Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease. The state is responding with groundbreaking research

The largest study of its kind — focused on tiny ticks — is underway in Pennsylvania.

The full study, expected to be released this summer, is not only compiling the tick intel, but is building prediction models designed to help reduce human exposure to ticks, and therefore lower future Lyme disease rates. Continue reading Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease. The state is responding with groundbreaking research

In Pa., climate change threatens the state tree, bird and fish. Work is underway to help the native species

On the surface, the Pennsylvania scene appears idyllic. But a closer look reveals the presence of numerous invaders. Experts say climate change is fueling and favoring the growth of invasive species—in many cases, at the expense of Pennsylvania’s cherished symbols. Continue reading In Pa., climate change threatens the state tree, bird and fish. Work is underway to help the native species

Park Perch: Susquehanna Riverlands is a new gem of a state park with a bird’s-eye view of the river

It’s a stunning vista overlooking the Susquehanna River.

To the north, the river flows and swirls around the pillars of the picturesque Shocks Mills Bridge. If you stay perched on the rocky outcropping long enough, you just might spy a miniature train below, chugging across the bridge.

Most people would probably describe the scene as “sweeping.” But most people haven’t seen or even had access to this bird’s-eye view, until now.
Continue reading Park Perch: Susquehanna Riverlands is a new gem of a state park with a bird’s-eye view of the river

Climate change in Pa.: The flood-prone Susquehanna River watershed poses a widespread challenge

It’s one of Harrisburg’s most treasured, beloved landmarks. The Susquehanna River is the longest river east of the Mississippi. Its basin — an immense 27,510 square miles —encompasses half of Pennsylvania, along with portions of New York and Maryland.

As iconic as it is, the Susquehanna is also considered one of the most flood-prone watersheds in the nation, averaging $150 million in flood damage annually. And with an already-observed 10% to 20% increase in Pennsylvania’s precipitation, a heightened risk of flooding is considered the state’s top climate change-related risk. Continue reading Climate change in Pa.: The flood-prone Susquehanna River watershed poses a widespread challenge

Change Agent: Meet Greg Czarnecki, a man on a mission to impact climate change, one Pennsylvanian at a time

If there’s a face, or voice, of climate change awareness in Pennsylvania, it might be Greg Czarnecki’s.

As climate change and research coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), he’s the only person dedicating his entire focus to climate change at a Pennsylvania state agency.

For more than five years, he’s been crisscrossing the state, giving about 60 presentations annually, about the impacts of climate change on the Keystone State.

But last summer, there were three that stood out as perhaps more vital than all the others. Continue reading Change Agent: Meet Greg Czarnecki, a man on a mission to impact climate change, one Pennsylvanian at a time

Resting Places, Restored

Dolly Parton’s unmistakable voice floats across the graveyard, carried on a chilly breeze, sweeping down Adams County’s Harbaugh Valley. Her music provides the soundtrack for Lisa Rawlings’ workday. 

Humming along, absorbed in her work, Rawlings focuses on the gravestone in front of her. Perched on a stool, her purple rubber-gloved hands gripping a long gray brush, she scrubs a 60-year-old gravestone—the kind that marks a double grave for a husband and wife who wanted to be remembered as they likely lived—side-by-side.

“I feel like it’s an honor for me to come and do this. I don’t want them to be forgotten,” says Rawlings, 47, of Fairfield. Continue reading Resting Places, Restored

New Energy, New Cumberland: Revitalization efforts are creating a buzz in the riverside borough

New Cumberland has a new identity.

A brightly colored logo proclaiming, “New Cumberland Borough: Old Town, New Energy” is coming to banners and flags, signs, borough newsletters and “everywhere we can put it,” said Valerie Copenhaver, the Cumberland County borough’s first-ever director of community and economic development.

But branding the borough is just the beginning. Continue reading New Energy, New Cumberland: Revitalization efforts are creating a buzz in the riverside borough

Mural Mecca: How Philadelphia became “mural capital of the world.”

Chances are, when you think about Philadelphia, certain icons come to mind: Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. You may even hear a strain of the theme song from “Rocky.”

