Healthy Hanover: Join the conversation


We want to start a conversation about Hanover. And we want you to take part.

Last week, The Evening Sun launched a Facebook group called Healthy Hanover as a way to engage with people who live, work and care about our little borough in the corner of York County. The idea behind the group is simple: to draw attention to the great things in Hanover and brainstorm ways to make the area even better.

So why Healthy Hanover? In our minds, health means a lot more than physical fitness. It means a healthy economy, healthy businesses, healthy schools and a healthy environment where residents young and old can thrive. We want to celebrate the borough’s assets and encourage people to pitch their own ideas about continuing to improve the downtown area.

Although the group is maintained by Evening Sun staff, and we do share stories and photos that help continue the conversation about downtown Hanover, we want this group to be more about you than us. We want you to post your questions about downtown, promote your events and share your photos of the borough. This should be space where everyone can work together to make Hanover a healthy place.

For an example of what Healthy Hanover could be, check out Fixing York, a similar group by the York Daily Record. Check out some of the things this group as accomplished since it launched several months ago:

  • In July,  a woman posted to Fixing York to point out lewd graffiti at an area playground. A nonprofit saw the post and removed the graffiti three days later.
  • In August, someone posted a photo of a heaping trash pile in an abandoned garage. A man saw the post and, with the help of a few other good Samaritans, cleaned up the mess.

We want Healthy Hanover to bring about similar positive change. Join the nearly 600 other people who have already joined the conversation by clicking here.

Still not convinced? Check out some of the conversations happening now:




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Turn that sign around

When it was brought to my attention that a Route 116 sign was upside down just outside The Evening Sun’s newsroom, I decided to make a short video to inform the public. That’s a journalist’s job, after all.image1 IMG_0697

I posted it to the Facebook group, “If you grew up in Hanover, Pa you remember…..” and in 48 hours it was liked more than 60 times and had nearly 200 comments.

Some thought it was a neat way to cover a light topic, but others expressed that it was a waste of time. Amid the debate surrounding the definition of journalism was the question of who — the state’s Department of Transportation or Hanover Borough — was responsible for fixing the sign.

Evening Sun reporter Eric Blum made a call to the borough on Tuesday and was told they would be out shortly to fix it. On Wednesday, it remained upside down, reading more like “911” than “116.” That same Wednesday, I had to pay a parking ticket at borough hall. Upon doing so, I asked the secretary about the sign and was told it was up to PennDOT to fix.

PennDOT tweeted at me Wednesday afternoon, saying they were checking in with their regional office for information. By Thursday morning, the sign had been fixed.

I made sure to pepper social media with updates on developments in what the newsroom began to call #HanoverSigngate. So why care about an upside down sign?

Journalists don’t tell people what to think, but we do tell them what to think about. While an upside down sign is light-years from the Watergate scandal, I wanted people to know about it. And hey, maybe it will provoke a little change.

Being a journalist means caring about the community you report for and connecting with the people in it so as to gain a level of trust. I hope to have sparked some interest. I definitely intended to garner a chuckle or two.

More than any of that, I hope at least one person who saw my sign video now realizes that when something is going on in your community, anything, no matter the magnitude, journalists at The Evening Sun care about it.

If we stop caring about minor infrastructure peeves, how can we ever expect to see a renovated theater? As some say, it’s the little things.

And make no mistake, we want to hear from you. All of you. Journalism thrives on public participation and feedback. Whether it’s upside down way-finding signage, municipal budgetsgraffiti at a school, a car crash, an astounding feat or just a random day in the life, we want to tell these stories. And we need the public’s participation and trust to do so.

Posted in Hanover, People, Places | 1 Comment

Community comes together in wake of fatal car crash

The death of two Hanover-area teenagers has sparked support from the local skate, bike and scooter community, which has come together in memory of their late friends to provoke change.

Stickers in memory of Jake Eyler and Jason Coward Jr. Proceeds are being donated to the late kids' families.

Stickers in memory of Jake Eyler and Jason Coward Jr. Proceeds are being donated to the late kids’ families. (Submitted)

Jason Coward Jr., 16, and Jake Eyler, 15, died in an Oct. 5 car crash on Impounding Dam Road in West Manheim Township. Jason was a junior at South Western High School. Jake was a sophomore at Hanover High School, but previously attended South Western High School and Littlestown Area Middle School.

