UPPER MERION >>Maybe you noticed the confused daffodils and hyacinths sprouting up last week when the balmy weather fooled them into thinking it was spring. Naturally, those flowers that signal a time of renewal and fresh beginnings are abruptly retreating now that winter has quickly and harshly sliced down their premature dreams mid-bloom. Not to worry. The season of longer days, baseball and garden catalogues is just around the corner this weekend in spirit at least at Valley Forge Casino Resort, 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia, which welcomes back the free-admission Greater Philadelphia Spring Home Show Jan. 8, 9 and 10.
As they stroll through the aisles of the casino s convention center floor, homeowners will find everything for hearth and home they desire among the hundreds of exhibitors displaying their wares and services at the annual home improvement extravaganza.
From custom shelving to windows and solar energy to hardwood and even bamboo flooring, the experts will be on hand to tout their products and offer free advice. Produced by American Consumer Shows, the event gives visitors the opportunity to learn about new products and trends across all categories of home improvement. After taking the stage literally at the Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine and Spirits at Valley Forge Casino Resort last October with its makeshift model kitchen where the likes of Paula Deen and other chefs created their culinary magic, Dilworth s Custom Design is returning to First Avenue to showcase its custom design, building and installation expertise, with a brand new booth.
The booth shows master bath and kitchen options, so we think it will be well received, noted director of sales and design Dave Dilworth.
The setup is more inclusive than the company s Festival booth in October, he pointed out.
That one was just a kitchen. Now we re showing kitchen and master bath to meet more of the needs of the people walking through … to make sure there is an awareness that we do bathrooms too. Normally we re just showing kitchens. People that have been following us for years will see a few changes this time. At the massive Dilworth s showroom at 175 N. Whitehorse Road, Phoenixville, visitors will discover a stunning array of model kitchens, from Old World to contemporary, as well as plenty of visual cues surrounding the company s other area of expertise, baths.
Besides kitchens and baths, we also do entertainment centers, bars, staircases, anything for the interior of the home, Dilworth said of the company founded 25 years ago by his brother, CEO Dan Dilworth, who oversees all installations.
We re a little bit unique in that we design, build, deliver and install … the whole process. Many companies offer a piece of that. They may be a design firm or they build cabinets only. In our case, we have a full design staff. Dilworth s turnkey renovation process guides clients through every detail of the remodeling process, with design and craftsmanship all taking place all under one roof.
A third brother, Ben Dilworth, is the actual guy in the shop, building the cabinetry, Dilworth said, adding that the Dilworths transformative touch can be found in homes that are roughly within an hour s rush hour driving distance from the shop. Exhibitors at the Greater Philadelphia Spring Home Show also include 3C Home & Hearth; Acre Window Replacement; Aerus Electrolux – Air Purifier; Affordable Kitchen Designers; Affordable Weaver; AGL Spray Foam; Ambient Bamboo Floors; American Kitchen Refacing; Angie s List; AquaGuard Waterproofing Corp.; Aston Black; Bachman s Roofing, Building & Remodeling; Basement Waterproofing Specialists; Bath Fitter; Beacon Of Life Chiropractic; Best Contracting; BetterLiving Sunrooms; Big Green Energy Solutions; Blinds Shade & Shutter Factory; BQ Basement Systems; Brian Cox Building & Remodeling; Castle The Window People ; Closets By Design;Colonial Marble & Granite; Conestoga Valley Custom Kitchens, Inc.; Creative Marketing Ventures; FantaSea Resorts; Custom Pull Out Shelves, LLC; Cutco Cutlery; Daniel Lawn & Garden Spas; Delaware Valley Concrete Coatings; Enovative Technologies; EZ Streaming TV; Father and Son Builders; First Place Painting; Five Star Home Foods; Garage Force of Main Line; Gardner/Fox Associates, Inc.; Gehman Design Remodeling; Global Home Improvements Incorporated; Grande Finale Designs; Granite Transformations; Greater