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Donuts with Dad

Dads6

Dozens of dads brought their sons and daughters to school early Nov. 16 at Londonderry Elementary School for “Donuts with Dads.”

The Parent Teacher Association sponsored the annual event, which moved from the end of the school year to November this year to avoid holding it close to the date of Muffins with Moms, which is typically in May.

Dads could buy their children raffle tickets for prizes that included gift cards to the Palmyra Pharmacy and Texas Roadhouse, a voucher for Harrisburg Senators tickets, a Bass Pro Shop weather clock, four front-row seats to the school’s holiday concert and a chance to be principal for a day.


To see more Press And Journal photos by Eric Wise of Donuts with Dad, check out our print edition or click here for our E-edition.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:21

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223 area code will be put in use next year

The 717 area code won’t be the only one in use in central Pennsylvania come next year. And the change will mean more digits to dial as well.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has received notice that the number 223 will be the overlay for the 717 area code.

The new area code was selected by Neustar Inc., the neutral third party area code relief planner for Pennsylvania, according to the PUC. The new 223 area code number will be assigned to new telephone numbers once the available supply of numbers in the current 717 area code is exhausted. Based on current forecast predictions, the supply of phone numbers available in the 717 area code is projected to exhaust by the third quarter of 2017.

To dial within the 717 area code will require 10-digit dialing once the 223 area code is added. That means callers will have to dial 717 or 223 first.

On Oct. 27, the Commission voted 5-0 to approve the overlay plan, based on extensive public input from throughout the 16-county region in Central Pennsylvania served by the 717 area code. The overlay area code relief option was supported by the majority of individuals who submitted written comments or testified at the PUC’s Smart Hearings, along with the telecommunications industry, according to the PUC. The alternate way to handle the change would have been to split the 16-county 717 area code geographically.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 15:28

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Out & About: Robots rule at sixth annual competition

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Penn State Harrisburg was host to the sixth annual South Central PA Robotics Competition on Nov. 12. The event was jointly organized by Harrisburg Area Community College, Dauphin County Technical School, Cumberland-Perry Technical School, and Penn State Harrisburg.


 This event is part of a larger STEM initiative and is open to all students from all schools, as well as home-schooled students throughout the region.


Contestants worked in teams of three high school students plus a mentor from one of the participating colleges.


Teams were presented with six tasks in robotic motion and control. The winning team had to program an educational robot to perform these tasks as quickly and precisely as possible.

To see more photos by Earl Hammaker of the robot competition at Penn State Harrisburg, check out our print edition or click here for our E-edition.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 14:34

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Elks grant requires matching $500,000

A $500,000 state grant to help reopen the Elks Theatre that has been authorized by Gov. Tom Wolf is good news for Middletown — but it isn’t free money.

The borough to get the grant must come up with $500,000 in local “matching” dollars, based upon requirements of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, the state program which is the source of the grant funds.

The Elks project must cost at least $1 million to qualify for the RACP grant, according to a list of frequently asked questions about the program posted by the state online. 

The borough has received a letter from the state dated Oct. 28 authorizing release of the $500,000 for the Elks Building by Wolf.

Money that has been spent before the authorization date — in this case Oct. 28 — cannot be counted toward the $500,000 matching requirement, according to the list of FAQs.

That indicates that none of the money that has been spent so far to transform most of the Elks Building into the Tattered Flag Still Works can be counted toward the match, nor any money that has been spent on improving the theater. 

The theater is the only part of the Elks Building still wholly owned by the borough. On Dec. 31, 2015, most of the Elks Building was sold to a company representing Tattered Flag for $400,000 by the Middletown Industrial and Commercial Development Authority. Tattered Flag has a $400,000 mortgage on the property.

The authority and borough council has already committed some future funding toward reopening the theater. 

All proceeds from sale of the McNair House property on the northeast corner of North Union and East Emaus streets and from sale of the now-vacant former Klahr Building site in the first block of South Union Street are to go toward the theater under action taken by the authority in August. 

The authority still owns both properties, but is looking to sell them as soon as possible as part of the ongoing dissolution of the authority that has been ordered by the council.

Council on Nov. 1 approved hiring a real estate firm to appraise the McNair House property, which consists of three separate addresses under one tax parcel. 

The authority has received bids from properties on either side of the Klahr tract, however at present sale of the Klahr parcel is “kind of in limbo,” according to Councilor Ian Reddinger, who chairs the authority.

The authority in August also decided that an estimated $50,000 that the borough expects to receive over the next two years from leasing a cell tower to AT&T is to go toward the Elks Theatre renovations.

Estimates for how much it would cost to renovate and reopen the theater run from about $500,000 to close to $1.3 million.

The borough soon hopes to get a firmer estimate from A.P. Williams, the company that is working for Tattered Flag to convert its portion of the Elks Building into a combined craft brewery/distillery brew pub.

On Sept. 15, representatives of A.P. Williams, Tattered Flag, and Friends of the Elks met to discuss A.P. Williams coming up with a firm estimate for what it would cost to carry out a proposal that Friends of the Elks Theatre submitted to the authority in 2015 to reopen the theater as a performing arts center.

