Criminal Justice, Public Safety Careers Focus Of Biennial Event

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Blue Bell, PAMontgomery County Community College (MCCC) will host its 15th Biennial Criminal Justice and Public Safety Career Day on Wednesday, April 23, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The event is free of charge and is open to the public, including students from other institutions. For information, contact MCCC Director of Criminal Justice Studies and Fire Science and Emergency Management & Planning Benn Prybutok at 215-641-6428 or bprybuto@mc3.edu .

The event begins with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m., which will include remarks by Montgomery County and MCCC officials and presentation of awards. Then, starting at 10 a.m. participants will have the opportunity to meet with top law enforcement, criminal justice and public safety agencies and recruiters in order to become better acquainted with opportunities in these fields.

More than 50 exhibitors will be in attendance, including municipal police departments, state and federal law enforcement and investigative agencies, private security companies, public safety agencies, four-year baccalaureate programs and area law schools.

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Allentown Mayor Announces Plans To Improve Poorest Neighborhoods

English: City of Allentown

English: City of Allentown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski announced an initiative today to make health and safety improvements in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

The city has committed $2.5 million for such Center City improvements and has asked the business community to match or exceed that amount in donations.

Working with the Allentown School District, the city plans to focus on blight remediation, housing redevelopment, home ownership and streetscaping projects.

“I believe Allentown will become a beacon of hope and an economic model for redevelopment (that) can be replicated across the state and across the country,” Pawlowski said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/03/allentown_mayor_announces_plan.html

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Legislator Wants Action On Mine Fires

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OLYPHANT, PA — Coal heated up the Lackawanna and Wyoming valleys’ job market decades ago, and today it’s still making the region hot as no fewer than eight underground mine fires are burning from Carbondale to Newport Township.

The issue has not been taken seriously enough by the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to Rep. Kevin Haggerty, D-Dunmore, and officials in Olyphant, where one of the fires has been burning for nearly a decade.

During a public meeting Haggerty organized in Olyphant on Thursday, he said he has written a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett urging him to declare Luzerne and Lackawanna counties “disaster areas” so federal and state funding could be freed up to help extinguish the fires.

Three of those fires, all in Luzerne County, are designated as serious by the state Department of Environmental Protection, meaning occupied structures are less than 1,000 feet away. The other five are classified as moderate, meaning occupied structures are at least 1,000 feet away.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1156029/Legislator-wants-action-on-mine-fires

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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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Plans For Sherman Hills Remain Secret

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Park Management Inc.’s detailed plans for the Sherman Hills Apartments will remain secret for a little longer.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company submitted a remediation plan for the troubled complex Dec. 2 after a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development inspection in September found “possible life-threatening security issues” due to management’s neglect of the 344-unit facility.

The Citizens’ Voice, along with congressional leaders and Wilkes-Barre officials, have filed a Freedom of Information Act request for that plan.

In a letter released Friday, Shirley Bryant, Freedom of Information Act liason for HUD, says the agency is giving Park Management until Jan. 31 to object to the plan’s release based on the department’s FOIA regulations exempting “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/plans-for-sherman-hills-remain-secret-1.1618522

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Philly Ups Aggressive Tactics In Fighting Blight With CLIP Bill

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

CODE OFFICERS looking to rid nuisance conditions in locked-up, vacant lots around town just might get a pair of shears to gain access, if a bill becomes law by the end of January.

Legislation passed in City Council on Thursday would allow workers in city’s Community Life Improvement Programs, or CLIP, to clip the locks on vacant and abandoned fenced-in lots whose owners are either lost, unknown or unresponsive.

The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, gives greater power to CLIP, which works to improve the appearance of neighborhoods and eradicate blight.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131215_City_ups_aggressive_tactics_in_fighting_blight_with_CLIP_bill.html#VPr0fYt2tSrQLCqu.99

HUD: Sherman Hills Issues Life-Threatening

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Sherman Hills tenants are experiencing life-threatening security issues that include inoperable surveillance cameras, broken windows and more than half of exterior lights not turned on or broken, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report said.

The report, made public Thursday, follows a two-day HUD inspection in September of six of the eight “garden style buildings” within the complex, including Building 328, where two girls suffered gunshot wounds in August.

The sprawling 344-unit apartment complex off Coal Street has been plagued by violent crime in recent years, including the shooting of the two girls and a fatal shooting of a woman on Nov. 11.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1001665/HUD:-Sherman-Hills-issues-life-threatening

Reading Officials Form Plan To Find Foreclosed-Property Owners

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A two-alarm fire in September 2011 gutted a vacant row home at 1422 Muhlenberg St., damaged two neighboring properties, and started the city on yet another frustrating journey to find an owner and order that a building be properly boarded up.

The Muhlenberg Street problem was just one skirmish in the city’s ongoing battle to find elusive property owners for such things as fire cleanup, unpaid taxes, quality-of-life tickets or blight.

But the battle may soon be over.

