Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Three hurt in building collapse in Ephrata, but why the mystery?

A partial building collapse Tuesday injured three employees at a modular construction firm in Ephrata.

According to media reports, reporters were being kept at a distance from the scene, and none of the spokespersons at the site would describe the nature of the building, except to say it is intended for government use.  All the secrecy merely raises the curiosity level.  Will it become a drone-building facility?  A surveillance center for spying on citizens?

One thing is for sure: The building collapse is a metaphor for our broken federal government.

Weis Markets in Lititz gets OK from borough to sell beer -

In Lititz, you'll soon be able to go grocery shopping while buzzed. Of course, you could do that anywhere anyway, but Lititz Borough seems to be promoting the activity.  Weis Markets in Lititz will likely become the first grocery store in Lancaster County to sell beer after borough council Tuesday night approved the transfer of a liquor license.

The supermarket hopes to open a 30-seat cafe that will serve beer and also sell six-packs.

I guess anything goes when you're the "Coolest Small Town in America," but can you imagine the snide comments from surrounding towns if Columbia had been the first to do this?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Frey to retire from Columbia school district

Diane Frey, assistant superintendent of the Columbia Borough School District principal of Taylor Elementary School, will retire at the end of the school year.

Frey is the third major administrator in Columbia to announce their departure this school year. Last month, Park Elementary Principal Debra Wallace announced that she would retire after the spring semester. Last fall, Superintendent Barry Clippinger announced that he would retire in June.

On Thursday the Columbia school board unanimously approved Frey's retirement, which will be effective June 30.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Movin' on up

The Museum of Mysteries at Third and Locust has moved from the basement to the first floor.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Police charge Lancaster man with homicide |

Police in Lancaster County have charged a local man with criminal homicide and burglary after he allegedly shot another man inside a residence on North Third Street in Columbia.
Mario Casanova-Lanza, 39, of Lancaster, is now in police custody, according to a news release from Columbia Borough Police.
Police allege that Casanova-Lanza shot and killed Parrish Thaxton, a 36-year-old from the Bronx, N.Y.

Lancaster County fatal shooting suspect in custody | Lancaster News - WGAL Home

Police in Lancaster County have the suspect in a Wednesday night fatal shooting in custody.

Photo of alleged shooter

Mario Casanova-Lanzo

More on Columbia shooting

Columbia police said they are looking for a suspect who may have been involved in a deadly shooting Wednesday night.

Police said they consider Mario Casanova-Lanzo, 36, armed and dangerous. Police are warning the public to be cautious if they see him.

Investigators said one man was found shot to death in a home along the 200 block of North Third Street Wednesday night at 10:16. They said other people were inside of the home at the time of the shooting and identified Casanova-Lanzo. Police would not release any details on what sparked the shooting.

If you have any information that could help police with this investigation, you're asked to give them a call.

Man shot in Columbia - News -

A man was shot in the head in Columbia late Wednesday night.

Medical personnel, along with police from multiple jurisdictions, responded to the area of 224 N. Third St. just before 10:20 p.m.

A suspect fled on foot.

Police were looking for a dark-skinned Hispanic man with dreadlocks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Red means stop!" Appoint Hellboy as Borough Traffic Control Officer

Wrightsville Man Busted in Underage Sex Sting | WPMT FOX43

Three men were arrested after setting up what they thought were sexual trysts with underage girls. The Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Unit busted the suspects when they showed up to meet their online chat partners for sex. Only, instead of the 13- and 14-year-old girls they thought they were meeting, they came face-to-face with the law.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I Saw - 2/19/13

 At the end of an overcast and rainy day, the sun finally tried to break through the clouds, as seen here reflected in the asphalt.

And this is what the inside of an empty Turkey Hill Minit Market looks like.
(On Route 462, across from 9th Street)

Prestige of new medal for drone pilots rankles some, including PA Senator

Count US Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa) among those taking umbrage with the status of a new medal created by the Pentagon for drone operators. The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to pilots of unmanned aircraft, cyber war experts or others who are directly involved in combat operations but who are not physically present in the combat zone and facing the same physical risks of warfare. The Pentagon is adding prestige to the medal by placing it above some traditional combat valor medals in the military's "order of precedence."

Missing Elizabethtown Girl, Daysha Conner | WPMT FOX43

Tell police if you have seen this 15-year-old girl, Daysha Conner. She has dark brown hair with blue and purple coloring underneath, and blue eyes. She is 136 lbs, 5'2″, and has a mole on her right cheek. She also has a small mole by her nose on the left side of her face. She goes to Elizabethtown High School, Pennsylvania. Her birthday is today, February 19, 2013. She went missing on February 11, 2013.
Contact your local police department if you have seen her.

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Red Means STOP!"

I just saw a driver turn left on red. The car turned up Locust Street from the red light at the intersection at Route 462.  Last week, I saw a car totally ignore a red light at Cherry Street and 462 - in the morning, when school kids were gathering on the Cherry Street sidewalk of Park Elementary.  The driver wasn't trying to make a yellow light that suddenly turned red. The light was already red and had been for at least 10 seconds. He just didn't want to stop and chose to drive right through the light as if it didn't exist and then "flew" out the highway.
From what I've seen over the past year (at least), these two incidents are not isolated. They're commonplace.  Drivers ignore red lights and blow through stop signs routinely. The practice has become epidemic around town. I hate to be a doomsayer, but if it continues, which it probably will, there's bound to a tragedy - sooner rather than later.

