Dogs take over the Wildwoods Convention Center for annual Kennel Club show

WILDWOOD — More than 100 dogs and their owners pranced around the Wildwoods Convention Center on Wednesday for one of the largest shows in the area before the Westminster Dog Show next month. The Boardwalk Kennel Club’s annual Atlantic Ocean Classic, which runs until Sunday, brings dogs and their owners from throughout the country to the area for a rare and popular winter event at the shore. Donna Bruce, a native of Williamsburg, Virginia, has competed in dog shows up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest. She also has competed 32 times at the Westminster Dog Show, and will be heading back next month. She competes at the shows with her partner, Julie Lacey-Black, of Mariaville, Maine. Bruce, who said she currently has 16 dogs, said she raises the female dogs in Virginia, while Lacey-Black raises the male dogs. She said she is very impressed with the convention center and the dog show's operation. “It’s a beautiful facility and a great event,” she said. “We will definitely be coming back here again.” Dolly and Frank Teti, of Berlin, Camden County, have been competing in the Wildwood show and others in North Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for six years. This year, they brought their golden retriever, Bentley, to Wildwood. “Our regular obedience trainer brought this up to us, so we tried it and have been doing it ever since,” Dolly Teti said. Dolly and Frank both said they think they get more excited for the show than their dogs do. “(Bentley) doesn’t care; he just wants to know when dinner is,” Frank Teti joked. Not all of the competitors traveled far. Joe Rodano, of Wildwood Crest, brought Bella, his miniature bull-terrier, to the show for the seventh year. “I used to show horses when I was a kid in Vineland, and now I’ve moved on to do this,” he said. “I bought Bella to be my best friend, and now we both have fun at the shows.” Continue Reading

Check out these 7 Pennsylvania garden and home shows in 2018

Just because it’s bitter cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t dream big about your next garden or home project. There will be plenty of time during the coming months to page through seed catalogs, and there are garden shows big and small coming to the region at which you will be able to find tons of inspiration and get your hands dirty. Read on for more information about seven garden (and home) shows coming this winter and spring. For the Love of Orchids What: This is the annual orchid show hosted by Susquehanna Orchid Society. The show is all about orchids, from exhibits and sales to activities for children and educational events, along with more than 1,000 orchids. Several orchid groups in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware will compete for awards. Where: Hershey Gardens. When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 2-4. Not to miss: The orchid Sharry Baby smells like chocolate. Other rare species and unique hybrids include vandas, dendrobiums, cattleyas and paphiopedilums. Tickets: The orchid show is free, but admission is charged for the gardens. Winter admission is $10 for ages 13 to 61, $9 for 62 and older, $8 for ages 3 to 12 and free for children 2 and younger. Free for Hershey Garden members. Information: Did you know? Several orchids displayed at previous Susquehanna Orchid Society shows have received national recognition by the American Orchid Society. Pennsylvania Garden Show of York What: This garden show across the Susquehanna River has a judged flower show, displays, vendors, plus tastings from four vineyards and a distillery. Free talks will cover topics like invasive insects, gardening for seniors and upcycling antiques, trees, orchids and more. There will be workshops on birdhouses and other crafts. Where: Memorial Hall, York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave., York. When: March 2-4. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Not to miss: A three-course Continue Reading

Suspect who murdered Pennsylvania state trooper texted, ‘I killed the cop’ to his son’s mother

