DA Ferman: Bradley Stone Committed Suicide In Woods Near His Home

The manhunt for Bradley W. Stone, the ex-Marine wanted in the killings of his ex-wife and five of her family members in Montgomery County, ended Tuesday with the discovery of his body in woods near his Pennsburg home, police said.

Stone is believed to have killed himself with a knife found near his body, county District Attorney Risa Ferman said at a 4:30 p.m. press conference.

Earlier, officials evidently were at a loss as to Stone’s whereabouts as District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced a multiagency effort involving local, state and federal law enforcement officers to find him.

But a grid search of the area surrounding his home eventually turned up his body in the woods, Ferman said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141217_Fugitive_still_on_the_loose.html#52F7S2MKsSCd93IS.99

DA: Ex-Wife, Her Family Members Killed By Military Veteran And Suspect Bradley William Stone In Montco Murder Spree

Authorities are still searching for the gunman who left six people dead in three Montgomery County shootings this morning, but a SWAT team has stormed a Pennsburg home in search of the suspect.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said police are looking for 35-year-old Bradley William Stone, of Pennsburg, in the killings. Three others were seriously wounded, officials said.

All of the victims have a “familial relationship” to Stone, prosecutors said. They were identified at a 6 p.m. press conference as Stone’s ex-wife, her sister and her sister’s husband, the sister’s teenage daughter, Stone’s former mother-in-law and a grandmother. A teenage son of the ex-wife’s sister was injured in the mayhem that occurred at two separate homes in two towns early this morning.

Montgomery County Court records show Stone had been entangled in divorce proceedings with his wife, Nicole A. Stone, since early 2009. The divorce was finalized in December 2012. Less than two weeks ago, he filed an emergency motion for custody.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Police_SWAT_team_responding_to_Lansdale_shooting.html#4EeDx5kfdmipQzgc.99

Montco Town Hopes Carousel And Train Will Revive Economy

Picture 040The wooden animals, sanded and painted to resemble the 109-year-old originals they replaced, are waiting for visitors at the end of a restored railroad line in Pottstown.

The horses, giraffes, and reindeer on the Derek Scott Saylor Memorial Carousel are part of a merry-go-round meant to be more than an amusement.

The attraction – and the similarly restored old train that will drop visitors at its doorstep – are the centerpieces of a downtown revitalization effort for a slumping Montgomery County borough taking steps toward a comeback.

The carousel and train are scheduled to officially begin operations next fall.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20141213_Montco_town_hopes_carousel_and_train_will_revive_economy.html#rzbZLGpexQxRw0vQ.99

Help Homeless Teens By Donating To TriCounty Community Network

The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, with friends or with strangers.

Here is Your Chance to Help

The TCN Homeless Services and Youth Development Committees are working together to create care packages for local homeless teens.  You can help by donating any of the following items:

X-Large Hoodies

Gloves
Hats

Socks
Toiletries
$5 Gift Cards to Local Food Stores

Prepaid Phone Cards

Items can be donated by contacting Paula Kamp at 610-326-9460, Ext. 209 to schedule pick up or drop off at Community Health & Dental Care at either of the following locations:

11 Robinson Street, Suite 100, Pottstown
700 Heritage Drive, Pottstown

TCN Holiday Celebration

TCN cordially invites you to a holiday celebration.

Hot Breakfast          Networking          Games & Prizes

Tuesday, December 16th, 8am-10:30am
Copperfield Inn at Lakeside

594 West Ridge Pike, Limerick

Special thanks to our breakfast sponsors

Chestnut Hill College   Chestnut Knoll
Edward Jones Office of Bonnie Thompson
Frederick Living   Visiting Angels

Join a TCN Committee.  Committees will meet 9am-10:30am.

Caregivers Support  Community Partners Against Abuse  Environmental Health & Safety  Homeless Services  Workforce Development  Youth Development 

 

**Registration Deadline: December 9th.  Only registered members and guests will be admitted**

   Click here to register or call 610-705-3301, Ext. 2.

