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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bystander "Unexpectedly Turned On" By City Council Scuffle

(HARRISBURG) - City resident Bruce Wallipern, who was in the audience during Tuesday night's Harrisburg City Council meeting, said the altercation between Council President Vera Jean White and Vice President Susan Brown Wilson left him "aroused."

"Seeing Ms. White and Ms. Wilson go at it had me unexpectedly turned on," Wallipern said. "I was frozen in my seat. At first I thought it was out of shock, but then I realized it's because I was genuinely enthralled with what was transpiring."

Accounts of who struck whom vary, and attempts by the Gazelle to obtain a police report to see who did the bitch-slapping were unsuccessful.

However, sources close to the investigation say the official report indicated that both women "had it coming."

When asked to comment on the scuffle, Mayor Stephen Reed said, "It's obvious that everyone on City Council just needs a big hug. But I'll be damned if I'm the one who's going to give it to them."

Friday, January 26, 2007

State Museum Closes For Installation of Giant Turntable

(HARRISBURG) - The State Museum of Pennsylvania will be closed for at least a week while crews install a giant turntable underneath the building that will allow it to rotate, officials said.

Jane Crawford, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, said the agency has been discussing the move for the past several years as a way to "sex up the place."

Crawford said workers will essentially clear out the ground directly underneath the building and use giant concrete columns to support the weight of the building. Once all of the dirt is cleared away, the turntable will be installed underneath the structure, at which time the columns will be removed.

"Obviously, it will be a delicate process," said Howard Pollman, the commission's marketing director.

The work is expected to take about a month, though Crawford said it could last until June.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mifflintown Mayor Surprised To Learn He Lives In Juniata County

(MIFFLINTOWN) - Mifflintown Mayor Ralph Lauver was surprised upon learning this past week that his community is actually located in Juniata County and not Mifflin County.

"Whoever named this town needs to get his head checked," said Lauver. "I feel my blunder was an honest mistake."

The situation came to light at Monday night's borough council meeting, at which time Lauver made a reference to Mifflintown being the "biggest one-horse town in Mifflin County."

"Things got a little tense for a second, but eventually, I just had to say something," said Borough Council Vice President Teresa Nearhood.

"Actually, Mayor Lauver, we live in Juniata County," she said, according to the minutes.

There was then silence for a while, after which time Lauver replied, "Um, yeah. I knew that."

The mayor later admitted, however, that he had been operating on a mistaken assumption.

G. Terry Madonna, a political analyst at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, says it's too early to tell whether the misstep will affect Lauver's chances of being reelected.

"Given the number of people that vote in Mifflin County," Madonna said, "Lauver should be able to secure another term if he gets all of his family members to turn out at the polls."

An informal Central PA Gazelle poll indicates Lauver indeed enjoys 100% name recognition among his relatives, and that 75% of them plan to vote for the mayor during the next municipal election.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Lancaster and York Counties May Start East Shore-West Shore Rivalry

(WRIGHTSVILLE) - Reportedly jealous of the age-old rivalry between upriver counties Cumberland and Dauphin, officials from Lancaster and York counties have begun starting rumors and hurling "soft core" insults, in hopes of stirring up similar tensions between themselves.

"We figure it's a good way to steer attention away from all of this hotel and convention center stuff," said Lancaster County commissioner Pete Shaub.

"By making the Susquehanna River out to be a much bigger dividing line that it actually is, we can turn the people of our counties against each other so as to take their minds off of crap like Lauxmont Farms," said York County President Commissioner Lori Mitrick.

Mitrick and her colleagues took the first major step in the new-found battle, passing a resolution this past week declaring Lancaster County to be the "White Shore."

"Sonofabitch," said Lancaster County Commissioner Dick Shellenberger upon hearing the news. "We so hoped to beat them to that. Oh well, maybe we'll focus our witty retort on the fact that the women in that county tend to have really, really big hair."