Montco Senior Citizen Smuggled Booze to Pay for Prostitutes

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A 70-something Montco man has lost his spot at an assisted living facility after a prostitute was discovered under his bed, The Intelligencer reports via the Morning Call.

That discovery led authorities to realize the man — unidentified in news reports — had been making “booze runs” for his fellow, less-mobile residents of the home, selling liquor to them at a profit. As for the profits… Read more »

Montco Teen Sets New Rubik’s Cube World Record

A teen from Harleysville is the new world record holder for the fastest person to figure out a scrambled Rubik’s Cube.

At the World Cube Association (WCA)’s Doylestown Spring 2015 Competition on Saturday, Collin Burns solved the Rubik’s Cube in 5.25 seconds. The whole thing was caught on video (above), which catches the students going insane when he correctly lines up all the colors.

According to The Intelligencer, The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes several categories of Rubik’s Cube competitions—from those who can do it with one hand to contests involving larger-than-your-average Cubes. Burns set the record for figuring out the conventional three-by-three cube, which, according to WCA Delegate Tim Reynolds, is the premier record to hold.

Reynolds goes on to say that, while no one from the Guinness Book of World Records was in attendance at Saturday’s competition, Burns’s name will likely appear in the next edition. “I believe in last year’s book they recognized all of (the WCA’s) records and published all of ours.”

Burns, who was named U.S. National Champion last summer, is the first U.S. citizen to hold this particular record since 2006, when someone figured out the Rubik’s cube in a looooong 10.48 seconds.

Check out his winning moment above.

Questlove Sends Instagram Love to Bullied MontCo Youth

TK | Photo from Instagram

Dominic Zaffino | Photo from Instagram

Yesterday afternoon, after being bullied at school for months for being too short, 10-year-old Hatfield youth Dominic Zaffino decided to take to Instagram to respond to his name-callers. He posted a message explaining that his growth was stunted because he had gone through 3-and-a-half years of chemo at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to fight—and defeat—cancer. His heartbreaking rebuttal to his bullies read as follows:

Read more »

Suspect in Custody in Montco Firehouse Hostage Situation

An officer walks out of the LaMott Fire Company after police escorted a man away, Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Elkins Park, Pa. Authorities say a former volunteer firefighter held four firefighters hostage at the Philadelphia-area firehouse before surrendering to police. No injuries were reported.

An officer walks out of the LaMott Fire Company after police escorted a man away, Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Elkins Park, Pa. Authorities say a former volunteer firefighter held four firefighters hostage at the Philadelphia-area firehouse before surrendering to police. No injuries were reported.

Reports of a hostage standoff in Montgomery County started coming in a little before 11 this morning.

Now NBC 10 is reporting that a former volunteer firefighter, approximately 30 years old, is in custody after taking four firefighters hostage at the LaMott Fire House in Elkins Park this morning. According to Cheltenham Township police chief John Norris, the as-yet-unidentified suspect had been in a dispute with the fire company that had led to his dismissal. He’d reportedly taken four hostages initially, though one was let go fairly quickly.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Move to Narberth If You’re Tired of Rising Property Taxes

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Next time you hear someone complaining about a property tax hike, point them to Narberth. The Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison reports the Montgomery County Borough has—for the fifth year in a row—kept its no-tax increase rate.

A 6-0 vote by Borough Council in late December ended in favor of keeping the 8.777 mills real estate tax rate, which Allison says it’s had since 2011.

For a moment there, though, it didn’t seem like it would happen. In November, borough manager Bill Martin estimated that a “tax rate increase of .399 mills, to 9.194 mills” might be needed.

According to Allison, avoiding the rate hike was made possible thanks to an interest rate on a short-term loan that was going to cover removal costs of the former Rockland Avenue Bridge in 2013, as well as the proceeds from the project. Another factor keeping the rate in line was a “per-ton cost for solid waste disposal.” This cost is set to keep waste fees at bay this year.

