Saturday, July 21, 2018

Robert G. Miller

Robert G. Miller, a distinguished World War II veteran, writer, photographer, outdoorsman, history buff, and lifelong resident of the Columbia area, died on Wednesday, July 18, at St. Anne's Retirement Community, his daughter Cynthia at his side. He was 96 years of age.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Man accused of killing woman found dead in parked vehicle

Officials confirmed that the body of a homicide suspect was found in a vehicle found in a store parking lot in Lancaster County.


New state law potentially pits transparency against school safety

"It does not give school boards unfettered discretion to discuss everything behind closed doors," said Melissa Melewski, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.


Police seek homicide suspect described as "Armed and Dangerous"

Police were called to a late night shooting at the Lincoln West Apartments in West Hempfield Township last evening just before 11:30 pm.  Officers from West Hempfield, East Hempfield and Manor Township along with Columbia Borough responded and upon arrival found a 48-year-old female deceased from gunshot wounds.  Witnesses reported hearing 3 to 4 gunshots before seeing the female on the ground.  Police were also advised that a suspect entered a red Ford SUV and was last seen heading east on Columbia Avenue.
During the investigation, police determined that the killing was domestic related and that the male shooter and the deceased had not been together since 2016.  Police have identified the suspect as 55 year old Dawood Al-Barwari, AKA Dawood M. Dawood.  He is 65" in height and medium build with black hair and brown eyes.  He wears glasses and has facial hair, possibly more than what the photo shows.  Al-Barwari drives a 2011 red Ford Edge bearing PA registration KBV8885.  Suspect is from Iraq and walks with a limp from an injury he received while fight for Iraqi military.
Anyone knowing his whereabouts should contact their local police immediately.  He should be considered armed and dangerous as the weapon has not he recovered.  At the time of this release Officers from West Hempfield Township were preparing homicide charges against Dawood.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Hempfield Township Police Department at 717-285-5191 or 1-800-957-2677.
Updated News Releases To Follow
All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Library dedication to be held Sunday, August 12

Magical Moments at the Library on Friday, July 20

Police want to know if you can ID the man in these photos

The Columbia Borough Police is investigating several thefts in the area. We need the communities assistance in identifying the male pictured. Please contact Officer Austin Miller if you have any information. 1-800-957-2677
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Columbia Borough Fire Department sets the record straight about viral video

New mural celebrating Columbia history is installed at 301 Locust

A new mural was installed this morning on the back of the former Jack Horner building at 301 Locust Street. The 10' x 20' mural was designed by Columbia artist Jerry Musser and is based on a 1726 Columbia National Bank note. Musser's wife, Janette, and Ophelia Chambliss, painted the design on pieces of fabric at another location before bringing it to the installation site. The finished mural was then fastened to the building's surface. The undertaking, which was carried out by the artists and lift operator Flaco, took several hours to complete.

Flaco gives a thumbs for the successful completion of the project.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Columbia's Watch & Clock Museum celebrating its 75th anniversary

The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors is celebrating its 75th anniversary.


SUSPICIOUS PERSON - COLUMBIA RIVER PARK | Columbia Borough Police Department

On numerous occasions a green SUV with an elderly male wearing a white baseball hat has been seen parked in the grass near the kayak business at River Park.  Anyone with information regarding this person/vehicle please contact the Columbia Borough Police Department at 717-684-7735 or text LANCS to 847411.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

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CHI St. Joseph Children's Health Reveals Plans for $6.4 Million Project at 401 Locust

Rendition of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health’s St. John Neumann School for Children and Families, anticipated to open in early 2020 at 401 Locust St. Columbia, Pennsylvania. The school has been designed by Steve Funk of Lefevre Funk Architects, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Pyramid Construction, located in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania, will serve as general contractor.

CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is proud to announce plans to open the St. John Neumann School for Children and Families in 2020. The new school will be located at 401 Locust St. Columbia, Pennsylvania and will serve children 6-weeks to 5-years-old. The launch of this new program is a continuation of the nonprofit’s mission to improve the health of children and families in the Lancaster community.

