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Some areas of Middletown to lose power early Saturday morning so that emergency repairs can be done

Portions of Middletown will be impacted by a power outage starting at 8 a.m. Saturday that borough officials say is needed to complete emergency repairs.

The outage will begin at 8 a.m. and is expected to last a few hours, according to information posted on the borough website, www.middletownborough.com.

The outage will impact most of Emaus and Catherine streets, the far south end of Union Street, and spurs off of that main circuit. A map showing the impacted areas has been posted on the borough web site.

The borough said the outage is necessary to allow crews to make emergency repairs to a bowed cross arm which is in danger of breaking and causing a primary line to fail, which would cause a much wider outage. The borough had planned to do the repairs next week, however a follow-up inspection done on Friday showed that the cross arm had deteriorated to where it could fail before the repairs could be done.

Borough officials also pointed to the forecast for stormy conditions next week, which could have interfered with the original plans to do the repairs later.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 December 2014 04:29

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MIDDLETOWN WRESTLERS COLLECT $2,385 FOR FAMILY OF MISSING CEDAR CLIFF TEEN

The Middletown Area High School and Middletown Area Middle School wrestling teams collected $2,385 for the family of missing Cedar Cliff High School wrestler Medard Kowalski, whose father is a 1983 Middletown graduate and former wrestler.

The 17-year-old Kowalski disappeared on Monday, Dec. 1 while canoeing on the Susquehanna River, authorities said.

The Blue Raiders, through high school team captains Michael Osayi and Will Botterbusch, presented the check to Cedar Cliff's team captains on the mat at the Middletown gym before a match between the two schools on Thursday, Dec. 18.

The money was collected by the wrestlers and the teams' booster club to help pay the bills of the missing teen's parents, who have taken time off from work to help in the search for their son, according to Emily Botterbusch, president of the Middletown Wrestling Association, the booster club.

The donations show "the strong family ties in the wrestling community'' not only between teammates but also "from one school to another,'' said Will Botterbush, as he handed the check to the Cedar Cliff wrestlers.

Cedar Cliff fans in attendance gave the gesture a standing ovation.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 02:29

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Holiday dinner for homeless hosted by Kim

State Rep. Patty Kim will host a holiday dinner for the homeless from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19 at the New Jerusalem A.M.E. Zion Church, 219 Locust St., Steelton.
 
In addition to a holiday meal for homeless participants, local agencies will available to serve and inform them about available programs.
 
“There are too many homeless people in our area who feel that they are stuck in on the streets forever,” said Kim, a Democrat whose 103rd District includes Steelton and Highspire. “We want to show them that this is not true. They will get a nice warm meal and they can learn about services available to assist them to better their situation.”
 
For more information, call Kim’s office at 717-986-1673.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 16:33

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Middletown man charged with rape of 13-year-old girl

 

A Middletown man charged by police with allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl on Aug. 1 was arrested in Lancaster on Sunday, Dec. 14 after fleeing his home with his two sons, authorities said. allisonphoto12 17 14

William Scott Allison, 51, of the 100 block of Spring St., was held in Dauphin County Prison in lieu of $300,000 bond. He is charged with criminal attempt – rape, criminal attempt – involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16, aggravated indecent assault of someone under the age of 16, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.

A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday, Dec. 23 before District Judge David Judy. Middletown police were about to arrest Allison at his home on Friday, Dec. 12, when he fled the residence with his two sons, ages 8 and 13, police said.

Authorities said Allison had custody of the two boys even though he had pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 1993 and indecent assault in 2007, according to court records.

While the state Megan’s Law Web site lists 17 sexual offenders with a Middletown address, Allison is not among them. His 1993 statutory rape conviction came before Megan’s Law took effect in Pennsylvania in 1996, while the 2007 conviction was pleaded down to a misdemeanor, according to court records. Megan’s Law has since been amended to include misdemeanor indecent assault, but that change came after Allison’s 2007 conviction for the offense, said Trooper Adam Reed, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police.

Allison fled after he apparently learned that he was a suspect in the rape case, according to a press release posted on Middletown Borough’s Web site.

Allison apparently fled the house in a hurry, judging by the unprepared food that police found on the kitchen table, according to Chris Courogen, the borough’s spokesman.

The borough put out a Nixle alert shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday informing residents that police were looking for a man in connection with the rape of a 13-year-old. By this time the borough had also sent a press release and photos of Allison and his two children to area media, including the Press And Journal.

Sometime after Allison fled, police were alerted to a “ping” on his cell phone that indicated he was in Dover, York County, authorities said. Later Sunday, Allison was arrested by Lancaster police.

Details about how Allison was captured have not been released. However, the alleged victim and her mother reside in Lancaster, according to police sources.

The alleged rape occurred in August but did not come to light until early December when police interviewed a school resource officer, according to Middletown police.

The alleged rape occurred when the victim and her mother were staying with Allison in Middletown, police said. However, police allege that incidents between Allison and the girl occurred both in Middletown and in Lancaster.

