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23 Years Ago: Feb. 22, 2017

There’s A Car In There – The winter of 1993-94 brought quite a few of us down but few as dramatically as the Wingert garage in Royalton. Karla Wingert is pictured videotaping the remains of the garage that housed her 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire convertible. Damages to the partially restored car will not be ascertained until the building can be razed. Collapse was caused by excessive snow and took the garage to its knees on Sunday, February 13 at 4 p.m.There’s A Car In There – The winter of 1993-94 brought quite a few of us down but few as dramatically as the Wingert garage in Royalton. Karla Wingert is pictured videotaping the remains of the garage that housed her 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire convertible. Damages to the partially restored car will not be ascertained until the building can be razed. Collapse was caused by excessive snow and took the garage to its knees on Sunday, February 13 at 4 p.m.


From the Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1994 edition of the Press And Journal


HIA Development On Track; Wilson St. Bridge Get A ‘Go’

PennDOT really means it this time.

This time, they say, the long-needed, long-delayed Wilson Street Bridge replacement project will finally get under way.

Starting in August, the short, ramshackle span that stretches over the Amtrak rail line from Middletown’s Main Street to the east end of Harrisburg International Airport will begin to be replaced by a much larger overpass – one that will accommodate heavier traffic and allow desperately needed redevelopment to proceed at HIA’s industrial park.

A projected completion date for the bridge, which will be located just west of the existing structure, has been set for June 1995.

Additionally, comprehensive environmental testing, which is expected to remove HIA from the federal government’s “Superfund List” by summer 1995, is scheduled to begin in the next several weeks, potentially clearing the last remaining hurdles for PennDOT, owner of the airport, to follow through with construction projects proposed in HIA’s 20-year plan.

Fran Strouse, Chief Airport Engineer for PennDOT’s Bureau of Aviation, emphasized that there was no direct correlation between the timing of the development projects and final approval for the Wilson Street Bridge project, despite the fact that the relocated Smart Park will be smack at the end of the new bridge’s southern off ramp. The official stressed that the bridge replacement was delayed over the past three years due to its own environmental concerns and was not held up in any way to buy PennDOT some time either for funding or for creating finalized development plans.


Calabrese Fills In At Steel-High

Steelton-Highspire School District Superintendent led his last School Board meeting on February 17.

On the job less than two years, Dr. Timothy Lafferty is leaving his post in Steelton for a job on Long Island, New York. Retired Middletown Superintendent Leon Calabrese will serve Steel-High on a part-time basis, at $290.91 per day, until a new superintendent can be hired.

Calabrese, 54, a well-known education professional in Central Pennsylvania, worked in the Middletown Area School District for 22 years as a teacher and principal before becoming an administrator. He was appointed Superintendent in 1986 and announced his retirement in January 1993. Gary Shank, a former Steel-High administrator who served as Middletown’s Assistant Superintendent under Calabrese, took over last summer.

Very little mention of Lafferty’s pending departure was made at the meeting; however, the regular session was delayed a half-hour while Board members met in executive session to interview a potential replacement.

Board member Barry Baumgartner, who arrived at the end of the executive session, said he never received “official notification” of the interviews, although other Board members said they were advised through the mail.

“Isn’t it funny that everyone else was here?” asked Board member Howard Schaffner.

“Maybe I’m not in the same clique as everyone else,” countered Baumgartner.


Lower Swatara Holds Executive Session On EMS

Perhaps the most important item of business at the February meeting of the Lower Swatara Township Board of Commissioners didn’t make it on the formal agenda. But, it is sure to be a topic of discussion at the March 2 workshop meeting of the Board.

And what failed to make the meeting’s agenda? A meeting with Jim Messick of the Lower Swatara Emergency Medical Services (LSEMS) and the Board of Commissioners slated to begin following the Board’s business meeting.

In a move that seemed to surprise the Township residents in attendance, Frank Linn, president of the Board, announced that the meeting would be held in executive session.

Following the adjournment of the Board’s business meeting, a Township resident asked Linn why the meeting with EMS was being held in executive session.