Free Online Resource Helps Aspiring Entrepreneurs Gain Crucial Business Skills

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Aspiring entrepreneurs can conveniently learn the nuts and bolts of starting a business thanks to a new, online program developed by Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) for the Pennsylvania Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives Collaborative. The program can be accessed online at BEresource.com.

“Starting Your Own Business” is a free, self-paced program through which learners explore five modules on topics such as business basics, financial and legal considerations, and marketing, as well as an in-depth case study. The final module of the program guides learners through the process of developing a customized business plan.

“In today’s market, entrepreneurial spirit is more than being a business owner. Employers increasingly expect employees to think entrepreneurially when developing ideas and solving problems,” shared Philip Needles, dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives at MCCC.

Learners who successfully finish the program and business plan will earn a proof of completion certificate and may be eligible to earn three credits at MCCC through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Other colleges and universities may also evaluate the completed course and business plan for possible PLA credit toward one of their respective programs.

PLA is the process used by many institutions to determine if an individual’s prior educational, workforce and life experiences can be translated to college credits. Assessments can include evaluation of military or corporate training, review of portfolios, customized tests, and evaluation of completed non-credit courses, among others.

The “Starting Your Own Business” project is funded by a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, and is part of a joint initiative of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges to train and place underemployed and unemployed residents of the Commonwealth in high demand jobs.

The program is open source and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To learn more about the project and its designers, visit BEresouce.com or contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or dcollins@mc3.edu.

All Hell Breaks Loose In Pottstown Over The Weekend….Again

Pottstown Borough Hall

Pottstown Borough Hall

Apparently, the inmates are running the asylum in good old Pottstown.  Several shootings, one fatal stabbing and a gas leak happened over the weekend. Sounds like your tax dollars are hard at work. Apparently, council is adding $6 million to the budget bringing it to $44 million.  Frankly, that should include a dozen more police officers and somebody should be reaching out to county and state officials for help.  This mess needs cleaned up once and for all.  It’s the same crap, in the same part(s) of town, over and over again.  We all know it’s drug related, gang related or a turf war etc…  Hey, Ma, “Pass the Section 8 housing please.  I want a heapin’ helpin’ so I can smother it in drugs.”  Happy Thanksgiving, Pottstown style.  Who needs mashed potatoes and gravy ;).  We sure know who the turkey is!

If you check out the Mercury, you can read all about it: http://www.pottsmerc.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/pottstown.mercury.

I can tell you people are scared.  They are afraid to take out their trash at night, drive through town at night etc…  The comments on Facebook by residents are upsetting to read.  You can feel the anger, fear, frustration and almost panic in their comments.  Some think it’s hopeless.

So I say to you, pack the council chambers for meetings and express your outrage to the people who hold the purse strings and can actually do something about it.  Pressure them to clean up Pottstown. They will cave in and do something if enough people complain.  But if the same 20 people show up at meetings every month they pass all this off as a few malcontents and naysayers causing problems. They are more interested in speed traps and tourism than public safety.

There is a bigger problem here than the leadership is willing to admit.  The “keep a lid on the powder keg” strategy has been an #epicfail and proactive policing needs to happen.  Stop putting lipstick on a pig and start throwing money at a huge public safety issue!  People are dying, isn’t that enough motivation?????

Kerns Pleads No Contest To Indecent Assault Charge

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Robert J. Kerns, the former Montgomery County Republican Chairman, pleaded no contest on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault in Montgomery County Court.

It was a negotiated plea deal with the Attorney General’s office, and Kerns will serve two years probation and be a registered sex offender for 15 years.

Kerns was accused of having non-consensual sex with an employee of his Lansdale law firm while she was passed out after a night of drinking in October 2013.

