Man Attacks West Pottsgrove Target Windows With Sledgehammer

English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain

English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — A man who reportedly had a dead snake on him smashed out windows at a Target with a sledgehammer before being shocked with a police stun gun Saturday afternoon.

Around 2:45 p.m. Saturday, the man, who was only identified Sunday as being 24-years-old and from Upper Pottsgrove, allegedly smashed windows at the front of a target in Upland Square using a sledgehammer.

He reportedly also had some kind of dead snake on his person and a source said the store was put on lockdown while police were called.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140420/updated-man-attacks-west-pottsgrove-target-windows-with-sledgehammer

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Opposition Builds To Library Funding Cut By Lower Pottsgrove Township

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — The township commissioners’ decision to reconsider its 2014 funding for the Pottstown Regional Public Library has resulted in a swelling of support for the library and a number of efforts to keep the funding intact.

Earlier this month when the Board of Commissioners reorganized, the new majority announced its intention to open up the 2014 budget adopted one month earlier and reduce funding to the Pottstown Regional Public Library on High Street.

Paradoxically, in December, Lower Pottsgrove had joined with both Upper Pottsgrove and Pottstown borough in increasing the allocation to the library for 2014.

In Lower Pottsgrove’s case, the commissioners had agreed in December to increase the annual allocation by $5,000 — up to $65,000.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140118/opposition-builds-to-library-funding-cut-by-l-pottstrove

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Amity Fires Police Officer Charged In Shoplifting Case

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

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

AMITY TOWNSHIP, PA — The police officer charged with shoplifting hundreds of dollars in groceries has been fired by the township.

Following a Local Agency Police Tenure Act Hearing on Sept. 10, the Amity Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Sept. 18 to terminate Cpl. Glenn A. Oesterling, effective immediately.

Township Solicitor Brian F. Boland said Oesterling would be notified by certified mail.

Supervisor Richard L. Gokey was absent from the meeting.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130921/amity-fires-police-officer-charged-in-shoplifting-case

Police Search For Masked Suspect After Robbery At West Pottsgrove 7-Eleven

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgo...

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — Police are turning to the public for help to find a man who allegedly robbed the 7-Eleven on West High Street Thursday night.

Police Chief Earl Swavely said the suspect police are looking for is a black male, but no other information was available.  When the man entered the store in the 1100 block of West High Street, he was wearing a ski mask over his face and a dark hooded sweatshirt, police said.

According to police, the unknown suspect was allegedly carrying a silver handgun during the incident.  The suspect left the store on foot, police said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130913/police-search-for-masked-suspect-after-robbery-at-7-eleven

Amity Police Officer’s Theft Case Moves To County Court

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgo...

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — A suspended Amity police officer will head to Montgomery County Court after a district judge ruled there was adequate evidence to keep all three theft-related charges against the officer.

Glenn Oesterling, 35, a corporal with the Amity Police Department, was stopped on June 18 after allegedly trying to walk out of the Giant Food Store in Upland Square without paying for his groceries.

Oesterling was charged with one misdemeanor count of retail theft, one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property and one summary county of retail theft.

During Oesterling’s preliminary hearing Thursday morning in front of District Judge Scott T. Palladino, two asset protection officers from the supermarket testified that they saw Oesterling placing grocery items in blue, resealable freezer bags on June 12 and June 18, then bypassing the check-out aisles and walking out of the store.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130726/NEWS01/130729575/amity-police-officer-s-theft-case-moves-to-county-court#full_story

Amity Officials Defend Handling Of Cop’s Suspension

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

The Amity Township Police Department became the main topic of conversation Wednesday.

Township officials defended the way they handled the recent suspension of one corporal and, in an unrelated move, approved a temporary replacement for another corporal who is on active duty in the military.

Supervisors Terry L. Jones and Paul R. Weller said that the board did nothing wrong during an executive session July 3 where it approved Police Chief Kent A. Shuebrook’s decision to suspend Cpl. Glenn J. Oesterling.

The suspension, following Oesterling’s arrest for shoplifting, was not mentioned during the public portion of the meeting, which supervisors Chairwoman Kim J. McGrath did not attend.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=493759

Amity Cop Charged With Stealing From Supermarket

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgo...

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I hope this isn’t what it appears to be :(

AMITY TOWNSHIP, PA — A township police officer has been suspended without pay after he was charged with retail theft for allegedly stealing more than $300 worth of food and merchandise from a Giant food store on two separate occasions.

