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Market Cross debuts new outdoor beer garden in Carlisle

Market Cross Pub & Brewery debuted its new outdoor beer garden during an open house Wednesday in downtown Carlisle.

The beer garden space is located at the rear of the pub adjacent to Market Cross Brewery. The back alley outdoor space is for guests 21 and older and features the pub’s full bar and a limited beer garden food menu.

“After 23 years, we recognized a problem ... we needed more space to accommodate our guests with the recent addition of premium liquor and fine wines to our extensive award-winning beer menu,” said Ashleigh Corby, Market Cross Pub & Brewery president. “After a brainstorming session we looked at all of our property and found a concrete pad next to the brewery and our alley space that we could take advantage of.”

Corby said the pub, at 113 N. Hanover St., worked with the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. to apply for and receive a tourism grant to help fund the project.

“This project is an excellent example of a successful tourism grant,” said Ashley Kurtz, Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. promotions manager. “It increases the visitor experience at Market Cross and expands their seating capacity while adding another unique dining experience to the downtown.”

“They (CAEDC) were kind enough to show us the support that we needed to turn our dream into a reality,” Corby said.

The Market Cross Beer Garden is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Corby said the pub added outdoor heaters throughout the area to help deal with colder fall temperatures. The space will also be available as a rental location for personal or professional gatherings.

The pub opened in 1994 in downtown Carlisle, followed by the brewery opening in 2002.

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Upper Allen Township
Microhospital planned for Upper Allen Township

A new trend in medical facilities will make its debut in the Midstate this spring.

In August, the Upper Allen Township commissioners conditionally approved a final subdivision/land development plan for the Mechanicsburg Microhospital at South Market Street and Gettysburg Pike. Plans were submitted by NXT Harrisburg LLC of Addison, Texas, parent company of Nutex Health, which will operate the medical facility.

The planned development is the current site of Maggie’s Italian Ice and Custard and a nearby private home. NXT Harrisburg is in the process of purchasing and consolidating the two commercial-zone properties into a 2.93-acre lot for a new 19,722-square-foot freestanding emergency medical facility and a 3,983-square foot building suitable for leased office space, according to meeting minutes. Developers say the medical facility is expected to create around 50 jobs.

The land purchase will be finalized after developers acquire necessary permits, project engineer John Murphy, of Alpha Consulting Engineers, said this week. A developer’s news release forwarded by Murphy said a groundbreaking “is anticipated in spring 2018 if Pennsylvania Department of Health credentialing is attained.” An opening date for the facility hasn’t been determined.

The trend

Microhospitals differ from general hospitals that offer a wide variety of care within one building. Instead, mircohospitals are designed for a specific, limited range of care. “With local hospital emergency departments commonly leaving patients stranded in the waiting room for hours, there clearly is a demand for efficient emergency and observation care,” the developer’s statement reads.

"Mircohospitals are small, independent facilities that can be compared to large hospitals but at a fraction of the size," explained Antoinette Kraus, executive director of Pennsylvania Health Access Center. "They combine emergency care, primary care and inpatient care. It offers more services than urgent care, with surgical and inpatient options, but often offers fewer services than a full-scale community hospital. They are typically small with around 10 beds."

"Hypothetically, microhospitals may offer more coordinated care at lower costs than a large community hospital. It also is less expensive to build and maintain a microhospital," Kraus added.

According to, most microhospitals “are acute care hospitals that meet all federal and state licensing and regulatory requirements. They focus on treating low-acuity patients and providing ambulatory and emergency services, leaving more complex surgeries and service lines for their larger counterparts. They also have fewer beds.”

The Mechanicsburg Microhospital is expected to operate with the full capability of a standard emergency department and observation unit, including emergency procedures, CT scans, bedside emergency ultrasound, X-rays and a full clinical laboratory.

“This will be the first facility of its kind in this area,” Murphy said.

Kraus said that other microhospitals besides the Mechanicsburg facility are opening across the state, including one underway in Lancaster.

"I think the question is, does this make sense for the community? There are more rural, underserved communities that could benefit from a microhospital. How do we address primary care shortages in the area?" Kraus said.

Nutex Health is a consortium of licensed 24/7 stand-alone emergency facilities and hospitals with care provided by board-certified physician teams. For now, all operational Nutex facilities are based in Texas, but a map on the company’s website indicates that future are planned in 16 states besides Pennsylvania. Murphy said he doesn’t know why Nutex officials selected the Mechanicsburg area as a microhospital site but, “They look a certain parameters to determine this.”

Maggie’s moving

Developer’s plans also state that the Maggie’s Italian Ice building at 147 Gettysburg Pike and the neighboring farmhouse will be demolished to accommodate the new structures. The properties have been under the ownership of the Estate of Marlin E. Eberly and Richard J. Eberly for a number of years.

The Maggie’s site was leased to proprietors Chuck and Debbie Sterling, who said last week that they are moving their business to an existing strip mall at West Trindle and State roads in Silver Spring Township.

The new Maggie’s is slated to open in spring 2018, offering customers all the usual favorites. Although the new location won’t have drive-through service, it will offer an indoor dining area. The previous location didn’t have indoor dining provisions.

“I’d like to thank our customers who have stayed loyal customers for all these years,” Debbie Sterling said. “We’ll only be three miles away in our new location, so we hope to have all of our old customers and some new customers. We’re really excited.”

Bill Tracker
Bill Tracker: Expanding state's DNA database

Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.

These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.

Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.

About the bill

On Tuesday, law enforcement announced the arrest of Christopher Jaquell Williams, 25, of Harrisburg, in the shooting death of 35-year-old Rhyhiem Hodge in Carlisle two days earlier.

