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

2 Coatesville Administrators Placed On Leave Amid District Lawsuit Action

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

Caln Township, PA – Two Coatesville Area School District employees were placed on administrative leave last week at the same time the school board filed a lawsuit against two former administrators.

Assistant superintendent Angelo Romaniello and facilities worker Matthew Como, the son of former superintendent Richard Como, were placed on administrative leave effective last week.

Romaniello’s attorney, Robert Donatoni of West Chester, declined comment on the employment status of his client Friday. Attorney Paul Rubino, who’s representing Matt Como, also declined comment.

CASD superintendent Cathy Taschner did not release the names of the employees in the message sent to parents Thursday night. School district officials responded Friday to a right-to-know request submitted by the Daily Local News checking on the employment status of Matt Como and Romaniello.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141122/2-coatesville-administrators-placed-on-leave-amid-district-lawsuit-action

DANIELLE MARINELLI JOINS HOOVER FINANCIAL ADVISORS

DanielleheadshotsHooverFinancial-0009-1Malvern, PA – Hoover Financial Advisors recently added Danielle Marinelli to its growing staff as a client service manager. Her appointment was announced by Peter K. Hoover, president and founder of HFA.

In her new position, Marinelli’s responsibilities include handling and processing client service issues, Schwab banking-related functions and client fund transfers. Prior to joining HFA, she was a business manager with Creative Financial Group in Newtown Square. Before that, she worked for Meridian Bank in the Financial Services division. Marinelli holds a degree in business and finance from West Chester University where she was a member of the Finance/Economics Society. She is a resident of Wayne.

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 client services manager, employees include financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, an investment analyst and 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 information, visit its website at petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.

Chester County Food Bank Needs Turkey Donations — Now

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

Exton, PA – An anticipated donation of 500 turkeys fell through Friday morning and now Chester County Food Bank is scrambling to collect frozen turkeys by Monday.

“We have families and a number of our food cupboards that are depending on having these turkeys Monday afternoon and we are in need,” said Phoebe Kitson, the Food Bank’s manager for agency and community partnerships.

The Food Bank serves more than 100 organizations in Chester County. The yearly average distribution of turkeys is about 2,000, but this year requests for turkeys increased about 20 percent compared to previous years.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141121/chester-county-food-bank-needs-turkey-donations-now

Killings, Shootings, Crashes Mark Violent Weekend In Philadelphia Area

The weekend in the Philadelphia region was marked by a series of violent incidents, including shootings and car crashes that have left at least eight people dead since Friday night.

The deaths include two fatal shootings in Camden and three in Philadelphia, as well as two deadly traffic accidents in South Jersey and one in Bensalem.

Other violent incidents also added to the weekend mayhem, including the shooting of a Temple University student, two double shootings and a robber who threatened to give his victim AIDS.

In Camden, authorities are investigating two deadly shootings that occurred hours apart Sunday morning.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Killings_shootings_crashes_mark_violent_weekend_in_Philadelphia_area.html#0hUiZaOfGhfvm0Iv.99

Voter Turnout Around 45 Percent, About Average For Governor’s Race, Officials Say

Although nice weather and busy poll stations may have given the impression of above-average voter turnout Tuesday, election officials in Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties indicated it was anything but.

“It was a little lower than it was four years ago,” said Deborah Olivieri, director of the Berks County Office of Voter Services.

“But it’s better than 17 percent,” she said, referring to the anemic voter-turnout in the spring Primary Election.

According to figures posted on their respective websites, voter turnout ranged between a high of 48.2 percent in Montgomery County, where 262,738 votes were cast, to a low of 41 percent in Berks County, where 100,731 votes were case.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20141106/voter-turnout-around-45-percent-about-average-for-governors-race-officials-say

HOOVER FINANCIAL ADVISORS ADDS TAX SPECIALIST

Malvern, PAJohnFureyHoverAssociates2014-0009-1, recently joined Hoover Financial Advisors as a senior tax advisor. His appointment was announced by Peter K. Hoover, CFP, president and HFA founder. “We are delighted to have someone with such impressive credentials on our team,” says Hoover. “He is an asset for clients, particularly seniors.”

Furey’s primary duties are to help HFA clients with tax planning and preparation. His expertise concerning executive compensation tax implications, stock options and restricted stock, 401(k), pension plans and employee benefits is essential in guiding clients to financial goals and comfortable retirement. In addition, Furey’s knowledge of the intricacies of incentive programs and deferred compensation is beneficial in the tax planning process. He is a volunteer preparer through the AARP tax aide program. “I enjoyed learning how to apply HFA’s state-of-the-art software to my job. I first came here as a seasonal tax preparer and it evolved into an exciting and challenging year ‘round position,” concludes Furey.

Furey was an executive for Campbell Soup Company for more than 25 years. He served as vice president and corporate secretary for 18 years and received Campbell’s prestigious Influence with Honor leadership award. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from Villanova University. He earned a doctor of jurisprudence and master of laws in taxation from Villanova, as well. Furey and his wife Jill reside in Villanova.

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 information, visit its website at www.petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777. To reach Furey, call the tax department at 610.651.2777 (Ext. 123).

West Chester Chili Cookoff Shares More Than 70 Recipes With Patrons

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

West Chester, PA On a chilly fall day, residents warmed up in the borough with hot peppers for the 12th year in a row during the Rotary Club’s Chili Cookoff.

More than 70 chili recipes were shared with thousands of patrons on Gay Street Sunday in an effort to raise more than last year’s $50,000 to support 14 local nonprofits.

Among the dozens of recipes shared at the festival were some crowd favorites, like those of the Habanero Brothers.

The brothers, who have been coming to the event for the past 10 years, compete in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, for chances to show off their varying recipes.

Roadwork Planned On Routes 100, 422

Drivers relying on Route 100 or 422 to get around next week should plan some extra time for their commute.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Route 100 North will be reduced to one lane between Worthington Road and Route 113 in Uwchlan from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13-17. The lane closure is due to road widening in the area and is part of a $17.4 million project to add a lane to the highway in each direction.

PennDOT said slowdowns will occur when traffic is restricted to one lane during construction. The contractor’s schedule is weather dependent.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141010/roadwork-planned-on-route-100-422