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Category Archives: Chester County

Herr’s Signs on as Presenting Sponsor for the Second Connective Art & Music Festival

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(Oxford, PA) – HERR’S, the seed investor for last August’s inaugural Connective Art & Music Festival held in downtown Oxford, Pa., has increased their financial commitment for this year’s event slated for August 3, 2019. With a long track record of charitable support and involvement in the local community, Herr’s recognizes the magnitude of what can be achieved when many people work together towards a common goal.

Ed Herr, President & CEO of Herr Foods, Inc., said, “We are very thankful for the opportunity to help bring such an exciting event to Oxford. Our employees are such a big part of this great town that we are all honored to do what we can to connect and build community.”

Daryl Thomas, Herr’s Senior VP of Sales, added, “Herr’s is looking forward to helping market the Connective Festival and take it to the next level in this great community.”

An event benefiting two 501(c)3 non-profits, Oxford Arts Alliance and Oxford Mainstreet Inc, the Connective Festival was conceived as a way to bring the people of Oxford together, as well as expose to the region that Oxford has a growing artistic and cultural vibe. The 2018 festival gathered an estimated crowd of 6,000 for a day full of diverse music on multiple stages, visual artists from all over the region, themed tents featuring demonstrations and activities for kids and adults, and a variety of interactive music and art opportunities.

Brian Wenzka, Executive Director of Oxford Mainstreet, Inc., promises festival goers that this year will be even better. “We learned so much last year and got a lot of great feedback from those who attended. Our team is bringing back all the best parts of last year’s festival and working on some exciting new additions that we think people will love. The positive response to last year’s event has been inspiring to our committee, and that inspiration has kept the creative juices flowing!” Wenzka explained.

“It’s a day filled with all kinds of activities. There is truly something for everyone. And Herr’s is thrilled to be part of such a great event,” said Herr.

This year there will be one ticket price of $10, which includes all festival activities and performances. Children under age 5 are admitted for free. For a limited time, orders of four or more tickets will receive the Early Bird discount price of $8 per ticket. Those wishing to purchase tickets may do so by visiting the festival website: www.connectivefestival.org

Sinkholes and Hired Muscle on the Mariner East Pipelines

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Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced that there had been new
developments along Sunoco’s Mariner East pipelines in Chester County, Pennsylvania over the
weekend. On Sunday, January 20, a new sinkhole opened up in a neighborhood along the
pipelines. In addition, the District Attorney’s Office discovered that constables from outside of
Chester County apparently had been hired by Sunoco to act as a private security force around the
pipelines, holding themselves out as acting in an official capacity to people approaching the area
of the pipelines.

District Attorney Tom Hogan stated, “At this point, the criminal investigation is widening
and deepening, much like the damage being caused by these pipelines. We are investigating
what individuals bear legal responsibility for these sinkholes. In addition, we want to know who
hired these constables and authorized them to act like they have some type of legal authority in
Chester County. This has the appearance of hired muscle showing up to intimidate our citizens.”
On Sunday, January 20, another sinkhole opened along the Mariner East pipelines in the
Lisa Drive neighborhood in Chester County. See attached photographs. The sinkhole exposed
the Mariner East 1 pipeline, which had volatile natural gas liquids pumping through it when it
was exposed. Coincidentally, a natural gas pipeline in Ohio exploded over the weekend, on January 21. A pipeline run by Sunoco exploded in Beaver County, PA in September of 2018.
This same neighborhood previously has suffered through multiple sinkholes
caused by drilling related to Sunoco’s pipelines. The prior sinkholes damaged the homeowners’
properties, caused an evacuation of the area, and resulted in work on the pipelines being halted.
During interviews in the last few weeks, Chester County citizens reported that state
constables were patrolling the pipelines in Chester County during the prior sinkhole incidents.
The District Attorney’s Office discounted this report because no Chester County constables had
been authorized to do any such work.

However, when the January 20 sinkhole appeared, citizens reported the sinkhole to the
District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Hogan dispatched Chester County Detectives to the
scene at Lisa Drive. When a Chester County Detective in plain clothes approached the scene, an
armed man flashed a badge at the Detective and identified himself as a constable. The Detective,
who is familiar with all of the Chester County constables, asked the armed man who he worked
for. The man then finally identified himself as a constable from Northumberland County in
central Pennsylvania. When pressed further by the Detective, the man admitted that he had been
hired as security by Sunoco.

