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Chester CountyPRESS


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

Volume 154, No. 49


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Fetick: ‘This is a multi-faceted problem’

Kennett Square mayor opposes township’s EMS proposal By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer

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From the time Kennett Township first publicly floated the concept of using the Longwood Fire Company as its future one-source provider for EMS and ambulance service to its 12,000 residents this past October, Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick has remained true to his opinion of the proposal, as well as his narrative. Quite simply, he thinks the proposal is a bad idea, one he believes that if passed would begin to dramatically change

how EMS and ambulance service will be disseminated in the area, eliminate EMS jobs, reduce hours of service and consequently cut vital life-saving services to a growing population. “The township’s proposal doesn’t solve anything,” Fetick said. “It shifts dollars from one organization to another and reduces coverage. There’s no solution here. This is a multi-faceted problem.” The township’s initiative to streamline its EMS and ambulance service stemmed from a 2016 study that called

for the township to explore the possibility of moving to a one-source provider of EMS and ambulance services. As it looks now, the current ambulance and EMS system for the township and Kennett Square Borough provides its residents with one 24/7 Advanced Life Support ambulance (ALS) from Longwood; one 24/7 Basic Life Support ambulance (BLS) from Kennett; and one Advanced Life Support ambulance (ALS) from Longwood that operates 16 hours a day. The study, created by experts that

were hired by the Regional Fire and EMS Commission, introduced the potential advantages of a decision that would consolidate the twin services of unit-hour utilization transport (UHU) and mobile intensive care units (MICU) in the township, eliminate a duplication of services and lead to a reduction in the costs associated with providing EMS service to its residents. On the negative side, the township would sever its contract with the Kennett Fire Company, which would likely lead to a reduction

Kennett Pointe plans take shape...2A

INDEX Opinion.......................7A Photo by Marcella Peyre-Ferry

Emergency management coordinator Chuck Freese with Penn Township supervisor William Radar O’ Connell.

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By Marcella PeyreFerry Contributing Writer

© 2007 The Chester County Press

in the number of EMT staff at the facility, reduce overall EMS coverage by about 6,000 hours a year and increase the number Continued on page 2A

discusses biking and hiking trails

By Betsy Brewer Brantner Contributing Writer



Penn Township honors Oxford Borough Freese for work with Council emergency management The township’s Board of Supervisors also adopted a budget for 2021


Courtesy photo

Kennett Square Matt Fetick

The Penn Township Board of Supervisors presented emergency management coordinator Chuck Freese with a plaque in appreciation of his service to the community during the Dec. 2 township meeting. “Penn Township is a great team to be a part of,” Freese said after receiving the award. Freese gave the board an update on the current surge of COVID-19 cases. According to Freese,

there are 14,195 residents in the 19390 zip code. In that area, there have been 366 cases of COVID-19 reported since March, including 33 new cases in the week leading up to the meeting. “I think, in this area, we’re doing well,” Freese said, adding that the worst of the surge is expected to take place around the third week of December. During the meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing the acquisition of a small parcel at 863 West Baltimore Pike, adjoining township property. The ultimate plan for the site is to construct an emergency

operations building. The board did not immediately agree on how best to deal with the windows at the Red Rose Inn. The board agreed with the township historical committee that the painting of the windows was poorly done and needs to be addressed. Previously, the board had planned to put in new windows, but it appears that the windows may be original to the building, and the historic committee would like them to be preserved. Where the window sashes were rotten, the wood has Continued on page 6A

Oxford Borough Council listened intently to Rachael Griffith, the Trails and Open Space Planner from Chester County Planning Commission, at the Dec. 7 council meeting. Griffith filled council in on proposals to add bike lanes and hiking trails through southern Chester County that would reach all the way to the Maryland line. Griffith said the major difficulty at the moment is funding. However, since this would be a multimunicipality project, it is hoped the project can gain some traction for the funding that would be required. Since the project is still in planning phase a variety of options were discussed. One option is a trail along Route 1. This would involve establishing a trail that starts along Route 472 and goes through Oxford. This trail would come in on Lincoln Street to bring traffic into businesses in Oxford and extend down to Nottingham. Another option is turning

the sidewalk on Route 472 into a multi-use trail. Griffith explained where funding sources might come from. “There is transportation funding available through federal grants,” she said. “Funding from grants for local municipalities, or PennDOT, might also help with markings for bike lanes and shared road markings.” Council also discussed the diversity of transportation in the borough, including Amish buggies and how that would play in the project. It was also hoped that the project could provide more connections to Lincoln University, to encourage a closer relationship between the borough and the university. Pauline Garcia-Allen, grant consultant from ECON Partners, gave borough council an update on grants. Allen proposed a change to retainer fee changing it from monthly to hourly. She will put together a chart showing how that might work. Garcia-Allen told council that their services deal Continued on page 3A

Linn selected as new Avon Grove School Board president By Steven Hoffman Staff Writer The Avon Grove School Board held the annual reorganization meeting on Dec. 3. No school board elections took place this year, so all nine of the Avon Grove School Board members are returning for 2021. One of the first orders of business at the reorganization meeting was the official announcement for the record of the school board members: John Auerbach, Jeff Billig, Richard Dumont, Herman Engel, Dorthy Linn, Tracy Lisi, Lynn Weber, Bonnie Wolff, and William Wood.

Next, the board selected a temporary president to handle the gavel and oversee the process of selecting a new president. Fortunately for the Avon Grove School Board members, they can call upon an experienced person to handle the duties of a temporary president. Engel, who has served on the board since 2010, said that he thought this was his seventh time serving as a temporary president during a reorganization meeting. “I will make this as short and as painless as possible,” Engel joked about his minutes-long tenure as president.

When it came time to nominate the new president, Wood—the current president—nominated Linn for the position. Billig offered a second to the motion. There were no other nominations and the board voted to affirm Linn’s appointment as president. Linn, a retired school superintendent, was elected to the school board in 2019. She expressed her gratitude to her colleagues on the school board for selecting her as president. Next, the school board opened nominations for board vice president. Billig, the current vice president, nominated Lisi for the role.

There were no other nominations and the board voted to affirm Lisi’s appointment as vice president. Lisi has served as a school board member since 2016, and has been the board president for two years during that time. Superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese said that the administration is looking forward to working with the new board leadership team. He lauded Wood and Billig for their work leading the board through all the challenges of 2020. Marchese said that 2020 probably represented the most challenging year for public education because

Courtesy photo

Dr. Dorothy Linn is the new president of the Avon Grove School Board for 2021.

the pandemic presented so many different decisions for school leaders. He thanked Wood and Billig for all their Continued on page 6A




Chester County Press

Local News Kennett Pointe projected to become newest ‘gateway’ to Borough By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer Over the past several years, the Kennett Square Borough has matched the number of accolades that have called it one of America’s coolest towns with an equal amount of new-home construction that has helped to attract a new wave of residents who have arrived looking to take advantage of all of that cool. At two of its four main entrance points, Kennett Square’s economy has been stimulated by the emergence of Magnolia Place at its western edge – a community of homes that has led to a vibrant off-shoot of businesses. At its southern entrance near the Five Points intersection, Bentley Homes has created a village-like nook of town homes that are

EMS proposal... Continued from Page 1A

of missed calls for service. Currently, close to five percent of calls to both EMS units in the township are routinely missed; by moving to a single provider, that percentage is projected to rise about two percent. ‘It will cost us more to keep what we have’ In a Dec. 2 letter to the Kennett Square community,

a quick walk away from downtown services, stores and restaurants. Most recently, the eastern gateway off of Route 1 has become the borough’s newest site for residential growth, with the opening of The Flats at Kennett, that provide luxury apartments with close access to the trails and nature at nearby Anson B. Nixon Park. These developments are part of a growing number of “economic opportunity zones” being identified by the borough and neighboring Kennett Township as a sustainable measure of growth meant to further define the community as a great place to live, work and invest. Beginning in the first quarter of next year, a tenacre patch of land on the periphery of the borough -- that has long been considered an underutilized

brown field of neglect -will be transformed into the community’s newest opportunity zone. At the Dec. 12 Zoom meeting of the Historic Kennett Square Economic Development Council, Don Robitzer, senior vice president & COO of The Commonwealth Group, introduced plans for Kennett Pointe a recently approved mixed-use commercial and residential development located at the intersection of Ways Lane and East Cypress Street in Kennett Township.

