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Dutch zoo fits elephant with contact lens


THE HAGUE - An elephant in Amsterdam's zoo has made history after being fitted with a jumbo-sized contact lens following an eye injury, a statement said Monday.
"Win Thida is the first elephant in Europe with a contact lens," the Artis zoo said on its website.
The 44-year-old Asian elephant accidently scratched its left cornea while playing and the eye was constantly watering. The procedure lasted about an hour, the statement said.

Paterno's long goodbye ends with public memorial

By Dave Warner
STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A simple two-word message flashed this week on the electronic signboard outside Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center.

“Thanks JoePa.”
On Thursday, a capacity crowd of more than 12,000 is expected to pack the arena for one more tribute to Joe Paterno, the Hall of Fame football coach who died Sunday from lung cancer.
His death at age 85 came less than three months after his stunning ouster as head coach in the wake of child sex-abuse charges against a retired assistant. But this week, thousands of alumni, fans, students and former players in Happy Valley are remembering Paterno for his record-setting career, his love for the school and his generosity.
Small clusters of mourners continued to visit Paterno’s statue outside the school’s football stadium hours before the memorial.
Sharon Winter, a 1963 graduate and long-time season ticket holder from Wernersville, dabbed tears from her eyes as she looked at the hundreds of items that well-wishers since Paterno’s death.
“If you haven’t lived it, you can’t explain it,” said Winter, who, with her husband Carl, keeps an apartment in State College. “We never knew the place without Joe. He’s always been a part of our lives and who we are.”
Many Penn Staters found themselves reflecting on Paterno’s impact and the road ahead.
“What’s Joe’s legacy? The answer, is his legacy is us,” former NFL and Nittany Lions receiver Jimmy Cefalo said Wednesday before Paterno’s funeral. Cefalo is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the tribute called “A Memorial for Joe” at the arena across the street from Beaver Stadium — the place Paterno helped turned into a college football landmark.
Paterno’s son, former Nittany Lions quarterback coach Jay Paterno, also is expected to speak at the memorial, which will cap three days of public mourning for Paterno. Viewings were held Tuesday and Wednesday morning, before the funeral and burial service for Paterno on Wednesday afternoon at the campus interfaith center where family members attended church services.
Cefalo, who played for Penn State in the ‘70s, said it will be the most difficult speech of his life. But he offered a hint of what he might say.
“Generations of these young people from coal mines and steel towns who he gave a foundation to,” Cefalo said. “It’s not (the Division I record) 409 wins, it’s not two national championships, and it’s not five-time coach of the year (awards). It’s us.”
The memorial Thursday is expected to feature a speaker for each decade of Paterno’s coaching career, according to Charles V. Pittman, a former player who said he will represent the 1960s.
Pittman said he was in Paterno’s first class and was the coach’s first All-America running back. Pittman’s son later played for the Nittany Lions as well, making them the first father-son pair to play for Paterno, Pittman said. They wrote a book about their experiences called “Playing for Paterno.”
Pittman said he spoke with Paterno two or three times a year. In 2002, the coach chided Pittman for moving to South Bend, Ind. — home of rival Notre Dame — to take a job as a newspaper executive.
“He called me a traitor,” said Pittman, senior vice president for publishing at Schurz Communications Inc., an Indiana-based company that owns television and radio stations and newspapers, and a member of the Board of Directors of The Associated Press.
Pittman attended Wednesday’s funeral, which also drew other notable guests including former NFL players Franco Harris and Matt Millen; and former defensive coordinator Tom Bradley. Nike founder Phil Knight and actor William Baldwin were there, too.
A procession wound through the Penn State campus and the surrounding State College community. Quiet mourners lined the route, watching with grief and reverence as the electric-blue hearse carrying Paterno’s casket slowly drove by.
Some took pictures with their cellphones, or waved to his widow. Others craned their necks hoping for a better glimpse through the crowd sometimes four or more deep.
A family spokesman, Dan McGinn, said Paterno’s grandchildren escorted the casket down the aisle during the opening procession, and again at the end of the service. Jay Paterno and his brother, Scott, were among the pallbearers.
"Joepa's Final Gift"
by Nanette Zerbe - State College resident
"Of all the accomplishments and victories Joe achieved, his best and final lesson was that in the midst of blame, shame and misunderstanding, he forgave and gave. That is how a good man dies with dignity and at peace."

