Sunday, July 31, 2016

Charged shooter Marquell Rentas reportedly part of previous local controversy

Marquell Rentas, who is currently facing multiple charges resulting from Friday morning's shooting incident on Bethel Street, was also involved in last summer's Confederate flag controversy in Columbia.

Multiple sources allege that the teen waving a flag in THIS VIDEO in an LNP article is Rentas.

A source tells Columbia Spy that this photo from last summer's protest in Columbia is Rentas:

Columbia Spy covered the protest HERE.

More recently, a reader submitted the following photos allegedly showing Rentas and Trenton Nace, who was also charged in the shooting, apparently trying to set fire to plywood on the 300 block of Avenue H, behind the abandoned Hotel Locust building. The plywood displayed spray-painted racist graffiti.

The post that includes the photos shown above is found HERE.

YouTube channel under the name "Marquell Rentas" features the video shown below:

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Shooting suspects - Info on charges filed

Marquell Robert Rentas, 17, of 244 Walnut St., and Trenton Michael Nace, 18, of 116 Lancaster Ave., are charged with several counts of attempted homicide of a law-enforcement officer, aggravated assault, assault of a law-enforcement officer and several counts of conspiracy. Both were charged as adults.

Documents (affidavits, criminal complaints) detailing the charges can be accessed here:

Marquell Robert Rentas

Trenton Michael Nace

Additional Information

DA Stedman press conference on shooting incident

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman held a press conference Saturday morning, July 30, at Columbia Borough Hall to release details of Friday morning's shooting.

Marquell Robert Rentas, 17, of 244 Walnut St., and Trenton Michael Nace, 18, of 116 Lancaster Ave., are charged with attempted homicide of a law-enforcement officer, aggravated assault, assault of a law-enforcement officer and several counts of conspiracy. Both were charged as adults.

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Friday morning update from SERT spokesman

Tom Rudzinski, public information officer for the Lancaster County SERT Team, provides update on Columbia, PA shooting incident that occurred  Friday morning, July 29, 2016.

(This video was filmed by Columbia Spy the same morning.)

A press conference with update information is scheduled for Saturday morning.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Shooting incident - No updates from PD; Press conference tomorrow

Currently, there are no additional updates on this morning's shooting incident. Columbia Borough Police Chief Jack Brommer said a press conference will be  held Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at Borough Hall.


Update shooter incident Person of Interest now in custody. More to follow.

Lancaster City Police in Columbia for shooter incident

Lancaster City Police were at the 700 block of Chestnut Street Friday morning for reports of an active shooter.

               (Photos by Stephanie Weisser)

BREAKING NEWS: Active shooter in Columbia - stay indoors







Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Woman clipped by motorcycle

Police and emergency personnel were dispatched to the 100 block of North Third Street at approximately 9:45 a.m. for a medical emergency. Sources tell the Spy that a female walked out in front of a motorcycle and was "clipped" but all involved declined medical treatment.

Monday, July 25, 2016

SCCA limited hours July 18 - Aug. 25

The Susquehanna Center for the Creative Arts will have limited hours July 18 - August 25 and is open by appointment only.

SCCA is following the European Model for this time of the year and will reopen Friday, August 26 at 5 p.m. for Katy Winter's solo show in the main gallery.

Milt Friedly Show at North Museum August 5

Milt Friedly, Co-Owner, Curator and Director of the Susquehanna Center for the Creative Arts will show his Printmaking at the North Museum, Lancaster, PA.

Milt Friedly received his BFA from Arizona State University in Ceramics and Printmaking and his MFA from the University of Wyoming in Printmaking and Sculpture. He has been showing professionally since 1980. His work has been included in exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally. His work has been commissioned for public and private art collections. His work is very diverse in media and approach and recently makes commentary on consumption and the human condition.

He is Professor of Art at Elizabethtown College where he has been teaching since 1987.

Columbia Borough Council fills 2 vacancies; no Democrats serve

John Novak and Fran FitzGerald were selected to replace Mary Barninger and Barry Ford. Both terms began July 11 and end the first Monday in 2018.

Thefts from vehicles

Parking restrictions on Bethel Street

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sidewalk strays?

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Last week, we saw these two kittens trying to nurse on the sidewalk, near the intersection of Walnut and Commerce Streets. All three cats were tame and approachable. Although the adult female seemed reluctant to oblige the kittens, the two pursued her anyway. Eventually, they gave up.

Columbia Spy received the following Facebook screenshot today.  The kitten shown bears a distinct resemblance to the one in the first photo above. We hope the perpetrator of the abuse described below is caught.  Cruelty to animals is no joke.

Vulture "catches" catfish, then eats it

A turkey vulture recently dragged a dead catfish from the Susquehanna and pulled it ashore for an impromptu fish dinner. The spectacle occurred on the first pier of the former "Civil War Bridge" next to the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Today's Sunday News featured a story on bowfishers on the Susquehanna shooting fish and leaving them to die. Maybe that's how this particular fish met his end. Luckily, this vulture was available to clean up after lazy "hunters."

