Two Wilkes-Barre Police Officers Assaulted By Drunken Driver

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A city police officer sustained a possible broken nose and another officer was punched in the face while arresting a suspected drunken driver early Sunday morning.

The incident happened on South Main Street near Ross Street when officers Daniel Roper and Erica Oswald stopped Steven Santiago, 33, for driving a vehicle without headlights.

During the traffic stop, Santiago exhibited signs of intoxication and was asked to exit his vehicle. While standing near the back of his car, Santiago refused to submit to a breath test, according to the criminal complaint.

Santiago admitted he consumed alcoholic beverages before he was stopped by police, the complaint says.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152641077/W-B-cops-assaulted-in-DUI-scuffle

Heroin, Cash Seized, 3 People Arrested In Drug Investigations

HAZLETON, PA — Three people face drug charges and cash and drugs were seized in two separate investigations Thursday, police said.

In one of the cases, a woman trying to flee police struck an undercover vehicle, police said.

Police identified the woman as Passion Tairi Flores, 24, of West Birch Street.

According to police: A controlled drug buy with Flores was arranged near the intersection of North Locust and Third streets at approximately 5 p.m. As officers closed in on Flores, she accelerated her vehicle and tried to get away, striking an undercover vehicle and preventing her escape. Flores and her passenger, Anthony Morales Jr. 22 of Brooklyn, New York were arrested. Approximately $900 in cash and 220 packets of heroin were seized from her vehicle.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/152497462/

Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson Gets Raise

The Camden County freeholders on Thursday approved a $66,800 raise for Metro Police Chief Scott Thomson, bringing his annual salary to $230,000.

Thomson’s new contract guarantees that he will stay in Camden until at least 2019, county spokesman Dan Keashen said Friday.

“This is about retaining one of the sharpest law enforcement minds in the country,” Keashen said.

No county funds are used for the operation of the Camden County Police Department, which is paid for by Camden City and the state.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20150321_Camden_s_police_chief_receives__66_800_pay_increase.html#Zl2PFt58e6hq4eVd.99

Three Wyoming Valley Turkey Hill Stores Targeted Overnight

KINGSTON, PA — Three Turkey Hill stores in the Wyoming Valley were targets of robbers Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Two stores in Wilkes-Barre and a store in Kingston were held up.

Here are the reported robberies by police in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston.

• Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., Turkey Hill, 335 E. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: A white man armed with an undisclosed weapon entered the store and demanded money from a clerk. City police considered the suspect armed and dangerous. The suspect is in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, thin build, fair skin, and wore a grey hooded sweatshirt, black jacket and dark colored jogging pants.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152424848/

Homegrown Middle Class: A Neighborhoods Policy For Philadelphia

To John Kromer the city’s persistent poverty is best tackled at the neighborhood level. In a four-part series of commentaries Kromer, an urban housing and development consultant and former city housing director, will explore different policy interventions the next administration can deploy to reduce poverty, stabilize neighborhoods, and finance anti-blight work. Kromer lays the foundation with this first installment:

Mayoral and City Council candidates rarely have to take strong positions on neighborhood issues because other topics, such as taxes, crime, schools, and drugs, are more likely to attract voter interest when presented in a citywide, rather than neighborhood-specific context. Given all the demands of a hectic campaign season, most candidates don’t bother to bring forward substantive proposals for improving the condition of Philadelphia neighborhoods until after the elections.

The lower-priority status of neighborhoods as a campaign issue is particularly unfortunate, because the city’s biggest problem—the persistently high level of poverty in Philadelphia—can only be solved at the neighborhood level.

Organizing a neighborhoods policy that can be effective in reducing poverty levels is doable but complicated. Doing so requires thinking about existing strengths and weaknesses and future opportunities in a new way and seeking to obtain political buy-in for a new approach immediately. Advocates for fundamental policy changes can’t afford to wait until after the inauguration ceremony, after the appointment of planning and development officials, and after the presentation of the new administration’s first budget. Anyone who’s serious about planning to significantly reduce poverty during the next city administration needs to begin now.

