Thumbs up: Congratulations to the Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, who will be installed as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg on March 19.

Gainer, 66, will oversee 250,000 Catholics throughout York and 14 other counties. He fills the leadership role left vacant by Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who died May 2.

Many local priests celebrated the news with parishioners at Friday morning Mass.

"We've been without a bishop for some time and in mourning, so this is exciting news for us," said Erin Maiolino, parish manager at St. Joseph Parish in Springettsbury Township.

Maiolino also noted the new bishop has local ties.

Gainer was born in Pottsville and ordained a priest in 1973 in Allentown, where he grew up as a coal miner's grandson and became monsignor, supervising 14 diocesan offices.

"He's really local and we feel like he will understand our diocese," Maiolino said.

Thumbs up: Dover resident Dave Kot's new superhero is flying high.

The organization he founded, Autism at Face Value, recently released the first comic to feature a hero with autism — and it was powerful launch.

The comic sold out in less than a week after hitting local store shelves Dec. 24.

Since then, area middle schools have requested copies to use for social skills courses for students with special needs, and doctors want copies to put in their waiting rooms, Kot said.

The comic is the first in a four-part series that explores emotional understanding in social situations with young readers and their families.


The comic uses science in the form of psychologist Paul Ekman's Facial Action Coding System to explain the seven kinds of basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, contempt and disgust.

In addition to the comics, the nonprofit Autism at Face Value will continue research and community outreach, partnering with other businesses and organizations to reach a wider audience, Kot said.