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YCCF Receives Award January 16, 2018

In recognition of outstanding contributions to the city of York, York County Community Foundation (YCCF) was presented with a Commonwealth Award from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania for its social impact investment work. The award was presented during the Commonwealth Awards celebration on Dec. 7, 2017. At the event, YCCF was also recognized for the role it played in the York City Heritage Rail Trail Development and the Salem Square Neighborhood Initiative.

In the past three years, YCCF has invested more than $1 million in revitalizing downtown York through a variety of funds and initiatives. Recognizing that it is often a challenge for developers to make the financials work on urban redevelopment projects, YCCF recently established the Social Impact Investment Fund to provide patient capital at attractive rates.

The Social Impact Investment Fund mirrors what community foundations are doing across the country, using some of its assets to invest in economic development projects that may or may not be led by nonprofits. The fund also provides a vehicle for donors who want to support redevelopment while making a charitable gift to the fund. The fund was established to promote economic development in downtown York city through market-rate housing, redevelopment of blighted and vacant spaces, and development along the Codorus Creek.

Distributions from the fund may be in the form of grants, loans or other equity investments. Proceeds from the investments are returned to the fund for redistribution to new projects. Through the Social Impact Investment Fund, YCCF provided $250,000 in loan funding for RSDC's Market Street Revitalization project and made a $200,000 financial commitment to the redevelopment of the Yorktowne Hotel.

To create and sustain momentum in downtown's economy, YCCF dedicated portions of its discretionary Fund for York County and Beautiful York Fund to quality public and commercial spaces. In recent years, these funds awarded more than $350,000 in grants for the lighting of Continental Square, improvements to the rail trail, public art, building capacity of the Community First Fund to implement new market tax credit projects, security cameras in the Market District, revitalization of the Salem Square neighborhood and $50,000 toward predevelopment costs for the Yorktowne Hotel.

YCCF knows that many people are excited about the renaissance of downtown and it wanted to provide new opportunities for givers to join in. YorIt is an initiative of YCCF, comprised of people who are excited about building their lives in York, who are enthusiastic about York's potential, and who wish to contribute to the vitality of York. Through the YorIt Social Venture Challenge, the group supports emerging, socially minded organizations that add to the vitality of York. YorIt members pool their gifts and solicit project ideas, interview applicants, and organize a live pitch event where members vote on the project that they think will create the greatest spark downtown. Successful Social Venture Challenge winners include Working Class York, The Parliament Arts Organization, Pedi Cabs of York and the Taste Test pop-up restaurant.

For more information, readers may visit www.yccf.org.

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Radon Action Encouraged January 16, 2018

January is national Radon Action Month. An estimated 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have higher levels of radon than national safety standards, due to the state's geology. However, residents can perform a simple test to detect this gas, which is considered the second-leading cause of lung cancer.

Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home.

Winter is a good time to test for radon, because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

For more information on radon, testing, and daily tips, readers may visit www.dep.pa.gov/Business/RadiationProtection/RadonDivision/Pages/default.aspx.

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Veterans Visit Memorials January 16, 2018

On Nov. 18, 2017, more than 100 veterans of the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras gathered at Northeastern High School for the 12th Honor Bus trip. The trip was sponsored by the Northeastern High School Honor Bus Project, a group of students that escorts local veterans on all-expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C., to visit the various memorials dedicated to their service.

During the recent trip, veterans also visited Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. All participants were treated to breakfast, a bag lunch, and a banquet upon return to Northeastern High School.

The 13th Honor Bus trip is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 28, and is open to all veterans of the following time period: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Gulf Wars, and War on Terror. Anyone who has ever served in the military is welcome to take part.

For information and an application, readers may contact Duane Swartz at Northeastern High School at 717-266-3644, ext. 81307, or visit http://1221950.wixsite.com/nhshonorbus.

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Registration Is Open For Aaron's Acres Camp January 12, 2018

This summer, the Manheim Community Pool and Memorial Park, 504 E. Adele Ave., Manheim, will welcome participants from the Aaron's Acres summer camp program for the fourth year in a row.

Registration is open for 2018 Aaron's Acres summer camp sessions, which will run on weekdays. The camp has programs for children, adolescents, and adults ages 5 to 21 who are developmentally disabled.

