Page 1

Pennsylvania

BRIDGES

D ecember 2016

FREE

Connecting Our Communities

Ghosts of Christmas Future


Pennsylvania

BRIDGES Pennsylvania Bridges is published online at

pabridges.com and in print form

once a month, 12x a year carla@pabridges.com All Rights Reserved© Pennsylvania Bridges is... Carla E. Anderton, Editor-in-Chief Hayley Lynn Martin, Associate Editor Fred Terling, Assistant Editor/Staff Writer Chuck Brutz, Staff Writer Cass Currie, Staff Writer Keren Lee Dreyer, Staff Writer Rev. B.T. Gilligan, Columnist Reanna Roberts, Columnist Eric J. Worton, Columnist Contributors: Michele Pagen, Meghan Swartz, Bruce Wald, Maryann White & Ashley Wise

Have a story idea? Do you like to write? Want to share an original photo? Get in touch with us at (724) 769-0123 e-mail: carla@pabridges.com We’re also on Facebook facebook.com/ pennsylvaniabridges

NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

Ghosts of Christmas Future In our two years publishing Pennsylvania Bridges, I've always regretted the fact we never had the opportunity to publish a November issue, given we began as a bimonthly publication. A Thanksgiving issue always provides the perfect chance to reflect on all we've been grateful for in the past year, and to envision all we might give thanks for in the coming year. So, this year, I want to express my tremendous appreciation to so many, even as we move into the month of December, because this month I also get to say a special thanks to you, our loyal readers, and also to our talented, dedicated writers and staff. Before I get carried away with asking folks to come on stage, however, let me take a brief moment to make an exciting announcement. Beginning this month, we will be publishing Pennsylvania Bridges every month. Yep, you heard it right, and you heard it here first. Every month, we'll be bringing you the best in arts, entertainment, education, lifestyle and special event coverage in the region. We'll also be expanding our already extensive coverage of local churches, area nonprofits, and other philanthropic organizations geared towards helping others, as well we increasing our front row and behind the scenes presence at area arts and entertainment events. Got a story? You know how to find us. We're on the web at pabridges.com, as well as on Facebook & Twitter. Want us to print your announcement? Let us know. Like to write? Get in touch. We're always looking for a few good people. Have a photo you want to share? Let us know. While we'll be temporarily cutting back on our page count per issue, we'll be dramatically increasing our circulation, as well as doubling the number of times we're printed each year. What that means is twice the audience for your special event or business, with an edition being produced every month. Getting back to people I need to thank,

however, this issue wouldn't have been possible without the journalistic efforts of Fred Terling, Assistant Editor and Staff Writer. You're the best, Tomato. Technology columnist Eric Worton provided support in the form of [regular] meals, as well as an in-depth report on how to cut the cord using Roku devices to explore the best in entertainment programming. Reanna Roberts of our exclusive series Exploring the Paranormal gave us a unique perspective on the mental state of that classic Christmas curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Pastor B.T. Gilligan always pens a thought provoking reflection on matters of faith, and this month’s was especially moving. I dare you not to cry reading it. I certainly shed a tear or two. In short, this issue, like others before it, is jam packed full of goodness. Based on your feedback, you guys feel the same way. The message is clear: You really like us! Thank you! Keep those letters and emails coming. We pride ourselves on being YOUR paper, and we want to be your voice. Simply put, as we enter the holidays, I feel so grateful, for our advertisers, for our writers, and for all of you, whether this is your first time reading Pennsylvania Bridges or whether you’re already a loyal fan. Thank you! As we prepare to celebrate a season with great meaning for so many, I can only hope that we show each other kindness, decency, and the very best of what we can be. Merry Christmas, and Happiest of New Year’s! See you in January. Until next month, Carla E. Anderton

Where can I find more? How can I advertise my business?

“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store.” Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) American Author & Artist 2

Pennsylvania Bridges is distributed to schools, libraries, colleges and universities, community centers, organizations and better businesses throughout Washington, Fayette, Greene, Westmoreland & Allegheny counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. We’re also online at pabridges.com, where we continuously update our site with the latest in arts, entertainment,

education and lifestyle news, which we share via our social media networks. If you or your organization would like to obtain copies of Pennsylvania Bridges, email carla@pabridges.com with your address to be added to our distribution list. For info on advertising, call 724-7690123 or email carla@pabridges.com for a rate sheet and more details.

Who’s got questions? We’ve got answers! Pennsylvania Bridges is a free publication bridging communities in Fayette, Greene, Washington, Westmoreland, and Allegheny counties. We feature profiles and articles about individuals and groups contributing to the advancement of the arts, education, healthcare, wellness, technology and other avenues of interest to our readers. Pennsylvania Bridges is printed once a month and regularly updated online. Each edition of the publication includes fresh and original stories about area personalities and events of note as well as event listings. We welcome your story ideas and event listings. We adhere to the philosophy that media should be both inspirational and thought provoking. We subscribe to the belief that media should be easy to access and share. We routinely use social media to distribute news and updates and invite our readers to share us with their networks. Our site’s interface is designed with this aim in mind. We welcome your input. Have questions, comments or angry exhortations? Call us at 724-769-0123. Email us. We want to hear your voice. Get in touch! On the cover: The cast of “The Happy Elf” beams brightly for the camera. Details & a behind the scenes look at the show on pages 2122. All cast photos by Kelly Tunney. Don’t miss the show when it comes to Cal U on Dec. 8-11.

***Important Notice*** All material contained in this issue is the property of Pennsylvania Bridges and may not be reprinted, reproduced or redistributed without our express written permission.

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - We believe media should uplift and inspire. - pabridges.com


In this issue of Pennsylvania Bridges...

THE ARTS

IN OUR

HOLIDAY EDITION - DECEMBER 2016

AREA

709 Penn Gallery exhibit...p. 16 Showcase Noir accepting submissions for exhibit...p. 16 Melega Museum exhibit...p. 18 SPACE Gallery exhibit...p. 23 3 Rivers Arts Fest seeks artist submissions...p. 25 Student art exhibit...p. 22

COMMUNITY & LOCAL BIZ EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY 180 Degrees Empowerment Center offers opportunities for area youth...p. 5 WCCC dedicates new lab...p. 6 WCCC named top culinary school....p. 8 Cutting the Cord: Roku...p. 12 Bible presented to Waynesburg University president...p. 24

BOOKS & LITERATURE Bentleyville Library...p. 28 California Library...p. 28 Chartiers-Houston Library..p. 28 Citizens Library Events...p. 28 Donora Library Events...p. 29 Fredericktown Library...p. 29 Gluten Free Holidays at Peters Township Library...p. 26 Exploring the Paranormal: Were the ghosts that visted Scrooge real or just his imagination?...p. 15 TurfMutt elementary school student essay contest...p. 20 A Christmas Carol with Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk...p. 29

STAGE & SCREEN Rock N’ Remember Live...p. 9 Martin & Short on stage...p. 10 Gone with the Wind is 75...p. 12 First Night Headliner...p. 17 Sing Off Contest...p. 17 Michael W. Smith & Jordan Smith on stage...p. 18 The Happy Elf comes to Cal U this holiday season...p. 21-22 PBT’s The Nutcracker...p. 19 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night to take stage...p. 23 Hedwig & the Angry Inch...p. 31

California Holly Day...p. 5 Church youth reach out to homeowners in need...p. 10 Journey to Bethlehem...p. 14 Brownsville Holiday House Tours...p. 20 Pennsylvania Farm Bureau presents award to Rep. Murphy...p. 26 Bentworth Community Center project seeks bids...p. 29 Bra Hat Calendars Sale...p. 10 Waynesburg U named to community service honor roll...p. 10 Echoes Never Lie releases EP: Interview with Zosia West...p. 31

EDITOR’S CHOICE “PIC”

OF THE ISSUE

FAITH & SPIRITUALITY Pastor BT Gilligan: Tear down walls to Christ...p. 8

SPECIAL EVENTS CITW December events...p. 8

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE This Month in History...p. 14 Holiday happenings...p. 24 Gluten Free Holidays at Peters Township Library...p. 26 Season Affective Disorder affects millions of Americans...p. 25 Stay safe this holiday...p. 32

On stage at State Theatre for the Arts in Uniontown...p. 19 On stage at Geyer PAC...p. 21 December events at Phipps Conservatory...p. 30 Brownsville events...p. 7 WCCC Transfer Fair...p. 10

PHOTO

COURTESY OF

AMY CAPIROSS, AMY CAP PHOTOGRAPHY

Submit your photos for consideration for Editor’s Choice “Pic” of the Issue to carla@pabridges.com. Original photography only accepted for consideration.

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - Arts, Entertainment, Education & Lifestyle - pabridges.com

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Available Now!

Della and Lila Meet the Monongahela Mermaid is the first in a series of books for children that explores the themes of nature, conservation, family, community service, and helping others. Throughout the text children are introduced to research patterns in the forms of charts, maps, and footnotes. Beginning concepts of biology, geography, and environmental science are also presented. A beloved local landscape provides the backdrop for this story about two sisters, Della and Lila, who befriend a mermaid in trouble. As the increasing mistreatment of the Monongahela River persists, Marina the Mermaid turns to two little girls, Della and Lila, to help her

save her home. Della and Lila rally their family and friends and form a summer long campaign to raise awareness about pollution and ecological damages in the Monongahela River. The girls and their friends work very hard to try and save Marina's home. But, will they be able to do it? Find out what happens when Della and Lila work together with their family, friends & community to help save our river.

shop.dellaandlila.com

Meet the Author! Sat., Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Prima Diva Boutique, Charleroi, PA Meet Della & Lila! Storytime, Book signing & a craft. Join these lovely ladies & learn more about the Mermaid on the Mon!

Visit the official Della & Lila shop online. Featuring the first book in the series as well as a variety of plush mermaid & animal friend dolls.

Learn more at dellaandlila.com or facebook.com/dellaandlila


180 Degrees Empowerment Center offers opportunities for area youth

California Holly Day

Story by Keren Lee Dreyer Depressed areas create despair for residents and youth alike, and a sense that opportunity exists elsewhere. But Terry Vassar of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, decided that he could make it where he lives, and raise others up in the process, through his 180° Empowerment Center, a 501.3c organization headquartered in Brownsville. Vassar, proud father of five children and a Windows R Us franchise owner, explains the inspiration for the Center's name: “180 is about making a complete turn-around. Anytime anyone came to Jesus, they would have their life turned around 180 degrees.” From high school graduation until about age 28, Vassar said that while he had a good family, “...some of us find love in different places, and I found mine in drugs and street life. But at 28, I realized I had no life, and went back to school,” adding that once he rededicated his life to Christ, he didn't need to go to rehab to quit his habits. After completing a degree in Ministerial Studies from Shiloh Bible Institute, Vassar worked as a telemarketer where he “ . . . learned how to be a communicator and have people skills,” which benefitted him though managerial and mortgage broker jobs, and would later help bring the Center to the Brownsville community. Vassar's experiences on the street, along with personal development

through hard work, seeded the idea for 180° Empowerment Center in 2007. However, it took time to build connections with the school district, and create a location, at 165 Market Street in Brownsville. Once in place, he moved ahead with his vision, working with Brownsville Area School District Superintendent Dr. Philip Savini, Jr., Ph. D, to bring the Center's outreach programs to the district, starting in December of this year. The Center provides English, math, and Spanish tutoring for 7-12 grades, along with PSSA, SAT, and ACT preparation. In addition, grief counseling, career awareness, student aid workshops, and suicide awareness and prevention programs are available to the area students, or anyone in need. On request, life development courses and credit counseling are also available. California University interns from the Department of TRIO and the Hispanic Student Association have stepped in to volunteer their tutoring skills. Lisa Driscoll from the Department of TRIO and Academic Services facilitates the relationship between California University and the Center. “She's awesome and it's

been a great partnership. She was instrumental in getting everything in line to start in December,” Vassar said of Driscoll. Furthering technical literacy skills for Brownsville school district students is Fab Lab, which as Vassar calls “A new, 21st century way of doing design.” Fab Lab, instructed by Brandon Prentice from Intermediate Unit 1, features classes in Laser Cutting, 3D Printing for Beginners, and a Vinyl Sticker Tutorial. While working through these classes, students learn about design software and 3D modeling to produce projects for the individual class instructions. New Fab Lab classes will form in early 2017. Vassar's message for the area is a positive one: “I believe that people in the Mon Valley area, because of the depression, believe they can't do it here. But by the grace of God, I am. I want kids to be able to duplicate what I've done. I want kids to find out what they love to do, and work on developing their strengths.” Those wishing to donate/participate: 180degreesempowerment.com/about, and click on “Lend a Helping Hand.” Photos: (top) Students show off self portraits made during Fab Lab (bottom) Students participated in a basketball clinic offered by the Center at Brownsville Area High School this past August. Future clinics are planned.

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - Arts, Entertainment, Education & Lifestyle - pabridges.com

California Borough families will have the opportunity to partake in a free holiday celebration on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at California University of Pennsylvania's Natali Student Center from 4-5:30 p.m. Activities Will Include: A large inflatable snowman chair for fun photo opportunities Photobooth Fun - Snap some holiday-themed selfies in the home-made photo booth! Holiday Crafts Cal U's Theater Department will perform a portion of their upcoming musical, "The Happy Elf," at 4:15 p.m. Holiday Cookie Decorating Balloon animals and facepainting will be available A family-friendly holiday movie will continuously be shown in the Vulcan Theater A card-decorating station will be set-up to decorate cards to send to soldiers and hospitals Santa will arrive at 4:30 p.m. Don't forget your list, and remember to smile for your printed photo with Santa for your decorated frame Blaze and the DQ ice cream cone will be in attendance PARKING WILL BE FREE.The best place to park will be behind the Student Union (coming down Hickory Street) The Bookstore will be running a 20% discount. Plan to have dinner after the event in the Gold Rush, too.

