February 28th, 2014
Of all the intricate pieces of artwork throughout the 15th annual Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, one particular piece sitting on Court Street has stood out to many passersby throughout the week.
The carving masterpiece, created by Mark Bosworth of Massachusetts, features a young girl with angel's wings embracing the neck of a horse. It is a memoriam piece paying tribute the late Amanda Putney of Royalston, Mass., who died in a December 2012 car crash.
Perry D. Stahli, 69, of North Mill Street, Ridgway, formerly of Johnsonburg, died suddenly on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 at his home.
He was born April 22, 1944 in Johnsonburg, the son of the late Michael and Garnet (Wolf) Stahli. A Lutheran by faith, he enjoyed playing bingo, and watching wrestling, the Pirates, and old westerns on television.
Rudolph J. "Rudy" Pretak, 88, of 621 Horner Rd., Wilcox, died Friday morning, Feb. 28, 2014 at Penn Highlands Elk in St. Marys following a brief illness.
He was born Aug. 16, 1925 in Wilcox, son of the late Stephen and Mary Bursuda Pretak.
He married Mae E. Maiers on Feb. 18, 1950 in Holy Rosary Church, Johnsonburg. She preceded him in death on Jan. 8, 2000.
He resided in Wilcox all his life, attended Wilcox High School, and was a member of St. Anne's Church and the Wilcox Sportsmen's Club.
As a top female speed artist, chainsaw carver Dawna Ceriani of Brockport is quick to the saw as she is renowned for producing detailed and quality carvings in under 45 minutes.
Last year Ceriani brought in $7,000 in three days for her auction pieces during Block Bash in French Lick, Ind. The event was hosted by the Saw Dogs, a team of the world's top chainsaw carvers who are the feature of a behind the scenes television series. The previous year she placed third in the auction. In addition she also created a masterpiece carving.
On a bitterly cold and windy day in Ridgway, Cindy McMurray pours some gas in her chainsaw and prepares to continue working on a wood sculpture that breaks new ground in her carving career.
She normally enjoys carving human figures in dancersâ€™ and loversâ€™ poses, but today she is carving a tree-shaped birdhouse that stands about six feet high.
â€śIâ€™ve never done anything like this before, so weâ€™ll see how it turns out,â€ť she said with a laugh.
Rob Peterson of Louisville, Ky. is one of the many artists in town for this week's Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous.
Having worked in construction since 1974, Peterson developed an eye for design and form, according to his website, robpetersoncarving.com. Paying attention to intricate details has paid off in dividends for Peterson as his talents for wood carving have grown with time.
Sandra Prechtel, 51, of St. Marys pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion in 2012 but is now arguing that her sentence is unconstitutional.
Prechtel filed a motion on Jan. 31 to set aside, vacate or correct her sentence under auspices of the Supreme Court decision in Alleyne v. United States, according to court documents. In this decision, the Supreme Court took discretionary power from judges in imposing sentences. The Court ruled last June that any element that would increase the penalty for a crime must be submitted to a jury for consideration.
Lieutenant Esther Wilson, a Corps Officer for the Western Pennsylvania Branch of the Salvation Army, has recently announced that the Ridgway-based center would be available to offer transportation to surrounding Salvation Army adult rehabilitation centers for area residents seeking treatment.
"We're all one army," she said.
However, according to Wilson, Ridgway's Salvation Army is making an attempt at "bridging the gap" between their facility and those that offer the necessary services for those seeking help.
Virginia Busatto Westover, 88, died in Bluffton, S.C. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
She was born in Challenge on Nov. 1, 1925. She was the daughter of the late Arthur John Busatto and Angelina Ronca Busatto.
She is survived by one son, John S. Westover of Bluffton, SC; one daughter, Diana (Bernie) Seighman of Bluffton, SC; five grandchildren, John S. Westover II, James (Sabrina) Westover, Travis Westover, Christopher Westover and Gary (Jennifer) Seighman; and two great-grandchildren, Kylie and Evan.
She was predeceased by eight sisters and four brothers.
Kenneth E. (Duck) Gasbarre Sr., 57, of 155 Main St., Ridgway, died Wednesday morning, Feb. 26, 2014, at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh following a brief illness.
He was born Sept. 10, 1956, son of the late Richard G. and Zelma L. (Gearhart) Gasbarre.
He had resided in Ridgway all of his life and was a 1974 graduate of the Ridgway High School.
He enjoyed spending time with his granddaughter, going to camp, and socializing with his friends. He had been employed by Elk County Heat Treaters for the last 22 years.