Tourism Partner Spotlight: Keystone Outdoor LLC

Tourism Partner Spotlight: Keystone Outdoor LLC

Keystone Outdoors is a familiar fixture in Fort Loudon, PA known as the place to go for all things outdoor! The business owned by Hunter Webster has been open since 1971 and continues to sell a variety of guns and outdoor equipment sure to suit any enthusiast from the young hunters to the most experienced fisherman and everything in between! No matter what sort of activities you prefer you are sure to find the right equipment to suit your favorite hobby or a new adventure you’re just starting to take on. Their inventory ranges from guns, bows, fishing gear, camping gear, boats, kayaks, boots and so much more!

Keystone Outdoors has been able to remain open during the COVID-19 and continues to be open to the public! Keystone Outdoors wants the community to remember that they are “everything outdoors, where personal service doesn’t just end with the ring of the cash register.”

Follow Keystone Outdoors on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website to stay up-to-date on the variety of products, events and contests that they host and you can look forward to their 4th Annual Customer Appreciation Days and Fall Kickoff Sale on August 15th and 16th ! There will be free food, great sales, vendors, demos and activities for the children!

Visit them on the web at keystoneoutdoors.net or at the store located at 186 Path Valley Rd., Fort Loudon PA, 17224 or call 717-369-2970

Finalists Compete for 2020 A Cappella & Unplugged Championship

Finalists Compete for 2020 A Cappella & Unplugged Championship

After months of auditions, performances, and voting, the public narrowed 2020 A Cappella & Unplugged to three finalists–Blaine Phebus, Dominik Wiesniewski, and Gabriele Stone. 2020 A Cappella & Unplugged Finals are set for 7 PM on Friday, August 7. It is First Friday in downtown Chambersburg, and the performances are in front of the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center.

The public can enjoy performances in person or online through the Facebook Live Event. Those attending in person can cast a paper ballot. Virtual attendees can visit Facebook.com/FCVBen to like the favorite performer. New this year, comments about performers in the Facebook Live feed will tabulate a vote for the mentioned performer. The voting window is 30 minutes and opens at 7 PM. Check out the talent and help select the 2020 winner of A Cappella & Unplugged. The performer with the most votes wins the $500 prize and is the 2020 champion.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau extends special thanks to the 2020 Round One performers–Ace Johnson, Blaine Phebus, Gabriele Stone, Holly Gouse, Jason Sheffield, Dominik Wiesniewski, Paul Saliga, Pyxus, Robert Twine, and The Mimic. It is not too late to enjoy their performances.  Listen here.

Judges rated Round One performers on execution and skill, creativity and originality, and overall presence and appeal. The 2020 judges were Devin Fields, John Ingels, Heather McEndree, Woody Payne, Beth Thoresen, and Jack Swisher. After tabulating the results, there was a three-way tie for the Judges Choice award. The winners were Dominik Wiesniewski, Gabriele Stone, and The Mimic. Each will receive a $100 prize. The three-way tie was another “first” for the A Cappella & Unplugged competition.

The 2020 participants were gleaned from open mics at 11/30 Visitors Center during IceFest 2020 and The Thought Lot on March 10. Event organizer Franklin County Visitors Bureau will always remember 2020 A Cappella & Unplugged because of the impact of COVID, the adaptations made to hold the event, and the performers love of music as an outlet in difficult times.

For the August 7 Finals’ performance, FCVB is providing small groupings of socially distanced seating in front of the visitors center. Visitors are welcome to bring their own chairs, also. Please contact Franklin County Visitors Bureau at 717.552.2977 for special arrangements or email jpollard@explorefranklincountypa.com.

Music Spotlight: Brian Shenmeyer

Music Spotlight: Brian Shenmeyer

Who loves music? We know you do! And luckily for you, it’s ANOTHER week for Music Spotlight! On this week’s edition of Music Spotlight, we introduce to you, Mr. Brian Shermeyer.

Brian comes from Waynesboro, PA, one of the fine towns that make up Franklin County. Brian is a seasoned musician with an MBA in music! However, a majority of his training and skills were sharpened via touring in the 70s and 80s. He’s collaborated with numerous musicians playing a variety of musical styles such as jazz, funk, rock, and country. More recently though, Brian has returned to writing, composing and performing music. And currently he collaborates with another local musician named Brad Munn. Together they make up the duo “The Tone Riders”.

