Changes Coming To Lancaster And Berks Transit, But A Combined New Authority Won’t Look Different To Bus Riders

Picture 565Lancaster’s Red Rose Transit Authority board took its first formal step toward a merger with Berks County’s BARTA system on Wednesday.

But the combined South Central Transit Authority will be indistinguishable from the present RRTA and BARTA.

“We’ll form a new authority and nobody will know the difference,” RRTA Executive Director David Kilmer said.

The single authority will operate RRTA and BARTA buses in their respective counties. The names on the buses will not change, nor will their colors.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/changes-coming-to-lancaster-and-berks-transit-but-a-combined/article_090e5798-3ec5-11e4-a7b4-001a4bcf6878.html

Steps Taken To Address Building Blight, But Lancaster May Still Move To Take Problem Property

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Annville developer Kenneth Wenger has paid back taxes, ensured the grounds of the former G.E. Richards building are clean and the grass cut.

He has resolved nearly all the issues that led city inspectors to declare the 502-506 W. Walnut St. property blighted.

But that didn’t stop city Redevelopment Authority board members on Tuesday from voting to begin the process of taking the property by eminent domain.

In April, the board gave Wenger until Sept. 30 to address blighted conditions. The taking could occur in as little as 90 days unless Wenger takes action.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/steps-taken-to-address-building-blight-but-city-may-still/article_479f45ec-3e09-11e4-bf1e-0017a43b2370.html

Lancaster Craft Beerfest – Saturday, September 6th

Lancaster SquareBringing a great beer event to Lancaster, Pa.

On September 6th, the second annual Lancaster Craft Beerfest is returning to the vibrant, growing, and creative city of Lancaster. Last year was a huge success with a sold out crowd of over 2,000 attendees, and this year it’s going to be bigger and better. Like last year, our goal is to provide craft beer drinkers with an amazing selection of unique beers so they can discover new and old favorites. There will be dozens of options from some of the best breweries, including those right in our neighborhood and from across the country. Not only will there be craft beer, there will be great food and live music to enjoy as well.

To check out the website for all the festival information, click here: http://lancastercraftbeerfest.com/

Lancaster General Hospital Surplus Soars After Several Years Of Decline

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After five straight years of shrinking “profits,” Lancaster County’s biggest nonprofit hospital turned things around last year — due in large part to cost cutting.

Lancaster General Hospital’s surplus, or revenues over expenses, ballooned to $92.6 million in 2012-2013, up 54 percent from the previous year and the highest total since 2007-2008, according to the hospital’s IRS Form 990, released earlier this summer.

The hospital’s parent firm, Lancaster General Health, inched closer to becoming a billion-dollar organization in 2012-2013, with total revenues of $919.8 million and a surplus of $100.7 million.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lgh-surplus-soars-after-several-years-of-decline/article_2a806084-2f92-11e4-8770-001a4bcf6878.html

Winter 2014-15 To Have More Snow Than Normal, But Less Than Last Year … And Less Cold Air

You may be reading this while wearing summer-ish shorts and a T-shirt, or standing in comfortable weather in your driveway after getting your paper.

But here’s a news flash — winter’s coming.

Even though it’s only late August, school’s just getting ready to start and winter doesn’t officially start for four months, forecasters are already getting a good picture of what to expect for winter 2014-15.

And the picture has both good news and bad news.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/winter—to-have-more-snow-than-normal-but/article_4cf8cd22-2a2e-11e4-8047-0017a43b2370.html

Lancaster, Lititz Pubs Vying For “Best In The Northeast”

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it too much of an exaggeration to claim that Lancaster County is THE craft beer capital of the Northeast?

Maybe not.

Two county establishments — Bulls Head Public House in Lititz and The Fridge in Lancaster city — are among the 10 Northeast Region finalists in http://www.CraftBeer.com’s 2014 search for the nation’s Great American Beer Bars.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lifestyle/lancaster-lititz-pubs-vying-for-best-in-the-northeast/article_76589ed8-294b-11e4-9ea9-0017a43b2370.html

Elizabethtown Fair Opens The Season In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Elizabethtown Fair has a lot of fans. One of them is the chief executive of the commonwealth.

Gov. Tom Corbett will take part in the fair’s opening ceremony at 6:45 p.m. this evening, fair spokeswoman Sally Nolt said.

He’ll then be given a tour, she said.

