Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority Approves Hazelwood Tax Increment Financing Plans

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority board got the ball rolling Thursday for the largest piece of tax increment financing in the city’s history — an $80 million to $90 million package that would fund roads, utilities, parks and other public improvements for a proposed $900 million office and residential development in Hazelwood.

While URA board members unanimously approved preliminary plans for the funding in Hazelwood, some members criticized city council for holding up a $50 million TIF for a proposed $400 million to $500 million Buncher Co. development in the Strip District and wondered whether the Hazelwood package would suffer a similar fate.

The TIF must be approved by the city, the Pittsburgh Public Schools and Allegheny County.

“This is the beginning of a very long process,” said URA board member Jim Ferlo, a Democratic state senator from Highland Park.  “There are going to be a lot of hurdles, if not some significant roadblocks.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/ura-approves-hazelwood-tif-plans-669989/#ixzz2Hgyhruih

West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller Won’t Seek Re-Election To U.S. Senate

Official photograph of Jay Rockefeller, U.S. S...

Official photograph of Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Senator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who came to West Virginia as a young man from one of the world’s richest families to work on antipoverty programs and remained in the state to build a political legacy, announced Friday he will not seek a sixth term.

The 75-year-old Democrat’s decision, coming at a time when his popularity in a conservative state had been waning for sparring with the powerful mining industry and supporting President Barack Obama, told The Associated Press ahead of his formal announcement that it was time to retire.

After about three decades in elective office, it was time to “bring more balance to my life after a career that has been so obsessively dominated by politics and public policy and campaigns,” he said.  “I’ve gotten way out of whack in terms of the time I should spend with my wife and my children and my grandchildren.”

Mr. Rockefeller’s retirement was widely expected and puts the seat held by Democrats since 1958 in jeopardy for the party.  Within weeks of November’s elections, Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito vowed to run for the Senate seat in 2014, even if it meant going up against Mr. Rockefeller and his storied name.  Other Republicans also have been eyeing the seat in recent weeks.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/politics-national/west-virginias-jay-rockefeller-wont-seek-re-election-to-us-senate-669999/#ixzz2HgtUoBYB

The Pottstown Area Police Athletic League Annual Beef And Beverage

The Pottstown Area Police Athletic League

Presents the 5th Annual

Beef & Beverage

Saturday, February 23, 7pm – 11pm

Boyertown Orioles, 101 S. Washington Street, Boyertown

Gift Basket Raffles   50/50 Raffle   Limited Tickets for Sale $25.00

Call PAL Office at 610-327-0527

Family Reading Night At The Salvation Army Of Pottstown

Family Reading Night

January 25th, 6:00pm – 7:30pm (approx)

The Salvation Army of Pottstown, 137 King Street - Story time, fun-style dinner, craft time, and each child leaves with a book to keep.  Adult(s) must accompany child(ren) throughout the evening.  Very budget friendly — it’s free!  48 spaces available, call to RSVP 610-326-1621.  This event is repeated on the 4th Friday of the month until May 2013.

Soup Bowl Returns For A Second Year At ArtFusion 19464

soup bowl

ArtFusion will be holding a great beat-the-winter-chill fundraiser on Saturday, January 26 from 11am-1pm at their High St. location.  The Soup Bowl fundraiser debuted last year and is back due to poplar demand. Lunch includes all you can eat soup, bread, beverages and homemade desserts.  Guests can choose their favorite soup—or sample them all. In response to requests from last year’s event, this year soup enthusiasts can also purchase a recipe book so they can make their favorite soups at home.

As a thank you, supporters will take home a handcrafted ceramic bowl created by local volunteers of all ages. Each bowl was created though the combined creativity of two different volunteers.  One created the ceramic bowl and one decorated it with a one-of-a-kind glaze design.

Tickets are only $15 and all proceeds benefit the local non-profit community art center.  Tickets can be purchased online at artfusion19464.org, or at their 254 E. High St. location during regular business hours. There are a limited number of tickets available for this event.  ArtFusion request that those interested in attending purchase their tickets in advance.

January 26 will also mark the beginning of an eyeglass collection campaign for the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 565 and the Second Brigade MC Chapter G – PA.  There is a great need for magnifiers/cheater eyeglasses in all strengths.  Glasses do not need to be new but ArtFusion does ask that they be in good shape (not scratched or broken).  The donated glasses will be given directly to veterans.  After the fundraiser, eyeglasses can be dropped off at ArtFusion during normal business hours through February 28.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown.  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.  ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.  The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Judges Steal Most Of Screen Time In New ‘American Idol’ Season

Logo of the Fox Broadcasting Company

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

FORT WASHINGTON — If the first two episodes of the new Season 12 of “American Idol” are any indication, the show is looking to make big stars of two talented female singers who are great performers and have big personalities.

That would be new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

That’s because the episodes, shown Wednesday night in special sneak peek theater presentations for an invited Philadelphia-area crowd and at eight other cities nationwide, focused far more on the show’s new judges than on any – or all – of the contestants.

The new season of “Idol” starts with the two-night premiere on Fox at 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/tv/mc-american-idol-preview-20130110,0,3751780.story

Allentown Students To Wear Uniforms Next School Year

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Allentown is the fourth largest school system in the state with nearly 18,000 students.

All Allentown students will be required to wear uniforms next school year under a plan the school board Education Committee approved Thursday.

The committee voted 8-1 for uniforms after hearing a presentation from Superintendent Russ Mayo, staff and students.  The board will formalize the committee’s decision at its Jan. 24 meeting.

The colors and styles of the shirts, pants, belts and shoes have not been decided for students.  Nor has the administration worked out the consequences for students who do not adhere to the uniform.

Those rules will be presented to the committee on Feb. 14 with a board vote to follow later that month.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-school-uniforms-20130111,0,6512385.story

Pennsylania Health Department: Flu ‘Widespread’ In State

STATE COLLEGE — Flu cases are mounting in Pennsylvania, and 22 deaths have been attributed to the illness, state health officials said.

The number of cases could continue to spike because the flu season typically doesn’t peak for at least another couple weeks.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health designated flu as now “widespread” throughout the commonwealth. There have been more than 11,000 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in the state since the flu season began in mid-December, with nearly 4,300 of those reported last week alone.

The Health Department’s flu-tracking website (www.flufreepa.com) said “widespread” is the highest category for tracking the virus.  That means there have been outbreaks or increases in flu-like or “laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in the state.”

Read more:  http://republicanherald.com/pa-health-department-flu-widespread-in-state-1.1427916

Killer Had More Weapons At Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County

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

HOLLIDAYSBURG – State police at Hollidaysburg have filed a search warrant stating they confiscated a number of guns, ammunition, knives and a stun gun from the home of a Blair County man who killed three people in Frankstown Township just before Christmas.

Jeffrey Lee Michael, 44, of 107 Lower Reese Road, who was distraught and supposedly believed the world was coming to an end, went on a shooting spree Dec. 21 in a rural area in which he lived and killed two neighbors and a woman who was decorating a church along Juniata Valley Road for Christmas.

Michael eventually was killed in a shootout with state police.

After the early morning shootings, Trooper Terry L. Summers obtained a search warrant for the home where Michael lived with his 51-year-old girlfriend and her 19-year-old son.

Read more:  http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/567649/Killer-had-more-weapons-at-home.html?nav=742