Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday that students educated at Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and Lehigh Carbon Community College will power Pennsylvania’s economic engine.
“If we’re going to have a future in manufacturing in Pennsylvania, what you learn here is really, really important,” Wolf told students after touring LCCC and LCTI, which sit on neighboring campuses in North Whitehall Township.
“I’m preaching the gospel of manufacturing,” he said. “Manufacturing is making a comeback…Part of the reason manufacturing has a great future in Pennsylvania is because we have really good workers.”
When Turkey Hill comes to mind, most people think of flavorful ice cream and sweet iced tea. But in Wilkes-Barre, many mention the recent spike in robberies at the company’s stores before thinking of their signature snacks.
Since January 2014, city police have responded to at least 22 Turkey Hill robberies, 13 of which occurred in the last four months.
Frequent customers have not abandoned these stores, but some have questioned the safety during late-night hours.
Lisa Cummings of Mountain Top often visits the Turkey Hill on North Pennsylvania Avenue after work, but said she would probably not go to the store at 3 a.m.
POTTSTOWN, PA – Gov. Tom Wolf may not have learned everything there is to know about “Beowulf” when he was a student at The Hill School, “but I did learn how to ask questions; I did learn how to think and I did learn how to live.”
Those were among the short lessons Wolf had for the students and guests Thursday night when he accepted the school’s 17th Annual Sixth Form Leadership Award.
“I came to Hill in the fifth form, so I was only here a brief time, but it made a big difference in my life. I came away from this place a much better person that I was when I came in,” said Wolf, who attended the school from 1965 to 1967.
During those years, he was on the swimming and soccer teams, was assistant editor at The Dial and played the sousaphone.
On sparsely traveled back roads across Lancaster County, more than two dozen narrow, unassuming bridges built in a simpler era are showing their age.
Concrete is weathered and cracking. The decks are no longer safe for even moderate loads.
The Lancaster County commissioners are addressing the problem by turning to impact fee revenue from natural gas drillers. As of February, the county had $2.2 million available, said county engineer Scott Russell of Rettew Associates.
The commissioners are counting on continuing impact fee revenue to help fund the replacement or repair of nearly all 44 county-owned concrete or steel bridges over the next five years.
Lancaster, Pa. – Pa. based social service agency is addressing poverty by making funds available to help families make ends meet. As disposable income declines, some 76% of Americans have a hard time and struggle to pay for their needs. Community Clearinghouse Agency is launching a new voucher program designed to provide funds to help women and families pay for their needs. CCA partnered with the Trade Exchange Network who will provide their members with the funds they need to pay for things they want. The unique feature is that rather than cash, Credits serve as currency. Each member gets a free checking account to write checks to pay for goods or services from other members. Checking accounts are monitored using the credit and debit system. Unlike the old barter system where each person had to have what the other wanted with the same value, a hard match to make. The Exchange offers a pool of members that can trade with one another using credits as money.
Programs called LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) with 200 in the U.S and 1,500 in 39 countries offer mutual credit or complimentary currency, allowing members to trade goods or services without the use of cash. Because of a poor economy, Greece and Spain currently use this system, trading for food and household needs. Members earn Credits by selling goods or services; they can also purchase virtually anything within the Network. The idea, according to Dale Vega, CCA executive director is to provide funds enabling families to afford what they need. Families can purchases vouchers in any amount they choose, the Exchange subsidizes it based on a 5-1 ratio.
CCA is a volunteer based 501-C-3 social service helping Abused Women, Seniors, Veterans and Families in need in Lancaster County since 1995. Vega said “We anticipate that the new partnership will benefit thousands of families and CCA too. The Exchange serves as a no cost community service designed to help families get what they need. After quarterly operating expenses, the Exchange will donate the balance to the CCA charity to continue community services. Sponsors are invited to purchase a voucher in any amount and donate it to CCA for distribution to families that lack funds to pay for one.
