Groups prepare for battle over proposed Gettysburg casino
GETTYSBURG -- The numbers are amazing, and show how deep the emotions run on both sides of the Gettysburg casino issue.

More than 400 individuals and groups have signed up to speak -- some pro, some con -- at a public hearing this week on whether the state should license a gambling parlor containing 600 slot machines and 50 table games just south of the Gettysburg National Military Park.

A few speakers are strongly opposed to a casino, calling the historic area "hallowed ground" because of the many Union and Confederate soldiers who died during a 3-day battle in early July 1863.

But supporters say the area needs the 900 or more jobs and local tax revenue that would be generated by the Mason-Dixon Resorts Casino, as it would be called (because it's only a couple miles north of the Pennsylvania-Maryland border). They argue that a casino would boost, not decrease, the large number of tourists who each year visit the national park and the historic town.