All Pennsylvanians To Pay More, GOP Gleans From Report On Wolf’s Tax Plan

HARRISBURG, PA — Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s tax plan would hit all income classes and amount to a “huge tax grab,” said a leading Republican lawmaker.

But John Hanger, Wolf’s policy director, on Friday disputed the Independent Fiscal Office report’s main conclusions. Wolf’s plan “would benefit most Pennsylvania homeowners making up to $100,000 and renters up to $50,000,” Hanger said.

The report released this week makes a key observation when it says all groups would pay more — including a small net increase for the lowest income group, those making $25,000 or less annually, said House Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph, R-Delaware County.

That “directly contradicts” claims by Wolf and testimony of top staffers at appropriations meetings, Adolph said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/8239869-74/tax-wolf-budget#ixzz3YKajHAhL
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Pack Of Teens Allegedly Hurl Rocks At Vehicle, Threaten Driver After Vandalizing South Wilkes-Barre Business

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A pack of teenagers allegedly pelted a vehicle with a flurry of rocks before threatening the driver with a lead pipe, moments after the group vandalized a nearby South Wilkes-Barre business.

Steve Taren, owner of Wet Paint Printing & Design at 152 Horton St., said he recently witnessed a group of about 10 teenagers bending and ripping up about $2,000 worth of shrubs along the length of the building. Last year, Taren, 57, purchased and revitalized the 100-year-old abandoned woodworking warehouse to house the new location of his graphic and design business.

Taren said he had seen the teens in the neighborhood before and believed they attended Meyers High School.

Kimberly Rock, who at the time was picking up her son, Wet Paint employee Brian Casbeer, witnessed the vandalism and pursued the group on foot in an attempt to photograph them. One member of the group, who Rock said ranged from ages 8 to 18, appeared to be carrying a steel or lead pipe.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/153118080/

 

Pottstown Warrant Sweep Yields 20 Arrests

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller and Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono announce a warrant sweep leading to numerous arrests.

On April 23, 2015, Pottstown Police spearheaded a warrant sweep in the Pottstown area. The following agencies also participated in the sweep: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Montgomery County Detectives Bureau, Pennsylvania State Parole, Montgomery County Adult Probation and Pottstown Borough Code Enforcement.

Twenty people were arrested during the sweep. The sweep also led to a search warrant, which law enforcement served at 25 North Franklin Street, Apartment 309. The search revealed crack cocaine, marijuana, cash, and two firearms. The guns that were located were a .22 caliber Intratech handgun and a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun. Ammunition for both guns was also located during the search.

Additional marijuana, paraphernalia, and cash were seized during the arrests.

The following people (20) are charged with offenses:

Darryl Branch Jr. – Felony Drug Charges
Aurice Andrews – Felony Drug Charges
Devon Vogelsang – Felony Drug Charges
Christopher Saunders – Felony Drug Charges
Barry Moore – Felony Drug Charges
Ryan Hildebrand – Felony Drug Charges
Darryl Sutton – Robbery / Montgomery County Probation Detainer
Bryson Bridges – Robbery
Stacey Bowers – Chester County Bench Warrant
Daniel Ledford – Berks County Bench Warrant
Ebony Womack – Philadelphia Bench Warrant
Spencer Kinyanjui – DUI Warrant / Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Dustin Duval – Drug Charges / Montgomery County Probation Detainer
James Lewis – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Brandon Wade – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
David McCorkle – Drug Charges / Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Damien Cody – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
JUVENILE – Robbery
Jared Santos – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Lushan Goodlett – Felony Drug Charges

Pottstown PD and other law enforcement agencies are currently looking for twelve additional people for felony warrants for drug trafficking. These warrants are the result of a several month-long investigation into street level drug sales in the Pottstown area. The following people are wanted by the Pottstown Police. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact Pottstown Police at 610-970-6570.

Malik Attaway
Paris Eleby
Ameer Harris
Darnell Henderson
Kalido Hendricks
Avery Johnson
Kevin Overby
Corey Jackson
Juan Pimentel
Damien Ramirez
Tyree Wingate
Andre Womack

MCCC Ranks Among Top Community Colleges In Nation For Technology

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College is ranked second in the country for its use of technology according to a recent Digital Community Colleges Survey issued by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education (CDE). The 250 data-point survey analyzes how community colleges use digital technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

MCCC, with campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa., has ranked in the survey’s top 10 large community colleges since CDE introduced it a decade ago.