The suspect in the slaying of a Pennsylvania state trooper sent a text afterward to his son's mother, apologizing to her and acknowledging, "I killed the cop," according to court records released Tuesday. The arrest warrant, issued before suspect Jason Robison was shot and killed by police, said Trooper Landon Weaver came to Robison's home in Hesston on Friday to investigate a report that Robison had defied a protective order by contacting his son's mother. The 23-year-old trooper told Robison that his text exchanges with her violated a protection-from-abuse order issued in April. Robison, 32, replied he did not want to go to jail, police said. Sherry Robison, Robison's mother, told investigators that Jason Robison and Weaver had been in a mudroom beside the kitchen when Robison came into the kitchen, put a lighter on a counter and pulled a small black gun from his pants. "She stated, 'Jason what are you doing?'" police wrote. Robison then stepped into the mudroom, and she heard a "pop" and saw Weaver fall face-down into the kitchen, bleeding, the document said. Sherry Robison yelled for her boyfriend, who was in the basement, and he called 911. Police said about 15 minutes later, Jason Robison sent three texts to his child's mother: "I killed the cop," ''Shot him twice in the head he is dead. I love you! I always will!" and "Good bye sweetheart. I'm Sorry." Police tracked Robison to an unoccupied mobile home nearby the next morning. Police said they shot and killed him after he refused orders and made threats. State police said Tuesday that Robison shot Weaver with a .32-caliber Beretta semi-automatic handgun. The gun owner did not realize it was missing, but the owner's son, Bradley McMullen, 28, confessed that he stole the handgun from his father and traded it to Robison for five opioid pills, police said. He was charged Monday with theft and receiving stolen property and jailed on $25,000 bail. The Continue Reading

“Convention”-al wisdom questioned by expert who studies economics of event spaces

The crowd at Queens College applauded vigorously as Gov. Andrew Cuomo returned to his home borough to deliver his proposal of a modern, expansive development in their backyard. “New York must stay ahead of the competition,” Cuomo said last week after a joke about his Queens accent and praise about the borough’s “mosaic.” Cuomo noted that the Jacob Javits Center is lagging behind other event spaces in the nation. The space on the West Side of Manhattan doesn’t crack the top ten in terms of its footprint. “My plan is, let’s build the largest convention center in the nation,” he continued. “I say, let’s build it in Queens.” The speech then quickly transitioned into proposed reforms on various other topics such as education and the excitement gave way to more grave concerns, such as Buffalo’s struggling economy. But a proposal that could theoretically change the landscape of the borough creates more questions than one gubernatorial appearance in Flushing on a chilly January morning can answer. Meanwhile, more than 1,700 miles away, Heywood Sanders chuckled to himself. The economics professor at the University of Texas, San Antonio, pours over spreadsheets, looking for patterns and trends in the convention industry. Sanders said Gov. Cuomo isn’t the first elected official to use talk of a convention center to elicit applause from an audience. He recites from a 1949 New York Times editorial, pushing for the Columbus Circle Coliseum. He then reads from articles from the 1970s when the West Side of Manhattan became the target of shovels and conferences. New York City has a 30-year itch, Sanders said. But the last decade hasn’t been kind to the convention industry. “City after city builds and expands a convention center,” he said. “Yet they end up doing less business than they did 20 or 30 years ago.” Sanders points to Continue Reading

7 things to do for holidays in Philly

The City of Brotherly Love glows during the holiday season, as Philadelphia makes the most of its Colonial history and its vibrant neighborhoods.Residents and business owners gussy up the side streets with lights and decorations. The glitziest areas include Jewelers' Row, on Sansom Street between Seventh and Eighth streets, and on Eighth Street between Chestnut and Walnut streets, and the residential neighborhoods of South and West Philadelphia.Christmas trees can be found all over town — near City Hall, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rittenhouse Square.Whether you're looking to spend time skating, shopping or sight-seeing, Philadelphia will keep you busy in December.Here are seven beloved holiday attractions in Philly: 1. Macy's Center CityHoused in the historic Wanamaker building at 1300 Market St., Macy's Center City continues some of Philadelphia's most cherished holiday traditions.Macy's Christmas Light Show, which had its origins at Wanamaker's in 1956, uses more than 100,000 LED lights to create images of snowflakes, ballerinas and reindeer that float beyond the four-story-high velvet curtain in the Grand Court atrium, as the stories of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Frosty The Snowman are narrated in a recording by Julie Andrews. During the light show, music is played on the Wanamaker Grand Organ, a National Historic Landmark that is the largest playable instrument in the world. The organ's nearly 28,500 pipes and six manuals give it the capabilities of three symphony orchestras.Wanamaker purchased the organ in 1909 when it was known as the St. Louis World’s Fair Pipe Organ, and it was installed in the Grand Court of the Wanamaker building several years later. Throughout the year, Grand Court Organ concerts are performed twice daily, Monday through Saturday. MORE THINGS TO DO:  Disney On Ice in NJ in January!Macy's Christmas Light Show runs daily through Dec. 31, from 10 a.m. to Continue Reading

