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F eb r u a r y 2 0 1 7 E d itio n


Connecting Our Communities

Moments & Milestones


BRIDGES Pennsylvania Bridges is published online at and in print form

once a month, 12x a year 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: Paula Gutosky, Lauren Rearick, Dave Zuchowski, Maryann White & Ashley Wise

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Moments & Milestones This month, I am set to reach one of life's major milestones. On February 23, I will turn 40 years old. I find this fact astonishing only because I can recall with crystal clarity the day I turned ten, when I thought an eternity would have to pass before I reached the great sum of 15. Still, I reached that milestone and many others, and 30 years later, here I sit thinking of past accomplishments and future feats yet to be achieved. Forty seems like an appropriate age to take stock of your existence by counting the milestones along your life's path. From learning to walk to learning to fly, so many occasions have had a profound impact on me. Giving birth to my favorite person, graduating from college and graduate school, publishing my first novel, and marrying my soulmate a few years back have all been events that shaped me in dramatic ways. Having said that, what I remember most vividly about the last 20 years or so has not been so much the milestones but rather the moments I've shared with friends and loved ones. This is hardly an original concept and I must credit the source, the late Rose Kennedy, who raised a U.S. President and two senators along with six other children. She was also a leading philanthropist who lived to the ripe old age of 104. “Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments,” she wrote in her autobiography, Times to Remember. The moments I cherish best have been the most unexpected, and at times have not fit neatly into the narrative I once believed my life would follow. For everyone official milestone I've met, there are hundreds of moments that have eclipsed their standing. This is not to diminish their importance, rather it is emphasize how incredibly rich my life has been to date. Like anyone, there are instances I'd rather not repeat, difficult lessons learned the hard way. Still, I can’t discount any of them for - without them - my life might have taken an alternate course than the current one. Speaking of alternate courses, this

issue is dedicated to those who go out of their way to help those whose lives have been touched by hardship and/ or tragedy. In this edition, we honor the first responders on the scene, as well as those who raise their voices on behalf of the silenced. We pay tribute to those who support the downtrodden and the disadvantaged. In an effort to be a positive force for change, we also are spotlighting organizations and causes to which you can contribute your resources. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still make a difference by volunteering your time to help others in need. Have a spare hour or day? Want to help among others - hungry children, people with life limiting illnesses or victims of domestic violence? Details about several worthy causes are listed within this month’s pages. Remember, volunteering can be a rewarding solo activity or a great way for families to bond and instill good values in their children’s hearts and minds. No memory is as precious as one that’s made while lifting others up. Finally, this issue contains over 50 notices of places to go and things to do in the month of February, from celebrating Valentine's Day at a local restaurant with your special someone to discovering the diversity of artists and performers in your own backyard. Whether you elect to mark your life by milestones or moments, take time to appreciate the unique beauty of each. Until next month, Carla E. Anderton

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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, where we continuously update our site with the latest in arts, entertainment,

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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: Westmoreland County Community College students, faculty and administrators rewarded Tom Soltis of Monongahela for his excellence in education with the 2016-2017 Outstanding Teacher Award. Details on page 15 of this issue.

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In this issue of Pennsylvania Bridges...





Waynesburg University Student Art Exhibit...p. 7 New exhibit at SPACE...p. 16 Exhibits at 707, 709 Penn Galleries feature artist...p. 22 Lantern Gallery exhibit...p. 19 Pilobus: Shadowlands...p. 15

COMMUNITY & LOCAL BIZ EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY Tom Soltis named WCCC’s Professor of the Year...p. 15 Cal U Foundation elects officers, presents awards...p. 25 Fort Cherry alum lands gig as cyber analyst on “Hunted”...p. 27 Food Bank offers classes...p. 14 Tech Tips from TechBoxz: How to get free phone service...p. 12

BOOKS & LITERATURE Uniontown Author Series...p. 9 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 Monessen Library...p. 29 Charleroi Library...p. 29 Peters Township Library...p. 29 Rostraver Library...p. 29

STAGE & SCREEN Calling All Wizards! Harry Potter Conference at Cal U: Our first look at what’s planned...p. 11 Taj Express, the Bollywood Musical comes to Byham...p. 19 On stage at State Theatre for the Arts in Uniontown...p. 15 On stage at Geyer PAC...p. 15 On stage at Washington & Jefferson College...p. 16 On stage at Cal U of PA...p. 21 On stage at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg....p. 27

New director takes the helm at Center in the Woods...p. 7 Unity: A Journey of Hope grants wishes to those with life limiting illnesses...p. 16 California community rallies around family in need during spaghetti dinner event...p. 17 Love shouldn’t hurt: Domestic Violence resources in our reading area...p. 21 Washington County Food Bank seeks donations...p. 24 Produce to People in Fayette County...p. 24 Charleroi celebrates Hoodie Hoo Day in February...p. 25



FAITH & SPIRITUALITY Pastor BT Gilligan: Let Christ guide your path...p. 8

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE Relay for Life set for May...p. 6 This Month in History...p. 20 January happenings...p. 30-31 Learn about life insurance & how it can help your family...p. 9 What do when grief over loss lingers too long...p. 19 Talking with mental health advocate Alyssa Cypher...p. 23 History of Valentine’s Day...p. 5

SPECIAL EVENTS Center on the Hill events...p. 8 Center in the Woods February events...p. 9 Cal U celebrates Black History Month with events...p. 14 On the Town: Interesting Places to Go, Things to Do & People to See Near You...p. 4, 30-31

Make a Joyful Noise! A major construction project at California United Methodist Church, where our columnist Pastor BT Gilligan preaches every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., is slated to be completed during the month of February.






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

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On the Town with Tomato Terling: Feb. ‘17 Feb. 3: Italian Wine Dinner Palazzo 1837 Ristorante, Washington 6:30 - 8 p.m. 724-223-1837 Feb. 3 - 5: Washington County

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LOOKING FOR A RENTAL PROPERTY? View our current listings online on our new website Feb. 9: A Winter Wine Dinner & Cooking Demo Bella Sera, Canonsburg 6:30 p.m. Open, 7:30 p.m. Dinner & Tasting 724-745-5575 Feb. 11: Hearts & Jokers Bella Sera, Canonsburg 7 p.m. Dinner, 9 p.m. Comedy Show 724-745-5575 Feb. 12: “Homegrown” by the

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Washington Symphony Orchestra Trinity High School, Washington 3 p.m. 724-223-9796 Feb. 14: Sweetheart Dinner The SpringHouse, Washington 4 - 8 p.m. 724-228-3339 Feb. 14: Valentine's Dinner Palazzo 1837 Ristorante, Washington 6:30 - 8 p.m. 724-223-1837 Feb. 18: Teddy Bear Tea Party The SpringHouse, Washington 11 a.m. Reservation Required 724-228-3339 Feb. 20: Hoodie Hoo Day Magic City Square, Charleroi Festivities at 11 a.m., Hoodie Hoo Shout at Noon 724-483-3507 Feb. 23: Whiskey Rebellion Festival Winter Music Series- Tiger Maple String Band Presidents Pub, Washington 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Feb. 24 - 26: “Harvey” by the Old Schoolhouse Players OSP Theater, Hickory Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. 724-344-7467 See pages 30-31 for more events!


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Holiday celebrating love has unique origins that date back to 5th century Story by Fred Terling February 14. Every year, we shower our loved ones with flowers, candy and cards. If we're lucky, we splurge on dinner at some swank restaurant that is serving up filet mignon in the shape of a heart and possibly a fat lobster tail on the side. It's been termed a “Hallmark Holiday,” perhaps unfairly as it does have an origin. In fact, it has multiple origins that cross paths, strangely enough, at poet and writer Geoffrey Chaucer. I'll begin with the one that is most controversial as it goes back centuries before the generally accepted origin. During the fifth century in Rome, the Lupercalia festival was a celebration of Lupa, the mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. It was held on Feb. 15 and known as the 'Wolf Festival.' The celebration was nothing as we know today. It was more about fertility and preserving the rites of spring. The festival began with the sacrifice by the Luperci, celebratory overseers dressed in wolf skins, of two male goats and a dog. Next two young noblemen Luperci were led to the altar, anointed on their foreheads with the sacrificial blood and wiped off the bloody knife with wool soaked in milk. Their final act was to smile and laugh. Next came the sacrificial feast. Following the feast, the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the animals, dressed themselves in the skins of the sacrificed goats, and ran round the walls of the city. Their route was lined and marked with stones. They would strike people who crowded near the route with the thongs in their hands. Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. The act was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth. I know what you're thinking, “Fred, how does this have anything to do with cupid and arrows?” Historically, many believe it has nothing to do with Valentine's Day. However, many claims by many authors insists that this archaic rite of fertility is indeed the origin, cit-

ing there is no historic evidence of a martyred Saint Valentine. To support this claim, in 1969 Valentine was removed from the Catholic Calendar of Saints for the following reason: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on Feb. 14.” On the other hand, there still remains the accepted origin that most of us know, St. Valentine's Day. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country. There are several martyrdom stories associated with the various Valentines that were connected to Feb. 14 and added to later martyrologies. The most popular was an account of Saint Valentine of Rome which tells the story of his imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, in order to remind these men of their vows and God's love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine's

Day. Saint Valentine also supposedly wore a purple amethyst ring, customarily worn on the hands of Christian bishops with an image of Cupid engraved in it. This was a recognizable symbol associated with love that was legal under the Roman Empire. Roman soldiers would recognize the ring and ask him to perform marriage for them. Probably due to the association with Saint Valentine, amethyst has become the birthstone of Feb., which is thought to attract love. Finally, the story comes to a close. During his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell. This brings us to Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. Valentines Day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. The first mention of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer wrote: “For this was on seynt Volantynys day, whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.” [“For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”] In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart, as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. Whatever origin you adopt, Happy Valentine's Day from the Staff of Pennsylvania Bridges.

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For one day only, California High School will transform into a carnival, and all the fun is for a good cause. On May 13, beginning at noon, Relay for Life of California and Beth Center School Districts will take place at California Area Senior High School, 11 Trojan Way, and bring the community together to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. This is the first year the school districts are holding a Relay for Life event. “We are very excited as faculty and students from the California School District stepped up to the host the first Relay for Life event at their high school,” Dillon Spencer, community manager said. “So far, teams from both California and Beth-Center School District have already raised more than $5,000 since beginning their fundraising in September.” During the course of the day, Relay for Life teams will have booths, games and fun for the community to enjoy, with all funds going towards the American Cancer Society. The event will also include traditional Relay for Life events including the opening ceremony, survivor ceremony, luminara ceremony and the fight back ceremony. In Washington County, there are more than 10 Relay for Life events held throughout the community and all stem from the very first Relay for Life event held in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington. According to Spencer, money raised from the local events go towards the continuation of free local cancer pro-

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grams including a free wig program, recovery program and a program aimed at encouragement called Look Good Feel Better. “Relay for Life is a program that is not only a fundraiser, but a way to bring families and communities together,” Spencer said. “As a Relay volunteer myself, I have seen firsthand the personal touch it brings to communities as you watch cancer survivors in their purple survivor shirts walk the survivor lap. There are so many happy moments to see throughout the day.” Community members are welcome to attend and take part in the many activities. Spencer particularly encourages those going through cancer treatments or those with cancer in remission, along with their caregivers to attend the kickoff at noon for the survivor and caregiver ceremony. During this time, survivors and their caregivers are recognized with a special opening lap and a brunch to follow. Registration in advance is required and one can do that by visiting or calling Spencer at 724-222-6911. “With this new Relay for Life event, the students have already been so hard at work because they all know someone personally that has been affected by cancer,” Spencer said. “They want to see change. We want the local community to support our programs and we really also want them to support and come see these amazing students.” For more information on the Relay for Life event, visit

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New CEO John Childs takes the helm at Center in the Woods Story by Dave Zuchowski Still a hale and hardy 39, John Childs' youthful appearance belies his 20 years service in the U.S. Navy. The Masontown native put the wraps on his first career last year when he retired with the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer and got onboard in a new position as Chief Executive Officer of the Center in the Woods, a senior center located along Route 88 near California. “I saw an ad for the position online and made my application this past November,” Childs said of his new position. A phone interview with three board members came shortly afterward followed by an in-person interview with board member Richard Martin, Ph.D. He was hired by the board two days later and started as CEO on Dec. 1. Admittedly still learning the job, Childs has already drawn up a list of goals including fund-raising and grant writing efforts, adding more activities geared to seniors who frequent the center and adult care center, updating technology tools and equipment like smart TVs and projectors for power point programs in the center's class room and increasing senior participation in afternoon activities. “I'm trying to bring back the yoga sessions we once had and am considering ballroom dancing as another activity,” he said. “We send out surveys to our regulars every two months to get an idea as to what they'd be interested in, and our new activities coordinator, Maria

