Blockbuster Movie Could Make 2014 Pittsburgh’s Best Year For Film, TV Production

A blockbuster movie just approved for a multimillion-dollar Pennsylvania film tax credit could make 2014 Pittsburgh’s biggest year yet for film and TV production — as long as the project stays on track after losing its star.

Actor Will Smith backed out of the title role in “Brilliance” on Thursday as Legendary Pictures learned it had been awarded a $19.5 million tax credit by the Pennsylvania Film Office, putting the movie’s cost somewhere around $100 million.

“If the level of interest continues, this is setting up to be the biggest year we’ve ever had,” said Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office. She declined to comment on “Brilliance.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6202360-74/film-pittsburgh-tax#ixzz33J7wDHXV
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Program Helps Centre County Residents Get Green Thumb

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — The area behind the Food Bank of State College on South Atherton Street looked more like a miniature farm Friday than a parking lot.

It was full of broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, tomato, squash and herb plants for food bank clients to plant in their own gardens.

Members of Penn State Master Gardeners, Centre County Office of Adult Services and Nutrition Links teamed up with the food bank for the annual Home Grown Project.

For the past five years, the event has helped a few hundred local families better understand the food they consume, master gardener Norman Knaub said.

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Pennsylvania Electricity Rates Spiking By As Much As 50 Percent

Blame it on the polar vortex.

Effective Sunday, Metropolitan Edison customers will see electricity generation rates spike 25.4 percent.

Overall, the company’s electric bills — of which generation is one part — are rising 16 percent, from $93 to nearly $108 a month for the average residential consumer using 750 kilowatt-hours a month, said Met-Ed spokesman Scott Surgeoner.

The reason is two-fold: Demand during the summer, when prices normally rise, is one factor, and the utility purchased some of the electricity for the upcoming three-month period “during the January polar vortex, when prices were extremely high,” he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/05/pennsylvania_electricity_rates.html

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DA Announces Chester County’s Biggest Ever Drug Bust

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

WEST CHESTER, PA — Law enforcement officials gathered at the Chester County District Attorney’s Office Wednesday to announce dozens ofarrests in what officials called the largest drug ring prosecution in the county’s history.

Forty-four people were arrested and 12 more are wanted on outstanding warrants in what authorities dubbed “Operation Telaraña,” a year-long multi-agency probe targeting a major cocaine trafficking network with ties to a dangerous Mexican drug cartel.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan led a press conference Wednesday morning that included members of local police departments, state police, a regional drug enforcement task force, and federal agentsfrom the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Salvadore Lemus, 65, was arrested on May 1 after a lengthy investigation identified him as the leader of a major cocaine trafficking network with ties to a violent Mexican drug cartel, according to police. Authorities said his 23-year-old son, Francisco Lemus, acted as Lemus’ lieutenant. A nephew, Mario Hernandez Garcia, was also arrested.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140528/photo-gallery-da-announces-countys-biggest-ever-drug-bust

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Manatawny Still Works Hosts Grand Opening In Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — The bar was bustling during the grand opening of Manatawny Still Works Friday night.

The newest addition to the cluster of businesses on Circle of Progress Drive is the brainchild of John Giannopoulos, the owner of Sly Fox Brewery, Jeff Vaughan, Paul Czachor, Al Matarazzo and Derek Menaldino.

Right now the distillery pumps out vodka, un-aged whiskey and — as of Friday morning — a double distilled rum.

And those three spirits took center stage Friday after the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/manatawny-still-works-hosts-grand-opening-in-pottstown

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PEOPLExpress Coming To Pittsburgh International Airport

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – PEOPLExpress™, the iconic brand that made air travel affordable and accessible, returns to the skies June 30 with low-fare service from Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport to three cities: Boston, Newark, N.J., and Pittsburgh.

PEOPLExpress today announced its inaugural schedule, which includes four additional destinations: West Palm Beach, Fla. (July 15), Atlanta (Aug. 1), and St. Petersburg, Fla., and New Orleans (Aug. 28).

Vision Airlines d/b/a PEOPLExpress will operate scheduled flights from its base at Newport News with an initial fleet of three 737-400 aircraft, each with 150 seats – 138 with coach seating and 12 Living Large™ seats featuring more personal space for a fee. Both seating options will feature the same level of in-flight service.

