Sites, times announced for PIAA second-round boys hoops playoff matchups for 4 local teams

The sites and tip-off times for second-round PIAA boys basketball playoff matchups were revealed late Sunday afternoon. There are four teams from Lancaster County that will be in action Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s the rundown:Tuesday:Class 5A: 3-6 Lampeter-Strasburg (26-4) vs. 12-3 Archbishop Carroll (19-7), at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School, 7:30 p.m.Class 5A bracketClass 1A: 3-2 Lancaster Country Day (19-7) vs. 2-1 Susquehanna (18-8), at Hazleton Area High School, 5 p.m.Class 1A bracketWednesday:Class 6A: 3-3 Hempfield (24-4) vs. 12-1 Lincoln (22-6), at Pottstown High School, 7:30 p.m.Class 6A bracketClass 3A: 3-4 Lancaster Mennonite (18-9) vs. 8-1 Westinghouse (18-6), at Altoona High School, 6 p.m.Class 3A bracket Continue Reading

Here are the first-round PIAA basketball matchups for the 17 Lancaster area boys and girls teams

The PIAA basketball tournaments across 12 classifications were released on Sunday afternoon, and 17 Lancaster area squads are taking part in the dance. For area fans who don’t want to travel far, the first-round action will feature a tripleheader on Saturday at Warwick High School with the Lancaster Catholic and Linden Hall girls and the Hempfield boys.Here are the first-round matchupsGIRLSOn the girls' side, nine teams will be in action starting this weekend. In Class 6A, L-L League Section One champ Manheim Township will square off against District One champ Souderton — a state semifinalist a year ago — on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Council Rock South in Holland, and Elizabethtown, an L-L semifinalist, will clash with District One thirdplace finisher Garnet Valley at 6 p.m. at Interboro in Prospect Park.PIAA 6A GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKETRELATED:  Vote: Which of the 9 Lancaster area girls teams will advance the farthest in the state basketball tourney?In Class 5A, L-L Section Two champ Lampeter-Strasburg will take on District 12 runner-up Mastery North on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at South Philadelphia, while Solanco, the Section Two runner-up, will play District Two champ Abington Heights on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Marywood University in Scranton. InPIAA 5A GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKETClass 4A, reigning L-L and District Three champ Lancaster Catholic will tangle with District 12 fifth-place finisher Overbook on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Warwick, while Northern Lebanon will take on District 12 champ Bonner-Prendergast on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Cardinal O’Hara in Springfield.PIAA 4A GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET PIAA 3A GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET PIAA 2A GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKETAnd in Class 1A, reigning District Three champ Lebanon Catholic opens defense of its state championship on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. against District Four fourth-place finisher Cowanesque Valley at Milton Hershey, Continue Reading

First-round PIAA boys hoops matchups, sites and times are set for 8 local teams

Matchups, sites and tip-off times for first PIAA boys basketball playoff games are almost entirely set for six Lancaster-Lebanon League teams and a pair Lancaster County-based private school Class A teams.Of those, the only one still waiting to learn its first-round opponent is Garden Spot, who will play the District 2-5A champ in the first round of states. The District 2-5A title game is being played Sunday night between Abington Heights (21-3) and Dallas.(20-4). Also, a site and time has not yet been announced for Friday’s PIAA Class 1A game involving District 3 fifth-place team Conestoga Christian (16-9) against District 2 champ Susquehanna (18-8).State tournaments for Classes 1A, 4A and 5A begin Friday, while Classes 2A, 3A and 6A begin Saturday.Here’s the matchups we know of at this time (5:30 p.m. Sunday night):Friday, March 9:Class 5A:3-8 Garden Spot (15-13) vs. District 2-1 (Winner of Abington Heights vs. Dallas), time/place TBD3-6 Lampeter-Strasburg (25-4) vs. 11-2 Bangor (22-3), at Easton Area High School, 7:30 p.m.PIAA Class 5A bracketClass 4A:3-5 Lancaster Catholic (24-4) vs. 6-1 Huntingdon (21-2), at Altoona High School, 6 p.m.Class 4A bracketClass 1A:3-5 Conestoga Christian (16-9) vs. 2-1 Susquehanna, time/place TBD3-2 Lancaster Country Day (18-7) vs. 6-3 Blacklick Valley (21-5), at Reading’s Geigle Complex, 5 p.m.Class 1A bracketSaturday, March 10Class 6A:3-3 Hempfield (23-4) vs. 1-5 Coatesville (21-5) at Warwick High School, 6 p.m.3-4 Manheim Township (19-8) vs. 1-3 Lower Merion (21-5), at Bensalem High School, 4 p.m.Class 6A bracketClass 3A:3-4 Lancaster Mennonite (17-9) vs. 6-1 Ligonier Valley (21-4), at Johnstown High School, 4 p.m.Class 3A bracket Continue Reading

