Dunmore May Condemn Homes Where Drugs Are Sold

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

DUNMORE, PA – Drug dealers who settle in the borough may soon find themselves homeless.

Borough council next month will consider amending Dunmore’s building code ordinance to temporarily condemn homes and apartments where people are selling or manufacturing drugs.

“A one-time zone violation of drug activity on site will result in immediate closure of the property,” solicitor Thomas Cummings told councilmen on Monday. “It mirrors (ordinances) used by other communities in an effort to stem the drug problem which … destroys the neighborhood, destroys the property value and just creates a downward spiral.”

Borough lawmakers were already thinking of doing more to combat drugs when Dunmore police and Lackawanna County detectives found a large cache of drugs and related paraphernalia at a Prescott Avenue home last month.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dunmore-may-condemn-homes-where-drugs-are-sold-1.1668476

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Woman Shot In Pottstown; Police Investigating

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  With the warm weather comes increased crime in this neighborhood.  I think it’s time for a plan instead of a band-aid.

POTTSTOWN — A young woman was shot Sunday afternoon, causing Buttonwood Alley between Washington and Warren streets to be closed for several hours due to the police investigation.

Pottstown Police and Goodwill Ambulance responded at around 5:15 p.m. to the home fronting the 500 block of East High Street.

It’s unclear who or where the alleged shooter is.

Patrol officers were unable to comment on the case and deferred questions to Pottstown Police detectives. They did not return calls as of press time.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140413/woman-shot-in-pottstown-police-investigating

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Heroin With $23,000 Street Value Seized, 2 Juveniles Arrested In Connellsville Bust

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County

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

Connellsville police reported on Friday that two juveniles were charged, and additional arrests are likely, following a drug bust that took about $23,000 worth of drugs off the streets.

“This was a big one,” city police Chief James Capitos said concerning the arrests of two male juveniles from McKeesport, with one having ties to Connellsville.

The origins of the arrests occurred on Wednesday afternoon when police pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation. The driver and passenger were found to be in possession of suspected drugs, and police reportedly were able to get information from where the drugs were purchased.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/fayette/5888773-74/capitos-heroin-police#ixzz2y41MkIk5
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Heroin, Marijuana Found In Car With Kids In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police pursuing two men after a hand-to-hand exchange on South Main Street found heroin and marijuana in a vehicle with three young children.

Police said heroin packets in zip-lock bags were found in an open can of Natty Daddy beer and a bag of marijuana was found in the console of the car driven by 29-year-old Tyrell Lee Dunbar, according to charges filed.

Dunbar said the three children, ages 1, 3 and 5, inside the car were his kids. The children were turned over to their grandmother, police said.

Dunbar, of Sambourne Street, Wilkes-Barre, was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of children and one count each of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1292786/Heroin-marijuana-found-in-car-with-kids

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$100K In Sherman Hills Upgrades Begin

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The proposed $100,000 worth of security improvements at the troubled Sherman Hills apartments are underway with the installation of a fence around the property.

Security consultant John Daly said work began last week.

“They’re putting up a 1-inch mesh fence like they proposed earlier and will move on to the next phase,” said of the McLane Investigative Group of New York City.

The possibility of losing the nearly $2 million in rent subsidies by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development prompted the owner Sherman Hills Realty of Brooklyn, N.Y. to promise changes at the complex that has been the scene of drug arrests, violent crimes and a fatal shooting last November.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1289298/$100K-in-Sherman-Hills-upgrades-begin

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Recent Task Force Sweep Focused On Those Who Committed Crimes In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The Luzerne County Sheriff’s Office released new information on the fugitive sweep on Wednesday that picked up 20 individuals with outstanding warrants in Luzerne County.

The Advanced Tactical Anti-Crime Unit – the newly formed task force comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement – conducted its second roundup, picking up individuals on warrants for everything from driving under the influence and retail theft to burglary and simple assault.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said this sweep was supposed to focus not just on arresting those from Wilkes-Barre, but those who committed crimes in Wilkes-Barre but live outside of the city.

Out of the 20 people picked up, 12 of them were arrested in Wilkes-Barre, according to the sheriff’s office.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/recent-task-force-sweep-focused-on-those-who-committed-crimes-in-w-b-1.1659093

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Victim’s Family Seeks Injunction To Stop Sale Of Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Attorneys for survivors of a woman killed last year at the Sherman Hills Apartments are seeking an injunction to stop the sale of the troubled apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre.

The attorneys for Shantique Goodson’s family argue the sale of the Coal Street low-income housing project would make the complex “judgment proof” in a lawsuit they have planned against Sherman Hills.

Goodson died Nov. 11, 2013, after being shot several times at the complex. The shooting occurred just days after officials with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development visited Sherman Hills to address “life-threatening security issues” that were spotlighted by high-profile violent crimes, the court documents say.

