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Berks County

NEWS
December 28, 2010 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
State Sen. Michael A. O'Pake, 70, of Reading, Democratic whip of the Senate and the longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania legislature, died Monday of complications following heart-bypass surgery at Reading Hospital and Medical Center. Sen. O'Pake served as the first chairman of the Aging and Youth Committee, and helped draft the state's Child Protective Services legislation, which helps victims of abuse. He was a leading supporter of the state's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
NEWS
November 25, 2010 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Bronze Star recipient from Berks County, Pa., who was engaged to be married was killed Monday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, the Army announced Wednesday. Staff Sgt. Sean Michael Flannery, 29, of Wyomissing, was killed by an improvised explosive device in the village of Ghotamudkha in Kandahar province, a Taliban hotbed. Also killed in the incident was Spec. William Kyle Middleton, 26, of Norfolk, Va. Flannery, who was engaged to Christina E. Martin of Raleigh, N.C., was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky. He also had served in Iraq.
NEWS
October 7, 2010 | By Joelle Farrell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Democratic congressional candidate Manan Trivedi is banking on an unusual strategy to win in a district that narrowly favored a Republican congressman in the last four elections. The Reading physician aims to pull votes from what he considers an untapped Democratic well in Berks County, a section of the sprawling Sixth Congressional District that has chosen Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach by growing margins. Trivedi, who grew up in Fleetwood and lives in Birdsboro, Berks County, hopes his hometown appeal will tilt votes his way. "I think being from Berks County makes a big difference," he said.
NEWS
August 28, 2010
SINKING SPRING, Pa. - An elderly man and his wife have been found dead in a Berks County home where an SUV was left idling in the garage. A relative found the bodies of John and Jane Schlott inside their home around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Police say they appear to have died late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide inside the home. Investigators say the SUV eventually ran out of gas. Authorities say that the man and the woman were found in separate bedrooms and that they did not know if the vehicle had been left running intentionally.
NEWS
August 4, 2010
Jay S. Sidhu's New Century Bank, blocked recently by a federal judge from using the name Customers 1st Bank because it was already being used by Broomall's Alliance Bank on checking accounts, is renaming itself Customers USA Bank instead, the Phoenixville company said. The bank has seven offices in Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties and this month plans to open branches in Wyomissing, Berks County, and in Yardley. Wyomissing was home base for Sovereign Bank, which Sidhu led until he was ousted in 2006.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2010 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Beware the day the water heater dies and disgorges a pool of hot, steaming liquid on the floor. Showers go cold. Spouses and children become grumpy. Chaos ensues. So Hank Leipert and his colleagues at Performance Metals Inc. in Berks County invented and patented a device they say can indefinitely prolong the life of a water heater, sparing the environment, saving money, and preserving domestic tranquillity. Who wouldn't want such a useful device? Most water-heater manufacturers, it seems.
NEWS
June 3, 2010 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
No more than 50 semifinalists will advance after today's second and third rounds of testing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the nation's capital. Yesterday, all 273 contenders - including one apiece from Philadelphia, Camden, Lancaster, Bethlehem and Margate, as well as Montgomery, Delaware, Chester and Berks Counties - used computers to take a 50-word test. Today, the students - ranging from age 8 to eighth grade - will spell onstage in two rounds, the first under way this morning, the second televised on ESPN3 starting about 1:15.
NEWS
May 14, 2010 | By Bonnie L. Cook INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
She was known to children as Miss Wendy and to parents as "the smile behind the wheel" who drove their little ones to and from Ringing Rocks Elementary School in Lower Pottsgrove Township. But unbeknownst to everyone, Wendy Pethtel, 59, was "an accident waiting to happen," Montgomery County Coroner Walter I. Hofman said. On Wednesday, it did. Pethtel was driving her Pontiac Vibe east on West High Street in Pottstown when she veered into the oncoming lane, striking a Chevrolet Malibu driven by Richard Decker, 77, of Douglassville, Berks County.
NEWS
May 14, 2010 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
She was known to children as Miss Wendy and to parents as "the smile behind the wheel" who drove their little ones to and from Ringing Rocks Elementary School in Lower Pottsgrove Township. But unbeknownst to everyone, Wendy Pethtel, 59, was "an accident waiting to happen," Montgomery County Coroner Walter I. Hofman said. On Wednesday, it did. Pethtel was driving her Pontiac Vibe east on West High Street in Pottstown when she veered into the oncoming lane, striking a Chevrolet Malibu driven by Richard Decker, 77, of Douglassville, Berks County.
NEWS
December 11, 2009 | By Thomas Fitzgerald INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It looks increasingly as if Democrats have a dogfight on their hands in suburban Philadelphia's Sixth Congressional District. Rep. Chris Carney (D., Pa.) announced yesterday that he was endorsing Manan Trivedi, a Reading doctor and veteran of the current Iraq war, in the primary. Carney is the first member of the state's congressional delegation to back Trivedi. Carney praised Trivedi's "admirable dedication to service. " Former Inquirer editorial writer Doug Pike declared his candidacy in April, hoping to cinch the nomination with personal wealth and a pile of endorsements.
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