Mapping Mark Walters: An introduction

What historic Adams County structure looms in the background?

Beyond my mug, what historic Adams County building looms in the background?

As reporters, we are encouraged to not spend too much time in our offices. We are better able to serve and report on our beats if we immerse ourselves with the locals and make ourselves common fixtures around the community.

As the Adams County reporter, I am doing just that all over the county and the greater Hanover area. And I’m curious if you can guess where I am.

Every week, I will post a “selfie” on this blog stationed in front of a notable place or structure.

Can you guess where I am? Let me know in the comments section below, on Twitter, Facebook or via email at

A day or two after each post, the answer will be posted along with a small story, lesson or anecdote to go along with the location. Think of it as a fun way to learn and see my ragged face all around the area.

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Videos: Gettysburg Military Park plans for the future

A few week ago, I attended an operational update at Gettysburg National Military Park. Here are a few upcoming (and ongoing) projects that the park either has or will undertake over the next few months. All information is according to operational update documents from the park unless otherwise noted.

1. Armory on West Confederate Avenue will house offices, cannon restoration shop

In January, the Commonwealth of Pa. donated the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory along West Confederate Avenue to the park’s nonprofit partner, the Gettysburg Foundation. The 3.67-acre property includes the 1938 art deco armory building plus a three-bay garage and storage shed. The Foundation plans to rehabilitate the two buildings before donating them to the park, which will use the main building for park offices and the garage as a cannon restoration shop. Use of the armory building for park offices would meet a long-standing need for consolidation of office spaces from five locations throughout the park. Read more about this project on the park’s blog.

2. Park continues assessment of Little Round Top

The park continues to look at ways to improve pedestrian and bus traffic at Little Round Top, one of the park’s most popular destinations. The area, as Park Superintendent Ed Clark said in a recent interview, has been “loved to death” and is need of significant repairs, but officials are not yet sure what those changes will entail. The park has initiated an environmental assessment of the area, which it anticipates will begin in earnest this June.

“For us to just go off and design something, it might not work for the bus industry, it might not work for the battlefield guides, or it might not work the way the public wants. You want to make sure you listen to a lot of those perspectives before you really hone in on what exactly it is you’re going to do.”

- Park Superintendent Ed Clark in a recent interview

3. Cannon restoration continues

The park has focused extensively on cannon restoration over the past few months. In 1999, the Monument Preservation Branch began restoration of 400 cannon carriages within the park. Carriages 312 through 316 are currently receiving preservation treatment, and two carriages removed from the from the Peace Light area for paint repairs were returned in early February. Cannons have also been reset recently at Bachman’s battery on South Confederate Avenue and Gibb’s battery on the north slope of Little Round Top, management assistant Katie Lawhon said in a recent blog post.

For the past 16 years, the Gettysburg Foundation has completed cannon restorations in a rented warehouse space in downtown Gettysburg at cost of $30,000 per year. Once the armory project is completed, however, the foundation hopes to devote those funds to other preservation and education projects.

4. Park continues work with Lincoln Train Station, Freedom Transit

The park is also continuing some of its ongoing endeavors in downtown Gettysburg.

Boundary legislation at the Lincoln Train Station

In January, the Gettysburg Foundation purchased the Lincoln Train Station from the Borough of Gettysburg at a cost of  $500,000. not including closing and other ancillary and associated costs. The Foundation plans to donate it to the park once federal legislation to expand the park’s boundaries has passed. This legislation would add the train station and 45 acres of land at the base of Big Round Top to the park. In the meantime, Destination Gettysburg, formerly the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, continues to operate the train station as an orientation and information center for the public.  Click here to read more about the train station.

Continued evaluation of Freedom Transit

In March, a team from the National Park Service and U.S. Department of Transportation visited Gettysburg to determine the role of Freedom Transit in the Gettysburg community. The group has completed its analysis on ridership and cost data and continues to quantify the economic benefits of the service. The Park Service will complete its portion of the study this spring. Freedom Transit’s fixed-route bus service will run at least through June 30, Rich Farr, executive director of Rabbittransit, said earlier this year.