Fetick and Borough Council member Ethan Cramer – both of whom serve on the Regional Fire and EMS Commission – leveled criticism on the township’s proposal, stating that “in the midst of a pandemic we don’t see the value in terminating three full-time and 12-part time EMTs in order to reallocate those funds to either a different provider or a different level of service.” While the Kennett Borough Council remains adamant that whatever the township

ultimately chooses to do will not impact the level of EMS and ambulance service borough residents currently receive, “it will cost us more to keep what we have,” Fetick said. “The borough will end up shouldering more of the cost in keeping the same level of service that we want. My concern is that we either have to go along with their plan and therefore reduce coverage in the borough, or stay with our current model, which will cost us more money because

“New urbanist” design Known previously Kennett Gateway, the project will be constructed by Montchanin Builders and include 53 “new urbanist” townhomes -- sized between 1,876and 2,285-square feet – that will

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Scheduled to begin construction in 2021, Kennett Pointe will feature 53 threeas bedroom townhomes with two-car garages and several amenities.

be priced between $319,900 and $365,000. The three-bedroom, two-and-ahalf-bathroom homes will feature nine-foot ceilings, front porches, bay windows

and cedar trim details, a gourmet kitchen with island and granite countertops, composite decks, hardwood and tile flooring. Home owners at Kennett

Pointe will be able to choose from two floor plans, which will both offer a front entry and alley-fed two-car garages. In addition, the plans will offer

the township will be contributing less to the Fire and EMS Commission.” For now, the township’s proposal remains on the table. At the conclusion of their Dec. 2 online meeting, the township’s Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 to delay entering the township into an exclusive service contract with Longwood beginning on Jan. 1, 2021. Board chairman Richard Leff and Whitney Hoffman voted in favor of extending all EMS services for the township to Longwood beginning on March 1, 2021, and in the interim allow both Longwood and Kennett to submit a collaborative proposal for proving ambulance service to the township by Jan. 20, 2021. The board would then consider the proposal and reach a decision by Feb. 3, 2021, and if it does not accept the proposal, Longwood would receive the EMS contract. If the board does accept the new proposal, it would then consider a revised motion to authorize an EMS partnership between Longwood and Kennett next year.

steady population growth of the entire community – one that includes both the borough and the township. The borough’s population stands at 6,243, a population that is growing at a rate of 0.39 percent annually and has increased by 3.21 percent since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 6,049 in 2010. “There is a growing trend for people to relocate to communities like ours, and continuing to be able to provide emergency services is a critical part of what the residents of Kennett Square care about,” he said. “I am in my third term as mayor, and I have learned that people want to be assured that their water comes out of the faucet when they go to the sink, that their sewer system is working, that their trash is picked up on time, and whether or not someone arrives at their home when they call 9-1-1. “EMS and fire are among the most critical services that a local government provides for its residents. I want to look at how we grow these services responsibly to an increasing population, and not reduce services.” Fetick said that his perspective on the issue of EMS and ambulance service comes from two places – his role as the mayor of Kennett Square and the 30 years he spent as a paramedic. He supports a long-term

comprehensive solution that addresses the future of fire and EMS service in the Kennett Square community, from the standpoint of legislation, insurance and medicare reimbursement, hours of service, staffing and coverage zones. It is a conversation, he said, that should begin with a presentation to the Kennett Square community. “Before I would agree to any changes in the borough, I would want to hear a mandate from my neighbors to reduce the money we spend on emergency services, keep it at its current level, or increase these services,” Fetick said. “Before these decisions are made, I would want to ask my neighbors in a public forum to tell me what is most important to them. “I believe that the delivery of emergency services is at a tipping point and requires a long-term comprehensive solution,” he added. “I don’t believe that reallocating funding from one provider to the next – that also reduces the number of available hours of emergency service – is the right solution. I do believe that we can get reasonable people in a room and start mapping out what the next ten years of this delivery will look like.”

Consolidation of services for a rising population If there is an elephant in the room for Fetick, it is the potential impact that a streamlined EMS and ambulance service will have on the continual and

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email rgaw@chestercounty.com.




Chester County Press

Local News space expanding features which may include a finished basement with walk out, a fourth bedroom, den, home work space and the option of adding a loft. In addition, Kennett Pointe will also feature a 41,000-square-foot mixeduse building that will be located at the northern edge of the property and be visible from East Cypress Street. (Its parking lot, however, will not be visible from the East Cypress Street.) On its first floor, over 13,000 square feet of retail/ commercial space will be available for businesses that add value to a community, such as restaurants, boutiques, cafĂŠs, hair salons, bakeries, yoga studios, or small grocers. On its second and third floors, the building will house 24 one- and two-bedroom apartments -- ranging between 910 square feet to 1,152 square feet -- with monthly rentals between $1,800 and $2,100. Additional amenities in Kennett Pointe will include an abundance of outdoor “collaborativeâ€? spaces and

Trails... Continued from Page 1A

specifically with public funds with one sponsor. “We are not health and human services,� she explained. “Our recommendation would be to speak with Pat Bokovitz at the Department of Community and Economic Development to discuss the projects you are planning. We can always help with that communication, but we wouldn’t necessarily be your best option to work on those grants.� It was decided that John Schaible, the director of public works, and Arlene Harrison, interim borough manager, would meet with Garcia-Allen and come back to Council in January with more information. Kent Morey, from the engineering firm SSM, presented a brief summary of the MS4 program to council. MS4 is a municipal separate storm sewer system. It is a publicly owned conveyance or system of conveyances, including but not limited to streets, ditches, catch basins, curbs, gutters, and storm drains, that are designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater and that discharges to surface waters of the state. The MS4 program focuses on managing discharges into the waters of the Commonwealth by educating and implementing proper control measures and best management practices (BMPs). Total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) are in place to reduce pollutants in impaired waterways so that they meet water quality standards. Morey is reviewing the storm water system within the borough. He will be working with Schaible and they will report back to council in the new year. The borough will be dealing with waters that go into the Big Elk Creek, Little Elk Creek, Tweed Creek and Muddy Run/Octoraro Creek. In other business, Schaible told council, “Leaf pick-up in the borough is over for this year. We picked up 18 loads this year.� Schaible added that public works will pick up leaves that are placed in biodegradable bags and

Art courtesy of The Commonwealth Group

Kennett Pointe will feature a 41,000-square-foot mixeduse building that will provide over 13,000 square feet of retail/commercial space, and house 24 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

walking trails throughout the community, a 6,000 square-foot plaza, pavilions, activity lawns and gazebos, trails and tree-lined streets. As part of its development, repairs will be made to the heavily-wooded outer regions of the property that is used by wildlife as a travel corridor. In addition, Robitzer said that the Boy Scouts building on Ways Lane will be renovated, and will become a future home for 2,500 square feet of what could be used as a commercial space, a workspace for artists and a community area. In his presentation before

several elected officials and key economic stakeholders, Robitzer said Kennett Pointe is an outgrowth of the economic development study conducted by the township and borough in 2016 – a plan to re-imagine the eastern entrance to the borough as a multi-purposed “gateway� that would develop residential and economic opportunities. In August 2018, The Commonwealth Group first submitted its design plans for the complex to the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors and the township’s Planning Commission, which led to

additional conversations, amendments and eventual approval earlier this year. Robitzer said the decision to place Kennett Pointe’s mixed-use building along West Cypress Street is a strategic one, that will create a feeling of action and activity between residents, businesses and visitors. He said that he imagines the building as the home

of an independently-owned coffee shop, an intimate bistro-like restaurant with take-out service, a small fitness center and medical offices – all of which will give the residents of Kennett Pointe the flexibility of being a part of an increasingly walkable borough. “People will be able to drive by and see that this is

a really vibrant neighborhood, which helps you with your commercial tenants, it helps you with your residents and helps you with those who drive by, because they all want to be a part of something that is connected to the community,� he said.

placed curbside. He also informed council that the Broad Street project is stopping for this year and will resume when weather permits. “I am reviewing pay application number two,� he said. “We still have a few outstanding issues.� Public works employees decked the streets with Christmas lights during torrential rain. Council president Peggy Russell asked Schaible to thank all those employees who braved the weather during that process. A motion to withdraw from the Joint Municipal Agreement with East Nottingham Township for police services for the park along Locust Street was tabled. Council approved a motion for an agreement

n the amount of $59,411 between Union Fire Company No. 1and the Borough of Oxford for 2021. Council also approved a motion for an agreement between the Union Fire Company No. 1 ambulance division and the Borough of Oxford in the amount of $36,797. Borough Council reluctantly accepted the resignation of Mary Lou Baily from the Oxford Planning Commission. Russell thanked Baily for her dedicated service to the borough. Council member Mary Higgins said they currently do not have the required number of persons on the Planning Commission and are looking for replacements so the Commission can continue its work.