Philadelphia Newspapers; Green Mountain Energy Company; Green Star Exteriors; Grout King; Guardian Protection Services; Gutter Helmet Systems; Hawaiian Moon Aloe; Home Smart Industries/Bath Planet Philadelphia; Home Team Remodelers, Inc.; HomeNet Solutions; HomeStar Remodeling; House & Home Magazine; Install America; JB Roofing Systems; K & G Shop; Kitchen Craft; Kitchen Magic; Kitchen Saver; Kitchen Tune-Up; Kitchens by Eileen; Leaf Guard; McGee Electric, LLC; Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing; Middle Creek Roofing; Mosquito Squad of Chester County; NiteLites; Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.; Palandro; Paradise Grilling Systems; Pezzotti Bros. Landscaping & Tree Service; Pinnacle Building & Design; Power Home Remodeling Group; Queen Appliance Wholesale; R.E.M. Sleep Solutions; Renewal by Andersen; Sandberg s Custom Hardwood Floors; Sears Home Services; SolarCity; Touchstone Kitchens & Bath, LLC; Tri County Exteriors; USA Insulation; Vacation Village Resorts & Affiliates; Vector Security and Window Nation. Hours for the Greater Philadelphia Spring Home Show are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
June 1: The V.I. Education Department announces that it will close Elena Christian Junior High School and Evelyn M. Williams Elementary School on St. Croix for the 2015- 2016 school year. A long- standing need for repairs require the temporary closures. June 3: Margot Bachman, longtime resident who founded and published St. Thomas This Week; St. Thomas Today; and St. Croix This Week, dies at age 97. June 6: The University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees approves a sexual assault policy that moves the burden of proof in a rape accusation from the accuser to the accused person, who under the new rules must show that “affirmative consent” was present during a sexual act.
June 11: Triplets Kryston, J’Ayson, and Krystopher are born to parents Krystal Augustine and Jason Donovan at Schneider Hospital. June 14: Sanijah Gris is crowned St. John Festival Princess 2015. June 14: The USVI Culinary Team is awarded silver overall in the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s 2015 Taste of the Caribbean Competition in Miami, Fla. Team members also receive individual medals throughout the competition.
June 16: Ronica Miller, wife of former Schneider Regional Medical Center exective Rodney Miller, is sentenced to three years in prison for withdrawing funds that had been frozen by court order in connection with her husband’s pending criminal charges. June 16: Local businessman Allie Petrus adopts Emile Griffith Ballpark on St. Thomas as part of the Sports, Parks and Recreation Adoption Team program. June 17: Gov. Mapp appoints former Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone as a federal programs coordinator on climate change.
June 18: The Education Department upsets scores of parents when it says it plans to transfer Charlotte Amalie High School principal Stefan Jurgen to Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. Alcide Edwards will replace Jurgen as principal at Charlotte Amalie High School. June 20: Charlotte Kimelman, benefactress to the U.S. Virgin Islands, dies at age 93. Kimelman – and her husband, Henry Kimelman – founded the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Center at Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas. June 20: Shanell Harney is crowned St. John Festival Queen 2015.
July 1: Citing “declining interactions with law enforcement,” Crime Stoppers USVI suspends operations for six months, with plans to reassess the situation and decide whether to restart or shut down for good. July 8: Rick Weinstein and Tom Eggleston become the first gay couple to marry in the U.S. Virgin Islands. July 8: Shirvel Luke of Charlotte Amalie High School is named The Daily News Female Athlete of the Year.
July 9: Leo Castillo of Central High School is named The Daily News Male Athlete of the Year. July 9: Gov. Mapp withdraws Phyllis Wallace’s nomination – at her request – to be V.I. Health commisioner. While citing personal reasons for the withdrawal, Wallace consents to serve in an acting capacity until a successor is named. July 10: Ten year old Jalani Phillips Jr., a 10-year-old student at Ulla F. Muller Elementary School, represents the Virgin Islands at First Lady Michelle Obama’s annual “Kids’ State Dinner” in Washington, D.C.
