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From the Vault: News from the Thursday, Nov. 8, 1962, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 9/4/19

School system delays action on merger of Middletown and Steelton-Highspire

Outcome of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election provoked a delaying action Monday night on the part of Middletown Area …

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From the Vault: News from the Thursday, Nov. 8, 1962, edition of the Press & Journal


School system delays action on merger of Middletown and Steelton-Highspire

Outcome of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election provoked a delaying action Monday night on the part of Middletown Area School System directors as they weighed a decision on whether to vote on a merged school district.

A substantial increase in state subsidy would be made to the area system under the merged district organization concept.

Harry Bretz, board president, said that if William Scranton became governor in Tuesday’s election, it was possible that significant changes would be made in the controversial reorganization law. As now proposed under the Dauphin County plan of redistricting, Middletown Area School System would be merged with Steelton-Highspire.

The proposal is being considered because a sizable increase in state school funds would begin in July 1963. Under state reorganization, such funding would not be forthcoming until July 1965 — if at all. In order to qualify for the increased subsidy and to conform with the timetable established, the area school directors will be required to vote on the matter at its December session. Redistricting or not, Middletown directors are not waiting to act on matters affecting the major construction program, which will total some $5 million when completed.

At Monday night’s regular session, directors were informed that state approval has been received to use a portion of the Feaser School tract as a site for another elementary school.

Superintendent George W. Feaser reported receipt of a letter from the State Highway Department which indicated that Route 22017 in Lower Swatara Township will be widened and improved as part of the department’s 1962-63 road program.

Solicitor Paul E. Clouser reported receipt of a letter from the president of Slovak Union in reference to a prior query on the possible purchase of a tract of land opposite the Olmsted Plaza as a site for a future additional elementary school in Lower Swatara Township. Because the price for the plot is considered prohibitive, the site committee was requested to search for additional sites for the school.

War Memorial group reactivated over concerns for land encroachment

Growing concern over the continual encroachment of Memorial Field for construction of new school facilities has prompted Middletown War Memorial Inc., to reactivate its organization.

An executive session held Monday night at the home of Francis Douglass resulted in the election of Edgar L. Nuskey as president.

The committee members also filled vacancies which have occurred in recent years.

It was the consensus of committee members present that the spirit and intent for which Memorial Field was created is being ignored. The baseball field, one of the finest in the Central Pennsylvania area, is being obliterated to make room for the junior high annex to the Feaser School. This will not only deprive the community of sandlot and junior baseball programs, but will also force the scholastic baseball team to use out-of-town fields.

War Memorial Committee members feel the tendency to continually “take away” needed recreation areas for new school buildings violates the intent of many citizens who contributed the greatest amount of money ever collected in Middletown to create a living memorial for the men and women of Middletown who served in two world wars.

After World War II, the citizens of Middletown united to assist in the development of a new field to honor its veterans in cooperation with school officials. Today, the football field is the only segment of the large tract remaining. A new elementary school will take another major portion of the tract.

$200,000 Big ‘M’ expansion completed

After five years of continuous service to the public, the Middletown Merchandise Mart is completing its first major expansion.

Located along Route 230, between Middletown and Elizabethtown, the Big “M” has spent over $200,000 in comfort modernization and will provide a wider selection of bargains for thrifty shoppers.

The new 1,000-square-foot plate-glass front is trimmed in natural stone and aluminum combined with and accented by huge modern colored panels to form the main entrance to the area's largest one-stop discount shopping center.

Directly inside the futuristic facade is located a pleasant and spacious snack bar where patrons may enjoy lunch or a cup of coffee. The entire area will be electronically heated and the entire 117,000 square feet will be air conditioned for comfortable shopping during the hot summer months.

When construction is completed, the mammoth shopping center will house 87 new and expanded departments, stocked with over 400,000 items and services. Many new additions and innovations are planned for the future — the first, to usher in this new era is a startling series of promotional activities, including a giant 38-hour “Sell-o-thon” commencing Friday morning, Nov. 16, at 10 o’clock and continuing through Saturday midnight.

Officials at the Mart said arrangements are being made to have well-known radio and television stars as well as sports figures present to meet the public.

Hummelstown boy drowns after crash

A 14-year-old Hummelstown boy is dead as a result of an accident in which he and an older sister were hurled Thursday evening into Swatara Creek, a drop of 70 feet, from a crashing automobile on Route 422, near Hummelstown.

Michael Vanasco, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Vanasco, of Hummelstown RD 3, drowned. Sister Marjorie, 16, who was driving, was found clinging to a log on the bank of the creek. She remains in critical condition at Harrisburg Hospital. They were returning from a Hershey Halloween parade.

Hot buys

• Women’s wool-lined capris, $2.66 a pair. Chocolate-covered peanuts, 47 cents a pound. Kresge’s, Olmsted Plaza.

• Flameless electric 12-pound capacity automatic dryer, GE, $128. GE washer special, $169.88. Middletown Supply Co., 626 N. Union St.

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