PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Dec. 22, 1999, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 12/21/18

Police: Bomb arrests pending

Arrests are imminent in incidents involving pressure bombs throughout Lower Swatara Township and Middletown Borough, according to township police.

Police said that …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Dec. 22, 1999, edition of the Press & Journal


Police: Bomb arrests pending

Arrests are imminent in incidents involving pressure bombs throughout Lower Swatara Township and Middletown Borough, according to township police.

Police said that three Middletown Area High School students will face juvenile allegations of reckless endangerment, conspiracy, making false reports to police officers and disorderly conduct.

The students’ names and addresses were not released by police. However, they were all described as 17-year-old boys and seniors at the high school.

Police have not disclosed when the allegations will be sent to Dauphin County Juvenile Court, but they relate to seven incidents in Lower Swatara and Middletown dating back to November.

Five Lower Swatara homeowners found pressure bombs — each made up of a plastic two-liter soda bottle filled with an acidic substance — on their properties between Nov. 28 and Dec. 2.

One Middletown homeowner found bombs on his property on two occasions, on Nov. 28 and Dec. 2. No injuries were reported.

Lower Swatara police said the bombs were “part of a pranking incident involving one set of students having problems with another set.” The people who found bombs in their yard were targeted by the juveniles, police allege.

Aspiring actor from Middletown extra in Travolta movie

For Ian Walters, a 1995 graduate of Middletown Area High School, the filming of the movie “Numbers” in the Harrisburg area could not have at a better time.

He was able to get a small part in the Hollywood production just weeks before he graduates from Dickinson College and heads out to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

Walters, who is majoring in dramatic arts with a focus on acting and directing, took advantage of an open casting call for extras in “Numbers.” He explained that he went to the location where he and about 2,000 other hopefuls were herded into a room. Walters, unlike many others, brought with him a photo and resume, which he gave to one of the film production staff.

He noted he left and forgot about it, but two weeks later he was called and told to report to a place in Wormleysburg on Nov. 12. There, he was fitted for clothes from the mid- to late 1980s era, the time in which the movie is set.

Fitted with his period clothing, Walters reported to the filming of his scene Nov. 23. He had to report at 6 a.m. that day at the nearby Holiday Inn where the film crew had set up. It was filmed at a restaurant on the Carlisle Pike and involved Walters getting out of the restaurant as John Travolta pulls up, gets out of his car, and walks into the restaurant.

In the particular scene Walters was in, he was the only extra on the set.

“It was pretty neat because it was just myself and John Travolta that were in it,” he said. “[But] we don't really interact on screen.”

Walters was impressed by the efficiency of the film crew, which did six of six takes of the 15-second shot in a short time. He explained that he was paid $50 for that day, which is the rate for someone not in the Screen Actors Guild.

In addition to receiving first-hand experience in the making of a feature film, Walters got to meet Travolta.

“He’s really a nice guy,” Walters said of the actor. “Actually, very friendly. When I shook his hand, I told him I looked forward to working with him soon, and he said. ‘I hope so.’”

Walters said he knew he wanted to be an actor in his freshman year at Dickinson.

"I felt I needed some artistic outlet,” he said. “I took my first acting class and it just clicked.”

He has been in three main stage productions at Dickinson and in 1997 was in a special program with four actors who performed two shows in Berlin. In 1998, he worked for three days in a short film directed by a graduate of NYU Film School and helped behind the scenes.

“I got some hands-on experience I wouldn't have had otherwise,” he said.

The day after Christmas, Walters will begin his drive out to L.A. as so many aspiring actors do. He plans to share an apartment with a friend who is a graduate of Dickinson and is working as a researcher with the Directors Guild of America.

Walters hopes to get a job connected with the film industry as he sharpens his acting skills. “Primarily, what I want to do is become a good actor,” he said. “For now, I really think I want to pursue film.”

He will take acting classes in the evening, go to numerous film auditions, and send out photos and resumes to film agents. He acknowledges that in order to make it in Hollywood it will probably take years of dedication and sacrifice.

“Ten years from now I’d like to he a working actor,” he said.

Friend gives kidney to toddler born with one

Lindsay Truesdale romps around her home on Theodore Avenue in Lower Swatara Township, giggling and teasing her 4-year-old big brother, Jared. She’s a lively, mischievous little lady of 2 1/2 years, and she’s doing everything much better and faster than she could just a couple of months ago.

That’s because a desperate search for a healthy kidney for the child who had been born with just one — and that one weak and defective — was found in Middletown in a coincidence doctors have said defies all the odds.

Lindsay is the daughter of Ramie and Jody Truesdale. The small, vivacious woman who had been a longtime working colleague of Jody’s and who insisted on being tested as a potential kidney donor because she shares Lindsay’s blood type is Barbara Simms, 37, of Deatrich Avenue.

Simms and the Truesdales are in the record books at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in a very special way. Just about a year ago, local residents were contributing to a fund drive for the Truesdales to help meet Lindsay’s hefty medical bills while a donor search was pressed. Because of the child’s fragile condition, she was fed by tube, was constantly sick and listless, and Jody wore a pager 24 hours a day so that she could be notified as soon as a donor was found. If a donor could be found.

The first major stumbling block was immediate elimination of both Ramie and Jody as potential donors. They couldn’t pass the first requirement, that their blood types matched Lindsay’s. Reading about the fund drive and the family’s plight in the Press & Journal, Simms called the Truesdales. She is an insurance claims processor now, but had worked as a medical secretary at the Family Medicine Center in Middletown, where Jody is on staff. It was there that the two women became well acquainted.

So when Barbara placed that phone call, she already knew her blood type matched Lindsay’s. Maybe —just maybe — she could be a kidney match, too.

Recalling the phone conversation, she says, “I had to talk just as hard and fast as ever I could for about two hours before I wore Jody own. She didn’t think it would work out, but more than that, she just couldn’t understand how someone not at all related could even want to consider such a thing.

“Me, I just wanted a chance to get fully tested. And if I could help that little girl, if it turned out that way, why, of course, I had no hesitation at all that I wanted to do it and would do it.”

So, she obtained the necessary applications and the results came back in just six days —and just about everyone concerned was in a state of disbelief. Not only did Simms’ kidneys match Lindsay’s, but three of the six antigens were an absolute match.

Hot buys

• Holiday Y2K sale, $2 off any case of beer purchased. Over 150 items to choose. Corby’s Beverage, 209 E. Main St., Middletown.

• After Christmas sale starts Dec. 24. All seasonal merchandise 50 percent off. Rhoads Hallmark & Gift Shop, 2 S. Union St., Middletown.

• New 2000 Chevy Cavalier, $199 down, $199 a month, 36 month, 36,000 mile lease. New 2000 S10 pickup, $11,395. New 1999 Tracker convertible, $11,495. Sutliff, 13th and Paxton streets, Harrisburg.

Other headlines

• Pharmacists: Y2K glitch won’t affect supply of medication

• Company gets OK for Londonderry cell tower

• Newcomers change direction of Middletown school board