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Kittatinny Mayor faces up to 10 years in prison following drunk driving accident

Kittatinny Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz could likely face up to 10 years in prison after being taken into police custody due to a car accident, which resulted in serious non-life threatening injuries to the other driver. Petykiewicz had a blood alcohol content of .14, almost double the legal limit.

Officials responded to the scene shortly after 1 p.m. on Saturday. Police reported, after inspecting the mayor’s vehicle, an open and half empty bottle of vodka was discovered on the passenger-side floor. The vehicle smelled of alcohol and Petykiewicz’s speech was slurred. He also failed a field sobriety test.

The victim, Robert Doane, 43, of Kittatinny, is now in satisfactory condition with several broken ribs and a broken jaw. Doane was found at the scene bleeding from the head, still conscious but confused. The vehicle he was driving, a 1997 Buick Le Sabre, did not have airbags, but Doane was wearing his seat belt. Due to concerns that Doane may have injured his back, a helicopter was sent to the scene where Doane was flown to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre.

A witness to the scene, who was traveling behind Doane, recounted the incident of the crash. After hesitating at the stop sign at the intersection of Fonebone Rd and Highway 117, Petykiewicz proceeded into the intersection where he struck the Buick, explained the witness. Petykiewicz was driving a 2006 Ford Explorer. Both vehicles remained upright as they traveled northeast into a field after the collision.

Petykiewicz was found at the scene uninjured but disoriented. He was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. He was also not wearing a seatbelt.

“You’d be drinking too if you were me.” Petykiewicz told the officer. “Do you think we could just keep this quiet, I’m the mayor of Kittatinny.” he added.

Petykiewicz was taken to the Schuylkill County Jail in Kittatinny. His wife, Gloria Petykiewicz posted the cash bail of $500. Petykiewicz will have a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. where he will face a charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. So far the Petykiewiczs’ have made no comment on the accident or arrest.

An emergency city council meeting to discuss the Mayor’s situation, will be held Monday night at 7 p.m., before the trial. Due to the personnel matter of the meeting, it will be closed to the public.

Denelda Penoyer, the president of the Kittatinny City Council, explains if the Mayor is found guilty he will immediately be removed from office, as Pennsylvania law dictates any official convicted of a felony is ineligible to hold elective office.

Penoyer believes it is still too early to discuss whether or not it is in the best interest of the Mayor to resign before his sentencing.

If the mayor resigns or is forced from office, the City Council can call a special election for mayor. The election will be held on the first Tuesday that is at least 30 days after the council’s decision.


Steve Jobs gives Commencement Speech at Stanford

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc., advised Stanford graduates to trust in something, to never settle, and to stay hungry and foolish, during his commencement speech today.


Jobs shared with the graduates three stories of his own life. Jobs birth mother put him up for adoption, however she very strongly wished her son to have parents who attended college to ensure her son’s future.


When the arrangement with the first set of adoptive parents fell through, another hopeful couple was contacted and asked if they wanted him, and of course they agreed. However, neither had gone to college and Jobs’ birth mother refused to sign the final adoption papers.


After promising they would make sure he went to college, Jobs’ birth mom conceded and signed the papers.


It’s a well known fact that Jobs never graduated from college; he attended Reed University but after six months he realized it wasn’t the course for him.


Rather than leaving the school entirely he began dropping in on class he found interesting. He sat in on a calligraphy course, believing it would not have much real-world value. However, when designing the first Mac the intricate typography was designed into the system.


“It’s impossible to connect the dots looking forward, it’s only clear looking back.” said Jobs.


At 20 years old Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak started Apple in the garage of Jobs’ parents. But only ten years later Jobs would be “very publicly out” of Apple Computers Incorporated.


At the age of 30 jobs was fired from Apple, when the board of directors elected to remove him from the company. At this point in Jobs’ life he considered calling it quits and leaving the Silicon Valley. But, he loved what he did and couldn’t abandon it.


“Being fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” he said.


He was given the opportunity to start over again and in this time Jobs created the company NeXT and Pixar. Apple eventually bought Next and Jobs was back in the company.


Jobs told graduates “you’ve got to find what you love”, and that is the only way to do truly great work. Always keep looking and never settle, he said.


Not long ago, only about a year, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given three months to live. This was the closest Jobs had ever been to death,


Up until this point death had been a useful tool to remember the importance in following the heart.


“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” said Jobs.


After another doctor visit, it was determined that Jobs had a rare form of cancer that was treatable with surgery. After having the surgery Jobs is now fine.


Being this close to death truly allowed Jobs to realize that no one ever wants to die.


