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Linglestown Gazette: August 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

CD buses roll to start school year

The first day of the new school year dawned today with Central Dauphin buses making their appointed stops. Behind the scenes, however, bus drivers and school officials are involved in a tense battle over outsourcing of student transportation services. Below are updates on the controversy:

* The bus drivers’ unfair labor practice complaint is being heard by a state labor official.

* The Patriot-News reveals why three school board members missed the August 10 meeting when outsourcing was approved by a 5–1 vote.

* The Paxton Herald last week refused to publish a help wanted ad submitted by Durham School Services, the Chicago-based company that is supposed to provide bus services. Why? Because Durham still does not have a contract with the district.

Other updates:

* The school board sets stage to sell an investment plan if the price is right.

* Region 3 school board candidate Melissa Van Eck has published a newsletter. (Region 3 covers Linglestown, Colonial Park, Paxtonia and West Hanover Twp.)


Sunday, August 30, 2009

LP supervisors approve alley upgrade

Lower Paxton Twp. supervisors took steps toward converting a sometimes pothole-riddled alley into a paved road during their last business meeting on August 18. CLICK HERE for meetings notes courtesy of community watchdog group SWAN.

Speaking of SWAN, the group will hold its monthly meeting Monday, August 31, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1100 Colonial Road, 7 pm. The public is encouraged to attend.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Linglestown blogger discovered

Jeff Wadsworth, who lives a stone's throw away from the Gazette newsroom, has been blogging about his experiences as a member of the Harrisburg Senator's grounds crew.

Backyard news, 08.28.09

* Work has begun on a four-bay car wash in Linglestown on N. Mountain Road next to First National Bank of Marysville. Lower Paxton Twp.-based Triple Crown Corporation is behind the project. The property was previously used for a self-serve gas station.

* It’s chicken BBQ time at Linglestown Fire Company this Saturday, 10:30 am until sold out.

* Weather permitting, volunteers affiliated with Paxton Creek Watershed and Education Association will be working on a rain garden Saturday behind St. Thomas Roasters coffee house in Linglestown.

* St. Thomas Roasters will once again feature live music this weekend – Tyler March & Derek will bang out tunes on Friday, and Saturday features David Garber & Derrick Brown. Stop by 8–10 pm, no cover.

* Linglestown Colts youth football teams play their home openers this weekend at Koons Park. Junior varsity squads will play Susquehanna Saturday morning, and varsity squads host Middletown Sunday afternoon.

* Lio’s Pizza and Sub Shop in Linglestown will celebrate 25 years in business on Saturday, September 5, by rolling back prices to 1984 levels. The restaurant will be open 11 am–10 pm that day.

* Linglestown Garden Club will hold its first post-summer meeting Wednesday, September 9, at Linglestown Fire Company (brick building), 10 am. Stop by if you’re into green stuff. More info is available by clicking HERE.

* Paxton Basketball Association is holding youth basketball sign-ups at E.H. Phillips Elementary School on two Wednesdays next month – September 9 and 16, 6:30–8:30 pm. CLICK HERE for more details.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Linglestown square project in holding pattern

The Linglestown improvement project is in pre-award status, according to PennDOT online records. This means construction bids have been opened, but the contract has not yet been awarded. Deadline for the awarding the bid is most likely mid-September.

The low bid was $4,069,902 from Leon E. Wintermyer Co., Inc. of Etters, York County.

Other bids received:

– J. D. Eckman, Inc., $4,859,874
– Kinsley Construction, Inc., $4,936,859
– Trumbull Corporation, $4,938,343
– Abel Construction Company, Inc., $5,150,371
– Blooming Glen Contractors, Inc., $5,356,111


Lower Paxton watchdog, 08.27.09

Lower Paxton Twp. planners continued talks this month on suggested revisions to a noise ordinance and the need to regulate wind and solar energy.

No new major construction projects were on the agenda, a situation that is hitting the township in the pocketbook. Fees charged to developers normally are a significant revenue source for the township. The lack of new projects is one reason why township revenues are running behind last year by more than $1 million.

