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Harness racing trainer Liza Milina passed away peacefully on 11 December 2019 after a long battle with illness at the age of 54. Liza was best known in harness racing circles as the owner-trainer of Moment Of Truth, an ageless trotting gelding who was still winning races as a fourteen year old. Liza's farewell will be held at North Shore Memorial Park, 235 Schnapper Rock Rd, Albany at 1pm on Wednesday 18 December.    Harnesslink Media

By Jonny Turner Otago harness racing lost one of its most successful trainers and drivers when Ali Malcolmson died in Dunedin on Sunday, aged 80. The Tomahawk horseman was a high achiever in his home province and in big races on the national stage during his career of more than 50 years. Malcolmson gained his first win training and driving win at Ascot Park in 1968. He went on to 319 races as a trainer and 399 races as a driver.  101 of the horseman’s training victories came at Forbury Park. Malcolmson scored his first victory there with Treasure Girl in 1972. He was involved in the trialling of horses while lights were being established at the venue at that time. Malcolmson’s last victory on his home track came in 2017 with Mr Majestic. His last victory as a driver came at Forbury Park with French Desire in 2014. Forbury Park Trotting Club board member, Marty Denton, said Malcolmson had a made a massive impact on the club. Malcolmson was a highly talented and respected horseman and the pair had become friends during their involvement in the industry, Denton said. By 1978, Malcolmson had risen to competing on the national stage with open class trotter Our One. Three years later, Vita Man has the trainer-driver in the national limelight again. Vita Man won the 1981 Flying Stakes at Addington and ran second in the Great Northern Derby. That earned Malcolmson one of two trips he made campaigning horses in Australia. Malcolmson also produced Vita Man to win the Ashburton Flying Stakes, who beat that year's New Zealand Cup winner, Bonnie's Chance, by more than six lengths. Malcolmson also competed in some of New Zealand’s best races with Beau’s Delight, Stormy Fella and Matthew Lee. The horseman drove those horses and many others in group and listed events. Malcolmson combined with Forbury Park trainer, Kevin Court, to win the 1989 Sapling Stakes and the 1990 Southern Supremacy Stakes with Seafield Inca. He also won the 1991 Kindergarten Stakes with Rarest for trainers Henry Skinner and Alan Devery. Otago-Southland Trainers And Drivers Association president, Geoff Knight, said Malcolmson would be remembered as a talented and humble trainer. “He was an absolute legend of his time.” “He was a great man that achieved a lot in the industry and did a lot for racing in Otago and at Forbury Park.” “He prepared a lot of good horses in his time and he was a very good trainer.” Malcolmson was a fierce competitor on the track, but away from it he was highly respected. “He was an absolute gentleman off the track and had the respect of all of the local trainers and drivers,” Knight said.  Most recently, the trainer-driver had trained a small team of his own horses at his Tomahawk stable. Malcolmson’s funeral will be held in Dunedin on Friday. Reprinted with permission of Harness Racing New Zealand

Harness racing has lost one of its most energetic and passionate leaders, with the death of Danny Frawley in a single car crash at Bungaree, near Ballarat, on Monday. Frawley was among a new seven-person board appointed to Harness Racing Victoria in 2016 and, as well as his administrative role, he was an avid owner who promoted the sport at every opportunity. The former AFL great - ex St Kilda champion player and Richmond coach - died at the scene when his car hit a tree at Millbrook, 20 kilometres east of Ballarat, about 1.30 pm. He was the only occupant of the vehicle. Frawley had a long history in harness racing, growing up in the industry at Bungaree. His late father Brian was a breeder, owner and trainer, who raced champion pacer Vanderport. Brian Frawley, who died three years ago, was a life member of the Ballarat and District Trotting Club, where he had served as president. Danny Frawley was passionately committed to the future of harness racing, and, as with everything he took on, he worked tirelessly and invested of himself. He formed a high-profile ownership group of media and sports luminaries which purchased top performers including a share late last year in superstar pacer Shadow Sax, with the goal of promoting the Victoria Cup. The Stable of Stars group was managed by Frawley and included AFL Women's champion and rising star boxer Tayla Harris, Essendon key defender Michael Hurley, Channel 7's Hamish McLachlan, SEN radio's Garry Lyon and Tim Watson, former champion trainer Peter Tonkin and Sky Racing's Brittany Graham, as well as Garry's father Peter Lyon, who has strong family links to harness racing. Shadow Sax went amiss in the Victoria Cup, but went on to take out the Sokyola Sprint and the Poplar Alm Free For All in November. Harnesslink sends its condolences to the Frawley family. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

