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Buying gifts online this holiday season? Here's how to protect those packages


The Internet has made holiday shopping so easy. Go to a web site, pick something out, hit click and the item magically shows up at your door.

    Just in time to be stolen by your not-so-friendly neighborhood Grinch.

    That happened to a woman in the 400 block of Ann Street in Middletown on Thursday, Nov. 19, according to borough police.

    A UPS package was delivered to the woman's residence just before 8:30 a.m. Someone stole the package before the woman returned home. She reported the theft to police Thursday night.

    There are a number of things you can do to prevent your packages from being stolen, says Middletown Police Chief John Bey. Here are his suggestions:

    - If possible, avoid having packages delivered to an empty house. Have items shipped to your workplace, or to the home of a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative who will be there to accept it.

    - Have the package held at the post office or delivery service for pickup. The post office, UPS, and FedEx all provide this service for free.

    - If you must have the package shipped to your home when no one is present, ask that the package be left at a side or rear door, or inside an enclosed porch, so it is less visible.

    - Take advantage of free tracking services. Having a tracking number allows you to know when a package is expected to be delivered, and when it actually has been delivered. If you see that a package will be delivered when you are not at home, some companies allow you to change the delivery time, or redirect the package to a different address. Such services can cost extra, but it is worth it if you are expecting an expensive package.

Other precautions include requiring a signature before a delivery company will release a package, insuring the contents of a package, and requesting a vacation hold if you know you are going to be out of town. More information on these various services can be obtained by going to the web site of UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service.

If your package is stolen, call the police. Also report the theft to the shipping company, and to the company you bought the package from.


Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2015 15:16

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Going Old School: For these alumni, one last goodbye before MAHS is razed


They walked into Middletown Area High School after sunset, after the scuffing of students filing through the halls, the slamming of locker doors, the cacophony of banter and laughter and gossip had died. Tentative steps, as though they had walked into their own dream.

They wandered past empty classrooms, filling the vacant spaces and the silence with the characters and sounds of their memories.

Mr. Brunner, the principal, scowling as he watched them pass in a hallway, so imposing that somehow he made you feel safe.

The squadron of eager cafeteria moms, helmeted in hairnets, plopping hamburgers and vegetables and applesauce on moon-shaped plates.

Roger Miller's "King of the Road'' echoing in the gymnasium, the record Mrs. Goepfert, the gym teacher, played to teach square dancing to awkward boys and girls.

For some, it was the first time they walked into their old school in 50 years. When the Alumni Association offered a tour of the venerable school, which opened in 1963, to graduates during Middletown's Homecoming week in late October, former students seized the opportunity to return, the chance for one last look. The old school will be torn down in June, and a new school, under construction a few hundred feet away, will take its place next August.

It was a chance relive golden days of their youth. And say goodbye.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 14:24

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Will taxes, electricity go up? Council hears options for 2016 budget


Middletown residents could be looking at a half-mill increase in their property tax and a half-cent electric rate hike in 2016, based on a recommendation Middletown Borough Council has received from the financial consultant who prepares the town’s annual budget.

But it is far from clear whether council will support the recommendation from consultant Mark Morgan of Susquehanna Group Advisors, who wrote the borough’s Early Intervention Plan in March 2013.

For the full story, CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Press And Journal.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 November 2015 14:34

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Police arrest Middletown man in connection with Nov. 5 stabbing

WilesKory Michael Wiles
    A Middletown man was arrested by borough police on Friday, Nov. 13, and charged with the stabbing that occurred outside of the Karn's Foods store on South Union Street on Nov. 5.
    Kory M. Wiles, 24, 100 block of North Union Street, was arraigned before District Judge Kenneth Lenker and charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor counts of simple assault, possessing instruments of crime, and possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance.

    Wiles was placed in Dauphin County Prison on $10,000 bail.

    According to court records filed by police, the victim - Hipolito Rodriguez of the 400 block of Vine Street - was approached by Wiles and asked for money. Rodriguez gave Wiles a dollar. Wiles then stabbed Rodriguez's finger with a blade of some type and fled westbound down the alley, the victim told police.

    Rodriguez took off after Wiles, but Wiles got away, police said.

    Police arrested Wiles after seeing video surveillance of the intersection of Nissley and Scott Avenue, showing a man matching the description of Wiles given to police by Rodriguez, walking southbound down the alley about 10 minutes before the stabbing occurred.

    Upon further investigation police learned that Wiles had been released from prison on Nov. 3, and that on Nov. 6 he had asked a woman at the Rite Aid on East Main Street for a dollar. The woman did not give Wiles any money but bought food for him, police said.

    Wiles gave a different version of events regarding the stabbing incident when questioned by police. He said that Rodriguez approached him and offered to sell him some Suboxone.
    Wiles told police that he grabbed the Suboxone pills and fled. However, Wiles denied injuring Rodriguez or even knowing that Rodriguez had been cut.

    A preliminary hearing for Wiles is set for Nov. 23 before District Judge David Judy.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 November 2015 15:43

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signeesphoto11 18 15

Two Middletown Area High School students have signed letters of intent with colleges on Wednesday, Nov. 11 – the first day of the early signing period for high school seniors committing to play NCAA sports.

Ja'Lynn Burton-Jones, who reached the 1,000-point landmark in basketball last season, signed to play basketball at Robert Morris University, Allegheny County, a Division I school, while Brandon Harper, a member of of the baseball, boys' basketball and golf teams, signed to play baseball at Millersville University, a Division II school.

Jones, daughter of Jessica Jones, plans to major in criminal justice and minor in communications at Robert Morris. At Middletown, she has been involved in the Link Crew and Yearbook.

Harper, son of Rob and Sandy Harper, plans to major in business administration at Millersville. At Middletown, he is a member of Future Business Leaders of America. He was named most valuable player in the 2015 Big 26 Keystone Klash baseball tournament.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 17:22

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