Chester County Press 03-23-2022 Edition

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Chester CountyPRESS

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

Volume 156, No. 12


Wednesday, March 23, 2022


Fighting for fair education funding Oxford residents are over-taxed. Oxford schools are under-funded. A rally outside Penn’s Grove School last week was part of a state-wide campaign to raise awareness about the need for fair education funding for students By Steven Hoffman Staff Writer

A court case that has the potential to bring sweeping changes to how public ChristianaCare adds pri- schools in Pennsylvania mary care practices in are funded reached a pivJennersville and West otal point on March 10 as Grove...5A closing arguments took place in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Department. of Education, et al. At the heart of this lawsuit is a claim by school districts, parents, and several statewide organizations that the commonwealth’s school funding system is so unfair that it violates the

Annual Jazz Fest debuts April 10...1B

Boundary shift clears the way for Spencer’s candidacy in 158th District By Chris Barber Contributing Writer

Avon Grove students earn spot in Aerial Drones World Championship...1B

INDEX Opinion.......................5A Obituaries......2B, 3B & 5B

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Pennsylvania Constitution. Billions of dollars for public schools could be at stake. Residents in the Oxford Area School District probably understand the inherent unfairness of the state’s current education funding system better than anyone. Oxford Area School District residents pay significantly higher taxes than people who reside in neighboring school districts, yet the total funding for schools is tens of millions of dollars less than neighboring schools like Kennett, Avon Grove and Unionville-Chadds Ford. One major reason for this: During the last three

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week rejected a challenge to the new state legislative districts, thus clearing the way for a shift in the geography of the 158th Legislative District. As a result, Leon Spencer, who lives in Kennett Square, is eligible to seek the Republican nomination for the seat in the 158th District. The seat is currently held by Democrat State Rep. Christina Sappey. The legislative and congressional districts are re-evaluated every 10 years following a census to accommodate changes

in population. The former designation, established in 2014, placed Kennett Square and Kennett Township in the 160th District, which is currently heavily populated by residents in Delaware County and is served by Republican State Rep. Craig Williams. The most recent change, guided by a committee of five (two Democrats, two Republicans and a neutral chairman) proposed and issued new districts which squared off what appeared to be some formerly gerrymandered areas of Chester County. Gerrymandering is a practice that skews districts – sometimes oddly Continued on page 2A

decades, Pennsylvania has allowed the percentage of total education funding that it provides to public schools to decline significantly. At one time, the state’s share accounted for more than 50 percent of the total funding; now, for some school districts, the state funds less than one-third of the annual costs. This has shifted the burden of funding schools to local residents. It has also created an environment where some school districts are perpetually under-funded—the Oxford Area School District is one such district. Continued on page 3A

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Kennett Township’s 2020 audit reflects activities of former township manager By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer There is a common local sentiment that supports the belief that the most turbulent chapter in Kennett Township history finally ended when former manager Lisa Moore was sentenced to state prison last October for the crime of stealing more than $3.2 million from the township. The Board of Supervisors’ March 16 meeting cracked that chapter open again. In a presentation by Maillie certified public accountant Christopher Herr and township Human Resources and Finance Director Amy Heinrich, the township unveiled the results of an audit that looked at the township’s books from 2019, with particular emphasis on “Investigation into

Activities of Prior Township Manager.” “We are digging into every individual transaction and I will say that it is a very thorough audit,” Herr said. “We audited about 80 percent of expenses, which is very high for an audit, and it’s about continuing to provide coverage and comfort, given some of the things that had happened [in the township] in the years prior.” Board Chairman Richard Leff said that the audit was delayed for two years because of COVID-19 and the challenge of untangling the township’s books during 2019 -- the year that the full investigation into Moore’s activities began. Herr said that the township’s new Sage Intaact software accounting system “is working the way

it should be,” but said the investigation into the township’s 2019 financial picture revealed invoices without indicated approvals, transactions that were done without administrative support, checks signed by stamp, bills that were paid twice and several checks that were only signed by one check signer, journal entries with no record of review and approval, and no documentation of the township salary system. Throughout Maillie’s audit, they continued to see a segregation of duties in the township’s system of financial accounting, indicating that “one person had the control of the whole flow,” Herr said. “Our concern was that one person was getting the check in the mail, Continued on page 4A

New Garden residents oppose plans for Route 41 development, sewer rate hikes By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer Although it was not listed on the itinerary for the March 21 New Garden Township Board of Supervisors meeting, listening was the most important

task on the agenda. For more than two hours, the five members of the board heard resident backlash related to two issues: the township’s plans to amend the township’s zoning map in an effort to revitalize Route 41 and

promote mixed-use development along the corridor; and the much-anticipated sewer rate hikes stemming from the sale of the township’s wastewater system to Aqua. Over the past few months, the township has lofted a

proposal to rezone 97 parcels along Route 41 to Avondale Borough that are currently zoned Highway Commercial (HC), R-1 and R-4 Residential to a Unified Development (UD) classification. The purpose of rezoning is in step

with the township’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan that calls for the corridor to be converted to a mixed-use thoroughfare for commercial use “in which to work, shop, dine and play.” The plan also calls for the Continued on page 4A

Neff Physical Therapy to open Oxford location on May 4 By Betsy Brewer Brantner and one of his business partContributing Writer ners, Adam Soltys, are very anxious to put down roots in Neff Physical Therapy Oxford. will soon be opening in the Neff purchased the forformer Rite Aid location at mer Rite Aid location and 46 S. Third Street in the has been remodeling the Borough of Oxford. 3,000-square-foot structure “All it took was one drive to eventually be home to his down the main street in third Neff Physical Therapy Oxford and we were sold. location. Part of the building I knew we wanted to be will also be reconfigured to a part of this community,” house another business. explained Dr. Dan Neff, There is a lot of history DPT. attached to the building Neff grew up in the small he is remodeling. The town of Holtwood, and loves Oxford Historic District is the vibe of a small town. He a National Historic District.

As such, it encompasses 517 contributing buildings, one contributing site, and one contributing structure in the central business district and surrounding residential areas of Oxford. The well-defined main street (S. Third Street) has brought many businesses and professionals to the Borough of Oxford. And with the construction of a multi-level parking garage in the center of town, Oxford is home to many thriving businesses. Neff’s property also has

off-street parking, which is another plus for any business, but certainly for a physical therapy location. “It will be convenient for people who have mobility issues,” he explained. Neff has been expanding his business which began at the Quarryville location in 2009. They also have a Willow Street location and now, Oxford will make three. Dr. Neff is an undergraduate of the University of Delaware. He earned his master’s degree at George Continued on page 2A

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Dr. Dan Neff will open an Oxford location on May 4, in the former Rite Aid building at 46 S. Third Street.




