Teen Stabs 22 At Pittsburgh-Area High School

Map of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Unit...

Map of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MURRYSVILLE, PA (AP) – Flailing away with two kitchen knives, a 16-year-old boy with a “blank expression” stabbed and slashed 21 students and a security guard in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school Wednesday before an assistant principal tackled him.

At least five students were critically wounded, including a boy whose liver was pierced by a knife thrust that narrowly missed his heart and aorta, doctors said. Others also suffered deep abdominal puncture wounds.

The rampage – which came after decades in which U.S. schools geared much of their emergency planning toward mass shootings, not stabbings – set off a screaming stampede, left blood on the floor and walls, and brought teachers rushing to help the victims.

Police shed little light on the motive.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140409_ap_dc67f56a2abf466db1c027077138e2cd.html#JcEUTVsMhStwpXdM.99

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$100K In Sherman Hills Upgrades Begin

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The proposed $100,000 worth of security improvements at the troubled Sherman Hills apartments are underway with the installation of a fence around the property.

Security consultant John Daly said work began last week.

“They’re putting up a 1-inch mesh fence like they proposed earlier and will move on to the next phase,” said of the McLane Investigative Group of New York City.

The possibility of losing the nearly $2 million in rent subsidies by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development prompted the owner Sherman Hills Realty of Brooklyn, N.Y. to promise changes at the complex that has been the scene of drug arrests, violent crimes and a fatal shooting last November.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1289298/$100K-in-Sherman-Hills-upgrades-begin

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Troubled Sherman Hills Apartment Complex To Be Sold

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The same day that the response of the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex to a federal inspection was released, news comes that the complex is about to be sold.

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, who founded a task force to address problems at the crime-ridden complex after two young girls were shot there last August, met Thursday with eight representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, including Regional Director Jane Vincent, he said in a news release.

HUD officials revealed at the meeting that the property is under contract of sale with a transfer date target of April 1, Cartwright said.

The new owner, New Jersey-based Treetop Development, which has no overlapping ownership with the current owners, also will serve as property manager of the Sherman Hills property, Cartwright said, noting that Treetop has had success working with HUD in the past.

Read more: https://bay176.mail.live.com/default.aspx?n=880162491&fid=1#n=534554189&fid=1

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Legion Working Toward Sherman Hills Guard Pact

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A key component of the Sherman Hills Apartments security plan is guards — armed and unarmed — watching the complex and screening outsiders.

The security plan includes:

• Better lighting and possibly more surveillance cameras, but also a guard shack manned around the clock and a mobile armed guard.

• An 8-foot fence is to go up around Sherman Hills and the high rise adjacent to the complex. A gate along North Sherman Street is to be used only by emergency vehicles.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1208223/Legion-working-toward-Sherman-Hills-guard-pact

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Wilkes-Barre Panel OKs Gates For Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a plan to install gates, one of them staffed around the clock, as part of the overall security improvements at the low-income Sherman Hills apartment complex.

Sam Goldberg, regional manager of the apartment complex owned by Brooklyn-based Sherman Hills Realty, said the owners are eager to get started and have already set aside the money for the work.

“It’s all a matter of once we get the written approval. We do have contractors lined up,” Goldberg said. “We’ll work as fast as we can.”

The plans calls for the installation of a booth and gates for incoming and outgoing vehicles and pedestrians on Empire Court. The booth will be staffed 24 hours a day and control a second set of gates on Parkview Circle leading to the high-rise apartment building on the property. A third gate will be installed at the intersection of North Empire Court and Sherman Street, but emergency responders and police will have access to a key to gain entrance.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1205576/City-panel-OKs-gates-for-Sherman-Hills

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Pottstown Mayor: ‘Interventions’ Planned For Nuisance Properties After Weekend Shooting

Editor’s note:  Thank you, Sharon!

