Overhaul Possible For West Mifflin’s Century III Mall

The Century III Mall could be in for a dramatic makeover as the owner considers demolishing part of the complex to provide more retailers with outside entrances and bring in medical offices and a hotel.

A preliminary plan posted — and later removed on Thursday — from the website of the mall’s owner, Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments, called for opening the center part of the 1.3 million-square-foot complex so that it would resemble more of a outdoor shopping plaza.

It also called for a movie theater and 14,800-square-foot hotel, as well as transforming a vacant Sears store into medical offices or an assisted living facility.

Calls and email messages left for Moonbeam officials were not returned. However, West Mifflin officials said they had been talking with Moonbeam about the overhaul.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8458529-74/mall-moonbeam-century#ixzz3bXtyh8Hk
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It’s Official: Wilkes-Barre City Council Approves Agreement To Revitalize Public Square

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The first hurdle is cleared.

Wilkes-Barre City Council on Thursday unanimously voted to enter into an agreement for the rehabilitation of Public Square. Once the deal is signed, the National Resource Network — a federal organization that aids cities facing economic hardship — will begin the process of securing a capital funding plan for the project.

The agreement was approved 4-0. Councilman Bill Barrett was excused from the meeting.

The National Resource Network will not fund the construction but will assist city officials in securing the project’s funding through both private and public revenue sources. The $66,000 agreement will require a 25 percent match, or $16,500.

Mayor Tom Leighton said the agreement will be signed Friday.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/153769631/

Add $325 Million To Price For Philadelphia Gallery Makeover

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust and the Macerich Co. say it will take $325 million in new investment to transform the Gallery at Market East into what they are calling Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.

That is on top of the $250 million already spent by PREIT to assemble what had been privately owned property in the project area, bringing the total development cost to about $575 million.

The rest of the area still owned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will be conveyed to the developers as part of the revitalization plan being reviewed by City Council.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150529_Add__325_million_to_price_for_Gallery_makeover.html#F7QlJvyP5ed6ECxM.99

Changing Skyline: Could Haddon Township Be Cool As Collingswood?

Editor’s note:  This is a very good article about how to revitalize an urban walkable community. Maybe some of the Pottstown leadership might take 5 minutes and read something constructive on how to bring about revitalization.  A simple phone call to either of these communities might provide invaluable information.  People like to share their successes!

For years, planners and residents have been trying to understand why Haddon Township isn’t more like Collingswood, the millennial enclave that is South Jersey’s answer to Fairmount and East Passyunk. Situated side by side in Camden County, the two towns are old-school commuter suburbs, with small house lots, good sidewalks, and great transit to Center City. They even share a main street, Haddon Avenue, which runs through the center of both.

The pair are models for what smart-growth advocates call walkable urbanism, but Collingswood’s downtown is by far the buzzier place. You can stroll for blocks along its part of Haddon Avenue, poking into vintage stores, stopping for coffee, enjoying an al fresco meal at a BYOB. In the evenings, it’s common to see pedestrians toting a wine caddy or pushing a stroller.

In Haddon’s downtown, known as Westmont, you might not see any pedestrians for blocks.

Westmont is a frustrating example of potential unrealized. Like Collingswood, it boasts a burgeoning restaurant scene and a weekly farmers’ market. It has some great blocks filled with early 20th-century storefronts that would look at home on Passyunk Avenue. But those destinations are just lonely islands in a stream of dreary strip malls and parking lots.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20150529_Changing_Skyline__Could_Haddon_Township_be_cool_as_Collingswood_.html#fXSPdB7XQKlcWW7o.99

York City Council Moves Forward On Plans To Hold City-FOP Informational Hearing

York City Council will hold an executive session with the city’s solicitor during the next few weeks to determine whether to push forward with an informational hearing about the issues between the city and the local police union that almost resulted in the firing of two officers.

Council president Carol Hill-Evans said Wednesday night that she expects the session to be held within the next couple of weeks, at which point the members will decide what direction to take.

At the end of last month, city officials publicly acknowledged their intentions to fire officers Michael Davis and Jeremy Mayer, both local police union officials, for what the city characterized as their poor handling of another officer’s accusations of a criminal enterprise within the police department.

