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Gnomes Find New Homes

The recently evicted Little Buffalo gnome’s homes found new homes in two Perry County boroughs parks.

Young and old residents of Millerstown and Duncannon were excited to learn their communities made the necessary accommodations to their public parks for the controversial gnome homes. The last gnome home was relocated in Duncannon on Friday March, 29, 2016.

The Millerstown Community Walking Path spokesperson said the majority of the 38 gnome are installed along the riverside pathway. The miniature homes are directly attached to trees and other permanent structures. The last two gnome homes were installed in Duncannon’s downtown playground.

Local resident Becky Shaw is thrilled about the move. “I first saw the gnome homes while hiking at Little Buffalo and it saddened me they kicked out of the park,” said Shaw. “Now I get to see them a couple of times a week when I exercise on the river walk,” she added.

The gnomes and their homes were the creation of Newport retiree Steve Hoke. In 2015, Hoke received permission from state park officials at Little Buffalo to install the gnome homes along walking and hiking trails around the lake. Hoke was inspired to create the gnome homes after seeing a video from a similar project in Nebraska.

Earlier this year, park officials asked Hoke to remove the gnome homes. Complaints from a few park visitors reached state officials in Harrisburg. The state officials determined the little homes did not align with state park ethics and its goals.

Hoke said he will expand his gnome home creations if other Perry County communities would like to participate.


The Mystery Surrounding the Disappearance of the Red October

The puzzling mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Soviet Submarine Red October is now being pieced together after interviewing the remaining survivors.

Initial information indicates the typhoon class submarine suffered an unexpected radiation leak from its nuclear reactor and sank while in the northern section of the Atlantic Ocean. It was originally reported Commander Marko Ramius and all his officers presumably perished along with the vessel on November 14, 1984.

After interviewing all of the surviving seamen, new information revealed the ship’s medical officer Dr. Yevgeniy Petrov survived the catastrophe.  Reports indicate Commander Ramius ordered the doctor and the enlisted sailors into the life rafts so they could escape exposure of the reactor’s leaking radiation. New information indicates the radiation leak could be related to sabotage of the propulsion system, however no Soviet official would go on record concerning this claim.

There were also unconfirmed accounts that U.S. Navy vessels, which were in the area, had actually fired shots at the Red October before it slipped below the ocean surface. U.S. intelligence officials have denied any attack on the Soviet submarine but have stated they were assisting the Soviets in finding the missing submarine.

California Murder Has Ties to Mid-state

A 2003 murder in California has been solved with the help of a former area resident.

A former Sunbury resident unknowingly assisted detectives in solving a California murder case. The case involved an unknown teenage girl found murdered and dumped behind a Castro Valley restaurant on May 1, 2003. As police exhausted all of the leads in the case, it appeared the identity of the young girl would never be known.

Meanwhile, former Sunbury resident David Woolworth began seeking donations to have the victim buried instead of cremated. Woolworth, currently from Castro Valley, asked, “What are you going to do, hand the mother a bag of ashes?” This case held special meaning for him since he was once estranged from his own daughter. Woolworth’s campaign was successful and unknown Jane Doe was buried in a Hayward cemetery.

Months later as the murder case went cold, veteran homicide detective Sgt. Scott Dudek had the body exhumed. He requested a forensic artist to construct a bust sculpture from Jane Doe’s skull. A 48 Hours (CBS) broadcast showing the sculpture ultimately brought in the tip to break open the case. Detectives identified Jane Doe as 16-year-old Mexican teenager named Yesenia Nungaray.

Yesenia Nungaray left Mexico for America on her sixteenth birthday to find a better life, but that was not what she found. After detectives solved the case, they revealed she was murdered by a family friend and former coworker Miguel Angel Nunez-Castineda. Castaneda fled apprehension to Mexico where authorities are reluctant to arrest him. If arrested, he would likely face the death penalty because he was charged with murder in America. Mexico rarely allows extradition if a suspect could face execution in another country.

