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Middletown Mayor Declares Snow Emergency

 

Middletown Mayor James H. Curry III has declared a snow emergency in the Borough, effective at 11 p.m. today.

“By issuing the emergency tonight, we can ensure the roads are clear for Borough and PennDOT crews, ” said Curry, in declaring the emergency.

Curry said parking restrictions will be strictly enforced and tickets will issued for any and all vehicles in violation of those restrictions.

During a declared snow emergency, parking restrictions go into effect to facilitate the removal of snow from Borough streets. During such an emergency, it is unlawful to park on the north side of designated east-west streets or on the east side of designated north-south streets, unless otherwise indicated.

Once the snow stops and it has been removed from those parking areas, parking there becomes permissible as long there is no interference with the Borough snow removal crews and no interference with traffic during the remainder of the emergency.

Residents needing an off street place to park can use the lot behind Borough Hall.

Following is a complete list of designated snow emergency route streets and parking restrictions in Middletown.

Name of Street

Side

Location

Adelia Street 

East 

From Emaus Street to East Main Street 

Ann Street 

North 

From Swatara Creek west to Grant Street 

Catherine Street 

East 

From Emaus Street north to Main Street 

Emaus Street 

North 

From Adelia Street west to Wood Street 

Grant Street 

East 

From Ann Street to Wilson Street 

Main Street 

Both 

From Swatara Creek to Apple Avenue 

Roosevelt Street 

North 

From Vine Street west to Union Street 

Union Street 

Both 

From Ann Street to Park Circle Road 

Union Street 

East 

From Ann Street to its southern limits 

Vine Street 

East 

From Water Street to Aspen Street 

Water Street 

North 

From Vine Street to Catherine Street 

Wilson Street 

North 

From Grant Street to and over the overhead bridge to Main Street 

Wood Street 

East 

From Susquehanna Street north to Emaus Street

 

Last Updated on Monday, 26 January 2015 01:54

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SNOW FORCES POSTPONEMENTS SATURDAY

Several local events that were scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24 have been postponed because of a snowstorm that hit Middletown overnight.

At Penn State Harrisburg, the men's and women's basketball games between the Lions and Salisbury were postponed to Sunday, Jan. 25 at the campus. The women's team will host Salisbury at 1 p.m. while the men's team will host Salisbury at 3 p.m., according to the university's Web site. The games originally had been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24. The campus will not open until noon on Saturday, Jan. 24.

The Middletown Youth Club's pancake breakfast was postponed until 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, not Jan. 24. It will be held at the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department's fire hall, 10 Adelia St., instead of St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, according to the club's Facebook page.

The Middletown Public Library is closed on Saturday, Jan. 24. The Crazy 8s Math Club will begin on Saturday, Jan. 31 instead of today.

The Middletown Amateur Baseball Association's final signup day for youth baseball and softball was postponed until 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Royalton Borough building, according to the association's Facebook page. It originally had been scheduled for Jan. 24.

 The Hummelstown Baseball/Softball Association's youth baseball and softball signups were postponed until 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Hummelstown Borough Hall, 136 S. Hanover St., according to the borough's Web site. The signups had been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24 at borough hall.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 January 2015 12:40

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Masked man robs Hummelstown bank

A man wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and a black mask over his face robbed the Fulton Bank on West Main Street in Hummelstown around 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, Hummelstown police said.

The unidentified man, who wore white or light-colored gloves, approached a teller and demanded cash, police said. No weapon was displayed.

The suspect fled on foot with an unspecified amount of money, police said.

He is described as a black male, about 5-foot-8, with a medium to slim build, police said. He also was wearing jeans and sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hummelstown police at 717-566-2555.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 January 2015 18:14

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Police warn of possible burglars posing as utility employees

Residents should be aware that a possible burglar or scam artist has tried to enter a home in Middletown under the guise of being a "water department" employee, Middletown Police said.

The borough noted in a press released it does not have a "water department" or any such employee, and police believe the man had suspicious motives for entering the home. The borough's water and sewer system is managed under a lease with United Water, whose employees carry identification badges with the company logo. Residents are advised to call United Water at 888-844-0352 to confirm that United has sent an employee to their homes before allowing anyone inside.  