POTTSTOWN, PA — Mayor Sharon Thomas said a potential plan is in place to deal with “nuisance” properties in the borough following the shooting and subsequent fights with police early Sunday morning outside the Montgomery Elks Lodge.

“I spoke with Chief (Richard) Drumheller today about some interventions,” said Thomas. “There are some plans but they need time in order to come into position, but this is not the time to implement them because there is an ongoing investigation.”

Pottstown Police responded early Sunday morning for a shooting outside the Montgomery Elks Lodge at 609 Walnut St. Arriving around 2:45 a.m., officers found a man, who multiple sources said was Brandon Germany, wounded on the ground, Pottstown police said. While attending to the victim, a crowd came out of the lodge and at least two people assaulted the officers, police said.

The officers were not identified and were taken to an “area hospital” for treatment.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140203/pottstown-mayor-interventions-planned-for-nuisance-properties-after-weekend-shooting?fb_action_ids=10201321407823274&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B715583075129807%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

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Pennsylvania Ranks 4th In Black Homicide Victims, Latest Stats Show

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PENNSYLVANIA ranked fourth nationwide in black homicide victimization in 2011, according to an organization that ranked the state second in the previous year.

The Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center, which released the new study Thursday, said the latest figures show that Pennsylvania had 29.02 homicides per 100,000 black civilians in 2011.

A study released by the same nonprofit group last year ranked Pennsylvania second in 2010. The state was ranked third in 2009.

In 2011 — the latest year for which FBI statistics are available — blacks accounted for half of all homicide victims nationwide, yet represented 13 percent of the U.S. population.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Pa_ranks_4th_in_black_homicide_victims_latest_stats_show.html#SIwjH48fKP1kXpBA.99

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Man Charged With Raping Teen Girl In Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police arrested a man they say raped a 14-year-old girl inside an apartment at Sherman Hills last year.

Maurice Anthony Porter, 26, of Elizabeth Street, Dallas, was arraigned today by District Judge Martin Kane on six counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, three counts each of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault, and one count each of rape, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault and corruption of minors. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $200,000 bail.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1145679/Man-charged-with-raping-teen-girl-in-Sherman-Hills

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Widener Student Critical But Stable After Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

The lockdown has been lifted at Widener University, where a gunman last night shot a student who was sitting in a car near the Chester campus’  athletic facility.

The injured student remains in critical but stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center this morning, university spokesman Dan Hanson said. Hanson declined to release further information about the student or his injuries today, saying the family asked for privacy.

The student was ambushed about 8:40 p.m. as he sat in a car near the Schwartz Athletic Center, prompting campus officials to urge students to “seek shelter and remain indoors.” That alert ended and classes continued as scheduled this morning.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/delco/Widener-student-critical-but-stable-after-shooting.html#9uEGvwv25YsmgAaQ.99

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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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Two Camden Killings End Year On A Fatal Note

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CAMDEN, NJ — Two men were killed Tuesday in Camden in what authorities said appeared to be a drug-related shooting.

They became the city’s 56th and 57th homicide victims of 2013, pushing the homicide rate to the second-highest level on record and the number of victims to its third-highest level. In 2012, 67 people were slain.

Around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to a house on the 700 block of Division Street, also known as Ramona Gonzalez Street, in the Bergen Square neighborhood.

They found Jorge Chavis, 31, and James Anderson, 23, dead from gunshot wounds, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140101_2_shot_dead_in_Camden.html#uxyK08fKAQjQsho0.99

Arrest In Wilkes-Barre Homicide

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Wilkes-Barre, PA – Seconds after a preliminary hearing on a robbery charge late Tuesday morning, Luzerne County detectives and city police arrested Lamar Curry-Davis, 19, for the fatal shooting of Eduardo Daniel Madera last month.

