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Norristown State Hospital

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NEWS
June 20, 1999 | By Sudarsan Raghavan, and Marc Schogol, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
It began with a former employee shooting his way into a Norristown State Hospital administration building. It ended, almost exactly two days later, with him cowering amid the bodies of the two female nursing supervisors whom police said he had just shot. When it was over, one of the women was dead, the other was wounded, Denis P. Czajkowski, 40, of Collegeville, was facing murder charges, and authorities were facing questions about what they did and did not do during last week's 46-hour hostage standoff.
NEWS
February 26, 1987 | By Amy Linn, Inquirer Staff Writer
Norristown State Hospital, which failed a federal inspection last fall because it was understaffed, has passed a second inspection and is now fully in compliance with federal standards, a state Department of Public Welfare official said yesterday. "We have hired about 25 additional nursing staff, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and psychiatric aides," said Matt Jones, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Welfare. Jones said the hospital was continuing to "recruit staff in all three areas" so that it would have nursing staff in reserve.
NEWS
November 4, 1986 | By Donna Shaw, Inquirer Staff Writer
Francis Hanley calls it the Green Hamburger Story. And his version of it - which is challenged by the administration at Norristown State Hospital, where it supposedly took place - goes like this: In 1985, a Fourth of July picnic was to be held for the mental patients in Building 9 at the hospital. Hamburger meat was sent over from the institution's kitchen for the event. But when it arrived, nurses and aides reported, the meat appeared green and spoiled. They called the office of Dorothy M. Cleaver, superintendent of the hospital, to complain.
NEWS
March 11, 1988 | By Mack Reed, Special to The Inquirer
Sylvia Seegrist went to jail for life yesterday after psychiatrists ruled they could do nothing more to treat her mental illness. Seegrist, 27, was transferred from Norristown State Hospital to the State Correctional Institution at Muncy in Lycoming County to begin serving three consecutive life sentences for her 1985 shooting spree at the Springfield Mall, said prison spokeswoman Anne Forgacs. State law says Seegrist will not be eligible for parole unless the governor commutes her sentence.
NEWS
September 27, 1998 | By Joseph S. Kennedy, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
When the State Hospital for the Insane of the Southeastern District of Pennsylvania, now known as Norristown State Hospital, opened its doors in 1880, both its physical plant and its treatment program were on the cutting edge of mental health in this country. Previously, the indigent mentally ill of seven Southeastern Pennsylvania counties had been warehoused in the various county almshouses. There, many lived in squalor and neglect. Information in the library of the Historical Society of Montgomery County reveals that in 1876, an act of the General Assembly directed that the governor appoint a commission to select a site and build a hospital for the insane in the region.
NEWS
January 27, 2011 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The former president of a union representing workers at Norristown State Hospital has been charged with stealing more than $22,000 of its funds. Montgomery County prosecutors say Thomas Lee Wicker, who headed American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2348, withdrew thousands of dollars from the union's account through ATMs and checks made out to local vendors for food, gas, and other expenses he claimed were incurred on union...
NEWS
August 13, 2003 | By Jeff Shields INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Vacant buildings at Norristown State Hospital could be reclaimed to treat the wounded in the event of a terrorism attack, state and county officials said yesterday. Joseph DiMino, director of the Montgomery County Health Department, wants to refurbish an unused medical building at the hospital to absorb a potential surge in casualties caused by bioterrorism or other attack. He has yet to persuade anyone to pay for the estimated $1 million that the work would require. Norristown's proximity to transportation hubs would make it a perfect site to treat less-serious injuries, DiMino said.
NEWS
May 15, 2002 | By Gaiutra Bahadur INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
He had been physically attacked twice, he said. His phone rang with threatening phone calls for two years. And someone had even pulled the vehicle identification number off his car. Denis Czajkowski, the ex-Norristown State Hospital nurse who killed one former supervisor and wounded another during a two-day hostage standoff in June 1999, yesterday took the stand to describe a conspiracy against him that he said made him fear for his life....
NEWS
January 28, 2000 | By Jason Wermers, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A cabdriver whose taxi police said was stolen by a man who walked away from an unlocked ward at Norristown State Hospital earlier this month testified yesterday that he was dragged for several feet as he tried to stop the carjacking. Antonio Ruiz testified at a preliminary hearing that Brian Kerrick, 19, moved from the back seat to the driver seat after Ruiz stopped at a pizza shop to ask directions to the state hospital. Kerrick, who had been missing from the hospital since Dec. 31, had hailed Ruiz at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia for a ride back at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 10. Following the district court hearing, Kerrick was held for trial in Montgomery County Court on charges of robbery of a motor vehicle, theft and unauthorized use of an automobile.
