32 Arrested, Including 4 Alleged Drug Pushers, In Norristown Drug Operation

NORRISTOWN, PA – Two phone calls months apart from each other allowed investigators to link together two drug rings that delivered crystal meth and heroin to the streets of Norristown and other parts in southeastern Pennsylvania.

District Attorney Risa Ferman announced Wednesday the arrest of 32 people, including four major alleged drug pushers, in Norristown in a joint operation appropriately dubbed “Operation Snow and Ice Removal.”

“This is a series of drug trafficking arrests that have been made in two overlapping drug trafficking rings that relate to the sale of crystal meth, heroin and cocaine, primarily in Norristown but with tentacles in southeast Pennsylvania,” Ferman said at a press conference.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150225/32-arrested-including-4-alleged-drug-pushers-in-norristown-drug-operation

Montgomery County “Code Blue” Cold Weather Declaration

Norristown, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners, on the advice of the
Montgomery County Department of Public Safety, have declared a Code Blue Cold Weather Emergency
for Montgomery County based on a review of forecasts from the National Weather Service.

The Code Blue Declaration has been issued for Montgomery County for the period beginning at
6:00PM on Thursday, February 12, 2015 until 12:00PM on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

A Code Blue Cold Weather Declaration is made in Montgomery County when winter conditions pose a
threat of serious harm or death to individuals without shelter.  A Code Blue is called when the
combination of air temperature and wind chill is anticipated to be 20ºF or less.

For general cold weather information, check the Montgomery County Health Department website:

http://www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?nid=572.

State Police Corporal Faces Charges In Shooting Death Of State Trooper David Kedra

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURTHOUSE – The District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday announced charges against a state trooper accused of accidently shooting and killing another state trooper during a firearms training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus in September 2014.

State Police Corporal Richard Schroeter, 42, of Royersford, is being charged with five counts of recklessly endangering another person that led to the death of 26-year-old state trooper David Kedra.

The charges come after the Montgomery County grand jury heard testimony in the case. The grand jury recommended the charges.

The release states the grand jury did not find enough evidence showing that Schroeter “consciously disregarded human life” and did not recommend he be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150210/state-police-corporal-faces-charges-in-shooting-death-of-state-trooper-david-kedra

Greater Norristown Police Athletic League To Host Free Regional College Fair

Norristown, Pa.College-bound students and their parents are invited to a Regional College Fair at the Greater Norristown Police Athletic League, 340 Harding Blvd., Norristown, on Thursday, Feb. 19. Visit http://www.greaternorristownpal.org/events for a list of participating colleges and universities.

The public portion of the fair runs from 6-7:30 p.m., during which high students in grades nine through 12 and their parents can talk with representatives from more than 30 college and universitiy about admissions, financial aid, scholarships and academic programs. This portion of the event is free and is open to the community.

Earlier in the day, Norristown eighth grade students will visit the fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to learn about the various institutions and programs as they begin to explore college opportunities. This portion is closed to the public.

The Regional College Fair is sponsored by Montgomery County Community College, the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC) and the Greater Norristown Police Athletic League.

For more information, Visit greaternorristownpal.org/events or call MCCC Assistant Director of Admissions Carolyn White at 215-641-6561.

Norristown Councilwoman Linda Christian Elected Council President

NORRISTOWN, PA – Ward 3 Councilwoman Linda Christian was unanimously elected president of council Monday at the annual reorganization meeting and replaced Councilman William Caldwell.

Christian, the former council vice president, was sworn in by Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Senior Judge William Nicholas.

Christian won reelection in 2013 by waging a successful write-in campaign in the primary election after her nominating papers were successfully challenged. She defeated Democratic challenger Eli Nogueda in the primary contest.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150105/norristown-councilwoman-linda-christian-elected-council-president

Genesis Housing Offers Classes Monthly In Norristown And Pottstown.

