Attorneys: Galli Watched Porn On Work Computer

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Accusations against an Exeter policeman are no longer a secret, though they were supposed to be.

Sgt. Len Galli was suspended for watching hardcore pornography and arranging sexual relationships online during working hours while using a borough computer, attorneys hired by the borough said in court documents filed Thursday.

Read the court filing

An expert’s examination of Galli’s work computer determined he viewed at least 4,700 pornographic files and spent significant amounts of borough time communicating online with those soliciting “no strings attached sexual encounters,” the court documents reveal.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/attorneys-galli-watched-porn-on-work-computer-1.1670428

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Pittston Couple Charged With Selling Synthetic Pot

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WEST PITTSTON, PA — The owners of an Exeter smoke shop were arraigned Wednesday on charges they sold synthetic marijuana, racking up as much as $5,000 in sales a day, according to arrest papers.

The state Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation allege Sharleen Palaima, 62, and her husband, Alfonse Richard Palaima, 64, of Division Street, Pittston, sold synthetic marijuana from their business, Magikal Garden, on Wyoming Avenue from March 2012 through the end of July 2012.

Magikal Garden was one of many retail smoke stores and gasoline service stations across the state raided on July 26, 2012, in Operation Artificial High, an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, state police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The searches resulted in the seizure of more than 300,000 doses of synthetic marijuana and illegal bath salts, with an estimated street value of $1.25 million, and more than 50,000 pieces of drug paraphernalia related to the smoking or consumption of synthetic drugs, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/824132/Pittston-couple-charged-with-selling-synthetic-pot

Antietam, Exeter Hold Public Session On Merger Possibilities

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At a town meeting Monday night at Reformation Lutheran Church in Exeter Township, the questions reached so far across the board that Arlene Unger had to admit, “I think we’re a little premature with the specifics of the questions.”

“Some questions can’t be answered until the (school) boards decide which model they want to pursue,” Unger of Exeter Township said at the meeting hosted by the church and organized by area pastors.

Just what direction school officials plan to go is a question that’s still up in the air.

“It’s important for us to get a feel of what you feel,” said Exeter School Board President Robert H. Quinter Jr.  “We’re going to make the decision.  So the more information I get from you at meetings like this, the better off I am.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=484010

Hesitant Exeter School Board Hikes Taxes In Tentative Budget

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tough budgetary times call for tough decisions.

But in the Exeter School District, it looks as though school officials might put off some of those decisions for at least another year.

The school board voted 7-2 Tuesday to pass a $66.8 million tentative budget that would raise taxes 2.5 percent next year but forgo any major cuts to programs or staffing.

“We’ve been paring down as much as possible,” board member Joseph R. Staub said. “None of us want to take a tax increase, but unfortunately it is the system we have until they (the state) take the burden off of homeowners.”

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477240

Godiva Chocolatier, Ady Cakes Team Up In Mother’s Day Creation

Picture 466Giving Mama some sugar this Mother’s Day?

In the literal sense, that could mean a dozen of West Reading baker Ady Abreu’s newest creations, a collaboration with Godiva Chocolatier.

During May, Ady Cakes is selling a dozen cupcakes inspired by and including Godiva truffles.

Abreu said she was excited to team up with a global company that has a strong local presence to create a new product.

She was able to tour the global chocolatier’s facility in Exeter Township, checking out the kitchen and speaking with Global Executive Chef Chocolatier Thierry Muret.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=476335

School Merger A Hard Sell At Exeter Forum

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exeter School District residents made it clear Tuesday night that a full merger with the Antietam School District would be a hard sell to them.

“It seems as if it’s a white knight issue, with Exeter rescuing a school district that’s looking at this as a win-win opportunity,” resident Kim Farinelli told the Exeter School Board and more than 150 attendees who packed the cafeteria at the Reiffton School.

“I don’t see why there’s any reason to have this discussion,” resident Nikki Smith added. “It seems all negative for us and all positive for Antietam.”

The two were among many who took to the podium to voice their opinions at the Exeter community forum, which focused on the findings of a feasibility study on a possible merger between the two districts.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=474451

Merger’s Benefits Mulled At Antietam Meeting

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the Antietam and Exeter school districts were to combine in some form, students from both could take advantage of a minimum of 42 new course offerings.

They’d also have access to 10 different buildings and added athletic facilities.

And have the opportunity to take part in up to 31 new clubs and activities.

“You’d have the capacity to do a lot more,” Kerry Moyer told more than 150 parents and residents at Antietam’s Mount Penn Primary Center Wednesday. “And you’d have the capacity to accommodate a large enrollment (increase) if it does happen.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=472673

Bottom Dollar To Close Shelbourne Square Shopping Center Site

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

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

The Bottom Dollar Food store is closing in Shelbourne Square Shopping Center by mid-February.

