Development Could Soon Be Booming In West End

Pittsburgh’s building boom, centered for years on Downtown and East End neighborhoods, is spreading into the West End.

Developers are focusing on Banksville Road where nearly $3 million is being spent to build a hotel, an office building and an expansion of offices for an engineering firm.

“The city of Pittsburgh overall is doing well in terms of development,” said City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, who represents West End communities. “Banksville has good access to Downtown, the Parkway (West), the airport and suburbs.”

A Comfort Inn and Suites is going up near a Days Inn along lower Banksville Road. The $2.7 million project includes a four-story hotel building with 69 rooms and 64 parking spaces, according to Pittsburgh Planning Commission records.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8187310-74/banksville-building-west#ixzz3XfbnKxm8
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Hundreds Of Heroin Packets, Gun Seized From Plymouth Residence

PLYMOUTH, PA— Police confiscated more than 600 heroin packets and a handgun during the arrest of three people Thursday night.

Police arrested Pedro Manuel Noriega, 41, of West Main Street, Plymouth, and Jason Demski, 32, address listed as homeless, when they allegedly arrived at a residence on James Street to deliver heroin.

Noriega allegedly had 125 heroin packets and Demski had nearly $500 in his pockets, police said.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152990273/

MCCC Students Named To All-PA Academic Team, Two As Coca-Cola Silver Scholars

Harrisburg, Pa.—The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC) recognized 44 students from across the Commonwealth—including four from Montgomery County Community College—as members of the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team on April 13 in Harrisburg.  According to PACCC, the awards recognize an exceptional group of community college students who have achieved excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges and communities.

In partnership with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), All-PA Academic Team honorees are awarded two-year scholarships to any of the PASSHE institutions. Additional scholarship money is awarded by Coca-Cola to students based on their All-USA Community College Academic Team application scores.

Two MCCC students—Kendra Houck, Pottstown, and Heidi Hunsberger, Norristown, were named Coca-Cola Silver Scholars, which awards them an additional $1,250 in scholarship funds. They are joined by Caitlin Moser, Schwenksville, and Angelina Sirak, Green Lane, in representing MCCC on the 2015 All-PA Academic Team.

As a dual enrollment student, Kendra Houck, 18, will earn an associate’s degree from MCCC only a few days after graduating from high school. At MCCC, Houck serves as president of the Beta Tau Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and as a senator with the West Campus Student Government Association, and she is a member of the West End Student Theatre drama club. She plans to transfer to Gwynedd Mercy University in the fall to study clinical psychology.

Heidi Hunsberger, 33, will graduate from MCCC in June with an associate’s degree in liberal studies before transferring to Thomas Jefferson University to study occupational therapy in an accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree program. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and is a dedicated volunteer with the Special Olympics Bowling League.

Caitlin Moser, 24, discovered a passion for history at MCCC’s West Campus, citing late Assistant Professor of History Ryan Johnson as inspiring her to pursue a career as a history professor. She graduated from MCCC in December is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts degree program in history at LaSalle University. During her time at MCCC, Moser was a member of the Beta Tau Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Liberal Studies major Angelina Sirak, 20, is an Honors Program Scholar and a Mustangs Scholar Athlete. She is a three-sport student athlete—playing soccer, basketball and soccer, and she serves as the treasurer of the Honors Club and as a member of the Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and the Hola Club. Sirak plans to transfer to a PASSHE institution to study sports journalism.

To be eligible for the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team, students must have completed at least 36 credits at the time of application and must maintain a 3.5 grade point average. To learn more and to see a full list of recipients, visit htt://www.pacommunitycolleges.org.

Heinz Endowments Looks To Smart Urban Planning For Pittsburgh Moment

The Heinz Endowments is redirecting resources toward smart urban planning to seize upon an “amazing moment” in Pittsburgh’s development, foundation president Grant Oliphant said Thursday.

A citywide building boom, an infusion of young professionals and heightened partnerships between foundation and civic officials are among factors jump-starting conversations about long-term planning strategies.

“Suddenly, in 2015, Pittsburgh is a place to be,” Oliphant said. “There is an energy in Pittsburgh around development that makes possible things that were really not possible to push forward 10 years ago.”

Oliphant’s remarks emerge 18 months after a major personnel shakeup at The Heinz Endowments, Western Pennsylvania’s second largest foundation with more than $1.5 billion in net assets. A string of executive departures in 2013 left the foundation without an executive director for eight months, amid an apparent clash between the Heinz family and departing staffers over the foundation’s ties to an industry-backed environmental group.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8178606-74/heinz-foundation-oliphant#ixzz3Xapyylia
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Wilkes-Barre Police Investigating Shooting

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police are at a residence on Monroe Street investigating a shooting this morning.