Before Jake’s viewing, his mother, Bobbi Eyler, said it would be nice if kids had a skatepark in the Hanover area, where the worst thing that can happen is they bust their butts on their scooters.

Now, there are two petitions circulating to bring a memorial skatepark to Hanover, one through the White House, the other on

I do my best to remain indifferent while reporting, but I personally hope the kids get a skatepark in Hanover someday. That way, local police officers won’t have to spend their valuable time keeping kids out of the street, as can be seen in this video put together by Dallas Carter, a 17-year-old Conewago Township boy. Cops are merely doing their jobs, but the kids still need somewhere to legally skate, ride and scooter.

On Oct. 12, teens gathered at South Western High School and made a memorial caravan ride to High Rock, a mountain point at Pen Mar Park in Washington County, Maryland.

For the last several days, stickers emblazoned with the teens’ names, the date of their death and “FLY HIGH” are being sold, with proceeds going to their families.

Writing about these deaths has been difficult. The emotions exhibited by those grieving the loss of their loved ones are raw and sensitive. There is no easy way to write about a community’s sudden loss. It is, however, inspiring to see something positive come from something so tragic.

Posted in Hanover, People | 4 Comments

Mapping Mark Walters: Ice Bucket Challenge

It was only a matter of time before someone called me out for the ALS ice bucket challenge. As it turned out, I was challenged by more than one person, however they were both named Tim. In case you’re wondering, I donated $20 — $10 for each challenge.

Can you guess where I was doused with cold water in this week’s video installment?

In quite possibly the most obvious Mapping Mark Walters, I was at The Evening Sun’s 135 Baltimore St. location in downtown Hanover. The building was recently sold to New Hope Ministries, which will convert the 18,000-square-foot facility into a food pantry and its new headquarters.


Blog: Hanover-area residents chime in on Ice Bucket Challenge

Locals honor Paul Trask with ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Women’s club creates garden of peace

By Lauren Linhard – – @LinhardReports

While all you fabulous guys are strapping on those sparkling heels and hoping not to tip over at the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, make sure to shuffle on over to the Warheim-Myers Mansion for a special pre-walk celebration.

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Members of Hanover’s Soroptomist International chapter work on the new peace garden on June 27.

The Hanover chapter of Soroptomist International, a service organization focused on women’s rights, is dedicating a peace garden, which the group planted around the mansion’s gazebo.

The garden is meant to bring a local awareness to issues of violence against women and children, said club member Georgia Simpson.

The garden will be a physical reminder for people to get involved in local preventative programs and organizations, she said.

Hanover Mayor Ben Adams will be present at the Aug. 15 event to read a proclamation in honor of the garden at 5:45 p.m.



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Hanover ‘Dead Files’ episode airs on Saturday

By Lauren Linhard – – @LinhardReports

Everyone knows the saying about respecting history because it shapes the future. Well, sometimes, it’s possible that history might also get stuck in the future in the form of ghosts or spirits or unexplained totally freaky experiences.


The reported haunted house on Maple Avenue. Submitted photo from Deanna Simpson

Now, whether or not you believe in what goes bump in the night, it’s hard to resist a good ghost story. It’s even harder to turn a deaf ear when it involves a haunted house right in your own town.

So, for those of you who love tales of the spooky and supernatural, get excited for Hanover’s episode of “Dead Files” airing at 10 p.m. this Saturday.

Titled “Assaulted – Hanover, Pa,” the episode investigates the Maple Avenue home of Deanna and Tom Simpson. The 30-minute feature involves an in-depth investigation as well as a spiritual walk through of the property, revealing a number of tragic deaths and five violent spirits.

Not quite convinced this viewing party is for you? Maybe Deanna Simpson’s story of life in a haunted house will pique your interest:


A photo from inside the house, capturing the image of a floating face. Submitted by Deanna Simpson.

It began with terrifying dreams, Deanna said, of two men standing over her, then one night she opened her eyes and they were standing right next to the bed. Since then, not a single day has gone by where Tom and Deanna haven’t experienced a ghostly encounter.