Council approved the reappointment of Andrew Atkinson for a six-year term, and James McLeod for a four-year term to the Civil Service Commission. Bethany Atkinson was approved to serve on the Vacancy Board for 2021. Parley Hess was appointed to the Oxford Area Sewer Authority as an Oxford Borough representative. A special assignment of fire police personnel to West Nottingham was approved by council. Harrison told Council that the Workplace Safety Committee was renewed. This will save the Borough 5 percent on the cost of workers compensation insurance. Harrison also said that the borough was reimbursed $20,000 for installing electrical chargers in the

multi-modal transportation Center under the Driving PA Forward program. Mayor Phil Harris said he has spoken with a number of investors about downtown properties, and that he has shown the former borough hall to interested investors as well. Harris also advised council that the Oxford Police

Department is working on the annual Christmas Toy Drive. Lighthouse Youth Center and the Neighborhood Services Center are also continuing their drives to collect toys and gifts. Council will review and discuss the budget for 2021 at the next meeting on Dec. 21.

An overhead perspective of Kennett Pointe, which will be constructed at the confluence of Ways Lane and East Cypress Street.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email rgaw@chestercounty.com.

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Chester County Press

Local News Delaware County Community College and Lincoln University reach new transfer agreement The presidents of Delaware County Community College (DCCC) and Lincoln University recently held a virtual ceremony to officially announce a new agreement that will allow qualified students who graduate from DCCC to transfer to the university with full junior standing, thereby reducing their cost and time to baccalaureate degree completion. Known as a dual admission and core-to-core transfer agreement, the agreement provides students who graduate from DCCC with an Associate in Arts degree or Associate in Science degree in a parallel Lincoln University major and guaranteed admission to the nation’s first degreegranting historically Black college and university. A total of 17 Associate in Arts and Associate in Science programs are included under the agreement. It is the first time the two institutions have come together to sign such an agreement. Under the agreement, the University will accept the general education requirements of DCCC as meeting all of the University’s undergraduate core curriculum requirements, allowing students to transfer entire core courses, not just college credits, to the University. In addition, upon transferring to the University, qualified students will be eligible for guaranteed admission, a waiver of the University’s enrollment fee and a fixedrate tuition based on the student’s first year at the University. Full-time students who qualify also will be eligible for a Lincoln University Lion Transfer Scholarship of up to $2,500. Students opting to

reside on campus will be required to pay the $75 residence-life fee to secure housing. The virtual ceremony began with a Lincoln University Concert Choir rendition of the AndrĂŠ J. Thomas-arranged hymn, “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning.â€? The ceremony featured Delaware County Community College president Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, Lincoln University president Dr. Brenda A. Allen, administrators from the two institutions. Meeting the needs of students “When we met, the first topic of discussion was ‘How can our institutions work more closely together to meet the needs of our students who desire to complete a bachelor’s degree?’â€? Dr. Gates Black said of her first meeting with Dr. Allen. “We agreed to work with our teams to think about ways to collaborate, and on Dec. 16, 2019, we met at Lincoln to lay out what the articulation agreement between our institutions would look like. Of course, none of us had any idea about COVID-19 at that time, nor how it would impact our region, our state and our nation. Despite the pandemic, we persevered and today, thanks to the hard work of both the Delaware County and the Lincoln University teams we have a signed agreement. This agreement will offer significant opportunities for Delaware County Community College students who choose to transfer to Lincoln University after completing their associate degree.â€?

Courtesy photo

Top row, from left, are Delaware County Community College’s chief of staff Harry Costigan and president Dr. L. Joy Gates Black and Lincoln University president Dr. Brenda A. Allen, and, bottom row, from left, 2018 Lincoln University graduate Rumeel Jessamy, who transferred 60 credits from the College to the University, Delaware County Community College vice president of academic affairs Marian McGorry and Lincoln University dean of faculty Dr. Patricia A. Joseph.

More partnerships to come Dr. Allen agreed and said there are more partnerships to come between the two institutions. “Providing a seamless pathway from the associate degree to the bachelor’s degree is what this agreement aims to achieve," Dr. Allen said. "Accordingly, the dual admission piece is only part of the project. In the coming months, Lincoln University will work with Delaware County Community College to help ensure that students have a clear 2 + 2 pathway to follow. This will entail working through the curricular requirements of both institutions so that students can enter directly into their major areas of study once the associate degree is completed. These pathways will be articulated for both Lincoln’s main campus and our adult completion programs at our School for Adult and Continuing Education in University City in Philadelphia.� Rumeel Jessamy, a dean’s list student at Delaware County Community College who transferred 60 College credits to Lincoln University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2018 with a computer science degree, has experienced the transformative education of both institutions. Jessamy, who earlier this year also earned a master’s in business administration from Lincoln University, is a big proponent of the new transfer agreement and

thinks it will greatly benefit students. Today, Jessamy is a cryptographic software developer at IBM, who mentors, advocates for, and serves as an IBM ambassador to Lincoln University students. “At graduation from Lincoln, I had three job offers. I never thought there would be a day where I would have to turn down job offers with Facebook and Amazon. I accepted IBM’s job offer because it was the most highly recommended and best overall fit,� Jessamy said, adding that he also plans next year to earn a master’s degree in computer science from the State University of New York at New Paltz. In the future, Jessamy

would like to run his own business and own real estate. “Lincoln University’s mission statement says it ‘educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world,'" he said. "I am living proof that the University does what it says.� The new Delaware County Community College/ Lincoln University dual admission and core-to-core agreement may be especially helpful to Delaware County Community College students who attend classes at the College’s Pennocks Bridge Campus in West Grove, just five miles from Lincoln University. In order to participate in the new agreement, eligible students must first

receive an associate degree in either Arts or Science at Delaware County Community College and meet all Lincoln University degree, major and grade point average requirements. Students also must complete an intent to enroll form with the help of a transfer advisor, prior to earning 30 credits at the College. Several majors are excluded from this agreement, including nursing. Students should review the agreement on the website of Delaware County Community College or Lincoln University and talk to a transfer advisor for additional information (www.dccc.edu/admissions-financial-aid/transfer/ transfer-agreements/lincoln-university-dual-admissions).

About Delaware County Community College For more than 50 years, Delaware County Community College has served as the center of educational opportunity for residents of Delaware and Chester Counties. Students find affordable, open admission to higher education and can earn Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), or Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees. The College’s comprehensive programs offer high school dual enrollment and transfer options to four-year colleges and universities; prepare students for direct entry into the workforce; award professional certificates; and provide career advancement and lifelong learning opportunities. The College serves a diverse population of 19,000 credit and non-credit students each year. Visit www.dccc.edu for more information.

About Lincoln University Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting historically Black college and university (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. Lincoln offers a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse student body of approximately 2,200 men and women in more than 35 undergraduate graduate programs. For more information, visit www.lincoln.edu.