“Technology, itself, does not lead to innovation. But combined with vision, creativity and leadership, technology has the power to revolutionize teaching and learning,” said Dr. Celeste Schwartz, vice president for technology and college services.

Under the leadership of MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout, Schwartz and her team of IT professionals empower faculty and staff to use technology to inform decision making, to improve access and completion, and to provide students with state-of-the-art real-world learning experiences.

Over the past year, MCCC has implemented technology tools in several key student success areas—advising and student planning, financial literacy and mobile access—and has introduced academic certificate programs in key STEM disciplines like cloud computing, cyber security, and biotechnology.

To improve student entry and advising processes, MCCC launched a Student Success Network, which includes student academic planner, early alert, and a student facing success dashboard, through which students are able to see and connect with members of their student success team—advisors, faculty and staff from other support programs, like veterans’ resources and disability services. Faculty can refer students to tutoring and can address concerns and reinforce positive academic behaviors throughout the semester.

The redesigned process also includes an education planning tool that empowers students to map out their entire academic program progression and improves meaningful interaction between students and advisors. Analytical tools, including student and advisor dashboards, round out the Student Success Network.

Financial literacy is critical to student completion, and MCCC developed and launched a “Montco Money Matters” prototype through support from EDUCAUSE’s Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) Breakthrough Models Incubator (BMI). The open-source, online tool introduces first-time students to concepts of financial aid, loans and grants; highlights the long-term implications of loans and future debt; and makes them aware of other resources, like scholarships, to help pay for college.

MCCC is currently building on the success of it financial literacy prototype to include digital and civic literacy, which, like Montco Money Matters, will be publically accessible through Blackboard CourseSites and will engage students through video, social media and other interactive tools.

“The ‘new literacy’ programs, at their heart, focus on building the skills that students will need to be successful at all levels of their education and career, especially as they transition from high school to college,” said Schwartz, who is a key member of the design team along with faculty and staff from across the institution.

Much of MCCC’s technology is being developed with a “mobile-first” approach—necessary given that 86 percent of MCCC’s students use smartphones. This year, the College launched a new mobile app in partnership with Ellucian Go! MCCC also continues to build access through its Virtual Campus, which affords e-learners the opportunity to have a more robust college experience.

Having access to the latest technology, state-of-the-art learning spaces and instructional design experts empowers MCCC’s faculty to develop and refine curricula that prepares students for a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. Over the past year, MCCC introduced new high-tech certificate programs in the emerging fields of cloud computing, cyber security and biotechnology/biomanufacturing, along with associate’s degrees in life sciences, sound recording and music technology, and environmental studies.

MCCC also bolstered existing programs in engineering technology, health services management, criminal justice, health and fitness professional, management, culinary arts and education—all of which integrate the latest technology to ensure graduates are prepared for the demands of 21st century workforce.

All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in CDC’s survey within three classifications based on enrollment. MCCC, with more than 24,000 students annually, competes in the large college category. To learn more about the survey, visit centerdigitaled.com.

Allegheny County DA, Monroeville Police Team To Reduce Drug Activity, Violent Crime

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office will work with Monroeville police to reduce drug activity and violent crime in the eastern suburbs, officials said Thursday.

Drug activity in Monroeville has increased in the past six or seven years as Pittsburgh police efforts pushed drug sales out of Homewood and into nearby suburbs, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said.

“In a relatively short period of time, I think we can knock those numbers down,” Zappala said at a news conference in the Monroeville municipal building.

Police are monitoring the movement of narcotics in Monroeville’s business districts, he said. His office and other law enforcement agencies plan to work with Monroeville police to refocus the department’s efforts to monitor certain areas of the municipality.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8225273-74/monroeville-drug-police#ixzz3YFEFf2vU
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Motion To Make Leighton Pay ‘Gas-Gate’ Money Gets No Support At Council Meeting

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Thursday’s city council meeting featured one minute of agenda business followed by an hour-long free-for-all.

Council members, Mayor Tom Leighton, candidates in next month’s primary and members of the public sparred over long-standing hot topics — including a suggestion to sue Leighton to recover money Wilkes-Barre paid in fines for not documenting how city employees used city-owned gasoline.

First, council unanimously approved motions to suspend the city’s open container law for two upcoming downtown events: The Fine Arts Fiesta on May 14-17 in Public Square, and the Osterhout Free Library’s Rooftop Party at the Intermodal Transportation Center on Aug. 7.

