So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay,” Jobs said. “It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

According to Jobs it wasn’t an entirely romantic experience. Without a dorm room he had to sleep in a friend’s room, and he had to return coke bottles to buy food. The places his curiosity led him, however, became invaluable later.

The example he cites is typography. While still living in Portland Jobs attended a calligraphy class Reed College offered but he previously had no reason to attend. While none of it seemed important at the time, ten years later it was design inspiration that Jobs incorporated into the first Macintosh computer.

“It was the first computer with beautiful typography,” he said. “If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

Jobs point, he went on to explain, is that you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking backwards. The only approach is to trust in something bigger than yourself and hope those dots connect.

The second topic he covered was on love and loss. After leaving Reed College Jobs teamed up with Steve Wozniak, whom Jobs befriended in high school. The two set up shop in the garage of Jobs’ parents’ house and founded Apple Computer, Inc.

After 10 years of work Apple grew into a company worth more than $2 billion with over 4000 employees. Jobs even had stolen John Sculley from Pepsi to be Apple’s CEO. And then Jobs got fired.

“So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out,” Jobs said. “What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.”

Jobs spend several months not knowing what to do. He even contemplated leaving the Silicon Valley, which had been his home for more than a decade. Slowly, he said, he began to realize that he still loved what he did.

Moving on from his failure Jobs founded NeXT and Pixar, and met the woman that would become his wife. Pixar is a world renowned company that created the first computer animated feature film.

NeXT ended up being bought by Apple, and Jobs returned to the company he founded. Jobs said that although he didn’t see it then, getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.

“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything,” he said. “It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

The third and final key point Jobs made in his speech was on the subject of death. Jobs began this part of his speech by referencing a quote he had read as a teenager, that “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”

It made an impression on young Jobs, who came to the conclusion that he should strive to make each day a worthy last day on earth. If he went too long without having one of these days, he needed to change something.

A year ago Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. It was a rare form, and it was treatable with surgery. Jobs says he fine now, but facing death from such a closest distance only reinforced his opinion that you with the shadow of death looming ahead, one should always follow their heart.

“Death is very likely the single best invention of life,” Jobs said. “It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

Jobs finished out his speech by referencing a publication called “The Whole Earth Catalog,” which he said was one of the Bibles of his generation. In the 1970s when Jobs was the age of the students present at the ceremony the final issue was released.

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish,” Job said, describing the words on the back of the final issue. “Stay hungry. Stay foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

America represents at international wargame event

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The American Stars team won at the recent Warmachine and Hordes World Team Championship. The event, held this year in Szczyrk, Poland, brought together 52 teams of the highest ranking Warmachine and Hordes players in the world.

The WTC was held on October 4-5 and consisted of a series of games played between teams using the Warmachine and Hordes games rules created Privateer Press. The games, which use an overlapping rule system, allow players to maneuver model soldiers across a table, navigating terrain and attempting to defeat their opponent through attrition or scenario control.

This year the event was one by Team Stars, which along with Team Stripes represented America at the international tournament.

“It was amazing!” said Will Pagani, a member of Team Stars. “Last year my team came in second, and we were out for blood this year.”

Pagani chose to play as a faction known as the Circle of Orboros, a mystical group of druids with control over mutated wolves and stone golems. Out of the six rounds of games Pagani only lost one of them, and that one, he says, came right down to the line.

Pagani was selected for the team based on merit. A council of prominent figures in the games community in America came together to select the 10 individuals who would be the representatives in the competition. Next year the process will change, as individuals will have to qualify by competing successfully in one of the games other high profile events.

Regardless of which process is employed every team had a lot at stake. The teams, consisting of five people, came together from all over the world, with more than 200 players representing more than 30 countries this year.

The competition, in only its second year of occurring, is already commonly considered the highest competition in all of Warmachine and Hordes. Still, players took care to keep the attitude light.

“It was very tense but friendly,” Pagani said. “Everyone knew everyone else was here to win, but everyone was very polite. It was really an excellent example of how a competition should be.”

Not all of the time in Poland was devoted to the game, however. Several players remarked on the quality of the food, as well as the overall friendliness of the locals. What’s more, the exchange rate to the local currency is very favorable for Americans, so souvenirs and dining were almost without concern.

Pagani said he is incredibly excited at the possibility to participate again. He is already making preparations to ensure he is selected for one of the teams in 2015, though he’s going to miss saunas common to Szczyrk.

“Never pour vodka on the 90 degree Celsius hot rocks in a sauna,” Pagani said. “You get incredibly drunk, very quickly.”

