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Tuesday • January 4, 2011 — A7

The Sentinel at

Decade review 2000-2010



Year included the start of AHEC, new

commercial development, the end of team practice and the arrest of a problem landlord.

Cumberland County

Education center fulfills a dream The year also saw a murder at Carlisle Barracks. ■■

By Joseph Cress Sentinel Reporter

For retired Maj. Gen. Joseph McCarthy, 2002 was a dream fulfilled. On Nov. 18, the career officer stood out among those celebrating the groundbreaking of the first of several buildings planned for the Army Heritage and Education Center. Construction was already underway on what would become Ridgway Hall, the new home of the Military History Institute and its more than 9 million books, photographs, manuscripts, letters and memoirs. Beaming, McCarthy joked with the crowd, “There will be a slight pause while I count the zeros.” He had just been given an oversized ceremonial check for $10 million by state Sen. Hal Mowery, R-31. The money was drawn from the Capital Budget Redevelopment Assistance Fund. “This is a great day... one we have looked forward to for five years,” McCarthy said. Finally, he had seen his dream from the 1990s start to take form. There will be a place where people can learn the story of the Army, one soldier at a time. Today, AHEC is an expanding destination expected to top more than 100,000 visitors by the end of 2011. The first phase of the Visitor and Education Center will officially open in April, followed later in the year by the conservation and restoration facility, which will be strictly off limits to the public.

Out with the old 2002 was a year when the old gave way to the new. It saw the opening of the Walmart supercenter at Carlisle Commons, built on the site of the former MJ Mall. Work crews also completed the construction of a strip mall facing Noble Boulevard to replace the former Wards department store. What used to be the Ames building was divided into three retail units, each with its own entrance to the outside. Not all change was as positive. The Washington Redskins professional football team announced in November that it would no longer use the Dickinson College campus as its summer training camp. The decision was made despite efforts by local, state and county officials to put together a financial package addressing some of the team’s concerns. A frustrated Mayor Kirk Wilson summed up the feelings of many a Carlisle resident. “Instead of ‘Hail to the Redskins,’ I say, ‘To hell with the Redskins,’” Wilson said. “This community is on a roller coaster with this team.” He added the Carlisle

“Instead of ‘Hail to the Redskins,’ I say, ‘To hell with the Redskins.’” mayor kirk wilson Carlisle

community “ bent over backwards” to accommodate a team that once made Carlisle its summer home. Dickinson lured the team to Carlisle in 1963 and players trained in the borough until 1994, winning three Super Bowls in the process. The team spent a few seasons at Frostburg State University in Maryland before spending their 2000 training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. The Redskins returned briefly to Carlisle in 2001 and 2002 but now train at Redskins Park.

Murder on post

Sentinel file photos

Construction on several buildings for the the Army Heritage and Education Center began in 2002.

There were other woes for the local community in 2002. News surfaced in March of a murder at Carlisle Barracks. That October, Lt. Col. David P. Bartlett would admit in open military court that he killed his wife, Suzanne, by beating her with an iron pestle and strangling her with a computer cord. The former research analyst with the Center for Strategic Leadership was later sentenced to 25 years at Fort Leavenworth for the crime. He will be eligible for parole this year. 2002 also saw the arrest of embattled Carlisle property owner Robert Barrett and his business associate Walter Bender. Local police charged the men with arson and related charges in connection with the March 2001 arson that destroyed three buildings in the 100 block of East High Street. Police say they found the melted remains of 24 onegallon plastic milk bottles throughout the ground floor of 136 E. High St. Investigators believed the bottles were filled with gasoline and ignited to cause the fire that also destroyed 134 and 138 E. High St. Barrett was fighting the Borough of Carlisle at the time over the condition of numerous properties he owns in the historic district. Over the years, the borough cited Barrett for numerous building codes violations, but he refused to meet additional guidelines for renovations of properties in the historic district. Barrett and Bender were found guilty following a trial in April 2004. Barrett was handed a three-to-sixyear sentence in state prison and $90,000 in fines, while Bender was sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years in Cumberland County Prison.

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Washington Redskins fans wait in line for an autograph signing at the Dickinson College training camp.

Thousands of people were present for the grand opening of the Walmart Supercenter in Carlisle Commons, built on the former site of MJ Mall.

Bryan Barker of the Washington Redskins signs autographs for fans at the Dickinson College training camp.

Decade in Review: January 4, 2011  

January 4, 2011

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