Chester County Press

Local News Boundary... Continued from Page 1A

– to favor one party or constituency over another for the sake of gaining political power. Under the last redistricting in 2014, the 160th District included Kennett Square and Kennett Township, removing it from the 158th District, which it had long been a part of. Spencer is a longtime public servant and well known in southern Chester County. He is a former mayor, school board member, and borough council member in Kennett Square. Republicans wanted to have him seek the 158th District seat, but it was a slow process for the new boundary lines for legisla-

Physical therapy... Continued from Page 1A

Mason in Human Physiology and did Doctoral work at Lebanon Valley College. “When I started, I searched for a way to treat the spine in a safe manner that provided consistently great results,” he said. “We have found that the way patients get better is to combine treating the spine with a structured exercise program. “If you only focus on exercises without correcting the spinal dysfunction, it limits the healing potential of the patient. The patient feels better when we get all the nerves in the spinal segments moving properly.” Perhaps one of the most

tive districts to be redrawn and approved. The lengthy process affected the election calendar. The rules of the districting require that the candidate must live in the district he or she wants to serve, and the 300 signers of the petition to enter the race must also be a part of the candidate’s party and the district. To make matters more difficult, the hold-up in the decision meant that the final determination of the 158th District was delayed, leaving only 10 days for the candidates to gather their signatures for the coming primary in May. On Monday, Spencer acknowledged the pressure of dealing with only 10 days ending on March 28 to get the required num-

ber of signatures. “But we have a group of volunteers working on it,” he said optimistically. Spencer added that he entered the race knowing that he lived in the 160th District, but it was about to change. He said he spoke with Williams and told him if the boundary change did not occur, he would drop out rather than challenge Williams, an incumbent Republican, for the seat. Staff in the office of incumbent 158th Democrat State Rep. Christina Sappey, of West Bradford, said she intends to run for re-election. Sappey was not available to comment on the changing boundaries of her district before this edition went to press. The 158th District, up

important aspects of his treatment is that he has developed a gentle way to move the patient’s spine in a safe and natural way. “We want to treat people naturally without medication, injections, or surgery,” Neff said. “It is amazing what we achieve when we put our hands on that patient’s spine and change the neural pathways. Honestly when we were experimenting with this system, we wanted to find a way to make patients feel better immediately. That is the biggest difference in the way we treat our patients.” Neff has traveled to over 33 states teaching what they have developed in the Neff Physical Therapy facilities. He explained, “We teach

a two-day course. People travel from all over the United States to attend these courses that we developed in a small town. We are blessed to help patients with their pain.” Dr. Adam Soltys will run the Oxford location. They will also have a physical therapy assistant and an administrative assistant. “As soon as we walked down the main street, we felt a sense of community. We want to be part of this community,” Neff said. “We want to be an addition to the community, not just a business.” Their focus in Oxford is to make sure sports teams do well and that people in the community are not in pain. “Right now, we just want

(Maps by Pennsylvania political committees. Graphic by Chris Barber)

The former and current 158th District shows a shift to the west.

until last week, consisted of Avondale, East Bradford, East Marlborough, London Britain, New Garden, Newlin, West Bradford, part of West Goshen and West Marlborough. The new 158th District now consists of East Fallowfield, East Marlborough, Kennett, New Garden, Newlin, Pocopson, West Bradford, West Marlborough, Avondale and Kennett Square. to get the word out that when you are in pain, Neff PT should be your first call,” Neff said. “You will get a treatment that will change your pain immediately, with no injections, medicines or surgery. We will run sports clinics for young athletes where they can come and get immediate treatment and get back on the field. At the new facility, athletes and patients will be able to have a musculoskeletal ultrasound right on site to see if there are any tears or injury to the muscles.” Neff currently works with some U.S. Olympic athletes. “One of our athletes, a wrestler, was recently in a world competition in Turkey,” he said. Neff said that he is excited to partner with Soltys at the Oxford location. “Dr. Soltys, DPT is resi-

Leon Spencer

Christina Sappey

Courtesy photo

Dr. Dan Neff shows the progress of the remodeling of the former Rite Aid building in the center of Oxford. Part of the building will be used for Neff Physical Therapy and another portion will be available for lease to another business.

dency trained and has three years of medical training in musculoskeletal ultrasound and electromyography (EMG).




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Neff said, “Adam has amazing hands and when he puts those hands on people, they get better. He will be a great addition to the community and the patient population. He has worked with all types of injuries, low back pain, neck pain, headaches and traditional patients after surgery or injuries.” Neff Physical Therapy takes most insurances, and they love working with a diverse population. “The most important thing for me is entering into the community to provide a medical facility where patients can go to get immediate pain relief and do it naturally,” he said. Neff Physical Therapy is planning to open their doors on May 4. Besides relief from pain, the public will also be able to take advantage of a variety of workshops that will be given at that location, for arthritis, neuropathy, rotator cuffs and more.




Chester County Press

Local News Education funding... Continued from Page 1A

On March 15, just five days after the closing arguments concluded in the education funding trial in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, a rally for fair education funding took place outside the Penn’s Grove Middle School in Oxford. It was one of several dozen vigils and rallies that took place across the state that day as part of a coordinated effort to demand more adequate education funding for Pennsylvania’s students. Donna Cooper, the executive director of Children First, Nelly Jimenez, the executive director of ACLAMO, Kristin Grasso, a parent and special education advocate, Shelley Meadowcroft, a parent who resides in East Nottingham Township, and Laurie Shannon-Bailey, an equitable education funding advocate, all spoke at the rally. “Oxford is a school district that is severely underfunded by the state,” Cooper told the crowd. She explained that inadequate funding from the state directly translated to shortages in funding for many schools throughout the Commonwealth, creating a large gap between wealthy school districts and less wealthy ones. As a consequence, Cooper explained, where one lives determines the quality of the education that is available to students. Raul Toledo was one of the parents from Oxford Area School District who turned out for the rally. He has a child in Elk Ridge School. He

said that the schools need the resources to meet the needs of students, and he wanted to come out to support the fair funding of schools. “The students deserve a good education,” he said. Overall, Pennsylvania’s share of K-12 education funding is around 38 percent—that ranks 45th out of 50 states in the U.S. On average, states across the U.S. contribute 47 percent of education funding for K-12 public schools. Pennsylvania is underfunding its public schools by more than $4.6 billion. The inadequate funding impacts most students and school districts across the state—428 out of 500 school districts lack the resources they need to meet academic standards, according to a benchmark written in state law. Since 2008, Pennsylvania state law has set a benchmark for calculating the resources that schools need so that their students have a shot at reaching state academic standards. This target for adequate funding was developed in a bipartisan process, and weighted to account for students with greater needs, such as students living in poverty. The law says that the state should calculate how much school districts need to reach this target each year— but they have not done so for years. In Chester County, nine of the 12 school districts would qualify as being underfunded, according to current state laws. The average Oxford Area School District student was shorted by about $7,039 annually, and in the Avon Grove School District, students are being shorted about

Donna Cooper, the executive director of Children First, said that the gap between wealthy school districts and not-sowealthy school districts has been widening Photos by Steven Hoffman because the state’s percentage of total education Some of the attendees at the rally outside the Penn’s Grove School held signs calling for the full funding of schools in Pennsylvania. funding has declined.

$4,109 annually. Meanwhile, in the Kennett Consolidated School District, students are being shorted about $5,018 annually. Pennsylvania students, teachers, and parents see the impact of schools being underfunded every day: classrooms and schools without the basics and students with needs that schools are unable to meet, solely because of a lack of funding. That funding equates to teachers and counselors, nurses and librarians, computers and STEM labs, and additional art, music, or sports offerings. The additional funding also means smaller class sizes and remedial help for children who are struggling to learn. “Pennsylvania fails to adequately fund too many school districts across the state,” said Grasso. “Our local residents, especially our seniors, can’t afford higher taxes.” If Pennsylvania met even

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the national average for the percentage of total K-12 funding, schools like Oxford would have many additional resources, and there would be less of a tax burden for local residents. Meadowcroft explained that the purpose of the rally was to raise awareness about the need for a more equitable system of school funding. She hopes that the education funding trial will produce a result that will bring about a positive change for students and taxpayers across the state. “This lawsuit is pushing the legislature to find a better funding formula for our schools,” Meadowcroft said. “I have friends who live in East Goshen, who pay less for school taxes than I do, and their schools are way better funded. That’s because they live in a high-wealth area with a large corporate tax base. Those two things can change a school district drastically.”