College Football legend Joe Paterno died today at 85

photo's by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2012

Joe Paterno Jr., whose glittering career as Penn State's football coach was tainted by a child sex-abuse scandal, died today. He was 85.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled," Paterno's family said in a statement.
Paterno coached the Nittany Lions for 46 years and in 2011 became the winningest coach in Division 1 football. But before the season was over, he was abruptly dismissed as the sex scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky suggested that top school officials had ignored signs of Sandusky's alleged predatory behavior.
Shortly after his dismissal, Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer and broke his hip. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments weakened him, robbing him of his hair and his once-booming voice.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, he appeared frail, wearing a wig and speaking in a whisper. He canceled public appearances after the interview because of his failing health, according to family members.
For Paterno's legion of fans, who referred to the coach affectionately as "JoePa," the turbulent final months of Paterno's life were a tragic end to an outstanding coaching career that was built around his motto of "success with honor."
Saturday night, Paterno's wife, Suzanne Paterno, summoned close friends and longtime staff members Saturday afternoon to the State College hospital where Paterno has been undergoing treatments since last weekend, a source told the Citizen's Voice newspaper of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Paterno wanted to see them and say a final goodbye, the coach's wife told one of the staff members, the source said.
Hundreds of students gathered around the bronze statue of Paterno on the Penn State campus Saturday night, praying for Paterno's recovery, lighting candles and placing blue and white baseball hats at the foot of the statue.
Paterno's personal life included service in the Army, an English degree from Brown University, a marriage that lasted more than half a century, and a football team's worth of children and grandchildren.
"He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community," Paterno's family said in a statement.
While at Penn State's helm, Paterno, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., led the Nittany Lions to seven undefeated seasons and two NCAA championships, had only five losing seasons, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007, and was nominated for a Presidential Medal of Freedom. The nomination was revoked, however, after the scandal broke.
Penn State Great Joe Paterno Dead at 85
Paterno was known for his "Grand Experiment" at the university, stressing academic success as well as athletic achievement for his players.
"Just winning is a silly reason to be serious about a game," Paterno wrote in his 1997 book, "Paterno: By the Book." "The purpose of college football is to serve education."
During his tenure, the reputation of Penn State grew from that of a small land-grant university to a nationally ranked research university. The football program ballooned in prestige, with the school's Beaver Stadium expanding six times during his tenure.
Paterno's football program consistently ranked among the top in the NCAA for graduation rates, as well as the top grade point averages for student athletes in Division 1 sports. The achievements helped illustrate Paterno's philosophy on collegiate sports and on life, as he said in a 1973 commencement speech to Penn State graduates, that "Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger but it won't taste good."
And despite offers from other universities and NFL football teams, including an ownership stake in the New England Patriots, Paterno remained at Penn State, where his base pay was only a fraction of that of other top football coaches in the country. His base pay in 2011 was a little less than $600,000. He and his wife, Sue, donated more than $4 million to the university, which named a library and a campus spirituality center for them.
Paterno was also involved in politics, supporting conservative candidates in Pennsylvania and befriending presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald R. Ford, who tried but failed to convince the coach to run for office.
Paterno spoke at the 1988 Republican convention in support of Bush.
Bush's son, President George W. Bush, visited Penn State's campus in 2005, noting his respect for Paterno.
"I tell you one thing about Joe Paterno, there's no more decent fellow on the face of the Earth," Bush said. "What a man, who sets high standards, he loves his family, he loves this university, he loves his country, and my mother and dad love him."
Joe Paterno Leaves Football Legacy
