Human Interest

Ellwood’s Petrak and Lott Advance to Track States

The 300 meter hurdles and 1600 meter run are two of the most physically taxing events in track and field. The hurdles not only requires one to sprint an extended distance, but navigate hurdles as well. The 1600 (approximately one mile) requires speed, endurance and a considerable amount of strategy to pace the four laps and outlast the competition. Ellwood has an athlete advancing in each event. Junior Taylor Petrak placed fourth at the Class AA WPIAL finals in the girls 300 hurdles with a time of 47.35 seconds and junior Billy Lott placed seventh in the boys 1600 with…


Ellwood City Family Video Closed Operations on Monday

The Ellwood City Family Video, located on 807 Lawrence Ave., closed operations on Monday. The store’s function will be absorbed by two other Family Video locations in New Castle and New Brighton. Employees at the Ellwood store will keep their jobs at the other locations. The Family Video chain, based in Glenview, Ill., owns the property, which will be rented to DaVita Kidney Care, a division of DaVita Health Partners. It is unknown when the care center will open. “It was the only local place to rent movies and games because, let’s be honest, Netflix doesn’t have everything,” Stephani Damato,…


The 3 Rivers Comicon and the Man Behind It

by Anthony Nocera and Jonathan Cortez 3 Rivers Comicon, a two day comic book convention, is coming to Pittsburgh this weekend. Todd McDevitt, the organizer and host, was once a teenager who got into collecting comics thanks to his friend, Matt Brady. While still in high school, Todd became intrigued by the business side of comic books. His business started without an actual location as he simply sold comic books in school and through mail. The first physical New Dimension Comics was in a small storefront by PeeWee’s Hot Dog Shop. Todd’s business would continually grow and eventually become the…


Write On Fair at the Ellwood Library Celebrates Local Authors

Becoming a published author is no easy feat, and there are over 30 published authors in the Ellwood area. To honor these individual and celebrate local literary culture, the Ellwood City Area Public Library will host an author fair this Friday, April 29. Write On, organized by the Ellwood City Library 100th Anniversary Committee, will showcase 22 local authors. The committee identified over 30 authors, but not all were able to attend. The committee, which was created last year to celebrate the library’s centennial, stayed together to continue organizing events. “It’s a wonderful number for a first time out,” Veronica…


Wampum Native Stephen Johns Debuts in NHL and Scores First Goal

Ellwood City now boasts a National Hockey League Player. Stephen Johns made his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars on March 11 and has since played four more games. On March 17, he scored his first goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Johns is a native of Wampum and a Class of 2010 Lincoln High School graduate. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. The 6’4″, 213 pound defenseman signed a two year contract with the Stars with an $800,000 annual salary. Johns’ talent and dedication were noticed by Ellwood residents while he was still a Lincoln…


“Casualties of Steel,” a Documentary on the Closing of Ellwood’s U.S. Steel

In 1974, U.S. Steel closed its seamless tube mill in Ellwood City. “Casualties of Steel,” a documentary, chronicles the cultural impact of that closing through first hand accounts of the people who lived during the booming times of steel and its sad aftermath. This film was created by Ben Minett as a requirement for an ethnography class at Carnegie Mellon University. The documentary has no narrator and instead progresses through the voices of Ellwood City residents. Minett is a 1997 Riverside High School graduate. He created “Casualties of Steel” during his master’s degree studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Minett lives…


Seussical the Musical: Q&A with Leads

The Riverside High School Theater will present the family musical, “Seussical” on March 3 through March 6 in the high school auditorium. A cast of over 100 students from the high school, middle school and elementary will participate in the production. This is the 53nd Anniversary of Theater at Riverside, so we hope you can join us for this landmark show. “Oh, the things you can think” when Dr. Seuss’s best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper. Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens…


Winter Storm Results in First Snow Day of the School Year for Ellwood City

At the Ellwood City Area school board meeting last Thursday, Feb 11, Superintendent Joe Mancini said that students will still have Monday off because there hasn’t been a snow day yet. A few school board members responded with, “Don’t say that yet!” It was semi-prescient. Students did indeed have Monday, designated as a snow-makeup day, off. Ironically, the first snow day of the year came yesterday, giving students a four-day weekend. Both Ellwood and Riverside districts had cancellations. For Ellwood, the next snow-makeup day is March 24, the Thursday before Good Friday. The winter storm also caused the Riverside girls…


Local Resident to Be Featured Tonight “Get Marty” Television Series

Local resident Joseph Gasper will be featured tonight on KDKA during the popular Marty Griffin series, “Get Marty”, a segment that appears on the six o’clock news. 97 year-old Gasper, one of the area’s last surviving veterans, was injured on Dec. 7, 1941 at the attack on Pearl Harbor. His family had tried several times 18 months ago to get a chair lift installed, so he could safely go downstairs from his bedroom to the rest of the house. The Veterans Association was unable to install a chair lift. Gasper, who Griffin featured on his Facebook Page in December before…


New Chamber Director Settles In, Set Goals

“First week on the job and we already lost Trader Horn,” Ray Santillo joked as he worked on arranging his new desk. Santillo is the new executive director the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce, a role he began on Monday, Jan. 11. Although there are many challenges ahead, he has a matching enthusiasm for the work and the Ellwood area. Santillo is a lifelong resident of Ellwood City, who raised four children here and says he is blessed that they all live nearby. He made his career with Riverside school district as a teacher, coach and ultimately principal of…