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Councilor seeks ban on 'jake' brakes

Truckers should not be allowed to use noisy engine braking in Middletown Borough, Councilor Mike Bowman argued during a Middletown Borough Council public works committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Bowman, a committee member, said he believes Middletown needs to enact an ordinance banning the use of “jake’’ brakes and post signs.

“We need one at each entrance to the town,” suggested Councilor John Brubaker, another committee member.

Bowman said he is especially concerned with truck traffic on Ann Street, where he would like to see trucks limited to those making local deliveries. Diesel trucks may be equipped with a engine compression brake that assists with slowing down the truck. Compression brakes, like those offered by Jacobs Vehicle Systems, releases compression from the engine when the driver activates a switch.

Using compression braking creates a series of staccato rumbles that had led to bans in residential areas.

The ban on jake brakes and the limits on Ann Street traffic must be considered by the full council. If council decides to pursue these actions, the borough will have to coordinate its decision with the state Department of Transportation to ensure the legalities.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 11:56

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Who should plow state roads in town? PennDOT should – if Main Street isn’t paved by winter, council committee says


Middletown Borough staff has recommended to a Middletown Borough Council committee that the borough have crews from the state Department of Transportation plow state roads within the town limits this winter, a proposal that drew criticism from residents last year.

“Nothing has changed in the borough the makes us more capable than we were last year,” said Lester Lanman, public works superintendent, told council’s public works committee on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The borough may track its time and materials to receive a direct reimbursement from the state for plowing Main Street, Union Street and Vine Street under a pilot program.

Or the borough may enter the standard five-year agreement with PennDOT that provides a set amount of money to Middletown each year for plowing. Under the agreement, the state may release additional money if the winter is especially bad, but does not request repayment in the event of a mild winter.

Committee members – councilors Robert Louer, Mike Bowman and John Brubaker – went along with the recommendation for 2015-2016. The decision will be brought to the full council for approval.

Council decided on Dec. 1 to not renew its agreement to receive $7,300 to plow the borough’s 3.5 miles of state roads, a move that drew protests from some reisdents. Council then reversed itself, voting on Dec. 15 to approve the agreement. However, the agreement was delayed because borough manager Tim Konek refused to sign the documents.

The committee bemoaned PennDOT’s inaction in paving Main Street now that the water and sewer replacement project is completed, and the rough road surface that exists was a reason cited for giving PennDOT the responsibility to plow state roads in town.

If the street is not repaved, its rough condition will create problems for plowing, Lanman said. He suggested letting PennDOT deal with problems of paving rough roads if they fail to pave as promised.

The borough expedited the water and sewer project so PennDOT could repave Main Street before winter, Konek said. In fact, “We gave up a fair amount of sewer line replacement to expedite,” Lanman said.

“We gotta have the road level by the first snow,” Bowman said. Lanman said borough engineer HRG has been in contact with the Main Street project’s contractor, Doli Construction, about the condition of the street in the event that the state repaving is not done by winter. “What’s out there ain’t gonna cut it,” he said.

Lanman said the borough has not received word on whether they will or will not pave this winter. “We’re waiting on them to pave,” he said.

Brubaker was skeptical that PennDOT would do the work by winter. “You won’t see that street paved for two years,” he said.

“All nine of us (from borough council) should go up and picket PennDOT,” Bowman said.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 11:25

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Mosquito Spraying Mon., Aug.17 In Londonderry Twp.


Three areas in Londonderry Twp. are to be sprayed this Mon., Aug. 17 to control mosquitoes as part of Dauphin County’s West Nile Virus (WNV) Control Program.

The treatment of the insecticide will take place at 9 p.m. in the Cedar Manor, Pine Manor and Braeburn Park areas of the township. According to county officials, the treatments will be administered with ATV-mounted equipment that dispenses Biomist 3 + 15, a permethrin insecticide product, at a rate of 0.75 ounces per acre. usethispinecedarmanor“This is a very low concentration of a pesticide that has been tested and approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for use in controlling adult mosquito populations in and around people,” according to a press release from the county announcing the spraying.

