“Unofficially Summer” Weather To Bake Lancaster County All Week

It’s a good thing swimming pools around Lancaster County have just opened because the week ahead will be unseasonably warm and muggy.

And that’s not good news for area farmers, where a deficit in precipitation around the county is making it hard for newly planted crops to shoot upward.

Nor for the county’s firefighters, who continue to be called out to brush fires.

“Unofficially summer,” is what Eric Horst is calling the unusually hot spell.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/unofficially-summer-weather-to-bake-lancaster-county-all-week/article_469a42aa-03b6-11e5-a09d-0303b8c296f3.html

Lancaster City Seeks Proposals For Bulova Building, Adjacent City Property

Lancaster city is formally seeking proposals for the vacant Bulova building and adjacent city-owned property in hopes of connecting a stagnant part of downtown.

The city intends to use eminent domain to take the Bulova building at North Queen and East Orange streets. That means the city would pay fair market value for the property and the building’s lien holders would then be paid.

The city issued requests for proposals on Friday.

Randy Patterson, the city’s economic development and neighborhood revitalization director, said the property is in a critical location downtown.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-seeks-proposals-for-bulova-building-adjacent-city-property/article_09f9f3de-00a7-11e5-84a4-17935f8a2998.html

Columbia Hopes To Land Downsized State Call Center, With 129 Jobs

A year after tabling a plan for a call center here, the state Department of Human Services now says it wants to put a smaller version of the call center somewhere in Lancaster County.

And even though the proposed call center has been shrunk by more than half, Columbia Borough is in hot pursuit of the venture, which would create 129 jobs.

Its Borough Council voted this week to spend $835,000 to support the effort of developer Bill Roberts to put the call center in a fire station at 137 S. Front St.

“Every now and then, when a municipality embarks on an economic development project, they need to be willing to put some skin in game,” said Mayor Leo Lutz.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/columbia/news/columbia-hopes-to-land-downsized-state-call-center-with-jobs/article_cf7669f8-ffdf-11e4-ac60-370a1a706522.html

Innovative Columbia Borough Digester Plan Gets $1.7M In State Funding

Columbia Borough’s plan to develop what’s believed to be the first biogas production site of its kind in Pennsylvania has gotten crucial state support.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority last week approved a $1.7 million funding package for the venture, which could cost up to $3.5 million.

The state package consists of a $1,449,952 loan and a $300,000 grant from the authority’s Alternative and Clean Energy program.

Columbia Borough intends to build an anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant that would use food waste, delivered by truck from area food-processing plants and other sources.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/innovative-columbia-borough-digester-plan-gets-m-in-state-funding/article_c2be3eb2-fe26-11e4-a8aa-77ab18e7e403.html

Lancaster City Zoners Grant Variances For Lancaster General Hospital $60M Expansion

Lancaster General Health has received variances from city regulations that will enable its planned $60 million expansion of Lancaster General Hospital to move ahead.

With little discussion and no public opposition, the Lancaster Zoning Hearing Board on Monday approved variances to building height and setback requirements.

The county’s largest health care provider wants to expand the Stauffer building on the northeast corner of the hospital at Lime and Frederick streets to eight floors, putting in 66 private rooms.

Joseph Puskar, an LGH senior vice president, said the hospital is responding to changes in the health care industry.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-zoners-grant-variances-for-lancaster-general-hospital-m/article_3e74556c-fdb1-11e4-bf1e-8f1af7ea2f8c.html

Lancaster Ranked No. 1 Place To Be A Teacher In The U.S.

Education majors who graduated from Millersville University this month don’t have to look far to find an awesome place to work.

Lancaster is the best city in the country to be a teacher, according to a South Carolina-based data analysis and scholarship search company.

GoodCall created its list of the top 10 places to be a teacher based on average annual teacher salary, available teaching jobs, teaching jobs per capita, high school graduation rates, cost of living and amenities. It used data from the U.S. Census, Indeed.com, the National Center for Education Statistics, and WalkScore.com.

The average teacher salary for Lancaster is $60,370, and there were 70 teaching jobs available as of May 6, according to GoodCall. Those figures refer to public and private schools in the city, according to Carrie Wiley, GoodCall’s public relations manager.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-ranked-no-place-to-be-a-teacher-in-the/article_030e8894-faff-11e4-91c5-9b05a2f2a6f8.html

“Gap Bottleneck Project” Starting New Phase, With New Traffic Pattern, This Week

Work on the “Gap Bottleneck Project” is beginning to pick up, with a new traffic pattern established this week in the project area in eastern Lancaster County.