Fifty years ago, Goldwater rocked GOP convention

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the raucous 1964 Republican National Convention that nominated Arizona's U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater and steered the Republican Party hard to the right.The explosive July 13, 1964, to July 16, 1964, gathering at the San Francisco's Cow Palace highlighted the severe divide in the GOP between conservatives who backed the front-runner Goldwater and moderates who backed New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, Goldwater's chief rival in the primaries, and Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton, a late entrant in the race. MORE: Read more on Barry Goldwater"It was very controversial," said Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics who is working on a documentary on the 1964 election that is expected to air on PBS in the fall. "It was really the first indication that the Republican Party would become the conservative party and that moderates, sooner or later, would be shown the door. It took a long time, but Goldwater set the standard for the future."The convention climaxed with Goldwater's now-famous nomination acceptance speech in which he proclaimed "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" and "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."Other emotionally charged moments included noisy conservatives in the audience drowning out Rockefeller with catcalls and boos when he called on Republicans to adopt a platform that repudiated the party's "extremists." The GOP moderates likewise tried and failed to add liberal planks on civil rights and nuclear arms."It was one of the first times that technology was brought to bear in communications, with a command post, and all the soldiers on the floor, making sure that the delegates are all lined up," Barry Goldwater Jr., the 1964 nominee's son, recently recalled in an interview with The Arizona Republic. "That was full of intrigue, and a lot of planning and execution. They just outfoxed the Rockefellers and the Scrantons and they Continue Reading

President Obama heads to campaign appearance with Rep. Joe Sestak, who beat Arlen Specter in primary

WASHINGTON - President Obama is heading to Philadelphia late Monday to make his first campaign appearance with Rep. Joe Sestak since he opposed the Pennsylvania Democrat in his Senate primary against Sen. Arlen Specter.Both the White House and Sestak campaign insiders insist there are no hard feelings left over from the contentious primary earlier this year. Those relations reached a boiling point when Sestak loyalists said the White House tried to lure him out the race with a government job offer.Now Sestak, who faces conservative GOP Rep. Pat Toomey in the fall, finds himself one of the few Democrats running for statewide office who thinks Obama can help him toward victory, Democratic sources said. The same goes doubly for Vice President Biden, who has Pennsylvania roots."They play well in Philadelphia," a Democratic source said.Expect to see the White House do more for Sestak as the November election approaches, sources said. Obama is expected to hold a party rally next month in Philadelphia, sources confirmed.Obama is the headliner Monday at two fundraisers for Sestak at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. He will speak at both a reception for Sestak and later at a dinner for the candidate.Tickets for the reception range from $250 to $750, while donors are being asked to pay $1,000 to $2,400 to attend the dinner.Obama is also the keynote speaker at a separate Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Hurricane Gustav may change course of Republican convention

ST. PAUL, Minn. - John McCain introduced new running mate Sarah Palin to voters in battleground Pennsylvania on Saturday as they wound their way toward St. Paul and a Republican National Convention where the mood was suddenly threatened by Hurricane Gustav. Gulf state governors could decide to remain at home if the storm threatens to bring serious damage. It could also affect Monday's opening-night address by President Bush. Gustav's projected path suggests it will make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday on Louisiana's central coast. READ MORE: HELEN KENNEDY BLOGS FROM NEW ORLEANS AS GUSTAV NEARSSaid McCain: "You know it just wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster, so we're monitoring it from day to day and I'm saying a few prayers, too." He commented in an interview taped for "Fox News Sunday." A top McCain aide, Mark Salter, said the campaign is drawing up contingency plans for what to do about the convention depending on when and where the storm hits. But he cautioned that it didn't mean the gathering would be canceled outright. "It might change what we do at the convention" but wouldn't necessarily mean calling it off, Salter said. LIVE: FOLLOW TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV'S PATH Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, in his first direct comment on McCain's unexpected running-mate choice, said he had called her on Friday to wish her luck "but not too much." McCain and Palin made a morning stop at Tom's Diner in Pittsburgh's trendy Southside neighborhood. The running mates, with spouses in tow, greeted patrons and posed for pictures. Palin's daughters Willow and Piper were also on hand, with Willow carrying Palin's 4-month old son, Trig. The first-term Alaska governor told reporters she was having fun in her new role. "It's great to see another part of the country," she said. She also said she'd managed to get a little sleep Continue Reading

