Pottstown Crash Deaths Focus Shifts To Drug Sale

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, Pa. — The investigation into a Monday night crash that killed two people and critically injured a third shifted Thursday to a downtown store that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana to one of the crash victims.

According to court documents obtained exclusively by The Mercury Thursday, members of Pottstown’s Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 315 and 317 E. High St., which houses a convenience store called the Achi Store.

As investigators were searching Tuesday for Roger Tracey Malloy, 27, of 303 N. York St., Pottstown, the driver in the fatal wreck, authorities learned that one of Malloy’s passengers, 16-year-old Kendall Harper, of Pottstown, had purchased K2, or synthetic marijuana, from the Achi Store, according to court papers filed seeking the warrant.

According to court papers, authorities learned in their investigation that Malloy has been smoking K2 and drinking before the crash occurred.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120525/NEWS01/120529577/search-warrant-for-drugs-served-on-pottstown-store-&pager=full_story

TriCounty Community Network Board Member, Patricia Eltz, To Receive VNA’s 2012 Nursing Champion Award

Pottstown, Pa. (May 7, 2012) – TriCounty Community Network (TCN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, social and environmental conditions in Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, today announced that its founding president and current vice president of the board, Patricia Eltz, RN, MSN, retired community health specialist at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC), will be the recipient of the VNA of Pottstown Home Health & Hospice’s 2012 Nursing Champion Award. 

Ms. Eltz will receive this award at the 2012 Health Care Champion Breakfast being held on May 8 at 7:30 a.m. at the Copperfield Inn at Lakeside.  She is being recognized for her work promoting health care in the community.     

“We are thrilled that VNA is honoring Pat with this prestigious award,” said Jen Doyle, executive director for TCN.  “She believes in giving back and making a difference in her local community.  This is evident in her efforts to coordinate the TriCounty Health Partnership (TCHP) and her vision that led to TCHP and the Tri-County Interagency Consortium to merge in 2005 to create TCN.” 

Ms. Eltz chairs the TCN board’s Personnel Committee and also serves on the Executive, Finance and Board Development committees.  As a community health specialist at PMMC from 1995 to 2010, she developed PMMC’s Community Education program to encompass the greater community and heighten awareness of available services.  Her contributions to the community are endless.  Some examples include: implementing and obtaining funding and support for Community Dental Services (a dental service for the working poor); obtaining more than $1 million in funding and support through grants for both PMMC and TCHP; and promoting wellness and improved health in the Pottstown area utilizing education, prevention and early detection techniques.

Ms. Eltz received her post master’s certification in nursing administration from Villanova University, her master’s in community health nursing from West Chester University, her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of the State of New York, and her RN from Reading Area Community College.

About TriCounty Community Network                 

TCN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership-based organization that partners with nonprofits, businesses and community members to improve health, social and environmental conditions.  Serving Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, TCN offers seven key programs: Build Up Youth, C.A.R.E. (Caring in Alternative Residential Environments), Environmental Awareness, Family Literacy, Homeless Services, S.A.F.E. (Supporting Abuse Free Environments), and Workforce Development.  For more information on TCN, visit www.tcnetwork.org.

Pottstown Celebrates Young Children Community Event

Smokey the Bear

Smokey the Bear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A community celebration for families with young children will be held on Saturday, April 21 at the Freedom Valley YMCA at Pottstown (724 North Adams Street) from 1:00-3:00. Activities will include a petting farm, moon bounce, Pipper the Clown, Smokey the Bear and over 30 community agencies with games and resources.

PEAK, Pottstown’s school readiness initiative, is partnering with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center

for this community outreach event. All families with young children are invited to attend.

PEAK is a partnership between Pottstown School District and community early learning programs and agencies seeking to prepare children and families for success in kindergarten. For more information, contact 610-970-6655 or visit www.peakonline.org.

