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Michael Bupp, The Sentinel 

Big Spring's Shannon McCabe lived up to expectations with gold in the District 3 Class 2A Diving Championships on Wednesday evening at Big Spring high School.

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YMCA raises more than $6M in capital campaign

The Carlisle Family YMCA has raised $6,213,971 during the initial phase of its capital campaign, the organization announced Tuesday night, as it kicked off the second, more public phase of its fundraising effort.

“This is an astounding number for our ‘quiet phase,’” said Hubert Gilroy, the YMCA’s capital campaign chair, during a kick-off event Tuesday night at the Allenberry Resort.

The critical message now, Gilroy said, “is to talk with your friends and family and tell them to join in on this, perhaps the most successful capital campaign in Carlisle’s history.”

The Carlisle Family YMCA has, for over a year now, been soliciting contributions from local businesses, foundations and other philanthropists for a major overhaul of its Carlisle facility. That less-public phase of fundraising was capped off in December when the state announced that the Carlisle Family YMCA would receive a $1.5 million grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

Now, the YMCA will conduct a more public campaign over the next year, with community events and fundraisers aimed at finishing off its final dollar figure.

That number was initially quoted at $8.5 million to $9 million, putting the YMCA at least two-thirds of the way there heading into the public phase of the campaign.

“If we’re going to pull this off, we’re going to pull it off because of folks like you who are generous with their money and generous with their time,” said Buz Wolfe, campaign vice-chair and immediate past president of the YMCA board, told the crowd at Allenberry.

The ultimate goal of the capital campaign is to raise enough money to tear down and rebuild a significant chunk of the YMCA facility, located on South West Street between Walnut and Willow streets. Parts of the building date to 1899. The YMCA occupied and expanded the site beginning in 1960.

Although the YMCA had considered moving to a new site for an improved facility, Gilroy said that donors had encouraged the group to stay in the borough and re-vamp the existing property.

Plans for the renovated site include additional youth program space, new gym offerings and a wider variety of aquatic amenities. Although the design is not finalized, the YMCA has been circulating several preliminary plans and sketches for what the rehabilitated facility will look like.

The YMCA has almost 100 volunteers helping with the public solicitation phase of the campaign, according to a release from the organization. On Tuesday, Gilroy also thanked Carlisle Family YMCA Executive Director Marcia Drozdowski and Fundraising Coordinator Cate Mellen for their guidance and leadership in the capital campaign’s day-to-day operations.

“They do a fantastic job of keeping our eye on the ball,” Gilroy said.

He also thanked state Sen. Mike Regan and state Rep. Stephen Bloom for their advocacy in Harrisburg to get the YMCA’s RCAP grant approved, as well as all of the YMCA’s current and past board members for their input.

“This has been probably the most gratifying thing I’ve been involved in with the Carlisle community,” Gilroy said.

Ask/answered: Drunk driving versus gun violence deaths

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

Do more people die each year in the United States from gun violence or drunk driving?

Gun deaths in the United States eclipse deaths during alcohol-impaired crashes, and by wide margins on pretty much every metric, according to federal data.

In 2016, the most recent available year for both gun deaths and alcohol-impaired crashes, more than 38,000 people died from a gunshot injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Less than 11,000 people died during an alcohol-impaired crash in the same year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

For that topline measure, gun deaths surpass alcohol-impaired crash deaths by more than 200 percent.

The vast majority of gun deaths in the United State are completed suicides, according to the CDC. Nearly 23,000, or roughly 60 percent, of all gun deaths in the United States in 2016 were considered suicides, according to CDC data.

Even when comparing overall alcohol-related crash deaths to just gun homicides, the gun deaths exceed DUI crashes.

There were roughly 14,000 gun-related homicides in the United States in 2016, according to the CDC. That is roughly 27 percent higher than the total number of alcohol-related crash deaths that same year.

The gap widens even more when looking at just the number of people other than the DUI driver killed in these crashes.

Alcohol-impaired drivers, with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, accounted for more than 60 percent of the people killed in DUI crashes, according to the NHTSA. About 4,000 people, including roughly 1,500 passengers in the DUI driver’s car, were killed in DUI crashes in 2016, the NHTSA reported.

If the comparison is the number people other than the shooter or the person driving under the influence, gun deaths are more than 250 percent greater than DUI crash deaths.

While alcohol-impaired crash deaths have fallen during the last decade by roughly 20 percent, according to the NHTSA, gun-related deaths have risen by roughly 20 percent, the CDC reported. Gun-related homicides remained largely flat between 2007 and 2015, but rose in 2016, according to the CDC.

