Luzerne County Deficit Increases By $6.4M, Audit Says

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luzerne County Council heard two unpleasant updates Tuesday: the deficit grew to an estimated $10.1 million at the end of 2013 and repayments have skyrocketed on an inherited 2006 debt refinancing package.

The deficit increased because spending exceeded revenue by $6.4 million last year, said Andrea L. Caladie, a CPA with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, during a draft audit summary presentation.

The fund balance is now a negative $10.1 million because the county carried over a $3.7 million deficit from 2012, she said.

The audit was due June 30 under the county’s home rule charter. County Budget/Finance Division Head Brian Swetz has blamed staffing shortages on delays compiling information the outside auditors needed to complete their work.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/50746020/

Death Of Wife Of Cooper CEO Ruled A Homicide

Map of New Jersey highlighting Somerset County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Somerset County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The death of the wife of Cooper Health System CEO John P. Sheridan Jr. has been ruled a homicide, while investigators have not determined how her husband died, records show.

A copy of the death certificate for Joyce Sheridan, obtained by The Inquirer on Tuesday, lists the manner of death as “homicide.” Her husband’s death certificate says “pending investigation.”

The Sheridans both had multiple stab wounds when their bodies were pulled from a Sept. 28 fire in their home in the Skillman section of Montgomery Township , sources said last week.

Joyce Sheridan, 69, a retired teacher, was repeatedly stabbed in the upper body and chest, according to one of the sources, who like all the others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20141126_Death_of_wife_of_Cooper_CEO_ruled_a_homicide.html#PMue5UBhJADgpoQU.99

#givingtuesday At SteelStacks!‏

Giving Tuesday

This December 2nd, ArtsQuest and Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks want YOU to join us in the global movement of #GIVINGTUESDAY ™ and give back to the community that giving to you!

Your 100% tax deductible donation will go to a wide range of programming that will support free programming at SteelStacks all year long. So please join us in GIVING a donation to support the programs you love to enjoy!

Click here to print out your own UNselfie and share it with us!

Visit their web page for complete information: https://member.artsquest.org/pages/givingtuesday-to-artsquest?srctid=1&erid=33679042&trid=772fc909-9208-4a91-be05-9dc447a83c86

2 Coatesville Administrators Placed On Leave Amid District Lawsuit Action

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caln Township, PA – Two Coatesville Area School District employees were placed on administrative leave last week at the same time the school board filed a lawsuit against two former administrators.

Assistant superintendent Angelo Romaniello and facilities worker Matthew Como, the son of former superintendent Richard Como, were placed on administrative leave effective last week.

Romaniello’s attorney, Robert Donatoni of West Chester, declined comment on the employment status of his client Friday. Attorney Paul Rubino, who’s representing Matt Como, also declined comment.

CASD superintendent Cathy Taschner did not release the names of the employees in the message sent to parents Thursday night. School district officials responded Friday to a right-to-know request submitted by the Daily Local News checking on the employment status of Matt Como and Romaniello.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141122/2-coatesville-administrators-placed-on-leave-amid-district-lawsuit-action

Ashland Christmas Tree Returns After Two Years

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ASHLAND, PA — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Ashland with the return of the borough tree during the weekend.

The tree was not placed for the past two holidays due to safety concerns after high wind caused two trees to fall — fortunately, without injuries.

The tree placement is sponsored by the Ashland Rotary Club.

The Christmas tree is a major part of the holiday décor of the downtown, joining the many lighted decorations and Christmas banners placed by the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Christmas tree project, along with the annual Santa Claus visit and parade, was a long-standing tradition of the Ashland Kiwanis Club. When the Kiwanis disbanded in 2007, the Rotary club picked up the tree and parade projects.

Read more: http://republicanherald.com/news/ashland-christmas-tree-returns-after-two-years-1.1792596

U.S. Steel To Relocate Corporate Headquarters On Former Civic Arena Site

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pitt...

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, with the new corporate logo of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

U.S. Steel will move to a new, five-story corporate headquarters on the former site of the Civic Arena in a deal that will provide a corporate anchor tenant for the 28-acre property where $440 million in development is planned, officials said Monday.

