December 17th, 2014

Drunken Man Assaults County Deputies

Robert L. Worthington, 48, of Kittatiny was arrested Monday afternoon after he assaulted two Schuylkill County deputies near a field east of County Highway K in Rumphannock.

Worthington was found by Officers Roland Smithers Jr. and Susan Smithers distraught, intoxicated and carrying a .22-caliber bolt-action rifle that he had fired three times. After dropping the rifle and appearing to submit, Worthington attacked both officers and was tased by Susan Smithers in the ensuing struggle.

Worthington was arrested immediately and taken to Susquehanna County Jail, where he was booked and processed. He is facing charges of public intoxication, trespassing, two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer, and reckless use of a deadly weapon. Worthington was held overnight before his bail hearing on Tuesday morning.

Smithers Jr. responded to a 911 call of shots fired from the owner of the property on East Cussville Road, farmer Clem Kadiddlehopper, shortly after 3 p.m. Kadiddlehopper warned Smithers Jr. of an armed man in the cornfield behind his barn and the deputy called for backup. His wife Susan arrived five minutes later and the pair approached the field. Upon hearing a rifle shot, they took cover inside the barn and demanded that the suspect drop his weapon and exit the field with his hands up. It was then that Worthington emerged and subsequently attacked Mr. and Mrs. Smithers.

Worthington told the deputies he was shooting bottles in the field and “was just all worked up over all this crap going on,” referring to his impending divorce as well as the loss of his job at Susquehanna Steel Corp., but made it clear that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone. His pickup truck was found on the shoulder of Cussville Road approximately a quarter mile east of the field.

Susquenna County Sheriff Percival Quackenbush said that the county is usually prohibited from hiring spouses like Mr. and Mrs. Smithers, but the state issued a waiver to help fulfill the goals of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Gender Equity Act. The 1996 law encourages the hiring of more women as police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers.

Quackenbush said that although the couple had been working in the department together for a decade, they usually don’t work the same shift and that this was the first time they had responded to an incident as husband and wife.

“I’m just glad they were able to avoid having to use lethal force and that everything worked out OK.”

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December 17th, 2014

Audio/Picture Slideshow-The 10

Lights, Camera, Action: The Final Filming of The 10

The subject of this project is the last filming for this semester of the TV show I direct. The show is called The 10 and airs on UWW-TV. All episodes can be found here.

https://vimeo.com/114777902

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December 2nd, 2014

Black Friday Audio Feature

(VO) The day after Thanksgiving has come to be known as Black Friday, a day where retailers offer huge discounts on their products and customers sometimes camp out days in advance to get the best deals. Many see Black Friday as a great opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family at sale prices and don’t mind waking up early to shop. However, Black Friday certainly lives up to its name in the eyes of many retail employees that have to work on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. In Mchenry, Illinois, Staples was a popular choice for many shoppers looking to save on office supplies. Cashier Mark Anderson said that he had dealt with a lot of crazy people complaining about the prices of printer ink and had his own Black Friday war story to share.

Mark SB

(VO) Stories like Mark’s are becoming more common as retailers typically offer a set number of products that are eligible for larger discounts. Police forces have responded appropriately. Nearby, the local police were out in force at Walmart and Best Buy for crowd control purposes and thankfully there were no serious injuries reported.

Cart Rolling Noises

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(VO) Standing in a line of 100 people would certainly be out of the ordinary on any other day of the year, but on Black Friday, it’s considered normal.That was Ryan Albert, a UW-Whitewater Student who works at the Gap store in Johnson Creek. He had to work overnight on Thanksgiving and into Black Friday. He said that nothing too out of the ordinary happened this year, and explained that a change in the store’s hours could have made the difference.

Ryan SB 2

(VO)Many retailers are now opening their doors on Thanksgiving itself, and while this may decrease the number of shoppers on Black Friday, many are quick to point out that these new hours are also decreasing the amount of time employees can spend with their families. Walmart employee Nate Johnson shared his displeasure.

Nate SB

(VO) While Black Friday is a hot topic of debate every year for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. For Webhawk news in Whitewater, I’m Zach Emken.

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November 18th, 2014

Confidential Police Informants

 

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October 31st, 2014

Drunk Driving Mayor Involved In Accident

Mayor of Kittatinny Gustavus Petykiewicz was arrested Saturday afternoon after it was discovered that his role in a serious car accident was caused by drunk driving.

Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Deputy Gordon J. Slivovitz responded to a call just after 1 PM at the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road and observed two vehicles sitting upright in a field east of Highway 117. The vehicles, a 1997 Buick Le Sabre and a 2006 Ford Explorer, had both sustained serious damage to their front ends and were inoperable.

Upon inspection of the Ford, Deputy Slivovitz found the driver uninjured but disoriented and slurring his speech. After noticing a half-empty bottle of vodka on the vehicle’s floor and a strong odor of alcohol, Slivovitz asked him if he had been drinking.

