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Loose lips sink strip: cartoonist fired for curse

February 10, 2019 News Extra

Discovery shocks alert Eagle reader

A sharp-eyed Butler Eagle reader alerted the newspaper of what appears to be a vulgar shot at President Donald Trump in the Feb. 10 Sunday cartoon section, and it will cost the cartoonist his place in the Eagle's Sunday comics.

The seemingly vulgar sentiment, which appears to begin with “We fondly say go ...”, can be seen scribbled in the bottom right corner of the middle panel in Non Sequitur, by cartoonist Wiley Miller.

The three-panel, black-and-white cartoon encourages readers to color in the panels, which this week featured a “Bearaissance” character named “Leonardo Bear Vinci.”

“A reader brought to our attention that one of the syndicated comic strips which appears in the Sunday Butler Eagle may contain a hidden message which was apparently placed there by someone in the creative department of the creator of the comic strip or the syndication which controls it,” said Ron Vodenichar, Eagle publisher and general manager. “Neither the Butler Eagle nor any other newspaper that includes this strip had an opportunity to remove it even if they had discovered it before distribution.

“We apologize that such a disgusting trick was perpetuated on the reading public. The Butler Eagle will discontinue that comic immediately,” Vodenichar said.

The rest of this story appears in Monday's Butler Eagle print edition.

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.