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Expect delays of up to 20 minutes Thursday in Vine Street turnpike bridge area

Motorists Thursday should expect delays of up to 15 to 20 minutes in both directions in the area of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Bridge over Vine Street in Middletown, said Carl DeFebo, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.


Contractors will be putting beams in place as part of replacing the turnpike bridge over Vine Street.


The 15-20 minute delays will only occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.


The Vine Street bridge is part of a larger ongoing project, in which the turnpike is replacing its bridges over Vine Street, over Swatara Creek Road and over Swatara Creek, and over the Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad.


The new bridges will be wide enough to allow for three lanes in each direction, in anticipation of future widening of the turnpike's main line between the Harrisburg East and Lebanon-Lancaster exits.


The entire project is expected to be completed in mid-2016, at a total cost of $47.65 million.


More information on the project can be found by going to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission web site.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 14:17

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Hummelstown cop charged in shooting


A Hummelstown police officer was charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of a South Hanover Twp. resident who fled an attempted traffic stop in the borough on Monday, Feb. 2, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office.

Lisa Mearkle, 36, a veteran of the Hummelstown force, was charged by Pennsylvania State Police on Tuesday, March 24, according to court records. She was awaiting arraignment.

District Attorney Ed Marsico scheduled a press conference on Tuesday to announce the charge.

Mearkle was charged in the death of David Kassick, who was shot at his residence in the first block of Grandview Road, in South Hanover Twp., police said.

Mearkle attempted to stop Kassick on a borough street around 4 p.m. on Feb. 2, but the man fled, state police said.

The officer pursued the man who got out of his vehicle and fled on foot behind the house, state police said.

After an altercation behind the house, the officer fired shots at the man, state police said.

Kassick was pronounced dead at the scene. Mearkle was not injured, state police said.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 15:48

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Hearing set in challenge to Middletown Borough Council candidate


A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Monday in Dauphin County Court regarding a challenge filed against the nominating petition submitted by Barry W. Goodling to run for Middletown Borough Council.


Goodling, a Republican, is listed on the spring primary ballot as one of four candidates running for his party's nomination for a four-year term on council representing the First Ward. The other three are Rachelle Reid, David Rhen and Sean Vaccarino.


The Republican who wins in the primary will face David Scully, who is unopposed on the Democratic ballot for the four-year First Ward seat. 


The challenge against Goodling was filed on Tuesday, March 16 by Councilor Michael Bowman, a Republican First Ward resident. Council in January appointed Bowman to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Thomas Handley.


Bowman would need to run this year to fill out the remaining two years of Handley's term. However, Bowman has said he is not going to run and his name does not appear on the ballot of the spring primary.


In the petition, filed on Bowman's behalf by Darrell N. VanOrmer Jr., an attorney in Elizabethtown, Bowman makes several allegations to support his conclusion that Goodling's nominating petition is invalid.


Bowman contends that although Goodling's signature appears on his nominating petition, the actual circulator who gathered the signatures for him was Sandy Nagle. Nagle, a former borough councilor, is also not a resident of the First Ward, according to the petition.


Bowman in his petition also challenges several of the signatures on Goodling's petition, and further attests that the documentation supporting Goodling's petition is incomplete.





Petition re: Barry Goodling

Rule to Show Cause

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 13:40

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Two run for Dauphin County sheriff


chimientiphoto3 18 15Nick Chimienti

 timcarterphoto3 18 15Timothy Carter


A former Pennsylvania State Police trooper and a retired Harrisburg police detective are seeking their party’s nomination for Dauphin County Sheriff in the May 19 primary.


Nick Chimienti, a 27-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police, is running for the Republican nomination for sheriff. Chimienti spent his last seven years in the PSP in management, serving for six years as supervisor of the Troop H-Criminal Investigation Unit, and his final year supervising the PSP team at the Bureau of Gaming Enforcement at Hollywood Casino Penn National.


Timothy Carter, a retired police officer and Harrisburg Bureau of Police detective, is seeking the Democratic nomination. Carter, is a 27-year law enforcement professional and Steelton native.


Both hope to succeed Sheriff Jack Lotwick, who is retiring after five terms in office.


After retiring from PSP, Chimienti was deputized as a Court Security Officer by the U.S Marshal’s Service in 2012.  He serves the U.S. District Court – Middle District of Pennsylvania, where he is responsible for the security of the courtroom, federal judges and their staff and the security of prisoners at the Federal Courthouse in Harrisburg.


“My management experience with the State Police and Courtroom responsibilities assisting the U.S. Marshal Service are parallel to the duties of Sheriff and have prepared me to continue my public service as Dauphin County Sheriff,” Chimienti said.


 Carter joined the Harrisburg Bureau of Police in 1987, assigned to the Uniformed Patrol Division, and served as the city’s first community policing officer and first housing officer.


 He rose through the ranks to serve in various capacities, including an assignment to the vice unit as a K-9 handler. Promoted to detective in 2000, Carter specialized in investigating child abuse, juvenile gangs and violent crimes.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 11:25

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Petition seeks to strike four challengers from Democratic ballot for Middletown Area School Board


A hearing is expected to be held this week on challenges that were filed Tuesday, March 17 in Dauphin County Court seeking the removal of four candidates from the Democratic ballot for Middletown Area School Board.


The petition, brought by Michael Richards, a Democrat and school board incumbent who is running for re-election, seeks to strike from the Democratic ballot challengers Patrick Hughes, Chris Lupp, Linda Mehaffie and Dustin Green.


The next step is for a county judge to set a hearing to consider the challenges. A hearing must be held by Friday, March 20, to keep within a 10-day window under the law following the last day to circulate and file nomination papers, which was March 10, said Gordon Einhorn, a lawyer who filed the petition on Richards' behalf.


Einhorn is also a Middletown school board incumbent who is seeking re-election.

In all four cases, Richards alleges that the petitions that the candidates filed with the county to get on the Democratic ballot are invalid because the person who gathered the signatures and circulated the petitions was a Republican.


In submitting the petitions, the person who gathers the signatures – the "circulator" – must attest that he or she is a member of the same political party, according to court papers filed by Einhorn.


In Hughes' case, his petition to get on the Democratic ballot was signed and circulated by Mehaffie, a registered Republican, according to the court papers.


Lupp, Mehaffie and Green, all registered Republicans, gathered their own signatures to get on the Democratic ballot, according to the court papers.


In Pennsylvania, school board candidates can cross-file – meaning they can appear on the primary ballot of both the Democratic and Republican parties – if the candidates gather enough signatures.


Green, Hughes, Lupp and Mehaffie are all listed as candidates for the Middletown school board on the Republican ballot.


The petition filed Tuesday does not contest any of the challengers being on the Republican ballot, only their position on the Democratic ballot, Einhorn told the Press And Journal.


Five of nine seats on Middletown school board are up for grabs this year. Besides Einhorn and Richards, the three other incumbents seeking re-election are board President Barbara Layne and members Terry Gilman and Pamela Price. All five incumbents are cross-filed on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.


If the petition succeeds, only challenger Jennifer Scott would appear on the Democratic ballot along with the incumbents. Scott also has cross-filed, and will appear on the Republican ballot.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 11:41

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