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Record warm temps, rain, melting snow may create flooding mess

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-02-03 06:22
Maybe Punxsutawney was right.

One day after Pennsylvania's most famous rodent predicted an early spring, we're headed for near-record temperatures today.

Many forecasts believe we'll surpass the record high of 62, which was set back in 2006.

So much for the good news.

The warm weather is going to be accompanied by a day-long rain, including some heavy downpours later this afternoon and tonight. Coupled with melting snow from our recent blizzard, flooding is likely.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the entire region from noon until 5 p.m. Thursday. That could mean problems for the usual trouble spots, including Darby Borough, and areas along Chester Creek.

The city of Chester already has issued a warning to residents along Chester Creek that they may need to evacuate their homes. The city put out an advisory warning residents of Parker Manor to be prepared to evacuate, move motor vehicles as far away from Chester Creek as possible and find shelter with family or friends until the threat has passed.

Residents with questions are asked to call the Chester Fire Department, Station 81, at 610-447-7844, or Station 82 at 610-447-7842. In the meantime, AccuWeather's extended forecast is calling for the possibility of cold and snow extending into early March, but then a quick warm-up.

Here's what they have to say:

AccuWeather reports Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow on Feb. 2, 2016, indicating an early start to spring for the United States. The decision marks only the 18th time Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog hasn't seen his shadow since the tradition began in 1887.

For the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned for just the opposite, as cold air and the potential for snow will linger into the start of March. Elsewhere, springlike severe weather isn't predicted to become widespread until April.

Cold air and snow possible for mid-Atlantic, Northeast into March; Drought may develop for Great Lakes, Ohio Valley Warm weather lovers in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast will have to be patient, as winter plans to linger into March across both regions.

Cold air and stormy weather will take the stage from late February into the start of March, opening the door for a potential late-winter snowstorm.

"There could be a last surge of winter before we see the transition into spring," AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said. "For the Northeast, there's still an opportunity for some snow, although there's a higher chance that we'll see a cold snap rather than a big snowstorm."

A quick warmup will follow, however, allowing milder air to arrive faster than it has in the past two years for both regions.

"A lack of arctic air in the region and the sun getting higher and higher in the sky will make it feel pretty nice, I think, by mid-March in the Northeast," Pastelok said.

Through April, the weather pattern will lend itself to the occasional damp and dreary day before a turnaround in May.

May could also yield drought concerns for the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, prompting some early season heat. During the same month, the threat for severe weather will loom for the mid-Atlantic.

For the complete local forecast, click here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Eagles enter the Howie Roseman Era

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-02-03 06:03
Welcome to the Howie Roseman show.

Remember all that talk from Eagles owner Jeff Lurie about how the team was putting on a full-court press to hire a personnel guy.

The Birds Boss played it very close to the vest in terms of who is calling the shots at the press conference where he rolled out Andy Reid acolyte Doug Pederson as the Eagles new coach. He consistently dodged questions about Roseman's role, saying only that once the team had their personnel guy, there would be "100 percent accountability."

Well now we know what he meant by that.

The Eagles apparently have put the search for their personnel guru on hold until after the draft.

This looks like Howie Roseman's show now.

That means Howie will likely be the loudest voice in the room on Draft Day. Sure, Pederson will have something to say on that, but it sure sounds like Roseman will be in control.

That's quite a turnaround from the guy who was unceremoniously demoted when Chip Kelly forced Lurie's hand and got full control over personnel and the roster.

But Roseman was merely sent down the hall. He was not jettisoned. And when Kelly was shown the door by Lurie before the end of the season, there was Roseman's carcass washing back up on the beach.

Maybe Roseman will knock it out of the park. He's already done some great work in signing severla of the team's young nucleus to contract extensions, including tight end Zach Ertz and defensive lineman Vinny Curry.

The team has a press conference set this afternoon at which they are expected to formally announce the Curry deal.

