Allentown Hockey Arena Sees Milestone As Concrete Slab Is Poured

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

The Allentown hockey arena construction saw another milestone today as more than 30 trucks worth of concrete were poured for what will be a 17,000-square-foot ice floor.

A total of 315 cubic yards of concrete were poured today, and the next major step will be making the ice itself, which will occur in the summer.

“This took a great team effort,” said Jim Brooks, co-owner of the Phantoms hockey team that will start its 2014 season at the PPL Center in September.

“There’s not too many 10,000-seat venues in the world, let alone the United States, and even less that have ice-making capabilities,” Brooks said. “It’s very difficult to pull off.”

Read more:http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/04/allentown_hockey_arena_sees_mi.html

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Beef Prices Reach Highest Level Since 1987

English: Australian Brangus steer

English: Australian Brangus steer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners – and relief isn’t likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that’s produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140412_ap_47ea27a0b2244eaea2cabae2a074edb6.html#1ZmJqCrp08y35k34.99

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Experts: Excess Sugar Consumption Leads To A Host Of Diseases

Editor’s note:  All things in moderation.  Interesting article.

(MCT) Dr. Robert Lustig’s YouTube lectures about the dangers of sugar have raised a few eyebrows in recent years and even drawn some criticism.

But the pediatric endocrinologist’s proclamations are supported by research his team has done at the University of California, San Francisco, with steady confirmation from other scientific studies linking sugar with chronic disease and early death. Among his points are:

1. Sugar is poison.

2. Sugar is sugar and unhealthy in any form.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/Experts_Excess_sugar_consumption_leads_to_a_host_of_diseases.html#sPl0fOcS1xjBS5DE.99

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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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Work On Civic Arena Site To Begin In August

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)

Construction of streets at the former Civic Arena site, now a sprawling parking lot in the heart of Pittsburgh, will begin in August, officials said on Thursday.

It will be the first significant activity on the 28-acre site since crews completed demolition of the arena about two years ago. More than $500 million in redevelopment is planned.

“We’re almost ready to start construction of the urban street grid,” said Mary Conturo, executive director of the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority.

The first phase is expected to cost $9 million and focus on building interior streets on the eastern part of the site, Conturo said. The work is expected to take about a year.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5924203-74/conturo-site-million#ixzz2ybAziPaI
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Latest Housing Stats: One York Area Posted 60 Percent Jump In Median Sale Price

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

If you sold a house in York during the first three months of the year, chances are good that you made a profit from the deal.

Between Jan. 1 and March 31, the median sale price of a home in the York City School District jumped 60 percent while the number of homes sold fell 10 percent, according to data released Thursday by the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.

Overall, during the first quarter, the median sale price for a home sold in York County climbed 4 percent from $135,000 in 2013 to $139,997 this year.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25539459/one-area-posted-60-percent-jump-median-sale

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4 Years After BP Spill, Questions On Long-Term Health

English: Platform supply vessels battle the bl...

English: Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon’s 126 person crew. Français : Les restes en feu de la plateforme Deepwater Horizon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons that spewed in what would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

Like so many Gulf Coast residents who pitched in after the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, Barisich was motivated by a desire to help and a need to make money — the oil had destroyed his livelihood.

Today he regrets that decision, and worries his life has been permanently altered. Barisich, 58, says respiratory problems he developed during the cleanup turned into pneumonia and that his health has never been the same.

“After that, I found out that I couldn’t run. I couldn’t exert fast a walk,” he said. His doctor declined to comment.

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Subway: ‘Yoga Mat Chemical’ Almost Out Of Bread

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat chemical” will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week.

The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.

The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. It can be found in a wide variety of products, including those served at McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks and breads sold in supermarkets. But its long, unfamiliar name has an unappetizing ring, and the petition became a flashpoint in part by noting that the chemical is also used to make yoga mats.

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Clerk, Two Friends, Rob Ephrata Convenience Store

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

An Ephrata convenience store clerk and her two friends robbed the store of over $12,000 worth of goods and disappeared on Thursday.

Police are looking for Brittany Lee Taylor, 23, Anthony Joseph D’uva, 25 and Damion Lee Good, 24, all of Ephrata.

According to Ephrata Borough Police, at around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, a patron discovered the Pricetown Ephrata Gas and Food Mart, 529 W. Main St., open but vacant.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/ephrata/news/clerk-two-friends-rob-ephrata-convenience-store/article_b6835b88-c11d-11e3-b9dd-001a4bcf6878.html

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Armstrong Starts $41M Expansion Of Dillerville Road Plant

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Armstrong World Industries formally started an expansion Friday of its Lancaster floor plant, so it can begin making luxury vinyl tile there.