Curry-Davis, of Cleveland, Ohio, was in court before District Judge Rick Cronauer on a charge he robbed another man on Park Avenue on Nov. 23. While his attorney was arguing for a bail reduction, authorities advised Cronauer that Curry-Davis was being arrested for the killing of Madera.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/1061389/Arrest-in-Wilkes-Barre-homicide

Sherman Hills Owner Promises Changes To Troubled Complex

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The Brooklyn, N.Y., owner of the troubled Sherman Hills Apartments has vowed to create a gated community, hire armed security officers and repair and improve video surveillance, according to the Sherman Hills Task Force.

The disclosure came in a conversation between U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, who initiated the task force, and of Park Management Inc., who said the business is sending Wilkes-Barre City Council a report outlining its plans, Cartwright spokesman Shane Seaver said.

The task force is meeting Monday morning to discuss those and other plans to address the troubled Sherman Hills complex, which has been plagued by crime in recent months.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/sherman-hills-owner-promises-changes-to-troubled-complex-1.1601842

Woman Arrested In Sherman Hills Stabbing

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Wilkes-Barre police are investigating a stabbing that took place at the troubled Sherman Hills Apartments on Monday morning.

Police say a 27-year-old woman, whose name was not immediately released, was stabbed by another woman during a domestic dispute about 8:15 a.m. at Building 308.

Officers were called to the area of the Sherman Hills entrance on North Sherman Street and arrived to find the victim had been stabbed in the back, police said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/woman-arrested-in-sherman-hills-stabbing-1.1591058

HUD: Sherman Hills Management ‘Unsatisfactory’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Management of the Sherman Hills apartment complex has been found “unsatisfactory” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a news release from the federal housing agency.

A full report of HUD’s inspection of the crime-plagued complex is expected to be released in the near future, HUD’s Senior Management Analyst S. Van Williams said Wednesday.

HUD officials visited the complex on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17 to complete an on-site Management and Occupancy Review after two girls, 5 and 2 years old, suffered gunshot wounds in Building 328 on Aug. 24. No charges have been filed, however, Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Brian Coleman said during a court proceeding on Sept. 12 that three men were being investigated.

On Monday 27-year-old Shantique Goodson, of 328 Parkview Circle in Sherman Hills and formerly of Rochester, N.Y., was fatally shot while she was sitting in a Jeep Grand Cherokee near Building 328.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/983008/HUD:-Sherman-Hills-management-unsatisfactory

How Heroin Abuse Has Become Epidemic

1044756_392391437532570_1638549602_nEditor’s note:  And the last two paragraphs are about a heroin death in Pottstown!  Wake up borough officials!!!!! Stop denying this problem exists! The man who robbed National Penn Bank on High Street was a heroin addict and high at the time.  It’s not a “bump in the road” or a “perception problem” as your soon-to-be ex-mayor likes to tell people.

Heroin-related overdoses jumped nearly 250 percent between 2010 and 2012 in Philadelphia and, depending on how they are measured, slightly more in Montgomery County. In Kentucky, they quadrupled in just one year.

Experts say the culprit is actually prescription painkillers. Abuse of the expensive narcotics leads to tolerance – and cravings for more and more. Heroin is the cheap and more powerful alternative.

Experts point to a series of events that began when the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 proposed easing the way for advertising of prescription medications on broadcast television, which almost no other country does as freely. Industry spending on direct-to-consumer advertising rose tenfold in five years. Prescriptions written for opioid painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin soon rose more than 500 percent.

“As a culture, we are just very used to, ‘You have a problem, get a prescription,’ ” said Jay Unick, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social work, who studies how public policies affect behavioral health outcomes.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20131107__We_lost_an_entire_generation__to_heroin.html#oec76sPDSpAZbJT2.99

Pottstown Police Changing Tactics To Solve Recent Robberies

1044756_392391437532570_1638549602_nEditor’s note:  This picture is the reason Pottstown has such a high crime rate.  Get rid of the drug baggies and you’ll see a big drop in burglary and robbery.  The guy that was arrested for the National Penn Bank robberies was reported to be high on heroin.  Drug addicts have to resort to stealing to support their habits.  And “feverishly” should be the modus operandi until Pottstown is cleaned up.