Although he was the most well-known person on Penn State's campus in State College, Paterno was also seen as a picture of humility. Students at Penn State knew that Coach Paterno lived nearby in a modest ranch home he bought for $9,000, and walked from his house to each home football game. He and his wife remained listed in the public phone book, and his children went to the town's public school.
At his direction, the team wore simple uniforms, donning blue jerseys without names and simple white helmets without logos, and plain high-top black shoes. The austere style reflected that of the coach, who wore to nearly every game the same thick-framed black glasses, rolled-up pant legs and white athletic socks.
But Paterno's reputation was called into question in November 2011 when allegations of child sex-abuse surfaced against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. A grand jury presentment detailed an incident that took place in 2002 in the Penn State football complex, in which an assistant coach allegedly saw Sandusky in a shower, naked, with a young boy, in a position that seemed sexual.
The assistant, Mike McQueary, testified to a Pennsylvania grand jury that he reported what he saw to Paterno, who in turn told his superiors. No one called the police.
Paterno was accused of doing too little to ensure the safety of children on campus, although he was not legally bound to call the police.
Penn State Mourns Joe Paterno's Death
In his last interview before his death, Paterno told the Washington Post that he wished he had done more when faced with the allegations against Sandusky.
"I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was," he said. "So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way."
Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees during the week after the scandal broke, three games before the end of the 2011 season and six weeks before his head coaching contract expired. The board said Paterno's ability to lead had been "compromised."
In the wake of the scandal, Pennsylvania's senators withdrew their support for his nomination for a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Paterno's name was removed from the Big Ten Conference championship trophy.
During his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2007, Paterno expressed joy at a career spent coaching football.
"How good has it been? What we share in football; there's never been a greater game. We've been involved in the greatest game, the greatest experience anybody could hope for. Great teammates. Guys you could trust. Guys you loved. Guys you would go to war with tomorrow. We're so lucky. We're so lucky," he said.
Paterno is survived by his wife, Suzanne Paterno, their children, Diana, Joseph Jr. "Jay", Mary Kay, David and Scott, all of whom are Penn State graduates, and 17 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania or the Penn State-THON (The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon).
Season Won Lost Tied Bowl
1966 5 5 0
1967 8 2 1 Gator: Tied Florida State, 17-17
1968 11 0 0 Orange: Beat Kansas, 15-14
1969 11 0 0 Orange: Beat Missouri, 10-3
1970 7 3 0
1971 11 1 0 Cotton: Beat Texas, 30-6
1972 10 2 0 Sugar: Lost to Oklahoma, 14-0
1973 12 0 0 Orange: Beat LSU, 16-9
1974 10 2 0 Cotton: Beat Baylor, 41-20
1975 9 3 0 Sugar: Lost to Alabama, 13-6
1976 7 5 0 Gator: Lost to Notre Dame, 20-9
1977 11 1 0 Fiesta: Beat Arizona State, 42-30
1978 11 1 0 Sugar: Lost to Alabama, 14-7
1979 8 4 0 Liberty: Beat Tulane, 9-6
1980 10 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Ohio State, 31-19
1981 10 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Southern Cal, 26-10
1982 11 1 0 Sugar: Beat Georgia, 27-23
1983 8 4 1 Aloha: Beat Washington, 13-10
1984 6 5 0
1985 11 1 0 Orange: Lost to Oklahoma, 25-10
1986 12 0 0 Fiesta: Beat Miami (Fla.), 14-10
1987 8 4 0 Citrus: Lost to Clemson, 35-10
1988 5 6 0
1989 8 3 1 Holiday: Beat Brigham Young, 50-39
1990 9 3 0 Blockbuster: Lost to Florida State, 24-17
1991 11 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Tennessee, 42-17
1992 7 5 0 Blockbuster: Lost to Stanford, 24-3
1993 10 2 0 Citrus: Beat Tennessee, 31-13
1994 12 0 0 Rose: Beat Oregon, 38-20
1995 9 3 0 Outback: Beat Auburn, 43-14
1996 11 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Texas, 38-15
1997 9 3 0 Citrus: Lost to Florida, 21-6
1998 9 3 0 Outback: Beat Kentucky, 26-14
1999 10 3 0 Alamo: Beat Texas A&M, 24-0
2000 5 7 0
2001 5 6 0
2002 9 4 0 Capital One: Lost to Auburn, 13-9
2003 3 9 0
2004 4 7 0
2005 11 1 0 Orange: Beat Florida State, 26-23 (3 OT)
2006 9 4 0 Outback: Beat Tennessee, 20-10
2007 9 4 0 Alamo: Beat Texas A&M, 24-17
2008 11 2 0 Rose: Lost to Southern California, 38-24
2009 11 2 0 Capital One: Beat LSU, 19-17
2010 7 6 0 Outback: Lost to Florida. 37-24
Totals 401 135 3 Bowls: Won 24, Lost 11, Tied