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Local News Newly remodeled Walmart features many upgrades for customers Local residents can now get a look at the newly remodeled Walmart Supercenter at 516 School House Road, as the much-anticipated remodel project was recently completed with upgrades from top to bottom. The remodel includes several department transformations that will help customers save time. The upgrades also complement the measures the company has taken in its U.S. stores to help protect associates and customers from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m excited to unveil a new and improved store layout that is more intuitive for our Kennett Square friends and neighbors to navigate,” said store manager Jackee Bacchus. “We have been preparing for our remodel for a long time. These improvements, along with existing conveniences for

Freese... Continued from Page 1A

already been replaced and the original glass retained. The board adopted the township’s $1.7 million budget for the coming year. No major changes to the 2021 budget are anticipated, and no tax increases are planned. Major expenditures include $563,000 for general government, $541,000 for public services and EMS, and $396,000 for public works. In other business, the board approved an

Courtesy photos

The Walmart Supercenter at 516 School House Road in East Marlborough Township has recently completed a remodel and offers customers numerous enhancements.

our guests such as contactless pickup, express delivery and Walmart Pay, all help provide an enhanced shopping experience that is easier, safer and more comfortable than ever before.” Customers will enjoy the following store improvements in the Kennett Square

Walmart Supercenter: • New signage inside and out; • Expanded grocery selection; • Additional polished concrete flooring; • Upgraded refrigeration in the deli; and • Fully remodeled

bathrooms. Walmart will continue to innovate to help customers save time and money by giving them the option to shop when, where, and how they want, including: • Pickup: Busy customers love Walmart’s pickup option. It gives them the

convenience of shopping online and the ease of quickly picking up groceries without having to leave their cars. The best part: there is no fee to use Walmart Grocery Pickup. • Delivery: Walmart’s convenient delivery service is also proving to be a hit

with customers. Even more, Walmart has now made both pickup and delivery contact free. • Express delivery: Customers now have the option to have their deliveries made in under two hours. • Walmart Pay: A touch-free way to pay.

amendment to the zoning ordinances reducing the minimum setback requirement for swimming pools from 20 feet to 15 feet when adjoining open space. The board gave an update on the battle to save the Chester Water Authority from sale to a private, for-profit firm. A hearing was held by the State Supreme Court on Nov. 10 in Harrisburg, but no decision has been made as of this time. “I encourage everybody, if you can, to write letters to representatives in

Harrisburg. If we can block this thing, we need to block it. If (CWA is) sold, rates are going to go through the roof,” supervisor William O’Connell said. Supervisor Curtis Mason noted that increasing testing and regulations could force property owners with wells to eventually shift to public water. With this in mind, the Board believes everyone in the township should be concerned about this case. “You’ll all be on (public water) before it’s over,” Mason said.


that method of instruction, but the hybrid option has not yet been extended to middle school and high school students. Marchese reviewed COVID-19 data. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has made it difficult for Avon Grove to expand in-person learning, even though everyone is eager for all students to be safely back in schools. Additionally, Marchese said, the district is seeking out off-campus options for winter sports athletes to practice. This is a precaution that is being taken

to reduce the chances that a few positive COVID-19 cases among athletes won’t lead to the closure of the district’s school buildings for all other activities. The school board also approved the calendar of public meetings for the next year. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Avon Grove School Board will take place on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Continued from Page 1A

work and dedication. “They have been wonderful to work with,” Marchese said. While electing new leadership was the main purpose of the reorganization meeting, there was also an update about COVID-19 cases and the impact they are having on school facilities. The school district has welcomed elementary school students back for in-person instruction for families who favor

To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email editor@chestercounty.com.


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Chester County Press

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Letter to the Editor

Brick and mortar businesses? Try heart and soul businesses—and they need our support

Pennsylvania should join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Americans spent $19.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday this year—an increase over last year, despite the brutal impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The small increase in sales offers a glimmer of hope to these independently owned businesses as a very challenging year comes to a close. Small businesses need our support—now more than ever. Even before the pandemic swept across the U.S., the brick-and-mortar stores were hurting as a result of the massive shift in how we shop. For decades, it was the shopping malls, large shopping centers, and big box stores that posed the greatest threat to the vitality of clothing stores, jewelry stores, hardware stores, and bakeries along Main Street, U.S.A. Then came the crushing competition from online retailers. Small Business Saturday was established 11 years ago to help out small businesses that are the lifeblood of our communities. People are familiar with the “brick-and-mortar” description of shops, but a much more apt description of these might be “heart and soul businesses”— because the owners of these businesses put their heart and soul into running them. These business owners also put their heart and soul into the communities they serve, contributing to school fundraisers, supporting youth sports leagues, and participating in a variety of activities that boost community spirit—the Halloween parades, Christmas events, and First Friday events that can make a downtown a destination. It would be hard to overstate the importance of these heart and soul businesses to a community. They contribute to a town’s revenues, and that money is used for a wide variety of services that all residents need. Small local businesses are also the largest employers nationally. Half of all working Americans either own or work for a small business, and small business owners and employees are also vested in the community’s welfare and future. The point is that each day is a good day to support small businesses, especially now, at a time when they are taking a brunt of it during the health crisis. The county recently announced that $10 million in funding is being made available through the Main Street Preservation Program to small businesses and agricultural enterprises impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for the Main Street Preservation grants comes from CARES funding received by the Chester County government. With one vaccine for the coronavirus now approved and set to roll out and a second vaccine expected to be approved within days, we might all soon be able to see the light at the end of this nightmarish tunnel we’ve all been trapped in. But the locally owned shops and restaurants need our support in these days leading up to Christmas. They need our support in the first days and weeks of the New Year. They need our support always. Residents in this area are blessed with some great small towns that feature tremendous shops and restaurants. At some point in 2021, we’re going to come out on the other side of the health crisis. We should all “love local” and support small businesses. No community wants to lose its heart and soul.

Chester County Press Randall S. Lieberman Publisher Steve Hoffman..................................Managing Editor Richard L. Gaw..................................Associate Editor Brenda Butt.........................................Office Manager Tricia Hoadley...........................................Art Director Alan E. Turn...............................Advertising Director Teri Turns................................Advertising Executive Helen E. Warren......................Advertising Executive Amy Lieberman.............Marketing/Public Relations The Chester County Press (USPS 416-500) is published every Wednesday by: AD PRO, Inc. 144 South Jennersville Rd, West Grove, PA 19390 Mailing Address: PO Box 150, Kelton, PA 19346 Telephone: (610) 869-5553 • FAX (610) 869-9628 E-mail (editor): editor@chestercounty.com HOURS: Monday- Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., no weekend hours Annual Subscription Rate: $40.00 | Senior Citizen Rate - $30.00

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Letter to the Editor: As the inveterate threat of climate change maintains its hold over us and dominates our political lexicon, Pennsylvania has not yet been heeding the numerous calls for action. We must start making our state an environmentally safe place and cut our carbon emissions. However, in recent years, state government has made clear its support for natural gas and

other outdated fossil fuels. As a resident of Middletown Township in Media, my own backyard has been ravaged by the newly constructed Mariner East Pipeline which saw vast sections of woodland and natural habitats torn down during its development and now threatens our safety due to numerous gas leaks which amounts to a serious public safety concern. While we cannot repair this damage, we can take

steps in addressing the serious underlying problem of carbon pollution. Fortunately, Pennsylvania is considering joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This is a vital step to take, as many other states have already joined RGGI and within 10 years were able to decrease carbon pollution by 47 percent, outpacing the rest of the country by 90 percent. Do not let our state make the same mistakes it did in

allowing this horrid pipeline. We need to be a part of positive change and that is why it is crucial we join this initiative. When Pennsylvania joins RGGI, it is projected to further reduce carbon emissions statewide by a massive 188 million tons by 2030. This is exactly the type of policy initiative we should be prioritizing in our state. Andrew Wilps


New Congress, new trade enforcement agenda By Erik Paulsen Now that Election Day is behind us, new and returning lawmakers in both parties are looking ahead to next year. They’re strategizing for what surely will be a momentous legislative session. Trade enforcement deserves a spot high on my former colleagues’ to-do list. Holding our trading partners accountable to existing pacts, and negotiating robust new agreements with our allies, would create jobs and help our economy fully recover from COVID-19. International trade has long been a boon for the U.S. economy. Last year, the United States traded nearly $6 trillion worth of goods and services with foreign nations. Nearly 39 million U.S. jobs rely on international trade. At a time when one in 10 Americans who want to work cannot find jobs, it’s never been more important to preserve and strengthen these economic opportunities. Unfortunately, foreign trade barriers threaten many of these economic benefits. For instance, local content

requirements in Canada, Brazil, South Africa, and India limit the amount of U.S. television programming that can be broadcast within their borders. And the world’s preeminent form of audio IP theft, “stream ripping”—illegally downloading an audio file from a legitimate streaming platform onto your own devices—is a regular occurrence in Canada. These practices unfairly devalue U.S. creative content and keep our artists from being fairly compensated for their work. Similarly, unfair and often discriminatory medicine price controls in countries like Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom undervalue U.S. biopharmaceuticals. These practices make it difficult for U.S. drug companies to break into foreign markets, sell new medicines at fair market prices, and recoup R&D investments to develop new cures. Congress has an essential role to play in stopping these trade violations. After all, it funds the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative— which negotiates and

enforces trade treaties on our country’s behalf - and gives the final go-ahead to trade agreements. And, consistent with its constitutional authority to “regulate commerce with foreign nations,” lawmakers already have demanded robust U.S. trade negotiating objectives through the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority law. Now, Congress and the administration need to work together to advance their goals and eliminate onerous trade obstacles once and for all. Policymakers can start by enforcing our existing trade deals, like the U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). Since signing the deal in 2018, Korea has continued to undervalue American intellectual property, particularly when it comes to medicines. The United States should hold Korean officials accountable and demand that they “appropriately recognize the value of . . . patented pharmaceutical product[s],” like they promised. Members also have a duty to pay close attention to ongoing trade negotiations, such as the phase two U.S.-

