LIP News

Lancaster Independent Press
RSS icon Home icon

If you have come to this site looking for "Incest - A Family Tragedy," please click here.

For an archive of older posts, please click here and here.


    Posted on April 1st, 2015 Becky 7 comments
    ** The Lancaster police got their man, because like so many others, Alfred Harry Hicks III turned himself in at the police station this morning. He apparently was doing some major work during the days he was on the loose – hiring a lawyer and lining up a bail bondsman (see his docket below). Impressive – but a little scary that he is back on the street that fast. We’ll see if he claims self-defense.

    *** BREAKING NEWS *** 2:04 PM – The Lancaster Police just posted this on their Facebook page (click here):

         Alfred HICKS, wanted in connection with a shooting incident that occurred on March 26th, turned himself in this morning and was arraigned by MDJ John Winters. His bail was set at $25,000.00 cash, which he posted. Hicks was processed and released pending a preliminary hearing.


    Posted by long time LNP police reporter Ryan Robinson on his Twitter account yesterday.
         No, the police haven’t nabbed him! The police gave him a two day head start!
         How many of the March shootings – my friend who is keeping track says it’s up to 10 – have been solved? How many shooters have been left on the street to shoot again? What is the exact purpose of having 161 cameras in the city watching people’s every move?
    Please check back later today.


    Posted on March 31st, 2015 Becky 4 comments



         Chris Otto, the LNP Sports Editor, has the best Twitter account of any of the LNP staff bar none. Why is this man in sports and not news? I’ve never read a single one of his articles – I do not read sports – that is until the day the Eagles win the Super Bowl! More on the Eagles below – but I give him credit for finding this and retweeting it today.
         The article itself is here and well worth the read. When LNP was overtly racist you could always tell if the perpetrator was white because there was no mugshot or photo of any kind. I pointed that out time and time again over the years on this site. Now that LNP has hired two, behind-the-scenes minorities in the last three months they are trying to pretend they are no longer racist (think CRIZ money)!
        On a much lighter note, Otto and the “Hanover_Eagle” have an ongoing battle on Twitter. Otto has gone so far as to make this offer:  Eagles1      I believe I will be enjoying those cookies shortly as I have a theory and I’m sticking with it! Confronted earlier today, the primary person of interest/suspect acted all innocent and even proclaimed they were not familiar with the big bird and his tweets! Ah, ha! I’m hoping for chocolate chip, Otto!
         Anyway, I can’t reveal my secret source at this time and I can’t even go to the Eagle cam anymore for fear of seeing yet another huge, bloody carcass. Even the bird himself tweeted: “We have more food lying around here than Shady Maple.”
         A few more of his recent tweets regarding the over abundance of food in the nest:Eagles3


    Posted on March 31st, 2015 Becky No comments


    Posted on Lancaster Online’s Facebook page under one of the “GoFundMe” stories.
         And maybe they could get a proper editorial writer while they’re at it! Oops, I guess I didn’t read it carefully enough. The last sentence of their stupid editorial this morning, “On Slide the City Lancaster, and the ups and downs of the Internet and crowdfunding” is “But, please, hold the insults,” (click here).
         Why? When they are so well deserved?
         LIP News will publish through Wednesday afternoon and then go on holiday break until Monday, April 6th, when daily publishing will resume. 
    Please check back later today.

    Posted on March 28th, 2015 Becky 31 comments


    ****  The police’s failure to release detailed descriptions of these men and the car, let alone video, is criminal.
    From “TOTAL FAILURE TO PROTECT & SERVE” posted on this site on March 8th (click here).
         And LNP’s failure to hold the police accountable is inexplicable and unconscionable.
         I have written so many sentences like this in so many posts for so many years that it is hard to approach it from a fresh angle (and if you haven’t read the above post on this site, please do). But my attention for the next several weeks is going to turn to the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition and their 161 cameras around Lancaster. I need to speak with the Executive Director, Wes Farmer, contact all of the Board Members and find out if Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law applies to them (over half of their funding comes from governmental entities). So please stay tuned and be patient.
         Do you know that there is a man in Lancaster who has been criminally charged or cited 112 times since September of 2003? He is currently in Lancaster County Prison, sentenced by District Judge Bruce Roth to 90 days for seven of his latest non-traffic dockets. He is Black, homeless and his last citation was for “littering.” Are the camera operators targeting him?



    shooting15*** The “article” regarding the shooting and the warrant issued for Alfred Harry Hicks (above) is on page B7 of today’s Sunday News without even his photo. 
         The police lied to the public. On Friday, March 27th, LNP police reporter Ryan Robinson reported the following (click here):
    Shooting16      A newspaper should be a watchdog for the public. A newspaper should protect its citizens. A newspaper should bring truth to power. Three of the nine PEW “Principles of Journalism” are (click here):
         1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth
         2. Its first loyalty is to citizens
         5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power
         This is absolutely despicable reporting by LNP and this is why they do not qualify as a news organization.
    Please check back later today.

    ** turkeyUPDATE – Tom’s “large, exotic bird” turned out to be a turkey (click here and also see the comments below this post). I don’t think anything else needs to be said about this incident at this time! ;-)

    * This comment just in:
           I thought this guy was not considered a threat to the community??
           That’s an excellent point! How do you explain that, Lt. Todd Umstead and LNP?


    Hicks                                                   Alfred Harry Hicks
          Police have charged and are looking for Alfred Harry Hicks, a 21-year-old male who is a resident of the 300 block of West King Street. He is charged in the Thursday morning shooting of a 22-year-old Lancaster man in the face and hand in that same block. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest on Aggravated Assault and Prohibited Offensive Weapons charges. 
          Anyone with information is urged to call Lancaster City Police at (717) 735-3300 or Lancaster City-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913. You can also click the Submit a Tip button on our website,, or Text a Tip to Crime Stoppers by texting LANCS plus your message to 847411. Tipsters may remain anonymous and do not have to give their names.
    Read the full police press release here.


