Backyard Gossip: Delectable treats & much, much more

Get ready for fasnachts … New Hope Church, located on Colonial Club Drive near Linglestown, is gearing up to make a huge pile of doughy delights to help kick off the Easter season and to raise money for the church’s mission projects in Swaziland, Africa.

Pick-up times for fasnachts are Monday evening, March 3, or Tuesday morning, March 4. You can order a half dozen for $5 by sending an email to or calling the church office at (717) 545-3400. (map)

Earlier wake up call? … Central Dauphin School Board will be back in action Monday evening with only routine business appearing on the meeting agenda. The meeting will be held in the lecture hall at Central Dauphin East High School and will start at 7 pm.

The most notable item is a proposal to change the daily start time at Central Dauphin High School from 7:45 to 7:40 am to enable current seniors to meet the state’s requirement for instructional time.

CLICK HERE for a PennLive article that looks at a proposed policy on students’ rights of  expression that will be up for a vote during Monday’s meeting.

Parade coming to Linglestown … There is a good chance that Central Dauphin High School will kick off Homecoming festivities next fall in Linglestown with a parade and after-parade activities. Tentative date for this new event is Sunday, Sept. 28.

Champion athlete … Gazette congrats go out to Rachel McCormick of Central Dauphin High School for winning the Mid Penn Girls’ Diving Championship. CLICK HERE for an interview with Rachel that appeared on PennLive.

Musical anyone? … Believe or not, the season for high school musicals is fast approaching. Central Dauphin High School is presenting “Pirates of Penzance” early next month, including a free matinee performance for senior citizens. CLICK HERE for info.

Park plans approved … Lower Paxton Township supervisors approved a master plan for Koons Park in Linglestown and the undeveloped Wolfersberger Park that borders Wenrich Street just east of the village. But there’s a catch – the township doesn’t have funding to immediately put the plan into action. CLICK HERE for details from PennLive.

5 cool things to do this weekend in Linglestown & nearby spots

#1 … Kick off your weekend by feasting on mac & cheese named “Awesome” at Smoke BBQ. Read about the dish in a PennLive article by foodie Sue Gleiter.

#2 … Next, do more feasting – this time with your ears – on live music at St. Thomas Roasters. This weekend’s offerings are a wide-ranging solo set by Henry Koretzky on FRIDAY, and bluegrass tunes on SATURDAY by a local group called Rough Edge, 8 – 10 pm both nights, no cover.

#3 … Hey, why not make it a music marathon weekend by taking in free shows that are part of the Millennium Music Conference. CLICK HERE for the full schedule and locations that include Linglestown’s very own Blue Moose Bar & Grille.

#4 … If you want to hear some cool tunes, Linglestown Gazette publisher B² says go to the Midtown Scholar bookstore in downtown Harrisburg for the Millennium Music Conference show by Cello Fury, FRIDAY, 7 pm (map). This three-piece group does amazing stuff with their stringed instruments! The group is pictured above.

#5 … If you have spring fever, for heaven’s sake go to the Pennsylvania Garden Expo at the Farm Show. CLICK HERE for info.

How CD High seniors can get money for college

The Central Dauphin High School Alumni Association would like to inform
the students and parents of the Central Dauphin High School Class of 2014 that the
Association is awarding two $1,000 scholarships to the two CD seniors who best
exemplify “school spirit.” Eligibility or preference of selection shall in no way be
affected by race, religion, or gender.

The scholarship application requires that students do the following: continue their education at a post-secondary institution; have a reference from a school employee; list school and community activities; and write an essay.

Since 2006, the CDHS Alumni Association has provided $16,500 in student scholarships to the high school’s graduating seniors. Funds are generated through various fundraising events throughout the year, as well as members’ donations.

Applications are due Friday, April 4, 2014, and may be obtained in the CDHS Guidance Office or on the Alumni Association’s website. If you have questions about the scholarship, application, or procedures, send an email to or call 717-541-0220.

Valentine’s Day weekend in the village

If you have a bad case of the blues from all the snow and cold temps, this is the weekend to break out of your home and venture into Linglestown for a great weekend of free stuff and fun activities.

Things kick off FRIDAY evening with a Valentine’s Day musical showcase of love songs at St. Thomas Roasters coffee house by Frank Cotolo, assuming he can dig his way out of Grantville. He’ll be on stage 8-10 pm, no cover charge.