Officials credited a new piece of technology that allowed for a rapid DNA comparison between two samples in aiding in tying Williams to the crime scene.

A bill in the Pennsylvania Senate aims to expand the use of DNA testing to help police solve crimes.

Senate Bill 398, introduced by Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Lehigh County, would expand the pool of people who have to submit DNA samples to the state database.

Under current law, people convicted of certain misdemeanors and serious felonies must submit samples to be included in the database.

Boscola’s bill would expand those required to submit a DNA sample to include anyone arrested for a felony.

“The goal of this bill is simple: to catch offenders when they come into contact with the justice system, and prevent them from harming anyone else,” Boscola wrote in a co-sponsorship letter. “DNA testing immensely helps to solve cold-case murders and other investigations statewide.”

Boscola wrote that Pennsylvania State Police generated more than 1,100 hits to Pennsylvania offenders between 2015 and 2016 with the current database.

Boscola compared the DNA collection process to defendants providing fingerprints when arrested.

At least 29 other states have laws requiring DNA collection at the time of their arrest for felonies, according to Boscola.

House OKs GOP tax bill; Senate fate less clear

WASHINGTON — Republicans rammed a $1.5 trillion overhaul of Americans’ business and personal income taxes through the U.S. House Thursday, edging the nation toward its biggest rewrite in three decades and President Donald Trump and the GOP toward their first major legislative triumph after 10 bumpy months of controlling government.

However, the mostly party-line 227-205 vote masked more ominous problems in the Senate. There, a similar package received a politically awkward verdict from nonpartisan congressional analysts showing it would eventually produce higher taxes for low- and middle-income earners but deep reductions for those better off.

Those projections came a day after Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson became the first GOP senator to state opposition to the measure, saying it didn’t cut levies enough for millions of partnerships and corporations. With at least five other Republican senators yet to declare support, the bill’s fate is far from certain in a chamber the GOP controls by just 52-48.

Even so, Republicans are hoping to send a compromise bill for Trump to sign by Christmas.

“Now is the time to deliver,” the White House said in a written statement that underscored the party’s effort to maintain momentum and outrace critics. Those include the AARP lobby for older people, major medical organizations, Realtors — and, in all likelihood, all Senate Democrats.

With this summer’s crash of the GOP effort to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care law, Republicans see a successful tax effort as the best way to avert major losses in next year’s congressional elections. House Republicans conceded they are watching the Senate warily.

“Political survival depends on us doing this,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. “One of the things that scares me a little bit is that they’re going to screw up the bill to the point we can’t pass it.”

The House plan and a comparable proposal Republicans hoped to push through the Senate Finance Committee by week’s end would deliver the bulk of tax reductions to businesses.

Each version would cut the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 20 percent, while reducing personal rates for many taxpayers and erasing but also shrinking deductions. Projected federal deficits would grow by $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

As decades of Republicans have done before them, GOP lawmakers touted their tax cuts as a boon to families across all income lines and a boost for businesses and the entire economy.

“Passing this bill is the single biggest thing we can do to grow the economy, to restore opportunity and help those middle income families who are struggling,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

But Democrats said the measure would disproportionately help the wealthy and mean tax increases for millions. The House legislation would reduce and ultimately repeal the tax Americans pay on the largest inheritances, while the Senate would limit that levy to fewer estates.

The bill is “pillaging the middle class to pad the pockets of the wealthiest and hand tax breaks to corporations shipping jobs out of America,” declared House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Thirteen House Republicans — all but one from high-tax California, New York and New Jersey — voted “no” because the plan would erase tax deductions for state and local income and sales taxes and limit property tax deductions to $10,000. Defectors included House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., who said the measure would “hurt New Jersey families.”

Trump traveled to the Capitol before the vote to give House Republicans a pep talk.

“He reminded us that is why we seek these offices,” said Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas. Participants said he also told them he’d already spoken to Johnson, the dissenting GOP senator, and said, “He’ll come around.”

Besides Johnson, Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have yet to commit to backing the tax measure.

As the Senate Finance Committee worked on its plan, Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would mean higher taxes beginning in 2021 for many families earning under $30,000 annually. By 2027, families making less than $75,000 would face tax boosts while those making more would enjoy lower levies.

Republicans attributed the new figures to two Senate provisions.

One would end the measure’s personal tax cuts starting in 2026, a step GOP leaders took to contain the measure’s costs. The other would abolish the “Obamacare” requirement that people buy health coverage or pay tax penalties.

Eliminating those fines is expected to mean fewer people would obtain federally subsidized policies, and the tax analysts count a reduction in those subsidies as a tax increase. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that would result in 13 million more uninsured people by 2027, making the provision a political risk for some lawmakers.

Republicans on the Finance panel showed no signs of backing down. They said the same Taxation Committee tables showed that higher earners were still bearing a large share of the overall tax burden and that except for the halted health subsidies all income groups would get tax breaks.

Ending the personal tax cuts for individuals in 2026, derided as a gimmick by Democrats, is designed to pare the bill’s long-term costs to the Treasury. Legislation cannot boost budget deficits after 10 years if it is to qualify for Senate procedures that bar bill-killing filibusters.

Both chambers’ bills would nearly double the standard deduction to around $12,000 for individuals and about $24,000 for married couples and dramatically boost the current $1,000 per-child tax credit.

But each plan also would erase the current $4,050 personal exemption and annul or reduce other tax breaks. The House would limit interest deductions to $500,000 in the value of future home mortgages, down from today’s $1 million, while the Senate would end deductions for moving expenses and tax preparation.