LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — Not that she needed a reminder that all politics are local, but Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards still remembers one of the first calls she got on the historic night she and Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro made history by being the first Democrats to take the majority in 100 years.
“I’ll never forget one of the first calls I got on election night,” she said March 24 as she, Shapiro and Commissioner Bruce Castor conducted the last of their roundtable meetings around the county, this one at the Lower Pottsgrove Township Building.
“I said ‘hello’ and the voice on the other end said ‘so when is the new Keim Street Bridge going to be finished?’”
The answer, she gave Monday, is that the project is “moving forward.”
SOUTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, PA— The Owen J. Roberts School Board unanimously approved a real estate tax appeal settlement with Coventry Retail, LP, that lowers the assessed value of the Coventry Mall from $98 million in 2012 to $23.2 million in 2014.
The reassessment will equate to a loss of about $2 million a year in property tax revenues to the district.
In addition to the revenue loss, the agreement is retroactive to 2012, so the district will have to repay mall owners $1,619,799 of taxes paid in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In accordance with the agreement, $650,000 of that will be paid in cash within 60 days, according to attorney David L. Allebach Jr., who represented the board on this matter. The remaining funds will be credited to the mall against future taxes,
District officials had anticipated that cost and have reserved the full $1.6 million, according to district Chief Financial Officer Jaclin Krumrine. Therefore, the district has the $650,000 on hand to pay back the mall owner. The remaining nearly $1 million will help balance the 2014-15 budget to make up for the tax credit the mall will receive during that fiscal year.
You will walk with a Sheppard Guide; following the star of Bethlehem and visit seven scenes that tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Outside scenes so please dress accordingly. Our gift to your family – no charge. Parking is free and the event is handicapped accessible. Following the tour there will be refreshments, music and children’s crafts in the Family Life Center.
Directions: Rt. 724 WEST from Coventry Mall to LEFT @ Light (Laurelwood Rd.) to Church on LEFT● Route 422 to SOUTH Rt. 100; ● OR ● Route 23 to NORTH Rt. 100; then turn WEST at Cedarville Rd. light ½ mile to Church on right.
Jared Leimeister, 33, of North Coventry,had been charged with multiple felony counts of aggravated assault involving a child. According to the police report, he was accused of inappropriate contact with an 8-year-old girl, who spent time with Leimeister between October 2012 and February 2013.
Leimeister had also previously been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person less than 13-years-old.
He was accused of making the victim sleep in his bed or in a cardboard box when she misbehaved while she was at his apartment in the 800 block of East Schuylkill Road, police said.
An attorney for the bank was the lone bidder in the auction of the property.
The mall has remained open throughout the process and will continue normal operations, according to William Ritterling, general manager of Coventry Mall.
The auction, which lasted less than 15 minutes, attracted about 10 onlookers and was conducted outside the mall in front of the empty Sears store.
Sarah Roller, 36, from Collegeville, reported she saw a man in his vehicle taking video of “police and her activity” while she was helping search for a suspect in a retail theft from Boscov’s, police said.
Roller is accused of approaching the photographer, Tom Kelly III, and attempted to take his camera “by force.” Kelly is a former Mercury staff photographer and frequently does work as a free-lancer for The Mercury and its related websites.
“During the struggle over the camera, the victim was struck in the face,” the report said. “He sustained an injury to his eye and is also being treated for neck and shoulder pain.”
According to the notice, U.S. Bank National Association sought and received approval of the sale in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The property will be sold to the highest bidder at auction on Sept. 19.
The notice states that the plaintiff, U.S. Bank National Association, is owed $62,406,171.09 plus “continuing interests and costs” as of June 26.
NORTH COVENTRY — Township supervisors have petitioned Chester County Court for permission to build a new police and public works building on land originally deeded as open space.
A hearing has been scheduled on Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m. at the Chester County Justice Center to determine whether the township can use 12 acres of a 22-acre tract located along Route 100, just south of Town Square Plaza for a municipal services building.