“It’s beyond anyone’s belief, it’s horrible,” Deanna said. “It started with small things like the sound of footsteps, doors closing on their own and crying or sobbing coming from empty rooms. I was desperate to calm the house down and kept asking God to heal this home.”

Even with the help of a local preacher, a reiki master and paranormal investigators, things only continued to get worse. Footprints have been burnt into the hardwood floor and the Simpsons have woken up with scratches and bruises.


A ghostly footprint burnt into the floor. Photos submitted by Deanna Simpson.

Possibly most terrifying of all was the time Deanna was washing her face and looked into the mirror, only to see the reflection of a dead child lying on the ground.

“She had sandy blond hair, really curly, and dark eyes and lips,” Deanna said. “And there was blood all over her and the front of the dress.”

Not sure what to do, Tom and Deanna turned to Amy Allan and Steve DiSchiavi of the Travel Channel’s “Dead Files.”


‘Dead Files’ investigates haunted Hanover home

Episode photo gallery

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A history of amusement

By Lauren Linhard – – @LinhardReports

It’s funny when you think about how things have changed when it comes to gaming history. It wasn’t too long ago parents were pulling kids home for dinner from the arcades. And now the issue is getting the kids to go outside the house instead of playing video games.


Evening Sun file photo by Shane Dunlap

Either way, gaming has been an integral part of American history since the first coin-operated pinball machine was invented in the 1930s. The real heyday for arcade games didn’t hit until the late 1970s, however, according to a 1982 article from Time magazine, when the most popular machines were making $400 in quarters per week.

It was around that same time, in 1969, when Hanover Borough’s amusement tax was first adopted, according to the borough code. Most recently amended in 1981, the ordinance states a $50 tax will be levied on each coin-operated amusement device in the borough.

To put that into perspective, for a place like Timeline Arcade, which opened on Carlisle Street last year with more than 100 arcade games, the full cost of the amusement tax would be $5,400.


Evening Sun file photo by Shane Dunlap

Now, this isn’t a debate about whether Timeline Arcade should have to pay the tax or not, which the finance committee is currently discussing, or whether or not the ordinance is outdated. It was last amended more than 30 years ago.

But I am curious as to what readers think about an amusement tax in general, keeping in mind this isn’t just a Hanover thing. Cities, boroughs and townships across the U.S. impose amusement taxes. In general though, I’m wondering if they should be.

Sam Miller, Hanover’s financial director, said the borough only made about $1,400 last year off the amusement tax. In the big budget scheme of things, that’s pretty much pocket change.


Evening Sun file photo by Shane Dunlap

Meanwhile, stores that do feature arcade games are only making an average of $25 a week per game, said Brandon Spencer, owner of Timeline Arcade. So, more and more business owners are taking the games out of their lobbies and selling them to places like Timeline.

So is it really fair for a local government to cut someone’s profits by almost 4 percent per machine (based on earning $1,300 per machine per year)? I’m not sure, but I know it’s a sticky situation, and one that is totally different for, say, Hanover versus Las Vegas.

What do you think?


Hanover, Timeline Arcade debate amusement tax

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Mapping Mark Walters: Crossing the border

Years ago, area downtowns were vibrant places to be.

On what town square am I standing?

On what town square am I standing?

Urban areas hosted restaurants, shops, and attractive commercial and residential real estate.

In the 1980s and into the ’90s, middle America suburbanized, pulling investors away from downtown and into surrounding areas.

Hotels and restaurants were built near large shopping centers, contributing to the draw away from town squares. Houses were built on land previously used for agricultural purposes.

And while development expanded in what we now call the suburbs, it died on Main Streets across America, turning some boroughs and cities into dilapidated shells of their former selves.

What town square am I standing on in this week’s selfie?

Update, June 29

Center Square in downtown Hanover is the confluence of three Pennsylvania interstates.

