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Construction advances at former Tire & Wheel site in Carlisle

The first buildings of the Carlisle Urban Redevelopment Plan are under construction at the site of the former Carlisle Tire & Wheel.

Groundbreaking for the townhomes was held in October.

Cleveland-based developer PIRHL partnered with the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities to develop the plan that will bring 40 townhomes, 12 flat apartments, a 2,000-square-foot community building and a two-acre park to the site. The plan also will extend B and C streets through the site as well as address stormwater issues.

A roundabout will be constructed at B and College streets as well as at B Street and Fairground Avenue as part of the related Carlisle Connectivity project, which will make improvements to roads in the area.

Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.

Also in October, Carlisle Borough Council narrowly approved a letter of support for the proposed development of Phase 2 at the site. PIRHL had requested the letter as part of its application to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for tax credits that the company then sells to investors in exchange for cash equity.

In Phase 2, PIRHL proposes 42 rental units at the property that will include 11 one-bedroom units, 20 two-bedroom units and 11 three-bedroom units. Rent will range from about $590 to $950 plus utilities. Twenty-five percent of the units will be dedicated to veterans housing.

As with Phase 1, the housing in Phase 2 is considered workforce housing, and is designed for people making about $50,000 a year.

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Heavy volume of shipments causes delivery delays for UPS

UPS says some package deliveries are being delayed because of an unexpected flood of orders from online shoppers after Thanksgiving.

Company spokesman Steve Gaut said Tuesday that UPS was adding one or two days shipping time for some deliveries. He would not specify how many deliveries.

UPS was expected to return to normal operations with fewer delayed shipments by the end of Wednesday. Gaut said the company had reassigned about 400 back-office workers to sorting facilities and delivery routes and rented more trucks to deal with the “bubble” in deliveries.

Customers have been complaining to the company on social media, marking an inauspicious start to the Christmas shopping season for Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Co.

Along with rival FedEx Corp., UPS has benefited greatly in recent years from the growth in online shopping.

While the company declined to put numbers on the delays, research firm ShipMatrix said last week that 89 percent of UPS Express packages were delivered on time. By comparison, FedEx’s express service scored better than 94 percent. Spokesman Jess Bunn said FedEx was proud of its record and anticipated record volumes.

The president of the Teamsters union, which represents UPS drivers, said the company wasn’t staffed properly and has underestimated Cyber Monday purchases three straight years.

In a letter to UPS CEO David Abney, James P. Hoffa also complained that the company plans to increase hours for drivers during the holidays up to 70 hours over an eight-day period.

UPS is sticking with its forecast of holiday shipments of more than 750 million package deliveries between Thanksgiving and Dec. 31, a 5 percent increase over last year. The company said the post-Thanksgiving surge was a matter of timing, with shoppers moving up more of their purchases than expected.

An extra-large increase in online shopping would boost revenue at UPS, but there is also a downside risk for the company.

“UPS is likely to see cost pressure, and the company has had past execution issues regarding holiday deliveries,” wrote CFRA Research analyst Jim Corridore, referring to December stumbles in previous years.

Corridore downplayed late deliveries of Cyber Monday orders. But, he said, “UPS needs to make sure packages do not miss Christmas Day.”

The company tries to prevent just this type of bulge in volume by working with retailers and adding surcharges to discourage too many shipments on the busiest days.

UPS also planned to hire about 95,000 seasonal workers and use more automation to meet the crush of shipments. Gaut said the recent delays would not change the hiring target.

Shares of UPS fell $3.35, or 2.7 percent, to close at $120.37. FedEx dropped 1.5 percent.

Ask/answered: Pay for inmate labor

Ask/Answered is a weekly feature for reader-submitted questions. Follow the blog online at

How much do inmates get paid to do work for local municipalities?

According to Cumberland County Prison Warden Earl Reitz, the standard daily rate for an inmate to do work outside of work release is $2.50.

Reitz said this is the rate that is paid when municipalities request assistance or for work around the prison like laundry and food services.

If an inmate owes fines, fees or restitution, half of their daily rate is held by the prison to go toward those costs.

The work inmates do for local municipalities varies.

Recently, during a debate over whether it should purchase sandwiches or other meals for inmates who do work for them, Mount Holly Springs borough council noted that it uses prison labor for assistance with public works and water/sewer projects.

Borough council vice president Leroy Shildt said, during the debate, that inmates have been used to help with snow removal, and Borough Manager Tom Day, who is also the borough’s police chief, said inmates have also been used to clear rocks and boulders from a trench.

Reitz said all of the inmates who are part of this program have been sentenced and received authorizations from the court to work outside the prison.

He said this kind of work for the inmates can often be a precursor to receiving full work-release authorization.

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Neil Hickoff

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Harrisburg man held for court in November Carlisle homicide

A Harrisburg man accused of shooting and killing 35-year-old Rhyhiem Hodge on Nov. 12 in Carlisle is one step closer to trial.

Christopher Jaquell Williams, 25, is charged with felony criminal homicide, robbery, possession of firearm by a prohibited person, two counts of felony aggravated assault, misdemeanor reckless endangerment and unlawful restraint. He is in Cumberland County Prison, and bail has been denied.

All of the charges were bound over to Common Pleas Court following a preliminary hearing Wednesday, according to court records.

Police said Williams arrived at Hodge’s home in the 200 block of West North Street in an attempt to purchase marijuana.

When announcing charges against Williams a few days after the killing, U.S. Attorney David Freed, who was at the time Cumberland County district attorney, said Williams used the potential marijuana sale as a ruse to gain access to the home.

Once inside, Williams drew a firearm and demanded money, according to police.

During a scuffle, Williams was stabbed, suffering a serious injury to his thigh, and Hodge was shot and killed, police said.

Williams went to UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg emergency room for treatment of his injury, where police were alerted to him, according to court records. Blood from Williams’ clothes at the hospital was matched to blood found at the scene of the crime through use of a rapid DNA system.

Williams is scheduled to appear in court for a formal arraignment at 9 a.m. Feb. 15, according to court records.


Clark, Lawrence Strausser, Donna