March 15, 2014 |
Twenty-one percent of Pennsylvania's adults smoke cigarettes. And if Michael Wolf has his way, none should be able to light up if they live in apartment or condominium complexes. Wolf, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, delivered that message to landlords at the beginning of the year. It was more of an encouragement than a mandate. But it appears to have resonated as housing sites across the state have either banned or restricted smoking. Forty-five of Pennsylvania's 67 counties now have at least one multiunit housing site that is smoke-free, said Judy Ochs, director of the state Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control.
March 13, 2014 |
Gov. Corbett has drawn a challenge from the right in Pennsylvania's Republican primary, and six Democrats have filed to run for their party's nomination for governor. Bob Guzzardi of Ardmore, a conservative activist and businessman, accuses the governor of breaking his no-new-taxes pledge because the recently passed transportation bill raised fees on oil companies, a cost that could be passed on to motorists. U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord of Montgomery County qualified for the Democratic primary for governor, as did York businessman Tom Wolf, former state Auditor General Jack Wagner of Allegheny County, and two former state environmental secretaries, Katie McGinty of Chester County and John Hanger of Dauphin.
March 8, 2014 |
February's ice and snow storms cost taxpayers in Chester County about $7 million, much of it for salt, plowing, and overtime for emergency personnel. In Montgomery County, the bill was about $8 million. Millions more were spent in Bucks and Delaware Counties. But despite suffering one of the worst stretches of weather in its history - not to mention a mammoth number of power outages - the Philadelphia region will receive zero dollars in federal aid. That's because the weather failed to wreak enough havoc across the state.
March 7, 2014
If any members of our fractious species could get along, you might expect it to be those who make it their life's work to feed the hungry. And yet the Philadelphia region's food charities find themselves figuratively throwing food at each other. Fortunately, being practiced altruists, they ought to be able to find a way to put aside pride and parochialism for the sake of the needy. The local antihunger giant Philabundance is at the center of the controversy. With a budget of nearly $50 million and a staff of more than 100, Philabundance takes food from supermarkets, food makers, and other large donors and discounters and distributes it to nearly 500 area food pantries serving the needy.
March 3, 2014 |
The winter storms so far have cost Northampton Township taxpayers $600,000 - double what the town had budgeted and enough of an economic toll to delay plans to repave some roads. So the Bucks County community calculated what it could get if the federal government decides to help. The answer: $20,000, at most. "I'll never turn the money down," Township Manager Robert Pellegrino said. "But it's not going to matter in the grand scheme of things. " Unlike devastating floods or hurricanes, federal aid for winter-related storms - no matter how disruptive - is often far less generous.
March 1, 2014 |
Chester County Court Senior Judge Thomas G. Gavin will preside over the trial of former Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kerns. No trial date has been set. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille signed off last Friday on Gavin's assignment and gave him "the same power and authority as the judges of the requesting district," the order said. It came after Montgomery County Court President Judge William J. Furber Jr. advised the Supreme Court of a "full-bench recusal," according to a state document.
February 25, 2014 |
Straddling the western border of Chester County where the imposing mansions of the Philadelphia exurbs surrender to rolling hillsides and lush green horse farms, the Octorara Area School District is situated in one of the region's most pastoral settings. It also has been a battleground, where property owners have learned that open space can come with a price. With thousands of acres designated as "farmland," off-limits to taxation, the district has some of the highest property tax rates in the region.
February 15, 2014 |
Around noon Thursday, during a lull in the storm predicted to dump a foot or more of snow outside his door, Jeffrey Sklute took a break and sized up the situation. Many of the 20 or so workers at his Yardley Flower Co. feverishly cut and arranged roses while others answered ringing phones. His delivery vans, however, were idle. "Everything is kind of working against us, but we're doing the best we can," said Sklute, a florist for decades in lower Bucks County. "We'll probably be here till midnight.
February 13, 2014 |
In Delaware County, some townships are waiting for road-salt deliveries that were supposed to arrive weeks ago. Officials in Northampton, Bucks County, paid a trucking company to bring in salt from a neighboring town rather than risk a late delivery. And in Chester County, where 12 municipalities face a critical salt shortage, the deputy director for emergency management, Robert Kagel, said the state Department of Transportation told him to "be creative. " After back-to-back snowfalls and a catastrophic ice storm that froze roads, downed power lines, and paralyzed the region last week, officials and residents are facing new challenges as they brace for another fierce storm that is expected to start just before midnight Wednesday.
February 12, 2014 |
Update 9:30 a.m. Tuesday : Peco reports 1,800 customers still without power, half in Chester County. Earlier Story About 99 percent. After days of round-the-clock work, that was how close repair crews had come late Monday to restoring all 715,000 Peco customers who lost power during or after last week's storm. That still meant more than 5,600 customers were waiting for the lights to come on for the first time in many days. "We know it's tough for our customers, but this is a version of Hurricane Sandy," Peco spokesman Ben Armstrong said, warning that some people might endure another day in the dark.