July 11: The Virgin Islands Little League team defeats top seeded Mexico to win the 50/70 Intermediate Regional and advance to the Little League World Series in California. July 17: Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter voids the sale of 153 parcels of property that were auctioned off during 12 different property tax auctions in 2012 and 2013 unter the deJongh administration. The auctions and subsequent sales were the focus of a 2014 V.I. Inspector General’s report that resulted in a criminal investigation into “allegations of questionable bidding practices and a lack of compliance with statutory Regulations governing real property auctions conducted by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.”
July 20: Lt. Gov. Potter announces his intent to personally take over the payments for the Mahogany Run condo rented for him at taxpayer expense. July 21: Lt. Gov. Potter announces the nominaton of Rick Mullgrav as director of the V.I. Corrections Bureau.
July 22: Schneider Regional Medical Center receives accreditation from the Joint Commission for the next three years. July 23: Corinne Sparks Lockhart, St. Thomas- born community leader, volunteer, philanthropist and founder of the Girl Scouts of the Virgin Islands, dies at age 91. July 28: Lt. Gov. Potter countersigns Gov. Mapp’s executive order that enforces marriage equality in the territory.
July 30: The 31st Legislature approves the nomination Deborah Howell as adjutant general of the V.I. National Guard; Valdamier Collens as Finance commissioner; Beverly Nicholson- Doty as Tourism commissioner, Milton Potter as Personnel Director; Carlos Robles as Agriculture commissioner; Devin Carrington as Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner; Marvin Pickering as director of the Internal Revenue Bureau; Gustav James as Public Works commissioner; Vivian Ebbesen- Fludd as commissioner of Human Services; Nellon Bowry as director of the Office of Management and Budget; Dawn Henry as commisioner of Planning and Natural Resources; and Randolph Bennett as commissioner of Property and Procurement – but not before capping the pay for directors and commissioners at the level paid on December 31, 2014. July 30: The 31st Legislature rejects Eugene Farrell’s nomination as V.I. Fire Service director for a second time. July 30: Sea View Nursing Home withdraws its appeal over its closing and submits a “notice of closure” to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
July 30: Nneka Howard -Sibilly of Charlotte Amalie High School and Shamika Williams Henley of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School are among 108 teachers to receive the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. July 31: Gov. Mapp nominates Capt. Clifford Joseph as the director of the V.I. Fire Service. July 31: V.I. National Guard Adjutant Gen. Renaldo Rivera retires.
Aug. 1: The Virgin Islands Daily News celebrates its 85th aniversary. Aug. 5: Gov. Mapp appoints rejected Fire Service director nominee Eugene Farrell as a senior adviser in his administration. Aug. 5: Gov. Mapp nominates Claude Walker as the territory’s attorney general.
Aug. 5: Lt. Gov. Potter announces the new online portal for paying V.I. property taxes at propertytax.vi.gov. Aug. 6: Julito Francis, former director of finance and administration at the V.I. Public Finance Authority and the former CEO of the V.I. Next Generation Network; Gerard Castor, president and owner of Balbo Construction Corp.; and John Woods, co- principal architect with Jaredian Design Group of St. Thomas, are indicted on federal charges. Federal agents say an investigation revealed that Castor bribed Francis and Woods to get his Balbo Construction firm more than $17 million in Public Finance Authority construction contracts in return for free or heavily discounted construction work on their homes. Aug. 7: The Moravian Church on St. John restricts use of its floating dock in Coral Bay after receiving a citation from the Coastal Zone Management Commission stating that the structure is unauthorized and unpermitted.
Aug. 9: The Bordeaux basketball court on St. Thomas is renamed the Milt Newton Park in honor of the V.I. native and Minnesota Timberwolves general manager. Aug. 10: Basil Ottley Jr. is named as the policy director for the Office of Insular Affairs in Washington, D.C. Aug. 11: The V.I. Port Authority takes over the Cruz Bay taxi concession on St. John.
