Judge Expunges Matthews’ Criminal Record; Grand Jury Documents Retained

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURTHOUSE — The criminal record of the former chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners was expunged Friday, with the exception of materials contained in a grand jury report that led to his arrest more than a year ago.

Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge William T. Nicholas granted the petition to expunge the misdemeanor charge of false swearing to a grand jury against James Matthews, who was arrested and resigned as board chairman in December 2011.

But the judge’s order included an amendment that information contained in the grand jury transcripts and exhibits leveled against Matthews — following an investigation into the Montgomery County commissioners two years ago — would not be expunged.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/government-and-politics/20131025/judge-expunges-matthews-criminal-record-grand-jury-documents-retained/1

‘Under-Performing’ Weis Markets In Pottstown Closing Nov. 9

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PAWeis Markets announced Friday it will close its Pottstown supermarket and pharmacy over the next two weeks.

A total of 35 full and part-time employees will be affected by the closure.

According to a press release issued by the company late Friday afternoon, the pharmacy will close Oct. 31 and the store will close Nov. 9.

“Our store is closing due to continuing under-performance,” said Dennis Curtin, Weis Markets’ director of public relations.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131026/under-performing-weis-markets-in-pottstown-closing-nov-9

Democrats, Republicans Losing Battle For New Voters

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Political pundits warned about it.

Party leaders downplayed it.

But the voters have spoken.

For the first time in memory, the number of new Berks County voters who selected nonpartisan, or other, eclipsed those registering under one of the two major parties.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517374

Jazz Nite III‏ At ArtFusion 19464

HSSC LogoPottstown, PA – The High Street Swing Company returns to ArtFusion for a third Jazz Nite fundraiser on November 2. Performing that night are Rick Rieger, Ben Bullock, Louis Rieger and Mark Druburgh, and featured singer Anakai Ney. Their jazz repertoire ranges from be-bop to classic.

Guests will enjoy an amazing concert in ArtFusion’s beautiful main gallery. The music will last from 7-10pm. Light refreshments will be available for purchase, and the event is BYOB for those over 21.

Tickets are $10 (cash only please) and can be purchased in advance at ArtFusion during regular business hours: Tuesday-Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-3pm. As this event has sold out the last two times, they do recommend purchasing tickets as soon as possible.

On the night of the performance, they do ask visitors to use ArtFusion’s back entrance and arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain time. If you need specific directions, please call them at 610-326-2506.

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.

‘Moving Stories’ Dance Concert Showcases Innovative Work By Dtudent Choreographers, Dancers In Nationally Acclaimed Dance Program

Logo of Muhlenberg College

Logo of Muhlenberg College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown, Pa.Muhlenberg College dancers tell their stories through movement, as the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department presents “Moving Stories,” a showcase for dance works created by emerging choreographers, Nov. 14-16 in the College’s Baker Theatre.

Dance Program chair Karen Dearborn says the nine student choreographers selected for the program have created sophisticated and innovative dances, informed by their liberal arts education, and intended to probe and illuminate the human experience. This season, the show also will feature a premiere piece by Muhlenberg faculty member Teresa VanDenend Sorge.

“‘Moving Stories’ is designed to inspire and challenge audiences,” says Dearborn, who serves as artistic director for the performance. “These visually lush dances offer a view of our present and future through contemporary eyes. It is always exciting to be enveloped in these kinetic and symbolic works of art — to be moved by the movement.”

The concert will showcase 56 dancers from the department’s dance program, among the most highly regarded programs of its kind. The concert features costume and lighting designs by the department’s acclaimed professional staff.

The ten original dances include contemporary jazz, jazz styles and modern works that investigate female body image, women’s power in the Roman Empire, self-discovery and empowerment, exploitation of female sexuality, and time and memory. Choreographers drew inspiration from everything from poetry and paintings to the relationship between a magician and his assistant.

Muhlenberg College’s Theatre & Dance Department offers one of the top-rated college performance programs in the county, according to the Princeton Review rankings. Muhlenberg is a liberal arts college of more than 2,200 students in Allentown, Pa., offering Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. It has been named annually among The Fiske Guide to Colleges’ top 20 small college programs in the United States, and the American College Dance Festival Association has consistently recognized dances premiered on the Muhlenberg stage for excellence in choreography and performance.

“Moving Stories” runs Nov. 14-16 in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, MuhlenbergCollege, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

Performances are Thursday and Friday, Nov. 14-15, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 16, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for patrons 17 and under, and $8 for students, faculty and staff of all LVAIC colleges.  For groups of 15 or more, tickets are $13.

Tickets and information are available at 484-664-3333 or www.muhlenberg.edu/dance

McDonald’s Squeezing Out Heinz Ketchup

English: A bottle of Heinz ketchup

English: A bottle of Heinz ketchup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

McDonald’s is moving to clear Heinz ketchup out of its system.

The restaurateur this week confirmed that it has started the process of moving to other vendors, following the appointment of former Burger King Worldwide CEO Bernardo Hees to run Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. Mr. Hees also serves as vice chairman of the board of Miami-based Burger King.

“As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time,” according to a statement from Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s.