CLICK HERE for meeting notes courtesy of community watchdog group SWAN.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Police investigating string of burglaries

The area north of the Colonial Park Mall has been hit with more than half a dozen burglaries. CLICK HERE for the story from The Patriot-News.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CD board mum on bus outsourcing

Central Dauphin officials said nary a word Monday evening about the school board's August 10 vote to outsource student transportation services. However, five members of the public aired their disappointment and outrage about the controversial issue. CLICK HERE for a meeting recap from The Patriot-News.

The video below features comments made during the meeting by Eric Epstein, a widely known political activist and Lower Paxton Twp. resident. Epstein recently was hired as the business agent for the Central Dauphin bus drivers' union.


Tuesday preview

I attended the Central Dauphin School Board meeting and got home too late to punch out a news brief. Check back later today for a meeting update.

On an unrelated note, I noticed over the weekend a sure sign that fall is on the way – Canada geese have started migrating. Keep an eye out for them flying in a V-shaped formation.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Government watchdog: CD School District

* The school bus controversy is back in the news again – CLICK HERE for an update from The Patriot-News. Fortunately, school buses should roll on the first day of school next Monday even though the district has not finalized a deal to have an outside firm run the district’s transportation department.

* Gazette contributor Jay Purdy blows off some steam about the outsourcing of student transportation services in his latest op-ed piece.

* The school board will be back in session tonight in the lecture hall at Central Dauphin East High School. To view the meeting agenda, click on the plus sign for 8/24/2009, and then click on the plus signs to get details about specific agenda items, including downloadable PDF files of documents.

The agenda includes an update on an opportunity for the district to generate up to $2 million by getting out of the complex financial swap that the board entered into earlier this year. This issue was raised a few meetings ago and the board voted to keep the swap, which is supposed to pay out about $500,000 annually in the early years of the arrangement.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crime watch, 08.22.09

* Several unlocked cars had GPS units, digital cameras and other items removed last Saturday into Sunday (Aug. 15–16) in a Linglestown neighborhood located near Koons Park, according to Lower Paxton Twp. police.

The thief fled the area after a homeowner spotted him in a car. Most of the stolen items were found stashed in backyards and under porches of homes along Jerome Blvd. and Judy Lane. However, a handgun that was ripped off was not recovered. Police did extensive searches for the gun and alerted residents to keep an eye out for the weapon.

Call the police department’s anonymous tip-line at (717) 635-2606 if you have information about this crime.

This incident serves as a reminder of the need to lock vehicles parked in Linglestown and throughout Lower Paxton. – News tip from a Gazette reader

Lower Paxton Twp. police apprehended a 25-year-old woman with a toddler Thursday afternoon in Linglestown for stealing a car and driving with an expired driver’s license. The arrest took place in the parking lot behind First Impressions. The stolen car, a Suzuki Grand Vitara, is pictured. – News tip from a Gazette reader

A Lower Paxton Township man is headed to prison for child molestation, pornography charges.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Music at Roasters

This week's live music at
St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown features Nina & Todd this evening and Marie Smith returns to the coffee house stage Saturday evening, 8–10 pm both nights, no cover.


French student discovers American life in Linglestown

By John Robinson
for Linglestown Gazette

Seventeen-year-old Octave Leborgne, of La Chapelle-St-Mesmin, France, has spent most of August here in Linglestown, a guest of Todd and Cindy Rittle and their children, Jared, 16, and Lauren 13, of Fairway Estates.

The Rittle Family and Octave are participating in a homestay program of LEC, a Paris-based organization that has been sponsoring homestays for French students since 1972.

In a recent interview for the Gazette, Todd Rittle spoke of how much he enjoyed watching Octave experience things for the first time: his first baseball game; his first American cheeseburger; his first peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


The Rittle family – left to right, Todd, Jared, Cindy, and Lauren – is pictured holding Octave Leborgne.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Benefit concert on tap Saturday

Great music for a great cause ...

Lower Paxton resident and Gazette reader Dave Kaprocki and his band, Cellar Katz, will be presenting an outdoor benefit concert this Saturday, Aug. 22, at a nearby church. The band will perform classic rock n’ roll, contemporary Christian, a goofy song or two, and even a few country tunes.

The show will benefit Mike Kiner, an East Pennsboro Twp. man who is suffering with a rare disease and needs a lung transplant. Donations will be accepted during the concert. CLICK HERE for a recent newspaper article about Mike and his family.