 

Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Charity Ball

By now many of you have seen the advertisements for Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Celebration.  One component of this month-long celebration is a Christmas Costume Ball for charity.  The event will benefit PMMC’s pre-natal clinic.  The ball will be held at the Elk’s and there are only 225 tickets being offered for $40 per person or $70 per couple.

This all sounds wonderful and certainly donating to charity is always great.  The Borough of Pottstown made a $4000 donation to help defray the cost of entertainment.  An 11 piece band has been hired for the event.

The borough’s donation was made using money from Pottstown Area Rapid Transit’s promotions line item in their budget.  This was done at the discretion of the Borough Manager and did not go before council.  Councilor Rhoads asked about this at last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting as councilors were unaware of this donation when contacted before the meeting.

I am wondering how this donation promotes Pottstown Area Rapid Transit?  Do we expect to gain new riders for PART from those attending the ball?  Are there not better ways to have used this money to encourage people to “Take PART”?  A few well placed ads in the Mercury would have reached more people.  I suppose the other thing that puzzles me is why this money was not used toward the Pottstown 4th of July celebration that tens of thousands of area residents enjoy each year?  Would we not have gotten more “bang for our buck”, if we are trying to promote PART, at a huge event rather than a ball for 225 people?

If our goal was not necessarily to promote PART, but rather to give to charity, should this money have come from another source?  Hint: Tom Hylton likes to donate money.

$4000 is a blip on the transit budget for PART.  However, considering the fact the economy is trashed and we keep raising taxes and fees for services, should we not be better stewards of public funds? 

Public figures are just that, public figures.  People watch the decisions you make and follow your example.  Food for thought: Was this donation the best use of money from the transit budget?  You may want to consider that possibility if a similiar situation arises in the future.

PMMC Strike A No Go

CHS finally realized that people in Pottstown aren’t completely without sense and made a reasonable offer to SEIU members.  The offer was overwhelmingly accepted, thereby avoiding a planned three day work stoppage in protest of unfair labor practices by Community Health Services of Brentwood, TN.

Glad this has been put to bed.  The contact is for five years so let’s hope they don’t try and pull the crap again.  This is a union town and people weren’t born yesterday.  You can’t pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.  These tactics are CHS’s modis operandi.

Very shady people.  Maybe someday we can get their hooks out of our hospital and our town!

Candlelight Vigil Held Tonight At St. John’s UCC Pottstown For Union Workers

The long drawn out union negotiations at PMMC are wearing down the hard working staff.  A candlelight vigil was held at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Pottstown this afternoon at 4 pm.  Hospital workers, union representatives, Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas and the press gathered to pray for a settlement and support each other during this difficult time.

Community Health Services of Brentwood, TN bought PMMC a few years ago and has transformed our caring community hospital into a “profit center”.  CHS has failed to show up at three of the last four bargaining sessions.  The contact has been extended twice already so the union voted overwhelming to go on a three day strike in December to protest unfair labor practices by CHS. 

While most of the country is in a recession, CHS is making record breaking profits and for the 3rd Quarter of 2009, their profits increased a whopping 13%.  CHS is trying to take away worker pensions and replace them with a 401K and has not made any indication of what, if any, matching contributions would be.  Also, CHS proposes to drastically increase employee health care contributions.  In the case of part time employees their out of pocket contributions would increase 400%!

Many workers spoke as well as union leaders.  A letter from US Senator Bob Casey (D) was read showing his support for the union and the hard working PMMC employees.  Two nurses from the Wyoming Valley (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area) came in support of hospital workers.  They briefly spoke saying their hospital was recently purchased by CHS and they are having similar difficulty in negotiating with CHS.  They wanted to show their solidarity to the workers in Pottstown.

Channel 6 was also there and interviewed several key people.

The attached pictures hopefully put a human face on the struggle to get fair and equitable treatment for our hospital workers.  These are Pottstown area people who are trying to get a fair contract from a corporate giant who evidently cares little for the Pottstown community.