Fares start as low as $76 each way.

Read more: https://www.flypex.com/

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Florida Investor Buys 7 Office Buildings At Parkway Center, Promises Upgrades

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

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

An investor from Florida who now owns seven of the 11 office buildings at Parkway Center in Green Tree says he wants to bring new life to the “tired buildings” there and work with other owners to upgrade the entire complex.

“We plan to begin upgrades and improvements in July,” said Robbie Oppenheim, Pittsburgh-born president of Market Street Real Estate Partners, who on Wednesday acquired the buildings with partner JDI Realty of Chicago from PWC Pitt LLC, headed by Lee Baierl.

Oppenheim declined to reveal the purchase price for the seven buildings — numbers 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10. The buildings were listed for $49 million.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6196864-74/buildings-building-center#ixzz33DaYcHoG
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Man Who Plunged From Building On South Allen Street Identified

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — Police have identified the 33-year-old man who plunged to his death Thursday afternoon from a seventh-floor balcony on South Allen Street.

Beau Rodgers Griffis died in the fall, State College police said in a brief statement Friday morning.

Police released no other new details in the statement, and said an investigation continues.

Griffis lived in a seventh-floor unit in the building at 310 S. Allen St.

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York Businessman Accused In Murder-For-Hire Plot Free On $10M Bail

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

A York-area business owner accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife’s lover walked out of York County Prison on Friday morning.

Gregory Allen Hess, through a local bail bondsman, posted his $10 million bail and left the prison at 11:04 a.m., according to prison records.

Hess, 46, of 1950 Hoff Road in North Codorus Township, is charged with solicitation to commit homicide.

The co-owner of Keystone Restoration & Builders Inc. is accused of paying $1,900 to a man identified in court as “Informant 1” to kill Christopher Ward, who was involved with Hess’ wife, Laurie Hess.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25865269/york-businessman-accused-murder-hire-plot-free-10m

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Lancaster County Tourism: Report Shows Economic Impact

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The tourism industry contributed $2.5 billion to the Lancaster County economy in 2013, supporting nearly 23,700 jobs here, according to a report released Friday by the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Without tourism, and the revenue it generates, Lancaster County residents would have to pay an additional $924 in taxes per household to maintain current levels of government services, the bureau said.

The report, prepared by international firm Tourism Economics, was released Friday (with an accompanying video) at a legislative breakfast the bureau hosted at Eden Resort.

It paints a picture of a vital local industry — and one that depends on a coordinated ongoing marketing effort to thrive.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/lancaster-county-tourism-report-shows-economic-impact/article_add789f0-e80a-11e3-a040-001a4bcf6878.html

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Scranton OKs Surveillance Camera Network

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

Scranton City Council on Thursday unanimously approved having the city create a community video-camera surveillance network at police headquarters.

Council voted 5-0, with President Bob McGoff and Councilmen Joe Wechsler, Pat Rogan, Jack Loscombe and Bill Gaughan all in favor, to adopt a resolution to apply for and execute a $146,390 grant for a “community surveillance network system” at the police station on South Washington Avenue.

Council also unanimously advanced on second reading an ordinance to create an account to process the grant.

The surveillance network would allow private surveillance cameras in the city, such as those at banks, businesses or colleges, to link to the police station. There, a wall of 32 video monitors will show live feeds from privately owned and operated surveillance cameras that already exist in public areas.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-oks-camera-network-1.1695262

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Resident Tells Wilkes-Barre City Council Of Heroin Sales In Park, Campsite Protected By Pit Bulls

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Before he addressed City Council on Thursday night, Donald Hosey warned that his comments would be unpleasant.

He’d gone to Mayor Tom Leighton and the police and was unsatisfied with the response to his reports that there is drug dealing in the city’s Riverfront Parks, Hosey explained on why he was speaking publicly to council.

“Right now in that river front park are two campsites of heroin dealers,” said Hosey of the Susquehanna River Watch.

He told council he’d been investigating the activity in the area of the Kirby Park Natural Area for the past seven weeks, taking down information, including names and phone numbers.