The city has a plan to get banks to register their foreclosures and may hire an outside firm to help monitor and enforce the rules.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515575

Don’t Give Up On Reading, Albert Boscov Tells Crowd

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a different Reading back in the day when Albert R. Boscov, then just a child, would go to work at his father’s store on North Ninth Street.

“When I was growing up, Penn Street was the most vital area you could go to.  It had five movie theaters,” the Boscov’s Department Stores chairman recalled of the city in the first half of the twentieth century.  “When I look at Reading today, it’s not what I would like to see.”

“It’s not the Reading I know,” Boscov told a crowd of about 100 at Alvernia University on Friday night.  “And it’s not the Reading it has to be.”

Boscov came to Francis Hall on Friday for the kick-off of Leadership Berks’ “Leaders, Legends, and Visionaries” series.  The discussion was moderated by David Myers, director of Alvernia’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=510966

Harrisburg’s Interim Police Chief Talks Reallocation Of Officers, New Hires During Public Safety Hearing

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

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

Harrisburg‘s interim police chief reiterated his passion for community policing during a panel discussion on public safety Thursday held by Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Papenfuse.

During the discussion, Chief Thomas Carter provided further details regarding the plan he presented earlier this week alongside Mayor Linda Thompson to dissolve several specialty police units in order to beef up the city’s overworked regular patrol.  Under the plan, 17 officers from groups such as the traffic and street crimes units will be pulled from the chief’s office to resume regular patrols, Carter said.

“We put them back into the fold,” the interim chief said.  “The basis of every strong police department is to have patrol officers out there to answer your calls, and we did not have that.”

Carter, who was appointed by Thompson after former Chief Pierre Ritter retired late last month, told the small audience at Thursday’s hearing that, while he believes such steps should have been taken as long as a year ago, he does not fault his predecessor for not making the call.

Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/09/harrisburgs_interim_police_chi.html#incart_m-rpt-2

Judge Clears Hotel Brunswick For October Reopening In Downtown Lancaster

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

A Lancaster County judge has OK’d a series of agreements that will allow a developer’s plan to makeover the shuttered Hotel Brunswick.

Judge Jeffery Wright signed an order Wednesday that includes 21 operating agreements between the city, the district attorney’s office and developer John Meeder’s Meeder Development Corp.

The order clears the remaining legal hurdle Meeder had in reopening what was once a city landmark.

Meeder said Wednesday that the order keeps his planned reopening date of “early October” right on track.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/893882_Judge-clears-Hotel-Brunswick-for-October-reopening.html#ixzz2egteqhCq

Coatesville Hopes To Boost Downtown Revitalization

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

COATESVILLE, PA — City Council is updating the city’s revitalization plans.

Council members unanimously voted to establish the Coatesville Downtown Revitalization District during an Aug. 12 meeting, with Councilman Ed Simpson and Vice President Joseph Hamrick absent.

Council President David Collins said the purpose was to target a specific area around expansion and redevelopment projects currently planned for the city.

Collins said this area will be essential to attracting new business enterprises, encouraging commercial development and expansion, improving the aesthetic appearance of the existing architecture, and building a stronger sense of community pride.

Read more:  http://www.dailylocal.com/article/20130819/NEWS01/130819663/coatesville-hopes-to-boost-downtown-revitalization#full_story

Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office Gets Emergency Order To Shut South Side Bar Levelz

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

Editor’s note:  This says it all, “a Saturday stabbing at Levelz injured two people, one of whom witnesses told police was left holding his entrails.”  33 police responses in about a year and a half!

The Allegheny County district attorney’s office has obtained an emergency court order to shut down Levelz Sports Lounge on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

“We had a meeting with the owners to try to talk some sense into them, but they did not comply,” DA’s office spokesman Mike Manko said.

The bar was also contacted by the county’s Nuisance Bar Task Force.

The bar’s owners could not be reached immediately for comment.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/allegheny-county-district-attorneys-office-seeks-emergency-order-to-shut-south-side-bar-levelz-697847/#ixzz2aqmIWmhE

New Facebook Page, Crime In Pottstown, Is Valuable Tool For Residents

There’s a new Facebook page dedicated to crime in Pottstown.  Unfortunately, there is a need for such a thing to exist.  The delusional  leadership doesn’t seem to think there are any problems in town but if you read this page you will see ordinary citizens telling their stories about being victims of crime.  Burglary is a big problem in Pottstown along with drugs.  Probably because they go hand in hand.  This is an eye-opening read which helps keep residents and those who work in town up to date.  We urge you to share information and keep informed.

We have listed Crime in Pottstown under our Important Pottstown Sites on the right hand side of the page.  Here is a link to click on which will take you directly there.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crime-in-Pottstown/149360611925992

Crime Fears Spark Wilkes-Barre Woman To Speak Out

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — Her parents’ house on Gates Street is next door, yet Darla Carey doesn’t walk there by herself at night.