Rev. Karen Creasy, Pastor of St. John’s UCC lead the service which included a Litany for Solidarity and candle lighting.  Participants prayed that God would loosen the hard heartedness of those at CHS and PMMC.

There are two more bargaining sessions before the strike deadline.  November 24th and November 30th.

PMMC Workers To Hold Candlelight Rally On Thursday, November 19th

 

Join other PMMC workers and our families at a

Candlelight Vigil for 

Fairness at Our

Community Hospital

Together workers at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center are taking a stand for our patients, our community, and our future. We are united for a fair contract that allows us to best serve our community and to take care of our families. Together, we believe it is absolutely essential that our employer, CHS, come to the table to bargain with us in good faith.

Join us as we come together at a Candlelight Vigil.

St. John’s UCC

Corner of Price and High Sts. in Pottstown

Thursday, November 19

4:00 PM

For More Information Call

Stephen Jones at 570-460-5832

PLAN TO ATTEND AND BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

CHS Continues To Drag Feet On PMMC Negotiations – Strike Threatened

I have been watching this situation unfold and am not surprised it has come to this.  CHS has done some good things at PMMC by bringing in more doctors, expanding services and buying new and better equipment. However, their treatment of the staff is poor. 

I know a number of staff members at the hospital and attended the Sunnybrook Rally and the Board of Directors Meeting.  I feel I have some perspective on this situation as an outside observer.  Workers are stressed out and the proposed contract is beyond unfair. 

If CHS were struggling financially and needed the workers to make concessions to keep the doors open, I would feel differently.  What I see is another corporate giant worried about increasing their bottom line, not the people who work to make PMMC profitable. 

Mr. Kirby isn’t making PMMC profitable all by himself.  The other 1100 people who work at the hospital contribute to that success as well.  There is no I in team!

PMMC Board Of Directors Meeting Visited By Union Representatives And Members Tonight

Tonight’s Board Of Directors Meeting for Pottstown Memorial Medical Center had a larger than normal audience.  The meeting was held in a classroom at the Chestmont Professional Building, across from the hospital. 

Dozens of hospital workers, union officials and press packed the small room while PMMC CEO John Kirby presented the board with a power point presentation outlining the growth and changes at the hospital.

Dr. Whitaker, Chairman of the Board, allowed comments and questions from the audience regarding the benefit changes being proposed by CHS (the owner of PMMC).  One hospital employee passed a petition of support for the union workers to the Board of Directors and asked if anyone would sign it as a show of solidarity to the employees of our community hospital. 

John Kirby answered all the questions that were presented.  He deferred discussing most talking points due to the ongoing contract negotions process that was already in place. 

The meeting was fairly short and we were thanked for our time and interest in attending by Dr. Whitaker.  The meeting was adjourned. 

There was a brief rally in the parking lot to discuss any impact tonight’s visit may have made on the board.

The contract negotiations are continuing but without much success.

Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas was there to show her support for hospital employees.  Doug Pike, Democratic candidate for the US House of Representatives 6th Congressional District, was also in attendance to show his support for hospital workers.

I was able to snap a few pictures, despite the darkness, to capture the moment for my readers.

Picture 010

Picture 004

Picture 011

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Employees Rally At Sunnybrook

Check out my coverage of this afternoon’s PMMC union rally at Sunnybrook on the Pottstown Herald!   The Mercury did not cover this event!!

http://pottstownherald.com/pottstown-memorial-medical-center-employees-rally-at-sunnybrook/1432/

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Employees To Hold Rally On Wednesday – 4 PM At Sunnybrook

I have been asked to cover a union rally Wednesday at Sunnybrook.  PMMC employees are working under an expired but extended contract.  Pottstown Memorial Medical Center is Pottstown’s largest employer! 

The rally will be held at Sunnybrook – 4 PM this Wednesday.  I have no details if the rally is being held inside or outside but I was told by a reliable source that it is being held.  I intend to cover this event and report back via the Pottstown Herald and my blog. 

Stay tuned for further details!