THE YEAR IN REVIEW: JANUARY TO APRIL

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot
JANUARY — The Greencastle-Antrim community welcomed 2020 at the second annual New Year's Eve Raising the Bar celebration.

JANUARY

Jan. 7

A few snow flurries joined more than 500 prize tickets falling from the sky as the Greencastle-Antrim community welcomed 2020 at the second annual New Year's Eve Raising the Bar celebration.

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board is expected to vote next month on whether to proceed with a building project estimated at more than $17 million.

Jan. 9

Grants of $10,000 each have been awarded to two historic properties in the Greencastle-Antrim area through the Franklin County Tourism and Quality of Life Enhancement Grant program. Recipients are Allison-Antrim Museum for the mansion house and The Archaeology Conservancy for the Ebbert Spring Archaeological Preserve and Heritage Park.

Republican John Flannery, who owns the John Allison Public House in Greencastle with is wife, Ame, took his seat on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners during a reorganization meeting Monday morning.

Jan. 14

With the press of a button, drivers can be alerted to people crossing East Baltimore Street at two busy intersections in Greencastle. Rapid flashing beacons were activated Friday at the intersections with Linden Avenue and Allison Street.

Jan. 16

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board is scheduled to vote to accept the resignation of Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent, at its meeting Thursday evening. Trail, who joined the district in May 2017 is resigning effective June 30 to become assistant executive director of Lincoln Intermediate Unit No. 12.

Jan. 21

From Arthur Benjamin Zarger Sr., who served in the Army during World War I, to those serving in the military today more than 40 Hometown Heroes banners have been order to be hung along Baltimore Street in Greencastle.

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board accepted the resignation of the district superintendent at Thursday's meeting and was scheduled to meet this week with representatives of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to talk about finding a replacement.

Jan. 23

"Sarah had fun! Her students had fun! Those around her had fun!" Those are thoughts Dr. Robert Crider, chief educational officer, shared with Greencastle-Antrim School District faculty Monday as they took time during an in-service day to remember and honor their colleague and friend Sarah Foose. Foose, 38, who died Sunday in Johns Hopkins Hospital, loved teaching and leaves behind treasured lessons and memories.

A grant from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner will be used to purchase a washer and dryer specifically designed for turnout gear for the Rescue Hose Co. fire station.

Jan. 28

A rain garden the Borough of Greencastle plans to install at the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library will clean up water runoff while serving as an educational tool and tranquil space just off busy Baltimore Street.

Jan. 30

Rescue Hose Co. fire and rescue calls increased 24 percent from 2008 to 2017, while the number of responders decreased 43 percent during the same period. Leaders of the Rescue Hose Co. took a hard look at the numbers and decided after 140 years with all volunteer firefighters, it is time to add paid staff.

More:Virtual winter concert orchestrated at Greencastle-Antrim High School

More:Greencastle-Antrim community members will virtually give thanks together

FEBRUARY — People from all parts of Franklin County got together for the Valentine's Day Jam Night and Dinner at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center.

FEBRUARY

Feb. 4

A ruling has come down on the owners of a local dairy that closed abruptly in October and is accused of milking investors out of nearly $60 million. The Banking and Securities Commission has rendered Trickling Springs Creamery LLC — Philip Elvin Riehl, Gerald A. Byers, Elvin M. Martin and Dale L. Martin — permanently banned from the securities business and ordered to pay an administrative assessment in the amount of $4,375,000.

Feb. 6

At Monday's Greencastle Borough Council meeting, Police Chief John Phillippy cautioned local residents about letting people into their homes in light of a Jan. 23 burglary on South Allison Street in which two men went to the door of an elderly couple around 5 p.m. and said they were there concerning problems with water lines.

Tuesday was the 100th day of school and first-graders at Greencastle-Antrim Primary School celebrated in a big way, donating more than $1,000 to Greencastle's Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library.

Feb. 11

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board took the next step toward a high school building project Thursday night, but some board members stressed this must just be one part of a larger plan to meet district building and educational needs.

An emergency medical responder class being held for the first time in Greencastle benefits both the students and the Rescue Hose Co.

Feb. 13

Antrim Township supervisors are getting ready to sell 26.6 acres purchased 15 years ago along U.S. 11 south of Greencastle. On Jan. 21, 2005, the township bought the land for $1 million from the estate of Alma B. Oaks, as the planned location of a new township municipal building.

