Cheers: To Tucker Smith, a 73-year-old Lewisburg resident who has had another close shave with renown. Smith had the best goatee in the Brothers of the Brush competition in 1963, when Union County held the event in celebration of its sesquicentennial. Fifty years later, Nov. 17, 2013, to be precise, as Union County celebrated its bicentennial, Smith again entered the contest and again won by a whisker.
Cheers: To the United Way Women’s Leadership Council of the Susquehanna River Region, which has signed on to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program and intends to provide a free book each month to 500 children preparing to start kindergarten. The goal is to support early grade literacy, said Keri Albright, president and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way. A $25 donation provides books for one child all year, Albright said, adding that there is a waiting list of children in addition to the 500 hoping to receive the reading material.
Cheers: To the musicians of eight bands, which Friday night charged either a $5 cash donation or nonperishable food item for those who wanted to hear their performances at a Shamokin Dam church. The money and food will be donated to Haven Ministries, a Sunbury homeless shelter. Among the performing bands were The Sorta Kindas, The Goodnight Revelry and Clayton Ravine.
Cheers: To the anonymous couple who donated $300 to the very same Haven Ministries, which early last week discovered that a nativity scene — with a 4 1/2-foot tall Joseph and Mary, and baby Jesus — was missing from a shed on the homeless shelter’s property. A day after executive director Pam Steffen reported the nativity scene missing, the anonymous couple stepped up and parted with $300 to purchase another one. “It will be here by Thanksgiving,” Steffen said. “I hope everyone comes and checks it out.”
Cheers: To Snyder County Judge Michael Sholley, who Tuesday denied an admitted conman’s bid to have his 12 ½-year to 78-year prison sentence reduced. Kurt J. Keiper, 42, of Middleburg, was sentenced one year ago this month to the lengthy stay behind bars and ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution to the numerous people in the United States and Canada whom he bilked when he failed to deliver vehicles they ordered through his company. His attorney said the sentence was excessively harsh. When considering previous convictions and accompanying restitution amounts, Keiper is on the hook for more than $750,000. “You,” Sholley said, “are the Donald Trump of restitution. Never in my 30 years involvement in the courts have I seen anyone who owes as much restitution as you.” Keiper will be eligible for parole in 10½ years.