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23 Years Ago: Jan. 25, 2017

23 years ago 0125Gotta Keep A Sense Of Humor – It’s good to know that at least one snow remover from Middletown kept his or her sense of humor while moving the white stuff from one place to another. Or could this be a neighbor that tried to swipe a shoveled out parking space?


From the Wednesday, Jan. 26, 1994 edition of the Press And Journal


Workers Save Jednota Printery Roof

 A small platoon of workmen laboring in bitter cold weather last Thursday and Friday managed to save the roof of the Jednota Printery building in Lower Swatara Township, but roofs on several other industrial and commercial buildings in the area collapsed under the accumulating weight of melting snow and ice.

 A crew of about 15 workmen with snow blowers and shovels spent a total of 17 hours in frigid temperatures removing an estimated 75 tons of snow from the roof of Jednota’s Printery building on Rosedale Avenue. Meanwhile, most of the plant’s 23 employees had to be evacuated from the building because of management’s concern that the roof was in danger of collapsing. 

 Joseph Krajsa, plant manager, said he and other members of the staff found wall cracks and sagging ceiling tiles early last Tuesday that led them to conclude that the roof of the 28,000-square-foot building was in danger of collapsing.

 “It appeared to us that something would have to be done quickly if we hoped to save the roof,” Krajsa related. “The problem was that we weren’t quite sure how to proceed.”

 Krajsa said a structural engineer called in to examine the roof confirmed those fears. He concluded that the roof would probably fail unless some of the estimated 75 tons of snow and ice was removed as soon as possible.

 Krajsa said he immediately called Shane Contracting Company and Rich Hoffman, both Middletown area contractors. Workmen with the two firms labored nine hours on Thursday and another eight hours on Friday in the bone chilling cold that ranged from 1 degree below zero to 13 degrees above zero before the engineer declared that the roof was no longer in danger of collapsing.


NO More Snow!!

 Take two aspirins, go to bed and set the alarm for spring. That is probably what many municipal workers and officials would like to do. Plus, pray that there is NO MORE SNOW!

 Certainly, those on the receiving end of local government services, citizens, have their share of “snowstorm” headaches – digging out cars, dealing with frozen water pipes and deactivating “no-school ecstatic” children.

 But what about those on the providing end of services? What have their headaches been like?

 Last Wednesday the snow removal began in many area municipalities. “It will continue until emergency routes are cleared,” said Middletown Council President Barbara Layne.

 Layne reported fire trucks were out in Middletown, but not for fires, rather to ask via loudspeakers, residents and businesses to cut back their electrical power usage.

 According to Middletown electrical supervisor Tom Hanley, within four hours usage dropped about nine percent and was still below the pre-storm usage as of Friday. “The community is to be commended,” Layne said.

 The phones lit up like fireworks. Layne said she and Councilwoman Nancy Taxweiler helped field calls coming into the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Wednesday.

 On Tuesday, Middletown had declared the Borough to be in a state of emergency, prohibiting all motor vehicle travel so snow plowing could proceed uninterrupted. The emergency was lifted Wednesday.


 Lower Swatara Seeks Stipulations For Land Development

 With much of the mid-state tied up in knots by the onslaught of the arctic-like conditions of the past week, the Lower Swatara Township Board of Commissioners also found itself frozen regarding a project that could add 350 to 500 jobs to the area.

 Before the Board at its meeting last week was the land development plan of Watkins Motor Lines for a 30-acre site located along North Union Street north of Fulling Mill Road. The plan, prepared by Benatee Associates, was recommended for approval by the Township’s Planning Commission on December 16, 1993 with stipulations.

 It was the Planning Commission’s stipulations that proved to be the sticking points for the Board that ended in a 2-2-deadlock vote on the plan. The Board did not want to set a precedent for other developers, while Watkins contended that most of the stipulations had been addressed.

 In August, the Board first heard of the proposed truck terminal that could eventually lead to the creation of 350 to 500 jobs in the Township. Lance R. Collins, director of real estate for Watkins Motor Lines, Inc., led a team presentation before the Township officials.

 At the August meeting, Collins estimated that a tax base between $6 million and $7 million would be created if the terminal becomes a reality. He also added it would be attractive to manufacturers and distribution facilities in addition to providing improved service to local businesses and consumers.

 In November, the Board approved the preliminary final subdivision of the land for the proposed terminal located along N. Union St., 800 feet north of the intersection with Fulling Mill Road. The plan was approved with stipulations that included the conditional approval of a planning module by the state Department of Environmental Resources (DER).


Prices From 23 Years Ago

Country Swiss Cheese, $3.59/lb.

Fox’s Chicken Pot Pie, 99¢/lb.

Dannon Vanilla Yogurt 32 oz, 2/$3

French Bread 19 oz., 89¢

Peanut Butter Iced Cinnamon Buns, 6 ct., $1.89

Veal Chops, $2.49/lb.

Jumbo Roasted Peanuts, $1.39/lb.

