Colebrookdale Railroad Unofficially Opens With First Public Ride

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boyertown, PA – Stepping through a rock-strewn railyard in Boyertown, families lined up to board the historic train that made its unofficial debut on the Colebrookdale line Saturday.

Beginning with a 10:30 a.m. departure for the first train, hayrides on the “Secret Valley Line” offered by the Colebrookdale Railroad drew in patrons of all kinds.

They were treated to a two-hour ride in a train used in 1869 through a valley of scenic fall foliage and other natural and historic attractions, travelling from Boyertown to Pottstown through Colebrookdale and Douglass (Berks) townships. Throughout the ride, historical narration was provided by train workers to give context to the sights along the way.

The line follows the Ironstone and Manatawny creeks and passes by the village of Pine Forge.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141018/colebrookdale-railroad-unofficially-opens-with-first-public-ride

Pottsgrove Football Team Volunteer Was 1 Of 2 Shooting Victims

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Washington Township, PA – State police are investigating the deaths of two young men whose bodies were found early Friday in the front seat of a car parked in an isolated wooded area near Barto.

Both appear to have died of gunshot wounds, police said.

One of the men found, Stephen Mixon, 27, of Walnut Ridge in Lower Pottsgrove, was a volunteer coach with the Pottsgrove High School football team and the retail manager of the Schuylkill Valley Sports store in Audubon.

The other man in the car was Joseph McCullough, 20, of Eighth Street in Pottstown.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141017/pottsgrove-football-team-volunteer-was-1-of-2-shooting-victims

Pottstown Zoning Board Approves Variance For iCreate Cafe

iCreate Zoning Supporters

Front row: Left, Peter Dolan, Esquire, Right, Ashraf Khalil

POTTSTOWN, PA – Wednesday evening the Pottstown Zoning Board heard testimony from iCreate Cafe owner, Ashraf Khalil, regarding his request for a zoning variance to operate a cafe and computer training center at 130 King Street, Pottstown. The neighborhood is zoned TTN or Traditional Town Neighborhood.  After receiving a violation notice from the Pottstown Codes Department in August, a hearing was originally scheduled for September 17th.  However, Mr. Khalil’s attorney, Peter Dolan, requested a continuance to adequately prepare his case. The hearing was rescheduled for October 15th.

A large group of supporters gathered in the 3rd floor council chambers to hear the evidence be presented. After Mr. Khalil’s sworn testimony and some clarification questions from the board, the meeting was opened to public comment. More than a dozen people were allowed to speak in favor of iCreate Cafe and Mr. Khalil.

After the public testimony, the board met in Executive Session.  After a short recess, the board returned to the council chamber and rendered their verdict for Mr. Khalil and iCreate Cafe by allowing the variance.

First of all, we thank the Pottstown Zoning Board for being open-minded and seeing the value of this niche market small business that draws customers from all over the Delaware Valley and beyond.   Based on the passionate testimony made during the public comments, it’s obvious this is a very special place.

Secondly, we feel now that Pottstown is getting serious about economic development and tourism (by developing a Tourism District and leveraging all the attractions that surround Memorial Park and the Western Gateway) having a highly rated locally owned restaurant within walking distance is a win-win.  If you want people to come to Pottstown and “spend the day” they will need to eat.  They are not going to want fast food or chain restaurants.  They are going to want something they cannot get at home.  iCreate Cafe is the total package when it comes to something you cannot get just anywhere.  From the unique decor to the vegan/vegetarian food with a Middle Eastern flair, it’s far from ordinary.  Add a chef/owner with the gift of hospitality and you have a winning trifecta.

This was a great victory for small business and for Pottstown.  If Pottstown could attract more unique restaurants like iCreate and some funky boutiques so people could do some shopping while they are visiting, you would have yourself a destination.

Congratulations to Ashraf Khalil and iCreate Cafe.  We wish you much success.