    Posted on March 27th, 2015 Becky 4 comments



         I just spoke to Ann in the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition offices regarding the cameras. I initially asked for Wes Farmer, the Executive Director, but she told me he was on vacation this week. Asked if their cameras caught the shooting Thursday morning in the 300 block of West King Street, she said she “can’t release that information” and said I needed to talk to Wes. When slightly pressed she said she wasn’t working at that time so she doesn’t know and can’t speak about it.
         She said the cameras are monitored from 5 am until 2am everyday. Asked if the cameras continue to record during the three hour period when no one is there, she said “yes.”
         I asked her if the cameras captured anything in the March 2nd shooting in the 500 block of St. Joseph Street when shoots were fired in broad daylight. She said I would have to talk to Wes Farmer and he will be back from vacation next week. I will call him next week.
         There has been no update whatsoever on the 22-year-old who was shot in the face and hands Thursday morning. A commenter to this site added another shooting last night at North and Christian Streets (see the comments under the story immediately below).
         Late yesterday, LNP Executive Editor Barbara Hough Roda retweeted the above on her Twitter account.  Oh, that is special, Barb! Your failure to protect the public and hold the police and the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition accountable is inexplicable, shocking and absolutely disgusting. You should be ashamed to show your face in public.
    There will be more tomorrow.   

    Posted on March 26th, 2015 Becky 21 comments

    ***   Here we go again! LNP reporter Ryan Robinson posted this on his Twitter account at approximately 9:15 am this morning (click here). We are waiting!




         UPDATED 3-27-15 - LNP police reporter Ryan Robinson posted this under his story on Lancaster Online about noon yesterday regarding the shooting in the 300 block of West King Street yesterday. No additional information was forthcoming. Notice that this long-time police reporter never once mentions the Coalition camera located at that exact location. And obviously note the comment below Robinson’s.
         A friend is keeping track of the shootings and has the below list for March. How many shooters have been arrested from these incidents? This is inexplicable and clearly unacceptable and the quality of life for the residents of the city living outside the six-block magazine section is declining rapidly.
    Please check back later today.



         Do not know if shooting happened inside or outside per Todd Umstead. Get a grip here, buddy, there is a coalition camera right there at the intersection !! If it happened outside it will be on vid that you should have reviewed immediately.   
    This comment in today about the last  paragraph in this clip of the article by LNP reporter Ryan Robinson’s linked to this morning and which has been updated very slightly over the course of the day (click here).
         There really are no words for police and reporting work that is this terrible. Well, there are words but the FCC wouldn’t like them – so I will come back to this tomorrow when I’m calmer.
         Mayor Gray, it is despicable that your police force is not protecting the public and providing them with needed information. It is absolutely despicable! And that applies to Ryan Robinson and everyone at LNP as well!


    300 W. King5    300 W. King6

         Have you noticed that LNP has begun running a map with every story about a new shooting in the city? They have one with today’s article, “Man shot in Lancaster city has wounds on face, hands,” and it is pictured to the right above (click here for the article). 
         Why don’t they ever use the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition map of cameras to indicate the location? Note the word “safety” in their name! The same location is pictured on the Coalition’s camera map on the left above with the blue arrow added for the actual location.
         What did the cameras capture and why don’t we know? Half of the funding to maintain and monitor these cameras comes from the public. Where is the information, LNP reporter Ryan Robinson?
    Please check back later today.

    Posted on March 25th, 2015 Becky 7 comments


    UPDATE – 4:17 pm – Randy Patterson just returned my call and said the PSP has not put in a CRIZ application at this time
        An after-the-meeting agenda suddenly showed up on the City’s website on the CRIZ Authority’s page (click here and see the actual agenda below). A call was placed to Randy Patterson again today with no return call regarding the Penn Square Partners and a CRIZ application. The agenda does not seem to reflect a new application but that is certainly not absolute fact and I will get an absolute answer. The agendas should obviously be posted well in advance of a meeting and the minutes from each meeting should also be posted on their website.
         A lawyer from Jonathan Goldstein’s office returned my call and email regarding the NRA lawsuit against the City and their motion requesting an injunction against the City enforcing the ordinances in question until the lawsuit is resolved. He said all they can say at this time is: “The motion was filed on March 13th in the court. It is in front of the Judge.” 




    Nephin3     New LNP City Hall reporter Dan Nephin was exchanging tweets about the Hanover Eagles with City Business Administrator Patrick Hopkins on Sunday. How special!
         Nephin has not yet reported on the NRA’s request for an injunction on the City of Lancaster. He hasn’t updated another attorney’s Right to Know request for the names of people who donated to Lancaster’s “Common Sense Legal Defense Fund.”
         He has not reported how much has been donated and how much money the City has spent on legal fees. When he did report about a month ago that the City had received about $14,000 in donations, he didn’t put in a Right to Know request. No, like any good reporter he trusts his friends at City Hall to tell him the truth <sarcasm>!
         And he certainly has not written any articles regarding the CRIZ Authority (please see the story immediately below)! So I will spend my day doing that and putting in Right To Know requests. Yesterday, I sent the NRA’s attorney the below email and I’m hoping to receive an answer.
    Please check back later today.
    Re: City of Lancaster – MOTION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
    Jonathan Goldstein:
    I left you a voicemail but it also said email was best and I don’t know your email address so I am sending this through your website.
         I am the editor of the Lancaster Independent Press (
         I had the following questions regarding your motion noted above:
    —– Is Judge Joseph Madenspacher handling everything regarding this case including this motion?
    —– How long does he have to issue a judgment/decision?
    —– Will it involve a hearing and if so, do you know when that will be?
         The city just charged a man under one of the ordinances –  discharging a firearm within city limits. It’s the last item in this log:
    Thank you and I look forward to your response.
    Becky Holzinger

    Posted on March 24th, 2015 Becky 2 comments


    Thomas Baldridge                                             Daniel Bentancourt

       Thomas Baldrige                                           Daniel Bentancourt

          I am angry with myself this afternoon but even more angry with the City of Lancaster, the CRIZ Authority Board Members and the Lancaster Newspapers. I checked for an agenda for a March meeting and there is not one on the City website  CRIZ Authority page (click here). The last agenda listed is for January and I was told and reported that the CRIZ Board did not meet in February.