First legislative coffee of the year held in Altoona

Education and Medicaid were two hot items of discussion during Altoona Area Chamber of Commerce's first legislative coffee Saturday.State representative Zach Nunn said that the K through 12th grade education budget is continuing to grow.“The $32 million is not as high as we want it to be but it is as high as our budget allows us to be,” Nunn said. “We have done a really good job at making sure that education gets the first bite of the apple.”Discussion was also brought up in regards to the state looking into a voucher system for those attending private school.“I don’t see how we can start a voucher system when we are already depleting our public schools as it is,” said Sen. Chaz Allen. “We need skilled trades at the schools and we are taking those away by not funding them so the voucher system I’m not in favor of.”One person in attendance from the Homestead, an Altoona facility that works with autistic adults, asked about the state’s Medicaid process.Iowa privatized its Medicaid system in 2016, with a goal of saving the state money. But people who use Medicaid argue any savings is coming at the cost of their care. Six Iowans with disabilities sued Gov. Kim Reynolds in June of 2017, claiming the state is depriving them of their right to live safely outside of care facilities. Both Allen and Nunn said they had heard from one woman who said she hadn’t heard back for two weeks when contacting a provider about an oxygen tank. Nunn said that situation was completely unacceptable.“An MCO (a managed care organization) is a for-profit business but there are some things the state needs to be a part of to get things to those in need,” Allen said. “This has failed. When my phone stops ringing then I will say it works.”“I think privatization has its merits but I think it is very broken,” said Steve Van Oort, Polk County supervisor. “I am the chair of Continue Reading

Flu spreading in the east Polk area

The flu has been hitting the East Polk County area hard in the last few weeks.Across the state the flu has killed 43 people this season.“We have been seeing an uptick in the number of flu cases that are walking through our doors for urgent care in the last 10 to 14 days and it has been affecting the young and the old alike so it is definitely here,” said Todd Treimer with Unity Point Urgent Care in Altoona.Treimer said that this year the most common strain of the flu has been a strain of influenza A called H3N2.“The strain has not shown as much sensitivity,” Treimer said. “It is more resistant to the influenza vaccination that a lot of people got in the fall.”According to Treimer each year the flu vaccine is created based off the top five strains the previous year. Since the vaccine doesn't cover this particular strain of flu, the virus has been spreading rapidly.School districts in the area have been seeing the effects of the flu.“We have seen many students with confirmed influenza A and/or B, or with influenza-like symptoms,” said Amy Chebuhar, Southeast Polk’s district lead nurse. “As of today, between the 11 buildings we have had over 80 reported confirmed cases of either influenza A or B since returning from winter break. It seems to be equally spread between all of the buildings.”Although Chebuhar said the flu has been spreading she also added the district has been lucky that the schools haven’t had 10 percent of the students home with the flu on any given day.Chebuhar said that it does appear that there are more confirmed cases than in the recent past years.Treimer said that the most common symptoms associated with the H3N2 virus include a high fever above 102 degrees, headaches, body aches and a cough. He added that occasionally he has seen a sore throat or a runny nose and that recently more people were complaining of abdominal pain.“The flu can cause some poor Continue Reading

Pennsylvania girls high school basketball rankings for week ending Feb. 25

Compiled by Jeff Reinhart, here is @PaGirlsHoops' top 10 state girls basketball rankings for each class through Feb. 25, plus honorable mention selections, with home district in parenthesis and overall record.CLASS 6A1. North Allegheny (WPIAL) 22-1 — last week: 12. Cardinal O'Hara (District 12) 19-5 — last week: 33. Cedar Crest (District 3) 26-0 — last week: 44. Penn Hills (WPIAL) 21-2 — last week: 55. Central Bucks West (District 1) 22-4 — last week: 66. Cumberland Valley (District 3) 19-5 — last week: 87. Plymouth-Whitemarsh (District 1) 24-1 — last week: 108. Central Bucks South (District 1) 19-5 — last week: NR9. Central Dauphin (District 3) 20-3 — last week: NR10. Abington (District 1) 20-5 — last week: NRMoving out: Boyertown, North Penn, Pine-Richland.Coming in: Abington, Central Bucks South, Central Dauphin.OTHERS TO WATCH (listed alphabetically): Altoona (6) 15-8, Bethel Park (WPIAL) 18-6, Boyertown (1) 22-4, Cedar Cliff (3) 18-6, Central Bucks East (1) 15-9, Central Dauphin East (3) 14-9, Central York (3) 24-2, Coatesville (1) 20-7, Council Rock North (1) 17-8, Dallastown (3) 13-12, Easton (11) 22-4, Garnet Valley (1) 22-3, Hazleton (2) 15-8, Hempfield Area (WPIAL) 14-9, McCaskey (3) 18-9, McDowell (10) 12-11, Mt. Lebanon (WPIAL) 18-5, Nazareth (11) 21-4, Northampton (11) 15-9, North Penn (1) 21-4, Norwin (WPIAL) 17-6, Parkland (11) 18-6, Peters Township (WPIAL) 14-9, Pine-Richland (WPIAL) 21-2, Scranton (2) 17-5, Souderton (1) 18-6, State College (6) 8-16, Upper Dublin (1) 19-6.CLASS 5A1. Archbishop Wood (District 12) 18-6 — last week: 12. Southern Lehigh (District 11) 24-1 — last week: 23. Trinity (WPIAL) 22-2 — last week: 34. Hampton (WPIAL) 22-2 — last week: 45. Harrisburg (District 3) 20-3 — last week: 56. Oakland Catholic (WPIAL) 21-3 — last week: 77. Springfield—Delco (District 1) 21-4 — last week: 88. Slippery Rock (District 10) 18-4 — Continue Reading