Website: http://www.icreatecafe.org/

Tourism District Proposed For Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA – Officials are hoping that as the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, a collective effort of the borough’s revitalization efforts will result in greater sums of grant money and tourist dollars.

Steve Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. outlined a plan to borough council Tuesday that would see the many attractions clustered near Pottstown’s western gateway joining together in pursuit of funding and marketing.

The joint undertaking as part of a “tourism and recreation district” includes: Pottsgrove Manor, the Carousel at Pottstown, theColebrookdale Railroad, Manatawny Green miniature golf, Memorial Park with the splash park and Trilogy Park BMX track, Montgomery County Community College’s art gallery, the Schuylkill River Trail,Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill Heritage Area’s River of Revolutions interpretive center.

“There are some in place, some underway and some nearly ready,” Bamford told The Mercury Friday, referring to the state of the various sites.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141014/tourism-district-proposed-for-pottstown

Sustainability: Pottstown Eyes Environmental Balance

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA – As any farmer can tell you, use any resource faster than it can be replaced — be it wood, water, money or patience — and eventually it will run out.

To put it simply, it’s not sustainable.

And where does that leave those who come after you?

Recognizing a responsibility to maintain a sustainable balance and to ensure resources are available to future generations, Pottstown may soon become the third municipality in Montgomery County to adopt a “sustainability plan.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141012/sustainability-pottstown-eyes-environmental-balance

Community Information Night At Limerick Generation Station

Date: October  16, 2014
Time: Visit us anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Location: Limerick’s Learning Center

Meet our employees and learn how we produce electricity at Limerick Generating Station.  You can tour the main control room simulator, learn about our environmental programs and emergency preparedness, and get your own Limerick Generating Station souvenir badge! Children welcome!

Enter our property at the intersection of Sanatoga and Evergreen Roads in Limerick Twp. and follow signs for parking.

  • Exelon representatives will be stationed in the parking area when you arrive.  A shuttle will be provided to the learning center.
  • Contact us at LimerickGeneratingStation@exeloncorp.com with any questions.

We hope to see you there!

ArtFusion Executive Director Wins Person Of The Year Award

cropped-artfusion-color600.jpgErika Hornburg-Cooper, ArtFusion 19464’s Executive Director and Co-Founder, was presented with the Pottstown Rotary Person of the Year Award on September 10, 2014. This is the sixth year for this particular award. Erika was honored for her commitment to Pottstown and for the great work ArtFusion has done in their 10 years to make the arts accessible to everyone in the community. In her remarks at the award ceremony, Erika thanked her family and the ArtFusion staff and board of directors for their support and credited them with having a large part in her receiving her award.

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.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 160 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs.

The main objective of Rotary is service- in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.

Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station Leaks 100 Gallons Of Bleach In To The Schuylkill River

Location of Limerick Township in Montgomery County

Location of Limerick Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LIMERICK, PA – A faulty valve at Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station caused about 100 gallons of bleach to leak into the Schuylkill River Tuesday night.

The company issued a four-sentence statement announcing the spill Wednesday afternoon.

In an email, Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, wrote that the spill occurred around 9 p.m. and “had no impact on nuclear safety at the plant.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20141009/exelon-nuclears-limerick-generating-station-leaks-100-gallons-of-bleach-in-to-the-schuylkill-river

The Hill School, Borough, And Pottstown School District Plan Second Pottstown CARES Clean-Up Event

POTTSTOWN, PA –About 700 volunteers from the Borough of Pottstown, The Hill School, the
Pottstown School District,and other organizations will again combine forces to demonstrate their
commitment to our hometown during the second annual CARES clean-up event to be held on Friday,
October 24, from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Rain date will be Monday, October 27.

Click here to view (and share) a short documentary created by Hill School student Jake Trombley
(Douglassville, Pa.) about last year’s CARES project and its impact on Pottstown.
(http://www.thehill.org/CARESvideo)

The clean-up will occur in a targeted area of Pottstown, from High Street north to Beech Street,
and Manatawny Street east to Edgewood Street.

