Pottstown School Board To Vote On $125K Electrical Outlet Upgrade

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Pottstown School Board’s facilities committee will ask the full board to spend about $125,000 to install an additional 263 outlets in classrooms at Barth Elementary School, the renovation of which was just completed in September.

The much-debated change-order will also replace seven “1950s-era” electrical panels with three modern ones, said Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer, who made the recommendation.

The outlet changes were requested by teachers, who do not believe the older outlets in the building are adequate or in the right locations. Further, they are not comparable with the more modern outlets that will be in the renovated rooms at Lincoln, Rupert and Franklin elementary schools.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140415/pottstown-school-board-to-vote-on-125k-electrical-outlet-upgrade

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Pottstown School Board Leery Of Offer To Refurbish Light Poles

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Members of the Pottstown School Board showed little interest Thursday in an offer to refurbish the poles that hold up the lights at Grigg Memorial Stadium.

Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer told the board’s facilities committee meeting Thursday that he had been contacted by a company that had read in The Mercury about the board’s decision to take down the lights at the stadium for safety reasons.

The company — 18th Century Restorations on Coventryville Road — made a similar offer in 2012 and estimated the cost at that time to refurbish the poles and lights to be $60,000.

According to the 2012 quote, which Kripplebauer shared with The Mercury, the work would involve “fabricating new hardware” for the poles and attaching 42 metal straps to keep them in place, as well as epoxy and caulk for cracks in the poles, along with other work.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140411/pottstown-school-board-leery-of-offer-to-refurbish-light-poles

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Operation Backpack 5K, And 1 Mile Walk

The 5th Annual Operation Backpack 5K takes place on the Schuylkill River Trail, a flat, fast, and scenic rail-to-trail course in Pottstown, PA.

Cash Prize will be given to the top Male and Female Runner. Medals will be given by gender and age group. The course is fast, so it is not unusual to have many personal bests on race day. The event is a great race for competitive runners, and beginners, as well as walkers, both in the 5K and 1 mile. This year walkers will carry a backpack full of food across the finish line.

The event benefits Operation Backpack (or OBP for short). OBP provides food to students in the Pottstown Community whom would go without over the weekend. We work to help homeless and hungry students succeed by addressing the issue of childhood hunger.

Event schedule and times

WHEN? SATURDAY, May 10th @ 9:00am

WHERERiverfront Park, 140 College Dr. Pottstown, PA 19464

Registration:$25.00 Runner/ $20.00 Walkers

Check-infrom 8:00am – 8:55am

Register by May 2nd to get a FREE T-Shirt!!

Registration after May 2nd$30.00 Runner/ $25.00 Walkers

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Report: Absence Of School Funding Formula In PA Costs Pottstown $5 Million A Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Borough property owners would be off the hook for generating more than $5 million in school funding this year if the state funding formula abandoned by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2010 were still in place, according to a report.

Further, as a result of that formula’s absence in calculating state education funding, Pottstown has lost more state aid in the past few years than almost any other district in Montgomery County, the report found.

At $2.5 million, only Norristown schools lost more in the last three years than the $1.5 million in state funding Pottstown has lost since 2010-11, the study found.

In an attempt to reverse the problems highlighted in that study, the Pottstown School Board on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution calling on Harrisburg to establish “a fair and equitable school funding formula.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140328/report-absence-of-school-funding-formula-in-pa-costs-pottstown-5-million-a-year

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Cost Overruns, New Roof Costs, Plague Pottstown Elementary Projects

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — A $1.2 million price tag seems to be a little too high for school officials to bear and the school board is being asked Monday to reject the bid to replace the roof at Rupert Elementary School along with some masonry work.

The concern about costs comes as the board is poised to approved more than $225,000 in unbudgeted expense for the construction work at Lincoln, Franklin and Rupert elementary schools.

Instead of accepting the $1.2 million roof bid, the administration is urging that other ways of getting the work done be pursued.

“It’s not that we’re not going to do it,” said Business Manager Linda Adams, “it’s just that we think that price is too high.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140321/cost-overruns-new-roof-costs-plague-pottstown-elementary-projects

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ANNUAL POTTSTOWN FAMILY FEST TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Annual Pottstown Family Fest will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown.