POTTSTOWN, PA — After six robberies in 20 days, the Pottstown Police Department is working “feverishly” to solve the crimes and work to prevent more, Police Chief Richard Drumheller said.

“I can tell you that we are working on it. I would say feverishly,” Drumheller said Monday. “Obviously we have someone out there right now that is robbing our community and that is extremely unnerving for the residents and we understand that. We are doing a rash of things to try and solve the problem.”

Drumheller did not disclose exact details related to the investigations.

“I can tell you it is a lot of directed patrols at certain areas, at certain time frames. We’ve done a lot of homework on that and we have plotted out some things and we are trying to use the data available to us to our advantage to try and capture (the suspects),” Drumheller said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130924/pottstown-police-changing-tactics-to-solve-recent-robberies

Wilkes-Barre Slaps Fine On Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Editor’s note:  Attention Pottstown Borough leadership – this is the kind of action you SHOULD be taking, instead of denying there is a drug problem and a slumlord problem in Pottstown.  At least Wilkes-Barre is taking proactive steps to clean up a problem that is plaguing their city by using existing laws and ordinances to do so.  In Pottstown these same problems are the elephant in the room that the “leadership”, and I use that word loosely, chooses to sit idly by and ignore at the peril of every resident.  Shame on you people!

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city has levied a $33,000 fine against Sherman Hills Realty LLC on allegations the realty company failed to have apartments at the Sherman Hills complex inspected before new tenants moved in.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development personnel began a two-day inspection of the 344-unit complex on Monday, the same day the letter was sent to the Brooklyn, N.Y., realty company. The city alleges 60 units had new tenants, but the apartments were not inspected.

“It has come to the attention of the City of Wilkes-Barre that since the last time inspections were performed at your facility, 60 units have changed tenants. A change in tenant per the Wilkes-Barre City Code of Ordinances requires a rental inspection,” the letter says.

“The units have since been inspected but your company is still accountable for the fines during this period. The complex … has been found to be in violation of the Wilkes-Barre City Code of Ordinances entitled ‘Rental Dwelling/Residence and Tenant Registration,’ ” the letter said.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/845198/City-slaps-fine-on-Sherman-Hills

Wilkes-Barre Council OKs ‘One-Strike’ Rental Ordinance

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — One strike.  Two readings.  Three speakers.

Mayor Tom Leighton’s plan to crack down on problem rental properties in Wilkes-Barre passed a second and final reading during a special council session Thursday night attended by a handful of residents, of whom only three spoke about the “one-strike” amendment to the city’s rental ordinance.

The ordinance will allow officials to shut down a property for six months if landlords and tenants know of criminal activity on the premises and fail to alert authorities.  It will take effect Sept. 1.

“The intent is not to penalize landlords, but to increase dialogue,” said assistant city solicitor William E. Vinsko Jr., who drafted the legislation, which he called “another tool to curb drug activity and violence.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/article/20130823/NEWS/130829985

Landlords question Wilkes-Barre’s ‘One-Strike’ Rental Policy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — A proposed ordinance to “get tough” on crime by targeting problem rental properties passed the first reading by City Council on Tuesday night, and drew a mixed response from residents and landlords.

The amendment that sets a “one-strike” limit for landlords or tenants who know of gun and drug crimes committed on the property still needs a second reading at council’s Sept. 12 meeting before it can be enacted 10 days later.

But landlord Chris Puma of Ashley cautioned against proceeding with the amendment and suggested that instead of “punishing the landlord” the city hire more police and code enforcement officers.

He presented a scenario in which the six-month shutdown of a property as stated in the amendment cuts off the revenue for a landlord who has no knowledge of his tenant’s criminal activity.  From there, the landlord conceivably can’t pay the taxes, the property ends up at a sheriff’s sale and the city loses tax revenue.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/752677/Landlords-question-one-strike