All 515 Hill School students as well as Hill faculty and staff; at least 50 Pottstown High School students
and numerous faculty members; and many Borough workers and officials will be dispersed to weed,
pick up trash, and complete other “spruce up” tasks in public spaces in the core downtown area. In
addition, about a dozen volunteers from the Montgomery County Community College as well as
additional individuals from other community businesses and organizations will join the students and
other workers on their clean-up teams.

E-waste collector ReduxTech will be on hand to accept any old items that had electricity running
through them for recycling. The collection truck will be located in The Hill School Center For The
Arts parking lot off Beech Street from 9 a.m. to noon on October 24.

In addition, the Pottstown School District is running a blood drive in the High School gymnasium
from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Individuals interested in making a donation at the Pottstown High School
on October 24 may send an email to Pottstown faculty member Mark Agnew at
magnew@pottstownsd.org. Drop-in blood donations are also welcomed.

The CARES organizers ask that Pottstown area residents support our community by also
stopping by the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities at 57 North Franklin Street and
donating nonperishable food, laundry detergent, toiletries, warm clothing, and other items that will be
greatly appreciated by area families in need at this time. The Cluster will be accepting donations on the
CARES day (October 24) from 9 a.m. to noon.

Numerous organizations have contributed funding, tools, supplies, or other support to the CARES
endeavor. The generosity of the United Way and Home Depot provided funding for a Pottstown
CARES Community Tool Share Shed from which community individuals and organizations may
borrow tools. Interested parties should contact Katie Scanlan, High Meadows Foundation Sustainability
Chair at The Hill School, at kscanlan@thehill.org or 610-705-7277. CARES asks that tool borrowers
contribute one additional rake, shovel, or broom for each tool used and returned in order to helpexpand
the tool share program.

Organizations that wish to make additional donations of time, materials, or funding toward
CARES should contact Scanlan at the email address or phone number above; take donations of work
gloves, trash and leaf bags, or tools to Borough Hall at 100 E. High Street; or email
PottstownCARES@pottstown.org with suggestions or questions.

The massive CARES day volunteer crew will assemble under Hill’s former hockey rink roof at
8:30 a.m. on October 24 to receive instructions and participate in a group photo. All volunteers are
asked to wear blue – a “school color” shared by The Hill, the Pottstown School District, and the
Borough. Pre-organized teams then will disperse to their designated project areas until about noon,
when they will return to Hill for a picnic buffet lunch prepared by Sodexo, Hill’s food service provider.
Sodexo is generously donating the meals for all volunteers as well as Hill students and personnel.

The initial, joint CARES (Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Sustainability)
endeavor was conceived in the spring of 2013 during conversations between Borough Manager Mark
Flanders, Pottstown School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Sparagana, and Hill School Headmaster Zachary
Lehman. The three leaders envisioned a collaborative project that would help to “spruce up” a
designated area in the core of Pottstown while boosting community pride. The CARES planning team
hopes these events will motivate Pottstown residents to engage in ongoing clean-ups of their own in
their immediate neighborhoods.

CARES project organizers wish to give special thanks to the Pottstown Police Department and
Emergency Services organizations and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for their support.

Free Diabetes Program Comes To Pottstown Library Starting Today

Pottstown, PA – free informational diabetes program will be offered in Pottstown starting today.

The program is for adults diagnosed with diabetes and their families. Participants will attend two-hour classes that include discussions about diabetes, exercise and cooking demonstrations.

The free program called “Dining with Diabetes” will be offered every Friday in October starting with an informational and registration session today. The classes will be taught at the Pottstown Regional Public Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The library is located at 500 E. High St.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/lifestyle/20141002/free-diabetes-program-comes-to-pottstown-library-starting-today

iCreate Cafe Offering Discounts To MCCC West Campus And Hill School Students

mccc student discount

MCCC WEST CAMPUS

 

 

 

hill school student discount

THE HILL SCHOOL

 

Pottstown Halloween Parade Costs Could Be Lowered With Help From Neighboring Police

POTTSTOWN, PA — The primary cost for putting on the Halloween Parade each year, according to organizers, is the roughly $5,000 cost of paying the police for crowd control.

