Archdiocese Of Philadelphia: Reviewing 14 More Parishes For Possible Merger, Closure

Weeks after completing its last round of parish mergers and closures, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday that 14 more parishes in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties could be combined with nearby churches or shuttered.

This time, the archdiocese is targeting three clusters of churches for cutbacks:

In Delaware County’s Springfield Township, the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi, Holy Cross, and St. Kevin.

In Montgomery County, the parishes of St. Alphonsus in Maple Glen, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph in Ambler, St. Catherine of Siena in Horsham, St. Genevieve in Flourtown, and Holy Martyrs in Oreland.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20141013_Archdiocese_of_Philadelphia__reviewing_14_more_parishes_for_possible_merger__closure.html#u17H63eOuBCeur6k.99

Philadelphia Archdiocese Sells Delco Property, 2 Others For $56.2M

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Thursday announced the sale of three suburban properties for $56.2 million and said it will use the proceeds to help plug gaps in its balance sheet.

In addition to the previously reported sale of a 200-plus-acre property in Delaware County to Jenkintown-based Goodman Properties for $47 million, the Archdiocese said that it had an agreement to sell a 454-acre property in Northampton County for $5.5 million, and that it had sold 55 acres in Chester County for $3.7 million.

The $3.7 million from the sale of excess land at the St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, a behavioral-health center for clergy and woman religious, was deposited into the archdiocesan priests’ pension fund, which previously had a $76.3 million deficit. The buyer was Woodbine Partners L.P.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141003_Archdiocese_sells_Delco_property__2_others_for__56_2M.html#85J5QPF07OFiZsCw.99

George Takei Has A Bone To Pick With Wawa

Math: It’s hard, especially if you’re a convenience store like, say, Wawa. But don’t worry—best friend to the Internet, George Takei, is here to clear everything up.

Takei recently posted up an image of none other than a Wawa coffee cup to his massively popular Facebook page (7.4 million likes and counting) with a few sections underlined.

Yes, because math, indeed. Takei apparently took this perceived error to heart, calling the labels “rather misleading.” As you can imagine, the comments section of the post has gone into full-fervor mode, with Wawa’s endless line of zealots (AKA us) kindly—and not so kindly—explaining why, in fact, Wawa is never wrong. Like, ever.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/trending/George-Takei-has-a-bone-to-pick-with-Wawa.html#1PywPH7AR3VUCEkQ.99

Pennsylvania Boasts Progressive Movement To Preserve Farmland

Picture 487Before Bill Iams began raising beef cattle and planting acres of hay on a farm in southern Washington County, five generations worked the soil and raised livestock there.

Soon, Iams hopes to ensure the 155 acres in Amwell, which the king of England granted to his ancestors before the American Revolution, remain farmland forever.

“Look around at the changes in this area over the last 50 years, especially in the Washington area. North on Route 19 was all farms,” said Iams, 57, owner of Log Cabin Fence Co., a farming supply business off Interstate 79 in Amity. “Now you’ve got malls and everything else going on but farming.”

Iams awaits approval by a state committee to sell development rights to his farm to Washington County through the county’s Farmland Preservation Program, part of a statewide initiative to make certain that fertile land is used for agriculture.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/washington/6506932-74/farms-county-iams#ixzz39RSdt66P
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Hoping For Recovery In Marcus Hook

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

Marie Horn’s front porch offers a panoramic view of the Delaware River and riverfront park in Marcus Hook.

Her back deck overlooks a different scene: empty lots, with curb cuts and street lights prepared for 11 more houses.

The land has long sat vacant, as a nonprofit group struggles to find interested builders or buyers to complete a neighborhood of brightly colored colonials along the river, bookended by a refinery and a former refinery property. Horn’s house is just one of three built in the last few years.

It is unclear when more will join them.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140526_Hoping_for_recovery_in_Marcus_Hook.html#ADvJFZstAFQIY6QD.99

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Gains And Losses In Philadelphia Region’s Population

A number of communities in the region’s Pennsylvania suburbs, notably in Chester and Montgomery Counties, grew substantially between April 2010 and July 2013, Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday show.