5. Parts of North Cemetery Ridge returned to their historic appearance

The north parking lot at North Cemetery Ridge that formerly was used for the old Visitors Center in Gettysburg. (Shane Dunlap - The Evening Sun)

The north parking lot at North Cemetery Ridge that formerly was used for the old Visitors Center in Gettysburg. (Shane Dunlap – The Evening Sun)

As part of a project to return key portions of the battlefield to their 1863 appearance, the Gettysburg National Military Park recently removed the old Visitors Center parking lot on North Cemetery Ridge. In February, C.E. Williams, a contractor for the Gettysburg Foundation, prepared to tear out the parking lot’s asphalt, regrade the area to its historic profile and plant meadow grasses. This process was wrapping up earlier this month, park officials said at the operational update. Volunteers will build historically-accurate fencing on the site during the Gettysburg Foundation’s Friends of Gettysburg annual volunteer day in June. Click here to read more about the Cemetery Ridge Project.

For more information on upcoming projects, check out the park’s blog, From the Fields of Gettysburg.


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Future of Adams County Agriculture and Natural Resources Center in limbo?

Adams County officials have been examining a proposal to relocate various county offices to a new building in Straban Township. The plan would remove the county’s Probation, Children and Youth Services and Domestic Relations departments out of buildings leased by the county.

Should the county move forward with the building proposal, the county’s Office of Planning and Development would leave the Union Square building in Gettysburg and need to find a new home. And while a final agreement is pending, commissioners indicated they would like to move the planning department to the Agricultural and Natural Resources Center, or ag center, owned by the Adams County Conservation District.

The Adams County commissioners said they want to pay off the building’s mortgage as soon as can be accomplished with county and conservation district reserve funds, according to an email between commissioners and Charlie Bennett, chair of the conservation district’s Board of Directors.

The 32,000-square-foot barn-like building in Cumberland Township houses the district, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Land Conservancy of Adams County and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services and Farm Services Agency.

The county budgeted $125,000 in rent for the ag center this year, said Al Penksa, Adams County manager. But the administration and ownership of the building is still pending, Penksa said.

Commissioners detailed their “Ag Center Re-Structuring Premise” and the county’s financial perspective in a Dec. 24, 2013, email to Bennett. County officials want to pay $6.32 per square foot in rent, but the conservation district wants $8 per square foot.

“The annual rent paid by the USDA ($53,138) and the county ($125,000 for 2014) totals $178,138,” commissioners wrote in their email to Bennett. “Subtracting average annual expenses of approximately $168,000 allows $10,000+ margin or 6 percent above budgeted expenses. As a county we operate below a 3 percent margin.”

Paying $8 per square foot would add more than $40,000 annually to the district’s reserves, which would equal 23.8 percent above budget, commissioners stated in the email.

Conservation district officials have said only that the district and county are in negotiations regarding future use of the ag center. Meetings between the county and the district have been private, Bennett said.

“We believe we’re both working in good faith with each other in trying to resolve the rental agreement,” Bennett said over the phone several weeks ago.

Commissioners have told me point-blank they have no intention of kicking the conservation district out of the building. They simply want to be responsible stewards of taxpayer funds.

In a March 26, 2013, email to Bennett, commissioners wrote that the relationship between the county and its conservation district has become clouded by past contracts, understandings and assumptions.

Conservation district officials want the ongoing discussions to continue in a friendly fashion, Bennett said during the aforementioned phone call.

Built at 670 Old Harrisburg Road for $3.6 million, the ag center opened in the fall of 2000 with the help of a local funding campaign.

The county bought the land the ag center sits on as a produce farm in the early 1800s, keeping it operational until the 1960s. The county gradually sold off tracts into development, including the North Gettysburg Shopping Center across from the ag center.

Before it owned the land, the district paid the county $1 a year in rent for the nearly 13-acre tract. In 2011, days before the current commissioners took office, the district bought the last portion of the land from the county.

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Central Adams Joint Comprehensive Plan wants your feedback

Attention all Gettysburg Borough, Straban Township or Cumberland Township residents:

Your municipality is developing the Central Adams Joint Comprehensive Plan, a regional effort by the Adams County Office of Planning and Development to study economic development, infrastructure and service-related challenges.

And guess what? The comprehensive plan’s steering committee wants your feedback!

