Cumru Township Police Probe Major Copper Theft

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Wouldn’t it be easier to just get an honest job?  Crime doesn’t pay!

Cumru Township police are searching for a sophisticated burglar or burglars who stole several thousand dollars’ worth of copper wire from an industrial site in what officials are calling one of the biggest copper thefts in recent memory.

Police said Tuesday that between March 27 and Saturday someone broke into the former Northeast Building Systems, 5 E. Pointe Drive, which is undergoing renovations and had been unoccupied for the previous two weeks. The building’s alarm system was temporarily offline because of the renovations.

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Postal Service Backs Off From Cutting Saturday Mail

USPS service delivery truck in a residential a...

USPS service delivery truck in a residential area of San Francisco, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service backed down from its plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery because Congress barred it, officials said today.

But its governing board said it’s not possible for the financially ailing agency to meet cost-cutting goals without altering its delivery schedule.  Delaying “responsible changes,” the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service “may become a burden” to taxpayers.

The Postal Service said in February that it planned to switch to five-day-a-week deliveries beginning in August for everything except packages as a way to hold down losses.

But that announcement was a gamble.  The agency essentially was asking Congress to drop from spending legislation the longtime ban on five-day-only delivery.  Congress did not do that when it passed a spending measure last month.

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2 Charged In Shooting Death Of Pottstown Man

The following press release was just issued by the Montgomery County District Attorney regarding murder charges of the March 22 shooting in Pottstown:

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders and Captain F. Richard Drumheller announce the filing of murder charges against Michael Hinton and Maurice Andrews Jr. for the shooting death of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez, also known as Vincent Taylor.

On Friday, March 22, 2013, at approximately 2:17 a.m., Pottstown Police responded to the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue for the report of a gunshot victim.  Upon arrival police found Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez lying on the street outside of Brian’s Café.  Baez had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his torso.  Baez was rushed to Pottstown Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

On March 22, 2013, Doctor Erica Williams, a Forensic Pathologist, performed an autopsy on Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez.  Following the autopsy, Doctor Williams opined that the cause of Baez’s death was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was homicide.

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Pottstown Fires Codes Worker Being Investigated For Taking Developer’s Check

Editor’s note:  I think this incident illustrates how broken Pottstown‘s municipal government really is.  Apparently, in the past, it was anything goes in borough hall.  While, BM Flanders isn’t on my hit parade (and I am sure the feeling is mutual) at least he is handling this situation rather than sweeping it under the carpet.  The carpet in borough hall is very lumpy…there has been a good deal of crap kicked under the rug in that building for years.  

Frankly, we think Codes should be outsourced.  It’s the poster child for a dysfunctional department.  Maybe after a period of time passes, the department could be reinstated and an entirely new staff hired.

POTTSTOWN — The firing of zoning work leader Michelle Fry from the codes office is just one of the developments in the borough department that has recently received so much scrutiny.

Of Fry, formerly known as Michelle Borzick, Borough Manager Mark Flanders would say only that “she is no longer employed by the borough,” and said he would neither confirm nor deny that her departure was connected to a police investigation of her alleged acceptance of a check from developer and convicted thief Frank McLaughlin of East Coventry.

Fry, however, confirmed to The Mercury Tuesday that she is using a standing borough process to appeal her termination. She declined to comment further.

McLaughlin was sentenced in Montgomery County Court last month to three years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with his use of devices to by-pass water meters so he would not have water bills at his property.

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Mosaic Community Gardens Work/Fun Day

Picture 450Pottstown, PA— Have you ever wanted to have your own garden, but didn’t have enough room in your yard?  Would you like your children to learn how to grow their own fresh vegetables, but don’t know where to begin?  Would you like to meet a diverse group of individuals who love spending time outdoors?

The MOSAIC Community Land Trust Community Garden is waiting for YOU! Located at 423 Chestnut Street.

The community garden is now accepting applications for this year’s growing season!  On Saturday, April 13th from 9-12 – the garden will host its first Work & Play day of the season.  There will be a brief information session to explain what community gardens are all about and to take applications for raised bed garden plots for the 2013 season.  There will be a wide range of free seeds and seedlings for garden plot owners to dig in and plant that day.

Garden plot owners pay a small annual fee to lease their plot and actively cultivate it throughout the entire growing season.  The MOSAIC encourages new and seasoned gardeners alike to be a part of this neighborly experience.  Individuals, families, community organizations, youth groups, and local restaurants are all welcome to apply for a plot.

Can’t make on the 13th?  The next Garden Work & Play Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 20th from 9-12. Please make a note of it and plan to attend.

For more information, contact Laura Washington, Garden Manager, at 484-300-2410 or

“Forging A Lifestyle: Ironworking With The Potts Family” At Pottsgrove Manor

photo_Ned HectorVisit Pottsgrove Manor on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 11:00am to 3:00pm to learn about the importance of iron in the Revolutionary War.

Many members of the Potts family were involved in the American Revolution. Samuel Potts, who grew up at Pottsgrove Manor, and his brother-in-law, Thomas Rutter III, cast cannon for the American cause at Warwick Furnace.

In this program, re-enactors portraying artillery men and blacksmiths of the Continental Army will show how important the local ironworking industry was to the war effort. Noah Lewis will portray Ned Hector, a free black man who was a teamster and artillery man in Colonel Proctor’s Artillery. Captain Seth Oaks’ Independent Company of Artificers will give demonstrations of 18th century blacksmithing.

This program is being held in conjunction with Pottsgrove Manor’s new exhibit “Forging a Lifestyle: Ironworking with the Potts Family.” Guided tours of the exhibit will be offered on the hour during the program.

The exhibit can also be viewed during a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor during regular museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday, 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten or more should preregister by calling 610-326-4014.

photo_blacksmithPottsgrove Manor, home of John Potts, colonial ironmaster and founder of Pottstown, is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks and Heritage Services Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department.

For more information and a full calendar of events, please visit or like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at

Pottstown Area AARP Meeting To Feature Brian Duke, Secretary of Aging for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

There will be an AARP meeting this Friday afternoon, April 12, 2013, at 1:30PM, at Hopewell Community Church, 1130 Commerce Drive (Route 100 & State Street), Pottstown, PA 19464.  Location and Map, via  MapQuest.

This month our special guest will be Secretary Brian Duke, Secretary of Aging for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Duke is expected to arrive around 2:00PM

Hope to see you there and please feel free to bring your relatives, friends and/or neighbors.

Memories of Vietnam – ArtFusion’s Next Show Looking For Mementos

POTTSTOWN, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is hard at work on their next educational show, scheduled for September 2013. Following in the footsteps of their successfulThreads show in 2012, When We Were Soldiers will focus on the personal recollections of veterans of the Vietnam War. The show will run through Veterans Day.

The non-profit community art center is asking the greater Pottstown community to become a part of this interactive educational exhibit. They are looking for letters and photos from the era to include in gallery displays. These mementos will also be used in educational field trips for local schools. Mementos can be dropped off at 254 E. High St. during regular business hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. Photos and letters will be returned after the exhibit closes.

ArtFusion is also looking for veterans who are willing to share their stories. Local writers Sue Repko and Parker Blaney will meet with the vets and record their personal journeys for the exhibit. Veterans interested in being interviewed can call 610-326-2506 or email info@artfusion19464. Interviews are being scheduled now.

There is also a need for old military uniforms to be used in an exciting fiber arts project that will become part of When We Were Soldiers. They are able to use any size, condition or clothing item (pants, shirts, etc.).  While Vietnam era items are preferred, items from any era are acceptable. Please note that these uniforms will be cut up for the project and cannot be returned.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.