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Chester CountyPRESS

Covering Avon Grove, Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Oxford, & Unionville Areas

Volume 155, No. 8


Rep. Lawrence demands answers from Dept. of Aging...4A

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


Life in Oxford Longwood Gardens plans after the death of marvelous makeover George Floyd It’s been nine months since George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. After the death, protests against police brutality, especially toward black people, quickly spread across the U.S. This is the story about one town’s response… By Betsy Brewer Brantner Contributing Writer

ning of a joke, even though most of us have heard variations of a joke that begins Courtesy of WEISS/MANFREDI with Reed Hilderbrand for Longwood Gardens just like that. The joke usualLongwood Gardens expects to break ground on a $250 million expansion and “A black pastor, a white ly pulls in diverse religions, renovation project later this year. Pictured is an aerial view from the southwest of Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience. Please see Page 1B for police chief, and a young cultures, genders, races or details about the project. teen of color come into a ethnic backgrounds. They room…” are subtle and, well, it’s a No, this is not the begin- joke. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good joke? officer held his knee on civilian persons involved But are these subtle jokes George Floyd’s neck, his in a crime watch, or those really a casual and system- hand casually resting in his just opposed to people of atic method of enforcing pocket, his face expression- color walking in a park or the discrimination of people less, squeezing the life out jogging. As a country, we of color, or people of dif- of a human being. And in have seen this scene play ferent religions, or ethnic his final moments, George out much too often and for Floyd, with his dying far too long. There have backgrounds? There was nothing subtle breaths, called out for his been too many Emmett Tills and George Floyds through about the death of George mother. Local author’s new book People around the globe the years. Floyd on May 25, 2020. will help you live a glutenThe images invaded our were shocked. Suddenly, free life...4B Unity Walk in Oxford homes as we watched, this country was center unable to turn away from stage displaying the killing the horrific sight of a white of a black man, in the mid- Shortly after George police officer holding his dle of the day, surrounded Floyd’s death, a Unity Walk Photo by Betsy Brewer Brantner was quickly organized in Connie and Dick Winchester remembering other pro- knee on the neck of Mr. by a crowd of onlookers. the Borough of Oxford. Floyd, all the while being Statistics continue to show tests and walks over their lives. Winchester is a retired More than 40 people took surrounded by three other that in the U.S., people of professor from Lincoln University. His wife Connie was the Director of Neighborhood Services Center for officers who did nothing. color are more likely to be part in the event that was many years. Continued on page 2A And for nine minutes, the detained by police officers,

Busy Kennett Square intersection to undergo improvements Lock it for Love...7A

By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer

Kennett Township and East Marlborough Township are partnering on a project that will make vast improvements to the Opinion.......................7A intersection-interchange of Obituaries..............2B-3B Route 1 and Route 82, just Classifieds.............6B-7B north of the Kennett Square Borough. At their Feb. 17 meeting, the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors gave

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© 2007 The Chester County Press

approval to the project, and to authorize Township Manager Eden Ratliff to execute the agreement with Wyoming Electric & Signal in the amount of $669,804.75. The Wyoming, Pa.-based company submitted the lowest cost estimate bid for the project. Kennett Township Finance & Procurement Specialist Denise Serino told the board that the project is expected to begin soon and have an

anticipated completion date of Oct. 1. The project will include extensive excavation and demolition; the addition of a turning lane, ADA ramps, mountable concrete islands and a sidewalk; and the removal of curb lines. The modified intersection will also include the addition of two stop lights – one at the end of the exit ramp for drivers who exit the northbound side of

Route 1 to Route 82 heading toward Kennett Square, and the other at the exit ramp for drivers leaving southbound Route 1 onto Route 82 heading north to Unionville. The configuration of the intersection will eventually allow for signal changes, to allow for pedestrian crossings. In 2017, the two townships jointly filed an application through PennDOT’s Automated

Red-Light Enforcement Funding Program (ARLE) that proposed a project to address traffic flow concerns along Route 82 corridor in the vicinity of the Route 1 on- and off-ramps. This project was awarded a grant in 2018 from the ARLE Funding Program in the amount of $692,592 that led to the townships commissioning Traffic Planning & Design (TPD) to complete a Continued on page 4A

New Garden spells out its top projects for 2021 By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer As New Garden Township enters its third month of 2021 flush with a significant cash flow from the recent sale of its wastewater system to Aqua Pa., Inc., its Board of Supervisors used their Feb. 16 online meeting to formally introduce the township’s top project priorities for the year. At their Jan. 19 online meeting, the board shared how and where the township will allocate the

profits from the sale of its wastewater system on Dec. 21, 2020, which as of the transaction’s closing came to $29,756,567. The board said that $21,774,761 will be funneled back into the township’s investment portfolio, for possible use over the next decade to 20 years. From that sizable figure, the township will spend an estimated $2.3 million on the following projects in 2021: • Saint Anthony’s in the Hills: A ten-year project to continue the develop-

ment of the property, now owned by the township, that includes the creation of a committee and property clean-up • Egypt Run Bridge: Replacement of existing bridge and construction of new bridge, projected to begin on June 1 and be completed by July 15 • Scarlett Road Trail: Two-year project to develop a trail system • Waterline extension at the New Garden Flying Field: One-year project that will likely begin in May

• Broad Run Creek: Additional clean-up and repair of stormwater erosion in the vicinity of the planned White Clay Point development and St. Anthony in the Hills • Newark Road-Baltimore Pike intersection: On-going project that is slated for eventual development • Toughkenamon Streetscapes Improvement Plan: Sidewalk development for Newark Road and Main Street in the Village of Toughkenamon • In addition, the town-

ship intends to develop opportunities for the purchase of additional open space; update its zoning rules and regulations related to development in the township; and create additional TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) recommendations. A formal presentation to introduce these projects is being planned for an upcoming township meeting. In other township business, the board approved a motion to proceed with Continued on page 2A

Kennett Square Borough Council welcomes new police officer By Steven Hoffman Staff Writer Kennett Square Borough Council welcomed a new police officer, approved two professional services agreements, and made several appointments during its meeting on Feb. 16. Kennett Square Police Chief William Holdsworth led the introduction of new police officer Cole Burkhart, who was also

officially sworn in. A video of the swearing-in was shown during the council meeting. Burkhart graduated from Octorara High School in 2011 and completed the program at the police academy in 2016. He has previously worked for the police departments in Downingtown, Parkesburg and East Whiteland Township, and Holdsworth said they all offered praise for Burkhart’s work. It was

a lengthy process to fill the vacant position in the police department, mostly because of delays caused by the impact of COVID19, the police chief explained. He and Mayor Matt Fetick both said that they were pleased to have Burkhart join the department as a full-time officer. Borough council approved two professional services agreements—one with Longwood Gardens

and one with the Kennett Library. Longwood Gardens has asked the borough, as well as East Marlborough Township, to evaluate its projected sewer conveyance and connection to the sewer facility and associated infrastructure. The professional services agreement that was approved by Cole Burkhart has been borough council allows the hired as a new police developer to work with the officer in Kennett Square Continued on page 3A





Chester County Press

Local News Life in Oxford... Continued from Page 1A

organized by Katie Minnis. “Bethany Atkinson and I talked about this and decided we wanted to do it quickly. We were both sick about what happened to George Floyd,” Minnis explained. She brought her two young children to the walk. Dick Winchester, a retired professor from Lincoln University, watched the Unity Walk in town last year. Winchester and his wife Connie had spent decades peacefully protesting racial discrimination or social injustice. This time, they would sit, they would watch, and they would remember. The irony of where they sat did not escape either of them. They sat facing the Historic Oxford Hotel, which was segregated when Winchester, as a young, white professor, first came to Oxford. Winchester joined his young students at Lincoln University over 60 years ago to protest and throw light on the discriminatory practices of the hotel. When asked what was different about this time, Winchester said, “I think it certainly galvanized the Black Lives Matter Movement. And, it also created some opposition to that. It has served to alert the nation to the depths of the racial divide in our country. Some want to create change and some still resist change.” So did the Unity Walk change anything in the Borough? Did the death of George Floyd change anything in Oxford and the rest of the world? Almost one

New Garden top projects... Continued from Page 1A

the Pennsylvania Local Government Invest Trust (PLGIT) Certificate of Deposit Placement Program application and investment advisory agreement, and to authorize the Finance Director Lew Gay to deposit the $22 million from the sale of the township’s wastewater system into PLIGIT’s investment account. The board also approved a motion to proceed with the replacement of the Egypt Run Road Bridge with Contech Engineered Solutions for an amount not to exceed $92,130, with total budgeted project expense of $191,830. The board voted to adopt Ord. No. 247, which ter-

year later, has the death of of color. When employees George Floyd caused real of Lincoln (those of color) change? would come into Oxford for lunch, they were not Social change served.” comes inch by inch Winchester added, “The schools at the time were There are some signs also segregated. Now they of change in Oxford, aren’t. Those barriers have but whether it is enough fallen. Oxford was not remains to be seen. an exception. The whole Borough Council presi- county wrestled with segdent Peggy Ann Russell, regation at that time. Social Police Chief Sam Iacono change comes inch by inch. and Mayor Phil Harris all It’s a struggle. John Lewis’s participated in the Unity career reminds us of that.” Walk. Oxford Borough Winchester may be part Council formed a Diversity of the change in Oxford. Committee, which included As a council member, he borough council members is always acutely aware Amanda Birdwell and Dick of discrimination of any Winchester. Harris also sits kind and spoke about how on the committee. This is the the Diversity Committee first Diversity Committee blossomed. that this Borough Council “We are trying to find has had since the beginning our way,” Winchester said. of Oxford government in “I’m chair of the Police and 1833. Public Safety Committee. One thing the com- A year ago, each person on mittee has been working council was asked to idenon is building a relation- tify concerns. It was Police ship between the town of Chief Sam Iacono who said, Oxford and the historically “kids at risk.” He was talkblack college of Lincoln ing about kids 6 to 13 who University, which sits about struggle with the impact of five miles up the road. This poverty, and with a family relationship between the structure that is non-traditown and the college has tional. His comment led ebbed and flowed since the other people to question college began. housing. The Police and Winchester explained, Public Safety Committee “We are trying to get knows, as a footnote, what Lincoln interested in this is going on with kids at risk town and our town inter- and the housing situation. ested in Lincoln. There has That comment by Chief been a cold war between Iacono planted the seed for Lincoln University and a Diversity Committee.” Oxford. There have been Winchester’s voice on some changes. The Oxford Council is one of the voices Hotel is integrated. This attempting to create change town was a completely in the Borough. And it segregated town until after is a change that looks at World War II. The Red what the impact will be on Rose Inn in West Grove everyone. was the only restaurant “I’m concerned about that would serve people housing for everyone, espeminates the existence of the township’s Sewer Authority, given that the sale of its wastewater system to Aqua, Pa. became effective on Dec. 21, 2020. The board passed Res. No. 838, which authorizes the township to submit a grant application request in the amount of $863,700 to the Chester County Department of Open Space Conservation. If awarded, the grant will be used for funding in the acquisition of additional open space property in the township. The board approved the purchase of a new chipper, which will be used by the township’s Public Works Department, for a cost not to exceed $68,000. It will be paid for out of the township’s capital fund. In news from the New Garden Flying Field,