The Chester County Detectives subsequently informed the man that he was not permitted
to claim any official authority in Chester County or use his badge for such a purpose. District
Attorney Hogan will be contacting the District Attorney of Northumberland County to discuss
this situation. “Sinkholes. Fouled well water. Obscene messages from out-of-state pipeline workers to
Chester County residents. Hired guns flashing badges. Volatile natural gas liquids flowing in
pipelines just a few feet from schools and homes. We are not sure what it will take to get the
attention of Governor Wolf and the Public Utility Commission. All of this is happening on their
watch. The Chester County District Attorney’s Office is committed to this criminal
investigation, even if we must fight alone. The citizens of Chester County deserve our
protection.” Anybody with further information about pipeline-related incidents should contact Chester
County Detective Ben Martin at (610) 344-6866. Reports may be made confidentially. The
Chester County prosecutors assigned to this matter are Alexander Gosfield, Myles Matteson, and
special prosecutor Seth Weber.


Approved for release:
Thomas P. Hogan, Chester County D.A.

 

Planet Fitness Is Coming To Parkesburg

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Parkesburg Borough officials report that Monday morning Planet Fitness had filed for a construction permit to renovate the interior of the former Acme location along First Avenue. The borough posted this status to facebook, “We are pleased to announce that this morning permit applications were filed by Planet Fitness to begin construction inside the old Acme building.”

PA 41 SHUTDOWN IN CHESTER COUNTY DUE TO HEAD ON CRASH

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COCHRANVILLE, PA ( WLRI )  Keystone Valley Fire Department along with Cochranville Fire Company and Christiana Fire Company are responding to a head on accident along HONEYCROFT BLVD  in the area of Gap-Newport Pike. Further information will be provided as it becomes available. Crews advise motorist that the road will be closed for hours this evening.

 

SWAT Team Sings Christmas Carol To Get Gunman To Surrender

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Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of defendant
Nathaniel Lewis for attempted homicide of multiple police officers. Following a
situation on Christmas day where the defendant barricaded himself at a residence in East
Vincent Township, Chester County, the SWAT team responded to the home. During the
course of the barricade, the defendant shot at police officers who were both inside and
outside of a SWAT vehicle. The defendant eventually surrendered to the SWAT team
after a negotiator sang him a Christmas carol.
East Vincent Police Chief Matt Williams, who also is the leader of the SWAT
team, stated, “Incidents like this are why our SWAT team trains constantly. Despite the
extreme danger to the police officers, the team responded calmly and professionally,
resulting in the eventual surrender of the defendant.”
District Attorney Hogan stated, “This defendant is lucky he did not kill a police
officer. The SWAT team members deserve the h
-2-
The facts alleged in the criminal complaint are as follows:1

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on December 25, 2018, East Vincent Police went to
the defendant’s residence in East Vincent. The police were responding to a well-being
call from a family member who was concerned about the defendant. The defendant was
in the process of separating from his wife and was behaving erratically.
East Vincent police officers responded to the residence and secured the area. The
police were advised that the defendant had a firearm. One of the Chester County SWAT
teams, the Chester County Regional Emergency Response Team, then was called out to
assist.
The SWAT team established a perimeter and began to negotiate with the
defendant, attempting to get him to surrender peacefully. The defendant, a member of
the National Guard, was in possession of a rifle. The SWAT team had an armored
vehicle near the residence to protect the police officers. Over the course of several hours,
the defendant started to fire at police officers from inside the residence. The defendant’s
shots hit the armored vehicle with police inside and outside of the vehicle, as well as
hitting another home and nearby civilian car. Police returned fire. Another Chester
County SWAT team, the West Chester Emergency Response Team, was deployed to
assist the first SWAT team.
The defendant later re-established contact with SWAT negotiators. A SWAT
negotiator succeeded in getting the defendant to surrender by agreeing to sing the
Christmas carol “White Christmas” to the defendant. After the song, the defendant
surrendered to the SWAT team and was taken into custody at approximately 7:00 a.m. on
December 26, 2018.
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office was immediately called out to assist
with the investigation of the defendant and perform an independent investigation of the
officer-involved firearms discharge. The Chester County Detectives performed the
independent investigation. The SWAT team members were interviewed and the scene
was processed. The District Attorney determined that the SWAT team members were
legally justified in returning fire when the defendant was shooting at them.
The defendant has been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide,
aggravated assault, and related offenses. He has been committed to Chester County
Prison.