Jobs left the graduates with one final piece of advice from the farewell addition of the Whole Earth Catalogue, or Google before Google, as Jobs described it.
“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” he said.  


Oppression and Diversity: The Boxes and Walls Experience

Oppression and Diversity: The Boxes and Walls Experience

By Suzannah Hoff

Walking in someone else’s shoes is put into a new extreme at the interactive museum, Boxes and Walls. This unique opportunity gives University of Whitewater students the opportunity to truly experience diversity and oppression.

This year Boxes and Walls features six rooms: African-American, Latino/a, ability, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation. In each of these room participants experience what the people in these groups go through.

In many of the rooms students are “taken aback” as they experience how others are treated.

The event is described by students as “inspiring” and “shocking”. And it surely lives up     to the hype.

“The room the stood out to me the most was the LGB (sexual orientation) room because it felt so real. It portrayed a realistic situation that happens at college.” said Hope Schmidt, a Boxes and Walls tour guide.

The experience ranges from trying to move on a wheelchair through thick gravel, being spoken to only in Spanish, and being placed into a mock police lineup.

“It felt good to diverge into different cultures and being able to experience what other people go through regularly.” said Schmidt.

The experience begins right after the tour ticket is collected. Even in the waiting room participants dive into learning about diversity. Each room has its own set of actors that force participants to see exactly what it means to be a part of the represented group.

A processing room follows after the tour, for students to reflect on all that they experienced.

The event attracts large crowds of students. Lines weave around Esker Hall, where the event takes place, and students arrive well before doors open to get spots.

Boxes and Walls was originally used as a training tool for residential assistants, but because of the powerful experience they had, many requested that it was opened up to the student population.

New this year is an additional session on Sunday October 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which allowed more people to experience the event. Boxes and Walls was also open October 12 to 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The event began as a semi-annual event, but because of increased popularity is now on campus every year.

Many volunteers make this event possible, from peer mentors to staff and employees from student housing. Volunteers take on the roles of tour guides, front desk workers, and even actors.

Boxes and Walls in not only a Whitewater event, it has spread to other UW schools and even to other states.

Boxes and Walls has something for everyone, there is truly something new to experience. It allows for a deeper level of understanding and personal awakening to take place.


Mayor’s Budget Proposal Suggests Cut to Police Force

KITTATINNY PENN – Police staff and station cuts have been proposed in Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz’s proposed budget for the 2016 year. The mayor presented his budget in a press conference yesterday.

Mayor Petykiewicz, in order to maintain a balanced budget, proposed that two police officers, as cut as well as police staffing from 4 a.m. to noon, are cut. During this time no police will be on duty in Kittatinny. Rather, Emergency calls will be handled by Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies, on a contract basis.

The Mayor regards that this is not a decision he takes lightly, “The only way we can bring a balanced budget is to make personnel cuts.” said Mayor Petykiewicz.

Police Chief Roman Hruska made a statement regarding the proposed cuts to the Kittatinny police force, “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived from police protection for a third of each day. I won’t stand for it.” he said.

Part of the proposed budget suggests that the amount of money made from citations and tickets increase, and of course this means that more would have to written. “How do we [write more tickets] with fewer officers?” said Hruska.

Obviously unpleased with the Mayor’s budget proposal, Hruska says that other areas should be the source of making up lost revenue., “The police department should be the last place you look, not the first.” said Hruska.

The city of Kittatinny is in a tricky place, with the shutdown of the blast furnace unit at Susquehanna Steel Corporation, which effectively laid off 600 of Kittatinny workers. This major property tax loss for the city means there is a lot of money to recoup.

Mayor Petykiewicz has also proposed that the city’s garbage pick-up is no longer part of the tax levy and will be added to each resident’s monthly water bill. The charge will be around $30, and residence won’t see any differences with the system. The trash pick-up will operate the same, just with a bill each month.

A slight tax raise will also be issued, according to the proposed budget. The increase will raise taxes from four mills to 4.3 mills. This is only a raise of about $30 on a $100,000 house. Other town officials have suggested a higher increase in taxes to make up for city money lost due to Susquehanna Steel layoffs, however the Mayor isn’t convinced this is the way to solve the cities problems.

“I am reluctant to talk about a tax increase when people just lost jobs.” said Mayor Petykiewicz.

Denelda Penoyer, President of Kittatinny City Council, is one official who believes a tax increase could better the town. “With a larger tax increase to five mills… we could raise enough money that no cuts would be needed… we could cover the jobs that would otherwise be lost.” said Penoyer.

Penoyer believes that it would be “inconceivable” for the budget to pass as is.