The city and the police union reached a settlement that ultimately allowed both officers to stay on the force, but many questions about the allegations made against the department, its investigation of itself, why the city sought action against the two officers and the settlement the city and union came to have been unanswered, council members said Wednesday.

Read more:

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_28201704/york-city-council-moves-forward-plans-hold-city

Despite Storms, Luzerne County Under Drought Watch

Editor’s note:  There are 27 Pennsylvania counties under this watch, including Berks.

Keith Hilliard has been watching the sky from his farm in Sugarloaf Township, hoping for rain.

Hilliard hasn’t seen the weather he’d like so far this spring.

The dry weather helped him plant seeds, but now, “if we don’t get any rain, it will affect those crops pretty quickly,” he said.

Some crops are worth irrigating for Hilliard, president of the Luzerne County Farm Bureau. Others won’t offer enough return on his investment. About 40 percent of his hay crop has already been affected by the dry weather.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do with a lack of rain,” he said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/despite-storms-county-under-drought-watch-1.1889261

Lehigh Valley Health Network, Pocono Medical Center Want To Merge

Lehigh Valley Health Network and Pocono Health System are seeking to merge in a move that will expand LVHN’s scope further north.

The board of directors of both organizations authorized a letter of intent to merge in separate meetings, LVHN announced Thursday afternoon in a news release.

Additional due diligence, negotiations and regulatory approvals will be necessary before any deal becomes official, the release states.

PHS’s flagship property is the Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg. It’s a mid-sized, acute care facility that employs more than 200 physicians and 1,850 staff members, according to the PHS website.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2015/05/lehigh_valley_health_network_p.html

SEPTA Plans To Spend $154 Million On New Locomotives

SEPTA plans to spend up to $154 million for 18 new Regional Rail locomotives, the authority’s biggest railroad acquisition in a decade.

The electric locomotives would replace eight aging engines operating on the Lansdale-Doylestown, Paoli-Thorndale, Trenton, and Wilmington-Newark lines, and add capacity to other regional lines.

The SEPTA board is expected to approve the purchase on Thursday, with the locomotives to be delivered in 2018.

SEPTA is buying 13 “Cities Sprinter” ACS-64 locomotives to be built by Siemens Industry Inc., the German conglomerate, at its factory in Sacramento, Calif. The price includes an option for five additional locomotives.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20150528_SEPTA_plans_to_spend__154_million_on_new_locomotives.html#XVS5I7GsXp8U8cR1.99

Refurbished Rail Cars Finally Roll On PATCO

PATCO finally rolled out the first of its refurbished rail cars Thursday morning, with local officials promising the $194 million overhaul will mean new levels of comfort, safety and reliability for commuters who travel between South Jersey and Center City.

The rebuilt cars, with new interiors, electronics and heating systems, are more than a year late returning to service from a factory in Hornell, N.Y., because of persistent problems fine-tuning an automatic signal system that gives operating instructions to the trains.

All systems, including new visual and audio station announcements, appeared to work flawlessly Thursday on the first train’s inaugural trip from Woodcrest station in Cherry Hill to the subway stop at 8th and Market streets in Center City.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150529_Refurbished_rail_cars_finally_roll_on_PATCO.html#5rso0iHdwzqSSrRm.99

The Enlightened Path Holistic Center Has Moved!‏

We’ve Moved!
The Enlightened Path has moved to a new location! We have moved across the street from our old location and are now located in the Picasso Plaza 1483 N Charlotte St Pottstown. We still provide all the same services and wonderful gifts but we have better parking, easier in and out, outside space & a beautiful inside space! Come on out and see the great new center!

Enlightened Path Holistic Cent
1483 N Charlotte St
Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19464
484-624-8095

enlightened path

Montgomery County Community College To Host Tri-County Concerts Association’s 73rd Annual Youth Festival Concert – June 6‏

Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will host the Tri-County Concerts Association’s 73rd Annual Youth Festival Concert on Saturday, June 6, at 7 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.  Tickets cost $10 for general admission; students and children are free.

The Tri-County Concerts Youth Festival is one of the area’s most prestigious competitions for aspiring young classical musicians living in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties.  Since 1943, the festival has been a stepping-stone to achievement for many emerging young artists, several of whom are now current and retired members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. MCCC is proud to host the concert each year featuring these talented students.

