Monthly Archives: October 2015

“The puck drops here” in Atchison’s new novel “Blue Lines Up In Arms”


MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Blue Lines Up In Arms, James Craig Atchison’s first novel, a detective thriller woven into a professional hockey setting.

Monica was at wits end. “Damn you, Ray Beck, you’re an auxiliary policeman. You can only do crowd control! Put the gun down!”

bluia_fcSent down nine-year National Hockey League veteran and well-known fox hunter Wavy Ray Beck, and Monica Reedy, the only female detective on the city force, are an unusual and engaging pair of crime fighters. And all is fair in both love and war as they work together to stop an international crime wave bleeding into everyday Pennsylvania.

While Ray searches for a path back to the Stanley Cup Play Offs, Detective Reedy’s search for a downtown window smasher leads the two of them to discover an enterprising high-tech car-theft ring as well as an underground gambling ring, both being orchestrated…

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Dr. William Miller recounts the challenges of superintendency in a public school system

TYRONE, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released The Politics of Prevailing: Lessons in Public School Superintendence 1971-2013, Dr. William N. Miller’s memoir of his experiences as superintendent of the Tyrone Area School District.

tpop_fcAbout The Author:
Dr. William N. Miller was selected Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators 2013 Superintendent of the Year. Previously, he received the Pennsylvania School Study Council’s 2012 William Caldwell Excellence in Administration and Supervision Award, was honored as the 2007 PARSS Rural Educator of the Year, and was lauded in 2006 with the University Council of Education Excellence (UCEE) Educational Leadership Award. He earned his B.S. from Shippensburg University and Masters and Doctorate of Educational Administration in 1969 at The Pennsylvania State University after completing doctoral course work at Harvard, The University of Chicago, and New York University. He has served as Adjunct-Professor at the graduate level at Penn State’s University Park campus and as Guest Lecturer at Saint Francis University. In addition, he has presented numerous statewide seminars on issues as diverse as educator sexual misconduct to the needs of gifted students.

What Others Are Saying:
“Dr. Miller, based on his extraordinary career serving 42-years as a school district superintendent in one school district, shares “better than fiction” stories he experienced throughout his distinguished career in which he persevered to transform the district into a high-performing, highly efficient model that other superintendents, boards and district leaders should learn from and replicate.” Jim Buckheit, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators

“A compelling and interesting presentation of the high and low points of one man’s lengthy and crisis driven career in public education. A good read.” Joseph F. Bard, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools

“There is no greater supporter of equal opportunity for ALL children in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania than Bill Miller.” Arnold Hillman, Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools

“This is a personal, hard-hitting reflection on the vast array of experiences encountered by Dr. Miller during his more than 40 years in the Tyrone Area School System. Dr. Miller takes the reader through the exhaustive and sometimes contentious situations that he faced with all phases of the educational system-school boards, politicians the general public, parents, students, teachers and the teacher’s union, A must read for all who are interested in becoming a public school superintendent!” Frank Rosenhoover, retired PSEA UniServ Rep

The Politics of Prevailing presents an illuminating and real-world review of the many challenges faced by school administrators, as well the challenges confronting our education system generally. Dr. Miller provides a unique perspective, through his and his father’s many years of service to the Tyrone Area School District and the obstacles they faced during their tenure, and he offers insights into effective leadership that make a fascinating read not only for school administrators, but for all of us who care about the issues that arise in our schools and how those issues should be addressed,” Michael J, Betts, Betts Law Office LLC, Pittsburgh, PA

“An insightful look into the world of a long-term successful superintendent, Dr. Miller doesn’t pull any punches when relating encounters with difficult individuals and the problems they’ve created for schools, and he’s very forthcoming describing the principles and strategies he has employed to overcome them. A refreshing and enlightening account for experienced and aspiring superintendents alike.” Dr. William T. Hartman, Professor of Education, Pennsylvania State University

“This writing is a concise account of the long tenure of an effective and respected superintendent. It is not an account of research-driven higher education, but rather it opens the door to a talented human being working in that often overwhelming role of public school leader. The author, Dr. William Miller, is that long-tenured and often-tested superintendent. This writing can guide new and veteran school leaders to patience and to a better practice of complex school leadership,” Dr. Lawrence Weiss, Executive Director , Pennsylvania School Study Council, Pennsylvania State University

