Mayor in Hot Water

Kittatinny mayor, Gustavus Petykiewich will be in court next week for preliminary hearings on charges of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
The incident involving Petykiewich occurred a few minutes after 1 p.m. on Saturday at the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road. According to the police report Petykiewich was driving a 2006 Ford Explore East on Fonebone Road when he collided with a 1997 Buick Le Sebre heading North on the highway. After the collision both vehicles remained upright and went into a farmer’s field on the North East corner of the intersection.
According to Alice Magarian a witness to the accident, she said that the Ford Explorer hesitated but did not stop at the stop sign before hitting the Buick.
First responding deputy Gordon J. Slivovitz, reports that both cars suffered severe damage and were inoperable. He found 43 year-old Robert Doane, the driver of the Buick bleeding from the head. He was conscious but disoriented and complained of abdominal pain. The car had no airbag. He found Petykiewich conscious but disoriented. Slivovitz requested an ambulance which arrived about 20 minutes after the initial accident.
On arrival, paramedic’s were quickly concerned that Doane may have suffered spinal injuries. They secured him with a neck brace and a backboard and put him on a helicopter to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre. A nursing staff supervisor reports that Doane is in satisfactory condition. He suffered from several broken ribs, a broken jaw, various cuts and bruises. He did not suffer a spinal injury.
In Petykiewich’s car Slivovitz found a half-empty bottle of Fleischmann’s Vodka on the passenger side floor of the vehicle and the car had a heavy odor of alcohol. According to the police report Petykiewich’s speech seemed to be slurred.
When Slivovitz asked Petykiewich if he had been drinking he responded by saying, “You’d be drinking, too, if you were me.” He then said, “Do you think we could just keep this quiet? I am the mayor of Kittatinny.” Petykiewich consented to a breath test where is blood alcohol content was found to be .14 percent which is almost two times the legal limit in Pennsylvania. He secured in handcuffs and was examined by paramedics. Then he was placed under arrest and put in Slivovitz’s patrol car.
He was taken to Schuylkill County Jail where he was booked and processed. He exercised his right to remain silent but did not wish to call an attorney. His wife, Gloria Petykiewich arrived at the jail a few minutes after 3 p.m. and posted the $500 bail. Mr. Petykiewich was released to the custody of his wife.
After several attempts to reach Petykiewich, he has refuses to comment on the incident.
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau says that Petykiewich could face up to ten years in prison if convicted. His court date is set for Tuesday at 9 a.m.

-Joe K

Wise Words from Jobs in his Commencement Address

Steve Jobs told Stanford University graduates to do what they love, and if they have not found it yet, then they need to keep looking.

The 50 year-old Jobs gave the commencement address with three main stories to an energetic crowd on a beautiful sunny California afternoon. Jobs who is the CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, is a self-made success.

Adopted at a young age, Jobs birth mother made his adopting parents promise that he would go to college. He did in fact attend Reed College in Portland Oregon but dropped out after six months.
“I couldn’t see the value in it. 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,” said Jobs.

It didn’t take him long to figure out what he loved doing. Jobs and Steve Wozniak proceeded to start Apple in the garage owned by Job’s parents. In just 10 years the company went from just two men in a garage to a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees.

But just as things were going well, at the age of 30 and just after the release of the Macintosh, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple.

Jobs for a period of time lost what he loved. However he told graduates that this was the best thing that could have happened to him. He said it was good to be back on the bottom instead of at the top. While he didn’t know it at the time, being fired helped him tremendously as it allowed him to be more creative.

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did,” said Jobs.

This is where he could see the dots connect. Even when things don’t seem to make sense now looking forward, they will make sense looking back. Everything that happened was for a reason and it forced him to continually improve and allowed him to be more creative. Shortly after being fired he started NeXT a computer company in which much of the technology he would later take back to Apple.

The third story he told was about death.

Last year Jobs was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and given six months to live. The doctor fortunately was wrong. It turned out to be a form of pancreatic cancer that was curable and Jobs is fine now. But, he said that it was another eye opening experience. While Jobs said that he had always tried to live his life as if each day were his last. In this experience it really became real.

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Within the three stories all of the stories had the same general message. The overwhelming message is that it is important to do what you love, never stop living life to the fullest and that death is the great equalizer because everyone will face death at come point.

Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”

As he concluded the speech he wished the graduates well and told them to “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

-Joe Kubicki

UW-Eau Claire Ends Whitewater’s WIAC Tournament Hopes

The UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team lost a tough game Tuesday night against UW-Eau Claire by a final score of 69-59.

This game was the first round of the WIAC Conference playoffs. Both teams were in the playoffs last year but Whitewater lost in the first round and Eau Claire lost in the semifinals. This was the team’s second meeting in four days. In their last meeting Whitewater lost to Eau Clair 68-58 on senior day.