Glenn Oesterling, 35, a veteran corporal with the Amity Police Department, reportedly walked out of the Upland Square Giant on both June 12 and June 18 without paying for the merchandise he allegedly put into blue reusable shopping bags in the shopping cart he was pushing.

According to a criminal complaint filed by West Pottsgrove Police, a loss prevention officer with Giant observed a man leave the store on June 12 without paying for six items worth $38.04 in the reusable bags.

The loss prevention officer used store surveillance footage to confirm what the items were and that the man “bypass(ed) all points of sale,” the complaint states.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130708/NEWS01/130709443/amity-cop-charged-with-stealing-from-supermarket#full_story

Votes Push Development Along Pottstown’s Keystone Boulevard

Editor’s note:  We find ourselves in agreement with the majority on council who voted for this undertaking.  We also feel the tax breaks for Heritage Coach Co. were necessary.  Having that property sit idle accomplishes nothing and provides no income for the borough or the school district.  It also provides no employment which means there is less money to be spent on existing Pottstown businesses.  Until the word gets out to the investment community that Pottstown is open for business and that establishing a business in Pottstown is a good idea, incentives will need to be used to attract development.  

Cleaning up Pottstown would go along way towards fostering development.  Nobody wants to open a business in a crime-ridden community.  Unfortunately, that is the perception you are dealing with, whether it’s entirely true or not.  Perception IS reality.  Cracking down on crime, Section 8 housing and the pervasive drug problem need to be priority one in order to attract business, industry and homeowners.   The number of rental units is too high, partly due to reputation of the Pottstown School District, the reputation of Pottstown Borough and the high taxes.  Any real estate professional will tell you the same thing.  Selling a home in Pottstown is difficult.

POTTSTOWN — Prospects for development along Keystone Boulevard have been bolstered by two votes of borough council Monday evening.

With a unanimous vote, the council approved a “memorandum of understanding” with West Pottsgrove that pledges both municipalities to pursue efforts to extend Keystone Boulevard, which runs parallel to West High Street and the Schuylkill River, into West Pottsgrove to connect with Grosstown Road.

“It’s a conceptual agreement for defining a path to move forward,” Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. explained to council.

The extension of Keystone Boulevard through the former Flagg Brass property in West Pottsgrove and over to the Stowe interchange has long been envisioned and was the subject of an $81,000 study by the Rettew Associates engineering firm.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130613/NEWS01/130619600/votes-push-development-along-pottstown-s-keystone-blvd-#full_story

Official: West Pottsgrove Murder Victim Was Shot In The Back

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgo...

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP — In the day following the shocking murder of a 19-year-old taken by gunpoint from his West Pottsgrove home, who exactly that young man was remains a complicated question.

Kareem Ali Borowy died in the grass at the side of the 2100 block of Sanatoga Station Road Sunday around 2:30 p.m., not long after the abduction from the house on the 1200 block of Manatawny Street.

Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said an autopsy conducted Monday morning determined Borowy died from a gunshot wound to the back.

The manner of death was ruled a homicide, he said.

Several readers told The Mercury that Kareem was the adopted son of Ruth Borowy, who reportedly adopted Kareem and his three siblings — two sisters and a brother — out of Philadelphia and brought them to the Boyertown area.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130506/NEWS01/130509526/official-west-pottsgrove-murder-victim-was-shot-in-the-back#full_story

Homicide, West Pottsgrove Home Invasion Likely Linked

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP — A body discovered on the side of Sanatoga Station Road Sunday afternoon is likely tied to a home invasion reported around the same time in West Pottsgrove, police said.

The man’s death is reportedly being investigated as a homicide.

The home invasion occurred on the 1200 block of Manatawny Road some time Sunday before 2:30 p.m. Residents of the home were reportedly tied up inside.

Around 2:30 p.m., Lower Pottsgrove Police were dispatched to the 2100 block of Sanatoga Station Road.  Sergeant Tim Walters, of the Lower Pottsgrove Police, said it was for a report of a “suspicious man waving down traffic.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130505/NEWS01/130509617/homicide-west-pottsgrove-home-invasion-likely-linked#full_story

Pottstown, West Pottsgrove Push Extension Of Keystone Boulevard

POTTSTOWN — Just two days after borough council approved a property tax break for a new business proposed along Keystone Boulevard, officials from the borough and West Pottsgrove Township met to brainstorm about extending the road to the Grosstown Road exit off Route 422.