Police were alerted to the shooting when a man arrived by private vehicle at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital at approximately 10:20 a.m.

Police and city detectives wearing body armor are at the scene questioning witnesses and neighbors.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/breaking_news/152984712/

Gov. Tom Wolf Preaches ‘Gospel Of Manufacturing’ During Lehigh Valley Visit (Video)

Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday that students educated at Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and Lehigh Carbon Community College will power Pennsylvania’s economic engine.

“If we’re going to have a future in manufacturing in Pennsylvania, what you learn here is really, really important,” Wolf told students after touring LCCC and LCTI, which sit on neighboring campuses in North Whitehall Township.

“I’m preaching the gospel of manufacturing,” he said.  “Manufacturing is making a comeback…Part of the reason manufacturing has a great future in Pennsylvania is because we have really good workers.”

Read more/watch video:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2015/04/gov_tom_wolf_preaches_gospel_o.html

UPDATED: Police Officer Injured In Pottstown Traffic Stop, Suspect Shot By Police After Chase

Pottstown, PA – A Lower Pottsgrove Township police officer was injured and a suspect was shot Thursday night after a traffic stop gone awry.

The officer was making the traffic stop on East High Street in the borough at approximately 8:45 p.m. when a male suspect driving a blue BMW sport utility vehicle did not yield to police signals. The pursuit began at East High Street and Heritage Drive and continued westbound into the 1400 block of High Street where the officers had gotten the vehicle cornered and stopped, according to Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Michael Foltz.

The officer, whom police have not yet named, then got out of his car to approach the driver.The driver then allegedly hit the officer with the car and the officer began shooting at the vehicle, Foltz said.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/20150417/updated-police-officer-injured-in-pottstown-traffic-stop-suspect-shot-by-police-after-chase

$20 RUSH TICKETS For Moscow String Quartet‏

Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem
presents

Moscow String Quartet

  • Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2
  • Mozart: String Quartet No. 16 in Eb Major, K. 428
  • Schnittke: String Quartet No. 2

Friday ◊ April 17, 2015 ◊ 7:30 p.m.
Faith United Church of Christ
Center Valley, PA
Founded in 1975 by Moscow Conservatory students of the Borodin Quartet’s famed cellist Valentin Berlinsky, the Moscow String Quartet has been praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for the grace, sonority, and lyricism associated with Borodin, “their natural home.” Included in the ensemble’s impressive repertoire, of course, are Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. They have also championed the work of more contemporary Russian composers like Sofia Gubaidulina and Alfred Schnittke. The MSQ artists name, as their inspirations, great Russian musicians: Oistrakh, Rostropovich, Richter, Gilels, and Berlinsky. It is no wonder that they are considered one of the major Russian chamber ensembles currently performing and recording.

At a concert organized by West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt and at the special invitation of then Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke, the group played in Berlin Stadium to celebrate the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The quartet has toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, including performances in the United States at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the White House. Glowing reviews of MSQ performances consistently focus on the group’s musical patience, producing “inward subtleties” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and its “lithe athleticism and wry wit” (Stereophile). The Dallas Morning News noted “deft, elegant playing, passionate where called for, but never hysterical. . . . a welcome reprieve from the turbocharged assaults” too often made by other ensembles. Jerry Dubins, in reviewing for Fanfare a new release (2014) of the quartet’s performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 2 in A, declared “this is amazing music-making at its highest level.”

Watch and Listen on YouTube!

Click Here to Buy
Limited RUSH Tickets $20.00

Regular Price $30

Rush Tickets available online only through Lehigh Valley Arts Council

RecycleMania Results: MCCC Ranks Top In PA, 6th In U.S. For Minimizing Waste

RM_logo_2015-01Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa—Montgomery County Community College’s efforts to cut waste over the last decade have propelled it to the top of the score sheet in RecycleMania’s 2015 competition. In the category of waste minimization, MCCC ranked first among higher education institutions in Pennsylvania, fifth among public two-year colleges nationally, and sixth overall among all colleges and universities in the country, making it MCCC’s most successful RecycleMania finish in eight years of competition.

RecycleMania’s Waste Minimization category measures an institution’s total waste—trash and recycling collected during the eight-week competition—and divides it by the number of students, faculty and staff on campus to calculate the amount of waste per person. MCCC collected only 8.395 pounds of waste per capita—almost half of the per capita amount collected in 2014.