I’ve heard Cellar Katz and they get a B² five-star rating, well worth the short drive to the concert venue.

Place: Capital Area Christian Church, located not far off of I-81 on the West Shore, about a 15-minute drive from Lower Paxton Twp.

Time: Food and soft drinks will be available from 5:30 to 7:00 pm; Cellar Katz will perform from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Important: Be sure to bring lawn chairs!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CD bus update

With 10 days until the start of the school year, legal wrangling over Central Dauphin School Board’s decision to outsource bus operations is continuing. Here are the latest developments:

* According to the bus drivers’ association, the school district still has not signed a contract with Durham School Services, the Chicago-based company selected to run the transportation department.

* The bus drivers' association continues to contend that the district is bargaining in bad faith, and they have made a second request for mediation to negotiate changes to the drivers' labor contract that covers the next two school years.

* The bus drivers' association plans to amend the unfair labor practice charges filed with the state to allege that the district is directly contacting drivers about employment issues, instead of going through the association.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for this Monday, August 24, at 7 pm in the Lecture Hall of Central Dauphin East High School. If you want to weigh in during the meeting on the bus controversy, call 545-4703 to get on the list of public speakers.

Related info:

Letter transmitted Tuesday from the bus drivers’ lawyer, Ira Weinstock, to the school district’s lawyers, James Ellison and Stephen Moniak.

School district’s announcement
about hiring Durham School Services.


Backyard news, 08.19.09

Lower Paxton in the news … Resurfacing work is under way on Route 22. … Three charged in gun incident last week at Sheetz on Linglestown Road. … Get to know Rusty Owens, legendary swimming coach at Colonial Golf and Tennis Club.

Are you ready for some football? … Varsity squads with the Linglestown Colts youth football program will open their season Sunday, Aug. 23, against the Susquehanna Indians. The first of three games at Susquehanna High School starts at 1 pm.

Roasters going green … The yard behind St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown soon will have a rain garden thanks to the folks with Paxton Creek Watershed and Education Association. The goal of the project is to collect and treat stormwater runoff that comes off the roof of the coffee house. CLICK HERE for details about the work project scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29, and HERE for the association’s summer newsletter (PDF file).

The watershed association constructed a rain garden last year in Koons Park next to the salt storage dome.

Quick hitters … According to a Q-Tip, the Sports City complex on Linglestown Road will soon be home to a Jigsy’s Old Forge Pizza and Restaurant. … Linglestown Fire Company spent some time Saturday at Metro Bank.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lower Paxton watchdog, 08.18.09

* The supervisors are scheduled to meet this evening at the Municipal Center, 7:30 pm. The meeting will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 20. (agenda)

The session will include a vote to designate Blackberry Alley between North Mountain Road and Blue Mountain Parkway as a public road. If approved, the township will be able to improve the alley to provide better access to the new municipal parking lot located behind the old church that up until recently housed the Chocolate Cafe.

* Last week the supevisors held their monthly workshop meeting. CLICK HERE to review meeting notes courtesy of community watchdog group SWAN.

SWAN, promoting sensible development with adequate infrastructure in Lower Paxton Twp.

Monday, August 17, 2009

All about parks and more

Lower Paxton Twp. has a sizable parks system and a wide variety of recreation programs. To get a sneak peak at what goes on behind the scenes to keep everything up and running, CLICK HERE to review notes from this month’s township Park & Recreation Board meeting.

Pictured is damage on a softball field at Koons Park. Check out the section entitled “Koons Park Field #4” to find out what happened. (Click the photo to view a larger version.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Twilight completes playoff three-peat

It wasn't pretty, but Linglestown Twilight topped Middletown 7–3 Sunday at Middletown High School to win the East Shore Twilight League playoffs for the third straight year. They won the best-of-seven series four games to two.

Twilight pitcher Steve Booker had late-game control problems, but he got a pair of clutch strikeouts to end the last two innings to snuff out Middletown rally opportunities. At the plate, Sam Phillips had a three-hit game, and Sean Frailey picked up two hits, including a double in the seventh inning that plated two runners.

The Patriot-News has more on the series-winning victory.

In game five played Saturday at Koons Park, Twilight defeated Middletown 4–1 to move one win away from closing out the series.

