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ROLLERS NO MORE? Highspire seeks to leave Steel-High, send children to Middletown Area

Steelton-Highspire Roller pride only goes so far. It’s been a long time coming, according to Highspire Mayor John Hoerner, but now a group of Highspire residents are taking steps to leave the school district and send their children to the Middletown Area School District.

The group, known as the Highspire Education Coalition, organized in February, and is circulating a petition to transfer the borough from the Steelton-Highspire School District to Middletown Area.

 “A lot of people [in Highspire] are for this,” Hoerner said. “They are for a merger of Highspire going to Middletown [Area School District], but right now we are looking at all of the options we have.” . . .

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 18:33

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Council supports fire department grant

Middletown Borough Council approved a resolution on Monday, April 21 to support the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department’s application for a $250,000 state grant to reduce the department’s debt and buy fire station furniture.

The furniture is a necessity for the upstairs because several college students will be living at the Adelia Street station as part of a trade-for-services deal, said department treasurer Richard Seachrist.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 18:18

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Council votes to consider a new sewer rate proposal

Middletown Borough Council rejected a motion on Monday, April 21 to adopt an increase in sewer and water rates in favor of taking time to peruse a new rate increase proposal that balances the impending price hike in a more favorable way.

The new proposal, called “Option B1’’ by Adrienne Vicari of HRG Engineering, would be an option to a previous proposal to raise the average residential sewer rate from $43 to $68 a month, and water rates slightly – “Option A,’’ according to borough officials – that had been advertised for a council vote and supported by Mark Morgan, the borough’s financial consultant.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 18:16

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Reid locked down briefly after domestic dispute

Authorities temporarily locked down Reid Elementary School around dismissal time on Tuesday, April 15 after a domestic dispute involving two parents of a student had occurred in the community, according to a spokeswoman for the Middletown Area School District.

The lockdown ended after about five minutes when one of the parents was apprehended by police as he drove through the front entrance to the school district's Lower Swatara Twp. campus where Reid is located, the spokeswoman said.

The lockdown was a precaution – no confrontation occurred at the school, and students eventually were dismissed "in the normal fashion,'' the spokeswoman said.

Police advised the district to lock down the school because one of the parents was at the school building and the other was close by, the spokeswoman said.

Parents received an automated message notifying them about the lockdown as well as the lifting of the lockdown.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 18:43

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State board temporarily suspends license of Steelton doctor

The State Board of Medicine has temporarily suspended the license of a Steelton doctor for unsafe practices, charging she failed to properly disinfect and sterilize equipment.

Maryjo Szada, whose office is located at 151 South Front St., was temporarily barred from practicing medicine after the board determined continued practice "presents an immediate danger to the public health and safety," according to an order of temporary suspension and a petition supporting the order filed Wednesday, April 9 at the Department of State.

The suspension follows a joint investigation by the State Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI) and the state Department of Health that determined Szada failed to properly disinfect and sterilize equipment, did not properly store and label samples and specimens, and kept minimal records, instead "relying on memory to treat her patients," according to the filed documents.

A preliminary hearing by the board or the state Office of Hearing Examiners will be scheduled within 30 days at a location designated by the board, the documents state. Szada can call witnesses, inspect evidence and offer testimony at that hearing. If the board rules in Szada's favor, her license would be immediately restored; if it rules against her, the temporary suspension will remain in effect until vacated by the board, in no event  longer than 180 days unless otherwise ordered by the board or agreed to by the participants.

During the investigation, BEI found five specimens – one STD test, three pap smears and one marked "right groin" – that had no identifying information on a table in Szada's examination room, the documents stateSZADA.

Szada said she was unsure what patients the samples came from, the documents state.

An investigator also discovered seven dirty metal speculums in a sink in Szada's office, and Szada allegedly admitted they had been there for about a week, the documents state.

Szada told investigators she uses Amphyl and Cidex to sterilize medical instruments, and Lysol liquid floor cleaner and Lysol spray to disinfect equipment, including vaginal speculums, the documents state.

Both Amphyl and Lysol do not meet the minimum standards of high-level disinfection for semi-critical instruments as set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to investigators.

Szada, a Steelton Borough Council member, does not have an autoclave, a device used to sterilize equipment, in her office, and there was information that suggests Szada has been disinfecting equipment with Lysol for at least a year, the documents state.

The Department of Health made recommendations to Szada to discontinue gynecological examinations and informed Szada that her sterilization procedures were a violation of infection control standards in a series of letters and also provided recommendations for infectious disease control procedures to become compliant with minimum CDC standards.

Her records also failed to meet minimum record keeping requirements, according to the documents.

A note on the front window at Szada's office reads, "We are TEMPORARILY CLOSED until further notice."

As part of the suspension order, Szada has been required to surrender her wallet card, registration certificate and wall certificate to representatives of the BEI or the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs immediately, the documents state.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 16:56

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