Christy Phillips-Brown, spokeswoman for Delhaize America, the American parent company of Bottom Dollar, said the store at 20 Shelbourne Road, Exeter Township, is one of three underperforming stores closing in the Philadelphia area.

Phillips-Brown said employees will have to apply for jobs at other stores; the company is not transferring employees to other stores.

The low-cost grocer has two other stores in Berks County, another one in Exeter, in the Reading Mall, and one on Lancaster Avenue.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=445115

Exeter School District Budget Could Mean 5.8 Percent Tax Increase

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Faced with rising employee and charter school costs, Exeter School officials are preparing a preliminary budget for approval in February that raises taxes to the maximum amount allowed by the state.

The district is looking at raising taxes 1.7435 mills, to 31.8466 mills. The tax bill for a property assessed at $100,000 would increase about $175 to $3,185.

That would be a 5.8 percent increase. The state puts a 2.2 percent cap on district tax increases this year, but the district anticipates ceiling exceptions for pension, special education and construction costs.

The preliminary 2013-14 budget currently totals $67.83 million, about $5 million greater than this year’s. Among the reasons for the difference are $1.5 million in increased pension costs and $1.1 million in increased wage costs.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=444468

Reading Codes Officer’s Residency Was At Issue

Reading codes manager Ron Natale is violating the city charter because he has not moved into the city within the required year of taking office, according to an investigator for the city Charter Board that enforces such rules.

However, despite the investigator’s official findings, which put the case into the board’s hands for a final ruling, a new investigator closed the probe.

And, the Charter Board’s confidentiality rules prevent anyone from explaining why.

Charter Board rulings have led to the firing of prior codes manager Jatinder Khokar and the transfer of Adam Mukerji, former community development director, to the Reading Redevelopment Authority.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=442291

Exeter Township Police Chief: ‘We’re At Bare Bones’

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

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

Exeter Township Supervisor Dona L. Starr has dispelled fears that the township is considering reducing its police force to help balance the budget.

“There’s one, two, three, four board members who have never even mentioned laying off police officers,” Starr told a crowd of officers and police supporters at a special budget workshop meeting.  “I believe that the Exeter Township Police Department is the best in the county, and I want to keep it that way.  I’m not willing to lay off any officers.  I’m not willing to make any cuts.”

Starr’s comments at Wednesday’s meeting came after statements by Supervisor Kenneth A. Smith, who said he would not be opposed to reducing the police force to make up a $230,000 shortfall in the 2013 budget.

That number is down from an initial budget gap of about $400,000 in August.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=426255

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

After Long Wait, Birdsboro Gets Its Bridge Work

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

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

A delayed project to replace the Birdsboro Bridge that carries Route 345 over the Schuylkill River is getting the green light.

PennDOT officials said the work is supposed to start next Monday and take about two years. The span, which connects Birdsboro and Exeter Township and handles about 8,400 vehicles a day, will remain open while a new one is built just west of it.

The $14.5 million project was supposed to start in March but was delayed by the discovery that the area around the bridge is a habitat for red-bellied turtles, a threatened species. That required additional planning.

At the same time, PennDOT also needed to negotiate with nearby property owners to obtain rights-of-way.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=415101

6-Figure Shortfall Stymies Exeter School Board

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frustrations ran high among Exeter school officials at a budget workshop held before a sparse crowd this week.

“It’s a bind the state has put us in,” said Dr. David S. Bender, school board vice president.

“Not to mention the lack of support in Harrisburg for education funding,” said Dr. Beverly A. Martin, superintendent. “You don’t want to raise taxes because people are hurting. How do you get out of that type of hole?”

Since adopting a preliminary budget of $64.8 million in January, the district has slashed expenses by about $1.8 million, Business Manager Anne Guydish said. However, a budget shortfall of $844,298 remains.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=379219

Antietam School District Exploring The Possibility Of Merging With Exeter SD

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

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a tune the Antietam School District has heard before: The district is once again exploring the possibility of merging with Exeter Township School District.

This is not the first time the neighboring districts have considered merging, nor the second. Or even the third. The idea has been discussed, repeatedly, as far back as the 1960s.

And for some Antietam residents, the history of failed mergers clouds their opinion of a new consideration.

“I don’t think they’ll merge,” said Brandy High, a Lower Alsace Township mother with two children in Antietam schools. “They’ve been saying it for a long time and never did.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=362292

Culinary Blast From The Past Returning To Berks County – Seafood Shanty To Reopen At Broadcasting Square

If it’s possible to involve future customers and create excitement in a business before it opens, restaurateur Eddie Riegel seems to be doing just that.

Riegel plans to bring back the legendary Seafood Shanty restaurant, a once-popular dining chain that went bankrupt in 1993.

“Honestly, oh my God, I just pinch myself every day,” said Riegel, who lives with his wife, Bonnie, in Exeter Township. “I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m happy, I’m sad. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s a very emotional time.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=349104&obref=obinsite