Frailey had the key hit, a three-run homer in the fourth inning that put Twilight in the lead for good. Jason Kelly and Shawn Berwager each had a pair of hits, and Evan Phillips was the winning pitcher.

The game included a bench-clearing scuffle that erupted after Middletown pitcher Adrian Huber appeared to intentionally hit Frailey with a pitch in the fifth inning.

Gazette congrats go out to head coach Ken Connor and all the players for a job well done!

Click the photo to view a team photo.


CD School District updates

* The school bus controversy rolled on late last week. CLICK HERE for the latest developments from The Patriot-News.

* On a related note, Durham School Services, the Chicago-based firm hired to run the district's bus operations, is advertising in for new bus drivers.

Central Dauphin Rams Club held an event Saturday to mark the opening of a new strength and conditioning center for football players.

* FOX 43 did a nice feature story on the RamBand's Community Service Day.

* Stan Roesch has been hired as the new principal at Mountain View Elementary. The last four years he served as the assistant principal at Paxtonia Elementary.

* Next school board meeting is next Monday, Aug. 24, and school bells ring for the first time on Monday, Aug. 31.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekend happenings

Friday & Saturday ... Live music returns to St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown this weekend. All-time Roasters favorite singer/guitarist Frank Cotolo will grace the coffee house stage on Friday, and Moe Weimer and The Snoods will be doing their thing Saturday. Stop by 8–10 pm both nights, no cover.

Saturday ... "Safety Day" at Metro Bank at the branch located next to Dunkin’ Donuts on Linglestown Road.

Saturday ... Peach festival and craft fair at New Hope Church, 1–5 pm. There will be fun stuff for kids including free pony rides (1–3 pm), a moon bounce, face painting, a dunk tank and craft tables.

Saturday ... Championship baseball at Koons Park. Consider stopping by the park for game five of the East Shore Twilight League playoff final series between Linglestown Twilight and Middletown, first pitch at 3 pm.

Linglestown Twilight evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece Thursday in a 15–1 blowout win at Middletown High School. Rhys Wolford pitched a tidy two-hitter and left fielder Nate Shroy rocketed a round-tripper way, way, way over the fence with two on in the sixth inning. (Patriot-News game report)

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Middletown tops Twilight in title series game #3

A three-run burst of offense in the fifth inning carried Middletown to its second straight win over Linglestown Twilight by a count of 4–2 Wednesday at Koons Park. Middletown now leads the best-of-seven East Shore Twilight League championship series 2–1.

Linglestown scored a run in the first inning on two hits and an error. Middletown pitcher Chad Shell only allowed three hits and a run the rest of the way, and got the help of outstanding glove work from his outfield, especially right fielder Kevin Johnson.

Linglestown second baseman Scott Montgomery went two-for-three with a single and a double.

The series resumes Thursday at Middletown High School at 5:45 pm.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Twilight drops game; playoff final now tied

Middletown topped Linglestown Twilight 11–5 Tuesday in a championship rouund game played at Middletown High School to knot the series at a game apiece. This morning's edition of The Patriot-News has an in-depth game report.

A bright spot for Twilight was a solo homer by left fielder Nate Shroy in the fourth inning.

The series resumes this evening at Koons Park with the first pitch at 5:45 pm.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CD bus drivers file unfair labor action

The Central Dauphin Bus Drivers Association filed an unfair labor practice charge against the school district Tuesday in response to the school board hiring an outside firm to provide bus services.

CLICK HERE to review the filing submitted to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. (See page 2 for a description of the charges.)

Video report from WGAL TV-8.


Lower Paxton watchdog, 08.11.09

The Lower Paxton Twp. Board of Supervisors will meet this evening for a workshop session at the Municipal Center, 6 pm. This meeting will not be televised. (agenda)

The supervisors conducted their first business meeting last Tuesday, Aug. 4. CLICK HERE to review meetings notes submitted by community watchdog group SWAN.

Citizens weigh in on CD bus outsourcing

Below are links to statements made by four citizens during the public comment period prior to the school board hiring Durham School Services to operate the district's bus operations:

Eric Epstein, business agent for CD Bus Drivers Association (full statement)

“In the long run, residents will be exposed to higher taxes, costly litigation, and unnecessary safety risks if this hurried, closed-door process is affirmed this evening.”

