Posts Tagged ‘sheetz’

Homecoming, Dumb Terrorists & Inspirational Savant

Homecoming is October 7-9  and folks are going to “Paint the Town Red and Black.”   The Sprint football team is still savoring its 42-2 win over Princeton but will face stiffer competition against Navy at 1 p.m. Saturday.  For a full schedule and registration form, go to alumni.mansfield.edu

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MU and Albany State University  are featured on the Campus Safety Magazine website.  One Card Administrator Alex Miller talks about how  the Blackboard Transact programs has improved safety and streamlined security operations.

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The 60 Minutes episode that featured former FBI counter terrorist investigator Ali Soufan ’94, mentioned that a Mansfield University administrator suggested that he take the test to join the FBI.  We tracked down that administrator and talked with him about his relationship with the young political science major and why he made the now famous suggestion.

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Soufan’s book, The Black Banners, is now #9 on the NY Times Bestseller list.  His partner, Dan Freedman, looks at terrorists from a different angle in the Forbes Magazine article,  “Al Qaeda’s Dumbest Terrorists”.  Possibly taking top honors was the Yemini explosives trainer who told his class “not to do this” then accidentally did it.  (Must read to believe).

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And Mansfield continues to grow.  The new Sheetz, located on the Farmer-in-the-Dell site, complete with traffic light.  We are now a three-light town.

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Get the latest news via video with Terry’s Take whose location this week is the art gallery featuring the works of graphic designer and artist Marc Rubin.

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Finally, this story about Derek Paravacini, a blind, autistic, musical savant, should be of interest to folks in music, psychology, education and anyone who marvels at the power of the human mind and spirit.

The Mansfield Construction Issue

If you’re outside Mansfield, it’s impossible to appreciate the massive amount of change around here.  I sat outside Night & Day last week meeting with a colleague.  During that one hour time, more than 100 Marcellus Shale industry related trucks passed by on Rts. 6 & 15.  One hour.

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There is also a lot of other construction, like the new Perkins in the I-99 Business Park, due to open in the fall, the  Hampton Inn,   Sheetz (and yes, another traffic light!  We’ve gone from a one to a three-light town).  Oh, and there’s the pipeline being built over the hill behind WalMart.

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When you are having lunch in Perkins next summer, you’ll see this reminder of what a beautiful area Mansfield University is in.

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On campus, things are just as busy.   The new residence halls are looking large and stately as contractors stay on track for their December opening.  (Reminder: this is privatized housing being done by a nonprofit corporation, not MU).

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On campus the gazebo, donated by MU Prof Larry Schankman in 1996, got a major uplift this summer.   Designed by Ryan Wood, the retaining wall doubles as seating, transforming it into an outdoor classroom.  Shrubs, grasses and trees create a broken screen.  The project team included mason John Pollock with student worker Tyler Krouse.  Grounds crew included Lynette Whipple and Al Seymour and equipment operator Curt Machmer.  Other student workers were Matt Berkowitz, Scott Peterson, Gary Smith & Andrea Kuntz.  “We’re proud of the finished product and have left the door open to add on to it in the future,” Ryan said.

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A new, larger pavilion will be built on the picnic area near the water tower,  just below an area that has been leveled for use as the band practice field.  The old practice field has become a parking lot.

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Writer Lilace Guignard and her husband, Jimmy, an English prof here, have created the blog Greetings from Pipeline Road 7, analyizing the rhetoric and documenting the changes in our Marcellus Shale region.  The blog’s title comes from a quick snapshot of local history and rural life in the tidal wave of multi-billion dollar industry.

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And fitting in nicely with the construction theme is 1997 grad Nick Ippoliti’s new video, “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me, Mama.   It was shot on Armenia Mountain and the PA Grand Canyon.

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07 2011

After Hotel Eviction, Choir Still Takes Top Spots

The MU Choir’s trip has been an adventure.  Choir member Yvonne Marie Glass has been sending updates. She reports that the hotel in which the choir was staying was “seized” for financial reasons and the choir members were evicted Thursday morning.

The group maintained the Mountie spirit, however, and Derrek Stark took third place in the International Vocal Solo competition and the Concert Choir placed  second place in the Youth Choirs Competition.

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The Mansfield July 4 celebration was a big success this year with a colorful parade, activities and fireworks.  This year, MU staff got involved, making the celebration, like other activities, a truly town-grown venture.  Thanks to Bruce Dart for the photos.

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To describe 2011 as the year of many changes is a sweeping understatement.  The new Perkins is now going up in the I-99 Business Park  and should be open for business in a couple months.  Sheetz, located where Farmer in the Dell used to be, is under construction and should have the lights on this fall.  Doug Roupp’s Gulf, where a couple generations of university students stopped for gas and jokes, has closed.

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I just spoke with Francis Bok’s  manager who said that since his visit to MU in 2009,  the Sudanese child slave and one of the “Lost Boys” has created the Francis Bok Foundation, is building schools in Sudan and is the subject of a new documentary.   During his visit here, I interviewed Francis for a two-part podcast It’s a harrowing, inspirational story.

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For music geeks, here’s NME Video’s list of the top 10 videos of  all time.  Spoiler: the number one music video is Johnny’s Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.

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Here’s what happens when you do a bad job photo shopping. These Chinese officials wound up “inspecting” things beyond their wildest dreams.

Retirement Surprises, Announcements & Warnings

In one of the most open secrets of recent times, Lori Ranck, Kathy Rumsey and other friends of Budget Planning Director Joyce Nichols chipped in to make Joyce’s retirement party really special.  They secretly flew Joyce’s daughter, Jenn and grandson Tayden in from Denver.  While it looks like PR department members were attacking Joyce, Lori captured her at the exact moment she saw Jenn and Tayden enter the room. Okay, so I believe the ad: “priceless.”

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Marvin Roberts, application developer in Campus Technology, also said farewell last week.  And he did it with flair.  After years of being the target of colleague Willie Tuttle’s practical jokes, Marv administered his own parting shot.  Willie congratulated Marv and conceded he probably had it coming.

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Police Chief Christine Shegan alerts us that several vehicles have been stolen this month in Mansfield Borough and the surrounding area.  In fact, they’ve been stolen from private residences so make sure you remove your ignition keys and lock your vehicles all the time.  Yes, the times they are a-changing.  Mayberry’s gone.

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The old borough building came down July 19.  The two- story section on the left was once part of the Mansfield Opera House that burned in 1913.  The land, now owned by the university, will be leased by the Mansfield Downtown Development Corporation, which plans to construct a building housing a movie theatre and rooms for other community and university activities.

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Rumors of Sheetz coming to Mansfield appear to be true, contingent on a couple approvals.  the Altoona-based family operation has a fascinating history.

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Can’t get enough Marcellus Shale info?  Here’s the latest “industry backed” study that shows the gas pocket could generate up to a billion dollars in taxes and create 100,000 jobs in PA and Virginia.

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Warning. If you haven’t already heard, Facebook now publishes your phone number and the numbers of all your friends.  To fix this, go to the top right of your screen and click Account.  Go to Edit Friends.  Go to the left side of your screen and click phone book.

Or go to Privacy settings – Phone – Customize – Only Me.

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07 2010