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    ‘Uniquely American’ music shines at Indiana, Pennsylvania, festival

    The boy, Winston Bell — now a high schooler — will return to play at that same festival this year with his own band, Funky Fly Project. The group already has released its first CD and is going strong.

    It’s an example of the impact of the Delaney Chevrolet Westsylvania Jazz & Blues Festival, set this year for May 26. “We feel it’s part of our mission to bring jazz to the next generation of musicians and expose people to jazz,” said the festival’s David Ferguson.

    The festival is reinforcing its educational goals by hosting jazz saxophonist and vocalist Darmon Meader, of New York Voices, as a musical clinician to mentor and rehearse with student musicians in a Friday session then perform with the group at Saturday’s festival.
    Student, regional, and national acts traditionally entertain at the fes-tival, which is held in IRMC Park in downtown Indiana, a 218-mile drive from Washington, D.C., in western Pennsylvania. Last year’s event drew 1,200 spectators, some from as far as away as Ontario, Canada.

    In addition to Funky Fly Project, the 2018 lineup includes Dad Band, Horace Mann EL, Punxsutawney High School Jazz Choir, Westsylvania Jazz All-Stars, Nevin Saylor Big Band, Jimmy Adler Blues Band, and Shawn Maxwell. Headliners are announced closer to the date, and past performers have included Sonny Landreth, Richie Cole, Sean Jones, Jeff Bush, and New Master Sounds.

    Admission is free to the festival, which runs 10:00am–9:30pm. Food vendors will be on-site, or spectators can order food at a kiosk for delivery. The fun continues into the wee hours at Levity Brewery Co. and town bars.

    For those arriving early, a ticketed dinner and performance will be held Friday night. The Park Inn by Radison is the preferred festival hotel. 

    The festival got its start in 2014 when Ferguson and his amateur jazz group, Dad Band, brainstormed for ways to have a lasting impact and “to make Indiana, Pa., feel like a big town.”  Ferguson, an administrator at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s College of Fine Arts, plays bass in Dad Band, as well as trumpet in his wife, Laura’s, group, Ferguson & Friends. Ferguson said the festival also filled a need for a Memorial Day weekend event in town.

    The name “Westsylvania” comes from an unsuccessful Revolutionary War-era proposal to form a new state out of southwestern Pennsylvania and what is now West Virginia. Ferguson said the term implies a “rebel element” that appealed to organizers. A steering committee and several arts and corporate partners make the 
    festival possible, including Indiana Arts Council and Delaney Chevrolet.

    Ferguson said jazz is “uniquely American,” a democratic art form in which “each individual gets a voice.” Self-expression and improvisation are central features of jazz, which lends itself to inclusion of other styles of music. He said the blues and jazz were born out of the oppression of slavery to lift spirits, “a way to sing away your sorrow.” He said festival goers also may be enticed by the Jimmy Stewart Museum (Indiana was the actor’s hometown), two breweries, bike trails, rolling hillsides — “and, the music is pretty good.” 
  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:18 +0000

    How a Different Type of Company is Leading Innovation

    Assistant Editor

    [img_assist|nid=10546|title=|desc= Currently, GSA is the sole Qualified Vendor of custom development and self-service applications for Wyndham Worldwide, one of two venders for Choice Hotels International Inc., and they hold additional contracts with numerous other hospitality groups.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:19 +0000

    What Women Really Think of Their Shifting Status in Higher Education

    Regional Contributor

    It was fitting that when I started writing this article, I was reading Dorothy Sayers’ “Gaudy Night,” a mystery set in a women’s college at Oxford in the 1930s. Woven through Sayers’ intricate mystery is the theme of women in academe, their personal lives — or lack thereof — and the challenges of being a great woman in a sometimes mediocre world.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:35 +0000


    By Holly RiddleBut

    For young and ambitious females entering today’s workforce, the outlook is bright.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:35 +0000

    Constructing Success


    Ahead of the Right Here. Right Now. Thought Leadership Summit on Entrepreneurship event presented by Startup Alleghenies, Women in Business caught up with one of the featured panelists, Chelsea Mihalko Trimbath of Mihalko’s General Contracting, to learn more about her career path, industry and advice for other women.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:37 +0000

    Decoding the Gender Pay Gap and Landing a Raise


    “Women get promoted based on performance. Men get promoted based off potential,” Elizabeth Soroka states. “…you have to be willing to be your own advocate, and that’s something women haven’t been socialized to do.”

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:39 +0000

    Centre County Woman Turns Her Nightmare into a Community’s Salvation

    MBA, President and Founder of the Jana Marie Foundation

    Life has a way of taking us on unexpected journeys and leading us down paths that we never imagined. At times, these experiences are joyous and remind us what a beautiful world we live in. Other times, these experiences open our eyes to the trials and hardships that exist in our world.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:41 +0000

    Female Professionals Driving Placemaking


    Female professionals are driving Placemaking, the reinvention and reinvigoration of public spaces.