Read more:

http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2015/03/16/homegrown-middle-class-a-neighborhoods-policy-for-philadelphia

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

Special Report: What Is Being Done To Combat Crime In Pottstown?

Pottstown, PA – Ask law enforcement dealing with violent crime in Pottstown about the biggest obstacle to catching criminals and they are likely to say it’s silence.

Or, more specifically, silence when police ask witnesses to provide information about a crime.

Repeatedly in recent months, as police have been grappling with a wave of violence, Pottstown Police Chief Rick Drumheller has pleaded with people to come forward and say what they know.

“It’s time to pick a side,” Drumheller said during a Dec. 3, 2014 council meeting.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150310/special-report-what-is-being-done-to-combat-crime-in-pottstown

Special Project: Is Pottstown More Dangerous Than Other Towns?

Editor’s note:  A continuation of Evan Brandt’s series about crime in Pottstown.  Well worth the read.  The blogging community has been trying to get this problem addressed for a while now and it’s great that the mainstream media and Montco officials are getting on the bandwagon to clean up Pottstown.  We feel Pottstown has great potential but it can’t be realized until crime is brought under control.  When criminals learn that Pottstown isn’t open for business anymore, redevelopment can really take hold.

How many times have you heard it in the past year?

“Pottstown is turning into another Reading.”

It’s the kind of comparison not meant to reflect well on the Berks County seat, labeled in 2011 as the nation’s poorest city.

But comparisons are a way to put things in context.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150309/special-project-is-pottstown-more-dangerous-than-other-towns

Special Project: Is Pottstown Becoming More Dangerous?

Editor’s note:  Nice job, Evan.  Make sure you read the whole article because this is a good news, bad news piece.  Crime is still a problem in Pottstown.

POTTSTOWN, PA – Crime is not up in Pottstown, at least not according to the numbers.

Crime in the borough last year was, in nearly all categories, below the borough’s 10-year average, according to a Mercury analysis of crime statistics provided by the Pottstown Police Department.

The numbers of serious crimes like murder, rape and arson have remained relatively flat since 2005, and in addition, the statistics show that 2014 saw 13 percent fewer major crimes and a decrease of more than 16 percent in all reportable crimes.

Pottstown has not had more than two murders per year since 2007.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150308/special-project-is-pottstown-becoming-more-dangerous

Espirit de Corps Is Circling The Drain In Pottstown Borough Hall

Roy:

Our friend the Golden Cockroach has a few things to say about what’s happening in Pottstown. Very eye-opening commentary. History has a way of continually repeating itself in the borough. Perhaps because of political inbreeding. Time for some new blood and fresh air.

Originally posted on Corruption, Cronyism, Poverty Pimps in Pottstown, Pa:

While Council contemplates the lint in their belly buttons.

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Should You?  Heck, ask Dave Woglom, Dave knows the answer.

In the chaotic demise of the Land of Potts, we venture boldy, tip-toeing through the illegal dumps, sliding across the unkempt, icy sidewalks as the rank odors of wet, moldy decay from bank owned / investor owned properties waft through the air and…

WE THINK TAXPAYERS SHOULD HAVE THEIR EYES WIDE OPEN FOR THE POTTSTOWN ADVENTURE THEY NEVER SIGNED UP FOR…

Let a little sunshine in !!!

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While public employees espirt de corps circles the drain, under Mark Flanders leadership, our confidence in local government and council’s  prowess has already circled, gone down the drain and leaked out the other end into the gutter along with the regular occurrences of raw sewage.

Dave Woglom of the Meyner Center’s presence was felt prior to and on Nov. 13, 2012 when Borough Council annointed Mark Flanders, king for…

View original 858 more words

Cops: Irate Wawa Customer Tries To Strangle Worker

When Wawa employees told Terron Reed his order couldn’t be prepared as requested, he apparently didn’t take the news too well.