Police said a man in uniform approached an elderly woman in the first block of Beechwood Drive around 3 p.m. Tuesday, saying he was an employee of the “water department.” The man, described only as “Hispanic,” reportedly told the woman a water pipe was broken in the area and that her water may be "poisoned." 

After the woman allowed him to come in her home to check her water, the man requested she stay with him while he went to the kitchen and bathroom turning on all the faucets “check the water.” The man tried to keep the resident with him as he spoke to someone on a two-way radio, which police suspect was used to signal someone else to enter the home.

Police believe the man turned on water to cover the sound of other people entering the home. After about 10 minutes, the man turned off the faucets and left without explanation. Police are still trying to determine if anything was taken.

Anyone with information regarding this incident, or who sees or experiences suspicious activity like this, is asked to call the Police Department at 717-558-6900.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 19:04

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Middletown Borough Council appoints Bowman over objections by residents, McNamara survives call for ouster

 

BowmansworninPress and Journal photo by Dan Miller -- Michael Bowman (right) is sworn in by Mayor James H. Curry III moments after council voted to appoint Bowman to the vacant First Ward seat created by the resignation of Thomas Handley in December.

 

SitesMiddletown Borough Councilor Scott Sites speaks to residents during a break in the meeting.

 

 

Middletown Borough Council - over the strenous objections of many residents - voted 4-3 Tuesday to appoint Michael Bowman to a vacant First Ward seat on council that was created by the resignation of Thomas Handley in December.

 

All 40-plus seats in council chambers were filled, and at least another 20 or so residents were either standing or were outside in the hall.

 

No one in the audience spoke out in favor of Bowman - although after the meeting one of the council members who voted for him cited a Jan. 6 letter from Rep. John Payne, requesting that Bowman’s “credentials be reviewed for appointment” to the vacant council seat. Payne was not at Tuesday’s meeting.

 

Later in the same meeting, Council President Chris McNamara survived by 5-3 vote - with the newly-seated Bowman among his backers - a call by Councilor Scott Sites for McNamara to resign and to be replaced by Ben Kapenstein.

 

“This town is not ruled by the nine of us but by you, the dictator,” Sites said to McNamara in calling for his ouster.

 

Besides Bowman and McNamara himself, voting to keep McNamara on as president was council Vice President Robert Louer and councilors John Brubaker and Sue Sullivan.

 

Scott, Kapenstein, and Anne Einhorn favored replacing McNamara with Kapenstein. Councilor Vicki Malone was absent from the meeting.

 

McNamara, who represents the Second Ward, is up for re-election and after the meeting said he “absolutely” is running again. One potential challenger to McNamara for his Second Ward seat is former borough electric department supervisor Greg Wilsbach, who has emerged as a vocal critic of the McNamara-led majority on council.

 

After the meeting McNamara defended his leadership record and recited a long list of things that he said have been achieved in the borough under his tenure.

 

He said the borough has “zero debt” as a result of council’s decision earlier this year to lease the water and sewer systems to United Water for 50 years.

 

The borough in return for the lease received a $43 million payment from United Water, that in addition to  taking care of all the town’s debt will completely pay for three infrastructure projects - including increasing water pressure to the Spring Street area, replacing aging water and sewer lines under Route 230, and replacing the bridge over Swatara Creek, McNamara said.

 

The $1.5 million downtown streetscape project is being funded with no local tax dollars, McNamara said. He also pointed to the roof of the Elks Building being replaced within six months of the building being acquired by the Industrial and Commercial Development Authority, and toward the hiring of new Police Chief John Bey and related efforts to improve the police department.

 

“I’m not here for politics. I’m here to make things happen and to get things done. I don’t care what people think of me,” McNamara said. Referring to council’s vote to retain him as president, he added “Obviously my colleagues are satisfied with the way things are happening.”

 

Before voting to replace Bowman council heard from several First Ward residents who asked that Bowman not be appointed to fill Handley’s seat.

 

Charlotte Bixler of Swar Avenue called Bowman “one of the bigges slumlords in Middletown” - a charge that Bowman vehemently denied after the meeting.

