Greater Norristown Police Athletic League International Festival Slated For Sept. 4

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Greater Norristown Police Athletic League’s (GNPAL) 14th Annual International Festival, “A Wine and Food Extravaganza” will be held at the Plymouth Country Club Thursday, Sept. 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event, benefiting GNPAL programs, will feature live entertainment, a silent auction/raffle and an extensive menu featuring some of the area’s top culinary talents.

“The international food and wine festival is all about supporting our organization and the work we do in the community,” said GNPAL Executive Director Brett Wells.

“It’s our only big fundraiser of the year. We raise about 20 percent of our annual budget in just this one event,” Wells explained.

More than 100 local business have signed on as sponsors and 25 restaurants and vendors will be on hand to serve an estimated 1,000 to 1,300 guests.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140901/greater-norristown-police-athletic-league-international-festival-slated-for-sept-4

Montgomery County Commissioners Happy With Progress Of Norristown’s Lafayette Street Extension

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Montgomery County commissioners took a tour Thursday to see the progress of what county officials are calling “the largest local infrastructure project in Pennsylvania” and found they were pleased with it.

Leading the tour was Leo Bagely, a transportation planner at the Montgomery County Planning Commission, who has helped to oversee the first phase of the construction project.

“We’ve been at this for a long time,” said Bagely. “What this is going to look like, with the landscaping we’re doing, is we’re going to change the look of how people come out of Norristown.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140731/montgomery-county-commissioners-happy-with-progress-of-norristowns-lafayette-street-extension

Treetop Adventure Debuts At Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA— Has it been a while since you’ve swung through the trees like Tarzan?

Do you harbor a burning hunger to break free from your civilized cage and bond with nature in a fundamental way, even though your primal survival skills are a little rusty?

Designed for thrill-seekers of all ages, Treetop Adventure Park Philadelphia at Elmwood Park Zoo — created by Treetop Concept LLC — puts kids and adults through their aerial paces with multiple obstacle courses that are marked by challenging games and zip lines to satisfy the average athletic extremist.

For those not familiar with the exploit, a zip line is formed by a pulley suspended way up in the air on a cable, with the suspended adventure-seeker holding onto or being attached to a free-moving pulley by a harness.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140718/treetop-adventure-debuts-at-elmwood-park-zoo-norristown

Meter Tamperer Generates Probation For Defrauding PECO Of $346K

NORRISTOWN, PA — A Philadelphia man who tampered with utility meters to reduce some account holders’ monthly PECO electrical bills, to the tune of nearly $350,000, has generated some court supervision in connection with the five-county theft scheme.

Marcelino Cuadra Jr., 47, of Aramingo Avenue, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to seven years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to charges of corrupt organizations, theft of services and conspiracy to commit theft of services in connection with the meter tampering incidents that occurred in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties between December 2009 and October 2012.

Judge Garrett D. Page also ordered Cuadra to complete 60 hours of community service as a condition of the sentence. Cuadra must pay $346,750 in restitution to PECO, the judge said.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140714/meter-tamperer-generates-probation-for-defrauding-peco-of-346k

Cali, 18-Year-Old Jaguar At Elmwood Park Zoo In Norristown, Has Died

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Elmwood Park Zoo announced the passing of Cali (pronounced “kah-lee”), an 18-year-old female jaguar, on Wednesday. She had been receiving chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with lymphoma in the fall of 2013. Zoo staff witnessed a substantial decline in Cali’s condition and made the decision to euthanize her Wednesday morning.

The jaguar, named after the Hindu Goddess Kali and whose name means “the black one,” was unlike typical spotted jaguars. Cali’s unique black coat was caused by melanism, a common condition among felines that is caused by an excess of the black pigment, melanin.

Cali was born at the Marion Nature Park in Ocala, Fla. on Sept. 19, 1995. She arrived at the Elmwood Park Zoo on Jan. 1, 1996. Cali was paired with Anasazi, Elmwood Park Zoo’s 2-year-old spotted male jaguar.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/lifestyle/20140710/cali-18-year-old-jaguar-at-elmwood-park-zoo-in-norristown-has-died

Temple University Student Study: Norristown Needs A Food Policy Council, Community Gardens

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN — An urban planning class presented the results of a study of food availability in Norristown to council Tuesday that included targeted recommendations.

Jennifer Krouchick, a Temple University student in the urban planning studio class taught by Professor Deborah Howe, said that Norristown is a car-dependent municipality for large food shopping but had also notched a 74 percent score in “walkability.”