Meadowcroft talked about what additional funding could mean for students in the Oxford Area School District. “Our educators do amazing work with limited resources when compared to other schools in our area,” Meadowcroft said. She said that, with more resources, positive results for students will follow. “These resources can look like more teachers to create smaller class sizes, or more paraprofessionals to help within a class or with one specific child with special needs, more custodians to help keep our schools safe and healthy, and more ESL teachers to work with our students,” she said. “It can increase educator compensation so we can retain more educators and fill our vacant positions, it can be to pay for permanent substitutes in our schools so we aren’t shortstaffed so often, and so much more. It can be resources

that enhance our curriculum like books and technology in the classrooms and around the school district.” Schools across the country are also working to help students make up the ground that was lost during the pandemic. Meadowcroft said that the additional funding for schools could help them provide all the extra supports and resources that students need to overcome the educational and emotional impact of the pandemic. “I believe that more mental health professionals is always a great investment, especially with our children coming out of the last two years of a pandemic,” she said. “There are so many social and emotional needs that have been intensified by COVID-19. That can be more school counselors, school psychologists, or school social workers. It can even be or more programs for students to do within the Continued on page 5B




Chester County Press

New Garden... Continued from Page 1A

construction of a variety of housing options along the corridor, and the enhancement of streetscapes through the addition of street trees, street lights and sidewalks. In his opening remarks, township planner and zoning expert Tom Comitta called the proposed change “a 40 percent enhancement value.” Comitta expressed his cautious optimism for the planned development along the corridor. “My main concern is, ‘If you build it, will they come, and will they come at all?’” said Comitta, who had presented creative ideas about the plan to the board earlier in the year. “Let’s say we look at this road ten years from now. Will there be a greater attractiveness? In our best imagination, can we think about outdoor dining along Route 41? It may take 10 or 20 years for a lot of positive changes to happen, but you have to start somewhere. “It’s trying to aspire to a better outcome. We can’t predict the future, but we can say what our best practices are, and that’s what we are trying to do.” The township’s idea to redefine the Route 41 corridor recently got a huge vote of confidence in the form of three letters it received on March 17 from the Chester County Planning

Kennett... Continued from Page 1A

entering the check into the [township’s] accounting system, depositing the check and doing the banking. They were controlling the whole

Commission. In one letter, Senior Review Planner Glenn Bentley recommended that the township adhere to its 2018 Comprehensive Plan and concentrate its development in the vicinity of the Limestone, Newark and Penn Green Road intersections off of Route 41. During a public hearing to consider the adoption of the ordinance to amend its zoning, several residents voiced their adamant opposition to the idea. After introductory comments by board Chairman Steve Allaband, township Solicitor Bill Christman and Comitta, several residents expressed concern that the development would decrease the value of properties along the corridor; that Route 41 and Route 7 are not conducive to residential and pedestrian traffic; that it would severely impact the quality of life for township residents and increase demand for police and emergency services; increase property taxes; lead to additional traffic on an already busy route; and impact the availability of well water for residents who live nearby. A few of the residents encouraged the supervisors not to vote on the ordinance, in favor of giving those living in the township more time to provide additional feedback to the proposed plan. Richard Zimny, a former member of the township’s Zoning Hearing Board, suggested that the

Township resident Peter Mrozinski delivered a presentation to the board that echoed the concerns of his fellow residents of the Harrogate North community – that the sale of the township’s wastewater system to Aqua for $29.5 million in 2020 will lead to a massive yearly increase in sewer bills for thousands of township residents. Mrozinski said that Aqua’s purchase was the first municipality utility sale in the commonwealth that was signed under Act 12, which permits the sale of a public utility to a private, for-profit utility at a much higher price than was previously allowed. He said the act also allows the private company to recoup the cost of their investment by jacking up its rates to its ratepayers.

process which is never a good thing.” As part of a guilty plea deal arranged by Moore, her attorney and prosecuting attorneys from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, Moore was sentenced

by the Hon. David F. Bortner of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County on Oct. 4, 2021 and taken into custody on five counts: Theft by Deception, Dealing in Unlawful Proceeds, Forgery, Tampering with

township make a map of the proposed zoning changes available to residents. After the hearing, the board had the option of adopting the ordinance. On the advice of both Christman and Comitta, however, the board chose to table the vote in favor of sending a revised version of the ordinance to the Chester County and New Garden Township Planning Commissions for further review, and scheduling a second public hearing on May 16. ‘The ratepayer is not even allowed at the bargaining table’

“Through a bizarre twist, both the buyer and the seller benefit from a higher price sale,” he said, referring to Aqua and the township, “while the third entity – the ratepayer – is not even allowed at the bargaining table.” Mrozinski then referred to the 2019 purchase agreement between Aqua and the township, which specified a two-year rate freeze, but in September of 2019, the township and Aqua signed an amendment to the agreement that ended the rate freeze and opened the door for Aqua to raise sewer rates at its own discretion. “So now, New Garden still got $29.5 million, and Aqua got a better deal, because they are not constrained by any rate freezes,” he said. “They can charge as much as they want. The loser again is the ratepayer who will now be saddled with higher bills.” Referring to an overhead chart, Mrozinski spelled out the details of the rate increase that forecasts annual fees rising from $800 in 2020 to more than $2,000 by 2030, applicable to those residents who use an average of 48,000 gallons of wastewater a year. “Why were the rate freeze and cap removed from the agreement?” Mrozinski asked the board. “Was there any attempt to have Aqua pay more to offset this benefit? Was there any attempt to get ratepayer input? Public Records and Access Device Fraud. As part of her sentencing, Moore was also required to pay restitution costs back to the township in the amount of $3,249,453 – the sum she stole during that nearly eight-year period from 2013 to 2019. Herr said Maillie began to see many improvements to the township’s 2020 financial system of checks and balances, and indicated that the audit reflected a more evenly divided flow of approvals. Heinrich said that all financial data for the township is now easily available to all supervisors. “While we are still validating some liabilities, they are relatively immaterial, and we expect the 2021 audit to proceed much more quickly,” Heinrich wrote in her introduction to the 2020 audit, which is available on the township’s website documentcenter. Board member Geoff Gamble said that the board had a recent meeting with Herr and Heinrich to review Maillie’s audit, and called it “extremely impressive.” “Obviously, 2019 and 2020 were transitional years, and as we fully move into the Sage system which will allow us a much more real time penetration into [our accounting], it is obviously critical that this had to be a very good audit, and this was,” he said. Other township business The board unanimously voted in favor of drafting an ordinance to create and authorize a township coat of arms and crest, which will be developed by a graphic artist. Gamble provided a status report on a memorandum that he first introduced at the board’s Jan. 19 meeting, when he called for creative input from township residents in developing a coat of arms and seal that would incorporate various elements – historic and symbolic – from the township. At the meeting, the board agreed that the primary

Photo by Richard L. Gaw

An overflow audience of residents attended the New Garden Township Building on March 21 to voice their displeasure over a proposed plan that would develop the Route 41 corridor, as well as shared their concern over a projected sewer rate hike.