Genesis Housing Corporation offers FREE Housing Counseling Classes, covering in three sessions:

  • Understanding credit & credit repair
  • Money management
  • Understanding the home buying process

Norristown classes are held at 1430 DeKalb Street, 1st Floor, Room A/B, Norristown, PA.

Pottstown classes will be held at various locations in Pottstown, PA  and various locations in Montgomery County, PA.

Classes are also offered at various locations in Montgomery County, PA
Individual counseling is available.

For more information and to register, visit their website: http://genesishousing.org/counseling_schedule2.html

Kerns Pleads No Contest To Indecent Assault Charge

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Robert J. Kerns, the former Montgomery County Republican Chairman, pleaded no contest on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault in Montgomery County Court.

It was a negotiated plea deal with the Attorney General’s office, and Kerns will serve two years probation and be a registered sex offender for 15 years.

Kerns was accused of having non-consensual sex with an employee of his Lansdale law firm while she was passed out after a night of drinking in October 2013.

More serious charges against him – rape and sexual assault – were dismissed in June by a lower court.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141125_Kerns_pleads_no_contest_to_indecent_assault_charge.html#62VtlB3JLAmVqmQC.99

Gangster Vegan Organics In Jeffersonville Aims To Change Lives With Raw, Organic Food

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST NORRITON TOWNSHIP, PA – Gangster vegan?

Like “jumbo shrimp”, the two words are contradictory and seemingly incompatible,

After all, vegans are peace-loving, sandal-wearing hippie types, and gangsters are hoodlums who are prone to violence, so the two breeds have no business ever hooking up in any sensible world.

Welcome to Vince DePaul’s world.

The Norristown native admitted he set out to bedevil the traditional vegan stereotype by naming his specialty raw food market in Jeffersonville Gangster Vegan Organics. But playing around with incongruities is only a small part of DePaul’s story.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20141117/gangster-vegan-organics-in-jeffersonville-aims-to-change-lives-with-raw-organic-food

Commissioners Award Second Contract In Norristown’s Lafayette Street Project

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA – A little more than a year after construction crews broke ground on the first phase of the Lafayette Street extension project, the Montgomery County commissioners awarded a contract for the second phase of the project on Wednesday.

The $12.8 million dollar contract was awarded to J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pa. J.D. Eckman, Inc. is not the same company that worked on the first phase of the project. Construction on the second phase of the multi-million dollar project is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

“It’s very typical for a transportation project of this size to be phased,” commissioners’ vice-Chairwoman Leslie Richards said. “It’s just easier. You don’t want to give the construction management of the entire project to one firm. It’s just kind of checks and balances.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20141023/commissioners-award-second-contract-in-norristowns-lafayette-street-project

Norristown Code Enforcement Manager Resigns After Investigation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN — Code Enforcement Manager Joseph Januzelli was forced to resign Monday after Municipal Administrator Crandall Jones concluded an investigation into a Norristown resident’s complaint that a district justice allegedly rented an apartment to her without securing the required, annual rental license from the code enforcement department.

Eileen Schwartz complained at the Sept. 2 council meeting that her roof collapsed into her apartment earlier this year. Schwartz said she had rented the apartment in the 400 block of West Fornance Street from Norristown District Justice Francis Lawrence for more than nine years and that Lawrence had never obtained a rental license for the apartment.

Council members ordered Jones to investigate whether Lawrence had obtained a rental license.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140908/norristown-code-enforcement-manager-resigns-after-investigation

Greater Norristown Police Athletic League International Festival Slated For Sept. 4

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Greater Norristown Police Athletic League’s (GNPAL) 14th Annual International Festival, “A Wine and Food Extravaganza” will be held at the Plymouth Country Club Thursday, Sept. 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event, benefiting GNPAL programs, will feature live entertainment, a silent auction/raffle and an extensive menu featuring some of the area’s top culinary talents.

