Citizens Action Committee For Pottstown Schedules Another Public Meeting With Montco District Attorney’s Office

Another meeting with Assistant D.A.’s Kevin Steele and Jason Whalley is set up for June 1st, Pottstown Borough Hall, 100 E. High Street, 3rd floor at 7PM

THE LAST TURN OUT WAS FANTASTIC.  LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN AGAIN.

Hopefully we will have another great turnout with an active audience.

I would really like to focus in on additional things that the DA/PPD can be doing to help the residents with their efforts.

• A willingness to pursue property forfeiture (landlords renting to drug dealers and other criminals in Pottstown)

• A standardized form for recording and reporting suspicious/criminal activity if there are any other items that you are aware of or that any people that you have been speaking to think we should be pushing for, please comment or message us.

This is a form that we think could be a good choice for Pottstown. When details matter there needs to be a good reporting method for crime.

http://www.accesskansas.org/…/Is%20That%20House%20a%20Drug%…

Community Event To Promote Positive Police And Community Relationships And Support A Pottstown Youth That Is Fighting Cancer

Helping to Inspire Positive and Healthy Opportunities for Progress Inc. (HIP HOP INC.) is pleased to announce the Police and Community Together (PACT) Community Fun Day to be held at the Hill School, 860 Beech St, Pottstown, PA 19464 on June 13th, 2015 at 2:00pm.

The goal of PACT is to promote positive relationships between local police departments and the communities they serve. The PACT Community Fun Day will also recognize and support Destri Roye, a sixth grade student enrolled in the Pottstown School District who is fighting cancer.

The PACT Community Fun day will feature a basketball game between members of the Pottstown Police Department and faculty, staff and alumni of the Hill School. The community day will also be a fun filled day that will include face painting, music, door prizes and special guest. It promises to be a day in which community members can gather and show solidarity with local police departments, while enjoying a fun, family event.

Television personality Brooklyn Sal, from the CBS Sports Network and Arise TV will serve as special guest announcer and District Justice Scott Palladino will serve as special guest referee.

According to Ralph Godbolt, President and CEO of HIP HOP Inc., “Positive and supportive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve is essential in developing strong and safe communities. The PACT Community Fun Day is a great first step in encouraging positive relationships between communities and the institution of policing, not to mention, we are proud to be able to use the PACT Community Day as a way to support Destri Roye and her family. Dextri is a strong and intelligent young lady and we are confident that with great community support, she will beat cancer.”

For more ticket and sponsorship information, please visit www.hiphopinc.org. For information on vendor opportunities, please email rgodbolt@hiphopinc.org.

HIP HOP Inc. is a youth development program that operates youth development programs in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

For More Information Please Contact:

HIP HOP INC.

Ralph E. Godbolt, President and CEO

rgodbolt@hiphopinc.org

Cell:  4843568782

The Pottstown Police Department

On May 19 at approximately 9:40 pm the PPD responded to the Adult Book Store located on West High St. for a report of a robbery. The suspects were described as three black males wearing black clothing. One suspect fled north toward W. King St. the other two fled on foot toward Berks St. Anyone that may have information in regard to this robbery is asked to contact the Pottstown Detectives Division at 610.970.6574.

MCCC Phi Theta Kappa Chapters Earn National Accolades

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapters have achieved the distinction of Five Star Status this spring during the organization’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas on April 16-18.

Alpha Kappa Zeta, based at the Central Campus in Blue Bell, and Beta Tau Lambda, based at the West Campus in Pottstown, both earned the highest level of recognition by progressing through PTK’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.

As part of the plan, PTK chapter officers must develop and execute a business plan that optimizes the benefits and programs offered by their chapter while furthering the mission of Phi Theta Kappa nationally.  Incorporated into the program are basic chapter administration, regional activities, an international service program, an honors study topic, Hallmark Awards, international activities and a college project.

In addition to achieving Five Star Status, Beta Tau Lambda (Pottstown) was named a Middle States Region Gold Chapter for increasing student membership and engagement over the past year.

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society whose purpose is to recognize and encourage scholarship among students attending two-year colleges. To be eligible for membership, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or above and must have completed at least 12 credits.

MCCC’s PTK chapters operate through the College’s Office of Student Leadership and Involvement.

Teen Artists Compete For $10,000 Arts Scholarship

ArtFusion-color600POTTSTOWN, PA – On Saturday, May 16, one talented young artist will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Greater Pottstown Foundation. This is the fifth year for the scholarship event, a partnership between ArtFusion 19464 and the Foundation. The Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts is designed to financially assist a local high school senior in obtaining a degree from accredited academic institutions of higher learning for study in the arts. The applicant’s intended field of study can include a major or a minor in a visual arts-related field.