Please invite your friends & spread the word! We hope to see you there! Event Sponsored By: California Borough Recreation Authority and California University of Pennsylvania

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Westmoreland College dedicates new lab

“Family owned & operated. Proudly serving the community over 90 years. Your comfort is a direct reflection of our success!”

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Westmoreland College held a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate its new Instructional Design Lab which provides college faculty with the tools to create content engaging course content. The lab is equipped with six smart podium computers that provide the tools for faculty to imbed video, PowerPoint presentations and other digital content into their online courses delivered in a web conferencing format. These online classes are delivered synchronously allowing instructors and students to interact in real time. Students can access the courses via any mobile device, including smartphones, tablets or computers. “It's the closest you can get to being in class without being in an actual classroom, “said Associate Professor John Shelapinsky who teaches Paralegal classes online. This fall, 47% of Westmoreland students are taking at least one online class and their grade point averages are slightly higher than those enrolled solely in on-ground courses. “One of our goals is to grow online programs and services to engage students where they are and that's online, said Westmoreland President Tuesday Stanley. “The Instructional Design Lab will help us to do that.” Funding for the creation of the Instructional Design Lab was provided by a gift from an anonymous donor. “We are very grateful to the donor for the gift that enabled us to equip the lab and hire an instructional designer who assists faculty in transitioning their onground courses to an online format and developing engaging digital content,” said Stanley. Funds from a $2.25 million Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant received from the U.S. Department of Education will allow the college to expand the Instructional Design Lab with additional equipment and professional development. “The lab is the college's first step in achieving its long-term goal of creating a Learning Commons as part of the Founders Hall renovation project, cur-

rently in the planning stage,” said Stanley. Once completed, the instructional design lab will move to the Learning Commons which will also contain spaces for tutoring and academic support, mentoring and counseling services, career services and an IT help desk. Westmoreland offers 11 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs that are available 100 percent online. Among those offerings is the Associate of Arts degree, which is transferrable to bachelor's degree programs at four-year universities. Other programs available completely online are some of Westmoreland's most popular majors such as business, accounting, criminal justice and psychology. This fall, Westmoreland was ranked first in Pennsylvania for 2016 online colleges by OnlineColleges.com. Photo: Delivering remarks at the dedication ceremony were Stanley; Tara Zirkel, dean, Distance Education and Education Centers; Dick Dickert, chairman, Westmoreland board of trustees; Philip McCalister, president, Educational Foundation board; Annette Boyer, director, Distance Education and Learning Resources; John Shelapinsky, associate professor of Paralegal, Business and Real Estate; Ted Kopas, Westmoreland County commissioner; and Chad Amond, president, Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce.

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - We believe media should uplift and inspire. - pabridges.com


Church Youth Reach Out to Brownsville Homeowners in Need Story by Keren Lee Dreyer The Brownsville, Pennsylvania area is living in hard times because of diminished industry, diminishing population, and diminished incomes. What follows is an increasing number of decaying homes, with residents wishing for help and hope. And there is hope. Through the auspices of Reach Mission Trips of Colorado, working in conjunction with Reach Workcamps of St. Peter's Anglican Church in Uniontown, approximately 350-400 work campers will take up residence at Brownsville Area High School to serve 70 of Brownsville's homeowners whose homes are in need of vital improvements. Reach Mission Trips sponsors 6-8 work camps each year, involving church youth group students from 6th grade through high school and adults. Judith Taylor, coordinator of Reach Workcamps of St. Peter's Anglican Church, says of the program “It's almost a rite of passage at church for kids to go to Reach. It's a way to learn to serve,” which fulfills Reach's goal of developing youth into “transformed servants of Jesus,” according to their web site. Homeowners in need are pleased to discover there is no cost to them for the student teams who work to make their home “warmer, safer, and dryer” - the main goals of the home improvements according to Taylor. “What's the catch?” homeowners wonder, but there is no catch, as Taylor explains “funds come from youth group fundraisers. Each student usually pays

$400 - $425 (to participate). This money funds the needed materials. These kids do fundraisers to raise money to pay for the privilege of sleeping on a classroom floor all week, eating cafeteria food. It's character building.” Workdays of six hours for junior high, and seven hours for seniors, adds to the week long character building process. Taylor, an 18 year volunteer, has taken generations of kids to Reach, which helps them learn skills in working with tools, roofing, and painting, while learning work ethics such as getting up for work at 6:30 a.m. every day during the week. Taylor's own family is a multi-general participant in Reach, with her daughter, Maggie Taylor, and granddaughter, Bailey Burkett helping out during camps. It's not unusual for this program to bring in new generations, as Taylor said “A lot of students have come back as adults to continue work. Reach needs staff and now this is their college summer job.” To qualify for help through Reach, the home must be owned by the resident, have financial need, and be within half hour travel distance from Brownsville Area High School. In December, a Reach representative will visit homeowners who have completed applications. All of the work done is overseen by a “troubleshooter” who had been a contractor in the past. All adults are screened including a background check and a letter from their own church's pastor, Taylor said. Homeowners benefit in a tangible way

from the efforts of Reach work campers, not only in their everyday lives, but in the creation of a positive perception of modern youth. Taylor relates a project in southern West Virginia, where a homeowner “had stairs and handicap ramp so rotted she couldn't safely leave the house. After being able to go down the steps and view her new porch on the house, she said 'My porch looks like it belongs on the front of Southern Living Magazine!'” Homeowners are pleased with the hard work and good attitudes of the campers, and have said “I didn't think there were any good kids left in the world,” Taylor recounts, adding “the kids lead prayers at lunch time. It changes peoples' perceptions of youth. I think that's worthwhile because of too much negativity for young people.” Taylor invites local community members and churches to participate with donations of bottled water, ice for lunch coolers, donations in kind, or financial donations. Local church youth who wish to participate will not commute, but will stay with other work campers at the high school, as Taylor said, because it provides church youth with a complete work camper experience. Taylor is available to visit churches and youth groups to explain the camp, and also said “It's not too early to be looking for homes which need help.” For questions, information, work the group can do, or offers to help via food, donations, and more, contact Judith Taylor at mumimp@hotmail.com, or call 724-812-1597.

Special Events in Brownsville in December 2016: Volunteers Needed! On Sun., Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. the Uniontown Chorale will present a Christmas program at St. Cecilia's Church (1571 Grindstone Road, Grindstone). The Allison Nazarene Church (416 Vernon St., Allison) will host Grace on the Hill on Sun., Dec. 4. The evening of prayer time and Bible Study also includes a free light meal & begins at 5:13 p.m. and lasts until 8 p.m. The public is invited. Monday, Dec. 5 - Bible Released Time for middle school students at South Brownsville United Methodist Church (412 Second St., Brownsville) at 9 a.m.

Volunteers needed, 724-785-3080. Thurs., Dec. 8 - Produce to People at the Fayette County Fairgrounds (Fiddler's Building). Volunteers needed starting at 8:30 a.m. Food distribution begins at 10 a.m. On Sun., Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. the Bentworth Ministerial Community Choir will present a Christmas program at St. Peter's (300 Shaffner Ave., Brownsville). Monday, Dec. 12 - Bible Released Time for middle school students at South Brownsville United Methodist Church (412 Second St., Brownsville) at 9:00 a.m. Volunteers, call 724-785-3080. The BAMA meeting on Tuesday, Dec.

13, will be at 9:15 a.m. at the Calvin United Presbyterian Church (307 Spring St., Brownsville). Thursday, Dec. 15 - Bible Released Time for elementary students begins at 9:15 a.m. at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church (307 High St., Brownsville). Volunteers needed, 724-785-3080. Mon., Dec. 19 - Bible Released Time for middle school students at South Brownsville United Methodist Church (412 Second St., Brownsville) at 9 a.m. Volunteers needed, 724-785-3080. Thornton Road, Brownsville).

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Tear down walls to Christ: Welcome others as He welcomed you! By Pastor B.T. Gilligan

Westmoreland County Community College is ranked the top culinary school in Pennsylvania by Best Choice Schools. Criteria for the rankings included availability of hands-on experience, internship/externship opportunities, student operated restaurants, modern facilities, industry reputation and national accreditation by the American Culinary Federation. Nationally,Westmoreland is ranked 40th among the top U.S. culinary schools.Westmoreland offerings acknowledged in the rankings include the associate in applied science degree programs in Baking and Pastry, Culinary Arts and Restaurant/Culinary Management. “We're thrilled to be recognized as the best culinary arts school in the state and among the top institutions in the country,” said Dr. Cindy Komarinski, dean of the School of Health Professions and the School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality. “Our program graduates are employed throughout the United States at places such as Canyon Ranch in Las Vegas,The Sheraton Grand, Phoenix and Universal Studios in Florida,” Komarinski said. Within the region,Westmoreland culinary arts and hospitality graduates hold positions as executive chefs, operations managers and product development directors at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa,The Duquesne Club, Eat n' Park Hospitality Group and Seven Springs Mountain Resort among other businesses. Westmoreland is accepting applications for admission into the culinary arts and hospitality programs. FMI: wccc.edu/culinary.

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Over the weekend, I took my family to the mall and the first signs of Christmas were appearing. Signs of the season were everywhere, sales and joy and Christmas ornaments, the center kiosk that sells calendars, the Hickory Farms booth, and of course Santa Claus was there. As we walked the stores and looked around we came to where Santa was waiting and taking pictures. In years past the Santa scene was open and even if we weren't getting a picture with Santa the kids could still see him and wave to Santa. Last year, we were able to get the cutest picture of Santa leaving his chair and kneeling down to my daughter to give her a coloring book and tell her to be good for Christmas. It is one of the cutest pictures we have. This year, the Santa set up was different. This year, every side was covered by fake trees and it was impossible to see Santa from outside the display. In fact, the only way to see Santa was to wait in line and have a picture taken, at a cost of 35 dollars per child. For some reason this year the organizers of the Santa scene decided to create a scene in which those precious side moments can no longer be had. I don't know what the reason was, but now those kids who want to peek in and wave and have a taste of Santa can no

longer have one. Growing up, my family could not afford those pictures. This small glimpse of Santa was all that we were able to get. While all the kids with parents who could afford the pictures got to pull on Santa's beard and laugh, we were able to stand at the side and catch a wave and a wink between paying customers. Seeing this blockade up only caused my heart to break for all those children who now won't get to see Santa because the cost is simply too high. Seeing this blockade also made me think of the church, how often have churches created spaces that only allow the right “type” of people in? Churches all over America have created space where only one group of people belongs, whether intentional or unintentional are not welcomed in, whether because of income, race, gender, or any number of reasons. The mall Santa Claus stands in as a sign that Christmas is coming, that the birth of Jesus is coming, and that seasons of joy and generosity are upon us. So does the church stand in as a sign

that God has not forgotten us, and that no matter who we are or what has happened to us, God is calling out to us. I am convinced that when we set up barriers for people to attend church we set up barriers to God and that grieves the heart of God who has said that everyone is welcome. I am also fairly sure that when we keep the barriers to a minimum and we welcome everyone in to the church, we are acting in accordance with God who welcomes each one of us to be close to God. So then, for all of you, whether you are in line for pictures with Santa or just trying to get a peek between the fake trees, whether the gifts under the tree are large and expensive or they are inexpensive, filled with meaning. Whether you attend church or not. Whether you believe in God or not. Whether your ducks are in a row, or barely in the same pond. May you know that God welcomes you, not just today but every day, you are welcome and that those barriers to God are not from God. Worship services are held at California United Methodist Church, 227 Third St., every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. On the first Wednesday of each month, the church hosts a community potluck at 6 p.m. To help support the CUMC’s Weekend Feeding program, which feeds hungry kids, visit gofundme.com/weekendfeed.

Center in the Woods December 2016 Activities

We are a Bible Believing Church!

California Baptist Church Sunday School 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship 10:45

Pastor Todd Rutherford 435 2nd Street, California

724-938-8555 Worship with Us this Sunday!

The Center in the Woods is a non-profit, senior facility with the goal of hosting fun activities and community events for adults ages 60+. Daily activities include lab services. Lunch is served at 12 noon; please call one day in advance to order. Mondays: Watercolor, Choir & Bridge Tuesdays: Billiards lessons, Chair dancing, Healthy Steps, Bingo, Dart ball & Cards Wednesdays: Bible study, Bean bag toss, Oil painting, Basket guild & 500 Bid Thursdays: Chair dancing, Healthy Steps, Bridge, Jam & Bingo Fridays: Wii Bowling & Euchre Blood pressure screenings are offered

twice a month. Make an appointment with the podiatrist. Visit the beauty shop on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays by appointment. Bethany offers massage therapy by appointment. Jam sessions every Thursday at 1 p.m. feature local talented musicians. The Center’s hall is available for rental. Call for details. For more information on programs and other activities, call 724-938-3554 Ext. 103. CITW is located at 130 Woodland Court, Brownsville.Visit centerinthewoods.org for a listing of all services, activities and programs.