“You’d be drinking, too, if you were me,” the driver said. “Do you think we could just keep this quiet? I’m the mayor of Kittatinny.”

Mayor Petykiewicz consented to a breathalyzer test, which indicated that his blood alcohol content was .14, which is .06 over Pennsylvania’s legal limit of .08. Petykiewicz failed a field sobriety test as well, stumbling and falling to the ground several times.

Petykiewicz was arrested at the scene and taken to Schuylkill County Jail, where he was booked and processed. His wife Gloria posted his $500 bail shortly after 3 PM. Schuylkill County District Attorney Robert J. Morgenthau said that Petykiewicz is facing the charge of “causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle,” which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. A preliminary hearing will be held in Schuylkill County District County on Tuesday at 9 AM.

The driver of the Buick was identified as Robert Doane, 42, of Kittatinny. The deputy determined that Doane was conscious, but bleeding profusely from his head and complaining of abdominal pains. He was airlifted to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre where he is currently in satisfactory condition with several broken ribs, a broken jaw and various cuts and bruises.

Alice Magarian was driving northbound on State Highway 117 behind Doane’s vehicle and witnessed the accident. She reported to police that the mayor’s Ford approached from the west on Fonebone Road and hesitated at the stop sign before crossing into the road and striking Doane’s Buick.

Mayor Petykiewicz and his wife could not be reached for comment.

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October 27th, 2014

Closed Preschool Leaves Behind Memories, Uncertainty

For the first time since the doors to Little Saints Preschool opened in 1997, there aren’t any classes being taught this fall.

A mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of All Saints in Fox Lake, Ill, the preschool that had been a beloved institution in the congregation and community for over 16 years had to be closed down in July of 2014 due primarily to low enrollment numbers.

Little Saints had long been a popular choice for families in the area looking for a Christian preschool education for their children and was responsible for many of the students who would go on to be confirmed, and later members at All Saints.

However, enrollment numbers over the last few years had been on a steady decline and local competition had directly impacted Little Saints.

“It’s hard to keep a preschool running when the school a mile down the road is offering a free program with transportation included and is accepting 80 children,” said office administrator Rachel Emken. “We need tuition money to run our program and pay our staff.”

Emken added that the number of preschool programs in the area is dwindling because many families need full-time childcare or simply don’t have the income to afford a preschool education. Five people lost their jobs as a result of the closing.

Last January, the preschool board and staff made the decision to invest funds into advertising in a last ditch effort to drive enrollment. They placed ads in local newspapers and sent a postcard mailing to over 600 homes within the community.

Despite these efforts, there were zero inquiries made about Little Saints preschool.

The preschool had five children enrolled last spring who would have been able to return this fall, but none of the families filled out a registration form to continue attending Little Saints. Although a preschool cannot continue to operate with only five students, this proved to be a deciding factor in the closing.

Catherine Mantonya, 82, has been attending All Saints since 1984, has seen every class of students to attend Little Saints and is still close with many of them.

“It’s very sad for everyone in the congregation to see the preschool close and I know I’ll miss seeing the children every day I come in here. There’s just so many great memories here”

Without a preschool program in place to attract families with young children, it will be increasingly difficult to drive membership within the church.  While it’s hard to predict the impact of the closing on the church, longtime congregation member Debbie Pett thinks it could be substantial.

“If you look at all of our members, a good portion of them had at least one child in Little Saints at one time or another. It always served as an avenue for new people to attend, so it’s unfortunate that we won’t have that anymore. ”

The closing of Little Saints leaves behind not only a preschool that had developed a sterling reputation for teaching Christian values, but also many questions and much uncertainty for All Saints.

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October 20th, 2014

Jobs Delivers Commencement Address

Steve Jobs had three important pieces of advice for Stanford graduates during his commencement speech on Sunday.

Drawing from his own life experiences, the 50-year-old CEO of Apple Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios told the students to follow their hearts, understand that life has many twists and turns and realize that life is short.

As one of the wealthiest people in the world, it would be all too easy to forget that the achievements in Jobs’ life were the result of years of hard work and perseverance.

Rather, success didn’t always come easily to Jobs. He attended Reed College in Portland for only six months before dropping out because he didn’t think attending college would help him figure out what he wanted to do with his life. After dropping out, he started “dropping in” on any classes that interested him while sleeping on his friends’ floors and walking several miles every Sunday for a free meal at the local Hare Krishna temple.

One of the courses Jobs found himself in was calligraphy. While it didn’t have any practical application in his life at the time, the things he learned would come back to him 10 years later as he designed the first Macintosh computer. Had he not dropped in on that one calligraphy course, Jobs was certain that the Mac, and personal computers in general, would never have the beautiful typefaces and fonts they do today.