Manager Jon Martin said that the building of six 60’ X 60’ box hangars at the airport is in the final stages of construction. Each hangar is equipped with electric Schweiss bifold doors, and each opening is 16 feet tall and 54 feet wide. Each hangar is well insulated, includes two high wall windows for natural light and is fitted with LED high bay lights. Martin also informed the board that the Flying Field has reached a ten-year goal with the news that its GPS approaches to the airport have been published by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and will go live on Feb. 25. Martin also announced that the airport is the recipient of a $23,000 grant from the FAA’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic

Photo by Betsy Brewer Brantner

Katie Minnis, her sons and Pastor Larry Redmond at the Unity Walk. Minnis organized the Unity Walk last May in the Borough of Oxford to protest the death of George Floyd.

cially in this pandemic,” Winchester said. “The national and state regulations that keep renters from being evicted run out in March. When those restrictions are lifted, you can’t just throw people into the street. But, we have to be aware of that from both points of view. Renters have to have housing, but we have to think of the landlords, too. There are landlords for whom the loss of rental income is a significant factor. So it works both ways. We are trying to do something so people don’t lose housing and landlords don’t lose their properties.” Winchester admits there is a lot to do and the current council is trying to be more proactive about those concerns. “Our town still has divisions between the races especially in housing,” Winchester said. So, as to the question

of whether things have changed after the death of George Floyd, Winchester would say things are changing. But there is still a long way to go. “The legislative process is part of creating change,” Winchester said. He will not be running for council again when his term is up. He is hopeful that the Borough Council will become more diverse and representative of the community that it serves. But finding anyone to run for a political position is not easy these days. Bringing in someone of color to represent those in the community may not be easy, either.

Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act provides approximately $10 billion to support U.S. airports that are experiencing severe economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This

funding is being distributed to airports to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Finally, the New Garden board approved the hiring of William Shoenfelt as

A unique perspective on policing and race relations Pastor Larry Redmond, an associate pastor at Life Community Church in Newark, Del., was also at the Unity Walk. He

walked with Iacono and Harris. Redmond lives in the Borough of Oxford and has a unique perspective on policing and race relations. Redmond is black and grew up in Philadelphia and as such knew what it is was like to be targeted by police. He was often stopped and questioned by police during the times he was driving in a predominately white community. He attended college and then became a Pennsylvania State Police officer. Redmond worked as a state police officer for 11 years and explained, “I was working undercover. At the time, I was the youngest black undercover officer in the state. But the Lord pulled me out of that. I just wasn’t built for that. However, I did get a valuable perspective from working that job, and as a police officer in general.” Because of that experience Redmond said he can speak a full-time aircraft maintenance assistant at the airport. To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email

County Republican Committee endorses 2021 candidates Members of the Republican Committee of Chester County (RCCC) met virtually via Zoom for the purposes of endorsing candidates for the 2021 elections. With 325 members present in person (on Zoom) or by proxy, candidates needed 60 percent of the vote (195 votes) to receive the endorsement of the RCCC. The RCCC voted unanimously to endorse the following candidates: Chester County Court of Common Pleas (YesRetention)- Judge Ann Marie Wheatcraft

Chester County Court of Common Pleas- Lou Mincarelli Chester County Court of Common Pleas- P.J. Redmond Chester County Controller- Regina Mauro Chester County Treasurer- Jenna Nicolas Chester County Clerk of Courts- Carmela Ciliberti Magisterial District Court 15-1-01- Mark Bruno Magisterial District Court 15-1-02- Judge Thomas Tartaglio Magisterial District Court 15-2-07- Maria Varano

McDowell Magisterial District Court 15-4-04- Judge Matthew Seavey In the race for Magisterial District Court 15-4-02, Judge Jeffrey Valocchi received the endorsement over Kevin Pierce with 12 votes on the first ballot. “I am proud of the Republican Committee of Chester County’s endorsements. Our candidates represent diverse interests and bring a wealth of experience to county government,” said Chester County Republican Committee chairman Dr. Gordon Eck. “Our committee was strongly united behind this talented and highly qualified slate of candidates and we are eager to introduce them to our electorate. The Republican Committee of Chester County has always been committed to excellent leadership on behalf of all Chester County residents and we are confident that this slate of candidates presents the strongest path forward in good governance.” The endorsed Republican candidates will next seek to win the party’s nomination on Primary Election Day on Tuesday, May 18.




Chester County Press

Local News from multiple perspectives, not only as a minority, but also as a police officer. He said, “I can see things from the law enforcement perspective. I know all about the quick decisions officers have to make. Now that I am a pastor, my job is to care for all people regardless of color, gender, ethnic background or whatever the differences may be. And it is my job to not only care about the black man and his family if they are being discriminated against, but also the police officer and his family that is called upon to protect everyone.” When asked if it would help if more people of color would run for office, Redmond answered, “It would, but why would a person of color want to be involved? They have been fighting this fight for years. Most ask if their vote would even be counted, or their vote could make a difference. It takes a certain kind of individual to be involved in politics.” He added,” You want people to see your side, but as a black male I can’t just look at the side of the African American being shot; I have to look at the police. You have to see the whole story without pre-judgement. How do you tell someone to step forward and be a part of the process, when they feel the process hasn’t worked?” Given the long history of voter suppression inflicted on the black community, Redmond is emboldened by the increased number of blacks voting in the Presidential election in 2020. “People like Stacey

Abrams worked tirelessly to help everyone vote, which meant helping with registrations, transportation, and education,” Redmond said. He is praying all people will continue to take voting seriously. “In order to create real change, people have to be willing to listen to others. You can’t just be asking yourself how it will benefit you. Talking and listening may make you uncomfortable, especially if it requires you to believe in something you have dismissed before. “You have to be a person of prayer when emotions get high. You have to have a willingness to be open to hear that which makes you uncomfortable. You have to take a look at the things you didn’t see in a situation, not just the obvious.” Although Redmond admits he is a positive person, he has his own ups and downs. “I’m waiting for the next wave to hit. The thing that makes me hopeful is that more people have a willingness to speak to inequality. This is not an African-American thing, or an Asian or Hispanic thing. This is an 'Us' thing. At times it feels like there is a larger demographic that wants to hear, instead of being heard.” As he sees it, the change may come in the next generations. “My daughter’s best friend is white," he added. "When you are a certain age, you may notice a difference, but that doesn’t make you treat someone differently. Seeing the relationship they have shows me how each generation is moving toward the idea of

togetherness. “Right now I see a ton of advocates against inequality. When you have the whole world crying out for a person of color, that gives me hope. My hope is that my daughter and her friend will advocate for each other. We can look different, but, it doesn’t stop us from being friends or liking each other.”

Police officer...

agreements. Kennett Square Borough Council approved a resolution endorsing a grant application that the Kennett Area Park Authority will be filing with the county for funding to make improvements to the Anson B. Nixon Park. This is a procedural step that is necessary before the Kennett Area Park Authority can file its application for Chester County Municipal Grant Program assistance. Council unanimously approved the resolution. The borough is forming an ad hoc committee to analyze its allocations to

nonprofit organizations that serve the community. Council President Brenda Mercomes extended invitations to council members

Continued from Page 1A

borough’s consulting engineers, Pennoni Associates Inc., to evaluate the project and its potential impact on the borough’s sewer system. The agreement establishes what Longwood Gardens will pay for as the work on the evaluation is completed. Kennett Library officials also need to work with the borough’s consulting engineers on the project to construct a new library building. Borough council unanimously supported both professional services

Split-second decisions that protect everyone

no reason for that officer to have his knee on his neck like that.” He was already seeing changes coming to policing, even before George Floyd’s death. “I know there is a lot of talk about criminal reform now, such as making bail easier for a lesser offense, and not sending someone to jail for a small bag of pot,” Iacono explained. “Training has never been more important. Training through MOPEC is aimed at diversity. The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police are also trying to make sure training is being worked on for diversity. Unfortunately, the pandemic has slowed down some of that training. You have to choose your training carefully and weigh that training against the time off required. When you are doing it on Zoom or online, we don’t give the police officers off. If they get a call when they are taking an online class, they have to go to the call. More live, actual training is much better.” Iacono said the police officers here in the small community see things differently than those in a big city. “We see the same people over and over,” Iacono said. “We build a relationship with them. Our officers stay here longer than they may at a big city like New York or Philadelphia. They get to know the people in the community and are more in tune with what is going on.”

How did Iacono feel when he saw George Floyd’s death? “It made me ill,” Iacono said. “I know every profession has its bad apples, but when you witness something wrong like that, I have to wonder how he got hired.” Iacono stressed that police officers are there to protect people. But he admitted that the lines can get blurred when you actually are called upon to do that. “Police have to think about everyone that is surrounding them in a situation,” Iacono said. “We have to protect all people and often times we walk into a situation not knowing how it started. We see what we see in the moment, and don’t know all the thoughts that have gone into it. If children are involved, you naturally worry about the kids. There may be a person with a knife, and yes you have a gun, but you have to be aware of what damage that knife can do to a child. We are called on to make Crucial conversations split-second decisions that protect everyone.” Shortly after the Unity Iacono explained, “In the George Floyd incident, once Walk in May of last year, he was contained, there was local ministers, Mayor

Latoya Myers and Rosa Moore to serve on this committee, which they accepted. A number of community

Police Chief William Holdsworth (right) with Kennett Square police officer Cole Burkhart.