More serious charges against him – rape and sexual assault – were dismissed in June by a lower court.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141125_Kerns_pleads_no_contest_to_indecent_assault_charge.html#62VtlB3JLAmVqmQC.99

Update: Philadelphia Area Restaurant Openings

To update the crop of projected restaurant openings over the next eight weeks or so:

Mere hours old is The Crazy Sofa, a sushi/small plater, next to the Regal theater in Newtown Square (the former Roux 3).

Any day now, Collingswood will see the debut of Local Market and Cafe (714 Haddon Ave.), which will sell foods to go or eat-in and will have a coffee bar, deli, butcher, bakery and grocery sections.

Friday, Nov. 21 is day one for Latin Flavor, a Caribbean cafeteria at 627 South St.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Update-Restaurant-openings.html#kJeUoftlBK7KtdFG.99

PhillyDeals: Expansion Planned At King Of Prussia Plaza And Court

King of Prussia Mall

King of Prussia Mall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Simon Property Group, the Indianapolis-based retail giant that owns 200-plus shopping malls nationwide, is sacrificing more than 400 parking spaces at its King of Prussia Plaza and Court to make room for at least 50 new stores and restaurants that it hopes will draw more wealthy shoppers to the region’s biggest retail complex.

At extra-large shopping centers such as King of Prussia, at least, “the mall business is good, contrary to some of the naysayers,” David Contis, president of Simon Malls and a corporate senior vice president, told me Monday.

His company bought out other investors to take control of the King of Prussia mall in 2011, in deals that valued the complex at over $1 billion.

Contis said he expected to attract luxury stores from outside the region and “the best of the Philadelphia eateries” to the new space, rather than shifting current tenants there.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141118_PhillyDeals__Expansion_planned_at_King_Of_Prussia_Plaza_and_Court.html#4mWT6geTQWCWiwR1.99

Cadets Graduate From MCCC Municipal Police Academy

Blue Bell, Pa.—“This is not a one-time process,” said Municipal Police Academy Director Frank Williar, welcoming cadets and their families to the graduation of Class 1402 on Nov. 12 in the Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Science Center Theater. “We have an obligation to assist each other…to provide resources to each other. People who leave here come back.

Moments before, after 19 cadets filed on stage with military precision, Horsham Township Police Officer Kate Ryan came back to the academy from which she graduated with Class 1304 to introduce Williar, who in turn introduced the evening’s special guests: Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor Jr.; Dr. Aaron Shatzman, MCCC dean of Social Sciences; Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, MCCC vice president of academic affairs and provost; Jesse Stemple, first deputy director Montgomery County Department of Public Safety; East Norriton Police Chief Karyl Kates; East Norriton Police Lt. Brandon Pasquale; Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath; North Coventry Police Chief Robert Schurr, Officers Andrew Thiel and Igor Parfeniouk, and Sgt. Rob Malason; and Springfield Police Chief Michael Pitkow.

Cadet SSgt. Anastasios Apostolidis called for a moment of silence for those in uniform, both military and law enforcement, who gave their lives in the line of duty.

North Coventry Police Officer Andrew Thiel, commander of Class 1302, came back to introduce Keynote speaker Whitemarsh Township Police Lt. Francis “Fran” Wheatley, who congratulated the cadets on enduring a long and demanding course of studies.

“As a police officer, you will be constantly under intense scrutiny, both on and off duty,” Wheatley warned. “You have chosen a career and will take an oath to lead by example for the rest of your lives.” He urged the cadets never to forget the discipline they learned at the academy. “You should embrace every opportunity to be the counselor, the social worker, the help desk  . . . the life-saver” roles beyond merely catching the bad guys that make the world a better place. “We are the peacekeepers who make sure that our communities are safe.”

Class Valedictorian Cadet Cpl. Sean Maguire of Jeffersonville told his classmates that “we step out of our secular lives into a life of service. We are the next generation of law enforcement, and we are strong.”