This will be Corbett’s fifth trip to the fair, she said: He came three times as attorney general and once before as governor, she said.

“He’s been a good supporter for fairs,” she said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/elizabethtown/news/elizabethtown-fair-opens-the-season-in-lancaster-county/article_ed0eb122-265b-11e4-ac4e-001a4bcf6878.html

Stars May Align With Rock Lititz

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stargazing might be on the rise in Lititz after all.

The developers of Rock Lititz Studio made clear from the start that the mammoth rehearsal facility under construction in Warwick Township is designed for technical crews, not performers themselves.

But the company is acknowledging that performers might also pop in for a day or two at some point in the tour-preparation process.

Which means the likes of Bono, Madonna and others might someday walk the streets of Lititz — or at least whiz by in a limo.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/stars-may-align-with-rock-lititz/article_77540302-222c-11e4-ac6d-001a4bcf6878.html

Historic Posey Iron Works Refitted As 11 Apartment Units

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost three years after city zoners approved developer Scott Graeber’s plan to turn the old Posey Iron Works administration offices into apartments, the building will soon welcome its first tenants.

Known as Lancaster Ironworks, the project involved renovating the approximately 9,000-square-foot, two-story brick structure at 560 S. Prince St. into 11 apartments, with rents starting at $900 a month.

According to newspaper records, the edifice was designed by Lancaster architect Henry Y. Shaub and constructed in two sections, in 1910 and 1916. It features a grand staircase, wood paneling, concrete flooring and a steel substructure.

Posey Iron Works, which operated until 1983, manufactured pipe, piling steel and wrought iron for industry. Its pipes were used to dredge the Panama Canal, and it supplied the Army and Navy during both World Wars, newspaper accounts show.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/historic-posey-iron-works-refitted-as-apartment-units/article_d4ebaf1e-1f26-11e4-9a42-001a4bcf6878.html

Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Company Town (Lititz, PA)

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LITITZ, PA—This town of 9,400 people in Amish country tells the story of the modern concert industry.

In 1968, when Frankie Valli and his group rolled in for a show, two young brothers who did sound for local dances turned the Four Seasons into one of the first music acts to tour with its own speaker system. The brothers built a reputation on the road, but they never moved out of Lititz. Their company became an anchor for a cluster of businesses that now supply the sound and spectacle for many of the world’s biggest acts.

The effect that lets pop-star Katy Perry soar over her audience while clutching a bunch of balloons. The battalion of speakers blasting Paul McCartney’s voice in stadiums designed for sports, not music. The sliding catwalk that takes a singing, dancing Justin Timberlake from the stage to the rear of an arena. All this gear, currently crisscrossing America in tractor-trailers, was engineered and built in Lititz, along with the apparatus for blockbuster tours of the past by U2, the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Michael Jackson. The place has an air of secrecy: Because entertainers want a surprise when the curtain goes up, much of the work here is done in secret by companies that don’t put their names on their buildings.

Once wired with tinny speakers and harsh lights, the world of live entertainment is now powered by computer systems that control sophisticated video displays on sets worth tens of millions of dollars.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/articles/rock-n-rolls-company-town-1407452570?tesla=y

WATCH: Fall Out Boy Offers To Play Music With Garden Spot Marching Band

Fall Out Boy offered to visit and play music with the Garden Spot marching band in a video published on the band’s Youtube channel today.

The band apparently heard about the school board nixing their song, “Thnks for th Mmrs” from the marching band play list this week.

7-1-7 Fest A Showcase For Local Bands

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An avid music junkie in Lancaster would have no problem getting his daily fix of tunes, thanks to the prominent local music scene.

Whether it’s attending a show at one of the many local venues, or learning about the next up-and-coming bands through social media, central Pennsylvania and, more specifically, Lancaster, has grown into a hub for musicians looking to break through to the next level.

This week, promoter Jeremy Weiss and CIRecords will look to showcase some of the most promising young artists at the fourth annual 7-1-7 Fest.

The event, from 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday, will feature 15 area bands on multiple stages at the Lancaster County Convention Center.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/entertainment/fest-a-showcase-for-local-bands/article_f38357f0-0b4a-11e4-aea7-001a4bcf6878.html

UPDATE: Driver Was Drunk And On Heroin At Time Of Tuesday’s Fatal Crash, Police Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thomas Gallagher Jr., according to officials and court records, was pressing his luck for years.