The first session will run from Monday, June 18, to Friday, June 29, and session two will be held on Monday, July 9, to Friday, July 20, both with options of half-day hours from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and full-day hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A third session scheduled for Monday, July 23, to Friday, Aug. 3, will offer half-day hours only and is geared toward children ages 5 to 12.

Interested individuals may register at www.aaronsacres.org by Saturday, March 31. Scholarships are available.

Aaron's Acres executive director Risa Paskoff explained that having professional staff, including special education teachers and a nurse, as well as a 1-to-1 or 1-to-2 staff-to-child ratio, enables Aaron's Acres to accept any child, regardless of medical or behavioral challenges.

Activities will vary and will include swimming, games, music and animal therapy sessions, therapeutic horseback riding, arts and craft projects, and sports. Campers ages 13 to 21 will also have the chance to take part in community service projects through the Aaron's Acres Acts of Kindness Program (AAAOK).

Applications are also available at www.aaronsacres.org for individuals age 18 and up who are interested in being camp counselors and for high school students age 14 and up who would like to volunteer as buddies at camp. Buddies act as positive role models for campers under the supervision of the group leader.

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Team River Runner Makes Kayaking Possible For All January 12, 2018

In 2014, when John Butler was turning 14, his father, Bill Butler, looked for an activity they could do together. Bill had coached John in Upward basketball, but the youth had aged out of the program. While it might have seemed natural for the father-son duo to join a rec basketball league, they had one important consideration: Bill is a disabled veteran with mobility challenges. An athletic activity involving running and jumping was out.

Kayaking seemed like a possibility, however, so Bill launched his computer's search engine. He discovered the Southeast Pennsylvania chapter of Team River Runner (TRR), and he also discovered more than just kayaking. TRR is a nationwide nonprofit organization with more than 50 chapters. Through kayaking and canoeing, the organization offers health and healing for disabled veterans, nondisabled veterans and active-duty military personnel, disabled members of the community, and nonveteran volunteers.

Bill and John participated in the Southeast Pennsylvania chapter for a year, during which Bill was trained as an instructor certified by the American Canoe Association. He was then tapped by the organization's executive director to start a chapter, and the Susquehanna Valley chapter was born. Bill recruited his friend and fellow Army veteran Roy Hargrove to serve as the chapter's secretary.

"We offer camaraderie with people who have 'been there,' and we see the kids having fun together," said Sue Schaffer, outreach coordinator for the Susquehanna Valley chapter of TRR.

In the chapter's two years, participation has reached 165 people, a portion of whom are blind or have vision impairments. Jennifer Eaton, who works with young clients at VisionCorps and has low vision herself, contacted Bill in hopes that he would lead a kayak trip on the Conestoga River for Camp Cool, VisionCorps' summer camp. Instead, Bill taught the campers how to kayak, and Eaton became an avid paddler.

"I got hooked," Eaton said. "I've got the whole gear, and I'm a Level II instructor." Eaton created the Kids Are OuttaSight! (KAOS!) program, which has been implemented in TRR chapters across the country, and she now serves as the national director for the program.

TRR specializes in adapting equipment and procedures according to participants' abilities. That might involve securing a palsied hand to a paddle mounted on a pivot or using a kayak with a transfer board. It also takes the form of sighted guides providing verbal cues to paddlers so they can navigate safely downstream.

"Water is a great equalizer," Bill explained, noting that with the right equipment and proper training, practically anyone can enjoy kayaking or canoeing.

"We are a judgment-free zone from the disability perspective," Eaton said. "We're equals."

There is plenty of ribbing about military branches, however, and that just adds to the fun, Hargrove commented. TRR grew out of a physical therapy program at Walter Reed Military Hospital, and its primary participants are disabled veterans. TRR continues as a nontraditional recreational therapy program.

"We see vets for whom this world makes no sense to them, so we do a river run like we're doing a mission," Bill said. "I have done more than one PTSD counseling session downstream of the rapids."

The Susquehanna Valley chapter hosts training sessions in Millersville University's Pucillo Gymnasium during the fall and winter, and it hosts outdoor paddling at York County's Lake Williams and on other area waterways in the summer and when the weather otherwise permits. There is no charge to participate, as the organization operates through grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs and private contributions. Information about participation and making donations may be found at https://svtrr.org, and folks may contact Bill at 717-951-8948 or Bill.Butler@TeamRiverRunner.org for more information.

