Area drillers say their business has more than doubled lately because drought has caused many water wells to run dry.

Recent rain showers haven't been much help, drillers say. It will take a thorough soaking over a long period for many wells to return to normal.

Creeden Sunday, a well driller in Carlisle, says the wells are the driest he's seen since he entered the business 50 years ago.

He says he's been receiving at least twice as many calls as usual from people in need of drilling. "We can't get to them fast enough."

Cold weather is likely to worsen the situation, since water doesn't seep into the ground as readily when the soil is frozen, drillers say.

A heavy snow would help saturate the ground, says Ken Whisler of Whisler's Well Drilling in Newville. But "it's going to take a little time to come out of this one" — perhaps up to a year, he says.

In addition to the weather, other factors may be part of the problem, Whisler says.

More people are living in the area, using more water. And some wetlands that feed into underground water supplies have been tapped for farm irrigation, he says.

Drillers say they have orders backed up for weeks but are giving priority to farmers who need water for livestock.

Funks Drilling in Newville typically drills three wells a day but lately has been doing as many as eight, office manager Kevin Lay says.

He says many people with older, shallow wells are finding their water flow slowing or stopping altogether. "Some have springs they've used for many, many years that have simply dried up."

Local speaker's bureau debuts A community-wide speaker's bureau will put public speakers in touch with civic or religious groups who would like to hear them.

The recent launch of "Talk of the Town" combines the speaker's bureaus at Dickinson College and the U.S. Army War College with a list of available speakers from the community.

"This would serve service clubs, church and other religious groups," says Rusty Shunk, associate vice president for college and community development at Dickinson College. "It may also be helpful for those of us at the college to have a resource list as well."

A brochure soon will be available in Carlisle area detailing how speakers and groups seeking a speaker can get in touch with each other.

Shunk says a future Chamber of Commerce newsletter will contain a brochure as well.

For those with Internet access, a "Talk of the Town" webpage at the Dickinson College Internet site provides a list of speakers registered with the bureau and how to contact them.

The site can be found at:

Mechanicsburg may re-draw election districts Mechanicsburg Area School Board may consider a shift in election regions across its three municipalities.

"I think it's time we address this," says board president James Cochran, noting population changes over the past 12 years have caused one region to be over-represented and two others to be under-represented.

Cochran, who outlined two options for equalizing the regions at this week's meeting, says work can begin after solicitor Donna Weldon updates the board on current regulations at the January work session. He suggests appointing a committee to review options, solicit public comment and make a recommendation.

The board draws members from three election regions:

- Upper Allen Township precincts one and three and Mechanicsburg fifth ward Region Two - Upper Allen precincts two and four and Shiremanstown Region Three - Mechanicsburg first ward, second ward-first and second precincts, third ward and fourth ward.

The existing regions were established in 1988 after a group of Upper Allen residents, many from the women's club, complained about unequal representation. Changes took effect during the 1989 election. At that time, the populations were 7,088, 7,390 and 7,450, respectively, for a total of 21,928 residents.

Since then, the population of Region One has increased by 1,930 to 9,018, while Region Two has gone up by 2,401 residents to 9,791 based on 2000 census figures.

The number of residents in Region Three dropped slightly by 66 to 7,384 making the total population of the Mechanicsburg Area School District at 26,193.

The election regions, which by law must be equalized, also must be drawn using adjacent precincts or wards. Since Shiremanstown is an "island" of sorts, surrounded by the West Shore School District, its single precinct can be included in with any other combination, Cochran says.

Pearl Harbor program set for Dec. 7 Rear Adm. William J. Maguire, vice commander of the Naval Supply Systems Command in Hampden Township, will speak Dec. 7 at the Capitol East Rotunda in Harrisburg at a memorial program to honor Pennsylvania survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The public is invited.

The memorial program begins at 12:55 p.m., and is expected to last 30 minutes.

It is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Survivors of the Pearl Harbor Attack and the Naval Supply Systems Command in Mechanicsburg.

Shippensburg hunter dies Donald A. Neil, 73, of Shippensburg died Monday of an apparent heart attack while hunting in Brush Creek Township, Fulton County.

State police at McConnellsburg say Neil's body was discovered about 5:30 p.m. on top of a ridge off Bark Road near the Interstate 70 Town Hill Plaza exit.

Police say he died sometime after 10:10 a.m. of natural causes.

Fulton County Coroner Daryl Heckman says Neil succumbed to a heart attack while dragging a deer he had killed on the first day of Pennsylvania's deer season.

Neil retired from Letterkenny Army Depot in 1988 after 37 years of service. He was a hunter and fisherman and regularly attended the sporting events of his eight grandchildren.

Write-in results tallied Newburg has a new mayor.

Shiremanstown keeps its old mayor.

And Mechanicsburg Area School Board must fill an empty seat.

The Cumberland County Bureau of Elections released the official results Wednesday for the fall election.

Newburg's Susan Stump beat incumbent Carl Cramer by a write-in vote of 31 to 21. Cramer has been mayor for more than 30 years.

Stump, 51, a truck driver with her husband, David, believes she will be the first female mayor in Newburg's history.

