Month’s Work: June 2014

The highlight of my month was working with my colleague and friend Evan Sanders to produce a portrait of Hempfield’s two-time PIAA relay champions. Sometimes I get extremely nervous before portraits because of how in control the photographer must be. Luckily, with his help and with the girls’ awesome attitudes, I managed to create a frame I am very proud of. It took plenty of planning, but the time spent was worth it to calm my nerves. Now, I am very eager to try my hand at more sports environmental portraits as we continue into fall sports preseason camps.

Steph Chambers | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA

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The Hempfield Area girls 4×100 meter relay team, (from left to right) Bridget Guy, Maddie Holmberg, Jasmine Jones and Gabby Holmberg, poses for a portrait on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the high school. The team won the PIAA AAA state championship for the second straight year with a time of 47.74, which is the fifth fastest time in WPIAL history.

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Hempfield Area senior Max Adams and junior Maddie Holmberg pose for a portrait on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the high school. Adams won the PIAA AAA state championship in discus and shotput, throwing 198 feet, 3 inches and 61 feet, 4 1⁄2 inches respectively. Holmberg won three gold medals at the PIAA Class AAA state championship: long jump (20 feet 1 inch), 300-meter hurdles (42.73) and 4×100 meter relay (47.74).

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Staff Sgt. Adam Miller looks out from the Blue Angels C-130 “Fat Albert” on Friday, June 6, 2014 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe. “Fat Albert” will be a part of the Westmoreland Air Show Saturday and Sunday.

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The Blue Angels fly within inches of each other during the Westmoreland County Airshow on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe.

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Bob Haddon and his daughter Dayze, 5, of Sidman near Johnstown, look to the airplanes during the Westmoreland County Airshow on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe.

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Fans keep cool in the shade of a C-123 during the Westmoreland County Airshow on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe.

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Blake Spillar, 8, (in blue) and Adelyn Auen, 4, (in stripes) both of Latrobe, watch the airplanes during the Westmoreland County Airshow on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe.

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Bill Maurhoff, of Mars, looks up at a C-123 during the Westmoreland County Airshow on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe.

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Neshannock’s Kaela Zingaro and head coach Tracy Kimmel react to Jenna DeLuca’s three-run homerun to tie the game against Claysburg-Kimmel in eight innings during the PIAA Class A semifinal at Hempfield Area High School. Claysburg-Kimmel won 5-4 in eight innings.

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Neshannock’s Jenna DeLuca reacts while bombarded by teammates after her three-run homerun to tie the game against Claysburg-Kimmel in eight innings during the PIAA Class A semifinal at Hempfield Area High School. Claysburg-Kimmel won 5-4 in eight innings.

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(From left to right) Tyler Hahn, 7, Jackson McMullen, 7, and Ryan Sapko, 8, of the Indians, prepare to play baseball on Saturday, June 14, 2014 during the West Point Little League player appreciation day at Xcela Health Field in Greensburg.

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Barbara Rikal, of Butler, receives a hug from John Coffey, of Commerce, Ga., during a Vietnam memorial ceremony on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at Sandyvale Memorial Gardens and Conservancy in Johnstown. Rikal’s husband, Radarman 2nd Class Victor T. Rikal of Butler, was one of five shipmates from Pennsylvania who were among the 74 lost in the only casualty at sea during the Vietnam war. The USS Frank E. Evans Association is erecting a monument in each home state of the 74 lost crewmen.

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Skye Bondra, 11, of Export, relaxes in the grip of a tree root during the Murrysville Recreation Department’s Playground Program on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at Bear Hollow Park in Murrysville. The Playground Program is held for children in first through fifth grade, from June 16 to July 25 and from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Volunteer staff members oversee games, crafts and other activities for $5 a day.

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Dalton Shaffer of Everson dips his toes into the water as he prepares his 1973 Hustler boat for a day on Greenlick Run Lake on Friday, June 27, 2014 near Mount Pleasant. Everson hopes to pass down the boat to his now 3-year-old son so they can walleye fish together.