Convention Confidential: Charlize isn’t chatty; Sir Charles is

She looked like a million Krugerrands, but South African beauty Charlize Theron did not sound happy as she marched into a Democratic National Convention screening of her new film, "Battle in Seattle." "I am absolutely flabbergasted how we went from no press to this kind of press," the Oscar-winner fumed on her cell phone. Possibly she was peeved that the media had become distracted by a video in which a paparazzo ambushes her at the Denver airport. Brushing him off, she says, "Are you blind or are you just stupid?" The actress wasn't talking about anything when we saw her at the SeaChange Forum screening. Fortunately, her beau, Stuart Townsend, who wrote and directed their film, was game to discuss the taut drama about the riots that derailed the 1999 World Trade Organization summit. "Fifty [protest leaders] took the spotlight away from 15,000 people," said Townsend, whose film also stars Woody Harrelson, Ray Liotta and Andre Benjamin. The protests at the DNC made a perfect backdrop for the film. As in Seattle, Townsend said, the massive police presence seemed to be aimed at intimidating demonstrators. "I do think that stifles dissent," Townsend told us. "But I still think Americans will come here and speak up, as they should." Theron moved on later to the hoppin' CNN Grill, where giant hoop star Charles Barkley gave her a big hug. Even that didn't put her in the mood to talk with us. Fortunately, again, Barkley was chattier. "I'm planning to run for governor of Alabama in 2014," he told us, adding that he's an independent. "I have to live there for seven years; I bought my house there last year. I have homes in Arizona and Pennsylvania, but Alabama needs more help." So, while he's getting ready for his gubernatorial run, is there a job in the Obama administration that he'd like? Said Sir Charles: "I'd like to be the guy who plays basketball with the President one day a week."Silverman "poo-poos" McCain's policyWhoopi Goldberg's 2004 Continue Reading

Fests worth leaving home for: Philly Beer Week, Atlantic City Restaurant Week

Travelers looking for quick and easy getaways can head south on the Garden State Parkway this week for cheap eats, cold beer - and fresh flowers. Atlantic City is hosting a special event for gamblers and non-gamblers alike - its first-ever Restaurant Week. Today through Saturday, more than 60 of the city's best establishments - including Stephen Starr's Buddakan, the Palm Restaurant and Wolfgang Puck's American Grille - will offer fixed-price lunches for just $15.09 per person and fixed-price dinners for $33.09 per person. Spoil yourself by spending the money you'll save on food and take the 2.5-hour ride on the new Atlantic City Express Service (ACES) train, which goes direct from Penn Station to Atlantic City (with a stop in Newark). Tickets range from $39-$99 and can be bought at If you're looking to save a buck, take the economical Greyhound bus for $25. Tickets available at or 1-800-231-2222. Deals on accommodations for Restaurant Week in A.C. start at $89 per night and can be found at   Horticulturists, meanwhile, will flock to the City of Brotherly Love today for the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, which claims to be the world's oldest and largest indoor flower exhibit. The theme of this year's show, which runs through next Sunday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is "Bella Italia," a celebration of the beauty of Italy. In addition to elaborate flower arrangements that pay homage to the distinct regions of the country, there will also be opera performances, strolling mandolin players, folk dancers and costumed actors. Those planning to stay over can book the popular Philly Overnight Hotel Package, a two-night offer available at more than 30 area hotels. The package includes free hotel parking - a value of up to $75 - a Philadelphia Privileges coupon book, a teddy bear and more. Book a trip before March 16, and you could be among 100 visitors randomly selected as Continue Reading