Are bowfishers discarding fish to rot and foul riverbanks near Columbia? | Local News |

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Columbia has new venue at Venues

Angelo Colon and his brother Nate, shown below, have just opened a new lounge called Venues at 237 Locust Street. Angelo describes it as a mellow place where people can go to relax, talk, and dance. The venue is BYOB and has a luxury V.I.P. lounge. The cover charge is $5 before 10 p.m. and $10 thereafter. Angelo gave us a tour of the lounge just before guests were about to arrive. 

Space is available for receptions and private parties. See below for contact information.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ashley Curry guilty on all counts

                                Ashley Curry

Aggravated assault, simple assault, ethnic intimidation: one felony, two misdemeanors.

Ashley Curry, 33, has been found guilty on all three counts in the February 3, 2015 shooting of Jamie Roland. The verdict was announced in a Lancaster County courtroom this afternoon.

The incident occurred in the Columbia Plaza parking lot in which Roland was injured in the abdomen and leg by a single shot from Curry's .40 caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic. Curry maintains that she shot in self-defense when Roland charged at her.

The trial began with jury selection on Monday, July 18.

The court heard testimony from several witnesses, and a video filmed by Columbia Spy was shown several times in court for the jury.

Defense attorney Samuel Stretton told jurors that neither Roland or her sister Crystal Manfred, who was also at the shooting scene, ever gave statements to police.

Stephen Smith, Curry's boyfriend, testified Wednesday that Alicia Glenn-McGowin was an aggressor that day and that she was blowing her vehicle horn and tailgating, after which the incident quickly escalated in the plaza parking lot.

After two-and-half days of testimony from various parties, the jury began deliberations about 3 p.m. Thursday, returning to the courtroom at 4:20 with several questions. The foreperson asked if they could see the video again and have the statement by Columbia Borough Police Sergeant Samuel Stein, who was one of several police officers at the scene. The judge denied both requests. When she asked if the judge could read Stein's statement, he refused and told them to rely on their notes. She also asked for the definition of ethnic intimidation and requested evidence photographs, and the judge complied by reading the definition and allowing some photographs.

After the verdict was read, Stretton polled members of the jury individually. First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen, who prosecuted the case, then asked that bail be increased to $500,000 cash. (Curry was previously free on $100,000 bail.) Stretton asked that the bail either not be increased or at least not be increased as much.  Judge Merill M. Spahn, Jr. granted the increase, citing the seriousness of the charges.

Judge Spahn reportedly disallowed Pennsylvania's "Stand Your Ground" law in the case.

According to Stretton, Larsen is the presumptive heir to District Attorney Craig W. Stedman's position when Stedman retires next year.

Columbia Borough Police Detective Matthew Leddy filed the charges.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Paul McCartney - Is he really any good?

Paul McCartney, a musical icon and world-renowned entertainer, played in Hershey last night.  But is he really any good? Specifically, how does he stack up as musician, especially on his primary instrument, the bass guitar?

Go HERE to find what other musicians say on the subject.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Junk Drawers

Columbia Spy is privileged to publish several articles by Columbia native Mike Clark, the second of which appears here, with permission of the author. The essays were previously published inThe Globe Leader and 50-plus Senior News and will continue to be reprinted in the Spy over the next few weeks.

"Junk Drawers"
by Mike Clark
I have difficulty finding certain objects around the house. It has less to do with a failing memory than with the countless number of places where I could have put those objects after I used them last. It takes some time to sort through all the possibilities.

If you remember my column called "My Workshop," you are familiar with my struggles in organization and neatness.
The other day I was looking for a tiny screwdriver (I have several) to fix one of my grandchildren's toys. Before I started walking in circles and looking in the same places more than once, which is my usual routine, my wife suggested that I look in my junk drawer.

"Gee, which one?" I asked. That's right: I have more than one junk drawer. And who else but me should know better about going directly to a junk drawer when I need things that I could not find anywhere else?

After all, I am the creator of junk drawers. My wife should never have to suggest it.
I'm of the impression, based on no scientific evidence whatsoever, that we all have junk drawers—special places where we keep small items that we will use, or even think we will use, in the future.

I'm talking about little items that might include mini-tools, hooks and fasteners, pins and springs, strings and short lengths of rope, wires, cords, watch parts, favorite writing instruments that will probably never write again, and sometimes small boxes and containers that might someday hold a sentimental souvenir.

The list of potentially purposeful items is endless. Take your own inventory when you get the time.

We keep these things in drawers because there is not always a good, specific place for them; they cannot be hung on a pegboard with larger tools and gadgets.
And among the functional junk that is useful by itself, there are random parts and pieces that might not be functional alone, but added to other parts and pieces, we can create new things.