Whitewater’s Lisa Palmer broke the ice scoring on a bank shot from the right side. In the opening minutes neither team played particularly well. Whitewater in the first 5 minutes of the quarter shot only 14.3% from the field. Their defense played well forcing 6 turnovers for Eau Claire. Toward the end of the quarter both teams started to find their rhythm but Whitewater’s defense was able to hold strong and they lead 17-11.

In the second quarter the game started to get very physical. There were a lot of players being knocked to the ground and hit hard as they shot the ball. Whitewater got into foul trouble early in the quarter. Eau Claire started to take over the game and by the end of the half they shot 47.8% from the field. In the first 16 minutes of the first half they also out rebounded Whitewater 20-11.

Whitewater’s offence struggled with outside shooting going 0-5 from the three point line in the first half. The defense was able to keep them in the game by winning the turnover battle 11-5. However, they were struggling especially to contain Erin O’Toole a 6-foot 4-inch sophomore for Eau Claire. She is several inches taller than all the Whitewater team and she was able to have free range at the basket. At the end of the first half Eau Claire had a slight 29-27 lead.

In the third quarter both teams started out slow again and with some sloppy play. Whitewater was only able to score 2 points in the first 4 minutes of the quarter. As they did in the first quarter, both teams started to find their rhythm. Whitewater tied the game at 35 with a little over 4 minutes remaining in the third when Andrea Olson took it coast to coast driving into two defenders and making a layup. A little over a minute later Abbie Reeves had three looks at the basket and hit a big three pointer on the third opportunity to regain the lead. At the end of the third quarter Whitewater was down only 1 point.

In the fourth despite a hard fought effort, the game started to slip out of reach for Whitewater. They again got into foul trouble early in the quarter and the defense started to slow down and look tired. They were unable to stop O’Toole inside the paint and she would finish the game with 20 points.

Head coach Keri Carollo said that, “You are never really going to stop a player like her,” and that team just tried to double team her and limit the times she got the ball.

Similarly on outside shooting they struggled to stop Teenie Lichtfuss who was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points.

Carollo said, “We had sprits of showing really great things throughout the game,” but also said that the team was not able to play consistent throughout the game and they had some costly turnovers towards the end.

Whitewater’s team wore their emotions on their sleeves all throughout the game. There was a lot of cheering, support and energy from the bench. As the game started to slip out of reach in the final minutes, Whitewater pulled all their starters and seniors. Some of the players at this point began to cry and hug each other.

Spectator Brandon Grade said, “I have never been that close to that much emotion in a game before. It was sad to see the seniors crying on their way out of the game, knowing it was their last game that they will play at Whitewater.”

Carollo said, that this year’s seniors “really stepped up and did what we asked them to do all year.”

Eau Claire Plays Thursday night at UW-River Falls in the semifinals of the WIAC conference tournament. Whitewater is preparing to head to the NCAA tournament and in the first round they will play Bluffton, Ohio on March 4 at 5:30 p.m.

-Joe Kubicki

Mayor Proposes Controversial Budget

Today Kittatinny, Pennsylvania mayor Gustavus G. Patykewicz proposed eliminating a police shift from 4 a.m. until noon, rising taxes and having residents pay for trash pickup as key points in the 2016 budget.
Patykewicz said, “I come to you with a heavy heart. These are not actions I take lightly. We are having a fiscal crisis in the city of Kittatinny and we must respond to it”

This year’s budget has a deficit of over $99,000. This largely stems from the closure of a blast furnace last summer at the Susquehanna Steel Corp. The closure decreased the industrial tax base by $103.8 million for the year 2016 causing the deficit. The proposed cuts have already started to raise controversy among the city officials.
The most controversial cutback is the idea of eliminating the police shift from 4 a.m. until noon. This means that there would be no Kittatinny police officers on duty during this time and the city would on a contract basis send emergency calls to the county sheriff’s office.

Police Chief Roman Hruska said, “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day.” He also said “I think it is a hare-brained idea… and I don’t know what the mayor was thinking or smoking when he came up with this.”

Also two police officers are slated to be laid off and Hruska hopes to be able to save their jobs. He said that it is not a wise thing to do to cut officers at this time. It costs roughly $70,000 to employ each officer so that amount of money would have to be found in order to keep the usual police protection.

One proposed way to save the officers jobs and retain full police presence is to raise taxes higher that what Patykewicz initially proposed. The initial proposal was to raise taxes from 4 mills to 4.3 mills. What this means is at last year’s tax rate a house that was worth $100,000 the owner would pay $400 in property taxes. At the new tax rate the owner would pay $30 more. However, to solve the police problem, Patykewicz and Denelda Penoyer the president of the city council proposed raising taxes to a rate of 5 mills. This means a house that was worth $100,000 the owner would now pay $500 in property taxes.

