New Orleans: Mardi Gras and More

I think it’s safe to say that the hype about the Big Easy during Mardi Gras is all real. There’s having a good time and then there’s having a good time on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. However, during my time in New Orleans the memories that I took away and still hold in my heart today are not as glamorous as those of Bourbon Street. They lie only kilometers away at the historic Flood Street.

Collapsed roofs, overgrown cars, those are the properties that got off easy. Just blocks past that there are miles of streets where the only reminisce of houses are the concrete slabs on which they were built. Miles worth of people’s homes that have just been washed away. While this is extremely tragic to see, I found it to be one of the most interesting and thought provoking experiences of my entire life.  Although nothing was as harrowing as seeing the New Orleans Six Flags with “Closed for storm” still strewn across its entry way. That right there put everything into perspective for me. An entire theme park, roller coasters, games, everything, left exactly the way it was in 2005. If that doesn’t explain the sheer destruction and devastation that Hurricane Katrina, I don’t know what will.

A trip like this is most definitely for the more hardcore travelers looking for their “fix” of exhibition. While these sites may not be glamorous in a sense, they truly will open your eyes to some extremely thought provoking endeavors. New Orleans is a city built upon culture, and no place is more fitting to see this rebuilding of culture that came from the events of Hurricane Katrina and still remain on Flood Street.

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Boston: The Perfect Vacation to End Your Summer

Is summer winding down? Are and your friends trying to find that final vacation to cap of a great summer? Look no further than Boston, Massachusetts.

This past summer I decided to take a road trip to Boston for one simple reason, to see David Ortiz play in the historic Fenway Park before he retired. As a baseball fan, it was almost a rite of passage to see a game in the sport’s most historic ballpark. As the trip went on I realized, not just the ballpark and the city’s sporting history but the city in itself, was like a rite of passage for any American. Much like Fenway, Boston is one of the most historic cities in all of America rich with story after story and landmark after landmark that was integral to the formation of this great country.

There is almost too much to see in just one weekend but if done right, your summer will end with the perfect exclamation point! In Boston you have the Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots all of which are, arguably, the most historic franchises in each of their respective sports. For any sports nut Boston can and will give you everything you want and more. Whether it’s seeing a game in Fenway or taking a tour of the famous TD Garden, home of the Celtics and Bruins, the choices are seemingly endless.

As I said before, the trip for me began as my final chance to see Big Papi, but what I got out of it was so much more. For those of you who are on a tight budget, the Freedom Trail is the perfect idea to see some of the most historic places in the entire city for free. The Freedom walk is a two and a half mile pilgrimage throughout the city that brings to places such as the home of Paul Revere, The Old State House, and even the site of the Boston Massacre. While on this hike you are able to see the exact places where people such as Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and many more met to put the American Revolution into action.

So if it’s sports history, American history, or just a place with great weather and even better sights that you’re looking for, then Boston is the perfect destination for you to end your summer!

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Boston Red Sox Podcast

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Stewart, Warhawks Ground UW-River Falls Falcons On Senior Night

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The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s basketball team honored their two seniors in their last home game of the regular season, picking up a big 57-37 victory over WIAC rival, UW-River Falls.

On saturday afternoon Seniors Riley Stewart and Andrea Olsen took part in their last regular season game inside Whitewater’s own, Kachel Gymnasium. Stewart stepped up with the pressure on her, pouring in 11 points while shooting a blistering 3/4 from behind the arc.

For Olsen it was a much different night. This offseason Olsen suffered a season ending injury before it had even begun. Although she wasn’t able to get on the court she still may have had the most astonishing performance of the night as she had the honor of singing the national anthem before the game.

The game started off slow for both teams as neither were able to get any type of momentum until River Falls standout, Taylor Karge, was forced to sit out all but two minutes of the first half after getting into early foul trouble.

From there on It was a dominating performance by the Warhawks on both sides of the ball.

UW-Whitewater student radio Color Commentator, Jake Schoen, said, “Malia [Smith] and Riley [Stewart] really put the pressure on with that full court press. There were times when River Falls couldn’t even get the ball past half court man.”

Coach Keri Carollo really wanted to set the tone early, getting the girls into a trapping full-court press to force as many turnovers as they could. Smith finished the game with seven steals, sophomore Olivia Freckman notched four, and Stewart ended with two. The Final Box Score can be found here UW-W vs UW-RF Box Score.