But don't be surprised if most of the questions focus on Roseman's role and where the team stands in its search for a personnel guy.

That's what happens when you use a No. 1 draft pick on Marcus Smith.

No, Howie & Jeffrey, no one has forgotten that debacle.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Wynnewood Doctor Charged With Social Security Fraud

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2016-02-02 12:01
Burton allegedly tried to collect Social Security by pretending to be a victim of PTSD.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montgomery County Scam Alert: IRS Impersonators Rampant

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2016-02-02 12:01
The national epidemic has not left Montgomery County untouched. Here's what you should be aware of, and how to handle possible scams.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Native To Appear In 'Hilarious' Super Bowl Commerical

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2016-02-02 09:33
The 'Super Bowl Babies' ad was produced by the NFL.
Categories: Lower Merion

Nine-Year-Old Lower Merion Bugler Impresses At Military Funerals

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2016-02-02 09:01
A shot from our archives: this local nine-year-old flawlessly plays Taps at military services.
Categories: Lower Merion

Winners & losers in the world of politics

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-02-02 06:16
Here's something for Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton to keep in mind as they celebrate victory in the Iowa Caucuses.

Know who won the last two Republican gatherings in Iowa?

That would be Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

I'm thinking maybe more important than the winners in Iowa are the big losers.

On the Republican side, that would have to be Donald Trump, whose showing did not live up to the bluster.

Also keep an eye on Marco Rubio. The Florida senator made a late charge and almost overcame Trump as well. I still think he winds up as the Republican nominee.

On the Democratic side, early this morning Clinton was claiming victory. This still has to be seen as a stinging setback for the woman who was expected to cruise to victory - and the nomination. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will be emboldened by his showing in Iowa - nearly dead even with Clinton.

Here in Delaware County, keep your eyes on the Democrats in the state House 164th District race.

This one is going to be a bare-knuckles, bruising affair.

Incumbent state Rep. Margo Davidson was successful Sunday night in her desire for an open primary. She didn't win the endorsement from the party faithful, but that's not really the point. What she really wanted was to be sure they did not back her opponent, Upper Darby Township Councilmember Sekela Coles.

Davidson managed to do that, and mocked Coles' claim of a win by way of the 39-34 vote. It wasn't enough to win an endorsement, but Coles still claimed victory.

There was some good news for Joe Sestak as well. While Katie McGinty was collecting another key labor endorsement, he managed to snag the backing of Delaware County Democrats, something he did not get back in 2010. You might remember that's when Sestak decided to spit in the face of party leaders who had lined up behind party-switching incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak flew if the face of party decorum and KO'd Specter in the primary, only to loses a tight race to Republican Pat Toomey in the November general election.

Sestak wants another shot at Toomey, but once again is getting little in the way of love from Democratic party leaders, who are lining up behind McGinty.

But Sunday night Sestak got the endorsement of Delco Dems.

Statewide polls show him with a slim lead over McGinty. He'll need all the local support he can get.
Categories: Pennsylvania

All eyes on Punxsutawney - except mine

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-02-02 05:48
Sure, we share a name, but the truth is I've lost my taste for Punxsutawney Phil.

I'm told you should take in the antics surrounding the famous prognosticating groundhog at least once. Apparently they hold a hell of a party out there at Gobbler's Knob.

I'll pass.

Then again, I don't think even Punxsutawney could come up with this forecast. Just a week after we got nearly two feet of snow, we're expecting record-high temperatures in the mid-60s Wednesday.

Unfortunately, that is going to be accompanied by some heavy rain, and that means the distinct possibility of flooding.

I don't think ol' Phil is going to predict that either.

February is one of my least favorite months of the year. Spring remains pretty much a rumor, even if we are expecting spring-like temperatures this week.

I have noticed that it is staying light out longer, but it's still dark when I leave the office.

