20/20 To Air Story On Weatherman John Bolaris

Logo of the Fox Broadcasting Company

Logo of the Fox Broadcasting Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Bolaris will discuss being drugged and fleeced by two Eastern European hotties at 10 p.m. Friday on ABC’s “20/20″

The former Fox 29 meteorologist was interviewed recently in New York and Miami, where in 2010 two Balkan beauties urged him to “do shot,” and he wound up being roofied. Then $43,000 was charged to his credit card.

His story “Girl Crime Ring” is part of the “20/20″ episode called “Payback.” Here’s a quote from an ABC release:

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/entertainment/celebrities_gossip/2020-airs-story-on-Bolaris-being-drugged-scammed-fighting-back-Friday-night.html#ixzz1wUSQEL4s
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

Christmas Eve Special About Reading’s Poverty To Be On CBS

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading and its struggles with poverty will be the Christmas story this year on CBS.

The network has asked Odyssey Networks, a multifaith media coalition, to produce an hourlong special to be broadcast on Christmas Eve, said the Rev. Eric Shafer, Odyssey senior vice president and a Berks native.

“We’ve decided to come to Reading to tell ‘One Christmas Story: People Rich in Spirit,’ ” he said. “The special will rejoice in the true spirit of Christmas through the words of the Gospel, glorious choral music and the unique character of the community in Reading.”

Shafer said the Collegiate Churches of New York City have already given a $50,000 grant toward the television production and plan to award an additional $50,000 to help fight poverty in the city.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389931

Montco Commissioners Tell Pottstown The Era Of The “Big Check” Is Over

Editor’s note:  What else is new.  The county is over involved in Pottstown‘s affairs and has helped to create a great deal of the problems Pottstown and Norristown both face by making them the dumping group for Section 8 Housing and social services.  Now we just wash our hands and say “see ya”.  Typical!

POTTSTOWN, Pa. — Say goodbye to the big, giant check.

That was one of several messages Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards had for Pottstown officials last week during a rare joint meeting of borough council, school board and members of the board of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, or PAID.

Officially, the joint meeting was also the required annual meeting of PAID at which the executive director, Steve Bamford, is required to give a report on the activities of the year before.

But since Bamford was not hired until November, there was not much to tell.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120529/NEWS01/120529365/montco-commissioners-tell-pottstown-era-of-the-big-check-is-over-(video)

Meeting Set For Moving 5th Grade Out Of Barth

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, Pa. — When school opens at Barth Elementary School in August, it will not have a fifth grade.

Due to the renovation project that will be undertaken at Pottstown’s largest elementary school this summer and fall, the administration has decided to move both fifth grade classes out of Barth and over to Franklin Elementary school.

A meeting for parents of the 58 students this decision affects will be held tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at Barth.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120529/NEWS01/120529312/meeting-set-for-moving-5th-grade-out-of-barth

Many School Districts Tapping Reserve Funds To Close Budget Gaps

Governor says schools must spend such money rather than rely on state
 

When budgets are tight, school districts sometimes have to dip into reserve funds to make ends meet.

It’s not something they like to do, but these are desperate times.

“We can’t count on doing this every year,” said Dr. Paul B. Eaken, Fleetwood superintendent.

This is the second year in a row that Fleetwood has relied on its reserves; the district spent $1.4 million to balance the 2011-12 budget.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389527

New Ocean City, NJ Bridge Is A Massive Marvel Of Concrete

Kites on the Ocean City, New Jersey beach at 1...

Kites on the Ocean City, New Jersey beach at 12th Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Along with the usual water ice, greasy pizza, and tubes of sunscreen, the unofficial first weekend of summer was marked by a new arrival this year at the Jersey Shore: 175,000 cubic yards of concrete.

It didn’t arrive all at once, of course, but the concrete — the Route 52 causeway bridge — is now a finished product and represents a major feat of engineering. The bridge stretches more than two miles from Somers Point on the mainland to the barrier island of Ocean City, able to accommodate 40,000 cars a day.

The construction techniques to erect such a structure have long been standard in the industry, one of them tracing its roots to a historic 1950 overpass in Philadelphia. But the sheer scope of this new bridge, a $400 million project overseen by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, was unusual.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20120528_Ocean_City_NJ_bridge_is_a_massive_marvel_of_concrete.html#ixzz1wBREo46S
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

Pottstown Designer Awaits Tony Awards Night

To create the set for the Broadway smash Newsies, Pottstown resident Tobin Ost served multiple masters: a choreographer who needed space for his performers to dance, a director who envisioned a jungle-gym effect, a writer who moved the action from scene to scene, and producers who worried about the box office.

So the scenic designer crafted a tiered, tic-tac-toe metalscape that separates, recedes and rotates. Performers dance up, down, and through it during a musical set in turn-of-the-century New York.

For his efforts, Ost has been nominated for a Tony Award.

“I tried hard to ignore it when the announcements were coming out. I just didn’t want to have any assumptions,” Ost, 38, said of hearing the news “Then, my partner called and he was crying for joy.”