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Rock “N’ Remember Live! classic rock show is back by popular demand Rock “N' Remember Live! is back by popular demand! Spotlight Productions is bringing iconic 60's groups to the Benedum Center (237 7th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222) on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. for one night only. Spotlight Productions has assembled a power packet 60's show that features legendary groups, Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, Dennis Tufano, original voice of the Buckinghams, and Terry Sylvester of The Hollies. “This year's Rock 'N' Remember Live! show consists of all original lead singers of the 60's, who topped the charts with over 30 top 20 hits,” shared Charlie Pappas of Spotlight Productions. “It has been years since all of these headliners have played in Pittsburgh and audiences are essentially getting four great shows in one!” Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone: Peter (Herman) Noone, born in Manchester, England has been delighting audiences all of his life. At the age of 15, Peter achieved international fame as lead singer of the legendary 60's pop group, Herman's Hermits. His classic hits include: I'm Into Something Good, Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter, I'm Henry the VIII I Am, Silhouettes, Can't You Hear My Heartbeat, Just A Little Bit Better, Kind of a Hush, A Must to Avoid, Listen People, The End of the World and Dandy. Accompanied by his band, Herman's Hermits' Peter Noone consistently plays to sold-out venue's the world over. Gary Puckett and the Union Gap: Gary Puckett and the Union Gap was one of the most successful musical groups of the 60's. Gary's distinct signature voice garnered six consecutive gold records and top ten billboard hits with titles, Young Girl, Woman Woman, Lady Will Power, This Girl's A Woman Now, Keep the Customer Satisfied and Don't Give Into Him. Gary and the Union Gap have performed on more than thirty television shows and prime time specials as well as a command performance for the President and Prince Charles at the White House. Gary was raised in Yakima, Washington near the City of Union Gap and now resides in Clearwater FL. Dennis Tufano, Voice of The Buckinghams: Dennis Tufano, a native of Chicago is the original voice of the

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60's pop group, The Buckinghams. With the voice of Dennis, The Buckinghams went on to score five major hits which include Kind of a Drag, Don't You Care, Hey Baby They're Playing Our Song, Mercy Mercy Mercy and Susan. Dennis who now lives in Los Angeles continues to tour and astound audiences around the country with that unmistakable voice of his. Terry Sylvester of The Hollies: Terry Sylvester started his musical career at the famous “Cavern Club” in Liverpool, England in the early 60's with his first group “The Escorts” and appeared at the Cavern Club with the Beatles on many occasions. In 1965, Terry joined the Swinging Blue Jeans. Terry got his big break in December 1968 when he was asked to replace Graham Nash of the Hollies. The Hollies scored a string of top 20 hits including Bus Stop, Stop Stop Stop, On a Carousel, Carrie Anne, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, Long

Cool Woman and The Air I Breath. In 2010 Terry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is only the 5th Liverpool born to enter the hall. The other four are the Beatles. Terry is still touring, mainly in North America. Tickets (starting at $39.00) go on sale today, Wednesday, November 2, and may be purchased at the Theatre Square Box Office (655 Penn Avenue, Downtown) by calling 412-456-6666 or online at TrustArts.org.

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Westmoreland County Community College will hold a Transfer Fair at the Youngwood campus Admissions office Tuesday, December 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students from other institutions seeking to transfer their credits to Westmoreland are welcomed to attend. Transferring students are required to bring official, sealed transcripts from the college they attended. Admissions staff will be available to evaluate student credits on the spot. Assistance will also be available to register for the upcoming spring semester which starts January 17. Spring classes and are offered online and at the following Westmoreland locations:Youngwood, Advanced Technology Center, Mount Pleasant; Busy Run, Export; Latrobe, New Kensington, Fayette County, Uniontown; Greene County, Waynesburg; Indiana County, Indiana. FMI and to view the spring class schedule:Westmoreland.edu/spring. With the recent closure of ITT Technical Institute, including its Pittsburgh area locations, Westmoreland County Community College is working to

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Martin & Short show adds second performance

help displaced students achieve their academic goals. The college is holding also several general information sessions at all locations. Admissions and financial aid staff will outline the steps to get started at Westmoreland. Information sessions will be held December 7 from 6 to 7 p.m. at all locations. Westmoreland offers several associate degree programs that align with ITT majors, including Computer Technology - Networking and Programming options, Electronics Engineering Technology, Criminal Justice and Computer Aided Drafting and Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing. FMI: 724-925-4077 or wccc.edu

The Pittsburgh Cultural announces that Larry Magid Entertainment Group and Steve Litman have added a second performance of longtime comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short's An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Lives. The second performance will take place at the Benedum Center (719 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222) on Wednesday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m. Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Lives features the Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko. An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Lives includes stand-up, film clips, musical numbers and conversations about their lives in show business. Martin and Short will also be joined by the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, the bluegrass band

with which Martin frequently performs. The Thursday, March 16 performance of An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Lives sold out within hours, breaking records for the fasting selling show in the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's history. Tickets for the second show ($94.75 - $174.25) can be purchased at TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per customer. FMI: trustarts.org

Waynesburg University named to community service honor roll for 8th year The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently announced that Waynesburg University was named to the 2015 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the University's eighth consecutive year receiving the honor. Waynesburg University was one of 115 schools on the General Community Service Honor Roll with distinction and only one of 12 in the state of Pennsylvania identified with distinction. “We are honored to receive this award, which is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of our students, faculty and staff,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “Their dedication to service continues to have a profound impact.” The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning and civic engagement. CNCS is a feder-

al agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which academic service-learning courses are offered. Waynesburg University students, faculty and staff contribute more than 50,000 service hours annually. Through its more than 50 local and regional agencies and a continuously expanding network of international agencies, Waynesburg University encourages students to become servant-leaders through a number of partnerships. The

University offers approximately 16 service mission trips each academic year. The trips are held during the fall, winter, spring and summer breaks. The University also participates in a number of weekend-long service projects in the local community and surrounding region. In addition to volunteer hours, the University offers a service leadership minor constructed around servicelearning courses. During the semesterlong courses, students perform a set amount of hours of community service with a non-profit organization. The University is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar Schools in the country. With support from the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, Waynesburg is committed to the program which was created to offer scholarship assistance to students performing significant amounts of community service throughout their time at Waynesburg. Approximately 60 Waynesburg University students are involved with the program each year.

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Classic film “Gone with the Wind” celebrates 75th birthday in December Story by Fred Terling “Frankly my dear…” If you are any kind of film buff, you know those words. They are engraved permanently in your memory. Perhaps the greatest line from arguably the greatest film of all time, Gone with the Wind. If you've never seen it, and that is a sin, the film was first released on December 15, 1939. It is an American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures and directed by Victor Fleming. The film is a complex love story set in the American South against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. The film is the story of Scarlett O'Hara, the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, from her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes, who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, to her marriage to black sheep Rhett Butler. The leading roles are portrayed by Vivien Leigh (Scarlett), Clark Gable (Rhett), Leslie Howard (Ashley), and Olivia de Havilland (Melanie). Scarlett's love for her plantation, Tara, plays a very strong subliminal role as the foundation of her past, present and future. The film premiered at the Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on December 15, 1939. A double bill of Hawaiian Nights and Beau Geste was playing, and after the first feature it was announced that the theater would be

screening a preview; the audience was informed they could leave but would not be readmitted once the film had begun, nor would phone calls be allowed once the theater had been sealed. When the title appeared on the screen the audience cheered, and after it had finished it received a standing ovation. It was the climax of three days of festivities hosted by Mayor William B. Hartsfield, which included a parade of limousines featuring stars from the film, receptions, thousands of Confederate flags, and a costume ball. Eurith D. Rivers, the governor of Georgia, declared December 15 a state holiday. An estimated three hundred thousand residents and visitors to Atlanta lined the streets for up to seven miles to watch a procession of limousines chauffeuring the stars from the airport. Only Leslie Howard and Victor Fleming

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chose not to attend: Howard had returned to England due to the outbreak of World War II, and Fleming had fallen out with Selznick and declined to attend any of the premieres. Hattie McDaniel was also absent, as she and the other black cast members were prevented from attending the premiere due to Georgia's Jim Crow laws, which would have kept them from sitting with their white colleagues. Upon learning that McDaniel had been barred from the premiere, Clark Gable threatened to boycott the event, but McDaniel convinced him to attend. Premieres in New York and Los Angeles followed, the latter attended by some of the actresses that had been considered for the part of Scarlett, among them Paulette Goddard, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford. From December 1939 to July 1940, the film played only advance-ticket road show engagements at a limited number of theaters at prices upwards of $1, more than double the price of a regular first-run feature, with MGM collecting an unprecedented 70 percent of the box office receipts (as opposed to the typical 30-35 percent of the period). After reaching saturation as a roadshow, MGM revised its terms to a 50 percent cut and halved the prices, before it finally entered general release in 1941 at “popular” prices. Along with its distribution and advertising costs, total expenditure on the film was as high as $7 million.

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Cutting the Cord: Our review of Roku devices Story by Eric J. Worton We've been talking about streaming video services as well as briefly mentioning ways to get these services to your Television. There are literally hundreds of ways to accomplish this but most fall short of the speed and reliability of your standard cable TV service. I've narrowed the field to the top 5 big league players: Roku, Apple TV, Google's Chromecast, Amazon's Fire TV and Nvidia's Shield. Today we'll be looking at the most affordable end. In early October Roku released a new line of streaming devices just in time for the holiday season. There was a total of five new products starting with the $30 budget friendly price for the Express to the Ultra coming in at $130. Roku priced the Express to be in direct competition with Google's Chromecast which starts at $35. Shaped like a large pack of gum the Express comes with an IR remote, two foot HDMI cable, USB charging cable, wall plug and a small strip of double sided tape. Physically the setup is very straight forward and linking the box to your Roku account is just as easy. The Express is a bit slow responding to commands, especially when browsing Netflix graphic heavy menus, but for the price it's a good way to try out the online services. The second model is the Express+. It's $10 more and doesn't have an HDMI output. Roku replaced it with a standard composite output allowing you to connect it to an older television. So for ten dollars more you can breath a little life into that old set in the basement. Next up we have the Premiere ($79.99) and Premiere+ ($99.99). Both models feature 4K capable streaming and buttery smooth navigation, but for the $20 difference the Premiere+ also has a headphone jack in the remote for private listening as well as an Ethernet port for a faster connection. Additionally the Premiere+ offers an upgraded remote that doesn't need a direct line of sight. I tested the remote at more than 30feet from outside my home and was able to successfully skip music tracks. Finally the Premiere+ has a Micro-SD slot so videos, pictures and music can be played locally. Last up is Roku's Ultra ($129.99). The additional $30 gets you a Digital optical audio output and USB port. The first doesn't really serve our intended audience in that if I was using a sound sys-

tem that had optical inputs I would not be connecting a budget steaming device. The USB port on the other hand greatly increases your ability to store local media. The last option to set the Ultra apart is the addition of voice search to the remote. Just press the voice button on the remote and say what you want to watch. Requesting Superman 2 will get results from several services like Netflix, Amazon and others, display video quality and any costs that might be associated. All Roku devices need to be linked to a Roku account that you create on their website. This enables you to add hundreds of free and premium channels to your account, but some of the premium services require a credit card for payment. If your interested in renting or purchasing videos then account setup is very intuitive. If you'd prefer not to have a card attached to your Roku then setup starts to become cumbersome. There are two ways around the payment issue. The first is to call customer service, but the support number is next to impossible to find on the site so I'll save you the hunt, 888-600.7658. The second option, start your account setup from this address: https://my.roku.com/signup/nocc. This will allow you to completely skip the payment information. There is still one of the older models being sold onsite and all options considered and at the speed these devices are being released, I would recommend the older Roku Stick currently on sale for $34.99. It's significantly faster than either Express and has the upgraded remote that works from over 30 feet away. It doesn't support 4K streaming, but the current 4k landscape is pretty sparse.

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Remember When - This Month in History: Important Dates in December December 1, 1955 - The birth of the modern American civil rights movement occurred as Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back section of a municipal bus. December 2, 1982 - The first permanent artificial heart was implanted in 61-year-old Barney C. Clark by Dr. William De Vries at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City. December 6, 1901 - Walt Disney (1901-1966) was born in Chicago, Illinois. December 7, 1761 - Wax modeler Marie Tussaud (1761-1850) was born in Bern, Switzerland. She established Madame Tussaud's waxworks in London in 1802 and later added a Chamber of Horrors. December 9, 1886 - American industrialist Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956) was born in Brooklyn, New York. He developed a method of deep-freezing foods and was one of the founders of General Foods Corp. December 10, 1830 - Poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her poetry became known only after her death when her sister discovered nearly 2,000 poems locked in her bureau, written on the backs of envelopes and scraps of paper. December 14, 1799 - George Washington died at Mount Vernon. December 16, 1773 - The Boston Tea Party occurred as colonial activists disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded British ships anchored in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 containers of expensive tea into the water. December 16, 1770 - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was born in Bonn, Germany. He created powerful, emotional music and is widely consider the greatest orchestral composer who ever lived. He suffered from hearing loss before he was 30 and by the time of his last (Ninth) symphony, he was completely deaf. December 16, 1901 - Anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She studied primitive peoples in the Southwest Pacific and was known for her outspoken manner regarding social issues such as women's rights, child rearing, population control and world hunger. December 19, 1732 - Benjamin

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Franklin first published Poor Richard's Almanac containing weather predictions, humor, proverbs and epigrams, eventually selling nearly 10,000 copies per year. December 21, 1945 - World War II General George Patton died in Germany following a car accident. He had been injured on December 9th near Mannheim and was taken to a hospital in Heidelberg where he died. December 23, 1888 - Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear during a fit of depression. December 24, 1905 - Howard Hughes (1905-1976) was born in Houston, Texas. He was a movie producer, aviator and industrialist whose legendary desire for privacy generated many rumors and much curiosity. December 25 - Christmas Day, commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Although the exact date of his birth is not known, it has been celebrated on December 25th by the Western (Roman Catholic) Church since 336 A.D. December 25, 1899 - Film actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) was born in New York City. Best known for The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and To Have and Have Not. December 27, 1822 - French chemistbacteriologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was born in Dole, France. He developed the pasteurization process to kill harmful bacteria with heat and found ways of preventing silkworm disease, anthrax,

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chicken cholera, and rabies. December 30, 1865 - Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay, India. He was a British poet, novelist, short story writer, best known for his chil-

dren's stories such as the Jungle Book. December 31, 1879 - Thomas Edison provided the first public demonstration of his electric incandescent lamp at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

