Mayor Could Face 10 Years in Prison

When it looked like things couldn’t get much worse for the citizens of Kittatinny, Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz could be facing up to 10 years in prison after being charged with causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle last Saturday.

The incident occurred shortly after 1 p.m. at the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road when a deputy of the Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Police Department responded to a 911 call for a traffic accident.

The two vehicles involved were a 1997 Buick Le Sabre and a 2006 Ford Explorer, and the driver of the Buick was identified as Robert H. Doane, 42, of 1332 Main St. Upon inspection, the deputy found that Doane was bleeding heavily from the head and was complaining of abdominal pain.

Doane was conscious but disoriented, and a Flight for Life helicopter was summoned to fly him to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre.

A nursing supervisor reported that Doane is in satisfactory condition with several broken ribs, a broken jaw, and contusions to the head, chest and abdominal area. He, however, did not suffer any spinal injury that was previously predicted.

The driver of the Ford was identified as Petykiewicz, 56. He had not received any injuries, however, his speech was slurred, and an open, half-empty bottle of Fleischmann’s vodka was found in his vehicle. The vehicle was also emitting a strong order of alcohol.

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

Petykiewicz consented to a breath test and blew a blood alcohol level of .14 and failed a field sobriety test, stumbling to the ground several times.

He was placed under arrest at the scene, secured with handcuffs and placed in the rear of the deputy’s patrol car.

Petykiewicz was taken to Schuylkill County Jail where he exercised his right to remain silent. His wife, Floria Petykiewicz, posted a cash bail of $500, and he was released into her custody.

A witness at the scene, Alice Magarian, 33, told reporters that the Buick was proceeding northbound at about 55 miles per hour, when the Ford, approaching from the west on Fonebone Road, appeared to hesitate at the stop sign, then pulled into the intersection, crossing into the road and striking the Buick on its driver side.

According to the Schuylkill County District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau, the preliminary hearing will be held in Schuylkill County District Court Tuesday at 9 a.m.

He went on to say that Petykiewicz will face a charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

Petykiewicz and his wife have made no comments on the situation at this time.


Steve Jobs Gives Commencement Speech to Stanford Graduates

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward”

These are the words spoken by Steve Jobs today at his commencement speech to the 2005 graduate class of Stanford University.

A 50 year old man who rose from the tragedies of his past to become a successful man in the contemporary world, Jobs constantly pushed one inspiring idea. Keep looking forward.

Jobs was adopted soon after he was born by two parents who had never graduated from college, and because of this, they had promised his birth mother that he would go to college, and that’s just what he did.

Jobs attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon for a short while, but he eventually dropped out.

The past can’t be changed. The time you spend grieving about the ghosts of the past is a waste. Forward is the only way that you can go and you should learn from what you lose, rather than mourn the loss.”

In his speech, Jobs talked about starting Apple Computer Inc. with is friend Steve Wozniak in Job’s parent’s garage.

Wozniak single handedly designed the Apple I and Apple II computers in the late 1970s, and these computers which contributed significantly to the microcomputer revolution.

Jobs also talked about the greatness of loss in his commencement speech.

“Loss can bring about great avenues and opportunities for life,” Jobs said. “You can’t find out where your path is going until you go along it. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

Connecting the dots is impossible in foresight, but looking back, your life is a road to get to a destination, and that is what Jobs means by connecting the dots. Being able to see how you got to where you are today.

After 10 years of being at Apple Computer Inc., Jobs hired John Scully who previously worked at Pepsi-Cola. Scully had convinced the board of directors at Apple to kick Jobs out because he did not agree that they should lower the cost and subsidize the Macintosh.

Jobs didn’t know when he was fired from Apple Computer Inc. that he was going to create one of the greatest animation studios in history, Pixar, and later rejoin Apple Computer Inc., but he did realize something during his time away.

He still loved what he did.

This is what he is saying to all of us. Do what you love, push forward with your dreams and don’t look back.

Jobs ended his speech with death. Just like death ends a life, death ended his speech. He talked about how life is not about playing it safe, but living with risk.

Jobs reinforced the mindset to live everyday as if it were your last, but he put an eye opening view on it. He would look in the mirror and ask himself a simple question.

