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Emotional reactions to the tragedies responsible for the lives of both police and black men are motivating many to feel the demand to pick sides. Conversations around the killings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and five police officers in Dallas will not likely simmer down any time soon — and they shouldn’t.

We decided to focus the first episode of our video series $#*! It’s Monday around the issue. We wanted to better understand how the recent tragic events is affecting the black community.

Mariah, Keith and Kevin McCray, from Columbus, Ohio, joined Myiah McClendon and Christian McCray from Detroit, on July 8 at our HQ in Scranton, Pennsylvania. They sat down with BTTW editor, Justin Adam Brown, and interns Latrice Smith and Rikki Onhvandy to open a peaceful dialogue about the Black Lives Matter movement.


My, My, My, This ‘Skinny Love’ Cover Will Get You Through the Rest of the Week



Skip Monday is kicking off 2017 in a new city. The musical act, formed in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and featuring Kaylin Karr on vocals and Nathan Montella on the cajón, recently relocated to Austin, Texas.

Nathan told Better than the Weekend the move is a result of wanting to be part of the Live Music Capital of the World. Austin actually has more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the world. The southern city is also home to some of the biggest music festivals, such as South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), The Urban Music Festival, and Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Before the big move, Skip Monday performed for BTTW’s Acoustic Kickback Series at Adezzo in Scranton.

Here’s to good music and chasing dreams. We’ll all be rooting for you, Skip Monday!

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Whatever Happened to the Genetti Wedding Girl?



In the spirit of nostalgic reboots revisiting our lives (Fuller House, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Jurassic World), Better than the Weekend decided to bring back the Genetti wedding commercial. Twenty years later, did she finally have her Genetti wedding? We tracked down the original stars for a parody — with help from VisionReel Studios — to imagine where the Genetti wedding girl might be today.                                                                                       

If you lived in northeastern Pennsylvania in the 1990s or early 2000s, you’re likely familiar with the local television ad featuring a little girl who fantasizes about having her wedding reception at Genetti’s.

How could we forget?

It was 1994 when NEPA was introduced to the adorable child with wedding reception fever and the mother she confessed her dreams to. The commercial starred Krista Larioni and Kathleen DiCarluccio, a real-life daughter and mother. In the ad, Krista imagined her teddy bears were having a wedding reception at Genetti’s.

Viewers were hooked as soon as they heard the phrase: Mommy, when I grow up, can I have a Genetti wedding?

Krista said most commercials don’t spotlight a connection as strong and believable as one between a little girl and her actual mother.

“If it were anyone in the commercial other than my actual mother, I don’t think the commercial would have had the impact it had,” Krista said. “And the whole idea behind it — this little girl just dreaming about a wedding reception. It’s kind of funny. Every little girl dreams about what she’d wear, or who she’s going to marry. But this little girl couldn’t care less about the dress or the groom. She’s just dreaming about this place.”

The commercial was so popular that Genetti’s filmed a second ad with Krista and Kathleen.

And then they made it a trilogy.

And then they played it over and over for years and years.

Gus Genetti, owner of Genetti’s, hand-selected Krista for the commercial when he saw her modeling at a bridal show. Looking back, he’s humbled that the commercials are still remembered.

“When a local business runs an ad, it’s usually for a month or a couple of months,” Gus said. “Our commercial ran for more than a decade. For years, we were in people’s homes. That sticks with people.”

Krista says there was a point she couldn’t escape the commercial or getting recognized from it.

“It played on every channel in the area. Turn on the news, the commercial would pop up. Turn on MTV, there it was again,” Krista said. “In school, people would ask for my autograph. I would sign notebooks. Someone asked me to sign a can of fruit once. That was weird. For a while, I thought, This is it! I’m going to be star!

But after graduating from Lakeland High School in 2005, Krista’s attraction to fame faded.

Instead, Krista followed her passion of helping children by pursuing a degree in education from Keystone College. The now 29-year-old former local child star is a sixth grade language arts teacher at Forest City Regional Elementary School.

She’s now Mrs. Tully, living in Clarks Summit with her husband, Shawn.

That’s right, she’s married! However, she didn’t have her reception at Genetti’s. Perhaps it was destined for her Genetti wedding to forever be a dream.







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This Father-Daughter Acoustic Duet Will Have You Starving for More



Britt Rice wants you to get lost — in her performance, that is. The 27-year-old, of Dallas, Pennsylvania, says her favorite part of watching any performance is when she can notice a musician escape so deeply into their music that she could actually see them feel the song.

“I hope when people see me perform, that’s what they see,” she said after singing Hailee Steinfeld’s hit “Starving” with her father, Mark, for Better than the Weekend’s Acoustic Kickback Series. “I hope they see I love what I’m doing and that I’m feeling the emotions of the song.”

So feel this performance! Like it. Share it. And get familiar with this talented father-daughter duo.


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