Thursday, July 24, 2014

Foxley Farm fight continues

Legal wrangling over the future of a 56-acre Ligonier Township farm whose owners wish to use it to play host to weddings and other large social gatherings will continue in court this month.
On July 29, Westmoreland County Judge Chris Feliciani will hear arguments as to whether the controversial Foxley Farm property can be classified as a bed-and-breakfast under the township's zoning code.
The legal dispute involving Foxley Farm has dragged on for more than a year as the property's owners, township officials and neighbors sparred over the use of the farmhouse and its accompanying acreage.
Foxley Farm owners Maggie and PJ Nied contend they have the right to use their property to play host to weddings and other large events. The township has repeatedly denied requests to change local zoning laws to accommodate the Nieds' plans.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lincoln Highway SupperMarket

Given the forecast of thunderstorms between 3 and 7 PM, we have cancelled tonight's (July 23) Lincoln Highway SupperMarket. See you next week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Middle East meets Middle Earth

Middle East meets Middle Earth  

By William Kirkpatrick, FIRST THINGS, MOSAIC
“Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas!”
What’s this? The ravings of a fundamentalist Jewish settler in Gush Etzion? Congratulations from a Christian Zionist hunkered down in his bomb shelter somewhere in the Deep South?
Actually, no. It’s a Twitter message sent out by Azza Sami, who writes for the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. Her sentiments are widely shared in Egypt. Why? Because the Egyptians have had firsthand experience of what the Muslim Brotherhood does once it gets in power and they know that Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and, if anything, far more brutal than the Egyptian version. They also know that Hamas allied itself with the Muslim Brotherhood in its assaults on Egyptian soldiers and citizens. Speaking for many Egyptians, actor Amr Mustafa told Palestinians they should not expect any relief aid from Egypt until they “get rid of Hamas.” He added, “We’ve had enough of what you did to our country.”
(Read more…)

PA Auditor General Report: DEP was “Unprepared” to Meet Shale Gas Monitoring Responsibilities

"The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was “unprepared to meet the challenges of monitoring shale gas development effectively,” according to a scathing 128-page audit report released Tuesday by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale about DEP’s performance monitoring of potential impacts to water quality from Macellus Shale development between 2009 and 2012 – a report that lists eight findings that detail the department’s “shortcomings” related to its function as a regulatory agency.

In a press release DePasquale said, “There are very dedicated hard-working people at DEP but they are being hampered in doing their jobs by lack of resources – including staff and a modern information technology system — and inconsistent or failed implementation of department policies, among other things. “It is almost like firefighters trying to put out a five-alarm fire with a 20-foot garden hose.  There is no question that DEP needs help and soon to protect clean water.” The audit revealed that DEP failed to consistently issue official orders to well operators who had been determined by DEP to have adversely impacted water supplies.  After reviewing a selection of 15 complaint files for confirmed water supply impact, auditors discovered that DEP issued just one order to a well operator to restore or replace the adversely impacted water supply."

DEP: Oil and gas operations damaged water supplies 209 times since end of ’07

"Oil and gas operations have damaged Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times since the end of 2007,** according to official determinations compiled by the Department of Environmental Protection that the agency is preparing to release for the first time. State environmental regulators are planning to post the information on DEP’s website this month, but an early version of the spreadsheet was provided to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in response to an open records request. The spreadsheet lists the 209 affected water supplies by county, municipality and the date regulators concluded that activities related to oil or gas extraction were to blame for contaminating or diminishing the flow to a water source. The document does not disclose property owners’ names or addresses and it does not detail which companies that were deemed responsible for the damage, what caused the disruptions or what pollutants were found in the water.

DEP’s deputy secretary for oil and gas management, Scott Perry, said the agency intends to enhance the spreadsheet by adding links to the letters or orders related to each case at some point, which should reveal more information about how water was affected. Environmental regulators are required by law to determine within 45 days of getting a drilling-related water complaint if oil and gas operations contaminated a water supply or reduced its flow. DEP reports its findings in letters to property owners. It also issues orders to companies to fix the damage in cases where oil and gas operations are found to be accountable or are presumed to be the cause because of the proximity between drilling activities and a disrupted groundwater source. Those conclusions are public records."

State map showing impact:

Note: The areas where the damage is worst is where the industry has been the longest. As the drilling increases in WPA, we will see Bradford, PA-like results here, and they have plans to "carpet-drill" the entire state. Where residents have fought back in other states, the drilling activity has been stopped, along with the damage. There are other ways to feed our appetite for cheap energy...where there's a will in America, we always find a way. Our leaders need the will to do more than enrich the stakeholders of the oil and gas industry...or our children will hold us responsible for our lack of action.