An eclectic mix of people from all parts of Franklin County got together Tuesday night for the Valentine's Day Jam Night and Dinner at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center. The evening was part of the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging's CWOW — Center Without Walls program. CWOW is a fluid and unofficial ninth senior center which brings additional programming to new and current senior activity center participants at different locations.

Feb. 18

"Neighbor helping neighbor" is how Ron Gipe describes the Tax Aide Program. Gipe is local coordinator for volunteers at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center.

Feb. 20

The BYOD (bring your own device) days are over and the digital divide is being crossed at Greencastle-Antrim High School. Just weeks ago at the beginning of the second semester, each high school student received an iPad under the district's Equal Technology Opportunities initiative.

Feb. 25

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board wants to know what community members want in their next superintendent. A survey on the district website is part of the process of replacing Dr. Kendra Trail, who is leaving the district at the end of June to become assistant executive director of Lincoln Intermediate Unit No. 12.

Feb. 27

Greencastle-Antrim High School Peer Leaders will serve up their message "Be Kind" and help a community food bank during GA Empty Bowls on Friday, March 6. It is described as "a handcrafted soup dinner to fight hunger."

MARCH — Greencastle Lions Club members Ernie Mellott, Charles Booze and Frank Traver served the club's pancake breakfast.

MARCH

March 3

The Greencastle-Antrim School District was awarded $231,148 through the PA School Safety and Security Grant Program last week. The bulk of the money will be used over the next two years for two full-time social workers, as well as costs associated with an eight-day summer transitional program for students going into ninth-grade, according to Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent.

March 5

Bev Rice believes the Lord led her to her job and "the Lord will tell me when to retire." Rice, who will be 72 in July, has no plans to retire from Graphics Universal, where she marked her 50th anniversary on Monday, March 2.

The latest milestone in Zakary Reynolds' musical career will come when the 11th-grader accompanies the all-state orchestra at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association's annual convention in late April at Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center in the Poconos.

March 10

A manufacturer is increasing operations at one of its Franklin County locations, as well as expanding its workforce there by up to 35 jobs. JLG Industries, headquartered in Fulton County, is in the approval process with Antrim Township to expand the parking lot at its 15276 Molly Pitcher Highway location near State Line.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at a garden that is growing out of loss will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at State Line Community Park. With the help of friends and family, Eden's Garden is being created by Ethan and Randa Naylor, who lost their daughter two years ago.

March 12

There was both seriousness and sparkle in the Greencastle-Antrim High School library evening during the Greencastle Relay for Life open house. The theme for the annual American Cancer Society fundraiser this year is "Don't Let Cancer Dull Your Sparkle." That was the philosophy of Kim Muller, Relay co-chair, who passed away from metastatic breast cancer on Aug. 17, 2019.

More cases of the coronavirus are being diagnosed daily and on Tuesday Franklin County commissioners issued a statement on COVID-19. As of Wednesday morning, there were 14 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania and nine in Maryland.

March 17

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania topped 70 over the weekend, just days after Gov. Tom Wolf ordered schools across the state to close their doors for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16.

The Greencastle Lions Club's annual Pancake Day Saturday featured the traditional pancakes, sausage, puddin' and scrambled eggs, plus a lot of talk about COVID-19.

A Greencastle couple has been charged with reckless endangerment as the result of a video that shows their children walking on the railroad tracks and scattering just before a train comes through.

March 19

The Antrim Township administrative offices will have restricted access for the next two weeks due to COVID-19.

On Monday, March 16, the Borough of Greencastle issued a Local Disaster Emergency Declaration in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Greencastle-Antrim School District is providing free meals for children 1 to 18 during the emergency closure of schools due to COVID-19.

March 24

There is no guidebook and there are many unanswered questions concerning the closure of schools in response to the coronavirus, Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent, told Greencastle-Antrim School Board members at a brief meeting Thursday evening. The biggest questions are how long is the shutdown going to last and will it be more than 10 days, Trail said.

All businesses in Pennsylvania deemed non-life-sustaining are now closed by order of Gov. Tom Wolf to combat the spread of COVID-19. Figures for the virus in the state given at a press briefing Sunday revealed two deaths and 479 cases in 33 counties. One case has been confirmed in Franklin County.

March 26

Antrim Township supervisors declared a disaster emergency at Tuesday's meeting, discussed other issues related to the coronavirus and decided not to close or limit access at Antrim Township Community Park. The declaration makes it easier to get assistance from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and expedite remediation measures, Brad Graham, township administrator, said.