         I meant to call earlier, but placed a call to Randy Patterson, the city employee in charge, late this afternoon to ask if there was a meeting today and if the Penn Square Partners (PSP) had submitted a CRIZ application. The call was not returned, so I placed a call to Thomas Baldrige, the head of the Criz Board at his office at the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry. His assistant, Sarah, told me that in fact there is a CRIZ Board meeting beginning at 4:00 pm this afternoon. I do not know if the PSP has put in an application, but I will find out tomorrow.
         Thomas Baldrige and Daniel Bentancourt both must recuse themselves from any involvement whatsoever with a PSP application according to the CRIZ bylaws as both of their spouses work for the Lancaster Newspapers.
         This is an outrage. LNP just ran an editorial about public entities and the right to know and posting detailed agendas ahead of meetings. And, of course, LNP – a partner with High Industries in the PSP – is the only news source to let the public know what is going on.
         This is beyond despicable and disgusting and if they are holding a meeting and discussing a PSP application for CRIZ money today, I will file a complaint with the state.

    Posted on March 24th, 2015 Becky 11 comments



          Who is stupid enough to drive the car and actually go exactly where the police were told the bad guys were gonna go by the others. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. These guys were a danger to themselves.
    This comment in from Scott last night.
         True. And while the police and LNP made a big deal that six people were arrested – only one was arrested for actually being involved in the shooting.  Four were arrested for some type of commotion at the hospital where their friend was being treated – and very lucky he was only grazed – and the sixth was arrested on an unrelated warrant. So that’s one partial shooting solved with four others to go just in this month, Lancaster Police and LNP!
         And we also have the 13 and 15-year-old armed robbers. Have they outsmarted the police?
         A couple of notes on this:
    —- Someone on Lancaster Online’s Facebook page said they had a video of the Park City fight on their page. And there is a video but no way to tell if this is the fight in question. If it is, the police should also receive a copy. I expected to see large burly teens having an all out fist fight. This is young kids rolling around on the floor with a couple of punches thrown!
    —- The racist comments on Lancaster Online’s Facebook page under the article are disgusting and should be removed (click here)! What is wrong with LNP? “Steve Smith’s” only purpose in all of his comments is to spread racist hate. Why wasn’t he banned weeks ago?
    Please check back later today.


    Posted on March 22nd, 2015 Becky 19 comments

    ** …It was determined that the other man, identified as Jose Alberto Ortiz-Cruz, 34 years old, resident of the 200 Blk. Howard Ave., Lancaster, had fired the pistol into the river, after which Carrillo-Valentin took possession of the gun. Jose Alberto Ortiz-Cruz will be charged with Discharging a Firearm within City Limits. Joseph Joel Carrillo-Valentin was charged with Carrying a Firearm without a License. (Ortiz-Cruz possessed a valid concealed carry permit. The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department will be notified of this incident). No bail information at this time.
    From the police press release linked to immediately below – Incident #1.

          Apparently, Ortiz-Cruz was charged under the Lancaster City Ordinance that the NRA just filed a motion with the court on March 13th requesting the Judge to order an immediate injunction to stop Lancaster from enforcing this ordinance.
          Question: Is there a state law that he could be charged with in its place? Reckless Endangerment? Disorderly Conduct? Criminal Mischief?

    UPDATED – 3-23-15 - The police made arrests in two shooting incidents, the one noted below and one in a previously unreported discharge of a firearm in the County Park on Friday. Click here to read the police press release, “3.22.15 Arrests in Shots Fired / Shooting Incidents.”


         There has been another shooting in Lancaster and this time someone was struck. LNP reporter, Kara Newhouse, who normally covers education, has office/scanner duty today and tells the public absolutely nothing – click here for, “Police investigating Lancaster city shooting.”  Yes, the police are always “investigating” but never come up with any answers/arrests! 

         So it seems appropriate that I tell yesterday’s photo tale of eagles and the LNP newsroom. Yesterday afternoon, LNP reporter Dan Nephin posted this on his twitter account: eagle cam2
         Then he posted a picture of the large screen in the LNP office showing the eagle cam:
    eagle Ccam2
         Well, you know me. I decided to click on the picture and save it to enlarge and read what was on all the papers around the screen.
    eagle cam
         Eureka! There are notes attached to the full photo at the top and bottom of the screen! Nephin did not crop his picture! So, I saved it and took a look! Oh, my! The bottom of the screen has these notes attached:
    eagle cam9
         The top message to employees reads:
         What information is my audience looking for? What information do they need right now? What expertise can I share with them?
        The paper attached to the screen says:
    Posting/editing protocol
    1. Reporters must read over their stories for spelling, grammar and tense BEFORE posting.
    2. Immediately upon posting, reporters will tell their supervising editors the story is posted. If that editor is…….[cut off]
    eagle cam8
         The note on the top-left of the screen is difficult to read. The note on the top right – partially covered by an upside down Post-It note about a “pot luck” reads:
         What can I do to help residents understand this story or cope with the issue I’m …[covered by note]…can I provide to help them live their lives?
         Oh, do I have answers to these questions! And shouldn’t an editor review the reporter’s work BEFORE they post it online for all the world to see? And I would love to know the rest of the list (hint, hint to some nice LNP employee).
         Unbelievable! Do these reporters and editors have bird brains? My answers will come at a later date, but could someone inform Newhouse that she needs to provide information right now so people can actually live their lives today without being shot?

    Posted on March 20th, 2015 Becky 16 comments


         …We know we’re inferior to Lancaster. They are like our rich cousin, the one whose wedding we ruined by showing up in a Ray Rice jersey and trying to do the Chicken Dance after depleting the supply of Yuengling Lager at the open bar. We’re not as rich or cultured. We’re blue collar and prefer a shot and a beer to locally crafted wine made from grapes grown on vines fertilized by unicorn poop.
         …The overall impression is that Lancaster’s downtown tries very hard to be “special” and “cosmopolitan” and “hip.” For instance, the city has a place billed as a “Hookah and Coffee Lounge.” Seriously.
         It’s almost as if the city is trying too hard to mask its own insecurity.
    From YDR, “Mike Argento: Take this, Lancaster: A response to one city’s bullying (column),” (click here).
          Well done, Mike! I’d love to hear you tell it directly to Mayor Bow Tie!
    LNP went and did it! I’ll be in hiding for the rest of the day and be back tomorrow with serious news!