An information kit and application are only available by mail. The charity asks for ten dollars to defray postage, printing and expenses, the Exchange will credit it to your account. Requests can be mailed to CCA P.O. Box 8361 Lancaster, Pa. 17604-8361. Inquiries by telephone or email are not accepted.
THREE-FIFTHS OF Chris Aschman’s jazz quintet managed to fit onto the tiny stage upstairs at Jose Pistola’s, where the crimson glow makes musicians look like they’re playing in Amsterdam’s red-light district.
Aschman, a 29-year-old trumpet player, stayed on the floor, next to the saxophonist.
Then, the bassist reached overhead and turned off the TV and the audience of 20-somethings switched their attention from NCAA basketball to a funky, odd-time-signature groove driven by a young drummer in a Phillies cap who stomps on the kick drum like he’s got something to prove.
The song, called “UCB,” short for “Undercover Brother,” is an Aschman original, as were nine of the 11 songs his group played at the Center City bar earlier this month.
A lot of people in this part of the nation swore they’d move south during this year’s harsh winter. It appears many of them already have.
According to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, warm regions regained population growth momentum last year that was lost during the recession. But population fell in the area comprised of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties.
Fourteen of the 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas were in Florida, Texas or the Carolinas, led by The Villages near Orlando, which grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. In contrast, the fastest-growing metro areas in Pennsylvania grew by 0.6 percent.
The bureau estimated that the population in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area fell by 2,159, or 0.4 percent over the year. Within the three-county region, Lackawanna County lost the most, 1,115, or 0.5 percent. Luzerne County’s population declined 1,033, or 0.3 percent, and Wyoming County’s was relatively unchanged.
Thousands got their first peek at the long-awaited first eaglet Tuesday morning when one of the parents stood up in its nest high in a tree near Codorus State Park in York County.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s live-streaming video on its phenomenally popular Eagle Cam captured the moment. To watch live, click here.
Shortly after 8 a.m., the two eagles did what is known as a nest exchange, altering incubating duties. When one of the adults moved out of the way, a wet gray blob was revealed, partially still in the egg split in half. The adult eagles were vocal right before the eaglet is exposed.
“I saw it wiggle around in the nest. So cool,” exclaimed a viewer on the Hanover Eagle Watch Facebook page. More than 60,000 people have joined that online group to experience the drama playing out in the Eagle Cam nest.
Pittsburgh may not be the steel town it once was, with the economy of the state’s second largest city these days tied more to hospitals and higher education than smoke stacks. But manufacturing is still a huge part of Pennsylvania’s economy.
The sector employs more than 571,000 people in the commonwealth — including more than 30,000 in the York-Hanover area alone.
The average compensation for someone who works in manufacturing, not just assembly line workers but plant managers and other executives, is more than $69,000. That’s well above Pennsylvania’s median household income, which was $52,548 in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
With manufacturing’s above-average wages, new Gov. Tom Wolf has identified increasing the number of manufacturing jobs as one of his top economic priorities.
HARRISBURG, PA – Pennsylvania could own a bunch of professional sports team if it wanted.
OK, maybe we’re taking some liberty with that, but there is some math to back it up. If Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget is enacted exactly as he presented it earlier this month, the state’s total operating budget would soar to $78.6 billion, the highest level ever.
To put that in perspective, it’s enough to buy all 32 teams in the National Football League, based on average team values compiled by Forbes.com. And then for fun, the state still could buy all 30 teams in Major League Baseball and have enough left to build a few state-of-the-art stadiums.
Of course, that’s assuming the state would spend nothing on its actual responsibilities, like public education and roads and bridges. But for our purposes, it helps illustrate the sheer volume of state spending that’s on the table.
HARRISBURG, PA — The Wolf administration this morning released estimates of the new revenue the state expects to bring in by expanding the 6 percent sales tax to include more items and services.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal, which is the subject of ongoing hearings by the House and Senate appropriations committees, also would raise the rates of the sales and personal income taxes, while cutting corporate income taxes and providing homeowners with relief from school property taxes.