Township officials believe the land is well-suited for both the police department and the road crew because of its proximity to Route 100, and because it is situated near the township’s population center. What’s more, since it is already in the township’s possession, using that land saves taxpayers the cost of purchasing property for a much needed municipal building.
However, at least one township resident has come out staunchly against constructing a municipal facility on land set aside as open space.
Editor’s note: This is a bad week for role models with a local police officer charged with retail theft and a teacher charged with molesting a child. Very upsetting!
Jared P. Leimeister, of North Coventry, posted bail and was released from the Chester County Prison on Monday.
The 33-year-old teacher was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old after police spoke with an 8-year-old girl who spent time with Leimeister between October 2012 and February 2013.
Leimeister is listed as an eighth-grade science teacher, according to the school district’s website.
After a $1.5 million investment for safety-related improvements, crashes along Route 100 in northern Chester County were reduced by 30 percent between 2007 and 2011, an analysis by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission found.
Improvements along the 8-mile stretch of road from the Pottstown area to Font Road in Upper Uwchlan included surface treatment, tree management to help the roads dry faster, additional signage and speed enforcement.
The commission examined the road after 10 fatal crashes between 2003 and 2006 and recommended several short-term safety improvements. Since the improvements have been implemented, the number of fatal crashes dropped to three from 2007 to 2011, and none were reported in 2012, according to Regina Moore, a transportation engineer with the commission.
“A lot of the credit goes to (the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation), since they were the implementors of the safety improvements, which helped to reduce crashes along the corridor,” said Moore. “We couldn’t have reached this point if it weren’t for the stakeholders (state legislators and municipalities) caring to see that something got done to improve safety on (Route) 100 and being supportive of working with us in helping to develop recommendations.”
June 24th through August 30th
Fernbrook Access Park in North Coventry
A Full Day School-Age Care Program
For Ages 6 to 12 - $155.00/week
Subsidized families - call your case manager
YWCA Phone – (610) 323-1888, Renee Spaide, Child Care Director
On May 18th– 19th Methodists around the world will unite again for “Change The World” weekend, as an effort to reach out and make a positive difference in their local communities and around the world. In 2012, Change The World was observed by more than 1500 locations.
To that end, on Saturday, May 18th (Rain Date: May 19th), Cedarville United Methodist Church of Pottstown is holding another FREE Fun Fair for local residents. Last year we enjoyed welcoming many new faces to explore the grounds of our facility and share some good times with many of our friendly members.
We look forward to seeing local families come to enjoy pony rides, a moon bounce, Rainbow the Clown, puppet shows, story time, games, prizes, food and so much more. It is all FREE. This is a gift to your family from ours.
NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP — Officials believe the fire in a Mount Zion Avenue home where a woman was found dead Tuesday morning was accidental in nature.
Township Fire Marshal Ron Comtois said there was nothing suspicious about the fire, though its cause and origins are not yet being released.
Comtois said the patrolman who came upon the fire around 3:58 a.m. attempted to enter the home but could not and called the fire department.
Responding firefighters discovered a deceased woman, whom officials were not identifying, on the kitchen floor of the home.
Editor’s note: To see the complete list of projects for the Delaware Valley, click on the link below!
Markley Street: Work began in February in Norristown on the first of two construction contracts to improve Markley Street from Main Street to Johnson Highway in Norristown. The initial $20.8 million project will rebuild and improve 1.1 miles of Markley Street between Elm Street and Johnson Highway, and a half-mile stretch of Johnson Highway between Markley and DeKalb Streets. Work is to end in fall 2016.
Montgomery and Chester
U.S. 422. A $73.3 million project to rebuild 1.6 miles of U.S. 422 from about a mile east of the Armand Hammer Blvd. interchange to the Route 724 interchange in Lower Pottsgrove and North Coventry Townships. Construction started in fall 2012 and is to last five years, involving new bridges and pavement.
POTTSTOWN — Sometimes things just fall into your lap just when you need them.