Friends of the Elks, a nonprofit group, was created out of the Greater Middletown Economic Development Corp., the nonprofit entity that owned the Elks Building and operated the theater for several years until the authority bought the building in 2014.

The GMEDC continued leasing and running the theater until April 2015, when the authority closed the theater for renovations. The theater has not reopened since.

A report with some firm numbers from A.P. Williams should be coming out “fairly soon,” said Gordon Einhorn, a member of the board of directors of the Friends group.

Einhorn expects that the A.P. Williams estimate will come in lower than the nearly $1.3 million price tag that was identified during a public meeting in July by Jonathan Crist, an attorney living in Conewago Township who operated the Elks Theatre from February 1986 to October 2005.

Crist’s estimate was based upon his “understanding” of the condition of the Elks Theatre at the time he left in 2005, Einhorn said. For example, Einhorn said that Crist’s estimate did not take into account a new roof and a new heating and cooling system for the theater that were done by GMEDC.

If the A.P. Williams estimate comes in less than $1 million, other things could be added in that would bring the total to the $1 million benchmark required for the borough to get the $500,000 state grant, Einhorn said.

The Friends group is willing to help raise any money that might be needed in order for the borough to meet the $500,000 matching requirement, Einhorn said. 

But that’s not possible until the borough makes some kind of commitment to the Friends group regarding the proposal that Friends has made to operate the theater Einhorn noted.

“We can’t raise funds for a project that we are not a part of yet,” he said.

The borough has 30 days from when it received the authorization letter to decide whether it will accept the RACP grant, Council President Ben Kapenstein told the rest of council on Nov. 1.

The borough then has six months to submit its application to the state, which among other things would have to document that the borough will have the $500,000 in matching funds.

Completing and submitting the grant application looks to be a daunting challenge in and of itself. The borough used to have its own in-house grant writer, but that person left the staff in 2015 and no one has been designated to replace him.

Kapenstein said he has set up a meeting with David Black, president and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp., to possibly assist the borough in completing and submitting the grant application.

There might be “a small charge” involved, but it would be money well spent, Kapenstein said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 15:18

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Beer delivery by your local bars and restaurants?

 

deliveryBy Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel PA NewsMedia Assoc.

Q:  Several local bars and restaurants that deliver food want to run ads that tell readers they can now deliver beer along with a food order.  The ads note things like “now delivering beer,” or “beer delivery/up to two six packs.” Can they do that, and can newspapers publish that kind of ad?  

A: Yes. Businesses licensed to sell alcohol can deliver a limited amount of beer as long as they have obtained the proper permit, and ads promoting the service are acceptable.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB)’s policy on beer delivery notes licensees can obtain a permit to allow the transport of a limited amount of beer as long as certain conditions are met. The “Transport for Hire” permit allows those holding the permit, such as retail licensees like bars and restaurants, to deliver up to 192 ounces of beer (two six packs) per sale if the sale is completed on the licensed premises, the delivery vehicle is owned/leased by the licensee and operated by licensee employees.  

The PLCB’s advisory opinion does not specifically address advertising, but the law generally allows licensees to advertise prices and availability of products in newspapers.  If a licensee obtains a “Transport for Hire” permit and can legally deliver beer, the law allows them to advertise the service and prices, as long as the advertising otherwise complies with the advertising requirements imposed by the Liquor Code and PLCB regulations.

The general rules regarding alcoholic beverage ads are as follows:

Any advertisements of price may not contain any of the following:

• False, deceptive or misleading statements;

• Statements disparaging of the products of competitors; or

• Monetary comparisons of brands.

Bars and Restaurants may:

• Offer one drink special per day (drink of the day), which must end by midnight; and

• Offer one four-hour happy hour each day, which must end by midnight.

• Happy hour notice must be posted at the licensed premises seven days prior to happy hour.

Bars and Restaurants may not:

• Offer 2 drinks for the price of one;

• Sell an unlimited amount of alcohol for a set price (EXCEPT at catered events arranged at least 24 hours in advance);

• Discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, or disability (No "Ladies Nights" with specials exclusively for women); or

• Offer any discount pricing (happy hour, drink of the day) after midnight.

The following restrictions apply to all advertisements for alcoholic or malt beverages:

• The advertiser must be clearly identified in the ad.

• No printed advertisements are permitted within 300 feet of a church, school or public playground.

• No advertisements may be directed at minors to promote the illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages.

• Obscene advertisements are prohibited.

• Advertisements may not contradict the ideals of safety or safe driving programs.

• Licensees may not advertise any alcoholic beverages if they do not actually have a sufficient supply of the beverages on hand to meet the normally expected demands.

• Advertisements may not refer to the alcoholic strength of a malt beverage in any manner in order to induce consumers to buy the product. Terms such as "full strength," "extra strength," "high proof," etc. are prohibited.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 05 February 2016 08:01

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