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Series of Middletown candidate debates start tonight


A series of debates for candidates on the May 19 primary ballot for Middletown Borough Council and Middletown Area School Board is being sponsored by Middletown Citizens for Responsible Government.


Each debate will be from 7 to 9 p.m.


The first debate on Tuesday, May 5, will be for borough council First Ward candidates and all school board candidates, and will take place at the American Legion Post 594 on High Street.


On Wednesday, May 6 - a debate for council Second Ward and school board candidates will be held at American Legion Post 594 on High Street.


On Thursday, May 7, a debate for Third Ward and school board candidates will be held at American Legion Post 594.


On Monday May 11 and Tuesday May 12, two debates will be held for all council and school board candidates. These debates will be held in the auditorium (C213) of the Olmsted Building on Penn State Harrisburg.


Moderator for all the debates will be Dr. Beverly Ciglar, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at Penn State Harrisburg. 


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 17:19

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Press And Journal wins six Keystones

Journal Staff Awards 2015copyPress And Journal Photo by Eric Wise -- Keystone Award winners at the Press And Journal are, from left: Jim Lewis, editor; Julianna Sukle, creative director; Dan Miller, reporter; and Margie Smith, page designer, seated.

We won six Keystones!

The Press And Journal won six Keystone Press Awards in news reporting, sportswriting, headline writing and front-page layout in the 2015 Keystone Press Awards, a statewide competition of newspapers sponsored by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation, a professional association of journalists.

The foundation announced the winners, who will be honored for their accomplishments at a banquet at The Wyndham Gettysburg on Saturday, May 30. Peers from the Michigan Press Association judged the awards, given in a variety of categories.

About 4,200 entries from 133 newspapers that serve Pennsylvania competed for awards. The Press And Journal competed against other newspapers in Division VI, which is comprised of publications with a circulation of 5,000 to 9,999. Page designer Margie Smith, creative director Julianna Sukle and editor Jim Lewis won a first-place award front page design for the front pages of three 2014 editions of the Press And Journal.

Staff writer Dan Miller won a first-place award in the news feature story category for his package of stories on the 50th anniversary of the Pentagon’s announcement that it would close the Olmsted Air Force Base, and change Middletown forever. The stories appeared in our Nov. 19, 2014 edition – exactly 50 years to the day that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara made the announcement.

Lewis won a first-place award for sports event coverage for his story on the Middletown Area High School girls’ basketball team’s loss to West Perry in the first round of the District 3 playoffs in February 2014.

Sukle won an honorable mention for her graphic illustration for a December 2014 story on Royalton’s repeal of borough gun laws in the wake of a new state law that gave outside gun rights groups legal standing to challenge local gun rules.

Lewis won an honorable mention in headline writing for a series of headlines from 2014.

Former staff writer Noelle Barrett, who now works for Dauphin County’s Children and Youth Services, won a first-place award in the sports story category for her story on Anthony Wright, a former Steelton-Highspire High School basketball player who scored his landmark 1,000th point. Her story appeared on the front page of the Feb. 19, 2014 edition of the Press And Journal.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 16:49

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Borough seeks to convert bulbs in street lights


Middletown will seek proposals from companies that are interested in converting the street lights in town to more energy-efficient Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology.

Council’s public works committee in 2014 heard a presentation from one company that said it would guarantee the borough savings if the street lights are converted to LED.

However, the borough is legally required to seek proposals from other companies, Councilor Ben Kapenstein said during council’s meeting on Monday, May 4.

Council voted unanimously to advertise to seek proposals over the next 30 to 45 days.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 16:43

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Got overdue library materials? A judge may throw the book at you


If you walk out of a store with $123 worth of items and don’t pay, you can expect to be charged with shoplifting. And if you borrow $123 worth of materials from the Middletown Public Library and never return them, you can expect the long arm of the law to reach out and touch you – eventually.

Just like a traffic ticket, an unreturned book, DVD or other borrowed library item is going to cost you a lot more by the time a library files charges against you at a district judge’s office.

The $123.75 “Doctor Sleep” audiobook that a Middletown woman borrowed from the Middletown library in August ended up costing her a whopping $317.75 – including an extra $35 in fines and $154 in court costs.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 16:26

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OFF HE GOES: Middletown senior is accepted into Air Force Academy


Good thing Middletown Area High School senior William “Will” Botterbusch has taken flying lessons – he’s been accepted into the Air Force Academy.botterbuschpic5 6 15web

Botterbusch will leave at the end of June to begin six weeks of basic training at the academy in Colorado Springs, Col.

He will major in mechanical engineering. However, Botterbusch’s ultimate goal is to be a pilot.

“I’ve always had an interest in serving my country,” said Botterbusch. His father and grandfather both served in the Army as enlisted soldiers.

Botterbusch grew up watching war movies and being inspired by his father’s stories of his time in the military.

He first learned of the academy in ninth grade. From that point on, he focused on doing whatever he had to do to get accepted.

“They were looking for the best of the best and I decided that’s what I wanted to be,” he said.

Getting accepted into one of the nation’s military academies is a unique and daunting process. You must get nominated by a member of Congress – either one of your state’s two senators, or by a member of the House of Representatives. Just getting to that point is a challenge.

Botterbusch applied to each of Pennsylvania’s two senators – Robert P. Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey – and to Rep. Lou Barletta, whose district encompasses the Middletown Area School District.

Botterbusch’s application was strong enough that he advanced to the interview stage for all three – Casey, Toomey and Barletta.

“They have a panel of people who interview you and ask questions,” Botterbusch said. He ended up getting the nomination through Barletta. “They are looking for the whole person, not just good grades and athletics,” Botterbusch said.

He had the leadership credentials. Botterbusch had been captain of the Blue Raiders’ football and wrestling teams. He also served as a class officer and a student council representative.

The academy also looks for community service, and what Botterbusch called “an X factor” that can separate you out from other applicants. Botterbusch felt that in his case, it was his musical talent. He figures the flying lessons probably didn’t hurt either.

When he learned of his acceptance into the academy earlier this year, “it was like confirmation that all the hard work I’ve done over the last three years” had been worth it, he said.

Botterbusch will begin competing for a pilot slot at the academy in his junior year. Upon graduation from the academy, Botterbusch will serve a 10-year commitment to the Air Force.

He hopes to be spending those 10 years in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Jody Zorbaugh contributed to this article. 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, 05 May 2015 16:27

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