The open-container suspensions “only apply to malted and brewed beverages and not to wine and liquors” and only to the sites and times of the planned events: The eastern corner of Public Square from 3 p.m. until close for the four-day Fine Arts Fiesta, and the rooftop and fourth floor of the transportation center’s parking garage, from 5 to 8 p.m., for the rooftop party.

Then the fireworks started with public comments in the packed council chamber.

Read more:

http://citizensvoice.com/news/motion-to-make-leighton-pay-gas-gate-money-gets-no-support-at-council-meeting-1.1869350

Wilkes University Breaks Ground On $1 Million Campus Gateway Project

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Wilkes University is on a mission.

The product of a 20-member committee, the university’s Gateway to the Future Strategic Plan was launched two years ago to stake out pathways for meeting future challenges.

That proposal took a literal spin Thursday, as university and elected officials broke ground on a $1 million walkway project to connect the campus with the heart of downtown Wilkes-Barre, the latest endeavor in the six-year plan to chisel a traditional residential campus out of the Diamond City’s urban landscape.

Within the last year, the university has pledged more than $30 million in upgrades to the campus, including a $33 million science center and an additional $3 million in renovations to the University Center at 169 S. Main St., the future site of the of the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top-local-news-news/153093061/Wilkes-launches-$1M-gateway

Hotel Bethlehem Named Among Top 100 U.S. Brunch Restaurants

Hotel Bethlehem has earned a hat trick of brunch awards.

For the third year, the hotel’s Sunday Musical Brunch in the Tap Room has earned a spot in the top 100 brunches list from OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards.

The list is compiled by five million reviews through the last year from OpenTable diners, according to a news release.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2015/04/hotel_bethlehem_named_among_to.html

Unisys Plans 1,800 Job Cuts

Unisys shares were down as much as 8 percent in early trading after the Blue Bell-based computer service company’s chief executive, Peter Altabef, told investors sales were down 5 percent in the past three months, due largely to weaker foreign revenues as the U.S. dollar strengthened.

The company plans an 8 percent “worldwide” reduction in its workforce, which totalled 23,000 last year. Severance and restructuring will cost $300 million, resulting in $200 million in yearly savings, the company added.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Unisys-plans-2000-job-cuts.html#Tv2iHY82ZSyg8f73.99

Act 1 DeSales University Performing Arts Presents: How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Saturday ◊ April 25, 2015 ◊ 8:00 p.m.
Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

Book by Abe Burrows & Jack Weinstock & Willie Gilbert • Music by Frank Loesser •Based on How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying by Shepherd Mead • Directed by Steven Dennis

“Fast, funny, and glitzy…a non-stop delight.” –The New York Times

Long before Mad Men, there was J. Pierrepont Finch’s story of power, ambition and greed. This Pulitzer Prize winning musical from the authors of Guys and Dolls follows Finch as he steps off the ledge from his window-washing job and rises to chairman of the board. Following a “how to” manual and breaking hearts and stepping on toes along the way, this musical’s great score features dazzling dance numbers and songs such as “I Believe in You,” “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,” and “Brotherhood of Man.”Ages 10+

Click Here to Buy
Last Minute Discount
RUSH Tickets
for ONLY
$9.99!

(price of regular ticket at the door $27.00)
Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office

Downingtown’s Three High Schools Named To Washington Post’s 2015 America’s Most Challenging

EAST CALN TOWNSHIP, PA – The three high schools in the Downingtown Area School District were named to Washington Post’s 2015 America’s Most Challenging High School programs list.

The Downingtown STEM Academy, Downingtown West High School and Downingtown East High School all appear on the Washington Post’s newly released list. Only 38 Pennsylvania high schools achieved this honor with Downingtown being the only Pennsylvania school district to have all district high schools nationally ranked, according to the Washington Post.

“We are very proud of our students and staff,” said Lawrence Mussoline, superintendent of schools.

The report looked at public and private high schools nationwide and ranked them based on the academic rigor of the schools’ curriculum. The Post filtered the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year. That number was then divided by the number of graduation seniors. Fewer than seven percent of the approximately 27,000 high schools in America qualified for this list.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150422/downingtowns-three-high-schools-named-to-washington-posts-2015-americas-most-challenging

2.5 Miles Of York County Rail Trail To Open Wednesday

One of the final pieces to fully connect the York County Heritage Rail Trail will officially open with pomp and circumstance Wednesday.

