Berks County

Katie Meyer / WITF

Governor Tom Wolf’s office has confirmed that for nearly five months, he and other administration officials have been quietly negotiating a potential way to stop holding undocumented immigrants at the controversial Berks Family Residential Center. 

Laura Benshoff / WHYY

More than two years after Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas announced the department would not renew its license, the Berks Family Residential Center is still housing dozens of families awaiting decisions about their immigration cases.

Courtesy Rahul Kale / Chrissy Houlahan for Congress

The names of distinguished men who have represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives could fill a book. But names of the women who have done the same fit comfortably on a sticky note.

PA Court To Mull Hearing Partisan Gerrymandering Suit Similar To Case Before SCOTUS

Sep 1, 2017
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Tom Rentschler, an attorney and former high school teacher, has lived in Berks County for most of his life. He remembers as a young adult going to the grocery store and bumping into his local congressman.

But Rentschler, 53, says over time he and other voters in Berks County have lost their voice.

"I just don't think we have anyone speaking for our county," he says.

Summer School With No Walls Keeps Kids Engaged, Active

Aug 3, 2017
Emily Cohen / NewsWorks

The mention of summer school might conjure images of students stuck inside on beautiful days and kids upset at their parents for forcing them to attend.

But there's a summer program that's the opposite of that — and it's outdoors.

Families are already at the community pool, splashing and squealing in the water before 9 a.m.

Outside the fence, 6- and 7-year-olds stand in a circle, playing a rhyming game outside a picnic pavilion at the Boyertown Community Park in Berks County.

Make the Road Pennsylvania / Facebook

More than 100 Hispanic-owned businesses in and around the eastern Pennsylvania city of Reading plan to close on May 1.

The move organized by Make the Road PA is to celebrate International Workers' Day but also to protest the immigration policies of the Trump Administration.

The Berks County business owners have signed a pledge to close that day, and are urging people not to shop that day.

Reading and Berks County have some of the highest concentrations of Hispanic residents in the state.

The group is also planning marches in Reading and Harrisburg that day.

Sen. Judy Schwank

All kinds of signs can decorate a highway work zone. One local lawmaker wants to make sure at least one enforcing speed is taken more seriously.

Joseph LaQuatra, business manager of the Laborers’ Local No. 1058, which represents Pittsburgh highway workers, said signs for speed cameras make a difference. 

“All you see is break lights,” LaQuatra said, referring to drivers slowing down after spotting speed cameras in the 13 states where they're required. “People actually go the speed limit through the work zone. Up here (in Pennsylvania) … there’s no consequence.”