Upper Darby Township Police Officer Laina Stevens, commander of Class 1304 and the winner of the 2012-2014 Outstanding Academy Cadet award, introduced Castor, who returns to address the graduating classes every chance he gets. Police officers, he told the cadets “are not just people. They are symbols of a free society. If you attack one of them, you are attacking all of us. You cannot enjoy any of the things you love to do if you are afraid. And that is not the promise of America.”

Class 1402 Cadet Lt. Brett Burns was honored for his leadership. “Brett stamped his personality on the class,” Williar said. “You left some big shoes to fill.”

Burns presented the Director’s Spirit of Distinction Award to Cadet Cpl. Ryan Cifelli of Chalfont, and congratulated Cadet Joseph “Joey” Metzinger on his acceptance to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.

Cadet David Arredondo of Stockton, Calif., won the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award in memory of the Upper Dublin police sergeant who died in a motor vehicle accident in the line of duty in 2004.

Robin Pritchett introduced the second annual Charles O. “Chip” Pritchett Exceptional Police Academy Instructor of the Year Award, named in honor of her husband, an East Norriton police officer and Municipal Police Academy deputy director who died in October 2013, and read the name of the second recipient: North Coventry Police Chief Robert A. Schurr.

“We miss him every day,” Schurr said, of Pritchett. “I’m humbled. And thank you.”

Dr. Bastecki-Perez conferred diplomas on Cadets Lt. Brett Burns, Abington; SSgt. Anastasio Apostolidis, Abington; Sgt. Joseph Metzinger, Rockledge; Sgt. Dylan Royce, Schwenksville; Cpl. Kelly Adams, Newtown; Cpl. Josué Gerena, Philadelphia; Cpl. Sean Maguire, Jeffersonville; Cpl. Branden Sisca, Trappe; David Arredondo, Stockton, Calif.; Ryan Cifelli, Chalfont; John Davis, Douglassville; Colleen Harner, Glenside; Marc Laing, Trappe; Christopher Miller, Gilbertsville; Aamir Raza, Warrington; Kevin Siebert, Oreland; John Smart, Bensalem; Steffy Shane, Perkiomenville; Cadet Kyle Williamson, Montgomeryville.

No doubt, many of the graduates will return to speak at future graduations and to assist their successors.

Lt. Burns passed the torch to his own successor, Lt. Brian Manion, Class 1404, completing the continuity inherent in the ceremony. Manion’s classmates provided an honor guard throughout the graduation.

Cadets from class 1402 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday, for 22 weeks, alternating studies with physical conditioning, as Maguire put it, “running and more running.”

Montgomery County Community College, in conjunction with the state training commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken.

The academy has been the training ground for approximately 3,500 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The 800-hour curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies.

MCCC Students Inducted Into Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society

Blue Bell/Pottstown Pa.—A total of 167 students were inducted into Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Alpha Kappa Zeta (Central Campus) and Beta Tau Lambda (West Campus) chapters of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges, during the fall 2014 semester.  To be eligible for PTK membership, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 and must have completed at least 12 credits. 

The fall 2014 inductees are listed below by area of residence:

Ambler: William Cagney, Renee Campanell, Amanda Ciammetti, Bradley Collings, Anna Colins, Christina Mascuilli, Carlo Pipitone, Kyree Sullivan

Ardmore: Joshua Clair

Audubon: Jenna Gaasche

Bala Cynwyd: Catherine Morroney

Bellmawr, N.J.: Nicole Hacking

Bensalem: Barbara Schick

Blue Bell: Alexander Booth, Johnna Corson, Theresa Jun, Steven Mitchell, Nicole Ragusa