GPF Logo Final BWThe scholarship is awarded based on two criteria. The students must first write an essay on why they want to continue their education in the arts. Then the students create three pieces of art to be displayed at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship Art Exhibit at ArtFusion 19464. Also on display during the exhibit will be work from other students at the participating schools.

Students from Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Owen J. Roberts and the Hill School were eligible to apply. The 2015 applicants are Sarah Berkey, Tessa Bridges, Julianna Clark, Tyesha Lewis, Jennifer Miller, Ben Mizic, Alyssa Ott, Donna Oyella, Lexi Rodriguez, and Luke Steltz.

The show will run from May 16 through May 30 and can be seen any time during normal gallery hours: Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm. ArtFusion is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

TD Charitable Foundation Supports Montgomery County Community College’s G-STEM Program For Area Youth

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $10,000 to Montgomery County Community College in support of its G-STEM (Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer program. From left, Dominique Goss, VP, Community Relations Manager, TD Foundation; Geoffrey Brandon, SVP, Regional Vice President, TD Bank; Dr. Karen A. Stout, President of Montgomery County Community College; Dr. David DiMattio, MCCC’s Dean of STEM; and David Rink, TD Bank Store Manager, Whitpain Store.

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $10,000 to Montgomery County Community College in support of its G-STEM (Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer program. From left, Dominique Goss, VP, Community Relations Manager, TD Foundation; Geoffrey Brandon, SVP, Regional Vice President, TD Bank; Dr. Karen A. Stout, President of Montgomery County Community College; Dr. David DiMattio, MCCC’s Dean of STEM; and David Rink, TD Bank Store Manager, Whitpain Store.

Pottstown, Pa.—The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $10,000, as part of the foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community, to Montgomery County Community College in support of its G-STEM (Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer program.

MCCC launched the G-STEM program in 2011 as the result of an initial $10,000 grant received from the TD Charitable Foundation. Since its inception, approximately 70 middle school students have attended the science program taught at the MCCC’s West Campus in Pottstown. Because of the ongoing generous support of the TD Charitable Foundation, MCCC can offer this program again for the fifth consecutive year.

For 2015, the G-STEM program will be expanded to include 25 students in middle school through ninth grade from Norristown, as well as the Pottstown region at no cost to the participants. The program will be held at West Campus in Pottstown June 25, 26, 29, 30 and July 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday with a scientific presentation of work and award ceremony on the last day.

“Thanks to the TD Charitable Foundation’s ongoing, generous commitment, students will have the opportunity to learn the basic concepts of scientific methodology and data analysis through hands-on activities and will leave camp with a thorough understanding how the scientific process works, specifically as applied to environmental issues and stewardship,” said Dr. David DiMattio, MCCC’s Dean of STEM.

 Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

The program’s goals are to improve students’ understanding of science and the environment and to help prepare students for the academic rigor of their high school science curriculum. The program will help a diverse population of underserved students in the Pottstown and Norristown areas.

MCCC offers nationally recognized, competitive STEM transfer programs, in addition to career-track and certification programs. Students receive an affordable, high-caliber education that enables them to reach their goals, including seamless transfer into one of the College’s many partner institutions or entry into the workforce. For more information about the College’s STEM programs, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made more than $135.8 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.

 Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

A MATCH MADE IN…….POTTSTOWN!

#1In the fall of 2008 Ron Garza, chef-proprietor of Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine on High Street in Pottstown, was scouting locations to realize his dream of opening a fine dining restaurant.  Classical guitarist Russell Ferrara was, at that time, in the eighth year of disability from his lifelong music career. He was taking baby steps, post spinal surgery, to reactivate his performance activities.  He had just accepted an invitation join the music faculty of the soon to be opened Steel River Playhouse.

In early 2009 Ferrara began to notice construction activity at the northwest corner of High and Penn Streets just three doors down from Steel River Playhouse.  Spring brought signage which indicated that the storefront was becoming a Mexican restaurant. When work was nearly complete he walked in unannounced and began playing amidst the construction. Garza hired him on the spot and the two have remained close since.  Ferrara returned to Juan Carlos on Friday nights a few weeks ago after an eight-month absence during which he was on the road with his group Lackawanna Sky featuring Native American Flute player David Rose. Lackawanna Sky broke out at the April 2014 Launch Festival in Lancaster, PA where they were signed by Spirit Wind Records.  They subsequently toured in Georgia and Wisconsin, returning to PA to perform at the Kipona and Spirit of Oneness festivals in Harrisburg and in a continuing series of weekend performances in the Central Market of Lancaster. They are finishing up their first album and will return to Georgia in June.  Surprisingly, Ferrara credits much of this success to his tenure at Juan Carlos.