Let's see, Friday is Wing Bowl, Sunday is the Super Bowl and then next Wednesday marks Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

Shorts and T-shirts are still a long way off.

Here's my prediction, Punxsutawney be damned.

Don't put away the shovel just yet. We'll get at least one more big snow.

And I will continue to grumble about winter like broken record.

If you're interested in the antics surround my pal Phil, go here.If you just want the forecast, you can get that here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Your early a.m. report from the roads

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-02-02 04:52
Here's a couple of early warnings after my morning commute:

First, be prepared to do some scraping. The temperatures dipped just enough to freeze everything that was sitting on your windshield and windows. Unless you start your can and let it warm up, you're going to be doing some serious scraping.

I also quickly discovered that 26-degree temperature mean that a lot of that melted snow on the roads had frozen over. It didn't take me long to head into my first curve and get that sickening feeling that my car was sliding. Luckily, there was no one else on the road at that time and I was able to recover fairly easily.

Here in Delaware County, I'm not really sure it got cold enough overnight to freeze. But the farther out you are, the more likely you are to encounter some slick conditions.

Be careful out there.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Schuylkill Heritage Center Launches 'History App' For Lower Merion Trail Users

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 19:01
Hiking the trail through the township just became a little more interactive.
Categories: Lower Merion

Wynnewood-Based Org. Plans Epic Chinese New Year Celebration

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 16:01
The Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and the Main Line won't be missing out on the fun.
Categories: Lower Merion

UPDATE: Fiery Montco Police Standoff Ends In Arrest

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 14:53
A man barricaded himself inside his home for nearly nine hours, lighting random objects on fire and causing "extensive damage" to the home.
Categories: Lower Merion

Chipotle E. Coli Outbreak Over; Exact Cause Unknown: CDC

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 14:15
An official investigation couldn't nail down a specific cause. There is a chain in Ardmore.
Categories: Lower Merion

Wynnewood Giant Approved To Sell Beer

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 13:19
Do you agree with this decision?
Categories: Lower Merion

'Today's' Hoda Kotb Announces February's Book of the Month Selections

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 12:54
Today Co-Host Hoda Kotb partners with Book of the Month -- check out her selection.
Categories: Lower Merion

Gas Price Dips Below $2 In PA, Ardmore: AAA

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 09:31
But how long will it last? Find the best prices near Ardmore.
Categories: Lower Merion

'Midsummer Night' Racing Series Returns To Lower Merion

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-02-01 09:01
The Bryn Mawr Running Company is putting on the Shakespearean road racing series.
Categories: Lower Merion

Dems vote for open primary, setting up primary battle between incumbent Rep. Margo Davidson, challenger Sekela Coles

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-02-01 07:15
Delaware County Democrats met for their endorsement meeting last night, and the big news of the night was a snub for incumbent state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164. Davidson was successful in stopping an endorsement for her primary foe, Upper Darby Council Member Sekela Coles, but saw a vote show more supporters for Coles. Delco Democrats voted 69-64 in support of Coles and against Davidson, who is seeking a fourth term representing Upper Darby in Harrisburg. It’s not the first time Davidson has been challenged from inside the party. After winning the seat to succeed longtime Upper Darby Republican Rep. Mario Civera, who gave up his seat to run for a seat on County Council, Davidson was endorsed by the part in 2014, but still faced a challenge. She staved off attorney Billy Smith in a bitter primary fight. Smith had attacked her for her pro-life stance and women’s rights issues. Sunday night the county Dems voted 39-34 to back Coles. “Today’s vote sends a clear message that Democrats in Delaware County do not stand behind Rep.Davidson’s record of failing to fund schools, failing to pass a budget and failing to support a woman’s right to choose,” said Daniel McNamara, Coles’ campaign manager. “It shows that Delaware County Democrats are ready for new leadership that will fight for progressive values such as fully funding and equitably funding public education, standing up for women and spurring economic growth in the 164th legislative district.” For her part, Davidson this morning said she considers this a victory, since this was not a formal endorsement, and she had indicated the vote means an open primary, which is what she has wantedfrom the time that Coles announced her candidacy. She also claims to have the backing of several mayors in the district. Davidson seemed to downplay the importance of the backing for Coles, blasting the move and saying that “committee people are a bunch of party insiders.” Coles has represented Upper Darby’s 7th District on township council since 2014. She holds a Ph.D. from Walden University and is an adjunct business professor at Harcum College and Delaware County Community. She has served on Bywood Elementary’s Parent Involvement Program, Governor Wolf’s Transition Committee on Drugs and Alcohol, and the Advisory Board of Delaware County Community College’s branch campuses. Keep an eye on this one. Davidson has beaten back challenges before - including one launched by those in her own party. It’s clear her staunch pro-life beliefs rub a lot of people in the party the wrong way. This one should be a barn-burner.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The case of Alexander McClay Williams