Fetock, just started in July and is eager to come up with ideas for a roster of new activities.” Childs' day-to-day activities include overseeing the lunch program which serves around 50 up to 100 people on a busy holiday or occasion. Currently, he's busy planning fundraising efforts with a goal of raising $40,000 in 2017, mainly through dances, dinners and entertainment events. He's also considering resuscitating the Oak Festival , an outdoor event and fundraiser that used to be held each fall. On a daily basis, Childs also oversees the adult day care center, which is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and serves older adults with physical and/or cognitive impairments such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, depression or those who can benefit by socialization. Other on-site activities at the center

include educational activities, exciting volunteer opportunities, bus trips and social activities. “Our biggest challenge at the moment seems to be getting our name out to the public,” Childs said. “Once people come in to visit the building, they see how beautiful it is and are very impressed.” The center operates on an annual budget of roughly $600,000 and a staff of 12, which includes administration, adult day care staff and a service coordinator at the Oaks, the adjacent adult living facility. Most of the center's funding comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging with additional support from grants and donations. Childs joined the navy soon after graduating from high school. While serving his country, he gained experience in human resources and spent three years in recruitment - two years in Uniontown and one in Wheeling. For three years he worked at the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; this past year from February to November of 2014 he was on board the U.S. George H. W. Bush, providing air support for the fight against ISIS. Currently, Childs resides in Carmichaels with his wife, Jamie, sons John, 18, a freshman at California University of Pennsylvania, Dylan, 14, and daughter, Emma, 12. “The Center is fortunate to have an awesome board of directors of 12 member who are willing to help out and have some great ideas for the future,” Childs said.

Waynesburg University senior art student to display work at exhibition The Waynesburg University Department of Fine Arts will present a senior student's art exhibition through Friday, Feb. 24, in the Benedum Fine Arts Gallery. The exhibit, featuring work by senior art student Maggie Denniston, opened with a reception on Jan. 30. A senior art exhibit is the equivalent of an art student's capstone course, the culmination of their education and hard work. Denniston, who has chosen the pieces for this particular exhibit from her work during the past four years, tends to use symbolism to express personal feelings about her life and the world through her art. According to Andrew Heisey, assistant

professor of art, senior exhibits teach students how to set up and display their work, run a gallery space, promote an event and talk about their work in verbal and written forms. Each student is also required to create new pieces for their exhibit, which Heisey said tends to be their best work. The exhibit also serves as an educational experience for attendees, who can see how an artist works in a variety of styles. The Benedum Fine Arts Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. FMI, contact the gallery at 724852-3247. Pictured left: Artwork by Maggie Denniston

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As I sit in my office working on various projects there is the sound of construction outside my window. Our church is under major renovation and one part is removing the chimney, to do this our construction workers are taking the bricks off and putting them in a slide down the side of the building in to a dump truck. The slide for the bricks is directly outside my window so for the last two days there has been the sound of bricks being thrown down a slide. That sound is loud, obtrusive, annoying and unending. Yet without it, we would not be able to complete the renovations needed to have a safe and secure building. I don't like the noise and it is interrupting everything I am trying to do. Yet, that noise is also the sound of progress and growth for the church. Sometimes, we have to put up with the annoying to get to where we need to go. We all know that one co-worker who is loud, obtrusive, and annoying but in order for us to make living. We all have those times in life where things are hard or painful or interrupting but sometimes we must have those things in our lives we are going to move forward with the rest of our lives. I don't know why bad things happen or why things go wrong, but I do know that sometimes those things can actually be what shapes us and molds our char-

Are you headed into certain disaster?

Is your life on a collision course?

acter in to something better than it would have been without that hardship. Sometimes those bad things are also ways to keep us from getting in to worse trouble. One day, I was in high school and driving way too fast. I was running late and in a hurry, and I was a teenager with my first car, so I was doing 75 in a 55, as I came around the bend there was a police officer. Instantly the lights and sirens came on and I was pulled over. We go through the process of license, registration, and proof of insurance. The officer asked why I was speeding and said it was no excuse. After about 20 minutes he handed me the hundreds of dollars in fines and said to have a nice day. I drove away angry, embarrassed, and much slower than before. About twenty minutes down the road

there was a horrible accident. One car was upside down, there were ambulances and fire trucks everywhere. Traffic was at a standstill. That is when it dawned on me. Had I continued to go down the highway at 75 in a 55 I could have been in that very bad accident. While I didn't want the ticket, and I should have been driving slower, if not for that ticket things that day could have turned out very differently. Whatever it is you happen to be going through right now, I don't know why it is happening, but I know that there is a plan for it. We may not be able to see the plan in the midst of the pain but at some point in the future it might make sense. Until that happens, grief, sorrow, embarrassment, and all those feelings we have are normal and acceptable. It is normal to question and normal be to confused by it all. Until it makes sense it is normal to get help, it is good to talk to someone and it is okay to say you need someone to help you through it all. 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 support the CUMC’s Weekend Feeding program, which feeds hungry kids, visit

Center on the Hill February 2017 Activities

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Ice Cream Social Join us for an Ice Cream Social on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at 1:30 p.m. Pizza and ice cream will be served. $3 admission. Craft & Vendor Show to be held We will be holding a Craft & Vendor Show on Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. 3 p.m. Vendor tables are $20. Register by March 1. This event will feature a Chinese Auction and Bake Sale. The kitchen will be open for lunch. Admission is free. For more information or to reserve a table, call Pat at 724-929-6366. The Center on the Hill is located at 100 Summit Road, Belle Vernon.

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Center in the Woods February 2017 Activities 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+. Sweetheart Dance! Join us for an evening of dining and dancing at our Sweetheart Dance to be held Feb. 18 from 6-10 p.m. Appetizers and desserts will be served. Tickets $15 per person. Call 724-938-3554, ext. 103, for more information or to purchase tickets. Event will be held weather permitting. Daily activities include: Lunch is served at 12 noon; please call one day in advance to order. Mondays: Piano lessons, Watercolor, Choir & Cards Tuesdays: Lab services, Billiards lessons, Chair dancing, Healthy Steps, Bingo, Dart ball & Cards Wednesdays: Bible study, Bean bag toss, Oil painting, Basket guild & Beauty shop Thursdays: Lab services, Chair dancing, Healthy Steps, Jam Session & Bingo Fridays: Beauty shop, Wii Bowling & Euchre Visit the beauty shop on Wednesdays,

& Fridays by appointment. Bethany offers massage therapy by appointment. Call 724-678-3308. Jam sessions every Thursday at 1 p.m. feature local talented musicians. Piano lessons are offered on Mondays. Call Judy at 724-785-6959

to schedule your lesson. Birthday celebration the last Tuesday of the month at 12 noon. Bridge on Monday and Thursday, 500 Bid on Wednesday and Euchre on Friday. Games start at 1:15 p.m. Mon Valley Hospital Lab Services Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-10 p.m. Gateway Health Awareness Workshop will be held Feb. 15. Topic is Diabetes. Koffee Klatch presented by Edward Jones on the first Friday of the month at 10 a.m. The Center’s hall is available for rental. Call for details. FMI on programs and other activities, call 724-938-3554 Ext. 103. CITW is located at 130 Woodland Court, Brownsville.Visit for a listing of all services, activities and programs.

Uniontown Library Author Series: 2/11 at 4 p.m. Throughout 2017, the Uniontown Public Library will showcase the talent of novelists, short story writers, and poets. Twelve writers will participate in our new Author Series, which celebrates the written word in a variety of styles and forms. Each month, a writer will visit the Library to share their experiences as published authors. They will offer a short talk on a subject related to their genre, do a reading from their work, and participate in a question and answer session with the audience. A meet-and-greet and book signing will follow. These events are free and open to the public. Each event will be ticketed, with the free tickets becoming available at the Library's main desk before each author's visit. Seats are limited, so we encourage you to get your tickets early. Refreshments will be offered by sponsoring businesses or by the Library. At

each event, attendees will have a chance to win a copy of the author's featured book in a free raffle! Any adjustments to the Author Series schedule will be announced on the Library's Facebook page. February's speaker is Dr. Lee Tobin McClain, who will speak on the subject: “How Romance Grows” on February 11 at 4 p.m. The PW bestselling author of fifteen contemporary Christian romances, she enjoys crafting emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings. For the Author Series, Lee will show us how the romance genre has grown since its knights-and-ladies origins, including single-author romance series and shared romance worlds alike. Lee is the author of The Soldier and the Single Mom and numerous other titles. Learn more about Lee's work at



Everyone needs financial protection.With term life insurance, you can provide for your loved ones even if … well, you're not there. It's not easy to think about, but having a well thought out financial plan is a smart move. Term life insurance can be a cost-effective way to cover expenses like debt, college costs or even replace a wage earner's income, so your loved ones will not be financially burdened. WHAT IS TERM LIFE INSURANCE? To help you determine if term life insurance is right for you, consider the following questions. Do you: Want to assist loved ones with paying funeral costs? Have mortgage or credit card debt that would burden others? Worry about leaving unpaid bills, such as medical expenses? Have household expenses that others would have to pay? Worry that you have no life insurance whatsoever? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a term life insurance policy from Erie Family Life1 may be the answer for you.When you buy term insurance, you get to choose how long you need it and how much coverage you want. With ERIE, you can select from 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year plans.We offer two term life insurance plans, including an easy-to-purchase option and level term insurance. QUICK AND SIMPLE LIFE INSURANCE APPLICATION PROCESS We don't want obstacles like a long application or medical exam requirements to get in the way of purchasing life insurance.With ERIE, it's easy to get up to $90,000 worth of term life insurance coverage by answering a few medical questions.You'll get an answer


within 15 minutes. It can be an ideal way for part-time employees, entrepreneurs, first-time life insurance buyers, stay-at-home caregivers and others to quickly and easily get this essential coverage. LEVEL TERM INSURANCE ERIE also offers level term insurance. It provides life insurance for the period of time that best suits your needs. You can select from a 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year plan. Coverage can be purchased starting at age 0, and the face amount of the policy and premium payments remain level for the period of time you select. You'll also have the opportunity to convert your term policy to a permanent life plan, which provides coverage for your whole life.We guarantee this conversion privilege regardless of health, occupation or hobbies. As things in life change, the type of life insurance you need can change too.While term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, whole life is designed to protect you for your entire life. You may want to consider whole life if you own your home or are thinking about retirement. This information provided courtesy of Mariscotti Insurance Agency, 324 Third Street, California. Have a question? Need coverage? Call us!

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Calling all Wizards! Harry Potter Conference coming to Cal U in March Story by Hayley Lynn Martin Calling all wizards (and Muggles too)! Your next trip to Hogwarts is going to be closer to home when California University of Pennsylvania hosts the first Harry Potter Conference and Festival on March 31 - April 1. “We are always looking for ways to welcome back our alumni and invite the community to our campus to learn something and have a good time,” said Dr. Christina Fisanick, Associate Professor of English and coordinate for the Harry Potter Festival and Conference. “Given the popularity of the Harry Potter book series, I figured it would be the best way to draw both groups to our beautiful campus.” Friday will kick off the weekend event with a conference designed specifically for high school students (Age 16 and up), college students and Harry Potter scholars. The format is designed to mimic, what it would be like to attend Hogwarts for the day with sessions titled Herbology 101, English Cemetery History, Traditional Myths, the Origin of Magical Creatures and so much more. Seating is limited for each session and requires registration which is available on the website. “As an English professor, I will do what it takes to help encourage reading and critical discussion about books,” said Fisanick. “The Harry Potter series has both and more for a generation of young people. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's

Stone and I can't think of a better way to celebrate the impact that the series had on encouraging young people to read than to hold this event.” Saturday the event is open to everyone and will feature a Quidditch tournament, fencing demonstration, wand making, spell casting, Sorting Ceremony, discovering your patronus, fan fiction contest, trivia contest and other Harry Potterthemed events and vendors. Throughout the entire event visitors will have access to more than 20 Harry Potter specific vendors and a Harry Potter inspired menu for our food court. There is no fee to attend the event, though some vendors and activities may require a purchase so please plan accordingly. All visitors are required to register to attend the event through the conference website but, again, there is no fee to attend. Registration is purely for the


event organizers to plan accordingly so all visitors will have a fantastic time. FMI on the conference and festival: Registration for all events is open at Visitors interested in learning more about California University can also book a campus tour through the admissions office at 724-938-4404. For those that might want to stay the night, the Hamption Inn will accommodate overnight guests and is just two miles from campus. Contact the hotel directly at 724-330-5820 and ask for the Harry Potter rate. Be sure to check back next month when Pennsylvania Bridges will publish a more expansive article featuring the full schedule of events and speakers.

