6 Charged In Reading-Based Methamphetamine Ring

English: Crystal methamphetamine

English: Crystal methamphetamine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA – Six men have been charged as part of a Reading-based drug ring that sold bulk amounts of crystal methamphetamine in Berks and Montgomery counties as it tried to stir up local demand for the drug, officials announced today.

Operation Breaking Bad, as it was named by law enforcement, was a 10-month multi-agency investigation that broke up the high-level meth and cocaine trafficking ring, Berks District Attorney John T. Adams and Montgomery District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said during a press conference here.

The six men charged were all Mexican nationals living in the U.S. illegally, five of whom were deported, then returned illegally, Adams said.

They were arraigned today and are in Montgomery County Prison awaiting further court action.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515964

Reading Gets $4 Million Grant To Add 30 Firefighters

The city won a $4 million federal grant on Thursday to hire 30 new firefighters over the next two years, replenishing a force that was shrunk by budget cuts the past several years.

Although Fire Chief David W. Hollinger and other city officials were elated at the news, they said they’re still working out the details of how the grant will be used, when the new recruits could be hired, and what happens when the grant runs out in two years.

The announcement came in separate statements by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr., who had written the Department of Homeland Security supporting the city’s application for the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=438352

Scranton To Return Part Of ‘Free Money’ For Firefighters

After learning the hard way that closed fire stations can slow responses to fires, city officials last month celebrated an almost $8.2 million federal grant that would pay for recalling laid-off firefighters and hiring more.

Now, they plan to reject about a third of the money.

The grant was enough to pay for calling back 29 laid-off firefighters plus one on military leave and for adding 20 new firefighters – a total of 50 – for two years, but Mr. Doherty decided to decline the money for the new firefighters because the city could not afford to keep paying them after the two years and because the city would have to pay unemployment benefits when they were laid off.

It is unclear whether the city will be able to afford to keep all the other 29 after two years.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-to-return-part-of-free-money-for-firefighters-1.1331750