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Mark Parker, 50, of Hempfield, smiles with his daughter Katie, 10, as they stretch before a rehearsal on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at Laurel Ballet in Greensburg. Parker was asked to dance the part of Don Quixote in ballet performances on June 14 and has been learning to dance since January. Katie has been dancing with the company since she was 3 years old.

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The Right Rev. David Hicks (center in red), bishop of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic of the Anglican Church in North America, gives communion during an early eucharist on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at St. Vincent College’s Basilica in Unity township. This weekend, the Right Rev. Dr. Foley Beach of the Diocese of the South will succeed the Most Rev. Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, the church’s first archbishop.

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Cindy Lou Fiorina of Latrobe uses a magnifying glass to examine a toothpick carved into a train by Bob Shamey of Ligonier on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at the Ligonier Country Market. Shamey has been featured three times in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” and holds the Guinness record for the smallest carved chain, with 17 links carved from a toothpick.

 

Month’s Work: May 2014

This month was stocked with sports assignments. Unfortunately high school is winding down, but on the upside, I had the opportunity to capture some championship moments. Highlighting the month, two of my favorite coworkers (chief photographer Barry Reeger and sports reporter Paul Schofield) made the trip to Shippensburg University with me to work the state track meet. When we weren’t busy supplying a dozen Trib Total Media newspapers their photos during the 12-hour work days, we had the chance to get to know each other outside the office and relax at some awesome restaurants. It’d be a blessing if that assignment became an annual experience.

Enjoy!

Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review

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Beaver’s Jaydaline Justice warms up in a nearby field before the WPIAL AA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field.

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Beaver’s pitcher Casey Farkasovsky, center left, celebrates their win over Deer Lakes during the WPIAL AA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field.

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Deer Lakes Maria Taliani is consoled by Rachel Tanilli after they lost to Beaver during the WPIAL AA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field.

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Canon-McMillan’s Ally Bellaire, left, and Taylor Bruno collide as they miss an out against Shaler during the WPIAL AAAA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field.

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Shaler celebrates their win over Canon-McMillan during the WPIAL AAAA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Lindsey Kalup bobbles her catch as her teammate Bayli Moon points to it as an out against Mars Area during the WPIAL AAA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Janelle Allison celebrates with her team their win over Mars Area during the WPIAL AAA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field.

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Deputy coroner John Ackerman plays with his cadaver dog Kai, a 1-year-old Belgian Malinois, on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Hempfield Park. The Westmoreland County coroner’s office has recently added Kai to their staff. A cadaver dog is specifically trained to detect blood, hair, body fluids, and human remains during investigations. Ackerman and Kai have completed 40 hours of intense cadaver recovery training last month with law enforcement training specialists, International Inc. in Seymour, Indiana. Kai will complete water cadaver recovery training this year.

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Callaghan Byrne-Houser, of the city of Greensburg, listens to the Seton Hill University bagpipe band practice on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at St. Clair Park’s Robert Shaw Ampitheater. “I’m Irish, and when I heard them I had to come over,” Byrne-Houser said.

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Ryan Peters of Monroeville glides around the dirt track on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at the BMX course at Northmoreland Park. Peters was accompanied by his friend Randy Nickerson of Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. “We’re just a couple of old dudes trying to relive our youth.”

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Graduates are reflected in a door window as they make their way into the Convocation Center for their commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania.

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Ashley Fisher, of Villas, N.J. who earned her bachelor of science in biology, listens to a blessing at the end of the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Seton Hill University’s McKenna Center.

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A graduate heads down a stairwell with the rest of his class toward the McKenna Center for their commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Seton Hill University.

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Firefighter Ryan Huhn, from Adah Volunteer Fire Department, works to extinguish a helicopter replica during a crash simulation on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Joseph Hardy-Connellsville Airport. The event was directed by Lt. Tom Bonura, a firefighter with the Allegheny County Airport Authoriy working at Pittsburgh International Airport.

