Articles by Jonathan Cortez

Religious Freedom and ‘Corporations Are People” Used as Excuses for Discrimination and Financial Agendas

[EllwoodCity.org is beginning a weekly column on local, regional, and national news and events that will publish on Fridays. Statements, opinion, and views expressed in this column are those of the author named and are not necessarily those of the EllwoodCity.org and Thought Process Enterprises team.] I’m impressed by the stamina of the anti-LGBT front. Despite continually losing ground, the stalwart defenders of upright moral values always rally to draw a new line in the sand. As someone who really doesn’t care about what other people do, I can’t imagine myself being motivated enough to fight a downhill battle that’s…


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Fresh Take Foods Shares Owner’s Love of Food and Community

Michael Dillow finds food brings out great conversation and brings people together. He’s been working in the food service industry his entire adult life and has recently opened Fresh Take Foods, located on 810 Second St. The take-out restaurant opened April 2, although it will celebrate a grand opening April 15. For now, it mostly serves pizza, although that will soon expand to pasta and chicken. The establishment is true to its name in that fresh sauce is made daily and two to three batches of dough are made daily. Dillow also orders only the freshest ingredient available. Dillow explained…


Ellwood’s Petrak is the Swimming State Champion

Taylor Petrak’s greatest challenge, being a swimmer in a school without a team or pool, became her strength and motivation. Petrak, a sophomore at Lincoln High School, won the 50 yard freestyle last Wednesday at the PIAA competition at Bucknell University. With a time of 23.62 seconds, she tied her WPIAL record and beat the second place finisher by roughly .4 seconds, a sizable difference in a short-distance event. Petrak placed third in the 100 yard freestyle and had the satisfaction of achieving a new personal record of 51.23. Rather than allow her status as Ellwood’s sole swimmer be an…


It’s Time Fitness Brings Full Facility Gym and Personal Training to Ellwood City

When Tony Joseph drove past the empty Walnut Ridge, he envisioned something more: a multi-service athletic facility. “When I walked into the building, I could see exactly what I wanted the rooms to become,” Joseph said. “I knew this was something I could provide to the community that we didn’t have.” That vision is now a reality. It’s Time Fitness provides conventional gym services such as a weight room and fitness class room, and additional amenities such as a salon, practice room for athletes, and a martial arts studio rented by Richard Lee Morris. The final part of Joseph’s goal,…


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Riverside’s Swim Team Sets School Records; Sends Seven to States

Apparently, panthers can swim really well. Riverside’s swim team outperformed competition and their own school records at the WPIAL tournaments on Feb. 20 and 21. Three relays and three individuals qualified for the PIAAs, and four school records were set. The three relays were the work of the Lady Panthers. The 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle placed third and fourth and automatically advanced to the state competition. The 200 medley placed fifth, which doesn’t automatically qualify for the PIAA. “There was no guarantee that any of the relays would get to states, but the girls did not hesitate,” Coach Bill…


Former Ellwood Resident Purchases Jacqueline House Bed and Breakfast

For quite some time, Rebecca Hink daydreamed of being an innkeeper of her own bed and breakfast. From her years of business traveling, she developed an appreciation for the comfort and personalized hospitality that a B&B offers over a hotel. On Oct. 30, she made her vision a reality when she purchased the Jacqueline House in New Wilmington. “I’ve been involved in the corporate world for a long time,” Hink, formerly of Ellwood City, said. “This is a chance to get back into the real world and give people hospitality and relaxation.” The house will open on March 20 and…


Photos: Ellwood City Wrestling Senior Night

Ellwood City wrestling celebrated senior night on Friday, Feb. 6. Seniors David McCarthy, Jacob Mayle and Mike Sinclair were honored. The team had their last home match against Mars. Although they lost 37-30, the wrestlers remain confident. “Overall the season went well,” coach Craig Alberts said. “We had some holes to fill after losing so many seniors last year, and we had some injuries that could have made a difference in the close matches. We are a young team, and I am confident that our younger wrestlers will all improve and perform even better for the years to come.” Lincoln…


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Wolverines Victorious, Celebrate Entering Playoff Season

For the first time since the 1997-98 season, the Ellwood City girls basketball team has reached the playoffs. The Lady Wolverines traveled to New Castle on Thursday for the deciding game. With four conference wins and seven losses, the team was tied with Hopewell for the 4th playoff spot. If they lost and Hopewell won its game against Central Valley, the playoff dream would be over. Raising the stakes, the Wolverines barely won its last game against the Hurricanes, 49-43, played on Jan. 12. The first quarter was slow, with just 10 points total- six for Ellwood and four for…


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The Ellwood Library: A Gem to the Community

Thirteen years ago, Veronica Pacella, the new director of the Ellwood City Area Public Library, was at a crossroads. The 1990’s was a bad time for libraries, and the new century would only be worse. When Pacella was a child, libraries were a regular part of her social life . Now, it seemed the library would be obsolete by the next decade. Pacella, her staff and the Board of Trustees decided to take a stand. There would be no going back and no decreasing of the library’s functions.. Instead, the library would be reinvented. Who it served, what it did,…


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2015 Rumble Party a Smashing Success

Hometown hero Shane Douglas defended Ellwood City in an epic battle inside and outside the ring. The main event of the 2015 Royal Rumble Party saw world champions Douglas, of New Brighton, and Detroit’s Rhino battle through the Sons of Italy Hall to prove who was the real champion. In the end, hometown favorite Douglas triumphed. An enthusiastic crowd packed into the Sons of Italy on Sunday, January 25, to watch five matches between locally and nationally famous wrestlers. The event saw the hall filled to a sold-out crowd. In the opening match, Chris LeRusso defeated Ganon Jones Jr. to…