“Was New Garden Township aware of this rate request from Aqua? New Garden and Aqua both signed this agreement. Was anyone watching to make sure that Aqua met the terms of the agreement? Because they didn’t.” At the time of the initial agreement between the township and Aqua in 2016, the township agreed to financially secure the capped rates, and specified that “a reserve fund will be established out of the proceeds of the sale to financially secure the contractually capped rates. The fund will be used to reimburse existing users should the contractually capped rates be exceeded.” Mrozinski then asked the board if the township is planning to “honor your promise” to help offset the rate increase. Allaband said that he is not symbol should include the American Sycamore tree, which is found frequently throughout the township. After reviewing more than 40 design options and receiving free advice on heraldic design from the President of the American Heraldry Society and several other experts and input from nearly 100 responses from residents, Gamble presented his fellow board members with four design options to choose from. After discussion and review, Gamble, Board Chair Richard Leff and Supervisor Scudder Stevens chose a design that infuses illustrations of three Sycamore leaves; crops representative of agriculture, including mushrooms; the Old Kennett Meeting House as it looked in 1877; flags of the Colonial United States and Great Britain, representing the Battle of the Brandywine; and a rising sun indicating “a new dawn of freedom” for those who escaped during the Underground Railroad movement that came through the township. The circular-shaped coat of arms will also include “Kennett Township” and “1704,” the year the township was incorporated. By a vote of 2-1 – with Gamble voting against the motion -- the board authorized the signing of a Multimodal Transportation Fund Grant Reimbursement Agreement for Highway and Bridge Projects, as proposed by PennDOT. Township Manager Eden Ratliff said that the agreement will apply to the construction of a roundabout at the Five Points intersection in the township. He said that the agreement specifies that the project is to be completed within the next three years. The board approved the appointment of Greg Gurev to the township’s Environmental Advisory Council, to replace Mary Beth Oberg, for a term that will expire Dec. 31, 2023. The board also approved the appointment of Whitney

aware of any rate mitigation that has been implemented elsewhere in Pennsylvania that mirrors the transaction and agreement between Aqua and New Garden Township. He said before the township chooses to create a sewer rate mitigation, it must first find out how to implement it. “In looking at this and working through some of the constraints, I think the board has to come up with some answer,” he said to Mrosinski. “I think that is due to you and all of the other people [whose homes are tied into] the sewer system, as well. “Anything that we can do to be proactive, we should be doing it,” said board member Kristie Brodowski. To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email

Courtesy art

This illustration represents a sketch draft of the final design for the Kennett Township Coat of Arms, which the Board of Supervisors gave approval for final design to be developed by a graphic artist.

Hoffman to the township’s Trails & Sidewalks Committee as its land advisory committee liaison, replacing the vacancy left by the resignation of Tim Peterson. Following the approval, Gamble said criticized “the byzantine complexity” of township volunteer committees, and called for the township to review ways to streamline their numbers and the overlap of their efforts. “Not only do we have committees, we have liaisons between these committees that are all somehow handcuffed by ordinances to certain people in certain positions,” Gamble said. While he agreed in principle with Gamble, Stevens said the committees are a valued component of the township. “They all perform very important services, and they help to take a certain amount of the load off of the staff, and allow volunteers to perform their services,” Stevens said. “I don’t mean to question the value of these committees,” Gamble responded. “I am a little frustrated at our self-handcuffing of ordinances that restrict for various reasons who can be on what committee. I think that’s what we need to look at so we can un-encumber ourselves and pick the best people for the best jobs.” To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email




Chester County Press

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.



Letter to the Editor

William Kloss is a champion for Oxford students

Destruction in Ukraine should be a reminder that there’s a war in Yemen, too

William Kloss only joined the Oxford School Board in December, but he has already distinguished himself as someone who not only understands the duties and responsibilities of the role, but he is also a champion for Oxford students. On several occasions, Kloss has publicly stated his personal frustrations about the toxic politics that are preventing the school board from taking care of its business in an efficient and effective manner. At a meeting in February, as the board dealt with the endless debate about a Health and Safety Plan and the continuing fallout from board member Jennifer Kehs’ controversial comments, it was Kloss who pointed out that students are being shortchanged when the school board is forced to spend time on things that, in the long run, won’t help improve what takes place in the classroom. He explained that students were telling the board about real issues in schools—trash cans set up in the hallways to catch water, bathrooms that don’t work, and fights on school property. “We’re not addressing any of that because of the B***S*** she brought up,” Kloss said, referring to Kehs’ comments. “We’re not getting anything done. I’m completely frustrated.” Kloss served for three years on the Octorara School Board so he understands how serious the school board’s responsibilities are, and how many different things a school board must handle. Educating students is serous business, especially now, with so many students struggling during the pandemic. Students need more support than ever right now. This is no time for school board members to lose their focus on the job at hand. Here’s what Kloss said about school board members who are trying to bring their anti-immigration, antiintellectual political biases to the board: “You can save your national politics and partisan politics for outside this school district. We’re not getting anything done. We need to start focusing on things to help this school district.” Those are the words of a school board member who gets it. Those are the words of a school board member who puts the students in the district first. Isn’t that what the students in Oxford deserve? At a more recent meeting, as the school board was set to finally approve the Health and Safety Plan, Kehs slipped in a comment toward the end of the discussion about how “SEL is CRT.” Social Emotional Learning and Critical Race Theory are not the same thing, but partisan politicians sometimes use them interchangeably as part of manipulative disinformation campaigns to mislead and confuse people. Kloss promptly called Kehs out for bringing CRT, a politically charged concept, into the conversation. “I want to go back to something I said before,” Kloss said. “You say things like this to create disruptions and then you pull back and claim this innocence—that you didn’t know what it meant. I’m not sure why you do these things. Once again, you are planting the seeds for disruptions at future meetings.” This school board doesn’t need the disruptions. This school district doesn’t need disruptions. Oxford students deserve better. And William Kloss has been giving it to them. He’s only been on the school board for about four months, but so far he has been a champion for Oxford’s students. We hope he continues in this good fight.

Letter to the Editor: Scenes of destruction in Ukraine have flooded our screens and airwaves for three weeks, with millions of civilians fleeing their homes, and hundreds of children killed.

This is to remind readers that there’s another war – in Yemen – that’s been going on for seven years. According to the United Nations, 10,000 children have died, and nearly 20 million people face the peril of famine. The United

States is deeply complicit in the war and blockage in Yemen that is perpetuated by a Saudi-led coalition. The U.S. provides intelligence, materiel, and maintenance of aircraft that bomb Yemen daily. I urge readers to call on

our Representative Chrissy Houlahan to support a Yemen War Powers Resolution to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen. Judy Hinds Kennett Square


Spring Ahead, Bombs Away! By Marie-Louise Meyers Time may change for US, but time for Them is an instrument of Fate, will Ukrainians make it through the day? Bombs bursting in air, missiles igniting their furor making all other time irrelevant save the despair which follows. How much time does a child have to play outside to hide from Russian forces before he is rushed away to

a shelter? How many hours does it take to find safety with a steady stream of refugees, suitcase in hand to strange unfamiliar lands where they come and go forever Westward to the Unknown but nothing will ever be the same. A stranger to himself removed from the sight, feel, and even smell homeless now with a Name Tag printed on his coat

from the Great War that lest he forget, suitcase in will never be again! hand to a strange unfamiliar land. That will never be me, he breathed a sigh of relief then. What he once saw in a picture book has come true, He marches to a different drummer now, the faces of the Old and a patriotic one in which they Young trudging down the road with have to dodge bullets, strafes from the sky and a bewildered look. He remembers the toothless never truly know why! But for the name printed Grandma, who smiled at clearly on his coat, him, while he was playing to his the language spoken he was just another token heart’s content. of Putin’s War against “She was a refugee,” his Humanity! Mother said

Navigating the next few years By Lee H. Hamilton A few weeks ago, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman made a startling suggestion. He proposed a cross-party 2024 presidential ticket: Joe Biden and Liz Cheney, perhaps, or Kamala Harris and Mitt Romney, or another combination of a leading Democrat and an anti-Trump Republican. Friedman’s reasoning is that the U.S. is at a crossroads, and he contends that the main body of the Republican Party “has shown that it isn’t committed any longer to playing by democratic rules, leaving the United States uniquely threatened among Western democracies.” Under these circumstances, he wrote, the country needs a “broad national unity vehicle” that would draw members of both parties. “We all have to be small-d democrats now, or we won’t have a system to be big-D or big-R anythings,” he continued. To buttress his argument, he turned to Israel’s current

