Politics

Pine Forge Academy receives $1M ransom demand from hacker |Dec 21, 2014

Douglass (Berks) >> State police are conducting an investigation after Pine Forge Academy received an anonymous email threatening the school’s computer system.

An outpouring of kindness supplies local veterans with essentials |Dec 19, 2014

The holidays remind us to appreciate what we have, love those in our lives and give back to the community through donations, time and love.

Kutztown Elementary Students, staff perform 1,000 acts of kindness |Dec 19, 2014

Kutztown Elementary students and staff performed more than 1,000 random acts of kindness and spread joy in the community during December.

Hollywood fairy tale for Fleetwood girl, 8, in Big Apple |Dec 19, 2014

Rodeo Marie Hanson, an 8-year-old girl from the Fleetwood area, got up close and personal with Hollywood’s A-List, at The World Premiere of Disney’s “Into The Woods.”

Mind Your Body: A Perfect Time for Turning Inward |Dec 19, 2014

Winter has arrived and the nights have grown longer. Along with increased darkness, there is more quietude. As we look around us, we see bare branches. Many plants have gone dormant, there are fewer birds about, and numerous animals hibernate or go into “light hibernation.

Liquor Control partners with 4 Universities: Town-Gown Pilot Project aims to prevent underage and dangerous drinking on college campuses and in community |Dec 19, 2014

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced a pilot program with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University, West Chester University, Alvernia College and Caron Treatment Centers to develop a Town-Gown Pilot Project aimed at preventing underage and dangerous drinking on college campuses and in the surrounding communities.

Oley farmer wins Sunoco’s Free Fuel 5000 Contest Grand Prize of $5,000 in fuel |Dec 19, 2014

Sunoco marks the first decade of its popular Free Fuel 5000 contest by giving out $5,000 Grand Prizes to 10 lucky customers from across the country.

Leader honored for 50 years of Scouting |Dec 19, 2014

John Mehltretter was not expecting a room full of Boy Scout leaders and members, family and friends yelling “Surprise!” when he walked into the weekly Troop 101 meeting at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kutztown on Tuesday.

Brinton Lodge hosts first Holiday Bizarre Bazaar |Dec 19, 2014

Historic Brinton Lodge hosted their first annual Holiday Bizarre Bazaar which featured local vendors and artists who specialize in unique, handmade, weird, vintage, sexy, esoteric, eco-friendly, and fun crafts, goods, and services.

Roundabouts, widening and additional turning lanes planed for Route 222, Maidencreek, Richmond and Maxatawny townships |Dec 19, 2014

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation representatives presented plans for Route 222 during a public open house at Fleetwood High School Dec. 17.

Miller-Keystone Blood Center Launching New Online Donor Screening Application |Dec 19, 2014

Miller-Keystone Blood Center (MKBC) is pleased to announce the launch of iScreen, a secure, private way for donors to complete their donor history questionnaire. Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 6, iScreen will be used by donors to answer these questions in a private setting at a blood drive or donation center or online on the day of donation, prior to their arrival.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Intense musical-thriller ‘Whiplash’ earns its title |Dec 19, 2014

For all intents and purposes, “Whiplash” is a monster movie -- it doesn’t exactly take place in reality. Concerning an ambitious young man at a renowned music college under the tutelage of a conductor whose technical excellence is outweighed only by his ruthlessness in weeding out imperfections in his students, this is a film that approaches musicianship much like “Gravity” approached space travel.

Hamburg’s From the Early Files |Dec 19, 2014

25 Years Ago Dec. 27, 1989 >> Army Captain Thomas Muir, 29, was injured last week in the U.S. invasion of Panama. Captain Muir is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Muir, 100 Club House Drive, Bernville.

Schwank, Argall, Community and Business Leaders, First Responders meet on Route 222 |Dec 18, 2014

Heeding the growing concerns about the safety of Route 222, state Sens. Judy Schwank (D-11) and David Argall (R-29) met here last night with local leaders to work towards solutions that would make the highway less deadly.

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue reports to chimney fire |Dec 18, 2014

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a chimney fire at 142 West Philadelphia Ave., a single family residence, on Friday Dec. 12, at 1426 hours [2:26 p.m.].

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue report to early morning structure fire |Dec 18, 2014

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a structure fire—garage at 220 North Reading Avenue—on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 0453 hours [4:53 a.m.].