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Were the ghosts that visited Scrooge real or just his imagination? The following is a special installment in our ongoing series, Exploring the Paranormal with Reanna Roberts. There are not a lot of Christmas or holiday themed paranormal events to write about for this issue, and this time of year also isn't a particularly noticeably active time of year for the paranormal. For this issue, I decided to address, and attempt to debunk (or at least give opinions on what causes) the ghosts that Ebenezer Scrooge sees in Charles Dickens' fictional novel A Christmas Carol. Most people are familiar with the story of A Christmas Carol, whether it be from the book itself, the stage presentation, or one of the many film adaptations. Just in case you are not familiar, though, let's review the main characters in the film Ebenezer Scrooge - Elderly money-lender (think overpriced loan agent, 'pay day loan' style lender.) He and a good friend of his, Jacob Marley, owned the business together until Marley's death. This is also where the term scrooge came from, generally directed as a person that's not very perky or chipper around the holidays. Jacob Marley - Scrooge's business partner who passed away seven years before this takes place. Also the first ghost to visit Scrooge. Bob Cratchit - Scrooge's clerk, very mild and meek, very family oriented. Low income, large family, which includes a disabled son Tiny Tim, the pride and joy of the Cratchit family. The Ghost of Christmas Past - The first apparition after Marley's visit, shows Scrooge's childhood, we meet his sister, and see his family holidays. The Ghost of Christmas Present - The second apparition after Marley's visit, shows Scrooge Fred's house, whose invitation he turned down, where they are talking about how cranky he always is. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come The third apparition after Marley's visit, shows Scrooge his own grave a year later, and also what happens to Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family in the following year. There are also a few other characters,

such as Fred and Fan, or Fannie, Scrooge's relatives. Fan is his deceased sister, Fred is her son, Scrooge's nephew. There is also Fezziwig, Scrooge's former employer from his youth, who throws lavish holiday parties. What could possibly cause these ghosts to visit such a wretched old man? Were there ghosts actually visiting him, or were they some sort of hallucinations? Possibly, they were dreams. There are quite a few options, but I want to briefly touch on a few. First, loneliness can do strange things. Although Scrooge is known for his "bah humbug" attitude, the older he gets, the more he realizes he has no one. He had his nephew Fred, to an extent, but he never really associates with him, he never really visits, and he detests spending holidays with family. He may very well have been realizing he's going to be alone for the rest of his life, and while wondering what he would do as he fell asleep, his subconscious conjured up these visitors to show him his 'options.' Suffer for eternity, like Marley, remind him of the parties Fezziwig threw and make him feel all warm and fuzzy inside recalling that, show him what fun Fred and his guests are having while they

mock him since he is not there, once again, and then finally shows him the 'Christmas Yet to Come' where he sees his own demise and also sees how empty the Cratchit house is after losing Tiny Tim. After the ghosts visit him and he wakes up, he's filled with merriment, buys presents, feasts, and visits family. He's a changed man. Was this because he subconsciously saw how lonely he was, though? Were there actually ghosts visiting him? Perhaps, since he is an elderly man, he has something similar to dementia setting in. I am not a medical doctor, nor am I a psychologist, but I do know that those suffering from dementia imagine some people are others from their past. Maybe this spilled over into his dreams. Maybe he just missed his old friend Marley and his sister, and maybe he subconsciously felt bad about Tiny Tim. Or, maybe they were really ghosts. It is a work of fiction, and it could be ghosts actually visiting, but in all of the years I have investigated the paranormal, I've never heard of time traveling ghosts. That's a new theory to me. Just because I know nothing about it, though, doesn't actually mean it's not accurate. Really, I feel like whatever was able to get through to Scrooge in this story is the best thing to happen for those that surround him and are stuck with him as a boss or family member. I guess I didn't really succeed at debunking, but I hope I made your brain work a little in regards to time traveling ghosts and what could have caused the ghosts in A Christmas Carol. If not, well, “Bah, humbug.” Have a question about the paranormal? Email Reanna Roberts at PABridges.Reanna@comcast.net

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“Bougainvillea: A Botanic Permutation” on display at 709 Penn Gallery

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and BNY Mellon Jazz Presents JazzLive, a year-round FREE live jazz series taking place at the Backstage Bar, Cabaret at Theater Square and Katz Plaza. Open to the public, this popular Pittsburgh Cultural Trust music series showcases some of the region's finest jazz musicians every Tuesday from 5-7 PM in the heart of the Cultural District. From September to May, all performances take place in the Backstage Bar at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. This season will feature local favorites, as well as flavors from every genre, including Latin and reggae.The fall season will end with a holiday performance by Benny Benack III, a Pittsburgh-born musician who, at the age of the 25, is heralded as one of the most versatile and virtuosic voices of his generation. The following is a schedule of the remaining fall JazzLive performances: November 29 - Thomas Wendt December 6 - Yoko Suzuki December 13 - Poogie Bell December 20 - Roger Humphries December 27 - Benny Benack III: The Holiday Session For more information and a full schedule, call 412-456-6666.

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The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of BOUGAINVILLEA: A BOTANIC PERMUTATION at 709 Penn Gallery, 709 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The exhibition features 2D artwork by Don Dugal, an artist inspired by the showy-colored, warmweather bit of flora which has traditionally been overlooked by artists because of its amorphous blooms and inability to 'pose' as a cut flower. Dugal explains: “My interest in Bougainvillea stems from my intimate contact with it during my residence in Honolulu, where the plant is a common garden feature. For 20 years I lived with a huge mass of Bougainvillea growing outside my kitchen windows, where in bloom and full sun, it would flood half of the house with a surprisingly intense, reflective, pink glow. Having taught Art courses that emphasized the importance of color in Nature, as well as those that explored the historical use of artist's pigments, Bougainvillea presented itself as a natural subject. My art has always leaned to a synthesis of the perceptual with the psychological - accompanied by garnishes of Art and Music history.” Don Dugal was born and educated in Detroit when automobile culture, devotion to beer and frantic urban expansion

were at their zenith. He received a BFA in Painting from Wayne State University, studying under professors David Mitchell and Robert Wilbert, and then found his way to the state of Hawaii, where, having studied with professors Ben Norris and Ken Bushnell, he received, in 1969, an MFA in Drawing and Painting, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Successful exhibitions in Honolulu prompted him to stay on in Hawaii where he initiated a 41-year career of teaching Painting, Drawing and Design at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Significant solo exhibitions include those at the Contemporary Museum in

1980, 1994 and 1999 and the Honolulu Academy of Arts (now the Honolulu Museum) in 1983 and 2007. His work is in the collections of the Hawaii State Art Museum, the Honolulu Museum, the Honolulu City Arts Commission and the Springfield, Illinois Arts Commission. He was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts in 1999, and several commissioned works by Dugal may be found at the Hawaii Convention Center and the Honolulu City Medical Examiner's Office. He retired from the University of Hawaii in 2010 and in 2011, after careful research, chose Pittsburgh as a home. 709 Penn Gallery: A project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and managed by the Trust's Education and Community Engagement department, 709 Penn Gallery features exhibits by local and regional artists working in multiple disciplines and is located at 709 Penn Avenue near the intersection of Penn and Seventh Street. Gallery hours are Wed., Thurs. from 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Fri., Sat. from 11:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m., and Sun. from 11:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. FMI about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit www.trustarts.org.

Submissions being accepted for Showcase Noir, Artist & Designer Exhibit The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced today that it is now accepting submissions for Showcase Noir, Artist & Designer Exhibit and Sale to be held February 24-26, 2017 at the August Wilson Center. For the first time in the history of this Exhibit and Sale-showcasing paintings, sculptures, photographs, fiber art, jewelry, pottery and art in various mediums from emerging and established artists, both local and national, will be held over the course of an entire weekend. This art sale and show features work by artists representing the African Diaspora. “Showcase Noir provides an opportunity for the most talented artists and designers from around the country to display and sell their art. Work derived from the African Diaspora, ranging from fine jewelry, to beautiful abstract paintings, to pottery and sculpture, is available for the entire Pittsburgh community to view and to purchase. Attendees will

have the opportunity to simultaneously experience some of the finest craftsmanship and high quality art while celebrating the culture of the African Diaspora,” comments Janis Burley-Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Interested artists should submit photos of completed work, resume, artist statement and relevant supporting materials. Deadline for entry is January 16, 2017. Artists will be selected and notified shortly thereafter. To submit your work for review, mail submission materials via wetransfer to goode@trustarts.org or mail to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Attn: DeVonne Goode, 803 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, PA. 15222 by January 16, 2017. If you have questions, contact DeVonne Goode at goode@trustarts.org or call (412) 471-6070. Showcase Noir has been presented in

Pittsburgh for well over a decade. The event will take at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, located in Pittsburgh's Cultural District, 980 Liberty Avenue. Admission is free and open to the public. The sleekly modern August Wilson Center, located in Pittsburgh's Cultural District, 980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222, offers multiple exhibition galleries, a 472-seat theater for performances in all genres, an education center for classes, lectures and hands-on learning, and dazzling spaces for community programs and events. For rental inquiries, visit TrustArts.org or email Devonne Goode, Program Manager-Pittsburgh Cultural Trust at goode@trustarts.org. FMI and a calendar of events presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust taking place at the Center, visit TrustArts.org or call 412-456-6666.

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Headliner announced for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced today that the Nigel Hall Band will perform as the headline act for the largest familyfriendly New Year's Eve celebration in the region-the 23rd annual Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. In addition, the theme for this year's celebration is PITTSBURGH: THE NEXT 200 YEARS, chosen to reflect the culmination of the City's year-long Bicentennial celebration and serving as an impetus for citizens to think about what is to come in the City's future. For the sixth consecutive year, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will serve as the presenting sponsor for the event, produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. A full announcement regarding the programming schedule for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 will take place on Tuesday, December 6 at 10 a.m. at the Trust Arts Education Center (805-807 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh) in the Peirce Studio. KDKATV's Pittsburgh Today Live co-hosts Kristine Sorensen and Jon Burnett will host the festive press preview. “With over 40,000 anticipated for the Trust's largest open house of the year, we are thrilled to present a band that promises to warm everyone's soul on First Night,” shared Sarah Aziz, the newly appointed director of Highmark First Night. “We are also honored to serve as the culminating event for Pittsburgh's Bicentennial and hope to curate an evening of events that reflect the history, innovation and diversity of our City, and that leaves every attendee hopeful about the 200 years ahead of us.” Ninety percent (90%) of all Highmark First Night Pittsburgh events are held indoors. At the end of the evening, visitors enjoy the Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale: the countdown to midnight, raising of the 1,000 lbs. Future of Pittsburgh ball 150 feet in the air above Penn Avenue Place, and a spectacular Zambelli fireworks finale. The Nigel Hall Band will perform on the Highmark Stage during this rousing Grand Finale. Nigel Hall grew up in Washington, D.C., in a highly musical family. His fingers first touched the keys before he hit kindergarten age, and his ears were

wide open. “I grew up with records,” he said. “That's why I'm obsessed. My father had a vast collection. I'd be in third grade with my Walkman and everyone's listening to Ace of Bass, and I'm listening to 'Return to Forever,'” Chick Corea's fusion project with Stanley Clarke. The vintage sounds of LADIES & GENTLEMEN… NIGEL HALL, infused with his electric freshness, together make both an audible autobiography and Nigel Hall's musical mission statement. “I like to sing songs that reflect my being and who I am as a person,” he said. “Because that really touches me. When you hear a song and it makes you cry, or it makes you happy or it evokes any kind of feeling, that is music. That is what music is supposed to do. And music is the last pure thing we have left on this earth. It's the only pure thing.” This soul provider's debut album is out and soaring along with kudos from critics across the country as well as incredible live shows to celebrate the release. With the digital version and vinyl LP currently available, Feel Music Group released it on CD Friday, February 19, 2016. LADIES & GENTLEMEN… NIGEL HALL captures the spirit of the songs that made Hall a musician. It was produced by Eric Krasno, guitarist and producer of a dizzying array of artists

including Norah Jones, Justin Timberlake, Talib Kweli, Aaron Neville and Matisyahu. Admission Buttons are $10 in advance or at the door (children 5 and under FREE) and are worn by attendees on New Year's Eve, giving access to all indoor and outdoor attractions at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. Admission Buttons are on sale at TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH, the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), or at 412-456-6666. Additionally, participating Giant Eagle store locations will have buttons available for sale starting in early December. Some indoor performances also require seating vouchers, which are free tickets. Events requiring vouchers are listed at TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH. Reserve your spot to celebrate in comfort and style during Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017. This priority reservation opportunity is your chance to lock in low pricing before it goes up for the general public on December 6. Enjoy priority seating, access, parking, and more! For more information on becoming a part of this special sponsorship opportunity, visit this link or please call 412-471-3518. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2016 sponsors as of release date include: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield as the presenting sponsor, Dollar Bank, First National Bank, Giant Eagle and PNC. FedEx Ground returns as a title sponsor for the annual parade which includes special themed puppets designed by Studio Capezzuti. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 community supporters include The Buhl Foundation and The Fine Foundation and The Grable Foundation. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 media partners currently include KDKA TV and Pittsburgh City Paper. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, is an arts-focused and familyfriendly New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District. It is the largest single-day celebration in the region offering 100+ events at dozens of indoor and outdoor locations within the 14-block Cultural District. The celebration offers something for everyone.

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The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is accepting submissions for the Sing-Off Competition. Similar to the format of popular TV talent shows, students from grades 6 through 12 who are affiliated with a regional middle or high school may submit a video audition performance of two songs. A panel of previous Sing-Off winners will review all submissions and select five finalists. Award-winning, Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer and R&B icon, Smokey Robinson, will return as a guest judge to select the 2017 winner.The winner will be announced prior to Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, and will have the opportunity to participate in special media opportunities relative to the award, including a live performance opportunity as opening act at the Benedum Center on New Year's Eve. Additionally, the winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a $1,000 donation to the school's music department. Individual students and student groups of 20 or fewer should upload a video of no more than 10 minutes in length to YouTube, and then submit it to the contestant page on the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 website. Eligible counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset,Washington, and Westmoreland. The application deadline is midnight on December 5, and late submissions will not be considered. For more information, eligibility and requirements, or to submit your application: trustarts.org/singoff The full complement of programming for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 will be announced on Tuesday, December 6.