“Because there are some legal questions,” Linn answered. He added that because of the matters that the Board and the EMS were going to discuss, the Township’s solicitor James Pannebaker would be present.

“Did Jim Messick ask for a private meeting?” asked Commissioner Janet Wells. “Yes,” responded Linn. Pannebaker added that contract negotiations would be taking place and that was just cause for an executive session.

Outside the Township municipal building, a resident vented apparent frustration with the situation. “They (the EMS) want our dues, but don’t want us at their meeting,” the resident said. Added another, “I wonder what they would do if we refused to leave. Would they call the police?”

At the February workshop meeting, Linn in response to a query from Wells about circumstances surrounding the ambulance service said, he thought Messick “wants to air it out.” At that same meeting Dr. David Clouser, Township manager, said he had been contacting neighboring EMS units in the area as a way of “comparative shopping.”


Former Middletown Manager In Running For New Post

It received scant attention at the Mt. Joy Township Board meeting last Monday night, but the selection of a new municipal manager continues to occupy the Board’s attention.

Supervisor Mary Jane Balmer said following that meeting that the Board has interviewed five of the six contenders selected from a field of nearly 70 candidates who applied for the Township managerial position. The sixth candidate reportedly withdrew his name from contention prior to the interviews.

As a result of those interviews, the Board reportedly narrowed the field to just three candidates. They are Jack Hadge, former manager in nearby Middletown Borough, Robert C. Smith, former Warwick Township manager, and George A. Rague, director of Parks & Recreation in Middletown, New Jersey.

Hadge had held the Middletown Borough post until three weeks ago when he suddenly submitted his resignation to a surprised Council. He blamed his decision to resign on the fact that he was unable to meet Borough Council’s directive that he find a residence in the Borough by May 1.

Hadge had served as Middletown’s manager from August 1992, when he succeeded the former manager, Bruce Hamer. 

The Mt. Joy Township Board had planned to conduct a second round of interviews with the three finalists last Wednesday evening in an effort to select a new manager. However, Township supervisors were giving no advance indication as to their ultimate choice.


Prices From 23 Years Ago

Berks ring bologna, $2.29/lb.

Ronzoni pasta 16 oz., 2/$1

Ajax dish liquid 22 oz., 2/$3

Sandwich rolls 8 ct., $1.09

Dole coleslaw mix 16 oz., $1.29

Cherry Boston crème cake, $3.99

Wheaties cereal 14.75 oz., $2.39

Clorox bleach 128 oz. btl., 99¢

McCain french fries 32 oz bag., $1.43

Finast tomato juice 46 oz. can, 74¢

Swanson Hungryman pot pies 14 oz. pkg., $1.31

Lean boneless beef stewing meat, $2.38/lb.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 11:44

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PHOTOS: A Gospel Fundraiser for Youth 10x Better Youth Ministry

Youth 10x Better Youth Ministry presented its fifth annual Community Gospel Fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 19, at Wesley United Methodist Church on Ann Street. A variety of musicians
and vocalists performed. Students in the Youth 10x Better art class had a show and offered paintings for a donation. Dinner was served afterward. Photos by Gabe Mink.

Bishop Selara Mann Sr. is joined on stage by the duet Joye Mann and Leila Brown webBishop Selara Mann Sr. is joined on stage by Joye Mann and Leila Brown.


Gospel and RB Singer Herbie Hall 13 webGospel and RB Singer Herbie Hall.


Elizabeth Carter of Harrisburg and Vladimir Beufils of Harrisburg browse artwork for sale by local artist Dionn Renee webElizabeth Carter of Harrisburg and Vladimir Beufils of Harrisburg browse artwork for sale by local artist Dionn Renee.


Father and son duet Steve and Bryce Jones webFather and son duet Steve and Bryce Jones.


An attendee enjoy the event.An attendee enjoy the event.


invocation through interpretive dance by patin drayton brown 3 webInvocation through interpretive dance was performed by Patin Drayton-Brown.


Minister Kirsten Keys and grandaughter Sophia from Solid Rock Missionary Baptist Church dance during the music ministry webMinister Kirsten Keys and grandaughter Sophia from Solid Rock Missionary Baptist Church dance during the music ministry.