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Cole Burkhart with Kennett Square Borough Mayor Matthew Fetick.

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Photo by Betsy Brewer Brantner

Corporal Scott Brown and Police Chief Sam Iacono at the Unity Walk.

Harris, and some concerned citizens started meeting together. The theme for the meetings was “Crucial Conversations.” The conversations were crucial. Harris, Iacono, Redmond and a host of others met. Young students were brought in. They talked. They listened. When asked if taking part in the “Crucial Conversations” has changed him, Iacono said, “It has made me a much better listener.” Iacono talked about his life growing up in Chester and how that affected him. “When I went to Catholic school at St. Michaels in Chester, I was the only white male in my class,” he explained. “I like to think that gave me a different perspective. “We have to be aware of where people come from and what their perspectives of the police are. People that grew up in a big city

have a different experience with the police than people in a small community like Oxford,” he explained. “It is much harder to weed out bad officers in a larger department. In smaller departments like Oxford, no one is going to cover up for anyone. We recognize that policing has to be much more transparent.” The Oxford Borough Police Department is now using body cameras. The department also just joined Crime Watch, which allows people to give real live tips without giving their names. Those that are signed up to Crime Watch can see what is happening in the town and what the police are doing. “We are not waiting for other people to push out what is going on. With Crime Watch, we push it out,” Iacono said. “We get accurate information out to the town. People can watch what is happening as it is

members expressed interest in continuing to serve in their roles on the respective Boards and Commissions that they serve on. On the Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (ACOLA), Jorge Dorchini, Lindsey Sweet and Laura Gonzalez all have signed on for new two-year terms that will expire on Jan. 1, 2023. Myra Miller and James Moore will continue to serve on the borough’s Planning Commission for four years. Their terms now expire on Jan. 1, 2025. Sally Braffman has agreed to serve as an alternate on the Civil Service

Commission for a new sixyear term that will expire on Jan. 1, 2027. Clara Saxton will serve on the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) for a three-year term that will expire on Jan. 1, 2024. Borough council also approved the appointment of Rusty Drumheller to the HARB board. Drumheller is the borough’s Codes Enforcement Officer. Kennett Square Borough Council will meet again on Monday, March 1.

Continued on page 5A

To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email




Chester County Press

Local News Rep. Lawrence: Department of Aging impeding federal investigation into COVID-19 deaths in long-term care home At a budget hearing on Feb. 15 at the state Capitol, Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester/ Lancaster) lambasted Secretary of Aging Robert Torres for his department’s actions blocking the release of documents to a federally empaneled grand jury looking into an unusually high rate of COVID-19 related deaths at a nursing home in western Pennsylvania. “As the Secretary of the Department of Aging, Secretary Torres is the Wolf Administration’s top advocate for seniors,” said Lawrence. “Yet today, he testified that he was not consulted on the administration’s order that COVID-19 positive patients be admitted back into nursing homes, he defended the untenable position that the Department of Aging must

block release of documents requested by a federal grand jury, and indicated that he hasn’t spoken to his boss about a developing scandal that has attracted bipartisan concern.” A recent New York Times investigation found Pennsylvania to have some of the highest nursing home-related COVID-19 fatality rates in the nation, with two nursing homes among those with the highest COVID-19-related deaths in the nation. One of those facilities, Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County, is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation and several lawsuits on behalf of current and former Brighton residents. Press reports indicate the Pennsylvania Department

of Aging recently filed a motion to quash a subpoena requesting documents on complaints or investigations at Brighton. “You are not protecting seniors when your department files a court motion to quash [this] subpoena. Your department is on the record now to block this investigation,” said Lawrence, adding that Torres “report[s] to the Governor. I see you standing in the way of a federal investigation into what happened at a nursing home under supervision of a state appointed manager. Have you spoken to the Governor about this?” “No sir,” replied Torres. An incredulous Lawrence replied, “Are you asking me to believe that the Governor and his Secretary of Aging haven’t talked about this

situation? A nursing home COVID-19 death rates in our counsel, that’s who I’ve under federal investiga- the nation?” discussed it with,” replied tion with one of the highest “I’ve discussed it with Torres.


“I’m really pleased with the cooperation between Kennett Township and East Marlborough Township, and that we’ve been able to get to this point.” In other township business, the board signed off on a request by the Board of Commissioners of Chester County to designate which agencies and individuals will fulfill the safety needs of the township for 2021, chiefly in the areas of fire and emergency services. Under Res. 2021-6, the Kennett Fire Company and Longwood Fire Company will provide fire and rescue protection to the town-

Continued from Page 3A

traffic operational analysis. The analysis showed that the most viable option was to reconfigure the Cedarcroft Road approach to Unionville Road so that it is included into the trafficcontrol signal of the Route 1 northbound ramps. “As one of those who spearheaded this project, I am very pleased to see that it is finally coming to fruition -- with its various iterations -- to allow left-hand turns and walkways and other things of that sort,” supervisor Scudder Stevens said.

Courtesy photo

State Rep. John Lawrence at a budget hearing at the state Capitol on Feb. 15 during which the lawmaker grilled Secretary of Aging Robert Torres about his department’s actions blocking the release of documents to a federally empaneled grand jury looking into an unusually high rate of COVID-19 related deaths at a nursing home in western Pennsylvania.

ship; the Longwood Fire Company will provide ambulance services and advanced life support services; the township’s police department will provide full-time police protection; and Jeffrey Hammaker will be the designated emergency management coordinator. The resolution further resolves that the Board of Supervisors have reviewed and adopted the township’s emergency operations plan. In his update to the board, Ratliff said that the Kennett Trails Alliance, a key partner in the development of the Kennett Greenway, has

been working on a “Trail Talks” video series – now available for viewing on the Kennett Greenway’s website -- where community members express their thoughts about the Kennett Greenway and the vision for its role in the community. The township’s Trails and Sidewalks Committee will be reviewing data from the recent Kennett Greenway survey, and a full presentation will be delivered by the committee at the board’s March 3 meeting. To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email


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Local News Life in Oxford... Continued from Page 3A

happening and respond back to the police. As police officers, people must feel they can trust us. Community policing and building relationships with everyone in the community has never been more important. The better we know the people we serve here in Oxford, the safer we all are.” Advocating for each other Local residents were invited to a public meeting via Zoom to watch the conversations unfold. Two local moms, one white and one black, were using Zoom to watch the “Crucial Conversations.” Meanwhile, interesting conversations were happening between the two moms. They have discussed white privilege. “I thought white privilege meant that I was rich or went to the right schools,” the white mom said. The black mom said, “No, that’s not what it means. It means you are privileged just because you are white. Just because you are white, you will get better jobs and you don’t have to wonder if someone is going to rent to you or if a bank will loan you money.” During the “Crucial Conversations” meeting, Pastor Redmond, Chief Iacono and a young black teen are talking and listening to each other. All of them are trying to understand the divisions in this country. The chief and the pastor are listening to the

young man talk about how his grandmother had “the talk” with him. The two men know that phrase well. “The talk” is what young people of color receive from their family when they are about to step out into the world without their family. At the meeting, the black mom told the white mom that she has had the talk with her oldest child. The white mom’s eyes drop down, not wanting to see the fear in her friend’s eyes. They stumble through the conversation. Both have wanted to have this conversation for years. They have been great friends for years. And even though both moms are outspoken, fierce women, they didn’t want to say the wrong thing. Their attention goes back to the meeting. The young teen has moved his chair a little closer to the police chief. The pastor, sitting between them, puts a comforting hand on their shoulders, as if to say a silent prayer. Back to the young mothers, their children are playing together. The children are coloring and can’t seem to find the right color of crayons. Jacob, a four-year-old white boy, would not describe either of the moms as black or white. Jacob’s mother is expecting a baby sister any day. “Mom,” Jacob says, “I want a black sister just like Denise at day care.” The mothers look at each other and smile. Out of the mouth of babes! His mother tries to explain that daddy and

mommy are white and can’t have a black baby. But Jacob knows what he wants. “But mom. I want a black sister like Denise. I love Denise. And you and dad aren’t white. Snow is white. And you and dad are…tan,” he says, as he and his black friend are still looking for the right shades of color for the people they have drawn. Both moms look at each other hopeful that Jacob will continue to love Denise. Maybe Denise and Jacob will marry when they grow up and have the black child he desperately wants. There is hope, they think. Two moms, having their own crucial conversations, and that has happened because of the horrific death of George Floyd. Two moms, like the white mothers, Katie Minnis and Bethany Atkinson, who were determined to have a Unity Walk almost a year ago, because they didn’t want to see another horrific death of a human being. There were 40 people walking that day, but word spread after the walk. And people everywhere in the town of Oxford were having crucial conversations themselves. And those conversations have continued. The Borough Council has created a Diversity Committee. Some Borough Council members will be stepping down and Pastor Redmond has been asked to run for Council or help find someone that is representative of the community. Pastor Redmond is hoping, well, praying that his daughter and her best friend, who is white, will

Photo by Betsy Brewer Brantner

Bethany Atkinson and her daughter (on right) joins others at the Unity Walk.

grow up advocating for to see through the eyes of each other. others. We cannot dismiss people. We have to be as Listening to another transparent as we can and person’s point of view not rush to judgement. There is a lot to be taken Chief Iacono thanked into consideration, even Council for their support when we are forced to make recently in helping to build a split-second decision.” a better police department. And somewhere out there They have body cams and is a young man of color, their cars are equipped with but more importantly a new video cams. “Cameras young man who has heard keep us honest,” Iacono the talk. He is someone’s said. Training continues for son, someone’s pride and his officers, and community joy. He may be someone’s policing is more impor- beloved grandchild. And he tant than ever. The police is just hoping he will have department continues their the chance to grow up. He annual toy drive to collect just wants to go out for toys for local children who groceries for his grandma the police officers know and come home alive. He personally. Children they is telling his friends about have met through their the Crucial Conversations. work as officers. “Yeah, I talked to the “It is important to have police chief and Pastor officers that know their Larry. They listened to me. community,” Iacono said. And I listened to them. I “Crucial conversations didn’t know Pastor Larry taught me to listen and to was a police officer. And I hear another person’s point didn’t know Chief Iacono of view. You don’t have went to a Catholic School to agree or disagree. You and he was the only white do have to listen. We need guy there.”

we couldn’t care more.