Related stories:

New wave of business

June 27 shooting

Posted in Business, Hanover, Mapping Mark Walters, Places | 1 Comment

‘Closed Door’ opens future for young directors

By Lauren Linhard – – @LinhardReports

Every once in a while you get the chance to witness young genius – it’s one of those rare moments when you look at someone and think, “Wow, you’re really going places.” 1536549_1476993579193622_2099154621_n

That happened to me last night while attending the dress rehearsal for “Closed Door,” a completely original musical written by two recent high school graduates. I can’t image, at the age of 18 and 19, being able to sit down and crank out an entire production, complete with Broadway style musical numbers and a full script.

But, Zachary Terrazas and Drew Becker, both of Hanover, did it, and they did it well.

The Friendship

Zach and Drew met about 10 years ago as young actors through Hanover community theater productions. At 17 years old,  Zach wrote “The Victim,” his first musical, and Drew was part of the cast. As Zach began to look for his next project last year, he turned to Drew as a possible partner.


Photo by Shane Dunlap

The Collaboration

Zach and Drew approached the project with a “Why not?” attitude, they said, taking it upon themselves to provide another outlet for community theater – a resource they had noticed was in short supply over the summer months.

Drew took on the script while Zach wrote the music. A number of rewrites were necessary, Zach said, until they found a flow that worked for both of them.

The Idea


Photo by Sonya Paclob

The two directors started by discussing social issues they thought could be communicated well through a theater medium. They agreed to develop a musical around the topic of homosexuality, inspired by Drew’s recent coming out to friends and family.

The goal is not to push any specific belief down the audience’s throat, Drew said, but to make them think.

Based in 1866, the play takes place in a time when America was already broken and unstable, Zach said. The story revolves around a young man named Ryker, played by Drew, who realizes he’s gay, and what that means to friends, family and society as a whole during that time.


Photo by Shane Dunlap

The Process

It began with research. Most of the information was found in historic newspapers, Zach said, with reports of murder involving a homosexual or headlines alerting people a “spawn of Satan” was living in the town.

They decided to set the play in Ohio after reading a particularly gruesome article about a town in Ohio hanging a homosexual. From there, Zach and Drew mapped out the characters and a general plot.

It took six months to write the script and the music, and rehearsals began in December.

The Obstacles


Photo by Shane Dunlap

The hardest part was the technical and management side of the production, Drew said. Each and every day was filled with a new challenge, whether it was running to the store in the middle of rehearsal to buy lighting cord or losing cast members four months into the project.

Funding was another thing they weren’t prepared for, but quickly became a topic of importance after pricing a $1,000 lighting system. To take care of those unexpected, but clearly necessary expenses, the “Closed Door” cast put on two cabaret performances at $5 a ticket.

The Result

“Closed Door” is not a pretty production; it’s not “Mary Poppins,” Zach said. It deals with a difficult topic in a difficult time, and it should affect every member of the audience on some level, he said.


Photo by Shane Dunlap

Though they are unsure of what response the play will elicit, Drew said, they know there will be one, and they welcome whatever discussion it may create.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., June 27-29 at 47 W. Philadelphia St., York. Tickets are available at the door.

Musical sneak peak videos: Through the Years We Go; What is This; The Marriage Song


Hanover directors produce original play about homosexuality

Photo gallery from “Closed Door” rehearsal

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More on the Hanover Revitalization

Alex Slagle, left, owner of The Hanover Hub, and Brent Stambaugh, co-owner of Miscreation Brewing Company, talk inside the new property leased for Miscreation Brewing Company at the corner of Carlise Street and Route 116 in downtown Hanover. (Shane Dunlap - The Evening Sun)

Alex Slagle, left, owner of The Hanover Hub, and Brent Stambaugh, co-owner of Miscreation Brewing Company, talk inside the new property leased for Miscreation Brewing Company at the corner of Carlise Street and Route 116 in downtown Hanover. (Shane Dunlap – The Evening Sun)

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with the owners of Miscreation Brewing, Something Wicked Brewing, Aldus Brewing and the new owners of the Hanover Hub as they met to celebrate Miscreation’s move into the square. As is the case with many stories, not everything made it into print; there were simply too many topics to fit. So here are some additional tidbits to go along with the story, Revitalizing Hanover: New wave of businesses owners celebrate progress. And be sure to follow along with The Evening Sun as we continue to cover the new era of downtown business owners.

Continue reading

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