Currently, a fund-raising drive is underway to ensure there is enough money in the kitty to pay that cost for the Oct. 22 event.

But there may be another way to drive the cost down.

During a meeting of the Pottstown Metropolitan Area Regional Planning Committee, Upper Pottsgrove Township Commissioners Chairman Elwood Taylor had a suggestions: “what if police from surrounding towns helped on the night of the parade?”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141001/pottstown-halloween-parade-costs-could-be-lowered-with-help-from-neighboring-police

Plane Overshoots Runway At Pottstown Municipal Airport

POTTSTOWN, PA – A small plane crashed at the end of the runway upon landing at Pottstown Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon.

Pottstown Police along with the Pottstown Fire Department responded to the airport for a report of a crash around 4 p.m.

A propeller-powered monoplane was found with its nose down in the grass beyond the runway on the western side of the airport.

Pottstown Police Chief Rick Drumheller said airport safety crews responded to the scene first.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141001/plane-overshoots-runway-at-pottstown-municipal-airport

MCCC & GCC: Global Connections For Regional Impact

Global Corporate College (2)Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Community colleges have a proven track record in building the economic growth of the regions they serve by offering employers customized workforce development and training. But some institutions—like Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), with campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa.—are thinking even bigger.

Close to 50 colleges and universities across the United States are part of the Global Corporate College (GCC), an international network that provides corporations with quality and consistent workforce training curricula for employees regardless of location, language and learning needs. Currently, GCC has global partners in 24 countries, which, according to its website, makes it the largest, multi-modal human capital development network in the world. Through a partnership with Growth Development Associates (GDA), GCC institutions also have access to extensive sales management and training curricula.

“Each GCC partner college has access to the largest body of incumbent worker training curriculum,” explains Dr. Brook Hunt, director of MCCC’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD). “As a result, this curriculum enables the colleges to build custom solutions for our customers at our competitors’ ‘off the shelf’ prices.”

Since 2012, Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD) has partnered with both GCC and GDA to provide custom training programs and industry forums for dozens of employers in the Greater Philadelphia business community. Clients include Cobham PLC, Lansdale; Blommer Chocolate, East Greenville; Pointroll, King of Prussia; HP Hood LLC, Hatfield and Philadelphia; SKF USA, Lansdale; Stein Seal, Kulpsville; and Curtiss-Wright, EST Group, Hatfield, among others.

Those employers cite positive experiences with GCC and GDA customized training.

“Through CWD and Global Corporate College, we customized a training program for over 50 employees…based on [their] needs and the company’s training goals,” said Joanne Reagan, senior human resources manager for HP Hood, LLC. “The training program was well received. We look forward to continuing our partnership with CWD and GCC.”

“Curtiss-Wright, EST Group, partnered with CWD and Growth Development Associates to energize our sales training efforts,” says Drew Bergman, director, sales and marketing. “The program that GDA developed was specifically tailored to our business, and has resulted in increased staff focus on closing techniques and supported a current initiative to gain “add-on” product accessory sales.  The results have been outstanding.  Our staff came away charged up and excited to put the techniques to use.”

For its efforts, MCCC was recognized with three distinguished awards during GCC’s annual Institute in Indianapolis over the summer. Dr. Brook Hunt was one of two recipients of the inaugural Spirit of Global Corporate College Award, given in recognition of an individual’s exemplary commitment, spirit and contribution toward fulfilling the mission of GCC.

MCCC was also earned nine “Pig” awards for securing or expanding GCC and GDA contracts and was the only 2014 “Poodle” award recipient, which is awarded to institutions that bring in five or more new contracts.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development, visit http://www.mc3.edu, click on Areas of Study, then Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, followed by Center for Workforce Development.