Look at some of the great art created from junk. OK, that's mostly created from much larger junk than we can keep in our drawers, but you get my point.

The immutable truth is, the day after we get rid of anything in our closet cache of junk is the day we will need it. So, if I think there's even a remote chance that I might need a piece, a part, or a tiny tool someday, it goes right to one of my junk drawers until that day rolls around.

And, unbelievably, there were many times when I have found a use for something weird in my depository of miscellaneous junk.

I just don't ever want to be that person in the middle of a fix-it job who says, "I wish I still had that nifty little tool or that doohickey I threw away yesterday." You know what I mean, right?

I finally found the screwdriver I needed to fix my grandchild's toy. But I found it in a junk drawer that had not been opened for a long time.

And in that drawer I found a recipe for Maryland crab cakes; two miniature bungee cords; a compass for orienteering, which I never used; a battered watch that my sister bought for me at Christmas in 1964 (it will never again keep time); two pairs of bronzed baby shoes; romantic cards and notes that my wife and I had exchanged over the years; a small wooden box that my kids bought for me at a school Christmas bazaar many years ago (it has DAD stenciled on the lid); a few stray wedding pictures; and some old photographs of the mountain cabin we once owned.

Underneath some of the other mementos and memorabilia, I found my dad's Army Air Corps discharge paper (he was a military policeman) and the leather wallet that he had in his trousers the night he fell into a deep coma in January 1963; it was a coma from which he never escaped.

The wallet contained his Social Security card, driver's license, title transfer from a 1948 Pontiac to a 1954 Ford station wagon, a couple of social club membership cards, a ticket for the first annual Loyal Order of Moose chicken barbecue, a business card for the company from which he purchased my mom's memorial stone seven months earlier, and pictures of my brother, my sister, and me.

I thought about the meaning of the things I discovered in that so-called junk drawer. So I removed the junk and made a keepsake drawer.

Mike Clark writes a regular column for The Globe Leader newspaper in New Wilmington, Pa. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational behavior/applied psychology from Albright College. Mike lives outside Columbia, Pa., and can be contacted at

First wedding at Columbia Crossing

We previously reported that a wedding this past weekend was the first ever at Columbia Crossing.

We were wrong.

On March 28, 2015, Renata McClair and Geoff Broome were married there by Mayor Leo Lutz.

The ceremony is shown here:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

New exterminator in town looks to help residents

Steven Shetter, owner of Total Exterminating Services, stands in front of his office at 30A North Fourth Street.

Bugs bugging you? Pests pesting you? If so, Steve Shetter wants you to know there's help available. Shetter is the owner of TES - Total Exterminating Systems - which recently set up shop in Columbia.

The TES staff has a combined 35 plus years of experience in the exterminating field, and Shetter himself has done the job for 27 years.

Operating from an office at 30A North Fourth Street, TES offers a full range of exterminating services to rid properties of bugs, mice, and other vermin in commercial and residential settings.

"One of our mission statements is, 'Do the right thing all the time,'" Shetter said recently. 

He said he is willing to work with property owners and renters who might not have a lot of money. "If there are people that are in true need here in Columbia and they're willing to work with me, then I'm going to be willing to work with them." Shetter asks that those with pest problems first launder and bag their clothes and strip the beds before he treats the area.

Shetter has noticed that some residents take affected mattresses outside and place them on the sidewalk. He said that those who do so should cut them as well as any upholstered furniture to discourage others from using them and spreading any possible infestation.

In fact, Shetter said it's usually not necessary to need to get rid of affected mattresses.  Although he sometimes makes such a recommendation, he often encases mattresses and box springs in plastic to keep insects from entering or leaving the furniture. Some furniture can also be treated chemically.

TES can take care of about 40 different types of insects, as well as rodents and other pests. "We take care of anything pest control-wise," Shetter said. TES also offers preventative programs with monthly or quarterly treatments.  

Shetter and his technician Mike Hughson have found Columbians to be friendly and welcoming and look forward to helping where they can. "We love being here in Columbia," Shetter said.

In addition to a full range of exterminating services, TES offers mattress encasements and chemical sprays.

Mattress encasements can eliminate the need to get rid of infested mattresses and box springs.

Fore more information, visit the TES website HERE and their Facebook page HERE.

Columbia Borough to keep public notices, legal ads in LNP

Columbia Borough will continue to publish public notices and legal ads in LNP, the newspaper with the widest circulation in the county, rather than shift them to a smaller, regional weekly business publication, officials said.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

First wedding at Columbia Crossing

On Saturday night, a crowd of 86 people attended the first wedding ever held at Columbia Crossing.

               (Reader-submitted photos)

Meanwhile outside, fire police kept an eye on the railroad crossing where barricades were malfunctioning - yet again.