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, mini sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.

Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. (must be present to win). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“Family Fest was developed to enhance, celebrate and explore family dynamics, development, growth, and unity,” said Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center. “This year’s theme, Stay Healthy, Play More, focuses on buying local and encourages families to find volunteer opportunities they care about so they can ultimately give back to their community.”

This annual event is sponsored by Family Services/Pottstown Family Center, Pottstown Parks & Recreation, and the Pottstown School District with funding support from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

For more information on Family Fest, please contact Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center, at 610-326-1610 ext. 347 or jbrown@fsmontco.org.

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Vision For Future Of Pottstown Ready For Public Feedback

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — It has been nearly three decades since Pottstown had a new comprehensive plan, but there is a draft on the drawing board right now that is ready for public review.

Crafted with the help of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, the current draft plan provides an overall vision for the community and suggests for how to implement that vision.

The draft calls for taking advantage of what Pottstown has — historic architecture and resources to attract heritage tourism; expanding the airport and railroad access; transitioning apartment units back to single-family ownership and appropriate development of multi-unit apartments.

Pottstown’s first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1960.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140208/vision-for-future-of-pottstown-ready-for-public-feedback

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DRUGS: The Epidemic Some Choose To Ignore

For some inexplicable reason, the “powers that be” in Pottstown seem to think that ignoring rampant drug use in the borough will make it go away.  As a blogger who posts news from around the state on a regular basis, I see how this problem has invaded the Commonwealth.  Drugs have crept into our smallest and remotest towns.

Drug use and drug dependence seem bring with them crime and violence.  Shootings, stabbings, burglaries etc…  I have made a point of posting articles along these lines so that anyone who reads this blog will see the alarming rise of drug use and drug related violence in our state.   Our Attorney General, Kathleen Kane has been particularly supportive in trying to ferret out drug dealers through various “sting operations” which have taken down a large numbers of dealers around the state.

One drug in particular is making an alarming comeback.  Heroin.  Pottstown is not immune to this trend.

Our story for today comes from a friend of mine who lives in Pottstown.  This person has “walked the talk” by being a public servant for a several years and is also a Mom.

Walking to school this morning, my son tells me he has seen two “thermometers” outside.  I stop, dead in my tracks, red flag warning.   I turn and retrace my steps.  Sure enough, two hypodermic needles are there on the sidewalk adjacent to the cemetery between 6th & 7th streets!  I picked them up and turned them in to the school office.  I did not want a young child walking to school to pick them up thinking they were “thermometers” also and possibly stick themselves.

So our lesson for today is that no matter how hard we wish something wasn’t a problem, it will not make it go away.

Thank goodness this Mom had the sense to retrace her steps and remove the threat, thereby protecting many other children.  Because of the neighborhood our courageous Mom lives in she unfortunately knows about such things.  Honestly, I would not have put two and two together and thought syringe.

So to the “powers that be” I say, “WAKE UP!”

To our courageous Mom I say, “Thank you!”

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$10,000 Art Scholarship Expanded For 2014

ArtFusion-color600Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is partnering for the fourth year in a row with the Greater Pottstown Foundation to present an amazing $10,000 scholarship to a local high school student. The Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts is designed to financially assist a qualified applicant in obtaining a degree from accredited academic institutions of higher learning for study in the arts. The program is open to any Pottstown, Pottsgrove, The Hill School, or Owen J. Roberts high school senior student preparing to enter or already accepted to an accredited degree-granting college or university.

The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria:  artistic performance at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship Art Exhibit at ArtFusion 19464, and an essay on why the applicant wants to continue their education in the arts. For the first time, this year the scholarship will be open to those pursuing an arts minor as well as those who will pursue a major in an arts-related field.

Interested students must submit a completed application and essay by February 28, 2014. In addition to submitting the application and essay, students must also participate in the exhibit scheduled from May 31 to June 14. Applicants must submit a total of three pieces in specific mediums.  Artwork that will be submitted for the scholarship need not be completed until dropoff for the exhibit in May.

The award recipient will be notified at the reception to be held at ArtFusion 19464 on May 31, 2014 from 1-2pm. Applications can be picked up at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location, or downloaded from their website at http://artfusion19464.org/classes/scholarshipsprograms/.  Students can also call 610-326-2506 or email info@artfusion19464.org with any questions.