A decade-long history of alcohol-related legal troubles — including two DUI charges — weren’t stopping him from getting behind the wheel.

His own passengers, it was learned Thursday, were pleading with him to pull over Tuesday prior to a crash in West Lampeter that killed Meredith Demko, a recent high school graduate.

On Thursday afternoon, police filed additional charges of vehicular homicide while DUI. Gallagher’s blood-alcohol level was about three times the state’s legal limit at the time of the crash, documents show.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lampeterstrasburg/news/update-driver-was-drunk-and-on-heroin-at-time-of/article_ba0f8728-0848-11e4-b1b6-0017a43b2370.html

Lancaster Mayor: Advantages Of College Use Of Former Armory Site Outweigh Price

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology officials came to City Hall and asked the city to sell them the former National Guard armory site, Mayor Rick Gray’s answer was “no.”

The armory was an unexpected windfall for the city, but the city needed it badly.

The buildings which had been used to service military vehicles would become a new maintenance garage to replace the city’s crumbling facility.

But, eventually, college officials persuaded Gray an expansion of the technical school was in the best interests of the college and the surrounding neighborhood.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lancaster/news/mayor-advantages-of-college-use-of-former-armory-site-outweigh/article_1b928054-0646-11e4-b8d3-0017a43b2370.html

Spooky Nook Sports To Expand With Hotel And Restaurant

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spooky Nook Sports is adding a hotel and restaurant within its sprawling East Hempfield Township facility.

The 130-room hotel will be independently branded, open to tournament attendees and the public year round.

The 260-seat restaurant will have an American cuisine theme and a family friendly environment.

Read more:  http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/spooky-nook-sports-to-expand-with-hotel-and-restaurant/article_a5bb80b8-05e3-11e4-bac4-001a4bcf6878.html

Lititz Pike Bridge Opening Next Week

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The good news:  The long-awaited new Lititz Pike bridge will open Wednesday, weather permitting.

The bad news:  The one-lane travel restrictions will simply be switched from the old bridge to the new span.

The single-lane travel will allow for the reconstruction of Lititz Pike’s intersection with Keller and Marshall avenues, project construction manager Mike Sisson said.

The new bridge is not expected to open to its full capacity until late October, after the old bridge is removed, Sisson said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lititz-pike-bridge-opening-next-week/article_bab5a084-0246-11e4-9c0f-0017a43b2370.html

Coming This Week: A Special Report On Columbia’s Public Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I hope folks from the Pottstown School District follow this story.  It’s a smaller version of Pottstown with many of the same issues!

Columbia’s public schools will reopen in late August, reverberating again with the clamor of children.

But overshadowing the back-to-school routine will be difficult questions.

Columbia is a tiny, high-poverty school district struggling to prepare kids for our fast-changing, technology-driven world.

The single-municipality district has the weakest tax base in Lancaster County and the second-highest proportion of needy children. Its taxes are the county’s highest and salaries the lowest. It has too many dropouts. Test scores are abysmal.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/coming-this-week-a-special-report-on-columbia-s-public/article_a2e62f5a-faf3-11e3-83c4-001a4bcf6878.html

Three Birdsboro Residents Arrested In Drug Ring Investigation

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA — A joint investigation between state and local officials uncovered a large-scale drug ring that spanned three counties.

The results of the year-long “Operation Tourniquet” lead to the arrests of “48 mid- and street-level drug dealers,” a press release from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office said.

The dealers, the release said, “were part of two organizations, who were loosely tied and responsible for distributing drugs throughout at least three counties including Berks, Lancaster, and Schuylkill.”

Three Birdsboro residents where among the alleged “street-level” dealers who were arrested.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140624/three-birdsboro-residents-arrested-in-drug-ring-investigation

Report: Lancaster Metro Economy Rates 100th In Size In U.S.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lancaster County boasts the 100th largest economy among the 363 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., according to a report released in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting.

The economy here produced $21.6 billion in 2013, according to the report (PDF), prepared by the economic analysis firm IHS.

The mayors are using the report to call attention to the outsized role of metro areas in the U.S. economy. Metro areas account for 90 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and are expected to generate 92 percent of overall U.S. economic growth through 2020, the report said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/report-lancaster-metro-economy-rates-th-in-size-in-u/article_cfba5fbc-fb0a-11e3-a5ce-001a4bcf6878.html