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

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Stokesay Castle Savior Recounts Memorable Career

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

The bolt of lightning that lit up Stokesay Castle just before Christmas in 1991 was invisible to everyone except the first-time visitor who experienced it.

It was a brilliant, internal flash of recognition that took place in the mind of Jack D. Gulati.

A veteran buyer and seller of businesses who had immigrated to the U.S. from India as a teenager, Gulati had learned to profit from such moments.  He had experienced many.  Like all the other times, as he absorbed the hulking medieval-style grandeur of Stokesay, he saw two simple things.

Value and possibility.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=478200

Wiretap Yields Major Berks County Drug Bust

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

For four months, members of Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams’ drug task force eavesdropped on the cellphone conversations of a Pennside resident and others suspected of selling large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the county.

The state Superior Court approved Adams’ application for a nonconsensual wiretap in February to listen to the conversations of Robert Sanfiel, 47.

By that time, Adams said Thursday, the detectives had been investigating Sanfiel for six months, but early on didn’t know the size of the operation.

The investigation culminated early Thursday when investigators began a roundup of 25 people accused of being involved in the organization.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477562

Mount Penn Votes To Reopen Merger Talks With Lower Alsace Township

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

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

Mount Penn Borough Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to reopen merger discussions with Lower Alsace Township.

In a separate matter, they also accepted the resignation of Mayor Joshua Nowotarski and appointed a new mayor.

Lower Alsace Township supervisors sent a letter to Mount Penn officials last month asking that they resume discussions about the municipalities merging or pay merger study fees the township incurred.

Councilman Thomas Smith said he felt the discussions should continue, but suggested Mount Penn appoint a committee to speak with Lower Alsace supervisors instead of the entire council participating.  Council members agreed, settling on a three-member committee.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477228

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

Mount Penn Formally Ends Merger Talks With Lower Alsace

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

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

Lower Alsace Supervisor John Theodossiou made one final plea asking Mount Penn Borough Council to reopen merger talks between the two municipalities.

“I understand there are a lot of differences and things got derailed,” he said. “At the very least go to the next meeting.”

But Theodossiou’s effort landed with a thud, as Mount Penn council voted on Tuesday to send letters to the Pennsylvania Economy League and Berks County formally ending the merger study.

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http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=428047

Mount Penn Borough and Lower Alsace Township Agree To Merger Study

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

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

After much discussion and two joint meetings, Mount Penn Borough Council and the Lower Alsace supervisors agreed Monday to move forward with a study of the pros and cons of merging or consolidating the municipalities.

Council then voted to approve a $22,500 contract with the Pennsylvania Economy League for the study. Lower Alsace had approved the contract in May after the first joint municipality meeting, contingent on Mount Penn’s involvement.

Councilman Thomas Smith said the study would provide the information needed to help supervisors and council decide whether merging or consolidating would be beneficial to both municipalities and their residents.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=399499

Mount Penn Borough, Lower Alsace Township Meet, Talk Merger

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

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

Claudia Hurwitz and Josh Nowotarski were there to find facts.

John Theodossiou wanted to promote moving forward with an open mind.

Hurwitz, a Mount Penn council member, Nowotarski, the Mount Penn mayor, and Theodossiou, a Lower Alsace Township supervisor, were speaking at a joint public meeting on the possibility of pursuing a study that would examine the advantages and disadvantages of merging the two municipalities.

For weeks the borough and township discussed whether they wanted to meet with one another to discuss a potential study. After deliberating at meetings, they independently decided to meet Tuesday at the Antietam Junior-Senior High School in Lower Alsace.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=386464