IN THE NEWS

 

I just want to be clear that I do not support selling off the Beidler House or the Allegheny Aqueduct. I have reached out to potential partners: Robeson Township, Schuylkill River Greenway and the Berks County Historic Preservation Fund. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. There is no scheduled meeting to discuss this topic but I hope to keep this Park in County hands.

THURSDAY JUNE 13, 2019 04:14 PM

Berks County commissioners face questions about future of Allegheny Aqueduct Park

The board receives a suggestion to turn over the property to another public organization.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

READING, PA — 

Concerns about the future ownership of a historic county-owned property were brought to the attention of the Berks County commissioners Thursday at their weekly meeting.

Two community members urged board members to explore all their options before deciding whether the Allegheny Aqueduct Historical Park in Robeson Township should remain a part of the Berks County parks system.

Please click the link for the full story: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-county-commissioners-face-questions-about-future-of-allegheny-aqueduct-park


Proud of the JPO and BCPS programs getting recognized at Thursday’s Commissioners meeting.

Berks County recognized for criminal justice programs

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania presented local leaders with two awards.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

Steps taken by Berks County leaders to improve its criminal justice system are being recognized.

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania presented local leaders with awards at the weekly commissioners meeting Thursday highlighting the successes of two programs.

Please click the link for the full story: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-county-recognized-for-criminal-justice-programs


"Berks County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt was engaged with the company from the beginning of the process, ensuring them that Berks County would welcome them to locate here.  “Muhlenberg Township, Berks County and the GRCA pulled together to attract CarbonLITE and worked jointly for the betterment of the community and job creation for our residents.” —From 2019 Press Release

Bottle recycler to open $80 million facility in Muhlenberg Township, bringing more than 100 jobs

Los Angeles-based CarbonLITE Holdings will build a 270,000-square-foot processing facility at 4030 Pottsville Pike, a property known as "Berks 61."

WRITTEN BY JEFF MCGAW

MUHLENBERG TOWNSHIP, PA — 

CarbonLITE Holdings LLC, a Los Angeles-based company that recycles used plastic bottles into material that can be used to make new ones, will open an $80 million facility in Muhlenberg Township that will employ over 100 people.

Please click the link for the full story and visit my homepage for the Press Release: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/bottle-recycler-to-build-plant-in-muhlenberg


Election Guide 2019: County Commissioners

A guide to the nine candidates running.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

Berks County voters will decide this year whether to stick with the current lineup of commissioners that has managed the county since 2008 or elect new leaders to run the county.

And both Democrats and Republicans have many choices.

Please click the link for the full guide and to see my comments: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/election-guide-2019-county-commissioners


Election Guide 2019: County Commissioners

A guide to the nine candidates running.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

Berks County voters will decide this year whether to stick with the current lineup of commissioners that has managed the county since 2008 or elect new leaders to run the county.

And both Democrats and Republicans have many choices.

Please click the link for the full guide and to see my comments: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/election-guide-2019-county-commissioners


My letter to the Editor in regards to litter in Berks.

Letter: Inmates shouldn’t be picking up litter

There's not much county government can do about roadside trash.

Editor:

“Officials promise little to ease roadside litter” (Reading Eagle, April 30) and “Each of us must act to address roadside litter problem” (May 7) mischaracterized my true beliefs and intentions. My response was realistic and very practical, and that might have seemed a bit coldhearted. For that, I apologize.

The reality is that Berks County does not own or have jurisdiction over state and municipal roadways. The county owns only two roads, County Welfare Road and Swiftwater Lane in Bern Township.

Please click the link for the full letter: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/letter-inmates-shouldnt-be-picking-up-litter


May is Mental Health Awareness month. I am very proud of our team here in Berks. They got to showcase some of their accomplishments this morning.

Berks County highlights mental health awareness month

An agency official touts the accomplishments of a program aimed at improving access to young adults, a population that is often underserved.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

READING, PA — 

Berks County officials highlighted the mental health professionals who are making an impact on the community.

