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Route 230 accident could have been much worse, police chief says

230accident1PJSubmitted photo -- The driver of this Mazda Protege avoided serious injury, despite the back half of the car being sheared off from the force of a collision on Route 230 in Lower Swatara Twp. on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

A two-car accident in front of the Middletown Home on Route 230 in Lower Swatara Twp. around 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30 ripped one of the vehicles in half – but miraculously, no one was seriously injured, township police said.

A Mazda Protege pulled out of a Middletown Home driveway into the path of a Volkswagen Jetta that was heading west in the passing lane on 230, Lower Swatara Police Chief Richard Brandt told the Press And Journal.

The Jetta struck the rear of the Mazda behind the driver's side, and the impact sheared off the back half of the Mazda and sent it over the guardrail on the other side of Route 230, Brandt said.

Golf clubs that were in the trunk of the Mazda landed all over the road, and debris from the crash was scattered across all three railroad tracks on the Harrisburg International Airport side of the highway, he said.

The driver of the Mazda, 20-year-old Jayson Elhajj of Lower Swatara Twp., was taken by ambulance to the hospital but his injuries appeared to be minor, Brandt said.

The driver of the Jetta, 17-year-old Noah Zimmerman, and a 15-year-old passenger, both of Lower Swatara Twp., refused medical treatment, Brandt said. The Jetta was towed from the scene.

"This was a fraction of an inch away from (being) a fatal accident," Brandt said. Had anyone been in the back seat of the Mazda, they almost certainly would have been seriously injured or even killed, the chief said.

Moreover, things would have been much worse had there been other traffic on the road at the time, especially heading east on Route 230 into Middletown, but luckily there wasn't, Brandt said.

"It would have been a three or four-car accident," the chief said.

The crash is still under investigation. No drugs or alcohol were involved, Brandt said. It appears that Elhajj pulled out into the path of the Jetta, which did not have any chance to avoid the collision, Brandt said.

It's possible Elhajj did not see the Jetta coming, but it's still too early in the investigation to know, Brandt said. Brandt said he does not expect any criminal charges to be filed.

At least two fatal accidents have occurred in this same area over the last 20 to 30 years, Brandt said. In one case, an elderly resident of the home was killed after pulling out into the path of another vehicle in broad daylight, Brandt said.

Brandt advised that drivers use caution when exiting the Middletown Home onto Route 230.

Lower Swatara police were assisted at the scene by police from Highspire and Penn State Harrisburg. Amtrak police were also alerted to the crash.

Also assisting were fire departments from Highspire, Lower Swatara, and Londonderry Twp., and Lower Swatara public works employees.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 October 2015 11:54

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School board OKs teachers’ contract

A new three-year contract has been approved for teachers in Middletown Area School District, according to a joint statement issued on Monday, Sept. 28, by the Middletown Area School Board and the teachers’ union, the Middletown Area Education Association.

The school board approved the contract by 9-0 vote on Monday, Sept. 28. The teachers have approved the contract, according to the joint statement.

The contract provides for average salary increases of 2.7 percent in each year of the agreement, which runs from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018.

The average raise for district teachers in the first year is $1,386 (2.4 percent), followed by $1,597 (2.7 percent) in the second year and $1,639 in the third year (2.7 percent).

Hourly rates for extra-work assignments will gradually increase from the current $30.75 per hour to $35 per hour by the end of the agreement.

The new contract continues the qualified high deductible health plan that the school district put in place six years ago. The amount that teachers must pay toward their health care coverage will go up in each of the three years of the agreement, according to the joint statement.

The agreement also includes changed or added language pertaining to extended contract employees, supplemental contract timing, credit for teaching and evaluating exceptional children, induction program participation, personal leave and retirement notification.

The school board and the association entered into initial discussions toward a new contract in January. Both sides reached a tentative agreement in August.


MASD Contract_2015_2018

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 16:26

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Council votes to move on new downtown zoning


Middletown Borough Council agreed by 5-1 vote on Monday, Sept. 21 to draft an ordinance based upon a proposed downtown zoning overlay that’s being prepared for the town by KSK Architects Planners Historians of Philadelphia.

The zoning overlay is not meant to cover the entire town but is to supplement existing zoning for portions of the downtown.

The overlay could impose new regulations and restrictions intended to protect the downtown, while at the same time provide new flexibility for prospective developers to carry out projects that are now not possible under existing zoning, borough officials have said.

Councilor Mike Bowman voted against the motion.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 15:52

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Vicki Malone resigns from council

WEBcouncil9 30 15 

Vicki Malone is resigning from Middletown Borough Council.

Malone, who represents the Third Ward – e-mailed a resignation letter dated Monday, Sept. 14, to Council President Chris McNamara and the remainder of council through borough secretary Amy Friday.

The letter does not say when Malone’s resignation is effective. Malone was not at council’s meeting on Monday, Sept. 21. The subject of her resignation was not brought up during the meeting.

Council’s next scheduled meeting on Monday, Oct. 5 would be the next chance for council to accept Malone’s resignation.

Council will need to appoint someone to fill out the rest of Malone’s term, which runs through 2017. Whomever is appointed would serve through 2017 and could run for election in November 2017, said Gerald Feaser Jr., Dauphin County’s director of elections and voter registration.

The election cannot be held before November 2017, as 2016 is a presidential cycle and not a municipal election cycle, Feaser noted.

“It is with much thought and consideration that I must resign my seat on Middletown Borough Council representing the 3rd Ward,” Malone wrote in her letter.

She said she is resigning for personal reasons related to her family.
“I have enjoyed working with all of you the past couple years and will miss our interactions each month,” Malone wrote. “Best wishes in your continued service to our town.”

Malone, a Democrat, was elected to her first four-year term in 2013 and has been on council since January 2014.

Malone did not respond to several phone messages seeking comment.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 17:56

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Deadlines for upcoming elections


vote2The Dauphin County Election Board today reminds residents who would like to vote in the general election on November 3 of important deadlines for registering to vote and obtaining and filing absentee ballots.

The deadline for registering to vote before the general election is October 5.  To register to vote, an individual must be:

•A United States citizen for at least one month prior to the November 3 election

•A resident of Pennsylvania and the election district for at least 30 days prior to the election, and

•At least 18 years of age on or before November 3.

Citizens who meet these requirements may also register to vote online at, a website hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of State.  If the applicant has a driver's license or other Pennsylvania Department of Transportation identification card, the signature already on record can be immediately linked to the voter record.  Applicants who do not have an electronic signature on file will be able to print, sign and mail the completed application or to request a signature card be mailed to them, which must be returned to the county bureau no later than October 5. 

More than 200 people have registered in Dauphin County using the electronic format.

Residents who are unable to vote in person at their polling place on Election Day can apply for an absentee ballot.  The last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot is October 27. Civilian absentee ballots must be received no later than October 30.

Those offices on the election ballot include statewide judges; county officials; seven of the county’s magisterial district judges; city, township and borough officials; constables; and school directors.

Voter registration and civilian absentee ballot forms, as well as a list of polling places, can be found on by clicking “Government Services,” and then on “Elections & Voter Registration” and then “"Vote,” or by calling the Bureau of Registration and Elections at 717-780-6360.


Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2015 17:01

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