Archive for the ‘Regional’ Category

Sunday Round Up: March 13, 2011

March 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Flooding continues along the Delaware River in Bucks County. (Read Story)


A photo of the flooding along the Delaware River, sent in by a reader. River Road was closed uesterday due to the high water in Yardley. (Reader Submitted)

After Pa. Governor Tom Corbett announced a plan to cut $550 million from state education spending Council Rock School District officials talked to Newtown Patch about how the cuts will affect the districts funding. (Read Story)


A young girl from Washington, Nj. is missing and her family is looking for her:

After the massive 9.0 Earthquake and resulting tsunami that occurred in Japan late Friday the Courier Times reported about local tremors. In the late 1980’s a series of tremors were felt across the area with the largest happening under Abington. (Read Story)


Two Young Women Die in Crash on Byberry Road (Updated)

February 25, 2011 1 comment

By Tom Sofield
Editor – (

Updated at 9:11 p.m.: Philadelphia police have released the name of the two young women who died as a result of the crash.

They are Melissa Lees, 21, and Caitlin Hennessey, 22, both of the 800 block of Barlow Street, which is located near the Philadelphia/Lower Moreland border.

Original 8:22 a.m.: Two women believed to be in their late teens or early 20’s, died early Friday morning after an accident at Worthington and Byberry roads in the Somerton section of Philadelphia, less than two miles from Lower Moreland and Feasterville, according to NBC Philadelphia.


A white SUV carrying three female passengers was speeding on Byberry Road, when the driver is reported to have lost control, hit a pole which sent the SUV spinning into a rock wall, reported the website.

6 ABC reports, the impact of the vehicle hitting the pole ripped off a rear passenger door, and threw one of the female occupants from the white SUV. The female victim, who was thrown from the SUV, ended up being snagged by the vehicle, and dragged across the intersection until the vehicle came to rest against a rock wall.

The young woman in the passenger seat was also pronounced dead by authorities, according to press reports.

The 20-year-old driver, who sustained only minor injuries, was taken to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital to be evaluated, reported NBC Philadelphia.

Philadelphia police tell NBC Philadelphia, they believe alcohol was involved in the crash, which occurred at 2:00 a.m.

At this time police are not releasing the victim’s names.

Regional: Teacher Who Blogged About Students Speaks

February 16, 2011 2 comments

Natalie Munroe

FEASTERVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A high school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges “disengaged, lazy whiners” is driving a sensation by daring to ask: Why are today’s students unmotivated — and what’s wrong with calling them out?

As she fights to keep her job at Central Bucks East High School, 30-year-old Natalie Munroe says she had no interest in becoming any sort of educational icon. The blog has been taken down, but its contents can still be found easily online.

Her comments and her suspension by the middle-class school district have clearly touched a nerve, with scores of online commenters applauding her for taking a tough love approach or excoriating her for verbal abuse. Media attention has rained down, and backers have started a Facebook group.

“My students are out of control,” Munroe, who has taught 10th, 11th and 12th grades, wrote in one post. “They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”

(Read full story from the Associated Press)

Possible Meteor Spotted over East Coast (Updated)

February 14, 2011 48 comments

By Tom Sofield
Online Editor – (

2/15/11 1:47 p.m.: Thank you everyone for the e-mails, comments and phone calls!

The Philadelphia Inquirer has the full story.

The American Meteor Society has a form set up for those people who want to file reports of spotting the meteor.

More reader comments:

One man left us a phone message telling us he was in Long Island, NY when he saw the meteor cross the sky yesterday. He was very happy to hear he was not the only one to see it.

Sharon Bath writes:

My husband saw this HUGE, Amazing “fireball” while working on the NJ Turnpike yesterday afternoon. He said he looked up and saw “something on fire, shootingb through the sky, before it left a trail of smoke behind and fizzled out”. He thought it was a plane crashing at first. No one else on the entire job saw this and they thought he was seeing things. I googled this fireball for him lastnight and low and behold, found this article!

One person e-mailed us this report:

I was on rt. 4 in Englewood, NJ  around 12:30 yesterday Feb. 14th when I saw this gold/green shining thing with a long white tail. I was completely taken by it. I am so glad to see I was not the only one to see it. It was very cool.

Spencer Reinhard commented:

guess what I saw yesterday. I went outside after lunch early because it was nice out. I went and sat in front of education and waited for our boss to show up. I was reading when my mexican buddy showed up. we sat and talked for a while, but around 12 20 or so, I was looking to his right while he talked and over the gym, I saw this bright yellow light pass from above the gym down behind it. it was a split second ” I just saw something” I said, it looked like a falling star. “a meteorite” he said and I said yeah but it was so fast that I wasnt really sure I had seen anything, maybe it was just the sun hitting the back of a seagull I thought, and with that doubt I all but forgot about it. it wasnt untill later in the day when this dude scott came in the room “people are seeing fireballs falling out of the sky” then I remembered ” I saw that!” I said and explained to them what i had seen, and of course my bunky said I was crazy, but I pointed to the direction that i saw it in, and scott said that yes it was seen in the north east. today he tells me it was brighter than the sun, and softball size, but they havent found it yet, but they think it landed somewhere on long island. I would have forgotten all about it. It was a valentines day meteorite. Im sure it was between 12 and 12 30

A reader left a comment that stated:

My daughter saw a object falling from sky at 12- something pm from Pine Hill NJ as she was picking the kids up from school! Also another 2 people were talking about this while I was in the store as they both saw the same thing. One women said her husband thinks she fell off her rocker because she was frantic when she saw it falling! Both of the other witness’s are from the Clementon, Pine Hill, Berlin area.