1 A criminal defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
-3-
District Attorney Hogan added, “We are grateful that nobody was hurt or killed in
this incident. All of Chester County appreciates the sacrifices of our law enforcement
officers, both in times of crisis and every day.”
The assigned prosecutor in this case is Chris Miller. The primary detective is Jim
Ciliberto. Anybody with information about the defendant can contact Detective Ciliberto
at 610-344-6866.

Chester County District Attorney Opens Criminal Investigation Into Mariner East Pipeline

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Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced that the District Attorney’s
Office (the “DAO”) has opened a criminal investigation into the construction of the Mariner East
1, 2, and 2X pipelines being constructed through Chester County. This investigation includes the
owners of the pipelines – – Energy Transfer LP, Sunoco Logistics Partners, and related corporate
entities (collectively, “Sunoco”).
District Attorney Hogan stated, “In the last two years, we have seen these pipelines rip
through the heart of Chester County. We have seen sinkholes created by the pipeline drilling,
contaminated well water, and some subtle and not-so-subtle bullying of Chester County citizens
by big corporate interests. We expected the state regulators and the governor to step in and
assure the safety of Pennsylvanians. They have not. So now the Chester County District
Attorney’s Office will demand that every aspect of these pipelines be conducted safely, or we
will bring into play all of the tools of the criminal justice system.”
The Mariner East 1, 2, and 2X pipelines are intended to ship volatile natural gas from
western Pennsylvania all the way to Marcus Hook in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. These
pipelines cut directly through the middle of Chester County, bisecting heavily populated
residential areas, running near schools and businesses, and in close proximity to railroads and
streets.
The Mariner East 1 pipeline previously existed to ship refined petroleum under Chester
County running from the eastern portion of Pennsylvania to the west. Refined petroleum is a
very different substance than natural gas and Mariner East 1 is smaller than the planned Mariner
East 2 and 2X pipelines. Sunoco intended to build the Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines along the
same route as Mariner East 1. In order to accomplish this, they intended to use horizontal
directional drilling, a process that can be problematic depending on the area where drilling is
occurring. Sunoco also introduced plans to reverse the flow of Mariner East 1 and use it to ship
natural gas under Chester County in the older and smaller pipeline.
The Mariner East pipeline construction has experienced significant problems. On the
property of homes in West Whiteland Township, the drilling resulted in significant sinkholes in
the residents’ back-yards. In another area of Chester County, the drilling caused the apparent
contamination of well water for multiple residences. In Beaver County, Pennsylvania, there was
an explosion along a pipeline, destroying a home. The Department of Environmental Protection
has fined the owners of the pipelines. But the construction of these pipelines keeps continuing.
“Two things recently happened that drew the attention of the District Attorney’s Office,”
District Attorney Hogan added. “First, the explosion in Beaver County changed speculation into
tangible danger and destruction. Second, over Thanksgiving, some of the residents of Lisa Drive
in West Whiteland were kind enough to take me onto their property and show me the damage
caused by the pipelines. The concerns and fears of those citizens were both disturbing and heartwrenching.
I then detailed District Attorney staff members to do the legal research to make sure
that the DAO had jurisdiction to investigate the pipelines and received an affirmative response.”
The District Attorney’s investigation will cover both past and future conduct related to
the pipelines. Potential charges include causing or risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief,
environmental crimes, and corrupt organizations. Such offenses could include criminal charges
directly against the individual employees involved, from workers on the pipelines through
corporate officers. Sunoco has been advised of this investigation via a letter. See attached,
Exhibit A.
District Attorney Hogan stated, “This investigation will not be easy. It will take time to
dig into the historical information and we will need to constantly monitor any future activity.
But we are committed to protecting Chester County. And we will need our citizens to help.”
Chester County Detective Ben Martin is the lead investigator. The assigned prosecutors
are Alexander Gosfield and Myles Matteson. Anybody with information should contact
Detective Martin at 610-344-6866.
District Attorney Hogan concluded with, “We understand that only the Pennsylvania
Utility Commission or the governor can shut down construction of these pipelines, and neither
has shown any inclination to do so. But we can at least make sure that anything that happens in
Chester County complies with the criminal laws of Pennsylvania. We owe that to our citizens.
Money should not be allowed to trump safety.”


