Downingtown’s Three High Schools Named To Washington Post’s 2015 America’s Most Challenging

EAST CALN TOWNSHIP, PA – The three high schools in the Downingtown Area School District were named to Washington Post’s 2015 America’s Most Challenging High School programs list.

The Downingtown STEM Academy, Downingtown West High School and Downingtown East High School all appear on the Washington Post’s newly released list. Only 38 Pennsylvania high schools achieved this honor with Downingtown being the only Pennsylvania school district to have all district high schools nationally ranked, according to the Washington Post.

“We are very proud of our students and staff,” said Lawrence Mussoline, superintendent of schools.

The report looked at public and private high schools nationwide and ranked them based on the academic rigor of the schools’ curriculum. The Post filtered the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year. That number was then divided by the number of graduation seniors. Fewer than seven percent of the approximately 27,000 high schools in America qualified for this list.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150422/downingtowns-three-high-schools-named-to-washington-posts-2015-americas-most-challenging

Coatesville To Celebrate 100 Years As A City

Chester County’s only city will commemorate its 100th anniversary with the Coatesville Centennial Celebration at the city’s train station located at Fleetwood Street and North Third Avenue, at 10 a.m. on April 27.

Coatesville is named after Moses Coates, a farmer and postmaster who in 1787 purchased land that now makes up the center of the city, according to http://www.Coatesville.org. A village in the area where Coates purchased land came to be known as Coates Villa, and in 1867 it merged with the neighboring village of Midway to form the Borough of Coatesville. On April 27, 1915, a majority of the borough’s residents voted in favor of granting city status to Coatesville.

The centennial celebration will begin with a performance by the Coatesville Area Senior High Marching Band. During the celebration, Aja Thompson, a CASH graduate and Coatesville Youth Initiative volunteer will read her poem, “I Love and Miss You, Coatesville.”

The winner of the Coatesville Centennial Logo Design Contest will also be announced at the event. The contest was open to students in the Coatesville Area School District, and challenged them to design a new logo to represent the city of Coatesville. The winning logo will be featured on signage, event flyers and street banners for the centennial celebration.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150419/coatesville-to-celebrate-100-years-as-a-city

Plan Calls For 175 Luxury Apartments In Downtown Kennett Square

KENNETT SQUARE, PA – Borough officials are considering a plan that would bring 175 luxury apartments and a pub restaurant to the western section of town.

Called The Lofts, it will be located very close to Victory Brewing Co. on Cypress Street that will open sometime this month. Specifically it will be bordered by State Street to the north, Washington Street to the east, South Mill to the west, and Bernard Alley to the south.

Developer, StanAb Real Estate Development Co. of West Chester, purchased the entire 600 block of State Street recently, which had been the site of Kennett Motors and Kennett Transmissions.

“Except for Magnolia Place, there are few other choices (for rental housing),” said Tony Stancato, an executive with StanAb. “The lure of Kennett Square is that is has walkable amenities, and there are many businesses wanting to come to Kennett. Demand for rental has been increasing with those ages 20 to 34 holding off buying decisions for many reasons. Kennett Square is an underserved marking for rental housing.”

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150412/plan-calls-for-175-luxury-apartments-in-downtown-kennett-square

Special Project: East Coventry Farm Exemplifies Sustainability Movement

East Coventry Township, PA – From the front, the white house at 253 Harley Road looks like any other home in the neighborhood. A short walk back reveals that appearances can be deceiving. For behind this particular house, there’s a chicken coop, greenhouses and a small farm where sustainable, organic growing is taking place.

Jubilee Hill Farm was started about three years ago by owners David and Wendy Ryle. The married couple grows produce on 1.5 acres of a 10-acre property left to Wendy by her grandparents. She said they plant food for humans but they want the land to also be a safe space for other living creatures.

“The idea was that this would be a wildlife refuge and it still is…it’s not a battle of the wildlife, it’s just sort of living in harmony with them,” she said.

Sustainability practices are those that keep in mind that the future survival of humans and other organisms are dependent on preserving the natural environment, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency .

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150406/special-project-east-coventry-farm-exemplifies-sustainability-movement

2 Dead After Small Plane Crashes In West Goshen

West Goshen Township, PA – Two people were killed when the small plane they were flying in crashed in the 1000 block of Saunders Lane, near Andrews Drive, in West Goshen at 1:34 p.m. Sunday afternoon, county officials said.

Dispatchers said two people were found dead following the crash. An official said they were the only people on board.

