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SDoL's push to improve academic performance; hearing date set for Justo Smoker [Weekend Reads]

Justo Smoker updated mug 12232020

Justo Smoker, 34, of Paradise Township, was charged Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, with killing Linda Stoltzfoos, who disappeared June 21, 2020. He had already been charged with kidnapping the 18-year-old Amish woman as she walked from church to her Upper Leacock Township home.

Were you too busy enjoying time with your family during the holiday weekend to check out LancasterOnline?

Don't worry − we've got you covered.

Here's a look at 10 stories to catch up on from over the weekend.


Lost year? A third-grade girl's progress, a superintendent's big plans upended by pandemic

With this story, LNP | LancasterOnline concludes a two-part series that examined the School District of Lancaster’s push to improve academic performance.

The point of view was that of teachers at high-poverty Lafayette Elementary School and a student who needed extra help.

The reporting began in late 2019 before the pandemic. It continued as COVID-19 exposed inequities at the heart of America’s system of public education.

To read more, click the link below.


School District of Lancaster may consider closing schools if coronavirus-fueled enrollment decline continues [Lancaster Watchdog]

First, the coronavirus pandemic attacked education through instruction, upending the ways teachers, especially those who serve students with the most needs, facilitate learning.

Now, the virus is targeting school finances.

Across the country, school districts are beginning to feel the financial impact many predicted the coronavirus pandemic would bring, and Lancaster County’s largest — and poorest — school district is no exception.

To read more, click the link below.


Restaurant owners, workers struggle with shutdown during normally busy holidays; 'It's painful'

A longtime restaurant worker, Kendra Allen knows that December is usually the most wonderful time of the year.

“This is the month restaurant industry workers use to pay their bills for the next few months when it’s slow,” said Allen, a 31-year-old Millersville resident, who had been working at a server at Bube’s in Mount Joy. “December is like that cushion month for the slow period.”

Allen says company holiday events bring in extra business before New Years’ Eve offers the chance to make up to $400 in one night. But Gov. Tom Wolf’s Dec. 10 announcement of a three-week restaurant shutdown dashed those hopes, injecting some new uncertainty into her holidays and sending her back to the unemployment line.

To read more, click the link below.


Lancaster County nursing home residents to get COVID-19 vaccine

Starting Monday, the next vulnerable group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be those in Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities, with residents and staff at Landis Homes in Lancaster County among the first expected to roll up their sleeves.

CVS and Walgreens are spearheading the inoculations in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To read more, click the link below.


One dead in Lancaster city apartment fire on Beaver Street early Saturday morning (update)

A fire broke out at an apartment building in Lancaster city early Saturday morning.

Lancaster County coroner Stephen Diamantoni confirmed one individual had died in the fire.

Just before 8 a.m., crews were called to a fire on Beaver Street near the intersection Hazel Street. Three engines along with multiple other units were dispatched to the scene.

To read more, click the link below.


Police search for suspect after 17-year-old shot in Lancaster city on Christmas Day

A 17-year-old male was shot on Christmas Day in Lancaster city, according to police.

At 2:48 P.M., police responded to a report of a shooting in the area of Conestoga Street and S. Water Street and discovered a male victim who had been shot in the torso.

The victim was taken to the hospital where he remains in serious condition.

To read more, click the link below.


Rebel Cause uses its forces for good at Christmastime

Ham and mashed potatoes topped dinner plates Friday evening at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Kaden Stetler and his colleagues set out to offer up a traditional Christmas feast.

But unlike at many dinner tables across Lancaster County, they weren’t hosting a lavish holiday celebration for family and friends.

Inside the church on Lime Street in Lancaster city, they instead organized a holiday party for members of the city’s homeless community.

To read more, click the link below.


GameStop closing 2 Lancaster County stores as video game retailer continues downsizing

The GameStop near Park City Center's center court closed on Christmas Eve and the GameStop in Manheim Township’s Golden Triangle shopping center is closing Jan. 24 as the largest video game retailer in the world continues to downsize.

In early December, GameStop said it would close 1,000 stores by the end of March, a decision that follows the closure of nearly 800 stores in the previous two years. The moves would leave GameStop with just under 5,000 stores worldwide.

To read more, click the link below.


Hearing set for man charged with killing missing Amish woman Linda Stoltzfoos

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Justo Smoker, who was charged Monday with killing Linda Stoltzfoos, the Upper Leacock Township Amish woman authorities say Smoker abducted while she walked home from church in June.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, before District Judge Denise Commins, but such hearings are frequently rescheduled.

To read more, click the link below.


LNP | LancasterOnline's 20 top-read articles of 2020

2020 was an eventful year, packed to the brim with rapidfire events from learning to navigate a pandemic to fighting for racial justice.

LNP | LancasterOnline has been here for it all.

Here are the top 20 most-read stories from 2020 as determined by site analytics and readership trends.

To read more, click the link below.

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