You’ll have a long list of stuff to do all day SATURDAY during the annual Chocolate Walk sponsored by the Linglestown Merchants’ Association. CLICK HERE to feast your eyes on the events, special offers and free deals being offered by participating merchants.

Last but not least, here’s a big, sloppy kiss for all Gazette readers and best wishes for a great Valentine’s Day weekend.

Backyard Gossip: Stuff you may have missed

Vaping coming to Linglestown … A Susquehanna Township man whose life was changed for the better by switching to electronic cigarettes – referred to by some as e-cigs – plans to open a retail outlet to peddle vaping products somewhere in the Linglestown area, according to PennLive. CLICK HERE for a newbie’s guide on vaping.

Keeping you safe … Lower Paxton recently hired two new patrol officers to fill spots opened by a retirement and a resignation. PennLive reports that the township employs 53 people in its police department.

CD sports updates … It’s hard to believe former CD girls’ basketball standout Alyssa Thomas already is a senior at the University of Maryland where she’s on track for becoming a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year and three-time All-American. PennLive recently updated her strong play this season.

Unlike Thomas, another former top CD athlete has made headlines for getting in trouble with the law. Zayd Issah, who blew a chance to play football at Penn State, recently received probation for his multiple criminal offenses. It’s interesting to note that Dauphin County President Judge Todd Hoover, who seems to be a fair-minded jurist, handled the case. A PennLive report said Issah’s immediate goal is to find a post-secondary school to attend that will give him a shot at playing football.

Last but not least, CLICK HERE and HERE to check out where current CD and CD East athletes will be attending college next year and continuing their athletic careers.

Epstein in the news … CD school board member and statewide political activist Eric Epstein recently was featured in a WHP TV-21 report about lawmakers taking advantage of a loophole to purchase homes with tax dollars.

Vino preview … CLICK HERE for a sneak preview for a winery and tasting room that is tentatively scheduled to open next month. The owner, Marty Schoffstall, has a vineyard on his estate located about a mile south of the Gander Mountain store on Rt. 22.

How to get down, get funky this weekend in & around Linglestown

Weekend happening #1 … Music at St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown is back in action with Sean Bennett on FRIDAY and Alexandra Madden on SATURDAY, 8 – 10 pm both nights, no cover charge. This is a cozy place to hang out and snuggle up to a steaming hot cup of expertly made coffee that was roasted right on the premises.

Weekend happening #2 … Basket Bingo is coming to Linglestown Fire Company this Sunday. CLICK HERE to get in the know. Wahoo!

Weekend happening #3 … Harrisburg Hunters’ and Anglers’ Association will host a turkey and ham dinner on SATURDAY, 4:00 – 5;00 pm (or until sold out). In addition to the two meats, the menu includes salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, roll, beverage and dessert. Requested donation is $8.50. (map)

Weekend happening preview …  The fun and fabulous Linglestown Chocolate Walk is nearly here. Grab your calendar – go ahead, I’ll wait – and circle with a red heart Saturday, Feb. 15 and then CLICK HERE to feast your eyes on the free stuff and fun times planned for you and your gang.

Get locally connected …  To help you cut through the clutter of the internet and life in general, consider adding your name to the growing list of Gazette readers who get an email when the blog’s Community Calendar is updated. CLICK HERE to get on the list.

Get listed … It’s simple to get events listed on Linglestown Gazette. Simply CLICK HERE and fill in the blanks. Plus, score brownie points by including a photo to go along with your listing.
“Linglestown Gazette gives me information about local events that you can’t read about anywhere else.”George Kunkle, suburban Linglestown resident

Groundhog Day edition of Linglestown-area Backyard News

Just in case you plan to skip Sunday’s early-morning Groundhog Day party, here’s your weekend preview and community gossip update. Hey, let’s charter a bus and head to the Punxsutawney bash next year.

Cotolo & Cooney … If you love to sip coffee and other caffeinated drinks while listening to cool tunes, you’ll want to head to head to St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown. On tap is Frank Cotolo of Grantville on FRIDAY and Joe Cooney of Colonial Park on SATURDAY, 8 – 10 pm both nights no cover.