The new work is another step in the overall $9.9 million project that’s set for completion in October 2016.

For now, the new pattern is in place during overnight hours in the area of the Route 30/Route 41 project, the state Transportation Department announced.

A concrete barrier is being installed along the north side of Route 30 just east of the intersection with 41.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/gap-bottleneck-project-starting-new-phase-with-new-traffic-pattern/article_1f89be2e-f9cb-11e4-86d9-f390befce9c3.html

Lancaster Businesses Find CRIZ Paperwork Cumbersome, Time-Consuming

Downtown business people say they support Lancaster’s City Revitalization & Improvement Zone, or CRIZ.

But boy, they sure wish the paperwork were less of a hassle.

“The process is very painful,” said David Leaman, senior manager of finance for the Isaac’s restaurant chain, which has its headquarters and one of its restaurants in the CRIZ.

Moirajeanne FitzGerald, who owns Here to Timbuktu on North Prince Street, says, “The CRIZ paperwork is cumbersome. The directions are difficult to understand.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/city-businesses-find-criz-paperwork-cumbersome-time-consuming/article_f9428c5e-f5cf-11e4-a572-83e1416c6222.html

From Beers To Burritos, Cinco De Mayo A Big Boost For Restaurant Owners In York County

Cinco de Mayo may be a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. But for restaurants in York County, the holiday is a big boost to the bottom line.

El Serrano’s two locations in Springettsbury Township and Lancaster, for example, are expected to do three to four times the business they do on a typical Tuesday, said Melanie Torres, who manages the Lancaster location.

Read about Cinco de Mayo celebrations in our area.

Mexitaly, a Springettsbury Township eatery whose menu features Mexican food, pizza and craft beer made on the premises, is bringing in extra help for Cinco de Mayo and ordering 20 percent more food ingredients than usual, owner Greg Skirboll said.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_28047513/from-beers-burritos-cinco-de-mayo-big-boost

$60 Million Expansion Planned For Lancaster General Hospital

Lancaster County’s largest health care provider announced this morning that it is planning a six-story, $60 million expansion of its flagship facility, Lancaster General Hospital.

The expansion would enable the hospital to provide all private patient rooms, Lancaster General health said in a news release.

The LG Health Board of Trustees is scheduled to make a final decision on the project at its May meeting, according to the release. Work completed thus far is in anticipation of trustee and municipal approvals, it said, “to enable construction to begin as early as this summer.”

“Among LGH’s current 533 inpatient beds, 142 are located in semi-private rooms,” the release said. “LG Health plans to expand onto the northeast corner of the hospital, near Lime and Frederick streets.”

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/million-expansion-planned-for-lancaster-general-hospital/article_d4bc21b8-f00e-11e4-ad3b-239f83f71d33.html

Lancaster, Strasburg Among Top 10 Most Beautiful Towns In Pennsylvania

WP_20150413_15_01_39_ProThe folks at the Culture Trip recently released its guide to the 10 most beautiful towns in Pennsylvania, and two of their choices are located here in Lancaster County.


Related: Central Market among top 10 fresh markets in the world


Lancaster city was lauded for its “unique shops and boutiques, a plethora of outstanding restaurants and a beautiful countryside,” while Strasburg was recognized for its railroad attractions and its countryside, which was described as “rich in history and beauty.”


Related: Lancaster dog park tops list of 10 best amazing dog parks in U.S.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-strasburg-among-top-most-beautiful-towns-in-pennsylvania/article_7642cca4-f00e-11e4-80fe-0fb071204e70.html

Lancaster City Posts Walkability Study Online

Lancaster city has posted online the walkability study an urban planner prepared for the city as part of efforts to make the city more pedestrian-friendly.

You can read Jeff Speck’s 131-page analysis by following this link here.

LNP will be delving into the study, as well as getting reaction from city officials and other stakeholders as they get a chance to read it.

Mayor Rick Gray told city Council Tuesday night the city will “review policy recommendations contained in the report and implement those that are feasible, prudent and affordable.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-posts-walkability-study-online/article_8387429e-ee85-11e4-870e-430d33a3974a.html

Route 222 North Between Route 322 And Adamstown Now Open

Route 222 North has been reopened after closing for more than an hour between Route 322 and the Adamstown exit, state police said.

