Sno Mountain sale OK’d
A federal bankruptcy court judge in Philadelphia has approved the sale of the Sno Mountain ski area and Sno Cove water park on Montage Mountain to an investment firm for $5.1 million.
The order by Judge Jean FitzSimon allows Montage Mountain Resorts LP to acquire the 440-acre complex that had been declared bankrupt and auctioned off — with a Berks County bank acquiring the property earlier this year when it was the highest bidder. DFM Realty, an affiliate of National Penn Bank, in Boyertown, bid $4.6 million at that time.
Charles Jefferson, an investor with the new ownership group, has told The Times Leader the complex will once again go by the Montage Mountain name.
Library honors Ackerman
The Pittston Area Memorial Library on Wednesday honored an area man with its Jean Yates Award.
At its annual dinner, held at the Mount Carmel Center on William Street, the library recognized the efforts of Ed Ackerman.
Ackerman, editor of the Sunday Dispatch, was a member of the library’s Board of Trustees for many years until 2010. The library identified Ackerman as being a driving force for expansion of the library and its ability to house and showcase the collection. He is an original member of the Capitol Campaign Expansion Committee.
Blue Ribbon awards 9 grants
The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania on Tuesday awarded nine grants totaling $67,329 to regional nonprofit programs. Local recipients were:
* Volunteers in Medicine, in Wilkes-Barre, which provides health care services each year to about 2,500 uninsured and underinsured people. In 2011, VIM also opened a free dental clinic. A foundation grant of $10,000 will allow VIM to expand the hours of a dental assistant and purchase dental and educational supplies.
* In lower Luzerne and Carbon counties, volunteers from Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries who transport seniors to medical appointments and help them with grocery shopping. The program received a $5,000 grant to serve 74 older adults.
* The Greater Wilkes-Barre Association for the Blind received a $5,800 grant to provide free eye health education and vision screenings at 18 senior centers across Luzerne, Pike, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
* The Greater Pittston YMCA received a $10,200 grant to support its cancer wellness program.
Powell released by feds
Attorney Robert J. Powell, a key figure in the public corruption scandal that sent two Luzerne County judges to prison, was released Tuesday from a Florida halfway house, marking the completion of his 18-month prison sentence in connection with the case.
Powell had been co-owner of PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care, two private, for-profit juvenile centers at the heart of the downfall of then-judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan.
Powell was charged in June 2009 with failing to report illegal activity by the two judges. He pleaded guilty and cooperated with the investigation, wearing a wire tap during at least one meeting with Conahan and Ciavarella and ultimately testifying at Ciavarella’s trial.
Powell testified the two judges extorted money in exchange for actions they took on the bench to benefit the juvenile detention and treatment centers, including placement of children deemed delinquent by Ciavarella during his tenure as juvenile court judge. It became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, a label Ciavarella resolutely rejected even while admitting he took money he should not have taken.
As a result of the scandal and the conviction, Powell’s law license was suspended. He also lost a yacht, private jet and expansive house in Mountain Top. His law license has been suspended. He also sold his interest in the detention centers.