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Cutting the Cord: Reduce Your Phone Bill to $0 Story by Eric J. Worton I've been primarily writing about different streaming devices and the associated services that allow you to cut your cable television bill. Today we're going to talk about a way to reduce your monthly phone bill to zero using a combination of an internet appliance, a standard phone, a router, Google Voice and your internet connection. First you're going to need a magic internet device called the Obi200 or the Obi202 from a company called Obihai. Your most economical source will probably be where they are currently selling for $48.25. If you don't already have an account with Google you'll need to head on over to and sign up. Keep in mind that your Google account allows you to login to all of their services like Gmail, Docs, Voice and a host of others. If you happen to own an Android smart phone, just use the account tied to your phone by going to the previous web address and signing in with those credentials. Once you’re all set with Google and signed into Voice, the first thing you'll see is a popup. Select “I Want A New Number.” Next we need to select your new phone number. There will be an option to enter the local area or zip code as well as an area for a word phrase. One of the unique opportunities here is you are not limited to a local number and can choose a number anywhere in the U.S. If you only fill in the Phrase option you can even get what's called a vanity number, like your last name. Now that you've selected a number there will be an option to set a pin number for voicemail. Afterwards you will accept the Terms and Privacy statement and click the continue button. Your next task is to add a forwarding phone number. This will allow you to have a second phone ring when your Google Voice number is called. A very nice feature is to have your home phone ring your cell if you're not at home. After selecting “continue” a new popup will display a two digit number. At this point select the “Call Me Now” button and Voice will call that number to verify

your account. Just answer the phone and when asked to enter the two digit number. Congratulations, you've completed the Voice account setup. We now need to make some changes to your account's settings. In the upper right corner, select the gear icon and click Voice settings. Select the “Phones” tab and under “Forward Calls To” you must check the box for Google Chat. Now click the “Edit” button under Mobile. From here we are going to select “Show Advanced Settings” and check “No” under Voicemail access and Save. That's it for the Voice setup. The next thing we need to do is setup your new ObiTalk account. At you're given the option to sign up for a new account or sign in using your Google account. I highly suggest the Google option. When you first sign in to your OBiTALK account, you'll be prompted to add a new device. Select “Yes” to add your OBi 200 or 202. Follow the instructions on the screen in order to set up your phone and Obi device, then select “Next.” After you've followed the onscreen setup guide, using your new phone dial **5 plus the four digit number on your screen. You'll now hear a message confirming your information has been sent to the ObiTalk server. Hang up and wait for the account page to update. Click the “Accept” button to complete the Emergency Services disclaimer, as well as the Google Terms of Service. Now you have free phone service at home!

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The Mendelssohn Choir presents ANNELIES

Feb. 8 - “A Dichotomous Life: A Person of Color Living in Two Worlds,” noon-1 p.m. in the Natali Student Center, Rooms 206/207. Bring your lunch and join the Department of Social Work for a roundtable discussion of the personal and societal expectations faced by people of color in various settings. Feb. 15 - Black Arts Festival & Multicultural Affairs Night at Cal U Basketball, 1-5 p.m. in the Convocation Center. Enjoy Vulcan basketball and an arts festival showcasing visual art from Cal U's Department of Art and Languages, along with spoken word performances, music and art-and-crafts vendors. Feb. 22 - Soul Food Luncheon, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Gold Rush dining hall. Choose from a menu created from recipes and stories contributed by members of the Cal U community. Feb. 27 - Screening and Panel Discussion of the Netflix documentary 13th, 5:30 p.m. in Eberly Hall, Room 110.The Psychology Department, along with the Frederick Douglass Institute, presents a screening of Ava DuVernay's acclaimed documentary 13th, about the criminal justice system in the United States since the abolition of slavery. A panel discussion with faculty member Dr. Rueben Brock, a former FDI scholar, follows the film. March 3 - Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.The bus departs at 5:30 a.m.for this one-day trip to our nation's capital and the newest museum on the Washington Mall. Registration is required and payment is due in advance.Cost is $30 for students, $60 for staff, faculty and guests. For more information, contact FMI, contact the office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education at 724-938-5758 or Sheleta Webb at All events listed take place at California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Avenue, California. FMI:



Feb. 9 & 16 from 10 a.m. - 12 noon - Nutrition Links - Teaching people how to eat better for less! Learn to eat healthy on a limited budget, plan low-cost, fast and easy meals, keep food safe to eat, and sample new healthy foods. Come for a series of free lessons with fun activities. Class taught by Rachel Moser, Penn State Extension, Nutrition Education Adviser. Any questions, call Jodi Gatts at 724-632-2190 x 115. Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. 12 noon Cooking 101 with Frank Santilli, Executive Chef at The Meadows Bistecca Steakhouse and Wine Bar. All classes are free! 2nd Tuesday of each month. Bring a friend or family member. Come learn a new recipe, new technique, or just come to sample some good food! RSVP a must. Contact Jodi Gatts 724-632-2190 x 115 admin@ . Friday, Feb. 17 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Paint & pizza party! This is a fundraiser for The Healthy Habits Training Center which is part of The Greater Washington County Food Bank.Your choice - a full pallet or a 18” x 18” sign and your choice of a heart design or snowman! Grab a friend or family member and come on out to paint with us! The pizza's on me! Class led by Erica Loveall from The Wooden Loft, Belle Vernon. RSVP a must. Contact Jodi Gatts or call 724-6322190 x 115. $30 per person includes everything you need - your paint, pallet and pizza! All events held at The Greater Washington County Food Bank, 909 National Pike West, Brownsville. FMI:


Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30-9:30 p.m. Rodef Shalom Congregation 4905 5th Ave, Pittsburgh “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank (1929-1945) Hear the innocence and hope in young Anne Frank’s words in Annelies, a full choral work by British composer James Whitbourn with libretto compiled by Melanie Challenger from The Diary of A Young Girl. Soprano soloist Amelia D’Arcy, the Mendelssohn Choir, and instrumentalists give voice to the girl whose emotional story has inspired millions and who remains the most well-known heroine of the Holocaust. Devastatingly beautiful, the music captures Anne’s youthful innocence amid unthinkable hardship. This performance of Annelies will be the Pittsburgh premiere. FMI: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR YOUTHS 12 YEARS AND YOUNGER.

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Bowls of Compassion

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26 FROM 11:30 A.M.-2 P.M. Join us at United Christian Church on February 26 to pick out a uniquely handcrafted bowl to fill with soup, macaroni & cheese, salad, bread & dessert, all for only $8. A Chinese Auction will also be held. All proceeds from Bowls of Compassion go to Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee & development missions fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States & Canada. If you have prayer concerns, or would like more information on events, worship times, or youth & young adult groups, please call the church!

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Westmoreland County Community College honors outstanding teacher Westmoreland County Community College students, faculty and administrators rewarded Tom Soltis of Monongahela for his excellence in education with the 2016-2017 Outstanding Teacher Award, which was presented by Dr. Kristy Bishop, vice president of academic affairs. Recipients of the Outstanding Teaching Award must demonstrate excellence in the classroom, instructional innovation, contributions to the community and leadership with the college. They are nominated by students and the winner is selected by a committee of their peers. “Assistant Professor Soltis, who began teaching sociology classes at Westmoreland in 1990, has made a significant impact on the college during his tenure, including leading the way for the adoption of essential learning outcomes for all courses,” said Bishop. This is the second time in his career

that Soltis was selected for Westmoreland's Outstanding Teacher Award and he has been nominated seven times by his students. Among his teaching accomplishments, Soltis presented an open cultural competence session for Westmoreland's College Success course that dealt with the beliefs, practices, and history of Islamic religion. These were wellattended and received great reviews by students. Outside the classroom, Soltis hosted the New Student Orientation “game show” using a mechanism to get students additional information about the college in a fun, relaxed and enjoyable format. The “game show” was highly successful and was viewed positively by freshman students. The student who nominated Soltis for the award said, “He is an exceptional communicator and gifted teacher who has passion for what he does and dis-

plays exuberance in class every day. He has an abundance of extensive knowledge and the drive to develop the minds of his students.” Soltis, who holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, said, “It has been my privilege to be employed by Westmoreland County Community College for the last 27 years. The community college system is 'uniquely American' in that it allows everyone an equal chance to pursue their goals, dreams, and desires regardless of your starting point.” “For me to be able to encourage and assist our students on their ambitious journey is my goal as a teacher.” For more information on how you or your student can get started on your ambitious journey to success at Westmoreland County Community College, visit or call 724-925-4000.

Pilobus presents “Shadowland” at Byham 2/10-11

State Theatre CENTER



Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers March 5 at 3 p.m.

Tickets $36, $32 & $25 America in the 1960s, an era that encouraged LOVE, was populated by “Mad Men” and “Mod Women” trying to navigate the new normal. In this freshly conceived production of Neil Simon’s classic, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, true comedy ensues when a modern man in the hip sixties looks for something new and different, but ends up finding himself in the same situation, again and again…and again! Will Barney learn that he has what he wants all along?

Bag and Bling Bash February 19 from 2-4 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.


The Pittsburgh Dance Council, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, welcomes back PILOBOLUS in their newest theatrical project, SHADOWLAND. Pilobolus will perform on Friday, Feb. 10 & Saturday, Feb. 11. Both performances will take place at 8 p.m at the Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh. With multimedia, projected shadow play, moving screens, and choreography.

Combining the fluid logic of a dream, the grace of dance, the humor of a child and heart of a love story, Shadowland celebrates the strange and wonderful power of the dark in unexpected ways. Tickets ($10-$60) are available at, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at the Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Ave. A limited number of $10 tickets, orchestra level, are available on a first come first served basis.

The musical that defined a generation for the first time on the Geyer stage. Featuring songs such as Aquarius, Let the Sunshine In, Good Morning Starshine, Easy to Be Hard, Hair, and Frank Mills. Tickets $15 HAIR IS INTENDED FOR ADULT AUDIENCES. SHOW CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE, ADULT SITUATIONS & PARTIAL NUDITY.

Thurs-Sat, Feb. 23-25, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2:30 p.m.

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$20 ticket gets two chances to win. Also featuring extra raffles, 50/50, Lottery Wreath, Dessert Buffet and Fun! Tickets on sale now. This is a fundraising event for the State Theatre Center for the Arts.

Classic Film Series February 17 at 2 & 7 p.m. March 10 at 2 & 7 p.m.

