Welcome to Pennsylvania Bridges!

Pennsylvania Bridges is a publication bridging communities in Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties. More »

Local author releases new poetry collection

Local author and Bram Stoker award nominee Stephanie Wytovich recently released her second poetry collection, Mourning Jewelry More »

Exploring the Paranormal with Reanna Roberts

In each edition of Pennsylvania Bridges, Reanna Roberts, co-founder of The Mon Valley Paranormal Research Society, will explore various aspects of the paranormal, ghosts and hauntings. More »

Area man combines passions for art and healthy living

Area man Joseph William Phillips talks about the motivations behind his art and his ambition to live a healthier lifestyle. More »

Comedy Classic Ghostbusters Turns the Big 3-0

Pennsylvania Bridges contributor and avid Ghostbusters fan Chuck Brutz examines the past, present and future of this iconic film as the comedy classic celebrates its 30th birthday. More »

New name and updated sound for local band

The Weedrags, soon to be renamed The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers, will feature new members and a slightly updated sound that still plays homage to their roots. More »

Septuagenarian Kayaker Embarks on River Adventure

Will Moore, 71, set in at Uffington, West Virginia, two miles upriver from Morgantown, on a lengthy river adventure he plans to end at Cairo, Illinois – where the Ohio meets the mighty Mississippi. More »

Wine & Line is different kind of art experience

Since September 2012, a group of people have been meeting at 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month, snacks and hors d’oeuvres and bottle of wine in hand, to put their creative juices to work. More »

Thompson House Gets New Life with New Restaurant

With its new name of the Twelve Oaks Restaurant, you might not immediately guess the recently opened upscale restaurant in the Thompson House has a “Gone with the Wind” theme. More »

Television to get more “super” this fall

The leaves are starting to fall. Daylight hours are getting shorter, which can only mean one thing. Time for the fall TV season, with new heroes looming on the horizon ready to save the day. More »

Haunted Houses, Trails & Attractions 2014

Looking for a haunted house, haunted trail or other haunted attraction in our area? These attractions are within 45 miles of our office in California, PA. More »

Remembering the late, great Robin Williams

He was best known to some as a loveable alien named Mork. To others, he was a fast talking blue genie, an elderly British nanny, an unconventional doctor, or a Vietnam War era armed services radio disc jockey beloved by the troops. More »

Local students to attend international symposium

This January, four local college students and their instructor will travel to Australia to take part in the Estill World Voice Symposium. More »

126 years of Jack the Ripper: Uncovering the Spectre

126 years ago, on October 23, 1888, London prostitute Elizabeth “Long Liz” Stride was declared the fourth victim of the specter we now call Jack the Ripper. More »

WCCC Dedicates Advanced Technology Center

Westmoreland County Community College dedicated its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) which offers education and training in industrial technology fields. More »

Cal U Theatre & Dance presents “Midsummer/Jersey”

The second fall-semester presentation by the Department of Theatre and Dance showcases the talents of Cal U’s newest crop of aspiring actors and technicians. More »

 

Remembrance of Things Past

As I was preparing the content of the maiden edition of Pennsylvania Bridges, set to launch tomorrow, June 25, I noticed a trend. Many of the stories share a common theme, one of remembrance. I soon fell down the rabbit’s hole of memory, and began thinking about the events and people who shaped my own early interest in publishing.

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write.” Most published authors, myself included, have trotted this little gem out on one occasion or the other, contributing to one of the ever popular myths surrounding the business of writing, that writers are born with the desire and drive to write. What I can remember, however, is the day I realized I wanted to go into the business of publishing.

The year was 1993. I was a sophomore at Frayser High School and had recently joined the staff of the school newspaper, the RamPages. I quickly advanced from rewriting a popular advice column to writing and editing articles, and had the opportunity to help determine the content of the publication under the guidance of English teacher and newspaper staff sponsor, Pearl Washington. We were all set to send out the material for the second issue of the year when calamity struck.

We were informed not enough money had been allocated in the school budget to pay for layout and design services. [Most schools at that time contracted out for layout and design services as we lacked the appropriate software to do it in house.] There were funds available to offset the costs of printing the issue but we had to deliver the files, camera ready, directly to the printer. Upon hearing this news, Ms. Washington and I soon found ourselves in the school’s “computer lab”, a small room in the school library that contained an outdated Apple II with PrintShop software, printing out clip art and typewritten articles that we later literally glued onto a page. It was hard, frustrating, even messy work, but I fell headfirst, truly, madly, deeply in love with the effort.