Car break-ins in her neighborhood, including her husband Dan’s, strangers passing by on the sidewalks and fear that crime has overrun the city have compelled her to take precautions for her safety and that of her family.

“We keep our porch lights on all night,” Carey said.  On those nights when she walks the 20 feet from her front door to her parents’, she said, “Dan walks me over.”

Carey echoes what some other people have been saying about an increase in crime and the city administration’s apparent refusal to acknowledge and deal with it.  In a David-and-Goliath moment last week, the diminutive mother of four grown children and a grandchild scolded Mayor Tom Leighton before a packed city council meeting for appearing not to care about the safety of the residents.

Read more:   http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/689201/Crime-fears-spark-W-B-woman-to-speak-out

Wilkes-Barre Resident Bashes Mayor Over Crime

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — Seated alone before city council Tuesday night, Darla Carey spoke for many people concerned about crime in the city.

Her three-minute appearance seemingly overshadowed the other speakers and business council handled during its nearly two hours of meetings, even the call for ending the prayer said after the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the public sessions.

Carey, of Gates Street, read from a letter, chastising Mayor Tom Leighton for being “self-centered” and “selfish” and abandoning her and others who can’t sit on their porches, go to the store or walk the streets for fear of being robbed or killed.

“I know Wilkes-Barre’s past, but I’m afraid of its future,” said Carey, 53, who said she is a lifelong city resident.  “You should be ashamed of yourself for what the city has become.  Are you that blind when traveling around town how disgraceful it is?”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/681053/W-B-resident-bashes-mayor-over-crime

Gun Violence Shoots Up 21 Percent In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — State police statistics suggest it is safer to reside anywhere else in Luzerne County than in Wilkes-Barre.

The city experienced a 21-percent jump in serious crime from January through the end of June, compared to the same time in 2012, according to the state police Uniform Crime Report.

Violence involving guns is the most troubling, accounting for the deaths of six people and injuries to others in multiple shootings and assaults, statistics say.

Three people were killed by gunfire in 2012, although one of those deaths was ruled a murder/suicide.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/668804/Gun-violence-shoots-up-21-percent-in-Wilkes-Barre

A Plan To Address Philadelphia’s Staggering Poverty

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

In an unusually frank document, the city has laid out stark statistical descriptions of poverty in Philadelphia, accompanied by a plan to try to deal with the problem.

The Shared Prosperity Philadelphia plan, presented Thursday at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia, states that at a “staggering 28 percent,” the poverty rate here is the highest among the nation’s 10 largest cities.  More than 430,000 of the city’s 1,547,600 residents live below the federal poverty line, the report points out.  The poverty line ranges from $11,490 for a single person to $23,550 for a family of four.

Further, black and Latino Philadelphians are twice as likely to be poor as whites.  “Most distressing,” the report continues, “39 percent of Philadelphia’s children are poor.”

Poverty is a “persistent and devastating problem” in Philadelphia, and holds back many residents, Mayor Nutter said at the event.  “We may never benefit from their knowledge and abilities because they will never have the chance to develop their talent,” he said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130712_City_outlines_plan_to_deal_with_poverty.html#pqtpEKGxsieZayRO.99

Harrisburg Strains To Eliminate Condemned Buildings; Residents Simmer Over Fire Hazards, Nuisances

HARRISBURG–In the 2000 block of Susquehanna Street, routine home maintenance included pruning a neglected tree to eliminate a ladder animals used to enter the upper floors of two condemned homes in the middle of the row.

It included dealing with encroaching mold from the condemned homes’ soggy beams.  It included adding boards at his own expense to keep out squatters, a neighbor said.

Harrisburg has about 400 vacant buildings whose status is considered “emergency” due to hazards and eyesore they pose or criminal activity they attract.  The city expects to demolish 35-40 this year — the most it can do given budget constraints and staffing shortages, said Robert Philbin, the chief operating officer.

“All I can tell you is the city is doing the best it can do,” he said.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/07/harrisburg_strains_to_eliminat.html#incart_m-rpt-2

VIDEO: Cook Exposes Golden Corral’s Alleged “All-You-Can-Eat Ribs… By The Dumpster” Policy

Golden Corral

Golden Corral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Golden Corral—the chain of buffet restaurants most-frequented by people who didn’t want to drive the extra 10 minutes to get to Old Country Buffet—is dealing with a PR nightmare after a video of one of their employees started making the rounds on the Internet this week.

Brandon Huber is a cook at the Golden Corral restaurant in Port Orange, Florida. He recently filmed a video from his place of employ, claiming that the restaurant’s management had wheeled loads of unprepared food out to the dumpster area during a health inspection.

The video—shot vertically, in true selfie style—shows Huber walking out to the restaurant’s dumpster area and pointing out that a bunch of uncooked meat and pans filled with food are resting inches from the dumpster.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/trending/VIDEO-True-American-hero-exposes-Golden-Corrals-All-You-Can-Eat-Ribs-By-the-Dumpster-policy.html#kwOgc27ADyyiHQO2.99