Thursday, November 21, 2019

Owners of McGinness property warn of prosecution for trespassers

[Peggy A. Knoll read the following letter at the November 12, 2019 Columbia Borough Council meeting. It is published here with her permission.]

Please note that the date of this publication, the Trustees and Executors of the George and Dorothy McGinness estate Peggy A. Knoll and James G. McGinness are registering a formal document as required under Pennsylvania code Title 18, Section 3503 code which details the requirements to name and prosecute violators to private property. A preliminary document was presented at the Borough Council meeting on November 12, 2019, read openly to the attending public and entered into record. The document was notarized and delivered to the Borough Council as well as the Police Chief of the Columbia Borough, on November 15, 2019. This will also be posted externally to comply with all requirements allowing prosecution. Our legal representatives are involved as well. Violators and those who trespass on our property will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible by law. The property has several types of 24 hour security with recording infra-red and sound/facial recognition to be available and presented for prosecution if necessary. This document includes all properties listed to the title of the McGinness Estate.

The exceptions to this declaration will be only those who are given permission by one of the two Executors of the Estate in writing, anyone visiting the property in the presence with one of these two people, and our business associates as established by the Executors. This does NOT apply to Uniformed Columbia Borough Police Officers responding to any issue on the property or requested entrance by the owners of the property. Also Uniformed Pennsylvania State Police Officers and Uniformed Fire personnel acting in any capacity responding to an emergency, are not included.

This November day of 2019

Peggy A. Knoll

James G. McGinness

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Student art exhibit to display river inspired artwork

On Friday, November 22 from 5-9 p.m., Sparrow Website and Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce host Art On The River, an exhibition showcasing local high-school students artwork inspired by the Susquehanna River.

Join us for the art exhibition featuring local high-school student artwork inspired by the Veterans Memorial Bridge. Sparrow Websites is partnering with the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce to provide this free event that will include door prizes, Hors d'oeuvres, and juried prizes for the student artists.

To RSVP for the event, for additional information, or for other questions, please visit

[Source: Press release]

Family Fun Night at the Library

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Seen Today (11/19/19) on South 2nd Street

Columbia Spy "spied" the banner shown above at 30 South 2nd Street this afternoon.  

According to notices posted around town, Columbia Borough Council is considering rezoning various areas of town. Council will hold a hearing on the proposed rezoning on Monday, December 16, at 7 p.m. at the Columbia Borough School District Administration Center at 200 North 5th Street. Afterwards, Borough Council will consider whether to pass the zoning map amendments as well as several other zoning changes. The public is invited to attend. 

One of the notices is shown below.

More information can be found HERE.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Mission Accomplished: Clocks are re-installed in old church tower [Pictorial]

Columbia's Dr. Larry Laird and a few helpers re-installed four 19-century clocks in an 1855 Philadelphia church over the weekend. Laird spent seven months refurbishing the clocks. The backstory is HERE.

A worker inspects a completed dial.

Each of the four dials is 48" in diameter. 

The dials are loaded into a van.

Dials ready to travel

The old church, aka The Loft

Looking up inside the clock tower

A look out through the dial window

Laird inspects the interior of the tower.

A clock is hoisted inside the tower.

Laird restores a wooden beam.

A view of the Philadelphia skyline through a dial window

[Photos submitted by Dr. Larry Laird]

UPDATE: Dr. Laird submitted these photos of two of the installed clocks on November 19:

Columbia Borough Meetings - Week of November 18, 2019

Unattended Deaths | Columbia Borough Police Department

On 11-18-19 at approx. 12:40 PM the Columbia Borough Police were asked to do a welfare check in the 400 blk. of Union St. Officers arrived and made entry into the house with permission from the family. Officers found a smoke condition in the house and two deceased patients on the first floor. The Columbia Borough Fire Department was called to assist with controlling utilities and ventilation. It was determined that the deceased were husband and wife and that foul play is not suspected. The Columbia Borough Police and the Lancaster County Coroner's Office continues to investigate this incident. Source:  Columbia Borough Police Department

Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®

Two people found dead inside home on 400 block of Union Street

Two people were found dead Monday in a Lancaster County home, police say.

Columbia police said the bodies were discovered during a welfare check at a house on the 400 block of Union Street.

Their names haven't been released.

Police are investigating the deaths but said the case isn't suspicious and foul play is not suspected.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Mount Bethel Cemetery Announced as an Official Location for the 2019 National Wreaths Across America Day

The cemetery will join more than 1600 participating locations across the country on Saturday, December 14, 2019 to proclaim “Everyone plays a part”.

Columbia Falls, MAINE, and Columbia, PENNSYLVANIA—December 14, 2019 —National nonprofit Wreaths Across America [WAA] announced today that Mount Bethel Cemetery in Columbia, PA will be joining in the effort to support the mission to REMEMBER, HONOR, TEACH, as an official location for 2019. This is the THIRD year that the cemetery will participate in this national event.

In 2018, nearly 1.8 million veteran wreaths were placed on headstones at 1,640 participating cemeteries around the country in honor of the service and sacrifices made for our freedoms, with each name said out loud.

This year, the ceremony, held simultaneously across the country at more than 1,600 locations, will be on Saturday, December 14, 2019. Beginning at 12 noon, at 700 Locust Street, Columbia, PA, master of ceremonies Kevin Kraft Sr. will acknowledge seven branches of military service. Included will be the Catholic War Vet color guard, a bugler to play taps and a 21-gun salute.

The Friends of Mount Bethel Cemetery plans to raise enough funds to place 690 remembrance wreaths on the headstones of all the local heroes laid to rest at Mount Bethel Cemetery. Our goal is to place a live balsam fir wreath at the headstone of every veteran buried there spreading patriotism and commemoration for the ultimate sacrifices they made for our country. Mount Bethel Cemetery has veterans from the Revolutionary War and every US conflict up to and including Vietnam.

“Every donation and wreath sponsorship is a meaningful gift from an appreciative supporter who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “We are so grateful to the community of Columbia, PA for participating in our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.”

National Wreaths Across America Day is a free event, open to all. For more information, to donate or to sign up to volunteer, please visit

Deadline for 2019 donations is November 30th Location ID: PMBCC GroupID: PA0358P

About Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at hundreds of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.

Location Coordinator MBC:
Jane Moore

About Town 11/17/19

This week's photos of Columbia

Superman in jail? The bars must be made of kryptonite.

 This will happen soon enough.

 Here's a cozy little home shrouded by snow on the first block of South 3rd.

 Last of the season, most likely

 Not necessarily good advice

 But this probably is good advice.

 The many steps to pumpkinhood

 Starling convention near the railroad tracks

 Speaking of the railroad tracks, here's a couple of fancy train cars.

 And there they go.

 Assuming the snacking stance

 When nuts aren't available, he'll settle for maple tree seeds, as shown here.

 The Keeley stoves are still inside the Market House.

 Here's the third one.

 Differing views on religion

 The Railroad Administration Office of Safety - mobile, no less


 Pick yourself up afterwards

 Yes, please patrol.

 Busted windows

At the Mount Zion A.M.E Church on South 5th:
There are several unique stained glass windows, each with a memorial tribute, as shown below.


 Contrail-riddled sky. (No, the government isn't trying to kill us - at least not like this.)

 Makes for an interesting sunset, though.

 Building for sale on Bridge Street

 There's the sign.

 The building comes complete with a ghost sign and keystone/datestone.

 Those Warthogs get lower all the time.

 There were visitors at the Elks on Saturday.

 Here's the "backstory."

 Rust-colored sign all aglow

 Yes, we did get some foliage.

Giant ice cream cone at Coffee & Cream