“Less waste per capita means that our efforts to educate the campus community about the importance of reducing and reusing, in addition to recycling, are paying off,” said Jaime Garrido, associate vice president for facilities and construction at MCCC. “For example, the College invested in water filling stations that have eliminated more than 108,000 plastic bottles from recycling or waste streams over the past three years—that’s close to 14 miles of plastic bottles!”

In addition to waste minimization, RecycleMania also ranks institutions according to volume and percentage of recycling collected during the competition.

In the Per Capita Classic category, MCCC finished 17th in Pennsylvania, with 1.884 pounds of recycling per capita. This positioned the College as 20th among two-year institutions nationally, and 289th overall.

In the Grand Champion category, MCCC scored a 22.447 percent cumulative recycling rate, positioning it 13th in Pennsylvania, 16th among two-year institutions nationally, and 175th overall.

MCCC collected a cumulative 17,960 pounds of recycling, ranking it 15th in Pennsylvania, 20th among two-year institutions nationally, and 274th overall in the Gorilla Prize category.

RecycleMania is an eight-week nationwide competition, held Feb. 1 through March 28, during which colleges and universities competed to see who could reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste. MCCC has participated for eight consecutive years.

Nationally, 390 institutions recycled or composted 80.1 million pounds of materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere. According to the U.S. EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), MCCC’s recycling efforts during the competition resulted in a greenhouse gas reduction of 33 MTCO2E, which translates to the energy consumption of three households or the emissions of six cars.

MCCC was among the first institutions in the country to sign American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. The College’s sustainability efforts are led by a team of faculty, students, administrators, support staff, alumni and community members that comprise the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council.

To learn more about MCCC’s Sustainability Initiative, visit its “Think Green” blog at http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

To learn more about RecycleMania or to view the full list of results, visit http://www.recyclemaniacs.org.

PPG Axes 1,700 Jobs As Part Of Global Restructuring

DSC01801PPG Industries Inc. is trimming 4 percent of its global workforce as the world’s largest paint and coatings company tries to reduce costs related to a spate of recent acquisitions.

The Downtown-based company said it was cutting 1,700 jobs as part of a restructuring that also includes reducing production capacity. About 40 of PPG’s 2,500-person workforce in Pittsburgh will lose jobs, the company said.

PPG is aiming to achieve $100 million to $105 million in annual pretax savings by 2017 from the restructuring. Further details of the capacity reductions were not available, the company said.

PPG spent about $2.4 billion buying companies last year, part of a long-term strategy to grow through acquisitions.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8177530-74/million-share-ppg#ixzz3XUlxVMxb
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Homeless Man Charged With Homicide With Fatal Stabbing At Interfaith Heights Apartments

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police charged a homeless man with fatally stabbing a homeless activist inside an apartment at Interfaith Heights earlier this year.

Matthew Vantine, 27, was charged with criminal homicide in the death of 53-year-old Bryan “Hippie” Hogan.

Hogan’s body was found inside his apartment on Jan. 30.

Vantine said he didn’t kill Hogan, saying “He was a good man.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top/152959164/

Wilkes-Barre Residents Voice Concerns About Plan To Convert Sacred Heart Into 31-Unit Apartment Building

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A proposal to convert the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and School into high-end apartments drew the ire of several North End residents at Wednesday’s Zoning Hearing Board meeting.

Philadelphia developer Hysni Syla, a current Kingston resident, said he “came here to invest” in potential development sites like the shuttered school and church at 601 N. Main St. The former closed in 2011 as shrinking membership and a drop in priests forced the Diocese of Scranton to close the doors of the century-old church.

The proposal would convert the school into 31 units, while renovating the church into an art studio and rectory into four additional apartment units.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/152948142/

New ‘Flagship’ Wawa In Center City To Have Seating

Wawa will open its first store with interior seating in Center City Philadelphia this year, the company announced Thursday as it celebrated its 51st anniversary by giving away free coffee.

Work on the store at South Broad and Walnut Streets should begin in May and be finished in time for a Thanksgiving opening, said Lori Bruce, a Wawa spokeswoman.

Wawas in Florida and several other locations have outside seating, but not indoors.

Bruce said besides the seating the “new flagship store … will feature many new design concepts.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150417_Wawa_celebrates_anniversary_with_free_coffee.html#L3Rq2Z2yXVzmS5Lj.99

UK Watchdog Fines BNY Mellon $185 Million

Bank of New York Mellon will pay a $185 million penalty to British regulators for failing to keep customer money safe during the financial crisis.

The fine brought by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority settles an investigation into the bank’s practices between November 2007 and August 2013.