The aircraft, a single-engine Piper PA28, had taken off from the Brandywine Airport and flown over Route 202, before it went out of control and crashed in a field about two miles away from the airport, officials said.

Emergency crews reported that the plane burst into flames following the crash.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150329/2-dead-after-small-plane-crashes-in-west-goshen/2

Phoenixville Borough Council Targets Crime On Bridge Street

PHOENIXVILLE, PA – After a recent increase in crime along Bridge Street, borough officials, residents and business owners say they’ve had enough and are searching for solutions.

During Tuesday night’s borough council meeting, Councilman Michael Kuznar added his voice to the growing number of people concerned about the borough’s safety. A recent armed robbery at the Save More Discount Center on Bridge Street and bricks thrown at two businesses were examples he used that something needs to be done.

“Since Jan. 1, Bridge Street has had over 900 calls to dispatch,” Kuznar said. “That’s a lot for just one street.”

Residents complained about “shady activity” at the Children’s Plaza at Bridge and Banks streets, too.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150313/phoenixville-borough-council-targets-crime-on-bridge-street

Are These The 10 Best Philly Suburbs?

Editor’s note:  No surprise that the future tourism mecca of Western Montgomery County is missing from the list.  I guess mini-golf, carousels and train rides aren’t enough to propel a crime infested borough to the top of any great places to live list.  Not sure why the cart is always put before the horse.

Real estate website Movoto.com has compiled a list of the 10 best Philly suburbs.

With nine towns in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey, the site ranked these towns based on many factors such as amenities per capita, standard of living, crime rate, and average commute time to Philly.

Coming in at number one is Devon, which the site says has the highest graduation rate, a median income of more than $142,000 per year, and is the “safest place for miles near Philadelphia.”

Six towns in Montgomery County made the list, while the rest were in Chester, Delaware and Camden counties.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/philadelphia-real-estate/Are-these-the-10-best-Philly-suburbs.html#6shZWa03k79QQEqc.99

Weather Experts Say Warmer Weather Is Really Coming

WEST CHESTER, PA – The region dug out Friday from a season-record snowfall Thursday that closed schools, businesses and some municipal offices.

And the good news from the weather experts is that things should be calm and more seasonable for a bit.

Here are the snow totals from late Thursday night: East Nantmeal, 11.3 inches; Malvern, 10.0; Coatesville, 9.8; West Caln, 9.8; Landenberg, 9.3; West Chester, 9.0; Devon, 9.0; New London, 8.9; Thorndale, 8.7 East Coventry, 8.5; Exton, 8.5.

There were some school closings and delays and the highways and other roads were still snow-covered Friday morning. However, bright sunshine was the hope for some melting to make those roads more passable.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150306/weather-experts-say-warmer-weather-is-really-coming

Witnesses Testify At Richard Como’s Preliminary Hearing

WEST CHESTER, PA – The criminal case against former Coatesville Area School District Superintendent Richard Como opened a new chapter Friday in a lengthy preliminary hearing at the Chester County Justice Center.

The former superintendent, who abruptly retired at the start of the 2013 school year amid the discovery of racist and sexist text message exchanges with the district’s athletic director, faces a slew of felony theft charges resulting from a nearly yearlong grand jury investigation that concluded late last year.

On Friday prosecutors from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office called several witnesses in an effort to put forward enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Como is accused of defrauding the district out of thousands of dollars during his time as superintendent. While a large portion of the alleged thefts revolve around the purchase of championship football rings, many of the charges stem from a series of alleged smaller thefts that plagued the district for years.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150227/witnesses-testify-at-richard-comos-preliminary-hearing

HOOVER FINANCIAL ADVISORS ADDS CFP®

Sara Nelb, CFPMalvern, PA – Sara A. Nelb, CFP® recently joined Hoover Financial Advisors (HFA). Her appointment as a financial planner was announced by Peter K. Hoover, president and founder of the firm.

In her new position, Nelb will work with HFA clients to help them manage and maintain financial plans and achieve their singular goals. Prior to joining HFA, she was senior investment officer at The Haverford Trust Company in Radnor. Before that, Nelb held various positions at QVC in West Chester, including business analyst for Sales and Product Planning.

Nelb, who holds a B. S. degree in Business Administration from Drexel University, graduated magna cum laude. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association and holds a FINRA Series 65 license. She is also a past participant of Business on Board for the Arts & Business Council in Philadelphia. The CFP is a resident of Radnor.