Applying a proposed 6.6 percent sales tax to a host of new purchases would bring the state approximately $1.16 billion in the fiscal year beginning July 1 and $2.97 billion in the following year, according to a memo released this morning by the Department of Revenue.
After 57 months, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Area is no longer dead last in the unemployment rating for Pennsylvania Metropolitan Areas. After expanding the eligible metro areas from 14 to 18, Johnstown and East Stroudsburg have pushed Scranton/Wilkes-Barre out of last place. If nothing else, psychologically it gives the beleaguered Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Area a lift.
The vice president of finance spends his time doing it listening to the radio, most preferably BBC Radio 2, the station he grew used to listening to when living in the United Kingdom.
The attorney recalls doing work and reading the paper while so engaged, except for the time that someone died.
The contractor said he was able to sleep and hold a book at the same time while he was doing it, and the construction supervisor has learned to calculate the amount of time he’ll be involved in it down to the minute — depending on the time of day he gets started.
What is it? The mundane but almost necessary practice of commuting to work.
SolarCity Corp., the nation’s largest rooftop photovoltaic developer, is hoping a new day is dawning for solar in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The San Mateo, Calif., company announced Thursday a bundle of new financing options aimed at customers in the Peco Energy Co. service territory. SolarCity and its competitors typically install their systems on customers’ roofs for no money down.
The campaign is aimed at reversing the shrinkage in the Pennsylvania solar market, which went into hibernation after 2011, when federal and state incentives dwindled.
“We have a few hundred customers in Pennsylvania, but it’s been slow to develop over time,” said Leon Keshishian, SolarCity’s regional vice president.
Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal Tuesday called for a modernization of State Stores to generate $185 million in additional annual profit by fiscal 2018.
The dramatically increased profits would be used to make payments on a $3 billion bond issue designed to help close the $30 billion gap in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, according to Wolf’s plan.
Under it, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, endangered by Republican talk of privatizing the system, instead would have a monumental task – assuming it gains General Assembly approval.
Based on the system’s profitability in the year ended June 30, gross revenue from the state’s 600-plus wine and spirits outlets would have to soar to $5.7 billion in fiscal 2018 from $2.3 billion in fiscal 2014 to generate an additional $185 million in profits.
WEST CHESTER, PA – The region dug out Friday from a season-record snowfall Thursday that closed schools, businesses and some municipal offices.
And the good news from the weather experts is that things should be calm and more seasonable for a bit.
Here are the snow totals from late Thursday night: East Nantmeal, 11.3 inches; Malvern, 10.0; Coatesville, 9.8; West Caln, 9.8; Landenberg, 9.3; West Chester, 9.0; Devon, 9.0; New London, 8.9; Thorndale, 8.7 East Coventry, 8.5; Exton, 8.5.
There were some school closings and delays and the highways and other roads were still snow-covered Friday morning. However, bright sunshine was the hope for some melting to make those roads more passable.
Blue Bell, PA— Far from the Marcellus Shale fields of southwestern and northeastern Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia region has largely escaped some of the direct impacts from the exploration, drilling, transportation and waste handling from natural gas operations—commonly referred to as fracking. However, a proposal of an energy hub in Philadelphia and new pipelines headed to the region may bring it closer to home.
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Philadelphia will hold a program at Montgomery County Community College on March 11 at 7 p.m. to review the different operations of fracking, the risks of harm to health, and the exponentially higher releases of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The program, which is free of change and open to the public, will be held in MCCC’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.
PSR is a public health, non-profit organization that provides education, training and direct services and advocacy on issues that threaten health and that medicine cannot cure. Andrea Thomas, MCCC alumna and current graduate student in Arcadia University’s Public Health and Medical Science program and PSR intern, will help participants gain a clear understanding of the ways fracking operations can impact health and the environment.
The program is sponsored by MCCC’s Division of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in collaboration with MCCC Diversity Faculty Fellow Natasha Patterson. For information, call 215-641-6445. To learn more about Physicians for Social Responsibility, visit http://www.psr.org.