The Politics of Prevailing is an insightful reflection of a very successful, but challenging superintendence. Dr. William Miller “prevailed” throughout a forty-two year tenure by recognizing early on that public education in our democracy is a political endeavor. Developing political savvy as he navigated through a myriad of challenges he held tenaciously to his core values and his focus on what was most important to the children he served. His writing style is very much that of narrative story-telling, as he shares the episodes of many years as a successful superintendent and encapsulates them in a series of lessons learned.” Dr. Brian M. Small, Executive Director Shippensburg University School Study Council

Included in this volume:
Eat Humble Pie
Ditch the Desk
Read the Motive
Protect the Kids
Know Your ABC’s: Athletics, Band, and Chorus
Beware of Religion and Politics
Value Free Expression
“Kill” a Lawyer and Other Ways to Save a Buck
Pester the Politicians
Negotiate Wisely
Massage the Politics of Transition

The Politics of Prevailing: Lessons in Public School Superintendence 1971-2013
Authored by William N. Miller
List Price: $24.95
6″ x 9″ hardcover
Black & White on White paper
168 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066232
BISAC: Education / Administration

For more information, please see:…

Troutman recounts the history of the mills of Pennsylvania’s Mahantongo Valley

SUNBURY, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released The Penns’ Manor of Spread Eagle and the Grist Mills of the Mahantongo Valley, Steve Troutman further expands upon the history of Pennsylvania’s bucolic Mahantongo Valley, delving into the story of the various mills in the area and the first African-American family to settle there.

km_fcIncluded in this volume:
• Spread Eagle Manor and the Establishment of Klingerstown and the Klingerstown Grist Mill
• The Klingerstown Mill
• The Mills of the Upper Mahantongo Valley
• The Simmy Family—An African American Pioneer Family in the Mahantongo Valley

The Penns’ Manor of Spread Eagle and the Grist Mills of the Upper Mahantongo Valley: Including The African American Simmy Family Heritage
Authored by Steve E Troutman
List Price: $19.95
8.5″ x 11″ (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
Black & White on White paper
336 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067154
ISBN-10: 1620067153
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

For more information, please see:…

“Selling Slaves in Pennsylvania”

If you saw the film Twelve Years a Slave or read the memoir it’s based on, you know that prior to the Civil War, free-born black people in the Northern states were at risk of being kidnapped and illegally sold into Southern bondage. Mercenaries were carrying out the horrific practice throughout the early decades of the 1800s, and they really upped their game once the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850. The new law let slave-catchers come North to capture suspected runaways, with the Northern authorities and public required to cooperate. A quick hearing would be held at which the suspect couldn’t testify. If no one else would pay his bounty, he’d be ordered South with his captors.

This period is included in a Pennsylvania history book I’m currently writing. During my research in the Harrisburg archives, I came upon a powerful article from the Conneautville (Pa.) Courier headlined “Selling Slaves in Pennsylvania.” It drives home just how systematic and conniving the abductions were. Unfortunately, because I have so much other information to use and my primary focus is across the state in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I doubt the article will make it into the book. Still, I’d like to share it because it’s memorable. Here, from April 2, 1851:

The operation of the Fugitive Slave Law seems to have opened a new market for the slavers of the South. This may sound strangely in the ears of some … A slaveholder wishing to realize a few hundred or a thousand dollars, instead of risking the uncertainties of a Southern market, has only to dispatch some special agent, equipped with a letter of Attorney, executed in due form of law, to the North, authorizing him to seize, apprehend and sell some poor negro, who may be unable to prove his freedom the moment he is arrested.

The summary manner in which cases of this kind are required to be disposed of, almost necessarily prevent investigation into the character of such agent himself as a competent witness, to prove the identity of the fugitive, no difference what his character for truth really may be, for that, from the very nature of the case, cannot be inquired into. Thus is is rendered extremely easy to establish a claim of this kind.

It is well known that there is strong sympathy here in the North in favor of freedom, and although our citizens are ‘law abiding,’ yet they would pay almost any price rather than see a man dragged from his home into perpetual bondage. In this way it is that those claimed as slaves are sold in Pennsylvania.” The article mentioned a Pittsburgh case in which people paid $800, and said, “Thousands of dollars have already been extorted from the North in this way, and yet this odious law has only been in operation a few months. … If this state of things is to prevail, but a few of our colored citizens are secure in their persons or property for a day, notwithstanding the vaunting boast that America is the asylum for the oppressed and downtrodden of all nations.”

What a racket: black suspects railroaded; slave owners win by getting a new field hand or by extracting a bounty payment instead; mercenaries cash in either way. It was a rotten system that helped turn much of the Northern public against Southern “Slave Power”–and that lurched the nation closer to war.