Read more:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1431688/Resident-tells-W-B-City-Council-of-drug-sales-in-park

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PROTECTING HEIRS REQUIRES PRUDENT PLANNING

petehoovernewheadshotMalvern, PA – Recently, a profusion of Internet and print articles proclaimed problems with the will of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February. The late actor’s estimated net worth at the time of his death was $35 million. A tax exemption on the first $5.34 million is provided by federal law. However, a tax of up to 40 percent can be levied against the excess.

One of many other glitches involves Hoffman’s three children. When the will was signed in 2004, he had one son. Thus, his daughters are not mentioned in the will, which leaves everything to his companion Marianne O’Donnell, the children’s mother. A Trust is provided for their son, but nothing is allocated to the girls. The family resided in New York and the state allows only a $1 million exemption. Thus, New York can tax O’Donnell up to 16 percent on assets left to non-spouses. A total of more than $15.1 million in combined state taxes was reported in an article in Forbes. Without a marital deduction, O’Donnell’s assets could be taxed again upon her death.

Last year, news sources stated that $30 million of actor James Gandolfini’s $70 million estate would be eaten up in state and federal taxes. Subsequent reports clarifying the earlier claim indicated this was unlikely to happen.

Peter K. Hoover, CFP, is intrigued with all these reports and sees essential value in alerting people to potential disaster if proper measures aren’t in place concerning estates and beneficiaries. “If ownership, beneficiaries and implementation of assets are not worded correctly, the Trust outcome will not work as intended by the testator. One way Hoffman (or anyone) could have prevented financial crises for his heirs was by adding one or two sentences to the will to provide for future children,” he notes.

“I believe that Gandolfini had an irrevocable Trust, which is tax free,” continues Hoover. “However, there are many misconceptions that can cause estate problems for heirs. To simplify, think of an estate as moving parts that must work together.

“For example, if a married couple prepare their wills when they are relatively young and name children beneficiaries of a sizable estate, it would seem there would be no issues. But say both parents die unexpectedly a few years later and the kids are under the age of majority. A court guardian may have to be appointed and fights over the estate could ensue, disrupting the family and perhaps denying one or more children the inheritance wished for them. To prevent this, children’s estate assets can be directed toward a Trust until they reach specified ages; a Trustee could be named to administer this Trust.”

Hoover suggests another possible inheritance problem prevalent in divorce situations. “If someone re-marries and immediately revises his will naming his new wife beneficiary, one would assume she would receive the estate. Not so, if all insurance and retirement beneficiaries are not updated, as well. Because a beneficiary supersedes the will, the former spouse could get nearly everything. This is because insurance policies, 401Ks and IRAs were not changed when the will was drawn up. These are only two of many situations that could be prevented with proper planning.”

Hoover notes that other stumbling blocks to a smooth estate execution include tax law changes, improper signatory or power of attorney, even lifestyle modifications. “An individual’s estate should be carefully structured and then reviewed on a regular basis. In short, planning today provides peace of mind for heirs tomorrow.”

HFA, which is headquartered on Moores Road in Malvern, was launched in 2005 by Hoover, who has been an independent financial advisor for more than 30 years. Since its inception, HFA has more than tripled in size. Employees include client relationship managers, financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, investment analyst and an information services manager. HFA selected as 2012 Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at http://www.petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.

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Geocaching Treasure Hunt Sponsored By TriCounty Community Network

The Treasure Hunt

Free Family 
Fun

 

Saturday, June 7th, 9:30am-Noon
(Rain date June 8th)

PAL Sports Complex
1455 Chestnut Grove Road, Upper Pottsgrove

 
An Outdoor Adventure
Geocaching Treasure Hunt
Fun Field Events
Youth Focused Exhibitors
Free Lunch
Age 12 and under must have adult supervision for geocaching.
Wear comfortable shoes.
Dress for activity & weather.
Wear sunscreen.
Bring blanket for picnic lunch.

Geocaching starts promptly at 10am.

 

A shuttle will depart Memorial Park at 9:15am for those without transportation.

 

Click here to download the flyer.

Registration Required. 
Click here to register or call 610-705-3301.

 

Presented by the TCN Environmental Health & Safety and Youth Development Committees.