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Jobs said.

If for too many days he answered no to this question, he knew that he had to change something.

Jobs words reflects on all of us to do what we are proud of and to do what we love. The world will keep going after we are gone and we will all eventually face death.

He tells us not to be scared, but to embrace risk and opportunity which will pale in comparison to death.

Jobs commencement speech emphasized to live with a mentality that life isn’t about going by a plan, but actually, that it is about making the best of what you have.

91.7 the edge: Covering Sports in Every Way Possible

In a high scoring affair, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Warhawks took on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Titans in the men’s basketball Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship last Saturday, February 28th, in the Williams Center.

The Warhawks won the game easily, defeating the Titans 71-57 and put on a great show in a packed house, creating a great product for TV, the Newspaper and Radio.

*The University of Wisconsin Whitewater is one of a select amount of schools in the nation that contains a student run radio station, 91.7 the edge, which broadcasts a variety of events, ranging from specialty shows to sporting events.

And that’s just what they did on Saturday.

The student run radio station is constantly putting on Warhawk football, basketball and baseball games throughout the academic year and provide those who can’t attend the games and those who don’t have cable, the ability to experience them.

The radio isn’t like television. Listeners cannot see the action taking place, so the announcers have to paint a picture in people’s minds of what is going on. They must know all the players by name and be able to keep up with the fast pace of the game.

Bryce Olson, the Sports Director at 91.7 the edge, explained on how the whole process of broadcasting the games on air works.

“The process needs at least three people,” Olson said. “One person to operate the board back in the studio, and two people, one play-by-play and one color, to call the game at the Fieldhouse. The two announcers plug their microphones into a remote, which wirelessly sends their signal back to the studio, and the board operator puts them on the air.”

This seems simple enough, but unfortunately with technology, something can always go wrong, and on Saturday it did, and the station was not able to the game on the air as it began.

Conner Moore and Eric Bauer were two of the three people involved in getting Saturday’s game up and running after a shaky start.

“Normally we just use the Ethernet ports in the Fieldhouse to connect the remote to the internet,” Moore said. “But unfortunately that wasn’t an option because the visiting school had taken the only working port for their call on the game.”

With the help of the station manager, Andrew Manthey, Moore and Bauer were able to get the game on the air after ten minutes into the first half by sharing the internet from Moore’s laptop.

“I was relieved to finally see that we were connected to the internet,” Moore said. “A couple more minutes and we probably would have had to pull the plug on broadcasting the game.”

Those tuning in on the radio may have been a little confused to hear music when expecting the game, but thanks to Manthey, the problem was fixed, and the game could be broadcasted.

The Warhawks were able to win the game, and thankfully everyone tuning in could hear the thrilling conclusion to the WIAC tournament.

*Nut Graf

Financial Tragedy Hits Kittatinny

As the citizens of Kittatinny, Pennsylvania know, the city is in great financial stress.

Due to the loss of one of the Blast Furnaces at Susquehanna Steel Corp. earlier this year, the city is projected to lose around $85 million in property value. Six hundred employees at SSC were let go, and a positive future for Kittatinny is in question.

Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz has recently proposed the city budget for 2016 which includes numerous cuts that could affect the citizens of this town as soon as next year.

Petykiewicz insists that the budget is not final and will still need to be approved by the city council. He is also aware of the anger among citizens.

“I come to you today with a heavy heart,” Petykiewicz said. “These are not actions I take lightly, and I emphasize that my door is always open. I will also answer my phone for any suggestions.”

The proposed budget plans to increase the city tax rate from 4 to 4.3 mills, garbage collection will be added to water bills, two police officers will be cut and the 4 a.m. to 12 p.m. police shift will be cut. In those eight hours, the city will rely on outside help from Schuylkill County.

Petykiewicz went on to say, “The chief of police is willing to take a 10 percent pay cut, and if he does, then I will to.”

However, besides the significant financial distress and pay cuts, Petykiewicz still wants to continue spending money on materials the city doesn’t really need.

Petykiewicz wants to invest in a weed removal machine in order to clean the lakes of Kittatinny, so it will bring in more tourists and more business. It looks like he is more concerned about potential visitors to the city rather than the citizens who are already here.