Adults $5, Students, senior citizens & children $3 February’s film is Barefoot in the Park March’s film is CLUE

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Oscar Nominated Short Subjects Live Action - Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Animated- Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Our annual favorite returns again! Everyone is invited to dress up in their Oscar® finest for the viewing of the nominated short-subject films, and then root for your favorites during the official awards ceremony on Feb. 26. The advance single ticket price (or season ticket package) includes tickets for both nights. Individual tickets will be available at the door for specific nights, but for the full ticket price. Caladh Nua March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day! Caladh Nua is a tightly-knit, vibrant and staggeringly talented band with its origins deeply rooted in the Southern counties of Ireland. Comprised of five versatile musicians and singers playing a wide selection of instruments—from banjo to fiddle, guitar to bodhran and tin whistle to button accordion—the band has captured the essential qualities of traditional Irish music and balanced them finely with an innovative contemporary flair. A long list of TV and radio broadcasts of their performances and two acclaimed recordings includes American Public Radio, the BBC and RTE. Performing a vast repertoire of haunting songs and evocative Irish tunes, Caladh Nua is a young ensemble on the rise. FOR TICKETS, CONTACT THE BOX OFFICE AT 724-223-OLIN


Unity: A Journey of Hope grants wishes to those with life limiting illnesses Story by Keren Lee Dreyer When planning a vacation to Atlantic City, New Jersey, the thrill of vibrant night life, the thud of its famous Boardwalk under flip-flops while enjoying the sights and sounds of amusement parks and prime shopping, and exquisite dining at five-star restaurants are likely tops on any tourist's wish list of good times to be had. But breast cancer victim Carmel Veno's wish for her visit was much simpler - to dip her toes in the Atlantic Ocean before she passed on. One day in May of 2008, with help from Atlantic City Beach Patrol and one particular hospice nurse, John A. Robinson, RN, Veno rolled up her pant legs and walked into the water, hand-inhand with Robinson. "She looked at me and started to cry and said 'Thank you, this means the world to me and I couldn't have done it without you and Bobbi,'" Robinson said. He and his wife, Bobbi, had just granted their first wish of hundreds to come for those coping with life limiting illnesses. Robinson explains the genesis and purpose of Unity A Journey of Hope, the non-profit created with Bobbi in August of 2007: "I am a hospice nurse, and granted a wish with my wife for a few patients, and we both felt blessed and honored to grant wishes. There was nothing local that was equal, so we created Unity A Journey of Hope, and it became a 501(c)(3)." According to Robinson, Unity is "just a small mom and pop organization in Vanderbilt, PA (Fayette City)," but the organization's positive impact on patients and their families in the tri-state area is sizable. "We do it to make a difference when people need something positive in life.

It gives people hope," Robinson said, adding that when Unity provides the chance for a patient to live a wish, "they rally to attain something they've wanted for life. We've received thank yous from family where loved ones forgot they were sick for the day." Patient wishes to meet popular sports and music figures have been fulfilled through Unity. While getting through talent management to arrange a wish can be difficult, Robinson's patients have "had the pleasure and honor of having wishes granted by George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Brett Michaels, and more," while noting that lately, trips to the beach seem to top patients' wish lists. Unity A Journey of Hope's mission to grant wishes to adults with life limiting illnesses has only one restriction; a doctor must verify with Unity that a patient's condition is life limiting. The geographical area served by Unity A Journey of Hope includes the counties of Allegheny, Greene, Fayette,

Washington, Westmoreland. Once verified, a wish application can be downloaded from Applicants should specify three wishes as there are times when the first wish is either not possible or is cost prohibitive. Applications are then reviewed with the patient by Bobbi Robinson. Unity operates on funds donated by "people we helped, or we get funds in that person's name or their honor. We also have two fundraisers and receive private donations," Robinson said. Ghost hunters will be intrigued with Unity's 5th Annual Lockdown at the Mansfield Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, held July 29-30, 2017. Participants spend two days with celebrity ghost hunters inside one of the most haunted prisons in the world, Robinson said. The agenda includes being locked in for two days, dinner at midnight, and expeditions with celebrity ghost hunters Brian Cuano and Chris Dedman, along with John Robinson. Unity's 2017 fundraising campaign also includes reaching out to VFW or Rotary Clubs, as examples, to donate a wish. Robinson seeks volunteers who will contact benevolent associations to discuss sponsoring or donating a wish. Non-monetary opportunities for those wanting to help Unity A Journey of Hope's mission of granting wishes include becoming a volunteer or intern who keeps social media updated, someone to create a database for Unity's interests, or anyone who can help create a web site with videos and information about hospice care. Visit for event information, wish applications, volunteer opportunities, & contact information. They’re also on Facebook:

New multimedia exhibit “Doubt” on display at SPACE Gallery Doubt, a multimedia exhibit curated by Nadine Wasserman, will be on view at the SPACE Gallery from February 10 through March 26. An opening reception will be held on Feb. 10 from 5:3010 p.m. featuring DJ Gordy and a special performance using technology, light and photography by artist Lori Hepner. Through the works of six artists (Lenka Clayton, Lori Hepner, Mindy McDaniels, Gina Occhiogrosso, Diane Samuels, Mary Temple), Wasserman

explores the way uncertainty can open our minds to new ways of perceiving. The mediums are as varied as the artists themselves, ranging from neon to photography and ink to audio. In addition to the exhibition, Doubt will feature a series of special events centering upon the theme. On Feb. 18, Space Gallery will host a Game Night from 6-8 p.m., including I Doubt It and other games of uncertain outcome. There will also be a Media Literacy

Workshop from 7-9 p.m. on March 10, focusing on how to use doubt to distinguish between truth and fiction on the internet and on social media. Each of these events will take place at SPACE Gallery. SPACE is located at 812 Liberty Avenue. Gallery 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.

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California community rallies around family who lost their home & belongings in tragic fire

On January 10, the Ruby Family (Chris, Alexa, and their two young sons) lost their home in a tragic fire. Despite the valiant efforts of local first responders, everything was lost, including the family's beloved dog, Micah. With no fire insurance, and a home declared unsalvageable, the situation was bleak. Our hearts went out to this family, but we were far from alone. Members of the California community rallied around them. A GoFundMe was set up to assist them, and remains open. Donations of any size to help the family replace their home and lost belongings

can be made at Additionally, on Friday, January 20, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser was held at the California Hill Gun Club. The response was overwhelming, with friends, neighbors, and loved ones pouring into the Gun Club to show their support for the Ruby Family. Lines were long but no one complained as the community came together to support their own. A Chinese Auction was held at the event, with baskets donated by local businesses and individual donors. Friends and relatives prepared food and manned the serving line, dishing up

spaghetti, salad, bread and a variety of delicious desserts. Tables were packed to capacity, with neighbor dining across from neighbor, united by their care for the family. In a particularly heartwarming display, students of all ages from California Area School District stood in line to express their love and condolences to Alexa, who is an educator in the district, then sat down together to share a meal to help support the Rubys. Food was donated by local restaurant (and California favorite) Spuds. In the coming months, we'll be following this story as the family attempts

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to return to normalcy, as well as recognizing all the people and businesses that helped them in their time of need. For now, we wanted to share these wonderful photos from the spaghetti dinner fundraiser, proof positive that when tragedy strikes, members of close knit communities like California rise to the occasion. Special thanks to Jennifer Weld for helping to organize this event, as well as for bringing it to our attention, and to Paula Gutosky, who generously shared with us these inspiring images of the community coming together to support this well loved family.


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“Miniatures” on display at the Lantern Building in Pittsburgh The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is excited to announce the return of works by Harish Saluja. Saluja's latest series, Miniatures, will be on display from February 10 through March 19, 2017 at the Lantern Building, 600 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. An opening reception will be held on Friday, February 10 from 5:30-10 p.m. Saluja's Miniatures are small (5×3 inches), abstract explosions of colors. The paintings are inspired by the traditional miniature art from India, dating back to the 17th century. Miniature paintings were small in size, but often quite colorful; the highlight being the intricate and delicate brushwork, creating a unique identity for each painting. Saluja has given this concept a modern interpretation. Infused with abstract complexities, the intricate patterns and bold colors energize the works and engage the viewer. Often the miniatures serve as a basis for much larger pieces of work, but are also complete pieces in their own right. ARTnews' Harry Schwalb once

described Harish's artwork style when he said, “Saluja sees the music's endless patterns - which evolve simultaneously in repetitively strummed layers of tone and rhythm - as like colored threads, woven by the performer into a musical

carpet.” This is because Harish's paintings are based upon Ragas and jazz, both types of music that involved a building upon and meshing of different beats. Filmmaker, entrepreneur and art doyen, Saluja is best known in the Pittsburgh art scene for his leadership of Silk Screen, an Arts and Culture Organization which celebrates Asian and Asian American culture through film festivals, art, dance and music. It is located in Pittsburgh, which Harish believes, will allow others to feel a bond with the city, just as he had. Through this latest endeavor he is building bridges to/from Asia. For more information, please visit Donated by PNC, the Lantern Building, located at 600 Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh, is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Gallery hours are Wed., Thurs. from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Fri., Sat. from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sun. from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. FMI:

Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical takes stage at the Byham Theater Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical will be presented Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Downtown Pittsburgh. The performance is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents Series. “Riotous, exotic, graceful,” (The Times of India), this internationally acclaimed musical is a dazzling theatrical spectacular. Wrapped in swirling colors, sparkle, shimmer and electrifying energy, Taj Express has mesmerized and captivated audiences all over the world. Produced, directed and choreographed by Shruti and Vaibhavi Merchant, sisters belonging to one of the dynastic Bollywood families, this new musical captures the essence of India, while celebrating a grandiose love affair. Once on board, the Taj Express takes the audience through countless song and dance sequences from Mumbai to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, all the while following

Vasu, a thief, as he fulfils his destiny. The highly acclaimed musical lights up the stage with shimmering costumes,

fast tempo hits and a Bollywood story. Supported by 'Incredible India,' Taj Express explores the sounds of India, capturing the vibrant, expressive spirit of Bollywood movies that have entertained generations. The production is a celebration of India's pop music, Bollywood culture and deep traditions, featuring colorful costumes, joyful dance, and thrilling live music. shares, “the viewer is led to the heart of the frenzy of an India that is moving, swinging, respectful of the past and yet rooted in a fascinating modernity.” Touring since 2013, the production is the first Original Indian Musical to have successfully completed five years of international touring. Taj Express comes to the United States after touring Singapore, China, Turkey, Taiwan, Jordan, France, Russia, Tunisia, Thailand, and two tours in France. Yahoo! urges, “Hop aboard the Taj Express and experience an India that is bursting at the seams with energy and life.” Tickets ($37.50-$57.50) are available at, by phone at 412456-6666, or in person at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue.

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What to Do When Grief Doesn’t Go Away It's normal to feel sad, numb, or angry following a loss. But as time passes, these emotions should become less intense as you accept the loss and start to move forward. If you aren't feeling better over time, or your grief is getting worse, it may be a sign that your grief has developed into a more serious problem, such as complicated grief or major depression. The sadness of losing someone you love never goes away completely, but it shouldn't remain center stage. If the pain of the loss is so constant and severe that it keeps you from resuming your life, you may be suffering from a condition known as complicated grief. Complicated grief is like being stuck in an intense state of mourning. You may have trouble accepting the death long after it has occurred or be so preoccupied with the person who died that it disrupts your daily routine and undermines your other relationships. Distinguishing between grief and clinical depression isn't always easy as they share many symptoms, but there are ways to tell the difference. Remember, grief can be a roller coaster. It involves a wide variety of emotions and a mix of good and bad days. Even when you're in the middle of the grieving process, you will have moments of pleasure or happiness. With depression, on the other hand, the feelings of emptiness and despair are constant. Other symptoms that suggest depression, not just grief, include: Intense, pervasive sense of guilt, Thoughts of suicide or a preoccupation with dying, Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, Slow speech and body movements, Inability to function at work, home, and/or school, Seeing or hearing things that aren't there If you recognize any of the above symptoms of complicated grief or clinical depression, talk to a mental health professional right away. Left untreated, complicated grief and depression can lead to significant emotional damage, life-threatening health problems, and even suicide. But treatment can help you get better.