The committee, comprised of five members from each of the three municipalities, made a survey to rank residents’ priorities as they pertain to housing, development, tourism, commerce, roadway improvements, utilities and the like.

Do you think agriculture is more important to the area than tourism? Let the committee know why. Would you rather have more affordable housing and utilities or see more diverse shops downtown? Tell them.

The survey can be accessed on each of the municipalities’ websites as well as right here. It only takes a few minutes.

Committee members identified issues to address and what their challenges are, said Andrew Merkel, comprehensive planning manager for the county’s planning office. The county’s planning office is acting as the consultant for the three municipalities, Merkel said.

The survey will be available for another month or so, Merkel said.

Anytime the Gettysburg region is involved with regional planning, the borough is the “big gorilla in the room,” Merkel said, noting that it is the county seat and impacts a lot of different roadway, transportation and agriculture systems.

“Having this region talking to each other and coming to some sort of plan for utilities, roadwork and agriculture sets the tone for the county,” Merkel said.

Regional debates surrounding the “Big Pipe” and concentrated animal farming operations are “big ticket issues” the survey’s results will aim to address, Merkel said.

“This plan will hopefully put together information so people can decide, ‘how do we want to answer those questions?’” Merkel said. “The hope is that this plan will give us the tools to decide that.”

One of the steering committee’s members, Judie Butterfield, said the meetings have been fascinating. The contrast of Gettysburg’s needs compared to the neighboring townships’ needs is interesting, she said.

The committee formed subcommittees, said Butterfield, a Gettysburg resident who serves on the borough’s recycling committee and as a volunteer for the Adams County Arts Council.

Butterfield said she is sitting on a subcommittee geared toward maximizing local arts and entertainment opportunities. There is a subcommittee for housing, another for transportation, she said.

“We need to address cultural issues to attract and keep young families here,” Butterfield said. “What we offer culturally is important.”

Check out the municipalities’ websites: Cumberland TownshipGettysburg BoroughStraban Township

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Junkie stereotypes harmful in fight against heroin

Last week, I wrote a feature for the Evening Sun about the growing heroin problem in York and Adams counties. Each person with whom I spoke had a similar message: Heroin users are not “junkies.”

They can come from a range of backgrounds, be any age and start using for any number of reasons. The junkie stereotype, people told me, only leads to biases and misconceptions that prevent addicts from receiving the help they need to get better .

For example, Katrina Mooney, nursing director at Hanover rehabilitation center Clarity Way, said this stigma is a daily issue in her line of work.

Unlike substances like Oxycodone or alcohol, heroin is strictly a street drug, meaning people have no legal means of obtaining it, Mooney said. For this reason, even other addicts at the facility treat heroin users like the lowest of the low.

This negativity, she said,  also extends into the medical community. When patients have medical issues, Clarity Way sends them to local hospitals for treatment. Hospitals, however, are hesitant to treat people addicted to heroin and other opiate because they assume the patients are drug-seeking.

“We see the stigma every day,” Mooney said. “The lack of education in the medical community is ridiculous.”

Tracy Lawrence-Felton, who uses her Facebook page Hope vs. Heroin to reach out to addicts who need assistance, said she feels like some people ultimately choose not to seek treatment because of the shame that many feel because of their addiction.

“You get a lot of kids that reach out and say, ‘I want help, I want help,’ but when you say this is what you have to do, they don’t want to do it because they’re ashamed,” Lawrence-Felton said.

Lawrence-Felton also experienced this stigma firsthand after her son, Aaron Lawrence, died from a heroin overdose in 2010. After his death, certain family members refused to talk about the way he died. Others judged her for not doing enough to prevent his passing.

Tracy Lawrence-Felton holds a sign she brings to heroin awareness rallies, which has a picture of her son, who died of a heroin overdose four years ago, on it in her Hanover home April 1. (Clare Becker - The Evening Sun)

Tracy Lawrence-Felton holds a sign she brings to heroin awareness rallies, which has a picture of her son, who died of a heroin overdose four years ago, on it in her Hanover home April 1. (Clare Becker – The Evening Sun)

Over the past four years, she has learned not to take these accusations to heart.