STICKNEY, IL - A fixture on the Illinois circuit for many years, harness racing driver Tim Curtin passed away last night at the age of 61. Currently tied for second in the driver standings at Hawthorne with 23 wins on the meet, Curtin had an illustrious career that spanned back into the late 1970's. Curtin drove home 3,245 horses to victory during his driving career of over 40 years for $22,749,563 in career earnings. Curtin also trained another 30 winners in that timespan as well. His best season for victories came in 1997 when he drove 219 winners on the year while in 2008 he had a career year for earnings with $1,900,785. In 2019, Tim had been the regular driver for top Illinois-bred Meyer on Fire, along with Jazzie Babe, a winner of four of her first five starts to open her career. Tim's son Pat had driven and trained in Illinois for many years as well. A moment of silence will be held in Tim's memory prior to the start of races on Friday evening at Hawthorne. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Friday, May 3. The summer harness meet opened on Friday, May 3 and races through September 22. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through December 28. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. Jim Miller  

Lorraine C. Muscara, departed this life peacefully at home, on Thursday, May 16, 2019.  She was ninety years of age and born in the Olney section of Philadelphia.  She was the daughter of the late Robert and Freda Eakin.  She was a longtime resident of Huntingdon Valley.   Lorraine enjoyed horse racing with her husband and family and was a member of US Trotting  Association.  She also loved spending time at her condo in Florida with her late husband and children.  Lorraine was the beloved wife of Joseph V. Muscara for sixty-five years before his death in 2014.  She was the devoted mother of Joseph Muscara (Johanna), Cheryl Rondinelli (John), Lorraine Muscara (Mark Heron), Robert Muscara (Barbara) and Mark Muscara (Kristie).   She was the loving grandmother of Denise, Gina, Matthew, Cheryl Ann, Tracy, Joseph, Mark, Isabella, Nick and Caroline.   She was very much loved by her husband, children and grandchildren and will be truly missed by all who knew her. Condolences and memories may be left at  

BRENNAN - Bernard Francis, VMD, of Hobe Sound, FL died peacefully at age 97, April 26, 2019, surrounded by loving family and friends following a stroke on April 16, 2019. Born in Plainfield, NJ, the youngest of three sons of Irish immigrants, Martin Brennan and Elizabeth (nee) O'Shea.    Bernie was a true gentleman who inspired all who knew him with his patience, kindness, humility and humor. A graduate of University of South Dakota (1943) and University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (1946), he began his veterinary practice in Aiken, SC. In 1953 he moved to Westbury, NY where he established his equine practice at Roosevelt Raceway where he was supervising veterinarian and opened a surgical hospital.    Dr. Brennan was an active member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners since its founding in 1954 and served as its President in 1979. He held professional leadership positions in both the New York and New Jersey State Veterinary Associations. Bernard was a long standing member of the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed sports both as an athlete and an avid sports fan, especially horseracing, football and baseball. He enjoyed golf in his retirement and was a member of the Lost Lake Country Club in Hobe Sound, FL.    He is mourned by his surviving children Barbara Ford, Elizabeth (Robert) Wentzell, Bernard F. Jr., Mary Christine (Bruce) Hagy, Michael (Gayle), Patrick, Nancy, and Brian (Amanda) as well as 21 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 63 years Florence Thorson Brennan (d.2007) and three daughters, Constance (d.1987), Theresa (d.2014) and Maureen (d.2014).    Visitation Thursday, May 2nd from 2-4 pm & 7-9pm Donohue Cecere Funeral Home, 290 Post Avenue, Westbury. Mass of Christian Burial 11 am St. Brigid's Church, 75 Post Avenue, Westbury, NY. Burial follows at Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, or to American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation.   Published in Newsday on Apr. 28, 2019