The $41 million project, announced by the company in October, is expected to create 60 jobs.

Shipping of luxury vinyl tile from the city plant is expected to begin in mid 2015.

The product made in the 1067 Dillerville Road plant will replace product made for Armstrong by a manufacturer in China.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/armstrong-starts-m-expansion-of-dillerville-road-plant/article_da8d7aa2-c0c0-11e3-8ebf-001a4bcf6878.html

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MCCC, TD Bank To Host Free Workshops On Building, Keeping Great Credit

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — April is National Financial Literacy Month, and Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) and TD Bank will offer free workshops to help students and community members learn how to build and keep great credit.

The workshops will be held on April 23 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and April 24 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Parkhouse Hall room 121 at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on April 29 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in South Hall room 221 at MCCC’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

The workshops are free of charge and are open to the public. Questions can be directed to MCCC’s Financial Aid Office at 215-641-6566.

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MCCC Fast Track PA Real Estate Salesperson Program Offered Fully Online

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA— Building on the success of its Fast Track Real Estate pilot program launched in January, Montgomery County Community College will incorporate even more flexibility when it offers Real Estate 101 and 102 again in May.

“We’re leveraging many of the College’s technology resources to maximize students’ time,” said Ayisha Sereni, administrative director of MCCC’s BEI division and a licensed Pennsylvania real estate broker.

According to Sereni, the College wants to help professionals get their start in real estate sales – a high priority occupation that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to grow by 12 percent through 2020.

To encourage participation, the May-start classes will be taught fully online, which differs from the hybrid format used in the pilot. Now, virtual meetings will take the place of face-to-face instruction in a classroom setting.

The fast track program can be completed in less than one month. Students who successfully complete the 30-hour Real Estate Fundamentals (RES 101) and Real Estate Practice (RES 102) courses are eligible to sit for the Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Individuals who acquire their Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson License may seek employment as commissioned or salaried residential or commercial real estate agents, property managers, leasing agents or real estate assistants. Both courses must be completed prior to taking the exam.

Real Estate Fundamentals runs from May 8-20, and Real Estate Practice runs from May 27-June 5.

To learn more about MCCC’s Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson Pre-licensing Fast Track Program, email Ayisha Sereni at asereni@mc3.edu or call 215-641-6374.

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The Heartbleed Bug: Here’s What You Need To Know

How does local cybersecurity expert James Koons describe the Heartbleed bug?

MASSIVE.

“That’s the theme here,” said Koons, who has worked on IT security for the U.S. military and Amazon.com.

Currently he is chief security officer for Listrak, a Lancaster provider of online marketing services, and a board member of the Online Trust Alliance.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/the-heartbleed-bug-here-s-what-you-need-to-know/article_186a3f04-c0cb-11e3-a09f-001a4bcf6878.html

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Genetti’s Upgrading Hotel In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The top two penthouse floors of Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre will be converted into the new “Oyster Boutique Hotel,” hotel owner Gus Genetti and Oyster Restaurant owner Thom Greco said this morning.

Genetti said it will cost $200,000 to $250,000 to upgrade the rooms to create a small intimate luxury hotel with amenities such as new furnishings, technology and art. The rooms will cater to those looking for high-end rooms, he said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/genetti-s-upgrading-hotel-in-wilkes-barre-1.1666257

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PennDOT Plans 6-Mile I-81 Widening

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

DUNMORE, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to rebuild and widen six miles of Interstate 81 from the Luzerne County line to the Central Scranton Expressway.

But that’s not expected to happen anytime soon.

According to information from PennDOT spokesman Mike Taluto, the project is at least five years away and would take three to four years to complete. The estimated cost is $174 million.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1316029/PennDOT-plans-6-mile-I-81-widening

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Colbert To Replace Letterman As “Late Show” Host

NEW YORK — Stephen Colbert — the supremely gifted host of “The Colbert Report” who has made a career of satirically channeling Bill O’Reilly — has been named host of “The Late Show.” He will replace David Letterman when the latter retires next year, probably in May.

Letterman said in a statement, “Stephen has always been a real friend to me. I’m very excited for him, and I’m flattered that CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses.”

Colbert was expected. But this quick an announcement was not. Clearly CBS wanted to get the speculation behind it and begin laying the groundwork for the transition as as soon as possible.

Read more:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1317426/Colbert-to-replace-Letterman-as-Late-Show-host

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Norristown Neighborhood Grocery Gets A Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The little corner grocery store is making a comeback in Norristown.

The Spanish word “mina” means “mine” in English, and Mina Mart owner Ivonne Patino is hoping her new venture proves to be the proverbial gold mine that confirms her backers’ faith in her business.