NEWS
February 3, 1998 | By Christian Davenport, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The consolidation has begun. About five months before Haverford State Hospital is scheduled to close, the first of its patients are scheduled to be transferred to Norristown State Hospital today, according to the state Department of Public Welfare. Two Haverford State patients will be transferred to Norristown today, said Jay Pagni, a department spokesman. Two more will move there tomorrow and another two on Thursday, he said. Pagni said the state was planning to transfer six Haverford State Hospital patients to Norristown State each week for the next four weeks.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 19, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Police in Pottstown, Lower Salford, and elsewhere are searching for a patient who escaped Thursday morning from the grounds of Norristown State Hospital. Jessie Martinez, 24, was reported missing just before noon and slipped away before police had secured a perimeter, said West Norriton Township Deputy Chief Mike Kelly. Martinez is about 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes, Kelly said. He may be wearing green pants or a green shirt. He had been involuntarily committed to the mental hospital by his mother and "does have some tendencies toward violence," Kelly said.
NEWS
April 3, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
For 27 years, Nancy Yoder has lived yards from the spot where a deranged neighbor murdered her brother. She has seen the man's relatives almost daily, at first uncomfortable with the closeness, then angered by their lack of apology, then accepting - even though the killer was never held accountable. On Tuesday, she came within feet of that man, Stefan Szczesniuk, in Chester County Court and heard the word she had been waiting on for decades: Guilty. After hearing it, Yoder said, "I felt more pity than anything.
NEWS
August 9, 2012 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Since March 13, when a Philadelphia judge ordered Leo Bullman transferred from a locked criminal psychiatric unit at Norristown State Hospital to a less-restrictive civil-commitment ward, state officials have insisted they have had no beds available. On Wednesday - facing a contempt-of-court hearing with Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons promising a $1,000-a-day fine for every day Bullman, 68, remained at Norristown's Building 51 - a civil-side bed materialized. "Leo has been moved," said Luna Pattela, a lawyer with the mental health unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, which has represented Bullman in a pending assault charge from a neighborhood dispute.
NEWS
May 25, 2012 | By Bonnie L. Cook and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Waving small plastic shovels, a crowd of 100 well-wishers broke symbolic ground Thursday on a new performing arts center for Norristown that officials hope will help bring cultural revival and economic prosperity back to the beleaguered Montgomery County seat. I'm so thrilled," said Erin Reilly, cofounder of Theatre Horizon, Norristown's professional drama company. "Today is the day when dreams come true. It's an auspicious beginning. " While the renovation to the first floor of the former Bell Telephone Building will provide permanent digs for the drama company for the first time, a lot more is riding on the $1 million project.
NEWS
May 24, 2012 | Monica Yant Kinney
On a March morning in 2009, Tyree Bush fired a 9mm weapon at a man heading to a corner store in Overbrook to buy Pampers. The timid teenager was a lousy shot, striking the victim in the hand. Bush, a gentle loner with an IQ of 52, had no clue what he was doing except following orders from a menacing neighborhood drug dealer. For the next three years, state and local officials found themselves equally perplexed about how to punish, and release, an unlikely felon at a time of dwindling resources for the intellectually disabled.
NEWS
December 27, 2011
Montgomery County prosecutors are seeking the return to prison of an Upper Merion man hospitalized for mental-health treatment after his arrest in the stabbing deaths of his parents and twin brother in March. Joseph McAndrew Jr., 24, is charged with first- and third-degree murder and related offenses in the March 5 slayings of Joseph McAndrew, 70; Susan McAndrew, 64; and James McAndrew, 23, in Upper Merion Township. Assistant District Attorney Tracey Potere filed a petition Friday seeking to have McAndrew transferred from Norristown State Hospital to the county prison.
NEWS
October 23, 2011 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Natalie Moe-Paul had just arrived for the overnight shift at Norristown State Hospital when her cellphone rang. On the line was Niche Knight, a coworker. Knight was struggling to fix a flat tire outside the campus gates. Moe-Paul was happy to help. She adored Knight, a hardworking single mother of seven whose wit and calm demeanor lightened their late-night shifts. Moe-Paul circled back out the entrance and saw Knight standing at the trunk of her Kia sedan, its hazard lights blinking, on the road's edge.
NEWS
January 27, 2011 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The former president of a union representing workers at Norristown State Hospital has been charged with stealing more than $22,000 of its funds. Montgomery County prosecutors say Thomas Lee Wicker, who headed American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2348, withdrew thousands of dollars from the union's account through ATMs and checks made out to local vendors for food, gas, and other expenses he claimed were incurred on union...
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