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Mechanicsburg Borough Council OKs hitting tunnel, teener field upgrades

The new Upper Allen Mechanicsburg Baseball Association is ready to start the season with renovations to a Mechanicsburg playing area.

On Tuesday night, Mechanicsburg Borough Council granted permission to the new youth baseball coalition to install a hitting tunnel and upgrade the teener field in cooperation with borough staff at the borough’s Koser Park off Filbert Street.

The new baseball association is a merger of the Upper Allen Baseball Association and the Mechanicsburg Little League that took place late last year. “Mechanicsburg came to Upper Allen and said it’s time to merge,” association vice president Scott Steffan told the borough council on Tuesday.

The organization will be split into two divisions. The Upper Allen Mechanicsburg Baseball Association will include players ages 5 to 12, while the Mechanicsburg Area Teeners will consist of players 13 and older. “We’re the single biggest sports organization in Mechanicsburg,” Steffan said.

Steffan wouldn’t offer an estimated player count for the new association on Tuesday, but a Sentinel article published on Dec. 31 projected more than 500 Mechanicsburg area youths would participate.

The move also has combined Upper Allen’s nine playing fields with Mechanicsburg’s six fields, meaning that officials now have 15 fields to oversee and maintain each year. Steffan told the borough council that the new organization hopes to renovate at least one field per year.

The baseball association is paying for the new batting tunnel at Koser Park. Costs are estimated to level around $2,500, which includes railroad ties to secure the batting cages that will be placed behind the park’s tennis courts and a 23-ton stone dust base.

The organization also will shoulder the costs of removing the grass infield from Koser Park’s teener field for the purpose of leveling off the field. The baseline grass will remain, however. Total costs of field renovations is $3,500.

Steffan said he’d like to start work at Koser Field on Sunday, but the timing depends on the outcome of Wednesday’s storm. The organization is in the process of finishing up work at York Street Field, which includes new fencing and converting the playing field to 50/70 dimensions.

Borough Manager Roger Ciecierski asked Steffen if the organization had plans for Finkenbinder Field or if it would be used.

Although the organization hasn’t developed a plan for Finkenbinder, “I don’t think we’ll be giving it up,” Steffen said. “It’s a beloved field. Parents love it and umpires hate it. Parents love it because they’re right there. Umpire hate because parents are right there to watch every move.”

Lawsuit: Pennsylvania is failing its schoolchildren

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania has failed its constitutional duty to provide its students with an adequate education, a long-running lawsuit brought by school districts, parents and activist groups alleged Wednesday before a panel of judges in Philadelphia.

The legal challenge to how schools are funded largely hinges on language in the Pennsylvania constitution that requires lawmakers to provide a thorough and efficient system of public education.

A mother of two children enrolled in a high school outside Philadelphia spoke of jam-packed classrooms without computers or textbooks, where track team members train in hallways because there’s no track. She said the state is clearly failing its pupils.

“It is not fair for our children to have to sit through this every day,” plaintiff Jamella Miller said after the hearing. “We pay taxes just like everyone else.”

The case, which names Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, education department officials and top state legislators as defendants, was previously dismissed in 2015 on the grounds that courts shouldn’t be determining how much money equals a proper education. That issue formed both the basis of much of the rebuttals from the defense as well as judges’ questions for the plaintiffs.

“We do not want to turn courts into super school boards,” said Patrick M. Northen, a lawyer representing Republican Speaker of the House Mike Turzai.

John Krill, an attorney for Republican President Pro Tempore of the state Senate Joe Scarnati, echoed a similar concern.

“They put everything in the collective laps of this court,” Krill said of the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit was revived last September after the state Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision. The majority opinion, written by Justice David Wecht, says courts shouldn’t abandon their responsibility to monitor the decisions of lawmakers.

Wolf cheered the Supreme Court’s decision, saying at the time that “while we have made progress to invest hundreds of millions more in our schools and enact a fair funding formula that takes into account the needs of students in their districts, we know more must be done.”

His spokesman referred a reporter seeking comment Wednesday to a recent court filing made by the governor’s attorney that reiterates Wolf’s prior statement and requests that the case move forward.

The Public Interest Law Center, a group that’s part of the legal team representing the plaintiffs, said Pennsylvania ranks 47th in the country for the portion of education spending covered by state funds. The group said billions of dollars would be needed to ensure the education guaranteed by the state constitution.

Michael Vuckovich, interim superintendent for the Greater Johnstown School District, said his schools are facing a nearly $5 million deficit that has forced him to close a school, eliminate after-school programs, increase class sizes and furlough staffers.

“The point we need to make today is that that has an impact on kids,” he said. “The kids who need the most get the least from our system.”

House Judiciary chairman sets public hearings on gun safety, reform bills

PA Safe Caucus leaders Wednesday announced that a set of public hearings have been set in April to explore legislation on gun safety and reform.

“It has become acutely apparent that measures need to be taken to prevent these situations from happening in the future,” state House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, wrote in a letter Tuesday inviting House lawmakers to testify.

The hearings will be held in Room 140 of the Capitol from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, April 9; 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 10; and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 11. A fourth hearing is scheduled for April 12, with the time and location yet to be determined.

“We look forward to a robust, honest and fair discussion about the specific actions we will take to turn the tide against gun violence and deliver on our promise as elected officials to keep Pennsylvanians safe,” said PA Safe Caucus co-chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny.