The decision appears to put an end to a years-long push by Heinz officials to regain ground with the restaurant giant that operates more than 34,000 locations around the globe, although most American customers buying Big Macs aren’t getting Heinz ketchup with their fries anyway.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2013/10/25/McDonald-s-squeezing-out-Heinz-ketchup-Golden-Arches-dropping-Heinz/stories/201310250056

Ramada Near Deal With King’s College, Sources Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA —The King’s College physician-assistant program has attracted several hundred applicants, and the college is looking for space to allow that expansion.

Apparently, that space might be the Ramada Hotel on Public Square.

Although sources said no deal has been struck to date, several indicated that there is a strong interest from King’s in the 105-room hotel that opened in the 1980s as the Sheraton-Crossgates.

Tony Grosek, owner of the Ramada, said he has been talking to college officials about entering into a long-term deal, but Grosek said he couldn’t confirm that anything has been finalized.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/933106/Ramada-near-deal-with-Kings-College-sources-say

Study: Deep Poverty On The Rise In Delaware And Camden Counties

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deep poverty appears to be accelerating in Delaware and Camden Counties, as the poorest of the poor scramble for rent, heat, and food.

In the city of Chester, Donald Grover, 47, and his wife, Melissa Zirilli, 43, can’t do their jobs – he because the home-remodeling firm he works for cut his time from 60 hours a week to nearly nothing, she because debilitating seizures keep her from being a nurse’s aide.

In the city of Camden, Mark Woodall, 49, once a construction worker and a trained cook, now makes $10 an hour in a soup kitchen as he and his out-of-work fiancee are forced to live on a street he says is thronged with armed teenagers “without morals.”

“Lack of work is really, really hurting us,” said Zirilli, who lives with her husband and three children on about $6,000 a year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131025_Study__Deep_poverty_on_the_rise_in_Delaware_and_Camden_Counties.html#GSyaLqbobqbX9VUX.99

5 Cities Where The Housing Bust Won’t Let Go

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Editor’s note:  Allentown also made the list 😦

No. 4 lagging market: Philadelphia
Score:
 82.7

Homebuyers aren’t showing the Philadelphia metro area much brotherly love, with the market trailing U.S. averages in almost every metric that RealtyTrac looked at.

Blomquist says Philadelphia housing is doing a particularly bad job of attracting institutional investors, defined in the study as any company or individual who buys 10 or more properties a year anywhere in America.

RealtyTrac found that such buyers account for just 3% of property deals in Philadelphia, compared with 9% nationwide. “Philadelphia is a market that institutional investors are just not very interested in.”

Philly has also seen a sub-par 32% decline in foreclosure filings, while median home prices have rebounded only a below-average 16% from their March 2012 bottom.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/5-cities-where-the-housing-bust-wont-let-go-0/1

DuPont Rises On Plan To Split The Company

Map of Delaware

Map of Delaware (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shares of DuPont Co. rose modestly this morning to above $65.50 — a 13-year high — after last night’s announcement that the Wilmington-based chemical giant plans to spin off its profitable but volatile Performance Chemicals business, and its related fluorochemicals and titanium-dioxide (white-paint-base) factories, including a TiO2 plant at Edge Moor, Del., over the next year and a half. The new company will have sales of around $7 billion a year, vs. $28 billion for what’s left of DuPont.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/DuPont-rises.html#O1lLQVZKVo1HmYO2.99

Police Arrest Four In Reading As Part Of Synthetic Pot Investigation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Reading police and Berks County detectives Thursday morning raided a corner grocery store and several other locations as part of an investigation of a large synthetic marijuana manufacturing and distribution operation based in the city.

Four individuals – Brandon Miranda, 24, Maria Garcia-Ortiz, 25, Isuain Alvarado-Rosado, 34, and Orlando Alvarado-Rosado, 32 – were charged with felony drug charges and taken into custody. Their addresses were not immediately available. Jesus Medina, 32, of the 2200 block of Hampden Boulevard, and Eric Cintron, 33, of the 8000 block of Allentown Pike were also charged but remained at large.

Investigators seized a large amount of K2, the common name for synthetic pot, and the chemicals to make the hallucinogenic drug, said Lt. Jeffrey Parr, acting commander of the city police criminal investigations division. The estimated street value of the K2 seized is about $100,000.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517263

New Stink Bug On The Move Toward Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PITTSBURGH, PA – A new stink bug with attitude is heading toward Pennsylvania.

As if farmers and homeowners haven’t been bothered enough by the brown marmorated stink bug that landed in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, a smaller but equally pesky bug is making its march toward the state’s border, experts say.

The Megacopta cribraria, known as the kudzu bug, has an armor-like shell and a beak for ripping into plants and feeding on legumes, particularly soybeans.

They can swarm but not feed on other plants such as grapes, wheat and corn, according to researchers at North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Science.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517334

U.S. Steel New CEO Expected To Slash More Costs

U.S. Steel

U.S. Steel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The $1.8 billion charge U.S. Steel announced Friday is the first of several moves that industry analysts expect new CEO Mario Longhi will make to revitalize a company that has not had a profitable year since 2008.