This year, they will perform works by Beethoven, Chopin, Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Elgar, among others.

Many Montgomery County students won top prizes in this year’s Tri-County Youth Festival and will perform at the concert.

First place awards were presented to:  harpist Michael Turner of Phoenixville, a seventh grader at The Wyndcroft School, in the Junior Musica Diversa Division; violinist Ethan Frankel of Royersford, an eighth grader at Spring-Ford Middle School, in the Junior Strings Division; and clarinetist Jack Zhang of Blue Bell, a senior of at Wissahickon High School, in the Senior Winds Division.

Second place awards were presented to: pianist Connie Jiang of Harleysville, an eighth grade student at Pennfield Middle School, in the Junior Piano Division; oboist Nina Cheng of Ambler, a junior at Upper Dublin High School, in the Senior Winds Division.

Additionally, the Dolce String Quartet with violinist Rachel Sigler of Gilbertsville, who is home-schooled, violinist Bryn Borzillo and violist Emily Adams of Royersford, who both attend Spring-Ford 5-6 Center, and cellist Sarah Lesher of Telford, a seventh grader who attends Indian Crest Middle School, won second place in the Senior Ensemble Division.

Several other Montgomery County students won Honorable Mention at the auditions. In the Senior Ensemble Division, La Chasse Quartet with violinists Stephanie Ko and Julia Povlow, violist Madeline Herman, and cellist Mark Egan placed. Ko, Povlow and Egan attend Methacton High School, and Herman attends Spring-Ford High School.

In the Senior Strings Division, cellist Nina Chae-Gordon, a freshman at Saint Joseph’s Academy, and violinist Fiyi Adebekun, a freshman at Pennfield Middle School placed. In the Junior Strings Division, violinist Jolade Adebekun, an eighth grade student at Pennfield Middle School placed.

For further information about the concert, contact Eleanor James at 610-986-3555 or tricountyyouthfestival@gmail.com or visit www.tricountyconcerts.org. For more information about Montgomery County Community College, visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518.

Pottsville Residents Complain About Demolition Waste In Alley

When residents complained Tuesday about more than a ton of concrete refuse, which a city contractor dumped at the far end of a Pottsville alley more than a year ago, officials promised action.

“A contractor dumped those there about a year and a half ago. There’s a wall here that borders my yard. And the weight of those, with the snow and the rain, is pushing that wall toward my yard,” Sue Rich, 422 Harrison St., Pottsville, said.

Mark Santai, 426 Harrison St., and Betty Guy, 432 Harrison St., also complained about the load of concrete dropped behind their properties.

“We already talked to that contractor and he said he was going to come out and move that stuff. We’ll contact him again and if he doesn’t get to it in a couple of days, we might have to issue a citation,” Justin D. Trefsger, the city’s code enforcement officer, said Monday.

On Tuesday, City Administrator Thomas A. Palamar identified that contractor as Penn Earthworks, Hazleton.

Read more:

http://republicanherald.com/news/pottsville-residents-complain-about-demolition-waste-in-alley-1.1888747

UPMC Offering Buyouts To 3,500 Employees In Cost-Cutting Move

DSC01840UPMC is offering buyouts to 3,500 of its older workers in a move to cut costs as the Pittsburgh hospital giant adjusts to slowing demand for hospital-based care.

The nonprofit organization said Tuesday that it was offering the voluntary severance to employees who are 60 or older and have at least 10 years of service. The offer, which was made to 5.6 percent of UPMC’s total workforce, includes medical and dental benefits, severance pay and a one-time cash payment of $15,000, UPMC said in a statement.

“This program both honors and respects long-term staff members who are ready to move to the next phase in life and, simultaneously, helps achieve cost-savings for UPMC by adjusting our workforce to meet the demands of the health care marketplace,” the statement said.

UPMC is the state’s largest private employer, with about 62,000 workers.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8442119-74/upmc-health-largest#ixzz3bM0tSWNm
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Plum Teacher Held For Trial On Charges Of Witness Intimidation

A judge on Wednesday upheld intimidation charges against a Plum high school teacher amid tearful testimony from the alleged victim.