Larry Butler, Grammy-winning producer, dies at 69

Larry Butler, the only person in Nashville history to win an all-Genre producer of the year Grammy, died of natural causes Friday morning at his home in Pensacola, Fla. He was 69.
Mr. Butler produced works by numerous stars, including Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, John Denver, Bill Anderson, Dottie West and Waylon Jennings, but his biggest impact was on the career of Kenny Rogers. Mr. Butler helmed Rogers’ shift from rock music to country, and he produced major hits including “The Gambler,” “Lucille” and “Coward of the County,” taking care to place Rogers’ vocals front and center in the mix, and accentuating acoustic guitar parts and percussion.
“The success he and Kenny had together is mind-boggling,” said Kim Carnes, who co-wrote Rogers’ Gideon album, produced by Mr. Butler. That album featured “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer,” a Rogers/Carnes duet that became a top five country and adult contemporary hit. “Larry and Kenny were really intertwined. Larry worked with artists who had their own individual style, and he would figure out what made them unique and then get the best out of them.”
A native of Pensacola, Mr. Butler was also a celebrated songwriter, who with Chips Moman wrote the B.J. Thomas hit, “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.” He also wrote “Only The Strong Survive” (Tammy Wynette) and “Standing Tall” (Billy Joe Spears, Lorrie Morgan).
Born and raised in Pensacola, Mr. Butler began playing music as a child, and as a teenager he hosted a radio show and co-hosted a television show. He moved to Nashville in 1963 with the encouragement of producer/publisher Buddy Killen. Mr. Butler was soon playing piano on recordings by Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. In the late 1960s, he moved to Memphis, recording as the Gentry’s with Moman and notching charting pop hits “Keep On Dancin’” and “Every Day I Have To Cry Some.” He returned to Nashville in 1969, working as an in-house producer at Capitol Records, though before long he moved to CBS Records, to work with Cash and others.
In 1973, Mr. Butler became the head of United Artists Records’ Nashville division, where he signed artists including Rogers and Crystal Gayle. He was instrumental in getting Rogers to record “Lucille,” and his crisp production of “The Gambler” expertly framed Rogers’ voice and Don Schlitz’s story-song, aiding Rogers’ rise to superstardom and helping “The Gambler” to a place among the 20th century’s best-known songs. The success of “The Gambler” and other Rogers’ hits led to Mr. Butler’s producer of the year Grammy, which he received in 1980.
“With Larry, everything that happened in the studio had to be tested out,” said country hit-maker Billy Dean, who said Mr. Butler was his first producer in Nashville. “And he was testing it out not in a technical way, but in an emotional way. If it won out emotionally, it stayed. He always led with his heart.”
In the early 1980s, he started independent company Larry Butler Productions, where he worked with Denver (“Some Days Are Diamonds”), Mac Davis (“It’s Hard To Be Humble”), Debbie Boone (“Are You On The Road To Loving Me Again”) and many more.
Mr. Butler helmed a publishing company and signed writers including Mickey Newbury and Dean Dillon and whose company’s songs were recorded by George Strait, Keith Whitley, Vern Gosdin and others (including, of course, Rogers).
In recent years, Mr. Butler was back in his native Pensacola, writing songs and mentoring young talent.
Memorial service and survivor information are as yet unavailable.
Reach Peter Cooper at (615) 259-8220 or pcooper@tennessean.com.

