Remembering Greencastle-Antrim community news, September to December 2021

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 2 — The clock on the Old Home Week website, oldhomeweek.org, is ticking away the days, hours and minutes until the 41st triennial celebration gets under way on Aug. 6, 2022.

The Greencastle-Antrim tradition has been held every three years without fail since Philip Baer initiated the first Old Boys' Reunion in 1902. Planning for the Aug. 6 to 13, 2022, celebration is getting off the ground, with the first meeting of committee chairs on Sept. 27.

Year in Review, Part I: Remembering Greencastle-Antrim community news, January to April 2021

Year in Review, Part II: Remembering Greencastle-Antrim community news, May to August 2021

Sept. 9 — Numbers related to COVID-19 have changed significantly in the Greencastle-Antrim School District in the past week, but they don't involve cases of the coronavirus.

Attendance rose by hundreds of students on Friday, Sept. 3, as the result of contact tracing, quarantine and isolation changes to the district's health and safety plan approved the night before by the school board.

Members of the Greencastle community and representatives of local veterans organizations joined the Rescue Hose Co. for the 9/11 Walk on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. They walked from East Avenue to Center Square to Greencastle Borough Hall, 'simulating the 110 floors — 2,071 steps — of the World Trade Center that firefighters, police officers, EMS providers and civilians climbed and descended to save many citizens that morning,' according to Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr., who organized the walk, as well as brief ceremony following the walk at the veterans monument and memorial outside borough hall.

Sept. 14 — Members of the Greencastle community and representatives of local veterans organizations joined the Rescue Hose Co. Saturday morning, Sept. 11, 2021, "in humble honor of the events 20 years ago and for the last 20 years," according to Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

They gathered on Eastern Avenue before setting off on the 9/11 Walk down Baltimore Street to Center Square and then to the veterans memorial and monument at borough hall.

Sept. 16 — Twenty-one local youngsters learned a few things about fishing and got to know some local law enforcement officers on the banks of the Greencastle Sportsman's Association lake on Sept. 11.

"It's a fun time ... anything you can do with kids," said Greencastle Police Officer Jim Bradley, who organized the fourth annual Fish with A Cop outing. "I get to give back to the community. That's one of the reasons I became a police officer."

The day gave the kids an opportunity for positive interaction with Greencastle police officers, Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham, representatives of Franklin County Juvenile Probation and Kyle Wirick, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's new waterways conservation office for the south-central region.

Sept. 21 — Mike Hoover's frequent trips down Interstate 81 from Chambersburg to Exit 5 take him past the historic marker that says Greencastle, PA, was named for Greencastle, Ireland.

He loves history, researched the connection two years ago and thought "Wow-ee!"

Like many travelers, his plans were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Hoover is now on a 3 1/2-week trip to Ireland that's focused on Greencastle.

The 66-year-old has never lived in Greencastle, PA, but he's a familiar sight on the Greencastle-Antrim School District campus.

A big part of his voyage is making a transatlantic connection between the two communities and their students, highlighted by a formal presentation Sept. 22 at the Greencastle, Ireland, Community Center.

Sept. 23 — Twenty-three people across the Tri-State area died last week as a result of COVID-19. Franklin County alone had seven deaths for the week ending Sunday, a USA Today Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.

Sept. 28 — Felicia Hollingshead and Lorraine Hohl share a vintage passion, and now they want to gather other people together and share it with them too.

The mother-daughter duo will host the grand opening of Gather.Vintage Co. from 9 to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1 and 2, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, in a converted horse barn at 4133 W. Weaver Road outside of Greencastle.

Sept. 30 — A new main building with water, electric and a concrete floor should be under roof at Cedar Hill Cemetery this fall thanks to a $200,000 donation from the Paul and Anna Shockey Family Foundation.

Replacing the existing building constructed in the 1960s was one of the long-term capital projects identified when the board of managers of the cemetery, located just west of Greencastle, put out an appeal for funds late in 2020.