Just one day after members of the Pottstown School Board and borough council brainstormed about ways they can work together to cut costs and market Pottstown to a broader region, an opportunity to do just that for free was again presenting itself.
During their first joint meeting of the year on Feb. 25, members of both Pottstown boards echoed a common lament, the need to market what Pottstown has to offer to a wider audience, to better coordinate and add to major events and the need for additional funding help from outside sources and the surrounding townships.
On Tuesday, the Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Committee heard about an opportunity being developed over the last year with the help of the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation to do many of those things at a ridiculously low cost.
WEST CHESTER — Two weeks after the grisly discovery of a body inside a burning North Coventry apartment, authorities announced an arrest in the murder of 17-year-old Kevin Allen.
Shakeem Carter, 20, of Norristown, was arraigned Wednesday morning after an investigation concluded he was responsible for the brutal stabbing death of the Norristown High School student inside his father’s home at the Hanover Garden Apartments, officials said.
Allen’s body was discovered on Feb. 12 after a neighbor dialed 911 to report a “terrible struggle,” according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, who announced Carter’s arrest at a Wednesday morning new conference.
Officers from the North Coventry Police Department were the first to enter the apartment, but they had to retreat when they discovered the apartment was on fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames, but when they returned, they told police there was a body inside.
NORTH COVENTRY — The Chester County Detectives and the North Coventry Police continued Friday investigating the murder of Kevin Allen, 17, of Norristown.
“The investigation is going all out,” Thomas P. Hogan, Chester Country district attorney, said Friday.
An autopsy on Allen’s body was preformed Wednesday night, but the cause of death is not being released, Hogan said.
Allen was found dead at his father’s burning apartment on Tuesday Feb.12, at Hanover Garden Apartments in the 200 block of East Schuylkill Road after a neighbor called the fire department.
SOUTH COVENTRY — Enrollments in the Owen J. Roberts School District are expected to remain flat or even decrease over the next ten years, according to new enrollment projections presented to the board at a recent committee of the whole meeting.
Projections show the overall student population rising slightly through 2016, from the current 5,121 students to 5,240. If the projections prove true, the numbers will begin dropping in 2017, when 5,233 students are expected to be registered, rising and falling in some years, but hitting 5,218 students in 2022.
Those predictions, presented by Director of Pupil Services Holly W. Acosta, are based on a new study by Decision Insite, an enrollment impact firm which looks at kindergarten enrollments, planned residential developments, and student cohorts through each grade level.
The numbers are a far cry from the steady growth the district had been experiencing in the past, with district wide enrollments climbing by over 1,000 students in 10 years, from 4,050 in 2002 to 5,121 in 2012. That’s a reflection of the economy and the dip in the housing market which has put a number of large scale development projects on hold, according to Superintendent Michael Christian.
We’re all familiar with the songs of the Season . . . “Away in the Manger”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” or “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, to name a few, but is Christ’s story alive to your family and a part of your Holiday celebrations?
On December 16th from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., as a gift to the community, we invite you and your family to join us, free of charge, under the blanket of the night sky for a journey back in time. You will walk, outside, with a Shepherd Guide, following the star of Bethlehem and visiting six live, walk-thru, scenes and hear the story of Jesus’ birth, as narrated by your Shepherd Guide.
You will visit the manger–see the live animals; hear how the angels and shepherds joyously spread the word about Jesus’ birth; see the delight of the Wise Men presenting their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; share in the joy of the Christmas Story and complete your journey with some artistic scripture displays from the Bible.
Finally, the Family Life Center will be filled with familiar sounds of the Christmas music we all love and enjoy, complimentary hot chocolate and cookies; free craft activities for the children and an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas with your friends and family.
The Live Nativity will be from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at Cedarville UMC, 1092 Laurelwood Road, Pottstown, PA. This is an outside, walking, event, so please dress accordingly. Please note that this walking tour is made handicapped accessible via the use of golf cart. The event and parking are free. For directions or more information you may go to our website at www.cedarvilleumc.org or call the church office at 610-326-4173.