After D.G. Yuengling and Son became the biggest American-owned brewery, the Pottsville company celebrated last year with a “Here’s to you, Philly,” promotion during which it offered a free serving of its signature lager to bar patrons around Philadelphia.
The company said beer drinkers in the City of Brotherly Love helped revive the popularity of its historic brand, which has become one of the fastest-growing brews in the country.
So it seems fitting that the company’s fifth-generation owner, Dick Yuengling, said he was “the happiest guy in the beer business” until he found out the city he chose to celebrate his company’s success with has slapped the brewery with a lawsuit seeking more than $6 million.
The lawsuit stems from a disagreement between the city and Yuengling about whether the company has to pay Philadelphia’s business income and receipts tax, which is assessed on companies doing business in the city.
View of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Following a one-hour, closed-door meeting Thursday night, members of Pottsville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 44 and the city council have come up with a few concepts that might save jobs, according to FOP President Brian Kotzmoyer.
“It was a very positive meeting,” Kotzmoyer said.
“Both sides realized we’re doing our best to try to avoid layoffs. The officers put forth some ideas about cost-savings initiatives and some things they can do to generate more revenue on our end,” said Councilman Mark Atkinson, who chairs the council’s public safety committee.
When asked for his thoughts after the meeting, Councilman Michael P. Halcovage, who chairs the finance committee, said: “We’re just throwing around ideas. I can’t give you any specifics.”
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was on his way to the coal region to scout ideas for a film about working-class America, all hell was breaking loose in Shenandoah.
David Turnley remembered the call he received en route from New York City to Schuylkill County.
“As I was heading to the coal region, a friend of mine called and said, ‘You should go to Shenandoah, Pa., where four of the town’s star sons, all straight-A students and football players, have been charged with killing an undocumented Mexican immigrant,” Turnley recalled. “I thought, ‘Well, I guess I should go to Shenandoah.’ ”
He stayed two years, filming, shooting photographs and documenting the events surrounding the beating death of Luis Eduardo Ramirez Zavala.
Berks County is in the cross hairs of grocery retailer Wegmans, but somehow the ninth-largest county in Pennsylvania has never been the target.
Now Berks falls between a new distribution hub in Schuylkill County and some of its stores.
This spring, the Rochester, N.Y., upscale grocer opened the $70 million warehouse in Cass and Foster townships, Wegmans’ third and largest warehouse in Schuylkill.
The company said in May that the move completes a distribution hub for fresh and frozen foods. More than 200 new employees were hired to staff it. The distribution hub was subsidized with state incentives of $731,650 in opportunity zone and job training money and job creation tax credits.
The news comes in the wake of a mass firing of eight top Reading administrators last week and the resignation of a ninth. According to an interoffice memo, Diekow was named the point person for business office issues after the firings.
Tamaqua, PA Borough Council decided it did not want to raise taxes to offset a $200,000 deficit in the 2012 budget. (Imagine that idea Pottstown Borough Council)
And so, the cuts began.
Council eliminated random drug tests for borough police officers, dropped the DARE anti-drug program in schools for a year, laid off a police officer and deciding not to fill a vacancy in the streets department.
Council also hopes selling what one official called an underutilized community center will help balance the budget.
D.G. Yuengling and Son, which proudly bills itself as America’s oldest brewery, has something new to brag about.
The Pottsville company, whose sales surged last year when it entered Ohio, has become the largest American beer-maker by surpassing Boston Beer in 2011 sales.
That’s right. A beer launched by a German immigrant in 1829 to quench the thirst of Pennsylvania coal miners can claim a distinction once held by Anheuser-Busch, maker of the iconic Budweiser brand, which got gobbled up by a Belgian company a few years ago.
It’s a surprising story about how an underdog prevailed while much larger American brewers fell under foreign ownership. Even beer market experts could not have foreseen such rapid changes.
Minersville Borough, Schuylkill County, has had 9 fires since April 24, 2010. The latest fires occurred one week ago. The arsonist struck once, the fire was extinguished. Two hours later, another home was set on fire a block away.
Residents are deeply concerned and even fearful. They are being encouraged to keep lights on and their eyes open. A crimewatch is hopefully being started and police are stepping up overnight patrols. A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers, toll-free, at 1-877-TIPS4SC. Individuals with information can also contact Minersville police directly at 570-544-6212. All information received will remain confidential.