**And how many waterways were affected without reports filed to the DEP....? This is likely the tip of the iceberg.

it's Mellow Mike night! This is an extra Mellow Mikefor July because Steve and Pat Powers are in town visiting from Arizona.

MELLOW MIKEmellow mikemellow mikemellow mikemellow mikeMELLOW MIKEmellow mike

tonight at the Ligonier Tavern 6:30 to 9:30

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Even activists at green groups such as Clean Water Action acknowledge that fracking isn't linked to serious earthquake activity.

Even activists at green groups such as Clean Water Action acknowledge that fracking isn't linked to serious earthquake activity. Earlier this year after a 4.4 earthquake in Los Angeles, Mother Jones asked Andrew Grinberg of Clean Water Action about that quake's connection to fracking. "We are not saying that this quake is a result of an injection" of wastewater, Grinberg said in an article tendentiously titled "Was the Los Angeles Earthquake Caused by Fracking Techniques?"
Given the animus against fracking, which is an old technique, once-beloved by environmentalists, and largely responsible for decreases in American greenhouse-gas emissions, expect fracking to be spuriously linked to more and more problems, real and imagined.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FREE CONCERT - Saturday, September 19 at noon on the lawn at St. James Lutheran Church, Ligonier PA.

Mountain Palace - Pork Seaweed Special

Pork and Seaweed with Rice is the weekend special at Mountain Palace. With incredibly high nutritional value and essential elements critical to health, seaweed offers a uniquely healthy and tasty treat. Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy this or any of our other tasty healthy menu items. We will have traditional Chinese medical exercise and acupressure at 11:00 Saturday at Mountain Palace. As Lacy will be completing her Friday sessions at Westmoreland County Community College after one more week, she will be starting sessions in Latrobe on Friday August 1 at 12:00. The website continues to make progress. Mountain Palace is located eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake. Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 6.  724 717-8614

Bus Trip to Pittsburgh

Who doesn’t remember attending a neighbor’s Tupperware party? Even if you’ve replaced your containers and lids, you are welcome to join the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor for their fall bus trip into Pittsburgh on Thursday, September 25, 2014. The day begins with a luxury coach stopping at Latrobe, Greensburg and Irwin. Next, be dropped off right in front of the Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History, where you’ll be treated to a Guided Tour. The featured exhibit is “The Dog Days of Summer” – a real howl! Then it’s off to the Cultural District for Lunch (all inclusive), and the fun-loving Dixie’s Tupperware Party show at the intimate CLO Cabaret, where there’s not a bad seat in the house. This entertaining (and adults only) day is the perfect outing for $88. Now accepting reservations by calling 724-879-4241 or visiting .

Thursday, July 17, 2014

warning about scam

Ligonier Police Chief John Berger cautions residents that in neighboring communities, people posing as utility workers have been going door-to-door to distract residents while another person goes through the back door to burglarize the homes.

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Ligonier Valley's so exciting!!

The gravel bed for the most recently completed segment of the Ligonier Valley Trail was barely laid in place, when it experienced its first activity.
“People are using the trail already. They started using the trail the day after we laid the first base layers,” said trail project manager Larry Shew. “I went out to the site to meet with contractors and saw several sets of foot prints and bike tracks in the new base.”
“We started this phase over a year ago right after the Rose Stepnik bridge was put in,” Shew said. “In fact some of the work has been going on for more than two years.”

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Larry Keel Experience

Get your tickets now!

Soaring Natural Gas Production, New Pipelines And Private Property Rights.

Hannah McClelland and her father, Scott McClelland, stand on the top of a proposed site for a 42-inch natural gas pipeline grid across their family farm in Somerset, Ohio. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Production of natural gas in this country has been soaring, but many of the pipelines needed to get this gas where it’s most needed have yet to be built. A recent industry- funded study estimates that more than 300,000 miles of new infrastructure including pipelines and other transmission lines are required. Although the federal government largely has the power through eminent domain to give companies the right to build pipelines across private property, some land owners are fighting back. Please join us to discuss the nation’s natural gas boom and the rights of private landowners.