For over 200 years, through that our centuries of expesome very tough times, rience with representative we’ve wrestled with the democracy tell us, it’s that problem of how government Americans are fiercely creshould work in a democra- ative about exercising their cy. We’ve persisted through democratic rights and that economic turmoil, world when things get out of kilter wars, a terrible depression, they pull the country back on and social and racial tumult. course. Don’t get me wrong. When Each time, though the path has at times been harrow- Lincoln asked at Gettysburg ing, we’ve adjusted, found whether this nation “so concommon ground, passed ceived and so dedicated” can legislation that, in general, endure, he was posing a queshas made this a fairer and tion for all time. Our status as more just nation, and moved a democracy and as a land of opportunity for all has never forward. It’s worth remembering been a given, and never will that this is a pragmatic coun- be. Lincoln spoke at a battletry that mostly prefers the field that was the result of the middle to the extremes. In a last time we failed utterly to writeup noting that 2021 saw navigate deep national divithe balance in party identi- sions; the Civil War left such fication shift from leaning deep scars that we’re still not Democratic toward leaning over them. Clawing our way back Republican as the year wore on, Gallup pointed out that, from perilous times to a govoverall last year, “an average ernment in Washington that of 29 percent of Americans is capable of “getting things identified as Democrats, 27 done,” as Friedman put it in percent as Republicans and his column, will take time, 42 percent as independents. patience, and a willingness to Roughly equal proportions of compromise—on both sides independents leaned to the of the aisle—that’s been in Democratic Party (17 per- short supply in recent years. cent) and to the Republican But we’ve done it before. My Party (16 percent).” Ours is hope and belief is that we can still an electorate that is most do it again. comfortable in the center. Lee Hamilton is a Senior The truth is, it’s impossible to see around the next Advisor for the Indiana Center on political corner. There’s no University question that there are wor- Representative Government; risome trends, especially a Distinguished Scholar ChristianaCare Primary the taste for restricting and at the IU Hamilton Lugar Care at West Grove possibly even overturning School of Global and 390 Vineyard Way, West the vote that we’ve seen in International Studies; and a Grove, Pa. 19390 recent years in Republican- Professor of Practice at the Phone: 610-806-5450 dominated state legislatures IU O’Neill School of Public Steven Breslow, D.O. and the increasingly outsized and Environmental Affairs. Nicole Rickard, CRNP influence that sparsely popu- He was a member of the U.S. Drs. Duran and Barkasy lated states hold on Capitol House of Representatives for from the Jennersville pracHill. Yet if there’s one thing 34 years. tice will also see patients at ChristianaCare Primary Care at Kennett Square located at 721 East Baltimore Pike in Kennett Square. 3XEOLVKHU 5DQGDOO 6 /LHEHUPDQ ChristianaCare’s primary 6WHYH +RIIPDQ 0DQDJLQJ (GLWRU care practices are certified 5LFKDUG / *DZ $VVRFLDWH (GLWRU by the National Committee %UHQGD %XWW 2IILFH 0DQDJHU for Quality Assurance as a 7ULFLD +RDGOH\ $UW 'LUHFWRU Patient-Centered Medical 6KHUU\ +XWFKLQVRQ *UDSKLF 'HVLJQ Home. The patient-centered $ODQ ( 7XUQ $GYHUWLVLQJ 'LUHFWRU medical home model of care 7HUL 7XUQV $GYHUWLVLQJ ([HFXWLYH puts patients at the forefront +HOHQ ( :DUUHQ $GYHUWLVLQJ ([HFXWLYH of care, improving quality $P\ /LHEHUPDQ 0DUNHWLQJ 3XEOLF 5HODWLRQV and the patient experience and increasing staff satisfaction while reducing costs. ChristianaCare’s primary care practices are accept12 5()81'6 $)7(5 5(&(,37 2) 68%6&5,37,21 3$<0(17 ing new patients. Patients 2daaT]c P]S _aTeX^db fTTZ b XbbdTb PaT TPRW interested in finding a pri>[STa XbbdTb PaT $ TPRW ?TaX^SXRP[b _^bcPVT _PXS Pc mary care provider can call >gU^aS ?0 ("%" ?>BC<0BC4A) BT]S PSSaTbb RWP]VTb c^ 2WTbcTa 2^d]ch ?aTbb ? > 1^g $ :T[c^] ?0 ("#% 302-777-0643.

national unity government, which united members of the right and left in an effort to turn down the heat generated by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid to delegitimize the government and judicial system. As Israeli leaders “treat each other…with a little more respect, and a little less contempt, because they are out of Facebook and into faceto-face relations again, stuff is getting done,” Friedman writes. It was certainly an attention-getting column, and it’s hard to argue with the idea that we and our democratic system remain in perilous times. It may well be that to avoid a lurch toward authoritarianism, or at least toward a government that willfully violates democratic norms, some dramatic development like Friedman’s suggestion will prove appealing to many Americans. But looking back at the sweep of American history we also need to keep in mind that our system as it stands now, for all its flaws, has served us remarkably well.

ChristianaCare adds primary care practices in Jennersville and West Grove Residents in the Southeastern Pennsylvania communities of Jennersville and West Grove will have access to two medical practices that are joining ChristianaCare’s award-winning network of primary care practices. The practices were previously part of Tower Health. With the addition of the practices, ChristianaCare now operates 29 primary care practices for adults and children throughout Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and eastern Maryland. “ChristianaCare strives to make a positive impact on the health of every person in every community we serve,” said Lisa Maxwell, M.D., MHCDS, president of the Medical Group of ChristianaCare. “That includes increasing access to primary care services that will help people achieve their very best health. “We are thrilled that

these two practices are joining ChristianaCare. Their addition strengthens ChristianaCare as a preferred provider of high-quality primary care services in Southeastern Pennsylvania. If you’re looking for a new primary care provider, you are welcome to join one of our practices.” Patients who choose a ChristianaCare primary care practice benefit from the advantages of being connected to Delaware’s largest, most advanced health care system, including electronic medical records and easy referrals. Their primary care provider becomes their medical home — the place where patients can build a relationship with their health care provider and seek medical advice for health problems large and small. The seamless transition to ChristianaCare will enable the practices to continue to provide optimal prima-

ry care services, including physical examinations, preventive health screenings and immunizations, chronic disease management and care for acute illnesses. Patients of ChristianaCare’s primary care practices can access a secure patient portal that helps them to be actively engaged in their health. The physicians and support staff at the two locations will remain at the practices and become employed by ChristianaCare, which plans to expand staff and support services at the sites. Here are the addresses, phone numbers and names of staff at the practices: ChristianaCare Primary Care at Jennersville 900 W. Baltimore Pike, Jennersville, Pa. 19390 Phone: 610-806-5611 Daniel Duran, M.D. Stefanie Steiner, D.O. Michael Barkasy, M.D. Roberta Humble, CRNP Heather Penny, PA-C