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Greensburg Central Catholic’s Neal McDermott pitches against Southmoreland on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at Greensburg Central Catholic. GCC won 6-5.

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Unity’s Nick Palumbo watches his base hit during a Legion baseball game against Hempfield East on Friday, May 30, 2014 at Whitney Field outside Latrobe.

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Madison McLaughlin waits to be called during the Ligonier Valley High School grand march on Friday, May 9, 2014 in the school’s auditorium.

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Sara Myers, 18, waits last in line to be crowned prom queen during the Ligonier Valley High School grand march on Friday, May 9, 2014 in the school’s auditorium. Sara Myers was born with a chromosome disorder that has “impacted every part of Sara’s life from her intelligence and social adaptability to her physical coordination and emotions. It’s also a direct cause of her extreme epilepsy,” said her aunt Kathy Brown. “It is really such an accomplishment for her and her Mom that she is able to be ‘just one of the girls’ attending her senior prom.”

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East’s Malik Lewis scores a touchdown against West during the PSFCA East-West All-Star Football Game on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at Franklin Regional High School. East won 35-25.

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East’s Malik Lewis attempts to receive the ball during the PSFCA East-West All-Star Football Game on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at Franklin Regional High School. East won 35-25.

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New Brighton’s Essence Barron competes in the long jump during the Class AA PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University on May 23, 2014 in Shippensburg.

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Butler’s Julia Baxter competes in the high jump during the Class AAA PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University on May 23, 2014 in Shippensburg.

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Baldwin’s Luke Smorey throws the javelin during the WPIAL championships on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at Baldwin High School. Smorey won with a throw of 193’1″.

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Pole vaulters prepare during the PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 24, 2014 in Shippensburg.

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Burrell’s Kami Kaczanowicz receives a hug from Anika Ignozzi, right, and Tori Slomka, left, after their 4×400 meter relay during the Class AA PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 24, 2014 in Shippensburg.

Month’s Work: April 2014

Finally, it is starting to feel like spring time! This is my favorite time of the year because of two reasons: 60 degree weather and baseball. However, the biggest story of the month was the Franklin Regional High School stabbing which left 20 students and one security guard wounded. It was quite an emotional and stressful week as the aftermath unfolded. My heart goes out the students, families and community involved. Despite it being such a violent attack, it was an honor to be a part of a news team that broke many of the heroic stories of such sweet kids. We are FR strong.

Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review

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Jack Bradley helps his injured friend Brett Hurt walk around his car in front of the main entrance of Franklin Regional High School on Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Murrysville, one day after the massive stabbing that injured 22. Hurt was released from the hospital today.

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Franklin Regional high school students from right to left, Katie Pickup, 14, Margaret Murphy, 16, and Nellie Beasley, 18, chant “We are FR” while holding their candles during a community send-off for students to offer support for the re-opening of the high school on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at Leftwich Pavilion in Murrysville Community Park. School resumes Wednesday.

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Katie Kimmich, a sophomore at Franklin Regional High School, is comforted by pastor Brian Smith after a prayer service on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Cornerstone Ministries in Murrysville. Kimmich saved a wounded classmate by dragging him to a safe classroom, said churchgoer Tia Pampena.

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Khloe Lloyd, 2, of Kittanning hides while helping her sister Meagan, a senior at Armstrong High School, find a prom dress on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at MB Bride in Greensburg.

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MaryLou Miller, of Springfield Township, reacts after she bowled a strike on her last turn during the 21st annual “Bowling for Disaster Relief” on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at Main Bowling Center in Greensburg. Miller’s team of Excela Health employees was one of 21 teams who raised money for the Westmoreland-Armstrong Chapter of the American Red Cross. Staff and volunteers from the chapter respond to more than 80 natural an man-made disasters each year–most often home fires–providing assistance such as food, clothing, shelter and comfort. The event draws local medical personnel, businesses and schools against each other for a Medical Cup, Corporate Challenge and a School Challenge.