Adorable Adoptables: This Chihuahua just wants to cuddle |Dec 18, 2014

#8008 Aren’t I just the cutest little ball of love you’ve ever seen? I am a 7-year-old neutered male Chihuahua.

Berks County Public Library System Awards libraries, individuals for making difference in their community |Dec 18, 2014

The Berks County Public Library System Board of Trustees recognized the efforts of libraries and individuals at its 13th annual awards presentation on Dec. 17, honoring people and programs who are driving forces and inspirations within the library community.

Three families purchase toys for Haylee’s Christmas Tree Project |Dec 17, 2014

Three families from the Living Waters Fellowship congregation purchased toys for Haylee’s Christmas Tree Project.

Sixth annual Christmas celebration gets Birdsboro in holiday spirit |Dec 17, 2014

Crowds huddled closely to keep warm Dec. 13 at the sixth annual Christmas in Birdsboro celebration held in Main Bird Park. The event included horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, food and craft vendors, and the biggest crowd pleaser of all — fireworks.

Jay Leno brings his comedy to Berks County |Dec 17, 2014

Acclaimed TV late night show host, admired stand-up comedian, best-selling children’s book author, much-in-demand corporate speaker, lovable TV and movie voice-over artist, pioneering car builder and mechanic, and philanthropist Jay Leno will be at the Santander Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Feb.

Updated: Maxatawny comments on Saucony Creek Regional Authority sewer module exemption being struck down |Dec 17, 2014

After a successful appeal by the Kutztown Borough Council, the Environmental Hearing Board struck down the sewer module exemption awarded to Maxatawny Township by the Department of Environmental Protection, according to esquire to the council, Keith Mooney.

Poverty levels in Kutztown Borough a concern for Kutztown School District Superintendent |Dec 16, 2014

Kutztown School District’s Superintendent expressed concerns about the poverty levels in Kutztown Borough during the Kutztown School Board meeting on Dec. 12.

Christmas story comes to life at Live Nativity at Garden Spot Village, New Holland |Dec 16, 2014

With Christmas around the corner, the retirement community at the Garden Spot Village in New Holland embraced the festive spirit on Dec. 9 and 10.

Twin Valley Rotary Club scholarships available for Honey Brook, Morgantown and Elverson students |Dec 16, 2014

The Rotary Club of Twin Valley, in conjunction with the Gundaker Foundation of Rotary District 7450, announces availability of Undergraduate and Graduate Grant Awards for students from the communities of Honey Brook, Morgantown and Elverson, for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Boone board honors life-saving student |Dec 16, 2014

The Daniel Boone School Board honored high school senior Trevor Biggerstaff, who saved a man’s life on Aug. 29 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. during the Monday, Dec. 15 meeting. A letter from Ronald and Linda Burchett, of Glasgow, Ky, praised Biggerstaff for “stepping up” to perform the Heimlich Maneuver and save Ron’s life.

Diverse skills offered by Amity Township Police Department |Dec 16, 2014

Various Amity Township Police officers have been in the news for apprehending suspected arsonists, burglars, and drug dealers, as well as helping the public during emergency situations.

Horses, guests celebrate Holiday Open House at Ryerss Farm |Dec 16, 2014

As told by Horses Henry, Caputo and Mark

American Legion Post 537 Morgantown placed wreaths placed at graves of veterans at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery |Dec 16, 2014

On Dec. 13, American Legion Post 537 Morgantown made their annual trip from Morgantown to Indiantown Gap National Cemetery to lay wreaths for Wreaths Across America. We rented two buses to take the Boy Scouts and the Legion Members.

D.A.: Pennsburg ex-Marine on loose after Montco killing rampage |Dec 16, 2014

A Pennsburg man who authorities say went on a killing spree early Monday morning, slaying his ex-wife and five of her family members in three Montgomery County communities, remained at large as of press time Tuesday after SWAT teams surrounded two residences where he was thought to be holed up and a police manhunt intensified as the day progressed.

Kutztown home owner on Louella Drive spreads holiday cheer through lights, decorations |Dec 16, 2014

Holiday lights and decorations have drawn attention to a Kutztown home for the past couple of years.

Tel Hai art Classes: Make a Resolution to Try Something New |Dec 16, 2014

Watercolor painting classes will resume on the Tel Hai campus in January. Would you like to give it a try? Aspiring artists of all skill levels are welcome to join in the fun. Local artist and instructor, Loretta Gable Englerth, will begin a six-week session of instruction on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 9:00am.

|Dec 16, 2014

Send events to lmitchell@berksmontnews.com by Friday noon week prior to publication.

