A look back at what was in 2016

By on January 4, 2017

 

 

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By Patrick Burns

The post-holiday season is here and 2016 has not yet faded from our rear-view mirrors.

With that in mind we’re going to look back on the year through the lens of our social media and online reports that allowed our readers to interact with us and other residents in the Warwick and Manheim Central school districts.

The first item that comes to mind was the end of an era when in January the Wilbur Chocolate plant in downtown Lititz closed.

There were no fewer than 30 posts concerning Wilbur news on the Lititz Record Facebook page in 2016 and a dozen in print. Nearly 50,000 Facebook views greeted a post of Bill Oehme’s and Cory Van Brookhoven’s photos of the banners being taken down at the Wilbur Chocolate factory. While the community has anxiously awaited what will become of the building owned by Cargill Inc., nothing has been disseminated since the company began taking offers in April.

Sources suggested a buyer was ready to take ownership of the former Wilbur Chocolate manufacturing plant on North Broad Street in July —around the same time Cargill announced that the retail candy store and chocolate museum would be moving across the street to the former Freeze & Frizz location.

  • A video of an Amish barn raising posted on both the Lititz Record Express and Ephrata Review’s social media pages following a fire in June is perhaps the most circulated ever. With a combined reach of over one million on Facebook and You Tube, it captured the labor of scores of workers from the local Plain communities whose sense of friendship and community spirit compelled them to contribute their time and skills to rebuild a pair of barns destroyed in a fire on Friday, June 3.lr-fire-viral-video

Excavation work was completed almost immediately at Stephen Stoltzfus’ dairy farm at 310 Hackman Road in Clay Township. The barn raising on the first structure was completed on Monday, June 6. Crews immediately went to work and the structural walls of the second building were up by Tuesday morning, June 7. The entire rebuild was completed on Wednesday, June 8.

  • Though 2016 will go down as the year of emotional politics, Lititz Record Express Facebook followers pretty much refrained from engaging in discussion before, during, and after the election.

er-facebook-trumpStill, the front page news of Donald Trump’s win, which garnered the headline ‘Adorable Deplorable,’ created online buzz.

  • Facebook followers in September reacted more to news of less sobering topics such as the summer Lititz Craft Brew Fest and the launch of Stoll & Wolfe whiskey distillery.

Erik Wolfe linked with former distiller Dick Stoll to create Stoll & Wolfe whiskey. The product, crafted in in rye whiskey, apple brandy, and bourbon should be available soon to sample at 35 N. Cedar St. in a structure originally built as a feed mill and grain elevator.

  • Michael Upton on worked the third annual Lititz Craft Beer Fest which featured more than 125 beers (and ciders) from 62 breweries (and cideries) along the downtown streets. Mike Stull’s photos were featured on Sept. 28 of some of the sold-out crowd sampling breweries from as close as JoBoy’s Brew Pub to as far away as San Diego, Calif. (Green Flash Brewing Company).lr-sept-28-facebook-craft-beer-fest

    Warwick’s volleyball team celebrates with the L-L League championship trophy after shutting out Garden Spot 3-0 in the finals last Wednesday at Manheim Township. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Maddy Glouner, Jackie Barilar, Jensen Burnheimer, Jayna Class, Rylee Derr, Hailey Miller, McKenzie Cossette an Lexie Landis; (back, l-r) Cassi Sellers, coach Brad Glouner, Olivia Gregory and Rachall Adams. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

    Warwick’s volleyball team celebrates with the L-L League championship trophy after shutting out Garden Spot 3-0 in the finals last Wednesday at Manheim Township. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Maddy Glouner, Jackie Barilar, Jensen Burnheimer, Jayna Class, Rylee Derr, Hailey Miller, McKenzie Cossette an Lexie Landis; (back, l-r) Cassi Sellers, coach Brad Glouner, Olivia Gregory and Rachall Adams. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

While he couldn’t try them all, his review featured the locally inspired Great Lakes Brewing Company American porter with a bacon-smoked and whiskey double. the brew infuses Stoll & Wolfe Lititz-based whiskey — used to soak wood chips — and smoked bacon from Rooster Street.