The British watchdog said the bank’s failure to “record, reconcile and protect safe custody assets” during that period “was particularly serious given the systemically important nature of the firms.”

The world’s largest custody bank, BNY Mellon safeguards financial assets for clients, including large institutions.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8177054-74/bank-mellon-bny#ixzz3XOT7DbxX
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Two Years In The Making, Market Square Grocery Store’s Opening Is Near

On a cloudy and cool spring morning, Downtown Pittsburgh’s first grocery in five years was emerging from its shell like a butterfly from its cocoon.

Some workers stocked a freezer with frozen shrimp, lobster langostino and other seafood. Others handled deliveries of cheeses and other goods. Yet others trained to use the cash register.

At the back of 435 Market St., bottles of imported red and white Italian wines beckoned visitors. Pastas, cereals, chocolates, pickles, olives, teas, cookies, jelly, potato chips and sauces crammed the shelves.

“ ‘Finally’ is the word,” developer Ralph Falbo said as he talked to two friends and surveyed the scene.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2015/04/15/Market-Square-to-get-grocery-store-soon/stories/201504150099

Giant Supermarkets To Boost Minimum Pay To $9 Per Hour

Giant Food Stores will boost its minimum pay to $9 per hour, effective June 7, the company said Tuesday.

The change applies to 197 non-union supermarkets run by Carlisle-based Giant and its Martin’s division.

Data from a website that tracks wages shows the decision will be worth as much as $1.67 per hour extra for the company’s workforce.

“Our associates are the foundation of our success and we have always believed in paying competitive wages to attract the best talent,” said Giant President Tom Lenkevich in a prepared statement.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/giant-supermarkets-to-boost-minimum-pay-to-per-hour/article_9581413c-e360-11e4-8edd-bfd0cd3f9d3d.html

Harrisburg City Council Passes Resolution Calling For Safety Of Oil Trains

Lancaster County officials aren’t the only ones expressing concern over oil trains passing through communities along the Susquehanna River.

Harrisburg City Council Tuesday night passed a resolution that urges Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve the designs of rail cars that carry explosive crude oil across the country and through populated areas.

The resolution also urged rail companies to replace their fleet of oil tank cars with improved models. And the measure asked the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to help local emergency responders better prepare for the possibility of an oil-train accident.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/harrisburg-city-council-passes-resolution-calling-for-safety-of-oil/article_9b630868-e376-11e4-b6a8-3f5ea18bf998.html

PREIT Reveals The Gallery’s New Look

Everything about the decrepit Gallery at Market East may be about to change.

Under an intended top-to-bottom renovation, one of Center City’s most notorious dead spots would be reborn as a gleaming glass-and-steel emporium – brimming with brand-name discount fashion shops, destination restaurants, and lively sidewalk cafés.

Even the name would be new. Welcome, shoppers, to the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.

Details of the plan were provided exclusively to The Inquirer in advance of a series of meetings by government agencies whose support is vital to the project. The news marks a grand unveiling of plans for the Gallery following years of uncertainty and speculation.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150415_PREIT_reveals_the_Gallery_s_new_look.html#ZjuIZxyXWmB7TTV1.99

The State Theatre Presents Four Bitchin’ Babes

Four Bitchin' Babes25th Anniversary Celebration

The original “Girls Night Out” group that started it all celebrates 25 years of fan favorites with their signature heavenly harmonies and classic killer comedy! It’s the BEST estrogen fueled musical review EVAH from the BEST of the 4 Bitchin Babes!

“The traveling Oprah Winfreys” – The Boston Globe

All Audiences.

Watch a clip of Four Bitchin’ Babes on YouTube
&
Listen to a sampling of their music

Price of Regular Ticket at the door $25.00
Seats are in the Orchestra or Loge levels
(patrons will be seated upon arrival)

Rush Tickets available online only through the Lehigh Valley Arts Council
The State Theatre
453 Northampton Street
Easton, PA 18042

Submissions For Wilkes-Barre Fine Arts Fiesta Due Saturday

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Wilkes-Barre’s 60th Fine Arts Fiesta “A Diamond in the Square” will once again bring a sense of culture and beauty to public square May 14-17.

Gary T. Womelsdorf, a board member and visual arts chairman, is busy preparing for the event’s adult and student juried art exhibitions and wants to remind artists that delivery of artwork is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Fiesta Central, Midtown Village, 41 S. Main St. near Katana Restaurant.

Any artist living within a radius of 100 miles is eligible to compete.

Artwork can be submitted and judged in six specific categories: crafts, graphics, paintings, photography, sculpture/construction and water color.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top-local-news/152894100/