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And Jacob and his friend are still looking for the right color crayons to color “their” people. Because people aren’t just white or black, and they shouldn’t be described that way. They are people, not colors. The death of George Floyd was a horrible thing to watch. We will ask ourselves for years to come whether our country changed after that. And, God willing, we must continue our crucial conversations. Oh, yeah, back to the joke. A black pastor, a white chief of police, and a young man of color come into a room. And what do they do? They sit down, and they talk. And they listen to each other talk. Well, that’s not funny. No its’s not. The old jokes weren’t funny, either. They just perpetuated what led to the killing of George Floyd. But maybe, thanks to work by a lot of people, things are changing for the better.




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Chester County Press

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Editor’s notebook Americans deserve a healthy dose We’ve all hit the so-called pandemic wall—and hit it again. And again. Add to that some truly miserable winter weather and we all could use some good cheer right about now. Spring, with its warmth and sunshine, is on the way, and the temperatures are climbing this week into next. To follow up on that optimistic note, here are some things that have us looking on the brighter side of things. Sweet Cakes Supplies is officially opening its doors at 59 S. 3rd Street in Oxford on Monday, March 1. The opening of a new store in a small town is always exciting, and that’s especially true now, at a time when shops and restaurants are all hopeful that we’ve turned the last corner on the health crisis. Ashley Webster and Vanessa Ross, the owners of Sweet Cakes Supplies, are already supporting local causes. They are donating a portion of the cupcake sales during the opening celebration to the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation, an Oxford-based nonprofit organization that is committed to fighting childhood cancer until there is a cure. In recent weeks, this newspaper has had a few stories that have involved childhood cancer. Philadelphia Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts demonstrated a wonderful act of generosity by helping the family of a 7-year-old boy in Nottingham who is battling cancer. Hurts, working with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, donated $30,000 so that the family could improve its housing situation. We also reported about Lindsay Traino, a graduate of Avon Grove High School, who was one of the key organizers of the Penn State Dance Marathon that provides much-needed support to children and families impacted by childhood cancer. Locally, the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation is known and supported by many—the organization has raised over $400,000 for research, scholarships and counseling. It is named after Eli Seth Matthews, the Oxford youngster who battled Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Before he passed away in 2011, Eli raised money to fight childhood cancer. The Oxford community celebrates Eli Matthews Day on March 1 each year by wearing Eli’s favorite colors, red and black. Local businesses put up posters with the link to the Foundation’s website,, and donations are collected. Kudos to the community for supporting a worthwhile organization, and it’s a good thing for Oxford to be able to welcome a new business like Sweet Cakes Supplies. We also are excited about the announcement from Longwood Gardens that there are plans for a project that will bring a sweeping transformation of its core area of the conservatory gardens. It is the most ambitious revitalization in a century for the world-class horticultural display. The $250 million project will include adding new plantings and buildings across 17 acres, as well as expanded public spaces. The centerpiece and largest single element of Longwood Reimagined is the creation of a new 32,000-square-foot glasshouse with gardens and pools. The new West Conservatory will be a living, breathing building, with earth tubes and operable glass walls and roof that allow the interior garden to thrive. Other elements of the $250 million Longwood Reimagined project include construction of a new education and administration building with a state-ofthe-art library and classrooms; renewal of the beloved Waterlily Court designed by Sir Peter Shepheard (1913-2002); and preservation of six historic Lord & Burnham glasshouses from the early 20th century, to be relocated at a later date and used for year-round garden displays. Longwood expects to break ground on the project this spring. The Main and East Conservatories will remain open throughout the transformation, and Longwood Gardens will continue to present an ongoing schedule of events and performances. It’s nice to be able to look forward to having some events and performances at Longwood Gardens as 2021 continues, and the completion of this large project will make Chester County’s top tourist attraction even better.

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of bipartisanship

By Joseph Crowley and Bill Shuster Our economy remains weak. A pandemic continues to kill thousands of citizens each day. Political tensions seem to have reached an alltime high. While a plan to combat COVID-19 and provide economic relief is of utmost priority for President Joe Biden, congressional leaders in both parties would be wise to start repairing relations across the aisle by working together to pass relatively uncontroversial, overwhelmingly popular measures -- such as reforms to make drugs more affordable. Nearly 80 percent of the country believes that out-ofpocket costs for medicines are unreasonable, according to an October poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s unsurprising given the same study found that half of sick Americans have difficulty paying for medicines. There are a number of ways Congress can help reduce people’s out-of-

pocket costs. For example, lawmakers could start by building on a White House rule finalized in December that targets insurer practices that needlessly inflate drug costs for many patients. Insurers often rely on middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, to negotiate discounts from pharmaceutical companies. The resulting rebates tend to be substantial. In 2018, drug companies offered $166 billion of discounts and rebates on brand-name drugs. But out-of-pocket drug costs remain high, largely because insurers and PBMs keep the bulk of the rebates. The rule ends this practice by effectively banning any PBM rebates under Medicare, unless insurers pass the savings on to patients through lower copays and coinsurance. This is a reform that both parties have long sought. Lawmakers can score a major victory for all patients -- not just Medicare beneficiaries -- by crafting bipartisan legislation that codifies this reform across the entire health care system.

Congress could also stand up for patients by rolling back the Trump administration’s most-favored-nation rule, which sets Medicare payments for certain brandname drugs equal to the lowest price paid in several developed countries. Many foreign governments pay significantly less than Medicare currently does. Closing that gap is a worthwhile endeavor, but the MFN rule is the wrong remedy. By cutting U.S. reimbursements -- rather than pushing other countries to pay their fair share -- the rule will divert funding away from research on cancer, Alzheimer’s and countless other conditions, including efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The result will be fewer life-saving medicines and a dramatic reduction in drug access. Fortunately, the Biden administration can rescind this destructive rule before it does real harm to patients. Lawmakers, meanwhile, can refuse to advance similar proposals. Finally, Congress can protect the original intent of the

Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and reject calls for the federal government to seize patents from U.S. research firms. It’s true that the “march-in” provision under Bayh-Dole allows the government to override pharmaceutical patents in very limited circumstances. However, pricing concerns aren’t enough to trigger this clause. In fact, Bayh-Dole’s march-in provision has never been invoked -- and for good reason. Using it to lower drug prices would violate Congress’ original intent and have disastrous consequences for the future of medical research. Americans want their elected officials to come together and tackle the issues that matter most to them. No issue offers more opportunities for collaboration than drug pricing. Joseph Crowley represented New York in the House as a Democrat from 1999 to 2019. Bill Shuster represented Pennsylvania in the House as a Republican from 2001 to 2019. This piece originally ran in Roll Call.

State legislation aims to improve patient care and decrease delays in needed appropriate treatments Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill and Rep. Steven Mentzer recently announced the introduction of legislation that would reform the onerous prior authorization and step therapy (fail first) processes that are delaying appropriate patient care and increasingly undermining longstanding decisions made between physicians and their patients for the betterment of patient health care. They were joined at the press conference by a number of patient and physician advocacy groups, including the Pennsylvania Medical Society, who strongly supports prior authorization reform. During the virtual event, two patients shared personal stories of unreasonable prior authorization demands and fail first nightmares that led to delays in their appropriate treatment and caused serious adverse health outcomes. Prior authorization requires physicians to obtain approv-

al from insurers before prescribing medication, conducting tests, or moving forward with a specific appropriate treatment. It is often applied to patients living with a wide range of serious diseases and chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Step therapy requires patients to try, and fail, on one or more prescription drug, test, or treatment option at the chosen discretion of their insurance company, oftentimes without input from a physician, or input from their employed physician in a completely unrelated specialty, before gaining access to the appropriate drug, test, or treatment option that was recommended by their physician. While insurance plans claim to use these processes to control costs, patients and medical professionals often experience delays in care

and much wasted time as a result. “What this means for patients is simple…your physicians’ hands are tied in delivering excellent care by health insurance companies,” said PAMED president Michael DellaVecchia, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, FICS, FCPP. “We have to go through prior authorization and denials, after which the insurers tell us, as an alternative, keep the patient on their regular medication when we know that treatment has failed our patients in the past,” said Dr. DellaVecchia. “Why jeopardize their health? That unfortunately is part of the process of prior authorization.” According to a 2019 survey of 1,000 primary care physicians and medical and surgical specialists by the American Medical Association, the negative impact of processing prior authorization requests on patients is clearly harmful

to patient care. Ninety-two percent of physicians report prior authorization delays can have a negative clinical impact on patients’ care, while seventy-eight percent reported that delays can lead to patients abandoning their needed treatment altogether. Read tragic patients’ stories here. “No two patients are the same, and what may help one patient with a particular problem may not help another,” added Dr. DellaVecchia. “Yet health insurers broadly apply the same ‘algorithms’ of generalized criteria across all spectra of individual patients when reviewing authorization requests.” If enacted, Senate Bill 225 and House Bill 225 would curb restrictive prior authorization and step therapy (fail first) practices imposed by health insurers, as well as bring transparency and consistency to the processes of the delivery of good health care.

Keeping children safe is goal of Lock It for Love gun safety program The Chester County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and Coatesville Center for Community Health (CCCH) are launching a campaign about the care and protection of children. CCSO’s and CCCH’s Lock it for Love initiative sends the message: lock your guns. Free gun locks (while supplies last) are available for pick up at the CCSO’s main desk in the Justice Center and through CCCH at 1001 E. Lincoln Highway by calling 619-344-5370, ext. 114. The CCSO is also offering free online gun lock/safety programs. Call 610-344-6850 to schedule a program for your group. The safety tips being offered include locking up

your guns; asking if there are unlocked guns where your child will visit, play or babysit; and talking to your children about gun safety. From October 2020 to the end of December, the number of background checks for firearm permits in Pennsylvania—which ties closely to the number of gun sales—was the highest on record, according to the Pennsylvania State Police in January. The previous quarter from July 2020 through September had also broken previous records. “If families consider the purchase of a weapon as a means to protecting their children, that plan needs to include learning how to use a gun properly and how to

store it safely so that curious or depressed children don’t end up harming themselves or others. Safety precautions can prevent a tragedy,” said Chester County Sheriff Fredda Maddox. Cpl. Christopher Rongaus, who has worked with the CCSO for 14 years, five of which have been in the firearms unit, also emphasizes the importance of training and locks. “When people come in for a license to carry permit or want to safely store a firearm, gun locks from Project ChildSafe are available free of charge,” he said. Kathryn Spurlock, executive director of Coatesville Center for Community Health explained,

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office’s Lock it for Love program encourages people to safely lock up their guns.