Not surprisingly our on-line coverage of high school sports under the helm of sports editor Bruce Morgan captured the attention of Lititz Record Express social media viewers.

  • Manheim Central’s boys football and basketball teams drove much of the attention in sports in 2016 making it into the District 3 title game in PIAA State playoffs. The Barons finished 11-2 behind stellar play of QB Kody Kegarise, FB Colin Erb, and tight end and sack master Gunnar Royer.

Manheim Central boy’s basketball coach, Chris Sherwood, entered his ninth season in November with a 126-75 overall record. His team’s performance in 2016, led by St. Joseph’s University 6-foot-9 senior center recruit Taylor Funk, finished 14-9 last winter falling to Bishop McDevitt in the first-round of the District Three playoffs.

The team has started the current season off red hot, led also by junior point guard Jake Novak, finishing December 6-0.

  • No look back on 2016 would be complete without mentioning the Warwick football team and girls volleyball squad.

Warwick girls volleyball had a quadruple of firsts in 2016, including:

The team captured its first-ever win over Hempfield — they actually beat Hempfield three times twice in the regular season, once in the L-L semifinals; Its first-ever Section One championship; a first-ever Lancaster-Lebanon League championship; and last but not least, a first-ever trip to the District Three playoff semi-finals.

LR20141030_CWarwickFootball5The Warwick football team had a “quad” of its own beginning with bouncing back from back-to-back eight-loss seasons to deliver an eight-win season. It finished 6-1 in Section One (8-3 overall), good for second place in Section One; Beat Manheim Township for the first time since 2002 on a Hail Mary pass in the final seconds; and returned to the District Three playoffs for the first time since 2010.lr-nov-26-facebook-mc-football

  • Another deeply followed item came from a July 30 Facebook post from the Rock Lititz campus. The company announced next phase of the project to include a hotel with restaurant and lounge, located just off West Newport Road in Warwick Township.
  • A series entitled “Never. Lose. Hope.” began trending immediately when the first part of the multi-part series on the addiction epidemic posted on the Lititz Record’s website Feb. 18, 2016.

The series is written by Janice Ballenger, who works at Retreat at Lancaster County, a 160-bed addiction treatment center in Ephrata. While working closely with patients suffering from addiction, she has a passion to raise awareness to what addiction truly is, namely, a chronic, treatable brain disease.

  • Besides the hugely successful Craft Beer Fest which benefits Lititz Ambucs, Lititz once again hit home runs in 2016 with its outdoor festivals, including the 11th Fire & Ice Festival, the 23rd Crafts-in-the-Park show, Second Taste of Lititz, and of course, the 199th Lititz Springs Park Fourth of July celebration.
  • We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the passing in 2016 of Lititz legend Ron Reedy.

Editor Stephen Seeber wrote beautifully on Reedy’s life which ended Nov. 22, 2016. Our online site and Facebook page provide a digital view of Reedy who is quoted as describing Lititz as “the finest community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Ron Reedy, pictured with his wife Brenda, was the grand marshal in the 2007 Fourth of July parade.

Ron Reedy, pictured with his wife Brenda, was the grand marshal in the 2007 Fourth of July parade.

“Lititz lost one of its most ardent champions Nov. 16 when Ron succumbed to a brief illness. Hundreds lined up to pay respect during a Monday night gathering at Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church, and hundreds more were expected to attend the Tuesday morning funeral,” Seeber wrote.

Reedy, 77, was a member of Warwick High School’s first graduating class in 1957. He also graduated from the National College of the Judiciary and served in the United States Naval Reserve. He was the first district court administrator for Lancaster County, a member of Congressman Edwin Eshleman’s staff, and retired as general manager of Blue Ridge Communications.

You’ll be missed, Ron.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer and social media editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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