    Katherine Loflin is the foremost authority of the placemaking movement. Loflin earned her PhD in social work, and went on to focus her dissertation on civic engagement and social capital, the ways in which community and economy are inter-reliant.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:43 +0000

    Sparking a Fire for Giving

    Founder, A Soldiers Hands

    Sometimes, unexpected blessings arise when you least expect it. Because of a chance meeting on a flight home on Aug. 1, 2007, thousands of folks have been helped by volunteers dedicated to serving. While sitting next to a young man, middle seat empty on an overbooked flight, I noticed his hands were a mess; sunburned on the top with massive blisters on his palms.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:44 +0000

    Women in Business: We Asked, You Answered


    Women in the workplace are breaking the mold (and the glass ceiling), but success comes with its challenges and sacrifices. We asked you what you felt were the biggest issues facing women in the workplace today, and you had a lot to say. Equal pay, disrespect from your peers, confidence issues, work-life balance, family issues – it all popped up in your responses.

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  • Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:44:47 +0000



    . April 18 – 8:15 a.m.

    WiNGs Monthly Meeting

    Patton Township Municipal Building – State College

    Join the WiNGs Women’s Network Group for women entrepreneurs, as they discuss the topic of “Tackling the Social Media Giant.”

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  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:50:27 +0000

    What will be lost with nuclear power plant closings? NEI says environmental benefits

    It comes as a new report by The Brattle Group estimates that the potential retirements of Beaver Valley in Shippingport and three other nuclear power plants will be a blow to the region's clean-energy efforts.
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:28:24 +0000

    Bidding wars for houses in Pittsburgh? Yes, and the number of bidders may be increasing

    Recent housing reports reveal a significant jump in house prices as inventory levels reach historic lows in a Pittsburgh with a reputation for affordable housing.
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:50:09 +0000

    Nine West Holdings to close eastern Pa. facility, laying off nearly 100

    The company that has Nine West, Anne Klein, and Gloria Vanderbilt brand filed for bankruptcy protection on April 6.
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:48:53 +0000

    Nine West files for bankruptcy

    The parent company behind apparel brands Nine West, Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt has filed for bankruptcy protection. Nine West Holdings Inc., which announced a restructuring plan earlier this year, announced the measure as a means of facilitating an auction. "This is the right step to address our two divergent business profiles," said Nine West Chief Executive Ralph Schipani. "We will retain our strong, profitable and growing apparel, jewelry, and jeanswear businesses and continue to operate…
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:31:51 +0000

    Feds highlight growing natural gas production in Pennsylvania

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration is calling attention to Pennsylvania's natural gas production that rose 3 percent in 2017 to 15 billion cubic feet per day. That's a record for the commonwealth, which between 2012 and 2013 surpassed Louisiana and Oklahoma as the second-biggest producer of natural gas in the U.S. behind Texas. Pennsylvania's natural gas industry represented 19 percent of the nation's production in 2017, according to a news release Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As…
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:30:38 +0000

    Pittsburgh, Philly offices settle wagers as Pens advance in NHL playoffs

    Companies put pastries, beer and face-painting on the line when teams on either side of Pennsylvania squared off in opening round.
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:41:38 +0000

    Pittsburgh International passengers up almost 15 percent in March

    The Allegheny County Airport Authority reported that passenger traffic at Pittsburgh International Airport increased 14.8 percent in March. Passenger numbers have also increased 12 percent through the first quarter of 2018, according to a news release. The airport saw 824,647 travelers in March 2018, compared with 718,077 in March 2017. Holiday travelers for Easter on April 1 contributed to those figures, the release said. Year-to-date, more than 2 million passengers have come through Pittsburgh…
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:51:50 +0000

    Alcoa stocks affected by talk of Russian competitor's reprieve from sanctions

    Alcoa's stock dropped 12 percent with the announcement of an extension for a Russian competitor for penalties. The aluminum company was affected after the U.S. Treasury Department issued the reprieve for Rusal, according to CNBC. Sanctions, which would include freezing all of the company's U.S. assets, stem from its former leader Oleg Deripaska and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The delay allows Rusal to review the penalties. Aluminum…
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:38:01 +0000

    Metallurgical coal exports up double-digits in 2017

    Not every part of the coal industry is hurting. While thermal coal has seen better days, metallurgical coal — the kind used in the steel-making process — has seen a strong uptick in production and sales. The boost in metallurgical coal is due in large part to the amount of exports, which jumped 35 percent to 55.2 million short tons in 2017, according to recently released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Where is the coal going? Canada, Japan and Ukraine were the biggest…
  • Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:36:22 +0000

    New AHN surgical chair stresses innovation at health system

    Dr. Ngoc Thai is an 11-year veteran of AHN, a transplant surgeon who is director of the Center for Abdominal Transplantation at Allegheny General Hospital.
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