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17268.com a portal into the community

January 23, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - It seems the "www" in the address for one Web site could actually stand for Waynesboro, Washington Township and Wal-Mart.

The most popular topics on www.17268.com are indeed the greater Waynesboro, Pa., area and the big-box store scheduled to open there this summer.

"The current focus of the site is to help bring the town together and allow people to ask questions, post info and catch up with old friends," said Cris Newcomer, the site's manager.

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The five digits in the Web site's address are the ZIP code for Waynesboro.

The home page of 17268.com hails it as "a community portal for a wonderful town."

Newcomer, who lives in Waynesboro, first launched the site to help plan a 15-year reunion for Waynesboro Area Senior High School's Class of 1990.

There were about 365 people in the class, and Newcomer, a member of the reunion committee, said the existence of the site spread through word-of-mouth.

After the reunion, Newcomer revamped the site and turned it into a forum where past and current residents could discuss issues affecting the area. He gave it a facelift in December 2005.

Users have posted threads, series of messages on a common topic, about lost classmates, new businesses and the community's history.

There are 61 users registered to post messages and there have been more than 2,500 hits on the site since it was started, he said.

He said it seems many are local people, although there are out-of-towners viewing the Web pages. One user, Matt Fox, is from Waynesboro but is now serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Newcomer feels the site is a good tool for out-of-towners to keep in contact with others and access local news. He said it's the virtual version of a group of people sitting around and shooting the breeze.

"It doesn't have to be people in the borough. It could be people in L.A. or wherever. I would like to see some older people (on the site)," Newcomer said.

Newcomer, who creates Web sites as a hobby, is willing to post links for area businesses that contact him.

"I'll also be taking suggestions as well," he said.

His e-mail address is listed on 17268.com

"The biggest thing I would like to see would be more people using the forum," said Newcomer.

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