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Chester County Press

In the Spotlight




Cats in collaboration: First annual KBC Jazz Fest to kick off April 10 By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer If the sound of one jazz band playing is a collective of unique instruments melding together as one, then the sound of several jazz bands playing over the course of one entire day is – at least to aficionados of that medium – the equivalent of a day trip to musical heaven. For them, an upcoming Sunday in Kennett Square promises to be a day spent high above the clouds, sweetened by the sounds of some of the leading jazz bands in Chester County. In arrangement with Kennett Festivals, LLC, the first annual KBC Jazz Fest will be held at the Kennett Brewing Company on April 10, featuring a seven-band lineup that forms a Who’s Who of jazz musicians and bands in Chester County. The nine-hour festival will begin at 12 p.m. and will include hourlong performances by Tuk & The Big Brass Ones, The ParlorPhonic Trio, the Joe Kenney Band, The Jeff Pish Band, the Jason Newman Trio, Dave Mattock’s Taproom Four and will conclude with a set by The Sermon!. The early ideas for the festival came together in conjunction with the launch of Kennett Festivals, LLC – a partnership between musicians Bryan Tuk, Jeff Piscitello and Dave Mattock, and Jossy Osborn, who along with her husband Mark owns and operates the Kennett Brewing Company. “Bryan and I have both performed at KBC a number of times, and we’ve developed a great relationship with Jossy and the KBC team,” said Piscitello, who will be performing twice at the festival as a drummer – with his Jeff Pish Band and with The Sermon!. “Jossy suggested the idea of putting a jazz festival together. Soon after, we decided that it could work and I made contacts with other jazz musicians I knew and we

Courtesy photos

The Parlorphonic Trio

The Sermon!

then began to put the ideas down on paper.” For Tuk, coordinating the efforts to create a local jazz festival required a community-based mindset, which made the Osborns a perfect partner. “I have been surprised how quickly this festival has come together in a relatively short amount of time, but it’s also the right idea at the right time at the right location,” he said. “Nine times out of ten, a proposal like this is liable to get shot down in a different community than Kennett Square, but here, it was very easy. We all agreed that yes, we want to do this and yes, we want to perform it at KBC. We plowed through the logistic rather quickly, and that has enabled us to create this festival with a lot of energy and momentum.” A portion of the proceeds of the jazz festival will be donated to the music booster programs at Kennett and Unionville high schools. “We wanted to keep in the spirit of remaining community-minded in creating an event that supports the area, and specifically, musical

education,” Piscitello said. “With so many of the performers already connected with music programs, the festival forms a perfect connection between the performance and helping up-and-coming musicians as much as we can.” The KBC Jazz Fest is being advertised as “the first annual” not just to denote it as a yearly event that local jazz fans can place on their concertgoing calendar, but to unite top jazz musicians in a coalition that will shine a well-deserved spotlight on the bands and the growth of the jazz vibe throughout Chester County. “This festival gives Chester County jazz an opportunity for all of us to say, ‘There are some people doing some really cool things,’ and the chance to interact with all the performers throughout the day,” Piscitello said. “It will give us the chance to create new friends, who want to hear more of our music, purchase some CDs and listen to us on Spotify.” “There are a lot of jazz musicians performing

The Jason Newman Trio

within a 45-minute drive of Kennett Square, and while it is a specific and narrow component of the entire music scene, it is also a very deep component,” Tuk said. “Jeff, Dave and I are trying to hold the banner up for the art form because it is important to all of us, and Mark and Jossy have been a large part of that. “We’ll create a great experience for everyone on April 10, take a day off, and Kennett Festivals will begin to start the planning cycle for additional events in the future.” The First Annual KBC Jazz Fest will take place at the Kennett Brewing Company on April 10, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The First Annual KBC Jazz Fest is being produced by Kennett Festivals, LLC.

Tickets are $20, and are available by visiting www.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email

Avon Grove High School students earn a spot in Aerial Drones World Championship Thirty Avon Grove High School (AGHS) computer science students earned a spot to advance to the 2022 Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (REC) Aerial Drones Competition (RADC) World Championship that will take place from May 10 to 12, in Dallas, Texas. To earn a spot in the RADC, groups of two to four students built and coded drones, which they navigated through an obstacle course in a preliminary competition on March 4. The Avon Grove students are the only team in Pennsylvania that is eligible to attend the World Championship. Stephanie Shrake, Avon Grove School District (AGSD) business educa-

tion technology teacher and computer science honor society advisor, helped the AGHS students join the REC aerial drones program. Through the creative process of designing, building and programming robotic aerial drones, students gained extensive technical knowledge and leveraged real-world engineering with hands-on, projectbased learning. “Many of the team members plan to go on to college and major in computer science, technology or an engineering-related field,” said Shrake, “and they will be utilizing the skills they have refined through their participation in the program.” In addition to prepar-

Courtesy photo

Avon Grove High School students gathered for a photo after earning a spot in the REC Aerial Drones Competition Championship.

ing for their own futures, students hope to inspire

classmates to participate in computer science pro-

grams and to help establish a strong foundation for

future STEM innovators within AGSD.




Chester County Press

Obituaries ANGELA JEANNETTE SAMSONOV Angela Jeannette Samsonov, 26, of Lebanon, Pa., passed away on March 4. Angela was a precious and beautiful soul. She graduated from Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pa. as part of the class of 2014. Angela did what she loved most— helping and working with autistic children as a para-educator at IU13 in Lebanon County. She also cared for seniors in their home and always made them feel loved. Angela was always helping others all her life. At the same time she was helping others, she was rescuing animals, giving them a home, with all the love, attention and affection they needed. Angela always had so much love to give. Angela loved to draw and she was a very talented artist. She had her own artistic way of illustrating children’s books, creating signs for vendors at the Renaissance Faire, and doing custom commissioned pieces of artwork. Angela’s drawings brought so much

happiness to everyone, especially her loved ones. Angela loved to laugh. She had a unique sense of humor, and sometimes people didn’t get it, but she was well aware of this, and she would giggle to herself. Angela is loved and survived by her parents, Andrew and Irina Samsonov; her brother, Alexander Samsonov; maternal grandparents, Yuri and Zenaida Zerbelov; paternal grandmother, Lubov Samsonov of Woodland; and her beloved boyfriend and best friend of 10 years, Keith Hilderbrandt, and his parents, Terri and Keith; Keith’s sister, Amanda; and her beloved fur baby, Jasmine. Services were held on March 14 at Edward L. Collins, Jr, Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Ukrainian Relief Fund at https://bethanyslavic. org/pages/ukraine-aid-fund. Arrangements are being handled by Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at

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

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BERYL DILWORTH Beryl (Cash) Dilworth, 81, passed away comfortably with her family by her side on March 3. The oldest daughter of the late Warren and Elizabeth Cash, Beryl was a lifelong resident of Oxford and a graduate of Oxford Area High School, class of 1958. While in school, she worked at Heron’s soda shop and that is where she met her husband of 60 years, C. Leslie Dilworth. The couple built their own home where they raised two daughters. Beryl played the violin and had the ability to play any stringed instrument by ear. In addition, she was artistic and many of her carved Santa Claus figurines have become cherished mementos of family and friends alike. She was a Brownie and Junior Girl Scout leader and shared her many talents with clubs and organizations in town. She is survived by her devoted husband; her two daughters, Donna Wilkinson (Allen) of Monrovia, Md. and Debra Dilworth of Damascus, Md.; a grandson, Patrick Wilkinson (Brianna Vanbuskirk) of Germantown, Md.; a granddaughter, Sarah Wilkinson (Ben Dawson) of Frederick, Md.; and a sister, Donna Sheetz (Steve) of Beaufort, S.C., along with many dearly loved cousins, nieces and nephews. Beryl was predeceased by a sister, Jane C. Weaver. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 at Oxford United Methodist Church, 18 Addison St. in Oxford. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to Oxford United Methodist Church, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Diabetes Association or an organization of your choice which supports the arts. The family wishes to thank the staff of Ware Health Center and Willow Tree Hospice for their kindness, support and care throughout. Funeral arrangements handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences can be made at

