July began with the Independence Day weekend barn raising at Ironstone Ranch. The historic Star Barn had been dismantled at it original location near Middletown and was re-assembled at the ranch in West Donegal Township just outside Elizabethtown Borough. The 19th century structure had been vacant and decaying since the 1990s along busy Route 283. In addition to the barn raising itself, the festival included tours of the barn’s outbuildings, wagon and pony rides, farm animals, kids’ games and other events.
An 89-year-old woman was the victim of a strong-arm robbery on July 6 at Elizabethtown’s Giant supermarket. On July 13, a Wrightsville woman and her boyfriend were charged; the woman told Northwest Regional Police they stole the woman’s purse and fled because they needed money to buy heroin.
The Elizabethtown Borough Council learned about a state mandate for cutting sediment in streams at its meeting on July 6. Consultants from Hanover Engineering told councilors that the good news was that the borough was well ahead of many municipalities in complying with the state mandate; the bad news was that once a stream is placed on the list of waterways to be cleaned, there is no way to remove it and the state will enforce progressively stricter standards.
On July 10, Mayor Chuck Mummert swore in the borough’s two newest police officers, Evan Bigler and Dan Wengiel. Both are Lancaster County natives who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts; both graduated from the Reading Police Academy in June.
On July 15, an unconscious 5-year-old boy was pulled from the Susquehanna River at Marietta. Keaton Kershner died July 19 at Hershey Medical Center; his heart was donated so another child could live.
On July 19, an Elizabethtown man was accused of seriously injuring two police officers by kicking them in the abdomen as they were trying to take him into custody as well as threatening to kill the officers and their families. Jeffrey Lee Hilsher, 26, was initially charged with the first-degree felony offense of aggravated assault, but the prosecution dropped that charge at his preliminary hearing, leaving only misdemeanor charges against him.
The sale of the 128-unit Village Green apartment complex in Elizabethtown Borough was announced July 19. That transaction among others made High Real Estate Group the largest apartment owner-operator in Lancaster County.
July ended with the abrupt closing of two restaurants. The Oh Yeah Grille closed on July 29; it had opened on June 24 in the former Trolley Stop Diner building. The restaurant was owned by Andrew Schoenberger and business partner Chris Rosa. Schoenberger also owned the Pita Pit franchise at 28 S. Market St. since buying it years earlier from previous operator Brad Alexander. Pita Pit then announced on Aug. 1 that it had closed and would not reopen.