Charlie said:

I saw this event from Millersville Maryland. It occurred at 12:34pm by my clock. I glanced out my car window looking to the east and saw the fireball as it approached the earth. I lost sight of it as it fell below the tree line. My sense was that it was a lot closer to me than now reported (hundreds of yards to a few miles). As it turns out, as we now know, it was out over the Atlantic Ocean off of the east coast. I’ve seen nothing on the news about this. It was very cool that I was able to witness this.

Christine told us:

My 9 year old daughter and I both saw it in Hampton, Virginia. We were driving NE on Mercury Blvd and saw a bright object falling. I called my local news station twice to see if they had any idea what it was or if anyone else reported it…

Kate Freedman commented on our site:

I saw it when driving from Philadelphia towards Camden, I didn’t believe my eyes at first.

Janet e-mailed us this report:

I saw what looked like a small flare falling from the sky at 12:40 pm.  I was traveling east on route 22 in Bridgewater, NJ

Read more submitted comments.

2/14/11 5:28 p.m.: Robert Lunsford from the American Meteor Society said this:

So far we have 30 reports of a fireball moving in a general west to east direction as seen from the northeastern USA. Daylight fireballs are rare and must be exceedingly bright to be noticed with the sun in the sky. This was most likely a random event not associated with any known meteor shower. This object was most likely the size of a small car before striking the upper atmosphere. With it terminating over the Atlantic Ocean, there is no hope for recovering any possible debris.

Terry called to tell us:

She was on her way back from lunch in Little Egg Harbor, NJ when she say the fireball. She said she was “glad others saw it too.”

Rodney comments:

I saw it too in Ocean County NJ. Was falling downward with a definite Green tail and flash at the end

It was over the water as well for me. I didn’t see the object just the long green tail after it and a flash at the end.

Steve Goldman in NJ e-mail us this:

I saw the fire ball falling from the sky around 12:30ish.  I was facing south and I was in Bergen County, NJ.   Quite a site to behold.

Another commenter says:

Saw it driving East on Rt. 10 near Parsippany, NJ

2/14/11 3:29 p.m.: Tim Connor commented on our post with this report:

I saw it while I was in Camden, NJ. It was East (towards Flying W Airport) and was a metallic silver colored object with a tail traveling vertically at a high rate. It definitely wasn’t over Philadelphia, just to clear that up.

On our Facebook page Lisa Rundles Crandall posted a report of what her husband told her he saw:

“a huge ball of fire” which he thought was a comet… he was driving on the PA turnpike, and said it had to have come down close, as in eastern PA or the Jersey border at the furthest… he said he had “never seen anything like it…”

Mike Hankey of Mike’ posted a map of where the object was sighted from. Hankey made the map based on the 20 or so reports that were filed with the American Meteor Society within an hour of the object streaking across the sky.


2/14/11 2:14 p.m.: Many Twitter users up and down the east coast, Egypt along with FOX 29 out of Philadelphia are reporting that a bright light was spotted in the sky around 12:45 this afternoon.

Twitter users across the globe are posting reports of the sighting:

(No Location Given) @REL ONE: I think I just say a #meteorite or something else falling from the sky.

(New Jersey) @philmdunn: We got a call that someone saw a meteor? Anyone else catch a glimpse?

(Egypt) @carlosnilefm: it’s 7 PM & the sky got brighter & brighter till it’s like broad daylight ,I look & i saw the Biggest Brightest meteor i’ve seen in my life

(New York) @HLDeVore: Wow… Just saw daytime meteor over New York!!!! Moving west to east…. Burned up. Or firework??? WTF was that???

(No Location Given) @tcnolan: Looks like a lot of people saw that #meteor over NYC at around 12:40 pm EST today… thought I was going crazy for a bit there…

(Connecticut) @eyetalic: I just saw a meteor flash through the sky a few minutes ago, in broad daylight!!

(Philadelphia) @gerardodm: Just saw the most amazing meteor/falling star ever on plain day light! It had green/orange light burning. Incredible! Happy Valentines!

If you spotted the object drop us a line via. phone – 267-281-4BMN (4266), e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.

This post will be updated when more information is available.

Categories: national, Regional Tags: ,

More Suburbanites Using Food Stamps

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment

In better times, when people felt flush, blackjack dealer Linette Fawkes could count on making as much as $80,000 a year in the once-humming casino where she works.

The 38-year-old unmarried mother of four boys from Downingtown could easily afford her three-bedroom, $1,000 apartment appointed with leather furniture, eclectic art, and a Jacuzzi.

