Written by Dan Miller
Thirty-six people were waiting to get in the door at noon Saturday, July 9, for the long-awaited "soft opening" of part of the Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works in the Elks Building in downtown Middletown, said Matt Fritz, one of the four Tattered Flag partners.
Tattered Flag opened its tasting room on the first floor from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tattered Flag offered several of its own brews plus a food menu. Wine and cider was provided by The Vineyard at Hershey.
Saturday's opening was a trial run and Tattered Flag will announce its hours going forward on its Facebook page. The partners have said they expect Tattered Flag to be open about one day a week for the next several weeks, until more regular hours are decided upon and announced.
In August 2015, Tattered Flag was approved by borough council and the Middletown Industrial and Commercial Development Authority to convert most of the Elks Building - 13,000 square feet, all but the space for the Elks Theatre - into a combined brewery/distillery/brew pub.
It received a $1.5 million loan from the authority. Of that, $1.1 million is money to assist in converting the Elks into the new use. Tattered Flag is using the remaining $400,000 as a mortgage to purchase its portion of the Elks Building. The authority still owns the theater.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 15:20
Written by Dan Miller
Middletown Borough Council on June 21 voted 9-0 to start looking for another company to provide information technology services for the borough.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:26
Written by Eric Wise
United Cerebral Palsy of Central PA will move from its home in the shopping plaza on Brown Street to the former Traffic Bureau building at 50 E. Emaus St., announced Emaus Street Partners, the building’s new owner.
“We just finished remodeling the building for United Cerebral Palsy,” said Patrick Noone, who controls Emaus Street Partners along with William Collins. “The interior has been totally rehabbed.”
In addition to the interior remodel, the firm added a new ramp on the side of the building and plans to spruce up the exterior, Noone said.
Having received the certificate of occupancy recently, Noone said UCP officials are moving forward in getting permission from the state to move the adult training center. If the process goes smoothly, UCP will be operating out of the Emaus Street building Aug. 1.
“We’re excited because there is so much going on in downtown Middletown,” Noone said.
The partners also bought the Brown Street property that includes the former office of Smith Chiropractic Center for UCP staff parking, Noone said.
The property includes two buildings that are rented and the M&T Bank drive-through. He said they intend to continue the residential rentals at the property and the bank. “We will probably be converting the chiropractic office to a small, one-bedroom apartment,” he said.
Noone said he and Collins lease another building in Dauphin County to United Cerebral Palsy, and he was pleased to be able to move forward with this project, which will enable the UCP to serve its clients better with additional space. The group’s other investment properties are located in Lower Paxton and Susquehanna townships.
The partnership did not purchase the 40 E. Emaus St. property, which is slated to become the new home of Tony’s Beverage, which is now located at the plaza on Brown Street, too.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:24
Longtime journalist Jason Maddux started June 27 as the editor of the Press And Journal, and he is excited to get to know the Middletown community.
Maddux has worked for more than 20 years in the newspaper and communications industry, including recent stints at The Sentinel in Carlisle and at PennLive/The Patriot-News.
“There are many good things happening in the community — the streetscape project, the new high school, the downtown brewery, the new train station, the discussions regarding the Elks Theatre,” he said. “The next few years set up very nicely for this area.”
Maddux said he is excited to help lead the Press And Journal through some upcoming changes to the look of both the newspaper and the website.
Maddux is originally from Lancaster, Ohio, where it’s pronounced “LANK-a-stir” just like in Pennsylvania, he said. In fact, Lancaster, Ohio, was started by settlers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and originally was called New Lancaster. He worked for multiple papers in Ohio, including the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Mansfield News Journal and Zanesville Times-Recorder. He then spent eight years in Wisconsin as the editor of the Portage Daily Register and a twice-a-week paper, the Reedsburg Times-Press. He has served on the boards of newspaper groups in several states.
“I have already had a lot of fun walking around the community and getting to know more about it,” he said of Middletown. “Becoming the editor of a newspaper in a new town can be a crash course. You have to get up to speed quickly.”
“We welcome Jason to our family of employees,” said Joe Sukle, publisher of the Press And Journal. “We are confident his experience will enable our staff to meet the needs and expectations of our readers and advertisers. We encourage folks to reach out to Jason.”
A graduate of Boston University, Maddux lives in Cumberland County with his wife and two daughters. He is an avid golfer and fan of Ohio State athletics, Boston Red Sox baseball and New England Patriots football. He serves on the board of Leadership Cumberland.
He said he has been impressed with the staff at the Press And Journal, and the coverage it provides for the community.
“A strong newspaper and website is still essential in any community,” he said. “We provide vital information as well as serve a watchdog role. Those are things I feel very strongly about.”
Despite his many years in the newspaper business, he said he feels he has never stopped learning.
“Learning is what life is all about, not just the journalism business,” he said. “It helps you stay stimulated and growing.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 15:55
Written by Dan Miller
Middletown Area School District taxpayers will now have slightly less time to pay their property tax at a discounted rate, under a change the school board approved June 20.
The deadline to pay at a discount now will be Aug. 31 instead of Sept. 30. Also, taxpayers will have until Oct. 31 to pay their property tax bill at face value, instead of Nov. 30.
The change brings Middletown in line with all other school districts in Dauphin County, none of which have an extended discount period beyond the two months required by law, said David Franklin, district assistant superintendent for finance and operations.
The district extended the dates in 2002-03 because the state budget had not been adopted in time, causing bills to be mailed after July 1. The dates were never changed back. However this year members of the board’s finance committee brought up concerns that the district was losing interest money because of the extended dates remaining in place, Franklin said.
The school district will still allow taxpayers to pay their property tax bill in installments. The due dates for these installments remain unchanged, Franklin said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 15:47