During the weekly commissioners meeting Thursday, the board celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month by recognizing the efforts and achievements of those assigned to support those struggling with mental health disorders. They also shined a spotlight on one program that administrators touted as a success.

That program, Healthy Transitions, was made possible with a five-year federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Please click the link for the full story: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-county-highlights-mental-health-awareness-month


I am very proud of this. Berks is 1 of only 11 Innovator Counties in the Country and the 
first in PA recognized as an Innovator County. It truly is a group effort and I am thankful we have leaders here in Berks who are committed! For the full press release, visit
Countyofberks.com.

SATURDAY APRIL 6, 2019 01:15 PM

Berks County recognized for efforts to keep mentally ill out of prison

The county was named a Stepping Up Innovator for its expertise in collecting data about those in its criminal justice system who have a mental illness.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

BERKS COUNTY, PA — 

On any given day, more than half the inmates at Berks County Prison are dealing with mental illness.

Many of these individuals are convicted of relatively minor crimes — offenses that stem from their disease rather than an intent to do harm. They tend to stay in jail longer and are more likely to return than those without mental illness, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to house and support in the process.

It's a systemic criminal justice problem that produces a grim pattern.

But county leaders have been working to break that pattern by developing tools to direct those with mental illness toward treatment services that could help them control the behavior that gets them into trouble.

Please click the link for the full story: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-county-recognized-for-efforts-to-keep-mentally-ill-out-of-prison



This grant is a great opportunity to improve lives and improve our jail system. As Chair of the Prison Board, I thank the jail staff and everyone involved for their hard work. This is one of the reasons why we can’t privatize our jail, we can’t guarantee this kind of effort.

THURSDAY MARCH 28, 2019 06:33 AM

Berks County Prison Board discusses program to curb addiction

The county has applied for a state-funded grant that would provide Vivitrol, a drug designed to reduce cravings, to prison inmates three days before being released.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

Berks County Prison officials are hoping to soon add a new weapon to their arsenal as they battle rampant substance abuse issues and opioid addiction.

The county is seeking a state-funded grant that would provide the drug Vivitrol to prison inmates three days before their release to allow participants to focus on immediate re-entry needs without also having to struggle with physical addiction issues.

Please click the link for the full story: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-county-prison-board-discusses-program-to-curb-addiction


I have been working with our Planning Department and a few other key people for months to get our Census 2020 planning started. This article has some great information and there will be more to come!

MONDAY MARCH 25, 2019 11:04 AM

Counting up: Berks County hopes to boost turnout for the 2020 Census

Data show the parts of the county, including Reading, that have low response in the decennial survey.

WRITTEN BY ADAM RICHTER

BERKS COUNTY, PA —

Every 10 years, the federal government tries to count the entire population in the United States. And every 10 years, it misses a certain percentage of people.

In 2010, Berks County had several areas that went undercounted — that is, areas where the number of people tallied was less than the actual population.

An undercount not only affects the accuracy of the decennial census; it also means less federal money to areas of the country that might need it.

Please click the link for the full story: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/counting-up-berks-county-hopes-to-boost-turnout-for-the-2020-census


I have never been in favor of selling the Heim. I thank the Community Foundation for their efforts.

FROM THE READING EAGLE THURSDAY MARCH 14, 2019 03:01 PM

Second poll finds majority of Berks residents oppose selling Berks Heim

The survey, commissioned by the Berks County Community Foundation, also finds many would support a tax increase to keep the facility solvent.

WRITTEN BY KAREN SHUEY

READING, PA — A majority of Berks County residents oppose the move by the commissioners to sell the county-owned nursing home, according to a new poll commissioned by the Berks County Community Foundation.

The survey found that 63 percent of registered voters oppose selling the Berks Heim to a private company while only 10 percent support the proposal. But, when it came to the question of whether they were willing to pay a little more in taxes if it means keeping the nursing home under county control, the findings show residents are split on that issue.

Please click the link for the full story: https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/second-poll-finds-majority-of-berks-residents-oppose-selling-berks-heim

 

To view BCTV County Connection and public meetings, visit their YouTube Channel by clicking: https://www.youtube.com/user/BCTVORG1