Chester V. Ault, 104, of Chattanooga was born in 1914 on a “frosty December day” in Cedar Bluff, Alabama. He was a long-time resident of Chattanooga, where his many ventures included founding a chain of Ault Hardware and Appliance Stores, developing North Crest Estates on Missionary Ridge and management of Ault Properties where he worked until his death at age 104. Chester was a great lover of nature. Famous for his beautiful dahlias and tasty tomatoes, he had a life-long respect for animals of all kinds. He traveled widely throughout the world visiting 11 African countries. There he not only spent time with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, but hunted big game in Botswana.  He was an avid quail hunter who worked diligently to restore the quail population in Lookout Valley. A world traveler, Chester loved to entertain with his stories of climbing the Great Pyramid and traveling down the Amazon. However, Rome was to be his favorite city, where he returned 5 times to trace the life and death of St. Paul. Chester came into international prominence in 1971 while he and his first wife Katie were managing the harness racing stable of the Dave L. Brown Trust.  It was under their leadership that Steady Star became the fastest harness horse in the world and held the world record for 10 years. In 1997, both the horse and Chester were featured in Sports Illustrated and on CNN. Steady Star and driver Joe O'Brien setting a world's record, 1971 Proud to have served his country during World War II in the Army Air Corp, Chester was very interested in the history of the United States, learning that he was a descendant of both William Brewster and Isaac Allerton who arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower. He was a lifetime member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars. During his lifetime, Chester was a member of First Centenary United Methodist Church, the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, Fairyland Club, The Walden Club and the Dahlia Society. He was a former member of the Brainerd Kiwanis Club and the Jaycees. He is survived by his wife Rosemary Wilbanks Ault, his daughter Cathie Ault Kasch, and two grandchildren Katie Kasch Bien (Keith) of Wildwood, GA and Andrew David Kasch of Hollywood, California as well as four great-grandchildren, Zoë and Mia Kasch and Tala and Silas Bien. He also leaves behind stepchildren Robert Wilbanks, Emmaly Wilbanks Manuel (Joe) and three step- grandchildren Meredith, Wil and Mary Melissa Manuel.  He was preceded in death by his first wife, Katie Brown Ault, his son, Van Robert Ault, his sister, Catherine Ault Gill and brother, Hugh Ault, Sr. The funeral service will be held on Monday, April 22, at 3 p.m. at First Centenary United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 1–3 p.m. at the church. Graveside service to follow at Forest Hills Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Centenary United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 208, Chattanooga, TN 37401. Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, Battlefield Parkway.

Saratoga Springs, NY – George J. Karam passed away on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Born on September 4, 1958 in Rome, NY he was the son of the late George B. and Elizabeth (Abounader) Karam. George was a 1976 graduate of Rome Free Academy and for many years ran the family business, Thrifty Food Store. On December 5, 1997 he married his love, Joy Rolewicz, and together they moved to Saratoga Springs.  George had a lifelong passion for harness racing and horse ownership which led to a career in training and racing horses in Upstate NY. He also served as president of the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association. This in turn led to his dream job of judging harness races. At the time of his passing he was the Presiding Judge at Yonkers Raceway.  Family was everything to George and his love, passion and special bond with his son was undeniable. His greatest joy was watching him excel into The Voice of the Saints and following all the local sports at Saratoga Catholic Central where Brandon is presently a junior.  Survivors include his wife Joy and beloved son Brandon; two brothers Douglas (Fredice) Karam of Rochester Hills, MI and Joseph (Jennifer) Karam of Bannockburn, Illinois; his sister Genevieve (Frank) Tallarino of Rome, NY; sister-in-law Jill (Henry) Koziarz of Rome, NY; step-mother Madeline Karam of Utica, NY and several nieces and nephews.  Relatives and friends may call from 3 to 7pm Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs (518-584-5373).  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at the historic Church of St. Peter, 241 Broadway by Rev. Thomas H. Chevalier, pastor. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.  In lieu of flowers please consider donations to an education fund set up for “Brandon R. Karam”, c/o Catskill Hudson Bank, 2452 State Route 9 Suite 104, Malta, NY 12020 (518-289-5463).