The company plans to lease the 268,000-square-foot building for 18 years, the company said at a news conference at Consol Energy Center.

U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi, Gov. Tom Corbett, Pitsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse attended the announcement against a backdrop of artist renderings that showed people strolling a plaza of concrete, grass and trees in front of a conceptualized version of the building.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7229038-74/conference-press-ceo#ixzz3K0W5WwYJ
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Social Still In Bethlehem Set To Open As The Lehigh Valley’s First Distillery Next Month

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adam Flatt’s mother, Elaine Pivinski, opened the Lehigh Valley’s first winery in 1981.

Flatt is now on target to open the region’s first distillery next month.

Flatt, who co-owns Franklin Hill Vineyards in Lower Mount Bethel Township with his mother, is just weeks away from opening Social Still distillery in Bethlehem.

“It’s cool we have that pioneering tradition continuing,” he said.

Social Still is on target to have a soft opening the first week of December, Flatt said last week during a tour of the new operation. Work on the building is about 80 percent complete and the company is planning its first batch of vodka and gin later this week, Flatt said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/11/social_still_in_bethlehem_set.html

Kerns Pleads No Contest To Indecent Assault Charge

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robert J. Kerns, the former Montgomery County Republican Chairman, pleaded no contest on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault in Montgomery County Court.

It was a negotiated plea deal with the Attorney General’s office, and Kerns will serve two years probation and be a registered sex offender for 15 years.

Kerns was accused of having non-consensual sex with an employee of his Lansdale law firm while she was passed out after a night of drinking in October 2013.

More serious charges against him – rape and sexual assault – were dismissed in June by a lower court.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141125_Kerns_pleads_no_contest_to_indecent_assault_charge.html#62VtlB3JLAmVqmQC.99

DANIELLE MARINELLI JOINS HOOVER FINANCIAL ADVISORS

DanielleheadshotsHooverFinancial-0009-1Malvern, PA – Hoover Financial Advisors recently added Danielle Marinelli to its growing staff as a client service manager. Her appointment was announced by Peter K. Hoover, president and founder of HFA.

In her new position, Marinelli’s responsibilities include handling and processing client service issues, Schwab banking-related functions and client fund transfers. Prior to joining HFA, she was a business manager with Creative Financial Group in Newtown Square. Before that, she worked for Meridian Bank in the Financial Services division. Marinelli holds a degree in business and finance from West Chester University where she was a member of the Finance/Economics Society. She is a resident of Wayne.

HFA, which is headquartered on Moores Road in Malvern, was launched in 2005 by Hoover, who has been an independent financial advisor for more than 30 years. Since its inception, HFA has quadrupled in size. In addition to the client services manager, employees include financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, an investment analyst and information services manager. Two years ago, HFA was selected as 2012 Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.

Der Belsnickel Craft Show In Boyertown, Coming Soon

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2014 Show will be held
November 28 and 29, 2014
at the Boyertown Senior High School
The hours are:
11:00 AM-6:00 PM (Friday)
10:00 AM-4:00 PM (Saturday)
$5.00 Admission
No charge for children 12
and under.

 

Belsnickel website: http://www.boyertownhistory.org/craftshow.html

Iron Ore Price Decline Hurts U.S. Steel’s Cost Advantage Over Rivals

U.S. Steel

U.S. Steel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

U.S. Steel Corp.’s cost advantage over competitors from owning its iron ore mines is shrinking as the price of the commodity used to make steel sinks to a four-year low.

Analysts said iron ore’s decline to $70 a metric ton puts pressure on the Downtown-based steelmaker because competitors will benefit from lower raw material costs that U.S. Steel has long enjoyed. That pressure will mount as steel prices follow iron ore prices lower, especially helping competitors with lower production costs such as Nucor Corp., U.S. Steel’s chief rival.

“The U.S. Steel guys are going to have to work real hard to separate the revenue declines from external forces,” said John Tumazos of Very Independent Research of Holm-del, N.J. “Everything they’ve done in the last two years to cut costs was necessary, but everything points to more cost cuts.”