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Program To Offer Variety Of Courses January 12, 2018

Luther Acres, a Luthercare community, 600 E. Main St., Lititz, will offer a variety of courses through its winter 2018 "reDiscover a World of Possibilities" program. The courses will be one day a week, and some will cover a two-, four- or six-week period. All courses are open to the greater community and will be held on the Luther Acres campus. Varying fees have been set for residents and for nonresidents, but some courses are free to attend.

Introduction to Ballroom will be taught by Gregg and Amber Stief on Wednesdays, Feb. 7 to 28, from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. The class will cover the basics of the five major ballroom dances: waltz, foxtrot, rhumba, cha-cha, and swing. Couples and singles of all ages and abilities are welcome.

Acrylic Painting for Beginners will be led by fine artist Tamera Teets on Mondays, Feb. 19 to March 12, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Individuals who are new to painting or to acrylic paint are welcome to take part.

Tai Chi will be taught by Collean Riehl, wellness specialist at the Luther Acres Wellness Center, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 7 to March 14. Tai chi involves a continuous series of controlled, usually slow movements designed to improve physical and mental well-being. The class is appropriate for people of all fitness levels.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution Skills: What Is It and How Can I Use It? will be offered from 2 to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Feb. 5 and 12. The workshops will focus on mediation, specifically elder mediation, along with benefits and when to choose mediation. It will feature interactive discussions and activities to practice conflict resolution techniques.

Spiritual Migration and the Book of Revelation has been set for 10:30 a.m. to noon on Thursdays, Feb. 1 to 22. Discussions will include the hiddenness and activity of God in history; the nature of apocalyptic thinking; and numbers, symbols, poetry, and myth in biblical stories.

Individuals may learn to play Five Crowns, a five-suited rummy-style card game, during sessions from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 7 to 28. The award-winning, classic game is appropriate for both avid and casual card players.

Registration is required by Feb. 1, and space is limited. To sign up or to obtain more information, including cost, readers may call Beth Bucher, Luther Acres wellness director, at 717-626-1171, ext. 1691.

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Preschool's Boot Drive Aids Fire Company January 11, 2018

The Willow Street Fire Company recently received a donation of $263 from the students of Willow Street United Church of Christ (UCC) Preschool. Traditionally, the preschool supports a local organization during the month of December, and the fire company was selected as the most recent recipient. The students brought in pennies and other change to deposit in a fireman's boot during an in-house boot drive.

"Firefighters from the Willow Street Fire Company visit our preschool every year to teach the children about fire safety and fire prevention," said director Sue Henry. "This is our way of giving back to the fire company."

The preschool is now in its 37th year of operation, and Henry has been involved since the first year. She has overseen its growth from two classes to eight.

"We now have children of former students attend our preschool," Henry said.

Willow Street UCC Preschool aims to be a stepping stone to kindergarten. It provides children with an opportunity to spend time with children their own age and to socialize, share, and play together. Hands-on activities are offered so students can learn through play and exploration. Literacy, science, math, music, and physical activities are incorporated into the school days.

"Not only are students learning about the weather, the alphabet, colors, numbers, and how to write their name, they are also introduced to people in our communities and the concept of helping and caring for others," Henry said.

The preschool is located at 2723 Willow Street Pike (272 North) in the Willow Street UCC building and is open to children of all faiths and ethnic origins. Registration for the 2018-19 school year is now in progress. For more information about the preschool or to arrange a visit, readers may call Henry at 717-464-0720 or click on the preschool tab at www.wsucc.com.

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A Place For Second Chances January 11, 2018

Nonprofit Saves Personal Care Facility From Closing

Walking into Our Home of Hope in Columbia today, one might never know that just a few years ago the personal care home was in danger of closing. "The problem was that lots of repairs needed to be done to the home, and we just didn't have the funds. I would have sleepless nights thinking, 'How are we going to do this?'" recalled administrator Roxanne Simonson, who has operated the home at 223-225 Cherry St. since 2001.

