Written by Dan Miller
Michael Snyder has the content look of a guy who just got the motorcycle of his dreams. This treasured photo is how Tricia Snyder of Palmyra likes to remember her father.
“I remember when he brought that bike home and he was so happy about it,” she said. “That was like the best thing in the world to him. His face is something I will never forget, him being so happy about it.”
Michael Snyder had a passion for his motorcycle, but there’s no question he also had a passion for his family.
Once when Tricia was in the third grade, she fell off the monkey bars and hit her head. Her dad rolled up on his motorcycle to take her to the doctor’s office. The school nurse said “Are you going to put her on the back of a motorcycle?” Tricia remembers. Sure, her dad said, they were only going down the street, and it was alright, he had a helmet for Tricia to wear.
And everything was alright, until four years ago when Tricia’s dad was taken away from her by a murderer. Snyder was shot to death by Adam Homer, a 31-year-old drifter, at a campground along Swatara Park Road. He was 48 at the time.
Father’s Day is a tough day for Tricia Snyder now as it always will be. “For the first year or so I didn’t try to think about it all,” Tricia said of Father’s Day. “That day couldn’t exist for me.”
But Tricia admits time has helped and healed. On Father’s Day, Tricia, her two sisters and the rest of Michael Snyder’s family go to the campsite that Michael loved so much. They plant flowers and light candles at a memorial site that Michael’s brother, Allan, had made.
For Tricia, the campground remains a place full of wonderful memories of all that happened before that terrible day in 2012. “He had huge family get-togethers” at the campground, especially on the big summer holidays - Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Tricia said. “We had some of the best times with my dad. I picture him walking around, talking to everybody.”
Michael would hang out by the creek with his granddaughter, Tricia’s oldest daughter. “He’d say ‘let’s feed the fish’” and he and the little girl would stand on the bank of the Swatara Creek and throw rocks into the water. It didn’t matter what kind of a day Michael Snyder had, good or bad. “He loved being a pappy,” Tricia said.
Tricia admits she feels her dad’s presence in other ways. Not long ago Tricia and her kids were driving home along Hersheypark Drive when the car broke down. Tricia said she felt her dad’s spirit coaxing the car along just enough to get Tricia and the kids a block away from home, so everything would be all right. “He was probably yelling at me about my car,” Tricia said, but she knew he had confidence in her. “’You’re a strong woman, you can do it’” he always told her.
These are the memories and other things about her dad that get Tricia through the devastating pain of sorrow and loss. “He’s proud of me,” said Tricia, now 30. “He’s looking down on us and making sure we are all ok, all the time. He always helps me pull through everything. One way or another, I pull through everything.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:24
Eastbound off-ramp closed Sunday from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday
Motorists traveling on US 322 in Derry Twp. have been alerted by PennDOT of work to begin Sunday, May 15.
Hempt Brothers, contractor for the project will eastbound U.S. 322 off-ramp for Hummelstown/Middletown from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning. Milling and resurfacing work will be undertaken, weather permitting.
The work is part of an ongoing $13 million construction project that began May 8 to repair and resurface a seven mile section of US 322 between the Eisenhower Interchange in Swatara Twp. and the Hershey interchange with Route 39 and US 422 in Derry Twp.
The contract includes roadway base repair, milling and resurfacing the existing roadway and shoulders with new asphalt. On the concrete portions of the project, the contractor will make concrete repairs and apply a thin friction course on the pavement. The project also includes guiderail replacement, minor drainage improvements, and curb ramp improvements associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Work under this construction contract is scheduled to be completed next summer.
PennDOT advises travelers that they may continue to encounter shifting traffic patterns and/or single-lane traffic restrictions through the work zone on weeknights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Some sections of US 322 average more than 21,000 vehicles traveled daily.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 May 2016 14:03
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s office cautioned both Pennsylvania consumers and businesses to be aware of the potential for price gouging following the State of Emergency declaration made by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Price gouging restrictions prohibit anyone involved in the sale or distribution of consumer goods or services from "unconscionably excessive" increases above average prices during the emergency and for 30 days after its conclusion.
The state's Price Gouging Act gives the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection the authority to investigate price gouging complaints and allows for penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, along with restitution and injunctive relief.
The restrictions required by the act not only apply to businesses involved in direct consumer sales, but also to manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors of consumer products and services.
Attorney General Kane also advised consumers to follow the Public Utility Commission's tips for residents during power outages, including calling utility companies instead of 9-1-1 if power is lost. Commonwealth residents also are encouraged to limit travel during power outages involving downed power lines.
Consumers can report potential price gouging by calling the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection helpline at 800-441-2555 or by filing a consumer complaint online.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 January 2016 11:30
Property taxes held for record 11th year but state funding shortfalls could force tax increase in 2017, commissioners warns
The good news? Dauphin Co. Commissioners passed a $243 million budget for 2016 that holds the line on taxes for an 11th year straight.
The not-so-good news? Commissioners warned potential cuts in state funding could jeopardize that record next year.
“The state currently owes Dauphin Co. almost $30 million in human services funding’” said commission Chairman Jeff Haste. “This is forcing us to seek a $20 million tax anticipation note to keep cash flow going until we start getting local tax revenue in mid-February.
“But we’ll have a larger problem if some of the significant cuts to human services funding that are being discussed makes it into the final state budget,. If we see a $6 million cut in Children and Youth funding, that equals a half-mill of taxes.’’
Haste, who serves as the 2015 County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania’s (CCAP) board chairman, said the organization is committed to working with lawmakers to ensure human services funding isn’t held hostage in future budget impasses.
“In Dauphin County, we’re fortunate that our careful budgeting allowed us to cover human services funding thus far without borrowing,’’ Haste said. “But other counties have been forced to cut back on services and borrow. Luzerne County had its bond rating downgraded due in large part to the deficit created by the state withholding $20 million in funding.’’
Commissioner Mike Pries stressed if the county is forced to raise taxes, it won’t be a decision the board makes lightly.
“This board weighs the potential impact to the taxpayer in every decision we make,” Pries said. “We’ve managed to keep the lid on property taxes for 11 years, but it’s a record we can continue only if the state doesn’t slash funding for vital services.’’
Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III echoed his fellow commissioner’s concerns, noting the state is causing “significant uncertainty’’ about the county’s budget next year.
“State lawmakers are considering pushing back $172 million counties are owed in children and youth funding into the next fiscal year to help balance the budget,’’ Hartwick said. “Counties are seeing record numbers of child abuse reports in the wake of new child protection laws. If the state doesn’t adequately fund these services, it’s local taxpayers that are forced to make up the difference.’’
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 16:29
Written by Dan Miller
Construction of the new Amtrak train station on West Main Street is expected to start in early 2016, PennDOT officials have told the borough.
The $32 million project includes building a pedestrian bridge from the private Penn State Harrisburg student housing over West Main Street so students can cross safely to the new train station.
Emaus Street is also to be extended to West Main Street as part of the train station project. The Emaus Street extension would be completed toward the end of the overall project.
Pennsylvania Turnpike Bridge Over Vine Street
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 August 2015 17:36