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Teens missing: Police ask for help in finding them

3 1 teen missingElliyah Griffin

Middletown and Harrisburg police departments are seeking help finding two missing teens.

Elliyah Griffin, 16, is black with brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weights about 100 pounds. Jovianna Gonzalez, 15, is Hispanic. She has dark hair and brown eyes, and stands 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds.

They were last seen in the area of Genesis Court in Middletown on Sunday.

Call 911 or contact the Middletown police at 717-558-6900 with information.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 February 2017 07:37

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Home video surveillance captures theft of heater from porch

PR 2017 10 Suspect photo


Video surveillance equipment of a homeowner on Lake Drive in Lower Swatara Township captured the theft of a box heater from the residence’s porch on Friday, Feb. 24.

The video shows a heavy-set white man with dark hair, wearing a black shirt with a red stripe at the shoulder line, knock lightly on the door to the residence. He then leaves the porch and picks up a wooden box heater from the table. He enters what appears to be a Ford Freestar van. The van might be blue or gray. 

The wooden box heater is valued around $300. Approximately two weeks before the theft, another person, not the pictured subject, stopped and inquired if the heater was for sale.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Lower Swatara Township police via Dauphin County Control at 717-558-6900, or contact Dauphin County Crime Stoppers at 800-262-3080. Those with information also can visit the website at and click on the “submit a tip” link. 


PR 2017 10 vehicle photo

Last Updated on Monday, 27 February 2017 07:35

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Givler to run again for Middletown mayor

givler robertRobert GivlerMiddletown has its first declared candidate for borough mayor — Robert Givler, who announced on Friday, Feb. 24, that he is running for the job a second time.

A 67-year old Republican and lifelong borough resident, Givler in 2013 ran for mayor against Democrat James H. Curry III. Both men sought to replace longtime Mayor Robert Reid, who had decided to step down.

Curry defeated Givler, 901 votes to 618.

Curry has not said if he is running again. March 7 is the last day to circulate and file nominating petitions to be on the ballot for the May 16 primary in Dauphin County.

Givler was a Middletown borough police officer for 40 years until 2012, when he retired. He works for the Royalton Police Department in a part-time capacity as the department administrator. Givler said he doesn’t hold the title of chief, but the duties are similar, including setting work schedules and doing all the paperwork.

Under the state borough code the mayor is responsible for the police department.

Asked why he is running again, Givler responded “Why not? I spent 40 years in Middletown,” referring to the police department. “I know the town, I know the people.”

Givler said he would like to bring “stability” back to the department. 

He does not oppose the ongoing discussions that Curry and Borough Council President Ben Kapenstein have launched with Lower Swatara Township, aimed at the borough contracting with the township for police services or toward formation of a new regional police force.

“I think they are pursuing it correctly. They’re not jumping into it,” Givler said.

But he’s seen many such efforts come and go over the past 40 years.

“Do I think it’s going to happen? I don’t think it’s going to happen in my lifetime,” Givler said of Middletown becoming part of a regional force.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 February 2017 16:37

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Middletown boys get revenge vs. Eastern York, advance to play Berks Catholic

hughes webRyan Hughes puts up a shot vs. Eastern York on Thursday night in the Blue Raiders' 73-63 victory. Photo by Donald Graham


Without putting too much emphasis on the revenge factor, the Middletown boys basketball team got the retribution it wanted on Thursday night in a 73-63 victory over visiting Eastern York in a second-round District III-3A playoff game at home. 

With last year’s controversial 45-44 loss at Eastern York still on their minds, the Blue Raiders got the rematch they craved last week. The loss last February knocked the Raiders out of the postseason picture and left them with a strong desire to face the Golden Knights again. Warmup shirts for the Blue Raiders read: “February 16, 2016 — 45 to 44 — We Remember.”

With the Raiders seeded fourth and the Knights fifth in the district standings, both teams earned a bye in the first round, setting up the rematch. This time, however, the game was played in Middletown’s new gym and the Raiders enjoyed the home court advantage.

In reality, the final score of 73-63 was deceiving, giving the impression of a close game. It was anything but that. The victors outscored their guests 35-16 in the middle two periods and ran out to leads as high as 28 points in the fourth quarter before Middletown coach Chris Sattele and his charges took their collective foot off the gas. With the Middletown subs playing the last couple minutes of the game, a late scoring surge by the Knights made it closer than it really was. 

The Blue Raiders advance to the District III 4A semifinals against Berks Catholic at 8 p.m. Monday at Garden Spot High School in New Holland. Win that game, and they will play Thursday, March 2, at the Giant Center against the winner of No. 2 seed Lancaster Catholic and No. 3 Bishop McDevitt, who also play Monday at Garden Spot High School, at 6:30 p.m. 

Although the first quarter ended with the Blue Raiders holding onto a slim, 15-14 lead, a 16-8 scoring advantage in the second put some distance between the two teams. With a 31-22 lead at the halftime break, the Raiders did even better in the third quarter. A 19-8 point differential pushed the Middletown side up to a commanding 50-30 lead entering the game’s final eight minutes. A triple by Chris Plummer gave the home team a 64-36 advantage with 4:52 left and proved to be too much for the Knights to overcome. 