Simonson said that the building, formerly known as the Cherry Street Guest Home, began receiving regulatory violations from the state, and the income generated from government funding and disability benefits for the 30 residents was not enough to cover daily and long-term operating costs. "I didn't know how we were going to pay the employees and still take care of the residents," Simonson said.

In 2014, Simonson reached out to John and Mable Hershey, retired farmers and residents of East Donegal Township, about the home's dire financial situation and the fact that it may no longer be able to operate. One of John's former classmates had lived at the home at one time, and the couple had also connected another friend to the home when he became homeless and needed a place to live.

"We felt compelled to become involved and try to save the home," shared Mable. The Hersheys and Simonson agreed that the home needed to be turned into a nonprofit organization, and they established a board of volunteers to help make decisions moving forward.

Mable serves as president of the Our Home of Hope board, which also includes vice president Dean Benner and members John, Mark Dettrey, Carol Neff, and Dr. Richard Yunginger. Attorney David Carson contributed countless hours of work for a minimum fee as an adviser as the Hersheys applied for approval as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which was awarded in February 2017. The board received approval from the state to operate the home as Our Home of Hope on June 1, 2017.

In December 2017, the mortgage holder sold the property to the nonprofit, and now $191,000 remains on the mortgage. According to Mable, one of the board's main goals is to pay off the property's mortgage as soon as possible so that interest money can instead be used to cover monthly expenses.

Grants from the Columbia Healthcare Foundation helped to cover the cost of some of the much-needed repairs and updates to the building, including a new freezer, carpet, washers and dryers, a furnace, a water heater, roofing, a handicapped-accessible bathroom, and more. "We were able to bring things into compliance with the state," Mable said.

Ultimately, it has been the generosity of friends and strangers alike propelling Our Home of Hope forward in its journey. The many "God moments" have astounded the Hersheys and Simonson. "I struck up a conversation in 2014 with a lady at Sam's Club and told her about the home," recounted Mable. "She asked me if she could give me a check for $10,000."

In 2018, the Hersheys would like the independent living facility's outdated kitchen to be completely renovated - a project with an estimated cost of $100,000.

Currently, the 12-by-12 foot area has to be used by staff for cooking meals and administering daily medicines to residents. The stove and ventilation system need replaced, and expanding the space would allow residents privacy as they receive medication. "A larger kitchen and workspace would allow for more food to be made from scratch," Mable explained.

The food, incidentally, is one of the things that resident Barry Wilkison is most grateful for. "We get excellent food," he said. Barry and two of his brothers have lived at the home for several years, and he said they have always received top-notch care.

"It's the best place in the world," agreed resident Sue Zelonis.

Financial contributions may be sent to Our Home of Hope Inc., Attn: Mable Hershey, 223-225 Cherry St., Columbia, PA 17547.

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Chorus To Provide Singing Valentines January 11, 2018

The Keystone Capital Chorus will deliver singing valentines all day on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from early morning until evening. Deliveries will be available anywhere in the greater Harrisburg area, including places of employment, restaurants, homes, hospitals, schools, senior centers, and more.

A quartet from the chorus will provide a love song, a red rose, chocolates, and a voucher for the chorus' spring show.

There is a fee. Time slots fill quickly, and reservations are required by calling 717-766-8127 or visiting www.kccsing.com.

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CAT Will Transition Contract January 11, 2018

The Capital Area Transit (CAT) board of directors has entered into a two-year agreement with rabbittransit in York to consult with CAT management to achieve a level of financial stability as an essential first step toward eventually consolidating CAT operations with other transit agencies in the central Pennsylvania region.

PennDOT funding assistance will be used to help smooth the management consultation transition from RATP Dev, CAT's current management consulting firm, to rabbittransit. The board had extended the RATP Dev management consulting contract through the end of January, with the two-year rabbittransit agreement beginning on Thursday, Feb. 1.

The CAT board remains committed to seeking a broader, regional solution for public transit that will benefit riders and other taxpayers as well.

CAT was incorporated in 1973 when Cumberland County and Dauphin County commissioners and the City of Harrisburg organized CAT to provide mass transit fixed-route and paratransit shared-ride services, which today transport approximately 2 million riders per year in the thousand-square-mile capital region. For more information, readers may visit www.cattransit.com, follow CAT on Facebook, follow @CATTransit on Twitter, or call CAT's public information office at 717-238-8304.