What else could explain the decision to cut eight hours of police protection to the hardworking citizens of Kittatinny in order to appeal to tourists who don’t even live here?

“I’m definitely concerned about the foreclosed houses and losing population,” Petykiewicz said. “I’m worried about the kids, and if they’ll believe that there is no future in Kittatinny

Sure he is, and meanwhile, according to him, he’s raising his tequila tab at the bars and taking vacations to Tahiti.

Roman Hruska, chief of police, was obviously not happy with the cuts.

“I cannot stand ideally by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day.” Hruska said. “I’m worried about the response time from Schuylkill County and squatters entering abandoned homes. It’s a public safety issue.”

Hruska was also concerned about the increase in the amounts of parking fees, parking tickets and police citations proposed in the budget. More tickets means more money, but the police don’t like that.

Denelda Penoyer, president of the city council, is also concerned about the cut in police protection.

“The council does not believe that the cut is sustainable,” Penoyer stated. “We do have other suggestions, and we will be holding public hearings in order to hear the public’s suggestions.”

Penoyer also believes that we cannot afford the weed removal right now and believes we need a larger increase in taxes, all the way up to 5 mills.  She said that the council will vote on taking pay cuts as well to help the community.

The President of the American Federation of State, County and Employees Local 644 Martha Mittengrabben stated, “The number one dilemma is are you willing to make concessions? We will look at the possibilities of reopening contracts and renegotiating if everyone is willing to share the sacrifice, then if they are, we will try as well and I will talk to them, but it’s up to a vote.”

These thoughts were echoed by Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 President Bjarne Westhoff.

“If there is a spirit of shared sacrifice then I will go to my officers and discuss reopening the contracts, but it is still up to a vote,” Westhoff said. “The two officers in danger like this community and want to stay, and I would like to see them stay.”

Everyone involved seems willing to make sacrifices and take pay cuts in order to change the awful budget that the mayor has prop

Life Church: A Service that’s Bringing in the Youth

Life Church Wisconsin

Imagine going to a concert with singing, guitars, drums, flashing lights, basically everything you expect from a concert experience.

However, there is one key difference. This one’s on Sunday morning.

Life Church Wisconsin was established in September of 2000 with a vision to have influence in the city of Germantown. It started with only 35 people in attendance but has grown to over 2,000 people total over the span of any given weekend.

Life Church isn’t really what you’d normally expect when it comes to church. Yes it does hold sermons, but it also presents a full blown concert experience. It was such a foreign concept that I had to go and see it myself.

Alex Ludin is a good friend of mine who has been attending Life Church for almost a year.

“I first got involved in May of 2014,” Ludin said. “When I felt the life I was living had no meaning or purpose, I wanted to find something that was greater than myself. My younger sister was already involved with Life Church, so I decided to go along and see what it was about. It grabbed me right away, and I got more and more involved as time passed. I felt the pull of God on my heart and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.”

We took a trip to the Germantown location where Ludin was able to answer some more questions that I had.

“The pastors at Life Church truly taught me a lot about God that I never understood before. They taught me how to pray and worship Him. I didn’t understand God’s amazing love for us until I started devoting my life to him and having faith that he would take care of me. ”

Through Life Church’s sermons and performances, church goers are able to help build and strengthen the relationship they have with God just like Ludin.

But Life Church can be more than just showing up and observing, you can also get involved with the program.

“I am now highly involved at church. Our Sunday service consists of a time of worship with awesome music and a sermon by our senior pastor,” Ludin said. “I play drums or sing every week in our Wednesday youth groups, but will be playing drums and singing on our weekend services soon. As a musician, I feel so lucky that I attend a church that can point all my talents and gifts right back at Jesus.”

At the end of our trip, Ludin and his friend Nando Herrera, a director at Life Church, showed me just how awesome one of these services can be.

I didn’t actually get to see a service, but they showed me where it was held and the various light variations that were possible. It was simply amazing to watch.

They also showed me a video that was taken of their Christmas Eve service that shows the full extent of a service that can be found here.

There are many people just like Ludin was who are down and want to find something bigger in their life. Religion worked for him and is always willing to welcome others. Whether you follow Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other religion, it can never hurt to accept something bigger into your life.