When everything was said and done and the issue came back from the printer, I grabbed one from the top of the stack and eagerly opened the page to the staff directory, scanning for a phrase that gave me a thrill like none I’d ever experienced before: “Carla E. Anderton, Managing Editor.” In that moment, seeing those words in black and white, I knew that while I was born to be a writer, I would also spend the rest of my life as an editor, bridging people and stories much as I now strive to do so in my current position as Editor-in-Chief of Pennsylvania Bridges.

Twenty two years have passed since that day and, with notable exceptions, I’ve been in the publishing business ever since. I’ve always believed media should uplift and inspire, so I’ve shied away from publishing negative stories, and focused on profiling people and organizations making a positive impact on their communities. Pennsylvania Bridges adheres to the same philosophy.

As you peruse the pages of our maiden edition, it’s my hope you’ll find a story that will uplift and inspire you. Know of individuals or groups living or working in Washington, Fayette, Westmoreland or Greene counties you feel should be recognized? Send us an email. We welcome your comments and input.

Until next time,

Carla E. Anderton

Hundred Acres Manor is well worth a visit

haunted-house

Hundred Acres Manor, located at 1 Hundred Acres Drive in Bethel Park, Pa., puts the “haunt” in haunted house.

Tired of Halloween attractions that take longer to wait in line to get in than to walk through? Hundred Acres Manor is your answer. Boasting over a solid mile of walk through multiple haunts – including a new addition, Zombie Paintball – this attraction is a must-see stop for haunted house lovers.

Hundred Acres Manor is a well-organized and overall decent haunted attraction. While it may not spook the iron-men, the attraction does have quite a number of scream-inducing scenes. With cast members hidden around every corner, you’re sure to jump at least once or twice during the tour.

One thing Hundred Acres Manor does well is the art of misdirection, causing you to look somewhere else and not at the person lurking in a corner, box or behind a hidden door. This is done with intriguing scenes and animatronic creations that beg you to take a closer look. This was the perfect opportunity to prey on the easily spooked. Complementing the misdirection well is Hundred Acres Manor’s use of scent in each of the attractions to give you the full experience.

This year, Hundred Acres Manor features six unique sections: Dead Lift, Damnation, Torture Tank, The Family, The Maze and The Brine Slaughterhouse. In “Dead Lift” you’re loaded into an elevator with a rather unusual operator who truly set the mood with his own parody of “Frozen’s – Do You Want to Build a Snowman”? It wasn’t so much scary as it was utterly hilarious. It was my absolute favorite part of the experience.

A close second on my favorites list was “Damnation” where the focus was lost souls. Zombies, minions and restless spirits are around every corner, lurking and waiting. You have to hand it to the actors with their powerful lungs to continue screaming for hours on end. Even late into the night it’s ear piercing and real. Well done, actors!

This year’s newest addition is “Zombie Paintball” – a walk through attraction allowing you to channel your inner “Walking Dead” character armed with a spring-loaded paintball weapon to shoot the zombies ala carnival-style firing range.

Upon entrance into the “Zombie Paintball” attraction, you’re greeted by your military commander who hands you a mask and a gun. He/she then leads you through the attraction one room at a time. After each of the two rooms there is a reloading area. Other than the abrupt ending, overall this attraction is pretty cool and I look forward to seeing it grow next year.

If you’re looking for a great night out where you get your money’s worth, Hundred Acres Manor is a great place to visit. It’s fun, interesting and you’re also helping local charities. Proceeds from the event are donated to two local Pittsburgh charities, Homeless Children’s Educational Fund and Animal Friends. Thanks to a fantastic 2013 season, Hundred Acres Manor donated more than one million dollars to the charities.

Tickets start at just $18 for the attraction; however, due to the lengthy lines, I strongly encourage you to spend a few extra dollars to get the line jumper passes. “Zombie Paintball” is an additional fee. Want to save a few bucks? Check out the website for discounted tickets offers, special promotional nights and much more. The attraction is open daily (with a few exceptions) through November 2 starting at 7 p.m. For a complete list of special events, times and to purchase tickets visit www.hundredacresmanor.com.
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Review of Hundred Acres Manor by Hayley Martin for Pennsylvania Bridges