Shady Hollow raises $1,000 for assisted riding program |Dec 16, 2014

Horse lovers showed their support for Shady Hollow Assisted Riding at the annual Hooves and Hot Cocoa event Saturday, Dec. 13.

Boy Scout Troop 555 and Cub Scout Pack 595 remember Pearl Harbor in Birdsboro |Dec 16, 2014

Local Scout Troops remembered those who lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor attacks and honored veterans with a flag raising ceremony Sunday, Dec. 7.

Bradley Stone, suspected killer of 6, found dead |Dec 16, 2014

LOWER PROVIDENCE >> The manhunt for suspected mass murderer Bradley Stone has ended with his apparent suicide.

Fair weather helps Pottstown house tour delight hundreds |Dec 15, 2014

POTTSTOWN >> This year there was no rain, there was no epic snow storm — just crowds.

DA: Six dead, search continues for gunman in connected Montgomery County shootings |Dec 15, 2014

Pennsburg >> Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman has identified the man who allegedly went on a shooting spree this morning as Bradley William Stone and announced that the death toll has risen to six.

‘Trains, trees and gingerbread’ chug along at Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg |Dec 15, 2014

Back again at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum, in Hamburg, is the “Trains, trees and gingerbread” exhibit. The large model railroad is chugging along to some new scenery in the exhibit area just in time for the holidays.

Economic Development Summit focuses on three major Hamburg area projects |Dec 15, 2014

Hamburg area residents gathered at the Hamburg Area High School on Wednesday evening, Dec. 10, for an Economic Development Summit for Hamburg hosted by Our Town Foundation.

Penn State students can Hamburg for THON |Dec 15, 2014

When people think of the holidays, a few things come to mind such as traditions, family, presents and helping others. That last one was seen in a big way during the weekend of Dec. 6 and 7 in Downtown Hamburg.

Hamburg’s From the Early Files |Dec 15, 2014

25 Years Ago Dec. 20, 1989 >> George A. Francis, 77, of 1510 Pottsville Pike, Shoemakersville, died December 16, in Reading Hospital. He was the husband of Mable (Lengel) Francis. He had worked as a printer for the Hamburg Item for 45years, retiring in 1974.

Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce Members compete for Ugliest Holiday Sweater or Hat titles |Dec 15, 2014

Ugly holiday sweaters, hats and ties were pulled out of the back of closets and dusted off for the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Luncheon Dec. 12.

National Penn donates $25,000 to Opportunity House; Contribution to support group’s ‘Ready to Read’ program |Dec 13, 2014

On Dec. 4, National Penn Bancshares, Inc. announced a $25,000 contribution to Opportunity House. The donation is part of more than $1,000,000 contributed this year to eligible organizations across its marketplace by National Penn through its participation in Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

Reel Experiences with Rob Humanick: Laughter and tears mingle in bittersweet ‘The Skeleton Twins’ |Dec 12, 2014

More than likely than not, the cast of “The Skeleton Twins” will be looked over in the new year when Oscar nominations are announced.

Exeter Township emergency services remain in distress |Dec 12, 2014

After a two and a half hour discussion between Exeter Ambulance Association and the Exeter Township Volunteer Fire Department, supervisors will ultimately decide how to revitalize 911 services for the township.

Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center Christmas on the Farm featured PA Dutch traditions, food & Belsnickel |Dec 12, 2014

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University was bustling with holiday activity for Christmas on the Farm Dec. 6.

FOOTBALL: Eight PAC-10 athletes honored at Tall Cedars |Dec 11, 2014

By Barry Sankey bsankey@21st-centurymedia.com

‘I love you infinity pie squared!’: A mother’s gut-wrenching tale to save her only son from heroin addiction—and how she lost the fight (Part II) |Dec 11, 2014

For Diane Shepler and her family, daughter Courtney and husband Todd Klinger, the joy of at last having her son Tyler return home was short-lived.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Community Realty strengthens Pennsylvania presence |Dec 11, 2014

Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate today announced the addition of Community Realty to its franchise network. At the helm of the newly formed brokerage are co-owners John Colarusso, Phoenixville entrepreneur, and leading Phoenixville real estate sales professional, Jennifer Daywalt.