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JULY 23-29, 2015

THE CENTRE COUNTY GAZETTE

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Local couple hopes to connect seniors online By ALEXA LEWIS news@centrecountygazette.com

STATE COLLEGE — In a sea of online dating sites such as Match.com and eHarmony, a new website designed specifically for seniors breaks the typical “hook-up” mold. “Many people who are 50-plus have already been married and may be divorced or widowed, and they aren’t necessarily interested in meeting the love of their life or being married very quickly, but they still want someone romantic in their life,” said Elaine Rodino, who has a doctorate in psychology and moved to the State College area about six years ago with her husband, Bob Rodino. A few years ago, Bob, who has a doctorate in urban planning, got the ball rolling when he started bringing up his research about the “silver tsunami” and the growing needs of the older population over dinners with Elaine. With more than 30 years of experience in psychology, Elaine said the idea of merging the Internet with seniors through a dating site devoted specifically to that population just came to her. But the couple quickly learned their lesson when they named the website “Senior Premiere Dating.” The group of baby boomers, which is the generation of people born shortly after World War II, rarely identifies as seniors. After the couple hosted a separate site for boomers, they decided to merge the two sites under a new name — 50PlusConnects. “We also took the word dating off because we are more than just dating. (We are) about making connections in a relationship sense,” Bob said. Elaine compared the website to a boutique, in that it specializes in dating and all things related. Members have access to an advice column and psychological articles, which include topics such as dating, being single, and

being gay and dating. “The whole population of 50-plus singles has particular needs for companionship,” Bob said. “Our website is different than others in that we have a broad dimension of dealing with issues about dating for people who are 50 and older.” The website sends the message to members that “light dating” is okay, Elaine said. The lighter approach also extends into the humor section on the website, where members have access to stacks of jokes and cartoons. Two of 50PlusConnects’ investors who provide humor on the site are comic actors Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor. Bologna, who has starred in numerous movies, including “My Favorite Year” and “Blame It on Rio,” and Taylor, best known for her role as Fran Drescher’s mother on “The Nanny,” have been married for 50 years. Members on the site range from those simply looking for the comic relief that Bologna and Taylor provide to those seeking romantic love, a sexual relationship or even a traveling partner. The site now hosts more than 1,000 members, with the largest concentration in Northern California. South Florida, San Francisco and locations across New Jersey are other places with active bases, according to a June 3 press release. There is also a very strong Penn State alumni base on the website, according to the Rodinos. “We would love it to be huge and have more of these group clusters like Penn State alumni, and then grow into other university alumni bases,” Elaine said. Using a unique algorithm, 50PlusConnects matches people based on the profile that each member creates during the sign-up process. Members can then interact in chat rooms, forums or

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THE DATING SITE, 50plusconnects, was founded by Bob and Elaine Rodino. with private messages. And, with the help of the team’s webmaster, the site is user friendly — designed for even those who aren’t Internet savvy. For anyone concerned with safety issues related to online dating, Elaine said members’ personal information is confidential, and the site provides articles on safety issues and how to safely meet up with people for the first time.

Freeh again ordered to turn over documents in Paterno suit By ZACH BERGER StateCollege.com

BELLEFONTE — A judge is once again ordering Louis Freeh’s law firm to turn over documents used to compile the controversial Freeh Report. The ruling comes as part of a state Superior Court appeal filed by Freeh’s firm, Pepper Hamilton.

The appeal was filed after Judge John Leete, who’s presiding over the Paterno estate’s lawsuit against the NCAA and Penn State in common pleas court, ruled that Pepper Hamilton had 30 days to turn over Freeh Report documents. The Superior Court granted a stay on the subpoena, essentially pausing the countdown clock on the order to turn over those documents, but that stay was offi-

cially vacated on July 17. Freeh was hired by Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal to investigate the university’s handling of allegations against the former football coach that arose years earlier. His group’s report was used by the NCAA to levy unprecedented and sweeping sanctions against the university’s football program, which have since been voided.

The battle to uncover Freeh Report documents have been fought by a number of entities, ranging from the Paterno estate’s lawsuit to a group of seven alumni-elected trustees who sued the university in an attempt to uncover Freeh Report materials. Pepper Hamilton now has the option to again appeal the subpoena to the state Freeh, Page 5

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