The extension of Keystone Boulevard through the former Flagg Brass property in West Pottsgrove and over to the Stowe interchange has long been envisioned and was the subject of an $81,000 study by the Rettew Assoc. engineering firm.

Paid for through a grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the grant brought both municipalities together to plan jointly for the project, which could cost as much as $10 million.

Although PennDOT does have plans for a $30 million improvement to the Stowe interchange as part of its long-range plans for upgrading Route 422, Brian Regli, Montgomery County’s Director of Commerce, told the assembled officials not to expect the state to come up with the money for that project any time soon.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130315/NEWS01/130319529/pottstown-w-pottsgrove-push-extension-of-keystone-blvd-#full_story

Pottsgrove School District Mulls $61 Million Budget With 3.3% Tax Hike

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP— Facing a potential budget shortfall of $1.9 million, the Pottsgrove School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to advertise a proposed $60.9 million budget for the 2013-14 school year that would raise taxes by $155 for the average district homeowner.

However, those figures are unlikely to remain unchanged until June, when all final school budgets must be adopted.

The district is working under the constraints of Act 1, which requires a district to either declare it will not raise taxes above a state set index — as Pottstown did last month in committing to keep any tax increase at or below 2.4 percent — or advertise a preliminary budget.

The Pottsgrove board chose the second option, voting to advertise a preliminary budget presented publicly for the first time Tuesday night by Business Manager David Nester.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130125/NEWS01/130129618/pottsgrove-mulls-61-million-budget-with-3-3-tax-hike#full_story

$59 Million Pottsgrove School District Budget Brings 2.8% Tax Hike

 

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIPProperty taxes will rise by 2.8 percent in the Pottsgrove School District next year as the result of a 8-1 vote Tuesday by the Pottsgrove School Board.

The vote was the final word on the $58.9 million budget for the 2012-13 school year.

The board also voted to set a millage rate of 35.979 mills for the new fiscal year, an increase of .98 mills.

It will raise taxes by $35.98 for every $1,000 of assessed value, or about $118 for a home valued at $120,000, the district’s median assessment, Nester told The Sanatoga Post.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120629/NEWS01/120629285/-59-million-pottsgrove-budget-brings-2-8-tax-hike

Carmike’s New Upland Square Theater Grand Opening Delayed To 11-18-11

The Fishwrap is now advertising the opening date for the new Carmike Theater as 11-18-11, which is this coming Friday.  There must have been an unforseen delay that caused the original opening date to be pushed back.

Pottstown’s long-awaited new movie theater is opening 11-11-11.  The new 12 screen complex will open at Upland Square Shopping Center in West Pottsgrove Township, next to Target.  Head on over and check it out!

Pottstown Regional Public Meeting – September 8, 2011 @ 7:00 PM

 

Carmike To Build At Upland Square – Commerce Corner Sputters

Looks like Carmike is heading across Route 100 to Upland Square shopping center.  Frankly, I would rather see Upland Square get filled up before we build another shopping center on the same intersection.  By the way, I would really like to see Pottstown Plaza get filled up!!!

Read the entire story from my good buddy Joe Zlomek over at the Sanatoga Post:

http://sanatogapost.com/2011/01/13/carmike-switches-sides-of-rt-100-to-upland-square/

Huge Fire In West Pottsgrove Township

Fire companies from as far away as Reading are descending on Universal Concrete (formerly Doehler Jarvis) in Stowe where an industrial fire is refusing to cooperate with firefighters.  Access to water is a huge problem!  The fire is at a plastic recycling facility that occupies one of the building on the Universal Concrete site.  Workers have been evacuated while fireman try to get the blaze under control!

Former Stanley Flagg Site Eyed For Green Development

Developer David Mermelstein owns the site of the former Stanley Flagg company.  David would like to develop 29 acres in POTTSTOWN BOROUGH into a green energy business.  If you read today’s Our View in the Mercury it goes into detail about the business Mr. Mermelstein would like to create in Pottstown. 

If you read my post about the Logan Triangle area of Philadelphia, that site is 35 acres.  The City of York is developing a massive brownfield site which is also 29 acres.  You can read about that on here as well.  This Stanley Flagg proposal represents a HUGE investment and should be taken very seriously!

Pottstown’s Keystone Opportunity Zone has been created for a while now and as far as I know only one business is located there??  The Flagg site is industrial and not close to a lot of residential areas.  David appears willing to make many concessions to ensure this plant will not negatively impact the quality of life here in Pottstown.  This would create jobs and generate revenue for Pottstown Borough.