But there’s one more colorful symbol to add to the list: murals. The organization Mural Arts Philadelphia is considered the nation’s largest public art program, credited with creating the world’s biggest outdoor art gallery—with a tally over 4,000. Continue reading Mural Mecca: How Philadelphia became “mural capital of the world.”

How Silas Chamberlin Forged a New Path in York County

Outdoor recreation is “in.” Amid the pandemic, its popularity has soared as high as the treetops.

At the same time, Silas Chamberlin, vice president of the York Economic Alliance, is doing some re-creating of his own: he’s redefining the field of economic development and merging it with his lifelong appreciation of the outdoors—specifically trails—as conduits for community revitalization.  Continue reading How Silas Chamberlin Forged a New Path in York County

A Vehicle for Good

Sliding behind the wheel of a shiny new convertible is how many people imagine celebrating their 50th birthday.

But as Father Leo Patalinghug approached his 50th milestone, his wheels turned in a different direction. Continue reading A Vehicle for Good

Pandemic Plot Twists

There’s never been a better time to get lost in a book.

“An ironic positive side effect of the pandemic is that people are falling back in love with reading,” said Alex Brubaker, manager of Harrisburg’s Midtown Scholar Bookstore. Continue reading Pandemic Plot Twists

Snowball Effect

Usage of the Capital Area Greenbelt has soared upwards of 400% since the pandemic.

“It may sound crazy, but it’s a believable number,” said Dick Norford, spokesperson for the Capital Area Greenbelt Association (CAGA).

That means that as many as 2 to 4 million people hit the Greenbelt in 2020 to ease their cabin fever, get outside and work out their pandemic stress by walking, running, biking or even rollerblading.

And colder temperatures don’t have to put the brakes on healthy habits. Continue reading Snowball Effect

Cheers to Mela Kitchen

If you need a new reason to visit Gettysburg—besides hallowed battlefields and history—chances are you’ll find it at Mela Kitchen at Jack’s Hard Cider. The new flagship restaurant showcasing Jack’s Hard Cider and freshly-launched Atomic Dog Wines is located at one of the region’s largest open-air outlets, the Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg.

“We’re a fast, casual-style restaurant with a quality of food that matches some of the area’s best full-service restaurants,” says Chef Josh Fidler, who considers his latest gig the “highlight” of his 20-year career. Continue reading Cheers to Mela Kitchen

A Taste of Heart and Soul

The soul of a business is often depicted in a logo. And that’s the case for Uncle Moe’s Soul Food Truck, which, on any given day, rolls into Gettysburg or throughout the region—from Frederick, Md., to Chambersburg, Hanover to Fairfield.

Eldridge “Moe” Moses walks to the side of his bright red food truck and stands beside the logo—a circle containing hands, stretched upward toward a blue sky, clouds, and a sunburst.

“When praises go up, blessings come down,” says Moses. Continue reading A Taste of Heart and Soul

Home Sweet Green Home

It was 1978. George Chorba was stuck waiting in a mile-long line of vehicles at the only gas station that still had fuel amid one of the Arab oil embargoes. He was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., so, needless to say, it was hot.

“My pickup truck didn’t have air conditioning, and I remember looking up at the sun—I had certainly heard about solar—and I thought, ‘This solar stuff makes a whole lot of sense.’” Continue reading Home Sweet Green Home

Being a Spark

For nearly 30 years, Marian Elby has been a regular visitor at central Pennsylvania prisons.

“People need someone,” said Elby, 77. “Ever since I was little, I had a heart for those who didn’t have.” Continue reading Being a Spark

Mansion House 1757

George Keeney has two affirmations he says every morning and every night.

First, he asks St. George to help all those in need. Then he asks that his family’s new endeavor, Mansion House 1757, he a positive influence on the community. Continue reading Mansion House 1757

Monumental Issues

Thirty armed militia members started walking down a hill, across the Gettysburg Battlefield, toward him.

It was the 4th of July, and it was the first time all day that Scott Hancock felt his heart beating out of his chest. Continue reading Monumental Issues

Hometown Soul

Hometown pride is something that touches your soul.

