DA Says Parolees Dumped In Berks

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Editor’s note:  Glad the Berks County DA is saying enough already.  Seems like the “powers that be” target certain communities to be a dumping ground for what nobody else wants in their back yard.  Residents of Pottstown and Norristown know this very well!  

District Attorney John T. Adams said Berks County is becoming a dumping ground for out-of-county sex offenders who have completed their state prison sentences.

Adams wrote a letter to Michael Potteiger, chairman of the state Board of Probation and Parole, asking that the department stop paroling sex offenders from other counties to Berks.

Another concern he raised was that so many were being paroled to the New Person Ministries halfway houses in Reading and Cumru Township.

Many of the sex offenders, he said, have committed crimes against minors, including rape.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=491616

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Titus Station Closing Moved Up To Sept. 1

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

The closing date for Titus Station, the coal-powered electrical plant in Cumru Township, has been moved up to Sept. 1, David Gaier, spokesman for the East Region of NRG Energy Inc., Princeton, N.J., said Wednesday.

The plant’s previous owner, GenOn Energy Inc., announced in March 2012 that it would shutter the plant in 2015.

NRG Energy took over Titus Dec. 14 when it merged with GenOn Energy.

Gaier said the plant was initially going to be closed because of the millions of dollars it would cost to make the coal-powered plant comply with recent federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477493

Cumru Township Police Probe Major Copper Theft

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Editor’s note:  Wouldn’t it be easier to just get an honest job?  Crime doesn’t pay!

Cumru Township police are searching for a sophisticated burglar or burglars who stole several thousand dollars’ worth of copper wire from an industrial site in what officials are calling one of the biggest copper thefts in recent memory.

Police said Tuesday that between March 27 and Saturday someone broke into the former Northeast Building Systems, 5 E. Pointe Drive, which is undergoing renovations and had been unoccupied for the previous two weeks. The building’s alarm system was temporarily offline because of the renovations.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=467575

Nolde Forest Thins Ranks To Make Way For Growth

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

The Boulevard Trail is Carl Knutsen’s favorite path to walk at Nolde Forest State Park in Cumru Township.  The steep hike gives him the best workout.

But when Knutsen arrived at the trail a few weeks ago, he was shocked to find a muddy path covered with downed trees due to a logging project.

“Boy, it was quite a sight,” Knutsen, 68, a Cumru resident, said recently. “I just hope it’s being done for the right reasons.”

Linda Ingram, manager of Nolde’s Environmental Education Center, said other visitors to the park along Route 625 have had similar reactions after seeing the messy trail.  But when Ingram looks at the path, she sees progress.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=439722

Cumru Township Stretch Of Route 724 To Reopen Friday

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania...

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania shield, made to the specifications of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), 2003 Edition (sign M1-5). Uses the Roadgeek 2005 fonts. (United States law does not permit the copyrighting of typeface designs, and the fonts are meant to be copies of a U.S. Government-produced work anyway.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands of daily commuters who were used to traveling on Route 724 in Cumru Township are getting an early Christmas present.

The 1.5-mile stretch between Route 10 and Interstate 176 is set to reopen Friday afternoon.  It has been closed since August so the Reading Area Water Authority could install a water main.

“The paving’s pretty much done and everything’s been tested,” said Alan Wong, construction manager.

Crews are adding finishing touches, like line painting, and PennDOT needs to inspect the stretch, he said.  Another layer of asphalt will be added in spring, but that won’t delay the reopening.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=437832

Cumru Township Won’t Fill Vacant Police Positions

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Cumru Township is budgeting for a reduced police force for the first time in at least a decade.

The draft 2013 budget that the township commissioners are scheduled to adopt Tuesday plans for 23 officers, officials said.  That’s how many officers are now on the force but two positions are vacant.

“We’ve had 25 officers for the last 11 years,” police Chief Jed G. Habecker said.

Habecker had planned to fill those two vacancies but commissioners voted 3-2 to table the hirings.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=436646

End In Sight For Route 724 Construction In Reading

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania...

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania shield, made to the specifications of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), 2003 Edition (sign M1-5). Uses the Roadgeek 2005 fonts. (United States law does not permit the copyrighting of typeface designs, and the fonts are meant to be copies of a U.S. Government-produced work anyway.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the roadblocks went up on Route 724, Melanie Degler’s commute to her job in Douglassville instantly became 10 minutes longer.

The bit of the highway she usually takes to get on Interstate 176 and then Route 422 from her home in Cumru Township’s Flying Hills development was closed so the Reading Area Water Authority could install a 16-inch main.

Now, she has to go south on Route 10 only to come back north on the interstate.

“We don’t have a lot of streets here to take as alternatives, so you have to go out of your way to go around it,” Degler said.