Big Rock, IL – Harness racing trainer Mark D. Fransen, 64 of Big Rock passed away March 28, 2019 at his home. Graveside services will be Tuesday (April 2) at 10:00 a.m., at Troy Grove Cemetery, Troy Grove, IL. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota, IL is handling arrangements. Mr. Fransen was born August 21, 1954 in Mendota, IL to Logan and Cecil (Carney) Fransen. He trained two horses which were inducted into the IHHA Hall of Fame: Plum Peachy (1995) and Broadway Preview (2001). Plum Peachy also earned honors as 1990 Illinois Horse of the Year. He trained the winners of nine Super Night races in Chicago and four winners of the prestigious Maywood Pace. He also trained Illinois State Fair champions Buck and Wing and Skipalong Misty. He trained horses which set track records at Sportsman’s Park, Maywood Park, Balmoral Park, Quad City Downs and the Illinois State Fair. Mr. Fransen was known to racing fans across the state for his versatility as a trainer. His multi-faceted skill set enabled him to excel with colts and fillies, trotters and pacers, and both stakes colts and older horses. He is survived by his daugher Melanie Fransen of Midway, KY; his sister Sandy (Stephen) Arkels of Princeton and his brother Terry (Ellen) Fransen of Utica. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gary and his sister Judy. Memorial contributions can be made to the family at Resource Bank in Mr. Fransen’s name. USTA Communications Department

LEBANON, OH - Andy Ray, a recent addition to the harness racing open trotters ranks at Miami Valley Raceway, captured the $25,000 Barry Langley Memorial on Sunday afternoon, March 10. The 7-year-old gelding, who banked $175,343 racing primarily at Yonkers Raceway in 2018, was greeted in an emotional makeshift backstretch winner's circle by over 100 of Langley's family, friends and fellow horsemen still in shock over the sudden and unexpected passing of the likeable trainer on Wednesday at age 33. Driver Elliott Deaton chose the gate-to-wire strategy for favored Andy Ray's second local start and the altered son of Crazed responded with a 1:55.2 front-stepping triumph. 11-1 longshot Flight Of The Kiwi (Brett Miller) made a gallant first-over attempt to wear down the winner, but fell one-half length short at the finish. Pine Dream (Chris Page), the winner of the last two top weekly trots, managed a two-hole trip despite an assigned outside post position, but could find no racing room late and settled for the show dough. Yinson Quezada owns Andy Ray, who is trained by Anette Lorentzon. He now sports 22 wins in 110 career starts good for earnings of $545,735. Andy Ray holds off Flight Of The Kiwi to capture the Barry Langley Memorial Open Trot Calling hours for Barry Langley will be from 5-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 at the Shorten & Ryan Funeral Home, 400 Reading Rd., Mason, Ohio. Funeral services will take place at the funeral home at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. A Celebration of Barry Langley's Life will follow the funeral in the banquet room attached to the old Race Office building at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. Memorial donations are suggested to the Barry Langley Fund, earmarked to benefit Barry's beloved four-year-old daughter Lucy Jean. Contributions will be collected at the calling hours, the post-funeral Celebration gathering, or can be mailed to: Barry Langley Fund, c/o Lebanon Citizens National Bank, P. O. Box 59, Lebanon, OH 45036. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley Raceway and its horsemen and women will pay tribute to their dear friend and fellow harness racing horseman Barry Langley during the Sunday (March 10) afternoon matinee. Langley passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Lebanon, Ohio, on Wednesday at the age of just 33. The $25,000 Open Trot (approximate 6th race post time 3:30 p.m.) has been renamed the Barry Langley Memorial. Following the race the winner will be surrounded in a makeshift winner's circle on the backstretch by Barry's multitude of friends and fellow horsemen to remember their friend. The likeable 6'5" Langley was known to all as either "Gentle Giant" or "Big Chief," due to his native American Indian heritage. He had no enemies, just friends-and lots of them. The apple of Barry's eye was definitely his four-year-old daughter Lucy Jean who he loved with all his heart and soul. The local horsemen at Miami Valley have already established the Lucy Jean Langley Trust Fund and contributions are pouring in with loving tributes from owners, drivers, trainers and caretakers who Barry befriended in his horse-related travels throughout North American over the past 15 years. Rest In Peace, Big Chief! Gregg keidel    