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Chester County Press

Obituaries CASEY ALLEN JONES Casey Allen Jones, a resident of Port Deposit, Md., passed away on March 3 at home. He was 39. Born in West Chester, he was the son of Robert Harry Miller and Bobbi Jo Jones Miller of Port Deposit, Md. He was employed as a mason and enjoyed race cars, fishing, motorcycles and building things. He is survived by his parents; two children, Cayden Supplee and Chloe Grace Jones; one brother, John Jones of Elkton, Md.; and one sister, Amanda Jones. A memorial service will be held 7 p.m. on Friday, March 25 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St. in Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 6 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the funeral home to offset funeral expenses. Online condolences may be made at

FRANCES L. DUVALL Frances L. DuVall, 81, of West Grove, passed away on March 21 at Jenner’s Pond in West Grove. She was the wife of the late Robert Owen DuVall, with whom she shared 53 years of marriage. Born in Baywood, Va., she was the daughter of the late Clifton and Kina Caudell Cox. Frances owned and operated, with her family, the DuVall Truck & Bus Service in West Grove. She is survived by one daughter, Sandra L. DuVallWolfe and her husband, Richard of West Grove; four grandchildren, Becky Lynch, Jessica DuVall, Samantha DuVall and Clifton Wolfe; four great-grandchildren; and one sister, Mertie Mills of Cochranville. She was preceded in death by her son, Douglas W. DuVall and one sister, Shirley Yoder. Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 26 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. 86 Pine St. in Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be in Faggs Manor Cemetery in Cochranville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Willow Tree Hospice. Please make checks payable to Amedisys Foundation, 3854 American Way, Suite A, Baton Rouge, La. 70816. Online condolences may be made at

DORIS L. PUGH Doris Virginia (Lloyd) Pugh, 99, of West Grove, entered her Heavenly home on Feb. 23. Born on Feb. 22, 1923, she resided at the family dairy farm in Chatham, Pa. until her marriage in 1944. Doris was the daughter of the late Fred and Anna Graham Lloyd. She was the widow of George Pugh, who passed in 1981. Doris is survived by her children, Georgie Anna of Oregon, Sally Hamblin of Coatesville, Bonnie Price of West Grove and Robin Pugh of West Chester; as well as 10 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; 17 great-great grandchildren; and a sister, Mary Waddell. She was predeceased by her brothers, Fred Lloyd, John Lloyd and Richard Lloyd, and sisters, Amy Lloyd and Janet Carlin. Doris was primarily a homemaker and created many fabulous meals for family and friends. She was very protective of her recipes, never quite giving up all the specific ingredients in her creations. Doris worked part-time during the 1960s and 1970s at several local restaurants and as a courier for the Atglen Bank. Doris was also founder and owner of a local ladies dress shop (Sincerely Yours) during the 1970s. A graveside service was held on March 2 at Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations in her name can be made to the Chatham United Methodist Church, 3215 Gap Newport Pike, West Grove, Pa. 19390. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at

Additional Obituaries on Page 5B

PAUL E. FREESE Paul E. Freese, of Nottingham, passed away at the Lancaster General Hospital on March 14. He was 82. He was the husband of Dorothy “Dottie” Kirk Freese, with whom he celebrated 60 years of marriage on Nov. 18. He was born in Oxford, the son of the late Roy and Pauline McGarvey Freese. He was a member of Wesley Church, where he was very active and served as a greeter. He graduated from Oxford Area High School, class of 1958. Paul started his working career on the family farm, and then worked at a meat locker in Avondale. He went on to work for Acme Markets as a butcher. He retired in 1999. He loved all things social and was a practical joker. He loved gospel music and enjoyed belting out traditional hymns and special music at church. Paul loved cooking, traveling, wood projects, and could fix anything in his shop. He was very involved in the lives of all of his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Melissa Hope (and her husband Scott Crandall) of New Providence and Kerry S. (and her husband W. Frederick “Freddie” Schrader, Jr.) of Earleville, Md. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Chelsea, Alyse and Audrey Crandall, and Jared and Courtney Schrader, and three siblings, William Freese, James (and his wife Doann Gordon Freese) both of Oxford, and Sue Tachick of Alaska. He was preceded in death by a brother, David (and his wife Carol Freese) of Nazareth, Pa. The funeral service took place at the Wesley Church in Quarryville, Pa. on March 17. Pastor Blake Deibler officiated. A private interment will take place in the Eastland Friends Burial Grounds. The online tribute can be found at

JOHN DEPAOLI, SR. John DePaoli, Sr., of Kennett Square, passed away peacefully on March 12 while surrounded by his family. He was 92. He was the devoted husband of Lydia (Cavalli) DePaoli, with whom he shared 65 years of marriage. He was the son of the late Giuseppe and Margherita (Tavan) DePaoli. After being born in Philadelphia on September 8, 1929, John’s parents moved back to Italy where he spent most of his childhood. When he was 17, he returned to the United States and worked as a tile setter. He later opened a pizza shop in Kennett Square with his brother Raymond named John & Rays. Eventually, John started and operated his mushroom business with his brother Lino, working hard for many years until his retirement at the age of 70.

In his free time, he enjoyed traveling with his wife, skiing, going to his mountain cabin, painting, and was an active member of the Italian American Club in Kennett Square, where he made many lifelong friends. He was loved by all and was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather to his family. Surviving, in addition to his wife Lydia are his two children, Lisa Johnson (Wally) and John DePaoli, Jr. (Andrea) and, grandchildren, Matthew and Shelby Johnson and Amanda Yheaulon and one great-grandson named Axel Yheaulon. John’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the nurses and doctors at Chester County Hospital. All services will be private. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the American Heart Association at Please visit John’s online memorial at www.




Chester County Press

Local News Rotary honors OAHS Students of the Month The Rotary Students of the Month from Oxford Area High School are Campbell Fleming and Abby Kehs. Campbell is the daughter of Chris and Carolyn Fleming. She said that she was honored to be acknowledged by the Rotary Club and happy to talk with everyone. She is on the National Honor Society at Oxford Are High School. She is also a volunteer at Regal Heights Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hockessin, Del. “Although I’ve been prevented from actually working hands-on there due to COVID, I’ve been baking

treats, making Valentines and doing what I can to brighten the patients’ stay there,” she said. Campbell also has dual enrollment at the Technical College of Delaware Technical College at the Pennocks Bridge Campus where she is enrolled in general studies. She plans to further her education at Temple University and major in nursing. Campbell participates in club soccer and the high school’s soccer team. She also a member of the Ski and Snowboard Club. She also works as a waitress at the Kennett Country Club. Kehs is the daughter of

Thomas and Jennifer Kehs. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Drama Club, Yearbook Club and the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). She is also a Girl Scout and member of the Russelville Grange. She is a member of the youth group at the Gateway Church in Parkesburg. She attends Early College Academy at Cecil Community College. The Early College Academy is dual enrollment partnership between the Oxford Area High School and Cecil College. ECA is a four-year high school program where students take college cours-

es their entire high school career toward earning an Associate’s Degree from Cecil College upon graduation from Oxford Area High School. Abby plans to major in math and minor in education. She is still deciding on which college she will attend after Cecil College. Courtesy photo

Pictured (left to right) are parents, Chris and Carolyn Fleming with their daughter, Campbell and Abby Kehs with her father, Thomas Kehs.