Japan talks. During phase one discussions—which produced a limited treaty earlier this year - U.S. trade officials failed to negotiate robust protections for U.S. intellectual property. Lawmakers can wield their trade authority to ensure that American negotiators don’t make the same mistake during their second go-around. The impending U.S.-UK trade agreement provides Congress with yet another opportunity. The United Kingdom routinely devalues U.S. pharmaceuticals and impedes U.S. agricultural exports. Addressing these trade barriers would create American jobs and set a good precedent for all other future trade deals. In the next legislative session, lawmakers will inevitably find international trade negotiations on their dockets. Driving a hard bargain is the only way to establish a fair playing field for American companies and ensure a strong economic recovery. Erik Paulsen represented Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2009 to 2019.

COVID’s second wave underscores the threats facing disabled Americans By Angela F. Williams The second wave of COVID-19 has arrived with a vengeance, but there's hope on the horizon. Pfizer and Moderna just announced their experimental vaccines proved more than 90 percent effective in clinical trials. People in the highest risk categories - namely, healthcare workers and those with chronic illnesses and disabilities - will receive prioritized access to these vaccines. That’s as it should be. Putting them at the front of the line for a vaccine is a way to collectively acknowledge that their lives matter. But unfortunately, when it comes to diseases other than COVID-19, society doesn’t show nearly the same level of concern for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. In fact, many self-styled healthcare experts have proposed “reforms” that would limit these individuals’ access to treatments. That’s wrong, plain and simple. By now, it’s well known that COVID-19 disproportionately harms people with

pre-existing conditions and disabilities. Of the roughly 250,000 Americans who’ve lost their lives, 94 percent had another condition listed as a factor in their cause of death. COVID-19 patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities have died from the virus at roughly twice the rate of the general patient population. These vulnerable patients could soon face even more challenges if health insurers listen to groups like the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). The influential nonprofit has appointed itself as an arbiter of new drugs’ cost-effectiveness. ICER recommends a “fair price” for medications based on the analyses it performs. To conduct these cost-benefit analyses, ICER uses a controversial metric called a “quality-adjusted life year,” or QALY. A treatment that adds a year of perfect health to a patient’s life provides one QALY. And the more QALYs a drug generates per dollar, the more valuable ICER considers it. In theory, QALY assessments provide an objective

way to quantify a drug’s effectiveness - and ensure that patients, insurers, and taxpayers are getting a good bang for their buck. But in practice, these assessments discriminate against patients with disabilities and chronic illnesses. That’s because patients with certain chronic diseases and disabilities may never achieve a full QALY. A drug could completely alleviate the patient’s symptoms but wouldn’t deliver a full QALY. In other words, ICER uses its QALY metric to devalue the lives and well-being of vulnerable populations. And ICER’s clout cannot be underestimated. If it considers a drug to not be cost-effective, insurers may listen and deny the medication to those who need it most. The dangerous consequences of ICER’s pseudoscientific evaluations don’t end there. By placing such a low value on these treatments, ICER discourages biopharmaceutical firms from investing in drugs that disproportionately benefit Americans with disabilities.

ICER isn’t alone in signaling that drug companies shouldn’t waste their time on treatments for Americans with disabilities. The outgoing Trump administration is still pressing forward with its efforts to tie Medicare drug reimbursements to the artificially low price of drugs in Canada and Europe, where price controls have long restricted patients’ access to new medicines. If the administration’s changes were implemented, investors could pull the plug on research projects targeting rare diseases. Americans agree that the most vulnerable patients deserve priority access to COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. It’s time for people to recognize that these vulnerable populations deserve access to treatments for other conditions as well. Angela F. Williams is president and CEO of Easterseals, a leading provider of services for people with disabilities, veterans and seniors. This piece originally ran in the Times of Northwest Indiana.




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In the Spotlight




Little pieces of joy: Local artisan regains her love for color during pandemic By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer The business social media page of Catherine “Cat” Stenta serves as more than an online picture book of her handcrafted jewelry, which she has been officially creating under the name EcoCat since 2017. It is a sketchpad of shared emotions – a running journal that invites the visitor to rummage around in the head of the artist, witnessing the two steps forward-two steps back journey that is common to everyone blessed with the ability to create something from nothing. The words she writes are the open door accompaniment to the vibrant kaleidoscope of colors that become her trademark – turquoise and ruby reds and fiery orange and burnished brown that find their way to the curve of a woman’s wrist or accessorize a woman’s dress. The names of each piece leap from the screen: Autumn whisper, Shim Shimmer, American Robin and Sixth Sense, as do the adjectives used to describe them. In the past three years, EcoCat has quietly created an online presence for the woman who wishes to add a zing of bohemia to her style or add a pop of color to a formal dress. Heading into 2020, Stenta, the married mother of two boys, was juggling the increased demand for her beaded products at her Kennett Square home. Then in March, COVID19 arrived, and this past spring, Stenta posted the following on her businesses’ social media page: “Here’s some Zen headed out the door...Through the ups and downs of emotions in COVID-19, I’ve been working on embracing and accepting change. I finally get comfy with one state of being then things get whirled around and I have to accept another way. There seems to be so much whirling, that I had imagined my brain literally being a scribbled mess. So, in my last meditation, I breathed a cleansing, calming, untangling breath into my brain and imagined all the mess washing away. It felt powerful and necessary.” ‘I tried to push through my emotions’ “I had a mental shut down, a roadblock of feeling very scared in general,” Stenta said. “I had a hard time sitting myself down at my table with a positive attitude. I didn’t want to sit and have negative emotions while beading, and as I tried to push through my emotions, I began to think that I was doing a disservice to the eventual wearer. “I wanted beading to be positive, and I needed to

Kennett Square resident Catherine “Cat” Stenta of EcoCat is a maker of uniquely designed jewelry.

Courtesy photos

EcoCat jewelry has become well known for its unique names.

Much of Stenta’s jewelry is influenced by nature and the environment.

get myself back in the right place. The colors…I couldn’t pull the colors out of me.” It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Like every artist, Stenta’s creative journey has been defined by its absorption of influences that have stacked themselves along for the ride, and everywhere, there have been colors. As a child growing up in Winchester, Mass. she made scrunchies and Christmas ornaments, and by the time she reached college, she was making her own Christmas cards with different textures and colors of paper. As a college graduation gift to herself, she took a month-long Outward Bound trip to Utah and Colorado, and saw a thousand variations of reds and browns in the canyons and terrain. By the time she began EcoCat three years ago, the colors of Stenta’s life had already emerged from every known crevice of her imagination, representing more than just a patina of difference but a signature of originality and attitude. To Stenta, no one served as a living personification of that belief than her grandmother “Kitty,” a vibrant fashionista with a penchant for leopard print designs, and whose choice of eyewear – over-sized circular frames – become one of her trademarks. “She had a style about her that when she entered a room, everyone wanted to see what she was wearing,” Stenta said. “She had her own style that wasn’t intrusive and not trying to gain attention. She just had this energy about her that seemed like

she wasn’t even trying. “She was kind, but she never cared what others felt about her. She empowered me to say that I will not live my life having people tell me what I should be or what I should do.” Her son and the backyard birds During the pandemic, Stenta collaborated with Shannon Blake of Penny Lane Emporium in Kennett Square on a “small business to small business” project. She continued to shop local, and as she has done since she began EcoCat, Stenta purchased her materials at Blue Santa Beads, an independent store in Media. And yet, as COVID19 forced the world to turn within itself, Stenta did the same. She took a six-week hiatus from her work. She stopped posting on her social media page. She shared her emotions with her artistic colleagues, who told her they were all feeling the same way. The normal influences of colors and ideas that had flowed so easily just a few months before had vanished somewhere in the swirling tornado of current events. Stenta sought out inspiration from any avenue that would have her. She began to visit the websites of museums and embark on virtual tours of new exhibits and permanent collections. She flipped through the hundreds of photographs on her phone that have given her inspiration to create her earrings: clothing styles and their color

