Reading Police Still Probing After-School Melees

A wooden table leg, a baseball bat, a hammer and a two-by-four.

Those were just a few of the weapons wielded during after-school brawls among 75 to 100 teenagers, city police Sgt. John M. Solecki said Thursday.

City detectives were still sorting through video from surveillance cameras and from bystanders, who posted footage of the fighting Wednesday on Facebook.

And the fact that city schools started spring break Thursday wasn’t helping, police.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=464280

After-School Melees Leave Boy Bloodied In Reading City Park

A string of after-school fights broke out Wednesday in Reading, leaving a boy bloodied in City Park and police without any explanation for two melees.

Sgt. John M. Solecki said fights occasionally happen after dismissal, but the violence Wednesday was unusual because various objects were used as weapons.

About 4 p.m., police converged on City Park, where between 75 and 100 teens were fighting at the basketball courts, some of them wielding 2-by-4s and baseball bats.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=464058

Effort To Restore Reading City Park Sculpture Takes Flight

Editor’s note:  Two thumbs up for Godiva Chocolatier, former mayor Tom McMahon, Yesid Gomez and Wilfer Buitrago for their efforts to help beautify the City of Reading.

The pursuit to restore one of Reading’s most unique sculptures is gaining momentum through private donations and the efforts of two artists.

GoggleWorks artists Yesid Gomez and Wilfer Buitrago have obtained the first financial contributions for the dove sculpture in Reading’s City Park, a project that could cost up to $40,000.

“I read the article about the artists working on the dove in the summer,” said Justin Burford, a human resource assistant at Godiva Chocolatier in Exeter Township.  That triggered discussions with Godiva coworkers and the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts about fundraising for the project.

“We thought this would be perfect unifying point for our Cultural Awareness Day,” Burford said of Godiva workers.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=432483

2 Artists Seek To Restore Damaged Dove In Reading City Park

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

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

Editor’s note:  One of the benefits of arts revitalization!

On a bright summer day in a nearly deserted park, two men stand in the shadow of a crumbling statue.

Pointing at the flaking, cracked concrete and graffiti that cover the dove sculpture in City Park, they recoil in disgust.

“Look at this,” said artist Yesid Gomez. “This is an embarrassment. Whose fault is this? It is our fault for letting it look like this.”

Gomez and his cousin, Wilfer Buitrago, examine the statue, taking measurements and noting the damage that it has sustained over the years.  Shaking their heads, they said they feel ashamed to see the dove in such poor condition.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=406658