OCTOBER

Oct. 5 — "We're good" and "we'll be ready" were the most frequent reports as committee chairs for Greencastle-Antrim's 41st Triennial Old Home Week met for the first time on Sept. 27.

Members of the Old Home Week Board of Directors wore masks to the first committee meeting for the 41st Triennial celebration in keeping with COVID-19 protocols at the Rescue Hose Co., where the meeting was held on Sept. 27.

The meeting wrapped up in just 20 minutes, including opening remarks by President Bonnie Shockey and a rundown on the status of events, logistics and other aspects of the celebration handled by more than 40 committees.

The group will meet monthly to prepare for Old Home Week, which will be held Aug. 6 to 13, 2022.

Oct. 7 — Several wells in southeastern Antrim Township have become contaminated since early August and so far nothing has worked to restore the taste, smell or potability of the water.

The properties are all located near Barr Farms LLC, where food processing residual (FPR) is spread to fertilize the fields. About 70 people who live nearby attended a Sept. 29 meeting in the Shady Grove Community Center to talk about their fears FPR is the source of the contamination, air complaints about the smell and point out the need for updated regulations and enforcement.

Oct. 12 — Greencastle-Antrim High School held its 2021 homecoming dance on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Oct. 14 — The Borough of Greencastle's 2021 leaf collection program will begin Monday, Oct. 18.

Leaves will be collected by public works staff using a quadrant map of the borough.

Oct. 19 — The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2, when the polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Four seats on Greencastle Borough Council are up for election this year. There are five names on the ballot, incumbent Wade Burkholder as a Democrat, Allen Mairose as a Republican and, because of write-in votes in the May primary, Andrea Rose, Albert Miller and Jan Shafer as both Republicans and Democrats.

In addition, Mike Stenger is running a write-in campaign.

Oct. 21 — The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2, when the polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Five seats on the Greencastle-Antrim School Board are up for election this year — four are four-year posts and one is a two-year position.

For the four-year terms, Democratic candidates listed on the ballot are Cameron Schroy, Charles C. Ford, Pat Parson and Lindsey Mowen and Republican candidates listed on the ballot are Hal Myers, Eileen Dickinson, Rich Davis and Janon Gray.

For the two-year seat, candidates are Pat Parson, Democratic, and Christopher Tyler Bonillas, Republican.

Oct. 26 — The leaves only recently started to change colors and temperatures have been slow to drop, but the Christmas season is just around the corner in Greencastle.

The multi-faceted Heritage Christmas celebration gets under way with the Down Town and Around Town Open House on Saturday, Nov. 6, and continues through the first two Friday evenings in December.

The festivities are accompanied by traditions like Lights of Love dedications, Heritage Christmas ornament, Shop Small Sweepstakes, the Light It Up contest and, new this year, a pet photo contest.

Oct. 28 — Morning dew and chirping birds set the scene as students from the Greencastle-Antrim School District loaded into a hay bale seat wagon pulled by a restored 1976 Ford 5000 tractor to tour Tracey's Orchard in Greencastle last week and learn about where some of their favorite fruits come from.

Located along Hollowell Church Road and owned by Ed and Tawnya Tracey, the 100-acre orchard is home to trees growing cherries, apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, pears and, of course, apples.

NOVEMBER

Nov. 2 — The Borough of Greencastle is seeking public input on the issues of a single waste hauler and a potential ban on burning. The survey is accessible on the borough’s website and Facebook page through Nov. 30.

The 10-question survey is for borough residents only and can be completed in less than five minutes.

“The borough has discussed establishing a burn ban for some time,” said Borough Manager Emilee Little, “and the institution of a single waste hauler was presented to council in early 2021. Our goal with this survey is to gather input from our residents as to their preference and thoughts on both of these important issues.”

Nov. 4 — Challengers swept the contested races in the Greencastle-Antrim area in Tuesday's general election.

Five new members are set to join the Greencastle-Antrim School Board and Greencastle will have four new borough council members.

In both races, the winning candidates ran as a group and Republicans dominated across the board.

