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Archive for February, 2012

I guess it’s customary for papers to feature the first baby of every new year on their Jan. 2 front pages… but let’s not forget about Leap Day babies, either. After all, Leap Day babies come but one every four years.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Accompanied by her husband Matthew, Katie Will holds her newborn daughter Cecilia Josephine on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, at Hanover Hospital. Cecilia, who was due on St. Patrick's Day, turned out to be a Leap Day baby on Katie Will's fourth labor attempt.

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Last night was the first time I’ve ever used flash to cover a sports assignment.

Last night may also have been the first time any of us photographers has shot basketball in New Hope Academy’s cafeteria/gym, so I tried to have some fun with it. After shooting one quarter from the ground, I decided to get up on the stage behind the home basket so I could pretend to be a remote camera clamped to the nonexistent post. It definitely resulted in photographs I’ve never before been able to make for high school basketball, which was exciting.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. New Hope Academy's Brandon Murray goes for the basket against Millersburg in the second quarter on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, at New Hope. New Hope defeated Millersburg 59-30 to advance to the District 3A semifinals.

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What does it take to be the mascot for the York Revolution?

A lot more than I’d thought.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Jacob Arbittier, 16 of Dallastown, gets help from Rafael Vargas of Bronx, N.Y., and Rob McKinney of Dover before Arbittier's two-minute audition for the York Revolution's mascot DownTown on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at Sovereign Bank Stadium. Nine hopefuls ranging in age from 16 to their mid-50s auditioned to play DownTown for at least 60 of the 70 home games this upcoming season at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

As Jacob — who’s been the Wildcat mascot at his high school, Dallastown, since August — explained, people who play mascots need to make very exaggerated motions. People who are bad dancers are more likely to be good mascots. And yes, it’s a very fine line between being an awesome mascot and being a laughably bad mascot.

Be sure to read Bill’s laughably good article about the auditions, which in part profiles another interesting candidate, as well as watch my video starring Jacob.

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After some agony, a nearly two-month delay and a lot of hemming and hawwing, I’ve finally edited together what I think are the best of my photos from 2011.

2011 was good: It was the first full year in which I shot on assignment, full-time, every week. In January, I left my home in Texas for an internship at a paper in York, Pa.; in May, I left my internship for a job at the other paper in York. I’ve since been learning my way around York County, exploring the rest of Pennsylvania on occasional outings and making friends among various local and regional journalists.

2012, so far, has also been good. We’re only about a month and a half into the new year, but I’m already looking forward to compiling next year’s “Best of,” as well as looking back at 2011 again and coming up with an entirely new selection. But — in the meantime, here’s what I have from last year.

Hope you enjoy.

© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Blake Cooper hauls a piece of plywood to board up a lower-story window of 136 W. High Street in Red Lion on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011. Cooper, who works for Major Restoration Services, said the fire damage at this duplex was among the worst he has seen. The fire, ruled as arson, was caused by trash bags filled with gas that were thrown onto the porch of 136 W. High Street and ignited. Both families living in the duplex were displaced.

© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Penn Manor's Colby Graham wrestles Spring Grove's Neal Grudi in the 189-pound bout at Spring Grove Area High School on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011. Grudi pinned Graham; Spring Grove defeated Penn Manor 44-19 in the first round of the District 3-AAA Team Tournament, but lost to Cumberland Valley 35-19 in a quarterfinal match later that night.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. With the help of her father Reggie Ross, Miracle Ross reaches for the ceiling fan switch in their home on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. When she was born four months early on Jan. 23, 2009, Ross weighed 13 ounces and couldn't leave the hospital until that July. Now almost three years old, Ross was diagnosed with liver cancer in May 2011 and receives chemo treatments every day at home when her blood levels are high enough. Ross also has a feeding tube and underwent a tracheostomy because her diaphragm and lungs are not strong enough to support her. Doctors have evaluated her to be at the same stage of mental development as that of a 10-month-old - an evaluation with which Ross's mother Sherrie Baker disagrees.