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Remember When - This Month in History: Important Dates in February

February 1, 1878 - Hattie Caraway (1878-1950) the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, was born in Bakersville, Tennessee. Her husband became the U.S. Senator from Arkansas. Following his death in 1931, she filled the remainder of his term, then was elected herself, serving a total of 14 years Feb. 3, 1870 - The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing the right of citizens to vote, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Feb. 3, 1821 - The first female physician in the U.S., Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) was born near Bristol, England. As a girl, her family moved to New York State. She was awarded her MD by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York, in 1849. She then established a hospital in New York City run by an all-female staff. She was also active in training women to be nurses for service in the American Civil War. Feb. 3, 1894 - American artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell (18941978) was born in New York City. Best known for depicting ordinary scenes from small town American life for the covers of Saturday Evening Post magazine. Feb. 4, 1902 - Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) was born in Detroit, Michigan. He made the first non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris, May 20-21, 1927. Feb. 6, 1895 - Legendary baseball player George Herman “Babe” Ruth (1895-1948) was born in Baltimore,


Maryland. Ruth held or shared 60 Major League records, including pitching 29 consecutive scoreless innings and hitting 714 home runs. Feb. 6, 1911 - Ronald Reagan, (19112004) the 40th U.S. President, was born in Tampico, Illinois. Reagan spent 30 years as an entertainer in radio, film, and television before becoming governor of California in 1966. Elected to the White House in 1980. Feb. 7, 1812 - British novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was born in Portsmouth, England. He examined social inequalities through his works including; David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby. In 1843, he wrote A Christmas Carol in just a few weeks, an enormously popular work even today. Feb. 8, 1910 - The Boy Scouts of America was founded by William Boyce in Washington, D.C., modeled after the British Boy Scouts. Feb. 9, 1943 - During World War II in the Pacific, U.S. troops captured Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands after six months of battle, with 9,000 Japanese and 2,000 Americans killed. Feb. 11, 1990 - In South Africa, Nelson Mandela, at age 71, was released from prison after serving 27 years of a life sentence on charges of attempting to overthrow the apartheid government. In April 1994, he was elected president in the first all-race elections. Feb. 11, 1847 - American inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was born in Milan, Ohio. Throughout his lifetime he acquired over 1,200 patents including the incandescent bulb, phonograph and movie camera. Best known for his quote, “Genius is one percent inspiration

and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Feb. 12, 1809 - Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) the 16th U.S. President was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. He led the nation through the tumultuous Civil War, freed the slaves, composed the Gettysburg Address, and established Thanksgiving. Feb. 12, 1809 - Author and naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was born in Shrewsbury, England. Best known for his work Origin of the Species concerning the theory of evolution. Feb. 14th - Celebrated as (Saint) Valentine's Day around the world, now one of the most widely observed unofficial holidays in which romantic greeting cards and gifts are exchanged. Feb. 14, 1849 - Photographer Mathew Brady took the first photograph of a U.S. President in office, James Polk. Feb. 15, 1564 - Astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was born in Pisa, Italy. He was the first astronomer to use a telescope and advanced the theory that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system. Feb. 15, 1820 - Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was born in Adams, Massachusetts. A pioneer in women's rights, she worked tirelessly for woman's suffrage (right to vote) and in 1872 was arrested after voting (illegally) in the presidential election. Feb. 19, 1942 - Internment of Japanese Americans began after President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order requiring those living on the Pacific coast to report for relocation. Over 110,000 persons therefore shut down their businesses, sold off their property, quit school and moved inland to the relocation centers. Feb. 19, 1473 - Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was born in Torun, Poland. Considered the founder

of modern astronomy, he theorized that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system. Feb. 20, 1962 - Astronaut John Glenn became the first American launched into orbit. Traveling aboard the “Friendship 7” spacecraft, Glenn reached an altitude of 162 miles (260 kilometers) and completed three orbits in a flight lasting just under five hours. Glenn was the third American in space, preceded by Alan Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom who had each completed short sub-orbital flights. Feb. 21, 1965 - Former Black Muslim leader Malcolm X (1925-1965) was shot and killed while delivering a speech in a ballroom in New York City. Feb. 22, 1732 - George Washington (1732-1799) was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He served as commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and became the first U.S. President. Feb. 26, 1846 - American frontiersman “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917) was born in Scott County, Indiana. He claimed to have killed over 4,000 buffalo within 17 months. He became world famous through his Wild West show which traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe for 30 years. Feb. 27, 1807- American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was born in Portland, Maine. Best known for Paul Revere's Ride, The Song of Hiawatha, and The Wreck of the Hesperus.

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Love shouldn’t hurt: Resources for victims of domestic violence Story by Keren Lee Dreyer Beneath the heart shaped veneer of lacy cards, promises of forever, and romantic interludes enjoyed by many couples on Valentine's Day lies a population whose love once seemed true, but now finds itself slowly degrading into verbal and physical abuse, controlling behaviors, and even homicide. Cheryl McCready, Greene County Satellite Office Coordinator for Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania (DVSSP), clarifies how new love can decline into abuse: “An early warning sign for kids and adults is somebody who blames everyone else for what's going on. I want to press upon people when they first meet somebody, they're not an abuser. They seem charismatic and likable. On a first date, you won't be called names or belittled - it's a slow process.” Through shame, fear of retribution, and even lack of awareness that help is readily available, many who eventually find themselves in an abusive relationship may silently suffer years of mental, physical, sexual, and/or economic violence. McCready has her own word to help ease the stigma of abuse. She wants it to be “Talkaboutable - that's my word. Years ago, if you were abused, you were embarrassed and afraid. We want people to talk about it.” A 24/7 hotline at 1-800-791-4000 is where anyone in need “can receive a real person. You'll get somebody to talk to,” McCready said. Importantly, DVSSP can help female victims out of their situations through transportation to one of their two shelters, or for those not ready to leave, safety planning is provided. Male victims of domestic abuse receive the same access to education, empowerment, and safety planning as women, though shelter through DVSSP is unavailable at this time. McCready cites examples of safety strategies for anyone living with domestic violence, including having “...a backpack with clothes, money, and important papers left with a relative or friend in

case you have to leave. Don't argue in a kitchen or bathroom, anywhere you can get cornered, and plan (a signal) with a neighbor or family member when, for example, a certain light is on that never is, the neighbor calls the police.” Although domestic violence may be prevalent among adults, teens are not immune to finding themselves in an abusive relationship. “Abuse is about power and control,” McCready said. “Teens don't always have awareness that there can be another way, especially in a household with domestic violence.” Domestic violence often stems from early childhood experiences where a parent was abused, or where parents abused each other, in proximity of children. With those scenes seared into their minds, children from these homes often grow up convinced that is how love works. “Many kids think violence is a way of life,” McCready said, “and social media has made it easier to stalk and bully.” According to Gina Lutz, a volunteer at the Green County DVSSP office, one third of high school students will report being a victim of dating violence, roughly 1.5 million students per year in the United States. “Education programs are especially important,” Lutz said of school instruction offered to local districts through DVSSP. “We want to educate and follow them from K-12. We're teaching kids how to respect and talk to each other, that it's not nice to call people names or throw tantrums, and in junior

high, you learn that you deserve respect and want good communication skills.” Teens 14 and older who find themselves in a domestic or dating violence situation can call the hotline or attend empowerment sessions at DVSSP, without parental permission, Lutz said. At DVSSP, teens will learn about selfesteem and respect, what a healthy relationship is, how to compromise, and how to tell the difference between jealousy and control. Parents of tweens and teens can take their own proactive approach. Lutz explains that “It's important for parents to talk with children way before they date. That parents are the safe place and won't judge, but will help. The more parents talk with them, the more open teens will be.” February is “Teen DV Month,” and includes a video contest, a teen dance flash mob to raise awareness, and more. Call 724-852-2463 for further information on teen events. Visit DVSSP's web site at for information about help for domestic violence victims, available services, education and training, events and help for teens, and more. Those looking to volunteer are encouraged to apply. “We always need volunteers. They have specialized skills in all areas we can make use of,” McCready said. Volunteer application deadline is March 11, and volunteer training classes start in the spring. DVSSP has offices in Fayette, Green, and Washington counties, with shelters in Fayette County and in Washington PA. Greene Country residents in need will be transported to a Fayette or Washington shelter. As a non-profit, there is no charge for counseling, empowerment and education training, transportation - either to a shelter or to a PFA court hearing, or for any other services provided. DVSSP hotline numbers during regular business hours are: Fayette County: 724-439-9500 Greene County: 724-852-2463 Washington County: 724-223-9190 24/7 hotline: 1-800-791-4000 Follow DVSSP on Facebook at

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An Evening of Creativity February 23-25 at 7 p.m. February 25 at 2 p.m. What do our theatre students have on their minds today? Join us in the Blaney Theatre as our students bring their creations to life through one act plays, dance pieces, and different forms of devised theatre. Subject matter may not be suitable for younger patrons. 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee March 30-31 at 7 p.m. April 1st at 2 & 7 p.m. It is the 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and six midpubescent middle schoolers are each vying for the prestigious title of Spelling Bee Champion. Subject matter may not be suitable for younger patrons. Clybourne Park April 27-29 at 7 p.m. April 29 at 2 p.m. An emotionally riveting play inspired by and written in reaction to Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park explores issues of race and gentrification generations apart. This play explores mature themes, please use discretion. FOR TICKETS TO ALL THE


BOX OFFICE AT 724-938-5943.


Artist exhibits work at 707 & 709 Penn Galleries A Collision of the Second Self and Hidden In Plain Sight, tangential exhibits of figurative paintings by Josh Mitchel which will be on display in both 707 and 709 Penn Galleries February 3 through April 9. This is the first time that one artist will be showing in both galleries at the same time. An opening reception will be held February 3 from 5:30-10pm. This exhibition is free and open to the public. “Through my work I explore various intrinsic psychological conflicts, stemming from my interest in Freud's theoretical construct of Ego and Id. I am attracted to the contract between rational thoughts and irrational, impulse-driven behavior,” shares Mitchel, “my paintings are in part autobiographical, but my use of the figure is intended to be universal as I address a tension that is ubiquitous.” Both A Collision of the Second Self, on display in 707 Penn Gallery, and Hidden In Plain Sight, on view in 709 Penn Gallery, explore the dichotomy of the interior and exterior persona or façade. Mitchel employs various strategies to depict the internal conflicts of his subjects, his formal artistic decisions working in service of his conceptual underpinnings. His paintings explore fracturing the figure and adding movement through a process of overlapping areas, visual stutters and overt surface history. Repetition is employed both as a formal strategy, and as a surrogate for internal conflict. Broken figures, multiple appendages, and obvious pentimenti add palpable agitation. Through distorted space, manipulating the human form, and figurative elements concealed in cloth, Mitchel achieves a disquieting tension that servers as a metaphor and as a symbol for empathy within the human condition. Mitchel's emphasis on the human figure creates an enigmatic narrative, while maintaining a certain truth and plausibility about the human form. Currently residing in Pittsburgh, Josh Mitchel obtained his BFA in Studio Art


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from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1998. Ten years later he obtained his second BFA, this time in Interior Design from the Design Institute of San Diego in San Diego, CA. He worked in spatial and interior design in California before returning to Pennsylvania to pursue his Master's. He obtained his MFA in Painting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Burke Award for best figurative work in the Annual Juried Student Exhibition. Mitchel's work has appeared in art shows and exhibitions throughout Pennsylvania, winning the 2015 Juror's Award in The 92ndAnnual Juried Erie Spring Show and the 2015 Best In Show Award at the 41st Annual Juried Show Meadville Counsel on the Arts. Mitchel was also published twice in 2016, both on the cover of Local and in Fresh Paint Magazine. FMI on Josh Mitchel, please visit 707 Penn Gallery is located at 707 Penn Avenue near the intersection of Penn and Seventh Street. Gallery hours are Wed., Thurs. from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Fri., Sat. from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sun. from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 709 Penn Gallery is located at 709 Penn Avenue near the intersection of Penn and Seventh Street. Gallery hours are Wed., Thurs. from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Fri., Sat. from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sun. from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. FMI:


