Maggie Smolka, WTAJ News

Maggie Smolka


Altoona, PA, United States

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Past articles by Maggie:

E-Z Dogs serves up more than a tasty meal

CLARION COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The grills were sizzling at E-Z Dogs in Clarion County. A long line of customers at Riverview Intermediate Unit #6 got ready to fill their stomachs with hot dogs smothered with tasty toppings. Business owners Ezra Brooks and his mom Tanya just opened the hot dog stand, but the idea […] → Read More

Volunteer firefighter gets heart transplant

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) – A few weeks ago, Dalton Igoe had two heart attacks, now after waiting almost two years he is receiving a new heart. Two months ago, Igoe, who’s a volunteer firefighter with the Lakemont Fire Department, suffered two heart attacks while responding to a call. He’s been in the hospital since. […] → Read More

Family loses everything in Cambria County house fire

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The community is coming together to help a Summerhill family rebuild after losing everything Saturday morning in a house fire. On June 25 around 4:30 a.m., multiple crews were called to Cheyanne Street in Summerhill Township for a fire that had started on the front porch of the home. It […] → Read More

Father-daughter duo walking from Erie to D.C.

CRESSON, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Walking through Cresson, Cambria County, Dan and Emma Perritano send smiles and waves. “We do this because we love to do it,” Dan explained. “We get so much support. So much help from people.” The father-daughter duo are walking more than 300 miles from their hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania […] → Read More

Blair Type 1 Diabetes Foundation to host money raffle

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Blair Type 1 Diabetes Foundation is hosting their first money raffle. In addition to $4,000 being up for grabs, there will also be 50/50s, small games of chance and a basket raffle. The cost for a ticket is $100 and that includes two adults who are 21 or older, […] → Read More

Daycares, working families dealing with childcare crisis

(WTAJ) — At The Learning Station in State College, Lynda Mussi and her staff put their heart into developing young children. “It’s so encompassing because there are so many skill sets,” Lynda Mussi, Director of The Learning Station, said. “There is language development, there is relationship building, there is learning how to ask for things.” […] → Read More

Destination PA: Somerset County couple to open new brewery

STOYSTOWN, SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Somerset County couple is pouring their hearts into a new brewery. “He is definitely a beer nerd,” Kaitlin Fahy, co-owner of Forbes Trail Brewing, laughed when talking about her husband. “I know more about beer in the last 4 years then I thought I would ever know in […] → Read More

Handcrafted clay bowls to be given out at Soup’er Sunday

SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– The Soup’er Bowl event returns this Saturday, and handcrafted clay bowls from a group of Somerset County women will be given out. A group of ladies that call themselves the “Mud Ladies” handcraft bowls for the event. They have been hard at work, making 250 bowls each with its own craft […] → Read More

Local flower farm sending out sunflowers for Ukraine

ROARING SPRING, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A flower farm in Blair County is hoping to grow an idea nationwide to help a country in dire need. For a $5 donation, Sunhearth Flowers in Roaring Spring will send you a packet of sunflower seeds. All the money they raised will go to Razom Ukraine, which […] → Read More

WATCH: Honoring Black History Special

WTAJ — Making a difference in our community is a monumental part of Black History. Take a deep dive into The Bellefonte Art Museum, the life of Donald Witherspoon, a Blair County African American history blogger, and more to see Central Pennsylvania’s rich history in this Honoring Black History special. For example, the Bellefonte Art […] → Read More

Altoona student helps bring new African American history course to curriculum

After realizing the history classes at Altoona Area High School didn't teach much about black history, 11th grader Anaiyah Crone took matters into her own hands and started a new course this semester. → Read More

Upgrading your mask: Doctor explains which ones offer best protection against COVID-19

(WTAJ) — With the coronavirus spreading rapidly, the CDC is now expected to update masking guidelines, recommending people start wearing a higher quality one, like a N95 or KN95. We caught up with a doctor from Geisinger Health System who helped us break down which masks are most effective in preventing the spread. “We know […] → Read More

Community looking to remember, honor man for countless contributions

MARTINSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — One Blair County community wants to recognize and remember a man for all he did for the area. W. Gene Henry lived in Martinsburg his entire life and showed his love for the community it many different ways. “His family was this community,” Chuck Kensinger, from the Martinsburg Borough […] → Read More

11-year-old gets his first buck and the post goes viral

For any hunter, getting their first buck is an experience they'll always remember. → Read More

One year later: House explosion survivor shares her story

HUNTINGDON, HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — There are some days you’ll never forget. For the Huntingdon County community, October 19, 2020 is one of them. “Everyone will tell you what they were doing, what they heard, the stories,” Michele Shovlin, whose house exploded last year while she was still inside, said. “I remember looking and […] → Read More

Man in teddy bear costume stops in Central Pa. on cross-country journey

About seven months ago, Jessy Larios started a journey dressed up in a teddy bear costume all the way in Los Angeles, California. → Read More

Clearfield County polio survivor talks of his experience ahead of World Polio Day

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) -- Sunday is World Polio Day, and the Punxsutawney Rotary Club brought in a polio survivor to speak of his experience with the disease that impacted him when he was 2 years old. → Read More

Altoona man completes cross-country bicycle trip, hopes to inspire others to follow passions

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A journey on the open road hits a little differently when you trade four tires for just two. “I’ve never ridden through some of those areas in a car, but my creation about that would be that you would be riding through it,” Patrick McGinnis, who rode his bike […] → Read More

Race for the Ribbon event benefits Altoona teen battling brain cancer

Shaffer's Full Steam Ahead Hobby Shop is hosting their 2nd Annual Race for the Ribbon on Saturday, October 2. → Read More

Through their eyes: First responders recount Flight 93 crash scene

SHANKSVILLE, SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Thousands of first responders sprung into action on September 11, 2001. In the small town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, crews got a call about a plane down. They would soon learn that those aboard sacrificed their own lives to stop terrorists from reaching our nation’s capital. “You know they are […] → Read More