Under CEO Mario Longhi’s leadership, the Downtown-based steelmaker has closed mills, saved $500 million by halting an iron ore expansion project in Keewatin, Minn., relinquished control of its money-losing Canadian unit and saved $495 million under its Carnegie Way initiative to cut costs and return to profitability.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/7191828-74/steel-ore-iron#ixzz3JosqYOZp
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York City Budget: Parties Scramble To Find Solutions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York’s budget woes have set off a scramble to find ways to save positions in the departments that could face the deepest losses — police and fire — and triggered a whirlwind of questions about what would happen to the city if a balanced budget can come only at the cost of cutting public safety personnel.

Mayor Kim Bracey‘s budget, which she introduced Tuesday, would cut 46 positions in the police department and eight fire-fighting jobs, and would cut the city’s work force from 412 employees in 2014 to 315 next year, documents show. Bracey said she was faced with few options and asked community partners, legislators and the county for outside help.

As of Friday, “no one has knocked on the door,” she said.

She has called for union concessions. Bracey said she will meet with fire union President Fred Desantis on Monday, and the city already is in negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police. Police union president Mike Davis said he is “committed” to reaching an agreement before the end of the year.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_26992449/york-city-budget-parties-scramble-find-solutions

Maryland Says It Intends To Deny Permit To Continue Operating Conowingo Dam

Map of Maryland highlighting Cecil County

Map of Maryland highlighting Cecil County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A week after a report found that dams in Lancaster County and Maryland are no longer trapping polluting farm and urban stormwater runoff, the Maryland Department of the Environment says it plans to deny a water-quality permit renewal to the Conowingo Dam.

Exelon, the owner of the hydroelectric dam on the Susquehanna River in Cecil County, Maryland, has been seeking relicensing renewal from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The dam also needs a water-quality permit from Maryland to operate.

The state’s Department of the Environment says Exelon hasn’t fully supported its contention that the dam’s reduced ability to trap sediment is not harming the Chesapeake Bay, about 10 miles downriver, the Associated Press reported.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/maryland-says-it-intends-to-deny-permit-to-continue-operating/article_c91f5770-7198-11e4-bd9a-071fc8f2b5d3.html

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Says He’s Undecided About Another Run, Contends His Comments Misunderstood

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE — Saying his comments were misunderstood, Mayor Thomas Leighton said Friday he has not yet decided on running for another term.

Leighton, a Democrat, will begin the fourth and final year of his third term in January. He said he will discuss whether to run again with his wife and children over the holidays, make a decision and announce it in February as he has previously done.

“No decision has been made,” he said Friday.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/50732477/

Casino Also-Rans Leave Big Question Marks In City’s Landscape

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building ...

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building in Philadelphia, PA. Taken from North Broad and Callowhill Streets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Held hostage for a year by hope that they might snag a casino license, two pieces of prime central Philadelphia real estate lost that gamble this week – but may yet cash in, as all eyes await Plan B for both locations in a hot downtown market.

Developers who had proposed casinos at Eighth and Market Streets and the former Inquirer Building at Broad and Callowhill Streets said they had no alternate plans after learning Tuesday that the city’s second gaming license would instead go to a site near the sports arenas in South Philadelphia.

But with new apartment and retail development deals being inked virtually every week in and around Center City without public subsidy, it should not be long before new plans are hatched for both, as long as property owners agree to quick action, officials and market watchers said.

One top city official said market conditions were so favorable to development that the Nutter administration would have little patience if movement were not swift at one of the locations, which has remained inert for two decades as repeated plans have fizzled: the open-air lot at Eighth and Market owned by Ken Goldenberg and other investors.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141122_Casino_also-rans_leave_big_question_marks_in_city_s_landscape.html#FiqqgVTmwOSW0RAU.99

Higher Property Taxes In Westmoreland County Ruled Out Despite $15M Budget Gap

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Westmoreland County commissioners said Thursday that there won’t be a property tax increase next year despite a projected deficit of $15 million.

Commissioners revealed a preliminary $340 million budget for 2015 that anticipates declines in revenue and increases in proposed expenses, offset by dipping into the county’s surplus.

If enacted, the budget proposal would deplete the surplus fund to $10.7 million.

The surplus fund should end this year at $25 million.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/7200570-74/million-budget-county#ixzz3JjUBjx9a
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