Forecasters: Snow Returns To Philadelphia Area Tuesday

It’s now officially spring, but more snow is on its way to the Philadelphia region.

The National Weather Service says a few inches of snow are expected to fall between Tuesday morning and early Wednesday, with most of the Philadelphia area seeing between 1.5 and 3.5 inches.


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Philadelphia Area Unemployment Up From December

Unemployment in the Philadelphia metropolitan area rose in January to 7.1 percent, up from 6.4 percent in December, but down from 9 percent in January 2013, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.


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PHL: More Than A Plane, Train Destination

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

There is something to be said for speaking in one voice.

Key promoters of the city and region certainly think so, having all agreed to adopt a new marketing tagline – PHL: Here for the Making.

In the coming days, you can expect to see it in ads and promotions by the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Select Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.

The goal, according to Jack Ferguson, president of PHLCVB, is to leverage the marketing clout of those groups by adopting a single, focused slogan that will resonate with es, conventions and travelers who might be interested in coming here.


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Two Students Shot At Logan Charter School

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Two 15-year-old students were wounded Friday afternoon in what may have been an accidental shooting inside a charter high school in Logan, Philadelphia police said.

One of the victims, a girl who was shot through the arm, was treated at Einstein Medical Center, just blocks away from Delaware Valley Charter High School, where the shooting occurred. She was released from the hospital later in the day.

The second victim, her boyfriend, was struck by the same bullet, which lodged in his shoulder, police said. He remained at the hospital Friday night.

The shooting, which sent parents scrambling to find out if their children were safe, came two days after a 17-year-old boy was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to a West Philadelphia charter school.


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UPDATED: Weather Service Issues Storm Warning, 6 Inches Possible

POTTSTOWN — Weather forecasters are calling for more snow today, with a possible accumulation of 6 to 8 inches across the region.

According to the National Weather Service, “there will be enough cold air in place for a widespread snowfall to occur, and there is the potential for significant accumulations” as a low pressure system moves across the Northeast today into Sunday. As the system moves away, temperatures, which have been dipping into the teens at night for the Philadelphia region, could rise, causing the snow to turn into sleet and freezing rain, the weather service warned.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties and the Philadelphia region from 7 this morning through 5 a.m. Sunday as a result. In addition to the heavy accumulation, the weather service warned a quarter inch of ice could accumulate at the end of the storm Sunday morning. The weather service warned travel conditions could be hazardous as bridges and overpasses could become slippery. “Bridges and overpasses tend to ice up first,” it said.

The heaviest snowfall times will be between 3 p.m. and midnight when snow will fall an inch an hour with visibility only one half mile, the weather service said. Temperatures will only be in the 20s and possibly into the teens in the Poconos. Gusty winds are also possible, the weather service said.

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First Snow Of Season For Philly Area Tonight?

Some Philadelphia-area residents could wake up Tuesday to the first snowflakes of the season.

Forecasters are calling for rain showers this evening throughout the region. In some places, that rain may turn to snow, or a mix of rain and snow, overnight into Tuesday morning, as a cold front from Canada moves south. That front will affect much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, with the potential for snow from Boston to Washington, D.C.

“Accompanying this front will be very gusty winds and perhaps the first snowflakes of the season for some along the I-95 corridor,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Anthony Sagliani.

Sagliani cautions that any precipitation overnight “is not going to be a major snow event,” but people should “not be surprised if you wake up on Tuesday morning and there are a few snowflakes in the air as you head out to your car.”


First Nonprofit Supermarket Opens In Chester

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

CHESTER, PA. — In Chester, a city where hard times often plow under shiny promises, a hunger-relief agency’s pledge to build America’s first nonprofit supermarket was greeted skeptically at first.

But Philabundance may be confounding local doubters. Its Fare & Square grocery store, seven years in the making, is ready to open its doors this morning, a rare oasis in what has been called a food desert.

“No one believed this was coming,” said Denina Hood, a Chester native and an employee of the store that will become the first supermarket in town since 2001. “But this store isn’t going anywhere.”

Usually in the business of distributing donated food to pantries in the Delaware Valley, Philabundance, a nonprofit, has augmented its mission and become a store owner, charging prices 8 percent to 10 percent lower than small urban grocers.