Food was served after the concert.Food was served after the concert.


The crowd gets ready.The crowd gets ready.


Rev James Lyles and his wife present Mr Jack Clouser and Mrs. Gloria Johnson with legacy awards for ten years of service to the YTTB webThe Rev. James Lyles and his wife, Stephanie, present Jack Clouser and Gloria Johnson with legacy awards for 10 years of service to the Youth 10x Better program.


Soloist Jamar Johnson 4 webSoloist Jamar Johnson.


Soloist Wink West of Journey Church.Soloist Wink West of Journey Church.


Steve Jones solo.Steve Jones solo.


Susan Graci with Loop Boys and Girls in Harrisburg serves food.Susan Graci with Loop Boys and Girls in Harrisburg serves food.


Trumpeter Theljon Allen.Trumpeter Theljon Allen.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 11:04

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Concentration camp survivor, one of his liberators to speak

IMG 1009Ernie Gross and Don Greenbaum will speak at the Central PA WWII Roundtable, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2. Greenbaum helped liberate Gross from a concentration camp.

Holocaust survivor and one of his liberators to speak

It’s safe to say that none of Don Greenbaum’s military training prepared him for what he would witness on April 29, 1945.

Don and other troops from Patton’s Third Army were on their way to seize a German army supply depot but stumbled across the Dachau concentration camp. One of the 30,000 prisoners Greenbaum helped liberate was a 16-year-old Romanian Jew, Ernie Gross.  

Greenbaum and Gross will be the guest speakers at the next monthly meeting of the Central PA WWII Roundtable, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2.

In 1947, Gross came to the United States, married a fellow concentration camp survivor and raised a family, never discussing the nightmare they both survived. Like Gross, Greenbaum didn’t talk about the war until the mid-1990s, when a Holocaust denier on television convinced him he had to speak up about what he witnessed. 

In 2011 the two men finally met. Today, they are close friends, traveling together to share their story with audiences at synagogues, schools and other public venues. They both acknowledge the horrors of the Holocaust are unpleasant, and recounting them isn’t easy, but they say it’s their duty.

The Central Pennsylvania WWII Roundtable is a nonprofit organization that provides a forum for World War II veterans, authors, historians and citizens to share their knowledge and experiences related to the war. Meetings, held the first Thursday of every month, begin at 7 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 433 E. Main St., Hummelstown. Anyone with an interest in World War II is invited to attend. There are no membership or admission fees.

For more information, contact Charlie Lloyd at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 717-503-2862, or visit the organization’s website at

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2017 10:28

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Middletown graduates ready to get their THON on

Alexis Hile THONAlexis Hile previously was a canning captain for THON.


Rachel Applegate will be among the thousands of people at Penn State University’s Bryce Jordan Center this weekend, and they all will have one communal thought: FTK; For The Kids.

For The Kids is the mindset of all those involved with THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Several Middletown graduates, including Applegate (Class of 2016), will be participating and doing their part to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer.

THON is a weekend-long fundraising dance marathon event for the Four Diamonds Fund. The Four Diamonds Fund is a pediatric cancer charity affiliated with Penn State University and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Four Diamonds helps to aid 100 percent of all children admitted for treatment and pays the remaining portion of the medical bills that insurance won’t cover. This means families never see the bill and will not have to pay out of pocket for treatments.

Removing the cost factor from the patient and family allows them to focus on treatments and recovery. According to an email from Penn State student and THON participant Alexis Hile, (Middletown Area High School Class of 2015), the average cost of cancer treatment for one child is $500,000 and 96.56 cents of every dollar donated directly benefits the Four Diamonds Fund.

Applegate will donate her time, effort and energy for children, but she’s also going to be donating something else: her hair. Applegate is dedicating her hair to Wigs for Kids, a nonprofit organization that creates personalized wigs for children suffering from hair loss.

Applegate said although she hadn’t originally planned to cut her hair, she is very excited about it nonetheless. She said a few young women that she was working with for THON had cut their hair and that sparked her interest.