Instead of adjusting his meal, the 36-year-old Bear, Del., man threw a coffee display stand at a worker, then tried to strangle her, threw her to the ground, and threatened to shoot other employees before leaving the convenience store, according to Delaware State Police.

Police said the bizarre altercation happened at the Wawa at 1400 Beaverbrook Plaza in New Castle about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20150220_Cops__Irate_Wawa_customer_tries_to_strangle_worker.html#kVscl58Vque331mJ.99

Police Probe Pottstown Shooting, Victim Flown To Lehigh Hospital

Editor’s note:  Unfortunately, I was almost right in the middle of this tonight.  Getting a little too close for comfort.  I think the Attorney General’s Mobile Task Force is sorely needed.  Much of the crime in Pottstown is drug related.  It’s time to get serious and ferret out these criminals.  This needs to be the first order of business, not tourism. People are not going to flock to Pottstown if it is NOT SAFE! You are putting the cart before the horse.

POTTSTOWN – A shooting that took place in the area of a downtown alley Wednesday evening resulted in at least one victim being taken by car to the hospital and then flown by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital for further treatment.

The patient’s condition and name were unavailable at press time.

Personnel at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center refused to provide any information or even confirm a shooting victim was or had been in the hospital.

However, The Mercury learned from another source that a patient flown from the hospital’s helicopter pad was the shooting victim.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150211/police-probe-pottstown-shooting-victim-flown-to-lehigh-hospital

Two Nabbed In Wilkes-Barre Drug Raid; Home Shut Down

Two men face multiple drug charges following a raid at a Wilkes-Barre home on Thursday.

Wilkes-Barre police and state police executed a search warrant at 284 N. Washington St. at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, police said in a news release.

Police said they found “distribution quantities” of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the home and arrested Louis Soto, 25, and Brian Lulewicz, 30. The men were taken into custody without incident, police said. An investigation by city and state police revealed that the two men were selling large quantities of heroin and cocaine from the residence and were armed, according to police.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/two-nabbed-in-w-b-drug-raid-home-shut-down-1.1822054

Meet With The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office

First Assistant District Attorney, Kevin Steele, has responded to a request from a Pottstown resident/businessman to meet with the community regarding the problems of drug dealers and drug houses. This will be an opportunity to engage the District Attorney’s office and to ask questions about how they can work with us to reduce crime.

We will be meeting with Asst. D.A. Jason Whalley.

Because of the importance of this meeting we want thoughtful participation by residents who will take time to familiarize themselves with the PA Drug Nuisance Law and ask relevant questions.

This is NOT a meeting to “bash” law enforcement or dwell on personal experiences.

We are working to build a connection based on trust and communication between the community, the D.A.’s office and local law enforcement.

PLEASE RSVP for this meeting. There could be a change in venue or time but we will update you ASAP with any changes.  To RSVP email ptownadvocates@hotmail.com and put COUNT ME IN in the subject line and put your name in the body of the email along with any other information you want to pass along or questions. You should familiarize yourself with the PA Drug Nuisance Law in order to be able to participate in the discussion.  Here’s the link to the Pennsylvania Drug Nuisance Law:

http://reg.abcsignup.com/files/%7B28C5CDFA-B871-4CC5-9AFB-91D00628F4A4%7D_39/34387/Blight_statutes.pdf

Belovich Announces Bid For 4th Ward Council Seat In Pottstown

Editor’s note:  We endorse Ross Belovich for 4th Ward Councilor.  We think he would be a wonderful addition to the borough government and brings may good ideas on how to move Pottstown forward.  Something that is desperately needed!

POTTSTOWN, PA = Within days of Pottstown Borough Council President Stephen Toroney announcing he will not seek another term representing the Fourth Ward, another Democrat has announced his candidacy.

North Hanover Street resident Ross Belovich, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for mayor in 2013, has thrown his hat into the ring.

In an announcement posted on Facebook, Belovich wrote that “I believe that individually we can do good, but together we can do great.”