Donna Ricupero
, president, CD Bus Drivers Association (full statement)

She gave school officials over 1,800 petitions signed by parents and taxpayers who requested a “no” vote on outsourcing.

Jay Purdy (full statement)

“You’re about to approve terms and conditions that aren’t even spelled out yet.”

Melissa Van Eck, Region 3 school board candidate (full statement)

“… there has been a complete absence of transparency and public participation regarding this issue.”


Monday, August 10, 2009

CD board hires outside bus firm

By a 5–1 vote, Central Dauphin School Board pulled the trigger on a five-year, $30 million deal to hire Chicago-based Durham School Services to run the district's bus operations. The approval authorizes the district's solicitor to finalize the agreement with Durham. Amazingly, Monday's meeting was the first time the issue was discussed at a public meeting.

Kathy Stone, A.J. Sallusti, Ed Troxell, Jay Wenger and Michael Brehm voted yes, and Ford Thompson cast the no vote. Christian Malesic, Justin McShane and Kristine Leber were absent.

Karen McConnell, the district's business manager, said outsourcing would significantly reduce costs and enable the district's aging bus fleet to be modernized.

Durham intends to hire CD school bus drivers, keep them on their current routes and give them a 45-cent hourly raise. But, the school bus drivers' union most likely will sue the district for breaking a labor contract that still has two years to run.

About 200 citizens and three TV news crews attended the meeting.

CLICK HERE for a meeting report from The Patriot-News, and HERE for a video report from WHTM abc27.

Also, Harrisburg-based Roxbury News has raw video of the meeting segment on bus outsourcing.


Business corridor improvements discussed

Lower Paxton Twp. officials are kicking around ideas to spruce up the Route 22 business corridor from Colonial Road to Mountain Road. The township planning commission recently met with several merchants to get their take on the proposed project, which is known in governmental circles as a Business Improvement District.

CLICK HERE to review meeting notes provided by community watchdog group SWAN.


PREVIEW: CD School Board meeting

The Central Dauphin School Board could be on the verge of hiring an outside firm – Illinois-based Durham School Services – to provide student transportation services starting this school year. A vote on the proposal is expected during tonight’s meeting at CD East High School.

The district plans to spend $6.7 million this school year on its in-house transportation operation. Switching to the proposed outsourcing setup could save the district millions of dollars over the next five years.

There are at least three reasons for taxpayers to keep tabs on this issue:

* Tonight's meeting is the first time the issue will be discussed during a public forum, yet school administrators are calling for an on-the-spot decision.

* The association that represents bus drivers has threatened to take legal action against the district if outsourcing is approved – and lawsuits cost taxpayers money.

* It seems a bit late to overhaul student transportation – school buses will roll in only three weeks for the first day of school.

CLICK HERE for more about tonight's vote on hiring a bus firm from The Patriot-News.

Related info:

CLICK HERE for a meeting advisory issued by Eric Epstein, who was recently hired as the Central Dauphin Bus Drivers Association business agent.

CLICK HERE for a statement on issued by Epstein last month on the proposed transportation outsourcing. (This is an interesting
read. -B²)

Widely known political activist Gene Stilp has signed up to weigh in on the busing issue during the meeting. He is the guy who has used blow-up pink pigs to protest state lawmakers’ pay raises, and he organized the effort to erect a replica of the Statue of Liberty on the Susquehanna River near Dauphin.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ball game rained out

This afternoon's nasty thunderstorm washed out game two of the East Shore Twilight League championship series between Linglestown and Middletown. CLICK HERE for a news brief from The Patriot-News.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Twilight goes one up in finals

Linglestown Twilight sandlot baseball team played a solid game in defeating Middletown 3–1 Saturday in the first game of the best-of-seven East Shore Twilight League championship series. The game was played at Koons Park. CLICK HERE for a game report and photo from The Patriot-News.

The series resumes Sunday at Middletown with the first pitch at 5 pm.