In Chester County, there were noteworthy upticks in municipalities such as Malvern, West Chester, East Brandywine, and West Goshen, and the same was true in Chester/Delaware County border towns such as Bethel and Chadds Ford. In central Montgomery County, Upper Hanover, Towamencin, and Salford were among the burgeoning towns.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia remained the fifth-largest U.S. city, with a population estimated at 1.553 million through July 2013, an increase of just over 27,000 from April 2010. It was the seventh year in a row of population growth, the census data showed.

(Population estimates for neighborhoods within the city limits will not be available until December.)

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140523_Gains_and_losses_in_Phila__region_s_population.html#MHpPEge1UgkCE6DR.99

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Philadelphia-Area Municipalities Gaining, Losing Residents Fastest

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data today, showing the “subcounty” population figures for the year that ended July 1, 2013. That means every municipality in the country, no matter how small, can see how many residents it gained or lost in that period.

Census figures for counties and metro areas were released earlier this spring, with Philadelphia’s population standing at 1,553,165 residents, a 0.29-percent increase from the previous year.

The new numbers show which municipalities in the area gained or lost residents at the fastest rates between July 2012 and July 2013, and since the 2010 Census.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillylists/Philadelphia-area-municipalities-gaining-losing-residents-fastest.html

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Philadelphia Settles Dispute With Tinicum Township Over Airport

Philadelphia International Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The City of Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Tinicum Township announced a multimillion-dollar financial settlement Monday in long-simmering tensions between the city-owned Philadelphia International Airport and its municipal neighbors over a massive plan to expand the airport.

The tentative agreement, announced by Mayor Nutter, airport CEO Mark Gale, Delaware County Council, Tinicum officials, and U.S. Reps. Patrick Meehan and Robert Brady, includes funding to ensure “continuity of tax revenues” for the Delaware County neighbors.

Two-thirds of the airport is in Tinicum.

The city also agreed not to acquire 72 Tinicum houses and displace 300 residents.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140506_Phila__settles_dispute_with_Delco_town_over_airport_expansion.html#YzjbkWRMYQHP1Kw6.99

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Marcus Hook Refinery Gets Makeover As Natural Gas Hub

English: Sunoco Logo

English: Sunoco Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is out with the old and in with the new at the 500-acre waterfront facility formerly known as the Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery, now the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.

Workers last week ripped down aging petroleum-processing equipment, part of a labyrinth of machinery that has produced gasoline, diesel, and kerosene for more than a century. Other crews built cryogenic storage tanks more than 130 feet tall with three-foot-thick walls that will hold the future: new fuels from the prolific Marcellus Shale region.

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., a pipeline company that bought the property for $60 million last year from its sister company, Sunoco Inc., is converting the site into a major center for processing and shipping natural gas liquids.

“We very much hope this is only the first step in this property,” said Jonathan Hunt, director of the complex. “We’re working on a lot of possible businesses. There’s a lot of opportunities here.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140420_Marcus_Hook_refinery_gets_makeover_as_natural_gas_hub.html#uviXa1C6vRQ7JrMk.99

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Zoning Change Approved, Finally, For Franklin Mint Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, PA –  A decade after the Franklin Mint closed, its round museum building still sits vacant along busy Baltimore Pike in Delaware County.

Development of the prominent property has been plagued by opposition from residents, a slow economy, and – most recently – a legal battle among the developers.

But the plan took a step forward this week when a revised zoning ordinance won approval from the Middletown Township Council. The site, with more than 170 acres, could now have 350 townhouses, offices, retail space, and a hotel.

Its completion could take years. By that time, the site could become just one piece in a transformation of the heavily traveled Route 1 through Middletown.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140301_Zoning_change_approved__finally__for_Franklin_Mint_site.html#61TJpi4ej4yS7q3Z.99

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Bolaris: Snow Amounts Climbing A Bit

Snow has been falling at rates of 1-2 inches per hour, with some places, such as northern Chester County counting 7 inches as of 11 a.m., and Horsham and Worcester in Montgomery County and West Rockhill Township in Bucks County, counting 6 inches.

