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Power auction failure won’t doom TMI, operator says

tmiphoto5 18 16WEBPress And Journal file photo -- Exelon's Three Mile Island nuclear plant is licensed to operate until 2034.


The future of Exelon’s Three Mile Island nuclear generation facility does not hang in the balance of an upcoming auction of future electricity, despite the company’s threat to close sister plants in Illinois, Exelon officials said.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 15:38

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Resurfacing 322 ramp for Hummelstown/Middletown

Eastbound off-ramp closed Sunday from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday

Motorists traveling on US 322 in Derry Twp. have been alerted by PennDOT of work to begin Sunday, May 15.

Hempt Brothers, contractor for the project will eastbound U.S. 322 off-ramp for Hummelstown/Middletown from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning. Milling and resurfacing work will be undertaken, weather permitting.

The work is part of an ongoing $13 million construction project that began May 8 to repair and resurface a seven mile section of US 322 between the Eisenhower Interchange in Swatara Twp. and the Hershey interchange with Route 39 and US 422 in Derry Twp.

The contract includes roadway base repair, milling and resurfacing the existing roadway and shoulders with new asphalt. On the concrete portions of the project, the contractor will make concrete repairs and apply a thin friction course on the pavement. The project also includes guiderail replacement, minor drainage improvements, and curb ramp improvements associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Work under this construction contract is scheduled to be completed next summer.
PennDOT advises travelers that they may continue to encounter shifting traffic patterns and/or single-lane traffic restrictions through the work zone on weeknights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Some sections of US 322 average more than 21,000 vehicles traveled daily.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 May 2016 14:03

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Thief enters Karns, steals charity donations

Middletown police are still looking for a man who stole two cartons of cigarettes and donations meant for victims of muscular dystrophy from the Karns Quality Foods store on South Union Street shortly after 1 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27.

Police said the man entered the store by smashing two back door windows. Besides the cigarettes, the man stole two containers from the check-out counters that held donations to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

There was money in both containers, but the total amount is not known, Chief John Bey told the Press And Journal.

Police are looking for help in catching the suspect, who they describe as a black male 20 to 30 years of age, 6 feet tall and wearing a black hoodie, glasses, camouflage-style shorts, black socks and white mid-high sneakers. Police are analyzing video surveillance and forensic evidence collected from the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call Middletown police at 717-902-0627 or the non-emergency number for Dauphin County 911 at 717-558-6900.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 15:47

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Live staking

treephoto5 11 16SLIDEPress And Journal Photo by Dan Miller -- Jennifer Fetter, left, of the Penn State Extension office instructs Penn State Harrisburg students on the proper way to cut a dogwood branch so it can be re-planted and used to shore up the bank of a waterway.




More stringent stormwater regulations aimed at improving local water quality and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay are being imposed upon Middletown and other municipalities by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Complying with the new requirements will cost money –potentially a lot of money.

But some steps that the borough – and borough residents – can take to help meet the new requirements aren’t expensive at all, like planting trees.

There are groups that are interested in helping Middletown comply with the new regulations – at no cost to the borough. One is the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center at Penn State Harrisburg. The center is interested in finding out more about how it can help Middletown to comply with the DEP requirements, said Kristen Kyler, project coordinator for the center.

On Tuesday, March 29, the center demonstrated one example of an inexpensive and volunteer-based way that it can help – an exercise called “live staking.” In live staking, branches are cut from trees and then replanted in a stream bank, where they will develop roots and grow into trees. The new trees will help to hold soil in place, preventing erosion and improving stream health.

The stream chosen for the live staking isn’t really much of a stream at all, but an unnamed waterway that lies next to the university’s Engineering Technology Laboratory building, the first building on the left when you enter Penn State Harrisburg’s campus off of Route 230.

The waterway is in a low area of campus, and as a result collects stormwater runoff from just about everywhere else on Penn State Harrisburg every time there’s a heavy rain, Kyler said. Year after year, that takes a toll, as the rain erodes and washes away the soil that has nothing to hold onto.

Planting grass doesn’t do much to anchor the soil, because the roots don’t go deep, said Jennifer Fetter, a water resources educator with the Penn State Extension office who was on hand for the live staking.

For a good live staking, you need a tree that grows readily along a stream bank, like a Red Osier Dogwood. The center needed a lot of dogwood branches, so it harvested some from state game lands. However, there was also some dogwood lying close to the stream bank on campus.

Kyler and Fetter showed a group of volunteers – Penn State Harrisburg students and employees –how to cut branches from dogwood trees and replant them in the stream bank.

Live stakes should be replanted two to three feet apart in several rows along the stream bank. You can use a piece of rebar to create a pilot hole for each branch to be replanted at a 90 degree angle to the soil surface.

Live staking can only be done during a narrow window of time – this year for a few weeks from late March into April – before the buds break on the dogwood branches.

Many private landowners in the area probably have a waterway running along their property that would benefit from live staking, Kyler said. Besides helping to prevent erosion and improve the environment, live staking can also help to deter flooding, she added.

The group can also help with other initiatives such as riparian buffers, rain barrels and planting trees.

In 2014, Greening the Local Susquehanna, a related initiative under the Penn State Extension office, participated in planting more than 1,000 trees, shrubs and plants in Londonderry Twp. where homes were razed after flooding from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

In 2015, Greening the Lower Susquehanna reached out to Middletown and other nearby municipalities with an offer to provide free trees to help boroughs and townships meet the new stormwater requirements. Middletown never responded, but Kyler said her organization remains ready and available to help.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 15:42

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Council picks Reddinger to fill vacant seat

sworninphoto5 11 16Press And Journal Photo by Dan Miller -- New Middletown Borough Council member Ian Reddinger, right, is sworn in by Mayor James H. Curry III.

Ian Reddinger, a landlord and the owner of an electrical contracting business, was sworn in as the newest member of Middletown Borough Council during a council meeting on Tuesday, May 3.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 15:02

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