“Particularly as children are spending so much time inside the home during the pandemic and cold winter months, and adults’ attention is divided between work and parenting, putting a lock on a gun can mean the difference between life and death.”




Chester County Press

In the Spotlight




Longwood Gardens reimagined A $250 million renovation and expansion is Longwood Gardens’ most ambitious project in a century and will create a more engaging experience for visitors for decades to come Longwood Gardens recently unveiled plans for a sweeping transformation of its core area of the conservatory gardens, in the most ambitious revitalization in a century of America’s greatest center for horticultural display. Adding new plantings and buildings across 17 acres, “Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience” will expand the public spaces of the renowned central grounds and connect them from east to west, offering a newly unified but continually varied journey from lush formal gardens to views over the open meadows of the Brandywine Valley. The project originates from a master plan developed in 2010 by West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture with Weiss/ Manfredi Architecture Landscape Urbanism. Longwood has continued working with Weiss/ Manfredi as lead designer, in collaboration with Reed Hilderbrand, on “Longwood Reimagined”, which continues the institution’s distinguished history of commissioning and collecting outstanding garden designs and glasshouses. The project will be managed by Bancroft Construction Company, based in Wilmington, Del. The centerpiece and largest single element of “Longwood Reimagined” is the creation of a new 32,000-squarefoot glasshouse, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, with gardens and pools designed by Reed Hilderbrand. This new West Conservatory with its asymmetrical, crystalline peaks seems to float on a pool of water, while the garden inside, inspired by the wild and cultivated landscapes of the Mediterranean, is conceived as seasonally changing islands set amid pools, canals, and low fountains. In the tapestry-like garden design, iconic plants of this ecology such as aloes, laurels, blueblossom, and Greek horehound hug the ground, with higher plants such as cypress and 100-year-old olive trees rising up into the soaring space while other plantings are suspended from above. Building on the great 19th century tradition of glasshouses through new sustainable technologies, the West Conservatory is a living, breathing building, with earth tubes and operable glass walls and roof that allow the interior garden to thrive. Longwood’s Cascade Garden, the only design in North America by the great

Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, is being relocated in its totality to an all-new, 3,800-squarefoot glasshouse of its own, a jewel box where the tropical plantings will be preserved and can thrive at the heart of the conservatory ensemble. A new outdoor Bonsai Courtyard, built alongside the West Conservatory, will exhibit one of the most outstanding collections of bonsai in the country. Wood walls and hedges will create an intimate, gallery-like space with bonsai displayed on free-standing pedestals and on ledges mounted to walls. Carved into the topography that faces the Main Fountain Garden, a new public restaurant and private event space with a series of vaults reveals the spectacular fountain displays. Above the restaurant and event space, the landscaping of a new South Terrace and South Walk provides a shady promenade extending along the existing and new conservatories to a new West Terrace, where the landform echoes the arc of a stand of hundred-year-old plane trees and frames views out toward the Brandywine’s meadows.

Photos courtesy of WEISS/MANFREDI with Reed Hilderbrand for Longwood Gardens

An interior view of the West Conservatory.

Preservation of glasshouses Other elements of the $250 million “Longwood Reimagined” project include construction of a new education and administration building with a state-of-theart library and classrooms; renewal of the beloved Waterlily Court designed by Sir Peter Shepheard (19132002); and preservation of six historic Lord & Burnham glasshouses from the early 20th century, to be relocated at a later date and used for year-round garden displays. As part of the initial phase of transforming the area, Longwood’s beloved century-old Orchid and Banana Houses will close on March 1 for preservation and will re-open in time for Longwood’s 2021 year-end holiday display. Paul B. Redman, president and CEO of Longwood Gardens, said, “In the tradition of our founder Pierre S. du Pont, who transformed a rural arboretum into one of the world’s most beautiful places for horticultural display, Longwood Gardens has been growing and evolving for more than half a century from a private estate into an inviting center for public enjoyment. “Each generation of Longwood’s stewards has both preserved and renewed the Gardens, commissioning

Renewed Waterlily Court (designed by Sir Peter Shepheard, 1989) with New Central Grove and Arcade.

the era’s leading landscape designers and architects to add to the grounds. Over time, Longwood has assembled one of the world’s most important collections of garden designs and glasshouses. With the assistance of the brilliant team of Weiss/Manfredi and Reed Hilderbrand, ‘Longwood Reimagined’ will be the largest undertaking in our history, enhancing the dazzling and deeply satisfying Longwood Gardens that will continue to enthrall our public for decades to come.” Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, founders and principals of Weiss/Manfredi, said in a statement: “We’re inspired by the sense of discovery and invention that are signatures of Longwood Gardens. We conceived of the design as a cinematic journey, a sequence of experiences that range from intimate to grand. “The West Conservatory, with its pleated crystalline ridge, appears to float on water and is magically reflected by day and night. The vaults of the new restaurant and event space are carved into the hillside to reveal views of the Main

An image of the West Conservatory, view from southwest.

Fountain Garden. A new arcade frames the historic Waterlily Court, and the great Cascade Garden is sheltered in a customdesigned glasshouse.” Expression and identity Douglas Reed, partner and principal of Reed Hilderbrand, said, “We felt our first responsibility in reimagining this expansive area of the grounds was to give expression and identity to the idea in the master plan to extend the conservatory complex along the high ridge. We drew inspiration from existing features of Longwood’s landscape, among them tree-lined walks. “The expansion scheme structures trees to define space and direct movement, recognizing Longwood’s origins as an arboretum. Above all, we felt this ambitious project must retain the character and warmth associated with Longwood’s origin as an arboretum and country estate.” A multitude of subtle and imaginative architectural elements link the components across all 17 acres of the project site. The

graceful curvature of the steel tree-branch columns of the West Conservatory enables them to be slender while bearing their load. At its highest point, the roof of the West Conservatory matches that of the Main Conservatory, reinforcing the connections across the site. At the same time, the West Conservatory’s roofline dips and rises again in a catenary, carrying a sense of gentle, organic processes into the architectural forms. Within the new restaurant and event space, trellis-like ceiling vaults and arches echo the forms of the Main Fountain Garden and further reveal connections between the architecture and garden. This theme is extended to reimagining the Waterlily Court, which is framed by a new arcade that redefines the court as an outdoor room and central destination. Grand walks and restored gardens Reed Hilderbrand’s design for the expanded landscape offers visitors an itinerary of grand walks and new and restored gardens, with places for gathering and pause provided throughout the intensive experience. Each garden reflects its identity and purpose: a West Walk that serves for strolling and orientation, a Central Grove along the Waterlily Court that serves as an entry to the new West Conservatory and relocated Cascade Garden, a walled Bonsai Courtyard that provides space for the exhibition of rare bonsai, and the expanded green of the West Terrace celebrating the grove of hundred-year-old plane trees. A key element of “Longwood Reimagined”

is the relocation and reconstruction of the Cascade Garden. Planned in consultation with Weiss/Manfredi, Reed Hilderbrand, Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, and a panel of preservation experts convened by Longwood, this is the first time that a historic garden has been relocated as a whole. Burle Marx designed the Cascade Garden in 1992 within an existing structure, which was retrofitted to accommodate hundreds of tropical plants, 35 tons of rock, and 3,000 feet of heating cable. Now this ensemble of richly textured plants that evokes elements of the rainforest—palms, bromeliads, philodendrons, and more— set amid vertical rock walls, cascading water, and clear pools will be moved into a new, custom-designed glasshouse. Anita Berrizbeitia, professor of landscape architecture and chair of the department of landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, said, “The Cascade Garden gathers in a condensed space all the recognizable elements of the work of Robert Burle Marx, one of the 20th century’s most influential landscape architects. Its unique esthetic vision was delicately realized and is exceptionally well preserved. The new space, custom-designed for the Cascade Garden’s optimal health and well-being, will allow it to thrive for many decades to come.” Longwood expects to break ground on the project this spring. The Main and East Conservatories will remain open throughout the transformation, and Longwood Gardens will continue to present an ongoing schedule of events and performances.




Chester County Press


LINDA SIMONS PIERCE Linda Simons Pierce, 80, of Lincoln University, Pa., passed away Feb. 14 at Jenner’s Pond in West Grove. She was the wife of the late David L. Pierce. Born in Ashland, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Charles H. and Esther Treibley Simons. Linda was a homemaker and animal lover. She enjoyed gardening and spending time with family. She was loved and admired by her nieces and nephews who spent time on the family farm in Lincoln University. She is survived by her three children, Terry P. Weaver (Bruce) of Oxford, Carol P. Plank (David) of Lincoln

University and Patti P. Rosenberg (Howard) of Lincoln University; seven grandchildren, Natalie Stevenson, Cassie Kuhn, Craig Weaver, Sheila Gilles, Cris Plank, Sydni Rosenberg, and Michaela Rosenberg; seven greatgrandchildren; and one brother, Paul Simons of Bowie, Md. She was preceded in death by a brother, Charles David Simons. Services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chester County SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at

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June Kemery Pratt passed away peacefully at her home while surrounded by her family on Feb. 20. She was 92. She was born at the Chester County Hospital on Sept. 23, 1928, the daughter of Clarence H. Kemery and Olive McCardle Kemery. She lived in East Bradford Township and then, at the age of 10, she moved to West Chester. June graduated from West Chester High School in 1946. She married Carroll Howard Pratt on Sept. 29, 1951, and they were married for 58 years until his death on Jan. 24, 2010. She was also preceded in death by her sister A. Elaine Cook. June is survived by her son, Kenneth Carroll Pratt and his wife Lisa (Hopkins), daughter Darlene Carol Pratt Pratola and husband Ralph, four grandsons, Tyler K. and Conner W. Pratt, Matthew A. (Stephanie) and Jeffrey M. Pratola and great-granddaughter Nadia V. Pratola and also several nieces and nephews. During her teen years, June became a ventriloquist with Herbie her dummy and would perform at many clubs, churches, and grange meetings in West Chester and neighboring counties. June is a member of New Garden Friends Meeting and Kennett Senior Center. She was a member of London Grove Grange #63 for over 70 years. June met her husband Carroll through grange activities and throughout the years would attend State and National Granges. She was formerly a member of Hockessin Friendship Group, Evergreen Garden Club and the Crafty Ladies Club. She was a volunteer weather observer and a certified food handler for Chester County. She loved to cook and bake. She was known for her coconut cake and Christmas cookies. She enjoyed feeding birds and traveling throughout the United States, Canada and several foreign countries with her husband. She particularly liked to travel to Lakeland, Fla. to visit friends and to take family vacations each year to Ocean City, N.J. June really enjoyed attending family gatherings and grange activities. You can visit with the family on Thursday, Feb. 25 from noon to 1 p.m. with a memorial service immediately following at New Garden Friends Meeting, 875 Newark Road Toughkenamon, Pa. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions in June’s name can be made to Willow Tree Hospice 616 East Cypress Street Kennett Square, Pa. 19348 or Kennett Friends Home 147 W. State Street, Kennett Square, Pa. 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, please visit




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Alleluia Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.