Snow White Mushrooms 12 oz. pkg., $1.29

Weaver Buffalo Wings 18 oz. pkg., $3.15

J&J Pretzels 14 oz. pkg., $1.25

Super Bowl Cakes, $3.99/each

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 21:05

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Penn State pair honored for helping lost veteran from Frey Village

PSU Vet honor 4Krystal Huber, left, and Amanda Blaugher, right, were presented with Certificates of Advocacy by Margaret Wilson of the Lebanon VA Medical Center for their actions involving a lost veteran in November 2016.


Amanda Blaugher and Krystal Huber recently were recognized for their actions to aid a lost veteran on the Penn State Harrisburg campus in November 2016.

Huber, a resident assistant, was on duty in Juniata Hall, a freshmen-only dorm, when students reported an elderly man attempting to enter the building via an emergency-exit door at about 6 p.m. Nov. 5. Huber examined the situation, found the gentleman still at the door, and proceeded to contact Blaugher. 

“It was a little scary that someone, not a student, was trying to get into the building,” Huber said.

Blaugher, the assistant director of residence life, notified campus police, who arrived and defused the situation. According to both Huber and Blaugher, a Silver Alert had been issued earlier in the evening for an elderly man named Michael Reap who had wandered away from Frey Village Retirement Center, but they were unaware of the Silver Alert. A Silver Alert is a public notification system used to alert of a missing person, usually elderly, who is inflicted with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other mental disabilities.

The officer was able to figure out the situation, identified Reap, and calmly kept him there until reinforcements could arrive. Both women described Reap as “confused” but polite and cordial and cooperative. Frey Village Retirement Center is not far from Penn State Harrisburg, and because the center and Juniata Hall look similar, the women understand how Reap could have become confused about his location.

“We just did what we’re supposed to do,” Blaugher said.

It wasn’t until after the incident that they realized who they had been dealing with. They were contacted by the Lebanon VA Medical Center and told of Reap’s veteran status and because of Reap’s being a veteran, the VA wished to recognize their efforts to help Reap.

They were honored because the VA “recognized two ladies who did the right thing when they could’ve just walked past and not stopped to help,” according to VA spokesman Doug Etter.

Margaret Wilson, acting director of Lebanon VA Medical Center, presented Blaugher and Huber with Certificates of Advocacy, which surprised both of them when it was announced what the VA wanted to do.

“I feel honored we were able to help him,” Huber said.

“We got him back to where he needs to be and that was the most important part,” Blaugher said. “I’m happy that we were able to do something extra good.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 19:07

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23 Years Ago: Jan. 18, 2017

1 18 23 yearsFox’s ‘Save And Share’ Comes Through — Bill Fox (left), vice president of Fox’s Markets, recently presented a “Save and Share” rebate check to Rev. Tom Sanagorski (right) of Geyers United Methodist Church, Londonderry Township. The money was raised by members of the church and other local residents to assist with the medical bills of Tom’s wife Linda, who is still recovering from an October 1992 vehicle accident. The “Save and Share” program, launched by Fox’s Markets last year, raises money for organizations by providing a 1 percent cash rebate on register receipts that are saved by customers and then redeemed at the store.

From The Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1994 Edition Of The Press And Journal


Local Companies Fighting Recession, Still Treating Customers As Number 1

 If you think you’ve been having a tough go of it lately, managing a household during our country’s latest economic recession, imagine what it must be like to run a business – and to keep your head above water while doing so.

 While most of the following business owners and managers express optimism about profit and sales in 1994, they prove that nurturing a positive outlook and gritty determination factor as strongly as luck in the road to success – along with treating customers right.

 Service is Everything: Middletown is the home base of Fox’s Markets, which also houses stores in Hershey, the Point Mall and Cedar Cliff. The store’s edge against larger supermarket chains appears to be a friendly, personal attitude that its staff transmits toward customers. “We offer good service, quality and freshness,” described Bill Fox, president of Fox’s Markets.

 Chuck Kray, part owner and president of Rhoads’ Pharmacies, echoes Fox’s thoughts about providing quality and personal service to customers as a cutting edge against larger competitors. “Some people might only be price conscious, but we will not compromise our service,” he said. Like many larger drug stores and supermarkets, the stores now carry a generic-type line of products to compete against higher-priced name brands.

 Tight Economy Beneficial?: In some ways a tight economy can be beneficial for Carter Lumber Elizabethtown, according to Jeff Flowers, the 12-year store manager. “There is an increase in business when the economy gets tight,” he noted. “We have a lot more do-it-yourselfers who come to buy supplies.” Carter has only one local competitor, which helps business. It also hasn’t hurt that during the past two or three years, 500 new homes have been built within a two-mile radius of the store.


Borough Offer Rejected Jan. 5 M-town, Union Still Negotiating

 The current contract expired Oct. 1. However, some three and one-half months later, a new contract reportedly has yet to be ironed out between non-uniform personnel and Middletown Borough.

 “We have had a number of negotiating sessions where no agreement was reached. Things are now currently in mediation,” said Kathryn Speaker MacNett, the Borough’s legal representative in this matter.