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44 Arrested In Brazen Heroin-Dealing Network In Monroeville

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

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

Federal officials today announced charges against 44 people — all but one from Western Pennsylvania — who are accused of involvement in a heroin-dealing network that called itself “Bricks-R-Us” and even wore drug-themed T-shirts.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton said the crew worked the parking lots and bathrooms along the commercial district on Business Route 22 in Monroeville, sometimes wearing T-shirts featuring the motto “100 Bricks at a Time.” Brick is a slang term for a large quantity of heroin.

“They brazenly conducted most of their drug trafficking in the Monroeville business district,” said Mr. Hickton. “As of today, they are on the run, and headed out of business.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/05/29/Federal-officers-to-announce-arrests-in-major-drug-trafficking-ring/stories/201405290245#ixzz338mxKOOZ

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Pittsburgh-Area Employers Added 22,300 Jobs In April

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunny Kourkoutis spent six months on unemployment and a couple more working in a job she hated before she found something that suited her restaurant experience.

“When I was on unemployment, I could have easily gotten a job as a server,” said Kourkoutis, 42, of Bridgeville. “But at my age, it’s not something I really saw myself doing.”

In April, Kourkoutis finally found a job she enjoyed. She was hired as reservations manager at Jacksons Restaurant in Cecil and since was promoted to assistant executive manager. In so doing, she joined a hospitality industry that added 8,100 jobs last month and has led growth in the local economy.

Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh region added 22,300 nonfarm jobs in April, and the unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.6 percent, according to preliminary figures released on Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The decline occurred as 3,900 more people began looking for work, an expression of confidence in Pittsburgh’s economy.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6188520-74/22300-added-april#ixzz338k1vjC0
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Civil-Rights Lawsuits Against Philadelphia Police Spiked In 2013

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

ON A WARM night in Overbrook, Askia Sabur spotted his cousin outside a Chinese takeout and pedaled his bicycle over to chat.

Within minutes, Sabur lay bleeding and barely conscious on the sidewalk, as a crowd of cops – several with long histories of brutality complaints – beat him, opening gashes on his head that would require six staples to close.

In West Philadelphia, Stephen Moore was watching TV alone in his bedroom when his home-security system announced his front door was open.

Moore went to investigate, only to be pumped full of lead by a cop who started firing after entering the house without saying a word.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140529_Civil-rights_lawsuits_against_police_spiked_in_2013.html#Z2gTxwAxgpOQ9olL.9

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Toilet, Debris Litter Luzerne County-Owned Lot In Hazleton

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

HAZLETON, PA — Barry Postupack tried to buy the litter-strewn lot next to his Hazleton business for around $12,000 when Luzerne County government put it on the market in 2008, but he was told he’d have to offer at least $18,000, the appraised value then.

The lot, which has about $80,000 in county fundsinvested in it, was never sold.

As a toilet, broken glass, shopping cart and other debris piled up, Postupack said he continued to inquire with various county offices about buying the land but was never given an opportunity to negotiate. He gave up two years ago.

But the real slap in Postupack’s face was news that Hazleton Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi asked the cash-strapped county to sell the lot at 56 N. Cedar St., last assessed at $15,500, to the city for $1.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1427119/Debris-covers-county-owned-Hazleton-lot

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Pottsgrove Manor Tto Host “A Visit From The Mantuamaker”

738_sewing1Pottstown, PA – On Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 11:00am to 3:00pm, historic Pottsgrove Manor will host a living history program, “A Visit from the Mantuamaker.”

As a wealthy family, the Pottses would have likely hired a professional “mantuamaker”—that is a dressmaker—to cut out, fit, and sew gowns for Mrs. Potts and her daughters. In this program, the Manor’s staff and volunteers will demonstrate the process of creating a gown from scratch, as well as other aspects of sewing and tailoring colonial garments. They will also be dressed in reproduction 18th-century clothing, giving visitors an up-close look at the fashion of the era. Visitors of all ages can try their hand at some of the needlework techniques and play dress-up in replica 18th-century clothing.

This program is being held in conjunction with the Manor’s current exhibit of both reproduction and original 18th-century garments, “To the Manor Worn: Clothing the 18th-Century Household,” which can be toured on the hour during the program. There is a suggested donation of $2 per person for this program. The museum shop will also be open throughout the event and will be having a special one-day-only sale—10% off all sewing-related items!

The clothing exhibit can also be toured during regular museum hours through November 2, 2014: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 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 pre-register by calling 610-326-4014.

Pottsgrove Manor 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, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

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