Kittatinny mayor proposes radical budget

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Kittatinny Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz released a proposed city budget for 2015 earlier today. The budget, which calls for a number of radical steps to be taken, seeks to compensate for the loss of revenue for the city experienced by the closing of one of the Susquehanna Steel Corp. steel mills.

When the Susquehanna Steel Corp. mothballs one of the two blast furnaces it has in Kittatinny it will result in a $100 million reduction in taxable revenue for the city. This reduction means a $130,000 lost for the city’s tax levy, money that has to come from somewhere else.

“I come to you with a heavy heart,” said Petykiewicz. “There are many, many painful decisions inherent in the budget document.”

One of the most talked about is the proposed cut from the city’s expenditure on police wages. This cut would mean the laying off two police officers, and that no local law enforcement would be present from 4a.m. to noon.

The slack, according the Petykiewicz, would be picked up by the county sheriff’s office. Emergency calls would be routed to their dispatcher, and one of their patrols would be sent, with the city paying a fee.

That’s not good enough, according to Roman Hruska, the chief of police in Kittatinny. Response times from so far away could be half an hour or longer. Since the most dangerous incident in a city the size of Kittatinny is a domestic dispute, that difference could mean a life lost.

“I cannot stand idly by,” said Hruska. “And watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day.”

Hruska also put forth unprompted that if the mayor is willing to take a 10% pay cut then the police chief would be as well. The mayor, whose budget included a pay freeze for city workers, said he would be willing to if others were as well.

Denelda Penoyer, president of the Kittatinny city council, showed support for the mayor, saying she understood his position and how hard it was for him to make the budget. However, she disagreed with his proposal on a tax increase to find the money the city would need.

“Quite bluntly,” said Penoyer. “I think it will come in the form of a higher tax increase than the mayor proposed.”

The mayor’s proposal called for an increase for 4 mills to 4.3 mills. When asked, Penoyer said she thought the increase should be to 4.6 or even 5 mills. At five mills, a home owner with a $100,000 would have a tax bill increased by $100 a year, an amount Penoyer thinks is both worth it and that people will agree with.

Other noteworthy budget concerns include a change from garbage disposal being taken out of the city tax levy to being on added onto residential water bills. This means people could have to pay for their garbage to be taken every week, though the same company and quality of work would be used.

A sizable investment has been earmarked for a weed removal machine. While both the mayor and Penoyer cited it as an investment in White Deer Lake, which they called one of the town’s greatest assets, Penoyer specifically said it would feel reasonable to delay on its purchase.

The mayor stressed that this budget was and is not finalized, but is merely a proposal. The town has until December 1, 2014 to finalize an expenditure list, by law. While many of the changes are extreme, the mayor earnestly encourages any with proposals on changes to contact the city council or him immediately.

“We’re all in this together,” said Petykiewicz. “And together we will find a solution.”

Janesville local works to restore historic chapel

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Some people have an aimlessness about them, a lack of purpose that sees them wandering without obvious goal. Jim Crittenden is not one of those people.

Crittenden, 64, has spent the better part of the last year dedicated to helping restore the Oakhill Chapel in Janesville, Wisconsin. The project, which he is a co-president for, is devoted almost at least as much time as a job for the man.

“I took one look at the chapel and realized it was a historically important structure,” Crittenden said. “And I realized the city staff was eager in tearing it down.”

When the city of Janesville decided to tear down the chapel early in 2014, a small group of people, including Crittenden, came together and pleaded a case for restoration. They won, but only on the condition that they could raise $40,000 for the project in the next six months. It took them four.

Crittenden played an important part in raising the funds, participating in every major event for fundraising, which included setting up booths outside of grocery stores and getting help from Culvers on Scoopy Night. He also spearheaded the technical side of the project, taking over as webmaster and video documenting a number of steps in the process.

Several of the videos are already online, but many more are being saved. Crittenden is planning on making a short documentary when the entire process is completed.

Some of the videos include documentation of Richard Snyder, a glassworker and lifelong friend to Crittenden. Snyder is also co-president on the project, and donated his labor to repair two panes of stain glass and the rosette glass, a massive four-foot diameter pane.

“Jim has been a super asset with all of his expertise, particularly technology with presentations, videos, and fliers,” Snyder said. “He’s been up at the chapel almost every day since July.”

The chapel restoration is already far underway. The old porch has been ripped out, the roof is being redone, and the structure is being given new mortar. After that the group will replace the cellar entrance and add handicap access before moving to the interior.

Crittenden has expressed happiness with the quick progress the project has had and the amount of labor donations the group has received, but his gaze is ever forward. He’s eager to continue and get the chapel back to its former glory.

The restoration group website can be found at www.friendsofoakhillchapel.org

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