It was closed between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to allow police to further investigate Sunday’s police pursuit and shooting along the highway, they said.

Northbound motorists were detoured to Route 322 West and Route 272 North.

Charges have been filed against the man who led officers from multiple police departments on a high-speed pursuit, rammed a police car head-on and drove his SUV directly at officers on foot Sunday morning on Route 222.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/update-route-north-between-route-and-adamstown-now-open/article_14339e84-edbc-11e4-98c0-4398f0438b2e.html

MU Student With Blood-Alcohol Level Of .27% Drove On Sidewalk, Nearly Struck 6 Pedestrians, Police Allege

A Millersville University student is charged with being “heavily intoxicated” when he drove his car — on a sidewalk near campus — nearly striking several pedestrians.

Cyle Knopf, a 21-year-old junior, is charged with eight misdemeanors regarding the March 20 incident at Brookwood Apartments, a student-housing community next to the campus.

Police allege Knopf had a blood-alcohol content of .276 percent — more than three times the state’s legal driving limit of .08 percent — shortly after he was stopped.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mu-student-with-blood-alcohol-level-of-drove-on-sidewalk/article_88bdb160-e8f6-11e4-b682-43abb65d905b.html

Giant Supermarkets To Boost Minimum Pay To $9 Per Hour

Giant Food Stores will boost its minimum pay to $9 per hour, effective June 7, the company said Tuesday.

The change applies to 197 non-union supermarkets run by Carlisle-based Giant and its Martin’s division.

Data from a website that tracks wages shows the decision will be worth as much as $1.67 per hour extra for the company’s workforce.

“Our associates are the foundation of our success and we have always believed in paying competitive wages to attract the best talent,” said Giant President Tom Lenkevich in a prepared statement.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/giant-supermarkets-to-boost-minimum-pay-to-per-hour/article_9581413c-e360-11e4-8edd-bfd0cd3f9d3d.html

Harrisburg City Council Passes Resolution Calling For Safety Of Oil Trains

Lancaster County officials aren’t the only ones expressing concern over oil trains passing through communities along the Susquehanna River.

Harrisburg City Council Tuesday night passed a resolution that urges Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve the designs of rail cars that carry explosive crude oil across the country and through populated areas.

The resolution also urged rail companies to replace their fleet of oil tank cars with improved models. And the measure asked the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to help local emergency responders better prepare for the possibility of an oil-train accident.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/harrisburg-city-council-passes-resolution-calling-for-safety-of-oil/article_9b630868-e376-11e4-b6a8-3f5ea18bf998.html

Young Gang Busted: Thieves Sentenced For Targeting Homes With Sleeping Occupants

More than a dozen young males and females have been sentenced for their roles in a spree of Lancaster home burglaries and thefts in 2013.

The group, 14 people in all, targeted city homes with residents asleep inside during the three-month spree.

They stole cash, credit cards, and cars.

Their ages, roles and sentences varied, with the youngest being a 15-year-old girl and the oldest a 20-year-old man.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/young-gang-busted-thieves-sentenced-for-targeting-homes-with-sleeping/article_7f7c0aae-df9e-11e4-9ef5-b3bd03210add.html

Owners Of Burned-Out McDonald’s In Ephrata To Begin Rebuilding

The owners of a burned-out McDonald’s in Ephrata plan to soon begin tearing down the old restaurant and building a new one that could be open by mid-July.

The McDonald’s at 140 N. Reading Road in the Cloister Shopping center was destroyed by a fire last June.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/owners-of-burned-out-mcdonald-s-in-ephrata-to-begin/article_38b10996-df7e-11e4-b95b-c30bb5aceab5.html

Restoring Aging Lancaster County-Owned Bridges Tied To Natural Gas Impact Fee

On sparsely traveled back roads across Lancaster County, more than two dozen narrow, unassuming bridges built in a simpler era are showing their age.

Concrete is weathered and cracking. The decks are no longer safe for even moderate loads.

The Lancaster County commissioners are addressing the problem by turning to impact fee revenue from natural gas drillers. As of February, the county had $2.2 million available, said county engineer Scott Russell of Rettew Associates.

The commissioners are counting on continuing impact fee revenue to help fund the replacement or repair of nearly all 44 county-owned concrete or steel bridges over the next five years.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/restoring-aging-county-owned-bridges-tied-to-natural-gas-impact/article_8d404a12-3caa-5308-a5f6-14cb6f4abaae.html