Township, Chester County, PA. LETTERS TESTAMENTARY 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 LISA COLANGELO, EXECUTRIX, c/o Kristen R. Matthews, Esq., 403 W. Lincoln Highway, Ste. 110, Exton, PA 19341, Or to her Attorney: KRISTEN R. MATTHEWS, KRISTEN MATTHEWS LAW, 403 W. Lincoln Highway, Ste. 11, Exton, PA 19341, 3p-16-3t


Estate of George P. Mylonas, Late of Birmingham Township, Chester County,PA, LETTERS Testamentary 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 the Executor, Peter George Mylonas c/o Peter George Mylonas, Esquire, 2725 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA 19008. 3p-16-3t


ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION, Parson, Inc, has been incorporated under the Pennsylvania Business Corporation Law of 1988. William J. Luttrell, III, Esq., 11 S Olive St., Fl 2, Media, PA 19063 3p-23-1t


Notice is hereby given that the board of directors of Chester County Family Academy Foundation, a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation (the “Corporation”) have approved a proposal that the Corporation dissolve voluntarily, and that the Board of Directors of the Corporation is now engaged in winding up and settling the affairs of the Corporation under the provisions of Chapter 59, Subchapter F of the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1988, as amended, so that the Corporation’s existence shall end upon the filing of Articles of Dissolution with the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Any correspondence regarding the foregoing should be directed to Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, LLP, 2005 Market Street, Suite 2600, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103; c/o Jason R. Jones. Board of Directors, Chester County

Family Academy Foundation 3p-23-1t


ESTATE OF LAURA M. BRAMBLE a/k/a LAURA MAY BRAMBLE, DECEASED. Late of New London Township, Chester County, PA. LETTERS TESTAMENTARY 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 LARRY B. BRAMBLE and ROBERT W. BRAMBLE, EXECUTORS, c/o William J. Gallagher, Esq., 17 W. Miner St., West Chester, PA 19382, Or to their Attorney: WILLIAM J. GALLAGHER, MacELREE HARVEY, LTD. 17 W. Miner St., West Chester, PA 19382 3p-23-3t


ESTATE OF MARGARET MASSO a/k/a MARGARET A. MASSO, DECEASED. Late of New London Township, Chester County, PA LETTERS TESTAMENTARY 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 DEAN ANTON MASSO, EXECUTOR, 201 Owenwood Dr., Lincoln University, PA 19352, Or to his Attorney: ANITA M. D’AMICO D’AMICO LAW, P.C., 65 S. Third St., Oxford, PA 19363 3p-23-3t

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Chester County Press

Local News Education funding... Continued from Page 3A

schools. If you look at the amount of time a school counselor has in one day, and then the number of kids they have in their school who have a variety of issues and concerns, the time isn’t there for one person to be able to reach every kid that needs it. These issues can range from bullying, not having enough food at home, parents who

are getting divorced, not living with their parents because of trauma or violence, having thoughts of suicide or depression, and so much more.” Meadowcroft added, “The funding can also go to things as simple as seat cushions in a classroom for comfortable floor time in the lower grades. My daughter’s teacher applied for a grant to buy floor cushions for her class, but classroom rugs and such could be paid

for with school funds so that kids aren’t sitting on a cold floor while trying to concentrate and learn. And let’s not forget the facilities part of what funding can be used for—no matter the age of a building, it needs maintenance. “I think that COVID-19 brought a lot of HVAC and air quality issues to light in schools across the country. When you look at $7,000 per kid, and the cost of what just a few of these examples

cost a year, it isn’t going to get us all of the resources and supports that we need, but it will change the lives of our students. And this is without our local residents, especially our senior citizens, having to bear the burden of higher taxes.” The best ways for the gap to be closed between wealthy and poor school districts, the speakers at the rally said, are for the state to fully fund its share of K-12 education, and for

additional funding to be targeted toward schools that need it most. “We are here because all students aren’t getting the quality education that they deserve,” said Laurie Shannon-Bailey, who works at the Coatesville Area Juvenile Alliance. She has been working to get school boards, municipal governments, county governments, and community and civic organizations to adopt a resolution in support of the

education funding lawsuit. A decision regarding the lawsuit could be delivered this summer. All the speakers at the event were optimistic that positive changes are coming. “As parents and as taxpayers, we know our children deserve better,” said Meadowcroft. “Now is the time to do better.” To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email

Wilmington man arrested for drugs, ghost gun in Kennett Square and Delaware The Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the Delaware State Police announced the arrest of Wilmington resident Artemio Garcia-Alaniz, 29, for possession with intent to deliver, illegal possession of firearms, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, and other related offenses. According to law enforcement officials, Garcia-Alaniz arranged a meeting for a drug transaction with a confidential informant on March 10. The meeting took place in Kennett Square. Chester County Detectives (CCD) arrested Garcia-Laniz for the possession of three kilos of cocaine, valued at $300,000, and more than $1,100 in cash found in his vehicle. Later that day, the Delaware State Police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home in

Wilmington’s 300 block of 4th Ave. They found 600 grams of heroin, 120 grams of crystal meth, 3.8 kilos of THC extract, two pounds of marijuana, $8,228 in cash, and a black “ghost” handgun with no serial number or manufacture markings. The gun had a magazine inserted with four 9mm Luger rounds of ammunition. Police also recovered an extended magazine containing 28 9mm Luger rounds of ammunition and a box of Blazer 9mm Luger ammunition. In addition to the drugs, gun, ammunition, and cash, detectives found a digital scale and numerous plastic baggies used for packaging drugs at the defendant’s home. The total value of the drugs recovered in Wilmington was $145,000. Chester County Detectives later seized a 25-pound package containing marijuana, valued at

$75,000, in Penn Township on Mar. 14. Charges against the defendant are pending in this case. A total of $520,000 in drugs were seized, along with over $9,000 in cash and a ghost gun. Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said, “The defendant’s intent on pushing this poison into our communities will not be tolerated. His criminal behavior shows he has no regard for human life or the devastating toll this has on our loved ones. “We thank the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Drug Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Delaware State Police, and Kennett Square Police for the teamwork it took to get this man off the streets. Everyone is safer today because of their efforts. My office will now hold him fully accountable for his actions.”

Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA Executive Director Jerry Daley said, “Investigations such as these demonstrate the reality that drug trafficking knows no borders, and cross-jurisdictional collaboration is essential to stem the flow of drugs into our region. The cooperative efforts across state lines by the CCD’s HIDTA Drug Task Force, Delaware State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, and Kennett Square Police represent how effective these partnerships can be. “Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA is proud to support its efforts. We congratulate all the agencies for their swift and coordinated actions that thwarted this poly-drug trafficker and offer thanks to District Attorney Ryan for ensuring Garcia-Alaniz will be held accountable.” Delaware State Police Lt.

Robert Jones said, “This investigation exemplifies the shared public safety mission of the DSP and CCD regarding the arrest of Artemio Garcia-Alaniz. The Delaware State Police executed a search warrant at Garcia-Alaniz’s residence after receiving information from Chester County Detectives about a criminal investigation. “The Delaware State Police seized a semi-automatic ghost handgun with an extended magazine, 603.5 grams of heroin, 114 grams of methamphetamine, 5,725 grams of marijuana, and $8,228 cash. The team of committed investigators has made our state and region safer today.” Garcia-Alaniz is being held at Chester County Prison on $100,000 bail set by magisterial district judge Albert Iacocca. The preliminary hearing is set for March 23.

Artemio Garcia-Alaniz

Chester County Detectives is investigating. Deputy District Attorney Michelle Thurstlic-O’Neill is the assigned prosecutor. If you or anyone you know suffers from a substance use disorder, contact your local police department for help. The Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI) allows individuals in Chester County to contact a member of law enforcement to ask for a referral or to be connected to treatment with no threat of arrest or prosecution.




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