Of Norristown’s 34,324 residents, 19.3 live below the poverty line, according to recent demographics. In addition, 2,484 of Norristown’s 13,058 households receive federal food assistance through SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

A resident group helped the students shape the food study during a task force meeting in January, Krouchick said. A community workshop was held in April allowing residents to explain what food issues were important to them.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140701/temple-university-student-study-norristown-needs-a-food-policy-council-community-gardens

Karabots Foundation Gives $7.5 Million Gift To Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

NORRISTOWN — A $7.5 million gift from the Karabots Foundation and Nicholas and Athena Karabots to Einstein Healthcare Network (EHN) was delivered Wednesday afternoon during a gala celebration under a white tent erected on Powell Street next to the newly renamed Nicholas and Athena Karabots Medical Building.

More than 150 physicians, nurses and top managers from EHN and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery (EMCM) came to celebrate the gift that benefits three buildings in the healthcare system.

“The first phase was cosmetic improvements to the common areas of the building including new carpet, paint, new lighting and ceiling tiles,” said Rich Montalbano, the project executive at Einstein Healthcare Network. “That was completed this winter. The second and third phases will occur over the next two years and include replacing the outdated central air conditioning systems and replacing the two elevators.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140521/karabots-foundation-gives-75-million-gift-to-einstein-medical-center-montgomery

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Contractor Gets $1.6M, Apology From Montgomery County DA’s Office

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle claims that District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman brought unfounded theft charges against a Radnor building contractor at the behest of a church that counts prominent county officials among its members.

As part of the agreement, confirmed by the contractor’s lawyers Tuesday, Ferman apologized to Walter Logan, a man whose alleged crimes she once described as “particularly despicable” and “really very low.”

Those words, delivered to a TV news crew, came hours after her office charged Logan in 2009 with bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown after a contract dispute.

In a statement to Logan as part of their agreement, and released Tuesday by his attorneys, Ferman struck a different tone.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140426_Contractor_gets__1_6M__apology_from_Montco_DA_s_office.html#QRERrQv5H04R55Bk.99

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Widespread Flooding Submerges Cars, Causes Major Commute Problems

The logo of the United States National Weather...

The logo of the United States National Weather Service. The source page states that is not an “official” version but it looks very close to the version used on NWS’s website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rain that pounded the Philadelphia region last night and into this morning left widespread flooding that stranded motorists and caused the shutdown of major routes from the western suburbs to South Jersey.

The National Weather Service said around 5 inches fell in most parts of the area, with some places seeing a bit more, such as the 6.56 inches recorded in Spring City, Chester County.

A weather service flood warning is in effect until 12:45 p.m. Authorities are warning that the flood situation is dangerous in many areas as motorists continued to underestimate the severity. Rescue crews were busy throughout the night rescuing stranded drivers.

Even though the flooding had started to recede, crews were still busy rescuing people this morning.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Widespread_flooding_submerges_cars_causes_major_commute_problems.html#mqwogWXh5swhAXoc.99

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Norristown Neighborhood Grocery Gets A Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The little corner grocery store is making a comeback in Norristown.

The Spanish word “mina” means “mine” in English, and Mina Mart owner Ivonne Patino is hoping her new venture proves to be the proverbial gold mine that confirms her backers’ faith in her business.

Opened in February in the former La Mina bar at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, the bright, clean store/restaurant with all the grocery essentials, from toilet paper to fresh bananas, as well as a growing menu, got a financial boost of $19,650 from the U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday.

The loan that allowed Mina Mart to open its doors is the latest successful endeavor of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center, a partnership of the Municipality of Norristown and The Enterprise Center Capital Corp. of Philadelphia.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140410/norristown-neighborhood-grocery-gets-a-boost

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Former Amity Cop Drops Attempt To Have Shoplifting Charges Dismissed

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — A former Berks County police officer accused of shoplifting more than $300 in groceries from a West Pottsgrove store has withdrawn his request for a judicial review and dismissal of the charges.

“At this stage, it is being withdrawn without prejudice,” Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill said Tuesday, referring to the previous request for dismissal made by former Amity Township Police Officer Glenn James Oesterling, who faces charges of retail theft and receiving stolen property in connection with alleged shoplifting incidents at the Upland Square Giant store in June 2013.