Aug. 13: St. Croix news reporter and radio personality Alvin “Alvin G” Southwell dies. Aug. 14: Phase one of the Margaritaville Vacation Club in Smith, St. Thomas, opens with 62 studio and studio deluxe units, as well as the resort’s restaurant and retail shops. Aug. 14: The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs and the Divsision of Banking and Insurance announce the suspension of MoneyGram money transfer services at six locations in the territory after the police department launches an investigation of two of the company’s franchise operators.
Aug. 18: Former Gov. John deJongh Jr. and former Public Finance Authority director Julito Francis are each arrested and charged with one count of embezzlement of public funds and one count of neglecting to pay over public monies in relation to $490,000 of taxpayer -funded security improvements to the former governor’s private Estate Mafolie home. Acting Attorney General Claude Walker describes the charges as local crimes and confirms there are no federal charges associated with the case. Aug. 21: Former Internal Revenue Bureau Director Louis “Lolo” Willis is convicted of two of three felony counts against him in connection with a scheme to help Balbo Construction avoid paying taxes. Aug. 24: The Internal Revenue Bureau repons its excise tax office at Rohlsen Airport in a new location next to DHL.
Aug. 24: Elliot “Mac” Davis, the attorney who in 2007 authored an opinion saying public funds could be used to pay for security improvements for former Gov. deJongh’s private residence, leaves the V.I. Justice Department. Aug. 25: The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the West Indian Company is a government entity and sends a wrongful termination lawsuit back to the District Court for further consideration. Aug. 25: Gov. Mapp names Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Devin Carrington to the board of directors for the V.I. Water and Power Authority.
Aug. 25: Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen Jr., the first black avaitor and brigadier general in the Marine Corps, dies at age 83. Petersen’s father was from St. Croix. Aug. 26: The U.S. Department of Agriculture designates St. Croix as a primary natural disaster area due to prolonged drought damage since April 1. Aug. 27: Tropical Storm Erika passes southwest of St. Croix, knocking out eight of nine electrical feeders on the island. St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island received little to no damage.
Aug. 29: The University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees approves a resolution authorizing UVI President David Hall to execute a $30 million loan with FirstBank Puerto Rico to establish funding for the university’s proposed School of Medicine. Aug. 31: Valdemar Hill Jr., the V.I. government’s chief negotiator of the Office of Collective Bargaining, retires. Aug. 31: MoneyGram terminates its relationship with six businesses that operated money transfer locations in the territory.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The former Penn Staters were leaders at their positions for their relatively moribund franchises. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just fired their head coach, Lovie Smith, after a last-place season. The Chicago Bears also came in last place, and are coached by noted high school security guard John Fox. Both were decidedly bad football teams, but both had solid young bright spots in the form of Happy Valley products Donovan Smith and Adrian Amos, both of whom were selected to Mel Kiper’s All-Rookie team (Insider required). Smith, selected with the second pick in the second round, was chosen to protect Jameis Winston’s blindside after a productive but somewhat-maligned Penn State career. Left tackle is an incredibly difficult position, one that chews rookies up and spits them out. Smith had 10 penalties against him, but to his credit started 16 games and got better and better as the season wore on. He’s a legitimate starting NFL tackle, which is a valuable commodity. Per Kiper:
Important: Smith gets the nod at left tackle where, frankly, it wasn’t pretty for any rookie who saw time there, and Havenstein gets the nod at right tackle. After that, let’s just say it’s not easy to jump to the NFL and hold down a tackle position as a rookie.
Amos, a fifth rounder who left Penn State as a very accomplished, versatile secondary player, had a season worthy of praise. He finished the season with 67 total tackles (partly a result of the Bears’ defensive woes, and partly a result of him being incredibly rangy), a sack, a stuffed run, and two defended passes. He’s definitely a key piece of the Bears’ future at the position. As Kiper put it:
Amos played a very good free safety for the Bears. Great detailed analysis from The Haircut there. Three other Big Ten players in former Maryland WR Stefon Diggs, former Nebraska RB/KR Ameer Abdullah, and former Iowa T Brandon Scherff also made the list. Along with now-Pro Bowler Allen Robinson, Penn State has plenty of young talent on the upswing in the pros.