“I say to everyone who wants to look down on an addict, to look down on an addict’s family, to say they should have raised their children better, they should have done this, they should have done that… I did everything,” she said. “And never, ever should you consider that it won’t happen to you.”

What parents should know about heroin

On April 1, representatives from the Adams County District Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Drug Task Force and Adams County Coroner’s Office discussed strategies for parents to uncover signs of drug and alcohol abuse in their children.

While presenters said heroin use is not common among middle and high school-aged students, they provided the following information regarding the drug:

  • Heroin is a brown powder that can be injected, smoked or snorted. Many users who begin by snorting often end up injecting.
  • Street names for the drug include H, brown, dirt, horse, dope and smack.
  • Heroin is typically sold in 3/100-gram quantities called bag. The drug, however, is not typically transported in an actual bag; instead, dealers might use wax paper, aluminum foil or empty pill capsules.
  • Locally, ten bags of heroin is called a bundle.
  • Not all heroin users will have easily-visible marks. The drug can be injected almost anywhere, including in between fingers and toes.
  • When users inject the drug, they often mix the heroin powder with water, heat the liquid on a spoon and then use a syringe to draw the heroin through a piece of cotton before injection.

A child has no reasonable legal expectation of privacy in a parent’s home, said Assistant District Attorney Brian Sinnett, For this reason, he said, parents should check their children’s rooms and cars frequently for signs of drug use.

If you or someone you know need assistance related to a heroin addiction, the York/Adams Drug and Alcohol Commission provides an extensive list of resources and tips on its website.

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A day in the life of a rescue mission resident

On March 11, I spent a day with Anthony Alston, a resident at the Adams Rescue Mission in Gettysburg. I wrote this article documenting Anthony’s story and the work the mission does for the community. Unfortunately, there were a lot of details from my visit I couldn’t fit in that story. What follows is a more detailed look at Anthony’s life and his work at the mission.

About Anthony: The 48-year-old grew up on what he said is one of the worst streets in his hometown of Hampton, Va. He had served two prison sentences, sold and did drugs, smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol. After a year at the Adams Rescue Mission, however, he feels like the “bad person” he used to be is dead. At different points throughout his stay, he has driven trucks, worked in the recycling warehouse and studied to take a forklift certification. He also works in the mission’s kitchen and does other jobs as-needed.

- Evening Sun Reporter Jenni Wentz


Anthony Alston prepares to cook a meal for the Mission’s residents on March 24, 2014 in the facility’s upstairs kitchen. Work is required as a condition for residency at the shelter, but it’s also part of Alston’s philosophy.’You get your blessings by helping, by sowing God’s love to other people.’ (Clare Becker – The Evening Sun)

Today, Anthony starts by cutting hair for Roy, a fellow resident.

As he sets up a chair in the mission’s day room, Anthony explains he taught himself to cut hair 12 to 15 years ago. When he came to the mission, cutting the other men’s hair seemed like a natural fit.

It’s just one way, he says, God has taught him to use his talents since he arrived last April.

As Anthony focuses on his work, the room falls quiet except for the buzz of the clippers and an occasional exclamation from Roy — like “Don’t take my nose off!” or “Give me a mustache like Clark Gable.”

Within a few minutes, Roy’s shaggy gray hair drops to the floor, revealing a darker, shorter head of hair, and Anthony is ready to move on to other tasks. The mission, he says, does a good job of keeping him busy.

After the haircut, Anthony is ready to get cooking.

As afternoon approaches, the smell of sausages lingers in the narrow staircase leading to the mission’s kitchen, where another resident is already preparing a lunch of sausages, french fries, cream corn and pears.

Anthony quickly makes his way to the stove, where he prompts his fellow cook to put water in the pan with the sausages so they don’t burn and throw a fry into the frying oil to test its temperature.

Later, he explains he never cooked much before coming to the mission. After a few months, though, he started helping Food Service Director Jill Herbert prepare breakfast. Before long, he was able to fill in for her when she wasn’t able to work.

Still, he doesn’t try anything too complicated without her guidance, he says with a laugh.

Men soon file into the kitchen, take plates and silverware from a from a shelf by the door and sit at long tables pushed together in the dining room. No one lingers long or speaks much as they finish their meals and  return to their jobs.