Gun deaths and alcohol-impaired driving deaths are two different issues in different areas of the United States. For example, about 90 percent of gun-related homicides occurred in metropolitan areas in 2016, according to the CDC.

Data on the location of alcohol-related crash deaths in 2016 are not available.

However, there are consistently more DUI crash deaths in rural areas than urban areas, according to the NHTSA.

While a majority of gun-related suicides occur in metropolitan areas, a higher percentage of nonmetropolitan people die as a result of gun-related suicides, according to the CDC.

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Mechanicsburg Borough Council OKs liquor license transfer to Rutter's

Mechanicsburg’s Rutter’s Farm Store is a step closer to initiating beer and wine sales in the not-too-distant future.

Mechanicsburg Borough Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday night supporting Rutter’s application for the transfer of a state liquor license previously located in Shippensburg to a Rutter’s located at 714 W. Main St. The applicant is 1747 Beer & Wine LLC, a subsidiary of Rutter’s Holding Inc. Intra-county transfers of liquor licenses are permitted under the state’s liquor code, according to Rutter’s attorney L.C. Heim.

Prior to the council’s vote, the borough conducted a brief public hearing regarding the liquor license transfer, a process required by the state Liquor Control Board. No one from the public commented during the hearing, and the borough didn’t receive any written objections from the public, borough solicitor Lisa Coyne said. Also, borough Police Chief Margaret Myers told Rutter’s representatives that she also had no questions about the proposal.

If finalized, the Mechanicsburg store will be the first in Cumberland County to offer beer and wine sales, Rutter’s representatives told borough officials. According to the company’s website, Rutter’s opened its 18th “Beer Cave” in central Pennsylvania on Tuesday at the Leaders Heights store in York County. Like the Mechanicsburg store, the Leader Heights location plans to add an in-store wine rack in the future.

The borough council’s resolution supporting Rutter’s application is only “one of the multiple steps” Rutter’s must undertake before a liquor license would be granted by the state Liquor Control Board, Coyne said. Heim told borough officials that the overall process usually takes four to six months.

The 6,280-square-foot Mechanicsburg location opened in December 2013 with 10 fueling spaces and is Rutter’s 59th store. The liquor license application complies with current borough zoning in the area.

Other action

In other news, council president Rodney Whitcomb presented resolutions honoring former Shade Tree Commission members for their years of service. Honorees included Rae Dennis and U.S. Army Air Force veteran Darwin S. Hollinger, who died on Oct. 24, 2017.

Also, council members approved special event applications for the rear of 120 S. Market St. The Fairy Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 8-9. The Pennsylvania Tea Festival is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28-29.

Finally, Scott Cavada, representing the Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School and American Legion teams, was granted permission by the borough council to install a batting cage at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park.

Toomey eyes reviving gun background check legislation

HARRISBURG — Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Wednesday that he will probably reintroduce legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases, his signature legislation that has failed at least twice in the Senate, but that it may require changes to pass.

Toomey said he has not discussed the bill with President Donald Trump, and said he will get a better sense of how many senators support it when the Republican-controlled chamber returns to session next week.

The bill never exceeded 54 votes, short of the 60 necessary, and Toomey said his highest priority is to see if he can increase its backers in the chamber.

“It might take some tweaks to the legislation and I would be open to that because I do think it is reasonable to require a background check on commercial gun sales,” Toomey said during a news conference in the Pennsylvania Capitol.

It would require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. Currently, the checks are only required for transactions from licensed gun dealers.

While gun-rights groups and most Republicans opposed the bill, previous versions of it also carried provisions backed by gun-rights groups, but opposed by groups seeking tighter gun laws.

For Toomey, finding compromise on gun control became something of a signature issue in his first term.

The bill first emerged with backing from Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia following the 2012 slaying of 26 children and adults in Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. It failed then and at least one more time after that.

Toomey opposes broader restrictions, such as limits on magazine size and bans on certain kinds of semi-automatic rifles.

Toomey said he supports putting similar restrictions on sales of rapid-fire bump stocks that already are on fully automatic firearms. He also wants to increase the prosecution of people — such as convicted felons — who lie on a federal firearms background check application.

Toomey said he continued to support legislation that would not allow people on no-fly lists to buy guns. But a bill he introduced in 2016, as well as competing bills, failed to win passage in the Senate that year amid disagreements largely along party lines.

Clark, Lawrence Strausser, Donna