In a habeas corpus petition filed late last year, defense lawyer Adam Sager, on behalf of Oesterling, asked a judge to dismiss the charges and to re-examine the previous decision by a district court judge, who found prosecutors presented sufficient evidence, or “a prima facie case,” at a preliminary hearing to move the case to trial. Judge O’Neill was slated to hold a hearing on that request on Tuesday but Oesterling, a 12-year veteran corporal of the police force who was fired by Amity Township supervisors last year, left the courthouse without a resolution to his case.

“After a discussion with my client, while we think that we have very good defenses, we do concede that the court would probably find that there was a prima facie case established by the commonwealth if we went through with the habeas corpus petition. Therefore, we voluntarily, and without prejudice, withdrew the habeas petition,” Sager explained.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140408/former-amity-cop-drops-attempt-to-have-shoplifting-charges-dismissed

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Montco Commissioners Sponsor Paper Shredding Event In Collegeville

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Norristown, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners and the Waste System
Authority of Eastern Montgomery County in conjunction with Shred One Security Corp. are
sponsoring a community paper shredding event on Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at
Perkiomen Valley Middle School East, 100 Kagey Road (entrance on Campus Drive) in Collegeville.

Future shredding events are scheduled for Saturday, June 21 at Copper Beach Elementary School in
Glenside, and on Saturday, October 18 at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore.

Montgomery County residents who have paper and documents that should be shredded are
encouraged to take advantage of this free event. No businesses are permitted. Residents are urged to
make sure that the materials they present for shredding do not include plastic, cardboard, or metal.
However, there is no need to remove staples, paper clips, hanging folders, etc.

“Shredding of documents has become important in our lives today for several reasons, not the least of
which is the threat of identity theft,” said Josh Shapiro, chairman of the Montgomery County
Commissioners. “We believe this service is useful, necessary, and will be appreciated by our residents,
and we are very grateful to Shred One and the Waste Authority for their assistance.”

Shred One regularly participates in community shredding events. The company’s mobile trucks
perform all of the paper shredding as you watch. All shredded paper is recycled by Shred One and the
company is currently recycling paper at a rate that saves over 70,000 trees annually.

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Norristown Residents Ask Commissioners How To Revitalize The Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — Conversation at the commissioners “conversations” meeting at Norristown Municipal Hall largely focused on bringing Norristown back to its glory days.

Peggy Dellisant, a Norristown resident who used to own Main Changes Clothing, said the town needs foot traffic on Main Street to make a comeback.

“I just retired. I watched Main Street die a slow death,” she said.

Dellisant said that the abandoned prison on Airy Street is beautifully made, and turning it into something modern would help to bring the foot traffic into Norristown that the businesses need.

“The prison on Main and Airy is coming apart,” she said. “It really would be a shame to see that building just deteriorate. This town really needs a lot of help.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140227/norristown-residents-ask-commissioners-how-to-revitalize-the-area

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Failed Movie Studio In Montco Cost Taxpayers Millions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The project to transform an old Norristown shopping center into a movie studio was supposed to bring the glitz and fortune of Hollywood to the sagging seat of Montgomery County.

Build it and filmmakers will come. Build it and jobs will come and lift Norristown to prosperity.

That dream fizzled like a box-office bomb last May, when the project’s investor filed for foreclosure against the developer.

The forlorn shopping center, Logan Square, sits half-empty, its fate likely to be announced in the coming weeks. The county is grappling with how to recoup the $25 million it sank into the project — including $10 million in federal funds it must repay — and its lawyers are preparing a lawsuit against the developer. And prosecutors are scrutinizing the deal to see if more than bad luck and poor judgment were to blame.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140218/failed-movie-studio-in-montco-cost-taxpayers-millions

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Senior Housing Plan Presented In Norristown For Vacant Montgomery Hospital Building

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The consensus of public opinion Tuesday night about a proposal to build 100 independent-living apartments for seniors and a senior support building at the former Montgomery Hospital site on Powell Street was largely positive.

More than 25 Norristown residents heard the first public presentation of the plans by the Elon Group of Fort Washington at the Montgomery County Human Services Center from Francis Vargas, vice president of the Elon Group, and several executives from Einstein Healthcare Network (EHN), which owns the 365,000-square-foot, seven-story building and 3.7-acre parcel.

“The proposal is not much different from last year as far as the senior housing,” said Norristown Councilwoman Linda Christian. “Last year the proposal was for the overall, same amount of units that was denied by the funders.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140213/senior-housing-plan-presented-in-norristown-for-vacant-montgomery-hospital-building

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Montgomery County Officials Declare County A Natural Disaster Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — Montgomery County officials issued a disaster declaration Wednesday in the wake of Tuesday night’s ice storm that intensified Wednesday morning. By 9:30 p.m., Governor Corbett signed a disaster emergency proclamation. Corbett explained through his Twitter account that the proclamation will assist state and local authorities in responding to the winter storm.

