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A taste of Tattered Flag in Middletown on Saturday July 9

tastingroomtatteredflagPress And Journal Photo by Dan Miller -- The Tattered Flag partners and workers put the finishing touches on the new tasting room.

The tasting room on the first floor of the Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works in the Elks Building in Middletown will be open to the public from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 9.


Beer brewed by Tattered Flag will be available for sale, and wine and ciders will be provided courtesy of the Vineyards of Hershey, said Pat Devlin, one of the Tattered Flag partners. The distillery part of Tattered Flag is not ready yet, Devlin said.

This is the beginning of the "soft opening" of the first floor that Tattered Flag referred to earlier this week, pending the outcome of a building codes inspection that was done by the borough on Thursday.

The first floor tap room is just inside the main entrance of the first floor to the left. The partners and contractors working for Tattered Flag could be seen putting in finishing touches to get the space ready for Saturday's big event.

After Saturday Tattered Flag will be closed again for about a week - in part to brew more beer, Devlin said. Tattered Flag will probably be open for about a day each week for the next several weeks, until it is ready to be open on a regular basis, Devlin said. Days and hours will be posted on Tattered Flag's Facebook page.


Meanwhile, work continues on the rest of the first floor and throughout Tattered Flag's space on the second floor. The partners have said they hope all of Tattered Flag can be ready and open to the public by sometime this fall.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 July 2016 15:43

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Car driving wrong way on I-83 collides with truck, leaves scene

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 A blue or purple Toyota Camry with a sun roof was seen driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I-83 near Harrisburg at 12:11 p.m. July 7, state police said. The vehicle collided with a tractor trailer, causing minor damage to the Toyota's bumper and headlight on the driver's side.

The driver of the Camry then turned around and promptly left the interstate using Exit 44A for 13th Street/Route 230. 

Anyone with information about the crash or the Toyota is asked to call Trooper Martin at Pennsylvania State Police in Harrisburg at 717-671-7500.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2016 16:45

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First of three bridge closings in Londonderry Twp. under way

BraeburnBridge6 30 16 2SLIDEPress and Journal Photo by Eric Wise -- Construction crews have removed the old Braeburn Road Bridge as they prepare to replace it with a new poured-in-place culvert. Braeburn Road will be closed for about six weeks from Deodate Road to Highland Road.

 

Drivers will encounter some minor inconveniences in the coming months as Londonderry Twp. recently began the first of three bridge culvert replacements.

Braeburn Road, from Deodate Road to Highland Road, closed June 27 and will remain closed through mid-August.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:15

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Emaus-Union intersection open; lights next

EmausSt2SLIDEPress And Journal Photo by Eric Wise -- Pedestrians cross Union Street on Friday after the intersection with Emaus Street reopened.

 

The downtown Middletown streetscape took a big step forward with the re-opening of the intersection at South Union and Emaus streets on Friday, July 1.

Newly installed traffic signals at the four-way intersection were to be in service by sometime Wednesday, July 6, borough Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach told the Press And Journal.

Work has moved south to Brown and Emaus streets. The intersection was closed as of Tuesday, July 5, so work can proceed on sidewalk and storm sewer improvements. The streetscape includes improvements such as new sidewalk and curbing, trees, and street lights from Spring and Union streets south to Union and Ann streets. A $2.8 million construction contract for the streetscape was awarded in September 2015 to Flyway Excavating of Lititz, but the project tops $3 million when engineering costs and change orders are factored in.

Funding for the streetscape comes from a $1.5 million loan from Dauphin County, a $250,000 county gaming grant, and about $745,000 in accumulated liquid fuels dollars.Remaining funds are coming from the Middletown Industrial and Commercial Development Authority, which awarded the streetscape contract and oversees the project.

The project should be done in the fall.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:01

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Wilsbach takes helm of public works

GregWilsbachSLIDEPress and Journal Photo by Dan Miller -- Greg Wilsbach, the new Middletown public works director, sits in his office on Thursday, June 30.

Greg Wilsbach, who for years ran Middletown’s electric department, started June 28 as the borough’s new public works director.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic. It’s really great to be back,” Wilsbach told the Press And Journal. “I’ve gotten a lot of welcomes with open arms.”

Wilsbach served on borough council for three months in 2016 and before that had been a Middletown public works employee for 26 years, rising to assistant public works director — a position in which he oversaw the electric department.

“There were some good candidates but truthfully none of them matched up to Greg,” said Council President Ben Kapenstein.

The annual salary for the public works director is $70,000.

Three council members voted against the hire, which was announced following a closed-door executive session during the June 21 meeting.

The six who voted in favor were Kapenstein, Vice President Damon Suglia, and councilors Anne Einhorn, Robert Reid, Ian Reddinger and Ed Shull. Voting no were councilors Dawn Knull, Robert Louer, and Diana McGlone.

McGlone said she objected not to Wilsbach but to the process council dictated in filling the position.

“We now have (Ken) Klinepeter as the borough manager, and I feel it should be his job and responsibility alone to select, vet and interview candidates that he will ultimately be working with on a daily basis, not council’s,” McGlone said.

Louer said he felt that another finalist for the job from New York state would have been a better fit.

Knull declined comment.

In July 2014, Wilsbach resigned his electrical system job in protest over what he described as an oppressive work environment under then-borough council President Chris McNamara. 

In 2015, Wilsbach ran against and soundly defeated McNamara in McNamara’s bid for re-election to council. However, Wilsbach in March 2016 gave up his seat in order to apply for the public works position that had been vacated when Lester Lanman resigned in late December 2015.


Setting goals
Wilsbach pointed to a number of projects on his plate starting out, among them the downtown streetscape, preliminary work underway to convert borough streetlights to more energy efficient LED bulbs, and preparing a five-year plan to prioritize capital improvements to roads, equipment, and public buildings.

He also wants to focus on some things that “haven’t had attention for awhile,” starting with getting rid of the weeds on borough property.

“We have to lead by example” before the borough can expect residents to do more to control weeds on their own properties, Wilsbach said.

It’s too early to say if Wilsbach will ask for more positions. Wilsbach is analyzing how much work can be contracted out in order to free up the department’s own manpower.

Right now the department’s only vacant position is the new first class electric lineman that council approved as part of the 2016 budget.

“We hope to fill that in the near future,” Wilsbach said. “We’ve got a bunch of (electric) line work that we are still calling contractors in for because we don’t have a first class lineman.” Wilsbach and all other new borough management hires will not be part of a traditional retirement pension system, following changes that council has put in place since January. Instead, Wilsbach will be able to participate in a 401(k)-style plan. Except for police, all new management and union employees with the borough from now on will be participating in a 401(k)-style plan instead of a traditional retirement plan.


One of 20 candidates
Wilsbach was one of about 20 applicants for the public works post, Kapenstein said. Council brought in eight candidates for interviews, and three of those were brought in for second interviews. One of the three finalists dropped out, Kapenstein said.

Besides having a lot of experience with the borough, Wilsbach has a background in both public works and in running a municipal electrical system, Kapenstein said. 

“It’s very hard to find someone who has electrical experience and in public works,” Kapenstein said. “There are only 35 municipally owned electrical systems (in Pennsylvania) and most of them have their own separate electric supervisor. In Middletown, there is one supervisor for everything, so you have to find someone who knows electric and public works. It’s not easy to find, and Greg has that.”

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 15:30

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