Read more:

http://www.ydr.com/state/ci_21976031/end-sight-route-724-construction-reading

Thousands Without Power In Berks County

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Met-Ed spokesman R. Scott Surgeoner said utility crews from as far away as Michigan were fanning out this morning across Berks County assessing the damage from the remnants of Tropical Storm Sandy.

By 9:15, Met-Ed reported more than 67,000 customers were without power, including more than 8,800 in Reading; nearly 5,800 in Exeter Township; and more than 4,000 in Cumru Township.  PPL Electric Utilities reported about 4,000 outages, of which about half were in Wyomissing.

In order to get a jump on storm damage, Met-Ed had crews out Monday night and early today during the height of the high winds and sometimes heavy rains.

“Once the winds reach 40 mph we can’t have anyone in a bucket up in the air,” Surgeoner said.

“We still had crews out doing ground work.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=424274

West Reading Committee Weighs Police Options

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

A committee formed by West Reading officials last month is looking into the possibility of consolidating the borough’s police force.

James Gallen Jr., a borough councilman and committee member, said the committee – rounded out by Council President Kevin M. Conrad, Councilwoman Elizabeth Heckler and Mayor Shane J. Keller – will enter into discussions with neighboring municipalities and the state police regarding the future of West Reading’s troubled police department.

“We’re exploring consolidation as a cost-saving measure,” Gallen said, adding that Wyomissing would be “a natural fit.”

The talks will extend to other nearby departments, which could include Shillington, and Cumru and Spring townships, he added.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=420092

I-176 Work To Snarl Traffic

List of Interstate Highways in Pennsylvania

List of Interstate Highways in Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motorists using Interstate 176 near the West Shore Bypass soon will encounter a construction site that’s bound to cause some huge backups over the next two years.

In August, crews are expected to start a $14.7 million project to rebuild the northern end of the interstate in Cumru Township. The work will focus on the half-mile stretch from Route 724 to Route 422.

“It’s mainly to reduce congestion in the area of that interchange and also to increase safety,” said PennDOT spokesman Ronald J. Young Jr.

PennDOT recently gave the contractor, Pittsburgh-based Trumbull Corp., the OK to begin the work.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=399038

2 Cows Fall From Overpass Onto Route 222, Die

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

They are among 14 that escaped from farm; police say 1 died on impact, and 1 hit by truck.

Cumru Township police Sgt. James Griffith experienced a first in his career when two cows died after falling onto Route 222 from the Old Lancaster Pike overpass near Gouglersville.

Griffith said one cow died on impact while the other was hit by a tractor-trailer about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The cows belonged to a herd of 14 that escaped from a farm on Beavens Road in Brecknock Township, he said.

They were first spotted near the Gouglersville Fire Company about 1 p.m. before making their way to the retaining wall at the Old Lancaster Pike overpass, Griffith said.

Amelia’s To Open Two Stores In Cumru And Muhlenberg Townships

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Amelia’s Grocery Outlet plans to open two stores in the Reading area and close its Blandon store.

Michael L. Mitchell, president and chief executive officer, said the New Holland, Lancaster County, company, announced that it expects to open a 20,000-square-foot store in Muhlenberg Plaza, previously occupied by Pet Supply Warehouse, 3260 Fifth Street Highway, Muhlenberg Township, prior to Memorial Day weekend.

At that time, Amelia’s will close its 11,000-square-foot store at 8472 Allentown Pike, Blandon.

Amelia’s also will open a 20,000-square-foot store in subdivided space of the former Weis Markets in Parkside Plaza, Cumru Township, Mitchell said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=374928

Titus Station’s Closing A Sign Of ‘Dash To Gas’

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Image via Wikipedia

The planned closure of five coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania, including the Titus Generating Station plant in Cumru Township, is a sign of a fundamental transformation in regional energy markets in which natural gas is sharing the leadership spotlight once occupied only by coal, according to top state observers.

“The economics are showing us, right now, a ‘dash-to-gas’ scenario,” said Robert F. Powelson, chairman of the state Public Utility Commission.

Patrick D. Henderson, state energy executive for Gov. Tom Corbett, said natural gas is playing a far greater role in supplying power to the regional grid than it did only a few years ago.

“We knew to anticipate coal-fired power-plant retirement in Pennsylvania,” Henderson said. “We did not know specifically those facilities were going to (close).”

Read more: http://businessweekly.readingeagle.com/?p=2603

Murder-Suicide In Cumru Township, Berks County

Police have released details regarding the two bodies that were found on Tuesday inside the Governor Mifflin Apartments in Cumru Township.

Karen Wanner, 54 of Shoemakersville, was stabbed numerous times and then shot in the head by Edward Arrivello, Jr., who also took his own life. 

The two had previously lived together.  Police were following up an a missing persons report on Karen Wanner when they found the two bodies in a rear bedroom of the apartment. 

Police were unable to determine the exact time of death and it is unclear who reported Karen Wanner missing.  A knife and gun were found at the scene.