After lunch, Anthony opens up about his past — his life on one of Hampton’s roughest streets, his time in prison, his substance abuse.

“I had a lot of anger built up,” he says. “I let myself down in a lot of areas.”

Everything changed a year ago, however, when his brother encouraged him to come to the mission.

Known by many residents as Ack, Clarence Acker is Anthony’s brother and director of men’s ministries at the mission. He insists that despite their relationship, Anthony receives the same treatment as everyone else — if anything, Ack says, he demands more from him.


Alston’s brother, Clarence Acker, is the Misson’s Director of Ministries. The brothers had been apart geographically but Acker said his brother had been in his thoughts. ‘Before he came here, God had him on my mind,’ he said. ‘I thought, ‘Hopefully, he’s doing fine.’ I kept him in prayer.’ (Clare Becker – The Evening Sun)

Anthony is one of many people Ack has helped in his 13 years at the mission. He said he loves nothing more than receiving phone calls from people who have left the mission and found jobs or started families.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he says. “I take pride in helping people.”

One of these people is Arnold Jaquez, Anthony’s former roommate, who came back to the mission to paint the kitchen and dining area.

Like Anthony, Arnold says he turned his life around at the mission. Now, he works for a contracting company doing painting and plastering.

As Arnold transforms the trim in the mission’s kitchen with a fresh coat of white paint, he talks about the transformations he has seen in residents when they’re willing to change.

And for him, change means giving into God.

“It really comes down to service,” he says.

Before long, Anthony is back in the kitchen to prepare for dinner. Tonight’s menu: cheesesteaks and french fries.

Working on his own this time, Anthony says cooking, like cutting hair, has become a kind of meditative experience for him. On most days, he shuts the kitchen door about two hours before mealtime, cranks up his gospel music (at least until Ack comes upstairs to tell him it’s too loud) and loses himself in his work.

As thin strips of meat sizzle in the frying pan, Anthony reflects on the changes he has undergone thanks to the mission.

Having grown up in a religious family, he says he has always had a relationship with God. Now, he believes God led him to the mission as a way to realize his talents and finally put his life back on track.

Faith, in fact, is perhaps one of the most significant aspects of the mission’s program. Every resident must attend chapel services several times each week..

While some residents only go to the services because they have to, others, like Anthony, see them as an opportunity to make a change.

He says, through the mission, God has not only shown him how to put his own life back on track, but also how to make a positive impact on others.

“That’s all I’m doing,” he says with a smile as gospel music rings through the mission’s kitchen. “I’m shining my light.”

For more information about Anthony or the mission, check out this Evening Sun article.

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Extended Q and A with Gettysburg Parks Superintendent Ed Clark

I sat down on March 10 with Ed Clark, the new superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site. Here are a few questions and answers that didn’t make it into the news article.

– Jenni Wentz, Evening Sun reporter

Q: I guess to start off, can you tell me a little about your background and how you ended up in Gettysburg?

Clark: I started volunteering with the National Parks Service in 1986, and my first paid job (with the Park Service) was in 1987. I really started off with a completely different set of career goals. Like so many of us in the National Parks Service, I had an affinity for history and nature and out-of-doors, and it only takes a little bit of exposure for the bug to bite most of us. That volunteer opportunity (in 1986) was really kind of that life-altering experience… I worked summer jobs my entire time through college doing a variety of things,  whether that (was) interpretive programs, working in campgrounds…

New Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Ed W. Clark stands near Ziegler's Grove on Cemetery Hill on March 20. (Clare Becker - The Evening Sun)

New Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Ed W. Clark stands near Ziegler’s Grove on Cemetery Hill on March 20. (Clare Becker – The Evening Sun)

I took a semester off from college to attend a seasonal law enforcement academy… I came out and got my permanent job in law enforcement. I spent a good portion of my career in ranger activities — law enforcement, emergency medicine, search and rescue, firefighting, all that kind of stuff — but I really expanded my skill-sets to bring in a lot of broader park management experiences…

I spent 16 years in the Blue Ridge Parkway and then I went up to Shenandoah National Park where I had a very eclectic job working on lands, working as a subject matter expert on law and policy… I spent about five years there. I spent a little time in D.C. managing the National Heritage Area program. I had a great experience in that program… From there, I got my first superintendency at Manassas, and I was there for about six years, I guess, and now I’m here in Gettysburg…

The Park Service is so diverse in what we do. It’s everything from the Grand Canyon to presidential homes… to battlefields like (Gettysburg). So I’ve been saying only in the National Park Service would the take a biologist — my degree is in biology — give him a gun to carry the bulk of his career and then give (him) historical parks to manage.

