Press and Journal

Switch to desktop Register Login

U.S. Rep. Barletta keeps congressional committee assignments

barletta lou

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazelton, announced Wednesday that he has retained all of his previous committee assignments for the new 115th Congress, including as a subcommittee chairman on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and as a member of a key subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee.

Barletta’s 11th Congressional District is comprised of all of Columbia, Montour and Wyoming counties and parts of Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin, Luzerne, Northumberland and Perry counties. It includes areas north and west of Middletown, including Lower Swatara Township.

Barletta will again serve as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. Barletta also remains a member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He will also again serve on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he sits on two subcommittees.

“Committee assignments are key to being an effective member of the House, because they are where most of the legislative work is done, and I am once again pleased to serve on three committees that cover issues that are very important to me and the 11th District of Pennsylvania,” Barletta said. “Transportation is a natural fit, because I came from a family road construction company and am very concerned with the state of our infrastructure system. Additionally, in this time of rising terrorism threats and open U.S. borders, homeland security is more important now than it has ever been. And finally, education is an area of great interest for me, particularly in helping to create a better-trained workforce in an always-evolving economy.”

According to a press release from his office, Barletta’s work with the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management has changed the way the federal government manages its office space, leases and real estate portfolio. The subcommittee’s work has saved taxpayers more than $3 billion through better stewardship of public buildings and has undertaken a reform of disaster response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to the release. 

“In the next five years, half of all federal leases, or 100 million square feet of space, will expire,” Barletta said. “Since last Congress, we have worked to reduce the federal footprint through consolidating space and improving space utilization. With the large number of leases expiring in the near future, we have a good opportunity to save even more.”

Barletta’s complete subcommittee assignments are:

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

• Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management (chairman)

• Subcommittee on Highways and Transit

• Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials

Homeland Security Committee

• Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence

• Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

Education and the Workforce Committee

• Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development

• Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:11

Hits: 50

Penn State Harrisburg, YWCA partner to fight campus sexual assault

Penn State Harrisburg

The YWCA Greater Harrisburg and Penn State Harrisburg have joined forces to address campus sexual assault. 

College-aged students aged 18 to 24 are at a heightened risk of experiencing sexual violence. According to the National Resource Center on Sexual Violence, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are victims of sexual assault while in college, and more than 90 percent of victims do not report their assault, according to a press release from the YWCA.

“These statistics are not acceptable in our community,” Rhonda Hendrickson, vice president of Programs, Division of Residential and Violence Intervention & Prevention Services at the YWCA Greater Harrisburg, said in the release. “Penn State Harrisburg has been very proactive in working on this issue and we are committed to supporting Penn State in their efforts to address campus sexual assault.” 

The YWCA and Penn State Harrisburg have launched a partnership, in which the YWCA has dedicated a full-time, sexual assault advocate on campus to assist Penn State Harrisburg in Its efforts to educate the campus community and provide support and assistance to survivors. 

“Our services are completely confidential, which means survivors have a safe place to come and receive services and support,” Hendrickson said. 

The YWCA’s campus advocate will assist Penn State Harrisburg in providing bystander intervention programming, bring awareness and education to the campus related to sexual assault; stalking, dating violence, and human trafficking, and provide direct services to survivors. 

Services include crisis intervention; safety planning; individual counseling; accompaniment to law enforcement, hospitals, or campus administration; and assistance obtaining sexual violence protection orders. The campus advocate will also assist in training staff and students to recognize the signs and indicators of sexual and intimate partner violence and human trafficking. 

“We are pleased to partner with the YWCA Greater Harrisburg on this very important resource for our college community,” said Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor Mukund Kulkarni. “A dedicated sexual assault advocate will join a number of resources the college provides to combat sexual violence and misconduct on campus. Sexual misconduct is a deeply troubling issue, one that will take the entire community to address. We remain dedicated to ensuring the safety of students and we thank the YWCA Greater Harrisburg for their commitment to this partnership.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 12:29

Hits: 112

Middletown council adopts medical marijuana ordinance, gives nod of support to restaurant at Giant that will sell beer and wine

A new restaurant including beer and wine sales in the Giant in the Midtown Plaza in Middletown is one step closer, following unanimous approval by borough council during its Feb. 7 meeting of a resolution supporting Giant’s request to transfer a restaurant liquor license from Susquehanna Township.

Construction of the 30-seat restaurant inside the Giant could start in March or April, pending approval of the transfer by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Josh Erb of Giant said during a public hearing held before the 4-0 vote taken by council. The project would take about six weeks to complete.

