Open For Risky Business: Philadelphia’s Vacant Properties

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

With its broken plywood door and faded graffiti, the former hosiery mill on Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section is a contrast to the quarter-million-dollar townhouses and upscale lofts nearby.

1101 Frankford is not just a four-story eyesore, says Thomas Fasone, who owns an antique lighting shop next door. He rates it a magnet for trouble.

“It’s so easy to get into these buildings,” says Fasone, who has complained to the city. “They can go in to keep warm, start a fire, do drugs, fall asleep, and a fire breaks out.”

The place is supposed to be sealed. But on two recent visits, an Inquirer reporter found it open. The owners have problems, too. One of them, a Drexel Hill man, is accused of dealing marijuana

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/city/20140310_Open_for_risky_business__Phila__s_vacant_properties.html#5hYIOdF5lTCuGBHK.99

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Montgomery County Officials Declare County A Natural Disaster Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — Montgomery County officials issued a disaster declaration Wednesday in the wake of Tuesday night’s ice storm that intensified Wednesday morning. By 9:30 p.m., Governor Corbett signed a disaster emergency proclamation. Corbett explained through his Twitter account that the proclamation will assist state and local authorities in responding to the winter storm.

The county’s disaster declaration means that if needed, the county can receive funds from the federal government and the state government. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said the declaration of a disaster also allows for the county to bypass the RFP process for items, like blankets, to give to shelters. He said the disaster declaration does not allow the county to purchase more road salt.

He said the county roads are cleared for the most part and crews are on standby to salt the roads as melting snow and ice freezes into the night.

According to Montgomery County Director of Communications Frank Custer, between 4 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday there were 340 electrical fires reported throughout the county, 1,207 road obstructions and 164 vehicle accidents.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/montgomery-county-officials-declare-county-a-natural-disaster-area

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PECO: Montgomery County Ice Storm Second Worst For Power Outages Since Hurricane Sandy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — A PECO spokesperson said they are looking into a multiple day restoration process for 67 percent of customers without power in Montgomery County.

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, 181,902 of the 302,600 PECO customers in Montgomery County are without power—not all Montgomery County residents are PECO customers— and crews are in the area trying to turn the lights back on.

“We’re looking at the second worst storm for power outages since Hurricane Sandy,” PECO Spokesperson Cathy Engel Mendez said on Wednesday.

Mendez said the most common cause of the outages have to do with tree limbs coming down on power lines.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/peco-montgomery-county-ice-storm-second-worst-for-power-outages-since-hurricane-sandy

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Phoenixville Mans Admits Blowing Up Toilet At Molly Maguires

Molly Maguires Pub and Restaurant in Phoenixvi...

Image via Wikipedia

WEST CHESTER – The man who blew up a men’s room toilet in a Phoenixville pub during a crowded pre-St. Patrick’s Day party there pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from the event Tuesday.

Douglas Ferrin, 51, an artist and painter who had in the past been featured at a Society Hill gallery but who has also reportedly suffered from mental health problems and been in and out of treatment for years, was sentenced to 162 days to 23 months in prison…

To read the rest of the story, and you should really read what this dude did prior to this incident, click here:

http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/08/30/news/doc4e5d2fdfacba2619057806.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Camden Plagued By Fires

Because Camden does not already have enough problems, a string of fires has rocked the beleaguered city this summer.

Here’s a list of where things stand:

June 9th – fire at a former tire-distribution center

June 11th – fire at a former garment factory

June 19th – fire at a former detergent plant (ruled arson, no arrests)

July 5th – fire at a former paint-manufacturing plant (suspect charged)

July 30th – fire at an abandoned warehouse

Any information on the June 19th fire, please call 1-888-283-3473.  There is a reward up to $5,000.

Blight Eradication In Wilkes-Barre Neighborhood

After some legal wrangling, three blighted properties on Monroe Street in Wilkes-Barre were demolished.  The blighted properties became dumping grounds and the neighbors were bothered by noxious odors for several years.  There have also been multiple fires (arson) at the site over the last two-years which have been a great concern for neighbors. 

Blighted, and in this case vacant, properties are magnets for vandalism, squatters, dumping and rodents.  These properties were jeopardizing the stability of an otherwise nice neighborhood.  Repeated fires also created serious safety hazards for neighboring residents.  Another issue here, there is an $18,000 tax lien on the property, which is still owned by Christopher Street Realty.  The city is being reimbursed for the demolition of the derelict properties.

Kudos to Wilkes-Barre for taking the necessary steps to demolish these blighted properties and making this neighborhood safe and healthy once again!

Schuylkill County Borough Plagued With Arson

Minersville Borough, Schuylkill County, has had 9 fires since April 24, 2010.  The latest fires occurred one week ago.  The arsonist struck once, the fire was extinguished.  Two hours later, another home was set on fire a block away.

Residents are deeply concerned and even fearful.  They are being encouraged to keep lights on and their eyes open.  A crimewatch is hopefully being started and police are stepping up overnight patrols.  A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers, toll-free, at 1-877-TIPS4SC. Individuals with information can also contact Minersville police directly at 570-544-6212. All information received will remain confidential.