County officials also noted that residents who do not wish to have their properties sprayed should contact the WNV Control Program coordinator at (717) 921-8100 by 4 p.m. on Aug. 17.

A rain date for the application is Wed., Aug. 19.

Samples collected by the WNV Control Program have shown a high adult mosquito population carrying the virus. A total of 20 infected mosquito samples have been collected this summer in Dauphin County. Earlier this week infected samples were found in Conewago, Derry, East Hanover and Swatara townships. Three positive samples were collected in Londonderry Twp. County officials said the increase of positive samples in the county prompted the WNV Control Program to step up surveillance and spray for mosquitoes.Usethisbraeburnrd

County officials also noted residents may place their homes on a “no-spray” list. More information about the list is available by calling the County WNV Control Program at 717-921-8100.

The press release from the county listed the following frequently asked questions about mosquito control:

1.  Should toys and other items in the yard at the time of the application be washed?

It is not necessary to wash items in your yard after the application.  Due to low application rates, any exposure from contact with these surfaces would be low and pose negligible risks.

2.  Should swimming pools be covered before the application?

No, residue in a pool would be low and also diluted by the water in the pool.

3.  Should windows be closed and air conditioners turned off?

The ULV vapor disperses readily, and little movement of the material into open windows with screens is expected.  However, individuals with upper respiratory problems, such as asthma, may react to ULV applications.  Closing windows and turning off air conditioners is recommended for those with upper respiratory problems. 

 4.  How long should residents wait before a pet is permitted outdoors?    

When the chemical is applied at the labeled rates, there are wide margins of safety for humans, dogs, cats and other mammals.  Indoor pets may be "let out" immediately following the application.  Outdoor pets may be left outdoors.

5.  How long should residents wait before allowing children to enter a yard?

The ULV vapor disperses very quickly after the application.  Individuals with respiratory problems may react to ULV application.  People with these health issues may want to wait an hour before resuming outdoor activities in treated areas. 

Additional information about the program is available on the CDC’s Web site at and by calling the County’s WNV Control Program, call the Conservation District, (717) 921-8100.


Last Updated on Friday, 14 August 2015 21:06

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More west nile infected mosquitos found in dauphin county



Dauphin Co. officials report West Nile Virus (WNV) infected mosquito samples have been found in the City of Harrisburg as well as Derry and East Hanover townships. 

mosquito1A press release from the county’s WNV Control program noted thus far nine virus-positive samples have been collected  this year.

WNV-infected samples have also been found in Jefferson Twp., Highspire and Middletown boroughs and Swatara Twp. The release also noted no human cases of WNV have been reported this year in the county.

The county’s WNV Control Program is increasing surveillance and control measures throughout the county.

Certain species of mosquitoes carry WNV, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. Symptoms of WNV include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen lymph glands or skin rash. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 August 2015 16:06

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Father, son charged with impersonating cops


A Lower Swatara Twp. man and his son were charged with impersonating a police officer for allegedly entering and rummaging through a township home on June 22 while claiming to be looking for someone, according to Lower Swatara police.sonphoto7 29 15WEBDillon Arnold

Ray M. Arnold Jr., 56, and his son, Dillon J. Arnold, 22, both of the 100 block of Eby Lane, entered a home in the 100 block of Lake Dr. around 5 a.m. claiming they were cops looking for an individual they believed was there, police said.

One was brandishing a baseball bat, police said. The Arnolds caused about $1,000 worth of damage to the residence, police said.

Ray Arnold was charged with impersonating a public servant, burglary, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and making, repairing or selling offensive weapons, police said. Dillon Arnold was charged with impersonating a public servant, burglary, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, police said.

They were arraigned before District Judge Steven Semic on Thursday, July 16 and held in Dauphin County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing for the two is set for Wednesday, Aug. 12 before District Judge Michael Smith.

fatherphoto7 29 15WEBRay Arnold






Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 July 2015 15:59

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