Drew Zoldak, a science teacher, is charged with two counts of witness intimidation for allegedly pointing out a victim in an ongoing student sex abuse investigation involving another Plum teacher.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8447884-74/teacher-sex-intimidation#ixzz3bLzDQzwH
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Philadelphia Wants To Buy Former Scott Plaza Site As Part Of Airport-Expansion Plan

Philadelphia wants to buy the 27-acre property known as International Plaza on Route 291 in Tinicum Township, Delaware County, as part of a long-range expansion of Philadelphia International Airport.

An ordinance was introduced in City Council on Thursday, paving the way for the city-owned airport to purchase the complex, which has two office buildings that were once the corporate headquarters of Scott Paper Co.

The former Scott Plaza site is owned by a joint venture of affiliates of New York-based private equity firm Angelo Gordon & Co. and Amerimar Enterprises Inc., a commercial real estate development and management company.

“We are in the loop on this,” said Gerald Marshall, president and CEO of New York-based Amerimar Enterprises. “Yes, we are willing to sell it.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150527_Phila__wants_to_buy_former_Scott_Plaza_site_as_part_of_airport-expansion_plan.html#U7MimCXQbI5WcApC.99

With Space To Spare, Pittsburgh International Draws Corporate Jet Carrier

Pittsburgh International Airport’s status as a former hub facility with space to spare helped draw OneJet, a new corporate jet carrier seeking to gain a foothold inside Concourse D.

“That’s one of the reasons Pittsburgh is one of the top five cities we put in place early on,” said CEO Matthew Maguire. “We see a bigger vision for it beyond the user service.”

OneJet, catering to business travelers on seven-seat Hawker 400s, launched between Milwaukee and Indianapolis in April, and Pittsburgh this month. A fourth destination will be announced within two months. Down the road, OneJet plans to add crews and maintenance operations in Pittsburgh.

OneJet’s business model focuses on gate-to-gate travel between midsized cities, allowing direct flights to destinations that otherwise involve lengthy layovers. A trip to Indianapolis with a connection may take 4 12 hours, compared with the about 60-minute service on OneJet

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8416213-74/onejet-pittsburgh-service#ixzz3bGO3ekH3
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“Unofficially Summer” Weather To Bake Lancaster County All Week

It’s a good thing swimming pools around Lancaster County have just opened because the week ahead will be unseasonably warm and muggy.

And that’s not good news for area farmers, where a deficit in precipitation around the county is making it hard for newly planted crops to shoot upward.

Nor for the county’s firefighters, who continue to be called out to brush fires.

“Unofficially summer,” is what Eric Horst is calling the unusually hot spell.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/unofficially-summer-weather-to-bake-lancaster-county-all-week/article_469a42aa-03b6-11e5-a09d-0303b8c296f3.html

Potential Face-Lift In Store For Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square And Its Fountain

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Something’s shaping up on Public Square.
 
During Tuesday’s work session, Wilkes-Barre City Council will hear a resolution allowing city officials to enter into an agreement for the rehabilitation of Public Square, with the downtown hub’s long-defunct water fountain as one of the potential project’s main focuses.
 
Andrew LaFratte, municipal affairs manager, said the administration applied for a grant in December through the National Resource Network, an organization that provides assistance to cities facing economic challenges. The creation of the network was at the core of the Obama Administration’s “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative, enacted in 2012 to spark development in ailing communities with help from the federal government.
 
To be considered eligible for assistance, cities must have over 40,000 residents and must meet one of three criteria, including a 2013 annual average unemployment rate of 9 percent or more, a population decline of 5 percent or more between 2000 and 2010, or a poverty rate of 20 percent or more.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/153665740/

Carbon Monoxide Sends 8 To Hospital In Norristown

NORRISTOWN, PA – Carbon monoxide emissions on the 100 block of West Airy Street in Norristown sent eight people to the hospital late Saturday night.

Crews were summoned to 156 W. Airy St. for a medical call around 11 p.m. Saturday, according to Norristown Fire Chief Tom O’Donnell

“There was a subject vomiting and not feeling well,” he said. “When they got there they immediately detected a generator running in the basement and called the Norristown Fire Department.”

A systematic house by house search was conducted for any other victims due to the extremely high levels of carbon monoxide in the home, O’Donnell said.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150524/carbon-monoxide-sends-8-to-hospital-in-norristown