10 Reasons Why Pittsburgh Owned 2013

From a giant rubber duck to cutting-edge restaurants to a yarn-bombed bridge, our city had the world buzzing this year.

By anyone’s standards, 2012 was a landmark year for Pittsburgh, capped off by “The Dark Knight Rises” hitting theaters and unveiling the ’Burgh as the fabled Gotham, not to mention National Geographic imploring the world’s travelers to train new eyes on our formerly smoky city.

Little did we know, that was just the beginning. As we get ready to tuck this year away, let’s take a look back at how Pittsburgh owned 2013.

Brace yourself, Portland.

See the list here:  http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/Pitt-Girl/December-2013/10-Reasons-Why-Pittsburgh-Owned-2013/

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Lancaster Is One Of Two Cities Tapped By Pa. For New CRIZ Economic Development Program

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Within a year, Lancaster city could see the first funding available under a new state program expected to spur economic development.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced Tuesday afternoon that Lancaster and Bethlehem are the first two cities selected for City Revitalization and Improvement Zones.

Lancaster’s application, submitted late last month, promised the program could stimulate $210 million in new investment during its first phase.

“With First Fridays, the burgeoning arts district, new shops and restaurants, there is a success here on which we can build,” state Sen. Lloyd Smucker said Tuesday at a hastily arranged press conference.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/937842_Lancaster-is-one-of-two-cities-tapped-by-Pa–for-new-CRIZ-economic-development-program-.html#ixzz2p0UKjTqW

Charges Filed Against 2 In Pottstown King Street Commons Murder

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — Police filed charges against a pair of Philadelphia men for the Friday morning murder of George Hashimbey, 22, at the King Street Commons apartments.

Khaleef Jones, 21, and Daquan Hamilton, 20, will both face charges filed Sunday by Pottstown Police in connection to the alleged murder that also left another victim in an area hospital with gunshot wounds.

The second victim was not named but was identified as a 23-year-old man by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Jones and Hamilton were both officially charged Sunday by the Pottstown Police, according to court documents, which listed the case, as of 4:30 p.m., as “inactive.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131230/charges-filed-against-2-in-pottstown-king-street-commons-murder

New Faces, Appointment Could Shake Up Phoenixville Council Dynamic

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

PHOENIXVILLE — Moving into 2014, borough council’s dynamics could change with new faces from November’s election, familiar faces taking on new roles, and the appointment of a new council member due by early February.

Four current council members will carry over to 2014. East Ward representative Mike Speck won his bid for mayor and will resign from council Jan. 3. Richard Kirkner, Dave Gautreau and Karl Bucus all decided against running for re-election.

2013’s council had a 5-3 Democrat majority with Democrats Kirkner and Speck serving as president and vice president, respectively.

Of the four returning council members, three — Jenn Mayo, Jim Kovaleski, and Dana Dugan — are registered Democrats and one — Christopher Bauers — is a registered Republican.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131229/new-faces-appointment-could-shake-up-phoenixville-council-dynamic

Eagles Beat Cowboys To Win NFC East

ARLINGTON, Texas – Throughout the season, Chip Kelly insisted he would pick his head up on Dec. 29 and see where the Eagles stood. So when Kelly picked his head up late in the Eagles’ 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys, he saw cornerback Brandon Boykin jump in front of a pass to Miles Austin for an interception that clinched their first NFC East title since 2010.

The victory came with tense moments, but the Eagles did enough to ensure a postseason bid in Kelly’s first season in Philadelphia. The Eagles host the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday at 8:10 p.m.

To secure that date, they needed to get past the undermanned Cowboys. The Eagles led throughout the game, although Dallas had the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win. But for the third consecutive season, the Cowboys could not beat an NFC East rival in a Week 17 win-and-in situation. This time, Kyle Orton’s interception was the defining play a loss.

The key for the Eagles was three forced fumbles. Nick Foles finished 17 of 23 for 263 yards and two touchdowns. LeSean McCoy rushed for 131 yards in the victory.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20131230_Eagles_beat_Cowboys_to_win_NFC_East.html#6bWxrpFevVTWS132.99

10 Years Later, Is Pittsburgh Really Climbing Out Of The Red?

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ten years and four months ago, then-Mayor Tom Murphy stood before a cadre of media to deliver grim news.

By the time he stepped up to speak, eyes moistened with tears, Pittsburgh city government had been sputtering along like an airplane held together by duct tape, according to a former finance director. But now the plane was about to take a nose dive — with the possibility of bankruptcy hovering.

“I hate doing this,” Mr. Murphy told the reporters.

He announced plans to lay off 731 city workers — including police officers — and leave hundreds more positions unfilled. All but six city pools would be drained and closed early — along with 19 recreation centers that were, in many places, critical gathering spots for sports and community events. Later that year, the city’s credit rating would be downgraded, making it the only major American city whose debt was rated “junk.” A fifth of the city’s budget went to pay off old debt.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/12/29/10-years-later-is-Pittsburgh-really-climbing-out-of-the-red/stories/201312290057#ixzz2or2K9BKS

Construction Of Apartments Underway In Live/Work Worthington neighborhood

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

It’s taken a little time, but Keystone Custom Homes’ Worthington at Township Square neighborhood is quickly taking shape, with its residential and commercial/retail areas complementing each other.