Q: Why did you decide to make that move to Gettysburg?

A: That’s an easy and a hard question all in one. First, it’s Gettysburg, and having worked at a Civil War park (Manassas) for six years, certainly the subject matter has always interested me. I certainly grew up very aware of Civil War history growing up in Virginia… I dearly looked forward to all of this historic trips and Civil War trips to museums, particularly around Virginia but also more broadly across the region. I have many fond memories of going to battlefields, especially here at Gettysburg. As most good Virginians, I know my Civil War roots and had several ancestors who fought here…

Then, from a professional level… all units of the Park Service are special, but I think Gettysburg is especially so, and I think, particularly of the historic parks, it is the cream of the crop. It is certainly well known internationally and it is a very iconic place, from the military history side to the political side with the Gettysburg Address to the reconciliation side… All of those things professionally just have a great interest to me. The opportunity presented itself, and it was truly just one of those dream opportunities, and I’m just so fortunate to have it.

Q: What has your first month here been like? Can you walk me through that?

A:  I will say one of the things overwhelmingly has been the response from the community and how welcoming this place has been to me and my family. Universally, I’ve been overwhelmed both at the attendance at some events I’ve been at and just generally the conversations that I’ve had with neighbors and visitors alike… You can tell this place has a very substantial role in this community and how deeply everyone is interested and how strongly they feel about Gettysburg battlefields. That’s really, frankly, my first impression.

At many of these events, I am swarmed by people looking to speak with me, and it’s been very flattering. But I’m not sure it’s necessarily that they want to meet Ed Clark; it’s just they’re excited about a new superintendent at the park, and they’re very eager to meet him and work with him.

 Q: Are you living in Gettysburg now?

A: If I had a quarter for every time I was asked that question I could probably retire by now. When I worked at Manassas, which is a two-hour drive from here, we lived in northern Loudoun County (Virginia). My wife is a school teacher and my kids are in school. My wife has a great job, my kids are in high school and my commute to Gettysburg has only been an extra 15 to 20 minutes than what it was to Manassas. But to further compound that… I’m actually four miles shy of being eligible for a government move. So, in reality, the idea of right now —  with taking them out of high school, my wife giving up her job, me having to foot the whole move on my own — to move to make a difference of 15 minutes in my commute just doesn’t seem worth it.

In the short-term, I’m actually probably going to do something here on the battlefield. We have a lot of houses, and I’m looking to see if one of those might make the most sense. More long-term — not to give too many family secrets away — I made a commitment to my family when we moved to Loudoun County that I wouldn’t move  until they were out of high school. And they were very strongly worded when they reminded me of that commitment when I got this job.

But after coming up to that first event in January (former Superintendent Bob Kirby‘s going away party), my youngest son in particular and my wife were so welcomed, and their first experience with the community of Gettysburg was such that they were both on the way home, like, “Maybe we should start looking at some places in Gettysburg. Maybe we should move up here.” So the place certainly made an impression on my family.

In the near-term, I’m going to maintain that commute and that commitment to my family, but in the longer term, I think I might really like to be up in this neck of the woods.

For more information about Ed Clark and his plans for the Gettysburg parks, check out the original Evening Sun news article.