Joe Paterno in serious condition!

Photo credit: Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2011
By The Associated Press
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno is in serious condition after experiencing health complications from lung cancer.

"Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications," family spokesman Dan McGinn said in a brief statement Saturday to The Associated Press. "His doctors have now characterized his status as serious.

"His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time," he said.

The 85-year-old Paterno has been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for observation for what his family had called minor complications from cancer treatments.

Paterno was diagnosed with cancer in November, days after getting ousted as head coach in the aftermath of the child sex abuse charges against former assistant Jerry Sandusky.

This was Paterno's second time in the hospital in a month. He's also recovering from a broken pelvis that required a weeklong stay to make it easier for cancer treatments. Paterno first hurt his pelvis in August when he was accidentally bowled over by a player in preseason practice.

The injury forced the Hall of Famer to spend most of the season coaching from the press box -- until trustees dismissed him Nov. 9, four days after Sandusky was first charged.

Sandusky is out on bail and awaiting trial after denying the allegations. Paterno testified before a state grand jury investigating Sandusky, and authorities have said he is not a target of the probe.

But school trustees voted unanimously to oust him anyway -- even though Paterno had announced that morning he would retire by the end of the season -- in part because Paterno failed a moral responsibility to report an allegation made in 2002 against Sandusky to authorities outside the university.

Paterno testified he had relayed the allegation told to him by graduate assistant Mike McQueary to a superior, and the information was then passed on to another school administrator who oversaw the campus police department.

Paterno's lawyer, Wick Sollers, on Thursday called the board's comments self-serving and unsupported by the facts. Paterno fully reported what he knew to the people responsible for campus investigations, Sollers said.

"He did what he thought was right with the information he had at the time," Sollers said.

Emmylou Harris to Celebrate 20th Anniversary as Grand Ole Opry Member

Photo by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2012

Nashville, TN
The Grand Ole Opry® presented by Humana® will honor one of country music’s most renowned artists, Emmylou Harris, on her 20th anniversary as an Opry member on Sat., Jan. 21, 2012 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.  The Country Music Hall of Fame member was inducted into the Opry on Jan. 25, 1992.  Her 20-year milestone will be celebrated with performances by the honoree, fellow 20-year Opry veteran Vince Gill; Rodney Crowell, with whom Harris is currently working on a duets album; Grammy®-winner Shawn Colvin, making her Opry debut that evening; and more.

“Emmylou is treasured not just by all of us at the Grand Ole Opry, but also by fans around the world,” said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. She’s shared so many great musical moments with us over the past 20 years, singing with and introducing us to some of her favorite musical collaborators. We’re excited to celebrate her Opry anniversary at the Ryman, a stage on which she’s displayed such incredible artistry through the years.”
During her career, Harris has successfully erased boundaries between country, folk and rock ‘n roll.  During the 60s she fell in love with folk music and began performing while in college.  In the late 60s Harris met Gram Parsons, formerly of The Byrds, and he became her mentor and singing partner, drawing her into the 70s country rock movement.  She toured and recorded with Parsons until his death in 1973.  Since then, Harris has continued to develop her musical style by combining folk music with an electric base and has a sound that is uniquely her own.  She has enjoyed seven No. 1 and 27 Top 10 hits. Among her most memorable releases: “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” “Together Again,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Making Believe,” “To Daddy,” and “Heartbreak Hill.”  In 1999 Billboard Magazine recognized her distinguished career achieveme nts with its highest honor – the Century Award.  Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and has won 12 Grammy® awards.