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Anglers Caleb Ackerman, 16, and John Filetic, 17, both from Derry Township, prepare to fish along Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 12, 2014, opening day of trout season.

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Marine Cpl. Brandon Rumbaugh hugs his friend Brenda Coleman, of Lemont Furnace, as Coleman’s husband Donnie, a Vietnam veteran, looks toward them inside Rumbaugh’s new house on Saturday, April 26, 2014 along Paul Court in Uniontown. Rumbaugh was on his second deployment when he lost both of his legs in an IED blast in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when he rushed with his team to aid an injured Marine. After 18 months of therapy, he’s earning a business degree at Penn State. The home was built for him with volunteer labor through Homes for Our Troops.

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Susannah Calvo takes down an American Flag after the 5th Annual Day of Remembrance on Wednesday, April, 30, 2014 at the Atlantic #40 One Room School on the Derry Area School District campus. Remembered this year are Emma Austraw (1900-1919), Rebecca Stahl (1974-2012), Edward (Tim) Deglau (1946-1978) and Gary Manges (1950-1997). The schoolhouse was erected in 1909, where school was taught until 1958. It now serves as a community center.

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Penn-Trafford’s Chris Common dives for the ball during a game against Hempfield on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at Hempfield Area High School. Hempfield won 4-2.

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Hempfield pitchers Marc Demilio, left, and Matt Tarabek embrace after a come-from-behind win late in the game against Penn-Trafford on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at Hempfield Area High School. Hempfield won 4-2.

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Latrobe’s Johnny Saunders (5), top left, Zack Kokoska (2), center, and Doug Cengia(13) congratulate Josh Verchuck (9) on his run against Penn-Trafford on Friday, April 25, 2014 at Legion Keener Field in Latrobe. Latrobe won 8-7.

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Latrobe’s Josh Keefe brings his team together for a huddle before playing Penn-Trafford on Friday, April 25, 2014 at Legion Keener Field in Latrobe. Latrobe won 8-7.

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California’s dugout cheers for their batter with their Hulk Hogan “good luck” toy during a game against West Greene on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at California High School. California won 5-0.

Month’s Work: March 2014

I certainly tasted March Madness in full force this month, especially with a hectic weekend of 8 basketball games– between Hershey’s PIAA high school championships and Penn State’s women’s NCAA run at State College. Of course, I loved being on the go, but I wish deadlines didn’t exist so I could have experimented a little more than the usual floor-level action and time-expiring celebrations with a wide angle lens. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to work PIAA championship basketball again in Chocolate Town because it was a blast. Besides the plethora of basketball assignments this month, I worked the daily grind of feature hunting and covering spot news. Enjoy.

Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review

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Homeowner Bill Pedder, center, shakes hands with Larimer firefighter Bill Hardy after a garage fire that spread to multiple homes on Monday, March 24, 2014 near the intersection of Cavittsville Road and Western Avenue in North Huntingdon township.

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Terry Henry, left, and his wife Debbie are silhouetted in the reflection of the football trophy cabinet as they reminisce in the front lobby of the old East Brady High School building on Monday, March 31, 2014 which is now Mother Goose Christian Preschool. Henry served as head coach of East Brady High School, where Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly played. Ever since their high school careers, the two have stayed best friends. Kelly undergoes chemotherapy this week for oral cancer.

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Systems Administrator Dan Brierley, center, and Swarn Gill, a professor of meteorology, play racquetball during their lunch break on Monday, March 24, 2014 at the Herron Recreation and Fitness Center at California University of Pennsylvania. Monday was the first day back from spring break.

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The setting sun illuminates the tips of Greensburg’s skyline on Friday, March 7, 2014 as seen from Gaither Way.

