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Out & About: Taking to the field with field hockey

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The Middletown Area High School Blue Raiders field hockey team has had a tough season, standing at 2-9 overall and 0-6 in the Mid-Penn Capital Division. Here’s a look at the team with highlights from games throughout the season.

For more photos by Don Graham of Blue Raiders field hockey, check out our print edition or click here for our E-edition.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 13:13

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Methodist church’s 165th anniversary celebration includes original play, meal

churchanniversary1Press And Journal Staff Photo by Dan Miller -- Evangelical United Methodist Church in Middletown is celebrating its 165th anniversary with a dinner theater on Sunday, Oct. 16. Church members will perform a play that is based upon a history of the church co-written by church co-historian Sue Neiman (right). At left is Sue's husband of 61 years and the pianist for the play, Bill Neiman.


 Where can you see a play and enjoy a full home-cooked meal for just $5?

In the Evangelical United Methodist Church at Spruce and Water streets in Middletown at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, of course.

The church has come up with a novel way to celebrate its 165th anniversary — a theatrical production to be performed for the community for the first time during the dinner theater on Oct. 16.

The play titled “The Story: The Spirit of Evan” is based upon a history of the church that was written by the church’s co-historians, Sue Neiman and Sue Rowe.

Neiman came up with the idea of telling the story of the church’s 165-year history through a play. She’s never heard of another church ever doing this.

She enlisted the help of Paige Pavlishin to convert the written history into a theatrical production. 

Pavlishin, who goes to Wesley United Methodist Church on Ann Street, has directed multiple school plays throughout the area over the years. 

“I said to (Paige) ‘I can write it, can you set it up on the stage?’ I’d write, she’d critique, I’d write and she’d critique” and it went on that way for about a year until the production was complete, Neiman said.

The 40-minute play includes songs sung by a church quartet, accompanied on piano by Sue Neiman’s husband of 61 years, Bill.

There are almost 50 people involved in the play, from senior citizens to children, with nearly all of them being members of the EUMC.

Pavlishin is cast as “the story teller.” Wearing a cape and carrying a lantern, she introduces each of the scenes in the play.

Neiman also appears in the play as “the frantic person” — a humorous way of portraying times throughout the church’s history when someone sounded the alarm over some kind of challenge or obstacle that the church had to overcome. Often that had to do with finding more room for a growing congregation.

Neiman and Rowe both started as the church co-historians eight years ago. Neiman is a former director of the Middletown Public Library.

Neiman, soon to be 83, joined EUMC at age 11 and has been a member ever since. Rowe went to school with Neiman and joined the church at the same time.

The two historians work out of a room on the church’s second floor where the archives are stored. When Neiman and Rowe started, the church records and documents were piled in cardboard boxes and nothing was organized or sorted. Neiman and Rowe fixed all that.

A lot of the original source material for the church history comes from minutes.

The hand-written minutes from the 1800s are more revealing and tell a far more interesting and colorful story than the all-business minutes of today, Neiman said. 

Back then people taking the minutes also wrote down their opinion and how they felt about whatever issue was being discussed or voted on at the time, she said. This kind of material helped bring the church history to life.  

The church grew out of a Bible study that was being held in somebody’s home. In the beginning, locals called the church “The little brown church on Duck Street,” which is what Water Street in Middletown used to be called. The church started sending missionaries to Africa in the 1800s.

While the production is fun and has its moments of comic relief, the underlying intent is to tell the story of how the Evangelical United Methodist Church has told and spread the story of the Gospel.

“I think it does tell the story of what our job is,” Neiman said. “Your job as a Christian is to tell the story.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 09:42

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Sites to serve on planning commission

Former borough councilor Scott Sites on Sept. 20 was appointed to a four-year term on the Middletown Borough Planning Commission. ScottSitesWEB2

Council tapped Sites to replace Raymond Jones, who resigned recently. The borough advertised to find residents interested in filling the vacancy, but Sites was the only applicant, said Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter.

Sites served on council through 2015 but did not seek re-election in November.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 15:45

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Out & About: 37th Annual "Running of the Goats" at Falmouth


The 37th annual “Running of the Goats” was held Saturday, Sept. 24, at Governor Stable Park, just off Route 441 in Falmouth, Lancaster County. The festivities were sponsored by the Falmouth Civic Association.

Goat races began at 11 a.m. and went throughout the day. Stu Huggens and his country and western five-piece band performed, there was a kiddy barrel train and “cow patty bingo” for adults.

To see more photos of the "Running of the Goats," check out our print edition or click here for our E-edition.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 15:44

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Middletown seeks members for business association

Middletown Borough Council voted 6-1 on Sept. 20 for the borough to advertise to seek people who want to serve on the board of directors of the Middletown Business Association.

Council’s motion did not say when the board will be appointed, or whether the board will be appointed by council or the soon-to-be-nonexistent Middletown Industrial and Commercial Development Authority.

Articles of incorporation creating the association were filed with the state in late 2014 by the ICDA, but a board of directors for the association “was never properly seated,” solicitor Adam Santucci told council.

Council earlier this year voted to dissolve the authority, but before the authority can be closed out the authority must either appoint a board of directors for the business association, or file paperwork with the state to eliminate the association, Santucci said.

Leaders of the fledgling business association do not want the authority to rescind the articles of incorporation, because the association would then have to come up with thousands of dollars on its own to refile the articles with the state.

At the same time, association leaders — and supporters of the association on council — want the association to be an entity independent of the borough. Seeking to allay such concerns, Council President Ben Kapenstein said that “once the (authority) is closed down, we are totally separated from the association. The association will have no interaction with the borough at all.”

In addition, Kapenstein said he has been told that the association plans to come to an upcoming meeting — of the authority or council Kapenstein did not say — to request that everything done on behalf of the association be transferred to the association.

“They are not asking for any more money, but the work has already been done and they don’t want to pay for it again,” Kapenstein said.

Kapenstein’s assurances that the association will not end up under the borough’s thumb did not convince Council Vice President Damon Suglia, who voted against the motion to advertise to find people to serve on the association board.

After the meeting, Suglia told the Press And Journal that while he is a strong supporter of the business association, it is a waste of borough tax dollars and time for the authority or the borough to doing the advertising.

The association can guarantee its independence from the borough by starting over from scratch and filing its own articles of incorporation at its own expense, Suglia noted. 

“They can get together and hold their own meetings and do it themselves,” he added.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 15:32

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