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Chester County Press

Obituaries DR. CLARENCE MELVIN REITNOUR Dr. Clarence Melvin Reitnour, 87, of Oxford, passed away on Feb. 17 while surrounded by his family at Chester County Hospital. Born in Spring City, Pa., he was the son of the late Harry James, Sr, and Sarah Christman, step-son of Paul Miller, and the husband of Shirley Steely Reitnour, with whom he shared 52 years of marriage. Mel graduated from Spring City High School in 1951, and then went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University as a member of the Delta Theta Sigma agricultural fraternity in 1959. He went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1962, and Ph.D, also from the University of Kentucky, in 1968. During these years, Mel held many jobs, including Farm Bureau Cooperative feed specialist, assistant UK county agriculture extension agent, and working on the pit crew for sprint car racing as he worked toward completing his education. Mel met Shirley in Lexington, Ky. in 1968 and the two were married in Corbin, Ky. in 1969. They moved to the Oxford area in 1971, and purchased their farm from the late Warren Johnson, a renowned local turkey farmer. Mel raised beef cattle on the farm and sold hay to many local horse and cattle owners. Mel joined the College of Agriculture at the University of Delaware in 1968, where he would spend 34 years leading an equine science program as a professor and equine nutritionist. Mel received the Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Agricultural Sciences, University Delaware, for 1978 and 1980. He was a member of the Equine Veterinary Research Directory (board directors), American Horse Council, American Society Animal Science, and Gamma Sigma Delta. Mel served as an adjunct professor, teaching courses at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. for five years after retirement from the University of Delaware. Teaching and interacting with his and all kinds of other students gave him great joy throughout his career and into his retirement. Mel’s interests included farming, whitetail deer hunting, sports (especially Kentucky basketball and Penn State football) and management of a large hunting and farming property in Westfield, Pa., where he enjoyed spending time, especially in his years after retirement. After accompanying his uncle on a hunting trip to the Westfield area in the 1950s, Mel fell in love with the area and made it his second home. It was in Westfield that he made many close friends and remained highly active in the outdoors until very late in life. Mel is survived by his wife; their son, Christopher (Danielle) of West Chester, Pa.;, two grandchildren, Avery and Chase; his brother, Douglas Reitnour (Debra) of Luray, Va.; six nieces and nephews and many close friends and family. He was predeceased by his brother, Harry James Reitnour, Jr. Services and interment took place at the Oxford Cemetery on Feb. 23. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the following organizations: University of Kentucky Equine Science and Management Scholarship (, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (https://, American Heart Association (www., The Frontline Families Fund ( Online condolences may be made at

ZELDA C. ABERNATHY Zelda C. Abernathy passed away Feb. 13 at Twin Pines Health Care Center in West Grove. She was 92. She was the wife of the late Earl S. Abernathy, Jr., with whom she shared 63 years of marriage. Born in Galax, Va. she was the daughter of the late William and Elizabeth G. Smith Nobblitte. She was a member of Community of Love Church in Oxford. She is survived by her son, Larry William Nobblitte of Elizabethtown; one granddaughter, Kimberly A. Carrick of Hockessin, Del.; and four great-grandchildren, Sean Carrick, Caitlyn Carrick, Kelsey Carrick and Kyle Carrick. She was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary Hazel Elville, Fammie B. Rios and Virginia Carter and one brother, Elbert L. Nobblitte. The services are private. Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to American Heart Assoc., PO Box 15120, Chicago, Ill. 60693. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at

JULIUS EDWARD BELLONE, JR. Julius (“Jules”) Edward Bellone, Jr. died peacefully on Jan. 17 in New Orleans, La. Jules was a resident of Chester County for 47 years. Born in January of 1937 in Greensburg, Pa., Jules attended St. Vincent College where he met Ellen Conway Bellone, his beloved wife of 60 years. Together they started a family in Philadelphia while he completed his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1965 to 1995, Jules was a professor of English and film at Lincoln University. As a scholar, Jules published research on cinema including, “Renaissance of the Film”. After retiring, Jules enjoyed traveling the world with Ellen, spending time with his family, and exploring his newly adopted home of New Orleans. Jules was intensely curious and perpetually learning new things. He delighted in learning from others, learning about them, and sharing his interests with others. He renovated the family’s historical home and transformed the adjacent barn into a home featuring original materials. When he was not busy tinkering, Jules loved learning to speak Italian, to cook, to make wine, and to garden. Among his favorite leisurely pursuits were travel, taking long walks, biking, and reading in the

MABEL ANN GILL Mabel Ann Gill, a resident of College Park, Md., passed away peacefully at the age of 85 on Feb. 16 at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland. Born on Aug. 3, 1935, Mabel was the daughter of the late Ernest Gill and Nellie Duncan Gill. Mabel grew up with her siblings on the family farm in Nottingham. She graduated from Oxford Area High School and moved to Washington D.C. with her sisters. She attended Strayer Business School and then pursued a career as a secretary for the Department of Agriculture for 29 years until retirement. During the weekends, Mabel and her partner John Wilson would spend time with their families and take road trips to the family farm. She also enjoyed the beach, slot machines and country music. She enjoyed spending time on her patio, decorating her apartment and cooking. She would always make her famous potato salad, cakes that would raise over the pan, and brownies for her family. She enjoyed her annual trip to Pennsylvania for her alumni reunion and phone calls from friends and family. Recently, Mabel moved to Rockville, Md. with her sister, Norma. She loved and appreciated the kindness of everyone who called, visited and helped her. She will be greatly missed. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her partner John Wilson, her siblings ,Wilmer Gill, John Gill, Mary Gill, Laura Gill, and Millie Casimano, and her brother-in-laws, Tom Neufell and Jim Hudgins. She is survived by sisters, Nellie Gill, Norma Neufell and Sara Hudgins; a brother-in-law, Nick Casimano; nephews, Tom (and wife Jennifer) Neufell, Joe Neufell, and Mike Neufell, nieces, Donna Neufell, Terri (and husband Mark) Wilkinson, Patti (and husband Kyle) Smith, Elaine Collyer, Gina (and husband Tom) Schell, Julie (and husband Mike) Carbiener and Mary Hudgins (and husband Ron); great nieces and nephews, Joe Jr., Casey, Tara, John, Matthew, Andrew, Ashley, Aleeya, Michael, Meghan, Maddie, Morgan, Dylan, Dominick, Jacob, Emma, and Andrew; cousins, Pam Duncan Donnelly and Debra Duncan Roney; friends Rebecca Fraunch and her family and “Annie, the mail lady,” who Mabel visited daily. With so many siblings and relatives, the memories of her life will live on forever with those who knew and loved her. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, funeral services will be private and held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to American Heart Association. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may by made at

sun. Above all else, Jules adored and enjoyed his family, particularly hearing about his grandchildren’s latest endeavors. Jules is survived by his wife Ellen and their three children, Adrienne Santa Bacchus (James) of Davidson, N.C., Christopher Conway Bellone (Jill) of New Orleans, La., and Amy Bellone Hite (John) of New Orleans, La. Additionally, he is survived by six grandchildren and one great-grandson: Lauren Bacchus, Carolyn Bacchus Stapleton (Adam), Grace Bellone, Christopher (“Conway”) Bellone, Jr., John (“Will”) Hite IV, Owen Hite, and Henry Stapleton. He is also survived by his brothers, Paul Bellone, David Bellone, and Daniel Bellone. Jules is predeceased by Yolanda Scurci Bellone and Julius Edward Bellone, Sr. (parents), Eleanor Bellone (sister), and Lorinda Bellone (sister-in-law). Funeral services were held on Jan. 22 at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New Orleans. Mass and Interment will be held on Monday, Sept. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Malachi Church, 76 St. Malachi Road, Londonderry Township, Pa. Contributions in memory of Jules may be made to Lambeth House Employees Emergency Fund, 150 Broadway Street, New Orleans, La. 70118 (https:// and designate Julius Bellone / Emergency Fund).