After a roller coaster election for the mayor's seat in Shiremanstown, incumbent Dean Lebo emerged as the victor, 225-175. He beat out Harry Marsh, the only person on the ballot.

Greg Pappas, of George Circle in Upper Allen Township, won both the two- and four-year seats in Mechanicsburg Area School District's Region One.

He received 293 votes for the four year seat to Tracy Morgan's 101 votes. For the two-year seat, Pappas received 132 votes while Morgan received 84.

Paula Complese came in third in both races.

Pappas will have to decide which seat he wants to accept. The other one will be filled by the school board.

Under state law, Pappas cannot give up one seat to Morgan, the second-place finisher, board President James Cochran says. Instead, the district must advertise the opening and interview candidates in public — possibly in January, he says.

Learning the lesson that one vote does make a difference, Jay Myers of Shippensburg Road emerged as the winner of the township assessor election.

He received two write-in votes. Ten other people each received one vote.

Myers, who was the township auditor "some time ago," was surprised at the news of his victory.

He says he did not vote for himself and did not ask anyone else to do so, but "might" accept the position.

Kwanzaa fest Saturday at HAAC A celebration of African-American heritage will be held Saturday in Harrisburg Area Community College's Cooper Student Center.

From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Kwanzaa Festival will feature music, dance and a fashion show.

Children's activities are scheduled for noon to 5 p.m.

The second annual Harambee Recognition Awards will be awarded to members of the community who represent one of Kwanzaa's seven principles: unity, cooperative economics, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, purpose, creativity and faith.

In addition, Community member Edward Baker will be awarded the Characteristics of the Nguzo Saba award as the person who exemplifies all the principles.

After the celebration, participants will share in Karamu, a celebratory feast.

Free health screenings for blood pressure, glaucoma and cancer will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call 780-2632.

Talk to focus on early Carlisle photographer A presentation on an early 20th-century Carlisle photographer by local historian and researcher Ruth E. Hodge is the highlight of this week's celebration of the 133rd anniversary of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

Charles Franklin Moss specialized in photography and art at his studio at 228 N. Pitt St. A few of his subjects were Pittsburgh and blacks living in Carlisle. Hodge's study of Moss will appear in Pennsylvania's Heritage magazine, which is published by the state Historical and Museum Commission.

Moss, a native of Winchester, Va., did apprenticeships in Providence and Newport, R.I., and studied at Cooper Union School of Fine Arts in New York City and at the Philadelphia Academy.

A family oral history says that in 1907 Moss entered a competition at the Jamestown Exposition in Virginia where he created the design for the state flag of Pennsylvania.

Moss then came to Carlisle, where he operated his photography studio on Pitt Street. In 1914, he joined the National Association of Professional Photographers, the first black to become a member.

Hodge, who has been reference archivist at the State Archives since 1993, also is the church librarian and a community activist.

Her historical sleuthing has led from books to papers, and her fascination with African-American heritage has led her down many paths searching for information. She spent six years digging through 69,000 feet of archived documents to compile "Guide to African American Resources at the Pennsylvania State Archives" in summer 2000.

In addition to the Moss presentation and exhibit, Hodge also will give church members a look at some of the church's operations during Moss' era with historical notes on Shiloh's board and Sunday school officers in 1919.

Hodge's program follows several services, including fasting and praying, this week at Shiloh Missionary Baptist.

On Monday, a prayers of repentance and deliverance service was held, and on Tuesday, the congregation gathered for a prayer vigil from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday was designated for individual fasting and praying outside the church, ending with the regular prayer meeting and Bible study.

Tonight's program is a hymn sing and testimony service, concluding with a service of rededication.

Special anniversary services will follow the Sunday services.

The public is invited to historian Ruth Hodge's presentation on the life and career of photographer Charles Franklin Moss at 5 p.m. Saturday at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Lincoln and N. West streets, Carlisle.

For more information, call the church at 243-7259.

New emergency shelter planned Officials of James Wilson Safe Harbour in Carlisle hope to add emergency shelter beds to their list of services to the homeless.

Executive Director Wendell Hollinger says his agency is developing a program and pulling together the funds to pay for it.

"We've been discussing this for well over a year," he says.

The program would provide housing for women and families for up to 90 days on the first floor of the former James Wilson hotel building at the corner of South Pitt and West High streets.

Some renovation would be needed. Officials expect to use about 5,000 square feet, requiring some interior redesign.

The new program would require reconfiguration of space now used for a play room, a computer room, reading room and other uses.

Initial hopes are to complete renovations by the end of next year and have the program operating by early 2003.

Hollinger emphasizes the dates are "all very loose projections."

Safe Harbour has operated a "bridge" or "transitional" housing program on West High Street since 1986.

But that is only the middle step in a three-step "continuum" of homeless services possible.

"We have continuously had a waiting list," Hollinger says. "That's one of the reasons we're looking at full continuum. Our waiting list has not gone down."

As of Wednesday, 65 adults and 28 children were waiting to enter the bridge housing program.

Safe Harbour's program would not be the only local offering for the homeless.

The Salvation Army in Carlisle operates a men's shelter that can accommodate 12 and the Stuart House, a transitional facility offering 45 beds to families.

Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry counties, Samaritan Fellowship and the Red Cross also offer various services to the homeless.

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