“The reason I want to give my hair is because I have loved my hair while I’ve had it at this length and I’ve taken it for granted. I think it’s high time that someone else had the chance to enjoy it; someone who will appreciate it much more than I have,” Applegate said in an email.

Applegate has a personal reason for participating in THON. Her family has been affected by cancer.


Matt and Lauren EppleyLauren and Matt Epply both will be a part of THON.


“I THON because cancer has touched my life in more ways than one. I’ve seen its effects on the body and the morale; specifically in my middle-aged, healthy father. Seeing the pain that he endured in his years of chemotherapy, I can’t imagine doing it myself, let alone a young child. I THON so that every family feels the support that they need in their difficult times. I THON for the kids that, for those short 46 hours, get to forget about their condition and have the time of their lives, ” Applegate said in an email.

In the 2016 THON event, nearly $10 million was raised ($9,770,332.32 to be exact). That was added to the more than $136 million that has been raised since THON was started in 1973. Four Diamonds did not become the beneficiary until 1977.

From 6 p.m. Friday until 4 p.m. Sunday, thousands of Penn State students, alumni, faculty, parents and cancer patients and their families will pack the Bryce Jordan Center for 46 hours of dancing, games and fun with no rest. Students are constantly on their feet. They are not allowed to sit or lie down, or to know what time it is. They keep moving and stay active with three letters in mind: FTK.

“There are approximately 16,500 Penn State volunteers that all contribute to make THON happen,” Hile said in an email. “There is so much effort that goes into making sure we raise as much money as we can for the kids that happens before THON such as give-back nights at restaurants, 5k races, bingo fundraisers, spaghetti dinners, and so much more. Our main focus is to allow these kids and their families to make unforgettable memories despite this awful disease.”

Hile will be one of the many hundreds of dancers on the floor of the Jordan Center, constantly dancing and moving. Hile will dance as a representative of Altoona Benefiting THON, which is the Penn State THON group. In the past, she served as a canning captain and participated in numerous other events associated with THON. Canning is one form of fundraising done by THON members, usually consisting of soliciting donations at intersections and outside shopping centers across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Like Applegate, Hile takes part because of her mother and the children. Hile’s mother is a breast cancer survivor, and Hile calls her mother her best friend and “my rock.” 

“Being by her side throughout her journey made me really want to get involved. I know how much cancer can affect a family, but I also know how much it can bring one together.”

“I don’t want any other family to have to experience the hardships of cancer. I THON for all the people that I have known that have both won and lost their battles with cancer. I have truly known too many. I participate in THON so that no parent has to hear their child has cancer,” Hile said in an email.

Hile is not the only Middletown graduate who will be dancing on the floor. Penn State senior Matt Epply (Middletown Area High School Class of 2013) is also a dancer this year, for his fraternity, Sigma Nu. In his freshman year, Epply served as a member of the Rules and Regulations Committee and for his sophomore and junior years, he was the THON chairman for Sigma Nu.

According to Hile, dancers are chosen due to dedication to THON in years past and how much effort each candidate puts into THON throughout the year, not how much money is individually raised.

As dancers, Hile and Epply have been training to prepare for the 46-hour event and the effects that come with being on one’s feet for nearly two straight days. Both said they have been spending time in the gym, strengthening their cardiovascular systems, backs, legs and lower part of their bodies. Hile said she has been withholding caffeine, eating properly and loading on carbs, while Epply has eliminated alcohol and been attempting to make sure he gets eight hours of sleep a night, along with having a healthy diet.

Both Hile and Epply said being on the floor for the weekend is something they have anticipated for some time.

“I have always dreamed of being able to step foot on the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center as a dancer and on February 17th that dream comes true,” Hile said in an email.

“It’s been a goal of mine to be a dancer and have that experience that is truly once in a lifetime,” Epply said.

Matt Epply’s younger sister Lauren will be on the floor during the weekend as well, but she isn’t dancing. She is on the Dancer Relations Committee, which means she is tasked with watching and monitoring one specific dancer during the 46 hours. 