The county’s disaster declaration means that if needed, the county can receive funds from the federal government and the state government. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said the declaration of a disaster also allows for the county to bypass the RFP process for items, like blankets, to give to shelters. He said the disaster declaration does not allow the county to purchase more road salt.

He said the county roads are cleared for the most part and crews are on standby to salt the roads as melting snow and ice freezes into the night.

According to Montgomery County Director of Communications Frank Custer, between 4 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday there were 340 electrical fires reported throughout the county, 1,207 road obstructions and 164 vehicle accidents.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/montgomery-county-officials-declare-county-a-natural-disaster-area

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PECO: Montgomery County Ice Storm Second Worst For Power Outages Since Hurricane Sandy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — A PECO spokesperson said they are looking into a multiple day restoration process for 67 percent of customers without power in Montgomery County.

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, 181,902 of the 302,600 PECO customers in Montgomery County are without power—not all Montgomery County residents are PECO customers— and crews are in the area trying to turn the lights back on.

“We’re looking at the second worst storm for power outages since Hurricane Sandy,” PECO Spokesperson Cathy Engel Mendez said on Wednesday.

Mendez said the most common cause of the outages have to do with tree limbs coming down on power lines.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/peco-montgomery-county-ice-storm-second-worst-for-power-outages-since-hurricane-sandy

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Montgomery County Commissioners Schedule 2nd Annual “Conversations” Caravan

Norristown, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners have scheduled a series of six “Conversations with Your Commissioners” throughout Montgomery County during February.

Last year the inaugural series of “Conversations” was extremely well-attended and gave residents of the county the opportunity to discuss a wide range of subjects with the commissioners.

The 2014 series of conversations will be held in Lower Pottsgrove, Abington, Ambler, Bryn Mawr, East Greenville and Norristown.

“Last year’s “Conversations” were very successful and gave the commissioners a real sense of what issues were on people’s minds,” said Commissioner Chair Josh Shapiro.  “These sessions are just another way we use to keep residents informed about what we are doing.  We live stream our meetings on line and use social media a great deal to inform everyone about what is going on in the county, but the “Conversations” provide a true, personal level of contact the others do not.”

Shapiro said the commissioners plan to use the sessions to review what the county has done during the first two years of the administration and outline what plans are in store for the final two years.

The schedule is:

Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m.

Lower Pottsgrove Township Building

3199 Buchert Road

Pottstown, PA

Saturday, February 8 at 10 a.m.

Abington Township Building

1176 Old York Road

Abington, PA

Monday, February 10 at 7 p.m.

Ambler Borough Hall

122 East Butler Avenue

Ambler, PA

Saturday, February 15 at 10 a.m.

Ludington Library

5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue

Bryn Mawr, PA

Monday, February 24 at 7 p.m.

The Grand Theater

252 Main Street

East Greenville, PA

Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m.

Norristown Municipal Building

235 East Airy Street

Norristown, PA

For more information please call the Commissioners’ office at 610-278-3062.

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Philadelphia ‘Swiss Cheese’ Indecent Exposer Arrested At His Norristown Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The alleged “Swiss cheese pervert,” Christopher Pagano, 41, of Norristown, was arrested Thursday morning as part of a joint investigation between Philadelphia and Norristown police, according to NBC10.

Pagano is suspected of being the “Swiss cheese pervert,” infamous throughout the area for his penchant for propositioning women to perform lewd acts on him using Swiss cheese.

According to NBC10, the suspect was described as a heavy-set male between the ages of 40 and 50 with a goatee. Police also said he was driving a newer model silver sedan but has also been spotted in a black colored sedan.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140116/philadelphia-swiss-cheese-indecent-exposer-arrested-at-his-norristown-home

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Montgomery County Declares Code Blue Due To Cold

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA – Color Montgomery County blue once again. Code blue, that is.

County commissioners heeded the advice of the Department of Public Safety and have declared a Code Blue Weather Emergency that will run until 9 a.m. on Monday.

A Code Blue Weather Emergency is when there is “extreme, life-threatening weather, defined as a windchill factor of 20 degrees or below,” the county’s website says.

The declaration triggers expanded social services for people, such as homeless adults and families, who are more vulnerable to the frigid weather.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140102_Montgomery_County_declares_Code_blue_due_to_cold.html#8oUEGxXZ6PUebMrR.99