Montgomery County Community College To Host Tri-County Concerts Association’s 73rd Annual Youth Festival Concert – June 6‏

Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will host the Tri-County Concerts Association’s 73rd Annual Youth Festival Concert on Saturday, June 6, at 7 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.  Tickets cost $10 for general admission; students and children are free.

The Tri-County Concerts Youth Festival is one of the area’s most prestigious competitions for aspiring young classical musicians living in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties.  Since 1943, the festival has been a stepping-stone to achievement for many emerging young artists, several of whom are now current and retired members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. MCCC is proud to host the concert each year featuring these talented students.

This year, they will perform works by Beethoven, Chopin, Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Elgar, among others.

Many Montgomery County students won top prizes in this year’s Tri-County Youth Festival and will perform at the concert.

First place awards were presented to:  harpist Michael Turner of Phoenixville, a seventh grader at The Wyndcroft School, in the Junior Musica Diversa Division; violinist Ethan Frankel of Royersford, an eighth grader at Spring-Ford Middle School, in the Junior Strings Division; and clarinetist Jack Zhang of Blue Bell, a senior of at Wissahickon High School, in the Senior Winds Division.

Second place awards were presented to: pianist Connie Jiang of Harleysville, an eighth grade student at Pennfield Middle School, in the Junior Piano Division; oboist Nina Cheng of Ambler, a junior at Upper Dublin High School, in the Senior Winds Division.

Additionally, the Dolce String Quartet with violinist Rachel Sigler of Gilbertsville, who is home-schooled, violinist Bryn Borzillo and violist Emily Adams of Royersford, who both attend Spring-Ford 5-6 Center, and cellist Sarah Lesher of Telford, a seventh grader who attends Indian Crest Middle School, won second place in the Senior Ensemble Division.

Several other Montgomery County students won Honorable Mention at the auditions. In the Senior Ensemble Division, La Chasse Quartet with violinists Stephanie Ko and Julia Povlow, violist Madeline Herman, and cellist Mark Egan placed. Ko, Povlow and Egan attend Methacton High School, and Herman attends Spring-Ford High School.

In the Senior Strings Division, cellist Nina Chae-Gordon, a freshman at Saint Joseph’s Academy, and violinist Fiyi Adebekun, a freshman at Pennfield Middle School placed. In the Junior Strings Division, violinist Jolade Adebekun, an eighth grade student at Pennfield Middle School placed.

For further information about the concert, contact Eleanor James at 610-986-3555 or or visit For more information about Montgomery County Community College, visit or call 215-641-6518.

Philadelphia Wants To Buy Former Scott Plaza Site As Part Of Airport-Expansion Plan

Philadelphia wants to buy the 27-acre property known as International Plaza on Route 291 in Tinicum Township, Delaware County, as part of a long-range expansion of Philadelphia International Airport.

An ordinance was introduced in City Council on Thursday, paving the way for the city-owned airport to purchase the complex, which has two office buildings that were once the corporate headquarters of Scott Paper Co.

The former Scott Plaza site is owned by a joint venture of affiliates of New York-based private equity firm Angelo Gordon & Co. and Amerimar Enterprises Inc., a commercial real estate development and management company.

“We are in the loop on this,” said Gerald Marshall, president and CEO of New York-based Amerimar Enterprises. “Yes, we are willing to sell it.”


Which Philly-Area Municipalities Are Growing The Fastest?

Municipalities in Chester and Montgomery counties saw the biggest growth last year, while just four places in Camden County – including Camden City – added any residents at all.

That’s according to new Census Bureau data, released Thursday, that shows population gains and losses in communities across the country for the one-year period ending in July 2014.

Population figures for counties – including Philadelphia, which saw its population grow 0.27 percent to 1,560,297 residents during that time – were released earlier this spring.

The new data set lets every town, from the smallest boroughs to the largest cities, see how many residents it gained or lost.


Police: Woman Tried To Smuggle Heroin Into Prison In Body Cavity

A Delaware County woman is behind bars on a quarter million dollars bail after police say she tried to smuggle heroin into the State Correctional Institution at Dallas on Sunday.

Police said Julia Rose Lee Thornton, 26, of Collingdale, was caught with of 41 bags of heroin after her car was stopped as she entered the prison’s visitor parking lot.

Investigators said Thornton initially was caught with 12 bags, but they were able to seize 29 more she had hidden in a body cavity and tried to flush down a toilet.

Thornton faces charges of illegal drug possession as well as possessing contraband on prison grounds.

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Manager Out, And Chaos Again Rules In Delco Town

Dysfunction evidently rules again in tiny Colwyn Borough, Delaware County.

On Thursday night, its manager was fired at a raucous council meeting; she disputed the action and then locked herself in Borough Hall overnight.