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Travel Programs Available January 11, 2018

The Millersville University Destinations Travel Program has posted its summer itinerary.

The program will offer a travel program to Scandinavia and Russia from Saturday, June 30, to Friday, July 13. Sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam, ports of call will include Berlin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and four days at sea.

A travel program to Canada and New England will be offered from Saturday, Aug. 25, through Saturday, Sept. 1. Ports of call include Montreal, Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, and Boston.

Other trips will include Australia and New Zealand in February 2019 and Oberammergau/Munich, Salzburg and Vienna in July 2020. Travel itineraries are available at www.mainlinevacations.com/millersvilleuniversity. The travel programs are open to the public.

For more information, including trip costs, readers may contact Steven DiGuiseppe at 717-871-5627 or email steven.diguiseppe@millersville.edu.

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LCSWMA Posts New Agreement January 11, 2018

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) and Covanta, based in Morristown, N.J., recently announced a new agreement for the operation and maintenance of LCSWMA's two Energy-from-Waste facilities: the Lancaster Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facility, located in Bainbridge, and the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex (SRMC), located in Harrisburg. Combined, these two facilities process around 700,000 tons of waste annually. The new improved agreement, which was finalized at the end of 2017, extends a successful longterm collaboration between LCSWMA and Covanta through 2032.

LCSWMA retained Covanta's expertise to design, build and operate the Lancaster WTE Facility. The facility, which Covanta has operated since 1991, serves the sustainable waste management needs of Lancaster County, processing 1,200 tons of municipal solid waste per day to produce enough renewable energy to power 30,000 homes continuously.

The SRMC, serves Dauphin County and the City of Harrisburg by processing up to 800 tons of municipal solid waste per day and generating approximately 23 megawatts of renewable energy that powers state capitol buildings in Harrisburg.

Covanta has operated the SRMC since 2007 and was critical in the turnaround of the facility, completing upgrades that allowed the facility to operate in a reliable and environmentally-sound manner. LCSWMA purchased the SRMC in 2013 from the City of Harrisburg and made significant investments and capital improvements to further enhance facility performance, along with improving customer service and aesthetics of the site.

The new agreement stipulates investments and upgrades to the systems at both Energy-from-Waste facilities to ensure continued safe and reliable waste processing and energy production for many years to come.

LCSWMA's integrated system and Covanta have won numerous awards over the years, including the Gold Excellence Award in WTE from the Solid Waste Association of North America and Top Plant honors from Power Magazine for the turnaround of the SRMC. The two facilities are also recognized as Star worksites in the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). VPP Star status is the highest honor given to worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems.

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Preschool Posts News January 10, 2018

Christ Lutheran Preschool, 105 S. Main St., Shrewsbury, has openings in its afternoon classes for children ages 3 and 4. The classes will meet from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Readers may contact Becky Stevenson at 717-235-0459 or kidbits@clpskids.org or visit www.clpskids.org for more information.

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Panel Discussion Focuses On Religion January 10, 2018

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Avoiding Winter Weather Dangers January 10, 2018

While danger from severe and winter weather varies, individuals and families may face challenges with heat, power, and communications services. It is important to be prepared for family safety and to also protect property from damage.

Several winter safety tips are offered. Individuals are encouraged to stay indoors and keep dry. If someone must go outside, they should wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Mittens and a hat should be worn, and a scarf should be used to cover the mouth to protect the lungs.

It is important to walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways. Overexertion when shoveling snow should be avoided.

Driving should be done only if absolutely necessary. Drivers should let someone know their destination, route, and when they expect to arrive. If a blizzard or cold weather traps someone in their car, they should pull off the highway. They should turn on the hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.

People should watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia, which include loss of feeling, pale appearance, uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.

In case of power outage, individuals are encouraged to have a battery or hand-crank powered weather radio and flashlights available, if needed. Candles should never be used as a source of heat or light. If a pipe bursts, the water supply to the building should be shut off.

When using electric heaters, they should be kept at least three feet from flammable objects. People can conserve fuel by keeping their home and office cooler than normal. To conserve, the heat can be temporarily closed off to some rooms. When going away, people should leave the heat no lower than 55ºF.

