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23 Years Ago: 12/7/2016

23 years agoFood For The Hungry -- Thanks to the thoughtful students at Kunkel Elementary School and members of the PTA there will be much food for the hungry during the upcoming holiday season. Pictured with over 900 pounds of food items on their way to the needy are: Donna and Nicole Sipe, Becky, Robert, Nicholas and Marcus Wierman, Elaine and Allison Lau, Rachel Allen, John and Betsy Pitek, Niccole Shupp, Matthew Clark and Gretchen Ehrhart.

From The Wednesday,
Dec. 8, 1993 Edition Of
The Press And Journal

Boro Council Meeting Issues Call For Additional Attorneys

 Perhaps it is a sign of how litigious our society has become, of how complex municipal governing has become, or perhaps it is a sign of both. Whatever it signifies, three attorneys were in attendance at Middletown Borough Council’s regularly scheduled meeting of December 6.

The three legal representatives were David C. Clipper, Middletown Borough Solicitor, customarily present at Council meetings; Terrance J. Fitzpatrick of the Harrisburg-based law firm Malatesta, Hawke & McKeon, present to represent the Borough on the private well issue; and Kathryn Speaker MacNett, of the Harrisburg law firm Buchanan Ingersoll, hired to represent the Borough in negotiations now going on between the Borough and its uniform and non-uniform personnel.

 According to Council President Barbara Layne, talks have reached an impasse with the Teamster’s bargaining unit, resulting in a need for a mediator. Layne said the request for a mediator came from the Teamsters representative, not from the Borough. She also explained that the impasse centers on “wages and benefits.”

 She also stated that Council did factor possible wage and healthcare increases into its 1994 budget. But, she added, if demands exceed the budgeted amounts, Council would have only two choices, to reduce services or raise money to cover the difference.

 Stressing that it is not a given that demands will exceed projections, Layne said that if that does occur, and if Council elects to raise the money rather than reduce services, that money will likely come from a tax increase.

‘Christmas In The Park’ To Shine Again In 1993

 Middletown Borough is ready to “deck the parks,” turning Hoffer Park into a winter wonderland of shining lights for the third annual “Christmas in the Park” celebration.

 The extravaganza begins Fri., Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. when none other than Saint Nick will arrive at the park on a fire truck, delighting young and old alike. The Middletown Area High School Brass Band will also be on hand to fill the air with songs of the season.

 Children can tell Santa their Christmas wishes inside the pavilion each evening through Dec. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. Also, volunteers will serve hot cocoa, coffee and cookies to visitors.

 Outside, one can take in a breathtaking array of 40,000 Christmas lights strung throughout the park. The outside displays will remain in place through Jan. 3.

 Visitors are welcome to drive through the park or take a stroll and read the huge storyboards bearing the classic tales, “The Night Before Christmas.” All work, including the art, was done by local volunteers.

 “The Borough Electric Department did an outstanding job with this project,” praised Middletown Mayor Robert G. Reid. “It takes days to set all this up.” He expected preparations to be completed by Fri., Dec. 10.

 Mayor Reid also lauded Irv Strohecker, who headed the decorating committee, and the many citizens who are donating time to make this “Christmas in the Park” a memorable one. He also thanked the Londonderry Garden Center for donating the indoor Christmas tree.

Prices From 23 Years Ago

Wilson Honey Ham    $3.79/lb.
Fox’s Dutch Potato Salad    99¢/lb.
Pascal Celery.......        89¢/stalk
Raisin Bread 16 oz.    $1.79
Breaded Italian Veal Cutlet    $8.79/lb.
Tropicana Twisters 46 oz.    $1.79
Log Cabin Syrup 24 oz. btl.    $1.69
Hot Cocoa Mix 10 oz. pkg.    83¢
Grey Poupon Mustard 8 oz.    $1.73
Cain’s Mayonnaise 32 oz.     $1.49

Library Board Studies Options For Locating Larger Quarters

 When the Elizabethtown Public Library moved to its present location in 1961, its directors could not have anticipated that they would have to consider another move again 32 years later. But that’s exactly what the present members of the Board are now contemplating.

 Faced with a steady increase in its use by community residents and the lack of suitable space to expand the facility at its present location on North Hanover Street, the Library Board has begun to look at various options for finding a new location for the community facility.

 “It’s not a matter of choice,” Librarian Susan Bowser admits. “We need more space if we want to continue to provide the community with the kind of service they’ve become accustomed to.”