“I was introduced to the Native American flute at Juan Carlos,” Ferrara states. “On a quiet night I noticed a woman had lingered long past dessert. She approached me asking if I could wait ten minutes until she returned. She returned with a case full of flutes, chose one, announced the key and off we went!”  Within three weeks, the duo had made a demo and been accepted to perform at the 2010 International Native American Flute Association festival.”  That partnership did not work out long term but the recordings circulated and came to the attention of David Rose of Elizabethtown. Ferrara again: “David contacted me in June of 2013 as I was leaving for a tour with Candace Keach, Principal Flute of the Macon Symphony. Not long after I returned David and I gave our first ever performance at Juan Carlos.”

For his part, Garza was busy during Ferrara’s absence as well. Juan Carlos was nominated in two categories of the WPHL 17 ‘Hot List’ competition.  Garza brought home a win in the “Best Mexican” category as well as a second place in the “Best BYOB” category.  In addition, Garza collaborated with Steve Armstrong of Armstrong Ales in East Pikeland to create the first ever Mexican-style lager brewed in Pennsylvania.  Garza credits Ferrara with lending a hand in the first year the restaurant was open. “I guess we were a little green when we first opened.” Garza stated. “Russ introduced me to Anthony Bellapigna of sister restaurants Ariano and Fellini’s in Media, PA.  We met with him on a night that Russ was playing at Ariano.  Anthony helped me to streamline the menu.  He sent one of his best managers to Juan Carlos and made lots of great suggestions. Russ has been with me since the beginning.”

The two often talk about their goals and display a genuine regard for each other’s artistry. “I’m a foody,” Ferrara states. “My father owned restaurants and cooking is my hobby. I immediately noticed the passion and creativity that Ron displays in the kitchen.” Garza’s response to that was simply, “Yes, Russ and I are the same in that way.”

Juan Carlos, 235 E High St. Pottstown is open 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Catering is available anytime in the Wine Cellar.  Ferrara holds forth every Friday night.

Event Packed Weekend In Pottstown

Every now and then there are those weekends that are jam-packed with activities.  This warm and sunny weekend was just such a time.  If you live in the TriCounty Area here’s what went on.

Saturday and Sunday in Memorial Park a Native American Powwow took place.  There was music, dancing, food etc…  Nice write up in the Mercury about it with pictures:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150502/pottstown-jam-packed-with-saturday-full-of-fun

Saturday night was the first Nostalgia Night of the season on High Street, downtown Pottsown.  The first Saturday of May, June, July, August and September you can find hundreds of classic cars downtown along with music and food.  To learn more about Nostagia Nights, click here:

http://www.pottstownclassics.com/

This weekend was the opening weekend for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at the Steel River Playhouse in downtown Pottstown.  The show continues next weekend.  Click here for details and to buy tickets: http://www.steelriver.org/current-season/4438-2/

Today, Sly Fox Brewing Company held their annual Bock Fest and Goat Races in Pottstown at the site of their brewery on the Circle of Progress.  Thousands of people attended.  The event featured live music, food, beer and goat races.  Here are some pictures from this afternoon:

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Karen A. Stout Honored Nationally For Commitment to Phi Theta Kappa‏

Dr. Stout head shot 11.11.14San Antonio, Texas— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) President Dr. Karen A. Stout was presented with Phi Theta Kappa’s 2015 Shirley B. Gordon Award on April 16 during the organization’s 97th annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The award is given annually to college presidents and campus CEOs for their outstanding efforts to promote the goals of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society for students of two-year colleges. Dr. Stout is one of 23 college leaders to receive the 2015 award.

At MCCC, student participation in Phi Theta Kappa has grown significantly during Dr. Stout’s tenure as president. Under her leadership, a second PTK chapter—Beta Tau Lambda—was added in 2005 at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown, complimenting the longstanding Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter at the Central Campus in Blue Bell. Both chapters consistently achieve the distinction of Five Star Status—the highest level of national recognition possible—for progressing through PTK’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.

Recently, in recognition of the impact PTK membership has on student success and completion, Dr. Stout generously pledged $30,000 to establish a Phi Theta Kappa Annual Challenge Fund through MCCC’s Foundation.