The stove, oven, or a grill should never be used as a source of heat for a home. People should go to a designated public shelter if their home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold. People can text SHELTER and their ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in their area.

People should take action and know the specific hazards and risks in their area. Creating a Family Emergency Plan is recommended so that family members will know how to communicate during an emergency.

Individuals should build an Emergency Ready Kit - both at home and in the car - that includes at least three days of water, food, and first aid supplies to help them survive if they lose power or get stranded in their car.

People are encouraged to become a positive influence in their community by sharing their preparedness story on social media to help others learn how to prepare for an emergency. People can get involved and promote preparedness in their community through the American Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

If damage has occurred, homeowners are encouraged to contact a property damage restoration expert for damaged pipes and repairs along with checking the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow or water.

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Strawberry-Glazed French Toast January 10, 2018

Serving breakfast in bed on Valentine's Day is a romantic way to begin this day that has become synonymous with affection and romance. Of course, pouring a bowl of cereal and bringing it upstairs will not have the same impact as creating a homemade breakfast. Those who want to impress their sweethearts this Valentine's Day and start the day off right can prepare the recipe for Strawberry-Glazed French Toast with Sweetened Sour Cream, courtesy of Betty Rosbottom's "Sunday Brunch" (Chronicle Books).

Strawberry-Glazed French Toast with Sweetened Sour Cream (Serves 4)

8 1-inch thick bread slices, cut from a country or peasant loaf (see note 1)

2 cups half-and-half

4 egg yolks

3 T light brown sugar

1 T vanilla extract, plus 1/2 tsp

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 T unsalted butter

1/2 cup sour cream

1 T granulated sugar

1/3 cup strawberry jam or preserves (see note 2)

Directions:

1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake until dry and very lightly browned, about 8 minutes per side. Watch carefully so that the bread does not burn. Remove the bread from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 200 F.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, egg yolks, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan (a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish works well). Add the toasted bread slices and soak them, 4 minutes per side. Remove to a large plate or platter.

3. Place a large, heavy frying pan over low to medium heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of the butter, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan lightly. When melted, add enough bread slices to fit comfortably in a single layer. Cook slowly until the slices are golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet and place in the warm oven. Repeat, adding more butter to the pan as needed until all the bread slices have been sauteed.

4. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

5. When ready to serve, spread each toast with a thin coating of strawberry jam and top with a dollop of sweetened sour cream.

Note 1: The best bread for this dish is an unsliced loaf of good quality peasant or country bread, preferably one without an extra-hard crust. One that is rectangular, rather than round, is more convenient, but either will do. Cut off the ends of the loaf, and reserve for another use. Then slice the bread into 1-inch-thick slices. If the loaf is large and the slices seem large, cut them in half.

Note 2: You can try other jams, preserves, or marmalades. Cherry, raspberry, or peach preserves and orange marmalade are other possibilities.

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Swiss Mountain Ice Cream January 10, 2018

Valentine's Day is synonymous with many things, including chocolate. Many sweethearts exchange chocolate on Valentine's Day, making chocolate confections as essential to a successful holiday as flowers and romance.

Men and women who want to make this Valentine's Day extra special can forgo store-bought chocolates in favor of homemade confections. The following recipe for Swiss Mountain Ice Cream from Maxine Clark's "Chocolate: Deliciously Indulgent Recipes for Chocolate Lovers" (Ryland, Peters & Small) is a great way to end a romantic holiday dinner.

Swiss Mountain Ice Cream (Makes about 2 quarts)

2 cups whole milk

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 T unsweetened cocoa

14 oz. premium milk chocolate (over 32% cocoa solids), chopped

1 tsp pure vanilla essence

1 1/2 cups whipping or heavy cream, chilled

6 1/2 ounces white nougat, roughly chopped

1 ice cream maker (optional)

1 freezer-proof tray or container

1 mountain-shaped mold (optional)

White chocolate sauce (instructions at end of recipe)

Directions:

Put the milk, condensed milk, sugar, and cocoa in a pan, bring to a boil, then simmer gently for five minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the chocolate and let melt, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely, then add the vanilla essence and refrigerate for about one hour.