John W. Birely, Jr.

John W. Birely, Jr., 78, of Lancaster, and formerly of Altoona, passed away on Friday, January 12, 2018. He was the husband of Gabrielle "Gay" Eckenroth Birely, with whom he shared 32 years of marriage this past December 14th. Born in Altoona, he was the son of the late John W. and Betty Vipond Birely. John had served as the supervisor of Stanley Electric in Altoona for many years. He later worked for 30 years for Caterpillar, Inc. of York, until his retirement in 2005. He was a member of Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Lancaster. While residing in Altoona, John was a member of the Altoona Jaycees, where he served as president from 1970 to 1971. He was a member of the Heidelberg Country Club, the Bavarian Aid Society and a member of Masonic Lodge 281. He was a 1957 graduate of Altoona Area High School, and was active on the 1957 reunion committee as well as the all-reunion committee, and had served as an officer with the AAHS band and majorette booster clubs. He was a member of the Hawk Gunning Club in York. He was also a Penn State football season ticket holder. In addition to his wife, Gay, John is survived by his daughters: Janet (Curt) Cranmer of Seabrook, TX and Jackie (Herb) Blair of Livermore, CA; his stepson Jim (Martha) Brown of Harrisburg; his grandchildren: Julie (Rocky) Holly of TX, Doug Ellis of Altoona, Jaime (Justin) Lewis of CO, Lauren Blair of CA, Rebecca Blair of CA; his stepgrandchildren: Aaron Brown of PA and Carolyn Brown of PA. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren: James (Lauren) Mays of TX, Justin (Robbye) Mays of LA, Jarrett Mays of TX, Jackson Mays of TX, Darren Ellis of PA, Devyn Ellis of PA, Elayni Ellis of PA, and Jhett Lewis of CO; his great-great-grandchildren: Jacob Mays of LA, James W. Mays of TX, and John Mays of LA; and his sister-in-law Linda Birely of Altoona. He was preceded in death by his brother William Birely, his sister Diane Kaczmarek, and his brother-in-law Frank Kaczmarek. Friends are invited to attend Continue Reading

Norwalk High School offers new classes to students

Norwalk High School students are learning some important life lessons before they graduate in two new classes offered this year.Ashley Prieksat, who spent the last 10 years of her career as the Norwalk Middle School technology teacher, is now teaching a required career and financial readiness course to sophomores and an elective internship class to seniors.Norwalk seniors are interning at a variety of places. Ryan Desmond is interning at Norwalk Chiropractic, Brady Emswiler is at Archery Field and Sports in Altoona, Nolan Magee is at Oh, Bacon!, Alex Senecaut is interning at Exit Realty, Madison Thielen is working at City State Bank, Christian Thomsen is shadowing a graphic design artist, Miranda Barr is studying art education at Oviatt Elementary and Noah Percy is shadowing the superintendent of Norwalk schools.The internship course is part of a push at Norwalk to get students involved in work-based learning activities.Students involved in the program meet with Prieksat for classroom time during fifth hour, and are out on the job from October through May. "It's an opportunity for them to test the waters to see if that's the career field they want to invest their education and training into," Prieksat said. "They get to develop workplace habits and it's a resume builder for them."Along with the benefits that come from real life experiences, Prieksat's students are also earning credits from Des Moines Area Community College during their internship experiences.The internship class will continue next year, and there's an enrollment period for interested students in January. That way, Prieksat will have a full year to start making business connections so she can place the students in appropriate internships.Prieksat said there are a couple of reasons the class is open to seniors. One is because businesses generally want adults at least the age of 18 working for them. Also, students are expected to have at least a general knowledge of the subject Continue Reading

