February 20, 2015 |
Peco Energy Co. will inspect more than 39,000 utility poles throughout Bucks and Philadelphia Counties this year as part of the company's ongoing preventive maintenance program. Inspections include a visual examination of poles and the attached equipment, taking samples from the interior of poles and excavating around the base to check for decay. Any necessary repairs and replacements would then be performed. Peco maintains 390,000 poles across the region and each is inspected every 10 years.
February 9, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. Once, it was considered off the beaten path, not worth the attention of home builders more interested in Buckingham Township or New Hope or building lots in the Central Bucks School District. Then, as Keller Williams Realty's Laura Blaney tells it, "sleepy" Hilltown Township began to appear on developers' radar. "It happened when the housing market started going crazy, between 2000 and 2006," says Blaney, who works in Keller Williams' Doylestown office.
February 8, 2015 |
The family of Thomas French, a Bucks County man who killed himself amid allegations that he and his wife, a prominent Republican fund-raiser, committed a $20 million insurance fraud, maintained his innocence Friday and said, "The facts will prove him right. " The statement was the family's first comment since French's suicide Thursday afternoon at the Buckingham house he shared with wife Claire Risoldi. Bucks County Coroner Joseph Campbell said Friday that French died from a gunshot wound to the head.
February 7, 2015 |
A Bucks County man charged in a $20 million insurance-fraud scheme with his wife, a prominent Republican fund-raiser, killed himself outside a Buckingham Township home Thursday afternoon, authorities said. Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler identified the dead man as Thomas French, the husband of fund-raiser Claire Risoldi. French, 64, was a retired Bucks County sheriff's deputy. Details about French's death were not immediately clear, and detectives at the scene declined to comment Thursday night.
February 6, 2015 |
The Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday rejected a controversial application for a Bucks County hazardous waste treatment facility because the business failed to demonstrate compliance with flood-hazard regulations. DEP said it denied Elcon Recycling Services' siting application for a proposed liquid hazardous waste treatment facility in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex in Falls Township, the former United States Steel Fairless Works site. The agency said that Elcon had not complied with its request to provide a hydrologic analysis, including any historical data, to demonstrate that the proposed site has not been flooded in the past.
January 24, 2015 |
The Risoldi family calls its white-columned mansion "Clairemont. " Surrounded by 10 acres of rolling farmland outside New Hope, Bucks County, it boasts a swimming pool, six bedrooms, and a ceiling mural of family members dressed in flowing robes, looking down from the heavens. The manse has caught fire three times in five years - and the Risoldis could not have been more lucky, state prosecutors said. Receiving $20 million in insurance payouts from the blazes of undetermined origin, the Risoldis allegedly bought six Ferraris and two Rolls-Royces, $1.2 million worth of jewelry, and another house while spending millions to renovate the damaged one. Matriarch Claire Risoldi, 67, a prominent Republican donor and fund-raiser, was charged Thursday on a slew of felony charges, including insurance fraud and corruption.
January 22, 2015 |
AFTER SIX HOURS of deliberation yesterday, a Bucks County jury remained deadlocked on a verdict for ex-sportscaster Don Tollefson, and the judge sent them home for the night. Judge Rea Boylan sent jurors home about 9:30 p.m. and told them to return this morning for more deliberations in the charity-fraud trial that has occupied the nearly vacant Bucks County Courthouse for 12 days. Tollefson sat stoned-faced yesterday morning as chief prosecutor Matt Weintraub lambasted him during closing arguments before a packed courtroom.
January 20, 2015 |
The new Congress had been seated for less than 48 hours when State Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D., Bucks) announced plans to run for a seat in Washington in 2016. Others seem eager to follow. At least one other Democrat and a Republican already have floated their names as potential replacements for U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), who has said he won't run again in Bucks County's Eighth District, split nearly evenly between Democrats and Republicans. Speculation has begun anew in the nearby Sixth District, too, as Chester County Democrats search for a candidate to take on Republican Ryan Costello, who won his first congressional election in November.
January 17, 2015 |
The drama continued at Don Tollefson's fraud trial Thursday, when the former sportscaster complained of high blood sugar levels, ending the day's proceedings less than two hours after they began. Tollefson, 62, who has type 2 diabetes, had faced a second round of cross-examination by a Bucks County prosecutor over his charity's expenses. But Tollefson was instead taken to Doylestown Hospital by a Bucks County sheriff's deputy. Tollefson had told Bucks County Court Judge Rea Boylan that his blood-monitoring device showed dangerously high levels of blood sugar before arriving at court.
January 16, 2015 |
A 13-year-old girl from Bucks County has been charged with distributing a "child porn" video via smartphone to about a dozen students at her Bristol Township middle school, according to police. Ralph Johnson, acting police chief in Bristol Township, said the girl would not be named because she is a juvenile. He said the girl and her family have been cooperative with police. He did not say what the video contained, but last month authorities said it showed sexual conduct between two juveniles.