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Michael W. Smith & Jordan Smith to take stage

Waynesburg University students attend choir fest

Coming live to the Benedum Center on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:30pm, Rich Engler Presents Michael W. Smith joined by Republic recording artist Jordan Smith, Season 9 winner of NBC's The Voice. Incorporating a 53 piece symphony orchestra at each performance, this seasonal crowd-pleaser will travel to nearly 20 major markets. With a vast collection of criticallyacclaimed holiday albums, the 2016 Christmas tour will showcase selections from Michael's extensive Christmas repertoire. Additionally, the Christmas tour will help benefit Operation Christmas Child, known for distributing over 135 million shoeboxes of Christmas gifts to children in need in 150 countries. “Being on stage with a full symphony orchestra, performing some of my alltime favorite songs, is a dream come true”, says Michael W. Smith. “And I have to say, I have never heard a voice quite as pure and beautiful as Jordan Smith's. It's going to be a great night! Christmas is my favorite time of year, and performing these holiday shows

Six Waynesburg University students successfully auditioned and participated in the recent 2016 Pennsylvania Collegiate Choir held at Susquehanna University. Dr. A. Jan Taylor, director of choirs and music education at Prairie View A&M University, led the choir of 95 singers. A total of nine Pennsylvania colleges and universities were represented at the festival. This was the first year that Waynesburg University music students were represented at the festival, according to Melanie Catana, director of choral music and instructor of vocal music at the University. Students who participated include: Susan Dunsworth, freshman entrepreneurship major from Erie (Northwest

Cyber Charter School) Rachel Philipp, junior arts administration (music concentration) major from McMurray (Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School) Kayla Goncalves, junior music ministry major from Boca Raton, Florida (Olympic Heights Community High School) Thomas Faye, freshman music ministry major from Pittsburgh (Penn Hills High School) Philip Hurd, recent music ministry alumnus from Elizabeth

“Abstractionista - Impressions Intuitive - Treasure” are four words representing four artists, painters Mary Jean Kenton and Leslie Robbins, printmaker Thomas J. Norulak, and photographs by Dr. Jean Braun in a new exhibition at the Frank L. Melega Art Museum. Leslie Robbins has been exhibiting at the Carnegie Art Museum and Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Her subject is dogs, painting in a style all her own. Thomas J. Norulak is one of Pittsburgh's most well known and respected printmakers. A prolific artist, Norulak is constantly

exploring the potential of the medium. Mary Jean Kenton has spent much of her artistic life focused on color. Her art has a sometimes subtle, sometimes brash, juxtaposition of colors, shapes, and values. Dr. Jean Braun will be exhibiting her photographs that will be featured in a new novel by author Jean Gottlieb Bradley “Beyond the Crossroads a Journey of Love”. The fictional novel continues the saga of Joan Bradley, introduced in the successful “At the Crossroads: A Southern Daughter's Story”. The exhibition will run through Sunday, Dec. 18. FMI: melegaartmuseum.com

each November and December is a major highlight for me.” “One of my favorite things about Christmas is the music that accompanies the season,” shares Jordan Smith. Don't miss this wonderful “family oriented” Holiday Show Dec. 14 at the Benedum Center. Tickets are reserved at $45.75, $55.75 and $65.75. Some limited gold circle seats are also available, and are on sale now at the Theatre Square Box Office, by phone at 412456-6666 or online at www.trustarts.org.

Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy) Briana Ryan, sophomore music ministry major from Monongahela (Pennsylvania

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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker” celebrates 15th season onstage Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's “The Nutcracker” celebrates its 15th season onstage with a 26-performance run Dec. 2-27, at the Benedum Center. Fittingly, the milestone intersects with the 20th anniversary season of the man who created it: PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr. When Orr arrived in Pittsburgh in 1997 to take the helm of PBT, a new “Nutcracker” was on his mind. He'd just relocated from New York City's American Ballet Theatre and was experiencing the city's traditions and history through fresh eyes. When it came time to reimagine PBT's rendition of the perennial holiday classic, the concept felt intuitive: He planned to revive classic story elements of “The Nutcracker” while creating a sense of place unique to Pittsburgh. His new staging debuted in December 2002 at the Benedum. “I wanted this production to be the city's own. I wanted Pittsburghers to feel a sense of familiarity, of home, because this show is such a tradition for so many families,” Orr said. With help from artists, historians and locals, he began assembling relics and references to weave into the traditional scenes and story of “The Nutcracker.” He commissioned scenic designer Zack Brown to conceive the sets and costumes, designed to reflect the color and vibrancy of Tchaikovsky's score. He consulted with the late Milan Stitt, then head of dramatic writing at Carnegie Mellon University, to help write the libretto and call forward essential elements of the original E.T.A. Hoffmann tale published in 1816. He brought in an old friend and dramaturge - Long Island native Byam Stevens - to help implement this new dramatization, believing that the story telling, the theater, was vital to enhancing the dancing. When a board member unearthed a vintage copy of “Kaufmann's Christmas Stories for Boys and Girls,” commissioned by Kaufmann's Department store at the turn of the 20th century, Orr wove it into the story. Onstage, the book spills out a cadre of toy characters who spring to the defense of The Nutcracker and

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The Nutcracker Ballet December 11-12 at 8 p.m. December 13 at 2 p.m. Reserved Tickets $15 Marie in the Act I Battle Scene. And, of course, “The Nutcracker” is “nothing short of magical (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).” Local magician Paul Gertner trained the company in the art of illusion - mysteries that Orr's performers hold close to the vest. For over a decade, Drosselmeyer's sleight-ofhand tricks have left audience members of all ages marveling. Inside the PBT Costume Shop, Janet Groom Campbell and her team brought Zack Brown's costume renderings to life with 18 shimmering snowflakes, 16 colorful tutus resembling flower petals, a stage full of elaborate Victorian party dresses and many more hand-crafted costumes. Of the 215 costumes of “The Nutcracker,” 110 were built in the PBT Costume Shop. For specialty pieces, the company enlisted artisans, like Pittsburgh local Svi Roussanoff, who constructed the head pieces for The Nutcracker as well as his rival, the Rat King, and his rodent army. The scenery and special effects complete the picture with colorful set pieces and drops, including a growing Christmas tree and flurries of snow. Throughout the show Pittsburghers can spot local character, including the Snow Scene's Mount Washington view, a proscenium clock inspired by the Kaufmann's clock at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street downtown, and a Land

of Enchantment that pays homage to Pittsburgh's historic amusement parks. Over time, Orr has added new nods to Pittsburgh culture - and its sports. Act I has seen a toy penguin wearing a hockey jersey, rats waving Terrible Towels and even Party Scene cameos by local celebrities like Mr. McFeely, Hines Ward and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Beyond the Pittsburgh and pop culture references, Orr has a tradition of creating unique casting combinations to ensure that no two performances are exactly alike. “It carries the comfort and warmth of tradition, yet it is never the same show twice. We are always finding new wrinkles in the characters, new layers to the story and variations in the dancing,” Orr said. “I really do believe that you could watch each of the 26 shows and discover something new each time. There is something magical about that.” Among the 26 performances, the company will present a Student Matinee performance, sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, as well as a sensory-friendly performance adapted for patrons with special needs at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27. (Photo by Rich Sofranko) Tickets start at $28 and are available at www.pbt.org, 412-456-6666 or by visiting the Box Office at Theater Square. FMI: pbt.org

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This year, the State Theatre is bringing back The Nutcracker Ballet featuring local dancers of all ages performing this classic story to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score, choreographed by Donna Marovic. If you consider The Nutcracker a part of your annual holiday tradition – Don’t miss this show produced by The State Theatre Center for the Arts in cooperation with California University’s Dept. of Theatre & Dance.

Diamond Rio Christmas Show December 20 at 7:30 p.m. Diamond Rio has one of the most successful careers in country music. Their singles include “How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” “Norma Jean Riley,” “Beautiful Mess,” “Love a Little Stronger,” and “One More Day.”

Classic Film Series December 16 at 2 & 7 p.m. January 27 at 2 & 7 p.m. Adults $5, Students, senior citizens & children $3 December’s film is A Christmas Story January’s film is The Wild Bunch

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Brownsville Holiday House Tours & Events

Thanks to an amazing rescue dog named Lucky, a.k.a. TurfMutt, a lucky teacher will win a trip to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual conference, an elementary school will win a $10,000 grant, and thousands of children in grades K-5 will learn science and how to take care of the environment. Lucky is the real-life rescue dog behind the cartoonized superhero, TurfMutt. Through classroom materials developed with Scholastic, TurfMutt teaches students and teachers how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.” To win the “Be a Backyard Superhero” contest, students in grades K-5 submit essays on how they are helping TurfMutt and his band of superheroes, the Outdoor Powers, combat the environmental villains (Carbon Creep, Dust Demon, Dr. Runoff and Heat Freak). Entries are due January 23, 2017, and contest entry deadlines and rules are available at TurfMutt.com. “We are thrilled to create the new TurfMutt Teacher Award where we will send one teacher to the NSTA annual conference next year. Highlighting teaching success and investing in professional development leads to better learning for students,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and Lucky's rescuer. “The $10,000 grant gives the winning school enough money to do a significant project - like install an outdoor classroom, a teaching garden, or another environmental education project

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of their choosing.” Selecting winning schools based on the strength of the student entries, the TurfMutt program has awarded $35,000 to schools nationwide since 2010. This year, a teacher at the winning student's school will also be awarded a trip to the 2017 NSTA conference. The TurfMutt environmental education and stewardship program has touched more than 62 million children, educators and families, since 2009 and was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute's (OPEI) Research and Education Foundation. TurfMutt program materials are free and aligned to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards for grades K-5. In 2017 TurfMutt will once again appear on the Lucky Dog show, and TurfMutt's personal, home habitat will also be featured in the 2017 Wildlife Habitat Council calendar. TurfMutt is an education resource at the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. FMI: TurfMutt.com

The Brownsville Northside Beautification Committee will showcase its neighborhood Dec. 10-11 when doors will swing open on seven festively decorated homes to raise funds for community projects in the historic district. This year's self-guided tour will include three properties that are new to the bi-annual event - 300 Front St., 103 Barnett Ave. and 502 Market St. The Front Street home was built in 1855 by Congressman John Littleton Dawson and later served as the residence for Adam Jacobs, a riverboat captain and boat builder, and the Robinson family, local merchants. The Barnett Avenue home is fully constructed of recycled materials from razed structures in the area. Built by “Gypsy Steve” and “Uncle Charlie” for a local businessman in the 1970s, unusual features include marble, slate and wood from torn down structures in Brownsville, Belle Vernon and Washington, beams from long-gone schools and bathtubs from a nowdemolished early 20th century hotel. The third stop is Market Street Emporium, built in 1902 and currently an eclectic retail shop, which will extend its business hours for the tour. The tour also includes a collection of 19th century homes built by some of Brownsville's wealthiest businessmen, whose lifestyles are reflected in the rich finishes and architectural embellishments on the interior and exterior of their residences - Tiffany-stained glass windows, marble mantles, beveled-glass windows, inlaid hand-made parquet floors, grand and circular staircases, a

turret and mid-1800s “painted glass” window. The period homes are 131 Front St., 209 Front St., 212 Front St. and 514 Market St. Each home will be festively decked out for the fundraiser. Decorating at some of the larger homes has been underway since late September. The varied interiors will feature Victorian decorations, live greens and a variety of themed trees and rooms, such as Western and hunting motifs at the Barnett Avenue home. Tickets are $15 per person for the selfguided tours. The properties will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10 and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 11. Tickets will go on sale 30 minutes prior to the start of the tours at Brownsville Fire Co. 1, 520 Market St. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Also that night, the congregation of the 156-year-old Christ Church Anglican, 305 Church St., will be holding a special service, beginning at 7 pm. It is based on the first American prayer book written in 1789. Brownsville Historical Society also will be conducting candlelight tours at Nemacolin Castle, a National Trust landmark located at 136 Front St. The December calendar for the 22-room house mansion calls for doors to be open Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and closed Dec. 24, 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for children 12 years old and under.