Twilight notes ... The winning pitcher was Rhys Wolford. He hurled a three hitter that included six strikeouts and four walks. ... Sean Frailey, Bryan Stovall and Kyle Hollingsworth each had a run batted in. ... Linglestown won two of three games against Middletown during the regular season. ... Linglestown won the league playoff championship the last two seasons and eight times overall since the league formed in 1975. Meanwhile, Middletown is seeking its first league playoff crown. ... The two teams last met in the championship round in 2007. Linglestown won that series with a dramatic victory in the seventh game played at Middletown.


Monday's school board meeting moved

The meeting location of the CD School Board meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, has been changed to accommodate the crowd expected to show up for the discussion on a proposal to hire an outside firm to run the district's bus operations. The new location is the auditorium of CD East High School. Meeting time is 7 pm.

To view the meeting agenda, click on the plus sign for 8/10/2009, and then click on the plus signs to get details about specific agenda items, including downloadable PDF files of documents.

Check back later this weekend or on Monday for a meeting preview.

Hat tip to Region 3 school board candidate
Melissa Van Eck for the heads-up via e-mail.


Twilight begins playoff finals today

According to today's Patriot-News, Linglestown Twilight will play Middletown at Koons Park in game #1 of the East Shore Twilight League playoff final series – 2 pm first pitch.

Friday, August 07, 2009

New eatery opens at Colonial Commons

CLICK HERE for a story about Chipotle Mexican Grill from The Patriot-News.


Kids to rock Roasters

The Grease Monkey’s, a rock band made up of four children who attend Linglestown Elementary School, will be playing at St. Thomas Roasters tonight (Friday, Aug. 7), 8–10 pm, no cover.

Luke Diecidue, age 8, is the drummer, Jacob Diecidue, age 10, is the guitar player, Kristopher Ramstrom, age 10, is the bass player, and Kiersten Smith, age 10, is the singer.

The band has played together for the past three years, and has started scheduling gigs for large private parties, as well as playing for Relay for Life at the Susquehanna High School in June. They have a large following of fellow students, families and teachers, which was apparent at The Relay for Life performance.

The children are very professional and very talented, playing songs ranging from Vertigo, by U2, to Tick Tick Boom, by The Hives. They are directed and managed by Tom Diecidue, a professional musician himself, playing at local venues for over 25 years.

Article submitted by Stephanie Diecidue


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Driver who hit girl pleads guilty

CLICK HERE for a news brief from The Patriot-News.

Nearby state park spotlighted

If you're looking for a place to commune with nature, consider checking out Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area on Blue Mountain just a few miles northwest of Linglestown.

Spotobe, a Web site that keeps tabs on all kinds of local events, just posted a "Meet a Park" article about Big Boyd.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Twilight gets chance for three-peat

Linglestown Twilight sandlot baseball team earned a shot at winning a third straight East Shore Twilight League playoff title by defeating Lawnton 4–1 Wednesday to sweep the best-of-five semifinal series.

The star of the game played at Koons Park was Twilight pitcher Jason Kelly. He went the distance and helped his cause with two hits, a run batted in, and a run scored. On the mound, he struck out nine with no walks.

Twilight could only muster four hits, but they produced runs thanks to Lawnton giving up seven free passes and three errors.

Twilight will meet Middletown or Palmyra in the championship series.


RamBand to trade instruments for pitchforks

Here’s another sure sign that school is just around the corner – band camp is under way for the CD High School RamBand, And, this Friday is the band’s annual community service day.

CLICK HERE to learn how band members will be assisting four local agencies.


Police chase reported in Lower Paxton

CLICK HERE for the story from The Patriot-News.


Night Out attracts crowd

The "Night Out for Public Safety" sponsored by the Lower Paxton Twp. Police Department attracted a good-sized crowd to Koons Park last night. Click on the photo to view a larger version.

for more photos courtesy of Linglestown Fire Company.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

CD schools update, 08.04.09

* Where is the summer going? The start of a new school year is less than a month away – first day of school is Monday, Aug. 31.

* The controversy over Central Dauphin school officials checking into hiring an outside firm to run the district’s transportation department to cut costs continues to be a red-hot issue.

The bus drivers' union has ratcheted up their campaign to preserve their jobs in recent days. They have hired widely known political and community activist Eric Epstein to help defend in-house busing, and are circulating petitions asking the school board not to outsource bus transportation. Also, signs are starting to pop up around the area – the one pictured above is in the village of Linglestown.

