Man Hopes To Establish Miscrodistillery In Lancaster City

A bottle of American rye whiskey

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Andrew H. Martin has seen the rise in microbreweries in recent years.

Now he hopes to be a part of the next big wave: microspirits.

Martin, of East Orange Street, plans to convert a former three-story tobacco warehouse into the county’s first distillery since Prohibition.

And, within a year, he hopes to be reintroducing consumers to a product unseen here in nearly a century: locally made rye whiskey.

“It’s something I’ve been interested in for a while. I’ve been reading about it for a while,” said Martin, 34.

“Lancaster seems like a great place. The history of distilling is strong. It was destroyed with Prohibition, but I think it would come back.”

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Marriott Hotel Moving Toward April Opening In Coatesville

COATESVILLE, PA — The Marriott Hotel along Route 82 is behind schedule for its mid-April opening, according to developers.

To meet their deadline, the developers asked City Council to allow an above-ground stormwater basin planned for the site to go underground instead. Developer Don Pulver said the site has a large amount of dirt that would have to be moved unless it is used to cover the basin.

“We are struggling to get the hotel up and are behind schedule,” Pulver said. “We need to do something with that dirt and try to get the site finished. Time is of the essence.”

The developers are revising the overall plans for the project, which include the hotel, an office building and a restaurant. The revision includes changing the originally proposed parking garage and making all on-site parking surface level.

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Land Bank Bill Newest Anti-Blight Tool

HARRISBURG – Local governments could set up land banks to prepare abandoned and tax-delinquent properties for new uses under a House-approved bill offering the latest tool to fight blight.

The House approved the measure this week enabling a county, city or borough with a population greater than 10,000 to create a land bank.

Sen. David Argall, R-29, Tamaqua, has sponsored a companion bill in the Senate. He thinks the land bank idea would be welcomed in Northeast Pennsylvania. “Any community that has any degree of economic distress is going to have a blight problem,” he said.

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Old Eagles Building Ready For New Life As Arts Center In York

Before any artists could move in, the decades-old paneling and drop ceilings definitely had to go.

“We kind of undid the  ’70s,” Blanda Nace said as he climbed a newly renovated staircase toward a giant rectangular room on the top floor. When the building belonged to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, this was the “ritual room,” Nace said, smiling.

Someday soon, the York County Industrial Development Authority (YCIDA) project manager is hoping the ritual room will be the site of education seminars, wedding receptions and community banquets — the cherry on top of a $2.5 million makeover for the downtown building.

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Lehigh Valley Health Network Surpasses 10,000 Employees

Unlike many skilled craftsmen, Mike Scott, a carpenter from Slatington, has collected a steady paycheck for the past 25 years, regardless of the weather and economy.

Scott builds cabinets, countertops and other fixtures for Lehigh Valley Health Network, the Valley’s biggest employer. People are often surprised to learn where he works after hearing his profession.

“Ninety percent of people have no idea that a hospital has a full staff of all the different trades,” said Scott, standing in a large wood shop at the western edge of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township.

For years, the nonprofit health network has been the Valley’s top employer. And now it has earned a distinction not seen since the heyday of Bethlehem Steel. The network became the first Valley employer in at least 30 years to surpass the 10,000-employee mark, with 10,207 workers in 2011.

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SAP Adding 500 Jobs In Newtown Square

NEWTOWN — It does not seem to matter what the economic forecast is or how rough other employees are having it.

When it comes to the world’s largest business software provider, the “Help Wanted” sign always seems to be front and center.

Coming off what company officials called “the best year in our 40-year history,” SAP will add 500 jobs at its North America headquarters on West Chester Pike.

“The growth of the company as a whole was very strong in 2011 and these jobs in Newtown Square are part of a larger hiring of about 2,800 people across North America,” said company spokesman Atle Erlingsson. “They will be filled by a broad spectrum of people, from those with 10 or 15 years of experience to interns and those looking for their first job out of college.”

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Berks County To Regain 73.2 Percent Of All Jobs Lost Due To Recession By End Of Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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Though the local economy is still struggling, Berks County is recovering jobs that were lost in the recession faster than most metropolitan areas across the country, according to a new report.

By the end of 2012, Berks is expected to have regained 73.2 percent of the 10,100 nonfarm jobs that disappeared during the recession from December 2007 to June 2009, according to the analysis by IHS Global Insight, an international financial forecasting company.

That means the Reading metro area is 54th from the top out of 363 metro areas in terms of the percentage of pre-recession jobs recovered.

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