September 4, 2015 |
It was a day for traditions as the new school year opened in the cash-strapped Chester Upland School District this morning - for good and for bad. At 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, hundreds of students, teachers, staff, and others gathered outside Chester High School for an annual rite - a bell-ringing ceremony that celebrates the start of classes and the perseverance of a district in almost perpetual crisis. As the chimes faded, teachers in the Delaware County district walked past the orange and black balloons and returned to classrooms to confront less-cherished traditions, almost as predictable in Chester Upland as back-to-school shopping ads: fiscal chaos, and not knowing when their next paychecks will come.
August 29, 2015 |
Chester Upland teachers and support staff voted Thursday to keep working despite learning that the district might not have money to pay them next month. Two days after a Delaware County judge rejected a new financial recovery plan submitted by Chester Upland and state officials, its 223 teachers and support staff were told the district could not make its Sept. 9 payroll. Michele Paulick, president of the Chester Upland Education Association, which represents the teachers, called the announcement from Superintendent Gregory Shannon and receiver Francis Barnes "horrible news.
August 26, 2015 |
The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease were found in the hot-water systems of buildings at West Chester University last week, causing hot water to be shut off to nine buildings over the weekend until the systems were sanitized. It was the second time this summer that the bacteria have been found on the campus. On Monday - the first day of classes - the remediation company hired to handle the problem reported that the systems had been successfully sanitized, a university spokeswoman said.
August 20, 2015 |
The Wolf administration on Tuesday urged a Delaware County Court judge to drastically cut how much the financially troubled Chester Upland School District pays charter schools for special-education students and online learning. Gov. Wolf said the district's survival could hinge on winning court approval for the cuts in charter reimbursements, which would total an estimated $24.7 million in the 2015-16 school year. "This needs to end," Wolf said, referring to Chester Upland's 25-year history of financial crises, which have led to millions of dollars in emergency state aid, massive layoffs, and a plunge in enrollment in traditional public schools.
August 6, 2015 |
Robert D. Lukens, 42, of West Chester, president of the Chester County Historical Society and a distant relative of the 19th century iron-mill owner Charles Lukens, died Sunday, Aug. 2, of cancer at his home. Mr. Lukens was a graduate of Delaware County Christian School, and received his bachelor's degree and doctorate in history from Temple University. He also held a master's degree from the University of Tennessee, in American history. Mr. Lukens began his work with the historical society in 1993 as a museum volunteer while an undergraduate.
August 3, 2015 |
Pedaling wildly along her block in Chester, Jade Mills approached the chain-link fence, dropped her bike, and sprinted toward a picnic table lined with bins of fruit. "What's this?" the 5-year-old said, plopping a plump cherry into her mouth as she wiggled onto a bench alongside her friends. "I've never had one of these before. " "It's a raspberry," replied one friend. "No, it's a crop," said another. "What's a crop?" Mills asked. "A crop, remember, is another word for plant," answered Terrence Topping-Brown, a 24-year-old who, for the afternoon, would be kids' mentor, their teacher, their playmate.
July 31, 2015 |
An employee at West Chester University has tested positive for Legionnaires' disease, and "higher-than-acceptable" levels of the bacteria that cause it were found in eight campus buildings, officials said Wednesday. Immediate steps were taken to kill the Legionella bacteria that were found in the buildings' cooling towers, Mark Mixner, vice president of administration and finance, wrote in a memo to the university's more than 1,000 employees. The university "engaged a remediation firm that is treating the affected cooling towers" Wednesday and Thursday to eliminate the bacteria and ensure they do not return, Mixner said.
July 25, 2015 |
A Chester man who was severely beaten by police last weekend, in an incident captured on video, set off the fracas by assaulting an officer and was carrying a stolen gun, officials said Thursday. Walter "Ed" Moat, 49, is being held at the Delaware County prison on assault and weapons charges as a result of an arrest Sunday during which he was pummeled, beaten, and Tasered by several officers. In the days since his arrest, witnesses and friends of Moat - who say he has a mental disability - have alleged police brutality.
July 24, 2015 |
The Delaware County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday it was investigating an incident, captured on videotape and witnessed by neighborhood residents, in which a man was pummeled, kicked, and severely beaten by police officers in the City of Chester. The beating occurred Sunday morning evidently after Walter "Ed" Moat, 49, an African American who neighbors said had a mental disability, was stopped for going the wrong way on a street near the city's border with Chester Township.
July 23, 2015 |
Officials from West Chester - both the university and the borough - are betting on something scientific to help ward off the divisions that have separated communities grappling with the resurgent issue of race. They are looking to DNA. In a new initiative called "One University, One Ancestry," the school will offer DNA testing to students, staff, faculty, and community members. They hope it will not only give participants insight into the origins of their ancestors, but awaken them to shared experiences and backgrounds revealed by a closer look at the gene pool.