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Corbett Welcomes Dow Chemical To Upper Providence

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montg...

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP— The road from Spring House to Collegeville was roughly 25 miles and about three years long for the Dow Chemical Company.

Inside Dow’s beautiful new building of brick and glass is space — glorious modern space, where scientists can expand on the prolific innovations that have been served so well by the company’s 50-year old Spring House research facility.

Although the last of the 800 employees at Spring House won’t be working at this global hub of possibilities until the end of next year, Dow formally assumed residence on Wednesday with a house warming gala of sorts at its sprawling Northeast Technology Center on Arcola Road.

“Collegeville’s going to be a great place because it’s a first-class site,” said Howard Ungerleider, an executive vice president, who hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, more than 700 Dow employees and various officials, including Gov. Tom Corbett, Montgomery County State Reps. Marcy Toepel (R-Red Hill), Mike Vereb (R-Collegeville) and Kate Harper (R-Blue Bell) and Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards.

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Legislators: Montco, SE Pa. Need More Transportation Funding

SEPTA logo with text

SEPTA logo with text (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  This is obvious.  Just try and drive to work in Montgomery County. Traffic is horrendous!

WHITEMARSH ­­— The House Democratic Policy Committee held a two-hour Wednesday morning at the township building to draw attention to the need to increase transportation funding in the region.

The general consensus among the experts offering testimony was that Pennsylvania, and Southeastern Pennsylvania in particular, needs more state funding for mass transit, road and bridge repairs.

State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-148th Dist., said Whitemarsh is a center of transportation with major roadways including Germantown Pike and Ridge Pike and six train stations on the regional rail lines.  Daley moderated the hearing.

“I have been a SEPTA rider my entire life,” Daley said. “I’m not sure what it would be like to not have public transportation.  It is a really flexible system that benefits the area.”

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Philly-Area Gas Prices Dropping, Could Fall Below $3.00

Gas prices in the Philadelphia region are falling — and if that trend continues, the price could soon dip below $3 a gallon at some stations.

GasBuddy is reporting prices as low as $3.05 this morning in Woodbury, Gloucester County.  Gas can be found for $3.11 at other stations in South Jersey, and as low as $3.28 in the Pennsylvania suburbs and $3.29 in Northeast Philadelphia.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the Philadelphia area is $3.46 in Pennsylvania and $3.24 in New Jersey, according to AAA.

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PhillyInc: Merger Of Real Estate Firms Tied To Life Sciences May Give West Philadelphia Area A Boost

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting West Philadelphia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For 50 years, the University City Science Center has been where scientists and start-ups have toiled to build the next generation of Philadelphia-area companies.

But to hear science center president and CEO Stephen S. Tang, what would really help nurture that entrepreneurial soup would be if a big life-sciences company were to put its headquarters or research operations in West Philadelphia.

Given that several of the biggest drug companies locally have already made long-term commitments elsewhere, there is nothing on the horizon presently.  But a merger between two real estate firms that focus on life-sciences properties may aid Tang’s quest.

Late last month, BioMed Realty Trust Inc. said it would acquire Wexford Science & Technology L.L.C. in a $640 million transaction.

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Property Taxes To Rise Across Philadelphia Suburbs

English: Pennsylvania county map

English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hundreds of thousands of property owners in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties are getting something they probably don’t want in the new year – higher real estate taxes.

Countywide increases, approved in December, affect the owners of all 382,304 real estate parcels in Chester and Delaware Counties.  Some people are taking a double hit, as at least 27 towns in those counties also have increased taxes.

Bucks and Montgomery Counties kept their rates the same, but at least 28 municipalities raised real estate levies.

While the reasons vary, officials say the overarching reason is basic: Revenue is down; costs aren’t.

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Philadelphia, Suburbs Emerge From Sandy

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scene at the corner of Chelten and Wissahickon avenues in Philadelphia said it all: A blue mountain bike, badly mangled and turned upside down, but still somehow tethered to a bicycle rack.