Bridgeport: Irving Galvan, Ronald Quay

Chalfont: Morgan Ewart, MacKenzie Mazak

Cheltenham: Nam Dangvy

Collegeville: Antonio Aloia, Julie Clark

Colmar: Holly Figueiredo

Conshohocken: Jonathan Drozd, Madison Eichert

Douglassville: Adriana Giotti

Doylestown: Christine Bradley

Eagleville: Daniel Buttorff, Lindley Yarnall

East Norriton: Kathryn Hall, Angela Mertz

Elkins Park: Michele Gravel, Eitan Laurence, Bruno Saint-Louis

Flourtown: John Berger

Fort Washington: Nathanael Plaster

Gilbertsville: Brittany Benson, Donna Braner, Kathryn Brown, Robert Brown, Marion Bucci, Maryalice Enright, Glendon Liggett, James Pederson

Glenside: Crystal Nieman

Green Lane: Angelina Sirak, Stephanie Sirak

Harleysville: Michael Covel, Justin Eppley, Virginia Hoffman, Mehdi Hooshmand, Abigail Landis, Jennifer Solomon, Hollie Southard, Amanda Zacharias

Hatboro: Loriann Greger, Chun-Te Li

Hatfield: Rebecca Goodolf, Taylor Jordan, Farad Zaman

Horsham: Stefanie Barszowski, Maria Boggi, Jennifer Goodwin, Ryan Marinelli

Huntingdon Valley: Samantha Smyth

Jeffersonville: Morgan Kerper, Justin Mitchell

Jenkintown: Kelli Dietrich, Sunghee Lee

King of Prussia: Hayme Mikael Morelos

Lansdale: Rabbil Ahmed, Rebecca Booz, Jarrett Faulk, Rachael Grallnick, Teresa Gruber, Mis Kulsum, Ashley Lepera, Jennifer Lieu, Lee Miletich, Doreen Panico, Gregory Regan, Gabrielle Scotti, Ashley Sheely

Limerick: Alexandra Barnes, Lindsey Ridenour

Malvern: Jacob Robertson

Mullica Hill, N.J.: Donna Sulvetta-Student

Norristown: Samantha Barnaik, Mattie Hargrove, Heidi Hunsberger, Joseph Kent, Diahann McIntyre, Caroline Moman, Tarah Organtini, Joanne Ratteree, Sima Seddighi, Eric Shope, Sarina Wang

North Wales: Angelina Barton, Kathleen Cronin, Rebecca Cronin, Robert Pritchard

Oreland: Kelly Maguire, Alexander McDermott, Matthew Will

Pennsburg: Michaela Buckwalter, Autumn Detweiler

Perkasie: Sandra Deiley

Philadelphia: Jillian Rogers, Sheena Santos, Max Woessner

Phoenixville: Brittany Fuller, Kemarie Kurtz, Jessica Loughery, Philip Zhu

Plymouth Meeting: Scott Lukens

Pottstown: Molly Adams, Hector Astacio, Megan Bealer, Michael Carbo, Nick Centofanti, Kristyn Fetterman, Brandi Haas, Tory Hudgins, Leif Hums, Deborah Jackson, Bridget McLaughlin, Christina Miles, Kelly Moorman, Meghan Oberholtzer, Emily Staab

Roslyn: Amy Tassone

Royersford: Kelley Burris, Michele Taluc-Chance, Aadil Esmail, Gabrielle Fisher, Joanne McDowell-Henderson, Tammy Moyer, Abigail Rutkowski

Sanatoga: Tyler Musser

Schwenksville: Erin Duvinski, Elizabeth James, Jena Polvino, Melissa Rufe, Drew Smyth, Tara Veve, Kathryn Warren

Sellersville: Donna Gastner

Souderton: Myles Menardi, Carly Plawa, Dennis Stone

Spring City:

Stowe: Victor Hall

Telford: Jessica Minguez, Keara Snyder

Warrington: Matthew Shetzline

Willow Grove: Chelsea Baranowski, Dana Fornicola, Perry Jones, Margaret Thompson, Randy Willis

Worcester: Michael Gawbill

Wyncote: Tatianna Devaughn

Zieglerville: James Cox

Gangster Vegan Organics In Jeffersonville Aims To Change Lives With Raw, Organic Food

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST NORRITON TOWNSHIP, PA – Gangster vegan?