 Bowser says the Library’s circulation has jumped from about 20,000 annually in 1971 to more than 110,000 during 1992. Nearly 50,000 people visit the Library each year and the pace of that growth seems to be increasing steadily, she adds.

 “The idea of trying to enlarge our present building just isn’t feasible,” Bowser explains. “We don’t have enough available space here and the present building needs a lot of work to meet state and federal requirements.”

 Bowser says there are some buildings available right now that could be adapted to meet the library’s needs and would give them a more prominent and easily accessible location.
 “Our present building is on a beautiful site, but it’s in a secluded area of town. I think it should be out on a main thoroughfare where it’s more visible and more inviting.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:52

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Londonderry Township closes its yard waste recycling center

Londonderry Township residents will have to find a new place to dump yard waste because the township closed its recycling center on Sunset Drive, across from the public works building.

A sign has been posted at the site, and township employees have been alerting residents who stopped by and dumped yard waste regardless of the sign, said Andy Brandt, the township’s public works director. 

This area will be used for the construction of three pitches, or rugby fields, under and agreement with the Harrisburg Rugby Football Club. Click here for more about rugby project. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 16:36

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Want to aid those in need? Try food banks

If you are trying to come up with a good way to help your neighbor in need this holiday season, one place to start is at the local food bank.

Three food banks serve the greater Middletown area — Middletown Area Interfaith Food Pantry at 201 Wyoming St. in Royalton, Grace and Mercy Church and Ministries at 501 Ann St. in Middletown, and Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church at 190 Fulling Mill Road in Lower Swatara Township. Here is some information about each, and about how you help — or if you need food for you and you family, how you can get help.

In addition, a number of churches in the Middletown area hold free community dinners on a regular basis. For example, Wesley United Methodist Church on Ann Street offers a free community meal from 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday. 

In other words, this is not an all-inclusive list of all the churches and groups that provide food to those in need, not just during the holidays but year-round. If you are part of such a group and would like the public to know more about what you do, let us know and we will help spread the word.

Interfaith Food Pantry 

What they provide: An extensive offering of soups, vegetables, fruits, meats, frozen foods, dairy items like milk and eggs, nonperishable items, peanut butter, pastas, potato dinners, snacks and more.

Where they get it: Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, area churches, local grocery stores including Giant, Karns, and Sharp Shopper.

Who they help: The Interfaith Food Pantry serves 450 to 500 per month, including close to 200 families. The food pantry serves everyone within the 17057 zip code, which includes Lower Swatara, Royalton and Middletown.

What you need if you need help: You need to provide two forms of photo identification, and something that shows proof of address such as a rent receipt or utility bill.

When to go: The food pantry is open to the public every Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., except for when the day falls on a holiday like Christmas or New Year’s Day. If Middletown Area School District schools are closed due to weather, the food pantry will be closed. Otherwise the pantry will be open even if schools are closed.

How you can help: The food pantry is always in need of more canned goods and nonperishable items. The food pantry can also always use more volunteers, and financial donations are always appreciated. 

How to reach them: Call 944-5668 or stop by 201 Wyoming St. in Royalton when the food pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.

Grace and Mercy Church and Ministries 

What they provide: Fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, boxed food and canned food. Donated meat can be stored in a freezer.

Where they get it: Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Who they help: Grace and Mercy serves 40 to 50 families, or a total of about 200 people, living in Middletown, Royalton, Londonderry Township, Hummelstown, Derry Township, Highspire and Steelton.

What you need if you need help: Bring a photo ID. You will need to fill out a form about your income, but the food bank does not require proof of income and will not turn away people in need.

When to go: The Grace and Mercy food bank is open to the public from 3 to 5:30 p.m. every second and fourth Friday of the month. Grace and Mercy is located on the west end of Ann Street on property that is part of Harrisburg International Airport. 

How you can help: Grace and Mercy needs more volunteers to help man the food bank during the hours when it is open. If you can unload a truck, Grace and Mercy needs volunteers for that, too.

You can also help spread the word about Grace and Mercy. The amount of food that Grace and Mercy gets from Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is based on the number of people that Grace and Mercy serves, so if the need increases Grace and Mercy will get more food.

Grace and Mercy also has a ministry that accepts new, lightly used or hand-made winter clothing items such as gloves, hats, scarves, coats and blankets. The church then gives these items away to people in need.