Soft pretzel-maker, bakery open at Columbia Market House - LancasterOnline

Columbia debates sewer plant options - LancasterOnline

Columbia residents have two choices when it comes to dealing with their aging wastewater treatment plant: refurbish the facility or relocate the sewage.

Two recently suggested designs simply upgrade the old plant, the first major improvement since 1972.

The second option, a proposed bulk services agreement from Lancaster Area Sewer Authority, abandons the old plant and instead builds a pump station and moves sewage to LASA for treatment.

A note from Jonal Gallery

IT'S FOURTH FRIDAY, February 22, 2013 and... You're Invited to join us 5-9pm at: Jonal Gallery/Alverta Arts Shop 653 Locust Street - Columbia, PA 17512 717.681.9400

Artist Dale Weibley offers you a glimpse of Jules Verne's "character," the famous Captain Nemo, from another perspective. Jules Verne immortalized Captain Nemo in several of his novels as the scientific genius behind and the Captain of the "Nautilus" submarine. Could Captain Nemo's scientific genius come from beyond the stars? Open your mind and your eyes to the possibility! Come see "NEMO'S ARRIVAL" from beyond the stars in Dale Weibley's original 2012 Pen & Ink in Black and White, and now in 2013 he introduces Pen & Ink / Polychrome edition. A must to see, a must to own! **************************************************************************************************************************************** Start, end or stay with us at Jonal Gallery/Alverta Arts Shop during this River Towns Fourth Friday celebration! Reception begins at 5:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. **************************************************************************************************************************************** The Alverta Arts Shop, inside Jonal Gallery will proudly feature the works of emerging artist Christine Ott during our March Fourth Friday Reception, March 22.

What I Saw - 2/18/13 - Butts, Books, and Cameras

Might be time to kick the habit.
(Pile of butts along Second Street)

 Whoever delivered the phone books was undeterred even by CONDEMNED signs here . . .

 and here.

 Some people never picked theirs up.
(Who knows if this Locust Street property is even occupied.)

 Here's another unclaimed book on Locust Street.

And another.

 Here's one on the 200 block of Walnut.

 It was delivered even though these notices are posted on the property.

And finally, another camera.  
This one was on Commerce Street, at the lower end of Rotary Park.
(I hadn't seen this one before.)

Columbia OKs preliminary school budget for 2013-14 -

Columbia Borough School District officials passed a preliminary budget Thursday at their committee of the whole meeting.

Passing the $21.7 million spending plan in February was necessary for the district to be eligible for exceptions that would allow it to increase taxes above the 2.5 percent index, board President Tom Strickler said in an interview in January.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love the Lord AND the ladies!

Cross and girly pic seen hanging from a vehicle's rear-view mirror

Caught in the act!

 This morning, just before 10 o'clock, this guy was canvassing Locust Street Park with his metal detector and digging up the ground with his trowel.  I don't know how long he'd been there, or how much ground he had already covered.  He wasn't even trying to be furtive.  He was doing it right out in the open, where he could be seen by . . . anyone.

 Here, he can be seen pulling up the dirt.

 . . . and here.

 Note the size of the trowel.  Even state parks that allow metal detecting don't allow anything this wide for digging.

 He's obviously disturbed the soil here.

 Here, he attempts to put it back in place.

 A quick video clip of the action.

And another.
I guess he didn't see the signs.

 On the Locust Street side, where he was digging,

along Route 462,

 at the 6th and Locust entrance,

and inside the park.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Amish Mafia star arrested on hit-run - charged with striking a vehicle at a Columbia intersection then leaving the scene -

Lebanon Levi's sidekick is in legal trouble after a state constable nabbed him for a stack of criminal warrants, according to officials.
However, John Schmucker's attorney said the fugitive arrest won't keep the "Amish Mafia" star off the small screen.
In the most serious case, Schmucker is charged with striking a vehicle at a Columbia intersection then leaving the scene before police and medical personnel arrived. He was driving a vehicle, on a suspended license, that belonged to the TV production company, a police affidavit shows.
Schmucker told police "he had things to do and left," according to the affidavit.


I just noticed today that the tripping hazard is gone.  The plywood that was lying on the sidewalk HERE has been removed.  My thanks to whoever took care of this.

What I Saw - 2/15/13 - Decals

Decals on a vehicle parked outside the post office

Abandoned asylums around the world

The one pictured above is still occupied.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Group to Humane League here: Policy shift bad -

"The current animal welfare situation in Lancaster, one of the worst counties in the nation for animal cruelty, is an absolute travesty."

West Hempfield OKs parking variance for fish and tackle shop -

A property for sale at 3992 Locust Grove Road, at the intersection of Columbia Avenue, just east of Columbia, meets the buyers' space needs and budget.

The commercially zoned property is currently home to R.P. Williams Inc., a lawnmower and machine repair shop.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says Gov. Tom Corbett overstepped his constitutional authority in signing the lottery contract |

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says Gov. Tom Corbett overstepped his authority in signing a contract with Camelot Global Services PA, LLC to take over management of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Susquehanna River getting healthier, report says -


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Surge in guns causing ammunition issues for those responsible for your safety - CBS 21 News

The rise in ammunition sales is impacting the purchasing time for bullets.

This could possibly slow down police departments from getting ammo in a timely fashion.

What's happened is the huge rise in ammo purchases by civilians is creating a backlog for groups like police departments who need constantly refilled stock.

PA gov fights Open Records office over access

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Pennsylvania court must decide if the governor's office is required to give certain documents to a state open-records agency for review.

Marietta residents to welcome new police substation -