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-02-01 06:53
As we kick off Black History Month, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better lesson than the efforts of local educator and author Sam Lemon on behalf of Alexander McClay Williams.

Williams was just a kid, 16 years old, when he was put to death back in 1931 for the murder of a matron at the Glen Mills School, where the teen was a 'resident.'

Lemon is convinced Williams was unjustly convicted.

Read this story and you can see he makes a power argument for his case.

This coming Sunday, Lemon will present a seminar on his findings from 2-4 p.m. at Media Fellowship House, 302 S. Jackson St. in Media.

The title of his talk is "The Story that Shocked the County."

It is not an understatement.
Categories: Pennsylvania

RIP cousin, Monsignor Burke

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-02-01 06:38
One of the great mysteries of the Heron roots is that my family knows so little about my father's side of the family.

Both of my dad's parents died when he was a young boy. He and his brothers were split up and lived with relatives.

Maybe that is part of the reason dad rarely ever talked about his youth. And it's probably why we really don't know that much about the many distant cousins from the Heron family tree that are scattered across Philadelphia region and suburbs.

We knew vaguely of our connection to the Burkes, Doughertys and McCauleys.

Every once in awhile I would stumble across a connection - and in the process discover a distant relative.

That's how I came to reconnect with the Rev. Tom Heron. He was a cousin, and was invaluable in shedding light on dad's side of the family. When we first met he was at Good Shepherd parish in the Kingsessing section of Philly. Then he was moved out here to Delaware County at St. Gabriel's in Norwood. Now he's at St. Matthew's in Conshohocken.

'Father Tom' held a reunion for the Herons at St. Gabe's where I met a lot of local people I had no idea I was related to.

But I came across another 'heavenly' connection closer to home, or at least what is my second home.

A couple of years ago, during Lent, I started making daily walks to St. Eugene Church, which is basically right up the street from our office. It proved a quiet respite in what is usually the hectic, breakneck pace that goes with the job these days.

Sadly, I have lapsed a bit in my daily visits. Can't even find the time for those now either.

The former pastor, the Rev. Joseph Meehan, noticed my daily visits and we would talk occasionally.

But it was another older priest who was in senior residence at the parish who provided an odd family connection.

As I was walking out of the church one day, I noticed him walking toward the rectory. He noticed me and smiled. We started talking. He said he knew who I was. Then he stunned me by asking me if I knew we were related.

That is how I was introduced to the Rev. Monsignor Michael Burke.

I had always known there were Burkes in our family tree, and I knew several of them were priests, but I had no idea one was living right up the street.

The monsignor was a fan of my columns, and we would swap emails, talking about life and family.

Monsignor Burke died last week.

I learned from his obituary that in addition to his time at St. Eugene, he was the former pastor at SS. Philip and James Parish in Exton.

I will return to St. Eugene's Tuesday morning to pay my final respects to my cousin.

Thanks for the friendship, father.

Rest well, Monsignor Mike.
Categories: Pennsylvania