U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves In February On Job Outlook

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment improved in February, buoyed by signs of increased hiring, though worries heightened about a decline in future income, a survey released on Friday.

The Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment rose to 76.3 from 73.8 in January, topping economists’ forecasts of 74.8.

The barometer of current economic conditions rose to 88 from 85, while the gauge of consumer expectations rose to 68.7 from 66.6.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-us-economy-20130215,0,6427243.story

Pennsylvania: Life Is Good, Despite Some Concerns

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A majority of Pennsylvanians back the gun control measures endorsed by the White House, and nearly as many support the National Rifle Association proposal to put armed guards in schools.

On pocketbook matters, angst is growing.  A majority have a negative view of Pennsylvania’s economy, and satisfaction with family income fell 10 percentage points from last year, according to The Morning Call/Muhlenberg College 2013 Pennsylvania Quality of Life survey.

John Geist, a 62-year-old from South Whitehall Township, is a Pennsylvanian who falls into both categories.

Geist used to consider himself middle class, but he was laid off when his company outsourced and had to settle for another manufacturing job earning substantially less.  It was the second time in his life he’d lost his job through no fault of his own.

Read more:


Lititz Wins Coolest Small Town In America Contest

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

“Free Moravian Sugar Cake and Wilbur Buds for Everyone???”  Sandy Hendricks Morris proposed on the Downtown Lititz Facebook page.

Lititz and those who love it were in a celebratory mood Saturday after learning it really is “America’s Coolest Small Town.”

The borough north of Lancaster, known for its chocolate, pretzels and Moravian heritage, won Budget Travel‘s online contest after nearly 100,000 votes were cast for 924 towns.

Self-described Lititz “cheerleader” Gaylord Poling said he learned of the honor Friday evening on the Budget Travel website.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/815782_Lititz-is-coolest.html#ixzz2L5GHlMVA

Russian Region Begins Recovery From Meteor Fall

CHELYABINSK, Russia – A small army of workers set to work Saturday to replace the estimated 200,000 square meters (50 acres) of windows shattered by the shock wave from a meteor that exploded over Russia’s Chelyabinsk region.

The astonishing Friday morning event blew out windows in more than 4,000 buildings in the region, mostly in the capital city of the same name and injured some 1,200 people, largely with cuts from the flying glass.

Forty of the injured remained hospitalized on Saturday, two of them in serious condition, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing the regional health ministry.

Regional governor Mikhail Yurevich on Saturday said that damage from the high-altitude explosion, estimated to have been as powerful as 20 Hiroshima bombs — is estimated at 1 billion rubles ($33 million).  He promised to have all the broken windows replaced within a week.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20130216_ap_russianregionbeginsrecoveryfrommeteorfall.html

North Coventry Homicide: Chester County D.A. Says Investigators ‘Going All Out’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

NORTH COVENTRY — The Chester County Detectives and the North Coventry Police continued Friday investigating the murder of Kevin Allen, 17, of Norristown.

“The investigation is going all out,” Thomas P. Hogan, Chester Country district attorney, said Friday.

An autopsy on Allen’s body was preformed Wednesday night, but the cause of death is not being released, Hogan said.

Allen was found dead at his father’s burning apartment on Tuesday Feb.12, at Hanover Garden Apartments in the 200 block of East Schuylkill Road after a neighbor called the fire department.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130216/NEWS01/130219570/north-coventry-homicide-chester-county-d-a-says-investigators-going-all-out-#full_story

Bull Market For Bullets

The ongoing debate over stricter gun control measures in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., has prompted millions of gun enthusiasts to buy more guns and ammunition.

Public meetings and congressional hearings on proposals to ban assault-type rifles, limit magazines for semi-automatic rifles and pistols to 10 rounds and institute universal background checks, have caused a run on wholesale and retail firearms, ammunition and accessories.

President Barack Obama addressed gun control in his State of the Union speech Tuesday and spoke to the media Friday about the fatal shooting of a young girl from his hometown of Chicago who had marched as a drum majorette in his inauguration parade.

One result of the focus on gun control is an ongoing shortage of ammunition for consumers and some law enforcement agencies.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=453211

Reading Crime Summit’s Initial Plans Move Forward

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

As promised, Berks County Commissioner Chairman Christian Y. Leinbach issued a report Friday detailing progress made since a Jan. 18 summit on crime in Reading and Berks.

After the summit, Leinbach had pledged that he, District Attorney John T. Adams and Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer would distribute a public update in five areas:

City-county cooperation: A meeting between city and county officials has been set for March 11 at 1 p.m. in City Council chambers.

The meeting will be open to the public to observe, but will not be a forum for public comment, Leinbach said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=453131