It became very clear to Jobs in that moment that the dots had been connected. Jobs said that although one cannot hope to predict their life’s path, “believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.”

When Jobs was only 20 years old, he started Apple Computer Company in his parents’ garage with his best friend Steve Wozniak, or “Woz.” From these humble beginnings grew one of the most successful companies in history and by the time Jobs turned 30, Apple was worth $2 billion.

Even the most successful of people are not immune to great loss in their lives and in 1985, Jobs was fired from the company he started. After hiring PepsiCo CEO John Sculley to Apple two years prior, the company’s sales were down and the working relationship between the men deteriorated. Sculley and Apple’s board of directors agreed that Jobs was not the right person to lead the company, and Jobs again found himself without direction.

“I was a very public failure,” said Jobs. “But something slowly began to dawn on me; I still loved what I did.”

So from this love came new beginnings in his life, and Jobs came to realize that getting fired was the best thing that could ever have happened to him. It allowed him to be more creative and free with his work, and he became infinitely more successful because of it. Over the next five years, Jobs would not only start two more companies in NeXT and Pixar, but also meet the love of his life, Laurene Powell.

In what Jobs calls “a remarkable turn of events,” NeXT was purchased by Apple in 1997 and he returned to the company he started.

The realization that death can happen at any time was the final theme of Jobs’ speech. When he was 17, Jobs read a quote that stated, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you most certainly will be right.” This would come to be a guiding principal of his life. In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that his doctors thought was incurable. Instead, the cancer was a rare form that could be treated with surgery and as of today, Jobs is completely healthy.

After telling the graduates of his brush with death, Jobs stressed that “your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Facing death made it clear to Jobs that remembering that you’re going to die is the only way to truly live.

As he closed his speech, Jobs told the students of a publication that had a great impact on his life when he was a teenager, “The Whole Earth Catalog.” Printed on the back cover of their final issue were the words “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

“I’ve always wished that for myself,” Jobs said. “And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

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October 13th, 2014

Warhawks Roll Over Blue Devils

It seems that being a student here at Whitewater means getting used to watching winning football teams, no matter where or when the team plays. On a picturesque fall day in Menomonie, Wis, the UW-Whitewater Warhawks dominated the UW-Stout Blue Devils 37-0 to remain undefeated at 5-0 and at the top of the Division 3 poll.

The Warhawks are certainly no strangers to playing on the road this season, as only four of their ten games are at Perkins stadium. This was their second WIAC matchup after beating UW-La Crosse 38-7 last week, and the win extends their unbeaten streak to 22 games, the second longest in college football.

Whitewater is known for having a high-powered offense but it was the defense that put the first points on the board, as Brady Grayvold returned an interception 45 yards late in the first quarter. The Warhawks broke the game open in the second quarter, with quarterback Matt Behrendt throwing touchdown passes to Jake Kumerow and Justin Howard and running back Jordan Ratliffe adding one of his own. The second half was much slower, as the three field goals from Warhawk kicker Will Meyer were the only scoring. Behrendt would throw for 303 yards on 21-29 passing and his favorite target Kumerow had seven receptions for 113 yards.

On the other side of the ball, the Warhawks intercepted Stout quarterback Garret Peterson three times, who would finish the day 10-19 for 156 yards passing. Although Stout held the Warhawks to their lowest point total of the season, their offense was unable to get going and did themselves no favors by turning the ball over four times.

Despite it being an away game for Whitewater and 240 miles away, the Warhawks still had a few dozen fans show up to cheer on their team.

One of the Warhawk’s fans that made the journey to Menomonie was junior Nick Scidmore, who said “It’s always nice to see our team win big, it was definitely worth the trip up here.”

The Warhawks have outscored their 238-27 so far this season and have yet to be dethroned from their spot atop the D3football.com rankings.

Another of the Warhawk faithful was junior Derek McNeill, who added “You can definitely see how confident this team is, I really like our odds of repeating as national champions.”

UW-Whitewater will again be on the road next Saturday, this time traveling to Eau Claire to take on the 0-5 Blugolds in another WIAC showdown.

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October 6th, 2014

Big Trouble in Little Kittatinny

Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz’s proposed budget for 2015 was released Monday morning, revealing the possibility of radical action to combat Kittatinny’s worsening financial situation.

“There are many painful decisions in this budget,” Petykiewicz said. “These are not decisions I take lightly.”

Since the decommissioning of one of the blast furnaces at Susquehanna Steel Corporation on Aug. 1 and the subsequent loss of 600 jobs, the feeling around town was that 2015 would be a difficult year for many residents.

In order to make up for the $99,044 decrease in the city’s income caused primarily by the decommissioning, Petykiewicz has proposed to increase the city’s tax rate from 4 mills to 4.3 mills.

