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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 11/21/18

Council chooses Mull for manager

Middletown Borough Council has hired Ronald Mull, a former manager of Lower Allen Township, as its new borough manager at a salary of $77,500 a year.

Mull, of …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010, edition of the Press & Journal


Council chooses Mull for manager

Middletown Borough Council has hired Ronald Mull, a former manager of Lower Allen Township, as its new borough manager at a salary of $77,500 a year.

Mull, of Fairview Township, was chosen from three finalists who sought the job. He was hired on a 5-4 vote by council on Tuesday, Nov. 16, with councilors Diana McGlone, Sandra Nagle, Joseph Dailey, Michael Anthony and Scott Sites voting for him. Councilors Mary Hiester, Robert Louer, David Rhen and Barbara Arnold voted against his hiring.

Mull, seated in the audience during council’s vote, kissed his wife after winning the job. He took office on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

“He meets the skills as far as marketing, working with developers, working with business leaders,’’ said McGlone, council’s president. “He shares the vision I have for the town’s economic growth and stability.’’

She lamented the close vote, suggesting that it signaled more than just a difference of opinion as to who could best run the borough. “It’s very unfortunate that what we’re seeing now from council members is the unwillingness to cooperate, and to reason, and to compromise,’’ she said.

But to Louer, it was simply a matter of casting a vote for who you thought could do the best job — or against the candidate who you favored least.

Councilors interviewed Mull and two other finalists: William Clark, a former manager of Silver Spring Township, and Al Grindstaff, a former manager of Jasper, Texas. Mull was not his first choice.

“When you’d ask him a question, it would be an unending answer — it would go round and round and round,’’ said Louer. “He sounded like an attorney.’’

Mull, who also worked for the state treasurer in the treasury’s unclaimed property department, said he wanted the job because he has “a passion for local government.’’ “I enjoy building things — and working with the community and its assets, which are the people of the community,’’ said Mull. “In Middletown, it’s a proud community that I have watched, and know.’’

Council voted to extend the amount of time that Mull has to move into the borough to 15 months, giving him more time in a sluggish economy to buy a house in Middletown and sell his house in Fairview Township.

Mull would receive three months’ pay as severance if he is fired without cause, according to an employment agreement between him and council.

Mull is a soccer referee and former soccer coach at Trinity High School. His wife, Terry, is the coach of the girls’ soccer team at the school. The Mulls have five children, four of whom played soccer in college.

He served as Lower Allen’s manager for 12 years. He’s also worked as a senior consultant for a Virginia company.

Artist’s ‘can do’ spirit helps create mural honoring military at TMI

Who knew that Bradley Schmehl’s painting talent and fascination with military subjects would get one of his works in, of all places, Three Mile Island?

That’s where he has created his first mural — on a wall in TMI’s Main Access Facility, a place where employees enter daily to get to their jobs at the nuclear power plant.

The plant’s owner, Exelon, wanted a mural of the military because nearly half of its 650 workers are veterans. Schmehl, a York painter whose specialty is paintings of Civil War scenes, asked for the job. His creation was unveiled on Veteran’s Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, to plant workers and officials.

“We’re kind of risk takers — we jump in and say, ‘We can do this,’ ” said Rebecca Schmehl, the artist’s wife, a designer who helped design the mural.

Bradley Schmehl began painting in July with oil on canvas. He used photography to blow up the images on his original painting and project them onto the wall, a method that kept the cost lower and would save money in maintaining the mural in the future.

Schmehl is best known locally for his paintings of Civil War scenes — his works can be found at the American Civil War Museum, a wax museum in Gettysburg, and on several Internet sites on the war.

The military has captivated him since childhood. While other boys were fascinated by the fantasy of superheroes, Schmehl admired the style of military gadgets — “the hardware, its innovation, its design,” he said. He was struck by the people in the military, their commitment in the face of conflict pitting one human against another.

“War is one of the most extreme of human activities,” said Schmehl. “Human life is on the line. Huge things are at stake. There’s something compelling about it. Not because of killing. It’s the people who are in it.”

The browns of sandy battlefields, the khaki of the Army, the sleekness of Air Force planes are all captured in Schmehl’s work. And one touch of red: An American flag flying over TMI.

His biggest challenge was painting water, its translucence, the shape of waves and wakes. He practiced painting water until he was satisfied.

“It’s really important you get the tone and the edge,” said Schmehl, who studied art at schools in York and Lancaster. “Once the colors are mixed, I have to pay attention to how the edges of the shapes appear.”

Fortunately, oils are “a very forgiving medium,” he said.

The smaller original oil from which the mural is taken will be put up for sale, said Schmehl. The price: $15,000.

Raiders hang on for second ice hockey win

Ryan James’ goal off the stick of defenseman Dylan Grim with 21 seconds left led the Middletown Blue Raiders ice hockey team to a 6-5 win over Tier III opponent Conestoga Valley on Nov. 15, at Lancaster Ice Rink.

“We won the face-off in our zone late, and worked the puck around,” said Grim, a junior.

“I just threw it in front of the net, and Ryan buried it. It was a good win.”

For Grim, it was his second assist of the night, his first coming on Quincy Dukes’ second period goal that gave Middletown a 2-0 lead.

The start was good for the Blue Raiders, who, with goals from Ben Hoerner, Dukes, Cody Spitler, and James, gave Middletown a commanding 4-0 lead with 14:17 to play in the third period.

But then, the wheels came off, just slightly, for the experienced Middletown side.

Fred Monkman and Nick Sama scored unassisted goals just seven seconds apart, at the 10:14 and 10:07 mark, and all of a sudden the game was back in reach for the hosts. Joe Jaskot’s goal, a slap shot off a Monkman pass, put Conestoga Valley down just a goal with 4:13 to play.

Bomb threat at MAHS

Lower Swatara Township police investigated a bomb threat at the Middletown Area High School on Nov. 9.

The school’s principal, Patrick Hruz, contacted police shortly before noon to report a student found a message — “11/9/10 @ 1:00 bomb goes off” — written on a bathroom wall. The student had alerted a teacher about the message.

Police said the message was written with a marker on the wall of a stall in a men’s bathroom on the school’s second floor.

Both school district personnel and investigators followed prescribed procedures regarding the incident.

Hot buys

• Seagram’s variety pack, $26.99. Milwaukee’s Best, $14.49 for a 30-pack. Tony’s Beverage, 100 Brown St., Middletown.

• Two subs, 15 wins, 2-liter soda, $14.99. Two large pizzas, one topping, $13.99. Salvatore’s Pizzeria, 955 Eisenhower Blvd., Harrisburg.

• Christmas trees starting at $22 and up. Fresh wreaths, roping, boxwood trees. The Flower Pot Boutique, 1191 Eisenhower Blvd., Middletown.

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