There’s a lot going on in the community, including a new model home and work on the apartment phase of the subdivision, said Janette Hawkins, vice president of marketing and information technology at Keystone.

The Manheim Township smart-growth development will feature 259 houses — 196 singles, 33 duplexes and 30 townhomes — along with rentals above the commercial space.

The model house is a 3,197-square-foot Manchester with traditional elevation, including a wraparound front porch, a stone front and three reverse gables with pent roofs.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/937185_Construction-of-apartments-underway-in-live-work-Worthington-neighborhood.html#ixzz2oqzkUxdL

As Scranton Mayor, Doherty Leaving, His Mark Affixed

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

For an evaluation of Mayor Chris Doherty’s 12 years in the top city job, listen to his chief critic.

“Overall, the mayor did a very good job. He had a vision for the city and, by and large, I think he fulfilled that vision,” city council President Janet Evans said.

This is the same Janet Evans who spent the better part of her 10 years as a councilwoman ripping Mr. Doherty for one shortcoming or another at weekly council meetings.

Not that Mrs. Evans is done criticizing. She still thinks Mr. Doherty borrowed too much money, should have negotiated contracts with the city’s police and firefighter unions instead of fighting a losing and costlier arbitration battle and needed, in his later years, more experienced cabinet members.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/as-mayor-doherty-leaving-his-mark-affixed-1.1608177

Town By Town: Abington Homes Offer Good Value

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, P...

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region’s communities.

If Abington can come up with more houses to sell next year, its reputation for affordability – combined with lower Federal Housing Administration mortgage limits – might result in a sales boom.

That’s the opinion of some real estate agents, including Cheryl Miller of Long & Foster’s Blue Bell office, who sells in this Montgomery County township known for its older houses, its hospitals, its 16 neighborhoods (or parts of neighborhoods), Willow Grove Park mall, and traffic that moves at a snail’s pace along Route 611.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/town-by-town/20131229_Town_By_Town__Abington_homes_offer_good_value.html#lgiIt7UHFKYC4zXt.99

Protestors Gather In Norristown To Oppose Parkhouse Sale

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montg...

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — Protestors rallied outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse Saturday in opposition to the sale of the Parkhouse geriatric center and its surrounding 220 acres of land in Upper Providence.

Upper Providence Supervisor Lisa Mossie, who has been at the forefront of opposition to the sale, said she was hoping the Montgomery County commissioners would notice the rally, cancel the sale and work out a new deal for the property.

“It’s my hope that it will change the commissioners’ minds that this is something nobody cares about. That it’s not a vocal minority. Everybody I have talked to is upset about this,” Mossie said. “My hope is that this sale is not done. It’s not finalized yet. They’ve cited that as their reason for not releasing the terms of the sale.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131228/protestors-gather-in-norristown-to-oppose-parkhouse-sale

Pottstown Polar Bear Plunge, Bonfire, 5K Set For New Year’s Day

Although the National Weather Service is predicting below freezing weather for the first day of 2014, that has not stopped local groups of finding fun ways to ring in the new year.

The 6th Pottstown Polar Bear Club’s celebration and bonfire will begin at 10 a.m. at Riverfront Park.

Residents willing to brave the icy water can dive into the Schuylkill River at 10:30 a.m. then warm up with hotdogs, sauerkraut for $2 as well as hot chocolate and coffee for $1.

Registration for the plunge starts at 9 a.m. at the park and ends at 10 a.m. at which time the bonfire will be lit.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131227/polar-bear-plunge-bonfire-5k-set-for-new-years-day

Second Shooting This Week at Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police Friday learned of a second shooting this week at the troubled Sherman Hills apartments from a detective calling about two people undergoing treatment at a New Jersey hospital for gunshot wounds.

The victims, Catherine Thomas of Building 308 in the apartment complex and Lashawn Burgman of Wyoming, drove to East Orange General Hospital out of fear and to avoid a police investigation of the accidental shooting, according to a search warrant affidavit for Thomas’ apartment.

Thomas, 23, was injured in the foot and Burgman in the leg area. Both required surgery for their injuries, the affidavit said. A hospital spokeswoman said that two gunshot victims were treated Friday morning but could not release additional information because of patient privacy laws.

On Christmas afternoon, one man was shot during a fight in an apartment in Building 312, police said. Tyrone Scott, 34, of North Empire Court, faces multiple charges for shooting his cousin, Nathan Scott, police said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1085219/Second-shooting-this-week-at-Sherman-Hills

In Camden, 89 New Officers And 17 Languages

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)

Virginia Matias was a senior in high school when her uncle Miguel Espinal was shot and killed during an armed robbery at his corner store.

