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A GOOD SCARE: Halloween Parade draws big crowd despite new route

batmanphoto10 22 14Submitted photo -- Dressed as superheroes and super villians for the parade are, from left, Derek Blyer (Batman), Melissa Martin (Poison Ivy), Kassidy Martin (Batgirl), River Martin (Robin) and Jason Mayhew (Riddler).

Richard Stotz's Pine Street house is an homage to Halloween scares that has grown every trick-or-treat for the past 15 years.

A gigantic fake spider crawls on the faces of his two-story home, and mannequins of Freddy Kruger and Michael Myers spring to life when you clap loudly. Eerie music spills from speakers that sit in an open window, and manufactured fog drifts from a machine on the lawn.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:53

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Deibler pays restitution, enters ARD

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Former Middletown Area High School football coach Rob Deibler has repaid in court-ordered restitution the more than $7,300 he spent from the football team’s booster club for his personal use, according to court records.

 

Deibler, 49, was accepted into the Dauphin County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program on Aug. 18, according to Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney Joel Hogentogler.

 

In August, Deibler paid $8,500, enough to completely cover the $7,341.28 in court-ordered restitution to the booster club. The balance was applied to Deibler’s admittance fee into the ARD program. Deibler still owes $627 in outstanding court costs and fees, Hogentogler said.

 

Lower Swatara Twp. police arrested Deibler on May 14 and charged him with one felony count of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.

 

According to court records, Deibler used money that was raised for Middletown’s Raider Club to pay his own bills, including an insurance premium, a Netflix bill, a Sirius radio bill and other personal expenses.

 

Besides paying the restitution, Deibler was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 40 hours of community service.

 

Hogentogler said that the charge against Deibler will be dismissed if he successfully completes the ARD program. However, he said that Deibler will have to petition the court  to get his record expunged.

 

Deibler came to Middletown in 2011 after a highly successful 12-year run as a football coach at Steelton-Highspire High School. He coached the Rollers to two state titles, seven district titles and 114 wins.

 

He coached the Blue Raiders for just two seasons, resigning unexpectedly in the summer of 2013 for “personal reasons.”

 

Deibler was serving as the athletic director for the Susquehanna Twp. School District at the time of his arrest. The district placed him on leave. The district has since replaced Deibler with Andrae Martin, Steelton-Highspire’s former athletic director.

 

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, 21 October 2014 20:37

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Highspire clears first hurdle to leave Steel-High

A group of Highspire residents have overcome the first big hurdle in their quest to secede from Steelton-Highspire School District and to send their children to Middletown Area School District. 

Dauphin County Judge Bruce Bratton issued an order on Wednesday, Oct. 15 that clears the way for the petition submitted by the Highspire Education Coalition to now be considered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

 

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Bratton Order

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:23

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GHOULS AND GOALS: Halloween parade, soccer playoff set for Middletown on Monday

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 It's going to feel a little crowded in Middletown on Monday, Oct. 20.

Two events – the town's venerable Halloween parade and a District 3 high school soccer playoff game – are planned that night at the same time.

The Kiwanis Club of Middletown's 61st-annual Halloween Parade starts at 7 p.m. It begins at Race and Conewago streets and travels up Race, turns left on Water Street, turns left on Pine Street, turns right on East Emaus Street and turns left on South Union Street. It will disperse just past Karns Quality Foods.

The Middletown Blue Raiders girls' soccer team hosts a District 3 Class AA playoff game at 7 p.m. the same night at War Memorial Field, according to the District 3 website. The Raiders (14-4), seeded sixth, host 11th-seeded Northern York in a second-round game. Both teams received a bye in the first round.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 18:40

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Council committee considers fee for woody waste

Middletown residents will begin paying for woody waste disposal if Middletown Borough Council enacts changes discussed during a meeting of council’s Finance Committee on Monday, Oct. 13.

 

Councilor Benjamin Kapenstein said the borough must increase and implement fees for government services, including woody waste recycling. When the woody waste program began, the borough Web site said, “The monthly trash collection fee supports the cost of [woody waste recycling].” It’s unclear when money from the trash collection fee stopped supporting woody waste recycling or exactly how much of residents’ trash payments were directed to it. 

 

“All fees are going to be raised,” said Councilor Suzanne Sullivan, one of three committee members who discussed a list of increases to fees and other revenue generators suggested in Middletown’s Early Intervention Plan. Sullivan, Kapenstein and Councilor Vicki Malone discussed the increases as members of the committee without taking action.

 

Kapenstein said the intervention plan suggested imposing a fee of $35 for annual access to the woody waste site for residents. He said  council would have to approve an overhaul of the program to make that happen.

 

Resident Rachelle Reid balked at the $35 fee, countering by suggesting $20 annually. Reid said that contractors and landscapers should be charged more than residents for use of the facility.

 

Residents may stop by the borough’s finance office to obtain a free access card that allows them to drop off woody waste at any time. The woody waste facility, located off Industrial Lane in Lower Swatara Twp., accepts woody yard waste up to 6 inches in diameter and 6 feet long. With an access card, the site is available 24 hours a day.

 

When a resident receives a card for access to the woody waste facility, the card does not expire. Nothing stops former residents from returning to use the facility, as the borough does not deactivate individual cards. Lower Swatara Twp. sells the cards to its residents for $40 per year, although if there is no way to activate or deactivate individual access cards, they may provide lifetime access, or at least until the system is overhauled. 

 

Kapenstein said these issues are the reason for an overhaul, especially to ensure cards are given to residents only. Changes that would replace the present access cards would generate untold costs for the borough and inconvenience to residents who have cards and are able to visit the site as needed.

 

While the plan is to generate revenue from the new woody waste fee, the committee did not discuss the upfront costs of an overhaul or the time it would take to recoup such costs.

 

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

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 20:04

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