How to reach them: Call Grace and Mercy at 717-616-8352 or stop by from 3 to 5:30 p.m. every second and fourth Friday at the church at 501 Ann St.

Glad Tidings Assembly of God Food Blessing 

What they provide: A variety of food items and staples for individuals and families.

Where they get it: Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Who they help: Glad Tidings serves about 65 families and the number keeps growing each month. The church serves individuals and families who live anywhere in Dauphin County.

What you need if you need help: Bring a photo ID and two pieces of mail to confirm your address. You do not have to bring proof of income.

When to go: Third Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. Glad Tidings is located east of North Union Street on Fulling Mill Road, overlooking Interstate Route 283.

How you can help: Glad Tidings needs another freezer, either a new freezer that would be donated or money that would go toward buying a second freezer. A second freezer would allow Glad Tidings to offer more perishable items. Glad Tidings would like to offer the food bank more often than once a month, but the church needs more financial assistance in order to do this.

How to reach them: Call Glad Tidings at 717-944-1042 or stop by the food bank when it is open on the third Wednesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. You can also contact the church through its website,

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 16:28

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Plenty of activities set for Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 10, is going to be a day full of holiday activities in Middletown.DSCN4324WEB

The Middletown Area Historical Society is holding its annual holiday home tour from 1 to 8 p.m. The museum at 29 E. Main St. will also be open to the public at this time.

Immediately following the home tour, the lighting of the official Middletown Christmas tree is to take place at Union and Emaus streets in the downtown. There will be music and free refreshments for the public donated by several local businesses, Mayor James H. Curry III has said.

You can also still order your own personalized ornament to be placed upon the borough tree by contacting Curry, or stopping by the Municipal Building during normal business hours. All proceeds from sale of the ornaments will go to a fund toward replacing and enhancing the borough’s holiday decorations in Hoffer Park.

In the middle of all this, the Middletown Blue Raiders football team will take on Beaver Falls at 3:30 p.m. in Hershey for the state championship. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 15:39

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All aboard! Miniature train set part of holiday home tour at museum



There’s something about a miniature train set that makes adults kids again, regardless of the time of year. That might be even more true when it’s the holiday season.

With that in mind, something of a Middletown tradition is being revived with the restoring of the miniature train set up inside the Middletown Area Historical Society museum at 29 E. Main St.

Before you get too excited, the miniature train system is only on display temporarily — at least for now.

The train system was a hit this past Saturday, Dec. 3, when Santa Claus visited the museum, said Jenny Miller, a member of the society’s board of trustees.

And the miniature train will be running in the museum from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, when the museum will be open as part of the holiday house tour.

Before the museum was turned over to the society, it had been the dentist office of Dr. Thomas Grosh.

Some dentists use windows, nice pictures on the wall, and soft music to distract their patients from the reality of what is going on inside of their mouth. Grosh had the novel idea of installing a miniature train set on a platform on the second floor. The ceiling was cut away, so a patient with his or her head propped back could just look up and watch the train go around and around and around.

When Grosh left, he took his train set, but he left the wooden platform on the second floor.

Enter Tim Hoffer of Middletown, one of those grown-up mechanical gadget guys who has never gotten over his boyhood love of miniature trains.

In 2015, when Hoffer’s house was part of the holiday house tour, he wowed visitors with his miniature trains running on big platforms that he had set up outside.

This year, Hoffer’s house isn’t on the tour, so he offered to set up his train system inside the museum. The museum was happy to accept, Miller said.

At this point, Hoffer’s train system is only on loan to the museum through Dec. 10, and possibly a little longer during the holidays. But stay tuned. The museum is talking to Hoffer about him helping the society to get its own permanent train set-up.

The completed train system is something that needs to be experienced first-hand to be appreciated. As the train chugs along in its somewhat oval path, past the little houses and businesses and bridges and trees that Hoffer has set up, you can hear the engine and the whistle as the locomotive approaches — just like in real life.

The engine has a light in the front and steam coming out of the top.

As noted, Hoffer like a lot of kids had a passion for miniature trains while he was growing up. When he joined the military, he put the trains away.

It wasn’t until September 2011, after Middletown was ravaged by the flooding from Tropical Storm Lee, that Hoffer’s passion for miniature trains was rekindled.

He was walking past all the flooded homes in the neighborhood behind Caravan Court — “counting my blessings” as Hoffer put it — when he came across a flood victim who was carrying boxes of damaged items out of his house for disposal.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:25

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