The St. John Neumann School for Children and Families has been designed by Steve Funk of Lefevre Funk Architects, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Pyramid Construction, located in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania, will serve as general contractor. CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health estimates that the complete project, including the purchase and renovation of the building, will cost up to $6.45 million.

401 Locust currently

The St. John Neumann School for Children and Families will have a unique family-focused approach that centers on the social-emotional development and health of the children and families served. Families whose children attend the school will benefit from having access to:

  • An on-site family wellness coach to support the development of healthy family dynamics.
  • A family wellness case manager who assists families in accessing support services and programs throughout the community, including but not limited to the CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health Dental Centers and Behavioral Health Center.
  • Daily meals and snacks for children accessing the Center that are freshly prepared on-site from locally sourced fruits, vegetables and meats.
  • A tuition discount program for residents of Columbia which makes childcare affordable through a sliding-fee discount determined by household income levels.

“Our family-focused approach to childcare revamps the traditional model of childcare to incorporate health and social-emotional development as the central focus of all of the Center’s academic activities and curriculums,” said Philip Goropoulos, president of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. “We believe this new approach offers children the best opportunity to be successful now and in the future – not just academically but in everything they do.”

The need for increased access to professional and affordable childcare in Columbia was initially brought to the attention of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health from the advisory committee of Healthy Columbia – the organization’s community-driven initiative that is dedicated to providing and coordinating services and the investments necessary to create a thriving community in Columbia Borough. CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health estimates that more than 400 children and families may have a need for childcare and are unable to access the service in the Borough because of a lack of availability and additional barriers such as cost.

“While not every family may need or want childcare services, the service should be available, affordable and accessible for those families who do need or want to access a childcare program,” said Goropoulos. “The opening of the St. John Neumann School will help to meet the great need for professional childcare within Lancaster County and specifically within Columbia Borough.”

The school will be located in the same building as the existing CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health’s Columbia Dental Center, which currently is located on the first floor at 401 Locust St. Columbia, Pennsylvania. Although the Dental Center and the school will be located in the same building, each will have their unique entrances and will operate on distinct floors within the building. Renovations and construction on the building expansion are expected to begin in early 2019 and will not impact the Dental Center’s operation. The school is anticipated to open in early 2020.

“The school will feel like a home and will offer support not just to the children who will be entrusted to our care, but also to their families as we work together to create strong, happy and healthy children and families in Columbia Borough and throughout the Lancaster community,” said Goropoulos.

About CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health

A location of Catholic Health Initiatives, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is a community-based organization dedicated to the health and well-being of children and families in the Lancaster community. The organization works in collaboration with community partners to assure access to appropriate, quality health services and benefits for every child in the Lancaster community. This mission in children’s health includes multiple efforts, programs and services committed to improving the health of children and families throughout the Lancaster community. To learn more about CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health,

About Healthy Columbia

A community-driven initiative of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, Healthy Columbia is a public and private collaborative of individuals and organizations dedicated to providing and coordinating the services and the investments necessary to create a thriving community in Columbia Borough that values, prioritizes and improves the health and well-being of its residents. The activities and programs of Healthy Columbia address community needs negatively impacting the health and well-being of residents and the Borough. Healthy Columbia programming is designed to provide the opportunities and the supports necessary to create a healthy and thriving community.

"Swamp Songs and Marsh Melodies" at the Library Thursday, July 19

Brian Sims to campaign for Mary Auker-Endres in Lancaster County “Taking Back the House” campaign event on July 25th

Today Mary Auker-Endres, candidate for PA's 98th Legislative District, announced Brian Sims will join her for a special campaign event on Wednesday, July 25th at 7:00 p.m. at Tellus360 (24 East King Street) in downtown Lancaster.

"I'm thrilled to be coming to Lancaster to support Mary," remarked Sims "And I look forward to working with her as colleagues next year as she works to put families first."