Like “jumbo shrimp”, the two words are contradictory and seemingly incompatible,

After all, vegans are peace-loving, sandal-wearing hippie types, and gangsters are hoodlums who are prone to violence, so the two breeds have no business ever hooking up in any sensible world.

Welcome to Vince DePaul’s world.

The Norristown native admitted he set out to bedevil the traditional vegan stereotype by naming his specialty raw food market in Jeffersonville Gangster Vegan Organics. But playing around with incongruities is only a small part of DePaul’s story.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20141117/gangster-vegan-organics-in-jeffersonville-aims-to-change-lives-with-raw-organic-food

Green Lane Park Hosts “Holiday Craft Double-Feature” On Sunday, November 16, 2014

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Green Lane, PA – Montgomery County’s Green Lane Park will host two holiday craft programs on Sunday November 16, 2014 at 10:00am and 1:00pm.

At 10:00am join the staff for a “Pine Cone Wreath” workshop. Wreaths will be pre-made by the staff,
but participants can create their own masterpiece by decorating with local nuts, pods, and seeds.

At 1:00pm join the staff for a “Holiday Centerpiece” workshop. Make a beautiful centerpiece for the
holiday table using local cones, nuts, and pods.

Both workshops are suitable for ages 12 to adult. There is an $8.00 materials fee per person per
workshop. If possible, please bring a hot-glue gun. If not, there are several loaners to borrow.
Preregistration is required. Please call 215-234-4528 to preregister. Participants are welcome to sign
up for one or both workshops.

For information, please contact Kevin Crilley, Environmental Educator, Region II, Montgomery County Department of Assets and Infrastructure, Division of Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites, at 215-234-4528 or via email atkcrilley@montcopa.org.

Green Lane Park is located at 2144 Snyder Road in Green Lane, PA 18054. Visit Green Lane Park
online at http://www.montcopa.org/greenlanepark.

Hazleton PA and Pottstown PA By The Numbers

Reading the City of Hazleton’s 2015 Proposed Budget got me thinking about spending and waste.  These two towns are a good comparison because of population, ethnic diversity, demographics and even physical size.  Pottstown’s budget is more than 4 times are large as Hazleton’s, so here are some numbers to ponder courtesy of http://www.CityData.com:

 

Population:

Hazleton (2012) 25,224

Pottstown (2012) 22,480

 

Races:

Hazleton -

  • White alone – 14,580 (57.9%)
  • Hispanic – 9,717 (38.6%)
  • Black alone – 422 (1.7%)

Pottstown -

  • White alone – 15,377 (68.7%)
  • Black alone – 4,147 (18.5%)
  • Hispanic – 1,785 (8.0%)

 

Physical size (land area):

Hazleton is 5.97 square miles

Pottstown is 4.83 square miles

 

Crime rate – U.S. average = 296.6:

Hazleton (2012) 306.3

Pottstown (2012) 434

 

Police Department size:

Hazleton – 38 officers, hiring 10 new police officers built in the $9.3 million proposed budget (they think they have a crime problem).

Pottstown -46 officers, (they don’t think they have a crime problem)

 

Unemployment:

Hazleton – July 2013, 12.8%

Pottstown – July 2013, 6.7%

 

Population density:

Hazleton – 4,222 people per square mile

Pottstown – 4,655 people per square mile

 

Municipal Budget:

Hazleton – $9.3 million (2015 Proposed budget)

Pottstown – $44.8 million (2015 Proposed budget)

 

Cost of living index:

Hazleton – 95.3 (near average, U.S. average is 100)

Pottstown – 103.7 (near average, U.S. average is 100)

 

Average home value:

Hazleton – $93,389 (2012)

Pottstown – $134,796 (2012)

 

Average rent:

Hazleton – Median gross rent in 2012: $631

Pottstown – Median gross rent in 2012: $762

 

Estimated median household income:

Hazleton – $30,492 (2012)

Pottstown – $41,864 (2012)

 

Registered sex offenders:

Hazleton – there were 10 registered sex offenders living in Hazleton, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014

Pottstown – there were 49 registered sex offenders living in Pottstown, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014

Lansdale Municipal Building Topped Off, Soft Cost Contracts Coming Before Council

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

LANSDALE, PA – The steel frame of Lansdale’s future police station and municipal building has now been topped off, and several contracts for internal systems, servers and furniture could be awarded later this month.