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“The Happy Elf” premieres at Cal U this holiday season on Dec. 8-11 Story by Tomato Elf, Fred Terling For over twenty years, the California University Theater Department and Community have teamed up for a Holiday production. What was once offered as the Nutcracker Ballet at this time of year, changed when the school's ballet program shifted to a more inclusive musical theater. For five years, A Christmas Carol was the show, then three years, A Miracle on 34th Street, took the stage. “There's not a lot of high quality holiday musicals out there as securing the rights are near impossible,” says the Musical Theatre Department head and Director, Michele Pagen, PhD. “Then Harry Connick, Jr. created the wonderful song, 'The Happy Elf.'” The song was such a hit, it inspired an animated special under the same name by Film Roman, an IDT Entertainment company, the same animation company known for producing The Simpsons. The special inspired an additional 19 songs that came on an accompanying CD. Following the success of the animated special, Andrew Fishman reworked the book, with music and lyrics by Connick who had added five new songs for the musical. The story centers on Eubie the Elf and his friends Hamm and Gilda. While sorting through Santa's naughty and nice list, Eubie notices an overwhelming amount of kids on the naughty list, all from Bluesville. He takes it upon himself to visit Bluesville and introduce them to the spirit of Christmas. Unfortunately, Eubie's nemesis, Norbert finds out and plans to undermine his efforts for his own selfish reasons. I was fortunate to be permitted to a rehearsal at Steele Hall, where the performance will also take place, by Dr. Pagen. The cast is huge and the complexity of blocking and choreography is a massive undertaking. “We have a cast of 58, ages ranging from 6 to 56,” Michelle stated. “I want every single one of them to have a part, not merely to be stage dressing. Then there's the challenge of coordinating schedules for so many players.” Dr. Pagen holds auditions on the same day for all roles and casts one at a time

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in one day. Jesh Myers jumped right out for the lead role of Eubie. “Jesh shares most of the characteristics of Eubie, particularly when he began to sing,” Dr. Pagen says. As I watched rehearsals, all of the actors, dancers and singers were wonderful. The music, superb. A few stood out and I decided to sit down and talk briefly with them so you know who they are when you head out to watch this wonderful production, Pennsylvania Bridges readers. Jeshua “Jesh” Myers (Eubie the Elf). Jesh, pictured top right, began singing at age three. His mother had an all children's choir. He is a sophomore Theater Major and gets super excited about the audition process. It's his first major role in college, his last was in High School. His biggest challenge is finding a balance between school work and dedicating time to his character. Jesh is working hard to find a balance in Eubie's character also. He wants him to be excited and animated but not too over the top. I found his comment about auditions interesting as most actors dread them. His answer was very inspiring. “It's what I want to do as a career and the audition process is part of that, so I want to do my best.” Jesh continued, “I know if I do my best, I feel like whatever I end up with, I earned.” Mark Barrett (Hamm the Elf). Mark is

a junior Theater Major. He has reveled in the past month and a half of rehearsals. The role of being an elf has inspired Mark's imagination to wander and he enjoys the role of being Eubie's best friend. It's the human element of friendship, interwoven with the imaginative aspects of the character that Mark is enjoying. He too has found the most challenging part of the production finding balance between school work and character development time. Playing Hamm however, has been a joy. “Hamm is mostly kind of child-like,” Mark says. “He's innocent and joyful and how they interact with each other is like letting their inner-child out.” Kayla Grimm (Gilda the Elf). Kayla is a junior Theater Major. She started in theater at age 5. Not entirely sure her future was headed for theater, Kayla also had a major interest in science. Eventually, she settled on theater. I have to take an editorial moment and say, I absolutely adored her character. From the moment she comes on stage, every subtle nuance from the way she shuffles on her tip-toes to her sheepish mannerisms when talking with Eubie, just great stuff. When we sat down to talk, I was taken aback slightly that her voice wasn't the high pitched Gilda voice I had heard onstage. “I really love doing voices,” Kayla explained. “Every character I play, I creContinued on next page....

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL MUSICAL A Christmas Carol Musical is a spectacular musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's most well known story. Tickets $15 Dec. 15-17, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m.

“HAIR”AUDITIONS Please come prepared with 16-32 bars of a rock, pop, or soul song. Songs from the show “Hair” are not required but are encouraged. You may be asked to do a cold reading. There will be a light-dance portion to call-backs. Ages 16 and over. Dec. 9, 6-9 p.m. - Dec. 10, 2-5 p.m. Callbacks December 11 TBA

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The Happy Elf comes to Cal U, continued... ate a voice for them. For Gilda, she's very, very happy person and full of energy, especially when she's around Eubie.” Jordan Brooks (Norbert the Elf). Jordan is a Cal U Alumni. A professional actor, he is currently on break from the Missoula Children's Theater and will resume productions in January of 2017. Jordan was a late comer to the theatrical field. It wasn't until middle school that he developed his love for theater and never looked back. His character, Norbert, is the play's heavy. He is always scheming and a complete heel. I love his performance, possibly my favorite character. To sit and talk with him after watching him on stage, again, a bit surprising. He is the nicest, most charismatic person you could meet. You can tell in his quote when I asked what his motivation was for coming back as an alumni. “I'm so happy the Holiday Show is community based and the public is welcome,” says Jordan. “That's really what the Christmas spirit is all about, every-

one coming together.” One final aspect of the play I would like to cover, the costumes. Imagine if you can, prepping 58 costumes for people of varying shapes and sizes. That enormous task is being executed by the Costume Shop Manager, Joni Farquhar. Typically, Joni works with a designer to help with the costumes, but not for this production, she is the designer as well. Her walls are lined with various costumes, designed specifically for the Elves' various jobs. As pictured, this is the shirt for the tailor elf. Each elf has the smallest details and touches worked out by Joni. Measuring tape trim with a spool of thread pocket emblem, just by looking at the costume, one can determine the elf's job in the North Pole. I won't share more, you have to come and

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see the rest of Joni's wonderful creations for yourself, live and in person. “The Happy Elf” will be performed at 7 p.m. Dec. 8-10, with matinees at 2 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11. All shows are in Cal U's Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre.

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The best artwork of Waynesburg University students will be displayed in the Benedum Fine Arts Gallery through December 9. An opening reception was held 11/28. At the end of each semester, the University’s art professors choose a selection of artwork created by their students during the semester.The artwork encompasses a variety of mediums, and Andrew Heisey, assistant professor of art, said seeing the creativity of students is an enjoyable process. The Benedum Fine Arts Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about the exhibit, call 724-852-3274.

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“The Domesticity of Abandonment” to be on display at SPACE Gallery The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of The Domesticity of Abandonment, an exhibition guest curated by Carolina LoyolaGarcia. The exhibition opens Friday, December 9, and continues until Sunday, January 29, at SPACE in downtown Pittsburgh. A special opening reception will be held December 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. This exhibit will also be on view during Highmark First Night Pittsburgh and the Cultural District Gallery Crawl on January 20. “The Domesticity of Abandonment explores the idea of abandonment from a broad socio/political and economical context and how it is represented in ‘domestic’ ways, meaning how it impacts regular people in their everyday lives in various parts of the world,” explains Loyola-Garcia. The exhibition features a variety of works from 15 national and international artists (Aysu Arsoy, Joey Behrens, Nicholas Childers, Rose Clancy, Dragana Crnjak, T. Foley, Stephen Grebinski, Christine Holtz, Deborah Hosking, Bashar Alhroub, Oualid

Khelifi, Martiza Mosquera, Cigdem Slankard, Susanne Slavick, Hyla Willis), eight of whom are currently based in Pittsburgh. The multidisciplinary works question the impacts of displacement, civil war, occupations, and genocide, centering on civilians, displaced families and environmental & political refugees. Guest curator Carolina Loyola-Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator. Through her work she explores topics related to social justice, the dislocated identity that results from colonialism and migration, and questionings around issues related to complex aspects of human existence such as relationships, memory, and the tense interaction between economy and the environment. Her work has been shown in the United States and abroad, and has been supported by grants from the National

Endowment for the Arts, the Pittsburgh Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, among others. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and is currently Professor of Media Arts at Robert Morris University. SPACE is located at 812 Liberty Avenue. Hours: Wed & Thurs: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri & Sat: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public FMI: spacepittsburgh.org.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time to take stage January 3-7 THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME premieres at Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, January 3-7, 2017, as part of the 2016-2017 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Broadway Across America. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. On Wednesday, January 4, at 6:30 p.m. PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh patrons are invited to join us for a free pre-show talk, Know The Show Before You Go, held at the Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. For more information visit: TrustArts.org/KnowTheShow. Fifteen-year old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally

intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor's dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever. The production is designed by Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony

Award-winning video designer Finn Ross, with lighting by Tony Award-winner Paule Constable, choreography by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph and hair and wig design by David Brian Brown. Casting is by Daniel Swee and Cindy Tolan. CURIOUS INCIDENT, now the longest running play on Broadway in more than 10 years, opened on October 5, 2014 at the Barrymore Theatre, winning five Tony Awards including Best Play, six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Production of a Broadway Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or offBroadway Play.

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - Arts, Entertainment, Education & Lifestyle - pabridges.com

The Five Stages of the Grieving Process There are five stages of normal grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. In our bereavement, we spend different lengths of time working through each step and express each stage with different levels of intensity. Many people do not experience the stages in the order listed below, which is okay. Denial and Isolation: The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a cherished loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response. Anger: The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may be directed at our dying or deceased loved one. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry. Bargaining: The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control. Secretly, we may make a deal with a higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality. Depression: Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first one is a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. We worry that, in our grief, we have spent less time with others that depend on us. We may need a bit of helpful cooperation and a few kind words. The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. Acceptance: Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. This phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. Coping with loss is a deeply personal and singular experience.

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Ho! Ho! Ho! Holiday Happenings in December

December 1-4, 7-11, 15-18 - “A Christmas Carol” by Little Lake Theatre - Little Lake Theatre - Canonsburg, PA 724-746-6300 littlelake.org December 2 - Christmas Parade Downtown Washington, PA - 7 p.m. 724-229-7207 washbda.com December 2-4 and 9-11 - “A Gift to Remember” by the Old Schoolhouse Players - Mt. Pleasant Twp. Community Center - Hickory, PA 724-344-4767 osptheater.com December 3 - Santa Luncheon Canonsburg Senior Citizen's Center Canonsburg, PA - First Seating 10:30 a.m., Second Seating 12 p.m. 724-745-1812 canonchamber.com December 3 - 4, 10-11 and 17-18 Santa Trolley - Pennsylvania Trolley Museum - Washington, PA pa-trolley.org December 3-4 - Ho, Ho, Ho with the WSO - Trinity High School Washington, PA - Saturday 8 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m. 724-223-9796 washsym.org December 6, 10, 13, 17, 20 and 31 Victorian Christmas Tours Montgomery Mansion - Claysville, PA 2 p.m. - 8 p.m 724-663-7767 montgomerymansion.net December 8-11 - The Happy Elf California University - Steele Hall

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Mainstage Theater - 7 p.m. Dec. 8-10 Matinees at 2 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11 Box Office: 724-938-5943 December 9-11 and 17-18 - Highmark Holiday Pops - Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts - Admission Info: $24$99 December 10 - Bright Bulbs at Fifth Avenue Place - Free Event - Design personalized paper light bulb wreaths and create your very own ornament. Don't miss the balloon art and capture the seasonal spirit with a keepsake caricature. December 13 - Mannheim Steamroller Christmas - Benedum Center - 8 p.m. December 16-17 - Polar Express Sleepover - Carnegie Science Center/Highmark SportsWorks Admission Info: $39 per person - 6 p.m.-9:30 a.m. - All aboard! Your ticket to getting into the holiday spirit is just a train ride away with our Polar Express Sleepover! It's the perfect way to warm your heart and add sparkle to the season. December 31, 2016 - Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 - A production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh's arts-focused New Year's Eve celebration. Culminating with the city's Countdown to Midnight and raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball, the sixhour celebration sprawls Downtown's renowned 14-block Cultural Districtinside theaters, galleries, and unique spaces and along city streets on outdoor performance stages. trustarts.org

Bible presented to Waynesburg U President Lee The Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church of Clarksville, Pennsylvania, presented a historic Turkish Bible to Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee Wednesday, Nov. 16. The Bible, written in Arabic, was printed in Lebanon with the first edition dating back to the year 1000. Richard Teegarden, elder and clerk of sessions at the church, presented the Bible to President Lee in the president's office in Miller Hall. In a letter that accompanied the Bible, the church stated: “We would be grateful if this valued treasure of our church would be received by the University so that it may be properly, respectfully and securely preserved. Our hope and intention would be that by this decision we will not only protect and preserve this unique translation but also make it available for others to use and gain knowledge from, now and for many years to come.” Teegarden shared that the church is closing at the end of the year and they felt that the Bible should be given to someone who would have the knowledge to appreciate it and the ability to keep it. “Being of the Turkish language, there is a possibility that students from a wide variety of countries could appreciate having the Bible,” said Teegarden. “Being able to see and use it could give them some insight to the people of this

area from long ago who originally came from other countries.” The Bible was originally left to the church by John Hassen, a member of the church, upon his death in 1966. Hassen was born in Europe but lived most of his life in Clarksville and worked as a coal miner. President Lee expressed his thanks on behalf of the University to Teegarden and presented him with a special Alpaca woven Waynesburg University scarf. “We are honored to receive this gift,” said Lee. “We will treasure this wonderful resource and wish to express our gratitude for the generosity of the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church.” Also in attendance was Rea Redd, professor and director of the Eberly Library, Courtney Dennis, associate director of the Paul R. Stewart Museum, and Rev. Dr. Donald Wilson, member of the University's Board of Trustees. The Bible will be on display in the Eberly Library on the University's campus.

From My Father’s House Collected Writings — Prose and Poetry BY XAVIER F. AGUILAR From My Father's House collects Mr. Aguilar's prose and poetry to date, combining previous volumes in one with additional pieces. 208 pages, perfect bound. $15+$4 S/H To order, send check or money order to Xavier F. Aguilar, 1329 Gilmore Ave, Donora, PA 15033 FMI, email expressionaguilar@yahoo.com

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PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - We believe media should uplift and inspire. - pabridges.com


Season Affective Disorder affects millions of Americans: What is SAD? Story by Fred Terling It's that time of year. Darkness settles in around 5:30 pm. That means less sunlight and our circadian rhythm gets all messed up. Circadian rhythm is physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism's environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes. Basically, sleep is off, we eat more and feel generally depressed. This is the time of year psychologists have termed a type of seasonal depression as Season Affective Disorder. The term was first coined by Doctor Norman Rosenthal in 1984 at the National Institute of Mental Health. The condition affects approximately 10% of people in non-tropical climates with about 20% of people reporting a milder form of the condition. Typically, SAD is so subtle, it takes two to three years before it even diagnosed. Traditionally, twice as many women are diagnosed with SAD than men. What is the cause of this? We all need sun to optimize Vitamin D production, and a lack of Vitamin D has been proven to negatively affect individuals, as it relates to depression and a healthy immune system. Another theory is a lack of serotonin production. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, blood platelets and the central nervous system of animals, including humans. It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. Whether natural or biological, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be dangerous, particularly to those who are bipolar. The typical symptoms of SAD include: Lack of Energy, Weakened Immune System, Reduced Libido, Lack of Concentration, Overeating and Weight Gain, Alcohol or drug abuse, Feeling Guilt or Worry, Sleep Issues, Irritability, and/or Social and Relationship Problems So what can be done about this illness? The obvious is to make an appointment with your primary care physician and/or mental health professional. Any of the ten symptoms above can lead to very serious consequences, particularly in combination. Before your appointment, jot down some of the spe-

cific things you are experiencing. Questions for the Doctor like, “Why am I experiencing a sudden loss of sleep and why am I hungry all the time?� Once you have your appointment scheduled, as the doctor about specific treatments such as medication, psychotherapy and light therapy. I know several people in my group therapy who struggle with this every single year and they have purchased particular lighting units that house a 10,000-lux light therapy and negative ion therapy. This type of therapy helps to balance the circadian cycle, restoring sleep and waking times by getting their bodies back on a normal clock schedule. Remember, this can affect anyone. Please schedule an appointment with your doctor should you be experiencing any of these symptoms.