MARY ANNETTE PLUMLEY Mary Annette Plumley, of Kennett Square, passed away on Feb. 18 at the Chester County Hospital. She was 61. Born in Islip, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Samuel McBride and the late Marilyn Bayer McBride. She was the office manager at Pesce Lab Sales in Kennett Square for the past 22 years. Mary was a very active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kennett Square, where she served on the Hospitality Committee, taught as a CCD educator for 20-plus years, and attended countless wedding rehearsals. She was a seasonal volunteer at Kennett Area Community Services and many other organizations. She actively engaged in various roles for 20-plus years with Boy Scout Troop 24. She enjoyed going camping with her family, hiking, the ocean, and found joy in service and family. She is survived by two sons, Chris Plumley (and grandpuppy Cody) of Kennett Square, and Mark Plumley (Ja’Net and grandson Tyler) of Kennett Square; two brothers, Andrew McBride (Jennifer) of Landenberg and Matthew McBride (Beth) of Fredericksburg, Va.; two sisters, Christine Hojnacki (Steve) of Downingtown and Jean Basilio (Joseph - deceased) of Oxford; much-loved nieces and nephews, Greg (Angela), Kelly (Mike), Kurt (Lindsay), Lisa (David), Matthew, Ryan, Luke, and Kate; great-niece Violet and great-nephews, Tristan and Weston and countless honorary children You are invited to visit with her family from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25 and again from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26 at the Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 West State Street in Kennett Square. The funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 212 Meredith Street in Kennett Square. Burial will in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, North Union Street, in Kennett Square. Please wear face masks and practice social distancing. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1818 Market Street, Suite 2820, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with Mary’s family, please visit

WILLIAM ROTH TAYLOR, JR. William “Bill” Roth Taylor, Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 17 at the age of 87. Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend. Upon graduation from Oxford Area High School, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army. When he returned from his service duties, he briefly worked for Chrysler Corporation. He left Chrysler to work for Barr and Smith Motors in Oxford. When the opportunity arose, he and his wife, Esther became owners of Taylor’s Auto Service in Oxford. Bill was known for his quick wit and keen sense of humor. He could drive the darkness out of any situation with his enduring smile and the twinkle in his eye could light any room. He lived as if every moment was an opportunity to learn. His love of nature was reflected in his gardens and in his home. He was a kind and caring man, always quick to lend a hand or help someone in need. Bill became a member of the Masons and served for over 50 years with this organization. He enjoyed other opportunities for

service in the church as a youth group advisor, deacon and elder. Bill is survived by Esther (Rhodes), his loving wife of 63 years. Together they had three daughters, Kim Taylor (Roy Reider), Beth Marsh (Christopher Marsh), and Amy Lucek (David Lucek) and nine grandchildren, Joshua, Christian and William Levan, sons of Kim; Jordan, Austin and Trevor Marsh, sons of Beth; and Logan, Abigail and Zachary Pitts, children of Amy. He is survived by four step-grandchildren, Alex, Nate, Jack and Nick Lucek. He was blessed as well with two great-granddaughters, Lyla, daughter of Jordan and Michelle (Canfarotta) Marsh and Emrie, daughter of Trevor and Suzanna (Galvin) Marsh. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Upper Octorara Presbyterian Church, 1121 Octorara Trail, Parkesburg, Pa. 19365. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Upper Octorara Presbyterian Church. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at




Chester County Press

Local News The Messenger: Local author’s new book shows how to live a gluten-free life By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer The story of how Avondale resident Amanda Silver came to understand the potential dangers of gluten -- and how she eventually helped release her family from its grip -- is a tale told in several chapters. Through her curiosity, research and dogged determination to share that story so that others may live healthier lives, every one of those chapters is now included in Silver’s new book, “The Joy of Gluten-Free: A Practical Guide to Live Gluten-Free and Thrive.” Published by Newman Springs, its 196 pages serve as both an educational document and a love letter, meant not only to inform but to inspire, and told primarily through the author’s personal experiences. In her chapter “Our Story,” Silver traces her introduction to gluten to the fall of 2011, when her husband Steve had been experiencing a racing heartbeat, fatigue, brain fog and bleeding gums. A group of chiropractors he was seeing sent Steve for a comprehensive blood test and a separate gluten sensitivity test, and several months later, he was found to be gluten intolerant. He wasn’t the only one in the family; Amanda and Steve’s daughter and son also tested gluten intolerant. Soon after, Amanda herself tested positive for gluten intolerance. “It was medically necessary to make that change,

because we had found out all of the very far reaching effects that gluten has on the body, and we knew we had to make the change,” she said. “Before anyone goes gluten free, you must take all of the inflammatory foods out of your diet. It was a big lift and it was hard, but compared to our long-term health, a few weeks of adjustment was well worth it. We were all saved by this new diet.” In 2012, the family began to pursue a gluten-free life through an elimination diet, and while the results showed an immediate improvement, Silver still knew very little about the condition. Then, while attending a lecture given by Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, a faculty member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and a leader in the field of clinical nutrition, she became inspired to know more. “Dr. O’Bryan quickly became one of my biggest heroes in the entire world,” she said. “I became completely adamant that gluten had to be entirely out of our lives,” she said. “It was a building snowball, a slow gathering of facts. I’m inquisitive. I want to know why we need to do this and why we need to that, and that’s where the writing of my book came from.” A major trigger word In current dietetic and nutritional circles, gluten – a group of seed storage proteins found in wheat, barley and rye – has become a major trigger word

for what is ailing the digestive systems of millions of Americans. It’s everywhere: in soups, gravy, dressings, sauces, pastries, cookies, cakes, soufflés, pasta, cereals and breads, as well as in mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, flavored chips and crackers. Americans are gobbling it up at alarming rates, and it’s making some of them very sick. Most commonly, an excessive amount of stored gluten causes what is known as leaky gut, an immune system/digestive condition in which the cells lining the intestines and the space between them is damaged, allowing food to leak through and trigger inflammatory responses and decrease the proper absorption of food nutrients. Leaky gut has been associated with such chronic health issues as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, neurological issues (like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s), and cancer. This condition can also lead to Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease that can cause severe and life threatening health issues. Currently, about 1 in every 133 people in the U.S. has been diagnosed with the disease, but for residents who are gluten intolerant, it’s one person in every four. “I know there are certain people who are seeing things happening in their family and cannot even imagine that they are all connected to this condition,” she said. “Gluten

Courtesy photo

The 196-page book contains 100 pages of glutenfree recipes, as well as suggestions for planning meals, finding and using organic ingredients, preparing leftovers and school lunches, eating when traveling, and several options for cooking vegetables.

intolerance can be that factor that can kick more than 200 conditions into happening. “I saw it as a problem for many more people than those who know that they have this condition, and so I have put my story and the story of my family out there because I really want them to know what this really is, and how to truly deal with it.” Recipes from soups to main courses to desserts “The Joy of Gluten-Free” is not only personal and informative, it’s delicious. Do you need a gluten-fee variation on potato leek soup, crispy roasted whole chicken or New England crab cakes? Silver devotes nearly 100 pages of her book to recipes for soups; sides, salads and snacks; dressings, sauces

Photo by Richard L. Gaw

Local author Amanda Silver’s new book, “The Joy of Gluten-Free: A Practical Guide to Live Gluten-Free and Thrive,” is a personal story of how she and her family have made great strides in altering their diet after being diagnosed as gluten intolerant several years ago.

and seasoning mixes; main courses and sauces; and desserts. In addition, the book contains Silver’s ideas for planning meals, finding and using organic ingredients, preparing leftovers and school lunches, eating when traveling, and several options for cooking vegetables. In a rapidly growing world library of books devoted to proper nutrition, fad diets and factoid-heavy tomes written in the often complex language of medical jargon, Silver looks at “The Joy of Gluten-Free” as a quiet, nurturing alternative, one that she hopes will become a dog-eared, marked-up, foodstained staple that will last on kitchen shelves for decades, written in the way one parent speaks to another. “When you look this problem square in the face, you must not run and hide; you must stand,” Silver writes in

the book’s prologue. “Your family needs you. Yes, it was difficult to feed everyone [in the family], but we have been managing for some years now and want to help others.” Note: Silver, who is not a medical practitioner or a registered nutritionist, strongly advises that anyone pursuing a gluten-free diet or suspects that they are gluten intolerant to first consult with a functioning physician, medical professional or nutritionist. “The Joy of Gluten-Free: A Practical Guide to Live Gluten-Free and Thrive” will be available on amazon. com, I-Tunes and Barnes and Noble. To learn more about the book, email Silver at To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email



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Chester County Press

Local News Chester County Commissioners award $10 million in grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline announced the awarding of $10 million in grants to 333 Chester County small businesses. The individual grants, made available through round two of the Chester County Main Street Preservation grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, range from $20,000 to $49,500. “Preserving Chester County’s main street businesses remains crucial to our economy and the fact we are able to award a second, even larger number

of grants is really substantial,” Moskowitz said. “Many small businesses have worked so hard and so creatively to try and adapt to the impact of this pandemic, but a financial boost is still needed to cover business costs.” Maxwell said, “These grants will help our small business owners who have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, including restaurants, caterers and other industries struggling through no fault of their own. We are excited to be able to deliver this good news so early in 2021, and will continue to find ways to help

our small businesses stay open.” The Chester County Main Street Preservation grant program was created at the request of the Commissioners early in the pandemic to provide funding for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC), administrators of the grant program, received over 430 applications for funding under the second round, and all applications were thoroughly reviewed against the eligibility requirements of the grant program.

Eligibility for the second round of the Main Street Preservation grant program included businesses that have been active and for-profit since 2019 or earlier, with 2019 revenues of $5 million or less; a 30 percent decline in revenue; and a business location in Chester County. Businesses that received a Main Street Preservation grant in June 2020 were also ineligible for the second round of grants. Kichline said, “This grant program is an important – and smart – investment in Chester County’s economy. We will continue

to find ways to support and sustain all of our small businesses, including working together with our county-wide chambers of commerce, the Chester County Economic Development Council and all other partners.” Of the 333 grants awarded in the second round of the Main Street Preservation grant program, nearly half are owned by women, and one in five are minority-owned. Just under 30 percent are restaurants, caterers, hotels and bed & breakfasts, and 22 percent are professional service businesses such as automotive repair, barber

shops, beauty salons and dry cleaners. Mike Grigalonis, CCEDC’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “We are laser focused on providing programs and services that can help our businesses get through this difficult time. We appreciate the Commissioners’ latest funding commitment and are proud to administer the Main Street Grant program which supports those businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.” Funding for the Main Street Preservation grants comes from CARES funding received by Chester County Government.