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.

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Pottstown Schools Eye Eliminating Class Rank

POTTSTOWN, PA — To rank or not to rank?

That may soon be the question.
Class rank has been a staple of high school life, and college admissions, for years beyond count.

But school board member Polly Weand raised the possibility at the Nov. 21 school board meeting that Pottstown may soon opt-out of the practice.

Weand, who chairs the school board’s curriculum and technology, said the discussion is underway at her committee, which presumably will make a recommendation to the full board, perhaps as soon as January.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131128/pottstown-schools-eye-eliminating-class-rank

Pottstown School District Looking For Donations Of Cardio Equipment

The Pottstown School District is in search of any cardio equipment you would be willing to donate to our elementary behavioral support classrooms. Pick up arrangements can be made by contacting David Genova at 610-763-1466 or dgenova@pottstownsd.org

Thank you for your support!

Suspended Pottstown Football Players Charged, Arraigned

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — More details about the actions of three suspended Pottstown High School students were made public Tuesday after they were arraigned in district court.

Dayon Mohler, 18, Najee Johnson, 18, and Derrick Wilson, 17, were charged with multiple counts of felony aggravated assault and a series of misdemeanor charges including simple assault, possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment, and other related charges after they allegedly used a BB gun to shoot two teammates on Oct. 24.

According to police, the victims did not suffer serious injuries.

The trio drove around Evans and East streets after school dismissed around noon, police said. The two victims told police they were playing catch when they saw Mohler’s silver Toyota Corolla drive past and fire the BB gun. One victim was hit in the head, police said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131031/suspended-pottstown-football-players-charged-arraigned

Pancakes, All You Can Eat, Will Benefit Pottstown Music Education

POTTSTOWN, PA — So do you like pancakes?

Do you really, REALLY like pancakes.

Then you need to get yourself, family, friends and neighbors down to the Goodwill Fire Company on Saturday morning when an all-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The breakfast includes the afore-mentioned pancakes, plus bacon, sausage, coffee, tea, water and orange juice.

Tickets are $7 in advance and Friday is the last day to buy advance tickets.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131022/pancakes-all-you-can-eat-will-benefit-pottstown-music-education

Pottstown Elementary Costs Rising By $2M, $10M Borrowing Set For Monday

POTTSTOWN — As the Pottstown school board prepares to borrow the second $10 million needed for the renovation and expansion of its elementary schools, it is doing so in the face of $2 million or more in change orders and additional costs.

As The Mercury reported in May, the renovation work on Barth Elementary School was well underway when the school board was told the cost of a new roof was not included in the project — an additional cost estimated at another $665,000.

In August, The Mercury reported that wiring for new computer and data systems were not included in the bid for the renovation of Franklin, Lincoln and Rupert elementary schools — an additional cost of an estimated $375,000.

On Thursday night the full board was informed that the cost for additional electrical outlets, boxes, panel boards and the replacement of old wiring at the three schools has added another $388,601 to the price of the projects.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20131020/pottstown-elementary-costs-rising-by-2m-10m-borrowing-set-for-monday

Pottstown Water Main Break Leaves Residents, Barth Elementary Without Water

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN. PA — A 20-inch water main ruptured Thursday night on Berks Street and left both residents and Barth Elementary School without water.

Water could be seen in small jets coming out from under the street on the 100 block of Berks Street near Superior Metal Products Co. after the call came through to Pottstown Fire Police around 6:30 p.m.

The fire police blocked the street at West King Street and Glasgow Street, initially.

Borough crews on scene could not determine as of press time what caused the break. Someone reportedly was searching for a valve around 8:30 p.m. and the torrent of water began slowing as the night went on.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131018/pottstown-water-main-break-leaves-residents-barth-elementary-without-water

Pottstown Teacher Reinstated After Sex Charges Dropped

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Pottstown School Board voted unanimously Monday night to reinstate a suspended middle school teacher in the wake of last week’s announcement that the sexual abuse charges against him had been dropped.

In June, township police charged Jared Leimeister, 33, of North Coventry, with inappropriate contact with an 8-year-old girl, who spent time with Leimeister between October 2012 and February 2013.

