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Friday, March 19, 2010

Shenandoah



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I spent most of my Tuesday, in Shenandoah, where there had been an early morning homicide. A man was robbed and shot to death in front of his girlfriend and children on East Centre Street.


Shenandoah has been through the mill the past couple years. Some kids were charged with beating a man until he died. Police officers allegedly tried to cover up the crimes. There were other incidents of violence the last several months.

There are hundreds of good and decent people here. Newswatch 16 took a look at positive community events in a few recent stories. While it helped, it's not enough.

The town has developed a reputation. Deserved or not, it's there. While I was on my travels yesterday, far from Schuylkill County, one viewer said "Hey, I see you survived Shenandoah." Another asked about the conditions there, like I spent my day in Baghdad.

It's an old coal town. There's not a lot of money here. While some homes were rather nice, many other needed work-- badly. Junked cars in alleys, dirty streets, empty buildings. It's tough to feel good about yourself and your community when you encounter that every day.

It doesn't take long to get a reputation. It does take a long time to get rid of it. The decent people of Shenandoah should know that it's going to take a lot of hard work, and it's not going to happen overnight.

Good luck.