“I’m excited to be part of the financial planning process,” says Nelb. “To work with a great team and contribute to the process that helps clients reach distinctive objectives is rewarding.” “It’s rewarding for HFA to have Sara on board,” adds Hoover. “Our company is celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. We opened with one CFP. With the addition of Sara, we now have three.”

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 quadrupled in size. In addition to the CFPs, employees include financial advisors, insurance and tax specialists, attorneys, an investment analyst, a certified portfolio manager, and an information services manager. In 2012, HFA was selected as Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.

Application Deadline For $10,000 Art Scholarship

Pottstown, PA –The deadline to apply for the 2015 Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the arts is February 28, 2015. The scholarship is open to Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Owen J. Roberts and Hill School seniors who will be pursuing either an arts major or an arts minor in college.

The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria:  artistic performance as displayed at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship Art Exhibit at ArtFusion 19464, and an essay on why the applicant wants to continue their education in the arts.  The essay and application are due by the 28th. The artwork for the mandatory show must be completed by May.

For complete rules and an application, candidates are asked to stop by ArtFusion at 254 E. High St.. A pdf copy can be requested by contacting info@artfusion19464.org, or by visiting artfusion19464.org.

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. 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.

“Malls Have Been A Dying Thing For Us”: Who’ll Replace RadioShack?

Radio Shack has been trying to close more than 1,000 of its 5,000 stores for the past year; its lenders are resisting; bankruptcy threatens.

Meantime other retailers are weighing whether Radio Shack sites — 29 in Philadelphia and its nearby suburbs, a total of 130 from Wilmington to Princeton, each about 2,000-2,700 sq ft — would make good lunch spots, phone stores, massage salons.

“We have a lease” to take over a Philadelphia-area Radio Shack — he won’t say which, it’s still open — and are negotiating for others in Boston, Atlanta, Miami, and Austin, Tex., Todd Leff, CEO of Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spas, a 200-store franchise chain based in Hamilton Township, N.J., told me.  Hand and Stone says it has 35 locations in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey, and plans up to 15 more. Each store employs 30, including therapists and aestheticians for massage and skin care. Hour-long treatments cost $49-99.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Malls-have-been-a-dying-thing-for-us-Wholl-replace-RadioShack.html#i6EFp5ErOlAswsiP.99

Quake Strikes Near Downingtown

A minor earthquake occurred near Downingtown on Sunday evening, possibly triggered by activity at a nearby quarry, Columbia University scientists said Monday.

The magnitude of the quake was measured at 2.7 and there were no reports of damage or injury, according to Patty Mains, a spokeswoman for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services.

The quake occurred at 6:25 p.m. Sunday with an epicenter located in the north end of East Bradford Township – about a mile south of a quarry owned by Lehigh Hanson Inc. in East Caln Township.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/science/20150127_Quake_strikes_near_Downingtown.html#eWi4ibY3dzB4vvkJ.99

Philadelphia Region Braces For More Snow

The Philadelphia area is preparing for another round of snow to hit during the night.

The snowfall would be the second the area has seen this week, an unusual occurrence in a winter that’s been nearly snow-free thus far.

The biggest threat appears to be hazardous driving conditions overnight, from around midnight through around 6 a.m. Saturday, with snow, ice and a wintry mix threatening to hit much of eastern Pennsylvania and non-coastal parts of New Jersey.

Transportation officials were gearing up for plowing and salting operations. PennDot was warning motorists that clearing roads during a storm was a time-consuming operation, and drivers should use caution.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150124_Philadelphia_region_braces_for_more_snow.html#oKKHbQdlhTVGVMZ0.99

MCCC TO HOST TRICOUNTY HIGH SCHOOL ART EXHIBITION

Pottstown, Pa.—High school students from Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties will showcase their artwork at Montgomery County Community College’s second annual TriCounty High School Art Exhibition and Competition at its Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown.

The exhibition opens Wednesday, Jan. 28, and will continue through Friday, Feb. 27. The artists’ reception will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 5-7 p.m. with the awards presentation at 6 p.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the community.

Students will display their best artwork featuring a variety of subject matters and styles created in an array of media. This annual event enables up-and-coming student artists to exhibit their work in a professional art gallery and share their talents with the community. MCCC art faculty members will be reviewing the artwork and will be available to answer any questions about the College’s art programs.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed weekends. For more information about the exhibition, contact Gallery Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or hcairns@mc3.edu.

Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/DestinationArts for information about upcoming performances and art exhibitions.

The Mushroom Drop Returns For New Year’s Eve

KENNETT SQUARE, PA – After a successful debut on New Year’s Eve 2013, the great Mushroom Drop will return this year to greet 2015.