“The international food and wine festival is all about supporting our organization and the work we do in the community,” said GNPAL Executive Director Brett Wells.

“It’s our only big fundraiser of the year. We raise about 20 percent of our annual budget in just this one event,” Wells explained.

More than 100 local business have signed on as sponsors and 25 restaurants and vendors will be on hand to serve an estimated 1,000 to 1,300 guests.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140901/greater-norristown-police-athletic-league-international-festival-slated-for-sept-4

Montgomery County Commissioners Happy With Progress Of Norristown’s Lafayette Street Extension

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Montgomery County commissioners took a tour Thursday to see the progress of what county officials are calling “the largest local infrastructure project in Pennsylvania” and found they were pleased with it.

Leading the tour was Leo Bagely, a transportation planner at the Montgomery County Planning Commission, who has helped to oversee the first phase of the construction project.

“We’ve been at this for a long time,” said Bagely. “What this is going to look like, with the landscaping we’re doing, is we’re going to change the look of how people come out of Norristown.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140731/montgomery-county-commissioners-happy-with-progress-of-norristowns-lafayette-street-extension

Treetop Adventure Debuts At Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA— Has it been a while since you’ve swung through the trees like Tarzan?

Do you harbor a burning hunger to break free from your civilized cage and bond with nature in a fundamental way, even though your primal survival skills are a little rusty?

Designed for thrill-seekers of all ages, Treetop Adventure Park Philadelphia at Elmwood Park Zoo — created by Treetop Concept LLC — puts kids and adults through their aerial paces with multiple obstacle courses that are marked by challenging games and zip lines to satisfy the average athletic extremist.

For those not familiar with the exploit, a zip line is formed by a pulley suspended way up in the air on a cable, with the suspended adventure-seeker holding onto or being attached to a free-moving pulley by a harness.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140718/treetop-adventure-debuts-at-elmwood-park-zoo-norristown

Meter Tamperer Generates Probation For Defrauding PECO Of $346K

NORRISTOWN, PA — A Philadelphia man who tampered with utility meters to reduce some account holders’ monthly PECO electrical bills, to the tune of nearly $350,000, has generated some court supervision in connection with the five-county theft scheme.

Marcelino Cuadra Jr., 47, of Aramingo Avenue, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to seven years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to charges of corrupt organizations, theft of services and conspiracy to commit theft of services in connection with the meter tampering incidents that occurred in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties between December 2009 and October 2012.

Judge Garrett D. Page also ordered Cuadra to complete 60 hours of community service as a condition of the sentence. Cuadra must pay $346,750 in restitution to PECO, the judge said.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140714/meter-tamperer-generates-probation-for-defrauding-peco-of-346k

Cali, 18-Year-Old Jaguar At Elmwood Park Zoo In Norristown, Has Died

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Elmwood Park Zoo announced the passing of Cali (pronounced “kah-lee”), an 18-year-old female jaguar, on Wednesday. She had been receiving chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with lymphoma in the fall of 2013. Zoo staff witnessed a substantial decline in Cali’s condition and made the decision to euthanize her Wednesday morning.

The jaguar, named after the Hindu Goddess Kali and whose name means “the black one,” was unlike typical spotted jaguars. Cali’s unique black coat was caused by melanism, a common condition among felines that is caused by an excess of the black pigment, melanin.

Cali was born at the Marion Nature Park in Ocala, Fla. on Sept. 19, 1995. She arrived at the Elmwood Park Zoo on Jan. 1, 1996. Cali was paired with Anasazi, Elmwood Park Zoo’s 2-year-old spotted male jaguar.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/lifestyle/20140710/cali-18-year-old-jaguar-at-elmwood-park-zoo-in-norristown-has-died

Temple University Student Study: Norristown Needs A Food Policy Council, Community Gardens

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN — An urban planning class presented the results of a study of food availability in Norristown to council Tuesday that included targeted recommendations.