Lawrence (Larry) E. Marsh (86), founder of the first Arlington Million, co-founder of Hollywood Park Racetrack in Los Angeles, member of both the IHHA Illinois Harness Racing Hall of Fame and the Illinois Standardbred Racing Hall of Fame, and most eligible bachelor from coast to coast passed away peacefully in his home in Safford, AZ on Saturday February 16th.   Son of the late Ernest S. Marsh, President and Chairman of the Santa Fe Railway, and Agnes LaLonde Marsh, loving brother of Jack, Peggy (Lambert), Neva Jo (Schiltz), and Colleen (McCarthy), Larry is survived by his adoring 14 nieces and nephews, their many children, and their many more children’s children.  Larry’s love for his family was only rivaled by his deep love for animals. He raised many award winning horses and dogs throughout his lifetime and devoted extensive time to rescuing and rehoming animals due to natural disasters. Possessed with an entrepreneurial spirit, Larry began his working career as a cook at Evanston Hospital at age 13 before attending the University of Colorado, where he studied Marketing. After graduating, a stint in the United States Navy and a short while working as an engineer on the Santa Fe Railway, Larry embarked on a decorated and trailblazing career as a Hall-of-Fame horseman.  He was lauded as “the man who really changed the face of” and “the finest thing ever to happen in the history of” Illinois racing (John Berry – Illinois Sulky News; Chicago Tribune, March 16, 1967).  During his tenure in Thoroughbred and Harness Racing, he impacted nearly every aspect of the business. Working as a Lobbyist and Director of Racing and Racing Secretary for Arlington Park and Washington Park, Larry was also founder of Marsh Stud, a state-of-the-art breeding and training facility that was home to celebrated horses Poplar Byrd, Egyptian Dancer, Nevele Dancer, and more.  His passion for the industry took him to California, where he co-founded the Hollywood Park Racetrack and served as the Director for the United States Trotting Association.   After retiring from the world of racing, Larry’s passion for innovation and sustainability led him to create Solarflame Inc., one of the first solar energy companies, and LeRoy Power Alcohol, Inc., an ethanol fuel production company.  He spent much of his later years as a certified EMT and ACE certified personal trainer, using his experience as the 1994, 1995, 1998, and 1999 National Champion of the AWA Olympic Weightlifting Masters Track and Field (Seniors Swimming, Seniors Powerlifting) to inspire his peers and improve the health of seniors across the country.   A man of endless curiosity, unsurmountable drive, and impressive vision, Larry will forever be remembered by those that love him for his passion, beautiful voice, laugh that could light any room, and for the love and generosity he brought to his family and friends. Visitation: Saturday, March 2, 2019 10:00 a.m. until time of the Funeral Service:11:30 a.m. at Donnellan Family Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd. at Old Orchard Rod. Skokie, IL 60077. Interment: All Saints Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to:  Illinois Equine Human Center  47W635 Beith Road  Maple Park, IL 60151 or  PAWS PO Box 1037 Lynnwood, WA 98046   Info: 847 675-1990 or 

