Thumbs up: The York County Drug Court, one of the first of its kind in the state when it was created in 1997, has now been recognized by the state Supreme Court as one of the best in Pennsylvania.

State Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery recently presented accreditations to the diversionary program, formed to decrease the prevalence of drug addiction and drug-related crime in the county and to treat and rehabilitate addicted offenders.

York is one of just three counties in the state to receive accreditation from the Supreme Court, with the other two programs in Lancaster and Wyoming.

The criteria are based on best practices and components such as identifying eligible participants early and promptly placing them in drug court and monitoring abstinence by frequent drug testing.

"You're on the cutting edge, you really are," McCaffery told a room of county judges and officials during a Sept. 17 ceremony. "At the end of the day, you're doing the right thing."

Thumbs up: If York wants to continue growing its reputation as a hub for artists, it's probably a good idea to make them feel welcome.

The City Council took a step in that direction Tuesday by eliminating permits for artists, street performers or anyone else who might want to perform and sell his or her creations on a public sidewalk in the central business district.

While loosening one restriction, the new ordinance establishes others. For example, artists are limited to having no more than five self-created items for sale. Those could include CDs, paintings or books of poetry.


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Councilman Michael Helfrich originally proposed the exemption, saying he hoped the change would encourage more artists to be visible downtown.

"It might be a little spark to increase the foot traffic," he said.

Thumbs down: A memorial to veterans of World War I and World War II that once was displayed outside a Bittersville church for all to see is now locked away, available for viewing by appointment only.

Now veterans in the Windsor and Lower Windsor area are fighting, with the help of the York County Department of Veterans Affairs, for the return of the 2-by-3-foot brass plaque.

The Lower Windsor Area Historical Society took possession of the plaque after Bittersville United Methodist Church closed its doors a few years ago. Parishioners at the former church, 1943 Craley Road, were concerned the building could be demolished or that the building's new owners might not be good stewards of the memorial.

Well, the church is still standing and now occupied by St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church. But the historical society is concerned about the viability of small, independent church and has refused to return the memorial.

"These memorials are sacred, and they're supposed to be for the community," said Elwood "Woody" McCleary Jr., a 66-year-old veteran and veterans activist from Red Lion.

"You can't go to Gettysburg and move stuff around," he said. "You don't just collect them up and shove them where you think they should go. We're going to fight them the whole way. This just isn't going to end."