Madison area prep schedule for Thursday, December 28

BOYS BASKETBALL THURSDAY 28 BOYS BASKETBALL Pardeeville at Westfield, 3:30 p.m. Belleville at Albany, 7 p.m. Edgerton at Delavan-Darien, 7 p.m. Monona Grove at McFarland, 7 p.m. Barneveld at New Glarus, 7:30 p.m. Dodgeville at Lodi, 7:30 p.m. Portage at Wisconsin Dells, 7:30 p.m. Wisconsin Heights at River Valley, 7:30 p.m. Beloit Memorial Tournament: Muskego vs. Menomonee Falls, 4 p.m.; (Beloit Memorial vs. Milwaukee South, 6 p.m. Cambridge Tournament: Montello vs. Cambridge, 10:30 a.m.; Bonduel vs. Milwaukee Salam, 1:30 p.m.; consolation game, 5 p.m.; championship game, 8 p.m. Cudahy Southside Shootout: Milwaukee Carmen NW vs. Janesville Parker, 5:15 p.m.; Watertown vs. Cudahy, 7 p.m. Lake Mills Holiday Classic: Beloit Turner vs. Lakeside Lutheran, 3 p.m.; Milwaukee Bay View vs. Lake Mills, 6 p.m. Rick Majerus WBBY Tournament, Concordia University, Mequon: Mineral Point vs. Manitowoc Roncalli, 10:30 a.m.; Kaukauna vs. Waunakee, 6 p.m. Shawano Sun Drop Shootout at UW-Green Bay Kress Center: Beaver Dam vs. Merrill, 12:05 p.m.; Marinette vs. Mount Horeb, 1:40 p.m. West Allis Central Tournament: Madison Edgewood vs. Oconomowoc, 6:45 p.m.; West Allis Central vs. Whitefish Bay Dominican, 8:30 p.m. West Salem Tournament: Sparta vs. Melrose-Mindoro, 3:15 p.m.; Reedsburg vs. West Salem, 7 p.m. Middleton Tournament: Middleton vs. Stoughton, 6 p.m.; Sussex Hamilton vs. Wales Kettle Moraine, 7:45 p.m. Sun Prairie Tournament: Fort Atkinson vs. DeForest, 5:15 p.m.; Sun Prairie vs. Appleton West, 7 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Janesville Parker vs. Chippewa Falls at JustAGame Field House, Wisconsin Dells, 2:15 p.m. Waunakee at Appleton West, 2:30 p.m. Evansville vs. Grafton in at JustAGame Fieldhouse, Wisconsin Dells, 4 p.m. Monona Grove at McFarland, 5:15 p.m. Wisconsin Heights at River Valley, 6 p.m. Dodgeville at Black Hawk, 7:30 p.m. Monroe at Verona, 7:30 p.m. Cambridge Holiday Tournament: Cambridge vs. Monticello, 9 a.m.; Continue Reading

Altoona council candidates respond to questionnaires

There are three candidates running for three positions in the Altoona City Council race. Incumbents Jeremy Boka and Kyle Mertz are seeking reelection. Scott Duer is looking for his first time on the city council. Candidate 1 Name: Jeremy Boka Age: 41Time in community: 10 yearsCurrent address: 918 8th Ave NW, Altoona, IACurrent employment: Director of Business Development and Sales, Perficut Companies, Inc. and Co-owner of Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company. Please briefly list any previous related experience that would help you as a city official. This could include employment, education or civic or volunteer experience:Religious affiliation: CatholicOn Facebook: Jeremy Boka for Altoona City Council Candidate 2 Name: Kyle Mertz Age: 35Time in community: I have lived in Altoona for 11 yearsCurrent address: 1708 Pinewood Ct SwCurrent employment: Principal/Benefits Advisor at TrueNorth CompaniesPlease briefly list any previous related experience that would help you as a city official. This could include employment, education or civic or volunteer experience: I am currently completing my 8th year on the Altoona City Council. Currently I serve Altoona as our representative on the Metropolitan Planning Organization on the policy committee and leadership positions through their STP Funding Committee and Long Range Transportation steering committee. I also serve on the Bravo Board of Directors and Metro Advisory Council. In addition to those I serve as a director on the Southeast Polk Education Foundation board, and the First Tee of Central Iowa board.Religious affiliation: LutheranSocial media or other contact information that you would like published: twitter: @kyledmertz Candidate 3 Name: Scott Duer Age: 50Time in community: 27 yearsCurrent address: 202 10th Street NW, Altoona, Iowa 50009Current employment: Sales Engineer with Data Power Technology Please briefly list any previous related experience that would help you as a city official. This could Continue Reading