STATE COLLEGE — This usually quiet town finds itself still shaking from Thursday’s late-night tragedy in which a gunman killed four people, including himself. “Relatively speaking,” State College Police Chief John Gardner said at a press conference Friday, “State College is one of the safest places in America.” That classification was challenged at 10:14 p.m. Thursday when 21-year-old Jordan Witmer of Benner Township went on a shooting spree at P.J. Harrigan’s Bar & Grill, located at 1450 S. Atherton Street. Harrigan’s is attached to the Ramada Hotel. Pronounced dead Thursday night were Dean Beachy, 61, George McCormick, 83, and Witmer. Beachy’s son, 19-year-old Steven Beachy, died Friday. Nicole Abrino, 21, remains in critical condition after being transferred from Mount Nittany Medical Center to a Pittsburgh hospital. Gardner said police are trying to determine a motive and “make sense of what occurred.” Officers were first dispatched to Harrigan’s after a report of shots fired. Gardner said Witmer had arrived at the bar about 8:30 p.m. and was there with Abrino. Police are still trying to determine the exact relationship between Witmer and Abrino. According to police, at one point during the night, Witmer got up from his bar seat, walked to where the Beachys were seated and began shooting. Dean Beachy, a visiting auctioneer from Millersburg, Ohio, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Steven Beachy suffered a torso wound and was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center. He was transferred to UPMC Altoona, where he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. Friday, Centre County Deputy Coroner Debra Smeal told the Millersburg (Ohio) Daily Record. Dean Beachy was listed as an auctioneer at a standard-bred horse auction at Penns Valley Livestock in Centre Hall, the Record reported. Abrino suffered a chest wound. According to police, after the shooting, Witmer fled and crashed his car at the intersection of Waupelani Drive and Tussey Lane at about 10:46 p.m. Officers found Witmer’s vehicle unoccupied, and at 11:09 p.m., State College police were dispatched to 748 Tussey Lane — McCormick’s home — for a reported burglary in progress with shots fired. Gardner said Witmer entered the McCormick residence by shooting a sliding glass door and then kicking his way in. Officers entered at approximately 11:14 p.m. and found McCormick deceased with a gunshot wound to his head. Witmer was found deceased in the living room from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. McCormick’s wife, Joann, 80, was unharmed. She had locked herself in the bedroom and called 911. As questions persisted Friday about the shooter and his motive, Gardner reminded, “What I don’t want to have lost here … four people lost their lives.” Gardner said an investigation revealed that there was no relationship between Witmer and the McCormicks, and it is believed he chose the home at random after crashing his vehicle. After describing the incident, Gardner took time to address some issues regarding the timeliness of certain warnings. Gardner said he wanted “to stress more than anything” that the first thing officers did after collecting relevant information was to send that information to other law enforcement bodies, including Pennsylvania State Police. This information included a description of the suspect. Gardner noted that by the time he arrived on scene at 11:15 p.m., a lot of the information had already been dispersed through local television and social media. “If there’s one thing I think we, myself in particular as the police chief here, could have done better is to release information sooner that the threat had been eliminated,” he said. “We knew there was no more threat to the public,” Gardner said, adding that “in hindsight” he wishes the information had been released sooner so the public hadn’t remained in a “heightened state.” On social media in particular, several Penn State students expressed concern over the fact that no university alert was sent out. Gardner said that during the incident there were “no immediate threats to Penn State or its students,”in part due to the fact that the shooting took place miles off campus. Gardner said the shooting was “a State College incident, not a university incident,” which contributed to the university’s decision not to send out an alert. Penn State issued a statement Friday, saying it was “deeply saddened by the senseless acts of violence that have occurred and our thoughts are with the victims and their families” and adding that it was in touch with State College police Thursday night and was “monitoring the rapidly unfolding off-campus incident.” “The decision to send an action alert is made on a case-by-case basis for each situation, and is based on information available to Penn State Police at the time of the event,” the statement read. “We always review our responses to these incidents and will adjust our processes as needed.” The police department is in the process of investigating more on Witmer’s background, Gardner said. A 2015 Bellefonte High School graduate, Witmer was in the military, but it is unclear whether he was active duty or had just gotten out. Gardner said Witmer had a legal permit to carry a gun. Gardner said the case isn’t “open and closed” because Witmer took his own life, adding that the department will work as long as possible to determine exactly what happened. Gardner said an investigation into whether or not there were drugs or alcohol in Witmer’s system is being conducted. Gardner said mass shootings are “not very common” in the area. A sign on the door at Harrigan’s said the bar would be closed through the weekend and expressed condolences to the victims. Mirror copy editor Sarah Vasile can be reached at 949-7029. Reprinted with permission of The Altoona Mirror ............................................................................... From the USTA Columbus, OH — Dean W. Beachy 62, of Millersburg, OH, died Thursday, January 24, 2019, in State College, Pa. a victim of a random shooting. His son Steven also died as a result of the shooting. Born January 16, 1957, he was a son of the late Albert J. and Emma Jean (Beachy) Beachy. Dean was a renowned harness racing auctioneer and a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church. He is survived by his wife, the former Linda Meader, whom he married September 21, 1991. Also surviving are his children Robert Joseph Beachy, Benjamin Dean Beachy, David Albert Beachy, (Steven Lee Beachy, also a victim of the shooting) all from Walnut Creek, 2 sisters Wilma Mae (Daniel) Yoder of Medina, N.Y., Diane Sue Beachy of Walnut Creek and a sister-in-law Esther Beachy of Winesburg. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Dale Lee Beachy. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at 11:00 AM at the Mt. Hope Event Center in Mt. Hope with Pastor Don Hamsher officiating. A private burial will be held prior to services. Friends may call at the event center Sunday from 5 to 8 PM and Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM. Smith-Varns Funeral Home in Sugarcreek is handling the arrangements. To share a memory, please visit the funeral home’s web site. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Walnut Creek Mennonite Missions Program (330-852-2560).  Steven Lee Beachy, 19, dies Steven Lee Beachy 19, Millersburg, OH, died Friday, January 25, 2019, in Altoona, Pa., a victim of a random shooting in State College, Pa on Thursday. His father, Dean W. Beachy, also died as a result of the shooting. Born June 22, 1999, in Canton he was a son Linda Mary Beachy and the late Dean W. Beachy. Steven was a horseman and a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church. In addition to his mother he is survived by 3 brothers Robert Joseph Beachy, Benjamin Dean Beachy and David Albert Beachy, all of Walnut Creek, a grandfather Bud Meader of Rochester, New Hampshire and aunts and uncles Diane Beachy, Esther Beachy, Daniel and Wilma Yoder, Dana and Lorraine Rines and Robert and Polly Meader.  Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at 11:00 AM at the Mt. Hope Event Center in Mt. Hope with Pastor Don Hamsher officiating. A private burial will be held prior to services. Friends may call at the event center Sunday from 5 to 8 PM and Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM. Smith-Varns Funeral Home in Sugarcreek is handling the arrangements. To share a memory, please visit the funeral home’s web site. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Walnut Creek Mennonite Missions Program. (330-852-2560).  The USTA Communications Department  

