Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman recently recognized volunteers and police liaison officers for their service to the Montgomery County Youth Aid Panel.
The Youth Aid Panel program is a “balanced and restorativejustice program” sponsored by the district attorney’s office.
The unique program helps first-time juvenile offenders take responsibility for their actions and move forward in a more positive direction with the assistance of a group of local community volunteers. It also provides a juvenile with a second chance to maintain a clean criminal record after committing a minor crime. It is offeredto the juvenileonly one time.
Ferman addressed a group of approximately 80 volunteers and police officers. Her message was clear and precise, relating her strong commitment to the program and her appreciation to all the volunteers and police officers that “make this program work”.
The district attorney recognized 42 volunteers and 15 police officers for five and ten years of service to the program.
Six of the police officers were recognized for being part of the Youth Aid Panel program since the inception years ago. They are: Officer William James, Lower Pottsgrove Township; Detective Carl Molt, Lower Moreland Township; Detective James Reape, Montgomery Township; Detective George Moyer III, Franconia Township; Detective Robert Waeltz, Horsham Township, and Sgt. Kurt Scherzberg, Souderton Borough.
Special recognitions were presented to Detective Les Glauner, Upper Merion Township Police Department for “Youth Aid Panel Police Liaison Officer of the Year” and Craig Sheffler-Collins, Lower Merion Panel, for “Youth Aid Panel Volunteer of the Year.
Glauner completed nine years of service to the Youth Aid Panel Program. He says he is passionate about working with juveniles in his community to provide them with opportunities to succeed in life.
“Juvenile Detective Les Glauner has always displayed his strong commitment to the safety and welfare of the children in the community,” Nolan said. “Les was instrumental in developing and implementing a curfew ordinance in Upper Merion Township. He represents the department as a member of the Safe Schools Committee and CAST.”
Craig Sheffler-Collins is the executive chair overseeing three panels in Lower Merion.
He spends numerous hours coordinating the panels and helping them work effectively to provide the best service to the juveniles in the Lower Merion area.
Sheffler-Collins is also passionate about serving the youth in his community.
“I am very appreciative of the recognition of my efforts,” he said. “I’m only the most visible volunteer of a very committed and hard-working group of 20 Lower Merion residents.”
The Montgomery County Commissioners have unanimously adopted a $409.6 million budget for 2013 that makes the first contribution to the county’s pension fund, begins to rebuild the county’s reserve fund, and does it without raising taxes.
The budget projects $412.2 million in revenues in 2013 and reserves $2.5 million for replenishing the county’s Fund Balance, which had shrunk from nearly $100 million to $20 million during the four years of the previous administration.
“This is an honest and transparent budget,” said Josh Shapiro, chairman of the board of commissioners. “This budget reflects the need to repair errors of commission and omission by prior administrations as well as absorbing state cuts to human services and continuing to grapple with the effects of the national recession.”
Vice Chair Leslie Richards praised the work of Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson and said the new budget ensures that the county’s reserve fund will not be used to pay county expenses.
“It is a tough budget,” Richards said. “It is a responsible budget. It is a transparent budget. We will continue to help others find other avenues for funding that we are unable to provide because it is not in the core responsibilities of what the county has to do.”
Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr. called the budget “mean and lean.” He continued saying, “this budget gives us a base upon which to build and return Montgomery County back to its previous fiscal position.”
One of the most discussed sections of the budget involved the elimination of earmarks to 20 agencies in the county, several of which provide social services to residents.
“In order to protect the vital services that this county provides, we eliminated all earmarks from this budget,” Shapiro said. “While these earmarks supported many worthwhile organizations, legitimate questions were raised about the legality of these payments. Upon researching this issue, it became clear that the commissioners are not authorized to make these kinds of appropriations under the Second Class County Code, and that such transfers of taxpayer dollars are further prohibited by provisions of the Pennsylvania State Constitution.”
Shapiro said the law authorizes the county to enter into formal contracts with these organizations, to deliver those services and programs that the county would otherwise provide.
“This is in keeping with what I and the other commissioners have said since we began this budget process – that the county must focus its limited resources on providing the core services of government,” Shapiro said. “That is why we have worked closely with several of these organizations over the past few weeks to do just that.”
“Through these contractual arrangements, the county will be positioned to provide these vitally important services in a more targeted, constructive, and transparent manner, all while operating within the framework of the laws of our Commonwealth.”
Shapiro detailed six other highlights of the budget.
He also reiterated that the budget adopted was in many ways dictated by the “mess” that the previous administration created, including:” a $10 million budget shortfall that necessitated immediate cuts; county government buildings that were crumbling and will take at least $50 million to fix; an emergency radio system that will require at least $45 million to upgrade; and the need to borrow money our first month in office just to make the initial payrolls and pay operating expenses.
“If we fail to make these tough choices now, we will simply perpetuate a broken system that costs taxpayers more while giving them less,” Shapiro said. “In other words, these cuts are necessary in order to meet the County’s core responsibilities to our constituents. Notwithstanding the challenges, let me be clear—we are moving in the right direction. We effectively managed the short-term crises and now with this budget we establish a positive, long-term path forward for our county.”