Greencastle-Antrim schools, and all others in Pennsylvania, will be closed until at least April 6 because of COVID-19, but many G-A elementary and primary students and teachers got to see each other again with appropriate social distancing on Tuesday. After seeing posts about it being done elsewhere, Katie Kline, a first-grade teacher at the primary school, and Shelly Burger, a third-grade teacher at the elementary school, organized a teacher parade.

March 31

At this time, Greencastle-Antrim schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 13, but the district will provide various forms of education beginning Monday, April 6, based on what grades students are in. The district unveiled its plan to continue education during the COVID-19 shutdown mandated by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in a letter to parents from Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent, on Wednesday, March 25.

The spread of COVID-19 across Pennsylvania is not abating. On Sunday, Franklin County had 11 confirmed cases, up from Saturday's seven. Statewide, an additional 643 cases of COVID-19 were announced Sunday, bringing the total to 3,394 confirmed cases in 58 counties, with 38 deaths.

APRIL — The Greencastle Borough Council meeting was held outside with people wearing masks and standing 6 feet apart in keeping with COVID-19 guidance.

APRIL

April 2

There were no news reports of the coronavirus in Africa when a Chambersburg woman and her daughter, who lives in San Diego, left March 10 for a missions trip to Swaziland. Less than two weeks later, after much scrambling and many hours spent on the phone with airlines by people on both sides of the Atlantic,Myrna Gowing and Lynzy Gowing got the last flight out of South Africa to the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf added Franklin County to the list of counties under a stay-at-home order, a day after he extended the school closure across Pennsylvania indefinitely to curb the spread of COVID-19.

April 7

In times of trouble, churches have always been a place of solace. Churches are closed and congregations have not come together since mid-March because of coronavirus social distancing, but that hasn't kept pastors and church members apart in their hearts, minds and actions.

The 26th annual Greencastle Relay For Life is being postponed due to COVID-19, but that isn't dulling the mission of the American Cancer Society, which the Relay supports. The Relay was scheduled for May 15 and 16 on the Greencastle-Antrim School District's Kaley Field.

April 9

Greencastle Borough Council members, many wearing masks, assembled 6 or more feet apart around the flagpole outside borough hall for their meeting Monday evening. Council President Steve Miller decided to hold the meeting outdoors to follow CDC open air guidelines in light of COVID-19, according to Borough Manager Lorraine Hohl.

The Greencastle-Antrim Food Pantry feeds people in need all year long and is ready to provide extra help during the COVID-19 pandemic, which also has impacted how food is distributed.

April 14

Pennsylvania schools, shuttered March 16 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday.

April 16

Construction is underway for an approximately 12,650-square-foot addition to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown to increase capacity and offer a regional infectious containment unit in response to immediate community needs for the COVID-19 public health pandemic.

April 21

A planned renovation and addition to Greencastle-Antrim High School might be the latest collateral damage of expected economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. During Thursday night's virtual school board meeting, members agreed to consider stepping back from the building project that they green-lighted in February. The project was to include a high school upgrade and expansion, estimated at a cost for design and construction of $16.8 million to $18.4 million, as well as a $1.3 million to $1.5 million replacement of the middle school roof.

April 23

Signs popping up in local yards, extra precautions and a supporter dubbed "RHC Benefactor" are all part of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Rescue Hose Co. The Rescue Hose Co. is selling two different yard signs. One honors the Greencastle-Antrim High School Class of 2020 and the other frontline responders.

Greencastle's Memorial Day parade and service have been canceled due to COVID-19, but flags will still be placed on the graves of veterans.

April 28

The front doors are locked at the Antrim Township municipal building, but operations are continuing during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The masks of COVID-19 will get a whole new meaning for Greencastle-Antrim High School students this Saturday night as the "Mask-erade Porch Prom" takes place in the community.

April 30

Instead of community members coming together next week for National Day of Prayer, it was "lights, camera, action" Tuesday morning as participants prayed in the nearly empty sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church. Their words, along with vocal selections by Dr. J. Fred Davison and music by Saundra Wingert, will be presented online Thursday, May 7, in lieu of an in-person National Day of Prayer service during COVID-19 pandemic.

The spring sports season was lost to the coronavirus pandemic and if life returns to normal by this fall, Greencastle-Antrim sports fans will still have to use portable toilets. The Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to postpone the Kaley Field project until 2021. Construction of a facility for restrooms, ticket booth and concession stand was originally scheduled to begin this spring, with the building opening with the fall sports season.

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr. has issued a proclamation in support of “Bells Across Pennsylvania,” an initiative of the Pennsylvania Mayors’ Association, which will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 3.

Coming next: May through August.