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Gettysburg National Military Park’s 2014 calendar

Below is the remaining 2014 calendar of events for Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site, provided by Katie Lawhon, National Park Service spokesperson:


Feb. 1

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park. “Yankees in Georgia! How did they ever get in?!” Sherman’s army and the march from Atlanta to the sea – By Bert Barnett. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

Feb. 2

Free film at Gettysburg National Military Park.  The Civil War – The Untold Story – A Public Television film premiere: Episode Five – With Malice Toward None – The 60-minute film will be presented in conjunction with Gettysburg NMP’s winter lecture series about the Civil War in 1864. The film on the Western Theater of the war and the events in 1864 that would bring the final impetus in ending the civil war, including the movement towards Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd term election. Produced for public television by Great Divide Pictures, the new documentary series will be shown nationally on public television stations beginning in April 2014. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

Feb. 8

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park. “The saddest affair of the war” – The Battle of the Crater – By John Hoptak. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

Feb. 9

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park.  “So you think you could command a Civil War army?” – By Chuck Teague. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

Feb. 15

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park.  Civil War artifacts: if these things could talk – 1864 – Original objects from the park’s museum collection are examined for the larger stories they tell about the war in 1864 and the advances in technology of weapons that occurred that year – Tom Holbrook. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

Feb. 16

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park. Little Mac vs. Honest Abe: Abraham Lincoln, George McClellan, and the election of 1864 – By Chris Gwinn. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

Feb. 22

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park. Kennesaw Mountain and the Atlanta Campaign – By Dan Vermilya. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

Feb. 23

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park. “Can those be men?” – The prisoner of war experience in 1864 – By Dan Welch. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.


March 1

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park.  The battle of Brice’s Crossroads – Nathan Bedford Forrest’s greatest victory – By Matt Atkinson. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center film theater.

March 2

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park. Freedom’s Dilemma – examining the struggles of newly freed slaves – By Angie Atkinson. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Ford Education Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

March 8

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park. Spring 1864 congressional hearings on Meade at Gettysburg: “Witch hunt or fair play?” – By Troy Harman. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Ford Education Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

March 9

Free lecture at Gettysburg National Military Park.  Longstreet to the Rescue: The Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864 – By Karlton Smith. Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Ford Education Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

APRIL 2014

April 5

Gettysburg Civil War living history weekends begin – On the battlefield at Gettysburg National Military Park. Continuing through October. The schedule will be announced in March and will be posted on

April 5

Civil War park day at Gettysburg – Join volunteers from the Civil War Trust and Gettysburg National Military Park cutting brush on the slopes of Little Round Top to reveal historic terrain and original breastworks.  Space is limited and advance registration is required. Contact: Jo Sanders at Gettysburg NMP, 717/ 334-1124 x3351 or by email: For information about Park Day opportunities nationwide go to:

April 26

National Junior Ranger day – Children ages 7-12 can participate in special activities at Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and Eisenhower National Historic Site. Free at Gettysburg NMP. At Eisenhower NHS the activities are included in site admission.


May 17

Mamie remembers Gettysburg – Join living historian Ruthmary McIlhenny as she performs her first person program as Mamie Eisenhower. Also watch a 1950s fashion show presented by the Victory Society. Included in site admission (717) 338-9114. As part of this event, the Gettysburg Foundation will host a special High Tea for an added fee. For tickets call 877-874-2478 or visit


June 7

D-Day anniversary weekend Join a Park Ranger for a talk on Eisenhower and the Men of D-Day. World War II living historians portray a variety of soldiers and talk informally with visitors at Eisenhower National Historic Site. Included in site admission. For more information call 717-338-9114 or visit

June 7      

National Park Ranger walks and programs begin at Gettysburg National Military Park – Offered daily. Free. The schedule will be announced in March and will be posted on

June 7

National Park Ranger programs begin at Eisenhower National Historic Site – Offered daily. Activities are included in site admission. The schedule will be announced in March and will be posted on

June 14

Gettysburg National Military Park brass band concert – The Wildcat Regimental Band will perform free at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center as well as present an evening concert at the Pennsylvania Memorial. Call for a program schedule 717-338-4433 or 717-334-1124 x8023. More information is available at


July 1 – 4

Battle of Gettysburg anniversary programs – Special National Park Ranger guided walks and programs will be offered. Free.

July 4 – 6

Sacred Trust talks and book signings – Historians, authors, National Park Service Rangers and others provide talks and book signings about Gettysburg and the Civil War. Topics encourage the general public, as well as students of the Civil War, to delve deeper into the nature of the conflict that divided our nation. Free. Events take place from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

July 6-11

The Eisenhower Academy – A one-week institute for school teachers covering Eisenhower’s foreign and domestic policy, 1950s popular culture and Eisenhower’s leadership. Graduate credit or Pennsylvania Professional Education Credit available. Registration required. Fee. Go to:


Aug. 15-16

18th Annual Civil War Music Muster – All performances take place at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and the Dobbin House Courtyard, followed by a concert at the Pennsylvania Memorial in the early evening. Free.