A salary freeze to city officials, including the mayor,  is also suggested in the budget. However, pay cuts can also help make up some losses, as suggested by some officials. The police chief and mayor are willing to take pay cuts. A sense of “shared sacrifice” can be seen amongst the city employees, however that is as long as the others are also willing to make the same sacrifice.

Kittatinny’s local AFSCME president, Martha Mittengrabben, expresses her willingness to “spread the pain” as well. Reopening of negotiations for union workers would be foreseeable, as long as they too see that others are making similar sacrifices to help the city.

Agreeing with the “spread the pain” philosophy is Bjarne Westhoff, president of the local Pennsylvania Police Association. Of course even with the money made up by pay cuts it would not account for all losses the city is facing. Other means of making up money would still be necessary.

Although the current state of the city seems grim, Mayor Petykiewicz looks forward to a brightening future. With Susquehanna Steel Corporation shutting down one blast furnace, the city can no longer rely on one industry or employer. Mayor Petykiewicz wants to focus on growing tourism. An increase to the amount of people visiting, could hopefully lead to more people staying, in hopes that eventually new employment would be brought to the area.

To begin this plan of increased tourism, Mayor Petykiewicz, proposes to invest in landscaping equipment, including a new riding mower and a drivable weed-removal vehicle.

City officials encourage the citizens of Kittatinny to contact their local officials and tell them thoughts on the proposed budget and what they would like to see in the upcoming year.

A balanced budget must be approved and signed into law by the mayor by Dec. 1, 2015.



Diet Addicted or Living Healthy?

I’ve always wanted to be an athletic girl; I desperately wanted to be good at sports. Unfortunately I was granted the gifts of poor hand-eye coordination, and simply terrible depth perception. Both of those wrapped up together in a short frame leads to one very non-athletically talented girl… me.

Before and After

The after picture is about a year after the before picture. The after picture also shows me before I was getting help for an eating disorder and before I reached my smallest weight. The before picture also doesn’t show me at my heaviest… I don’t have much photo evidence of either of the extremes.

But I’ve found my own ways of being fit and healthy without having to be super athletic. This journey was not without its struggles- I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. To the point where I have suffered with eating disorders with the better part of 7 years. When I was in High School, I was eating obsessed. I would wait until everyone was gone and then I would binge eat like a crazy person. I wanted everything sweet and salty that I could get my hands on. Needless to say this lead to a quite over weight me. Starting college was another story- I slowly seemed to be growing out of my mighty sweet tooth. And with that, the weight, the thick layer covering my body, melted. I couldn’t believe it. I was losing weight. I was getting close to being a normal sized person. I became obsessed. I loved the feeling of stepping on the scale and seeing the numbers fall lower and lower and – It hit me, there was something not okay about eating as little as possible and weighing myself 15 times a day. So I got help and after months of therapy and weekly nutritional appointments and check ups- things got better and even though enjoying food still was a challenge, I was making progress.  Not even a year after my treatments began I studied abroad which helped me change my outlooks, to enjoy eating again. It’s honestly the biggest help I could have imagined. It’s what finally pushed me back to being able to eat with out analyzing every little thing. Unfortunately, when I got back to the states the weight started to come back on, and I was scared to try and have a healthy diet again. I couldn’t fall back into the cycle.

So this isn’t what I intended to do, to share this story because to be honest, I haven’t really shared it with anyone outside of those I needed to tell. But in order for me to talk about Blogilates and the fitness and work out blogs and what not that that I’m interested in, and that I think are a big part of me, then it’s necessary ground to cover.

Cassey Ho

Cassey Ho Creator of Pop Pilates

I’ve tried so many, oh geez, so many diet and fitness programs… From Weight Watchers, to the Special K Diet, to internet fads and everything in-between. And same goes for fitness/workout programs. I share a commonality with Mindy Kaling… In her memoir she talks about being addicted to diets, and I think that fits me perfectly. I like trying new diets, and I like trashing the old ones and moving on to a new fitness program. Cassey Ho’s program of Pop-Pilates, was introduced to me by my sister over the summer. Her website, Blogilates has all the fitness and diet information you could hope for. I religiously follow her monthly calendars. They give recommended work out videos from her YouTube channel to complete each day, and the nice thing is they change every month. This gives me the changes I love with out having to scrap the whole plan and move on to the next one.

Another thing I really like about Cassey is that she isn’t like a lot of other fitness instructors, she’s much more of a real person. Which, to me, is much more inspiring and motivating. When doing her work out videos she talks about just daily events, rather than just yelling at you to keep pushing the whole time. I finally feel that I’ve been able to learn more of a balance between dieting and just living in a healthy way.  And discovering Blogilates is a huge part of that.

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