Leimeister, an eighth grade science teacher at Pottstown Middle school, had been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old.

On Aug. 19, the school board suspended Leimeister without pay until the matter was resolved.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130924/pottstown-teacher-reinstated-after-sex-charges-dropped

$10M Borrowing Next Step In Renovation Project For Pottstown Schools

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — With the remaining construction now underway at three elementary schools, the Pottstown School Board is expected to vote at Monday night’s meeting to borrow another $10 million to pay for the project.

The board is expected to authorize the preparation of the bond documents at Monday’s meeting and the auction will occur on Oct. 21, said board member Dennis Wausnock, chairman of the school board’s finance committee.

Work on Franklin, Lincoln and Rupert elementary schools began in May and continues with students back in Lincoln and Franklin and the population of Rupert being taught in the vacant Edgewood Elementary building, which was officially closed in June.

Barth Elementary School, which was officially re-dedicated in a ceremony Saturday, was the first school to be renovated although, unlike the other three, it was not expanded.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20130921/10m-borrowing-next-step-in-renovation-project-for-pottstown-schools

Sexual Abuse Charges Dropped Against Pottstown Middle School Teacher

NORTH COVENTRY — The sexual abuse charges against a suspended Pottstown Middle School teacher were dropped Thursday morning.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

Jared Leimeister, 33, of North Coventry,had been charged with multiple felony counts of aggravated assault involving a child. According to the police report, he was accused of inappropriate contact with an 8-year-old girl, who spent time with Leimeister between October 2012 and February 2013.

Leimeister had also previously been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person less than 13-years-old.

He was accused of making the victim sleep in his bed or in a cardboard box when she misbehaved while she was at his apartment in the 800 block of East Schuylkill Road, police said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130919/sexual-abuse-charges-dropped-against-pottstown-middle-school-teacher

Pottstown Teacher Charged With Sexual Assault Suspended Without Pay

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — More than a month after a Pottstown Middle School teacher was charged with aggravated assault of a child, the school district confirmed he will not be returning for the start of the new school year.

“Jared Leimeister has been suspended and will not be in the classroom for the 2013-14 school year,” said John Armato, the community relations director for the Pottstown School District.

Leimeister was the eighth-grade science teacher.  The school district’s website says “TBA” next to the open position.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130823/NEWS01/130829647/pottstown-teacher-charged-with-sexual-assault-suspended-without-pay-#full_story

“Wish Upon A Star” Fundraising Dinner Helps Make Dreams Come True For The Pottstown Cluster Of Religious Communities

The second annual Fundraising Dinner to benefit the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities will be held October 4, 2013 at the Berean Bible Church on High Street in Sanatoga.  Tickets are $40 each, which includes a delicious dinner plus an entire evening of entertainment!

The night promises to be exciting, with an encore performance by Maggie Riker – who has performed in operas, musicals, concerts, and cabarets across the United States and Europe – this time being joined by her equally talented brother, Dave Heffner.  Also returning to the stage is 12-year old Madison Kershner, a student from St. Aloysius School.  The evening’s entertainment is rounded out with performances by The Sounds of Sunnybrook Dance Band and Chorale 33.

To keep the night running smoothly, John Armato, Director of Community Relations for the Pottstown School District, will once again emcee the program.  Catering for this special event will be provided by Pottstown favorite, Bause Catered Events.

The event committee, chaired by Dr. Myra Forrest, is comprised of many talented women from the Greater Pottstown community: Terryl Andrews-Marsh, Sharon Basile, Sue Creswell, Doreen Duncan, Lesley Duall, Lois Georeno, Fran Heffner, Teri Hoffman, Lalena Kennedy, JoAnn McKiernan, Maggie Riker, Linda Voytilla and Carol Weitzenkorn.

Last year’s inaugural event raised over $20,000 in support of the PCRC’s programs and services; this year the committee has their sights set on raising over $25,000!

Corporate sponsorship opportunities and seating for the dinner are limited, and are selling quickly! For more information, or to purchase your tickets today, please visit www.pottstowncluster.org, or call (610) 970-5995.

The “Wish Upon a Star” Fundraising Dinner is the not-to-be-missed event of the year!