But fewer people are willing to fling around betting chips in a time of tight dollars. As a result, Fawkes’ work hours have been cut back so drastically – some weeks to just 10 hours – that she can’t pay for heating oil and must move soon.

Recently, she had no choice but to apply for food stamps to help feed her sons, ages 3 through 18.

“It’s not fair,” she said one afternoon, folding laundry in her frigid living room at a time when she would normally be working. “This has become so frustrating for me and my kids.”

Not readily associated with the townships and boroughs outside Philadelphia, food stamps are becoming more commonplace as the recession that economists said was over still manages to disrupt and confound everyday life.

“Areas where you wouldn’t expect food stamps to be have increasing difficulties,” said Temple University sociologist David Elesh, a coprincipal investigator of Temple’s Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project. “Among well-off populations along Routes 30 or 202, you’re seeing substantial growth in the percentage of households on food stamps. The recession continues to damage people’s quality of life. People almost everywhere are hurting.”

(Read full story from the Inquirer)

Categories: Regional Tags:

Rep. Josh Shapiro to Run for County Commissioner, Eyes Chairman’s Seat

February 7, 2011 Leave a comment

By Linda Finarelli
The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

State Rep. Josh Shapiro is aiming to swap his seat in the Statehouse for one on the board of the Montgomery County Commissioners — his ultimate goal being the chairman’s seat.

The Democrat representing the 153rd District said in an interview last week he would run for county commissioner, now that Montgomery County Commissioners Vice Chairman Joseph M. Hoeffel III has announced he will not seek re-election.

Shapiro will run on the Democratic ticket with Whitemarsh Township Supervisor Leslie Richards.

“There are great challenges facing our county,” Shapiro said when asked why he was entering the commissioners race. “I look forward to addressing them, creating more jobs and more economic opportunities … reforming county government, streamlining its processes.

“I think I have the experience and knowhow to do just that.”

Shapiro said he and Richards will bring “fresh eyes to problems that have existed for many years,” questioning the need for 50 departments and the existing county government structure.

Saying there are “a number of ways to modernize and streamline government,” Shapiro said one way would be to “make better use of technology to address delivering services” to reduce overlap.

“There will be a commitment to job growth and economic development under a Shapiro/Richards administration,” he said.

Noting Montgomery County is the wealthiest county in the state and its proximity to Philadelphia, he termed it “an important regional hub.”

The county can offer a number of opportunities and the infrastructure necessary to potential employers and he would offer a “more aggressive” approach to attracting companies to the county and creating economic opportunities, he said.

Now serving his seventh year in the House, having just been re-elected to a fourth term, Shapiro said serving the county would be “different” from serving in the House, where he is one of 203 voices.

“As one of three voices and hopefully chairman of the three-member [county] board, I would have a direct impact on the lives of people in our county,” Shapiro said, adding he was “confident the Democrats will win two seats” on the board.

He said he “will have the support of Republicans and independents” in running for commissioner, referencing his “track record.”

His House district has 52 percent registered Democrats, but he received 70 percent of the vote in the last election, meaning a number of Republicans and independents voted for him, he said.

Asked how he felt he could work with at least one, and possibly two Republicans on the county board, which has become extremely contentious in its current form, Shapiro again pointed to his “proven track record of working in a bipartisan manner in government.”

Shapiro, who served five years as chief of staff and counsel to Hoeffel when Hoeffel held the 13th U.S. Congressional District seat, had previously said he would not run against Hoeffel, but after Hoeffel announced he will not seek re-election, “I decided to jump in,” he said.

He was “encouraged by a lot of people to look at [running for the county seat], but “at the end of the day it was a decision I made with my wife and family and a few trusted advisors,” Shapiro said. He made the decision “in the last several days,” he said Monday.

For the time being, Shapiro said, “I have a job to do in the Statehouse, and I intend to continue to do that.”

Confidant he and Richards will receive the party’s endorsement at the Democratic Convention Feb. 17, Shapiro said he would run a positive campaign, while adding “you have to draw contrasts.”

“Ultimately our success will depend in large measure on our vision and we will do that in a positive way,” he said.

Republished with the permission of The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

Categories: Regional

Did you see this? State Rep. Santarsiero Announces State Grant for Newtown

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

By Jeff Bohen
Staff Writer – (

State Rep Santarsiero (Bucks) announced today in a press release Newtown Township is receiving a  $96,000  grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

State Rep. Santarsiero

The award is based upon the 3407  tons recycled in 2008 and the  townships population, Santarsiero’s press release said.

The funding comes from the Recycling Performance Grant Program which awards incentives to local communities “to increase the amounts of materials recovered through recycling  and promote economic growth in the Commonwealth through job creation and market expansion” the Press release said.

DEP continues to make solid investments in our region,” Santarsiero said. “This support for our municipalities’ recycling programs will help to raise public awareness about recycling and enable all of us to reduce what we throw away”

BuxMontNews has reached out to Rep Santarsiero for more about today’s announcement.