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Suspected daytime burglar nabbed


Middletown police say they caught a burglary suspect in the act in broad daylight on Tuesday, Aug. 19 in the east end of town.


Borough police say that Eric S. Heck, 30, from Harrisburg, was seen going in and out of three homes in the area of East Emaus and Rupp streets at about 11:30 a.m.


He ran from the scene toward Hoffer Park when police approached. Officers chased Heck on foot and after a brief struggle placed him under arrest near the edge of the park, police said.


One Middletown officer received minor injuries in the struggle, according to unconfirmed reports. Borough police were assisted at the scene by officers from Royalton and Lower Swatara Twp.


Heck was treated at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and released.


Police have charged Heck with three felony counts of burglary, three felony counts of criminal trespass, two felony counts of aggravated assault; and one misdemeanor count each of escape, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.


Heck was arraigned and held in Dauphin County Prison on $150,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 11 a.m. Aug. 29 before District Judge David Judy.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 18:19

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Council nixes veto, raises rates for water and sewer

Water and sewer rates with be going up for Middletown residents and businesses now that Middletown Borough Council has overridden Mayor James H. Curry III’s earlier veto of a rate increase . . .

For the full story, CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Press And Journal.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 19:39

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NEW TOP COP: In Steelton, an officer's dream becomes reality

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John King began his career in law enforcement 24 years ago as a patrolman in Steelton. Since then, he has worked his way up the ranks, from patrolman to sergeant and detective.

On Monday, Aug. 18, King’s dream was realized: Steelton Borough Council hired King as the borough’s new police chief by a 4-0 vote after an executive session to discuss personnel...

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 19:37

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TOP COP: Middletown hires Bey unanimously

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Middletown Borough Council voted 9-0 tonight to hire John Bey of Susquehanna Township to be the town's new police chief.


Bey will be paid a salary not to exceed $72,500. He will also receive no benefits. Council President Chris McNamara said that Bey had asked not to be paid benefits.


It will likely be several weeks to a month before Bey is available. He needs to retire from the Pennsylvania State Police, where he has been for 25 years. Bey holds the rank of captain, and is now director of training for the state police Bureau of Training and Education. Bey is also a senior master sergeant and a 28-year-veteran of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.


Bey, who was at tonight's meeting and was present for the vote, received a hearty standing ovation from council after the decision was made.


Bey stood up from his seat in the front row of the audience, shook hands with the council members who came over to congratulate him, and told the crowd he was pleasantly surprised to have received the ovation.


Hiring Bey was among several items involving personnel and potential litigation that council discussed during a closed-door executive session held during Monday night's meeting.


However, when it came to any public discussion or disagreement on council regarding choosing Bey, there was none.


Bey was one of three finalists who had emerged from a total of about 25 applicants for the chief's position.


One of the other finalists, Corporal Travis Thickstun of the Indiana Excise Police Force, withdrew his candidacy after council's public safety committee voted 2-0 to back Bey.


Committee Chairman Scott Sites, who was not present when the committee voted to recommend Bey, had favored Thickstun. However, Sites made no comment Monday night other than to nominate Bey as the new chief. 


No mention was made of the third finalist, Stephen Mazzeo, the former Sunbury police chief.


Bey said he hopes to start as Middletown's new chief within a month. He took a required psychological exam earlier Monday, and needs to be certified by the state as a municipal police officer. He also needs to receive his honorable discharge from the state police.


On the borough's side, Councilor Ben Kapenstein said that the borough will conduct a background check into Bey. He must pass a non-competitive examination through the borough civil service commission, and Bey must also undergo a polygraph test to be administered on the borough's behalf.


Kapenstein said he believes all this could be achieved within a few weeks to a month, but he could not say for certain.


Kapenstein also said that during this interim period council plans to possibly reconsider  the current ordinance requirement that the police chief become a Middletown resident within 15 months of being hired.


The requirement had emerged as a potential stumbling block toward hring Bey, in that Bey said he had just recently completed building a new home for his family in Susquehanna Township.


Bey told The Press and Journal during a break in Monday's meeting that he hoped the council would be willing to waive the requirement, at least for a period.


The ordinance does allow for a waiver, however it is not clear if the requirement can be waived indefinitely under the current ordinance.


Kapenstein said he expects the council while waiting for Bey to come on board will review the ordinance to see if the residency requirement for the police chief should remain in place as it currently exists, or if the requirement should be changed in some way or eliminated all together.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 20:35

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Another power outage in Middletown

Last week it was a bird, this week it may have been a squirrel.

In any event, Middletown residents early this morning experienced the second power outage within nine days.

Borough Communications Director Chris Courogen said the outage occurred at about 6:40 a.m. today. 

He did not immediately provide details concerning where the power loss occurred. However, a person in the borough office earlier today said the outage appeared to be concentrated in the areas of East Emaus, Race and Rupp streets.

Judging by posts to the Press and Journal Facebook page, the outage also impacted portions of East Main and Adelia streets, a portion of the 600 block of Vine Street; and parts of East Water,  Spruce, and Maple streets.

The outage lasted close to an hour and a half, as power was restored by 8 a.m., according to the Facebook posts.

Courogen said he couldn't say for certain, but suspected that a wayward squirrel may have been the culprit. Public Works Director Ken Klinepeter could not be reached.

On Tuesday July 15 borough residents and businesses lost electricity for about 90 minutes. That outage was blamed on a bird that got into the electrical equipment and led to a number of fuses being tripped.

While Middletown isn't the only place where the electricity goes out on occasion, Courogen said it does seem to be happening with more regularity of late - and that critters like birds and squirrels are a major reason why.

"I suspect that the (Middletown Borough Council) Public Works Committee will start looking" at what can be done to solve the problem, Courogen said.


Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 17:08

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