Local attorneys Jamie Anzalone and Patrick Doyle, of the Anzalone Law Offices in Wilkes-Barre, are asking a judge to grant an emergency injunction to block the sale of Sherman Hills due to the pending lawsuit in connection with Goodson’s death.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/victim-s-family-seeks-injunction-to-stop-sale-of-sherman-hills-1.1659101

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Drugs Found At Scene Of Monessen Slaying

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

Seven packets of heroin were found outside, just feet from where masked assailants fired at least four shots through a back door, striking and killing Chris “Snaxx” Fincik at his Monessen home.

Westmoreland County Detective Ray Dupilka testified on Thursday during the third day of the second- and third-degree murder trial of Chalsee Hughes that even more drugs were found on a kitchen table.

Prosecutors contend Fincik, 36, was gunned down during a robbery on Dec. 3, 2012, at his Maple Avenue home. His attackers left behind more than $3,200 and 390 packets of heroin, Dupilka said.

Hughes, 21, of Duquesne is charged as an accomplice in the slaying. Police said she used her identification to purchase a $16 box of ammunition that was used in the shooting.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5842700-74/hughes-dupilka-pinkney#ixzz2xHRIyf3W
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2 Jeannette Men Pistol-Whipped, Shot In Home Invasion

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

A man was shot and beaten during a home invasion involving three men with their faces covered who burst into his Jeannette home early Thursday morning, city police said.

Faron “Oldman” Stanford, 56, was shot in the shoulder and pistol-whipped, according to Cpl. Chris Mason. He was admitted to Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville where he was kept overnight for observation.

Police and paramedics found Stanford lying on the living room floor, his shirt blood-soaked. He suffered a gunshot wound and lacerations to his head.

A second man in the home, Jocquinn Harris, 27, sustained head wounds from being beaten with the handgun, police said. He was taken to Forbes for treatment.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5842696-74/police-mason-shot#ixzz2xDUSMXqb
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Troubled Sherman Hills Apartment Complex To Be Sold

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The same day that the response of the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex to a federal inspection was released, news comes that the complex is about to be sold.

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, who founded a task force to address problems at the crime-ridden complex after two young girls were shot there last August, met Thursday with eight representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, including Regional Director Jane Vincent, he said in a news release.

HUD officials revealed at the meeting that the property is under contract of sale with a transfer date target of April 1, Cartwright said.

The new owner, New Jersey-based Treetop Development, which has no overlapping ownership with the current owners, also will serve as property manager of the Sherman Hills property, Cartwright said, noting that Treetop has had success working with HUD in the past.

Read more: https://bay176.mail.live.com/default.aspx?n=880162491&fid=1#n=534554189&fid=1

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Open For Risky Business: Philadelphia’s Vacant Properties

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

With its broken plywood door and faded graffiti, the former hosiery mill on Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section is a contrast to the quarter-million-dollar townhouses and upscale lofts nearby.

1101 Frankford is not just a four-story eyesore, says Thomas Fasone, who owns an antique lighting shop next door. He rates it a magnet for trouble.

“It’s so easy to get into these buildings,” says Fasone, who has complained to the city. “They can go in to keep warm, start a fire, do drugs, fall asleep, and a fire breaks out.”

The place is supposed to be sealed. But on two recent visits, an Inquirer reporter found it open. The owners have problems, too. One of them, a Drexel Hill man, is accused of dealing marijuana

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/city/20140310_Open_for_risky_business__Phila__s_vacant_properties.html#5hYIOdF5lTCuGBHK.99

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Heroin With Street Value Of $20k Seized; Two People Arrested

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, PA —A Harrisburg man is facing nearly 1,000 counts of scattering heroin packets along the North Crossvalley Expressway, state police at Wyoming said.

The docket sheet for Rashawn Collier is 52 pages listing 977 counts each of tampering with evidence and scattering rubbish when state police allege he tossed out 1,028 heroin packets from a vehicle during a pursuit.

Collier, 34 ,and Tasha C. McMurray, 26, of Passaic, N.J., were arrested after their vehicle was stopped near Exit 6 of the North Crossvalley Monday afternoon.

Read more:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1233382/Heroin-with-street-value-of-$20k-seized;-two-people-arrested

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Legion Working Toward Sherman Hills Guard Pact

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A key component of the Sherman Hills Apartments security plan is guards — armed and unarmed — watching the complex and screening outsiders.

The security plan includes:

• Better lighting and possibly more surveillance cameras, but also a guard shack manned around the clock and a mobile armed guard.

• An 8-foot fence is to go up around Sherman Hills and the high rise adjacent to the complex. A gate along North Sherman Street is to be used only by emergency vehicles.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1208223/Legion-working-toward-Sherman-Hills-guard-pact

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Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Hazleton Police Chief Hail Success

HAZLETON, PA — Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Police Chief Frank DeAndrea pointed to the successes of Kane’s Mobile Street Crime Unit on Wednesday and asked residents of Hazleton and across the commonwealth to help the success continue.

At the urging of state Sen. John Yudichak to address violent drug-related crime plaguing Northeastern Pennsylvania, Kane organized the Region X Intensive Mobile Proactive Anti-Crime Team — IMPACT — task force and deployed it to Hazleton in September to dismantle gang-run drug trafficking networks.