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Chatting with “Inside Our Minds” mental health advocate Alyssa Cypher Story by Fred Terling I occasionally meet extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. I intend on making this the subject of a future article, but for now, I would like to introduce you to one of them. Her name is Alyssa Cypher (pictured right) and at the young age of twenty-six, she is one year into an initiative called 'Inside Our Minds.' Her journey began in college, although she has climbed Mount Everest Base Camp and drove across the United States and back with her dog Esra. She attended the University of Pittsburgh and by her educational completion, Alyssa had earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Masters of Public Administration in Policy Research and Analysis with a Minor in Security and Intelligence Studies. A pretty impressive haul for any normal person, but there's a difference here. Alyssa has borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder and considered disabled. While in college, she was confronted with so much stigma, that she felt ready to explode. This is when she took to social media and did indeed explode. Alyssa wrote about her condition, people's reaction to it and the hurt stigma causes all people who deal with mental health disorders. Then it happened. “I was so overwhelmed with the positive responses I was getting by simply sharing,” Alyssa recalls. “It was then that I decided to create a platform for other people to share their stories. It was

a mandate to help others.” Following college, she began to lay out the platform for her social experiment. Her initial job was with a gas and energy company, but she was laid off when the company started to downsize. “The layoff was kind of a gift. With my condition, pent up in an office space and working within a forty hour structure, it was very difficult,” said Alyssa. So she went to work with her project full time. The nature of the work puts her in the field with flexible hours in a way that works in concert with keeping stress off of her conditions. Alyssa secured a grant from *The Sprout Fund and hit the ground running. The project consists of a couple of elements. The first is an anonymous and uncensored story portion. Alyssa goes out in the field around the Pittsburgh area interviewing mental health consumers. 'Consumer' is the clinical term for those who have been diagnosed with

a mental health condition. The story is an A-Z recount of the person's life from when they first started exhibiting symptoms to the present day. Since these stories can be quite lengthy, she then sits down with the person after compiling the story to shape it up for public consumption. Once ready, it is posted on the 'Inside Our Minds' website. These stories are raw and honest and are incredible to read. “Through the vicarious sharing, we hope to reach those who can't share or aren't at that point in their treatment,” Alyssa said. “It can be a powerful recovery tool and offer hope to those who struggle.” The next component is the 'Inside Our Minds' podcast. The podcast features a panel of what Alyssa calls the “true experts,” consumers who speak on specific topics. They range from anything like living with bipolar disorder to managing anxiety. The podcasts are also open, raw and unexpurgated. In the early summer, she is planning a live event where people can submit stories and also come on stage and present a personal story of their own. These are the main activities she has put together for year one. “I work on one activity at a time. As I accomplish one, I move on to the next and see if something may present itself. I would definitely like to do more live events,” Alyssa said. Currently, she works with two other people, Max and Kate out of the Work Hard Pittsburgh studio near Mount Washington, pictured below. I asked her

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about any particular challenges she faces with doing this kind of work, as it can be pretty intense dealing with people's emotions. “It can be exhausting some days. I spend the day with someone listening to their stories and they can be pretty overwhelming. Then I have to go home and still have to deal with my disorder and run the day-to-day mechanics of the business. But the work is so necessary, I shake it off and press on.” I will be following up with Alyssa as 'Inside Our Minds' continues its journey.

*The Sprout Fund enriches the Pittsburgh region's vitality by engaging citizens, amplifying voices, supporting creativity and innovation, and cultivating connected communities. The Sprout Fund is Pittsburgh's leading agency supporting innovative ideas, catalyzing community change, and making our region a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Sprout provides critical financial support for projects and programs in the early stages of development-when just a small amount of investment has the potential to yield big results in the community. Sprout projects create new initiatives, events, and organizations that help citizens take action on a pressing issue or enhance the cultural vitality of the Pittsburgh region. Directed by a board of civically engaged leaders, led by its co-founders, supported by a dedicated staff, and with strong relationships to many community organizations and regional stakeholders, Sprout has worked successfully across political and geographic boundaries to make hundreds of community-decided investments in early-stage projects, organizations, innovators, and activities. Learn more and get involved at


Washington County Food Bank seeks donations Story by Keren Lee Dreyer As January plods onward in southwestern Pennsylvania, “peace on earth and good will to all” seems to fade with holiday memories. Yet, the disadvantaged of Washington County are still in need of their neighbor's help. By joining with the Washington County Farm Bureau in its efforts to help the Washington County Food Bank this February and March, good will can spread to those in need. Donated non-perishable food items with current sell by dates, personal hygiene and paper products, cleaning items, and financial donations are welcome at approximately 42 donation points throughout Washington County. Don Carter, 15 year veteran as the Washington County Farm Bureau Food Drive Coordinator, explained in a release that the 2016 food collection drive resulted in “15,366 pounds of canned goods and supplies for the needy people of Washington County.” Collection points include all Washington County Libraries, along with local businesses wishing to provide a donation point. Businesses may also donate funds to the 4-H and Library Food Club Challenges, which provide prizes to clubs and libraries collecting the most food during the challenge. All donations and collections by 4-H and libraries


benefit pantries in the collection areas. “We try to keep it localized” Carter said, adding “If we have food donations in McDonald, they go to the McDonald Food Pantry. We seem to get more response this way than if it's a countywide collection. People are more apt to donate if it stays local.” Though donations are distributed locally from each of the area's 38 food pantries, amounts from all collection locations are recorded, Carter said. Food donations may be made at all Washington County libraries, along with various locations in Washington County. Monetary donations are welcome, and checks should be made to The Greater Washington County Food bank, with Farm Bureau noted in the memo field. Monetary donations can mailed in, or made in person, at: The Greater Washington County Food Bank, 909 National Pike West, Brownsville, PA 15417. To donate on-line, please visit:

Produce to People Distribution in Fayette County Produce to People, a local food distribution sponsored by The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and organized by Fresh Fire Church in Uniontown will be held Thursday, February 9 at the Fayette County Fair Grounds in Dunbar Township. The program provides supplemental food items to families each month. Residents of Fayette County who receive the food are asked to bring a large box, wheeled cart or laundry basket to put their food in. In an effort to speed up the process at the distribution center, we have implemented what is known as a Passcard. You will need to bring with you a copy of a utility bill with your name and address on the bill. Acceptable bills


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include: gas, water, electric, phone, cable, rent receipt or lease. You will also need a photo ID such as a drivers license or government issued ID. The distribution will begin at 10 a.m. Registration for the distribution begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 11:30. However, eligibility for the program is selfdeclared and based on residents of your household receiving unemployment compensation, food stamps, cash assistance or medical assistance, those experiencing a crisis or those whose household income is at or below 150% of the poverty level. All food is distributed based on a first come first serve basis. Disbribution takes place in the Grange building at the Fairgrounds.


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Charleroi celebrates annual Hoodie Hoo Day on 2/20, but what is it? Story by Fred Terling Looking through my monthly events, I found one that definitely peaked my interest. Charleroi's “Hoodie Hoo Day.” Hosted by the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, it's treated as a national holiday in Charleroi and other towns across America. But what exactly is “Hoodie Hoo Day?” It's a holiday copyrighted, yes, copyrighted by The website is a combination of two specialties, herbs and holidays. Wellcat Herbs features herbal products and information on the medicinal, culinary & mystical uses of herbs & spices. Wellcat Holidays suggests more than 80 reasons to celebrate life & its many quirky moments. As for the actual celebration, it's pretty simple. It takes place on February 20 in the Northern Hemisphere with the purpose for people to gather and chase winter away. There is one simple step required. At exactly 12:00 noon people gather in the town square and shout at the sky, “hoodie-hoo” three times. Participants are garbed in brightly colored clothing, and noisemaking is believed to bring attention to the citizens for cold, snowy

and bitter weather to move on. “February tends to drag on, especially if the weather is harsh” said Deb Keefer, Mon Valley Regional Chamber Director. “I believe this is a fun way to show our support for an early spring.” Keefer said that well over 1,500 people work in the Charleroi business district each day and many of them are forming groups to participate in the “Hoodie Hoo” shout and festivities. The Borough of Charleroi, the Chamber of Commerce, and downtown business owners are striving to create promotional activities for the downtown business district all year long, and creating foot traffic during the winter months is challenging. “It will not be the first time a zany holiday and ceremony has been become popular for a town,” added Keefer. “A little critter named Phil has been doing

it for years,” referring of course to Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil of Groundhog Day fame. Because numbers will enhance the effectiveness, a “Hoodie Hoo” shout en mass will take place in Magic City Square in downtown Charleroi on February 20, 12:00 noon. Everyone is invited to attend and admission is free. Magic City Square will be closed down at 11:00am for some pre-Hoodie Hoo activities, including music and prizes. This will be Charleroi's Forth Annual Celebration of “Hoodie Hoo” Day.

Foundation for California University elects officers, presents awards The Foundation for California University has elected a slate of officers for 2017 and presented its annual awards to four individuals. Elected to one-year terms which began at the start of this month are William R. Flinn, of Eighty-Four, president; Dr. Harry E. Serene, of Pittsburgh, vice president; Dr. Donald J. Thompson, of California, Pa., secretary; and Paul L. Kania, of Smock, treasurer. Six new members, all Cal U alumni, have joined the board: Alan K. James, of Presto; Zeb R. Jansante, of Bethel Park; Kania; Robert E. Lippencott, of Naperville, Ill.,; John Lorenzi, of South Park; and Deborah E. Takach, of Canonsburg. The Foundation for California University is an affiliated yet independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that solicits and receives funds to hold, administer, invest and disburse in support of the mission and goals of Cal U and its students. In addition, the foundation presents

annual awards to California University alumni and members of the Cal U community who have made a significant impact on the university. The 2016 honorees and their awards are: The late Len Keller, of Levittown, recipient of the Job Johnson Award. Named for one of the school’s founders, the award recognizes alumni who have received recognition outside the university for excellence, innovation, community service or other notable achievements. Keller was a retired sales consultant with Triumph Learning, the largest publisher of test preparation materials for state-mandated tests for grades K-12, and a philanthropist who supported a number of scholarships for Cal U students. Bruce Barnhart, of Brownsville, who received the Dixonians Award. Named for another school founder who served on its Board of trustees for 46 years, the award recognizes individuals who unselfishly serve the university. Barnhart joined the Cal U faculty in

1984, directed the certified athletic training program from 1992-2008 and was the school’s first athletic trainer for football. Today he is Cal U’s provost, or chief academic officer, and vice president for Academic Affairs. Chester and Yvonne Chichin, of New Castle, recipients of the Society of 1852 Award. The award named for the year of the school’s founding honors philanthropy. The Chichins are longtime educators who have endowed a scholarship for Cal U students who are pursuing a degree in education, grades pre-kindergarten through 12. Mr. Chichin is a retired psychologist who worked for many years with gifted students in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Yvonne Chichin taught elementary students for 35 years and now teaches part-time in the Early Childhood Department at Youngstown State University.

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“It's the story of MY FAIR LADY... Gone horribly, tragically wrong.”

The Heart Absent 14-year-old James Nemo spent most of his youth motherless and under the thumb of a father who hates him. These injustices he quickly forgets, however, in the arms of a beautiful young prostitute named Nelly. Reality conspires against the young lovers, and James is left, alone and angry, to confront the truth behind his mother's abandonment. Twenty years pass. James, now a respected artist, meets Mary Jane Kelly, an Irish prostitute who bears more than a passing resemblance to Nelly. Convinced his redemption lies in her, James slowly ensnares her into his ever darkening world. His passion for her escalates to a frenzy, amidst the backdrop of Victorian London in the heyday of Jack the Ripper, and threatens to consume them both. Novel by Carla E. Anderton, a recognized expert on the subject of Jack the Ripper. Available for purchase online at and Barnes & Noble bookstores among other fine retailers.

Curious about Jack?

This Valentine’s Day, revisit the scene of a century plus year old crime... 25

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.

Get your copy today!