Sept. 12-14

Gettysburg National Military Park Seminar – “The Unfinished Work: Abraham Lincoln, David Wills and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery” – Registration fee includes attendance to all lectures, field programs and refreshments. Sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park, Harrisburg Area Community College – Gettysburg Campus and the Gettysburg Foundation. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Contact Evangelina Rubalcava (717) 334-1124 ext. 3251 or email

Sept. 20-21

World War II Weekend – A living history encampment at Eisenhower National Historic Site with Allied soldiers, a German camp, World War II jeeps and trucks, and USO Dance (off-site). Programs are scheduled Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and included in site admission. Shuttle service available. Weather permitting, on-site parking is also available this weekend only. For more information call 717-338-9114 or visit

OCTOBER (No Events Scheduled)


Nov. 15

Remembrance Day parade – An annual event held in conjunction with the Gettysburg Address anniversary. A parade of Civil War living history groups begins at 1:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. For information call 717-259-6156 or go to

Nov. 15

11th Annual Remembrance Illumination, Soldiers’ National Cemetery – Sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation. From 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. luminary candles will be placed on each Civil War grave as a testament to the sacrifices made here in 1863. Free. For information call 717-338-1243 or visit

Nov. 19

Dedication Day – An annual ceremony observing the anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The program includes the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Soldier’s National Monument and a formal ceremony with a keynote speaker. Sponsored by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg College.

Nov. 19

Graveside Salute to the United States Colored Troops – In the Soldiers’ National Cemetery immediately after the Dedication Day ceremony. Sponsored by “For the Cause” Productions,


Dec. 5

Holiday wreaths at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery – Hundreds of holiday wreaths will be placed on graves in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park as part of the Sgt. Mac Foundation’s ongoing effort to honor veterans. For more information go to

Dec. 1-31

An Eisenhower Christmas – The president’s home at Eisenhower National Historic Site is decorated in the traditions of the Eisenhowers. Some original decorations and Christmas cards will be on display; included in site admission. For more information call 717-338-9114 or visit

Dates and events are subject to change. For more information contact:

Gettysburg National Military Park events contact 717-334-1124 or visit

Eisenhower National Historic Site events contact 717-338-9114 or visit

Gettysburg Foundation events contact 717-339-2161 or visit

Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau call 800-337-5015 or visit, for additional community events, attractions and accommodations.

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Adams County announces free income tax preparation

Need help filing your income taxes this year? Several Adams County nonprofits want to help.

The county announced on its website,, that four local entities are offering free income tax preparation for individuals or couples earning wages of $51,000 or less.

The Adams County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Coalition, formed jointly by United Way of Adams County,  South Central Community Action Programs and Manos Unidas Hispanic-American Center in Gettysburg, is working with the Adams County Office for Aging to help people file their income taxes.

Adams County residents can also file for free online.

On its informational flier, the tax assistance coalition said it will prepare the following forms: Form 1040EZ; 1040A; 1040; 1040-V; 1040-ES; Schedule 1,2,3, & EIC; Schedule A,B,C-EZ, EIC & R; Form 2441 (Child & Dependent Care Credit); Form 8863 (Education Credits) and Form 8812 (Additional Child Tax Credit).

The coalition said it will NOT prepare the following forms: Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business), Complicated & Advanced Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses), Schedule E (Rents & Losses), Form SS-5 (Request for Social Security Number), Form 3903 (Moving), Form 8606 (Non-deduction IRA) and Form 8615 (Minor’s Investment Income).

For more information, click on any of the above links or make an appointment by calling United Way of Adams County at (717) 334-5809.

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National Park Service launches deer management program at Gettysburg battlefield

The National Park Service announced the continuation of its deer management program at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. The annual program will run October through March according to a park service news release.

The release said park service officials will reduce the number of deer within their boundaries directly by shooting.

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