Police investigate 6-year-old Newport student after 'violent hand gestures'

State Police at Newport Wednesday reported they are investigating a 6-year-old boy after he reportedly made “violent hand gestures” toward another person last week.

Police said the boy, a student at Newport Elementary School, made the gestures toward a victim, whose age was not reported, at 10:45 a.m. March 2.

Police said they are treating this as a “terroristic threat investigation.” No charges were announced against the boy.

Sentinel area fire calls for March 6

Tuesday, March 6

5:49 a.m.: automatic fire alarm, North Twelfth Street, Lemoyne; West Shore

6:27 a.m.: outside investigation, Interstate 81 south, Hampden Township; Hampden

6:34 a.m.: auto accident, I-81 north, Silver Spring Township; Silver Spring, New Kingstown

7:59 a.m.: automatic fire alarm, Eastgate Drive, South Middleton Township; Union, Carlisle Fire & Rescue

10:37 a.m.: first alarm structure fire, Appleton Street, Lower Allen Township; Lower Allen, Special Hazardous Operations, Lisburn, Hampden, Naval Base, Carlisle Barracks

11:32 a.m.: first alarm structure fire, South Market Street, Shiremanstown; Shiremanstown, Citizens-Mechanicsburg, Washington, Hampden, Naval Base

1:48 p.m.: automatic fire alarm, Sterling Parkway, Silver Spring Township; Silver Spring, New Kingstown

1:53 p.m.: nonstructure accident, East Main Street at South Norway Street, Hampden Township; Hampden

2:12 p.m.: auto accident, Commerce Avenue at Allen Road, South Middleton Township; Union, Carlisle Fire & Rescue

3:27 p.m.: auto accident, Oakville Road, North Newton Township; Northeast Fire & Rescue, Citizens-Mechanicsburg, Washington, Hampden, Carlisle Fire & Rescue, Newville, South Newton, West End

6:36 p.m.: first alarm structure fire, Kevin Court, Wormleysburg; New Cumberland, Lower Allen, West Shore, Camp Hill, Creekside

8:02 p.m.: carbon monoxide detector, South 31st Street, Camp Hill; Camp Hill

9:04 p.m.: first alarm structure fire, Slate Hill Road, Lower Allen Township; Lower Allen, Camp Hill, Shiremanstown, Hampden, Naval Inventory Control Point

Michael Bupp The Sentinel  

Jacob Stamey competes Sunday during the Buck Ridge Burn half marathon trail race at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

Sentinel police log for March 7

State Police at Carlisle (717-249-2121)

  • Lawrence L. Verdekal, 41, of Carlisle, was charged with terroristic threats and simple assault after an incident on Newville Road, West Pennsboro Township, at 12:59 a.m. Feb. 24. He remains in Cumberland County Prison on $60,000 bail.
  • Dayquaqan M. Long, 18, of Carlisle, was charged with simple assault after an altercation at 10:23 p.m. Feb. 10 on Trine Avenue in Mount Holly Springs. Charges have not been filed for a second man involved in the altercation.

State Police at Newport (717-567-3110)

  • Devin J. Crisamore, 24, of Duncannon, was charged with strangulation and simple assault after a reported assault in the first block of Eisenhower Boulevard, Penn Township, between 12 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. Feb. 28. Police said Crisamore initially fled the scene, but was taken into custody the next day. He remains in Cumberland County Prison on $25,000 bail.

Dickinson College looking for smokers to participate in paid study

Dickinson College researchers are looking for cigarette smokers for a paid study they are conducting regarding attitude towards smokers.

Those who participate in the one-hour study will receive $40 to $60 for their participation. The study takes place on the Dickinson College campus in Carlisle, and is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Initiative.

Participants must be 18 years old or older, smoke at least 10 cigarettes per day, have smoked for at least two years, have lived in the United States for the last 10 years and have not previously participated in the study.

Those interested in participating should contact Dickinson College’s Smoking Lab at 717-422-6271 or email to be scheduled for the study.

The deadline to participate is April 6.

Wednesday lottery

Pick 2

Midday — 5-1

  • Straight — $50
  • Boxed — $25

Evening — 8-9

  • Straight — $50
  • Boxed — $25

Pick 3

Midday — 5-7-9

  • Straight — $250
  • Boxed — $40

Evening — 3-8-3

  • Straight — $250
  • Boxed — $80

Pick 4

Midday — 3-7-9-1

  • Straight — $2,500
  • Boxed —$100

Evening — 2-3-7-2

  • Straight — $2,500
  • Boxed —$200

Pick 5

Midday — 4-0-6-7-4

  • Straight — $50,000
  • Boxed — $850

Evening — 7-2-0-7-9

  • Straight — $50,000
  • Boxed — $850

Wild Ball

Midday — 3

Evening — 8

Treasure Hunt


1 player matched 5, receiving $10,956

73 players matched 4, receiving $100

1,303 players matched 3, receiving $6

9,214 players matched 2, receiving $1

  • Jackpot— $10,000

Cash 5


No player matched 5

35 players matched 4, receiving $271.50

1,141 players matched 3, receiving $14

15,479 players matched 2, receiving $1

  • Jackpot — $200,000

Match 6


  • Jackpot — $1.57 million

Mega Millions


  • Mega Ball — 22
  • Jackpot — $290 million

Powerball numbers were not available for this edition.

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