Help for agencies
The following is a list of contracts approved by the commissioners with agencies that lost their earmarks in the new budget:
• A contract, not to exceed $200,000, with Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania for assistance with housing-related legal matters
• A contract, not exceed $70,000, with Legal Aid for case coverage assigned by the courts to represent lower income parents in Juvenile Court and Parental Terminations in Orphans/Juvenile Court
• A contract with Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project (MCAP), not to exceed $20,000 for case coverage assigned by courts for child advocacy
• A contract with the Women’s Center of Montgomery County, not to exceed $10,000, for assistance with Protection from Abuse Orders.
–Source: Montgomery County
Elwood Rucker, affectionately known as “Woody,” “El” or “Pop”, passed away on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 at Vitas Hospice. He was 84.
Born on September 3, 1928, he was the eldest of two children born to the late Mozell Rucker in King William County, Virginia.
After obtaining his early education in Virginia, he migrated to Philadelphia, where he attended Bok Vocational School. Elwood joined the United States Army and served in the Korean War.
Upon his honorable discharge, he was employed by the Philadelphia International Airport for 12 years and the City of Philadelphia, Department of Streets for 33 years. He was devoted to his family and community. Elwood was the caregiver for his mother and aunts in their senior years.
As a resident of West Philadelphia and South Philadelphia, he served as block captain for several decades. Although he lived most of his adult life in Philadelphia, he never forgot his Virginia roots.
He was a lifelong member of Providence Baptist Church in Aylett, Va. and he faithfully attended revivals and homecoming services.
Preceded in death by his mother, Mozell, Aunt Mattie Trent and a host of other aunts, uncles and cousins, he is survived by his friend, caretaker and wife, Doris Rucker of Philadelphia; a sister, Jeanne Watson, of St. Paul, Minn.; two children from a previous union, son, Anthony Rucker (Tina) of Mercerville, N.J.; daughter, Gina Ray of Philadelphia; and two grandsons, Anthony David Vail of Hartford, Conn. and Lamar Ray of Philadelphia. Additionally, he is survived by a loving extended family including many brothers-in-laws and sisters-in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
A viewing will be held Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Slater Funeral Home, 1426 Fitzwater St. A homegoing service will be held on Dec.15 at 3 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church, 4570 Dorrell Road., Aylett, Va. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to The Provident Baptist Church Building Fund and Missionary, 4570 Dorrell Road, Aylett, VA 23009.
A 32-year old unidentified male was shot Monday at 8:55 a.m. in the 4900 block of Wayne Avenue in the city’s Germantown section. He was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 9:13 a.m. His name is being withheld pending notification of kin. No arrests have been made.
Corey Morton, 27, was shot in the chest Dec. 9 at 2:18 a.m. in the 2600 block of Stanley Street in Strawberry Mansion. He was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:37 a.m. Police say the shooting followed an argument. No arrests have been made.
An unidentified 25-year old male was shot to death on Dec. 8 at 12:39 a.m. in the Easy Corner Bar, in the 500 block of North 35th Street in West Philadelphia. Police would not release his identity pending notification of next of kin. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the neck and torso. He was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and pronounced dead at 1:49 a.m. Police say an argument preceded the shooting. No arrests have been made.
Police are searching for a burglary suspect in Germantown. On Dec. 7 at 12:20 a.m. an unknown male was captured on surveillance video at a Giant Dollar Store at 35 E. Chelten Ave., after entering through the roof. Once inside, he took money from several cash registers and a rear office. He fled fter taking $5,400 in cash. The suspect is described as a Black male, 20 to 30 years of age, with a shaved head, possible goatee, medium build, and wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans.
A video of the suspect can be viewed on the Philadelphia Police’s Youube channel or http://www.phillypolice.com/news.
To submit a tip on the suspect call (215) 686-8377.
Dorothy Quick Caldwell was a member of the Teamsters Union.
Caldwell died Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. She was 87.
She was born in Florence, S.C. on June 14, 1925. She and her family moved to Philadelphia when she was an infant. Caldwell, a longtime resident of West Philadelphia, was baptized at Mount Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Her family said she was a good student who was always diligent in her studies. She attended both Martha Washington Elementary and Sulzberger Junior High School. In 1944, she graduated from West Philadelphia High School.
She married Robert Caldwell in 1946.
Her family said she was an industrious, hard-working, independent woman. She started working during World War II for the federal government in Newark, N.J. She later became a member of the Teamsters Union. In 1994, she retired from the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital.
“Dot, as she was affectionately called, was a jack-of-all-trades and took tremendous pride in her home and neighborhood,” her family said.
“She especially loved taking care of her family, her home and her garden.”
She is survived by her daughter, Aleese Chorice; son-in-law, Ronald; granddaughter, Joy Carpenter and husband Darron; granddaughter, Leah Ruffin and great-grandsons, Darron Jr., Devin and William.
Services will be held Dec. 8 at Terry Funeral Home, 4203 Haverford Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.