The school board is expected to discuss transportation outsourcing in public for the first time during their Aug. 10 meeting at CD East High, 7 pm.

Dozens of comments have been posted on the Gazette about this controversy.

* The school board held a special meeting last Wednesday, July 29, to discuss personnel issues. Transportation issues were not on the agenda, according to school board member Christian Malesic.

* Dr. Luis Gonzalez was sworn in as superintendent of schools by District Judge Joseph Lindsey on July 15. CLICK HERE for photos – Gonzalez is on the right.

Lower Paxton man killed in Harrisburg

CLICK HERE for the story from The Patriot-News. Police need help locating victim's family.


Lower Paxton updates, 08.04.09

* REMINDER: Lower Paxton Twp. Police Department will hold its annual "Night Out for Public Safety" at Koons Park this evening, 6 pm to dusk.

The event features helicopter landings, hot-air balloon rides, free food, music and displays and activities by public safety groups and first responders that serve our community.

* The supervisors are scheduled to meet this evening at the Municipal Center, 7:30 pm. The meeting will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 20.

I called the township office for a rundown of the meeting agenda since it wasn't posted on the township Web site, and only run-of-the-mill issues are up for action.

* Check back for meeting notes from last week's township Planning Commission meeting.

Twilight one away from championship series

In a comeback for the ages, Linglestown Twilight sandlot baseball team whipped Lawnton 11–9 on the road to take a commanding 2–0 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series.

Twilight got off to a rough start, giving up seven runs through the third inning. Meanwhile, Lawnton pitching ace Allan Donato looked unbeatable in the early going. He mowed down the first 10 batters he faced, striking out six.

But, there was no quit on the Linglestown side last night. They started to catch up to Donato’s heat in the fifth inning and plated 11 runners during the last three innings. Rally highlights included a triple by Steve Booker and a double off the bat of Nate Shroy.

Scott Montgomery pitched two solid innings of relief to pick up the win, and Booker worked out of a last-inning jam to earn a save.

The last inning was played in dusk conditions, and both sides questioned the umpire’s ball-and-strike calls throughout the game.

Game three of the series will be played Wednesday at Koons Park, 5:45 pm.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Backyard news, 08.03.09

Patriot-News links … Lower Paxton Twp. park named after longtime township volunteer. … Koons Pool volunteers are making changes and cutting costs to make ends meet. ... Giant Food Store under construction on Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Twp. on track to open in fall.

New eatery coming to town … I’ve spotted several mentions on Twitter and elsewhere about Chipotle Mexican Grill opening Thursday at Colonial Commons Shopping mall. Rob Nease of HarrisburgatHome.com blog has info on the restaurant’s grand opening celebration. And, CLICK HERE for more on Chipotle from The Patriot-News.

Nasty crash in Linglestown … A SUV hit two parked cars and rolled over last Tuesday in the village. CLICK HERE for a report with photos from Linglestown Fire Company.

B² attends backyard bash … I had the pleasure of stopping by a gathering hosted Saturday by Gazette reader and contributor Q. Beyond having fun, Q uses the event – appropriately named Q-Fest – to raise money for local charities. He's been bringing together family, friends, neighbors and college buddies annually for a Q-Fest since 1995.

Twilight wins baseball playoff opener

In a seesaw battle, Linglestown Twilight defeated Lawnton 6-5 in eight innings Sunday at Koons Park to go one up in a best-of-five semifinal series. Lawnton catcher Kris Kullman crushed a home run in the seventh to tie the game at five. In the eighth, Linglestown got a leadoff single from second baseman Shawn Berwager. Two batters later he scored the winning run on an error. Relief pitcher Brad Sanders was the winning pitcher.

Game two of the series will be played Monday at Lawnton. Game time is 5:45 pm.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

B² is back ...

I've returned from a one-week family vacation. Daily updates will resume on Monday, August 3.

Linglestown baseball update, 08.02.09

Linglestown Twilight sandlot baseball team finished atop the East Shore Twilight League standings with a 22–6 record to earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs. They split their last two regular season games, topping Pennbrook 5–2 on July 24 at Koons Park and losing 2–1 on July 26 at Hummelstown.

Twilight is scheduled to kick off a semifinal series against Lawnton at Koons Park today at 5 pm, weather and field conditions permitting.