Following the initial interview with the school resource officer, a more detailed interview was done of the alleged victim by both Middletown and Lancaster police, and by officials with county Children and Youth Services, authorities said. The warrant for Allison’s arrest was issued after this follow-up interview, according to police.

According to Pennsylvania county court records posted online, a William Scott Allison with the same birth date was arrested in York County and pleaded guilty on July 16, 1993, to statutory rape. He was sentenced to 3-1/2 to 7 years in state prison.

In 2006, Allison was arrested by Lower Swatara Twp. police and charged with rape and related offenses for an offense that allegedly occurred on Aug. 27, 2006. Allison pleaded guilty on Dec. 19, 2007 to a misdemeanor count of indecent assault and was sentenced to one month to a year in Dauphin County Prison, court records show. Records indicate he was released in November 2008 after serving just under 11 months.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 22:15

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PLOWABUNGA: Council approves snow plowing pact with PennDOT


Plowabunga-graphic1Press And Journal Photo By Deb Schell -- Snow covers Main Street in Middletown after a 2010 winter storm. Middletown Borough Council has approved an agreement with PennDOT to continue plowing the street and other state roads in town.


Faced with public outcry and vocal opposition from Mayor James H. Curry III, Middletown Borough Council has reversed its previous decision to leave the snow-plowing of state roads up to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Council voted 4-2 on Monday, Dec. 15 to reinstate an agreement with PennDOT by which state routes 230 (Main Street), 441 (Union Street) and Vine Street in Middletown will be plowed by borough crews.

Under the agreement – which the borough had been operating under for several years until this winter – PennDOT pays the borough an amount just over $7,200 to cover the cost of Middletown having its own employees and trucks plow the state roads. The PennDOT funding is also to cover the cost to the borough of the substances required to treat the roads as part of plowing.

Critics of the borough’s decision to leave the plowing of the state roads to PennDOT this winter focused on concern that the state roads would not be plowed as quickly as before.

Several residents seized upon the potential liability to the borough that could result if emergency vehicles could not get up a hill on North Union Street to reach Frey Village Senior Living Community.

Curry and others said that the borough’s decision to leave the plowing of state roads to PennDOT did not make financial sense.

In a bad winter, such as last year, PennDOT increases the amount of money that it pays to municipalities that participate in the plowing program. Last winter, PennDOT paid Middletown an additional $1,410, according to PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny.

On the other hand, as Curry pointed out to council, the borough would still keep all of the $7,200-plus PennDOT allotment for the winter even if a single snowflake doesn’t fall throughout the season.

Councilors Anne Einhorn and Ben Kapenstein said the borough’s decision to not participate in the state program this year should have been brought to council for discussion.

Council President Chris McNamara defended the borough’s decision to forego the state agreement.

“It was an operational decision based on reduction of manpower” that is to occur after Jan. 1, when a number of employees are to be transferred from the borough to United Water as part of a 50-year lease of the town’s water and sewer systems to United.

The borough stands to lose “six to eight bodies” who will no longer be available to plow the roads, McNamara said. He added that the decision to opt out of the state agreement had been proposed in public during earlier meetings of council’s public works committee by Lester Lanman, the borough’s public works superintendent.

Both Lanman and Borough Manager Tim Konek had expressed concerns over the borough’s ability to plow the state roads to PennDOT standards given the reduction in manpower, McNamara said.

The borough would not have allowed the state roads to be “unpassable” from a significant snowfall, McNamara asserted.

“All they are asking for is a chance” to see if leaving the plowing of state roads to PennDOT would work, McNamara said of Lanman and Konek.

However, Curry said the decision to opt out of the agreement was also privately opposed by Police Chief John Bey and by borough police officers, who felt that they would be put at risk if the state roads were left unplowed.

“What good is it if every side street in the borough is clear but if the three main roads in and out of town are impassable?” Curry asked.

It costs the borough $115 an hour for its own employees to plow the roads, according to Chris Courogen, the borough’s spokesman. The PennDOT money would cover just 63 hours of plowing the state roads over the entire winter, Courogen said.

However, Curry said the borough could easily come up with the money to cover overtime for the snow plowing by ending publication of Middletown Matters, the borough newsletter. Publishing the newsletter each month will cost the borough an estimated $54,000 a year, Curry said.

The mayor added that the borough could also have funded overtime for the snow plowing from what has been spent on taxes and utilities at the former Grosh dentist office on Main Street. The borough has owned the property since November 2013, but voted in October to transfer the property to the Middletown Area Historical Society. The transfer has not yet been made.

Because the borough canceled the PennDOT agreement in September and just now decided to reinstate it, the town will not receive the entire $7,214.94 that it otherwise would have gotten for the winter, Penny told the Press And Journal.

Instead, the amount will be pro-rated to reflect the contract beginning on Oct. 15, when the winter contract period begins, Penny said. The contract runs from Oct. 15 to April 30 annually.

Dan Miller: 717-944-4628, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 20:29

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