No property tax increase in Narberth Borough for fifth year [Main Line Times]

In other news…

House of the Week: Lynnewood Hall

Photo credit: Ty via Flickr.

Photo credit: Ty via Flickr.

Do you remember this elephantine property? We indirectly wrote about it this past summer when neighboring Sylvan Edge was also put on the market. Then, Lynnewood’s owner was asking for $20 million, but yesterday its price was reduced to $18.5 million.

The 34-acre estate, designed by Horace Trumbauer at Peter A.B. Widener’s request, consists of a Neoclassical Revival super-mansion with 110 rooms and a carriage house inspired by Versailles’ Petite Trianon. Trumbauer went on to expand the property with the Van Dyck gallery for Widener’s extensive art collection, which would later be sold off or relocated as Widener descendants lost touch with the estate.

Read more »

Rydal Home Near Bradley Cooper

Alright, let me preface this by saying I’m not trying to get Mr. Cooper stalked or anyone in trouble. BUT, it seems pointless to profile this house without mentioning that a 10-minute walk (at least, according to directions from Google Maps) will get you to his former doorstep.

So no, you wouldn’t be his neighbor-neighbor, per se. Rather, you’d be neighbors in the general neighborhood-y kind of way. Think of it as a fun fact you can tell your grandkids one day (like those stories you hear about your cousin’s best friend’s aunt’s stepfather running into -insert celebrity name here- in an elevator): “We ran into Bradley Cooper while walking Buddy!”

Read more »

Spotted: Poker Area Inside Montco Home

4030 Township Line Rd, Collegeville, PA, 19426

4030 Township Line Rd, Collegeville, PA, 19426

Where to begin with this woodwork-dominated home? Although falling a few beams short of this splendiferous property in Brandywine, it makes a strong case for itself. Beams are pegged (as opposed to nailed), built-in shelves can be found in the library, and the front door was hand crafted by artist Hugo Mesa (just look at these beauties).

The best part, though? The lower level is slightly reminiscent of old Western saloons. Seriously, the decked out basement has a gym and office as well, but it’s the entertainment area, which looks to have a poker table at the moment, that caught our eye. The listing notes a stone fireplace is down there, too.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Delinquent Properties Rake In Over $2.1 Million In Montco

Norristown view from Upper Merion. Photo credit:  Montgomery County Planning Commission via Flickr

Norristown view from Upper Merion.
Photo credit: Montgomery County Planning Commission via Flickr

Property owners who had been delinquent for two years had their homes auctioned off in a Thursday sale, earning Montgomery County $2,121,021.20 (including transfer tax). The Main Line Times’ Dan Clark says the money will go to the school district each properties owes money to, while any leftover sums will be divided “between the municipality or borough of the property and county.”

Clark reports 1,294 properties were originally listed in the sale, but that 1,100 of those homes were taken off after property owners paid their taxes back. From those 1,100, $7.4 million was raised. However, not all properties found a bidder (particularly those from the Norristown and Pottstown areas), which means they will be included in a different sale:  Read more »

Morning Headlines: Montco Has Built More Apartments Than Single-Family Dwellings In Last Year

It seems Wynnewood and Conshohocken aren’t the only areas in Montgomery County aiming to reel in those looking for smaller housing. According to recent data by the Norristown Planning commission, Montgomery County housing units went up by 42 percent last year compared to 2012– the largest chunk of that increase being multifamily housing.

Philly.com’s Jessica Sparks reports the amount of single-family homes grew by 19 percent, while single-family attached homes (i.e. duplexes or row houses) rose by 12 percent. The biggest increase was seen in apartment and condo constructions, which tripled in 2013.

Sparks says the Planning Commission’s report, which displayed constructions mainly occurring in Towamencin, Upper Providence, and Montgomery Township among others, found the housing units “added $252 million in taxable property value to the county.”

Read more »

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