Stir the cream into the mixture, then churn-freeze in an ice cream maker in two batches. This will take 20 to 30 minutes. It will increase in volume as it thickens and freezes. Stop churning when thick and smooth, add the nougat, and churn to mix, then transfer to a chilled freezer-proof tray, cover, and freeze. If you do not have an ice cream maker, put the mixture in a freezer-proof tray or container and freeze until it is frozen around the edges. Mash well with a fork and return to the freezer. Continue mashing with a fork and freezing the mixture until thick and smooth, about two hours. Stir in the nougat. At this stage, you can pack it into a mold and return to the freezer.

If the ice cream is in a mold, remove from the freezer and dip briefly in hot water to melt the outside. Invert onto a chilled plate, lifting off the mold. If the ice cream is in a container, transfer to the refrigerator to soften for 20 minutes before serving in scoops. Drizzle with White Chocolate Sauce and serve.

White Chocolate Sauce (Makes about 2 1/2 cups)

1 cup light or heavy cream

6 T milk

8 oz. white chocolate (over 25 percent cocoa butter), chopped

Put the cream and milk in a small pan and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and let cool for two to three minutes. Add the white chocolate and stir until completely melted. Serve warm.

If reheating, do so over gentle heat. Do not allow to boil or the sauce can thicken and seize.

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Foundation Offers Free Trees January 10, 2018

The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that anyone who joins the foundation in January will receive 10 free flowering trees to plant when the weather turns warm.

New members will receive two Sargent crabapples, three American redbuds, two Washington hawthorns, and three white flowering dogwoods. The free trees are part of the Foundation's Trees for America campaign.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between Thursday, Feb. 1, and Thursday, May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch tall trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

Members will also receive a subscription to the foundation's bimonthly publication, "Arbor Day," and "The Tree Book," which includes information about tree planting and care.

To become a member of the foundation and to receive the free trees, readers may visit www.arborday.org/january.

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New Animal Shelter Coming To Columbia January 9, 2018

Judy McKonly, who passed away in August, had a dream to open the best cat shelter in the country, and now her family is working to ensure that vision will come to fruition by opening an animal shelter in Columbia. "She just loved animals," said her daughter-in-law, Patty McKonly.

Judy's son, Mike McKonly, and his business partner, Keith Lutz, purchased the 8,000-square-foot former Vigilant Fire Hall - known as Viggie's to Columbia natives - on 10th Street in Columbia to repurpose as an animal shelter.

The Harold and Judy McKonly Family Foundation, established by Judy, will operate the shelter as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Patty said that since the building is secured, zoning has been approved, and architectural designs are in place, she estimates the no-kill nonprofit shelter will open in late 2018. "Columbia Borough has been very supportive," Patty remarked.

"It's going to be very consumer-friendly and, of course, animal-friendly," said Patty. The building will feature an open layout that will allow visitors to see the animals. Cats will be the main inhabitants, but a limited number of dogs will be accepted as well. "The cats will be in cat colonies," she explained, noting that the shelter will be cage-free so that animals will be able to interact with each other and roam about.

The McKonlys have visited other shelters in the region for ideas and inspiration and hope to work together with other establishments in order to help as many cats possible to get spayed, neutered, and adopted into loving homes.

Currently, the search is on for an executive director, who Patty said will ideally be someone who is qualified and charismatic and has a heart for animals. Individuals interested in learning more about the position may email patty@kleen-ritecorp.com.

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New Scholarship To Be Awarded January 9, 2018

A new scholarship at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, will honor the memory of a UGI employee, Richard A. Bouder, who lost his life responding to an incident in Lancaster County in July. A mechanic III inspector for UGI, Bouder was a 1981 graduate of McCaskey.

The Richard A. Bouder Memorial Scholarship will equal one year of full tuition at the college to a student studying welding, plumbing, or electrical technology. Preference will be given to graduates of J.P. McCaskey High School, but it will be open to any student from Lancaster County.

UGI endowed the scholarship to the Thaddeus Stevens Foundation. The company has encouraged its employees to contribute to the fund as well. A scholarship equaling the cost of a year's tuition at Thaddeus Stevens will be awarded to a student each year. The first scholarship will be awarded for the fall 2018 semester.

For more details, readers may visit www.stevenscollege.edu or contact Adam Aurand at 717-299-7702 or aurand@stevenscollege.edu.

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