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Gallery assistant Seth Rupert, of Apollo, uses a yard stick to straighten paintings as he hangs a new batch of artwork on Monday, March 10, 2014 at Latrobe Art Center. Every two months the center presents a new exhibition, and every Tuesday night from 6 to 9 p.m. it hosts an open mic night.

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Blackhawk’s Chassidy Omogrosso, right, falls to the floor with her teammates after they beat Archbishop Wood during the Class AAA PIAA championship on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Blackhawk’s Breanna Hoover wipes her eyes after her team beat Archbishop Wood during the Class AAA PIAA championship on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Lincoln Park’s Renell Cummings, center, huddles with his team after they received gold medals for defeating Math, Civics and Science Charter School during the Class A PIAA championship on March 21, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Lincoln Park’s Renell Cummings, right, and Elijah Minnie react as time expires against Math, Civics and Science Charter School during the Class A PIAA championship on March 21, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Lincoln Park’s Chris Pipkin, right, and Elijah Minnie wipe their tears after their win against Math, Civics and Science Charter School during the Class A PIAA championship on March 21, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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New Castle’s Anthony Richards jumps on his teammates after they won over La Salle College during the Class AAAA PIAA championship on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey. New Castle won 52-39.

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La Salle College is introduced prior to the game against New Castle during the Class AAAA PIAA championship on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey. New Castle won 52-39.

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Lincoln Park reacts as the crowd throws Hershey’s Kisses after they defeated Bishop Carroll during the Class A PIAA semifinal on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at Hempfield High School. Lincoln Park won 70-28.

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Lincoln Park’s Elijah Minnie dunks against Bishop Carroll during the Class A PIAA semifinal on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at Hempfield High School. Lincoln Park won 70-28.

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Lincoln Park’s Maverick Rowan attempts to shoot past Bishop Carroll’s Scott Lucas (11) and Mitchell Madonna (24) during the Class A PIAA semifinal on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at Hempfield High School. Lincoln Park won 70-28.

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Seton-LaSalle girls’ team celebrates their win over Neumann-Goretti during the Class AA PIAA championship on March 21, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Seton-LaSalle’s Yancine Diop blocks the shot of Neumann-Goretti’s Ciani Cryor during the Class AA PIAA championship on March 21, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Seton-LaSalle’s Shaunay Edmonds reacts as time begins to expire and as Neumann-Goretti calls a timeout during the Class AA PIAA championship on March 21, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Vincentian’s Kayla Key is announced prior to the game against Old Forge during the Class A PIAA championship on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Seton LaSalle’s Levi Masua slams the floor after he missed a 3-pointer that would have won the game against Constitution during the Class AA PIAA championship on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Seton LaSalle’s Levi Masua reacts while his team is awarded silver medals against Constitution during the Class AA PIAA championship on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Greensburg Central Catholic gathers for a pregame dance before playing Bald Eagle during a PIAA playoff game on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Hempfield Area High School. GCC won 92-59.

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Greensburg Central Catholic’s Romano Sebastini attempts to collect his own rebound against Bald Eagle’s Bryce Green, left, and Trey Butterworth (25) during a PIAA playoff game on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Hempfield Area High School. GCC won 92-59.

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Greensburg Central Catholic’s Collin Liberatore (21), Brian Graytok (24) and Billy Hipp (12) cheer toward their fan section after beating West Middlesex on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at North Allegheny Senior High School. GCC won 73-57.

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Beaver Falls’ Javon Turner brings his team into a huddle before playing Greensburg Central Catholic during a Class AA PIAA quarterfinal game on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Chartiers Valley High School. GCC won 60-49.

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North Allegheny’s girls basketball team celebrates their win over Hempfield during a AAAA PIAA quarterfinal game on Friday, March 14, 2014 at Gateway Senior High School.

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Penn State’s Maggie Lucas reacts with Dara Taylor after a play against Wichita State during the first round of the women’s NCAA Division I tournament on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at Penn State University. PSU won 62-56.