In addition to it being senior night UW-Whitewater took part in the nationwide Play4Kay effort for breast cancer awareness. All players as well as the many fans who made generous donations sported pink shirts to show their support. All the proceeds of the donations will go to the fight for finding a cure. A link to donate money the Kay Yow Foundation can be found here Kate Yow Cancer Fund donation.

The Lady Warhawks will finish up regular season play in the upcoming week with two WIAC matchups against 1st play UW-Oshkosh on Wednesday and UW-Eau Claire on Saturday.

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UW-Whitewater Volleyball Takes On Wash-U

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Mayor’s Proposed Budget has Kittatinny Reeling

In wake of the decommissioning of a blast furnace at the Susquehanna Steel Corporation, the city of Kittatinny is unsteady after seeing Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz’s new proposed budget.

Kittatinny industrial, commercial, and residential income will drop more than an overwhelming $80 million in the mayor’s proposed budget. While commercial and residential incomes will stay generally the same, the city’s industrial income will take hit of more than $100 million.

One of the major red flags noticed at Petykiewicz’s press conference was that of a higher city tax rate in 2017, which would be increasing .3 mills. Even with an increased tax rate, the mayor is estimating to bring in less tax dollars then the city did in 2016. This drop can be directly attributed in the massive dip in the industrial income of Kittatinny.

Petykiewicz said, “This is a financial emergency.” and, “My biggest concern is people leaving because they can’t afford to live in Kittatinny.”

Red flag number two raised with the proposed budget comes in the regards to its effects to law enforcement in Kittatinny. The mayor sees it to be necessary to lay-off two police officers in an effort to cut back on city spending. No one was more opposing to this matter than Chief of Police, Roman Hruska.

Many including Bjarne Westhoff who is the president of the Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34, feel as if this opposition could go past the budget and down to a personal dispute between the two. However, this may be a figment of some imaginations because both the police chief and the mayor agreed to take a 10% pay cut in an effort to save the jobs of two Kittatinny police officers.

The changes that would come from the laying-off of two officers would cause the 4 a.m. to noon patrol and emergency response shift to be handled by Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies.

Chief Hruska said, “This will put lives in danger, someone could die because of this.”

Another notion that warrants mentioning is the proposition to remove garbage pickup from the tax levy. In another effort to cut spending Petykiewicz wants to add the charge to Kittatinny citizens’ water bill and contract Tioga Sanitation Company to handle garbage pickup and removal.

Additional speakers at the press conference included City Council President, Denelda Penoyer, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 644 President, Martha Mittengrabben. Throughout out both of their responses, the two shared a common ambition. That being an even higher tax rate than the mayor had proposed for the 2017 budget. Penoyer assured that an increase to 5 mills would do enough to prevent cuts within the Kittatinny Police Department.

Amongst numerous harsh loses, a bright spot for the proposed budget comes in the form of the city’s expected raise in commercial income. In lieu of the tough propositions brought on by Mayor Petykiewicz, this spike of over $20 million for the city will be a pebble of optimism for the people of Kittatinny.

The Mayor urges everyone to know that this is not the final draft of the budget for 2017 and can and will be changed if necessary. In fact he encourages people that his door will always be open for those whom have suggestions to help the city of Kittatinny endure this rough time.

State law requires a balanced budget to be approved and signed into law by December 1, 2016.

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UW-Whitewater Men’s Soccer Team Brings Home Shaymus Guinn Cup

In a WIAC rivalry matchup, the UW-Whitewater Warhawks men’s soccer team picked up a win against the visiting UW-Platteville Pioneers bringing home the Shaymus Guinn Cup after a 2-1 victory this Sunday at Fiskum Field.

*The Shaymus Guinn Cup was created in memory of the son of Tony Guinn, head coach of the Warhawks. Guinn’s son passed away at the age of 11 after battling E-Wing Sarcoma and chemo-induced acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The Warhawks were able to recapture the cup a year after dropping a match to Plattville last season. This is the third time bringing home the cup in it’s four years of existence.

Warhawk soccer fan Johnny Zokovitch who was in attendance said, “It’s great to see the team and Coach Guinn turn something so heartbreaking, such as the loss of Shaymus, into something special like this.”

The Warhawks jumped ahead to an early lead after a failed clear attempt in the eighth minute by the Pioneer defenders led to the first score of the game coming off the foot of Dylan Hottsmith, the junior forward. This would increase Hottsmith’s season total to team high 8 goals.