Donald H. Zich, 76, of Akron, New York died on January 22, 2019, at the Gates Vascular Center in Buffalo, New York. Born on September 19, 1942, Mr. Zich was introduced to harness racing at a very early age as his uncle Herb Schweitzer raced a stable of horses at Vernon Downs. After working with his uncle and learning the business during the summer while still in school, he entered the military after graduation and served his country during the Vietnam conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, Mr. Zich went right back to the track and started his lifelong participation in the sport he loved. During his active years of training and driving at Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway, Mr. Zich oversaw his own stable while also catch driving for many years. Horses he steered and conditioned included Tarzan Direct, Gypsy Zipper, Southcote Irish, Gemarillo, Win Jon, Laredo LST, Columbia Stone, Surginski, Hatchet Almahurst, Dovers Dolittle, Quality Wins, Fan Can Do, Flower Time, Two Smart, Cosmic Jolt and his pride and joy Fanny's Filly, who he guided into being the Trotter of the Year in western New York in 1982. Mr. Zich was also a 30-year employee of General Motors at the Buffalo Engine Plant where he earned an associate's degree as a skilled tradesman and worked as a tinsmith. In his spare time Mr. Zich was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved to spend time with his family. He was a friend to everyone at the track and he will certainly be missed by all those who knew him. Don Zich was the beloved husband of Elizabeth P. (nee Ralston) Zich for 53-years; devoted father of Tina M. (Timothy L.) Bojarski, Deborah A. (Darrin M.) Monti and Donald Zich; cherished grandfather of Dana, Lauren, Andrew, Donnie and Taylor; loving son of the late Fred and Mildred Zich; dear step-brother of Beverly; and is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins. Relatives and friends may visit the Lombardo Funeral Home (Northtowns Chapel), 855 Niagara Falls Boulevard, near Eggert Road and Sheridan Drive on Thursday (Jan. 24) from 4-8 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Holy Spirit Church, 85 Dakota Avenue, Buffalo, New York on Friday morning (Jan. 25) at 11:15 a.m. Online condolences are at By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs  

