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

This week The Sentinel answers two questions, one on overdoses and one on an election sign:

How many people have died from a drug overdose in Cumberland County this year?

As of Nov. 11, 45 people have died in the county of a drug overdose, according to Cumberland County Coroner Charley Hall.

This falls in line with a trend the county has seen largely all year of a decrease in overdose deaths. The county has seen about 40 percent fewer overdose deaths this year compared to 2017, according to an analysis of coroner’s records conducted by The Sentinel.

If the trend holds, about 50 people will have died from a drug overdose in the county by the end of the year, compared to more than 80 deaths in 2017.

This would be the fewest number of overdose deaths since 2015, but still above 2013 levels when overdose deaths began to rise significantly.

Who’s responsible for the “If you love life in Cumberland County, vote Republican” signs?

This is a question The Sentinel looked into in 2015 after the signs popped up during the municipal election and was asked again after this year’s midterm.

The Cumberland County Republican Party created and posted the signs.

They were an effort to get voters to support Republican candidates across the board and support the Republican Party agenda.

“There is a great deal of data that shows that Cumberland County is probably the best county in all of Pennsylvania in which to live,” Jason Kutulakis, a member of the Cumberland County Republican Party, told The Sentinel in 2015. “... The purpose of the sign is to capture all of those things. ... The conclusion we believe is that our elected officials and Republicans have done a very good job and have been very good stewards of our county government, which has led people to want to live here.”

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Whether it’s politics, crime, history or just something you’ve always been curious about, if you have questions, The Sentinel will look for the answer and provide it in our online blog and as a weekly feature in the Sentinel print edition.

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Email Joshua Vaughn at jvaughn@cumberlink.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Sentinel_Vaughn.

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