© 2011 by The York Dispatch. In search of a toy to comfort her upset 4-year-old daughter Mariah, Katie White bends over to pick up an undamaged slinky in her fire-damaged home the day after the fire, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. White is nine months pregnant with her third child and first son, whom she and her husband Anthony will name Darius. The White family had occupied the downstairs apartment of a rowhouse on the 600 block of Wallace Street in York, Pa., for about two years when, on April 26, 2011, their upstairs neighbor left her cooking unattended. The resulting fire destroyed three rowhouses, including a condemned property, and displaced seven adults and three children. The Whites' renters insurance had elapsed, and they are currently staying with family.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Zach Cline, 10 of Mechanicsburg, sits atop a barricade and eats his popsicle as he and other Summer Adventure Camp participants wait their turn to go down the slope in the H2 OGO ball at Roundtop Mountain Resort's Mountain Adventure area on Thursday, July 14, 2011. Roundtop Mountain Resort is offering its fourth year of five-day Summer Adventure Camps, during which kids ranging in age from 8 to 15 participate in activities including fishing, kayaking, Frisbee golf and high ropes.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Revolution outfielder Val Majewski and other teammates celebrate their 2011 Atlantic League Championship win with Champagne in the locker room on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, after defeating the Long Island Ducks 6-3 at Sovereign Bank Stadium and becoming back-to-back champions.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. DeWayne Boyer of Ashton, Md., laughs in response to one of his friends' remarks as he stands in chest-high water on what used to be the patio of his summer house in Goldsboro on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. With the help of family and friends, Boyer stripped the carpets and relocated valuable items in his family's summer house in the 70th block of Water Street, as the Susquehanna River's floodwaters flowed into the house's basement and neighboring houses.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. FightRight MMA promoter and fighter Eric Albright lies splayed out on the wrestling mats after a three-minute match against former Red Lion wrestling coach Biff Walizer, on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at Red Lion Area High School. Albright and Walizer are training to fight in the Brawl in the Hall mixed-martial arts tournament on June 18, 2011, at the York Expo Center. Albright, who wrestled at Red Lion Area High School in 2004 and 2005, is promoting the tournament via his organization FightRight MMA. Walizer, who was Albright's wrestling coach, just ended his final and 12th season coaching at Red Lion and has fought 16 MMA fights.

© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Red Lion's Gisselle Truiett gets a mouthful of the ball as Wilson's Ivory Bailey fouls her in the third period of the District 3-AAAA title game on Friday, March 4, 2011, at the Giant Center in Hershey. Red Lion defeated Wilson 39-20 and won the title. The Wilson Bulldogs failed to score until the second period, and didn't bring their total into the double digits until after halftime.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Tah'ryzma Holland, 3, looks up at her grandmother Rebecca Moore as Moore prepares to leave the house for a while on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. The girl, known as Nana to friends and family, and her father live with Moore on Parkway Boulevard. Nana calls Moore "Mommy" and gets separation anxiety whenever Moore leaves the house without her. Moore is a resident on Parkway Boulevard, where she has seen the level of crime and violence rise in the past six years. Moore has since formed Operation Stand Up -- an organization that assists residents and police officers at crime scenes -- and become an outspoken member of the community against the Parkway Gang's activities.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State corner back and senior Chaz Powell leaves the field visibly upset after Penn State lost 17-14 to Nebraska in the Nittany Lions' first game in 46 seasons without former head coach Joe Paterno at the helm at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Brian Keefer, center, and his family react after seeing their newly renovated home for the first time on Sunday, June 26, 2011, in Newberry Township. Per "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" tradition, the show's bus blocked the family's view of the house until host Ty Pennington, the family and 1,000 supporters shouted, "Move that bus!" Greeted by 1,000 supporters, the builders and the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" crew, the Keefer family returned to their Newberry Township home, which is renovated and features a connected wing for son Brian Keefer, on Sunday, June 26, 2011.

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“If you want to get really good photos out of the airplane,” the pilot told me over the phone, “you’ll have to ride up front and open the door while we’re flying, because that window is glued shut to the door.

“You’d be strapped in, of course,” she added.

I did ride up front (and the co-pilot sat behind me) in a single-engine Cessna as we flew over York County two Saturdays ago. But we didn’t open the door — the pilot decided it could be a bad idea, since this was my first time in a small aircraft.

Turns out, leaving the door closed was a good idea, as I finally got motion sickness on the return leg. I didn’t throw up, but no amount of ginger ale or crackers could alleviate my queasiness for the next 10 hours.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Sovereign Bank Stadium, as seen from about 2,000 feet above sea level on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.

Maybe next time, I’ll open the door.

Be sure to check out more aerial photos on our new staff photo blog!

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I could probably use one hand to count how many times it’s snowed this winter since the freak snow-dump in October. Because of this fairly mild, fairly snow-less winter, it’s all the more important that, every time it does snow, we get snow features.

At least, that’s the way I see it. And that’s why, on my way to and from an assignment in southern York County, I opted to take state roads and some other back roads instead of the interstate. (Because, as I learned in Atlanta, you don’t find feature photos if you’re driving 65-70 on an interstate.)

