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'A Brighter Beacon': At HIA, an exhibit offers courage to women with breast cancer

speakers9 30 15WEBPress And Journal Photo by Jim Lewis -- Tim Edwards, standing, executive director of Harrisburg International Airport, talks about the exhibit featuring cancer survivors.


Among the harried travelers, officious airline ticket agents and busy skycaps in the terminal of Harrisburg International Airport are the photos of 67 Pennsylvania women, all breast cancer survivors, and their words of inspiration and hope.

Young and old – the youngest diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 22, the oldest at 78 – each woman’s picture on the array of banners that encircle the terminal is followed by her encouragement. “I survived,’’ one woman, Judi Blue, of Philadelphia woman proclaims, “because God’s plan for me was to be a brighter beacon to those in the storm.’’

The exhibit, called “67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania,’’ was formally welcomed at a reception on Thursday, Sept. 24 at HIA. It will be shown through Sunday, Oct. 4.

The exhibit was created by the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, a group formed in 1993 to advocate for cancer research and provide support for survivors and women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the 1990s, women who survived breast cancer felt stigmatized by society, shamed that they had been diagnosed, said Pat Halpin-Murphy, the coalition’s founder and president.

Breast cancer “didn’t have the public face it does now,’’ said Halpin-Murphy, because women were hesitant to say they were survivors. Because of women bravely coming forward, like the women in the exhibit, “anyone who wishes to can stand up and say, ‘I’m a breast cancer survivor’ ” and provide support to those who are newly-diagnosed, she said.

Daily, 37 women in Pennsylvania are diagnosed with breast cancer. About 140,000 women in Pennsylvania are living with breast cancer, while nationally there are 2.8 million survivors.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 16:53

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Iron Teacher: Think Brit Lit is tough? He competes in triathlons

finish9 30 15WEBSubmitted Photo -- Daniel Mikula crosses the finish line at Challenge Cedar Point as his children joyously follow.

It was time to put nine intense months of training to the test. Daniel Mikula was ready to enter the chilly water at 7 a.m., where he was to swim 2.4 miles. His plunge in the 63-degree lake was the start of a grueling day – a 138-mile biking and running tour of Sandusky, Ohio was to follow.

Before it started, he and the other competitors gathered at 5:30 a.m., shivering in the brisk morning air. He chatted with a man who was competing in the same age group, a priest from down South. The variety of athletes in the competition was one of Mikula’s favorite things. “We shared training stories and small talk,’’ Mikula recalled, “and he told me he would pray for me.’’

Mikula, an English teacher at Lower Dauphin High School, overcame knee surgery before he even started training for the Sept. 13 triathlon. He wanted to arrive at Challenge Cedar Point ready to turn in one of the best times for what USA Triathlon characterizes as an “ultra-distance triathlon.” In comparison, the Olympic triathlon is a total of 31 miles.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 16:34

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A chance to taste Tattered Flag beer


Want to taste a Tattered Flag beer?

Middletown residents have been curious about the brew that the four entrepreneurs who make up Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works will make since the Middletown Industrial and Commercial Development Authority agreed to lease the Elks Building to them in August.

Now you can taste the recipe.

Tattered Flag will present four of its beers at a tasting from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4 at Kuppy’s Diner.

The tasting, presented by the partners, diner and the Press And Journal, will be limited to 120 people age 21 and older. A $5 donation for a ticket will be given to the Furry Friends Network.

Kuppy’s will provide light brunch fare that will be partnered with three of the beers. Seating times will be assigned on a first-come basis.

Tattered Flag is still renovating the Elks, and hopes to open in early March, about two months later than the four partners originally had planned. Work on the old building has provided “lots of challenges – lots of surprises’’ that account for the delay, said Matt Fritz, one of the partners.

But Tattered Flag has brewed beer at a home location, and presented samples at a recent beer festival in Lititz.

The beers that will be presented at Kuppy’s for tasting are:
• an IPA, which is a pale ale
• an amber beer
• a coffee stout

The partners have enlisted brewer Tony Schneider, who has brewed beer for Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, to their team. “He’s got a great track record,’’ Fritz said.

Schneider will be joined by Dave Morrow, a home brewer for about 10 years who has served his beer at weddings, parties and other private events, Fritz said.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 16:06

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Starlets? Star Barn-esque buildings in Lower Swatara to move

haybarn9 30 15WEBSubmitted photos -- The Bryncoed Farm hay barn, with its louvered star, could be moved from Lower Swatara Twp. to Lancaster County.

Two Lower Swatara Twp. farm buildings featuring the familiar architectural flair of a louvered star will be moved and restored with the Star Barn complex in its new home in West Donegal Twp.

DAS Companies, owner of the famous John Motter Star Barn in Lower Swatara Twp., recently dismantled two farm buildings from elsewhere in the township that will join the barn when it is moved to a new location near Elizabethtown, according to Michael Kleinhans, a company spokesman.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 15:34

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rescuer9 30 15WEBJim “Skinny’’ Matinchek and other members of the Main Street Gym Rescue Project have maintained the gym for almost 40 years, but were forced to quit because of age and health. “It was honestly killing these older men,’’ said one acquaintance.

For 40 years, they’ve cared for the Main Street Gym. Now they’re too old to do it alone.

Nearly 40 years ago, Jim “Skinny” Matinchek and a bunch of friends formed a group to save the Main Street Gym in Middletown.

Today they are still fighting the same battle.

But Matinchek is now 80 years old. Many of the other original members of the Main Street Gym Rescue Project have died. Others are in declining health: One member recently had part of his leg amputated.

The Main Street Gym needs help, and pulling weeds, stripping floors and painting walls is not the work of old men and old women. But someone has to do it.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 17:01

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