Articles by Jonathan Cortez

Heat Doesn’t Deter Good Works: Carpenter’s Project 2016

Despite an exceptionally hot, humid week, volunteers weren’t deterred from the Carpenter’s Project. Throughout the week, over 100 volunteers divided into 18 crews will work on an estimated 100 projects at 58 houses. The Carpenter’s Project is a volunteer, community organization that provides external repairs to the houses of the elderly, disabled and others who are unable to perform the work themselves. Projects range from painting (the most predominant), to porch railings, demolition, concrete pouring and yard work. The Carpenter’s Project is formed by a collaboration of local churches. Equipment and food are all purchased from local businesses. This year,…


In Depth: Residents Protest Electric Rates, Council Proposes Resolution Amending Rates

Over 50 residents attended Monday’s council agenda meeting to protest a spike in electric bills from May to June, forcing the meeting to be moved from council chambers to the auditorium. Council had forewarning of citizen unrest and had already prepared a preliminary resolution adjusting electric rates. Ellwood City Power and Light The Ellwood City Borough has a municipal-operated electric company, Ellwood City’s Power and Light. The borough purchases power from the American Municipal Power Supply [AMP] at a current rate of $.08529 per kilowatt and resells it to Ellwood citizens for a profit. Funds are subsequently transferred from the…


Opinion: Festival!

It’s the most exciting time of the year in Ellwood City! The time that Ewing Park gets filled with tents, trailers, humans and food. Everybody in the Ellwood area should go to the festival! We should all unabashedly promote the festival. This year’s festival is under almost entirely new leadership, and they’ve done a wonderful job marketing and organizing. Thank you and congratulations to chairperson Becky Guisler and the festival committee consisting of Beth Kingston (Treasurer), Raylene Boots (Secretary & Food), Renee Radevski (Crafts), Nikki Mars (Crafts), Vic Rangel (Entertainment), Paul Dici (Food), Sam Pawlowski (Grounds), Mike Sinclair (Parking) Ralph…


Festival Band Previews: Nickel Plated Revolver and Brok’n Pic Band

The 2016 Ellwood Festival will emphasize the entertainment part of Arts, Crafts, Food and Entertainment at an unprecedented level. All of Friday is dedicated to showcasing Ellwood-based bands and Saturday and Sunday will see additional local entertainment. The previews will be updated throughout the week to highlight different bands. All information taken from interviews or social media. All photos used with permission of the band. Friday, July 1- Community Day 12:30 p.m. Wine & Spirit Perennial festival performers Wine & Spirit will open the musical acts on Friday. “I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve played at the festival,”…


Several Ellwood Property and Business Owners Oppose Proposed Zoning Ordinance

“Over the years, your business district has sprawled and lost purpose,” Mark Pelusio of Town Center Associates said at the beginning of a public hearing on a proposed zoning ordinance for the Ellwood City Borough. In brief, the proposed zoning would divide Ellwood’s core business district into four sub-districts with the intention of creating a pedestrian dominated area on Lawrence Avenue from Fourth to Eight Street consisting primarily of retail and dining establishments. Council worked on the new zoning with the aid of Town Center Associates [TCA], a consulting agency based in Beaver, and an urban development company, Environmental Planning…


Annual Ellwood Festival Features More Vendors and More Local Bands Than Ever Before

This year’s Ellwood City Arts, Crafts, Foods and Entertainment Festival intends to focus more on the entertainment part than any previous festival. Indeed, Friday will be entirely oriented around local entertainment. While in previous years, the festival has pulled entertainment from around the greater Lawrence/Beaver County area, Friday will be all about Ellwood City. The festival will kick off with a “community day” beginning with the Little Miss Firecracker Pageant, which was a success in previous years. The rest of the day’s lineup will feature five bands from the Ellwood City area: Wine & Spirits, D Major, Nickle Plated Revolver,…


Police: Ellport Man Charged with Discharging a Firearm that Struck a Residence

An Ellport man was charged with reckless endangerment for discharging a firearm in the direction of a residence. After roughly a month of investigation, Ellwood City police charged Edward Charles Wymer, 52, with one count of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, a misdemeanor of the second degree. He was arraigned before Magistrate Jerry Cartwright on June 22. Yet, part of the case remains a mystery. On Saturday, May 25, a bullet struck Amy Prine’s residence on Gartley Avenue in Ellport, shattering a front window. On June 4, Cortni Prine, Amy’s 18-year old daughter, was outside when she heard a bullet whizz…


New Zoning Ordinance Will Divide Downtown Ellwood into Four Districts

Ellwood City zoning laws haven’t seen an update in many years. Folk singer Bob Dylan was penning his first songs when Ellwood borough councils were penning many of the zoning laws. There was even a sentence that referred to a car wash an an automobile laundry. Council is now in the final stages of approving a new zoning ordinance. Primarily, the downtown business area will be divided into four districts each with specialized encouraged use. Residential areas will not be affected nor will current businesses and residents in the business districts. Rather, each of the new districts will encourage the…


Photos: CVS Pharmacy and Municipal Building Ramp

The exterior of the CVS Pharmacy under construction on Fifth Street and Spring Avenue is nearing completion and windows were added recently. The pharmacy is expected to open in the fall. The new handicap ramp at the rear of the Ellwood City Borough Municipal Building is in the final stages. The ramp will be in compliance with ADA standards. At its meeting on June 20, borough council designated additional handicap parking sports near the ramp. Photos by Jonathan Cortez/EllwoodCity.org


Question Concerning Vouchers Leads to Argument Among Council Members [Updated 10:15]

A question regarding a bill on the list of pre-paid vouchers led to an argument at Monday’s council meeting. Before voting on the list of pre-paid vouchers, council member Judi Dici asked if two telephone bills, both labeled to the same police officer and in the amount of $17.85, were accidental duplicates. Borough Manager Bob Villella responded that he would look into the matter. Later, council member Marilyn Mancini requested that a motion to adopt the Civil Service Rules and Regulations be tabled as she had received her copy on Friday. All members voted “yes” to postpone except George Celli….