NORTHEAST NEWS (246)
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware
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Philadelphia-based Collision Care Auto Body Centers raised over $15,000 for Louie’s Voice: Speaking up for Autism at a fundraiser in December.
Proceeds went directly to several beneficiaries, including special needs children at the Devereux Kanner Center in West Chester, PA, and a former Collision Care customer, Nicole May, who is fighting stage IV breast cancer.
Collision Care will also sponsor the next Louie’s Voice fundraiser in April.
On Jan. 30, a vehicle with a sleeping child in the backseat was stolen from a Newark, NJ, auto body shop.
A woman briefly left her Nissan Altima idling with her 5-year-old child in the backseat in front of an auto body shop on Central Avenue at about 7 p.m., police said.
While she was gone, a man entered the car and sped off with the child inside.
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 332, introduced by State Sen. Elder A. Vogel (R-47), seeks to reduce the number of emissions inspections for vehicles. The bill, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation, includes the following provisions:
• Newest model year vehicles will be exempt from the requirements for emissions inspections for 10 years from the date of original registration,
• Alternative fuel vehicles will be exempt from the requirements for emissions inspections. A certificate of exemption shall be affixed to the vehicle in a manner prescribed by department regulations,
• The department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, will immediately notify the Environmental Protection Agency of modifications to the vehicle emissions program and of the intent to seek its approval of the plan, in accordance with the requirements of federal law,
• Newest 10 model year and alternative fuel vehicles shall be subject to visual anti-tampering inspections for the presence of emissions control components installed on the vehicle by manufacturers.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes the 10-year emissions inspection exemption and the exemption of alternative fuel vehicles. This legislation will harm consumers and the environment.
ASA urges Pennsylvania independent repairers to send a letter in opposition to their state senator. To send a letter and to view the full text of the bill, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com and click on the “Track State Legislation” tab in the left menu.
McKeesport Area School District in Pennsylvania invited students from a multi-county region to put their vocational and technical skills to the test on Jan. 14.
Hosting the SkillsUSA leadership and skill competition for Pennsylvania’s Region 8, McKeesport Area Career and Technology Center opened its classrooms to students from Steel Center, Forbes, Eastern Westmoreland, Northern Westmoreland, Parkway West, AW Beattie, Beaver, Greater Johnstown and Indiana County vocational programs.
“It’s been 10 years since we last hosted this competition,” McKeesport Area CTC director Patty Scales said. “I remember that snowy January day very well, and we’re thankful that the weather cooperated this year.”
The owner of V&W Auto Body in Landover, MD, was found fatally shot in his shop on Jan. 28.
Police say Keith Watson, 48, was already dead when they found him fatally shot by someone who remained at large.
Watson’s Audi A6 was missing, and later found abandoned in the 300 block of Hillside Terrace in Landover, police said. They credited a Crime Solvers tip with helping detectives locate the car.
AASP/NJ will host its 36th Annual NORTHEAST 2013 Automotive Services Show at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ, on March 8-10.
Registration is open for the insurer-mandated parts procurement panel at the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey’s (AASP/NJ) 36th annual NORTHEAST 2013 Automotive Services Show.
Aaron Schulenburg, Executive Director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), will moderate the seminar, “Insurer-Mandated Parts Procurement: A Discussion From the Frontlines.”
FinishMaster, Inc. announced two new acquisitions in two states.
On December 28, 2012 the company acquired the Ewing, NJ, location of Mid-State Automotive Paint and Body Shop Supply, Inc. Mid-State has been servicing the local collision repair industry for more than 32 years.
FinishMaster also completed on January 7, 2013 the acquisition of the assets of Central Paint and Car Specialty in Ukiah, CA. Central Paint was founded more than 20 years ago.
FinishMaster currently operates five other locations in New Jersey and 29 in California.
“These acquisitions expand our footprint in the New Jersey and California markets, giving us the ability to better serve our customers,” stated Steve Arndt, President and Chief Operating Officer.
FinishMaster is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, and operates three major distribution centers with 165 branches in 25 of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.
State police are investigating a homicide of Robert Charles Gaurrich, 45, whose body was found by an acquaintance at Bob’s Trucks & Auto Repair around 11 p.m. Jan. 11 at 1657 Evans City Road in Forward Township, north of Pittsburgh, PA.
An autopsy determined Gaurrich died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The coroner’s office has ruled the death to be a homicide. The victim lived on Brownsdale Road in Evans City, troopers said. He was the owner of the auto body repair shop.
Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop has been selected for the 2012 Best of Queens Award in the Automobile Repair category by the Queens Award Program.
Each year, the Queens Award Program identifies companies that are believed to have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community. These exceptional companies help make the Queens area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Queens Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Queens Award Program and data provided by third parties.
After eight years of battling each other in court, Progressive Insurance and Greg Coccaro, owner of North State Custom in Bedford Hills, NY, have reached a settlement ahead of a Jan. 28 trial date.
Coccaro said he could not discuss the specifics of the settlement agreement, but he did express relief that he could finally put this behind him now. “After eight years, it’s pretty weird not having to think about this anymore,” said Coccaro. “I basically can now have my life back and spend a little more time working on my business. You would have to go through the stress that I did to understand it. Once it was over, I still couldn’t stop thinking about it. It took me two to three weeks to get out of ‘legal mode.’ It never left me night or day for those eight years. It was very difficult for everyone involved, but we did what we did, stood up and didn’t cave.
In Troy, NY, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals has for the fourth time unanimously rejected a local tow operator’s proposal to open an auto repair and towing business on Fifth Avenue at the location of a former body shop called Ward’s Auto Body.
The Cox family had hoped to obtain approval for a nonconforming use variance in a B-2 commercial zone to open a towing business and garage for light automotive repair, such as tune-ups and brake and muffler work.
Jack Cox Jr. represented his father, Jack Cox Sr., at the hearing and said his father was informed when the property was purchased that it was grandfathered in as a B-2 Commercial Zone with a special-use permit.
The zoning board on Jan. 8 shot down the request for the fourth time since 2006, claiming the property does not comply with the commercial zoning where it is located.