“I don’t believe I am out of a job,” Paula Brown said Friday.

The latest episode followed a contentious council meeting during which Brown and council members shouted at each other and traded accusations – and they still don’t agree on the outcome.


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 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.


Medical Examiner Rules Death Of 13-Year-Old Newtown Boy Suicide

The death of 13-year-old Cayman Naib has been ruled a suicide by Delaware County Medical Examiner Dr. Frederic Hellman.

The Shipley School eighth-grader, whose body was discovered Sunday afternoon in a creek on the perimeter of his family’s sprawling Newtown Township property, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

On his official findings sheet, Hellman listed the date of death as March 4, the day Naib disappeared from his Harrison Drive home after receiving an email from school about a past-due assignment.

“No words can adequately express the Naib family’s pain and sadness at this news,” read a Monday afternoon post on the “Celebrating Cayman” Facebook page. “The family has asked that the community respect their need for privacy at this very difficult time as they mourn the loss of their son and support their daughter.”

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Update: Philadelphia Area Restaurant Openings

To update the crop of projected restaurant openings over the next eight weeks or so:

Mere hours old is The Crazy Sofa, a sushi/small plater, next to the Regal theater in Newtown Square (the former Roux 3).

Any day now, Collingswood will see the debut of Local Market and Cafe (714 Haddon Ave.), which will sell foods to go or eat-in and will have a coffee bar, deli, butcher, bakery and grocery sections.

Friday, Nov. 21 is day one for Latin Flavor, a Caribbean cafeteria at 627 South St.


Archdiocese Of Philadelphia: Reviewing 14 More Parishes For Possible Merger, Closure

Weeks after completing its last round of parish mergers and closures, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday that 14 more parishes in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties could be combined with nearby churches or shuttered.

This time, the archdiocese is targeting three clusters of churches for cutbacks:

In Delaware County’s Springfield Township, the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi, Holy Cross, and St. Kevin.

In Montgomery County, the parishes of St. Alphonsus in Maple Glen, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph in Ambler, St. Catherine of Siena in Horsham, St. Genevieve in Flourtown, and Holy Martyrs in Oreland.


Philadelphia Archdiocese Sells Delco Property, 2 Others For $56.2M

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Thursday announced the sale of three suburban properties for $56.2 million and said it will use the proceeds to help plug gaps in its balance sheet.

In addition to the previously reported sale of a 200-plus-acre property in Delaware County to Jenkintown-based Goodman Properties for $47 million, the Archdiocese said that it had an agreement to sell a 454-acre property in Northampton County for $5.5 million, and that it had sold 55 acres in Chester County for $3.7 million.

The $3.7 million from the sale of excess land at the St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, a behavioral-health center for clergy and woman religious, was deposited into the archdiocesan priests’ pension fund, which previously had a $76.3 million deficit. The buyer was Woodbine Partners L.P.


George Takei Has A Bone To Pick With Wawa

Math: It’s hard, especially if you’re a convenience store like, say, Wawa. But don’t worry—best friend to the Internet, George Takei, is here to clear everything up.

Takei recently posted up an image of none other than a Wawa coffee cup to his massively popular Facebook page (7.4 million likes and counting) with a few sections underlined.

Yes, because math, indeed. Takei apparently took this perceived error to heart, calling the labels “rather misleading.” As you can imagine, the comments section of the post has gone into full-fervor mode, with Wawa’s endless line of zealots (AKA us) kindly—and not so kindly—explaining why, in fact, Wawa is never wrong. Like, ever.


Pennsylvania Boasts Progressive Movement To Preserve Farmland

Picture 487Before Bill Iams began raising beef cattle and planting acres of hay on a farm in southern Washington County, five generations worked the soil and raised livestock there.

Soon, Iams hopes to ensure the 155 acres in Amwell, which the king of England granted to his ancestors before the American Revolution, remain farmland forever.

“Look around at the changes in this area over the last 50 years, especially in the Washington area. North on Route 19 was all farms,” said Iams, 57, owner of Log Cabin Fence Co., a farming supply business off Interstate 79 in Amity. “Now you’ve got malls and everything else going on but farming.”

Iams awaits approval by a state committee to sell development rights to his farm to Washington County through the county’s Farmland Preservation Program, part of a statewide initiative to make certain that fertile land is used for agriculture.

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Hoping For Recovery In Marcus Hook

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

Marie Horn’s front porch offers a panoramic view of the Delaware River and riverfront park in Marcus Hook.

Her back deck overlooks a different scene: empty lots, with curb cuts and street lights prepared for 11 more houses.

The land has long sat vacant, as a nonprofit group struggles to find interested builders or buyers to complete a neighborhood of brightly colored colonials along the river, bookended by a refinery and a former refinery property. Horn’s house is just one of three built in the last few years.