         Well, the Hanover Eagle warned LNP days ago and he was not fooling around! LNP has ignored the large bird, putting all buggy owners in danger, and has continued with their ridiculous “contest”:


         The eagle was even more upset today. He has announced all of his offspring are and will be forever named George. George? Didn’t another famous George do that?


         Imagine his anger tomorrow when LNP announces their “names!” (((shudder)))


    Keystone Awards1

         Well, Gil Smart is going to be insufferable. Yes, he’s the top winner of this year’s Keystone Press Awards. One of the problems with this – Susan Baldrige co-authored the article with Smart (click here). Where is her credit? Uh, oh!  You can read all the 2015 winners in LNP’s category here.


    LNP Layoff

         This is on WGAL’s website this afternoon! Ouch! What an excellent and well deserved dig at LNP! Maybe it’s partial revenge for their story about WGAL reporters allegedly disturbing the Eagle’s nest.

         Keep your eyes to the sky tomorrow morning to be safe from the Hanover Eagle coming to snatch up a buggy – or your pet – or maybe you! Stay safe and warm and please check back tomorrow.


    Posted on March 20th, 2015 Becky 4 comments


         Ranasia’s uncle acted out first, shouting “I have to get out of here! What the (expletive)!” as the decision on first-degree murder was announced. Deputies forced him out of the room.
    From the LNP article, “Courtroom erupts when man is convicted of 3rd-degree murder in child’s death,” (click here).
    Bachman5      Ranasia’s uncle, Justin Bachman, was interviewed by Katelyn Smith of WGAL-TV when the charges were first lodged against Lester Johnson and Bachman had custody of one of his sister’s other children at the time, (click here).
    Bachman4           Posted by Justin Bachman on Lancaster Online’s Facebook under the article yesterday.  

    Bachman3    I am familiar with some of the people who “liked” his comment. I am also familiar with some of the people who post on mom Jessica Bachman’s Facebook page (she is pictured to the left). This is not the first time there’s been child abuse in the Bachman family. I hope Children and Youth and the DA’s office are watching her other children very, very carefully.
    Please check back later today for more on the recent shootings. Where are the arrests, Lancaster Police?


    Posted on March 19th, 2015 Becky 16 comments

    ** 5:00 pm – Regarding Lester Johnson’s murder trial in the death of his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter, LNP reporter Brett Hambright just tweeted that Judge Reinaker has found him guilty of third-degree murder – not the first-degree verdict the DA’s office was pushing very hard to get.



         The transcript of Katelyn Smith of WGAL in her video,Police investigate 5th shots-fired incident in Lancaster this month,” (click here):
         There have been about five shots fired calls that have been reported that police are now investigating just this month. And although no people have been hit in any of these cases, there have been some close calls. So last night around 8:30, two homes were hit according to police. Neighbors report hearing eight shots. Police say they believe there may be two people or two groups of people firing at each other. We do know that private surveillance cameras on Coral Street show several people running in opposite directions around the time of the shooting. Neighbors don’t think the shooters were trying to hit the homes.
    Interview with neighbor, Tom Abel:
         It was just the cross-fire. They were shooting across their backyard, more or less [one of the two homes that was hit]. And the scary part about that is that it is a house full of children. There are a lot of children in that place.  It was just terrible to think what could have happened.
        Police say they haven’t found any evidence yet connecting any of these calls. In one case, there was actually a woman driving her car when her window, right behind her, was shot out. Thankfully, again, no one has been hurt in any of these. Police did make two arrests after one of the shootings. They picked up two men for having guns and drugs but they don’t know if these men were actually involved in these shootings.
         The Lancaster Newspapers have moved this story off the homepage of their website. They have not updated the story for hours and hours. For most of the morning, their story about last night’s shooting was below a story about a kitten. This is unbelievable and LNP’s failure to hold the police accountable and protect the citizens of Lancaster is beyond shocking – it is despicable. Absolutely despicable.

    * They have added an update to Hambright’s trial piece (click here). OMG! The prosecution must be desperate – or maybe they pull this crap all the time and no one calls them on it!


    Lancaster Online (click here).

           Mayor Gray needs to act immediately! He needs to get every detective on this case and have them go door to door for information and he needs the police to release detailed descriptions of each and every one of these men and the type of guns involved to the public. Take action now, Mayor Gray!
         And LNP needs to find a new court reporter. Brett Hambright is an absolute disgrace. LNP has buried his latest article on Lester Johnson’s murder trial and the headline online is the same as the one that ran all day yesterday – but there is new information from the afternoon session – click here for “Mother recalls dying 2-year-old daughter’s final moments.”
         The prosecution used a former cellmate of Johnson? Are you kidding me? And I do not believe a single word that comes out of the mouth of the mother, Jessica Bachman.
    Please check back later today.


    Posted on March 18th, 2015 Becky 21 comments


         Two quick legal notes for today:
    —- On March 13th, the NRA filed a Motion for Injunctive Relief against the City of Lancaster. They want the Judge to immediately order Lancaster officials to not enforce any of the three ordinances they are challenging pending the final outcome of their suit. The NRA did not come to play! And I’m sure Mayor Gray’s arrogant statements to the media are not helping! Legal costs for Lancaster have to be increasing drastically. Please see a portion of their motion below.
    —– In one of the most bizarre criminal cases from last year – click here for “FOLKS, WE HAVE AN HONEST TO GOODNESS AMISH MAFIA AFFAIR!” – the alleged stalker, John Geiman, is currently scheduled to plead guilty to multiple charges on April 14th before Judge Joseph Madenspacher. His docket does not indicate if the DA’s office has offered him a negotiated plea deal. There will be more on this case at a later date.


