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NEWS
October 9, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
NORRISTOWN After eight months of review, Montgomery County staff will deliver a recommendation Tuesday on whether to privatize the Parkhouse senior living complex in Upper Providence Township. The county in February began studying a potential sale or lease of the facility, which serves about 500 elderly and infirm residents and employs 700 people. The effort is part of a plan to pare the county's responsibilities, and includes selling buildings and letting boroughs and townships take control of bridges.
REAL_ESTATE
October 7, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Developer Ken Weinstein has a knack for finding opportunities in places where others see none. Upper Darby and Norristown, to name two suburban locations, as well as city neighborhoods. In 2009, Philadelphia-based Weinstein and business partner Stan Smith paid $1.1 million for the 84,000-square-foot former Verizon Corp. building across from the Upper Darby Township building. They rehabbed it for offices as 7200 Chestnut. In Norristown, Weinstein's firm, PhillyOfficeRetail, is completing work at 317 Swede St., across from the Montgomery County Courthouse, and commercial space at 401 DeKalb St., in the county seat's reemerging business district.
NEWS
September 20, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
After enduring layoffs, consolidations, and a debt-rating downgrade in recent years, Montgomery County officials are again bracing for more belt-tightening. As they prepare to draft their 2014 budget, county officials last week said they had identified at least $3.2 million in new expenses related to health care, the federal sequester, and redevelopment deals gone bad. The number seems small compared with the $59 million in budget cuts during the last two years. But with an eye toward those extra costs, the county has implemented a "strict scrutiny" hiring system, requiring the approval of the chief finance officer and chief operating officer to fill any vacant positions.
NEWS
September 3, 2013 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Born in Italy in 1926, Elvira Raieta worked on a farm until 1971, then set sail for opportunity in America. She and her husband used their savings to buy a house in a thriving Italian-immigrant neighborhood in Norristown. Today, she is the sole Italian on her mostly African American street. The non-Hispanic white population of the borough that is the Montgomery County seat has dropped 18 percent since 2000, according to the U.S. Census, and had been falling for decades.
NEWS
August 10, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kenneth F. Ostrowski, 54, of Swedesburg, Montgomery County, a floral designer, died Sunday, Aug. 4, of kidney cancer at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. A large man with an irrepressible spirit, he worked until two years ago as a salesman for Zieger & Sons Inc., a wholesale florist in Philadelphia, said his sister Lori Roscoe. He stopped for health reasons but continued informally, helping friends with decorative projects. Before Ziegler, he worked for Plaza Flowers in Norristown.
NEWS
August 8, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Four homes were heavily damaged, three families displaced, and at least five firefighters injured Tuesday afternoon in a blaze in a Norristown rowhouse neighborhood, officials said. Two other homes suffered minor damage in the fire that broke out shortly before 3 p.m. at a home in the 1000 block of Willow Street, where a work crew was repairing a roof, and spread quickly. The conditions of the firefighters were not known. Eleven fire companies responded to the scene, which became a neighborhood drama as people poured out of their houses to watch from their front steps and lawn chairs.
NEWS
August 8, 2013 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Maybe we have been entirely wrong about Harrisburg. OK, not entirely , but somewhat. Perhaps Gov. Corbett and the GOP-dominated, city-bashing, poverty-neglecting legislature is actually a gift. Well, not a gift , but a galvanizing force for progressives, reformers, civil libertarians, and change agents who are sick and tired of Harrisburg's disdain for the sick and tired, huddled masses, children, women, gays, and basically everyone who doesn't look like the legislators, write checks to them, or own a sizable fracking concern.
BUSINESS
July 23, 2013
New Life Child & Family Development Center , 2633 Hillcrest Ave., Norristown; Chapter 7; no schedules available. Maine Management , also known as Trustee Charmaine Prater-McCullum , also known as Trustee Charmaine Fernando A. Colon , also known as Trustee Charmaine Prater Colon , also known as Trustee Charmaine Prater Ezengiva , also known as Trustee for Chiquetta S. Woods , P.O. Box 3288, Philadelphia; Chapter 11;...
NEWS
July 10, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The court case had all the elements of a made-for-TV movie. A New Jersey man convicted of a double murder. A previously secret back story of the killer's working with federal agents as a confidential informant to break a dangerous drug-dealing gang. The drama came to an end Monday, when Montgomery County Court Judge Steven T. O'Neill sentenced Luckenson Desrivieres, 25, to life in prison plus 20 years for killing a friend and the friend's girlfriend in Norristown. In April, a jury found Desrivieres guilty of first-degree murder in the June 2012 stabbing death of Shamara Hill, 26, and the third-degree stabbing death of Hill's boyfriend, Marc Winchell Estiverne, 23. Desrivieres confessed that he had killed Hill and Estiverne at the Norristown boardinghouse where they all stayed.
NEWS
June 29, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Crammed into a Pottstown office Thursday were a lot of people who help people. Representatives of local nonprofits, social service providers, and government agencies mingled at the open house for Montgomery County's new Community Connections program. Four offices across the county (Willow Grove, Norristown, Lansdale, and Pottstown) are now staffed with a "navicate" (from "navigator" and "advocate") who can help residents apply for and coordinate services. The doors opened last week, and already the four new coordinators have seen about 100 clients, said the program supervisor, Bonnie Johns.
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