Nov. 9 — Wade Burkholder will retain his seat on Greencastle Borough Council, surging to the top vote tally when mail-in and absentee ballots were counted the day after the election.

Wednesday afternoon, the Franklin County website had the Democrat with 465 votes, up from 340 in-person votes reported Tuesday night after the polls closed.

The initial total — reported in the Echo Pilot online and in print — had Burkholder behind four Republicans who ran as a group, Albert Miller, Allen Mairose, Jan Shafer and Andrea Rose.

Four four-year council seats were up for election this year.

The updated figures knock Rose, who got 404 votes, out of the top four.

Nov. 11 — A York-based firm plans to develop a 300-unit apartment complex with a swimming pool, clubhouse and walking trails in Antrim Township and the Borough of Greencastle.

Buchanan Flats is proposed by Inch & Co. Development Group on 30 acres north of Route 16 and west of Interstate 81 at Exit 5. Moss Spring Avenue would be extended to connect the complex to Route 16.

The land is zoned general residential in the Borough of Greencastle and community commercial in Antrim Township. Both zoning districts allow developments of this kind.

Nov. 16 — "Thank you for your service" are not just words, according to retired U.S. Navy Commander Steven Oliver.

Greencastle area residents gathered at the veterans memorial and monument on North Washington Street on Nov. 11 for the 2021 Veterans Day ceremony .

The speaker at Greencastle's Veterans Day ceremony on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month had lined up lots of information to share about the observance that began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of World War I.

"I was going to go into all kinds of factoids, but you probably know them," Oliver said, casting the list aside as he spoke about what it means today to recognize veterans.

Whether someone served "a day, a year, 10 years or 20 years ... to me, every day is Veterans Day," Oliver said at the ceremony held at the Greencastle-Antrim's veterans monument and memorial outside borough hall on North Washington Street.

Nov. 18 — The new leaders of the Greencastle Relay For Life are ready to be "Back on the track — racing for the Cure!"

That's the theme of the 2022 American Cancer Society fundraiser that's set to return to the Greencastle-Antrim School District's Kaley Field after two years of in-person COVID-19 limitations.

June Hann and Beth Goetz, 2022 co-chairs, are looking forward to seeing Relay veterans as well as new teams, participants and survivors in the stadium and on the track from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. The event traditionally draws hundreds of people from across Franklin County, as well as part of Fulton County.

The goal, Hann said, is to find a cure for cancer so someday there won't have to be a Relay.

Nov. 23 — Center Square was full of the holiday spirit Friday evening as the Greencastle-Antrim community welcomed the holiday season at the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

The crowd ranged from tiny babies to senior citizens, with a number of decked out dogs in the mix.

Reindeer antlers on caps, light-up necklaces and a whole of red and green could be seen in the group that packed the Square, which was closed to traffic during the celebration. Holiday selections by the G-A High School Band and the G-AHS chapter of the Tri-M National Music Honor Society filled the air.

Nov. 30 — Center Square will be filled with the holiday spirit during the Greencastle-Antrim community's Heritage Christmas from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 3 and 10.

Community vendors, entertainment and children's activities are on tap during the celebration organized by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce. Events also are planned at Allison-Antrim Museum and the High Line Train Station, while the Pop-Up Shops at the Aura are new to the downtown scene at 6 E. Baltimore St.

DECEMBER

Dec. 2 — The Greencastle-Antrim School District is seeking federal COVID-19 relief money to install a fitness trail on the campus as a way to improve social and emotional health, as well as academic achievement.

The school board recently gave the go-ahead to apply for ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds from the American Rescue Fund designated "to address gaps in students' learning and social and emotional wellness through the implementation of evidence-based interventions," according to a slide shown by Dr. Lura Hanks, superintendent, at the Nov. 18 school board meeting.

The fitness trail with various exercise stops also would be beneficial for district staff and members of the community.

Hanks gave examples of research done over the years that support the link between exercise and mental health.