Mr. Longhi, who took over Sept. 1 for John P. Surma, has been given a mandate to drastically slash costs and increase efficiency. So far, the former Alcoa executive has been largely silent about how he intends to do that. But analysts expect Mr. Longhi to rip a page from the playbook that most new CEOs rely on by getting the bad news out of the way early in his tenure.

Among the measures analysts expect is shutting at least one of the company’s plants. They cite the glut of current capacity as well as new mills being built that are targeting one of U.S. Steel’s most profitable markets: tubular products used in the oil and gas industry.

“We remain in a structurally over-supplied market,” said analyst Gordon Johnson of Axiom Capital Management in New York City. “Supply is going to continue to grow at an unhealthy clip.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2013/10/22/U-S-Steel-new-CEO-expected-to-slash-more-costs/stories/201310220091

Lehigh Valley Airport Sells Land For $9.6 Million

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Ai...

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority agreed Tuesday to sell 253 acres of surplus airport property to the Rockefeller Group so that it can be developed into a massive Fed-Ex Ground warehouse that could employ more than 1,000 people.

It’s a deal that could solve many of the airport’s financial problems, but it also comes with some risks. The money could take as long as two years to come, while the airport needs as much as $5 million of it by the end of next year. And if Fed-Ex decided against building in Allen Township, the airport could end up getting nothing.

In a separate move, the authority also gave Rockefeller the first option to buy another 281 acres, and encouraged the airport staff to begin negotiating to sell another 298 acres to local developers that include Lehigh Valley Industrial Park Inc.

“We know the clock is ticking and we have a [financial] gun to our head,” said authority chairman Tony Iannelli. “But this [project] is for real. We’ll all be keeping our fingers crossed.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-airport-authority-meeting-20131022,0,881921.story#ixzz2iUfo7CgL
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Delta-Owned Trainer Refinery Posts Profit

Delta Air Lines's flagship, the Boeing 777-200LR.

Delta Air Lines’s flagship, the Boeing 777-200LR. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Delta Air Lines said Tuesday its refinery in Trainer, Delaware County, posted a $3 million profit for the three months ended Sept. 30.

It was the first quarterly profit since Delta bought the former ConocoPhillips refinery last year to keep supplied with jet fuel.

“We have a tremendous opportunity with the Trainer refinery,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson told investors on a conference call discussing third-quarter financial results. “Importantly, the refinery’s production has proven to be effective in keeping jet cracks in check, particularly in the New York harbor,” he said.

The “crack spread” is the difference between the cost of crude oil and the selling price of jet fuel – it’s the price paid to refiners.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131023_Delta-owned_Trainer_refinery_posts_profit.html#7zFHTHAbykYR1tAY.99

Pancakes, All You Can Eat, Will Benefit Pottstown Music Education

POTTSTOWN, PA — So do you like pancakes?

Do you really, REALLY like pancakes.

Then you need to get yourself, family, friends and neighbors down to the Goodwill Fire Company on Saturday morning when an all-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The breakfast includes the afore-mentioned pancakes, plus bacon, sausage, coffee, tea, water and orange juice.

Tickets are $7 in advance and Friday is the last day to buy advance tickets.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131022/pancakes-all-you-can-eat-will-benefit-pottstown-music-education

Reading May Not Cut Commuter Tax Or Earned-Income Tax

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

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

Reading City Council members who weeks ago tentatively agreed to a slight drop in earned-income and commuter taxes have now changed their minds; they want both taxes to stay flat.

The difference would mean an extra $1.2 million in annual revenue – mostly from commuters – and council is focusing on the 2015 and 2016 budgets that have gaps of more than $10 million each.

Council President Francis G. Acosta, who is against the move, said he was surprised when a poll of council members Monday showed five in favor of keeping the tax flat.

But he and other council members said they don’t want the extra 2014 revenue to be used to hire more people at City Hall, but rather be put in the contingency fund, or be reserved for 2015 and 2016.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517020

Lancaster Transit Agency Taking Driver’s Seat For BARTA

Picture 565Lancaster County‘s transit organization will manage BARTA for at least the next six months, officials with both groups said Monday.

The agencies will continue to operate separately but Lancaster’s Red Rose Transit Authority will share its executive leadership with BARTA.

David W. Kilmer, Red Rose executive director, will lead both organizations, dividing his time between Reading and Lancaster.

The move comes as BARTA works to restructure its leadership following the death last month of Dennis D. Louwerse, its longtime executive director. Managers have been keeping projects and operations moving with oversight from the agency’s board of directors.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517063

The Pumpkin House – Kenova, WV

A friend of mine suggested that something like this would make a great festival for Pottstown.  As many residents recall, tractor trailer loads of pumpkins made their way into Pottstown every fall to become Mrs. Smith’s pumpkin pie, before the company was sold.  She suggested in addition to the pumpkin carving that a “pumpkin toss” might be fun when the pumpkin viewing was all over.

Several locations come to mind, Memorial Park or Riverfront Park would be at the top of the list.

This would be a great “homage” to Pottstown’s past.  Pumpkin parade, pumpkin queen, Pumpkin 5K and the list goes on and on 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kenovas-Famous-Griffith-Pumpkin-House/278830822139142