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…

Mainland Inn Opens Tonight in Harleysville

mainland-inn-940The long delayed reopening of the Mainland Inn in Harleysville is set for this evening. The restaurant will source much of its bounty from the neighboring Quarry Hill Farm and other local farms. Chef Ezra Duker is in the kitchen. The Philadelphia native has worked at Morimoto Napa, The French Laundry and the Orrery, in London.

The menu is broken down into a section of “Relishes,” small dishes with an emphasis on fermentation and pickling, soup, hot and cold appetizers and entrees that include an interpretation of cottage pie with grilled ribeye, monkfish cassoulet with a shellfish boudin, heirloom beans and tarragon. Large-format, whole-animal preparation are featured in the “Roast” section of the menu.

The beverage program will include biodynamic wines, organic beers and artisan spirits.

Full menu and more on the Mainland Inn »

Shooting Suspect Bradley Stone Is Dead

[Update 4:30 p.m.] The Montgomery County D.A., Risa Vetri Ferman, confirmed Stone’s death at a press conference just now.

“At approximately 1:38 this afternoon the body of Brad Stone was found in a wooded area in New Hanover Township, just outside of Pennsburg. He was actually found in the rear of the block of 1300 4th Street, at a location approximately a mile from his home in Pennsburg.”

She added: “We believe he died of self-inflicted cutting wounds to the center of the body.” That has not been confirmed by the coroner, she said.
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New Photos of Montgomery County Shooting Spree Suspect Bradley Stone

Police are now fanning across Montgomery County to search for Bradley Stone, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman told reporters at a press conference late Tuesday morning. At that time, she released new photos of Montgomery County shooting spree suspect Bradley Stone — one digitally altered to show him clean-shaven, since it is known he recently shaved.

Though they hunted for him there last night, authorities no longer believe Bradley Stone is in Doylestown. “He was known to frequent places we thought he might be. As you know, we followed up on leads in Bucks County,” Vetri Ferman said. “At this moment, it appears those leads were not valid, and we have discontinued pursuing them.” Teams are now concentrating on the northwest part of Montgomery County, she said.

Stone is accused of killing his ex-wife and five other members of her family on a shooting spree Monday morning. A seventh victim, 17-year-old Anthony Flick, is in “very serious but stable condition.” Stone’s current wife, his child with her and his two children with his victim Nicole Hill are all safe.

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Bradley Stone Manhunt Shifts to Bucks County

Bradley Stone

Bradley Stone, the man accused of killing his ex-wife and five other members of her family Monday morning in Montgomery County, remains at large this morning. The hunt for him has shifted to Bucks County after a violent encounter on Monday evening.

The Upper Perkiomen School District is closed today while the manhunt continues.

Lehigh Valley Live reports:

A man resembling mass murder suspect Bradley Stone demanded the car keys of a Doylestown Township, Bucks County, man out walking his dog Monday night, leading the man to pull his gun and fire several rounds, township police confirmed.

The male assailant pulled a knife on the man around 7 p.m. in the area of Burpee and Shady Retreat roads, near Delaware Valley College, according to a posting on the department’s Facebook page. The suspect was described as a white man, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing camouflage.

The victim resisted, fell to the ground, grabbed his gun and fired multiple rounds at the suspect, who was last seen running from the area, police said.

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UDPATE: As Manhunt Continues for Bradley Stone in Montgomery County, D.A. Releases Up-to-Date Picture

[Update 7:00 p.m.] Prosecutors have released a new photo of the suspect, Bradley Stone:

[Update 6:10 p.m.]

Montgomery County D.A. Risa Vetri Ferman just held a press conference, saying officials do not know where Stone is located. They have recovered his vehicle and personal cell phone.

“At this point, we are searching for Mr. Stone. We’re reaching out to the public to see if anyone has sighted him,” she said. She added: “He does on occasion use a cane or a walker. He may or may not be using those devices — we’ve been notified it might not be necessary.”

She described the timeline of events as follows:

• At 4:25 a.m., officials received a 911 hangup call telling police to go to a home in Lansdale. Cops found the former mother-in-law and former grandmother-in -law of Mr. Stone.

• At 4:55, they received a 911 call, from a neighbor of Nicole Stone located in Lower Salford. “When police responded to that residence, they found Nicole Stone deceased in her residence. She is the 33-year-old ex-wife of Brad Stone.”

• 5 a.m. was the last time Stone was seen, when children were delivered by him to a neighbor.

• Before 8, officials went to a residence in Souderton where Nicole Stone’s sister, Trista Flick, lived. Flick, her husband, and her 14-year-old daughter were killed. A 17-year-old son is currently receiving treatment.

Ferman said it appears events in Souderton took place first, at 3:30 in the morning.

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UPDATE: Suspect Barricaded After 5 Killed in 3 Shootings in Montco

Update, 11:17 a.m.: Towamencin Township Police Chief Tim Dickinson updated reporters late this morning. He said police from Souderton and neighboring agencies are involved in a barricade situation. “The person may be barricaded in there and he may be armed and dangerous,” Dickinson said. “They have seen some movement in the residence.”

Some residents have been evacuated from their homes, others are sheltering in place. And officials are still seeking their own clarity on events.

Dickinson, for example updated reporters on the situation in Pennsburg, where he says cops are involved in another barricade situation. He said he does not know whether the police believe there is more than one suspect. “In Pennsburg, there’s also some information that someone who may be a suspect in a number of these incidents maybe up there, at a location in Pennsburg,” he said. “They’re not sure if someone’s there or not.”

Update, 10:33 a.m.: Action News reports a SWAT team was called to a fourth scene in Pennsburg linked to the three shootings this morning in Montgomery County.

Five people were shot to death this morning in Montgomery County in three separate shootings. Police say the suspect is thought to have barricaded himself inside a Souderton home.

Police arrived around 4 a.m. this morning to find a woman shot to death in Lower Salford. A half hour later, cops responded to a call in Lansdale to find two more people killed. Police found a third person dead in a shooting in Souderton later in the morning. Police tell Action News they believe all three shootings are related.

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