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - Arts, Entertainment, Education & Lifestyle - pabridges.com

ARTS FEST SEEKS SUBMISSIONS The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is officially accepting applications for participants in the 58th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, June 2-11, 2017.The nation's premier free arts festival seeks a diverse group of visual and performing artists of all disciplines and career stages.This year's call for visual and performing artists welcomes artists and performers who have never before participated in TRAF, emphasizing brand new art and original work. Applications will be accepted from October 3, 2016 through January 17, 2017. Application status notifications will be sent to all applicants in late March of 2017. In 2017, artists will have the opportunity to explore the following opportunities: Artist Market presented by Peoples - a renowned market, featuring over 300 artists selling one-ofa-kind pieces Juried Visual Art Exhibition showcasing new regional art in a variety of media, juried by an esteemed panel Emerging Artist Scholarship Program - providing individuals with little to no experience the opportunity to produce their first show Music & Performing Arts showcasing the original work of dancers, actors, literary and performance artists Special Project / Collaboration - creative original concepts, multidisciplinary work and collaborations that emphasize engaging the audience directly and working beyond traditional stages Applications will be accepted through January 17, 2017.To learn more about the submission categories and to apply, visit TrustArts.org/TRAF or call (412) 456-6666.

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PFB presents award to Representative Murphy

“NYC Kids Tours ~ Learning Tours…New York City is your Classroom!”

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Representative Tim Murphy has been recognized with the “Friend of the Farm Bureau” award for supporting agriculture related policies including those that reduce regulatory burdens on farmers, provide for sensible food labeling options, and maintain and modify the tax options available to farmers. The Friends of Farm Bureau award is presented to members of Congress every two years near the conclusion of each legislative session. Senators and Representatives are nominated for the award by their respective state Farm Bureau and approved by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Board of Directors. “On behalf of nearly 62,000 families, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) would like to thank Representative Murphy for voting in favor of issues that benefit agriculture,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “The Congressman's support can help pre-

serve the future of farm families, maintain our ability to produce safe and affordable food and provide resources to assist farmers in implementing environmentally friendly practices on the farm.” In order for a state Farm Bureau to nominate a member of Congress, that member must vote consistently in favor of Farm Bureau issues. The voting records are based on AFBF priority issues, as determined by its Board of Directors. The Friend of Farm Bureau award signifies that the recipient had a favorable voting record on issues impacting agriculture over the past two years, but the award is not a political endorsement. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state's largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

Peters Township Library: Gluten Free Holidays To help families have a fun, glutenfree holiday season, the Peters Township Public Library is collaborating with Generation GF to host Getting through the Holidays Gluten-Free on Saturday, December 10 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the library. Register to attend this free, family-friendly event by emailing programs@ptlibrary.org or call 724.941.9430 #1. Featured speakers at this event include: Amy Macklin, RDN, one of the leading private practice Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists in the United States who specializes in helping fami-

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lies and individuals to live, learn, master, and even enjoy the gluten-free lifestyle. Meredith Hartladge, a Nutrition Consultant currently completing her Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition. She will be sharing recipes and samples of quick, easy snacks for gluten-free children and tips for entertaining glutenfree guests over the holidays Melanie Jaskulski, the founder of Generation GF Pittsburgh. More information is available online at gluten.org.

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - pabridges.com

Featured in The New York Times as Manhattan's premiere tour company for kids! Make your family's trip to the Big Apple the best ever! Book an afternoon “NYC Kids Tour” where your children will dive into a fascinating kid-friendly world in some of the best spots of New York City! GREAT REVIEWS! “The learning experience does not stop at the end of the tour- sparks inquisitiveness with tools to share their learning after the tour.” NYC Kids Tours activities incorporate recommendations of Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, State and National Learning Standards & words of a panel of experts convened by the Institute for Education Science. “Connecting abstract ideas with concrete contexts can help students understand challenging topics and learn to transfer their understanding to new situations.”

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Celebrate your Teen/Tween Birthday with us! Take our Teen Fashion Tour followed with Mini-Makeovers at the Makeup Forever Flagship store in Greenwich Village. Check out our sister company ShopNYC Tours, 2015 Best of Manhattan Award Recipient!

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Now Playing at THE

PALACE THEATRE

Thurs., Dec. 1 at 7:30 PM

Sat., Dec. 3 at 7:30 PM

Latshaw Productions presents

River City Brass presents

CORNELL GUNTER'S COASTERS,

CHRISMAS BRASSTACULAR

THE DRIFTERS & THE PLATTERS

Featuring choirs from around the region

Holiday Hop - $58, $48, $43, $38

performing your favorite carols and

These music legends will be on stage for

music. For tickets, visit rivercitybrass.org

a nostalgic show featuring all their hits!

or call 1-800-292-7222.

Tues., Dec. 6 at 2 PM

Sat., Dec. 10, 2 & 7 PM

Fri., Dec. 16 at 7:30 PM

Sat., Dec. 17 at 7:30 PM

JB Productions presents

Sun., Dec. 11, 2 PM

Latshaw Productions pres-

Westmoreland Symphony

THE FOUR PREPS

WSO presents

ents

Orchestra presents

AND THE NEW

THE NUTCRACKER

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

CHORDETTES

BALLET

featuring THE LATSHAW

$55, $45, $32, $30, $24, $12

“Hollywood Holiday

$36, $28, $25, $19, $12

POPS ORCHESTRA

Make your holiday season

Christmas Show”

Create holiday memories

merry & bright with your

Tickets $35

on a magical, musical trip to

The Four Preps, featuring

the land of the Sugarplum

original lead singer Bruce

Fairy, waltzing snowflakes

Belland, will enchant the

and enchanted toys.

audience with holiday selec-

Featuring The Laurel Ballet

tions from their new

& Westmoreland

Christmas album.

Symphony Orchestra.

$35, $30, $25 The Christmas Memories show is one of the area's most enjoyable holiday tradition. Celebrate the Christmas season with this heartwarming variety show featuring the Latshaw Pops Orchestra, singers and dancers.

favorite yuletide music conducted by Daniel Meyer and featuring special guests and the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County. For tickets, westmorelandsymphony.org or call 724-837-1850

Wed., Dec. 14, 7:30 PM

$319.50 - VIP Meet

Latshaw Productions

and Greet Package

presents

(only 32 available!)

KENNY ROGERS

$150, $125, $105, $95,

THEATRICAL

staged in New York &

THE GAMBLER'S

$85, $75

EXTRAVAGANZA

London in 1981, & Roger

LAST DEAL:

The Gambler's Last

Celebrating the 50th

Waters own production

CHRISTMAS

Deal will include a

Anniversary of

at The Berlin Wall in

& HITS

look back through

Pink Floyd

1990. Backed by a killer

with special guest

Rogers' storied 50-

$35, $45 ($5 additional

live band, costumed

Linda Davis

plus-year career.

per ticket at the door)

elements perform.

Jan. 19 at 7:30 PM

Uses elements of the

Elko Concerts Presents

Pink Floyd movie, the

THE WALL

legendary concerts

THE PALACE THEATRE 34 West Otterman Street, Greensburg, PA

Box Office: 724-836-8000 THEPALACETHEATRE.ORG PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - Arts, Entertainment, Education & Lifestyle - pabridges.com

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BENTLEYVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY 931 Main St. in Bentleyville washlibs.org/bentleyville

CHARTIERS-HOUSTON LIBRARY 730 West Grant St., Houston washlibs.org/chartiers-houston

The Bentleyville Public Library has moved to a temporary location at the Fairway Communications building at 608 Main Street, Bentleyville. Every Tuesday - TOPS - 5-5:30 p.m. (Weigh-in) 5:30 p.m. (Meeting) Weight loss group The Bentleyville Public Library Building Fund is seeking donations for the Bentworth Community Center Project.The Bentleyville Public Library is approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Gifts to the Bentleyville Public Library Building Fund for the Bentworth Community Center Building Project are tax deductible. For more information, call us at 724-239-5122.

Mondays at 1 p.m. - Sit & Knit Patrons can join fellow knitters and crocheters to work on projects, learn a new craft, or share needlework knowledge. Tuesdays at 2 p.m. - Block Party Children ages 3-5 Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. - “Shut Up & Write” - This is a venue for writers to work in the company of other writers on a regular basis. 11/30, 5 p.m. - “Grown Up” Coloring One on One Computer Training is offered every Thursday at 1 p.m. Math Tutoring (free!) for Elementary Students on Thursdays at 6 p.m. First Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. - Join our Mystery Book Club for a riveting read and book discussion. Every Friday at 3:30 p.m.,Teens and pre-teens can join us for crafts, games & snacks. 12/10 - Join us for a family holiday party with a twist, Star Wars style! Whether you’re celebrating the winter holiday season, or just really excited for Rogue One to hit theaters (or both!), ours is a party for you. Star Wars or space themed costumes are welcome and encouraged. Tuesdays, 11/29, 12/6 & 12/13 at 2 p.m. - Preschool Story Hour 12/15 at 11:30 a.m. - Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning will discuss how to plan for elder care. 12/19 - Book Club at 2 p.m. Library Closed 12/23-26 Register at the library or call us at 724-745-4300.

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC LIBRARY 100 Wood St., California calpublib.org December 20 at 5 p.m. - Board of Trustees Meeting Every Tuesday at 10:00 is Story Time with Ellen, a retired elementary librarian. Ellen presents a fresh Story Time every Tuesday at 10 a.m. and Story Time with Kristen and Friends is presented on select Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. Each Story Time includes a snack and craft. Please call to add your name to our list and we'll give you a call announcing each new session. Reservations are recommended.We plan for 12 children; please make prior arrangements for large groups. FMI: Call 724-938-2907.

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CITIZENS LIBRARY - DECEMBER ACTIVITIES Lunch with Friends - Join us for a catered lunch after a stimulating program. Programs are free and begin at noon on the lower level of Citizens Library. Stay for lunch immediately following for a $6 fee. December 13 at 12 p.m. Gingerbread House Competition – December 13 from 5:30-7 p.m. For 4th grade and up. Come test your house making skills, play games and have the chance to win a variety of prizes! Free, all materials provided. Please sign up by emailing teencitizens@gmail.com before December 11. “Timeless Trivia Night.” - A fun filled evening for every member of the family. Watch a video and then particpate in the trivia question contest that follows. Light snacks will be provided. Prizes awarded to the winner. December 7 at 6 p.m. Tween Book Club – December 15 from 6:30-7:30pm - Come eat some pizza, make a craft, and discuss your favorite books for the last book club of the year! RSVP to Teen Jess at teencitizens@gmail.com Monthly Chess Club - Meets the first Saturday of the month from 1011:30 a.m., and is open to all ages and all levels of play. LEGO Club will meet on the 2nd and 4th Mondays, from 5-6 p.m.The program is open to all ages, and there are sets of larger building blocks for

children who are too young for regular sized Lego bricks.The Children’s Dept. is also accepting donations of new or gently used LEGO sets. PokeMondays – Every Monday from 5-6pm we drop Pokemon GO lures in the library so come hang out and catch ‘em all! Everyone is welcome. Drop in the Children’s Dept. on Fridays for TGIF - “Tinkering, Games, Ideas, and Fun” - All supplies, materials, and directions for a different activity, craft, game, or puzzle each week will be set up in the Children’s Dept. for anyone who stops in on Fridays. The annual “Holiday FUN Day” will be on Saturday, December 10, 2-4 p.m. This FREE program is open to all ages, and will include holiday stories, crafts, movies, and refreshments. Registration is requested by Thursday, Dec. 8. CitiBooks, a used books bookstore in the lower level of the library, is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tues & Wed; 10 a.m to 6 p.m.Thurs; & 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat CitiBooks is staffed by volunteers & all proceeds benefit the library.To volunteer, email friendsofcitizenslibrary@gmail.com. The library will be closed December 23-27 for the Christmas holiday. Citizen’s Library is located at 55 South College Street,Washington, PA 15301. Phone # is 724-222-2400 FMI: washlibs.org/citizens

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL’S “MESSIAH IN SPACE” By popular demand, we again present “Messiah in Space,” a moving interpretation of Handel’s masterwork with staging and new ways to look at one of the most celebrated oratorios in the choral repertoire. The Bach Choir re-imagines this perennial favorite & presents interesting new ways to view its importance.