Come & get it … There will be an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast at New Love in Christ Church this SATURDAY from 7 – 11 am, and the buffet includes omelets made to order. Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for kids ages 5 to 11, and free for children under 5. (map)

Wanna save some $$$ … The Central Dauphin High Alumni Association is once again are offering their super-duper discount card that’s accepted at a whooping 38 local merchants. And, you do not need to be an association member to purchase a card. CLICK HERE for more info and keep in mind that this discount card is a great gift item.

Toast of the village … Linglestown soon will be home to a small wine-production facility now that the township zoning board signed off on the project. Three local men – Jeff Mauck, Aaron Hoke and Steven Kurtz – are teaming up to start Lucky Cask Wine Company that will be headquartered in a garage on Raspberry Lane near Koons Park. The business is bound to be the village’s best-kept secret because wine will be produced but not sold at the winery.

Way to go #1 … Mitchell Brady of Linglestown recently earned Eagle Scout status. His project was constructing cement pads for benches in the Linglestown square. (Submitted by Gazette reader Susan Seeds.)

Way to go #2 … The Colonial Park Rotary Club recently honored the six students from Central Dauphin High School, Central Dauphin East High School and the Dauphin County Technical School that attended the 53rd annual “Rotary Youth Leaders Conference” that was held last summer at Messiah College.

Pictured (L-R) below are Drew Goodwin, Colonial Park Rotary Club vocational chairman John Stoeckle, Savannah Carter, Mitchell Loser, Justus Steele, leadership program chairman Gary Crissman, Neal Rose and Kristin Evans.

rotary students 2013

CD board updates teacher subs, financial studies

Every month the Linglestown Gazette has allotted me space to provide updates on educational issues. The Central Dauphin School Board has recently reviewed two initiatives that I would like to share with you.

Source 4 Teachers

Substitute coverage for our teachers has become more difficult, and currently the Central Dauphin School District is only able to fill 72 percent of vacancies.

Problems with substitute coverage have largely been driven by two external factors:

The Affordable Care Act legislation prescribes that any entity with 50 full-time employees who work more than 30 hours must provide health insurance. This mandate has been temporally postponed, but is likely to be implemented in the near future.

Also, a ruling by the Public School Employees Retirement System now prohibits retired teachers who are collecting pensions from working for the district.

The Board voted in December 2013 to approve a 2.5 year contract with Source 4 Teachers. The company has a 98 percent “fill rate” record. The district will be able to utilize retired teachers, recruit new teachers and save up to $35,000 annually.

The contract with Source 4 Teachers includes two one-year renewal options when the initial contract period ends on June 23, 2016. The cost to the district will be $127.30 per teacher, per day, for substitutes who work one to 70 days; and $137.00 per day for more than 70 days. There will be no additional costs and the substitute teachers will be paid the same as they are paid now.

Financial Literacy

In response to a community survey, the district found that 85 percent of the participants in the survey thought students should be taught how to manage finances. Among those who responded were 1,030 community members and 1,433 parents of Central Dauphin students.

The Board reviewed a proposal presented by Central Dauphin Curriculum Director Shirley Hunter earlier this month. The Financial Literacy curriculum “is designed to teach students how to become financially literate adults. The course includes topics
that prepare students for financial decision making, goal setting, saving, budgeting, borrowing, spending wisely and managing credit.”

The cost to implement the program is $4,300 and it was approved Monday evening.

In a related matter, a recent study by the Institute for College Access & Success found that Pennsylvania college students graduate with the third highest debt level in the nation.

Students graduating for Pennsylvania public and nonprofit colleges are carrying an average debt of $31,675 compared to the national average which is $29,4000.

On average, seven out of ten graduating college students had student loan debt in 2012. The total amount owed in outstanding college loans is $1.2 trillion.

CD board set to meet Monday evening

For those of you keeping tabs on the Central Dauphin School Board, they will meet tonight in the lecture hall at CD East High at 7 pm. The meeting is open to the public.

Budget update … Karen McConnell, the district’s top administrator, will give another in a series of presentations jammed packed with background information related to next school year’s budget that needs to be adopted by June 30. The board already has decided to cap a hike in the property-tax rate, if needed, to 2.1 percent, the highest allowed by the state next school year.

Clean-up work … Final votes are on tap for refinancing bonds to save the district about $2 million over the next two years and starting a financial literacy course for 9th graders.

