Santa's House Ephrata

Maura Henne, 7, of Ephrata, speaks with Santa at the train station at Whistle Stop Plaza in Ephrata, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. Santa will be at the train station on Fridays and Saturdays until Dec. 19.

Were you too busy over the weekend to check out the latest stories on LNP | LancasterOnline?

Not to worry − we got you covered.

Here are seven articles from this past weekend to catch up on.

COVID-19 hitting Latinos hard nationwide, but what's the story in Lancaster County?

Underlying health conditions such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension, and housing situations, including low-income and public housing, are several reasons experts give for why Latinos have been hit so hard by the coronavirus. Another reason is working in the service industry in restaurants, as well as retail and hospitality jobs.

However, the trend doesn’t seem to apply to the 60,000 Latinos that live in Lancaster County, where early testing and contact tracing are among efforts that have helped avoid a major spread of COVID-19 in the Latino community.

To read more, click the link below.

Deja vu: New COVID-19 surge slashes Lancaster County hotel occupancy by 37%

COVID-19 again is devastating the lodging industry here and nationwide, dashing most hoteliers’ hopes for a mild rally this fall and holiday season, according to the operators of 13 hotels here.

With state-set limits on the capacity of attractions such as restaurants and theaters being tightened, and travelers from out-of-state without a negative COVID-19 test being required to quarantine for days, all to limit COVID-19’s spread, any turnaround won't be imminent.

“It’s going to be a challenging winter,” said Edward Harris, president and CEO of Discover Lancaster, a nonprofit that promotes tourism here.

To read more, click the link below.


Don’t be glum: Mood rings are making a comeback [The Scribbler]

The mood ring is back! Well, almost back. It’s on the way back.

Lancaster native Josh Reynolds is betting that mood rings, which he invented in 1975, also the year pet rocks first filled Santa’s stockings, will come roaring back in a new, tech-enhanced form.

Reynolds had burned out as a Wall Street stockbroker in 1975. A 33-year-old graduate of Manheim Township High School and Colgate University, he decided to abandon the rodent race and examine biofeedback as a way to relax.

To read more, click the link below.

'I never thought I wouldn’t climb it': Lancaster man climbs Mount Kilimanjaro after receiving lung transplant

David Skalski was hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on the Rongai route, moving from east to west, advancing through the alpine desert of Kibo Hut at 15,931 feet, approaching Gilman’s Point at 18,885 feet.

In reality, Skalski was delirious from the anesthesia and heavy sedatives.

While Skalski, a former fighter jet pilot, was hooked up to a ventilator and hiking through the hazy altitudes of Mount Kilimanjaro in his mind, the doctors at LGH were performing a biopsy surgery on his lungs.

But, his hike up Mount Kilimanjaro would eventually become a reality.

To read more, click the link below.

Santa settles in at Whistle Stop Station in Ephrata [photos]

Christmas is quickly approaching, and Santa Claus is making appearances throughout Lancaster County so children can pay him visit.

Those visits that will create family memories, however, will undoubtedly look different as a result of the pandemic.

Reporter Ty Lohr snapped some photos of children visiting Santa at Whistle Stop Plaza in Ephrata on Saturday. Santa visited children while seated at his desk behind a pane of plexiglass.

To read more and see Ty's photos, follow the link below.

A nurse's plea: An intensive care unit nurse details COVID-19’s realities [column]

"What is it going to take? When will people get the message? When will people understand and listen?"

That's how Nikkee Asashon, an intensive care unit in Lancaser County, began her column about living with the realities of COVID-19.

To read more, click the link below.

Leukemia has returned for former Lampeter-Strasburg hoopster Ryan Smith

Reached by phone at the start of this week, Ryan Smith expressed hope for the future. Eight months out from a successful stem cell transplant, Smith spoke of how he built his body back up since a battle with acute myeloid leukemia brought him on the doorstep of death around this time a year ago.

Then came Wednesday and a standard check-up in Philadelphia at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where bloodwork caused alarm that led to a biopsy, which ultimately revealed a gut punch Thursday: the leukemia has returned.

Smith, 21,  a Lampeter-Strasburg grad, will be going back to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on Dec. 16 so doctors can harvest some of his cells. Around February or March, he’ll undergo a two-week clinical trial at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that will put cells in him that will essentially be programmed to attack the leukemia cells.

To read more, click the link below.

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