Scranton St. Partrick’s Day Parade, March 15, 2014

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

The Saint Patrick’s parade in Scranton boasts 12,000 participants, including multiple bagpipe, high school and string bands. The parade is enhanced by many floats and large balloons. Many Irish groups and societies are also represented. It has been going on annually since 1962 and is organized by the St. Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County. The parade has received national attention as being one of the better St. Patrick’s parades. The parade route begins on Wyoming Ave in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral, proceeds to Lackawanna Ave. over Jefferson Ave. then down Spruce St to get to Washington Ave. where it passes the William J. Nealon Federal building and finally the reviewing stand.

The parade is preceded by the Parade Day mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Brian Kelly Memorial race.

Click here for the parade website:  http://www.stpatparade.com/index.php

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Mount Joy Hires New Police Chief, Lifts Restriction On Police Overtime

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Mount Joy Borough officials lifted restrictions on police overtime and approved the hiring of a new police chief on Monday, March 3, after hearing discussions on recent staffing issues within the department.

Council members agreed to hire Kevin Girling, a Lieutenant with the York City Police Department, as chief of the Mount Joy Borough Police Department at a salary of $85,000 following a mid-meeting executive session to discuss the matter.

Girling, who is still working in York, will need to sign an employment agreement before officially joining the Mount Joy department , no later than April 1.

“Thank you to everybody who helped with the process,” council member William Hall said. “We put a lot of hours in, a lot of meetings, a lot of feedback from the public, and I’m very confident that this is going to work out.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mount-joy-hires-new-police-chief-lifts-restriction-on-police/article_7d374eac-a872-11e3-839d-001a4bcf6878.html

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Drug Overdose Deaths Spur Legislation

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA – Concerns about a spate of drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania have put the spotlight on legislation to create a state database to monitor illegal use of prescription drugs.

The issue surfaced last month during state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s budget hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Passage of monitoring legislation is key to combatting illegal drug use, Kane said. Prescription drug abuse is often a gateway to heroin use, she said.

“We have a heroin problem,” Kane said. “We also have a prescription pill problem.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/drug-overdose-deaths-spur-legislation-1.1647566

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Mass Transit Ridership In 2013 Highest In 57 Years

Ridership on buses, trains and subways in 2013 was the highest in 57 years, the American Public Transportation Association said Monday.

The growth in transit ridership continued a 20-year trend attributed to higher gasoline prices, a shift by young adults away from automobiles, increased use of mobile technology, and the increasing allure of urban areas.

“There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities,” said APTA president Michael Melaniphy.

In 2013, riders made 10.7 billion trips on U.S. public transit systems, up 1.1 percent from 2012. That was the most since 1956.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140311_Mass_transit_ridership_in_2013_highest_in_57_years.html#4DxdR5HbEf6VkPFv.99

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Open For Risky Business: Philadelphia’s Vacant Properties

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

With its broken plywood door and faded graffiti, the former hosiery mill on Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section is a contrast to the quarter-million-dollar townhouses and upscale lofts nearby.

1101 Frankford is not just a four-story eyesore, says Thomas Fasone, who owns an antique lighting shop next door. He rates it a magnet for trouble.

“It’s so easy to get into these buildings,” says Fasone, who has complained to the city. “They can go in to keep warm, start a fire, do drugs, fall asleep, and a fire breaks out.”

The place is supposed to be sealed. But on two recent visits, an Inquirer reporter found it open. The owners have problems, too. One of them, a Drexel Hill man, is accused of dealing marijuana

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/city/20140310_Open_for_risky_business__Phila__s_vacant_properties.html#5hYIOdF5lTCuGBHK.99

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Sbarro Pizza Chain Files For Bankruptcy Protection For Second Time

The pizza restaurant chain Sbarro on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in less than three years, after struggling with too much debt and lower customer traffic in the malls that house many of its restaurants.

Sbarro and more than 30 affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors with the US bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

Read more: http://dfm.timesherald.com/article/sbarro-pizza-chain-files-for-bankruptcy-protection-for-second-time/c8065ce850e3d91ac94aa80ba458c0a0

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Pennsylvania Woman Was On Board Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Washington County

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

MONONGAHELA, PA — A company official says a woman based in western Pennsylvania was among the 239 people aboard a Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared en route to Beijing over the weekend.

A spokeswoman said Mei Ling Chng, a senior process engineer for Flexsys America in Monongahela near Pittsburgh, “is confirmed to have been on the flight.”

Tracy Kilgore of Flexsys parent firm Eastman Chemical Co., which is based in Kingsport, Tenn., told reporters in an email that officials “are deeply shocked and saddened.”

She said Chng went to work for the chemical company Solutia in Malaysia in 2005 and transferred to Monongahela in 2010.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140310/pa-woman-was-on-board-missing-malaysia-airlines-jet

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$1.4M Grant Will Aid Colebrookdale Railroad Effort

The Colebrookdale Railroad will benefit from $1.4 million in funding made possible by a PennDOT grant aimed at repairing and upgrading the line’s rails, equipment and infrastructure.

The 8.6-mile line between Pottstown and Boyertown recently began carrying freight again and will also be home to The Secret Valley Line historic excursion railroad, opening in the fall.

“Seventy percent of the funding was provided by the state and we had to raise the other 30 percent,” said Nathaniel Guest, president of the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Restoration Trust, which oversees the line.

The non-profit group has a for-profit subsidiary, Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad, which oversees the freight traffic and was the recipient of the grant.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140309/14m-grant-will-aid-colebrookdale-railroad-effort

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