         Nearby, construction could begin  as soon as late this year on a 96-room addition to the Lancaster Marriott that would rise 12 stories.
         Buildings at 14, 16, and 18 E. King St. would be torn down for the hotel annex, which would include a rooftop lounge and bar.
         If all the projects are completed the block would have three rooftop areas: the existing one at Tellus 360 and new ones at 26 East and the Marriott.
    From the LNP article by Chad Umble, “Bar/lounge, bakery/bistro are latest projects on bustling downtown Lancaster block,” (click here). 
         Wow! Three, count them – three – possible rooftop bars!  Your average Joe in Lancaster must be pleased as punch! 
         Has the PSP (LNP and High Industries) put in their CRIZ application? There’s nary a mention of it in this article.
    Please check back later today.


    Posted on March 17th, 2015 Becky 17 comments


         There are so many topics to cover – so please be patient as I work my way through them day-by-day. A Right-to-Know request will be submitted to the county for the cost of all the District Justices’ offices and I will file misconduct complaints against District Judge Mary Mongiovi Sponaugle, her husband Thomas B. Sponaugle and her father, John Mongiovi and I will post them here.
         I will come back to Lester Johnson’s trial and the huge mistake LNP made today and also a meme that LNP has been reporting on in every article they print regarding this case.  Brett Hambright, if I watch “How to Get Away with Murder” does that mean I killed or want to kill someone? If I post that I “like” the TV show on my Facebook page, does that mean I should be charged with any random murder just because it’s there?
          I will also come back to all the shootings in the city, the lack of arrests and LNP moving the stories off their homepage as fast as they can with no follow-up. And then there is what LNP did to McCaskey basketball coach Steve Powell and his business, Powell Steel.
          But today, I wanted to briefly discuss updates to the NRA lawsuit and will also (yikes!) come back to that in more detail later.  If you recall, I posted on this site that the NRA found two more city ordinances they don’t like and amended their lawsuit to include them on March 6th. 
         LNP reporter Dan Nephin finally reported it in a ridiculous article yesterday, “NRA challenges two more Lancaster City gun ordinances,” (click here). But he fails to mention anything about his previous article where he reported, as did WGAL, that an attorney has filed a Right-to-Know request with the city for the names of the people who donated to the “Common Sense Lancaster Legal Defense Fund” – click here for, “Gun-rights attorney wants names of donors to Lancaster’s NRA legal defense fund .”
         So I called the attorney, Joshua Price, today for a follow-up and his assistant left me a voice mail stating that the City of Lancaster has requested a 30-day extension under the RTK law. I also told him that my Right-to-Know request simply asking for the exact dollar amount the city has raised under the fund was denied and he has offered to help me and said financial records are public information!
         Mayor Gray, the man who boasts he was an attorney for over 40 years, is making a total fool of himself and the city. And reporter Dan Nephin is not far behind.
    Please check back tomorrow.

     *Attention court reporter Brett Hambright and LNP editors: He is on trial! How dare you use “killer?”



    Steven Powell

       Steve Powell (Photo by Dave Porter)    

         My guess would be that the Mongiovis and Sponaugles are life-long friends of the Lancaster Upper Crust Power Elite, so there is little to fear from their perspective.
         LNP’s Editorial Board will be sure to put a positive spin on this to protect their friends.
         LNP always looks after their friends and LNP’s best interest…..Always Lancaster
         This comment in yesterday.
         Yes, that sums it up nicely. But these individuals judge and want to judge others as part of our justice system and it is simply an unacceptable conflict of interest and misconduct on their part. And for LNP and reporter Joe Hainthaler to purposely mislead the public is shocking and despicable! There will be more later today.
         This past weekend, a picture of Steve Powell, McCaskey’s basketball  coach, ran on the homepage of Lancaster Online for two days and the team plays again tonight in their bid for a state title. His business, Powell Steel, however, received very, very different coverage from LNP.
    Please check back later today.

  • *** 3-16-15 UPDATE – ** UPDATED – * WHAT ABOUT DAD?

    Posted on March 15th, 2015 Becky 17 comments

    * Doing some research this afternoon. Back tomorrow morning.


           John [Mongiovi] is counsel to the Lancaster County Association of Realtors (LCAR).
    From the Mongiovi & Mongiovi, LLC website (click here).
         So John Mongiovi is not only breaking legal conduct standards he is also breaking real estate ethics codes with this unbelievable conflict of interest that the County Commissioners have allowed to go on for ten years.
         And District Judge Mary Mongiovi Sponaugle told LNP reporter Joe Hainthaler last summer that before her mother, Concetta Mongiovi – wife of John Mongiovi above – purchased the building in July of 2004, Sponaugle tried to talk her out of it but could not (click here). She also states that she told the President Judge ten years ago about it and said, “I wanted to make sure there was full disclosure, and there was no appearance of impropriety,” she said.
         There is every appearance of impropriety. It is unconscionable. And now Mongiovi Sponaugle’s husband, Thomas B. Sponaugle, wants to be a Judge (click here):
         The 49-year-old Lancaster Township resident, wants to replace Judge Joseph Madenspacher — who is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 this year. His seat will be the only vacancy on the local judiciary when voters go to the polls in November.
          Sponaugle works at York-based Griffith, Strickler, Lerman, Solymos & Calkins, a general practice firm. While he focuses on complex civil law, he said he’s also done defense work, along with family, municipal and condominium work.
         We have three attorney’s breaking legal codes of conduct and one is a District Judge and one wants to be a Lancaster County Judge. This is simply unbelievable and intolerable!    


          District Judge Mary Mongiovi Sponaugle’s mom, Concetta Mangiovi, owns 1351 Elm Street where the Judge’s offices are located. She also owns the building that houses her husbands law firm, Mongiovi & Mongiovi, LLC at 235 North Lime Street (click here). But together, she and her husband own their home and several other properties in both of their names. Please see the listing from the County website below.
    * Please see immediately below this post for breaking news regarding Imir Williams and Esther Schmucker. I originally had it posted here, but this story is too important. This conduct by the Sponaugles and Mongiovis is outrageous and intolerable!