 

“We surely cannot allow council to reward Mr. Bowman for his disrespect of the town,” she said.

 

“I do not want Mr. Bowman representing myself or anyone in the First Ward,” said Cortney Hartnett of Nissley Street, who added that the controversy over appointing Bowman had gotten her out to her first council meeting after living in the borough for six years. “I will not be silent anymore. I pay your stipend, I pay them all. I am a taxpayer and I will be heard. If you don’t like it, resign.”

 

First Ward resident Dawn Knull - who had applied to the borough to fill Handley’s seat but was rejected on Jan. 12 by council’s administration and personnel committee, was one of several residents who said Bowman should not be picked because he had run for council in the First Ward previously, and lost.

 

“The residents in the First Ward have spoken, not only on Facebook but in the polls numerous times,” she said.

 

“I’m not here to bash Mr. Bowman, but the majority did not vote for him,” said Cathy Winter of the 100 block of West Water Street. “I don’t want to be represented by Mr. Bowman. I believe Mr. Bowman has a great passion for this town, but I don’t believe he is very objective. I don’t believe extremes ever work in any situation, and extremes do not belong in government.”

 

Mayor James H. Curry III - who in a video posted on Facebook before the meeting had urged citizens to come out and attend - said that if council is truly interested in forging closer ties with Penn State Harrisburg, it should vote for Tom Strohm, whom the administration and personnel committee had also recommended council consider for filling Handley’s seat. Strohm works for Penn State Harrisburg, Curry pointed out.

 

Then came time for the vote. Sullivan, who chairs the administration and personnel committee, moved for Bowman to be appointed - prompting thunderous jeers and boos from the crowd. Louer seconded Sullivan’s motion.

 

“This is council giving you all the middle finger,” Sites said.

 

Earlier during the public comment period Hartnett had called on McNamara to recuse himself from the vote because, as she put it, “You are dating his daughter. This is a conflict of interest, sir.”

 

McNamara just before the vote asked Solicitor Adam Santucci if he should recuse himself. Santucci said that in his opinion McNamara did not need to abstain.

 

McNamara after the meeting acknowledged that he is in a relationship with Bowman’s daughter. However, he pointed out that he had asked if he should abstain, and Santucci said no.

 

Voting for Bowman was Sullivan, Louer, McNamara, and Brubaker. Voting against him was Sites, Kapenstein and Einhorn. McNamara called Bowman up to be sworn into office by Curry.

 

After the meeting Bowman had little to say.

 

“I turned in a resume and I got the job,” he said. He added that residents during the comment period had said he has previously served on council, or had been the code enforcement officer. Neither is true, Bowman said.

 

Louer - asked why he voted for Bowman given the vocal objections of First Ward residents - said “As presented he (Bowman) was a better man.” Louer added that critics of Bowman did not mention that Strohm also had run for council in the First Ward and lost.

 

“Neither was Strohm elected. It was even-Steven starting out,” Louer said.

 

Brubaker said he voted for Bowman “because of the recommendation he got from Payne.”

 

Borough Manager Tim Konek then produced a copy of a letter from Payne, regarding Bowman’s application for the seat.

 

Payne’s letter does not so much appear to be a recommendation for Bowman, as a request that his application be considered by the council.

 

The letter, dated Jan. 6 and addressed to council, says in its entirety “I am writing to you today, on behalf of my constituent, Michael Bowman of 100 Wilson Street, Middletown. He is interested in filling the vacant seat in Ward 1 in Middletown.

 

“Mike has experience serving on the Zoning & Hearing Board, Borough Authority, Vacancy Committee, Emergency Management Committee and the Police Pension Fund. His community involvement includes Commander of the VFW and Head Lion.”

 

“I respectfully request that Mike Bowman’s credentials be reviewed for appointment to the vacant seat on Middletown Borough Council.”

 

The letter is signed by Payne.

 

Asked afterward why the council had not made Payne’s letter public during the meeting, McNamara said that the administration and personnel committee had received Payne’s letter at the time of its Jan. 12 meeting. McNamara said he did not know why the committee had not made Payne’s letter public earlier.

 

 

 

Rep. John Payne letter regarding Michael Bowman Bowman

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:54

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