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Auditions announced for upcoming community theatre presentation

Those at the Tyrone Community Players in Tyrone ask, “Do you love to laugh and make others laugh? Do you have some close girlfriends that you know well, maybe a little too well? Do you sometimes feel as if life is passing you by and you don’t know what to do about it?”

If the answer is yes to those questions, the players suggest auditioning for the upcoming Tyrone Community Players production of “Exit Laughing.” This really funny, yet touching, show can help solve all of those nagging questions.

In the show, Connie, Leona, Millie and Mary have played bridge together every week for 25 years. They share nearly everything with each other and have come to depend on their weekly gatherings as a source of stability in their lives.

That ends the day one of this close knit “sisters” dies. Connie, Leona and Millie begin to look to the future as a trio instead of a quartet, and with the help of “snacks from above,” a young male dancer, Mary and an “ugly urn” they, together, they find their way into their new future.

Written with great humor and creative situations, Exit Laughing promises to leave the audience with just that, leaving the theater with a smile and laughter erupting all the way home.

Auditions will take place Monday and Tuesday, April 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. each evening in The Building, home of the TCP, located at 1019 Logan Ave., Tyrone. Please enter through the back door off the parking lot.

Characters in this presentation are:

Connie: A divorced woman, in her 50s or early 60s, who has allowed her life to stop at the time of her divorce. A strong woman, in charge of her schedule and life.

Leona: A beautician who believes her better days, both in appearance and prospects, are behind her. She chooses to use alcohol to help blur her vision of the present and future. Also aged 50s or early 60s.

Millie: This woman marches to the beat of her own drummer. A drummer no one can hear but her. She is endearingly naive and sweet. Same age as other two women.

Rachel: Connie’s college aged daughter who has a bit of an “attitude” about life, men and her mother. She is in her 20s.

Bobby: A gift from a departed friend to help her “Bridge Sisters” learn to live again. A college aged man.

All ages are flexible and all parts are available. There are some adult themes discussed by the women. Auditions will consist of reading from the script.

For additional information, call the ArtsLine at (814) 684-ART2. Messages will be returned.

Those at the TCP encourage everyone to give this a try! “Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of one of the funniest scripts we have read in years and thank you for supporting the Arts in Tyrone.”

School bus transportation: A changing world

At the April meeting of the Bellwood-Antis School Board of Directors recently held in the Meyers Elementary School LGI Room the school board members were provided three very diverse presentations as part of the school board meeting. Two were presented by students of the school district. The third was provided by Shae Harkleroad, owner of Raystown Transportation. Raystown Transportation provides the school bus and school van transportation contract to the Bellwood-Antis School District.

Harkleroad began his presentation with some well timed humor as he stated to the school board members, “I seem to always pick the toughest acts to follow when I am to be giving any type of presentation. Tonight I now need to follow two exceptionally well presented programs from the first grade and fifth grade students. The pressure really now is on,” Harkleroad said.

“I am very happy to say that this school year was year number 13 that we have been your partner in providing the students of the district with their transportation,” Harkleroad said.

The presentation then described what it was like 13 years ago and how the school bus transportation industry has changed and completely evolved into a very different type of organization. “Thirteen years ago started with the same school bus runs that we had today and two vans. Today the runs are so very different from what they were 13 years ago,” Harkleroad pointed out.

In today’s school transportation the school buses are running in the morning, late morning and early afternoon, again after school and then activities after that. In addition, due to the changes in having to provide programs transportation to different facilities Raystown Transportation now operates seven school vans. These vans are operating at the same time many times as they are heading in different directions to go to different destinations. Harkleroad brought that point home during his presentation when he indicated to the school board members, “Currently we are providing school transportation to several locations in Blair County and we are also now traveling to a center in Bedford County as well.”

The state mandates what programs must be afforded to students and if that program is not available in the local district then transportation must be made available to take the students to a center that offered those types of programs that are required. “Although the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) makes those mandates as to where the students must be transported, they do not make any allowances for the additional cost of providing that transportation,” Harkleroad said.

“There is one road we need to go to with five families that attend Bellwood-Antis School District. The lane that they live on cannot be served by a bus so it has to be performed by a school van. It is located in the most northern part of the school district. In order to get to the lane the van is required to drive through parts of Altoona School District and Penn Cambria School District before arriving to pick up the students. It is situations like these that make the school bus transportation budgets so very difficult to budget for. Especially when all of the added van routes need to be factored into the equation,” Harkleroad concluded.

“We have been blessed here at Raystown as the staff that we have is really made up of people who really care. After 13 years, we have only two of the original drivers still driving. All of the other drivers are new,” Harkleroad shared.

Downtown business owner seeks council seat

Local business owner Whitney Preston has announced that she will run for a seat on Tyrone Borough Council in the May republican primary election. Preston has been a business owner Tyrone since 2017, opening Exposed Grafix on West 10th Street.

When asked why she would like to serve, Preston said, “I come from a larger area and I feel a lot more could be done here. People are so excited about businesses downtown and share stories about how it used to be. There could be more downtown again.”

Preston moved to the local area from Seattle and said that she is very much pro-growth, pro-community projects, pro-women, pro-new businesses, pro-police and is in favor of living in a clean community.

She said that the more she got involved in the town after moving here, the more she found “so many nice people.” Preston volunteers with the Women’s Club and Tyrone Events and Promotions. She enjoys getting involved with “people who want to get things done”, she said, and wants to become even more involved in her local community through Tyrone Borough Council.

“This town is really great,” she said. “A lot could be happening here.”

One example, she said, is that she would like to see more things for kids to do in town. Despite her very busy life, Preston is willing to make the time to help, to make the time for service. “That’s how much I want to help,” she said.

In any decisions that are made, Preston values staying on the side of what is correct, what is legal. She said that the town needs to have open dialogue among community members and Tyrone Borough Council, and to promote understanding in order to fix problems.

Lifetime resident runs for council seat

Lifetime resident of Tyrone, Shirley Dawson is running for a seat on Tyrone Borough Council in the May Republican primary election.

Dawson said, “I am interested in holding a seat on the council because I feel it is important for residents to have their voices heard and act on their behalf. I believe in open communication and transparency.”

Dawson said that she wants to be a person with whom the community can feel comfortable to express concerns. “I will be that person who will do my best to get their questions answered and their voices heard.”

Dawson graduated from the Tyrone Area High School in 1960 and began working at Westvaco. All of her employment was within the Tyrone community, including at The Daily Herald, Susquehanna Cable, Cox Cable and Tyrone Milling. She retired from the Tyrone Area School District with over 25 years of service.

Dawson has previously volunteered at the Central PA Humane Society. She currently volunteers at Charlie’s Pool Hall and at the Tyrone Navy Club, where she is a member. She was elected as the Pennsylvania Squadron’s Ship writer for all of the Navy Clubs in the state, keeping records for all of them.

In a Facebook post, Dawson said, “I would appreciate your vote in this election. I am available at any time to listen to your concerns and help in any way I can to get you the information you need or make your voice heard.”