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BUSINESS
October 6, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
When, after 28 years, Beverly Wiker lost her administrative job at Pepperidge Farm's plant in Downingtown, "it felt like a death in the family," she said. "I was in shock," she said, sitting in an Exton classroom with other unemployed people, who have become her new, extended family, united by their unwilling membership in the world of long-term joblessness. What also unites this group is renewed hope generated by a program launched last month in Chester County targeting the long-term unemployed.
NEWS
October 2, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two men have been arrested for hatching and carrying out a plan to invade the home of an elderly Chester County man and steal his money in order to buy heroin, the district attorney said Wednesday. Zachary Hails and John Reeves, both of Montgomery County, were charged Tuesday with robbery, conspiracy, making terroristic threats, and simple assault. Hails, 27, of Pottstown, went to 81-year-old Donald Rehrman's house in West Vincent Township on July 21 to repair the refrigerator.
NEWS
September 28, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
As a young girl growing up in Wilmington, Trish Whetham dreamed of owning horses. In 2004, her dream came true. Now 59, Whetham runs Morningstar Stables, a sprawling compound in London Britain Township, Chester County, where she lives with her husband and where she says her two adult daughters learned strong work ethics. Like many of her neighbors in the county's rural southeastern corner - as well as 1.6 million around Philadelphia and South Jersey, and more than 13 million households throughout the country - she and her family use a well for water to drink, to cook, to wash.
NEWS
September 19, 2015 | By Khalil Williams, Inquirer Staff Writer
Even on a gray and rainy morning last week, the big history behind the small Hosanna A.U.M.P. Church is distinctive. There is the tiny secret chamber beneath a restroom floor that hid runaway slaves. There is the cemetery that holds the graves of Civil War soldiers and that era's social elite. And there is the church itself, on Baltimore Avenue, just seven miles above the former Mason-Dixon Line, in Oxford, Chester County. Standing at the entrance to Lincoln University, the one-room, one-story chapel with wooden steps and a wraparound porch is the last standing remnant of Hinsonville, a historic free black farming community.
NEWS
September 17, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chester County Hospital cannot have 1,352 bottles of fine wine that are set to be destroyed by the state, a Chester County judge said Tuesday. The hospital had hoped to take the wine and use it for fund-raising, but state law does not allow for the sale of condemned alcohol, the judge ruled. It could be the end of the road for the bottles, which have been at the center of a legal battle that began in January 2014, when Chester County attorney Arthur Goldman was charged with buying and reselling high-end wine that wasn't available for purchase in Pennsylvania.
NEWS
September 4, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kirt Barden used to be an executive at a truck rental and leasing company. Twelve years ago, the company let Barden go after Penske bought it. Barden moved to New Orleans to help his sick mother-in-law and bought a business that did underwriting exams for insurance companies. Two years later, Hurricane Katrina hit and destroyed his business. He sold it at a loss. Then he had a job raising money for the Salvation Army. Then he became a sales consultant. Now, Barden, 63, has been out of work for 10 months.
NEWS
September 1, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gary Johnson reached out his hand and rubbed gentle circles on the side of the chestnut gelding grazing in the grass beside him. In his other hand, the Army veteran held the horse's rope and pieces of apple. Like a calm and concerned parent, he tried to coax Monarch into eating the fruit instead of some dirt. There was a soft smile on his lips. As an 18-year-old in Vietnam, Johnson saw death and destruction, he said. Close friends were killed. Since he got back from Vietnam in 1972, being in a state of high alert has been normal for him. He suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and has struggled with drug addiction and suicidal thoughts in the past, he said.
NEWS
August 29, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
The shooting of a knife-wielding attacker by a deputy sheriff at the Chester County courthouse this week was justified, the district attorney ruled Thursday, declaring the assault to be an unprovoked attack by an obviously troubled man and closing the case without finding a motive. In releasing new details, District Attorney Thomas Hogan also disclosed that the assailant, Curtis W. Smith, had not stabbed a deputy before he was shot during the lunch-hour incident in West Chester, as the prosecutor first reported.
NEWS
August 28, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel and Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Chester County deputy sheriff slashed by a knife-wielding man at the courthouse remained hospitalized Wednesday, as investigators continued their review of the attack and another officer's decision to fatally shoot the assailant. The county District Attorney's Office postponed plans to release its findings Wednesday, saying the investigation into Curtis W. Smith's attack and death was not complete. In interviews, relatives told The Inquirer that his downward spiral, which included a high-profile arrest in March for trespassing at the White House, may have started when his brother murdered their father three years ago. One said she believed Smith wanted to die. Around noon Tuesday, the 34-year-old Coatesville man ran into the Chester County Justice Center in West Chester and stabbed Kevin Brough, a 22-year-old deputy, in a hand and arm. He was shot by another deputy and died that afternoon.
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