Chester County, PA. LETTERS of ADMINISTRATION C.T.A. on the above Estate have been granted to the undersigned, who request all persons

having claims or demands against the estate of the decedent to make known the same and all persons indebted to the decedent to make payment without


delay to REBECCA A. HOBBS, ADMINISTRATRIX C.T.A., 110 Hudson Dr., Phoenixville, PA 19460, Or to her Attorney: REBECCA A. HOBBS, O’DONNELL, WEISS & MATTEI, P.C., 41 E. High St., Pottstown, PA 19464 2p-10-3t


Robert W. Prendergast, Jr. of Pennsbury, Chester County, PA, deceased. Letters of Administration on said estate having been granted to the undersigned all persons indebted thereto are requested to make immediate payment, and those having claims or demands against the same will present them without delay for settlement to the undersigned: Tara Lafferty c/o Frankel Estate Planning & Elder Law, LLC 150 N. Radnor Chester Road Suite F-200 Radnor, PA 19087 2p-17-3t


An application for registration of the fictitious name NACEConnect, 1085 Andrew Drive, Suite A, WEST CHESTER PA 19380 has been filed in the Department of State at Harrisburg, PA, File Date 01/05/2021 pursuant to the Fictitious Names Act, Act 1982-295. The name and address of the person who is a party to the registration is AARON STARR, 1085 ANDREW DRIVE SUITE A, WEST CHESTER, PA 19380, NORTH AMERICAN CABLE EQUIPMENT, INC., 1085 ANDREW DRIVE SUITE A, WEST CHESTER, PA 19380. 2p-24-1t


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Chester County Press

Local News Partnering for a cure A new business in Oxford will open its doors with a fundraiser that supports a local pediatric cancer charity Sweet Cakes Supplies, LLC plans to open their doors at 59 S. 3rd Street in Oxford on March 1 with a fundraiser. Ashley Webster of Simply Sweet and Vanessa Ross of Vanessa Ross Cakes created Sweet Cakes Supplies to provide cake, cupcake and cookie decorating tools, instruction and equipment to the public, as well as having a storefront from which to sell their baked goods. They also want to support local causes and Ashley and Vanessa have already spoken to Paul Matthews, the founder and president of the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation, about donating 50 percent of cupcake sales to the organization that is com-

mitted to fighting childhood cancer until their is a cure. “We are so excited to be able to open a store in Oxford,” said Ashley. Vanessa added, “Having our first sales support the Eli Seth Matthews Foundation is icing on the cake for us.” Eli Seth Matthews was born in Newark, Del., on Nov. 27, 2000 to parents Paul and Ruth Ann Matthews and big brother, Austin. The first six years of his life were much like other boys: going to school, making friends, playing T-ball, riding bikes and four-wheelers. All that changed on Nov. 15, 2007, when Eli was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). After treatment, Eli was in remission for almost two

years, but then relapsed in 2009. He underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiation to prepare for a stem cell transplant in 2010. The transplant was a success, but sadly Eli relapsed on Jan. 13, 2011, and he lost his battle to the disease on Jan. 20 of that year. Eli was a remarkable young man who never once complained during any of the treatments or procedures. Eli had a prayer list and would pray for others at night, and when Eli was finished praying one night his parents asked him if he remembered to pray for himself. Eli replied, “I forgot about me.” Eli believed that there is a cure for leukemia out there somewhere and helped raise funds to send to research

scientists in his short life. The Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation, Inc. was created to carry out Eli’s wish to find a cure. To date, the Foundation has raised over $400,000 for research, scholarships and counseling. Eli’s wish to find a cure for leukemia is being carried out daily by his family, the community and the Foundation. On Feb. 21, 2011, Geoffrey Henry, who was Oxford’s mayor at the time, proclaimed March 1 to be the official Eli Matthews Day. On every March 1 since then, his family and the Oxford community celebrates Eli Matthews Day by wearing Eli’s favorite colors, red and black. Local businesses put up posters with the link to

Turkey pot pie sale The Oxford United Methodist Church is selling turkey pot pies that can be picked up on Saturday, March 20. The turkey pot pies feature no crusts and are Pennsylvania Dutch-style. They can be purchased for $7.00/quart (containers provided). Call 610-932-0513 to order before the deadline of March 14. Pickup will be from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Oxford United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall (18 Addison Street in Oxford).

the Foundation’s website,, and donations are collected. This year, there will be a new business supporting the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation. For additional information and upcoming fundraising events for the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation go to: https:// SethMatthewsLeukemia FoundationInc or www. For additional information about Sweet Cakes Supplies, LLC go towww. sweetcakessupplies. com or the Facebook page at sweetcakessupplies.

Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health to offer recently approved COVID-19 treatment Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health is fortunate to have received doses of the recently approved COVID19 drug bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody to treat individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. The drug, developed by Eli Lilly, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for patients 12 years and older under “emergency use authorization.” This status allows new medications that have passed general safety tests and have preliminarily demonstrated effectiveness to advance to commercial distribution while Phase 3 studies are still ongoing. Brandywine Hospital began outpatient treatment for COVID-19 positive patients the week of Feb. 9. Bamlanivimab should be administered as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and within 10 days of symptom onset in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age

and older who are at high risk for progressing to a severe case of COVID-19 or hospitalization. Risk factors for these patients include: • Body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 • Chronic kidney disease • Diabetes • Immunosuppressive disease • Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment • Older than 65 years of age • Older than 55 years of age and have:cardiovascular disease, or hypertension, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of another chronic respiratory disease; • 12 to 17 years of age and have BMI greater than 85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts, or Sickle cell disease, or congenital or acquired heart disease, or Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as, cerebral

palsy, or a medical-related technological dependence, such as, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19), or asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control. The treatment, given as an infusion, will be administered in a recently converted unit on the ground floor of the hospital. This area was selected because patients will have access to a dedicated entrance that will take them directly to the unit, separating them from other patients. In a phase II double-blind randomized controlled trial of 465 patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalizations of patients who received bamlanivimab were 70 percent lower than for patients who received a placebo. Michael Coveney, the vice president and

Courtesy photos

Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health is fortunate to have received doses of the recently approved COVID19 drug bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody to treat individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.

Chief Nursing Officer at Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health said, “We are excited that Brandywine Hospital will be able to provide this as another option to treat our patients while likely decreasing hospitalizations.” The treatment is aimed at the COVID-19 “spike protein” (the mushroomlooking projection from the main body of the virus). Just as the antibodies made

by an individual’s own immune system, this monoclonal antibody attaches to the virus, thereby both preventing the virus’ attachment to the patient’s cells, and “tagging” the virus for destruction by the patient’s own immune system. Located in Chester County and a member of Tower Health, Brandywine Hospital is a nonprofit, 171bed acute-care hospital with private rooms that has been

Michael Coveney, the vice president and Chief Nursing Officer at Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health said, “We are excited that Brandywine Hospital will be able to provide this as another option to treat our patients while likely decreasing hospitalizations.”

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Avon Grove School District community invited to attend a virtual focus group on March 2 The Avon Grove School District is in the process of creating a three-year communication plan and is seeking input from school personnel, parents and the community through a series of focus groups. Focus group participants

will share their perceptions about the district as well as its communications strategy. Parents, staff and students have been invited to attend focus groups via the district’s email notification system.

The focus group will be held on Tuesday, March 2 from 7 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. All interested members of the community are invited to attend. To assist with planning of the focus group, attendees are asked to reg-

ister by March 1 at www. Upon registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing instructions for joining the March 2 virtual focus group. • The goals of the focus

Legals Continued from Page 6B MINISTRATION BUILDING. Pocopson Township has extended the time to submit bids for its New Township Administration Building Project until February 26, 2021 at 1 p.m., local time. Bids shall be delivered to the current Pocopson Township Administration Building, located at 740 Denton Hollow Road, West Chester, PA 19382. Late bids will not be opened. Bids will be opened and read aloud on February 26, 2021 at 1 P.M., local time, and streamed via a live, publicly accessible video conference. A web link to the video conference will be made available on the Township website. The date, time and place of bid award will be announced at the bid opening. The Architect, GKO Associates, has issued an addendum regarding this extension to all registered bidders. Questions regarding this addendum, or other addenda issued as part of the bidding process may be directed to susan@ 2p-24-1t


Texas Eastern Communications, LLC., provides this notice regarding the

Texas Eastern Eagle Microwave Tower Replacement, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reviewing the Texas Eastern Eagle Microwave Tower Replacement for potential impacts to historic properties. The Texas Eastern Eagle Microwave Tower Replacement includes deconstruction of an existing 300-foot microwave tower and the construction of a new 300-foot selfsupporting microwave tower adjacent to the original tower location. Any interested party wishing to submit comments regarding the potential effects of the Texas Eastern Eagle Microwave Tower may have on any historic property may send comments to: Texas Eastern Eagle Microwave Tower c/o SWCA Environmental Consultants, 8 Science Park Road, Scarborough, Maine, 04074, or via telephone at 737.236.4489. 2p-24-1t


NOTICE: The London Grove Township Zoning Hearing Board will conduct a public hearing on, Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., in the London Grove Township Building, 372 Rose Hill Road, West Grove, PA for the following

groups are to determine: • The types of communication you currently receive from Avon Grove School District. • What more you would like to know about the district. • What you currently

think and feel about Avon Grove School District. • How you currently interact with Avon Grove School District. • What Avon Grove School District could do to achieve better partnership outcomes with you.


purpose: 325 E. Baltimore Pike- To hear the appeal of Felipe Cortes for a variance to build a two (2) bay garage, using part of the existing foundation, next to residence (321 E. Baltimore) which does not meet the 100’ setback. This property is in the Industrial (I) District. . William Grandizio, Chairman, Zoning Hearing Board 2p-24-2t


ESTATE OF Michael J Guerrera, LATE OF East Nottingham Township, Chester County, PA. Letters Testamentary/ Administration on the above Estate have been granted to the undersigned, who request all persons having claims or demands against the estate of the decedent to make known the same and all persons indebted to the decedent to make payment without delay to, Executor: Margaret McNair, C/O Attorney: Ira D. Binder, 227 Cullen Rd, Oxford, PA 19363 2p-24-3t


NOTICE: The London Grove Township Zoning Hearing Board will conduct a public hearing on, Thursday, March

18, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., in the London Grove Township Building, 372 Rose Hill Road, West Grove, PA for the following purpose: 284 Chatham Road- To hear the appeal of Jack & Helga Vaalburg for a special exception to from 27-1605 build a single family residence, and detached outbuilding in the steep slope overlay district. This property is in the Agricultural Preservation (AP) District. William Grandizio, Chairman, Zoning Hearing Board. 2p-24-2t

Classifieds Help Wanted Office Position, 16 Hours per week. Record Keeping, Phones, Customer Service to rent storage units for self storage company. Call 610-444-5708.

FOR RENT Commercial/Industrial Buildings Southern Lancaster County 30 x 100 bldg w/(4) overhead doors, office & bathroom. Tenant pays all utilities. Outside parking & storage. $2200.00/month 40 x 40 end unit w/(2) overhead doors, office & bathroom. Tenant pays all utilities. Outside parking & storage $1000.00/month Call Christ Taylor, Beiler-Campbell Realtors 717-786-8000

CALL TO ADVERTISE 610-869-5553




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Chester County Press 02-24-2021 Edition  

Chester County Press 02-24-2021 Edition  

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