USS Somerset Commissioning

What an honor it was to meet some of the families of Flight 93 victims over the first weekend of March at the USS Somerset commissioning in Philadelphia. It was my first big assignment for the Tribune-Review, and I definitely felt the pressure! Overall, I felt I stayed calm and looked for moments through the Navy’s limited access and the zoo of media that attended.

Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review

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Gerald and Karen Bingham, parents of Mark Bingham who died on Flight 93, cry during the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township. The Binghams live in Plant City, Fla.

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A large crowd lines up for a tour after the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Marines “bring the ship to life” during the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Sienna Davis, of Somerset, straightens one of her pins during the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Sailers take turns taking portraits after the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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The crowd watches “the parade of colors”, an American flag being drawn up a rope on top of the ship, during the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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A sailor looks to the crowd during the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Penny Henward, of Media, Pa., wipes her tears during the USS Somerset Commissioning on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Crew members walk past a flag on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Media members take photographs during a tour on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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A crew member walks past the living quarters on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Natasha Ward, of Queens, New York City, and Miles Amburgey, of Longview, Washington, straighten name decals on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Media members gather to photograph the aircraft deck on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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A crew member gives a thumbs up after landing a MV-22 Osprey aircraft on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Kagen Huebner, of San Diego, describes his work behind hanging decorations on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Captain Thomas L. Dearborn speaks to media on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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People gather near a handmade quilt contributed by family members on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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A crew member walks past a list of names decaled on a metal beam on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

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Two crew members high-five after a routine on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 aboard the USS Somerset at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The USS Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and honors the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township.

Month’s Work: February 2014

February marked the end of many area wrestling and basketball teams’ regular seasons, with many advancing to the WPIAL playoffs. When I wasn’t shooting sports, I was feature hunting in the Laurel Highlands, looking for slices of life out in the community and not hibernating in this perpetual Southwestern Pennsylvanian winter! As always, it is great to slowly meet my “neighbors” in Westmoreland County. One who I am specifically grateful for is farmer Rod Palmer, who helped shovel, push and tow my car out of snow with his neighbor and son. He turned down the few dollar bills I offered as a thank you so I hope to return the favor when his produce stand is up and running  this summer!

Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review

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Rod Palmer tends to his 15 Australian cattle dog mixes while watching snow plows drive along Bailey Farm Road on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 near his farm in Unity Township. Palmer was helping his grandson Alex Dreistadt chop wood among other outdoor chores. “I’m like my dogs. I have to be outside.”

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Dave Bandos, right, and Jeff Bandos tow a Kia Sorento away from a house on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at the intersection of Swede Hill Road and Willow Crossing Road in Hempfield Township. The SUV was traveling too fast, lost control and damaged the gas meter at 303 Willow Crossing Road, a police report states. No injuries were reported.

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Two pedestrians walk to their bus on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at the CamTran bus station along Main Street, Cambria County’s public transportation authority.

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Mechanics Scott Kramer, left, and Carl Hasselhoff, right, change the oil and complete exhaust repair on an SUV on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 at Goodyear Auto Service Center along Route 30 in Greensburg.

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Employees of Greyco survey a corn field using seismic equipment on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 near Hannastown in Hempfield Township.

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Elsie Lehman, 94,  kisses her great-great-great-granddaughter Ava Parrish, 15 months, held by her mother Sarah Parrish, of Ligonier Township, as Lehman’s husband of 76 years Alton, 99, smiles on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2014 at the Bethlen Home in Ligonier. Alton and Elsie Lehman were nominated as the state’s longest married couple through the Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s Longest Married Couple Project. The couple were married on Sept. 8, 1937.

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Penn-Trafford’s Emma Winchell, center, embraces her teammates after they won the 200-yard freestyle relay during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association swimming championship on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 at Derry Area High School.

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Mount Pleasant’s Julia Harhai swims the 200-yard freestyle event during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association swimming championship on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 at Derry Area High School.

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Al McGill, head custodian at Chartiers Valley, cleans wrestling mats before the WPIAL Individual Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Chartiers Valley High School.