The huge fungus made of lights will descend from a crane at the corner of State and Union streets at midnight.

Last year thousands of people arrived for the event that included food, music and all the enthusiasm of Times Square. Chairman Kathi Lafferty expects nothing less this year.

This event is free with the request that guests bring a can of food that will be contributed to the Kennett Square Food Cupboard.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141221/the-mushroom-drop-returns-for-new-years-eve

HOOVER FINANCIAL ADVISORS EXCEEDS FUNDS FOR FOOD GOAL

Larry Welsch, Chester County Food Bank executive director, is all smiles as he accepts a check from Hoover Financial Advisors. Shown with Welsch (l to r) are Pete Hoover, Beth Hoover and Kelly Hoover.

Larry Welsch, Chester County Food Bank executive director, is all smiles as he accepts a check from Hoover Financial Advisors. Shown with Welsch (l to r) are Pete Hoover, Beth Hoover and Kelly Hoover.

Malvern, PA – Hoover Financial Advisors completed its fall Funds for Food campaign by raising     $12, 500 for Chester County Food Bank. The goal was $10,000. “We couldn’t be happier to exceed our original plan,” says Pete Hoover, CFP, president and founder of HFA. “The holidays can be tough for families who don’t have enough to eat. The Food Bank reports that more than 50,000 residents of Chester County are food-insecure. Last year, it distributed over 2.6 million pounds of food, including 800, 000 pounds of fresh produce, to 100 food cupboards. We are very pleased to be able to help and thank all our clients and business colleagues who contributed so generously to the fund-raising campaign.”

“Hoover Financial Advisors has been a wonderful partner to Chester County Food Bank, says executive director Larry Welsch. “The company supports us with both monetary contributions and through volunteering. HFA has hosted fund drives among its clients to strengthen this support. We are so very fortunate to have corporations like HFA, who are not only supportive of the efforts of the Food Bank, but are also genuinely committed to the Chester County community. HFA is a true ambassador of Chester County Food Bank,” concludes Welsch.

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 tripled in size. Employees include client relationship managers, financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, investment analyst and an information services manager. Two years ago, HFA was selected as 2012 Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more details, visit its website at petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777. Go to ChesterCountyfoodbank.org for Chester County Food Bank information.

Forecasters Warn Of Snow, Sleet In Philadelphia Area

The Philadelphia region could see periods of snow and sleet today, forecasters are warning.

The National Weather Service says a mix of rain, snow and sleet is likely for the area through early afternoon. The precipitation should then transition to rain and sleet and eventually just rain by late afternoon, the weather service said.

Any snow is most likely between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and less than an inch is expected. Any accumulation should be limited to grassy areas and non-paved surfaced. Sleet is most likely to hit the region from early to mid-afternoon.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Forecasters_warn_of_snow_sleet_in_Philadelphia_area.html#jEj9TFFifJJzifdS.99

Coatesville School Board President Resigns

Caln Township, PA – Amid speculation that the Chester County District Attorney’s grand jury investigation of two former district administrators is nearing completion, Coatesville Area School Board President Neil Campbell resigned from his post Tuesday.

“This decision was difficult as I enjoyed representing the district as well as members of the community,” Campbell said in his statement addressed to the school board dated Nov. 25. “I truly appreciate those that elected me to serve and it was an honor.”

Campbell’s resignation was announced before the school board meeting commenced. His resignation was effective immediately, according to school district officials.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141126/coatesville-school-board-president-resigns

Work Ongoing At Downingtown Pocket Park

DOWNINGTOWN, PA – The upgrading of fencing is the first step of the Downingtown Main Street Association’s revitalization of the borough’s Armor Alley Pocket Plaza. The borough is cooperating with the Main Street group.

“One of the main goals of the mission of the Main Street Association is to help Downingtown grow and prosper and the pocket plaza upgrading fits with our stated goal,” said Main Street President Adrian Martinez. “Board member Sarah Peck is heading this effort and she is to be commended for her willingness to volunteer many valuable hours to enhance our borough.”

The Armor Alley Pocket Plaza is proposed to be redeveloped into a lively, well lit, beautifully landscaped public plaza at a key spot on Main Street. A canopy of white lights will define the plaza and new landscaping, fencing, walkway lighting and pavers will create an attractive and safe pedestrian link to Main Street from Mill Road, the organization said in a press release.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141125/work-ongoing-at-downingtown-pocket-park