January Could End Up As One Of The Coldest Months In Recent Memory

The mercury hasn’t hit bottom yet.

January ranks as one of the most bitingly cold months Western Pennsylvanians can remember, though certainly not a record. A cold snap early in the month made the temperature plummet to 9 below zero near Pittsburgh International Airport with a wind chill that felt like 30 below.

State College-based AccuWeather predicts a low of 10 below zero on Tuesday as part of the latest bone-chilling cold spell, one that will extend through at least Jan. 31.

“We’ve been selling a lot of winter tires. People who have decided to try and wait to see how the winter goes, I think finally pulled the trigger,” said Nick Lenhart, manager of Lenhart’s Service Center in North Huntingdon. “They realized it’s not just going to be a one and done.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5469509-74/cold-january-weather#ixzz2rKwZi8jZ
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Code Blue Issued For Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Montgomery County Commissioners, on the advice of the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety, have declared a Code Blue Cold Weather Emergency for Montgomery County based on a review of forecasts from the National Weather Service.

The Code Blue Declaration has been issued for Montgomery County for the period beginning at 9 P.M. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, until 9 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131126/code-blue-issued-for-montgomery-county

Former Pottstown Personal Banker Jailed For Stealing From Elderly Clients

NORRISTOWN — A former personal banker at a Pottstown financial institution is headed to prison after admitting to engaging in a scheme to steal money from six elderly female clients.

Jon Dugan, 30, formerly of the 500 block of Douglass Drive, Douglass (Berks), and most recently of Township Line Road, Royersford, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Friday to five-to-23 months in the county jail, to be followed by five years’ probation, after he pleaded guilty to multiple charges of theft by deception in connection with incidents that occurred while he worked for the Wells Fargo Bank branch, 1470 E. High St., between June and August 2011.

Judge Gary S. Silow also ordered Dugan to pay $7,671 in restitution to the bank.

Dugan must report to jail on July 26 to begin serving the sentence.  Dugan is eligible for a jail work-release program during his incarceration.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130719/NEWS01/130719179/former-pottstown-personal-banker-jailed-for-stealing-from-elderly-clients#full_story

Americans On Food Stamps

English: Logo of the .

English: Logo of the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of people using food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased by an average of 13 percent a year from 2008 to 2012.  House Republicans dropped funding for food stamps from a new version of the farm bill.  Voting takes place Thursday.  Read related article.

Click here to see map of US with 2012 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation levels by state: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/food-stamps/

DA Calls Assault On Elderly Women In Clay Twp. One Of Lancaster County’s Most Heinous’ Crimes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The young man accused of torturing three elderly women Friday in their Clay Township home was apprehended swiftly because of collaborative efforts among local police.

That was the message Monday from Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman, who led a press conference confirming a litany of charges against 22-year-old Dereck Taylor Holt, who is believed to have targeted the women solely because of his as yet unexplained hatred for members of the Mennonite faith.

“This is one of the most serious crimes that we’ve had in Lancaster County history, one of the most heinous crimes that didn’t result in a homicide,” Stedman said.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” he said.

“To say that I’m shocked by this — we’re all shocked by this — is an understatement.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/794078_DA-calls-assault-on-elderly-women-in-Clay-Twp–one-of-county-s–most-heinous–crimes-.html#ixzz2FSJdUNjI

110-Year-Old Pa. Widow Gets WWI Benefits Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cambria County

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

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A 110-year-old Pennsylvania widow is getting a benefits boost because of her husband’s World War I service.

Family members say Alda Collins is now getting about $1,000 a month to assist with her stay at a nursing home near Ebensburg. She had been getting $36 a month.

Her son tells the Daily American of Somerset (http://bit.ly/OURXLU) that Collins lived by herself in a trailer until she was 106.  She can use a walker, feeds herself and knows the Pirates are in second place.

Read more: http://hosted2.ap.org/PATOW/5715a04f327d44b9b9ab039463c2d9db/Article_2012-08-13-World%20War%20I-Benefits/id-949930100c08497dae95b1159d0873fb

The Silver Tsunami: Retiring Baby Boomers

An excellent article from the Lansdale Reporter about what impact the gigantic retiring Baby Boomer generation will have on cities.

As a Baby Boomer, I found this very interesting reading.  Learning how cities are coping with increasing senior populations is important to me and I thought it might be to others as well.

To read the article, click here:

http://hosted2.ap.org/PALAP/d3444c3add384b05a39deb3258f13309/Article_2011-07-10-Aging%20America-Age-Friendly%20Cities/id-cc6478c041d742a7a6ef226c7c57db29

Northampton County Mulls Sale Of County Nursing Home

Northampton County is debating the privatization of Gracedale.  Gracedale is the county’s nursing home with 650 residents.

This would be a big deal as Gracedale is Pennsylvania’s second-largest nursing home.  There are 750 employees.  The reason for this consideration is the drain on the county budget.  $7.8 million to be exact.  Northampton County is looking at a $10 million budget deficit and possible 20% tax hike.  Ouch!

Gracedale has more beds than demand.  725 beds, 650 residents.  Employee benefits are also gobbling up the profits.  Can you say pension plan nightmare!

At this time, leasing the facility seems to be the preferred course of action. However, patient care would have to be guaranteed.  By leasing Gracedale, the county would be off the hook for the $7.8 million while receiving $2.5 million in annual revenue from whatever company would lease the facility.  $10 million deficit eliminated.  Selling Gracedale would generate $31 million for the county.

There seems to be a growing trend of Pennsylvania counties selling their nursing homes.  Carbon, Dauphin, Luzerne, Lancaster and Cambria counties have all unloaded their county nursing homes. 

Lehigh County has no plans to sell their nursing home but they are seeking ways to contain costs.