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20120528_Pottstown_designer_awaits_Tony_Awards_night.html#ixzz1wBN7Cnqs
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

Allegiant Air Wants To Run Lancaster-To-Orlando Flights

English: This is a photo of an Allegiant MD-83

English: This is a photo of an Allegiant MD-83 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A discount airline wants to provide nonstop jet service between Lancaster and Orlando — if the local airport authority pays its expenses here.

Allegiant Air has contacted the Lancaster Airport Authority to express interest in flying the route twice a week.

“It’s not as glamorous as it might appear,” David Eberly, airport director, said.

“They’re in a lot of smaller communities like Lancaster, and they don’t want to pay the community anything.”

In a separate development, the authority has asked the federal government to subsidize daily service to a new city on a new carrier.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/655489_Airline-wants-to-run-Lancaster-to-Orlando-flights.html#ixzz1wBAcSWfK

Community Hub Resumes In Lancaster City

Eastern Market launches 7th season Saturday
 

Lancaster city’s Eastern Market serves many roles.

The seasonal market is intended to get fresh, locally grown produce to residents of the low-income East King Street neighborhood. It also serves as a business incubator for upstart entrepreneurs, as a community hub and as part of an initiative to promote a sustainable urban lifestyle.

Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the market begins its seventh season working to meet those goals.

Under the shadow of the former market house, now home of Tabor Community Services, the market will occupy the plaza at 308 E. King St.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/655998_Community-hub-resumes-in-Lancaster-city.html

Former Bethlehem Steel Property To Idle

 

BETHLEHEM STEEL PLANT AT SPARROWS POINT - NARA...

BETHLEHEM STEEL PLANT AT SPARROWS POINT – NARA – 546882 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The owner of the financially ailing Sparrows Point steel plant is idling operations there, warning 1,975 workers Thursday that they would be laid off starting next month.

The news, which casts doubt on the future of the Baltimore County facility that was once owned by Bethlehem Steel, came as RG Steel is shopping the steel mill and its other assets to potential buyers.

RG Steel informed the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations that layoffs would begin June 4 and continue through June 18. The state said the company would be laying off 1,714 hourly and 261 salaried workers, losses that would be a significant blow to the economy.

For years, the plant has faced uncertainty before last-minute deals salvaged the mill. RG Steel is the latest owner to try to sustain steel production at the once-flourishing facility.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-allentown-sparrows-point-idle-20120525,0,7750660.story

Easton Newspaper’s Owner Losing Faith In Print?

English: The Express-Times building in Easton,...

English: The Express-Times building in Easton, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The New Orleans Times-Picayune‘s planned move to a three-day-a-week newspaper could signal that its sister papers in the Lehigh Valley and region — the Easton Express-Times, Harrisburg Patriot-News and Newark Star-Ledger — will eventually do the same, industry analysts say.

Advance Publications, which owns the Times-Picayune, has not announced plans to scale back at its three publications in this region, but one expert said conversations about taking that step already are happening at a time when newspapers across the country continue to grapple with declining advertising revenue and print sales.

“I think it will happen,” said former Knight Ridder executive Ken Doctor, who writes the Newsonomics blog. “The question is time. I know there are discussions within [Advance Publications] about how quickly to proceed with its other newspapers. I don’t know if a timeline is set, but there have been discussions on how and when to do this.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-advance-publications-cuts-20120525,0,338158.story

Budget Crisis Forces Staff Cuts In Many Berks County School Districts

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Attrition.

It’s a word that has no doubt become quite familiar to school board members across Berks County as they look to shed expenses.

And the No. 1 expense for a school district? Personnel.

Cutting staff is a tough choice, but one many Berks school districts have faced. In all, 15 districts have said they will trim their ranks for the 2012-13 year.

Because cutting jobs has a big impact on people’s lives, attrition has become the preferred method.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389391

Allentown School Taxes Could Rise Nearly 5%

English: View of Allentown, Pa from Keck Park

English: View of Allentown, Pa from Keck Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown School Board on Thursday approved a proposed $235 million spending plan for 2012-13 that includes a nearly 5 percent tax hike.

The board’s 8-1 vote means a property owner’s tax bill would rise about $86, to $1,890, on a home assessed at the district’s $37,500 average. The millage rate would go up 2.3 mills to about 50.4.

Superintendent Russ Mayo faulted Gov. Tom Corbett for shifting a greater financial burden on school districts.

He said the governor’s proposed state budget for 2012-13 has about $100 million less for kindergarten, tutoring and class-size programs. That’s on top of the $900 million in school funding he cut statewide in 2011-12.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-school-budget-0524-20120525,0,4061905.story

Underground Centralia Fire Still Burning After 50 Years

Higher resolution photograph of the Route 61 c...

Higher resolution photograph of the Route 61 crack, in Centralia PA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CENTRALIA, Pa.  - Fifty years ago on Sunday, a fire at the town dump ignited an exposed coal seam, setting off a chain of events that eventually led to the demolition of nearly every building in Centralia – a whole community of 1,400 simply gone.