Some places in Lehigh Valley are reporting 6 inches, as well.

Closer to the City of Philadelphia, Brookhaven in Delaware County, near the airport, was reporting 3.5 inches as of 10:30 a.m.

Just across the river, as of 11:15 a.m., the rain-snow line has halted, and actually in Haddonfield has changed back to some rain and sleet as that line oscillates around 10 miles south and east of the city.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Bolaris_Snow_amounts_looking_like_4-8_inches.html#4O5Kac2dYdbyZwqk.99

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Widener Student Critical But Stable After Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

The lockdown has been lifted at Widener University, where a gunman last night shot a student who was sitting in a car near the Chester campus’  athletic facility.

The injured student remains in critical but stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center this morning, university spokesman Dan Hanson said. Hanson declined to release further information about the student or his injuries today, saying the family asked for privacy.

The student was ambushed about 8:40 p.m. as he sat in a car near the Schwartz Athletic Center, prompting campus officials to urge students to “seek shelter and remain indoors.” That alert ended and classes continued as scheduled this morning.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/delco/Widener-student-critical-but-stable-after-shooting.html#9uEGvwv25YsmgAaQ.99

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Snow Expected to Make For A Messy Tuesday Morning

Snow beginning overnight could make driving hazardous throughout the morning Tuesday morning in the Philadelphia region, according to the National Weather Service.

Accumulations of two to four inches are possible north and west of the city, including in outlying parts of Chester, Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

The city of Philadelphia, Delaware County and southern and central Chester County, should see an inch or two before rain mixes in or takes over in the afternoon.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Snow_expected_to_make_for_a_messy_Tuesday_morning.html#xq7HsvVfGB2o0xgr.99

Marcus Hook Mayor Convicted Of Charges Related To Drunken Encounter

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

MARCUS HOOK Mayor James “Jay” Schiliro won’t be lighting up a victory cigar anytime soon.

Schiliro, 39, was convicted in Delaware County Common Pleas Court yesterday on five charges in connection with a bizarre encounter that unfolded in his house Feb. 21.

A 20-year-old man, who had long known Schiliro and described him as a father figure, said he was summoned to the mayor’s house late that night for a chat.

Schiliro allegedly plied the man with wine and offered to perform oral sex on him, the Daily News reported earlier this year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20131117_Marcus_Hook_mayor_convicted_of_charges_related_to_drunken_encounter.html#XVsuZCrjqETR6sXT.99

Study: Deep Poverty On The Rise In Delaware And Camden Counties

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deep poverty appears to be accelerating in Delaware and Camden Counties, as the poorest of the poor scramble for rent, heat, and food.

In the city of Chester, Donald Grover, 47, and his wife, Melissa Zirilli, 43, can’t do their jobs – he because the home-remodeling firm he works for cut his time from 60 hours a week to nearly nothing, she because debilitating seizures keep her from being a nurse’s aide.

In the city of Camden, Mark Woodall, 49, once a construction worker and a trained cook, now makes $10 an hour in a soup kitchen as he and his out-of-work fiancee are forced to live on a street he says is thronged with armed teenagers “without morals.”

“Lack of work is really, really hurting us,” said Zirilli, who lives with her husband and three children on about $6,000 a year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131025_Study__Deep_poverty_on_the_rise_in_Delaware_and_Camden_Counties.html#GSyaLqbobqbX9VUX.99

Delta-Owned Trainer Refinery Posts Profit

Delta Air Lines's flagship, the Boeing 777-200LR.

Delta Air Lines’s flagship, the Boeing 777-200LR. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Delta Air Lines said Tuesday its refinery in Trainer, Delaware County, posted a $3 million profit for the three months ended Sept. 30.

It was the first quarterly profit since Delta bought the former ConocoPhillips refinery last year to keep supplied with jet fuel.