The Raiders gave themselves a tremendous lift in the early minutes of the game by way of a 7-0 run. Luke Mrakovich broke a scoreless deadlock with a Ryan Hughes-assisted bucket at the 6:55 mark. Tyreer Mills drilled a trey 43 seconds later and Tre Leach converted a Hughes steal into another basket at 5:44 to complete the run. But the Knights responded with an 8-point run of their own, keyed by a pair of triples from Stephen Wisler and Dom Petricelli off Middletown misses, to take the lead at 8-7. 

The Knights hit two more 3-pointers in the late minutes and led 14-12 with 40 seconds left. Plummer’s trey with 30 seconds left and a late block by Michael Mattes let the Raiders finish the opening frame with a 15-14 lead. 

During the timeout, Sattele encouraged his team to play better on the defensive end, and the players responded right from the start. After Hughes scored on the first possession of the second quarter, a forced turnover and assist by Plummer led to another bucket by Hughes and a 19-14 lead for the home side. 

Following an Eastern York field goal, Mrakovich popped in his second trey of the game and Leach made one of two free throws off another Knight turnover to lift the Raiders to a 23-16 lead. With 4:55 left Eastern York had cut the lead to 23-20 but an 8-2 scoring advantage by the Raiders gave the home team a 31-22 upper hand heading into the halftime break. Another late block by Mattes kept the Knights from scoring in the closing seconds. 

The Knights scored on the first possession of the second half but the Blue Raiders, fired up by the huge, supportive home crowd, ran off the game’s next 12 points that buried Eastern York in a 43-24 hole with 4:24 left in the third period. 

A pair of Knight turnovers, another block by Mattes and a defensive rebound keyed the run. Hughes started it with a 3-pointer, Mills added two free throws, Mrakovich scored from the baseline, Mills converted his own steal into an easy layup and Mrakovich added another 3-pointer in the scoring streak. 

Eastern York broke the string with a foul shot but Mattes hit a pullup jumper and Hughes converted yet another steal into a 47-25 Middletown lead. The third quarter ended with the Blue Raiders in control at 50-30. 

The atmosphere became a bit heated in the fourth quarter and, because their frustrations grew, the Golden Knights were whistled for a pair of technical fouls in the final frame. Mrakovich made both free throws off the first technical and Plummer drilled another trey 48 seconds later to put the game away early with the Blue Raiders well in the lead at 64-36. Fifteen late points by the Knights were good for the visitors but were simply not nearly enough to overcome the big Middletown lead. 

Hughes led four Middletown players in double scoring figures with 21 points, while Mrakovich added 18, Plummer had 14 and Mills chipped in 11. 

Last Updated on Friday, 24 February 2017 15:58

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PA Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan stepping down

logan seanSean LoganPennsylvania Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan announced Thursday that he is resigning from his position to pursue other public-service opportunities, effective immediately.

“It is with mixed emotions that I step down from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, as I have come to know and respect my fellow commissioners and the entire senior-staff team. I’ve also had the privilege of meeting many of the folks who make the turnpike run day in and day out: our toll collectors and maintenance workers,” Logan said in a press release. “Still, public service remains in my heart, and I am pursuing an amazing opportunity that allows me to continue to expand my involvement in this area.”

Logan, who is executive director and CEO of Visit Monroeville, was first appointed to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in July 2013 and named chairman in January 2015.

During his chairmanship, Logan ensured that the commission remained focused on its core duties: operating more efficiently, investing in rebuilding and expanding its system and managing its Act 44 funding obligations to PennDOT, according to the release. He helped steer the turnpike through a pair of national-headline-grabbing events in 2016: a blizzard that stranded hundreds of motorists on the turnpike in the Allegheny Mountains in January followed by an armed-robbery attempt at the Fort Littleton Interchange in March that ended in the killing of a toll collector and a security contractor — as well as the death of the offender. 

Several key milestones accomplished doing Logan’s chairmanship include, according to the release: 

• Implementation of a 70-mph speed limit across much of the 552-mile toll-road system.

• Advancement of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and Southern Beltway projects in southwestern Pennsylvania.

• A redoubled commitment to investing in Total Reconstruction and Six-Lane Widening projects across the aging turnpike system.

• The creation and kickoff of a statewide Work-Zone Safety Awareness Campaign called Orange Squeeze to protect turnpike workers.

“Early in my turnpike career, it became clear that we had to work to improve transparency and modernize the culture at the turnpike to regain public trust,” Logan said. “One the achievements of which I am proudest is that my fellow commissioners and I were able to implement a series of ethics-policy changes and amendments that largely accomplished what we set out to do. And I know the commissioners and senior staff will continue that important effort.”

Logan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Pittsburgh, served three terms in the Pennsylvania Senate representing Allegheny and Westmoreland counties and held several leadership positions including appropriations-committee member. He was mayor of Monroeville and vice president of community relations for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

In the coming weeks, Gov. Tom Wolf expects to nominate a new turnpike commissioner to fill the vacancy on the five-member panel. That nominee must be confirmed by at least a two-thirds majority of the state Senate.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2017 16:17

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