It is unclear when more will join them.


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Gains And Losses In Philadelphia Region’s Population

A number of communities in the region’s Pennsylvania suburbs, notably in Chester and Montgomery Counties, grew substantially between April 2010 and July 2013, Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday show.

In Chester County, there were noteworthy upticks in municipalities such as Malvern, West Chester, East Brandywine, and West Goshen, and the same was true in Chester/Delaware County border towns such as Bethel and Chadds Ford. In central Montgomery County, Upper Hanover, Towamencin, and Salford were among the burgeoning towns.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia remained the fifth-largest U.S. city, with a population estimated at 1.553 million through July 2013, an increase of just over 27,000 from April 2010. It was the seventh year in a row of population growth, the census data showed.

(Population estimates for neighborhoods within the city limits will not be available until December.)


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Philadelphia-Area Municipalities Gaining, Losing Residents Fastest

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data today, showing the “subcounty” population figures for the year that ended July 1, 2013. That means every municipality in the country, no matter how small, can see how many residents it gained or lost in that period.

Census figures for counties and metro areas were released earlier this spring, with Philadelphia’s population standing at 1,553,165 residents, a 0.29-percent increase from the previous year.

The new numbers show which municipalities in the area gained or lost residents at the fastest rates between July 2012 and July 2013, and since the 2010 Census.


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Philadelphia Settles Dispute With Tinicum Township Over Airport

Philadelphia International Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The City of Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Tinicum Township announced a multimillion-dollar financial settlement Monday in long-simmering tensions between the city-owned Philadelphia International Airport and its municipal neighbors over a massive plan to expand the airport.

The tentative agreement, announced by Mayor Nutter, airport CEO Mark Gale, Delaware County Council, Tinicum officials, and U.S. Reps. Patrick Meehan and Robert Brady, includes funding to ensure “continuity of tax revenues” for the Delaware County neighbors.

Two-thirds of the airport is in Tinicum.

The city also agreed not to acquire 72 Tinicum houses and displace 300 residents.


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Marcus Hook Refinery Gets Makeover As Natural Gas Hub

English: Sunoco Logo

English: Sunoco Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is out with the old and in with the new at the 500-acre waterfront facility formerly known as the Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery, now the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.

Workers last week ripped down aging petroleum-processing equipment, part of a labyrinth of machinery that has produced gasoline, diesel, and kerosene for more than a century. Other crews built cryogenic storage tanks more than 130 feet tall with three-foot-thick walls that will hold the future: new fuels from the prolific Marcellus Shale region.

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., a pipeline company that bought the property for $60 million last year from its sister company, Sunoco Inc., is converting the site into a major center for processing and shipping natural gas liquids.

“We very much hope this is only the first step in this property,” said Jonathan Hunt, director of the complex. “We’re working on a lot of possible businesses. There’s a lot of opportunities here.”


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Zoning Change Approved, Finally, For Franklin Mint Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, PA –  A decade after the Franklin Mint closed, its round museum building still sits vacant along busy Baltimore Pike in Delaware County.

Development of the prominent property has been plagued by opposition from residents, a slow economy, and – most recently – a legal battle among the developers.

But the plan took a step forward this week when a revised zoning ordinance won approval from the Middletown Township Council. The site, with more than 170 acres, could now have 350 townhouses, offices, retail space, and a hotel.

Its completion could take years. By that time, the site could become just one piece in a transformation of the heavily traveled Route 1 through Middletown.


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Bolaris: Snow Amounts Climbing A Bit

Snow has been falling at rates of 1-2 inches per hour, with some places, such as northern Chester County counting 7 inches as of 11 a.m., and Horsham and Worcester in Montgomery County and West Rockhill Township in Bucks County, counting 6 inches.

Some places in Lehigh Valley are reporting 6 inches, as well.

Closer to the City of Philadelphia, Brookhaven in Delaware County, near the airport, was reporting 3.5 inches as of 10:30 a.m.

Just across the river, as of 11:15 a.m., the rain-snow line has halted, and actually in Haddonfield has changed back to some rain and sleet as that line oscillates around 10 miles south and east of the city.


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Widener Student Critical But Stable After Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

The lockdown has been lifted at Widener University, where a gunman last night shot a student who was sitting in a car near the Chester campus’  athletic facility.

The injured student remains in critical but stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center this morning, university spokesman Dan Hanson said. Hanson declined to release further information about the student or his injuries today, saying the family asked for privacy.

The student was ambushed about 8:40 p.m. as he sat in a car near the Schwartz Athletic Center, prompting campus officials to urge students to “seek shelter and remain indoors.” That alert ended and classes continued as scheduled this morning.


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