Opened in February in the former La Mina bar at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, the bright, clean store/restaurant with all the grocery essentials, from toilet paper to fresh bananas, as well as a growing menu, got a financial boost of $19,650 from the U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday.

The loan that allowed Mina Mart to open its doors is the latest successful endeavor of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center, a partnership of the Municipality of Norristown and The Enterprise Center Capital Corp. of Philadelphia.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140410/norristown-neighborhood-grocery-gets-a-boost

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Muhlenberg College To Present Premiere Circus Workshop

Allentown, PA – The circus is coming to town! A group of Muhlenberg College dancers, actors, gymnasts and aerial acrobats — 30 students in all — have pooled their talents to produce Muhlenberg’s first Circus Workshop. Their work will culminate in two performances on April 25.

Noah Dach ’16, a dance and business double-major, launched the project. Henry Evans ’16 serves as an assistant director and performs. Paige Klibanoff ’15 and MJ Hodge ’16 helped to develop the script and will be performing as well.

“I’ve always wanted to form a dance company,” Dach said. “I had experience in aerial before I came to Muhlenberg, and thought it would be interesting to combine that with the skills that students have been working on here. I approached Karen Dearborn, the head of Muhlenberg’s dance program, with the idea, and she helped me get it on its feet.”

The project builds on the aerial acrobatics classes that the Muhlenberg dance program began offering in spring of 2012, under the instruction of experienced aerialist and Muhlenberg alumna Madeleine Hoak.

Aerialists who had taken Hoak’s class auditioned for the Circus Workshop in January. Other auditioners performed dance combinations or gymnastics skills or recited song lyrics as dramatic monologues. From those who auditioned, Dach assembled an ensemble of diverse performers and began weekly rehearsals.

“What is most fulfilling about directing this project is how my ensemble members are always surprising me with new things,” Dach said. “I could never imagine this project being where it is now after setting this idea in motion last semester.”

The 30-minute performance tells the story, through motion, music and circus art, of a young woman looking back on her life. The other performers represent different aspects of her life, including Joy, Love, and Temptation.

“I’ve always wanted to create something modern that could tell everyday stories through art,” Dach said. “With this project, we have focused on creating something very true and human that cannot be captured in a grand, enormous circus setting. I think that we have found an intimate balance between the abstract and the reality.”

Response on campus has been enthusiastic. Of the 70 seats available for each performance, all sold out in less than two weeks. Dach said he would hopes the project will grow from here.

“Going forward, I would love to see this project expanded and incorporated into more of Muhlenberg’s productions, or even to use the members of this workshop to start forming a performance company after graduation,” Dach said. “This has been a great beginning, and it would be wonderful to see the project move into a larger theater so that more audience members could see it and support it around campus.”

Muhlenberg College is a liberal arts college of 2,200 students in Allentown, Pa. The college offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre and dance. The Princeton Review consistently ranks Muhlenberg’s production program in the top ten in the nation, and the Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theatre and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States.

For more information about the Department of Theatre and Dance, visit http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre.

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Lengthy Investigation Ahead In Wake Of Franklin Regional Knife Attack

Map of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Unit...

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

Police anticipate a time-consuming investigation of the events leading to the stabbings of 21 students and a security guard at Franklin Regional Senior High School on Wednesday, Murrysville police chief Thomas Seefeld said this morning.

During a news conference at 6 a.m, outside the high school, Chief Seefeld, joined by Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens and Franklin Regional schools Superintendent Gennaro Piraino, said all evidence had been removed from the corridor of the high school where the stabbings occurred.

“The crime scene has been processed and now witnesses and victims will be interviewed,” the chief said. “Our investigation will be lengthy.”

The chief, asked about the victims of the knife attack, said he had been told that one student had to be taken back to surgery about 1 a.m. today. He didn’t identify the person or the hospital where the person is being treated.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/westmoreland/2014/04/10/Lengthy-investigation-ahead-in-wake-of-Franklin-Regional-knife-attack/stories/201404100265#ixzz2yUmc4KXQ

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Greensburg Council Hears Pitch For Westmoreland County Land Bank

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

A Westmoreland County Land Bank brings a chance to remove dilapidated buildings and find another productive use for them, a county official told Greensburg City Council on Tuesday.

“It’s a proactive way to tackle slum and blight in the county,” said April Kobus, executive director of the county redevelopment authority.

Council expects to consider an agreement for the initiative, approved by the county commissioners in December, on Monday.

Greensburg, the county seat, would be an ideal entity to be among the first of 10 municipalities to join the program as part of a multi-phase endeavor, Kobus said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5906334-74/council-county-bank#ixzz2yRzmj4Ms
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