EcoCat jewelry is available for purchase online and at Trail Creek Outfitters in Kennett Square.

combinations. She took long walks in nature with her closest friends, where they shared their frustrations of living through the pandemic, as well as the wildness of their creativity. What Stenta did not know at the time was that the influence most responsible for lifting her out of her creative hibernation slept just down the hall from her. “A major exodus out of my funk happened when my youngest son Jackson got into birding in the spring,” Stenta said. “He began to read National Geographic books on birds from cover to cover. His love of the natural world is astounding, and his knowledge of birds is intense. “A year ago, I would look at the birds in our backyard and not be able to tell the difference between them, but he began to point out the birds in our backyard to me. It was his childlike enthusiasm and joy for nature and discovery that truly got me out of this period I had been in.” Together, they explored birds on nature walks at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia. They hiked through the ChesLen Preserve and

stopped to admire the birds along the trails and ponds that surround their Kennett Square neighborhood. The feathers, wings and breasts flew over her head and stopped on a branch to reveal their plumage. Soon after, Stenta got herself back to her work, and in November, she wrote the following on her EcoCat social media page: “Feeling Zen in a time of chaos and uncertainty is key. My new COVID strategies to keep Zen are simple: Do ONE thing every day that makes ME proud. That feeling of pride becomes contagious (yep). SO many feelings have the ability to transfer from not just human to human, but can also slowly transform ourselves and how we see the world. WHEN you do something good and kind for yourself, smile in those moments...that happiness always wins. “Gratitude is EVERYTHING this year. Sometimes I go numb and want to shut down, turn off, burrow. Often, this year, actually. But then I get an order. And another order. Or a compliment on my work. So YOU have managed to help lift me up and give me a sense of purpose when I felt like the world

was crumbling around me. There’s so much hope now for a better future.” “I have come to understand how much my jewelry has become the equivalent of little pieces of joy, especially now,” Stenta said. “They are something to get excited about when you’re a woman wearing sweatpants at a Zoom meeting, and then you put on my earrings and suddenly, you feel a new vibe of renewed energy. “It all flows. It’s the same energy that comes from my renewed faith in the power of colors. The energy I put into my work is the same energy that is felt by the woman who wears my earrings at that Zoom meeting. “I think we all wish to live our lives that way, in totality.” To learn more about Stenta and EcoCat, visit her on Instagram, Etsy Pattern, on Facebook, or by email at Ecocatjewelry@gmail. com. Locally, EcoCat jewelry is available at Trail Creek Outfitters, 120 West State Street in Kennett Square. To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email rgaw@chestercounty. com.




Chester County Press

Obituaries RUTH VIRGINIA CRAMPTON Ruth Virginia Crampton, of West Grove, passed away peacefully on Dec. 5 at Twin Pines Health Care Center. She was 80. She was born in Oxford on May 25, 1940 to the late Albert and Grace (McAllister) Crampton. She was a graduate of Oxford Area High School, Class of 1958. Ruth was employed as a mushroom picker for Bud Wood for a number of years before moving on to work in food service as a line chef at The Marriott, Winterthur Museum and Gardens, and then at HSBC before retiring. Ruth enjoyed playing bingo with her friends at the Oxford Senior Center and the Penny Game at Luther House. She loved word-find puzzles, clipping coupons, and watching daytime game shows. She was also an active member of a 12 Step fellowship for over 35 years and enjoyed helping others. She loved trying to spoil her grandchildren and always had special treats for everyone. She will be dearly missed by friends and family for her outgoing personality, generous heart, and loving spirit. Ruth is survived by her son, Thomas; her daughter, Jennifer; and daughters-in-law Gina and Tina. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Dakota, Jordan, James, Jeremy, Kirsten, Kristina, and Alexis and four great-grandchildren, Ray, Jason, Kendall, and Jensen. Ruth’s surviving siblings are Alice (Pat) Hamilton of Rising Sun, Md. and Francis (Pat) Crampton of Drumore, Pa. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, John Crampton and granddaughter, Destiny, and her brothers, Charles Crampton and Thomas Crampton. The services are being arranged by Ruffenach Family Funeral Home. Interment will be private. A Celebration of Life for friends and family will be held in the spring with a date to be determined later. In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, as Ruth would say, just be kind and help each other.

WILLIAM H. PORTER, JR. William H. Porter, Jr., 80, of New Providence and formerly of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 5 at Lancaster General Hospital. He was the husband of the late Lois Brown Porter, with whom he shared 51 years of marriage. Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late William H., Sr. and Mary Wilson Porter. William farmed with his father in East Nottingham Township and was employed with Handicrafters in Thorndale. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Rising Sun, Md. and was also involved with the Mason Dixon Softball League. William enjoyed bowling and spending time with his grandchildren. He loved his family. He is survived by his two daughters, Kelli M. Teel (H. Nelson) and Karen E. Kinsman (Kristopher); three grandchildren, Mariah Gondek, Quinton Barker and Erin Nicole Wentzel; three great-grandchildren; one brother, Robert Porter of West Grove; and one sister, Janet Pierson of Oxford. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Jennifer Lynn Porter. Services and interment are private. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Rising Sun, P.O. Box 251, Rising Sun, Md. 21911. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.

DOROTHY LEE JONES Dorothy Lee Jones, a resident of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 4 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford. She was 84. She was the wife of the late Conley Bruce Jones. Born in Bristol, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late Samuel Isaac and Tobie Mae Hatcher Booher. She was employed with NVF in Kennett Square. Dorothy loved cats. She is survived by one son, Ronald B. Jones; two grandchildren, Christina Marie Hittinger and Dixie Lee Blankenship; one great-grandson, Nycholas Hittinger; and one great-granddaughter, Anja Hittinger. She was preceded in death by a son, Bobby Dale Jones; two brothers, Billy Wayne “Charlie” Booher and Paul Edward “Tom” Booher; one sister, Evelyn Booher; and her companion, Horace Foskey. A graveside service was held on Dec. 8. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market St., Suite 102, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106-2117. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.

additional obituaries on page 3B

REV. LAWRENCE LEROY TALBOT, SR. Reverend Lawrence Leroy Talbot, Sr. was born on Sept. 8, 1947 in Elkton, Md. to the late Leon and Edith Talbot of Oxford. He departed this life to be with the Lord on Dec. 6 at the age of 73. Reverend Talbot attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He retired from Elwyn Institute in Media, Pa. as a computer IT specialist. Over the years, he took part in ministry in the African Union Methodist Protestant Church and Connection under the leadership of the Most Reverend Dr. Delbert L. Jackson, Presiding Prelate. Rev. Talbot pastored several churches, including Saint James AUMP Church in Wilmington, Del., Hosanna AUMP Church in Lincoln University, Pa., and Saint Paul AUMP Church in Lancaster, Pa. He was also an assistant pastor at Star of Bethlehem AUMP Church in Wilmington, Del. He held the offices of a conference assistant treasurer and conference trustee, and later retired from pastoring. He was a devoted lifetime member of Trinity African Union Methodist Protestant Church in Zion, Md., where he served as a trustee, Sunday school teacher, and member of The Methodist Men’s Club. Rev. Talbot was a loving husband, father and grandfather. His favorite scripture was Psalms 23. His favorite hymns were “Pass Me Not” and “At the Cross.” He loved being with his family, loved reading the Bible, and enjoyed building a variety of items, large and small. Rev. Talbot is survived by Joanne Talbot, his loving and devoted wife of 33 years who is also a praying evangelist; three sons, Lawrence Talbot, Jr., (Daisy) of Reading Pa, Mark Talbot (Brenda) of Reading, Pa., and Keith Talbot of Florida; and one daughter, Kim Talbot of Reading Pa. He had four brothers, Leon Talbot (Juanita)), Marvin Talbot (Shirley) of Oxford, Neil Talbot (Mary) of Newark, Del. and Shelton Talbot (Gwen) of New Jersey and three sisters, Bonnie Moulden of Harleyville, Pa., Calva Queenan of Wilmington, Del., and Joan Barnett of Jennersville. He is also survived by brothers-in-law, Lawrence Dickinson, Jr., Leonard Dickinson (Alice), Joseph Dickinson (Ruby), Richard Dickinson (Patricia), and Clarence Dickinson; a sister-in-law, Reverend A. Elaine Hammond; nine grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Reverend Talbot was a man who had a humble spirit. He was kind, compassionate, and a man of few words. He loved God, church and his sunshine (his wife, Joanne). He was a man of great character and integrity. Rev. Talbot was a man after God’s own heart. He was a faithful member. He was steadfast and unmovable in the works of the Lord. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, his funeral service and burial will be private and for the immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to Trinity AUMP Church, P.O. Box 110, Childs, MD 21916. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.