    John Mongiovi
          Deputy Court Administrator Russell Glass said it was the office space of “Judge Sponaugle.” She’s known as Mary Mongiovi Sponaugle; that’s how her name appears on the sign outside her office.
         And the landlord: Concetta Mongiovi, the judge’s mother.
    From the LNP story on July 30, 2014 by Joe Hainthaler, “Judge holds court in mom’s building – and you’re paying for it,” (click here).
         What about dad?
    Please check back later today.


    *** BREAKING NEWS ***

     Imir Williams    Imir Williams, the on again-off again boyfriend of Amish Mafia star Esther Schmucker, is back in Lancaster County Prison charged with simple assault. According to his docket, he was charged on March 10th for an incident on February 27th. It is not known whom he allegedly assaulted but Esther Schmucker posted this on her Facebook page on March 12th (click here):

         Sorry I haven’t been on here in a few months, there’s been a lot going on recently. But today I just wanted to stop and request prayers from everyone who believes in doing so, I have been sick for a little while (we don’t know what’s wrong yet) but it’s been manageable to where I have been going about my life anyway. I finally went to the hospital when the pain was to much to bear, and we are now finally doing surgery today to try to figure out what’s wrong. I’m a little scared but I pray that all will go smoothly and we will hopefully get some answers today.
    Positive vibes are appreciated.

    Posted on March 14th, 2015 Becky 4 comments


    Hainthaler     Do you remember this story by LNP’s Joe Hainthaler – “Judge holds court in mom’s building – and you’re paying for it,” (click here)?
         Well mom, Concetta Mongiovi, still owns the building at 1351 Elm Avenue used by District Judge Mary Mongiovi Sponaugle, but there’s a very important fact that Hainthaler left out of his story! Did he do it on purpose or is he really that stupid?
    To be continued…


    Posted on March 12th, 2015 Becky 5 comments


          Gil Smart quotes from the ACLU extensively in his clueless blog post today. And the ACLU supports the KKK being allowed to march publicly and I support the ACLU in that regard. But if someone pulls the hood off of one of the marchers and they turn out to be a policeman or a public school teacher – then they should be fired immediately because it’s an unacceptable affiliation and activity for their public position. Period.
         “Huh?” sent in an excellent comment along those same lines regarding the frat boys so I’m reprinting it below. Have a great Friday!
         Yes, it’s true, we do have a first amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech. Let’s just say that for whatever reason, Gil decided to use his first amendment rights to write a column saying that another Steinman should never never never run the LNP. Hmmmm, wonder what would happen? Think he might be fired?
         That is the point of the first amendment. We have the freedom to speak what we want to say however it does not protect us from the consequences of what we say.
         SAE frat boys could sing whatever the hell they wanted to and it was protected under freedom of speech. But their racist, bigoted and ugly words caused there to be consequences. And it seems only racist, bigoted posters on the local forums pull the “freedom of speech” card without acknowledging that singing that ugly song had consequences. They are free to sing and the college is free to dump their sorry assed frat house and expel a few guys for good measure.
         Betcha these idiots in the video will never pull that stunt again because they finally understand consequences for actions or speech. Maybe for the first time in their lives they actually do understand.


    UPDATE 3-13-15 - I cannot take this level of cluelessness and stupidity from Gil Smart any longer! He just posted an incredibly long blog about “freedom of speech” and how those University of Oklahoma frat boys had a “right” to sing/chant what they did (click here).
         And yet, in this week’s Sunday News, Smart has a column, “Brushing back the trolls: Curt Schilling’s perfect pitch,” (click here).  Apparently firing those Twitter users who posted gross, horrible comments to Schilling’s daughter was just okay with Smart! What about their “freedom of speech,” Smart?
         Get the hell out of your office and investigate something!


          African-Americans in Ferguson (and elsewhere) are right to be angry at the way they’ve been systematically targeted, as the Justice Department report detailed. And in all the months since Michael Brown died, what has really changed – in Ferguson or elsewhere
    What can change? It feels as if we’re at an impasse. And that’s when frustration and fury boils over.

    From Gil Smart’s blog today, “2 cops shot in Ferguson; will (social) media fan the flames?” (click here). 
    smartremarks     I have rarely been so enraged and disgusted as I have been by LNP “investigative reporter” Gil Smart’s repeated blog posts about Furgeson. Someone needs to stop this arrogant, out-of-touch, pathetic excuse for a journalist.
         What can change? You write about it, Smart! You are supposed to be a writer – you should know that! You expose the injustices and work to get them corrected. That’s what you can and should do! How can you not understand that?
         Leave your literal ivory tower and walk down the street and talk to some people! I spoke with someone today who hears and documents discrimination based complaints in Lancaster and surrounding counties. He said employment discrimination is one of the largest categories (imagine that, LNP and Smart!) and I hope to do a detailed piece on this at a later date.
         I will also, as Smart so “cleverly” likes to say, “riff” on all of his stupid, pointless posts at a later date. They are simply incomprehensible.
         As to the shootings, Eric Holder said this (click here):
         Thursday’s shootings were “inexcusable and repugnant,” U.S Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “Such senseless acts of violence threaten the very reforms that nonviolent protesters in Ferguson and around the country have been working towards.”
         I agree. Violence has no place in our society and I hope the shooter or shooters are arrested and charged just as soon as possible. But we must also work as hard as we can to put the necessary reforms in place so that everyone in this country is treated equally in all aspects of their lives.
         In other news, the NRA has found two other city ordinances regarding guns that they don’t like. Yes, on March 6th, they filed an “Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief” and added the two additional ordinances to their original lawsuit:
         In “lighter” news, this appeared on the Akron Police Facebook page (click here):
         Akron Police are searching for someone they said has defecated on 19 parked cars in driveways.
    The suspect has been striking between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. On Wednesday morning, a resident caught the suspect on film.
    If you have information, call Akron Police at 330-375-2552.
    Any Facebook tips that contain personal information, including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, or mailing addresses should not be posted as a comment here; please send via inbox.
         Oh, my. The comments just keep coming in! Hopefully somebody has also identified this man so the police can make an arrest! Gross – just gross!