“Phi Theta Kappa members in Pennsylvania have an overall success rate of 92 percent; yet, only 14 percent of PTK-eligible students join the organization. The cost of membership is a clear barrier,” said Stout.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund at MCCC supports qualified students by defraying half the cost of a PTK membership, which is currently $60, while challenging students to match the remaining cost.

Dr. Stout will begin her tenure as president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc. on July 1, 2015. There, she will bring her passion for student access and success to more than 200 community colleges and nearly four million students in 35 states.

The Shirley B. Gordon Award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair and president emeritus of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984. To learn more, visit http://www.ptk.org.

Wells Fargo Provides $20,000 Grant To Assist Students In Montgomery County Community College’s Mentoring Program

Photo: Wells Fargo recently presented a $20,000 grant to Montgomery County Community College to provide scholarships for students participating in the College’s Minority Student Mentoring Initiative. Back row, from left:  Student Zachary Collier, Philadelphia; Tara A. Brady, Wells Fargo Assistant Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager; student Fernando Garcia, Pottstown; Edward Brown, MCCC Academic Advisor; and Dr. Steady Moono, Vice President of West Campus in Pottstown. Front row, from left: Dr. Karen A. Stout, College President; student Jacori McEachnie, Eagleville; student Diahann McIntyre, Norristown; Anthony Rosado, Wells Fargo Area President for Montgomery County; student Clifton Ford, Pottstown; and Wilson Gonzalez, Souderton. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Photo: Wells Fargo recently presented a $20,000 grant to Montgomery County Community College to provide scholarships for students participating in the College’s Minority Student Mentoring Initiative. Back row, from left: Student Zachary Collier, Philadelphia; Tara A. Brady, Wells Fargo Assistant Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager; student Fernando Garcia, Pottstown; Edward Brown, MCCC Academic Advisor; and Dr. Steady Moono, Vice President of West Campus in Pottstown. Front row, from left: Dr. Karen A. Stout, College President; student Jacori McEachnie, Eagleville; student Diahann McIntyre, Norristown; Anthony Rosado, Wells Fargo Area President for Montgomery County; student Clifton Ford, Pottstown; and Wilson Gonzalez, Souderton. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa. –Wells Fargo recently presented a $20,000 grant to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) to provide financial assistance for students participating in the College’s Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI) to enable them to complete their programs of study and graduate.

Wells Fargo’s generous grant will provide scholarships to 10 students who participate in the MSMI program, have a proven financial need and are committed to graduate. In 2014, MCCC received the national Leah Meyer Austin Award by Achieving the Dream for its outstanding work in supporting student success, including improving the persistence rates for minority students through MSMI.

“In keeping with our mission, this grant will help to ensure the completion and success for some of our most at-risk students, who face numerous challenges because of their circumstances and other factors,” said College President Dr. Karen A. Stout. “We greatly appreciate the longstanding community partnership with Wells Fargo.”

“Wells Fargo believes everyone should have access to quality educational opportunities,” said Anthony Rosado, Wells Fargo’s area president for Montgomery County.  “We are pleased to provide the support that helps these students achieve their educational goals.”

In 2009, MCCC first launched its Minority Male Mentoring Program to close the nationally documented achievement gap for African-American male students. The program connects participating students with caring mentors for guidance and support while providing opportunities for civic engagement, academic advisement, personal development and leadership development. Between 2009 and 2013, participants showed a term-to-term persistence rate of close to 80 percent—significantly higher than the 63 percent for non-participants.

In 2013, the initiative was expanded to include African-American and Latina female students and was renamed the Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI). Currently, MSMI provides one-one-one mentoring and access to wrap-around support services to more than 150 minority students enrolled at MCCC.

One participant, Jacori McEachnie, 18, Eagleville, says the program has opened new doors for him.

“The program is very helpful, especially meeting with my mentors and the tutoring,” said McEachnie, a Liberal Studies major. “Now, I am a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and I was just accepted into Bucknell’s Summer [2015 Residency] program.”

For the summer program, selected students enroll in two courses at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. Participating students then have the opportunity to apply to Bucknell in 2016, and if accepted, they will transfer to the university with junior status on full-tuition scholarships.

Additionally, MSMI assists students who are enrolled in MCCC’s Gateway to College program, which serves high school students who have dropped out of school or who are not track to graduate. Gateway students enroll in courses designed to help them achieve their high school diplomas while receiving college credits. Currently, 17 school districts and the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board partner with MCCC and refer students for the program. MCCC is one of only 42 colleges in the country and only the second college in Pennsylvania selected to participate in the Gateway to College National Network.