‘Guardian Angel’ Gives New Car, Vests To West Hazleton Police

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The West Hazleton Police Department is getting a new police cruiser and four bulletproof vests thanks to a $42,180 check from a “guardian angel.”

West Hazleton Mayor Frank Schmidt said the kind gesture came after a complaint Friday morning.

“The thing the person was complaining about, I told them, I couldn’t do anything about,” Schmidt said. “As we were talking, the subject of senior citizens came up, and how afraid some of them are to leave their homes.”

Then the topic of police was mentioned, and the donor asked how the department was getting along.  Schmidt said council members will discuss during their next meeting whether to buy or lease a new cruiser, because the borough needs one.

Read more:  http://republicanherald.com/news/guardian-angel-gives-new-car-vests-to-west-hazleton-police-1.1463511

Pottstown School Board Approves Keystone Tax Break For New Business

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  See what happens when we are all on the same page!  This sends a positive signal to the investment community that Pottstown is “OPEN FOR BUSINESS”.   This needs to happen more often.  Two Thumbs Up to all involved!

POTTSTOWN — With a 7-2 vote Monday night, the Pottstown School Board endorsed a property tax break for a business that wants to re-locate to the former 84 Lumber truss plant on Keystone Boulevard.

School board members Polly Weand and Andrew Kefer cast the only votes against endorsing the Keystone Opportunity Zone tax exemption for Conshohocken-based Heritage Coach Co., which sells hearses and limousines.

The vote comes just three days after state Rep. Mark Painter, D-146th Dist., announced his support for the tax break.

Under the terms of the deal negotiated by Schools Superintendent Jeff Sparagana and Borough Manager Mark Flanders, Heritage would pay no property taxes in the first three years of the 10-year deal.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130326/NEWS01/130329480/pottstown-school-board-approves-tax-break-for-new-business

US Airways Moon Township Center May Close

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US Airways may jettison yet another Pittsburgh International Airport facility built specifically for its needs — one financed with the help of more than $16 million in public subsidies.

In a meeting last week with pilots, US Airways CEO Doug Parker said the carrier may close its state-of-the-art operations control center in Moon in “a couple years” as a result of its merger with bankrupt American Airlines.

If Mr. Parker’s prediction holds true, it would be the latest blow to a region that has seen US Airways slash more than 10,000 jobs and hundreds of flights over the past decade.  The airline also eliminated its Pittsburgh hub in 2004 — 12 years after the midfield terminal, built to its specifications, opened to support the airline’s growing needs. US Airways now has about 1,800 employees in the region.

Closing the operations control center would cost the region another 700 jobs.  The 72,000-square-foot building opened in November 2008 after Pennsylvania and Allegheny County officials outbid Charlotte, N.C., and Phoenix for the facility.  It combined a center in Findlay that US Airways had operated for 11 years and a smaller one in Phoenix, the result of the carrier’s 2005 merger with America West Airlines.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/us-airways-moon-center-may-close-680893/#ixzz2OfqwUXRr

$63.3M Project Will Expand Route 202 To Six Lanes

Southbound U.S. Route 202 past the interchange...

Southbound U.S. Route 202 past the interchange with U.S. Route 422 in Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EAST WHITELAND — A $63.3 million project to expand 2.6 miles of U.S. Route 202 to six lanes to improve travel and reduce congestion will begin Monday night, April 1.

The project is the final one in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s program to expand 6.2 miles of Route 202 to six lanes from just south of the Chesterbrook Interchange in Tredyffrin Township to the Route 30 Interchange.

“The start of this second Main Line contract is another positive step forward in our plan to transform Route 202 into a modern highway capable of moving travelers smoothly and safely through the Great Valley area of Chester County,” PennDOT District Executive Lester C. Toaso said.

Allan A. Myers LP, of Worcester, was chosen as the project contractor and will reconstruct and widen Route 202 from four lanes to six between the Route 401 and Route 30 interchanges. This project is scheduled to finish in May 2016.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130326/NEWS01/130329515/-63-3m-project-will-expand-route-202-to-six-lanes#full_story

Reading City Council Divided Over Commission Nominee

Sam Rucklewitz, who plans to go to college to learn about politics, got a political lesson on Monday as City Council on a 3-3 vote shot down his appointment to the Charter Review Commission, only to discover he might still be appointed.

Rucklewicz had served on Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer’s campaign and transition committees, and council members Donna Reed, Randy Corcoran and Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz believed he would give the mayor control of the commission.

The commission is required to be formed once a decade to take a look at how the city’s 1996 home-rule charter is functioning, and to recommend changes.  Any changes would require residents’ approval through a referendum.

The charter requires four of the commission’s 11 members to be appointed by the mayor, and seven by council.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=463405

Shake-Up: Reading School Board President Leaves Post

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Reading School Board faced two surprising changes Monday night, as one board member resigned and the board president gave up his leadership role.

In a letter read by board President Robert F. Heebner Jr., member Frank B. Denbowski announced he would give up his seat effective midnight Wednesday, following that night’s board meeting.

Denbowski, who did not attend Monday’s meeting, cited his responsibilities as Reading’s recycling and solid waste division manager as his reason for leaving.  Denbowski was in the second year of a four-year term.

After reading Denbowski’s letter, Heebner announced that he is relinquishing the presidency immediately but will remain on the board as a member.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=463377

Governor Mifflin Administrator Pushes For Maximum Tax Hike

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The $1.88 million shortfall in the Gov. Mifflin School District’s 2013-14 budget draft could turn into a surplus if the board continues with a proposal to raise taxes the most state law will allow, administrators said Monday.

The district had thought the nearly 5 percent tax hike would fall short of balancing the $64.67 million preliminary budget the school board approved last month.  But Business Manager Mark R. Naylon told the board Monday that the district would be able to save more money than expected.

Even with the rosier financial outlook, Naylon urged the board to continue making budget cuts where it can and to still consider the maximum increase, which would raise the tax rate by 1.186 mills.

“When you have something available, you have to take advantage of it,” he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=463406