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 or

Fort Cherry High School Grad lands cyber analyst gig on CBS’s “Hunted” Story by Hayley Lynn Martin If you've been tuning into watch “Hunted” on CBS the last few weeks, you might just recognize a face in the command center - 2001 Fort Cherry High School Alumnus, Landon Stewart. “Hunted” features nine teams of two in a real-life manhunt as they attempt to disappear from skilled investigators. Stewart, one of the cyber analysts on the team, uses state-of-the-art tracking with traditional tactics to help catch the teams. If the team can successfully evade the hunters for 28 days, they will win $250,000. Stewart landed on the show with his real life boss, Theresa Payton, Former White House Chief and Information officer. “When they connected with her they needed other analysts for the show,” said Stewart. “I went through the process just like everyone else on the show.” Stewart wasn't the only person from his team chosen, cyber analyst Charles DeBarber, also spends his days under Payton's management. The rest of the agents come from other departments and are considered some of the best and brightest minds. “They are all amazing people,” said Stewart. “Everyone has such an interesting story! It was like being on the 'Hunger Games' where everyone meets the other players for the first time. They all have these specific jobs and you're all sizing each other up.” While “Hunted” is a reality show and the reality might be a little scripted, according to Stewart, it's as close to watching real-life manhunts as you're going to get in the real world. While it might look like there's always exciting clues on the show, there's dry spells with bursts of excitement. “On the show you get to see those

bursts, but you don't get to see the long, drawn-out process,” said Stewart. “They don't show everything though for safety so they don't give away trade secrets, but the thinking and logic is spot on. It's really a lot of data and I love data. I'm an information junkie. Some people see a ton of information and get overwhelmed but I get stoked. I love going through 100 pages of information and finding that one sentence that ties it all together.” While you might think as a cast member on the show, Stewart saw everything unfolding that we're seeing on TV - but you're wrong. He's watching right along with the rest of America seeing what the teams were doing as he was in the command center cracking the puzzles. “[After watching the show] it's like being the coach of the football team the next morning:” said Stewart. “How can I do this better or that better. I'm taking mental notes for my real job.” Since the show aired, Stewart has been instrumental in helping to capture several of the teams through indentations on a calendar of where the team was going and by hacking into an email account. Each team has been very crafty in trying to evade the hunters and while Stewart couldn't tell me which one gave him the most trouble he could say… “they were



all creative in their own way.” It takes a lot of effort and knowledge to try and disappear off the grid with all the technology that is available and when asked if the tables were turned how Stewart thought he'd fare against the team he works with, he wasn't sure. “It always depends on your partner,” said Stewart. “If you have people you gel with, it makes it go well. If it was me alone, I'd probably just get some Cliff bars and sit in the woods somewhere.” After high school, Stewart entered the military for 10 years with the United States Army. He has worked at the NSA and a variety of different agencies before joining with Fortalice Solutions, a private cybersecurity firm in Washington D.C. Although Stewart lives in Maryland now with his wife, Kimo, and daughter, Scarlett, he still has roots here in the McDonald, PA area where his family still lives. “I love how we were all close growing up because our school was so small,” said Stewart. “You knew everything about everyone else. It's just a natural closeness that you don't get in larger areas. A lot of people I knew saw the show… mostly because it was after the Steelers loss.” If you haven't tuned into “Hunted” on CBS on Wednesday nights, Stewart just has these parting words. “If you've ever wondered how the police and intelligence agencies do their job, this is the show for you. The show answers how the guys in Washington think when they go on a manhunt. It's the only place you're going to see it unfold for real. They are talking to real people. Everything you see is not scripted which is amazing. If you want to see how our nation protects itself, this is your only realistic opportunity to see the process.”


Get every exciting edition delivered right to your USPS mailbox, hot off the press, 12 times a year. Y EARLONG SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE ONLY $36 Send your address & check or money order to: Pennsylvania Bridges, 114 4th Street, California, PA 15419 C ONTACT US FOR SECURE ONLINE PAYMENTS . FMI, 724-769-0123 or PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - Arts, Entertainment, Education & Lifestyle -

NOW PLAYING! February 9, 7:30 p.m. MARTINA MCBRIDE with LAUREN ALAINA February 11 at 8 p.m. FOGHAT February 14 at 8 p.m. LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS Opening act Motown Memories with The Latshaw Pops February 18 at 7:30 p.m. SAL VALENTINETTI Opening act Comic Mike Marino Saturday, February 25 at 6 PM PARTY AT THE PALACE 6 PM - VIP Pre-Party & Event Ticket $125, 7 PM - Event Only Ticket $75 ($10 increase after February 19th) Tickets on sale now! The Palace Theatre will be transformed into five different party areas to include live entertainment, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. The celebration kicks off with a 6 p.m. VIP Pre-party on stage, which includes passed hors d'oeuvres, live music from EBT Jazz, a commemorative photo to document the evening, and a glass of champagne. Following the VIP event, the party moves into the outer areas of the theatre at 7 p.m., where live entertainment and an impressive offering of delectable hors d'oeuvres await each guest.

THE PALACE THEATRE 34 W.Otterman St., Greensburg

Box Office: 724-836-8000 27

BENTLEYVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY 931 Main St. in Bentleyville

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 Feb. 6 - Bentleyville Historical Society meets at 6 p.m. Lego Club meets the 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month (ages 7 and up) Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. - Family Craft Night - Must register Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. - Board Meeting Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. - Book Club Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. - Friends of the Library will meet Coffee and Crayons - Starting every Friday at 10:30 am we will be coloring. Bring in a book you may have or try one of our pages and stop in and enjoy each other’s company as we color.This program is for adults of any age. For more information, call us at 724-239-5122.

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC LIBRARY 100 Wood St., California Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. - Library 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. FMI: Call 724-938-2907.


CHARTIERS-HOUSTON LIBRARY 730 West Grant St., Houston 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. Friday, February 17 - 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. - Not sure what to do with your day off school? Come to the library! We’ll have DIY crafts, games and activities set up for kids of all ages! Join our Lego club on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month! The program is open to all ages, although it is recommended for ages 5 and up.The library is also accepting donations of new or gently used Lego sets. 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. Thursdays at 4 p.m. - “Grown Up” Coloring - Adults can still reap the stress-relieving benefits of coloring! The library will provide coloring pages, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. First Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. - Join our Mystery Book Club for a riveting read and book discussion. Tuesdays at 4 p.m. - Preschool Story Hour. Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers can join us every Tuesday from 4-4:30 for stories, crafts, and fun that build their social skills and gets them ready for preschool or kindergarten! Mondays at 5:30 p.m. - Yoga Class where students are introduced to yoga breathing and poses. Great for yoga novices and current yoga practitioners who wish to refresh the basics or want a gentler class. Bring a mat, a towel and some water. Class is$1 per person, best deal on yoga classes anywhere! Register at the library or call us at 724-745-4300.

CITIZENS LIBRARY - FEBRUARY 2017 ACTIVITIES Please join us for the 4th Annual Rama Karamcheti Fund Event for Citizens Library to be held Saturday, February 25, from 1-3 p.m. The Rama Karamcheti Fund for Citizens Library was created by family to provide support to the reference and genealogy departments at Citizens Library while keeping Rama’s memory alive. A long-time resident of Washington, PA who worked in the Reference Department of Citizens Library beginning in 1996, Rama passed away in 2013. It was while at Citizens Library that Rama developed a passion for genealogy. She cataloged many documents and helped many people across the country and even from across the globe to identify ancestors who had lived in the area.This event will be held in the Public Meeting Room. Story Time Registration Registration began Tuesday, January 24 for the spring sessions of Preschool and Toddler Story Times. Preschool Story Time, for ages 3-5, is on Tuesdays, 2:00 – 2:30, from February 14 through April 18. Toddler Story Times are on Wednesday mornings from February 15 through April 19.Toddler Story Times are: 10:30 – 11 a.m. for ages 1 ½ to 2 years, and 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. for ages 2 ½ up to 3 years. Registration is required for all story times. Call 724-222-2400, ext. 235 or stop in the Children’s Department for more information or to register; “Parent’s Guide to Story Time” brochures are available at the desk. “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. -

February 8 at 6 p.m.Theme: Advertising Slogans, Jingles, and Taglines Celebrate “National Gumdrop Day” by stopping in the library on Wednesday, February 15, to pick up a sampler pack of gumdrops. Gumdrops will be available at the front desk on the main floor and at the desk in the Children’s Dept. Readers of the Lost Ark Book Club will meet on Thursday, February 16, in the conference room.The book will be “Ghettoside” by Jill Leovy. Free and open to the public, readers should feel free to bring a snack! 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.The Chess Tournament is March 18. Registration is required. 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. 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. 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 Citizen’s Library is located at 55 South College Street,Washington, PA 15301. Phone # is 724-222-2400 FMI:

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PETERS TOWNSHIP LIBRARY - FEBRUARY 2017 The Peters Township Public Library will host a new five-part series designed to help job seekers with resume creation, interview skills and more. It’s Your Job: Career Development with Lisa Raymond will be offered on 5 consecutive Mondays, February 20, 27 and March 6, 13, and 20 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the library. Registration is required by Friday, February 17 at the library Circulation Desk.The cost is $50 for the entire series and includes a copy It’s Your Job: Tips on Resume Writing, Interviewing, and Selling You written by Lisa Raymond. The hands-on series will include: Creating a resume, cover letter, and reference page What to do prior to, during and after the interview Learning the necessary language for the interview and to skillfully sell yourself Lisa Raymond has over twenty years of experience in Human Resources and has been a business owner since 1998. She has a Master’s Degree in Leadership Business and Global Ethics from Duquesne University and has trained under Anthony Robbins. She teaches Public Speaking and Persuasion, and Professional Communications at Robert Morris University. FMI, call the library at 724.941.9430. Is your child a great little storyteller proudly displaying drawings in your home? Share his/her talents and prepare entries to the PBS KIDS Writers Contest on Sunday, February 19 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Peters Township Public Library. PBS KIDS Writers Contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The Youth Services Department is partnering with WQED to host this event, which encourages students in kindergarten through 5th grade to

write and illustrate their own original masterpiece for the chance to win some great prizes. During the program, children will write a story, make revisions, create illustrations and prepare to submit them to the Writers Contest. Registration requested to attend this program. Register by emailing, call 724.941.9430 #3, or visit the Youth Services Desk at the library.The Contest, made possible in part by local financial support from the EQT Foundation, empowers children in grades K-5 to celebrate creativity and build literacy skills by writing and illustrating their very own stories. For more information about the PBS KIDS Writers Contest, visit The Peters Township Public Library is located at 616 E McMurray Road in McMurray. FMI: Call 724.941.9430 or visit their web site at

ROSTRAVER PUBLIC LIBRARY 700 Plaza Drive, Belle Vernon Free Kids Movie Matinee Saturday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. - Film is “Storks” (Rated PG) - Bring a sleeping bag and pillow and we provide the popcorn. Free Adult Movie Matinee Monday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. - Film is “The Light Between Oceans” (Rated PG-13) Intro to Robotics & Coding Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. - Children in grades 1-8 are invited to meet Dot and Dash, robots designed to introduce coding and robotic programming on a variety of levels. Registration is limited to 20 children. Please call 724379-5511 to register. Fit Kids Factory - Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. (ages 3-6) and 11 a.m. (ages 7-13) - Fit Kids is a free registered youth wellness program that promotes healthy bodies and minds. Please call 724-379-5511 to register.

MONESSEN PUBLIC LIBRARY 326 Donner Ave., Monessen The Mon Valley Genealogy Forum will meet February 20 at 5:30 p.m. The group is open to anyone interested in genealogy. Light refreshments will be served. The group will discuss the latest reports of “genealogy in the news”, new research sites, and family histories. Alley’s Adventure Time will be held on Mondays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. Toddler Time will be on Monday afternoons at 1 p.m. Wacky Wednesdays are for ages 8 – 12 and will be held at 5:30 p.m. Public is welcome at all board meetings. Second Wednesday of the month at 5:15 p.m. FMI, call the library at 724-684-4750.

LOCAL LIBRARIES, LEND US YOUR NEWS! Is your local library having a special event or fundraiser? Want us to help get the word out about a program or activity regularly held at the library? Are you having a guest speaker or author reading/signing? Do you offer story hours, tech help and/or classes? Are you having a used book sale? Send us your news, and we’ll get it out in front of thousands of readers. THERE IS NEVER A FEE TO LIST LIBRARY ACTIVITIES IN OUR PAGES! Send your news to or call 724-769-0123.

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DONORA PUBLIC LIBRARY 510 Meldon Avenue in Donora

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 Wee Build meets the third Saturday of the Month at 1 p.m. Block Party - Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. Register at the library or call us at 724-379-7940.

FREDERICKTOWN AREA LIBRARY 38 Water St., Fredericktown 2/5 at 5 p.m. - Book Buddies 2/8 at 7 p.m. - Reading Rangers Book Club 2/9 & 2/23 - Sit & Knit Crochet Club at 5:15 p.m. 2/21 at 7 p.m. - Teen Book Club 2/21 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Representative Pam Snyder 2/28 at 7 p.m. - Discovery Detectives 2/15 at 6:30 p.m. - Board Meeting LIBRARY CLOSED FEB. 20. Register at the library or call us at 724-377-0017.

JOHN K.TENER LIBRARY 638 Fallowfield Ave. Charleroi Craft days for kids! Stop in to make and take home a little craft. A new craft will be available the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. LIBRARY CLOSED FEB. 20. For more information about programs at the John K.Tener Library in Charleroi, call 724-483-8282.