Don Santa
president and CEO,The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America

Jonathan Fahey
national energy reporter, Associated Press

Carolyn Elefant
attorney in private practice

Michael Tidwell
author of "Bayou Farewell" and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

Lincoln Highway SupperMarket

Why cook on Wednesdays this summer? Join the 250  individuals who are coming to the Lincoln Highway SupperMarket each week to enjoy a variety of fine entrees while listening to relaxing music under the  trees. Gashouse Annie will be performing tonight, July 16.  There is no admission fee but food from 6 area restaurants will be available for purchase. Limited seating is available  or you may bring your own lawn chair.  The SupperMarket is located on the grounds of  the Lincoln Highway Experience Museum at 3435 State Route 30 East, Latrobe, near the Kingston Dam.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Bees, Ourselves...Bees and Colony Collapse

"VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Around the world, honeybee colonies are dying in huge numbers: About one-third of hives collapse each year, a pattern going back a decade. For bees and the plants they pollinate — as well as for beekeepers, farmers, honey lovers and everyone else who appreciates this marvelous social insect — this is a catastrophe. But in the midst of crisis can come learning. Honeybee collapse has much to teach us about how humans can avoid a similar fate, brought on by the increasingly severe environmental perturbations that challenge modern society.

Honeybee collapse has been particularly vexing because there is no one cause, but rather a thousand little cuts. The main elements include the compounding impact of pesticides applied to fields, as well as pesticides applied directly into hives to control mites; fungal, bacterial and viral pests and diseases; nutritional deficiencies caused by vast acreages of single-crop fields that lack diverse flowering plants; and, in the United States, commercial beekeeping itself, which disrupts colonies by moving most bees around the country multiple times each year to pollinate crops. The real issue, though, is not the volume of problems, but the interactions among them. Here we find a core lesson from the bees that we ignore at our peril: the concept of synergy, where one plus one equals three, or four, or more. A typical honeybee colony contains residue from more than 120 pesticides. Alone, each represents a benign dose. But together they form a toxic soup of chemicals whose interplay can substantially reduce the effectiveness of bees’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases." 

24 People Arrested Protesting Proposed Fracked Gas Export Facility

"Among the arrested people, their supporters, and the 150,000 people who sent in comments to FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ) opposing the Cove Point project, the consensus is clear: Now is the time to stop the pollution of communities dealing with the extraction, transportation, processing and potential export of hydraulically fractured—fracked—natural gas. It’s time to get serious about shifting to clean, jobs-producing, renewable energy.

WASHINGTON - July 14 - Residents impacted by shale gas infrastructure and their supporters blocked the entrances to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) headquarters today in protest of the proposed Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility and others proposed around the country. Protesters linked arms and blocked the main entrance and a secondary entrance of FERC as employees came in to work this morning. A total of 24 people were arrested for the shut down, including participants from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. [...]

Alex Lotorto, a resident of Pike County, Pennsylvania, was among the arrestees. “There is a FERC-permitted natural gas pipeline and compressor station about to be constructed in my hometown of Milford, Pennsylvania. The exhaust is equal to over a 100 diesel school buses idling constantly next to homes where children are sleeping,” said Lotorto. “I’m here to let FERC and the company know what’s waiting for them if the permit is issued.” Michael Bagdes-Canning from Butler County, PA was also arrested in front of FERC’s office. “I'm willing to go to jail because my friend Susan wakes up every morning with headaches from the air she breathes from the Bluestone natural gas processing plant,” said Bagdes-Canning. “I'm willing to go to jail for the dozens of battles we are fighting in Butler County; battles that will only intensify if the international market is opened up by export facilities like Cove Point.”"

LVSD creates new position

With its principals spending an increasing amount of time on state-required teacher evaluations, Ligonier Valley School District will implement a dean of students in the coming school year to assist with student discipline.
The school board voted unanimously on Monday to establish the position, which involves counseling students and parents about school and district policies and determining appropriate consequences for behavior, among other discipline-focused duties.

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and Hamas continues launching rockets

The Israeli military ended a unilteral cease-fire with Hamas on Tuesdayand resumed operations in the Gaza Strip in response to what it said were continuing rocket attacks from the coastal enclave.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had threatened to escalate Israel’s operations in Gaza after Hamas balked at an Egyptian cease-fire proposal on grounds that it had not been consulted on its terms. 

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worth a watch

2 unsurprising news alerts....Israel and Egypt want peace....Hamas wants to fight.


The Israeli Cabinet has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire to end a week of conflict with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip that has killed 185 Palestinians.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Cabinet meton Tuesday morning and accepted the proposal, which went into effect at 9 a.m.

Hamas has acknowledged “diplomatic movement” on ending the conflict without yet formally accepting the proposal.

Read more at: 


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday threatened to escalate Israel’s operations in Gaza after Hamas balked at an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire.

The threat came after Israel’s security cabinet voted to accept an Egyptian initiative that had been announced Monday evening. A senior Hamas official called the proposal “unacceptable” and complained that Egyptians have not spoken with the Gaza leadership. 