Obituary submissions The Chester County Press publishes obituaries free of charge for funeral homes with active advertising accounts only. Others with a connection to southern Chester County are charged a modest fee. Obituaries appear on the Wednesday after they are received with a Monday 5pm deadline. They are also posted on www. chestercounty.com. Photos should be sent as .jpeg attachments to the obituary text. To submit an obituary to the Chester County Press or for a rate quote, email the information to editor@chestercounty.com.

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Local News Longwood Fire Company makes adjustments to provide vital services to community during Coronavirus pandemic To continue to provide vital services to the community, Longwood Fire Company has adapted to adverse conditions caused by the coronavirus. “Our volunteers and career members are navigating this serious crisis,� said Chief A. J. McCarthy. “No doubt about it, COVID-19 has had a negative financial impact on Longwood. Despite the obstacles, all of the members of Longwood want residents to know that if emergency assistance is needed, Longwood will respond.� According to Matthew Eick, Longwood’s EMS captain, Longwood suffered a loss of expected

revenue as community events, including those at Longwood Gardens, were cancelled. Longwood is contracted to provide medical assistance if needed. Also, for three months, a decline in calls for ambulance assistance impacted billing revenue. “As winter months proceed,� Eick said, “we’ll continue to feel these financial strains. We are proud that we didn’t decrease services offered to the community. We were able to avoid layoffs at the fire company. We are confident we will be available to answer calls for help during these unchartered times.� Longwood began prelimi-

nary planning to respond for COVID-19 when news of the virus was made public in early 2020. Internal planning increased as cases were reported in Chester County and throughout the United States. “We closed the station to the public,� Eick said. “This was a difficult decision. We then cancelled all of our public CPR training and car seat inspections. These programs are a great service to the region, but we determined for the safety of our First Responders that the public programs had to be halted.� Longwood also cancelled internal training and in-person meetings for

members. The fire company implemented a daily health screening for all staff when they were working or responded to the station for calls. Longwood mandated mask wearing not just on calls but around the station. “The next big hurdle,� Eick said, “was the limited availability of Personal Protective Equipment. Kennett Township resident Marla Palmer suggested a PPE drive to the Kennett Township leadership team. “This drive ran for a few weeks in the spring, and the results were both overwhelming and humbling. This drive led to many donations of masks, cleaning products, meals and snacks,


ROBERT J. MINNICK Robert (Bob) J. Minnick went to his eternal rest on Dec. 5. Bob was a longtime resident of Oxford and a member of Sacred Heart Church. He was 78. Raised in Delaware County, Bob graduated from St. Madeline’s parish in Ridley Park and Ridley Township High School. He later received a dual degree at Cornell University in marketing management and the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts at Cornell. Bob was an owner/operator of Five Points Food Market in Media, Pa. He also had a distinguished career as a realtor for Century 21 and later at Remax At Jennersville. He is preceded in death by his parents, Samuel H. and Julia M. Minnick, a sister, Julia (White) Freiburg, and a brother, Samuel Minnick, Jr. He leaves behind his sisters, Elizabeth (Williams) Masho (Robert), and Mary Ann Linder (Richard), brother, Daniel Minnick (Rose), a sister-in-law, Rhelda Minnick and two stepchildren, Craig and Lori Riley (Bogutz). Bob was a beloved uncle of 17 nieces and nephews, their spouses and children. He was known as the Great Uncle Bob and then, the Great Great Uncle Bob. Private funeral services will be arranged through Kevin Lyons Funeral Services, Ltd. in Delaware County. Please go to their website to see an additional tribute to the beloved brother and uncle. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Heart’s Promise Sheltie Rescue, 219 East Meyer Ave., New Castle, Pa. 16105 and at www.pasheltierescue.org.

LOIS DIVINCENZO Lois DiVincenzo passed away at home on Nov. 14 while surrounded by her loving family following a two-year battle with ALS and a severe stroke. She is survived by her husband, Bruce, with whom she built a beautiful life and a home on a hill in Landenberg. Lois and Bruce recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. They raised five children together. Lois’s 68th birthday was spent surrounded by their family and they were so grateful for that last celebration. Bruce has been a devoted and loving husband to Lois, caring for her at home for the last year and enjoying their time together. Lois was a wise and wonderful mother and grandmother. She was known as “GaGa� by her 17 grandchildren who absolutely adored her. She had nothing but patience and tenderness for fussy babies, tantrum-throwing toddlers, energy-filled kindergarteners, and rebellious teens. She could handle it all. She loved to be surrounded by her family’s “joyful noise.� Lois converted to the Catholic faith as an adult and it was central to her life. She attended daily mass when possible and prayed the rosary every day. Her devotion to her faith

JOHN P. HERR John P. “Jack� Herr, 65, of New Providence, passed away on Dec. 12 at Lancaster General Hospital. He was the loving husband of the late Mary (Boyer) Herr, with whom he shared 15 years of marriage. Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late John P. Herr and Yvonne (Brown) Herr-Wood. Jack was a graduate of Oxford Area High School. In his early years he worked in manufacturing at NVF in Kennett Square. Most recently, Jack was employed as an assembler for CB Tool Company in Lancaster. Finding enjoyment in the outdoors, Jack was an avid fisherman and hunter. His favorite place was Potter County and he had wished to relocate there. He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle with his friends and going on poker runs. He was also known for having several pet snakes over the years. He was a member of the Keystone Reptile Club, the Gentleman’s Motorcycle Club, and the Pequea Valley Sportsmen’s Association. He was a past member of Union Fire Company and Robert Fulton Fire Company. He is survived by his daughters, April (George) Heisey, of Quarryville, and Stepfanie (Jeffrey) Eachus, of Coatesville; stepdaughter, Gina (John) Santana, of Nottingham; brother, Stanley (Patricia) Herr, of Quarryville; and grandchildren, Tyler, Michael, Brent, Preston, Lily, Hannah, Morgan, and Braelyn. A service for Jack will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in honor of Jack’s late wife, Mary, to The American Cancer Society online at https://donate3.cancer.org. Arrangements entrusted to Dewald Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. in Quarryville. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.dewalds.com.