Brian is also an active member of the Waynesboro Arts Alliance. He makes up one of the members of the Singer-songwriters group that meets in Music Makers of Waynesboro and he also attends their open mics. In being a member of these groups, it has instilled an inspiration for Brian to continue honing his craft as a songwriter. As a result, he created a YouTube page in February of this year.

Brian’s YouTube channel is a platform for which he shares his originals. His pieces feature improvisations common within jazz music. It makes for an unpredictable journey through his songs. The lyrics pose complex sentences and thoughts that leave listeners thinking and wanting to breakdown concepts behind the song. Listeners will tap into their introspections, their heart and soul as well as their spirituality.

Interested in listening to Brian’s work? Go to his YouTube page by searching “Brian Shermeyer Music”.

For a taste here is Brian’s song “You Never Know,” listen here.

Contributed by Evan Crider

Statement from U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham

Statement from U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham

The U.S. Census Bureau continues to evaluate its operational plans to collect and process 2020 Census data. We are announcing updates to our plan that will include enumerator awards and the hiring of more employees to accelerate the completion of data collection and apportionment counts by our statutory deadline of December 31, 2020, as required by law and directed by the Secretary of Commerce. The Census Bureau’s new plan reflects our continued commitment to conduct a complete count, provide accurate apportionment data, and protect the health and safety of the public and our workforce.

Complete Count

A robust field data collection operation will ensure we receive responses from households that have not yet self-responded to the 2020 Census.

  • We will improve the speed of our count without sacrificing completeness. As part of our revised plan, we will conduct additional training sessions and provide awards to enumerators in recognition of those who maximize hours worked. We will also keep phone and tablet computer devices for enumeration in use for the maximum time possible.
  • We will end field data collection by September 30, 2020. Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing. Under this plan, the Census Bureau intends to meet a similar level of household responses as collected in prior censuses, including outreach to hard-to-count communities.

Accurate Data and Efficient Processing: Once we have the data from self-response and field data collection in our secure systems, we plan to review it for completeness and accuracy, streamline its processing, and prioritize apportionment counts to meet the statutory deadline. In addition, we plan to increase our staff to ensure operations are running at full capacity.

Flexible Design

Our operation remains adaptable and additional resources will help speed our work. The Census Bureau will continue to analyze data and key metrics from its field work to ensure that our operations are agile and on target for meeting our statutory delivery dates. Of course, we recognize that events can still occur that no one can control, such as additional complications from severe weather or other natural disasters.

Health and Safety

We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our workforce and the public. Our staff will continue to follow Federal, state, and local guidance, including providing appropriate safety trainings and personal protective equipment to field staff.

Respond to the census at 2020census.gov

Small Business Recovery Grant

Small Business Recovery Grant

The Franklin County Area Development Corporation (FCADC), in collaboration with the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, have created the Small Business Recovery Grant program to provide funding to eligible Franklin County small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Approximately $3 Million of the County’s $14 million federal CARES allocation is available for the program.  The maximum grant amount per small business will be $50,000.

Applications and full program guidelines will be available for download on the FCADC website (www.fcadc.com) beginning Monday, August 10th at 9AM.  Applications will also be available via the Chambersburg, Waynesboro, Shippensburg, Greencastle, and Tuscarora Chambers of Commerce as well as Mainstreet Waynesboro.  Applications will be received until the close of business on Friday, August 21 at which time they will be reviewed for the purpose of making recommendations to the Commissioners for funding.  Applications can be submitted directly to the FCADC office via SBrecoverygrant@fcadc.com , any Chamber of Commerce located in Franklin County, or Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc.

To qualify for funding a business must have been established on or before May 1, 2019; operate for profit; be physically located in Franklin County; and have fewer than 100 full time employees.  For more specific information, full program guidelines are currently posted on the FCADC website.

For anyone who has questions about the program, please contact the FCADC office at 717-263-8282 or via email SBrecoverygrant@fcadc.com