While he realizes that nobody would be happy with the tax hike, Petykiewicz believes that it’s necessary “given the extreme urgency of what’s happened in this community.” This change would raise annual property taxes on the average Kittatinny home (valued at $100,000) by $30.

Perhaps the most drastic item on Petykiewicz’s budget was regarding the town’s police department. The mayor has proposed to lay off two full time Kittatinny police officers and no longer staff officers from 4 a.m. to noon every day, which would save the city over $75,000. Emergency calls during those hours would be handled by Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies.

Chief of Police Roman Hruska voiced his unhappiness with the mayor’s plan, saying “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day.”

Although Hruska and Petykiewicz have agreed that the purchase of a new police cruiser is necessary, Hruska expressed that he and his department vehemently disapprove of the reduction in police services. Additionally, he proposed that all city officials and the mayor join him in taking a 10 percent pay cut “as a sign of solidarity for the steel workers who’ve been laid off.”

Kittatinny City Council President Denelda Penoyer was also upset with the proposed change in police protection and offered a larger tax increase, from four to five mills, which would save the police shift.

Penoyer pointed out that many of the domestic disputes in town occur during the early morning hours when there would be no Kittatinny officers on call, and questioned the mayor on what would happen “if the deputy can’t get there in time.”

Bjarne Westhoff, president of Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 agreed with Penoyer on both her proposed tax increase and the need for police presence at all hours in Kittatinny, especially in domestic dispute cases.

“I don’t want to see someone in Kittatinny get killed because of slow police response. That haunts me.”

Other items on the proposed budget include a salary freeze for the mayor and all city employees, the transition of garbage collection fees from the tax levy to the city water bills, the layoffs of two AFSCME Local 644 employees and a small increase in parking fees. The full budget proposal can be viewed online at www.cityofkittatinny.gov.

Mayor Petykiewicz’s proposed budget will now go to city council for revision, and the two parties must come to an agreement on the final 2015 budget before Dec 1.

Petykiewicz expressed hope that the residents of Kittatinny would voice their concerns regarding the budget to him or members of city council and added that a sense of community is important in tough times.

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

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September 22nd, 2014

Be Strong to Be Useful

Steven Boutcher has found a way to perfectly blend his passion for parkour with his desire to teach others in order to build a community for his favorite sport.

While many people may have heard of parkour due to the popularity of television shows like American Ninja Warrior, they might not understand exactly what the sport entails.

Boutcher, a Junior here at UWW, describes parkour as ‘ Using your body to efficiently navigate any terrain, moving over obstacles, no matter what they are.”

The idea of starting an organized club for parkour here on campus first occurred to Steven when he and his friend Trevor began attending classes at Wisconsin Parkour. Wisconsin Parkour is a premiere organization for the sport in the state and currently boasts four ADAPT certified coaches. ADAPT is the world’s first and only recognized coaching qualification for parkour. Using the experience and knowledge they gained, the pair started the UWW Parkour Club at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester.

Although the club has only had a few meetings, membership is already around a dozen students with more joining every week. Boutcher happily recalled the most recent meeting where many of the members stayed afterwards for additional practice.

“We had people want to stay after and continue training…we trained around campus until after midnight because we were just having so much fun.”

A primary goal for Steven and Trevor is to get in contact with building managers and other campus authorities to get permission to train anywhere on campus. Boutcher  says that there’s “a little bit of red tape” to go through in regards to training anywhere because of liability issues and risk management for the UWW campus. He added that there was sometimes a negative stigma about the parkour community where practitioners like to train on private property and “ask for forgiveness later” rather than obtain permission first. He is taking a much more proactive approach in hopes that it will put a good name out for the discipline as well as the campus.

In addition to having places to practice their art, members of the club will also have the benefit of being taught by a highly experienced practitioner. Wisconsin Parkour Director of Coaching and UWW alum Joseph Kluz will be coming to campus once a month to take over teaching duties from Boutcher and lead a more formal class.

Boutcher would one day like to become a fully certified level 3 ADAPT instructor, which means being physically capable of doing  the most advanced moves in the discipline as well as being able to teach them to others. Steven described level 3 instructors as “some of the most athletically capable people on the planet, like the Bruce Lees of parkour.” He also hopes to one day teach and train with Parkour Generations, the largest professional parkour association in the world.

Boutcher mentioned that community-building is an important part of parkour and explained the meaning behind “Be Strong to Be Useful,” one of the founding principles of the discipline.

“It means that we become strong in order to help others around us as well as our community.”

Anyone can join the UW-Whitewater Parkour Club by getting in contact with Steven at boutchersj02@uww.edu or by simply coming to a meeting. Meetings are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-7:00 between Andersen Library and McGraw Hall.

Boutcher stressed that prior experience in parkour is not needed and all skill levels are welcome.

“We believe in parkour that nobody is better than anyone else, we’re just at different points on the path.”

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