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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 1/29/19

MAHS grad becomes university president

A 1985 graduate of Middletown Area High School will be inaugurated as the fifth president of Philadelphia Biblical University on Feb. 7.

Todd Williams …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, edition of the Press & Journal


MAHS grad becomes university president

A 1985 graduate of Middletown Area High School will be inaugurated as the fifth president of Philadelphia Biblical University on Feb. 7.

Todd Williams previously served as the university’s senior vice president and provost and served on the university faculty after completing his graduate work and earning a doctorate from Temple University.

Williams grew up in Shope Gardens, then moved into the borough of Middletown. He attended Kunkel Elementary School, then Feaser Middle School, then the high school.

“I had a great experience at Middletown High School. I was very well prepared for college,” he told the Press & Journal on Monday as he anticipated the inauguration ceremony later in the week.

He said, “People are astonished at the things I learned in high school. I took Latin. Not very many schools, even back then, offered that.”

Williams said he never set out to become a university president but that it seemed a natural development as he followed the examples he was given.

“My parents set an example of community service,” he explained. “They were always involved.”

His father, Thomas Williams, died in 2006 and for years was part of Olmsted Recreation soccer. His mother, JoAnn Williams, lives in Elizabethtown.

Williams recalled that many of his teachers showed him the importance of citizenship.

School police officer post considered for MASD

Middletown Area School District students may see a new face in their school next year.

The school district and Lower Swatara Township are looking at a way to station a police officer in the school district without burdening the Lower Swatara Township Police Department.

The Lower Swatara Township commissioners agreed at their Jan. 16 meeting to start the process of applying for a grant that would place a specialized police officer — commonly referred to as a school resource officer — in buildings. The three-year grant, administered through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, would supply funds to the township to cover the costs of hiring a new officer.

Police Chief Richard Wiley said there is “absolutely" a need for a school resource officer.

“It's a good idea to have an officer in the school interacting with kids and building relationships,” he said.

District Superintendent Richard Weinstein agreed with Wiley.

“Any time we can protect our children, it is a smart move. That is No. 1,” Weinstein said.

The biggest advantage, according to Weinstein, is having someone in the building to respond to a crisis.

Huh? Jeep discovered in creek

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating why a Jeep Grand Cherokee was partially submerged in the Swatara Creek early on Feb. 1.

The Jeep was reported stolen from Wyoming Street, Royalton, in the early hours of Feb. 1, according to Troop H spokesman Trooper Karl Schmidhamer.

The Middletown Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call for a submerged vehicle shortly after 7:30 a.m.

“I found what I was looking for,” said one State Police officer pointing to shattered glass lying on the boat launch. “Somebody [has] some explaining to do.”

Middletown Volunteer Fire Department rescue divers Capt. Harry Cleland Jr. and Capt. Ken Whitebread, paddled 30 yards into the frigid water to check the vehicle for victims, but found none, according to the MVFD's website.

The divers assisted Dailey's Gulf by hooking chains to the Jeep so the tow truck could pull the vehicle out. Crews were on the scene for about an hour and a half.

Youth create Future City, take prize for work

The city of the future is at MAMS.

Four Middletown Area Middle School students combined their skills and talents to win third place in the National Engineers Week Future City Contest hosted by the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg. Under guidance from their teacher, Jody Weinrich, four students; Aaron Gambini, Tim Krepps, Damien McClure, and Daniel Reese, successfully completed the project and presented it to judges on Saturday, Jan. 12.

“Our presentation kicked butt,” said Gambini, when asked how the group’s project stacked up to the competition.

The students were graded on four criteria: an essay on nanotechnology, a digital design of their city, a 3-D city model, and an oral presentation.

As a group, the four students spent almost five months on the project, working after school and sometimes during class. The boys wanted to emphasize that the model and their display board were decorated and constructed with recycled materials.

Their city’s main theme was recycling. The boys agreed the best part of the project was that they “got to be really creative.”

One of their more innovative approaches was the use of pinecones to make houses.

“No one could tell what they were, but they were creative,” Gambini said.

Another big plus was the $1,000 prize the project garnered, to be used for classroom equipment.

Hot buys

• Roses, boutique special, starting at $12.50 and up, cash and carry. Blooming plants, $10 and up, cash and carry. The Flower Pot Boutique, 1191 Eisenhower Blvd.

• Sale, one month only, February, 100 percent digital hearing aids, $749. “Call us ear responsible.” Jere K. Dunkleberger Hearing Aids, 112 E. Main St., Hummelstown.

• Sliced bacon, $3.09 a pound. Whole delmonico steaks, $5.98 a pound. Pork roasts, $1.99 a pound. Groff’s Meats, 33 N. Market St., Elizabethtown.

Other headlines

• Township to park owner: Tidy up

• Loss marks end of season for Raiders’ boys basketball

• Lower Swatara Fire Department moves into new home

• LD students take 3rd in state, 26th in nation

• Police seek driver who busted up Vine Street fence