Top 10 stories of the week in Northwest Philly

Here’s a look at what you may have missed this week:

1. Wissahickon elementary school tightens security measures in light of local and national school safety scares

Karen Thomas, principal of Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School, recognizes how easily schools can take safety for granted. … [I]n light of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, and the kidnapping that occurred inside Bryant Elementary in West Philadelphia, Thomas and her staff have evaluated and tightened their student safety procedures. Carrie Hagen’s story from last week offers more details about the changes.

2. Chestnut Hill hosts second AVI panel

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The Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) hosted a second meeting on the city’s Actual Value Initiative (AVI), this time with representatives from the Office of Property Assessment (OPA). About 60 attendees came out to Norwood-Fontbonne Academy on Tuesday evening to learn what’s in store for real estate taxes come 2014. Read Jana Shea’s story for more.

3. First-ever Germantown Artists Roundtable networking event draws an estimated 100 people

While planning their first-ever networking party, Germantown Artists Roundtable organizers had that nagging worry familiar to most hosts: Will anybody show up? The answer, they found out last weekend, was clearly yes. Check Alaina Mabaso’s story for an event which is expected to occur once every four months now.

4. Extreme ice battles cater to a Cotton St. crowd

“Manayunk On Ice” closed late Sunday afternoon with a carnivalesque scene on Cotton Street. For over four hours, professional ice sculptors competed head to head in 30-minute single-elimination rounds. The final two split a $2,000 prize sponsored by the Manayunk Development Corporation. For more details, check out Carrie Hagen’s story.

5. Jonathan Best to close its Chestnut Hill shop

A fixture in Chestnut Hill for over 30 years, Jonathan Best Gourmet Grocer is preparing to close its doors to the community. The specialty food shop, located at 8229 Germantown Ave. and downtown in Reading Terminal Market, will not be renewing its lease after it expires on March 31. The Reading Terminal Market location will remain open. Check Jana Shea’s story for more information.

6. Stations of the Cross artwork stolen from shuttered Germantown church

A Catholic church in southwest Germantown, shuttered as a result of Archdiocese-wide mergers, was burglarized twice in recent weeks. St. Francis of Assisi recently experienced thefts totaling almost $65,000 in value. Read Matthew Grady’s story for more about the yet-solved case.

7. ‘Never Give Up’ fitness studio secured as additional tenant of former Propper Bros. building

For decades, Sam Kroungold watched the comings and goings at Manayunk’s Propper Bros. furniture store from his office, from a desk perched in a mezzanine overlooking the cavernous showroom. These days, the view is quite different, but Kroungold still has a birds-eye view of activity at the 40,000 square-foot Levering Street landmark, busy with activity again two years after he went out of the furniture business. Check out Amy Z. Quinn’s story for more.

8. Philly’s only Vietnam-era Medal of Honor recipient still touching lives 45 years after death

Cpl. Michael Crescenz was the only Philadelphia native to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in the Vietnam War. Now, a bill is being considered in Washington that would rename Philadelphia’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center in his honor. Kevin McCorry’s story has much more about the legacy of a hero from West Oak Lane.

9. Wissahickon Charter School awarded grant to aid construction costs

Expansion plans for the Wissahickon Charter School are getting a boost from a just-announced William Penn Foundation grant. Amy Z. Quinn’s story has more.

10. Greetings from Neema Roshania, your new Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill editor

Earlier this month, Neema Roshania introduced herself to readers as the new community editor for NewsWorks’ Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill page. She will host her next office hours from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Chestnut Hill Coffee Co., 8620 Germantown Ave. Stop by to say hi and pitch a story!

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