The robber shot Espinal in the abdomen and made off with $900 from his La Dominicana store in East Camden.

The slaying prompted Matias, now 27, to study law and justice at Rowan University with an eye toward becoming a police officer in Camden, to try to prevent similar acts of senseless violence.

This month, Matias graduated from the Camden County police academy, along with 108 others in the largest graduating class to date. Eighty-nine of the officers, including Matias, are now working for the Camden County Police Metro Division. Another class, graduating in April, will bring the force up to 411 officers, county officials said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20131228_In_Camden__89_new_officers_and_17_languages.html#DaidPhGXFz2LtawH.99

Investigation Continuing Into Homicide At Pottstown Apartment

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — One man was killed and another man injured early Friday in a middle of the night shooting in the King Street Commons apartments at King and Charlotte streets.

The victim was identified Friday as George Hashimbey, 22, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Walter Hofman.

Court records obtained by The Mercury show Hashimbey with addresses in Pottstown and in Philadelphia.

Hofman said Hashimbey died of a gunshot wound to the stomach and chest area. Hofman ruled the death a homicide after the autopsy was completed Friday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131227/updated-pottstown-shooting-victim-identified

Hill’s Student Philanthropy Council Now Accepting RFPs For Grant Program

Editor’s note: This is way cool! Nice give back to the Greater Pottstown Community 🙂

The Hill School is now accepting applications from Pottstown-area nonprofit organizations for its Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) grant program.  Interested organizations may download and submit a Request for Proposal.   View and print a PDF of the Request for Proposal here.  Completed applications must be submitted by Thursday, January 20, 2014.

The SPC was established in 2009 through a gift to The Hill School courtesy of Charles A. Frank III, Hill ’59, and his wife, Betty. Hill student participants solicit and evaluate local nonprofit requests for funding, and then award a total of $10,000 in grants each year.  Last year, through the Franks’ leadership and the generosity of several other donors, The Student Philanthropy Council became an endowed program at the School with the establishment of The Student Philanthropy Council Endowment in honor of Kay and David Dougherty.

Last year, representatives of the SPC presented a total of $10,000, to four local organizations: Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority ($2,110); The Growing Center ($2,690); Montgomery Child Advocacy Project ($2,500); and the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Organizations ($2,700).  Read more about the recipients of the 2013 grants.

The SPC is comprised of 12 students – including co-presidents Sanobar Shaikh ’14 and Omeed Alidadi ’14 – who meet once a week to study the process of philanthropy and visit the sites of various organizations.  Mrs. Amy Lehman, Hill’s experiential education coordinator, is the faculty adviser to the group. SPC members are chosen based on the quality of their applications, interviews, and their sincere ability to commit time to the group.

BLIGHT & REDEVELOPMENT STUDY FOR THE BOROUGH OF POTTSTOWN, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA

Editor’s note: Here is some interesting reading for current Pottstown Borough residents, potential residents and business investors.  

http://www.genesishousing.org/_pdfs/pottstown_blight_study_2013_website.pdf

Celebrate New Year’s Eve At Sunnybrook Ballroom

A Sunnybrook New Year’s Eve Celebration with Amanda Carr and the Swingin’ Smooth Sounds of the SunnyBrook Dance Band.  Tickets are $50.

http://shop.thesunnybrookballroom.net/12-31-13-Amanda-Carr-New-Years-Eve-Amanda-Carr-New-Years.htm

Towanda Borough Council Passes $4.9M Budget Thursday, Tax Rates To Remain The Same

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

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

TOWANDA, PA – The Towanda Borough Council on Thursday adopted a final $4.9 million borough budget for 2014, which leaves the borough’s tax rates unchanged.

The budget keeps the borough’s services the same as they were, borough Manager Kyle V. Lane said.

The council also voted unanimously to adopt the salaries for the borough’s employees for 2014, which in most cases had been previously set by union contracts.

However, the borough’s four non-unionized, salaried employees, including the borough manager, will receive a 2 percent “cost of living” raise, the council decided.

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/council-passes-4-9m-budget-thursday-tax-rates-to-remain-the-same-1.1607411

Cowboys’ Romo Has Surgery, Won’t Play In Showdown Against Eagles

IRVING, TexasTony Romo‘s season is over, and the Dallas Cowboys will have to win without their star quarterback in a third straight winner-take-all finale.

Coach Jason Garrett said Romo had back surgery Friday, and Kyle Orton will start when Dallas faces Philadelphia on Sunday night with the NFC East title and a playoff berth on the line.

Garrett said Romo underwent treatment all week in hopes of playing after injuring his back in a season-saving 24-23 victory against Washington. The winning touchdown came after the injury on Romo’s fourth-down pass to DeMarco Murray in the final 2 minutes.

Romo injured himself when he tripped over his foot while trying to escape pressure earlier in the fourth quarter.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/latestsports/ci_24800100/cowboys-romo-has-surgery-wont-play-showdown-vs