Dec. 7 — Bryce Welter's eyes were big as he watched the model train round the track at the High Line Train Station in Greencastle Friday evening with his great-aunt Jen Adams.

"I don't know if we're going to be able to tear him out of here," said his mother, Kate Welter.

Bryce's family — which also includes father Nick and sisters Kendall and Riley — made the 3 1/2-hour trip from Butler to spend the weekend with Adams and her husband, Butch.

It's an annual holiday journey "to do some fun Christmas things with the kids," Kate Welter said.

Their stop at the train station came after they enjoyed other Heritage Christmas activities, including a horse-drawn wagon ride, a visit with Santa and food.

Jen Adams, at left, visited the High Line Train Station with great-nephew Bryce Welter during Heritage Christmas on Dec. 3, 2021.

"It's a beautiful night and we're thrilled," said Debby Cunningham, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the celebration held the first two Friday nights in December.

Dec. 9 — Property owners in the Borough of Greencastle will continue to pay a 15-mill real estate tax under the 2022 budget approved by borough council on Dec. 6. This is the fourth year in a row taxes have not been raised.

The borough's general fund budget for next year shows a slight surplus, with $2,318,576.27 in revenues and $2,318,021.72 in expenses.

Real estate taxes are expected to generate $635,000 and other taxes, such as earned income, local services and real estate transfer, bring in an additional $775,000.

Dec. 14 — The Cumberland Valley Business Alliance announced Bradley Kearns, member of the firm at SEK, CPAs & Advisors, as the 2021 Business Person of the Year during its annual meeting on Dec. 7 sponsored by WellSpan Health.

Kearns was selected as the recipient because of his business accomplishments, leadership and positive impact on the community for the past two decades. Given annually, the award is designed to honor business leaders who have made long-term contributions to their profession and the area at-large. 

Dec. 16 — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the Wolf administration's COVID-19 school mask mandate Friday, Dec. 10, and on Monday, Dec. 13, Greencastle-Antrim schools returned to the mask-optional policy outlined in the district's health and safety plan.

The high court ruled in favor of the commonwealth court’s November 2021 decision invalidating the Aug. 31 Pennsylvania Department of Health masking order for K-12 public schools, Dr. Lura Hanks, superintendent, explained in a letter to families on Sunday.

Masks are not required, but are highly recommended under the health and safety plan adopted in July.

Dec. 21 — Her full name is Lenora Viola (Souders) Kriner Lininger, but everyone calls her Babe.

She was the baby of 18 and her mother was 45 when she was born 100 years ago on Dec. 17, 1921, at Jugtown, near Cito, in Fulton County. Still independent, she now lives in Mobile Home Village Park on North Carlisle Street in Greencastle.

Babe was the guest of honor at a party on Dec. 18 in Greencastle Church of the Brethren, celebrating 100 years with about 100 family members and friends.

Dec. 23 — The Heritage Christmas Light It Up Contest, sponsored by Antrim Insurance Agency, Inc., has generated $350 for the Greencastle-Antrim Food Pantry.

Each year the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce organizes the contest by requesting participation from G-A residents who decorate the exterior of their homes for the Christmas season. This year 11 homes and one business in the Greencastle-Antrim area registered for the contest which ran from Dec. 1 through Dec. 19. During that time, community members were encouraged to vote for their favorite home at $1 per vote.

Topping the list with the most votes is the Wilson Home at 13218 Gearhart Road. Other top winners were the McIntire Home at 11788 Buck Run Drive, The Aura Building at 6 E. Baltimore St., and the Harne and Moats Home at 222 E. Baltimore St.

Dec. 30 — A Greencastle, Pa., man is charged with first-degree murder in the Christmas night shooting death of his girlfriend at her Hagerstown home, according to Hagerstown Police.

Justin Kyle Marshall, 34, was arrested around 2:45 a.m. Sunday by the sheriff's office in Berkeley County, W.Va., in the death of 37-year-old Tristan Shifflet, Hagerstown Police spokeswoman Lt. Rebecca Fetchu said.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at shardy@gannett.com