She will offer morale and support, bring snacks and drinks, and help her dancer stretch and constantly stay active.

With this being Matt’s senior year, and his last chance to not only be a dancer, but the siblings’ last chance to experience THON together, the impact wasn’t lost on either Epply.

“I look forward to spending that time with her,” Matt said, while Lauren said that the situation makes it “so much more special to me” to spend and share that time together with Matt.

Both Epplys, in separate interviews, stressed the idea that participating in THON means participating in something that’s larger than them.

“To be able to give back to them (the kids) is a great cause that I’m very proud to be a part of,” Matt said.

With the number of people involved with THON reaching over 16,000, the question of how THON brings so many together was asked and the cumulative answer pointed back to those most affected by the results: the children.

Seeing the total go up at the end of the 46 hours and knowing that you contributed to that is a feeling like no other, Hile said.

“THON has the capability to bring together anyone in the Penn State community because it’s something we all can agree. We all hate cancer. Like with any college, there are many controversial things that happen and go on. THON is not one of those things. I think the fact that it is entirely student-run really catches the eye of older generations. We’re not just here to go to class and have fun. We’re here to help and Ignite Hope Within,” Applegate said in an email.

“It’s cool to see our whole school come together,” Lauren Epply said. “We all want to help them.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 09:58

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23 Years Ago: Feb. 15, 2017

2 15 23 years agoOnly 5.8 Pounds To Go ­— The authorities say we eat 5.9 pounds of grapefruit each year. Jonathan Martz may change those statistics if he has anything to say about it. Don’t let the sour face fool you – the youngster really took a liking to the pink variety. February is National Grapefruit Month, so be sure to take your favorite grapefruit to lunch.


From the Wednesday, Feb. 16, 1994 edition of the Press And Journal


Some Residents Express Anger: Snow Crisis Forces Lower Swatara PD To Ticket Over 130 Vehicles

Lower Swatara Township police officers are looking forward to the warming trend in the weather predicted this week.

They’re hopeful that the warmer weather and the absence of new snowfalls will bring them some relief from writing tickets for illegally parked vehicles. Last week, Township officers were kept busy writing nearly 140 tickets for owners whose cars reportedly weren’t moved in time to allow municipal snowplows to open Township streets.

“Our officers issued more than 130 parking tickets last week,” Police Chief Richard Malwitz admitted on Monday.” About 115 were issued on Tuesday and the rest were issued following Thursday’s storm.”

The parking crackdown came in the wake of a decision by the Township Board of Commissioners to enforce municipal parking regulations established to deal with emergency situations. That decision reportedly angered more than a few Township residents, many of whom called the municipal offices to complain that their cars had been ticketed.

“Our regulations stipulate that owners must move their vehicles off the streets after a snow emergency has been declared,” said Franklin Linn Sr., president of the Township Board. “We owe it to our residents to make sure that our streets are open so fire apparatus and other emergency vehicles can get through to everyone. We aren’t trying to pick on anyone, but we have to get the job done.” 

Township officials allow residents a “reasonable period of time” to get their cars off the streets, Malwitz noted. Cars not removed within that period are then ticketed. He said residents were advised about the emergency situation on Tuesday through local radio and television stations. The emergency was declared at noon and residents were given until 6 p.m. to move their cars, but the Township didn’t start issuing tickets until after 7 p.m.


What? No Sour Pusses?

We were tempted to cheat. 

Maybe substitute lemon slices, squirt juice in their eyes, or soak the samples in the most mouth-curling vinegar we could find. But ethics demanded we play it straight.

Still, we were dumbfounded, kids gobbling up grapefruit, faces all aglow as though eating their favorite candy? Come on, where were the eye-squinting, tongue-protruding grimaces we had expected?

For sure, they weren’t to be found on 3-year-old twins Jonathan and Rebecca Martz, nor 2-year-old Lindsey Jenakovich and not 1-year-old Gregory Wilsbach. 

These four little tadpoles, all of them from Middletown, tore into the notoriously tart fruit like there was no tomorrow.

