Here are the stories for this week’s Pennsylvania Member Exchange package. If you have any questions, contact the Philadelphia bureau at 215-561-1133.
For use anytime:
Editorials from around Pennsylvania.
For Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018:
EXCHANGE-TROUBLED KIDS-HORSE RANCH
ROCHESTER — Cassidy stands in a back corner of her stall munching hay. Pint-sized Za’Riya Harris, 5, of Beaver Falls, can barely see her. ?’Scuse me,” she politely, but shyly says. ”’Scuse me,” she repeats, more emphatically this time. The big mare with brown and white patches lumbers over. Expecting a treat, she thrusts her massive head toward the little girl. Startled, Za’Riya recoils. But this is no place to be afraid. On the contrary, it’s a place of hope and healing, not only for kids — many facing conflicts and challenges — who come to be mentored, but for horses, too, many of which have been rescued from neglect and abuse. Some children “feel like there’s no hope,” Micheline said, “and so that’s why we have this ranch — to give them hope, let them know that there is change, there’s opportunity for a better life and it’s within them.” Marsha Keefer, Beaver County Times.
HYNDMAN — As Beverly Shaffer sits at a Hyndman railroad crossing waiting for a train to pass, she’s reminded of a derailment nearly a year ago that uprooted her neighbors and caused havoc in this rural Bedford County community. “We’ve had floods, the train derailments,” the Hyndman Road resident said. “It just seems it’s one thing after another. I’m ready to get out.” CSX Transportation’s response in the aftermath of the Aug. 2, 2017, derailment was “outstanding” — but not so much when it comes to solving routine train delays in the borough, Bedford County Commissioner Barry Dallara said. Thirty-three cars derailed just before dawn on that Wednesday morning, sparking fires from tanker cars carrying liquid propane and causing an evacuation of most of the community’s 1,000 residents for nearly four days. Although there were no injuries, one home and garage near the crash site were destroyed. Jeffrey Alderton, Cumberland Times-News.
EXCHANGE-PARENTING AFTER SLAYINGS
PITTSBURGH — Kameron Goings saves artwork from day care every day to show his big brother. Every night, the 3-year-old waits for Daevion Raines to come home so he can show him what he made. Daevion never comes home. Kameron screams for his brother, nicknamed “Dae Dae,” to come back, said Shanena Lewis, mother to both. “I say, ‘He’s with God now,’ ” Lewis said. As Lewis grieves for the 15-year-old son who was shot and killed last month, she struggles to explain to Kameron and a 13-year-old niece she adopted what happened, and she worries about how to protect them. Often, mothers grieving sons and daughters who were shot and killed in the streets still have to parent. Answers don’t come easily when a family is shattered by gun violence. Theresa Clift, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
SPRINGFIELD — The houses were bigger and the people richer in the places that the locals called “Swarthmore” and “Morton,” compared with the simple farmland of the rest of 19th-century Springfield Township, Delaware County. The two sections were home to a college, growing businesses, and workers who commuted by train to the big city of Philadelphia. So the Swarthmore and Morton residents broke off from Springfield, carving out only the parts they wanted. Left behind was a piece of the township on the opposite end of Swarthmore that remains a place apart. Swarthmore “did not want that section over there, because it was a quarry and it was farms,” said Barbara Burke, vice president of the Springfield Historical Society. “And they were just too snooty and that’s why.” The strange history of the Springfield boundaries provides one window into how Pennsylvania became the land of 2,560 municipalities, the third-highest number in the country. Michaelle Bond, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
ALLENTOWN — It’s not like Scott and Christina Dietrich have anything against traditional camping. The Harleysville couple has visited more than 30 national parks, many of which they hit on vacations while raising four active sons. Show them another family trip that offers as much bang for the buck. The biggest drawback: crowds. It’s hard to satiate that call of the wild when the next campsite is right on top of you. About 13 years ago, the Dietrichs decided to make good on a 40-year dream and find a secluded property of their own. For $170 a night through an online service called Tentrr, the Dietrichs in May began renting out the campsite to a new kind of camper. Tentrr is the Airbnb or Uber of the great outdoors. Andrew Wagaman, The (Allentown) Morning Call.