Weekend Entertainment Update

Come and get it … Kick off your SATURDAY at the two-soup sale at Linglestown Fire Company. CLICK HERE for info.

Turn on the heat … End your SATURDAY by heading to the Farm Show for Linglestown Gazette Night at the Harrisburg Heat pro indoor soccer game. Just for being a Gazette reader, you’ll get special savings if you order you tickets by 8 pm Friday. Detail are available HERE.

Live music … St. Thomas Roasters’ musical lineup is a good one. Steel guitar guy Sterling Koch will be pumping out the blues FRIDAY and Jim Baker will be doing his thing SATURDAY, 8 – 10 pm both nights, no cover.

More stuff … For more weekend happenings, visit the Gazette’s Community Calendar. Plus, consider signing up for a free email service to get timely info on all events listed on the Gazette.

Weekend notes & happenings

Lower Paxton police officer to be honored at soccer game


   Doug Petras

Turn on the heat … Pro indoor soccer team Harrisburg Heat will be in action Saturday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show’s Equine Arena against the Cincinnati Saints, 7:05 pm.

Former Heat goalie Doug Petras will be honored at halftime. Petras is a police officer in Lower Paxton Township.

The Heat features three Central Dauphin High grads – forward Kenneth Fultz, goalkeeper Justin Johnson, defender Connor Malone.

Music at Roasters … Here are this weekend’s live music offerings at St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown. Rhoads Butt is slated to be on stage Friday and a group called Rough Edges will pumping tunes Saturday, 8 – 10 pm both nights, no cover charge.

Batter up … Linglestown youth baseball sign-ups start Saturday in the clubhouse at Koons Park. CLICK HERE for more info.

Cooking up good stuff … If you’re into chili and soup cooking, you still have time to enter a cook-off that will be held on Jan. 26 at St. Thomas United Church of Christ in Linglestown. Deadline to enter is this Sunday and you can get more info by clicking HERE.

Smokin’ hot Backyard News for Linglestown & beyond

Lending a helping hand …   Linglestown Fire Company responded to a wild crash Monday along the river near Clark’s Ferry Bridge involving an 18-wheeler that hit a house. The mishap caused a fire to break out that destroyed the house and truck. Sadly, the driver, a 68-year-old man from Dillsburg, died at the scene.

Who is the happy-looking group? … Colonial Park Rotary, the community service group that is spearheading the town-clock project in Linglestown, recently inducted several new members.

rotary_new members

(L-R, new members shown in bold) Susan Ariail, Peggy Grimm, Ed Bulakites, Genevieve Peters; District Governor Dr. Hector Ortiz; Bill Bostic; Assistant District Governor David Ritter, Colonial Party Rotary Club President Lowman Henry; Dan Sheehan and Jaime Novinger-Toigo.

Central Dauphin off to good start in 2014 … The last two board meetings have been lively affairs with plenty of chatter among members. … The board appears ready to give a thumbs-up to a proposed financial literacy course for 9th graders. … The district could save $2 million over the next two years or so if a debt refinancing planned to take place in March goes as expected … Tweaks to improve the program for gifted students are being implemented.

1495559_607033316016680_334817064_nFacebook updates you may have missed … Lower Paxton Township supervisors hear plans for Linglestown’s 250th anniversary celebration | PennLive  … Old Navy and Ulta are coming to the Colonial Commons shopping plaza (pictured) | Linglestown Gazette … CD Rams boys’ basketball team is exceeding expectations so far this year, win tournament finale Sunday | PennLive  … PennLive high school wrestling expert says CD Rams are “by no means out of championship contention.” | PennLive  … State Rep. Ron Marsico will host seminar on concealed carry laws | PennLive 

To get breaking news and bonus content about happenings just beyond your backyard, surf over to the Gazette’s Facebook page and click “Like.”



Linglestown Mayor lives on …  Fresh off a stirring appearance at Jingle Linglestown on New Year’s Eve (pictured), the mayor is prepping for his next trip into the squared circle on March 15. By the way, the story of the ole mayor is being told on Facebook and Twitter.


Wake up with Linglestown Gazette … Bob Rodgers, Linglestown’s clock guy, recently was overheard telling all within earshot at St. Thomas Roasters that he still wakes up every morning and checks his trusty laptop for the latest news from Linglestown Gazette. Bob has been a loyal reader almost from the start way back in 2006!