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Norristown

NEWS
October 11, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Norristown council president has resigned after admitting that she had been living outside of her council district since summer. In an email Thursday evening to the council and staff, Linda Christian said she had struggled with unemployment until recently, and had lost her home of 21 years to foreclosure. She said she was still living in the municipality and had a "promising" lead on a new residence within the district. The resignation, she wrote, was necessary "to prevent hateful, gossipy people from telling my story their way. " Over the last week, two community activists began questioning Christian about her residence, and shared the information with council members and reporters.
NEWS
October 10, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
After years of haggling to try to cut their losses on a failed redevelopment project, Montgomery County and Norristown officials believe they have extracted the best deal they can out of the bankrupt developer. They lent the project more than $25 million. They'll get back $800,000. It's a far cry from the optimism and fanfare of 2007, when developer Charles Gallub proposed a movie studio and shopping center to revive Logan Square and spark new investment in the long-struggling municipality.
NEWS
September 14, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
On Norristown's Main Street, where development is patchy and restaurants have opened and closed at warp speed, some are questioning the municipality's decision to subsidize another eatery. In February, the council approved a $160,000 grant to renovate the first floor of 9 W. Main St. into a sit-down soul food restaurant. The space formerly housed a cafe called Maddy's. The restaurant, Diva's Kitchen, had been operating a more takeout-oriented business on West Johnson Highway. In July, the council increased the grant to $250,000 and reduced the scope of work.
NEWS
September 6, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the first time in two years, residents and businesses along Markley Street in Norristown don't have to dodge trucks, barricades, and yellow cones. On Friday, the state Department of Transportation unveiled the completed $20.8 million reconstruction project with new center turn lanes, traffic signals, sidewalks, street parking, and landscaping on the one-mile stretch between Elm Street and Johnson Highway. The project was completed a year ahead of schedule. But for area businesses already operating on the margins, the end couldn't come soon enough.
NEWS
August 25, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Diana Aubourg Millner, 40, of Norristown, who worked on behalf of children here and overseas, died Wednesday, Aug. 12, of complications from breast cancer at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Born in Cambridge, Mass., she was a child of Haitian immigrants to America. She graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 1993 and from Syracuse University in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in policy studies. She earned a master's degree in international development planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
REAL_ESTATE
July 26, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. There is more than a hint of change in Norristown's real estate market. It can be very subtle, like a sprinkle of cinnamon on a cappuccino at Jus' Java on Main Street. It can be loud, like the arrival of the 7:27 a.m. Manayunk-Norristown train, or construction on the Lafayette Street corridor that will, by 2020, finally link the community with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Norristown, the borough urges, is "Where You Belong," and developers and real estate agents say it is committed to making that happen after decades of neglect and false starts.
REAL_ESTATE
July 20, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Three years after the fact, Sarah Peck still expresses some surprise that Arbor Heights, her first venture into the long-neglected Norristown real estate market, was as successful as it turned out. Built in 2011-12, the 12 townhouses at DeKalb and Elm Streets - a block shy of an area once known as Millionaires Row and a few blocks from the Montgomery County Courthouse - sold about as fast as they were completed, she said. In a real estate market where average prices often struggle to get above $120,000, Arbor Heights' townhouses easily averaged $135,000, and the one resale since was $20,000 higher than that, she said.
NEWS
July 6, 2015 | By Scott Sturgis, For The Inquirer
When Kristen Breslin faces an obstacle, she turns it into an opportunity - not the easy way out. Midway through the Great Recession, she could feel the end of the road for her job at an auto-parts store looming, and decided it was time to build a new skill set and move on. "I was like, 'You know what? No one is ever going to pay me to punch buttons on a computer,' " the Norristown woman recounted in her a matter-of-fact way. She'd been part of what many consider "a man's world" working at the parts counter; it took her some time to build rapport with her mechanic and gearhead customers.
NEWS
July 6, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan and Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writers
Philadelphia police have arrested a man in Monday's slaying of an elderly woman from East Mount Airy, officials announced Saturday. In a news conference at police headquarters, Capt. James Clark, commanding officer of the homicide unit, identified the suspect as Leroy Wilson, 37, who was arrested early Saturday morning in Norristown. Clark said Wilson lived at the homes of girlfriends in Norristown and North Philadelphia. Regina Brunner Holmes, 85, was found Monday in her East Mount Airy home, beaten, stabbed, and with her throat slashed.
NEWS
July 4, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
As the congregation of Ebenezer Methodist Church cheered through a rousing 175th anniversary sermon Sunday, members of an even older church a half-mile away were bowing their heads in prayer for the last time. St. John's Episcopal Church, Norristown's oldest place of worship, dating to 1812, marked its final service Sunday. Unlike many Montgomery County towns whose identities are entwined with their founding denominations - Quaker in Lower Merion, Mennonite in Harleysville, Swedenborgian in Bryn Athyn - Norristown's identity is rooted in ethnic and religious diversity.
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