Articles by Jonathan Cortez

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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…


Inside the Making of Bigfoot the Movie with Creator Jared Show

When Jared Show traveled to Ellwood City to film Bigfoot the Movie, he had no idea that his hometown would be so accommodating. “I was amazed at how supportive and helpful everyone was,” Show said. Show grew up in the Ellwood City Area and attended Riverside School District. His grandfather used to tell Bigfoot stories. That, combined with his love for campy horror movies such as Tremors, were the inspiration for Bigfoot the Movie. Filming occurred in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014. Show, who now lives in California, was surprised at how accommodating people were. “In California,…


A Farewell to Carmike Plaza 6

For the past several years, Carmike Plaza 6 in Big Beaver has been drawing smaller crowds than its competitors, largely due to the emptiness of Plaza 6. As a result, the theater announced January will be its final month of operation. Although the theater was not in Ellwood City, it was part of the community and social life. Its proximity and cheaper prices were of special appeal to younger moviegoers. For many in the Ellwood area, Carmike Plaza 6 was part of their childhood experiences, creating many cherished memories, and it will be missed by its regular customers. Stephani Damato,…


Ellwood City Vapors Offers Alternative to Smoking

Ellwood City now has its own electronic cigarettes store. Ellwood City Vapors, located on 505 Lawrence Ave., had its grand opening last Saturday. The grand opening, sponsored by the Ellwood City Chamber of Commerce, featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, cookies, and coffee. Owners David Spielvogel and Robert Infantozzi launched their store by cutting the ribbon at 10 a.m. Present at the opening was the store’s mascot, Peggy, the owners’ Boston Terrier. Throughout the morning and afternoon, dozens of customers enjoyed refreshments and the well-furnished atmosphere while having the opportunity to learn about e-cigarettes. Spielvogel, of Ellwood City, and Infantozzi, of Monaca,…


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Audit Finds Ellwood School District’s Technology Outdated

A technology audit presented by Questeq to the Ellwood City Area School Board at its meeting on Jan. 15, found the District’s technology outdated and inconsistent. Questeq CEO Jeffrey Main reported that the District’s technology policy is reactive and lacks consistency. Over half of the District’s 2200 devices are over five years old. Some computers still run Windows XP, an outdated operating system Microsoft ended support for in 2009. Erin Parkison, the high school’s librarian, reported that some of the computers are older than the students. However, Questeq reported that Ellwood City is not unique. The company does audits across…