Nungaray’s murder would probably have gone unsolved if she had been cremated. Yesenia Nungaray’s mother still proclaims her gratefulness for the actions of David Woolworth in solving her daughter’s murder. Woolworth, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, hopes to see Nungaray’s murderer brought to justice before he dies.


Missing Couple Found Murdered

The story surrounding the missing Jamison couple from Masonville, Pa, took many twists and turns until it was eventually solved by the police.

The mystery began with a report of another older couple who had escaped from the Maple Shade Psychiatric Hospital. Claire and Fred Harlinger were reported missing on Tuesday November 10. The Harlingers were serving sentences of indefinite confinement to the hospital. Their sentences were for their involvement in the deaths of their two children twenty years earlier.

The following day, Benjamin and Alana Jamison failed to show for the counselling sessions they conduct at the hospital. The couple helped at the Meadowbrook Hospital by providing volunteer counselling to patients. Dr. Sam of the Maple Shade Psychiatric Hospital was concerned for the Jamisons because they had never missed any appointments with their patients. He was unable to find the Jamisons when he went to their farm house during a wellness check. Dr. Sam concern was legitimate because the Jamisons intimately knew the Harlingers after conducting counselling sessions with them.

During the period the older Jamisons were missing, their grandchildren Rebecca, 15, and Tyler, 13, arrived for their first visit with their estranged maternal grandparents. The children began to notice increasingly strange behaviors from the older couple and soon contacted their mother, Stacey Jamison. She discovered the older man and woman posing as her parents were imposters during a Skype call with her children. Ms. Jamison immediately alerted the Masonville Police Department. The police report positively identifies the imposters as Claire and Fred Harlinger.

Masonville Police arrived at the Pennsylvania farm and found Rebecca and Tyler alive but terrified. As police conducted their investigation at the farm, they found Fred Harlinger dead in the kitchen. He appeared to have died from blunt force trauma to the head. Claire Harlinger was found deceased in one of the upstairs bedrooms. An initial report indicates she was found with a glass shard from a mirror protruding from her neck.

As police continued their investigation, they found Benjamin, 78, and Alana, 77, bludgeoned to death in the basement of their home. A carpenter hammer appears to have been the murder weapon. The hammer was covered with blood and was found alongside the deceased couple.

A former counselee of the Jamisons was saddened to learn of their deaths. Stacy (who requested we not disclose her last name) came to the farm out of respect for the deceased couple. “They helped me when I was in rehab at Meadowbrook. They used to sit by my bed when I wasn’t in good shape…all night sometimes,” she stated. Stacey said the Jamisons failed to show at her house for dinner. Initially she was not concerned because of Alana’s recent health issues. However, after the police were involved and had declared the couple as missing, she became alarmed.

Unconfirmed sources report the Harlingers knew the Jamison grandchildren were visiting their grandparents for the first time. They escaped from the hospital, murdered the Jamisons and began their plan of deception.

Captain Vasili Borodin

On November 14, 1984, Captain Vasili Borodin, age 41, passed on to the other side while serving about the submarine Red October. In keeping with maritime tradition, Commander Marko Ramius and his officers stayed with the vessel after evacuating the crew. Captain Borodin is survived by his parents, Igor and Anna Borodin of Polyarny, three nieces, one nephew, several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Vasili’s love of the sea took him directly from his undergraduate days at Saint-Petersburg State University to studying nuclear engineering at N. G. Kuznetsov Naval Academy. He graduated with honors and was immediately assigned to the shipyard in his hometown of Polyarny. His studies proved instrumental in helping to design and build the new typhoon class of submarines, like the Red October.

The sea was not the only love in Vasili’s life. He enjoyed playing squash and racquetball competitively. Scuba diving and practicing speaking English were two of his favorite hobbies. He also enjoyed the outdoors which included hunting and fishing around his home. After his naval career was over, he planned to marry and travel the post-Cold War world. Family members often remember him stating how he would “…marry a round American woman, raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck. Maybe even a recreational vehicle.”

A celebration of life will be held at the Cathedral of Christ Church in Polyarny on Dec 1, 1984. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Vasili’s honor may be made to his church.

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