 

FULL PRESS STATEMENT HERE

Employee Embezzles Over $300,000 From Chester County Business

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Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of defendant
Cynthia Taylor for stealing over $330,000 from her employer, Ballymore Company, in
Sadsbury Township, Chester County Pennsylvania. Ballymore manufactures rolling
safety ladders used in many big box stores. The defendant used the company credit card
for personal expenditures and then doctored the internal records to cover up her crime.
The defendant has been charged with felony theft and related offenses.
The defendant is 37 years old. She resides in Gap, Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania. The defendant was employed by Ballymore as an account manager.
District Attorney Hogan stated, “Ballymore Company discovered this theft through
internal auditing and an internal investigation. It is an unfortunate reminder that all
businesses are vulnerable to insiders who abuse their position of trust. That is why
businesses, big and small, need to have internal safeguards and always keep an eye on
people managing the finances.”
The facts alleged in the criminal complaint are as follows:1

The defendant worked at Ballymore for seven years, rising to the position of Major
Account Manager. In this role, she reported directly to Ballymore’s president and was
responsible for managing the employee expenses account with American Express.
Ballymore had a business account through American Express and numerous employees,
including the defendant, were issued business credit cards.

1 A criminal defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
When the monthly statements came in, the defendant was responsible for checking
the employee expenditures and then coding the expenditures into the company’s internal
records.
In October of 2017, the company performed an internal audit, which revealed
significant discrepancies between the American Express statements and their
corresponding internal records. Ballymore acted swiftly and professionally by
performing an internal investigation, discovering the full extent of the problem, and
reporting the crime to law enforcement.
Ballymore discovered that the defendant had, since 2013, been using the company
American Express card for personal expenses. The defendant then covered up her fraud
by changing the records to appear as though she had incurred legitimate business
expenses. For example, in December of 2015, she used the company card to spend
$163.21 at Gamestop, an electronics and video game store. The defendant changed the
records to reflect that it was a business purchase from Amazon Market and coded it as a
business expense. The defendant employed this strategy at least 2,443 times from
January of 2013 until she was terminated from the company in November of 2017 after
the fraud was discovered.
Ballymore reported this crime to the Sadsbury Township Police Department, who,
along with the Chester County Detectives, investigated the theft. Based on a thorough
review of the records as well as Ballymore’s own internal investigation, detectives
confirmed that the defendant stole $331,563.00 from Ballymore, abusing her position for
personal gain. The defendant used the company card for gifts, purses, groceries, and
other personal items. She used the card to shop at stores such as Coach, Ralph Lauren,
Vera Bradley, Kay Jewelers, and Michael Kors.
The defendant has been charged with felony theft and access device fraud.
This case was investigated by the Chester County Detectives and the Sadsbury
Township Police Department. Anybody with further information should contact
Detective John O’Donnell at 610-344-6866. The assigned prosecutor is Brian D. Burack.

PARKESBURG RESIDENT BARRY ROOT ARRESTED FOR RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (STOLEN VEHICLE) F-3

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Barry Root, 36, of Parkesburg, PA was charged with Receiving Stolen Property after a traffic stop in the 2200 block of North Reading Road on October 16, 2018.   At 0035 hours, an East Cocalico Police Officer observed Root driving a vehicle which had been reported stolen to the PA State Police on September 24, 2018.   A check of the vehicle’s registration confirmed that it was a stolen vehicle.   Root was stopped and taken into custody without incident.   He was taken to Central Arraignment and remanded to Lancaster County Prison after failing to post bail.  Root faces additional charges from the PA State Police.

A passenger in the vehicle was taken into custody on outstanding warrants.

CALN TOWNSHIP SET FOR $525,000 WATER MAIN UPGRADE

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COATESVILLE, PA  – Pennsylvania American Water today announced the start of construction to install new water main in Caln Township to improve service reliability and prevent water outages. The project cost is approximately $525,000 and will replace outdated pipe dating back to the 1940s.

Starting this week, the company will install nearly 3,500 feet of new eight-inch ductile iron along Reed Street between 17th Avenue and 13th Avenue, and along 13th Avenue between Reed Street and West Chester Road. Crews expect to complete the water main installation, testing and disinfection, and connecting customers’ service lines to the new main by early December, weather permitting. Final street paving restoration is scheduled for next spring.

Crews will work weekdays between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Traffic restrictions will be in place during construction, and motorists are urged to give themselves extra time and exercise caution when traveling through the work zone. During construction, customers might experience temporary water service interruptions, discolored water and/or lower than normal water pressure.

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