Referred to as a “beer cafe,” the restaurant would be located in the back right center area inside the present Giant store, to the left of the produce department. 

The cafe would offer beer sales for consumption in the restaurant and also to go. Wine would only be sold on a to-go basis.

The restaurant would be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Sunday, when the hours would be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Erb said.

Voting to approve the resolution were councilors Anne Einhorn, Dawn Knull, Ian Reddinger, and Robert Reid. Absent was Council President Ben Kapenstein and Vice-President Damon Suglia, as well as councilor Diana McGlone. 

Middletown now among municipalities with an ordinance regulating medical marijuana facilities 

Council following another public hearing voted 4-0 to give final approval to a new ordinance identifying where a medical marijuana dispensary and a medical marijuana grower/processing facility can be located.

A medical marijuana dispensary will be allowed in commercial and manufacturing zoning districts in the borough, according to the ordinance. A grower/processing facility can only be in a manufacturing district.

Anyone seeking to locate a medical marijuana dispensary would still have to comply with a state law requirement that says a dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day care center, Solicitor Adam Santucci told the council.

Downtown zoning overlay 

In another zoning-related matter, council received a list of proposed recommendations from the borough planning commission concerning what to do with the proposed downtown zoning overlay that was prepared for the town in 2015 by a consulting firm.

The overlay as proposed would add new zoning regulations covering the downtown and much of the rest of the borough. Among areas of emphasis, the overlay would stress the preservation of historic properties, and also strive for the redevelopment of existing properties into new uses.

The next step could be the preparation of a draft ordinance for council to consider regarding implementing some or all of the proposed overlay. At least one public hearing would have to be held, in that the ordinance would be an amendment to current zoning.

Council authorizes purchase of new LED bulbs for street lights 

Council also moved forward with a project to replace borough streetlights with more energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Council voted to authorize spending up to $375,910 to cover the project, which is to be done by the borough on an in-house basis.

The project also includes installing new “historic” style streetlights along Emaus Street, from just east of Union Street westward to where the proposed West Emaus Street extended is to connect with the new Amtrak train station to be built along West Main Street. 

The borough hopes to finish the project by early to mid-summer 2017, Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach has said.

Police officer gets two-day suspension, borough to revise Civil Service Commission rules and regs

Council following a nearly two-hour closed-door executive session at the end of the meeting emerged to take two actions related to the police department, neither of which were on the agenda.

In the first, council approved a two-day suspension of Detective Mark Hovan based upon a recommendation that was presented during the closed-door session. 

Mayor James H. Curry III was not physically present at the meeting, but participated in the closed-door executive session via a phone hook-up.

Council also approved making a revision to the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission. Council also approved plans to “modify” the procedures by which promotions are approved through the commission.


Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter said council's action gives Solicitor Santucci authority to draft the revision to the commission regulations. Klinepeter expects the revision to be ready for council review and consideration at council's next meeting on Feb. 21.

The "main issue" prompting the changes is to consider removal of polygraph testing for the promotion of an officer already serving with the Middletown Police Department, Klinepeter told the Press And Journal after the meeting.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 12:31

Hits: 635

Agenda posted for Feb. 7 meeting of Middletown Borough Council


Call to Order - 7 PM
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call

Public Hearing on Liquor License Transfer - Giant
Public Hearing on Medical Marijuana Ordinance
Public Comment on Agenda Items

1. Approve Meeting Minutes - January 17, 2017
2. Approval of Bills
3. Adopt Resolution No. 2017-3 - Liquor License Transfer
4. Adopt Ordinance 1336 - Medical Marijuana
5. Discussion - Draft Revisions to Ordinance 943 & 972 Relating
to Head Shops
6. Approval to Purchase Streetlights
7. Discussion - Electric Service Reconnection Fee
8. Discussion - Planning Commission Recommendations for Zoning
9. Discussion on Investment Advisory Committee
10. Approve Authorized Signers - Wells Fargo Accounts
11. Authorize RFP for Actuarial Services - Non-Uniform Pension Plan
12. Streetscape Letter of Credit
13. Authorization to Close Certain Borough Accounts
14. Ratification of Accounts Payables Procedures

Public Comment

Executive Session

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 10:45

Hits: 244

Missing Middletown girl found

missing girlA missing Middletown child has been located.

Caitlin Marie McLinn, 15, was last seen in the area at about 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2.

An update issued Saturday morning by the Middletown Police Department said she had been "found safe and sound" but did not provide further details.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 February 2017 08:59

Hits: 713