On the Town: Places to Go, Things to Do & People to See in February 2017 I Made It! Mine Saturday, February 4 at 12-5 p.m. SouthSide Works, 424 S 27th St, Pittsburgh Save the Date for I Made It! Mine 2017. Shop 60 local artists who will have sweets for your sweetie. Hatch Art Studio will join us with crafts for kids. I Made It! Market is Pennsylvania's nomadic indie-crafts marketplace. IMI partners with local craftspeople as well as community, arts and non-profit organizations to make an impact in the communities we share. FMI: All About You! Free Admission Sunday Sunday, February 5 at 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N Main St, Greensburg Admission is free the first Sunday of each month thanks to the generous support of UPMC Health Plan. It’s a great day to bring all of your friends and family. UPMC Health Plan members also receive a 10% discount in The Westmoreland Museum Shop this day. FMI: Alternative Souper Bowl Sunday, February 5 at 12-3 p.m. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh 91.3 WYEP invites you to join us to enjoy live music and help tackle homelessness in our community. Join us for live music featuring The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers, Brooke Annibale, and The Buckle Downs. You’re invited to bring a non-perishable donation for HEARTH, providing shelter and support for families in southwestern Pennsylvania. FMI: MAKEnight: Snarky Valentine 21+ Thursday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m. Children's Museum of Pittsburgh Follow your heart and join us for an evening of food, drink and amore. And sass. We provide the making, you decide if your valentine will be snarky or scandalous. FMI: Paul Luc with guests Jordan DePaul & Jess Nolan Friday, February 10 at 9-11 p.m. Pittsburgh Winery, 2815 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh - Tickets are $10 in


advance, and $12 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. Show starts at 9 p.m. Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter Paul Luc walked away from the corporate world in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. Since then, songs from his latest release “Tried & True” have been heard in regular rotation on Pittsburgh airwaves and on-stage in support of artists such as Chuck Ragan, Cory Branan, Ben Nichols (Lucero), Jenny Owen Youngs, Rhett Miller (Old 97's), David Bazan, Drag the River, Ivan & Alyosha, 10,000 Maniacs and many more. FMI: The Pink Unicorn February 9-12 Off The Wall Productions, 25 W Main Street, Carnegie A recent widow raising her 14-year-old daughter in a small, conservative Texas town, Trish works at a nearby hospital and cherishes her church, her home, and everything else she can count on in a world she now finds herself alone in. Then suddenly she faces a crisis she never saw coming. With adult themes. FMI: Friday Nights of Winter Lights Friday, February 10 at 5-10 p.m. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Park, Pittsburgh Drop in for one last look at the luminous orbs, trees and fountains of light in our Outdoor and Children’s Discovery Gardens. Inside our historic glasshouse, the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show will dazzle with unique forms and colors, and our Garden Railroad will immerse you in a miniature tribute to Pittsburgh history. Winter Light Garden may be subject to temporary closures in the event of heavy rains or other inclement weather conditions. FMI: Little Shop of Rocky Horror Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m. Hambone's, 4207 Butler St, Pittsburgh Hambones Theater Company proudly presents a concert performance combining two of the most romantic musicals ever written: Little Shop of Horrors and The Rocky Horror Show for the perfect

pre-Valentine's night out. FMI: Cabin Fever Craft Beer Fest Saturday, February 11 at 12-6 p.m. Mylan Park, 500 Mylan Park Ln, Morgantown Winter festival coming to North Central WV in 2017! FMI: Valentines for VETS! Sunday, February 12 at 1-4 p.m. The Good Ol' Days House, Broad Avenue, Belle Vernon Join in & share a little LOVE by creating handmade Valentine cards & messages to be delivered to local Veterans who are receiving care in our area hospitals. Bring your friends, neighbors, grandkids, big kids, everyone is invited & refreshments will be provided. FMI: Mystical Psychic Fair Sunday, February 12 at 12 p.m. Skyview Volunteer Fire Company West Mifflin #4, 660 Noble Dr, West Mifflin Vendors with unique gifts for Valentines day. Jewelry, Young Living Oils, crystal, books oracle cards, tarot cards, salt lamps, candles and food. Psychics,Mediums, Intuitives, Tarot, Oracle, Past Life Regression, Aura Readers & Akashic Records FMI: Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures presents Chris Grabenstein Sunday, February 12 at 2:30 p.m. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh Chris Grabenstein is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestsellers The Island of Dr. Libris and the Mr. Lemoncello series. Housed in the most ridiculously brilliant library ever created, the action-filled mystery series includes Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics. He is also the co-author of several bestselling books with James Patterson, including I Funny, Treasure Hunters and House of Robots. Grabenstein is launching a hilarious new series with the illustrated book, Welcome to Wonderland: Home, Sweet Motel, stories about the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel. A former entertainer with some of New York City’s top improvisational

comedy troupes, he has performed with Bruce Willis and Robin Williams, and also wrote for Jim Henson’s Muppets. A book signing will follow the program on the first floor of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Books will be available for sale before and after the lecture from Mystery Lovers Bookshop. We ask that you please limit the number of books to be signed to 5 per person. FMI: African American Celebration of the Arts - Community Program Sunday, February 12 at 1 p.m. Ryan Arts & Culture Center, 420 Chartiers Ave, McKees Rocks We will have Facepainting, dance performances, interactive theater, community discussion, a dance party, food and family activities over a weekend of African American Art! We will also be doing three drawings for a free semester of classes. FMI: Westmoreland Jazz Society Concert featuring The Jessica Lee Jazz Trio Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St., Greensburg Jessica Lee is a professional Jazz & Blues vocalist, songwriter (ASCAP), and recording artist with four solo albums (Bluebird Fly, From a Silent Heart, Silver Days, Charcoal Nights, and Rhythms of Anyway) available internationally, and with songs from these CDs currently showcased by EQ Music record label on seven international vocal albums with other artists, such as Norah Jones and Amy London, including on the When Blues Meets Jazz and the Greatest Audiophile Voices CD series. Tickets are available at the door, online, or by calling 1.888.71TICKETS. FMI: FREE! WDVE Winterfest 2/17 Friday, February 17 at 7 p.m. Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale 102.5 WDVE Winterfest ft. Gene The Werewolf, The Wooly Coats, André Costello and the Cool Minors, LoFi Delphi plus After Party with the Clinton Clegg Trio. All Ages Welcome. FMI: Speed Date the Art/SweetArt Dance Friday, February 17 at 7-10 p.m. The Westmoreland Museum of

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On the Town: Places to Go, Things to Do & People to See in February 2017 American Art, 221 N Main St, Greensburg Join The Westmoreland, in collaboration with Daisher Rocket and the Stage Right! adult players, for a love-filled art fest. Try your hand at speed-dating multiple works of art. Pose with someone or go it alone in front of a heart-filled background. And, dance to some sweet ’80s music on the SweetArt dance floor. Light bites and cash bar. $20 members, $25 non-members. FMI: Family Volunteering Event Saturday, February 18 at 9 a.m. Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, 1 N Linden St, Duquesne During this hour and a half volunteer experience your family will work together on projects such as preparing bags with enough food to sustain a child over a weekend or pack boxes with all the fixings needed for a holiday meal as well as tour the Food Bank to learn more about how it works. Volunteers must be six years of age or older and be able to perform the assigned tasks. For every two children there must one adult who remains with the children at all times. If there are three children, there must be two adults. Two sessions are available for this opportunity. 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (8:45 a.m. arrival) 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (10:45 a.m. arrival) FMI: Tropical Forest Congo Festival Saturday, February 18 at 11 a.m. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Park, Pittsburgh Join us for a day of celebration and exotic fun at our next Tropical Forest Congo Festival, featuring family-friendly activities, entertainment, food and more inspired by one of the world's most botanically and culturally rich rainforest regions. Free with museum admission. FMI: Sound Series: Hypercube Saturday, February 18 at 8-10 p.m. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St, Pittsburgh A quartet of saxophone, guitar, piano, and percussion, Hypercube combines elements of chamber music and experimental rock. Performing a challenging, cutting-edge repertoire, with a “sense of

ensemble that is not to be rivaled” (Sequenza 21), Hypercube is at home in both electric and acoustic worlds. Free parking is available in The Warhol lot. FMI: Sweet Horror Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. East End Brewing Company, 147 Julius Street, Pittsburgh What exactly is Sweet Horror? It is a pop-up event featuring delicious vegan treats from Relish, Sugar Spell Scoops, and Sweet Alchemy Bake Shop, as well as horror, pop-culture art from Goods And Evil, Jenni Bee Studio, and Skull Soup. FMI: Wine & Chocolate Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. Christian W. Klay Winery This event features not only wine and chocolate tasting, but your favorite soft rock favorites performed live by Shelly McCombie. Bring your valentine or bring a group of friends. $20/person. Advanced reservations required. Please call 724.439.3424. This event will also be held on 2/11. FMI: Tori! Tori! Tori! A Night of Tori Amos Music to Benefit PAAR Thursday, February 23 at 8-11:59 p.m. The Allegheny Wine Mixer Inc, 5326 Butler St, Pittsburgh What's so amazing about realy deep thoughts? Find out at a night of Tori Amos music and wine to benefit Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR), in honor of the 25th anniversary of Tori Amos' “Little Earthquakes.” We'll be DJing all our favorite Tori songs all night. No cover! Plus raffles, games, & drink specials. Hosted by Cindy Howes, host of WYEP’s Morning Mix, & DJ MB (Matthew Buchholz) FMI: The Cherry Orchard - Moscow Art Theatre Thursday, February 23 at 7-9 p.m. SouthSide Works Cinema, 425 Cinema Dr, Pittsburgh First produced in 1904 at The Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavsky, this centennial production of Anton Chekhov's classic tale of cultural futility, starring Russian

stage and screen legend Renata Litvinova, is as relevant today as it was over a hundred years ago. This film is in Russian, with English subtitles. Adolf Shapiro's interpretation asks the question, where would the characters of this play live today years after their cherry orchard has been cut down? The answer, which lies in the material world created by set designer, David Borovsky, is, of course, on the stage. The waves of the Moscow Art Theatre's stage curtain, with its famous Seagull insignia, curving and folding in on itself, creating smooth and sometimes ominous corners, becomes home to these wanderers, who are in fact shadows of the past come to life on stage. Originally intended by Chekhov as a comedy, and firmly directed by Stanislavsky as a tragedy, many artists have had to deal with the dual nature of the play. One hundred years later, this production brings The Cherry Orchard full circle, never at peace, but finally back at its home. FMI:

works from this seminal collection, When Modern Was Contemporary surveys the development of modern art in the United States from representational modes in the early years of the twentieth century through the Abstract Expressionist revolution at mid-century. The exhibition highlights the work of artists who built upon European precedents, including Max Weber and Joseph Stella; artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Arthur Dove who were inspired by organic forms in the American landscape; while industry is celebrated in paintings by such artists as Ralston Crawford and Charles Sheeler. Masterworks of Abstract Expressionism include a large ‘drip’ painting by Jackson Pollock and a painting from Willem de Kooning’s groundbreaking Woman series. FMI:

Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest 2017 February 24-25 David L. Lawrence Convention 350 Craft Beers from down the street and around the country! Food booths by local restaurants & food trucks! Live Music by The Lava Game both nights! Session 1 Friday Night,and Session 2 Noon-4:30pm Saturday, Session 3 Saturday Night. All proceeds benefit Animal Rescue Partners, a 501-c-3 tax exempt organization, and their local partners Biggie's Bullies. FMI:

The Music of Prince Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, 600 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh The conductor takes the podium to present Windborne's The Music Of Prince, a program scored to extend the listening experience of Prince's exceptional tunes. Performed by an orchestra and amplified with a full rock band and vocals, the show captures Prince's distinct sound while presenting some familiar and lots of new musical colors. FMI:

Harry Potter Story Time Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. Row House Cinema, 4115 Butler St, Pittsburgh Recommended for ages 7+ FMI: When Modern Was Contemporary Opening Reception Saturday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N Main St, Greensburg This pivotal exhibition is drawn from the collection of financier Roy R. Neuberger (1903-2010). One of America’s most important collectors, he assembled a groundbreaking collection of American modern art. Drawing 52

PENNSYLVANIA BRIDGES - Arts, Entertainment, Education & Lifestyle -

Jimbo and the Soupbones Saturday, March 4 at 9 p.m. Pittsburgh Winery, 2815 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh - Tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. Show starts at 9 p.m. Pittsburgh's “Jimbo and the Soupbones” make people smile... It's as simple as that! They cross musical genres without apology, resulting in a fresh, yet familiar blend of funk, soul, rock and blues that excludes no listener. FMI:


Pabridges february2017  

Pennsylvania Bridges February 2017

Pabridges february2017  

Pennsylvania Bridges February 2017