“We all wanted to get a W for coach. This one meant a lot to all of us, especially Coach Guinn. I was just happy to be able get the game started in the right direction but moreso to bring home the Shaymus Cup.” said Hottsmith.

In the sixteenth minute of the first half the Warhawk’s Isaac Monson led another push into pioneer territory down the right sideline. In a cross attempt, Monson’s pass would make contact with a Pioneer defender, and much to their chagrin, ricocheted into the Platteville net for an own goal.

Only one minute later, the Pioneers were able to cut their deficit in half on a penalty kick following a yellow card from Jake Santellano of the Warhawks. After the 3 score first half the score would be 2-1 and it would remain that way for the remained of the match.

Whitewater’s lead was not threatened until the Pioneers nearly tied the game up in the 71st minute where they had a corner kick opportunity. A good cross set up an even better header attempt by a Platteville forward that bounced off the crossbar and went out of play.

A strong outing by the Warhawks men’s soccer team was capped off with another good performance by Keeper, Chris Lucatorto. Lucatorto picked up his 10th win after making four saves in the match.

During halftime the 1986 Men’s soccer team was honored to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first NCAA Division three Tournament appearance for the program.

Jonathan Stinson, another Warhawk soccer fan said, “It is amazing to see the guys bring home the Shaymus Cup for Coach Guinn but I loved seeing the guys from the ‘86 come back 30 years later. That’s how invested past and present players are in this program and there’s nothing better than that.”

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Selling the Deer: An Inside look at the Milwaukee Bucks Sales Team

The Milwaukee Bucks are a young, up and coming franchise with superstar caliber talent  that is instilling a new winning culture within the organization, and the NBA is taking notice. However, none of this is possible without the Milwaukee faithful who go and support the team at every home game in the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Christian Ertel, 23 years old from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is an account manager and business consultant on the sales team of the Milwaukee Bucks. In this position, Ertel is at the forefront of bringing in fans and revenue for the Bucks.

Coming from humble beginnings, Ertel calls Sheboygan, Wisconsin home. Upon graduating from Kohler High School, he attended Ripon College pursuing a sports management major as well as a business minor.

Ertel says that he wishes he would have set his mind on one distinct career path he wanted to follow rather than many different ones much sooner than he did. In doing this, he would have been exposing himself to more opportunities, however he is very gracious to have received the opportunity he did.

This opportunity would be getting hired by his favorite NBA team before even walking the stage for graduation at Ripon.

Now, nearly two years in the profession, Ertel was able to speak about many of the issues he is faced with on the job.

“Be ready to bring the lunch pail and put in long hours. It’s fun, but it’s a grind.” said Ertel when asked about these issues.

One of the biggest issues Ertel encounters is team performance. Fans love going to Bucks games when the team is winning. However on the contrary, if Milwaukee is losing games his job of selling tickets becomes undoubtedly more difficult. So all in all, if the Bucks are a lottery team, Ertel is tasked with getting fans to come and watch in spite of that.

Ertel attests his accomplishments thus far to his strong work ethic, his ability to lend a listening ear to those above him, as well as a burning desire to work in sports sales.

When asked about his future career ambitions, Ertel said, “As a lifelong Wisconsinite, it’s an incredible project to watch unveil the new Bucks arena and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it. I see myself advancing into an account executive in the coming year. Following that time, I would love to work in premium sales, as I find it to be the most fun “bucket” of sports sales to be a part of.”

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Carr, Raiders Flourish in Crunch-time

The Oakland Raiders traveled to the Superdome to take on Drew Brees and company, surviving a high-scoring shootout that came down to the wire. The week one match up for the silver and black proved to be a true test as Brees threw for over 400 yards to go along with 4 TDs. The very young but hungry Oakland squad, anchored by 3rd year QB Derek Carr, faced a 13-24 deficit heading into the 4th quarter but they would not go quietly into the night exploding for 22 points in the final 15 minutes of action. No drive proved to be more crucial than when the Raiders took over with just under four minutes remaining in the game, trailing by seven. The poised Carr and company marched down the field with completions to Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and finally Seth Roberts on a 10-yard TD with 47 seconds remaining. It was here where 2nd year head coach Jack Del Rio made the gutsy call to go for two and win the game. Derek Carr connected with Crabtree once again who made a phenomenal one-handed catch putting Oakland up 35-34. With 7 seconds remaining in regulation Saints kicker, Wil Lutz, missed a 61-yard field goal to win the game but missed wide left.

Game stats can be found here in the Box Score.

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