Jennifer Krouchick, a Temple University student in the urban planning studio class taught by Professor Deborah Howe, said that Norristown is a car-dependent municipality for large food shopping but had also notched a 74 percent score in “walkability.”

Of Norristown’s 34,324 residents, 19.3 live below the poverty line, according to recent demographics. In addition, 2,484 of Norristown’s 13,058 households receive federal food assistance through SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

A resident group helped the students shape the food study during a task force meeting in January, Krouchick said. A community workshop was held in April allowing residents to explain what food issues were important to them.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140701/temple-university-student-study-norristown-needs-a-food-policy-council-community-gardens

Karabots Foundation Gives $7.5 Million Gift To Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

NORRISTOWN — A $7.5 million gift from the Karabots Foundation and Nicholas and Athena Karabots to Einstein Healthcare Network (EHN) was delivered Wednesday afternoon during a gala celebration under a white tent erected on Powell Street next to the newly renamed Nicholas and Athena Karabots Medical Building.

More than 150 physicians, nurses and top managers from EHN and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery (EMCM) came to celebrate the gift that benefits three buildings in the healthcare system.

“The first phase was cosmetic improvements to the common areas of the building including new carpet, paint, new lighting and ceiling tiles,” said Rich Montalbano, the project executive at Einstein Healthcare Network. “That was completed this winter. The second and third phases will occur over the next two years and include replacing the outdated central air conditioning systems and replacing the two elevators.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140521/karabots-foundation-gives-75-million-gift-to-einstein-medical-center-montgomery

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Contractor Gets $1.6M, Apology From Montgomery County DA’s Office

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle claims that District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman brought unfounded theft charges against a Radnor building contractor at the behest of a church that counts prominent county officials among its members.

As part of the agreement, confirmed by the contractor’s lawyers Tuesday, Ferman apologized to Walter Logan, a man whose alleged crimes she once described as “particularly despicable” and “really very low.”

Those words, delivered to a TV news crew, came hours after her office charged Logan in 2009 with bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown after a contract dispute.

In a statement to Logan as part of their agreement, and released Tuesday by his attorneys, Ferman struck a different tone.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140426_Contractor_gets__1_6M__apology_from_Montco_DA_s_office.html#QRERrQv5H04R55Bk.99

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Widespread Flooding Submerges Cars, Causes Major Commute Problems

The logo of the United States National Weather...

The logo of the United States National Weather Service. The source page states that is not an “official” version but it looks very close to the version used on NWS’s website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rain that pounded the Philadelphia region last night and into this morning left widespread flooding that stranded motorists and caused the shutdown of major routes from the western suburbs to South Jersey.

The National Weather Service said around 5 inches fell in most parts of the area, with some places seeing a bit more, such as the 6.56 inches recorded in Spring City, Chester County.

A weather service flood warning is in effect until 12:45 p.m. Authorities are warning that the flood situation is dangerous in many areas as motorists continued to underestimate the severity. Rescue crews were busy throughout the night rescuing stranded drivers.

Even though the flooding had started to recede, crews were still busy rescuing people this morning.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Widespread_flooding_submerges_cars_causes_major_commute_problems.html#mqwogWXh5swhAXoc.99

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Norristown Neighborhood Grocery Gets A Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The little corner grocery store is making a comeback in Norristown.

The Spanish word “mina” means “mine” in English, and Mina Mart owner Ivonne Patino is hoping her new venture proves to be the proverbial gold mine that confirms her backers’ faith in her business.

Opened in February in the former La Mina bar at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, the bright, clean store/restaurant with all the grocery essentials, from toilet paper to fresh bananas, as well as a growing menu, got a financial boost of $19,650 from the U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday.

The loan that allowed Mina Mart to open its doors is the latest successful endeavor of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center, a partnership of the Municipality of Norristown and The Enterprise Center Capital Corp. of Philadelphia.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140410/norristown-neighborhood-grocery-gets-a-boost

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