Kenny Loggins: 'I'm alright' being frugal

Photo's by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2012
Kenny Loggins spent the 1980s as the go-to guy for memorable movie songs, fueled largely, he says, by luck. The producers of "Top Gun," which came out in a special 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition in late August, only asked Loggins to sing the film's signature song, "Danger Zone," when Bryan Adams and Toto fell through. And he only wrote and recorded "Footloose" as a favor to that film's screenwriter because, he says, "'Footloose' is not 'Gone with the Wind.'" Nowadays, Loggins tours solo and also plays with his new band, Blue Sky Riders, which will release their music without a record company because, he says, "(the record companies) just want all the money."

What did you do for a living in your early days?
My first job was as a box boy in a grocery store. Then I went from the first year of college to being on the road with (psychedelic '60s band) The Electric Prunes. I came back, lived with the bass player and drummer, did session work and got a job as a songwriter for $100 a week. That allowed me to rent half a duplex in East L.A. for $65 a month. The rest of the $100 would run out, so I would collect pop bottles to get refried beans and tortillas.

I had a VW bus that was about 10 years old. I was talking to a buddy about buying a new car, and he said his buddy was a race car driver. So, I called up his buddy and said, "If you could have any street car, what would you have?" He said he'd have a BMW 3.0-liter Coupe. So here I am, living in East L.A. with a dirt driveway for $65 a month with a 3.0-liter Coupe parked in the driveway. That was the beginning of the end for me, fiscally.

Probably in the middle right now. Or upper middle. I'm not as wealthy as people think I should be. Over the years, a couple of bad investments and rough divorces, and I'm still on the road doing what I do. I've got a couple of colleges yet to pay for -- I've got a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old -- and I'm still building a retirement fund.

Would you say you're a frugal person now?

I'm a lot more frugal now. I would love to buy another BMW someday, but right now I'm a single dad with a minivan.

What do you mean?

I had a business manager once say to me, "It's easy to move up. It's really hard to move back down." Two divorces later, I can attest to that.

For more information visit:

An interview with Design Engineer, Bern Gropp

Story and photo's by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2012

When did you first start contemplate becoming a design engineer?

Back in eighth grade I signed up for wood shop & mechanical drawing.  In high school I took pre-engineering, drafting classes. 

What was your first job in this industry?

It was Garden City Fan in Niles, Michigan. I was a tool & die technician.  We made huge industrial fans.

Where did you go from there?

I went to Phillips Industries as an engineer. We designed electrical brake systems for the RV industries. After that I began freelancing odd jobs that came along. That’s where I began working with plastics. One of my first projects was creating RV dashboards. 

When did you open your first shop?

In 1983 I opened my shop in Mishawaka, IN.

I engineered what is commonly called a trapeziod trailer. I designed a front end to make them more aerodynamic and matched the design overall. Kinda stealth looking.  Within a year everyone was incorporating the same design concept. 

Did the success of this product open any other doors?

This product diffentently got my name out there and added to my professional creditability.

What other products have you been successful with?

The Taktop, it’s a fifth wheel truck lid for a goose neck horse and cattle trailer for storing related gear. 

What followed the Taktop?

In the nineties, I began doing design work for companies like Twentieth Century,  Jason,  Hopcap, Lear,  Astro and Covermaster. Things like outer  shells of large motor homes. 

When did you land at your current location?

About two years  ago.

Why did you choose this location?

I choose it based on its proximity to the Hummer Plant. Loads of high visibility. 

What are the current projects your involved with?

The EPK, Easy Portable Kitchen, The Plumbing Shroud and The Pontoon Wheel Assist.

Tell me about them.