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Kittanning’s Brendon Malia wrestles Derry Area’s Cole Wano in the 113-pound first round during the WPIAL Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at Chartiers Valley High School.

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Kittanning’s Nate Vukovich, right, wrestles Derry Area’s Derek Baker in the 152-pound first round during the WPIAL Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at Chartiers Valley High School.

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Ellwood City’s Brad Grinnen takes down Valley’s Marcus Davenport in the 195-pound final during the WPIAL Individual Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Chartiers Valley High School.

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Valley’s Marcus Davenport reacts after defeating Ellwood City’s Brad Grinnen in the 195-pound final during the WPIAL Individual Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Chartiers Valley High School.

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Ellwood City’s Tyler Alberts reacts after defeating Burrell’s Dean Edwards in the 106-pound seventh place match during the WPIAL Individual Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Chartiers Valley High School.

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Penn-Trafford’s Kaila Simcoviak (3), center, reacts with Athena Biondi(5) as the buzzer sounds after beating Fox Chapel during the WPIAL AAA girls semifinal game on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 at Penn Hills High School.

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Penn-Trafford’s Maria Palariono (12) is bombarded by her teammates after winning the WPIAL AAA girls semifinal game against Fox Chapel on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 at Penn Hills High School.

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Fox Chapel’s Gabriella Badway (4) and Kayla Slovenec (12) battle Penn-Trafford’s Athena Biondi(5) and Maria Palariono (12) for a loose ball during the WPIAL AAA girls semifinal game on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 at Penn Hills High School.

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Norwin’s Steve Socrates (1) pumps up his team before their game against Connellsville on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at Norwin High School. Norwin won 57-56 at the buzzer.

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Kittanning’s Corey Oresick (44) and Mount Pleasant’s Matt Johnson (23) battle for a rebound during the first round of WPIAL playoffs on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 at Penn Hills High School. Mount Pleasant won 70-53.

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Seneca Valley’s Matt Darby (4) pumps up his team before their game against Franklin Regional during the first round of WPIAL playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at Plum High School. Franklin Regional won 70-59.

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Franklin Regional’s Matt Fisch (30) dives for the ball against Seneca Valley’s Dakota Topf (14) during the first round of WPIAL playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at Plum High School. Franklin Regional won 70-59.

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Burrell assistant coach Mark Ziemianksi hugs Sydney Bordonaro after their team’s win over Mount Pleasant during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Hoop Fest on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at Greensburg Salem High School. Burrell won 63-61.

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Derry’s Rachel Garris is fouled by Jeannett’e Monica Carl during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Hoop Fest on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at Greensburg Salem High School.

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Jeannette’s Monique Redman reacts after she scored her 1,000th career point against Derry during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Hoop Fest on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at Greensburg Salem High School.

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Hempfield’s Lexi Irwin joins in with coach Aaron Epps and her team for a cheer in the locker room after they defeated North Allegheny in the WPIAL AAAA semifinal on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 at Penn Hills High School.

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Wendy Zimmerman, representing Allegheny County, rests in the locker room during the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown.

Month’s Work: January 2014

Happy New Year!

Starting this year, I will update my blog once a month with my favorite frames. This month, the Tribune-Review has kept me incessantly shooting “polar vortex” features and high school basketball. Since I’ve shot so many games recently, it has been fun to see the top teams and players progress as they wrap-up their regular seasons. With so much talent in the county, I’m itching for WPIAL rivals to meet in the postseason!

-Steph

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Jeannette’s Julian Batts reacts after draining a three-pointer against Serra Catholic on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 at Jeannette High School. Jeannette won their senior game 59-39.

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Franklin Regional’s Jake Roberge is introduced prior to the game against Fox Chapel on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 at Fox Chapel High School. Fox Chapel won 57-39.