To make this photo, which ran as the secondary photo on today’s front, I had to make some quick turnarounds.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Tom Beck of Springfield Township jogs on the Heritage Rail Trail in Codorus Township on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Beck, who is training for an upcoming five-mile race in Jacobus, said he runs five days a week and likes running in the snow. "It's so quiet, all you hear is your breath," Beck said. Snowfall was forecast on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, from a coating to an inch.

I was taking Rte 616 from Railroad up back to York when I saw this man jogging on the Heritage Rail Trail, which runs parallel to 616 for a little ways.

“Man, that’d be a great feature,” I thought to myself as I continued driving. But I was driving in the opposite direction, and parking my car and finding him — and keeping up with him — would be difficult. Especially since 616 is a two-lane road with steep embankments and no shoulders. But… he was running. In the snow. And he was wearing red. Which would contrast really well with the snow.

So, next chance I got, I turned onto another street, turned onto another street and turned back onto 616. After that, I wasn’t sure how or where to catch up with the man. The section of 616 on which I was driving at that time is separated from the rail trail by a long stretch of private property. I knew there was a road — Seitzville Road — coming up that intersected with the rail trail. Maybe I could park there and just stay put and wait for him… unless he’d already passed that area.

Whatever. I turned onto Seitzville and, as I pulled across the railroad tracks (which give the rail trail its name), I saw the man in red. Running toward me. I’d beat him there, but only narrowly. I parked on the other side of the tracks, jumped out of my car, waved him down, ran ahead of him, made some pictures, talked to him briefly — and then we went our separate ways.

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A local club recently lost its alcohol license after the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board decided not to renew it, citing fights that have happened outside the club.

The club’s solution? Free alcohol.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Liquor bottles cast long shadows on the floor of one of the bar areas at Club XS on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Club XS bartender Travis McCarty mixes a drink at the club's back bar on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.

Full disclosure: I actually made these pictures for an article that ran shortly before the club lost its license. And fortunately, we’d just received our new D3s camera bodies, so I definitely needed every bit of that 128,000 ISO rating.

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Be sure to read this really lovely column that Mike wrote about this widow’s husband.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Joann Walker of East Manchester Township stands for a portrait in front of her home with two of the four quilts her late husband Pat made, on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. Pat Walker made his first quilt four or five years before he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. His wife Joann, an avid quiltmaker, said he then didn't make another quilt until after his diagnosis. Pat completed three more quilts before his death last Wednesday, Jan. 11.

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Every time I shoot a new sport, I a) overshoot, b) just follow the ball, c) keep faces in focus and d) also try not to get overwhelmed. Then again, and again, and again, through the next few games until I start to better understand the sport. This has been my method with baseball, football, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, field hockey, wrestling, volleyball and a few others that I might have forgotten here.

And, now, ice hockey.

I have attended a professional hockey game and even voluntarily watched a few games on TV, both thanks to Jeff, who’s a fan. Despite his best efforts, though, I have little understanding of the game. So, last night, I just did my damnedest to follow the puck. Maybe someday, I’ll understand hockey the way I understand football: well enough to shoot it.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Central York's Kenny Gross and Hempfield's Kyle Long keep their eyes on the puck in the third period on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. Central York defeated Hempfield 7-2 to clinch the CPIHL Tier 1 regular season title.

Off the ice, I saw these kids pressing their noses against the glass, so whenever the action headed their way, I trained my lens on them — at which point, naturally, they would immediately become distracted by something else and lose their focus on the game. This is a picture wherein I don’t mind that they’re not too terribly engrossed in the sport at that moment.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Aaron Miller, 3 of Manchester Township, wipes his nose as his sister Autumn, 7, watches their cousin play goalie for Central York against Hempfield on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, at the York City Ice Arena.

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Thanks to the summer floods and township/state policy, Bill Metz is up a creek without a shovel.

When I asked Metz to crouch down on his feet for me at the site of his former bridge, I told him, “This will be a portrait, but you don’t have to smile.”

“I don’t have anything to smile about,” was Metz’s wry reply.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Bill Metz has lived in Conewago Township off Mill Creek Road since 2000 on a property bounded by a runoff stream from a closed quarry. The stream, which runs through a pipe under Mill Creek Road, flooded twice last summer, washed out the banks and deposited gravel about 2 feet deep onto the streambed. Because there is no longer a deep gully, rainwater rises quickly on his property now and threatens the corral where his horse lives. Conewago Township officials have refused to help Metz clean up the stream, and he is unable to clean it up on his own without getting a permit from the state department of environmental protection.

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