Monthly Archives: December 2014
Genesis Housing Offers Classes Monthly In Norristown And Pottstown.
Genesis Housing Corporation offers FREE Housing Counseling Classes, covering in three sessions:
- Understanding credit & credit repair
- Money management
- Understanding the home buying process
Norristown classes are held at 1430 DeKalb Street, 1st Floor, Room A/B, Norristown, PA.
Pottstown classes will be held at various locations in Pottstown, PA and various locations in Montgomery County, PA.
Classes are also offered at various locations in Montgomery County, PA
Individual counseling is available.
For more information and to register, visit their website: http://genesishousing.org/counseling_schedule2.html
Communities In Motion Honors MCCC, Others With Inaugural ‘Star Award’
King of Prussia, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) was among 15 recipients of the first-ever Star Award from Communities in Motion, a Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF) foundation. The award recognizes projects, plans and people who demonstrate leadership in sustainability planning and implementation.
Specifically, Communities in Motion recognized MCCC for its leadership and advocacy as a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and for its sustainability work in the areas of transportation, waste minimization, energy and purchasing.
Associate Vice President for Facilities and Construction Jaime Garrido and Executive Director of Government Relations and Special Events Peggy Lee-Clark accepted the award on behalf of MCCC.
“Congratulations to our first ever Communities in Motion Stars recipients. We are honored to be able to recognize such wonderful organizations, individuals and local communities who are improving our communities of today so that they can be enjoyed now and well into the future. As Communities in Motion continues to grow and expand our programming, we are looking forward to continuing to work with our “stars” so that we can showcase their leadership and use their examples to continue to keep us all in motion.” said Rob Henry, CEO, Communities in Motion.
In addition to MCCC, other Communities in Motion Star Award recipients included the Borough of Phoenixville, Cheltenham Township, Chester County, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, King of Prussia District, Macerich – Tysons Corner Center, Montgomery County, Philadelphia Premium Outlets, the Borough of Pottstown, Saving Hallowed Ground, SEPTA, Simon, URS Corporation, and Vanguard.
Submission categories included building; development; green infrastructure; leadership/advocacy; marketing and promotion of a project; park, recreation or open space project; physical improvements; and planning.
To learn more about Communities in Motion, visit movingyou.org.
Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, Montgomery County Community College has put into place policies and procedures to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. As a result of its efforts, MCCC is a two-time recipient of Second Nature’s national Climate Leadership Award. To learn more about MCCC’s sustainability initiative, visit mc3green.wordpress.com.
Monroeville Mall Quieter Today After Friday Night Fracas
No trouble was reported as of this afternoon at the Monroeville Mall, which reopened today under heightened police watch after a series of fights broke among 1,000-plus teenagers and young adults Friday night, prompting the facility to close early.
Two injuries not believed to be life-threatening were reported in the skirmishes that began on the first floor and moved upstairs, startling shoppers on the day after Christmas and drawing police from multiple communities. Authorities expected to cite at least one for disorderly conduct, in addition to a pair of arrests made earlier Friday over a domestic dispute.
Monroeville Police Chief K. Douglas Cole said today he knew of no connection between the disturbance at the mall in his community and problems reported Friday in at least two other malls elsewhere in the nation.
Some mall stores within Independence Center in Independece, Mo., were locked down Friday night after several hundred youths congregated inside, with some fights breaking out, The Kansas City Star reported.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/east/2014/12/27/Monroeville-Mall-quieter-today-after-Friday-night-fracas/stories/201412270116
State Appointee Granted Control Of York City School District
A Spring Garden Township businessman was put in charge of the York City School District on Friday and tasked with implementing a financial recovery plan that could see all district buildings turned into charter schools run by an outside company.
York County Judge Stephen Linebaugh on Friday granted a petition from the state education department to name David Meckley as receiver for the city school district, which gives Meckley all of the school board’s powers except for levying taxes.
Meckley, who has been the state-appointed chief recovery officer for the district for about two years, guided the creation of a financial recovery plan for the district. The plan, adopted in 2013, called for internal reform but included a path to charter conversion if progress wasn’t made.
The state, in its request for receivership, said the school board wasn’t following the plan for reasons including that the school board tabled a decision in November on turning all district schools into charters next year after Meckley directed them to approve it. The board also approved a new teachers’ contract that was inconsistent with the recovery plan, the state said.
Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_27208369/york-city-schools-receivership-decision-expected-today?source=most_viewed
Paradise Township Man Charged With Cutting, Axing Wife To Death
A man killed his wife during an argument Christmas Eve, then took their two children to celebrate Christmas at his parents before calling police to confess, police said.
Dustin Lee Klopp, 36, punched Stephanie Kilhefner in the face, cut her throat and bashed her head with an ax at their Paradise Township home about 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Lancaster.
Klopp then tried to clean up the blood and moved Kilhefner’s body to a shed at the property, police said. He called state police about 5:20 p.m. Thursday to tell them he killed Kilhefner and wanted to turn himself in; he arrived at the barracks about 6:30 p.m., according to police.
