n Agriculture Secretary George Greig kicked off the 2013 maple syrup production by tapping a sugar maple tree recently and presented Northwest Pennsylvania Maple Association President Bill Phillips with a proclamation from Gov. Tom Corbett declaring February Maple Month in Pennsylvania.
Maple producers usually tap trees in late winter and early spring, when warmer daytime temperatures and cold nights stimulate the flow of sap in sugar, black and red maple trees. The sap is then boiled and reduced into maple syrup. Production typically requires 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
While most production is concentrated in Pennsylvania's northern tier and Somerset County, producers tap trees statewide.
Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the nation in maple syrup production, making an estimated 96,000 gallons from 501,000 taps to trees in 2012. The maple industry received $5.1 million in cash receipts and generated an estimated $51 million in economic impact.
The Lancaster County Department of Parks & Recreation offers maple-sugaring workshops locally. Visit online at lancastercountyparks.org.
n YORK, Pa. (AP) -- Mourners at a Pennsylvania fast-food fan's funeral wanted him to have it his way, so they arranged for his hearse -- and the rest of the procession -- to make one last drive-thru visit before reaching the cemetery.
David Kime Jr. "lived by his own rules," daughter Linda Phiel says. He considered the lettuce on a burger his version of healthy eating, she says.
To give him a whopper of a send-off Jan. 26, the funeral procession stopped at a Burger King, where each mourner got a sandwich for the road.
Kime got one last burger too, the York Daily Record reports. It was placed atop his flag-draped coffin at the cemetery.
Phiel says the display wasn't a joke, rather a happy way of honoring her father and the things that brought him joy. "He lived a wonderful life and on his own terms," she says.
Kime, 88, a World War II veteran, died Jan. 20.