Rising taxes to a rate of 5 mills would allow for the police to avoid the cutbacks and the normal police protection would stay. However, the main concern is that with many people still out of work that some simply may not be able to afford the increase.

Another cut that is being made is to the garbage collection. According to the mayor citizens are not likely to notice a difference in trash collection. Tioga Sanitation Co. will still pick up trash once a week; however, residents will be charged roughly $30 per month on their water bill. This would save the city almost $187,000 a year.

The proposed budget calls for a salary freeze of all city personnel. However, in order to help with the budget deficit all of the city officials we spoke with said that they would all be willing to take a salary cut if they could get all of the officials on board. Similarly Martha Mittengrabben the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 644 and Bjarne Westhoff the president of the Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 both said that they would ask their members to think about reopening their contracts in order to avoid the layoffs of two police officers and two other city employees.
Both Patykewicz and Penoyer invite citizens to contact them with any budget concerns they may have.

“My door is always open,” said Patykewicz.

The city council will be holding public hearings about the budget starting this week. A schedule will be released soon and there will be hearings on various days and times so that everyone can have their voice heard.

-Joe Kubicki

How Lauren Pfiefer came to be a top Warhawk Volleyball Player

If it’s volleyball season at the Kris Russell Volleyball Arena on the UW Whitewater campus, it’s likely you will hear the PA announcer booming, “Starting for the Warhawks is a six foot, junior, outside hitter from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin… Lauren Pfeifer.”
But that announcement almost didn’t materialize. In fact, Pfiefer was almost a Blue Devil.
Pfeifer, a top college volleyball player, started playing sports when she was in fifth grade. In seventh grade, her mom signed her up for club volleyball, which is like a travel league. Pfeifer recalls objecting to playing club volleyball initially because her mom just signed her up without asking her. But after a little while Pfeifer says, she fell in love with it and her mom was forgiven.
Throughout high school Pfeifer was a three sport athlete playing volleyball, softball and basketball. Not only did she play them, she played them well. Towards the end of high school she had several college basketball recruits vying for her. Pfeifer turned them all down because conditioning was not her favorite thing and college basketball required a lot of it.
There were many times Pfeifer said she wanted to give up sports. Her mom kept pushing her and would always say that “one day it will all be worth it.”
When Pfeifer decided to pursue a volleyball career, instead of basketball, finding a place to play was not easy. She recalls sending out game film, inviting coaches to come watch her play, and even creating a Recruit Me page online. Eventually, offers came and Pfeifer says she looked at schools with winning records.
She settled for and signed with UW Stout to be a Blue Devil, turning down an offer from UW Whitewater. Thanks to a persistent coach at Whitewater, though, that decision didn’t stick.
With the help of one of Pfeifer’s high school coaches, Whitewater convinced Pfiefer to take another look at the campus. Growing up in Fort Atkinson, Pfeifer was familiar with the campus and city of Whitewater. But what changed her mind was a volleyball match between UW Stout and UW Whitewater. Whitewater won decisively and from there Pfeifer says, “Something just clicked” and she decided to come to play for the Warhawks.
Pfeifer has had great success as a Warhawk student athlete. She most recently was voted third team All American for the 2015 season as well as first Team All-Conference, and first Team All-Region. When she called her mom to tell her the good news and her mom asked “if it was all worth it.” Pfeifer agreed that it was all worth it.
She has also been very successful off the court.
Pfeifer is majoring in corporate health communication with the goal of helping people stay physically fit. She also is vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and the Warhawks’ Leadership Academy. Both groups help student athlete’s transition to Whitewater as well as assist with academics, community service and areas such as personal health.
Fittingly, the women on the volleyball team refer to Pfeifer as “mom” because she mediates people’s personal problems, helps with player’s academics, as well as strives to be a good role model. Pfeifer said, “I enjoy being the mediator and hearing both sides of the story and to help come to a consensus.” She does this to help relieve tension among the team which ultimately helps its success on the court.
Pfeifer has had challenges herself. The latest is a labrum tear in her hip. The labrum is a piece of cartilage around the hip joint. According to the Mayo Clinic “The labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket.” The tear has been causing her pain all season and was discovered recently and may require surgery.
Still, Pfeifer who helps everyone else and is more worried about letting the team down by not being able to be there for offseason practices, than she is about her hip.
She says having a strong support system of her own has been the key to her positive attitude and success on and off the court. Team Pfeifer consists of fellow volleyball players and roommates Stacy Hasler and Tessa Weber, as well as her boyfriend, and, of course, her mom.
With offseason healing and a winning attitude, Pfeifer looks forward to once again hearing that welcoming announcement, “Starting for the Warhawks is a six foot, junior, outside hitter from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin… Lauren Pfeifer.”

-Joe K