Those soft costs total roughly $400,000 and will let contractors move ahead with interior fittings even if winter weather arrives soon, according to borough Director of Community Development John Ernst.

“Over the next couple of weeks, the entire building will be enclosed with glass, so they can work inside as inclement weather starts to come up on us,” Ernst said.

During his monthly update on the building’s construction, Ernst showed photos of the exterior glass and brick walls now surrounding much of the newly constructed police wing of the building, located to the northwest of the brick former borough hall walls that are now being restored.

Read more: http://www.thereporteronline.com/general-news/20141107/lansdale-municipal-building-topped-off-soft-cost-contracts-coming-before-council

Killings, Shootings, Crashes Mark Violent Weekend In Philadelphia Area

The weekend in the Philadelphia region was marked by a series of violent incidents, including shootings and car crashes that have left at least eight people dead since Friday night.

The deaths include two fatal shootings in Camden and three in Philadelphia, as well as two deadly traffic accidents in South Jersey and one in Bensalem.

Other violent incidents also added to the weekend mayhem, including the shooting of a Temple University student, two double shootings and a robber who threatened to give his victim AIDS.

In Camden, authorities are investigating two deadly shootings that occurred hours apart Sunday morning.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Killings_shootings_crashes_mark_violent_weekend_in_Philadelphia_area.html#0hUiZaOfGhfvm0Iv.99

Voter Turnout Around 45 Percent, About Average For Governor’s Race, Officials Say

Although nice weather and busy poll stations may have given the impression of above-average voter turnout Tuesday, election officials in Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties indicated it was anything but.

“It was a little lower than it was four years ago,” said Deborah Olivieri, director of the Berks County Office of Voter Services.

“But it’s better than 17 percent,” she said, referring to the anemic voter-turnout in the spring Primary Election.

According to figures posted on their respective websites, voter turnout ranged between a high of 48.2 percent in Montgomery County, where 262,738 votes were cast, to a low of 41 percent in Berks County, where 100,731 votes were case.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20141106/voter-turnout-around-45-percent-about-average-for-governors-race-officials-say

MCCC To Host ‘Color Blast’ Exhibit In Pottstown

Pottstown, PA— Montgomery County Community College continues its 2014-2015 fine arts season with the exhibit “Color Blast,” which opens on Monday, Nov. 3, at the Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown. A “Meet the Artists” reception is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibit, which continues through Dec. 12, and the reception are free and open to the community.

“Color Blast” features the vibrant artwork of three artists, who are brought together through this exhibit and their shared enthusiasm for color:  Valley of Peace Burke of Long Island, New York; Lois Schlachter of Spring Mount, Pennsylvania; and Patricia Wilson-Schmid of Lederach, Pennsylvania.

While color unites the exhibit, each artist has her own distinct style and personality, as reflected in the art.

Working as both an artist and a registered cardiac surgery intensive care nurse, Valley of Peace Burke reinterprets the visual elements of the medical world into an artistic expression that explores the interwoven relationship between body and spirit. She believes and portrays the body and mind as “sacred and whole.”

“Color is healing. It carries life and beauty into the world. I have spent most of my life near the sea and am influenced by the elements of nature. These elements are also internal, as the human body is a microcosm of the earth,” she says.