The city and its suburbs emerged shaken but largely intact Tuesday morning, after taking a night’s beating from Sandy’s high winds and rain. Some people remained in shelters, but waterways were receding in certain areas, and many residents were coming outside to survey the damage and take a deep breath of relief.

Travel remained challenging, with downed power lines and trees closing streets. SEPTA began resuming services at noon, hoping to bring the system to full strength piece by piece. Shopping malls planned to reopen Tuesday, though an estimated 1.2 million were without power across Pennsylvania.

A Peco spokesperson said total outages for Southeastern Pennsylvania reached more than 800,000 at the height of the storm, shattering previous records, and as of Tuesday morning 585,000 were without service. Restoration could take days.

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Arts In Philadelphia Economy: A Pretty Picture

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arts and cultural organizations have a multibillion-dollar impact on the Philadelphia region’s economy, and are among the nation’s most productive in creation of jobs and stirring up economic activity.  Only those in the Washington area generate more per-capita expenditures, and in terms of jobs, no region comes close to Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Cultural activity generates nearly $170 million in state and local taxes annually and supports 44,000 jobs within the city and its four suburban Pennsylvania counties, according to a study set for release Monday by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

The economic-impact study, based on data collected from 345 arts and cultural organizations and more than 2,000 audience members, reports that the sector triggers a total of $3.3 billion in direct and indirect expenditures every year.

In the area of employment, culture in the first-ranked Philadelphia region supports 43,700 jobs; Greater Houston, number two, generates 29,100, and Washington, number three, 29,000.

PhillyInc: Reports See Slow Recovery For Philadephia Area

English: Philadelphia skyline

English: Philadelphia skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The construction cranes that now dot Philadelphia are a welcome sign that some business is getting done, but the steel structures tend to distract the eye from the local economy’s challenges closer to the ground.

The latest quarterly reading of Select Greater Philadelphia‘s leading economic indicators points to mid-2014 as the earliest point when employment in the 11-county region will return to its prerecession level.

A separate analysis of the Philadelphia market by PNC Financial Services Group Inc. recently concluded that the region will continue to lag behind the nation in economic growth, job growth, and income growth.

What’s going on here? Don’t we have an emerging entrepreneurial tech community, a growing business professional services sector, and an enviable cluster of top-notch higher education and health-care institutions?

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Former Franklin Mint Site In Delaware County Being Eyed For Planned Community

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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A 173-acre site, that includes the former Franklin Mint in Middletown, Delaware County, will become a planned community if developers have their way.  The mint site and two other adjacent properties will be developed into a new “walkable community”.  This project would take 5 – 10 years to complete and would feature 1,253 homes, 798,000 square feet of commercial space, 235,000 square feet of office space and a 225-room hotel.

The new community would enable residents to live, work and play in the same place.  This “town center” concept is becoming very popular.  Construction would create 4,748 jobs.  The number of permanent jobs this project would bring to Middletown is estimated at 2,800!

Tax revenue generated from this project, for the borough, school district and county, would be over $8.1 million!  The Franklin Mint, Middletown site has been closed since 2004.

Public hearings have already started and developers stated they are willing to hold as many hearings as it takes.  500 people attended last night’s legislative hearing.  The Franklin Mint redevelopment project is endorsed by the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

The project is strongly opposed by a group called Save Middletown.

Here is a link to the developer’s website that will answer many questions you might have about the project:

Here is the Save Middletown website:

You can read both sides and draw your own conclusions.

Another Iconic Company Leaves Philly

Map of Philadelphia County highlighting Center...

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The economy is the culprit behind Robbins Diamonds leaving Pennsylvania.  We all remember those silly commercials with Jerry Robbins having a diamond in his beard, I’m sure.

Robbins Diamonds had three locations.  They closed their 8th and Walnut Street store in Center City, Philadelphia along with their store in Allentown.  Robbins blames the horrible economy.  Interestingly, they are keeping their large Newark, Delaware store open.  It has tons of free parking, access to Interstate 95 and Delaware has no sales tax.  (aha!)

Robbins stated he is glad to still be in business considering big names like Jack Kellmer, Bailey, Banks & Biddle and Caldwell’s have closed.  There are still 37 stores left on Jewelers Row in Philadelphia.

Another one bites the dust!