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NEWS
January 21, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Chester County man has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for shooting his stepfather in a June 2013 argument. After a weeklong trial in West Chester, the jury also convicted Deviane Scott, 21, of Caln, of aggravated assault, simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime in the death of 36-year-old Joseph Durham. Jurors deliberated for about five hours Friday night before returning the verdict after 10 p.m.In reaching its decision, the jury rejected the prosecution's recommendation of a first-degree murder conviction and the defense's request for an acquittal.
NEWS
January 15, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
As a recording of Michele Durham's 911 call played in the silent courtroom, mother and son wiped tears from their eyes. When she made the call, Durham, whose son is accused of killing her husband, did not know that the fistfight she was reporting would turn deadly. It was the most emotional moment during the first day of a Chester County Court murder trial in which Deviane Justin Scott, 21, is charged in the 2013 shooting of Joseph Durham, 36. As the trial opened Tuesday in West Chester, the prosecutor called it a family fight that spiraled out of control.
NEWS
January 14, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jury selection opened Monday for a Chester County man accused of killing his stepfather in a June 2013 argument sparked when the stepfather asked him to walk the family dog. Deviane Justin Scott, now 21, allegedly shot Joseph Durham, 36, multiple times before fleeing the house naked, police said. Scott is charged with first- and third-degree murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and related charges. Jury selection occurred Monday in front of County Court Judge David Bortner.
NEWS
January 10, 2015 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the case of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, near Pottstown, the heartbreaking news didn't come from a church official or some committee. The church on Main Street - a tiny road leading to a dead end - had long ago become, as one member called, a small congregation of widows. So the members of St. John's, themselves, voted to close it. The constant scramble to pay the pastor and the electric bill would be over. The fruitless brainstorming to attract young people would stop.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chief financial officers typically have a solid grasp of costs and how to cut them. It's their job. "Yet when it comes to health care, they leave that at the door," said Stephen P. Kelly, president of ELAP Services, a Chester Springs company with a painstaking approach to cutting hospital bills for self-insured employers. Instead of paying premiums to an insurance company, which then pays medical bills, self-insured employers set aside money to pay the bills themselves through a third-party administrator.
NEWS
January 2, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Growing up, Carol Houck said, she was verbally, physically, and sexually abused. She was too frightened to tell anyone what was happening. Although she suspected her neighbors knew something was not right, she never got the rescue she hoped for. "I wanted someone to speak up for me. No one spoke up for me," said Houck, 57. "I'm alive and well, and Scotty isn't. So I wanted to speak up. " Houck and about 20 other demonstrators stood outside the Chester County Justice Center on Wednesday morning to try to raise awareness about child abuse.
NEWS
December 30, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tom Casey continuously fields calls and e-mails from anxious people asking about pipeline projects and safety, and the meaning of a right of way. So Casey, of West Goshen, who helped start the Chester County Community Coalition to spread information about pipelines, turns to the county's online Pipeline Information Center. Fortunately for Casey and others interested, Chester County officials recently got a $50,000 federal grant to add information to the website and to name a point of contact to increase information-sharing among residents, municipalities, and pipeline companies.
NEWS
December 27, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Like his fellow students at Conestoga High School in Tredyffrin Township, 14-year-old Warren Zhao was excited Tuesday to start a week and a half of vacation from school. But less than two hours after school let out, Zhao was combing through stacks of nonfiction books. He had volunteered to help the financially struggling Tredyffrin Public Library recover from flooding that hit the day after Thanksgiving. "I feel like it's my duty as a citizen of the community to help out as much as possible," said Zhao, who also volunteered on Sunday with fellow members of Boy Scout Troop Devon 50. "I came back because when I got here, I didn't think the flooding would be that bad. " Plumbing malfunctions caused part of the library to flood a month ago, destroying carpets and furniture, and damaging some shelves and drywall.
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Michelle Kichline, a former Tredyffrin Township supervisor, will be Chester County's newest commissioner. Chester County judges selected Kichline on Tuesday to replace Ryan Costello, who is scheduled to be sworn in as Sixth District congressman on Jan. 6. Costello, the board chairman, will formally resign Monday. Kichline and the judges will determine when she will join the board. She will finish Costello's term, which expires in early 2016. Since the outgoing commissioner is a Republican, replacement candidates also had to be Republicans, according to Pennsylvania law. After Kichline joins the board, she and Commissioners Terence Farrell and Kathi Cozzone will vote to determine the chairman.
NEWS
December 10, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pedro Lopez and Beatriz Balbuena, a committed couple in their 30s, showed up early Monday night and grabbed seats in the front row of a church basement in Phoenixville. He is from Guatemala. She is from Mexico. Both are undocumented immigrants. Their son, Pedro Jr., was born here in 2009. The evening's topic - President Obama's controversial executive action on immigration - drew about 80 people to an information session in this town of 16,500, where the immigrant support group Alianzas de Phoenixville estimates "several thousand" residents are from Latin America.
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