Toroney announced he would not seek a fifth term at the end of the Jan. 12 council meeting.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150116/belovich-announces-bid-for-4th-ward-council-seat-in-pottstown

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

Nanticoke Man Arrested For Shooting In Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A Nanticoke man was arraigned Thursday on charges he shot a woman in the head near Gordon Avenue in South Wilkes-Barre last week.

Michael Angelo Foschini Jr, 25, of West Main Street, was charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and simple assault, and one count each of possession of marijuana and reckless endangerment. He was arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke and jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $250,000 bail.

Foschini was arrested by city police and Nanticoke police when he began driving away from his residence at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police believe the woman, a 19-year-old, was shot in the head with a .22-caliber rifle. She survived her injuries.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50888033/

16 Arrested – Mostly For Drugs – In Northwest Lancaster County Sweep

Sixteen people were arrested Wednesday in a sweep of northwest Lancaster County by a host of law enforcement agencies.

The arrests were the result of a year-long undercover operation, according to Elizabethtown Borough police.

Here’s who was arrested and their charges:

•Jeffrey Myers, 37, of Elizabethtown, charged with one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance by. Myers was arraigned before District Judge Jayne Duncan and was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/arrested—mostly-for-drugs—in-northwest/article_f3320066-8193-11e4-8184-9b9b354b3a04.html

Blair County’s Operation Our Town Funds Law Enforcement And Rehab Efforts

In 2006, Michael A. Fiore was talking with a police officer about a shooting — the kind that never happened in Altoona before big-city drug dealers came to town.

The officer said his department didn’t even have bulletproof vests to wear on raids, Mr. Fiore recounted Tuesday. “I said, ‘Go out and get eight of them, and send me the bill.’”

Over the course of a year, that act of generosity morphed into the creation of Operation Our Town, in which Blair County business leaders pledge $10,000 each year to fight drugs.

Last year the organization backed Altoona’s schools, after school programs, youth sports groups, mentoring for first-time mothers and construction of a playground, among other efforts.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2014/12/01/Blair-County-s-Operation-Our-Town-funds-law-enforcement-and-rehab-efforts/stories/201411300093

All Hell Breaks Loose In Pottstown Over The Weekend….Again

Pottstown Borough Hall

Pottstown Borough Hall

Apparently, the inmates are running the asylum in good old Pottstown.  Several shootings, one fatal stabbing and a gas leak happened over the weekend. Sounds like your tax dollars are hard at work. Apparently, council is adding $6 million to the budget bringing it to $44 million.  Frankly, that should include a dozen more police officers and somebody should be reaching out to county and state officials for help.  This mess needs cleaned up once and for all.  It’s the same crap, in the same part(s) of town, over and over again.  We all know it’s drug related, gang related or a turf war etc…  Hey, Ma, “Pass the Section 8 housing please.  I want a heapin’ helpin’ so I can smother it in drugs.”  Happy Thanksgiving, Pottstown style.  Who needs mashed potatoes and gravy ;).  We sure know who the turkey is!

If you check out the Mercury, you can read all about it: http://www.pottsmerc.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/pottstown.mercury.

I can tell you people are scared.  They are afraid to take out their trash at night, drive through town at night etc…  The comments on Facebook by residents are upsetting to read.  You can feel the anger, fear, frustration and almost panic in their comments.  Some think it’s hopeless.

So I say to you, pack the council chambers for meetings and express your outrage to the people who hold the purse strings and can actually do something about it.  Pressure them to clean up Pottstown. They will cave in and do something if enough people complain.  But if the same 20 people show up at meetings every month they pass all this off as a few malcontents and naysayers causing problems. They are more interested in speed traps and tourism than public safety.

There is a bigger problem here than the leadership is willing to admit.  The “keep a lid on the powder keg” strategy has been an #epicfail and proactive policing needs to happen.  Stop putting lipstick on a pig and start throwing money at a huge public safety issue!  People are dying, isn’t that enough motivation?????