Easy Portable Kitchen (EPK) is a portable, sanitary prep station.  Made of quality materials from top to bottom.   
The fiberglass basin is covered with a durable gelcoat finish and features an inset of marine grade starboard cutting surface. The EPK is supported by sturdy, aluminum, collapsable and adjustable legs to compensate for the physical needs of each user. Two large portholes fitted with bio-degradable plastic bags allow the user to easily dispose of waste. The EPK fitted with gravity feed plastic bags filled with water making food prep and final cleanup a breeze. Field tests with tailgaters, outdoorsmen and back yard party hosts has shown an overwhelming appreciation for this product.

What is the plumbing shroud? 

A client came to me with the idea and I determined it was a mouse trap that needed to be redesigned. 

What did you do to make it a better mouse trap?

My research on under sink  shrouds showed a lack of  durability and failure of bacterial resistance.  By using  marine gradable materials I was able to knock down the level of  bacterial contamination, cut down the weight of the unit and made it more pleasing aesthetically.

How did you develop the idea for the Pontoon Wheel Assist?

I lived on a lake and noticed people struggling with getting their pontoons in and off the water. Most people don’t own trailers for their pontoons and must pay someone to do so. I calculated that over 10 years the average pontoon owner would spend about six thousand dollar’s. I also got to thinking these people leave the pontoon on one lake all season long unlike a boat that can be taken to different locations. I came up with a fairly simple cost efficient  solution. That being a tandem wheel setup that slides under the pontoons while its still in buoyant .  I figured it would cost  probably about a oner time shot of six hundred dollars versus 6,000 over ten years to build. A pretty good savings compared to $6,000 a guy would spend to hire  someone.

When did you get your first taste of working with Hollywood?

At the time I was doing work for Norm's Fiberglass in Mishawaka, In. One day NORM got a call from the west coast asking if we interested in building the ground effects for a Solstice for the movie Fast & Furious that was in pre-production.

How much leeway were you given in the creative process? 

We had already developed four or five ground effects packages for the Solstice for the market before they called. So we weren't starting from ground zero. 

What was it like to see your work on the screen?

Epic, the light bulb came on and I was instantly convinced  that was the direction I wanted to go with my career.

Who’s been some of your inspiration?

Chuck Barrus, the Hollywood special vehicles designer really motivates me. 

Where would you like to see yourself going in the future?

I really want to apply my talents to the movie industry.  The projects in Hollywood really excite me. It seems like a major portion of the the movie success relies on talented engineers who can  physically bring to life the vision the creators see in their minds.

That’s sounds exciting, I wish you the best of luck! Thanks for sitting down and sharing your knowledge with us.

For more information: (574) 807-5679

Paterno speaks for 1st time since firing

photo's by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2011

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Joe Paterno speaks mostly in a whisper these days. His hand sometimes trembles. His thick black hair is gone; in its place is a wig.

Sitting at his kitchen table in a wheelchair, a blanket rests in his lap. A broken pelvis has taken its toll, so have the constant radiation treatments for lung cancer.

In his first interview since being fired by Penn State two months ago, the winningest coach in Division I football told The Washington Post he's "shocked and saddened" by the scandal that enveloped the place where he spent more than six decades.

Yet the 85-year-old Paterno refused to bash the school or say a bad word about the man at the center of the turmoil.

Instead, Paterno said he "didn't know which way to go" after an assistant coach came to him in 2002 saying he had seen retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy.

"I think we got to wait and see what happens," Paterno said in an interview posted Saturday on the newspaper's website. "The courts are taking care of it, the legal system is taking care of it."

Post reporter Sally Jenkins paints a portrait of a frail Paterno, hardly the robust character seen walking the sidelines for so many years.

"Speak up," Paterno's wife, Sue, sometimes says.

Paterno told the Post that assistant Mike McQueary "didn't want to get specific" about details in his allegation involving Sandusky, who McQueary said was showering with a boy in the Penn State football facility.

Paterno said he was hesitant to make follow-up calls because he didn't want to be seen as trying to exert influence either for or against Sandusky.