That’s what Donovan (“Dono”) Krebs felt when he met longtime Hummelstown resident Mike VanGavree. And that’s why he accepted VanGavree’s offer to become head brewer at Rubber Soul Brewing Co. Continue reading Hometown Soul

Where’s Waldo’s?

Chris Lauer decided to walk across the country.

The Minnesota native set off with not much more than a backpack and camping gear, bound for Philadelphia. But about 1,000 miles down the road, his four-month journey hit a snag on Route 30, in south-central Pennsylvania.

“I fell in love with Gettysburg and stayed,” Lauer said.

Continue reading Where’s Waldo’s?

Arts Aid

The financial picture is a little rosier today for capital region arts organizations.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced $20 million in grant funding Tuesday for the state’s cultural and arts institutions, including a combined $308,978 headed to eight Dauphin County organizations. Continue reading Arts Aid

Banking on Beer

If Dauphin County were a city, it would be in the top 30, nationwide, for breweries per capita.

Based on population, and with more breweries set to open, it would take the next round of national beer statistics by storm. Nearby, Lancaster is already in the top 25.

Jason Meckes did his homework when he helped design Visit Hershey & Harrisburg’s (VHH) new Brew Barons Beer Trail, which launched in mid-July. Continue reading Banking on Beer

Takeout Turnabout

Only in 2020 could “Restaurant Week” involve a month-long celebration of takeout.

Tuesday kicks off “Harrisburg Takeout Month,” organized by the nonprofit Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District (DID). It replaces Harrisburg Restaurant Week, in its 12th year in the capital city. Continue reading Takeout Turnabout

Mela Kitchen

There’s a new show in town at Gettysburg’s former Frank Theatres. It’s not a Hollywood production, but there’s plenty of action, name recognition, and star power.

Mela Kitchen, led by Chef Josh Fidler, is Gettysburg’s newest restaurant. Affiliated with parent company Jack’s Hard Cider and Atomic Dog Wines, it’s located at the former movie house at The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg. Continue reading Mela Kitchen

Goodwill to All

Rick Hill thought he’d be playing golf every day, enjoying retirement.

“I was incredibly bored, and my wife said, ‘You might as well get another job,’” said Hill. “The stars aligned… I was introduced to Goodwill and its mission, and at that point I knew I didn’t want to do anything else but work for Goodwill the rest of my life.” Continue reading Goodwill to All

Eighty Two Cafe

Alex Lemon grew up with a childhood tradition of drinking coffee with her mom on Sunday mornings. It was such a cherished time that it pulled her back home to Dillsburg from West Chester University during her college days, so that their mother-daughter coffee rituals could continue.

Little did she know then that she was just a few years away from becoming co-owner of a highly successful Gettysburg coffeehouse and roasting company—Eighty Two Café and Ragged Edge Roasting Co.—housed together under one roof at 82 Steinwehr Ave. Continue reading Eighty Two Cafe

Pandemic Pinch

Janice Black was in a unique position to recognize the scope of the COVID-19 crisis—and to do something about it.

The 25-year president and CEO of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) also has a background in healthcare and nursing. Continue reading Pandemic Pinch

An Experience in Resilience

“I miss the human connection—that’s why I became a teacher. Right now, going online to talk with them is the highlight of my day,” said Tricia Donley, a high school English teacher.

That ability to adjust—even though it’s difficult—is one of the keys to our collective mental health through the pandemic, according to experts. Continue reading An Experience in Resilience

Hunger Pains

Cereal, peanut butter, pasta, sauce and other essential household staples are inside the brown cardboard emergency food boxes.

But it’s innovative “outside-the-box” thinking and “extremely generous” acts of charity that are powering and placing the ingredients inside. Continue reading Hunger Pains

Sunday Brunchin’

Sunday brunch is much more than a meal—it’s a state of mind, a respite, a soul-quenching experience that powers us through the rest of our week. And it supports local small businesses, many of them highlighted in this piece. Continue reading Sunday Brunchin’

Kindred Spirits

By the time you’re reading this, the Pennsylvania Distillers Guild will have produced some 2.4 million 4-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer, predicts Rob Cassell.