    Posted on March 12th, 2015 Becky 7 comments


         I’m doing website maintenance this morning. If this site is not available at any point, please try back in ten minutes.


    Posted on March 11th, 2015 Becky 6 comments


         Two quick items this afternoon as Dr. Phil is interviewing Nick Gordon, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s boyfriend, at 4:00 pm.
    —- Ashley Rose Curry’s bail was reinstated back to $100,000 cash – click here for “Judge: No reduced bail for woman in racially-fueled shooting.”
    —- I don’t shop much at ACME – they are expensive and I find their quality is lacking – much like LNP! But some LNP biggie must shop there, because I found this in their meat department two days ago. I think ACME should sue LNP! This is blatant copyright infringement!




         LNP reporters post pictures of suspects like this every other day – except from Coalition cameras in Lancaster City. Don’t you think a reporter would ask the police why? It’s gotten so bad that residents no long expect crimes to be solved.
         There’s no follow-up by LNP, no one is arrested and the criminals are left on the street to repeat their crimes over and over again and no one questions it. There will be more later today and click here for “Police seek to ID men who passed fake $100 bills.”
         Columbia’s District Judge Robert. Herman just decided to show his racism to the entire world. From the article, “Witness of alleged “angry” shooter: ‘I thought she was going to shoot all of us,’ ” (click here):
         Judge Herman ordered that the original $100,000 bail be modified so Curry would only have to post ten percent of that.
         First Assistant District Attorney Christopher Larsen adamantly objected to that.
         Larsen said, after the hearing, he will petition a Lancaster County judge to reinstate the original bail.
         This is simply an outrage and blatant racism and for the first time Larsen does something right! There will be more on this at a later date.
         LNP Opinion Editor Suzanne Cassidy writes another editorial about domestic violence and her hypocrisy grows with every single one – click here for “Say ‘no more’ to domestic and sexual violence.” If you are serious, how about you say no to Police Chief Keith Sadler (please see the permanent box immediately above)? LNP’s failure to inform the public and demand that this crude, incompetent man who’s ex-wife states in a book he beat her for years be fired is disgusting and dangerous to women everywhere. And it’s all because of LNP’s convention center/Marriott hotel! Unbelievable.
         On a lighter note, the “Hanover_Eagle” had some well deserved fun with LNP yesterday! I don’t know who’s behind this Twitter account, but I love this sassy but classy bird!
    Please check back later today.

    Posted on March 10th, 2015 Becky 10 comments


    Ubaldo Ramos
         Were the Coalition cameras used to “catch” 71-year-old Ubaldo Ramos with an open container? He used to drink at a bar in the 300 block of South Queen Street. Did the camera operators notify the police when he left the bar so they could cite/arrest him?
         We may find out if Aida DeJesus v. City of Lancaster, et al goes to trial. DeJesus was last taken to the police station for public drunkenness in August of 2012. He allegedly fell and hit his head in the station. He suffered a traumatic brain injury from which he never recovered and he died the next summer in the Conestoga View Nursing Home. The lawsuit remains open (click here).
         Are the cameras primarily being used to target minorities for these types of “violations?”  Are they being used to intimidate, harass and target minorities? 
         The purpose and use of these cameras needs to be investigated immediately. 
          Please click here for “SEVENTEEN DIFFERENT POLICE OFFICERS!” and the list of Ramos’ citations and arrests and the charging officers are reprinted below. After his death, the city made his relatives pay the fines and costs from these citations totaling thousands of dollars.   
    [Editor’s note: The Silva v. Corll federal lawsuit has settled (click here). I will file a Right-to-Know request with the City of Lancaster to find out how much they paid.]    
    Thomas J. Cole         12-17-02    – Public Drunkenness
    Steven G. Flick            6-6-03      – Public Drunkenness & Open Container
    Michael J. Gerace        3-15-07    – Open Container
    Matthew W Odenthal   4-14-08    – Open Container
    Todd Andrew Grager     7-8-08    – Open Container
    Scott W. McDonald     10-10-08   – Open Container
    William H. Hickey       11-29-08   – Open Container
    Jared Lamar Snader      6-1-09    – Def. Tres
    James M. Boas             6-10-09    – Open Container
    Todd Andrew Grager    7-24-09    – Open Container
    Jason Matthew Hagy    9-15-09    – Public Drunkenness & Open Container
    Aaron J. Szuborski        1-4-10     – Open Container
    Adam C. Flurry            1-16-10     – Open Container
    Ben Bradley                3-25-10     – Open Container
    Adam C. Flurry            8-14-10     – Open Container
    William E. Genetti II      4-2-11     – Public Drunkenness
    Richard L. Mendez       7-30-11     – Public Drunkenness & Open Container
    Ryan Andrew Work      8-12-12     – Open Container
    Henry C. Barrie           8-31-12      – Public Drunkenness & Open Container



    The front-page of today’s print edition.

         The cameras were supposed to make the city safe for everyone. They have done no such thing. These basic facts are known:
    —- The Lancaster Community Safety Coalition cameras are not being used for their “intended” purpose.
    —- The Lancaster Newspapers are fully aware of this and purposely hide their non-use and protect the police.
        “kmb” sent this comment into this site months ago:
         The cameras are around to make visitors feel safe and they are a tool to control and intimidate the majority of non white residents by the ever dwindling white minorities.
         Is this really the purpose of the cameras? An outside investigation needs to begin immediately on these cameras and what they are being used for – because they are not being used to solve crime!
    Please check back later today.


    Posted on March 9th, 2015 Becky 4 comments


    rickspin    I’m the Old Gray Mayor and I’m really grinning;
        I’m so happy that my bowtie is spinning.

        Cameras on a pole, way up high;
        People getting shot, some even die!

        Supposed to stop crime, that’s what we thought;
                               But it keeps going on, and very few get caught!

         A comment into this site yesterday as part of a rap contest!
          So, what is going on with the cameras? Not much!
    Please check back later today.