Brian Sims (D-Phila) is a vocal supporter of public education, affordable and accessible healthcare, civil rights, ecological preservation, and government reform. He represents PA's 182ndLegislative District in Center City Philadelphia, was elected to the legislature in 2012 and is the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history. Before assuming public office, Sims served as staff counsel for policy and planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association. During his time at the Bar Association, Sims worked with attorneys, legislators and community organizations on issues ranging from gender and pay inequity to environmental regulation.

Tickets for the July 25th event can be purchased at or by contacting

About Mary Auker-Endres

Mary Auker-Endres is the Democratic candidate for PA's 98th Legislative District, which includes Columbia, Elizabethtown Marietta, Mount Joy, and portions of Londonderry Township in Dauphin County. She lives in Elizabethtown with her husband John and four-year-old son Jack.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

About Town

This week's photos from around Columbia...

(Tap/click on each photo to see a larger, clearer image.)

He was walking around on the 200 block of Locust Street the other day.

Apparently, he was checking for lead paint with a radioactive zap gun, also known as an LPA-1 XRF Lead Paint Spectrum Analyzer. Is he a member of the codes department or an outside interventionist?

 We all have to start somewhere.

 Charred vehicles from the Cloverton Drive fire 

Another view


Roofers roofing on a roof

Is there a budding Matisse in our midst?

Yes, do it.

On the lookout 

A really nice scene 

Glittery rock

Burned out bottle rocket
Council will consider passing a fireworks ordinance at its August meeting. 

Lincoln Highway marker

An engine just hanging around

Oriental religious statue

A plow that's probably too big for that small area

A park ranger at Columbia River Park...
Seems fitting 

Here's his vehicle.

Speaking of vehicles, the following three reader-submitted photos show illegally parked vehicles used by borough officials...


Grinding the joints on the backside of 301 Locust 

Cleaning up a few days later
A mural is planned for here.

208-210 Locust, primed

Adding a first coat

Was he broken up about something?

It's not supposed to work this way.
This mess at the Columbia Plaza, along with the collection box, was cleaned up and taken away a day or two later.

Workers on the roof of the former Vigies building 

When on a roof,  it's good to be tethered. 

A day or two later: under roof

He thinks he's hiding.

Hard at work 


Chinook overhead

Up close look at that nasty grin

Two killdeers down at the tracks

Suddenly, there were three.

And then just one, crying all by his lonesome.

Graffiti on the Rotary Park picnic tables

Restocking skid row

Catbird with a mayfly 
There's plenty for everyone. 

Sometimes a door is a gate.

Where the sidewalk ends...
Not every property has a sidewalk, but what happens when hedges are planted right on the required three-foot setback? These hedges near Fourth and Poplar also block the line of sight for drivers.

Borough officials and others checked out the entrance to River Park last Wednesday to observe traffic issues.

Here's an example.

Rowhouses on 6th

Fenced in.

Him too

A different use for a bicycle 

Ready to ride

 Shawnee 3

 Bell tower at the former Shawnee Fire Company building

 Security office?

 Yes it is.

 The once-again broken backboard at Makle has been taken down.

 This is where dumpsters are born.

 Super-compact train car

 Broken ridge vent

 Either fix it, or hope it doesn't rain.

Who's supposed to cut these down?

 What happened to that section of fence along Heritage Drive?
(It wasn't the section that was broken.)

 Here's a close-up

 Unattended gas pump.
It clicked off just before this photo was taken.

 The "water wheel" at the high school football field

 Rock salt on a tree stump

 Above it all

 Ornate old gate

 Here's a close-up

 Shadow fence along Mount Bethel Cemetery

 Stirring up dust on the 600 block of Locust

 Finishing up Friday morning at the library

Keeping level

Biting the dust?

More progress at Andy's auxiliary 

Parking lot paving along Commerce Street

X Mark's the spot. 

Ready to roll

Almost done 

The almost-finished product 

At the library 

Around back

New deck furniture 


 There was a Saturday morning baseball game at the high school.


 The gallery banner blew up onto the rooftop click, click, click.

 Artist at work

 Enjoying the day

Volunteers turned out on Saturday to move boxes of books back into the library.


 On the 400 block of Locust

Later, something else was added.

 Sticker shock


Will the last person to leave Columbia, please turn out the lights.