The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 29, 2012

2012: The Valley in Review


"Great day for Sunbury"

Sparkling riverfront puts city on map, mayor says

Aug. 17. Sunbury. While everyone was congratulating Jim Eister, manager of the three-year, $9.5-million Riverfront Project, the city councilman on Thursday morning was deflecting the praise to a longtime Sunbury resident who stood in his namesake park, ribboncutting scissors in hand.

“We were honored that Merle Phillips showed up here today,” Eister said after the ceremony that drew 200 people to Merle Phillips Park along the Susquehanna River.

“It made me feel good because Merle put this together years ago, so to see him here today was so special to all of us who have been involved with this from day one.”

Phillips, a state legislator for three decades and former Northumberland County commissioner, said he was thrilled at what he saw.

“I think this adds so much to our community,” Phillips said. “This was something that we needed.”

The walking trail illuminated by several dozen LED lights, the 300-plus yards of floodwall redone in precast concrete and the $500,000 spent on trees and gardens stretching a mile long are well worth it, he said.

Cool idea a reality

20-second, 45-foot drop draws hundreds

Aug. 18. Northumberland. Judging by the hundreds of thrill-seeking children waiting Friday for their turn to descend 45 feet on the Liberty Splashland Bowl Slide, the long, involved odyssey to bring the water ride to Northumberland was well worth the effort.

“I’m scared to do this again,” giggled Jonah Wasserman, 11, of Northumberland, “but it’s so much fun. I’ve done this five times already today.”

And then with a loud swoosh and a scream, he jumped into the tube for his 20-second slide down to the round bowl to the bottom.

Watching from atop the tower, Northumberland Borough Councilman Greg Carl beamed with obvious satisfaction, because it was largely through his indefatigable efforts and three years of persistence that this ride became a reality.

Carl over the years has acted as fundraiser for the $100,000 ride, and as a carpenter, electrician and has fulfilled other project needs to get the bowl slide ready for the borough.

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  • 2012: The Valley in Review

    A look at the Valley's top stories each month in 2012. Compiled by Jim Birt and Stacy Hinck of The Daily Item.

    December 29, 2012

  • 2012: Voter ID law motivated Valley Dems

    A controversial Voter ID law, the splitting of the Valley into two congressional districts and Mitt Romney’s victories in all Valley counties in the race for the presidency highlighted a topsy-turvy year in Pennsylvania politics.

    December 29, 2012

  • Paterno_Joe Paterno family challenges Louis Freeh's conclusions

    STATE COLLEGE — Joe Paterno's family released its response to Penn State's report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal Sunday, attacking Louis Freeh's conclusion that the coach hid sex abuse allegations against his longtime assistant.

    February 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • Bad Year in Washington: Mitt Romney//

    Remember Mitt Romney? Tall guy, slightly awkward. Looks like a 1950s matinee idol.

    December 29, 2012

  • Bad Year in Washington: David Petraeus

    At the start of the year, retired Gen. David Petraeus was flying high. He was the director of the CIA and was often mentioned as a prospective presidential candidate.

    December 29, 2012

  • The Worst Year in Washington: The Tea Party

    The Gadsden flag, which flew proudly over the 2010 midterm elections, now lies in tatters — rent by internal disagreements, losses among its most visible standard-bearers and a growing sense that the tea party movement, which once looked like it could transform American politics, will soon be nothing more than a blip in the country's collective memory.

    December 29, 2012

  • Armstrong, Houston Among Notable Deaths of 2012//

    The first man on the moon, the first U.S. woman in space and the first black Federal Reserve member were among the notable deaths in 2012.

    December 29, 2012

  • The year in TV - from bad to worse

    Let’s get the bad news out of the way first as we recap the year in TV.

    December 29, 2012

  • Top music of 2012


    Maybe it was all the destruction from superstorm Sandy, the ugliness of the lengthy presidential campaign, or all the senseless killings, like the ones in Newtown, Conn., but so much of the music that people sought out in 2012 was fun and escapist.

    December 29, 2012

  • Top 10 books of 2012

    The year 2012 was memorable for the literary world in many ways.

    December 29, 2012

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