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FROM HIGHSPIRE TO HOLLYWOOD: Actor Don Keefer, veteran of stage and screen, dies

keeferatwedding10 1 14Submitted photo: Actor Don Keefer, second from left, is shown on his wedding day, with bride Catherine McLeod, second from right, actor Kevin McCarthy and author and critic Mary McCarthy.


Actor Don Keefer portrayed a man who was turned into a jack-in-the-box in an episode of TV’s “Twilight Zone’’ and a scientist who wakes up Woody Allen in Allen’s 1973 film, “Sleeper.”


He was a school janitor eaten by a monster in a crate in director George Romero’s screen adaptation of Stephen King’s 1982 anthology, “Creepshow,” and begged Jim Carrey for change in the 1997 comedy, “Liar, Liar.’’


He was a star.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 21:29

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HIA master plan seeks new ways to raise revenue

Finding new and alternative ways to raise revenue is the focus of a long-range master plan now being put together for Harrisburg International Airport.


A public meeting to gain citizen input and to update area residents on the progress of the plan was held Wednesday, Sept. 24, in the Capital Union Building on the Penn State Harrisburg campus by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, the airport’s owner.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 21:06

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Council to consider 25 percent fee hike

Middletown Borough Council is expected to discuss a proposed resolution at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 6 that would increase borough fees by 25 percent across the board.


The resolution would mostly affect permits and fees that are levied through code enforcement, including the application fee people pay for their case to go before the Middletown Zoning Hearing Board.


The increase would not impact fees that are charged through the police department. Council’s finance committee is also giving separate consideration to a fee structure regarding the Woody Waste program.


The 25 percent fee increase is among recommendations included in the Early Intervention Plan that was completed for the borough in March 2013 by Susquehanna Group Advisors, the firm currently acting as the borough’s financial consultant.


In the report, the consultants describe the 25 percent fee increase as a starting point toward bringing revenue coming into the codes department in line with the actual cost of providing services.


The study recommends that in addition to the fee increase, the borough have a study done to determine the actual costs of providing codes services. 


Additional fee increases might then be needed beyond the 25 percent, depending on the results of such a study.


Dan Miller: 717-944-4628, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 20:32

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Towns hold drug take-back events

If you have unwanted or unused prescription drugs lying around the house, there is a great opportunity to get rid of them safely on Saturday, Sept. 27.


Middletown and Hummelstown are holding prescription drug-take back events as part of a nationwide Drug Take-Back Day.


Middletown’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Giant Foods store at 450 East Main St. Middletown police are running the event, with support from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.


Residents can bring their pills and patches for proper disposal. The event cannot accept needles or syringes.


This is the ninth such take-back in four years that has been provided for Middletown residents. In April, police collected 108 pounds of prescription drugs.


The Hummelstown event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the solarium at the Alexander Family Library at 200 W. Second St. Lower Dauphin Communities That Care and Hummelstown police have partnered to hold the event.


Besides these two events, similar drug take-backs will also be held Saturday at the Highspire Borough Building, Hershey Public Library and the Steelton Police Department.


For more information about any of these events and about the nationwide drug take-back, go to and click on the “Got Drugs?” icon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 21:38

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Exercise, therapy wing proposed for Frey Village



Press and Journal Photo by Dan Miller -- The owner of Frey Village on North Union Street wants to build a one-story wing at the facility for exercise and physical therapy services for the facility’s residents.


Frey Village Senior Living Community in Middletown hopes to add a wing to provide more space for exercise and physical therapy services for residents, according to a plan now before Middletown Borough Council.


Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, Sept. 17, voted to recommend that the full council approve the Frey Village plan when it comes before council on Monday, Oct. 6.


The 5,600-square-foot single-story wing would extend from the north side of the Frey Village complex, in the direction of Middletown Area High School as one is facing Frey Village from North Union Street.


Some of the land for the addition would come from what Frey Village now uses for parking, said Craig Venarchick of RGS Associates, the engineering firm that drew up plans for the project.


Frey Village currently has more parking than it needs because most of the residents do not have cars, Venarchick said.


He told the planning committee that Frey Village already has some exercise and physical therapy facilities. However, the current facilities are “outdated” and are not large enough to meet the needs of residents, Venarchick said.


Frey Village is owned by Allentown-based Diakon Senior Living Services. Frey Village has 51 apartments, 35 personal-care units and 136 skilled-nursing beds.


Deanna Ziemba, Diakon’s senior vice president for operations and business development, explained the concept behind the Frey Village addition in a statement e-mailed to The Press and Journal:


“Our goal is to focus on wellness and preventive measures to help residents and patients live as independently as possible for as long as possible,” Ziemba said. “As the health-care environment  continues to change, we want to enhance Frey Village’s offer to include a rehabilitation center to meet the needs of those we care for on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Further, we will be adding physician offices to provide our residents and patients the ability to see their primary care physicians as well as specialists without needing to leave the Frey Village campus.”


Venarchick said Frey Village would not have to upgrade its current stormwater system to handle the drainage impact of the addition.


Instead, there would be a reduction of stormwater runoff as a result of the addition because the net result would be a decrease in the impervious parking area, he said.


An engineer with HRG, the borough’s consulting engineering firm, said that as a condition of approval the fire chiefs from Middletown and Lower Swatara should review the plan to see if they have any concerns.


Borough Manager Tim Konek said that Middletown Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ken Whitebread had already reviewed the plan and had no concerns.


Venarchick said the plan now before council has no relationship to a more ambitious $20 million proposal that Frey Village had presented in 2011 to add 56 apartments to the complex. That plan was nixed by the economy.


“The market just wasn’t there” at the time for adding apartments and residents, Venarchick said.


For now, the emphasis is on improving the current facility for residents, so that Frey Village can stay competitive in the senior living community market, he said.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 22:06

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