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Greensburg Salem’s Max Ponzanick (35) hauls in a rebound against Penn-Trafford’s Mike Barnes (35) on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 during the Coaches vs. Cancer Backyard Brawlz tournament at Seton Hill University’s Salvitti Gymnasium. Greensburg Salem won 47-42.

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Franklin Regional’s Andrew Sederholm dives during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association diving meet on Jan. 31, 2014 at Derry Area High School.

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Greensburg Salem’s Vincent DeFazio (3) scores a goal past Greensburg Central Catholic’s goalkeeper Patrick Teich on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at Centre Ice Arena in Delmont. Greensburg Salem won 12-1.

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Penn-Trafford’s Athena Biondi, center, and Kaila Simcoviak, right, congratualte Casey Aunkst (13) after Aunkst scored the game-winning basket against Hempfield on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at Penn-Trafford High School. Aunkst missed then scored off her own rebound to give the Lady Warriors a buzzer-beating 63-62 win.

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One Eastern Gray Squirrel chases another as they search for food in the snow on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at Legion-Keener Park in Latrobe.

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Trooper Steve Limani, a spokesman for state police at the Greensburg barracks, works the crime scene at Hempfield Towers on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, where police fatally shot a man after he stabbed his girlfriend to death.

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Sydney Matijevic, 9, listens to several speeches while in the arms of her father John while her sister Isabella, left, and mother Krista, center left, hug on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 during an anti-violence rally in front of Jeannette city hall. Marchers walked down Clay Avenue to Keynote Cafe. City has had several recent shootings. Some people have complained to city council about drug dealers in the city.

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Thomas Arone is complimented while brushing off Robert Higareda’s deer sculpture during the speed carving contest on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 during the 23rd Annual Ligonier Ice Fest at the town’s diamond.

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Rich Wise, a worker with the City of Jeannette Public Works, uses a snow blower to clear a sidewalk under a bridge on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 along 4th Street.

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Jerry Fesh, of New Stanton, keeps warm as he sits in the the only rocking chair in the dining room on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 at the Jeannette Senior Center. Fesh likes to come to the center to “hang out,” but the weather detered many of his friends from visiting.

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David Williams, of Greensburg, washes one of many Hempfield Area School District buses during his day off on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 at First Student charter bus rental. Williams has been busing students for seven years and said he always looks forward to high school football and baseball seasons.

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Frank Jacobyansky signals the start of the pludge into the Youghiogheny River on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2013 at Yough River Park. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Connellsville Polar Bear Club’s annual New Year’s Day swim, which was started by Jacobyansky.

New Years Eve Shooting

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A state trooper works as a GMC Yukon is towed from the scene of a shooting at Frank’s Gun and Taxidermy on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 in Saltsburg. The owner, Frank Petro, was confirmed dead while the suspect was flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh.

Twirl Practice

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Ashlynn Radziwon (right), 8, of South Huntingdon, takes a baton twirling lesson from Amanda Comer (center), 13, of Yough, as Comer’s sister Lacey (left), 9, mimics on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 at the YMCA of the Laurel Highlands in Mount Pleasant. The girls are preparing for several state and national competitions, including one at California University of Pennsylvania in March and one at Penn State in May.”People say its not a sport, but it truly is. If it isn’t then football isn’t a sport–they both have throwing, catching and team effort,” Lacey Comer said.

Latrobe Skating Center

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Andrew Gill, 5, of East Huntingdon, does the chicken dance during an open skate on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 at Latrobe Skating Center.

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Vanessa Friedel, 3, prepares for a bucket race as her mother Ursula, of Homer City, helps tuck her skates in during an open skate on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 at Latrobe Skating Center.

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Isabelle Locco, 5, laughs as her mother Jill, of Walsworth, Md., helps pick her up during an open skate on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 at Latrobe Skating Center. Jill Locco, originally from Ligonier, grew up coming to the skating center.

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Izzy McMahon, 5, of Latrobe, waits for the “girls’ skate” to end during an open skate on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 at Latrobe Skating Center.