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Oklahoma shaken by seven earthquakes in 14 hours

Quakes part of an increase in across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas that some scientists say could be connected to fracking 

"The US Geological Survey has recorded seven small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma in a span of about 14 hours. The temblors are part of an increase in earthquakes across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas that some scientists say could be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, and especially the wells in which the industry disposes of its wastewater. [...]

Seismologists know that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — which involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to free oil and gas — can cause microquakes that are rarely strong enough to register on monitoring equipment. However, fracking also generates vast amounts of wastewater, which is pumped into injection wells thousands of feet underground. Scientists wonder whether they could trigger quakes by increasing underground pressures and lubricating faults. Another concern is whether injection well operators could be pumping either too much water into the ground or pumping it at exceedingly high pressures."



... on the Last Will and Testament for Richard Mellon Scaife

Only two beneficiaries were named. The Brandywine Conservancy and Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, on whose board Scaife sat, will receive the 900-acre Penguin Court estate in Ligonier on which he grew up, named for the 10 penguins that once wandered the grounds.

Scaife tore down the 50-room mansion on the estate in 1966 after his mother's death. The estate is now a nature conservancy and horticultural facility. He left $15 million for upkeep. Scaife had another home, Vallamont, elsewhere in Ligonier, and one in Pittsburgh.

His art collection was divided between the Brandywine Conservancy and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. The latter gets his paintings by John Kane, a primitivist whose early 20th century Pittsburgh industrial scenes hang in major museums.

Scaife asked that his dogs go to good homes.,0,1766114.story

Sunday, July 13, 2014

drone flying over St. Vincent.....across the highway from Arnold Palmer Airport..........hmmmm.......

drone flying over Ligonier ------

There is no diplomatic solution.

It had been a mistake for Israel to withdraw from Gaza, he added — reminding us that he’d opposed the 2005 disengagement — because Hamas had since established a terrorist bunker in the Strip. And what Hamas had been doing in Gaza — tunneling into and rocketing at the enemy — would be replicated in the West Bank were Israel so foolish as to give the Islamists the opportunity.
“If we were to pull out of Judea and Samaria, like they tell us to,” he said bitterly — leaving it to us to fill in who the many and various foolish “theys” are — “there’d be a possibility of thousands of tunnels” being dug by terrorists to attack Israel, he said. There were 1,200 tunnels dug in the 14-kilometer border strip between Egypt and Gaza alone, he almost wailed, which Egypt had sealed. “At present we have a problem with the territory called Gaza,” the prime minister said. But the West Bank is 20 times the size of Gaza. Israel, he said flatly, was not prepared “to create another 20 Gazas” in the West Bank.
Beyond Israel’s direct current confrontation with Hamas, and the eternal Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu also addressed the rise of Islamic extremism across the Middle East — covering the incapacity of affected states to resist it, and Israel’s unique determination and capacity to stand firm. He said Israel finds itself in a region “that is being seized by Islamic extremism. It is bringing down countries, many countries. It is knocking on our door, in the north and south.”
But while other states were collapsing, said Netanyahu, Israel was not — because of the strength of its leadership, its army and its people. “We will defend ourselves on every front, defensively and offensively,” he vowed.
And in a passage that was primarily directed at Israel’s Islamist enemies, but might equally be internalized by those he plainly regards as Israel’s muddle-headed self-styled friends, he added: “Nobody should mess with us.”

events by Ligonier Radio

  • JULY 13: The Summer Band Concert series continues every Sunday evening beginning at 7 PM at the Diamond Bandstand. On July 13th it's the Glass City Swing Band.
  • THROUGH JULY 15: The Compass Inn will have a  fun and educational history camp for kids ages 7-11  on Tuesday July 15th and Friday, July 18th from 9:30 AM- 2:30 PM. Kids learn about life in early 19th-century Pennsylvania. Activities include games, cooking, arts and crafts. Fee includes snacks, hat, and camp supplies. Children should bring a bag lunch and water each day. 
  • JULY 18-19: Mark your calendars for Summer in Ligonier on July 18th and 19th from 9AM- 5 PM. Enjoy a variety of craft booths, sidewalk sales, craft demonstrations and special programs on the diamond and throughout the town.  
  • JULY 20: The Summer Band Concert series continues every Sunday evening beginning at 7 PM at the Diamond Bandstand. On July 20th it's the East Winds Symphonic Band.
  • JULY 21-25: Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at St. Vincent College in Latrobe will be holding a Slime and Scales Camp  for kids 6 to 8 years of age on July 21st through the 25th from 9 AM- noon. Campers will learn about amphibians and reptiles and get a close up view of these creatures throughout the week. For more information, call 724-537-5284.
  • THROUGH AUGUST 4-8: Workshop of Wonders,the Vacation Bible School program at Heritage United Methodist Church, will be held from 9AM-12:15 PM August 4th through the 8th. Call the church at 724-238-2627 for registration information. 
  • AUGUST 8: Stroll the fabulous 50s with oldies music, dancing, live entertainment and classic cars on the Diamond during the Chamber of Commerce's annual Ligonier Stroll August 8th from 5- 9 PM. 
  • AUGUST 23: Antiques on the Diamond returns to Ligonier on Saturday, August 23rd from 8 AM- 3 PM. There will be over 50 antique dealers located around the Diamond.