About 5:30 p.m., a trooper arrived at their property at 623 Georgetown Road and found Kilhefner’s body in a car-carrier bag in the shed.
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/paradise-township-man-charged-with-cutting-axing-wife-to-death/article_e5e1e4d2-8ca9-11e4-8fd0-f7625cc3354c.html
Police: Woman Stabs Son On Christmas Eve
A woman arguing with her son at her home in Berwick, Columbia County, said she was going to kill the dog, but instead grabbed a knife and stabbed her son in the chest, police said.
Rachel E. Fallat, 44, of 300 Summerhill Ave., was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault and attempted homicide for using a steak knife to lacerate Mark Goodson’s chest, causing severe respiratory distress and a collapsed left lung, Berwick police said.
Goodson was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Medical Center in Plains Township and has since been treated and released, according to hospital officials. Officers interviewed Goodson at the hospital the day of the incident, and he told them he and his mother Wednesday morning had several arguments, some of which became physical.
Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/police-woman-stabs-son-on-christmas-eve-1.1808606
Friends Of The Arboretum Meeting Monday, January 19th, 2015 6:30pm
We are looking for community members to become part of the Althouse Arboretum. You can volunteer your time and talent, or if you would like, become part of a community team to discuss, plan and work together to make our land a first-class outdoor destination for the community.
We’ll be meeting to discuss prospects, potentials and opportunities. Come join us! Email Ken Hamilton or Nancy Baker with questions or for additional information.
Meeting location is 2019 Mimosa Lane, Pottstown (right off Snyder)
RSVP appreciated but not necessary
Christmas Tree Recycling Saturday, January 10th, 2015 – 9am To 3pm At Althouse Arboretum
Merry Christmas And Happy Hanukkah To Our Readers
2014 is coming to a close! It went by fast. We would like to wish our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. We are thankful for each one of you and appreciate you stopping by our humble site to see what’s new in the great state of Pennsylvania (and sometimes our kissin’ cousins, New Jersey and Delaware).
We wish for peace on earth and that the human race would learn to co-exist better on this fragile rock we call planet Earth.
It will be 2015 in a few days. That date sounds so futuristic to those of us born in the 1950’s. We would have thought humanity would be further along by now, but apparently we are slow learners in the work and play well with others category.
Have a safe holiday, enjoy time with family and friends, do random acts of kindness and don’t eat too much!
May the Blessings of the Season be upon you.
Roy’s Rants Staff
MCCC Earns Spot On National Honor Roll For Community Service
Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s students engaged in 24,172 hours of community service and service learning projects in 2013, earning the institution a spot on the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
A significant portion of MCCC’s service hours resulted from academic service learning, which integrates a service component into an academic course. As part of MCCC’s core curriculum, students are required to complete at least one course that addresses civic responsibility. Last year, 6,456 students engaged in service learning activities while enrolled in 225 courses taught by 73 faculty.
An additional 1,411 students and 306 faculty and staff engaged in other forms of community service last year.
“The College’s commitment to service has helped us establish a stronger presence within the community and has raised our students’ awareness of the importance of giving back to the communities in which they live and work,” said Jenna Klaus, MCCC assistance director of civic and community engagement.”
One of the largest community service initiatives in 2013 was a College-wide Day of Service, held in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Day of Service in January. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends spent a day volunteering at several locations in Montgomery County, including the Olivet Boys and Girls Club in Pottstown and the Police Athletic League (PAL) and Preschool Intervention Program in Norristown. In total, 147 volunteers completed 937 hours of service.
Several other larger-scale service initiatives took place throughout the year, including College-wide food drives, an administrative staff day of service, and alternative spring break experiences.
In terms of service learning, MCCC’s Health Sciences majors led the way by offering free health screenings and information to the MCCC community and to community residents in collaboration with local health care partners. Last year, more than 400 Health Sciences students performed 1,624 hours of service, offering 786 screenings and health information to approximately 1,500 individuals.
According to CNCS, college students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country—a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.
Over the last five years, 5,400 MCCC volunteers have completed 46,000 hours of service and have contributed $117,571 in monetary donations to partner organizations.
To learn more, visit NationalService.gov/HonorRoll or join MCCC’s community service conversation on Twitter using #ThinkBigService.
Pennsylvania Turnpike Considers Plans To Replace Allegheny Tunnels In Somerset County
The Pennsylvania Turnpike has revived plans to replace the Allegheny Tunnels in Somerset County, a project that has been talked about for nearly two decades.
The turnpike commission is considering six options for abandoning the 6,070-foot-long tunnels, longest on the turnpike mainline. Three would involve building new tunnels and three would carve an open highway through the mountain either to the north or south of the existing tunnels.
Preliminary cost estimates for the “cut” options range from $242 million to $345 million, while estimates for the tunnel options range from $537 million to $694 million, according to turnpike consultant L.R. Kimball. Annual maintenance costs for a tunnel would exceed $3 million, several times what an open highway segment would cost.
Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said the cost differential was just one of several factors the commission will consider in choosing a preferred option, possibly in the spring.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/12/24/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-considers-plans-to-replace-tunnels-in-Somerset-County/stories/201412230034
Reading Fire And Ice Fest – January 16,17 & 18
Penn Hills Wants To Step Up Code Enforcement, Cite Violators
Penn Hills officials say they plan to be more proactive in code enforcement while they wait for litigation to free up funds for additional code enforcement officers.
“The current number of code enforcement officers is not acceptable for the needs within the municipality,” Deputy Mayor Sara Kuhn said at the Dec. 22 meeting.
At a public budget hearing attended by about 60 residents, nearly every speaker asked council to include funds in the 2015 budget to increase the number of code enforcement officers.
Penn Hills resident Sandy Sikora told council that more code enforcement officers are needed to help fight blight and code violation in the municipality.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7435434-74/story#ixzz3Mk2LvFog
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Man Stopped On I-80 Found With 150 Bags Of Heroin In Rectum
An Altoona man had 150 bags of heroin stashed in his rectum and had to have the drugs removed at a hospital, according to state police at Hazleton.
Dennis L. Vanriper was a passenger in a vehicle that troopers stopped for several traffic violations on Interstate 80 west in Nescopeck Township at about 3 a.m. Friday, police said.
Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/man-stopped-on-i-80-found-with-150-bags-of-heroin-in-rectum-1.1806894
Wells Fargo To Purchase Revel Tax Lien For $26 million, Says AC Mayor
The failed Revel casino has yet to execute a sale of the property. But its outstanding tax bill at least will be bought, at Revel’s typical deep discount. The $32.5 million tax lien against the shuttered Revel casino that failed to sell at a city tax sale this month will be bought by Wells Fargo in a settlement for $26 million, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said Monday.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/downashore/Wells-Fargo-to-purchase-Revel-tax-lien-for-26-million-says-AC-Mayor.html#b98XQiBDtkW6pUCk.99
Alliance Aims To Transform Vacant Parcel In St. Clair To Include Townhouses, Urban Farming
The site of a former public housing complex in St. Clair might become the home of a residential community that could fund one of the largest urban farms in the country, nonprofit officials said.
“It’s definitely a significant plan, but it’s not going to be easy,” said Aaron Sukenik, executive director of the Hilltop Alliance, which wants to redevelop the site and operate the farm.
The Housing Authority of the city of Pittsburgh demolished the 61-year-old St. Clair Village public housing complex in 2010 as it sought to reshape the look of public housing in the city to a model that had less-dense communities and more mixed incomes.
The Hilltop Alliance wants to turn the vacant, 107-acre parcel into Hilltop Village Farm, which would include 120 for-sale and rental townhouses, as well as an urban farm using about 20 acres for a farm incubator, youth farm and community-supported agriculture farm, or CSA.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7413350-74/farm-housing-hilltop#ixzz3MeUTxCjn
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Pittsburgh’s Hill District Revitalization Project Hits Financial Hurdle In TIF
A plan to revitalize the Hill District and Uptown with tax money from a redeveloped Civic Arena site is more complicated than envisioned, say officials who hope to make public a proposal in January.
“There are a lot of moving parts,” said Robert Rubinstein, acting executive director of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, which is crafting a plan to pay for improvements.
An agreement reached this fall by city, neighborhood and Pittsburgh Penguins officials established conditions for the proposed $440 million project. The hockey team won the development rights to the site in a 2007 deal to build Consol Energy Center.
Among conditions in September’s agreement, the parties will borrow as much as $50 million, then use 65 percent of the anticipated increase in property tax money from the 28-acre site to pay for improvements and programs in the Hill and Uptown.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7391701-74/development-money-tax#ixzz3MeT4WOtz
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Garfield Residents Plan Rally Over Bottom Dollar Site
Discount grocer Aldi is ignoring a community development group’s request for information on the future of one of the stores it is acquiring from a competitor, representatives of the group said.
The Bloomfield-Garfield Corp. plans to lead a rally Monday requesting that Aldi share its plan for the 6-month-old Bottom Dollar Food store at 5200 Penn Ave. in Garfield that will close by the end of the year.
“We want it to remain a grocery store so that our neighbors have access to food,” said Sarah Burke, communications and marketing manager for the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp.
In November, Belgium-based Delhaize Group announced that it planned to close its 66 Bottom Dollar Food stores, including the 20 in the Pittsburgh area, by the end of the year and sell the real estate and remaining lease liabilities for $15 million to Aldi Inc., which operates more than 1,300 stores in the United States.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7413662-74/bottom-dollar-garfield#ixzz3MeRfMLhQ
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Lancaster And Akron Host New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Get ready to celebrate.
You can ring out the old and in the new this New Year’s Eve in a variety of ways.
Downtown Lancaster will welcome 2015 with the traditional ascension of the Red Rose Dec. 31 at Binn’s Park.
But before the countdown, the crowd will be entertained by Philly band Swift Technique, beginning at 10 p.m.
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/features/entertainment/lancaster-and-akron-host-new-year-s-eve-celebrations/article_19ed668a-847a-11e4-b1fc-eb99777c6faf.html