The approximately 20-member team, composed of federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement officers, racked up more than 120 arrests and seized about 35,000 packets of heroin, quantities of crack cocaine, numerous vehicles, handguns, rifles, an assault weapon and thousands of dollars in cash, with many of the items on display at a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday.

Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, noted that a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Justice detailed the foothold that drug-trafficking organizations had established in the Hazleton area and that branched off throughout Luzerne and surrounding counties.

Read more:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1206626/Kane-Hazleton-chief-hail-success

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Wilkes-Barre Panel OKs Gates For Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a plan to install gates, one of them staffed around the clock, as part of the overall security improvements at the low-income Sherman Hills apartment complex.

Sam Goldberg, regional manager of the apartment complex owned by Brooklyn-based Sherman Hills Realty, said the owners are eager to get started and have already set aside the money for the work.

“It’s all a matter of once we get the written approval. We do have contractors lined up,” Goldberg said. “We’ll work as fast as we can.”

The plans calls for the installation of a booth and gates for incoming and outgoing vehicles and pedestrians on Empire Court. The booth will be staffed 24 hours a day and control a second set of gates on Parkview Circle leading to the high-rise apartment building on the property. A third gate will be installed at the intersection of North Empire Court and Sherman Street, but emergency responders and police will have access to a key to gain entrance.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1205576/City-panel-OKs-gates-for-Sherman-Hills

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Pennsylvania Heroin Ring Bust Nets 10

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Police arrested 10 people for drug possession and distribution offenses, marking the second phase in the dismantling of a heroin ring operating in Centre and Lycoming counties, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Thursday.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged drug network was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges.

The grand jury found a New York heroin and cocaine source was living in Pleasant Gap and using residents to make drug deliveries in the State College and Williamsport areas, according to prosecutors. Investigators said agents used court-ordered wiretaps to determine area users and dealers were also getting heroin from contacts in Philadelphia and Williamsport.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/Alleged_heroin_ring_bust_nets_10.html#oA5Wd1EHG1HqFzOj.99

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Pottstown Mayor: ‘Interventions’ Planned For Nuisance Properties After Weekend Shooting

Editor’s note:  Thank you, Sharon!

POTTSTOWN, PA — Mayor Sharon Thomas said a potential plan is in place to deal with “nuisance” properties in the borough following the shooting and subsequent fights with police early Sunday morning outside the Montgomery Elks Lodge.

“I spoke with Chief (Richard) Drumheller today about some interventions,” said Thomas. “There are some plans but they need time in order to come into position, but this is not the time to implement them because there is an ongoing investigation.”

Pottstown Police responded early Sunday morning for a shooting outside the Montgomery Elks Lodge at 609 Walnut St. Arriving around 2:45 a.m., officers found a man, who multiple sources said was Brandon Germany, wounded on the ground, Pottstown police said. While attending to the victim, a crowd came out of the lodge and at least two people assaulted the officers, police said.

The officers were not identified and were taken to an “area hospital” for treatment.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140203/pottstown-mayor-interventions-planned-for-nuisance-properties-after-weekend-shooting?fb_action_ids=10201321407823274&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B715583075129807%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

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Poll: More In NJ Want Pot Than Online Gambling

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – A new poll finds more New Jersey residents want to smoke pot than gamble over the Internet.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds 41 percent of respondents would support smoking marijuana recreationally if it became legal. That compares with only 32 percent who support gambling over the Internet, which is legal in New Jersey now.

The poll finds support for online gambling has fallen, even as it enters its third full month and more than 150,000 online gambling accounts have been set up in the state.

“The public’s attitude was, for several years, warming up to online gambling,” said poll director Krista Jenkins. “But there has been a clear change in direction now that the practice has actually been legalized. Part of the public has always shown deep reluctance to make gambling so accessible in their own homes. Now that it is in fact legal, they may be more concerned than ever.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140203_ap_ea57de2926384e6087d93750dc244999.html#uC9fqrd0erf0e8Y4.99

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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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Potent Heroin, Painkiller Mix ‘All Over Pittsburgh’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

The deadliest batch of heroin to hit Western Pennsylvania in more than 25 years killed as many as 13 people during the past week as authorities scrambled to warn users.

The unknown distributors of the drug apparently mixed in the powerful painkiller fentanyl and sold it in stamp bags marked with the brand name Theraflu — the same as the over-the-counter cold medication. The potent combination is causing overdoses and deaths in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

“I’m only at the very beginning of investigating the number of deaths,” said Dr. Karl Williams, Allegheny County‘s medical examiner. His office identified 13 people ranging in age from 25 to 51 whose deaths were believed to be connected to the batch. In four cases, authorities found bags with the Theraflu stamp with the victims.

“It’s all over Pittsburgh. It’s all over Allegheny County. It’s all over the surrounding counties. It’s a major regional issue,” said Williams, who with officials in Westmoreland County raised alarms about the drug on Friday.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5484258-74/heroin-county-deaths#ixzz2rcfvDBra
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