Columbus, OH — Donald Irving, 68, of Ocala, Fla., died Dec. 28, 2018, from cancer. A member of the USTA for 52 years, Mr. Irving was a highly successful and respected trainer and driver until 1988 and than continued as an accomplished horse breeder in the state of Florida. He was Breeder of the Year for six consecutive years and was inducted into the Florida Racing Hall of Fame in 1999. Mr. Irving is survived by his beloved wife, Sandy; son, Brandon (Jenna Kolles); grandchildren, Beckett and Olivia; brother-in-law, Dr. Denis (Cathy) Rubal; sister-in-law, Cory Rubal (Scott Ovian); nieces, Tina Jo, Katie Ovian, Deborah (Mark) Nicholls, Patricia (Raj) Taneja, Maggie (Shawn) Beatty, Amanda (Matt) Overton, and Melissa (Eli) Gould; nephew, Dustin Ovian; and dear lifetime friends, Barry Speakman, John Walsh, Sam McMichael and fellow horseman Ben Stafford. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dana and Jo Anne; and brother, Daniel. At his request, there will be no service and internment will take place at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. from the USTA Communications Department

On the morning of January 3, 2019 after a long battle with colon cancer, June Jeanette Hudson, of Huntington Station, New York, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. She was 82 years of age and would have turned 83 on January 5th. She was the daughter of Clinton & Ethel Brooks and born in New York City at the New York Presbyterian Hospital on January 5, 1936. She was preceded in death by her parents who both owned Standardbreds, her husband William who was a Roosevelt & Yonkers Raceways driver/trainer, and a brother, Gerald Brooks. She was a former member of the United States Trotting Association and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, In the 1960's along with her husband she owned horses that raced at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceways under the stable name of the Orange & Black Stables. During that time she was part owner of an Adios Harry colt named LACH whose name was arrived at by using the first initials of all of the partners last names: Levy, Alder, Cohen and Hudson. She worked in the restaurant industry and at one time worked at Mimmos of Westbury, which was directly across the street from Roosevelt Raceway. It was while she was working at Mimmos that a customer and friend of hers, New York Jets Coach Walt Michaels, appointed her an honorary member of the N.Y. Jets Coaching staff. She was a member of the American Federation of Astrologers and at one time was ranked as one of the top Astrologers in the country. She had taught astrology and had appeared on several TV shows. George Morton Levy, Jr., the son of Roosevelt Raceway's founder, was at one time one of her students. She is survived by children Fred (Susan) Hudson, Lanette (Dave) Woelfel, granddaughter Chelsea Hines, brother Roger (Laura) Brooks and many cousins, nephews & nieces. Arrangement are being finalized and will be announced shortly. Condolences and flowers can be sent to the Butler & Hughes Funeral Home, 69 Indian Head Road, Kings Park, NY 11754. Email: Phone: 631 269-4555 By Fred Hudson  

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