"I didn't know which way to go ... And rather than get in there and make a mistake," he told the Post before trailing off.

A day after he heard McQueary's allegation, Paterno reported it to his superiors. Paterno said he previously had "no inkling" Sandusky might be a child molester.

Sandusky was criminally charged on Nov. 5 and faces dozens of counts. Paterno was ousted four days later after 46 years as head coach.

"Right now I'm trying to figure out what I'm gonna do," Paterno said. "'Cause I don't want to sit around on my backside all day."

Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer days after his dismissal. He was readmitted to the hospital Friday for observation for what his family called a minor complication from treatments. He has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

His condition improved Saturday morning, and he remained in the hospital, the family said.
Paterno said he was initially reluctant to speak because "I wanted everybody to settle down," but the Post reported he was so eager to defend his record that he insisted on continuing the interview from his bedside Friday morning, though ill.

Paterno, who testified before a grand jury investigating Sandusky, is not a target of the criminal probe.

But his firing came as criticism mounted against Paterno and other Penn State leaders that the 2002 allegation should have been reported to authorities outside of Penn State.
"You would think I ran the show here," Paterno said.

The 67-year-old Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He maintains his innocence and remains out on $250,000 bail while awaiting trial.

If Sandusky is guilty, "I'm sick about it," Paterno said.

Paterno said he wished he knew how the charges against Sandusky didn't come to light until years after the alleged assaults occurred. "I don't know the answer to that," he said. "It's hard."
Asked to respond to the Paterno interview, Sandusky lawyer Joe Amendola said in a statement to The Associated Press that the former Penn State assistant was "greatly dismayed by the knee-jerk reaction" of the Penn State Board of Trustees in firing Paterno.

"In the meantime, we'll continue to keep Coach Paterno and (Athletic Director) Tim Curley in our thoughts and prayers for a speedy and full recovery from their illnesses and Jerry and I will continue our work in preparation for this trial."

In court testimony last month, McQueary said his account about the 2002 allegation to Paterno wasn't as detailed as what he relayed to Paterno's superiors out of respect for the older Paterno.
According to the Post, Paterno reiterated that McQueary was unclear with him about the nature of what he saw - and added that even if McQueary had been more graphic, he's not sure he would have understood it.

"You know, he didn't want to get specific," Paterno said. "And to be frank with you I don't know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best. I talked to people that I thought would be, if there was a problem, that would be following up on it."

In recent weeks, Paterno's dismissal has come under question from many former players and alumni wondering about the motivations of trustees.

Others are roiled by a perceived lack of communication by trustees and President Rodney Erickson during a period when the school has promised to be more open and transparent. Many alumni who attended town hall meetings in Pittsburgh, suburban Philadelphia and New York this week questioned why Paterno, after 61 years of service to the school, wasn't afforded due process before his dismissal.

Paterno met his legal requirement to report suspected abuse, according to authorities.
But two days after Sandusky was charged, state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Paterno and other school leaders had a "moral responsibility" to do more and report allegations to police.
With a media storm descending on the campus, Paterno announced his resignation the morning of Nov. 9. That day, he called the scandal "one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

The trustees fired him about 12 hours later. Paterno recounted that he was passed a note at the door of his home by an assistant athletic director with the name of trustees vice chairman John Surma and a phone number.

According to the Post, Surma told Paterno, "In the best interests of the university, you are terminated." Paterno hung up and repeated the words to his wife, who redialed the number.
"After 61 years he deserved better," Sue Paterno said. "He deserved better."

Paterno could not recall the last time he had seen or spoken to Sandusky. He declined to offer his opinion on the charges other than saying he would wait for the legal process to unfold.
Paterno reminded the Post he is not a victim.

"You know, I'm not as concerned about me," he said. "What's happened to me has been great. I got five great kids. Seventeen great grandchildren. I've had a wonderful experience here at Penn State. I don't want to walk away from this thing bitter. I want to be helpful."