All these decades later, the Centralia fire still burns in Columbia County. It also maintains its grip on the popular imagination, drawing visitors from around the world who gawk at twisted, buckled Route 61, at the sulfurous steam rising intermittently from ground that’s warm to the touch, at the empty, lonely streets where nature has reclaimed what coal-industry money once built.

It’s a macabre story that has long provided fodder for books, movies and plays – the latest one debuting in March at a theater in New York.

Yet to the handful of residents who still occupy Centralia, who keep their houses tidy and their lawns mowed, this borough in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania is no sideshow attraction. It’s home, and they’d like to keep it that way.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389185

Caltagirone Seeks Funds For Reading’s War On Crime

Shaking a few trees could bear fruit for crime-fighting efforts in the city, state Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone said Friday.

“I’m on the board of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency,” the Reading Democrat said. “I’m going to make a special appeal to see if there’s any money or different programs available.”

Police Chief William M. Heim said the department would welcome the money.

“We could use it for additional training for our officers, such as investigative and operational seminars, as well as providing supervisory and management training for new sergeants and lieutenants,” he said. “We could also use help to upgrade and replace the laptop computers in our patrol cars to accommodate updated technology.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389138

Pottstown Crash Deaths Focus Shifts To Drug Sale

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, Pa. — The investigation into a Monday night crash that killed two people and critically injured a third shifted Thursday to a downtown store that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana to one of the crash victims.

According to court documents obtained exclusively by The Mercury Thursday, members of Pottstown’s Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 315 and 317 E. High St., which houses a convenience store called the Achi Store.

As investigators were searching Tuesday for Roger Tracey Malloy, 27, of 303 N. York St., Pottstown, the driver in the fatal wreck, authorities learned that one of Malloy’s passengers, 16-year-old Kendall Harper, of Pottstown, had purchased K2, or synthetic marijuana, from the Achi Store, according to court papers filed seeking the warrant.

According to court papers, authorities learned in their investigation that Malloy has been smoking K2 and drinking before the crash occurred.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120525/NEWS01/120529577/search-warrant-for-drugs-served-on-pottstown-store-&pager=full_story

New Orleans Newspaper Cuts Print Edition To Three Days A Week

A true-color satellite image of New Orleans ta...

A true-color satellite image of New Orleans taken on NASA’s Landsat 7 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW ORLEANS, La.  (Reuters) – The 175-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper will reduce the number of days it publishes a print edition to three a week, making the Louisiana city the largest in the United States without a daily newspaper.

Advance Publications, which owns the Times-Picayune, said on Thursday it made the change because of the upheaval in the newspaper industry and the necessity to focus on its digital publications.

The company said three of its newspapers in Alabama – the Huntsville Times, Mobile Press-Register and Birmingham News – would also cut back their print editions to three days a week.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/sns-rt-us-media-neworleans-newspaperbre84o03e-20120524,0,1798086.story

Pay Frozen For Most Boyertown School District Administrators

The Boyertown School Board has voted to freeze most administrators’ salaries for the 2012-13 year, saving the district nearly $70,000.

Dr. Dion E. Betts, superintendent, had requested that the board freeze his salary earlier this month.

At its meeting Tuesday, the board approved the freeze unanimously for a savings of about $9,000.

It also voted 7-2 to freeze the salaries of all of the district’s 17 principals, assistant principals and special-education directors, for a savings of about $60,000.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=388974

Up To 364 Jobs On The Block In Reading School District

Nancy Swope knows a thing or two about education.

She’s been teaching in the Reading School District for 32 years, longer than some in the capacity crowd gathered inside the Reading School District’s board room Wednesday night have been alive, she pointed out with a smile.

Swope spoke passionately to the school board about her dedication to the district. About her passion. About giving her heart, her soul, her blood, sweat and tears to Reading schools.

It was a stark reminder of what the district will be losing.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=388948

Free Summer Program Application Deadline Is June 8

The Gallery School of Pottstown is excited to offer three free summer programs for students ages 8-12.  Kids Art Academy is a general arts exploration class, where students will explore two and three-dimensional arts.  Students in Clay Academy will delve into all aspects of creating with clay, including using a pottery wheel.  The third class, Asian Arts, will take students on a journey through the art traditions of many Asian countries.
 
Art Academy and Clay academy begin in June, while Asian Arts starts in July.  Applications must be received by June 8, 2012 for all three programs.  Applications can be found online at http://www.galleryonhigh.com/programs.html,
or in person at the school at 254 E. High St.
 
All three programs are funded by the Greater Pottstown Foundation and are free for the students, with the exception of a small registration fee.  While preference is given to those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, students who do not qualify are also encouraged to apply.  Questions can be emailed to info@galleryonhigh.com, or asked over the phone at 610-326-2506.
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery.  The School offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence.  The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The Gallery on High is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am – 4:30pm and Saturday 10am – 3pm.  The Gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.