“To me, I feel like what you’re seeing happen between public-private partnerships and businesses converting to creative solutions is like what our grandparents talked about happening during World War II,” said Cassell, guild president and master distiller at North Philadelphia’s New Liberty Distillery. Continue reading Kindred Spirits

Unwelcome in Our Woods

“Public enemy number one” is how Shannon Powers refers to the spotted lanternfly.

Powers, press secretary for Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture, said the invading insect is an $18 billion threat to the state’s economy—specifically products and jobs related to the grape, apple, hops and hardwood industries.

And April is when the spotted lanternfly hatches. Continue reading Unwelcome in Our Woods

Three Cheers, Beers

“People appreciate seeing partnerships,” said Wade Leedy, co-owner of Fourscore Beer Co., Gettysburg, along with his brother Drew.

Indeed partnerships are hopping at three of central Pennsylvania’s newer hot spots for beers and cheers: Fourscore, plus Liquid Noise Brewing Co., Marysville, and Hook & Flask Still Works, Carlisle. Continue reading Three Cheers, Beers

Community Spirits

Dan Healy is anxiously awaiting a shipment of hydrogen peroxide. It was due to arrive at Harrisburg’s Midstate Distillery sometime today.

You read that right. Hydrogen peroxide isn’t something the head distiller and co-owner normally orders. But then again, he’s normally producing whiskey, vodka, rum or gin. For about a week, he’s switched to production of hand sanitizer instead. Continue reading Community Spirits

The Run Goes On

Every Saturday morning for the past 30 years, Marjorie Lebo has organized Harrisburg-area runners and routes. This past Saturday was no exception.

And she suggested a route familiar to many Harrisburg-area runners: the Capital 10-Miler route, paying tribute to one of Harrisburg’s two major March races recently canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Continue reading The Run Goes On

DIY History Lesson

When Genevieve and Jason McNew were house hunting in 2005, they had one thing in mind. “We told our realtor, ‘Don’t show us anything unless it’s 100 years old or older,’” Jason recalls, and then he laughs. “But we didn’t quite know what we were getting into.” Continue reading DIY History Lesson


Gwen Loose was hiking with a friend on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) when a question crossed her mind.

While Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery are considered the founders and fathers of the A.T., “Who was holding down the fort at conference headquarters?” she wondered. Continue reading Trailblazers

Run Hear

It’s possibly the most-listened-to podcast produced in the Harrisburg area.

“When we first started, we didn’t know how it would be received,” said Angie Spencer. “We figured there would be an appetite, but we’ve been blown away.” Continue reading Run Hear

A Voice for the Ages

David W. Blight wrote his first book about Frederick Douglass 30 years ago and never dreamed there would be another—let alone a full biography. However, “some lives are, in a way, made for biography,” Blight said during a recent interview. Continue reading A Voice for the Ages

I’ll Be Your Voice

Eight-year old Alexi is hiding in a closet with his younger brother.

It’s a game they often play called “invisibility cloak” because, as Alexi says, “Being invisible is the best superpower.”

But the real story is that their mother locked them in the closet for their own safety. Ultimately, domestic violence drove them into homelessness. Continue reading I’ll Be Your Voice

All Aboard the Red Boat

The roof leaked all the way to the basement when Nam Doan purchased the property on Reily Street in Harrisburg.

“It was a wreck,” Doan, 38, said.

After six months of intense work, he transformed the century-old property into Midtown’s newest restaurant, the Red Boat. Continue reading All Aboard the Red Boat

Pickers’ Paradise

“Everything old is new again.” 

This phrase is a way of life for more than a dozen antique centers throughout the Gettysburg area. Whether you have an eye for antiques, enjoy vintage finds, like DIY trash-turned-treasure projects, seek collectibles, or simply want to step back in time, we’ve got you covered in this guide to antiquing in Adams County. Continue reading Pickers’ Paradise

Son Run

It’s not every day that your teenager texts you uplifting messages like, “I’m extremely proud of you,” and “You’re a hell of a human,” and “Love you, Dad.”

Those texts “were like fuel,” said Mike McCauley, which inspired his run throughout the first weekend of November. And it was the run of a lifetime by the 55-year-old Mechanicsburg dad, a run dedicated to his 17-year-old son Lachlan. Continue reading Son Run