The big question is WHY?

“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”
He praised the revelations and bravery of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and told me that he had indirect contact with a number of other NSA employees who felt disgusted with the agency’s work. They’re keen to speak out but fear retribution and exile, not unlike Snowden himself, who is likely to remain there for some time.
Unlike Snowden, Binney didn’t take any documents with him when he left the NSA. He now says that hard evidence of illegal spying would have been invaluable. The latest Snowden leaks, featured in the Washington Post, detail private conversations of average Americans with no connection to extremism.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Urban Impact Outdoor Concert

Happy Birthday Mountain Palace!

And the special is - Chicken Walnut Celery with Rice! And in honor of our birthday, free Peanut Celery salad to the first one thousand customers this weekend. Come early and make sure you have a chance at this happy healthy tasty salad! Mountain Palace was three years old on July 9. I recall reading before we opened that over 85% of startup businesses no longer existed at the one year mark. So come and enjoy our special or any of our other happy healthy tasty northern Chinese menu items. Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 6. Traditional Chinese Medical Exercise and Acupressure at 11 Saturday morning. We plan to begin additional sessions in Latrobe at 350 Main Street Fridays at 1:00 beginning August 1. Mountain Palace is eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake. 724 288-3872  For those of you who would like to know what to do when life serves you lemons, watch Lacy's video on

Stone Infusion Jewelry Class with Lynne Suprock

Allegory Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming class with Lynne Suprock, of Simply Pretty Stuff!  In Lynne's upcoming workshop, she'll show students how to create their own gemstone specimens to be used in jewelry or mixed media arts!  We are super excited and hope you'll join us!

Date:  Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Time:  1PM to 4PM
Workshop Fee:  $55.00
Kit Fee (to be paid to the instructor at the time of class):  $5.00

CLICK HERE to visit the online shop for more details and to sign-up online.  You can also sign-up in-person at the shop.

Class Description:
Nature has given us some of the most beautiful sunsets to paint, landscapes to frame with our viewfinder, and wonders to gaze upon.  Nature's beauty sets the standards and defines how we experience our art and world.  We've only to replicate Nature's elegance to succeed in our artistic endeavors.

Join Lynne Suprock as she shows you how to recreate natural stones and gems by using Amazing Crafting Products.  Choose your own palette and textures for making wearable specimens that are quite unique and beautiful.

Design your own molds, learn how to color and cast quick setting resins, and attach findings to create one-of-a-kind jewelry or mixed media components.

Bio:  Lynne currently designs, writes, and conducts workshops in the art community.  She began her career as a mixed media artist, after 29 years as a leader in nursing education.  Since 2007, Lynne traded in her skills in clinical nursing instruction for those tools of the trade used to teach art and design, as she continues to make a difference in the well-being of others.

She has been both vendor and instructor at Art&Soul Retreat in Virginia Beach, VA, and The Art Is You Retreat in Stamford, CT, Somerset, NJ, and BeadFest in Philadelphia, PA.  She teaches locally at the Adams County Arts Council of PA, Cricket Manor in Frederick, MD, and The Charmed I'm Sure Studio in Mechanicsburg, PA.  Lynne has also published several articles in Belle Armoire Jewelry, Jewelry Affaire Magazine, PAGES, and Just Steampunk Magazine.  She also has two necklaces featured in 2013 Lark's 500 Showcase Necklaces.  Lynne is a member of the 2014 Amazing Crafting Product Design Team.  To find out more about her and her work, CLICK HERE to visit her blog.

this Saturday.....

LIGONIER - On the dead end of Walnut Street in Ligonier, a replica Forbes Field now stands that will house the 7th Annual Wiffle Ball Bonanza this Saturday. Inspired by Bill Mazeroski's famous 1960 World Series clinching home run, Bishop McCort graduate Zach Freeman decided to take his yearly fundraising event to a new level, by building a miniature, one-third scale version of Forbes Field.

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