 MacNett, of a Harrisburg law firm, explained that mediation is the customary next level in any negotiating process when, after a given timetable, no agreement has been reached.

 Until a settlement is reached, the non-uniform employees are working under an extension of the three-year contract that expired Oct. 1, that being agreed to by both parties, said MacNett.

 According to Borough officials, the employees, who are represented by the Teamsters, rejected an offer put forth by the Borough at a meeting on Jan. 5. That rejection left some on the offering side disappointed.

 “Quite candidly, I believe the Borough put its best offer forward and I’m a little disheartened by the rejection,” said Council President Barbara Layne. “I think the benefit package they (the employees) currently have is a very good one, and based on existing economic conditions, I feel the offer we’ve made is the best that can be made.”

 Stressing that details of the offer cannot be discussed at this time, Layne did state that the Borough is not asking for any concessions.

 “We’re not taking back anything. We’re simply attempting to be fiscally responsible, to hold the line,” Layne said.


Retired Highspire Councilwoman Once Served As Steel-High Nurse

 She served 32 years as a school nurse in the Steelton-Highspire School District and another 20 years as a member of Highspire Borough Council. And, as if that weren’t enough, she candidly admits she’d do it all over again, if she had the chance.

 “I really mean it,” Joanne Kern declares. “I have no regrets. I enjoyed what I did and the people I met in each of my careers, if you can call them that. I think I’m very lucky to have known so many fine people. They made all my efforts worthwhile.”

 She left hospital work in 1955 to take a school nursing position with the district. There she stayed for the next 32 years.

 Nursing wasn’t Kern’s only undertaking. Thirteen years before she retired as a school nurse, she decided to get more involved in her community’s affairs. So she ran for a seat on Highspire Borough Council and won, becoming the first woman ever to serve on that panel.

 Kern was elected to five successive terms on Council and, until she retired from the position at the end of last year, she had racked up a total of 20 years as a Councilwoman. And, as with her nursing career, she says she never regretted the time she gave to her community in that capacity. Even when, as happened on two occasions, she found herself the lone Republican on a Council dominated by Democrats.

 “There were times it got a little rough,” Kern recalls, “but I stuck it out. It didn’t always make me popular, but I tried to do what I thought my supporters wanted. They always re-elected me, so I guess I did something right.” 


Prices From 23 Years Ago

Lipton Onion Soup Mix 2 oz., 79¢

Broccoli Cuts 16 oz. bag, 99¢

Onion Pizza Rolls 2 ct., $1.49

Pillsbury Cake Mix 18.5 oz., box 79¢

Glad Sandwich Bags 150 ct., 99¢

Mild Provolone, $3.77/lb.

Quaker Oats 42 oz. pkg., $1.99

Grillmaster Franks 1 lb. pkg., 98¢

Suave Deodorant 1.75 oz., $1.29

Vibrance Shampoo 15 oz. btl., $2.79

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 14:00

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Get free tax preparation at Middletown library

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Free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income people and families will be offered at Middletown Public Library every Monday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. starting Jan. 30. 

The service will continue to be offered on Monday nights at the library until April 17. People will be assisted first-come first-served by volunteers certified by the Internal Revenue Service.

Free tax preparation is available to those with an annual yearly income of $54,000 or less. 

To have your taxes prepared at the library, you need to bring the following:

• Valid photo identification (driver’s license, military ID, etc.) for taxpayer and spouse.

• Original Social Security card or individual Taxpayer Identification Number for you, your spouse, your children, and other dependents included in your tax return.

• Your current IP PIN number issued by the IRS (if you have one).

• Copies of all year-end tax forms you have received in the mail.

• If you received health care from the marketplace, bring your 1095-A.

You should also bring the following if it is available:

• Previous year’s federal and state tax returns.

• If you want to have your refund deposited directly into your checking or savings account, bring a blank check or other documentation from your bank/credit union showing your account number and the routing transit number.

• If you expect to claim a credit for child or dependent care, bring the child care provider's address and Employer Identification Number or their Social Security number. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 16:23

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Martin Luther King Jr. drama at Penn State Harrisburg

Cassandra Porter   RivetedCassandra Porter heads the cast of “Riveted,” to be performed at Penn State Harrisburg.

For 19 years, Penn State Harrisburg and PenOwl Productions Theatre Company have collaborated to produce a dramatic presentation to commemorate the campus-wide celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King national holiday. 

Here is a synopsis of this year’s production, “Riveted”: Four African-American women work for the defense industries in World War II while working on their lives. Husbands must be cared for, children tended to, housework done, and the world protected. That doesn’t leave much time for personal reflection. Yet these women do, what women have always done, find a natural balance and form a bond of sisterhood. 

The play was written by Dr. Dorothy E. King, Penn State Harrisburg assistant professor of sociology. Cassandra Porter heads the cast.

“Riveted” will be performed at noon Monday, Jan. 16 and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 in the Capital Union Building of Penn State Harrisburg. It is free and open to the public.

For more information and to make a reservation, call 717-948-6300.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:50

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