“We have a tremendous opportunity with the Trainer refinery,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson told investors on a conference call discussing third-quarter financial results. “Importantly, the refinery’s production has proven to be effective in keeping jet cracks in check, particularly in the New York harbor,” he said.

The “crack spread” is the difference between the cost of crude oil and the selling price of jet fuel – it’s the price paid to refiners.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131023_Delta-owned_Trainer_refinery_posts_profit.html#7zFHTHAbykYR1tAY.99

First Nonprofit Supermarket Opens In Chester

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

CHESTER, PA. — In Chester, a city where hard times often plow under shiny promises, a hunger-relief agency’s pledge to build America’s first nonprofit supermarket was greeted skeptically at first.

But Philabundance may be confounding local doubters. Its Fare & Square grocery store, seven years in the making, is ready to open its doors this morning, a rare oasis in what has been called a food desert.

“No one believed this was coming,” said Denina Hood, a Chester native and an employee of the store that will become the first supermarket in town since 2001. “But this store isn’t going anywhere.”

Usually in the business of distributing donated food to pantries in the Delaware Valley, Philabundance, a nonprofit, has augmented its mission and become a store owner, charging prices 8 percent to 10 percent lower than small urban grocers.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/first-nonprofit-supermarket-opens-in-struggling-pa-city-705230/#ixzz2gCesc07x

Chester Rite Aid Manager Shot And Killed, Patrons Hear Loud Bang

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

Patrons fled after a store manager hoping to get out in time to watch the Eagles-Chiefs game was shot and killed inside a Chester City Rite Aid late last night. Police are seeking a man and woman in connection with the homicide.

Chester police say they were dispatched shortly before 10 p.m. to the Rite Aid on the 2000 block of West 9th Street, near Highland Avenue. Upon arrival, they found the store manager suffering from a fatal gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced at the scene, according a police department press release.

The release said that, just prior to closing, patrons and employees heard a loud bang and rushed outside.

Police are seeking a white or light skinned woman in her mid to late twenties, wearing a red hooded jacket with white stripes down the sleeves, blue jeans and grey sneakers.  She was accompanied by a black male in his late twenties to mid thirties wearing a white tee shirt over a black long sleeve top, rolled up blue jeans and black boots.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Chester_Rite_Aid_employee_shot_and_killed.html#7O1tzfQFoBDHZAWS.99

SEPTA Ridership At All-Time High

SEPTA logo

SEPTA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEPTA commuter trains had more passengers than ever in the year that ended June 30, carrying just over 36 million riders, SEPTA officials said Monday.

The trend was mirrored nationwide, as public transit in general and trains in particular have been gaining riders in recent years.

High gas prices, congested highways, relatively low fares, and a growing preference among young people for transit have all contributed to the rising number of passengers, transportation officials said Monday.

SEPTA Regional Rail trains carried 36.0 million riders, up from 35.3 million in fiscal 2012 and above the previous record of 35.5 million in 2008.  As recently as 1993, SEPTA carried just 19.2 million riders.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20130723_SEPTA_ridership_at_all-time_high.html#IwbTqaSRLXv0KHyh.99

Heat Wave Forecast To End Saturday Night

The National Weather Service is again calling for an excessively hot day today, with temperatures for the Pottstown area expected to reach 96 but feel like 108 thanks to the high humidity.  There is a 40 percent chance of scattered showers or thunderstorms this afternoon with more rain expected tonight.

An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for the area through 8 p.m. tonight.  Montgomery and Chester counties have issued Code Red hot weather advisories each day of this week through Saturday from noon until 8 p.m., the hottest parts of the day.  Area residents who are without air conditioning should seek shelter in a cool place and pets and children should not be left in hot cars, the weather service and counties advised.

“A cold front from the Northwest is expected to arrive on Saturday night and it should bring an end to the heat wave,” the weather service wrote in its latest advisory.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130719/NEWS01/130719219/heat-wave-forecast-to-end-saturday-night-(live-blog)#full_story