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nificantly decrease chances of exposure. During the holidays remember there are other unique ways to visit with family and limit the possibility of exposure. On behalf of Longwood Fire Company, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.� Longwood Fire Company has served the communities of Kennett, East Marlborough, Pennsbury and Pocopson townships since 1921. Longwood Fire Company provides fire and rescue and emergency medical services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information, visit www. longwoodfireco.com.

additional obituaries on page 2B

led her to become a member of Our Lady’s Missionaries of the Eucharist. She was also a member of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Wilmington, Del. and St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother parish in Avondale. She loved babies and dogs. She loved all of God’s creatures and would even brake for little frogs when driving in the spring as they covered the Landenberg roads. She loved watching and feeding birds, spending time at the beach (especially in Margate, N.J. and Holden Beach, NC), tending to her flowers, making jam, baking pies, drinking coffee and sitting by her warm fire. Lois was born in Wilmington, grew up and started her family in Marshallton, Del. and moved to Landenberg in 1983. A 1970 graduate of McKean High School and an honors graduate of the University of Delaware, Lois spent over 30 years as an elementary school teacher in the Avon Grove School District. There, she played many roles over the years, including as a special education teacher, a reading specialist and an English as a second language (ESL) teacher. Known as “Mrs. D,� she was well loved by her many students and colleagues. Lois is survived by her five children and 17 grandchildren: Carla Hughes (Jim) of Merchantville, N.J. (Andrew, Evan, Nathan, Aidan, Bridget and Owen); Melissa DiVincenzo (Eric Hohman) of Wilmington, Del. (Oliver, Viggo, Gunnar and Kasper); Laura DiVincenzo (Mark Morris) of West Grove (Tyler, Caleb, Clementine and Remy); Lisa DiVincenzo (Brad Pecoraro) of Milton, Del. (Kayla

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and much more. These donations were used by Longwood Fire Company and distributed to Kennett Fire Company, Po-MarLin Fire Company as well as the Police Departments of Kennett Square, East Marlborough, and Kennett Township. We cannot be more thankful to the residents of Kennett Township and the surrounding community for this support.� The holiday season will present challenges to everyone in the community, Chief McCarthy said. “We’ve seen the cases increasing greatly in recent weeks,� he said. “We remind everyone that the use of masks and social distancing will sig-

and Talia); and Tim DiVincenzo (Paige) of Landenberg (Rhys). She is also survived by her dear parents, Robert and Jean Hailstone; her siblings, Roberta Jones (Curt), Julie Parrack (David) and Jim Hailstone (Shirley); and many beloved nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her first husband, Scott Arthur, who passed in 1972. The family would like to thank everyone who provided support during Lois’s illness, including the doctors and staff at Penn Medicine and Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation. The family is blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family and they are also very thankful for the kindness of the caregivers, especially Sheena Mason, who became a friend to Lois and the whole family. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Our Lady’s Missionaries of the Eucharist (www.olme.org); St. Anthony of Padua Church (www.sapde.org); St. Gabriel’s of the Sorrowful Mother Church (www.stgabrielavondalepa.org); or the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington, Del. (www.ministryofcaring.org). A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua Church at 901 N. Dupont Street, Wilmington, Del. on Nov. 20. Entombment was held privately with her family. Arrangements were handled by Doherty Funeral Home (302-999-8277). To offer condolences, visit www. dohertyfh.com.




Chester County Press

Local News Oxford chapter of National Honor Society inducts 48 new members Forty-eight Oxford Area High School students were inducted as new members of the National Honor Society (NHS) in the organization’s first-ever virtual ceremony on Nov. 19. Members are evaluated and selected based on requirements of maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and meeting high standards of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. “National Honor Society members are chosen for and then expected to continue their exemplary contributions to the school and community,” said Michele Brooks, chapter co-adviser. Co-adviser Suzy Liljestrand added, “We are very proud to recog-

nize these outstanding members of our student body. This year in particular, they have shown extraordinary dedication in spite of very difficult circumstances.” Each year, the Oxford NHS chapter sponsors several service projects for the school and community which in the last few years have included Red Cross blood drives, the high school’s annual Holiday Festival for area families, tutoring, and a Mini-thon for cancer research. NHS ranks as one of the oldest and most prestigious national organizations for high school students. There are chapters in more than 16,000 high schools and, since 1921, millions of stu-

dents have been selected for membership. Millions of dollars in scholarships have been awarded to senior members since 1945 by the sponsoring organization, the National Association of Secondary School Principals. “Our members would not be able to be the extraordinary people they are without the help of others,” said Brooks. “We would like to recognize the parents, family members, teachers, club advisors, coaches, administrators, school board members, community leaders and partners who have made the induction process possible and enabled our students to flourish academically and through civic duty in our school and community.”

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The new National Honor Society inductees are Taylor Alleman, Madison Baumgardner, Juliana Beckson, Megan Berg, Miranda Berg, Marissa Berg, Matthew Blair, Gabrielle Clark, James Conner, Joseph DiNapoli, Samantha Dunlap, Alexandra Ennis, Campbell Fleming, Leah Foutrakis, Mia Gerrard, Dylan Gerrard, Gabrielle Gold, Gavrielle Goldie, Julianne Guerin, Andreilav Guzman Guzman, Katherine Hanna, McKenzie Hendrickson, Emma Iaquinto, Jordan Kane, Abbigail Kehs, Laura Kister, Anna Kline, Kiersten Martin, Gina Martinelli, Matthew McCormack, Victoria Milburn, Nahomy Navarro-Agueros, Daniel Nowland, Abby Oliver, Jackson Paris, Neha Patel, Cade Pearson, Seth Pearson, Hannah Peterson, Kay Reyburn, Wayland Roberts, Joshua Robinson, Rachel Sedlak, Bailey Shover, Ryan Topmiller, Connor Warren, Emily Washkalavitch and Emiliano Zetune.

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Estate of Gary B. Lillmars, Lillmars, Gary B. late of Pottstown, PA., LETTERS of ADMINISTRATION for 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: Margaret Lillmars, 724 Ridge Rd., Pottstown, PA 19465, Administratrix. Lawrence M. Frangiosa, Esq., 675 North Lewis Road, Limerick, PA 19468 12p-16-3t


ESTATE OF Emily L. MAIER, DECEASED. Late of East Marlborough Township, Chester County, PA, LETTERS of 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 Michael A. Maier, ADMINISTRATOR, 105 Hadley’s Mill Run, Kennett Square, PA 19348. Elle Van Dahlgren, Esq., Elle Van Dahlgren Law, LLC, 20 Montchanin Rd., Ste. 1000, Greenville, DE 19807. 12p-16-3t


Estate of Connie Dolan, Late of West Grove, Penn 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 Debora Dolan-Blubaugh , Executor, 1507 Old Orchard Rd, Media, Pa 19063 12p-16-3t

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Chester County Press

Local News Chester County Domestic Relations supervisors honored by Department of Defense for patriotic support Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program, announced that Ana Rios of Chester County Domestic Relations recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve. Because of the current COVID-19 virus epidemic, the award was mailed directly to Rios. According to Wes Craig, Southeast Area Chair and State Chair Emeritus, “The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve.� Pennsylvania Army National Guard Spc. Eddie Diaz nominated Rios

for the Patriot Award for being highly supportive of his Army National Guard career. "In nominating Rios, Diaz said, "My employer was very understanding and supportive during operations Protect Pennsylvania. Our office was set to open on June 1 after being closed to the public due to COVID19. With less than 24 hours notice prior to returning to work, my employer arranged everything with my schedule and caseload so that I could attend this mission the week our office was set to open. “My supervisors found coverage for me, took care of my caseload, and would reach out during mission to check in on my well-being.� ESGR, a Department of Defense program, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of mem-

bers of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.

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Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program, announced that Ana Rios of Chester County Domestic Relations recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Avon Grove High School Leos help decorate for the holidays

Thornton named Student of the Month The Avon Grove Lions Club Student of the Month from the Avon Grove Charter School is senior James Thornton. Throughout his high school years, Thornton has completed community service work with many groups, teams, and organizations. He just earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 18 in West Grove after being in scouts since the fifth grade. He works with many scouts who have been working on their Eagle Scout rank and he has helped many of them with their Eagle Scout projects. In the Spring of 2019, Thornton volunteered with the Avon Grove Wildcats lacrosse program as a coach which was a great experience when he learned many good leadership skills. He has also volunteered at events at his church and with the swim team. At Avon Grove Charter School, there is a Wolf Pack mentoring program which is when a high school student is paired with a younger student and mentors that

Courtesy photo Courtesy photo

Avon Grove Lions Club Student of the Month recipient James Thornton and Lion Dr. Blase Maitland.

person throughout the year. After high school, he will be Thornton was involved in attending the Pennsylvania that program his first two College of Technology in years of high school. WIlliamsport, Pa. He will be

doing a 2+2 program in the diesel technology program and then the automotive management program.

The Avon Grove High School Leos helped clean out and put up Christmas decorations at the Penn Township Book Nook. Leos also decorated with candles and candy canes after cleaning out the books and chalk boards. The Leos participating were Sofia Trone, Angelina McGrath, Emily Rineer, Connor Crymes, Jack Perlman, Nikole Laws, Meghan Obetz and Eileen Obetz.

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Chester County Press 12-16-2020 Edition  

Chester County Press 12-16-2020 Edition