Two Performances December 3 at 8 p.m. December 4 at 4 p.m. Presented by Pittsburgh’s The Bach Choir at the St. Agnes Center at Carlow University TICKETS $12-27

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A Christmas Carol with Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk A Christmas Carol with Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk will be presented at St. Vincent College, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe. All ages are welcome. Showtime is December 9 from 6-9 p.m. in The Fred Rogers Center. Fan favorite Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk returns with his dramatic interpretation of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, complete with musical accompaniment. Parents' Choice winner, Jonathan Kruk enchants both kids and adults with highly interactive shows. Renowned for his dramatic retelling of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and his performance is a must see for all ages, Jonathan Kruk entertains, enchants and educates. He's performed at countless libraries, historic sites, summer camps, and festivals. Jonathan the Storyteller has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, Al Jazeera America, The O'Reilly Factor, The Travel History Channels, and WAMC, WHUD radio. Ticket price ($25-$65) includes dinner with a salad, two sides, dessert, and choice of one of the following

menu selections: Filet Mignon with Burgundy Wine Reduction - Six ounce beef filet grilled and served with a burgundy wine reduction sauce. Butternut Squash Ravioli - Delicate pasta squares stuffed with a savory butternut squash purée and drizzled with a delicious cinnamon butter sauce. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Are there ID requirements or an age

limit to enter the event? All are shows are appropriate for all ages. We encourage both adults and children alike to join us. What are my transport/parking options getting to the event? Free parking is available in lot A, right in front of the Fred Rogers Center. Handicapped spaces are available. The entrance is also coach bus accessible. Where can I contact the organizer with any questions? Contact Lauren Churilla at lauren.churilla@stvincent.edu or 724805-2188. Do leave a message if you receive our voicemail. Is my registration/ticket transferrable? Your ticket can be transfered to any individual, please update us with any name changes Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? No, we will check in you and your guests at our registration table. What time does the show start? Seating opens at 6 p.m. & dinner starts at 6:20. Performances begin at 7 p.m.

Bentworth Community Center building project seeking bids for Phase One The Board of Trustees of the Bentleyville Public Library is re-advertising for bids for the Phase One of the Bentworth Community Center Building Project. The Bentworth Community Center is the name of the building that houses the Bentleyville Public Library, the Bentworth Senior Center, and the Bentleyville Area Historical Society. The building is owned by the library and is administered by the board of trustees. Phase One of the building project includes the renovation of the current building, the addition of a new front lobby, and the installation of an elevator that will provide accessibility between the two floors of the building.

Approximately $1,050,000 has been secured to fund Phase One. These funds will be cover construction costs, architect and engineer fees, mandated environmental studies and permits, temporary housing for the library, and contingencies. The original bids for Phase One, which were received on August 31st, exceeded the construction budget for the project. Over the last two months Kulak Design Associates, the project architect, has worked to modify the project to reduce costs. The modifications include the elimination of a separate children's restroom in the library, a shower in the senior center, and a large clock on the exterior of the building.

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The modifications also include changes to some wall and floor coverings. Bids for the modified project will be advertised in in late November, construction contracts will be awarded by early January, and construction will start by early February. Phase One, which was scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017, is now scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017. The Bentworth Community Center serves residents of Bentleyville, Cokeburg, and Ellsworth boroughs and North Bethlehem and Somerset townships. More information about the building project and gift giving opportunities can be at the Bentleyville Public Library.

TO

DONORA PUBLIC LIBRARY 510 Meldon Avenue in Donora washlibs.org/donora

12/3 - Mario Kart Tournament II 12/7 at 6 p.m. - Board Meeting 12/12 - Girls Scouts 12/17 - Wee Build at 1 p.m. 12/17 - Holiday Craft Program Second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 3:30 p.m. - Bridge Club Second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. - Knit & Crochet Third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. - Book Club Story Times are Fridays at 11 a.m. Second and fourth Saturdays of the month at 1:30 p.m. - Lego Club Library Closed 12/23-12/26 Register at the library or call us at 724-379-7940.

FREDERICKTOWN AREA LIBRARY 38 Water St., Fredericktown washlibs.org/fredericktown Preschool Story Hour - Thursdays at 10 a.m. 12/4 - Book Buddies at 2 p.m. 12/14 at 7 p.m. - Reading Rangers Book Club 12/13 at 7 p.m. - Teen Book Club 12/20 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Representative Pam Snyder 12/20 at 7 p.m. - Discovery Detectives 12/21 at 6:30 p.m. - Board Meeting Library Closed 12/24-12/27 Library Closing Early at 2 p.m. on 12/31 - New Year’s Eve Register at the library or call us at 724-377-0017.

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Winter Flower Show and Light Garden: Days of Snow and Nights Aglow OPENS FRI., NOV. 25 WINTER LIGHT GARDEN OPEN EVENINGS 5 - 11 P.M.* The most magical show of the year takes place right here! With glowing evergreens, festive poinsettias, illuminated glass and our stunning outdoor Winter Light Garden, Phipps will sparkle and shine brighter than ever. Garden Railroad: 200 Years of Pittsburgh OPEN NOW Travel back in time with Phipps' Garden Railroad as 200 years of Pittsburgh history come to life with interactive buttons, exquisitely detailed props and miniature living plants. Candlelight Evenings FRI., NOV. 25 - SUN., JAN. 8 OPEN UNTIL 11 P.M. Winter Flower Show is even more enchanting at night as glowing candles light the walkways and live music fills the air. Santa Visits SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS, NOV. 26 - DEC. 18 PLUS NOV. 25 - 28 AND DEC. 19 - 23; 11 A.M. - 2 P.M. This time of year, the man in the big red suit sets up shop in Pittsburgh's green oasis. Bring little ones, or the entire family, to pose for a festive photo with Santa, free with Phipps admission. Biophilia: Pittsburgh THURS., DEC. 1; 6 P.M. (DOORS OPEN AT 5:30 P.M.) Biophilia: Pittsburgh meets monthly to discuss how citizens can strengthen the bond between people and nature through

education and action. Registration is required but events are free to attend. Join the conversation! Gifts and Greens Market DEC. 1 - 3; THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.; SATURDAY, 10 A.M. - 3 P.M. From the glasshouse to your house, we're offering a large selection of fresh holiday greens and boutique gifts for loved ones in our shop at Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park. This event is free and open to the public! Members-Only Shopping Hours and Discount SAT., DEC. 3; 8 - 10 A.M. Members: have the Shop at Phipps all to yourself as we open early just for you and take an extra 10-percent off on top of your member discount. Family Fun Days MON., DEC. 26 - FRI., DEC. 30; 11 A.M. - 4 P.M. Looking for a fun and educational outing for the kids during winter break? Join us for crafts, plant potting and more, all free with Phipps admission. New Year's Eve Family Celebration SAT., DEC. 31; 6 - 9 P.M. Ring in 2017 with the whole family at Phipps and participate in an early countdown at 8:45 p.m. All activities are free with Phipps admission. Ashley Cecil, Augustina Droze and Deirdre Murphy: Emergent Patterns OPEN NOW On display in our Center for Sustainable Landscapes, this exhibition showcases three remarkable artists whose works explore patterns of collective behavior in nature through painting,

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Echoes Never Lie set to release EP. Our Interview with Singer Zosia West Story by Fred Terling, Lead Tomato There's a lot of great local music. As a reporter and music enthusiast, I've been fortunate enough to report on a few bands that prove the best music isn't necessarily being generated out of studio music machines. Nor does the local flavor include bands mass replicated by the machine based on what's currently hot on the Billboard Top Twenty. They write their own songs and play their own instruments. This month, I sat down with Zosia West, the front woman for Echoes Never Lie. They are a metal band, yes a female lead in a metal band. The band includes Mike Beaver on Drums, Jason “Sledgehammer” Iampietro on lead guitar and John Ploskina on bass. Ploskina is the newest addition to the band, only being a member of the metal quartet for six months. “I guess we're kind of a different genre, sort of more lite metal or performance metal, if there is such a thing. If not, I just invented it!” Zosia laughs. Echoes Never Lie formed four years ago. Zosia had just left the band River Runs Scarlet and ENL was looking for a lead vocalist. They previously produced a demo CD, but nothing on the scale of the soon to be released EP. It has taken a year of fundraising and production to get it finally finished. “There was a lot of back and forth in the creative process. There's gutting and rebuilding, then gutting it again,” Zosia remarks. “We're all pretty proud of what we've come up with.” ENL has toured out of state to venues in Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia. Locally, they have played The Alter Bar

and Hard Rock Café (among other venues) in Pittsburgh and The Mainstage Theater in California, Pennsylvania. I've seen ENL a few times and no matter the size of the venue or who is headlining, they have the largest turnout and most rabid fans. They come out of the gate like a hurricane and fans swarm the stage like metal minions to rock out at the beckon call of front woman, Zosia West's summon. Dancing around the stage like a Little Red Riding Hood succubus, West's vocal growls bounced manically with her strong singing voice. The band crushes with lead guitar, bass and drums all culminating with a stage presence that looks like something I would see on a much larger stage and venue. I asked Zosia where the stage Zoey comes from as she is very different from her off stage persona. “On stage Zoey is someone I aspire to be. She is a super hero type who can't be stopped and commands the crowd,” West says. “I mean, everyday we're not that. I'm sitting here right now in my scrubs with my dog.” So how does one become a screaming to operatic performance metal front woman? Zosia attended Pittsburgh Civic

TONY AWARD WINNING The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced individual tickets for the area premiere of the 2014 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH will go on sale Monday, December 5, at 9:00 a.m. HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24, and Wednesday, January 25, at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. This tour is a sea-

Don’t miss your chance to see these fantastic local performances!

SHARE THE SPIRIT December 2, 6-10 p.m. Annual Holiday Open House Fundraiser. Enjoy a great holiday party, dancing to the music of Abacus Jones, with delicious food prepared by area restaurants & caterers. Attendance is free with a donation to one of more of five (5) benefitting Light Opera for fourteen years studying opera. After graduation, she attended Point Park College for musical theater with minors in acting and dance. Her current fitness regimen includes Crossfit, 4 days a week of weight training, voice lessons, piano and pole. For her immediate future, she plans to keep performing and promoting the EP. In March of 2017, she will begin filming as the lead in the independent feature film, Dead Edit. If all goes well, Zosia will one day realize her dream of following on the path of idol Jared Leto. “I love that he does very odd, juicy acting roles and then gets to go on tour with his band,” Zosia echoes. (Editor’s Note: Pun intended.) You can find out more about Echoes Never Lie and listen to their three cut EP at: www.reverbnation.com/echoesneverlie/songs. Photo of Zosia West by Ron Short

MUSICAL TO TAKE STAGE son special, part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.Tickets ($26-$71) to HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at the Benedum Center are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources:TrustArts.org, by calling 412456-4800 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.

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organizations. See web site for details.

VFW POST 8543 HOLIDAY CONCERT December 4, 3 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit with this annual holiday concert featuring your favorite songs of the season. Admission is free with a donation to the Food Bank or Toys for Tots.

STATE THEATRE CENTER FOR THE ARTS Uniontown, Pennsylvania 724-439-1360 statetheatre.info

HOLIDAY ROCK N’ ROLLDIES December 14, 7:30 p.m. Swing into this festive season with a line-up of legendary musical acts and more than a few classic Christmas carols with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Rock N' Rolldies! Tickets from $58.

HEINZ HALL 600 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 412-456-6666 trustarts.org 31


STAY SAFE & TOASTY WARM this Holiday Season

It’s especially easy to get pulled away from the stove around the holidays, when family and friends gather to celebrate. So if you’re cooking this year, check out these tips recommended by the Home Safety Council and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to prevent fires and burns. COOK UP SAFELY Always stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Use a timer to remind you that you have food simmering, baking, roasting or boiling. Keep things that burn (dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, paper towels and curtains) at least 3 feet away from the stovetop. Keep your cooking area clean. Do not let grease build up on the range top, toaster oven or in the oven. Check your outlets. Kitchen electrical outlets should have ground-fault circuit

interrupters (GFCIs).This can prevent dangerous shock and some electrical fires by interrupting the flow of the electric current, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you don’t have them, contact an electrician to install them in your home. CHECK YOUR COVERAGE As a basic precaution, purchase a home, tenant or condominium insurance policy.These usually come in two coverage varieties. Named perils policies specifically list the perils for which they provide coverage. A peril is a specific risk or cause of loss covered by the policy, such as a fire, windstorm or theft. Open perils policies provide coverage for all perils except those specifically listed as being excluded. There are also two main settlement varieties. Replacement cost settlements pay today's cost to rebuild or replace a structure with materials of like kind and quality. Actual cash value settlements will deduct for depreciation due to age and condition of the property. For more information about coverage and protecting your home from a devastating fire, contact an Erie Insurance Agent. TIPS FOR SAFE AND COST EFFECTIVE HOME HEATING Checking your furnace can lower operating costs, protect your family against fire hazards and carbon monoxide poisoning and prevent your furnace from quitting at an inopportune time, such as in the middle of a dark and snowy night. FURNACE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST Try these steps to help your heating system operate safely,

efficiently and economically all season long: Turn off the electricity or gas to the furnace and replace the filter. If you haven't regularly cleaned or replaced the filter, do it now and check it throughout the heating season. A clean filter will operate more efficiently. If you have a central air conditioning system that operates with the furnace blower, count on replacing the filter more often. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove dust from the furnace. Get all the crevices cleaned of dust.Vacuum the base and grills. And be sure to clear obstacles to the vents so air can freely flow. Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home at set times throughout the week. A properly programmed thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs, according to ENERGY STAR. Check for carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide can be detected with an inexpensive test badge or battery operated alarm. Call the pros.The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends scheduling a professional inspection each year for your furnace and all fuel-burning home heating systems, including boilers, fireplaces, wood stoves, water heaters, chimneys, flues and vents. IS IT TIME FOR A NEW FURNACE? READ ON... If your furnace is more than 15 years old, ENERGY STAR recommends replacing it. However, if the furnace is in good working condition, you may want to live with it for a while longer unless you have a large house, lots

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of windows, high heating bills or a combination of all three. High-efficiency furnaces are 15% more efficient than conventional furnaces. WE’RE HERE TO HELP Just as you would schedule a professional furnace inspection each year, you should also meet with your local ERIE Agent for an annual insurance review. Your Agent will help ensure that your home is insured properly and your family is well protected. Contact your ERIE Agent today. This information provided courtesy of Mariscotti Insurance Agency, 324 Third Street, California. Need coverage? Have a question? Call us at 724-938-9302. Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us at Mariscotti Insurance!

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