    Posted on March 8th, 2015 Becky 28 comments



         Since this is still a very active investigation, we are not going to release any further information at this time,” Umstead said.
         He was asked how rare it is for a moving car to be struck by gunfire.
         “Shooting incidents in general are not common events in Lancaster city,” Umstead said.
    From the LNP story, “Police investigate 2 incidents of shots fired in southwest Lancaster,” (click here).
         Two days ago, Lt. Todd Umstead not only lied to LNP reporter Ryan Robinson, he also refused to provide any information so the public could protect themselves from active shooters. Also in the article there is this:
         It appears from surveillance a group of three males exchanged shots with another male, city police Sgt. Richard Cosmore said.
         So they do have surveillance video of these men and have not released it to the public. As I noted on this site with an insert of the camera map, the location of this shooting has Coalition cameras on every corner! In fact, a commenter under the story posted this:
         There is no way to get to the 500 block of St. Joseph Street without being recorded by at least one of three coalition cameras. And in daylight no less.
         The police’s failure to release detailed descriptions of these men and the car, let alone video, is criminal.
         As to shootings not being common events, that is a flat-out lie as the police met with the residents of the Chestnut Hill neighborhood twice in the last few months because of shootings and crimes. I could link to numerous articles about all the shootings, but I’ll stick with this LNP story from December 23, 2014 and updated on January 9 of 2015:Map. data: 9 recent shootings in Lancaster city,” (click here).
         So Lt. Todd Umstead has completely failed in his job to protect and serve the public who pay him his excellent salary.
          As to his musical ability, I am not impressed but as noted in today’s absurd fluff piece, he will be playing at LNP’s Marriott hotel in March! This newspaper has endless conflicts of interest and they only care about their own bottom line and not the public’s interest or safety. It is disgusting.
         One more conflict: LNP Executive Editor Barbara Hough Roda is Facebook friends with Umstead’s wife, Dawn Thatcher Umstead. But it goes deeper than that. Roda is one of eight “followers” of Dawn Umstead’s Twitter account (click here) and Roda and her daughter donated to St. Baldrick’s on behalf of Todd Umstead in April of 2012 (click here and page down for the list of donators). Is that inappropriate? Yes!
        The whole article is a lie and inappropriate and an absolute disgrace to the public LNP is supposed to serve.
        There will be more on the police, cameras and crime this week.      


         This is unbelievable!  LNP Executive Editor, Barbara Hough Roda, comes rushing to her friend’s defense (click here)! I have written frequently about Lt. Todd Umstead over the years and most recently on March 3rd!
        Please click here for “OUTRAGEOUS POLICE CONDUCT!” and check back later today.


    Posted on March 6th, 2015 Becky 6 comments


    Parking Garage1Parking Garage

          The top screen shot is from Lancaster Online’s Facebook page when the story went online yesterday afternoon.  The bottom shot is from the homepage of their website this morning.  Do you notice the significant change they made in the headline simply by changing “only” to “a?”
         Yes, this was the editors at LNP covering-up for the incompetence of the Gray administration once again. Many commenters noted that the city website still said there were six free garages for snow emergencies. 
         Not wanting to let their convention center/Marriott puppet look bad, LNP decided to make it look like the city was being generous by offering a free garage!  And notice the opening sentence in the bottom photo from the website that still says “only?” 
         It’s not in the story anymore (click here). It’s gone. Reporter Dan Nephin now starts with a softer, gentler obscured version and takes several sentences to get to the bottom line – there is only one free garage this year (and he uses bad grammar to boot):
         Used to be when Lancaster city declared a snow emergency, residents could park for free in any one of the Lancaster Parking Authority garages.   
         No more.
         During the current snow emergency, Prince Street Parking Garage is open for free. Residents can park in other garages, but they’ll have to pay.
         This is disgusting and LNP does it time and time again to protect Gray and his incompetent, foolish and uncaring administration – and this is a blatant example of how they do it!

         Robert Field at goes after Gray and LNP on another blaring failure and LNP cover-up – the EPA debacle (click here):
         …The City is justifying almost a decade of fig leaves in the form of roof gardens and porous paving by attributing almost twenty years of department spending as proof of cooperation. See “Rick Gray’s EPA chickens are coming home to roost” (click here).
         …LNP no longer feels any responsibility for enlightening and possibly defending the public. It’s only concern is whatever works best for the cash register.
         I would argue it’s been that way for years and years!  And notice how LNP does talk about “20 years?” That’s because they want to try and equally place blame on the previous Smithgall administration! LNP has a multitude of tricks! 

         I’m going to come back to crime and the cameras tomorrow – but today we have this LNP story, “Police nab 3 after shots fired again in southwest Lancaster city,” (click here).
         Good. The police got a teen with an illegal gun off the street!  But, the article also says this:
         Three younger males wearing dark-colored hoodies were seen leaving the area, he said. A short time later, officers stopped three males fitting the description in the 600 block of Columbia Avenue.
         One of the suspects, Sidney Waters, 19, of the 1100 block of East King Street, had a handgun in the pocket of gym shorts under his pants, Umstead said. The black Ruger LCP .380-caliber gun had a magazine containing six rounds of ammunition. Serial numbers had been obliterated from the gun.
         Okay, reporter Ryan Robinson, do you know the all important and obvious questions you should have asked the police so you can do your job and let the public know very relevant information:
         Had the gun been fired in the last half hour? Does the magazine only hold six rounds or were some missing? Was the gun actually fired in the incident?
    Please check back tomorrow.


    Posted on March 5th, 2015 Becky 16 comments


         The People of Lancaster Facebook page gets today’s best post award!  On the Lancaster Online Facebook page, a nasty fight broke out under the actual post.  LOL!
         Yes, everyone was worried about the eagles today and had their eye on the eagle nest. There wasn’t much else to do after all, except shovel snow!  An editor at the York Daily Record gave the bird an umbrella:

         The eagle was not amused! Yes, the best tweeter by far is the Hanover_Eagles (click here). I love this bird:

         And this showed up on my Facebook feed today. We all knew this was coming, didn’t we?

         Be safe and warm and think 50 degrees next Wednesday!