Couple marks 30 years hosting "German Melodies" radio show

Wolfgang Wengler and his wife, Helga, have hosted a weekly radio program of German music for 30 years on WKTL-FM 90.7.

The couple marked the milestone last month on their live show, “German Melodies.”

The Wenglers immigrated to the United States in the mid-’50s. Preserving their German heritage has always been important to them, and sharing it through music was a natural choice.

Wolfgang, a retired painting contractor, has served as president of the Youngstown Maennerchor for 13 years and is the archivist/historian for the North American German singing society. Helga served as president of the Maennerchor’s women’s auxiliary.

For 30 years, the couple have started their radio show with a familiar greeting: “This is Wolfgang ... und Helga ... bringing you 90 minutes of songs from the homeland.”

Wolfgang said the songs help those with German heritage celebrate special occasions and remember family and friends.

Wolfgang started on “German Melodies” in 1982, when he volunteered to help the program’s original host. Within a few weeks, Wolfgang was hosting the show. Helga joined him a few years later.

“German Melodies” airs from 10:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday.

Struthers native paul jenkins rose to top of the art world

Later this year, the Butler Institute of American Art will have an exhibition of works by Paul Jenkins, who died last month.

Jenkins was a long-time associate and contributor to the museum who became acquainted with it as a teen growing up in Struthers. He would go on to become an important figure in the art world.

“Paul Jenkins was a key member of the New York school of artists, and exhibited alongside such legendary figures as Willem DeKooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner,” said Louis A. Zona, director of the Butler.

Jenkins helped to extend the Abstract Expressionist philosophy beyond the 1950s and led the charge toward a new direction that would become known as Post-Painterly Abstraction.

Jenkins’ work can be found in many international museums and collections. The Butler owns many of his works, and several are currently on view.

Jenkins was born in Kansas City in 1923. As a teen, he moved to Struthers with his mother and stepfather.

In 1948, he moved to New York City where he studied at the Art Students League of New York.

Jenkins split his time between New York and Paris in the 1950s and achieved prominence in both places for his abstractions.

In 1973, an extensive monograph by distinguished art historian Albert E. Elsen was published. In 1983, “Anatomy of a Cloud,” a book of autobiographical collages and texts by the artist, was published.

Champion native is a finalist in women who rock contest

Sleeper Agent co-lead singer Alex Kandel, who is a native of Champion, has been chosen as one of the six finalists of Rolling Stone’s Women Who Rock contest. The winner will appear on the back cover of the music magazine. Handpicked by Rolling Stone editors, the six finalists represent a range of musical genres and already are making an impact in the industry.

“Being nominated is a great opportunity for the band. It’s not even as much about winning or losing as it is about more people discovering our band,” Kandel said in a news release.

The top two finalists will compete head-to-head on stage at the Rolling Stone Rock Room at Lollapalooza in Chicago on Aug. 3 and 4. The performances will be posted on, and fans will vote to determine the winner.

The finalists also will be featured in Us Weekly magazine, online at and in a “Rock Your Style” section.

speak! Dog lands a role in play at victorian players

Maximus, a search-and- rescue dog owned by Board-man police officer Jack Neapolitan, is taking on a new role.

The German Shepherd will play a part in the premiere of the play “Dog Days,” which will open July 20 at the Victorian Players Theater in Youngstown.

“Dog Days” was written by Youngstown playwright J.E. Ballantyne Jr. It tells the true story of Salem native Albert Wickline, who was shot down behind enemy lines in France during World War II.

Wickline was rescued by a French family that hid him in their barn, warning him to stay away from their mean dog. Maximus will play that dog (which has the rather unimaginative name “Dog”).

Maximus “auditioned” for the role against several other dogs.

The 9-year-old male also is a certified therapy dog who visits nursing homes and adult handicap workshops.

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