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Old Posted Jun 4, 2004, 2:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Philadelphia Metro (Norristown, PA)
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People Take A Stand On Wal-Mart Issue

Thursday June 03, 2004 4:37pm Posted By: Katie McCarthy

The Midstate - The proposed Wal-Mart would be built along Route 22 on property owned by the Holy Name of Jesus Church and School. There's no doubt the world's largest retailer would be stiff competition for other businesses here but some say they're up to the challenge.

"The supercenter they're talking about, roughly 220-230 thousand square feet. That's a huge store." Lower Paxton Township Manager George Wolfe says public interest in the proposed Wal-Mart is just as big. The Holy Name of Jesus Church and School would sell the land to Wal-Mart and then construct a new church and school. No zoning change would be needed. George Wolfe/Lower Paxton Twp. Manager, "The parcel of ground, parcels of ground in question, primarily owned by the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has been zoned general commercial for I'm expecting at least 30 years."

The Wal-Mart supercenter would include a supermarket. Across the highway at locally owned Karns Foods, they're keeping an eye on the proposed project, but there's no emergency here. Assistant Manager Courtney Conrad says Karns is confident it can offer something Wal-Mart can't. "Customer service is a big thing here. There's always somebody walking the aisles talking to people. Need help? Someone's here to help you." Specialized areas, like a large custom meat department have already helped Karns survive the big supermarket chains. They hope to have the same success versus a mammoth Wal-Mart. At the next Lower Paxton Township Supervisors meeting on July 6th at 7:30 PM, the proposed Wal-Mart for the site will be further discussed.

And there's a Wal-Mart feud in York County which has led to a police investigation. We told you about the controversy on the proposed Wal-Mart in Dauphin County, but in York County - a Wal-Mart dispute there has led to a theft. There used to be a huge sign hanging on the side of a barn in Windsor Township that said "Stop Wal-Mart." But late Sunday night, someone cut the sign down and put up a "Pro Wal-Mart - smiley face sign." The barn owner then took that sign down and called Sgt. Rodney Varner of the York Area Regional Police. "It's very unusual for us to be involved in an investigation concerning a business sign. It was an anti-slogan that was on it. It's unusual, but there are many unusual things that occur in police work and this is just one of them."

York Area Regional Police say they have a few leads they're checking out. So, in York County, it's the battle of the smiley face signs when it comes to this Wal-Mart business.
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