Was it a case of the winter hungries? A case of complying with Mommy-always-told-me-to-smile-for-a-camera? Or was it the promised cookies to come at the end of the experiment.

Even the gracious host of this unscientific taste test, Nancy Carbone of Fox’s Market, was amazed, replacing the quickly emptied plate of pink grapefruit with a plate of the white, mouth-puckering variety.

No luck. The little diehards gobbled that up with great gusto, too.

“I’m surprised – they won’t eat it for me,” said Carol Wilsbach, who after some intense interrogation revealed that the children had not had any morning snack prior to their appointed arrival at Fox’s.

“I tried it on Gregory a few days ago. I even put sugar on it and oh, the face he made. You should have seen it,” Carol said. [Sure, where was that face when we needed it, 

Carol? Okay, finally after 15 minutes of coaxing, we did manage to get a small pucker out of Jonathan].


Bids Open This Week For Highspire Borough Building

Highspire Borough Officials were scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon this week to open bids for the first phase of a proposed major project that will renovate and upgrade the community’s municipal building on Eshelman Street.

A total of seven contractors attended a pre-bid conference held at the Borough Building on Wed., Feb. 9 and expressed interest in bidding on the project, but, as of this past Tuesday morning, it was not known how many would actually submit bid proposals for the $350,000 building project.

“We sent bid invitations out to 12 contractors,” Borough Manager Cynthia Montgomery told Council. “Seven of them attended the conference, indicating that they intend to bid on the project. But the weather may have prevented others from attending the meeting, so it’s possible that we may receive more than seven bids.”

Montgomery said Council will probably review those bids at its regular meeting this week, but there was no indication whether Council would take formal action at that meeting to accept a bid or to award a contract for the proposed work.

However, Council did take action at its Feb. 9 workshop session to instruct Montgomery to arrange a meeting with citizens in the Cowtown district for Mon., March 7, to discuss the planned reconstruction of several streets in that neighborhood.

Streets targeted in the major project include Charles, Jury, Mummau and Wetzel streets and Mary and Bank avenues. Montgomery said residents on those streets will be invited to attend the March 7 meeting, but the meeting will be open to all residents in the Cowtown area.

The street’s named above are in Phase I of the major reconstruction project. That part of the project is expected to cost $133,410. Phase II, which will include all other streets in the Cowtown area, is expected to cost $107,870. Work on that phase of the project will be completed in 1995, Montgomery explained.


Crime Watch Programs Prove To Be More Than ‘Just The Facts, Ma’am’

Crime watch. Town watch. Community alert. Block or neighborhood watch. Call it what you will, the concept is the same: citizens actively helping police control crime in the community.

It is not a new idea, but according to one area police chief, it is an idea that has, and sometimes still is, met with strong resistance by those in uniform.

“Some departments still frown upon it. They have the attitude, ‘We’re the experts, you’re not. You’d only get in our way,’” said Elizabethtown Police Chief Robert Ardner.

That philosophy became the cornerstone of police operations all across the country, but Ardner maintains it is philosophy that no longer serves law enforcement well. 

“It has hurt police professionalism and increased the alienation the public feels toward police,” Ardner said. “Meanwhile, if we could do it (control crime) ourselves, would we have the soaring crime rates we have?” he asked.

As Ardner sees it the public-stay-out philosophy needs to change. Police need to welcome citizen involvement, to form partnerships with those they serve, Ardner said, adding that these partnerships can only occur if citizens are interested and are willing to make a long-term commitment.


Prices from 23 Years Ago

Cherry pie 24 oz., $3.19

Angel food cake 13 oz., $1.89

Red slicing tomatoes, 59¢/lb.

Verdelli spinach 10 oz. pkg., $1.29

Fox’s Own tuna salad, $3.79/lb.

Whole smoked picnic hams, 88¢/lb.

Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese 12 oz., 99¢

Imperial margarine 1 lb. qtrs., 2/$1

Bisquick 96 oz. box, $3.94

Betty Crocker Potato Buds 13.75 oz. box, $1.49

Broccoli spears 10 oz. pkg., 49¢

Temple oranges, 8 for $1

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:34

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