This multi-faceted artist has studied oil painting under Judy Dupic in France and has traveled and painted throughout England, Ireland, Italy, Mongolia and Spain. In addition to her nursing degree, she also is a master of oriental medicine and acupuncture physician. Her great-grandfather, Joseph A. Burke, was composer well-known to the Philadelphia area during the 1920s-40s, and his songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, among others. Valley is pleased to be exhibiting in the Philadelphia area where much of her family resides.

As an abstract artist, Lois Schlachter is in love “with the line, handsome vibrant color and a comfortable composition” and describes her work as simply “fun.” Working directly from her hand to the canvas, she lets her imagination direct her as playful and colorful images emerge.

“I feel that acrylic paint gives me the brilliant and intense color that I love,” she says. “I use color to navigate the viewer’s eye across the canvas providing an avenue to discover one fun spot after another.”

Schlachter is a graduate of The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and The University of the Arts, formerly Philadelphia College of Art.  She will be exhibiting approximately 40 acrylic works on canvas in a variety of sizes, all of which were created in the past 15 years.

For artist Patricia Wilson-Schmid, her style spans the range from representational to abstract, based upon her feelings when she views and interprets her subjects. Like her co-exhibitors, color profoundly impacts her work.

“As I paint from my emotions, the act of painting is who I am,” she says in her artist’s statement. “It is a line, a color, a shape, or an effect of light that inspires me. My spirit than directs me through the painting. Time embellishes my approach. In the end the paintings and I have traveled through much effort and feeling. Color is the vehicle by which I express my feelings. It is a part of who I am.”

Wilson-Schmid enjoys working in oil, watercolor, acrylic and pastels and has been painting since 1962. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and has taken post-graduate courses at Temple University, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Samuel S. Fleisher Art Institute and Montgomery County Community College. She has exhibited her work at various galleries and shows throughout the tri-state area, as well as in juried international online exhibitions hosted by Upstream People Gallery.

The show is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information about the exhibit or the gallery, contact MCCC Galleries Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or hcairns@mc3.edu.

For the more information about upcoming exhibits and activities, like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DestinationArts, and visit our website at http://www.mc3.edu/arts/fine-arts.

Help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of the Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535.

MCCC Medical Billing And Coding Class Opens Door To Rewarding Career‏

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Blue Bell, Pa.— Holly Gately, Audubon, found a new career—one that she’s “excited” about—in the growing field of medical billing and coding thanks to Montgomery County Community College.

“I was a 30-something year old mother whose children were all in school for the first time. I had no career or post-secondary education,” shared Gately, who, like many adult students, was nervous about going back to school.

“I talked about it with my family and decided to try this new career. I registered for class and got my books. My life was changed. This was a path I could get excited about,” she said.

MCCC’s Medical Billing and Coding course—funded in part by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and offered through the Commonwealth’s JobTrakPA program—is designed for those who want to begin medical billing and coding careers or prepare for certification examinations. The course teaches students the principles of medical coding using the health industry coding manuals of CPT, ICD-9 and ICD-10 and HCPCS.

“It wasn’t always easy to get all the homework and studying done with family [obligations], but I thrived. I excelled in the course and was given the opportunity to extern for a billing company,” said Gately, who completed the course among the top in her class.

Gately went on to pass the rigorous Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam on her first try, and she is currently employed in a billing and coding position with an ophthalmology practice.

“I am so glad that I decided to take a chance on a new path. I have a new career, self confidence, amazing people that I now call friends, and, most of all, I have pride in knowing that I accomplished something big and wonderful,” she said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook cites that careers in medical records and health information technology are expected to grow by 22 percent through 2022—11 percent higher than the average occupation growth rate.

Registration is going on now for the next Medical Building and Coding cohort at MCCC. The class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (with a one hour break for lunch) starting Dec. 2 and running through Feb. 17 at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Tuition is $1,350.

For more information about JobTrakPA programs at Montgomery County Community College, visit http://www.mc3.edu/workforcedevelopment/jobtrak, call the JobTrakPA hotline at 215-461-1468 or email jobtrakpa@mc3.edu.