Mr. Mermelstein said the reception he received was “positive, but not glowing.”  Let us hope this proposal is seriously considered.  If other investors see Pottstown as easy to work with, more investment will be forthcoming into the borough instead of all around it ala Upland Square and Commerce Corner for starters.

This is a golden opportunity to start the ball rolling.  Let’s remove the stone wall as depicted in today’s Mercury cartoon so the development train doesn’t once again skirt Pottstown for a more business-friendly suburb.

Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission. Oh Really?

Rant alert!

I am increasingly frustrated by the attitude of the other members of this group toward Pottstown.  Mr. Kirkland, Mr. Weand, Mr. Rhoads and Mr. Toroney are right to be concerned that Pottstown will garner what it needs from this group with the present attitude towards to borough.

As goes Pottstown, so goes Greater Pottstown.  As goes Philadelphia, so goes the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area that we are all a part of.  People’s “who cares attitude” towards Pottstown and Philadelphia are myopic.  If the center decays the people on the “outside” will be left scrambling for many services they take for granted or do not want in “their neighborhood”.  You will ultimately pay for it in increased taxes!  Failure is expensive folks!

If the Pottstown School District becomes unsustainable, do not think a merger will not happen.  Take the Woodland Hills School District in Allegheny County.  It was a federally mandated merger of districts.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodland_Hills_School_District

If Pottstown borough becomes unsustainable it would be an economic disaster for the entire area.  Pottstown is still the hub.

Case in point, Reading, PA.  Reading is now under Act 47 and is officially a distressed city.  The city of Reading is a huge drain on the Berks County budget.  Scroll down and check out the Rebuilding Reading: Why It’s Vital To The Region comments here http://www.berksprogress.org/berkssummit.html  It could happen here too folks!

Limerick and West Pottsgrove Townships are both struggling to handle their recent development because they lack the infrastructure to manage massive development projects.  Pottstown has the necessary systems in place. 

It reminds me of the Aesop’s fable about the boy and the filberts. 

A boy put his hand into a jar of filberts and grasped as many as his fist could possibly hold. But when he tried to pull it out again, he found he couldn’t do so, for the neck of the jar was too small to allow of the passage of so large a handful. Unwilling to lose his nuts but unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears.

A bystander, who saw where the trouble lay, said to him, “Come, my boy, don’t be so greedy. Be content with half the amount, and you’ll be able to get your hand out without difficulty.”  

All we see are dollar $ign$ and do not think about the ramifications until after the fact.  Then we cry “We don’t have enough police.” whaaaaaaaaaaaa

Adding a Sonic in West Pottsgrove Township is just silly.  They are struggling to handle the increased need for police because of Upland Square.  Limerick is the same way.  They can not handle all the calls from the Philadelphia Premium Outlets but they want to add another huge shopping center right next to the outlets.  Ummmm okay, in the words of Dr. Phil “And how’s that workin’ for ya?”  Nobody anticipated the strain on resources and staff from these huge mega shopping centers in these bedroom communities?  Get real!

It is time to wise up.  Thinking that none of this will effect me because I do not live in Pottstown Borough or Pottstown School District will come back to bite a lot of people in the wallet!  Mark my words!

Pottstown Leadership Shoots Taxpayers In The Foot Again!

When the Urban Land Institute said Pottstown has a leadership vacuum they just weren’t kidding now were they!!!

This $61,000 gift to West Pottsgrove for example is beyond embarrassing people.  What the hell are we paying taxes for??  We might as well have a big bonfire in Smith Plaza and throw money into it for cryin’ out loud!  West Pottsgrove has a GIGANTIC cash reserve from the landfill.  I think they can pay their sewer bill!  This kissy face nonsense is ridiculous.  They owe the money and they should damn well pay it!  Borough homeowners wouldn’t get any deals I bet!

We keep taxing people to death and wasting money like there is no tomorrow while the fine residents of this community sit and watch in horror at the antics in City Hall!  Some people need to get fired and voted out of office.  ENOUGH!  We demand accountability!

It’s amazing the state doesn’t come in here and take over.  Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic excuse for management and leadership.   We don’t know what happened for four years!  Is there group amnesia over at City Hall!?!?  That must have been one hell of a party since nobody can remember what happened!

The inmates are running the asylum!  God help us!