The newly constructed 2.5-mile section of the rail trail just north of York City will connect with the trail’s northern extension and all but connects with the trail’s southern portion.

The new section runs from the intersection of Route 30 and Loucks Mill Road in Springettsbury Township north along the east side of the Codorus Creek to Emig Road in Manchester Township.

Gwen Loose, executive director of the rail trail authority, did a final walk-through of a new trail bridge at Emig Road that ties the new section to the northern extension and was met by people already traversing the trail.

Read more:

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_27964759/2-5-miles-york-county-rail-trail-open

Cops: Edwardsville Man Stashed 95 Heroin Packets In His Anus

KINGSTON, PA — A man from Edwardsville removed a plastic baggie allegedly containing 95 heroin packets from his anus because he wanted to be “honest” with police, according to charges filed.

Dwight Ahmah Moses, 35, of Green Street, was arraigned Thursday by District Judge Joseph Carmody in West Pittston on two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and one count each of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.

Police stopped Moses on West Market Street at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after he failed to use turn signals when pulling away from the area of Schuyler Avenue. Police had watched Moses sitting in the car as a woman entered and exited within five minutes before the traffic stop, according to the criminal complaint.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/153094429/

Wal-Mart Holding Job Fair In Easton For Bethlehem Distribution Center

Wal-Mart is holding a job fair in Easton on Friday for its second distribution center in Bethlehem.

The job fair runs from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at ProJeCt of Easton’s Fowler Literacy Center at 200 Ferry St.

Online applications for unloaders, processors, order fillers and breakpack positions may be completed at the job fair, ProJeCt said. Representatives from Wal-Mart will be available to assist in the application process.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2015/04/wal-mart_holding_job_fair_in_e.html

Althouse Arboretum Volunteer Weekend, April 25th and 26th

Volunteer Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, April 25th & 26th
Last Saturday and Sunday of each month,
Come any time in between 10:00am & 3:00pm
We’ll be doing a little of everything!

Bring work gloves!
Yes, we’ll be working on all kinds of projects, lots going on! Beyond the projects is the opportunity to meet your neighbors, get out in the fresh air, be part of the community and have some fun. All invited, families welcomed. Come anytime between 10am and 3pm. Hope to see you there!

Programs
Don’t forget to check out our Spring and Summer Programs and Camps!

Spring Cleaning?
Check out our wishlist before you toss!

Garden & Poetry Month
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
If you can rhyme,
This contest is for you…

Message us on Facebook or email us with your best original short garden or Arboretum Poem before the end of April. Winners will be announced in May and the winning poem will win a gift card and be posted at the Arboretum!

Join us us on Facebook!

Our mailing address is:
Althouse Arboretum
1794 Gilbertsville Road
Pottstown, Pa 19464

Third Plum High School Teacher Charged In Connection With Student-Sex Case

Plum police on Wednesday filed witness intimidation charges against a Plum high school forensic science teacher.

Drew Zoldak, 40, of New Kensington, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of intimidation of a witness or victim.

Zoldak was arraigned just after 11:30 a.m. in front of Magisterial District Judge Linda Zucco.

According to the criminal complaint, after investigators from the Allegheny District Attorney’s office interviewed Zoldak, he apologized to his class for being absent from class and singled out as the cause a victim one of the other Plum teachers is accused of having sex with. According to the complaint, Zoldak then called the victim to the front of the class and asked her if she would be okay with the following week’s topic: sexual assault.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8216989-74/charges-assault-held#ixzz3Y3kPZQEK
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MU Student With Blood-Alcohol Level Of .27% Drove On Sidewalk, Nearly Struck 6 Pedestrians, Police Allege

A Millersville University student is charged with being “heavily intoxicated” when he drove his car — on a sidewalk near campus — nearly striking several pedestrians.

Cyle Knopf, a 21-year-old junior, is charged with eight misdemeanors regarding the March 20 incident at Brookwood Apartments, a student-housing community next to the campus.

Police allege Knopf had a blood-alcohol content of .276 percent — more than three times the state’s legal driving limit of .08 percent — shortly after he was stopped.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mu-student-with-blood-alcohol-level-of-drove-on-sidewalk/article_88bdb160-e8f6-11e4-b682-43abb65d905b.html