November 11, 2003 |
Colleen Broe, a Levittown mother who became a national target of outrage over allegations that she illegally duct-taped her foster children, was found not guilty of child-abuse charges last night in Bucks County Court. After more than six hours of deliberations, a jury acquitted Broe, 34, of endangering the welfare of children, false imprisonment, and conspiracy, all felonies. The verdicts, announced at 8:20 p.m., left Broe shaking and sobbing uncontrollably on the shoulder of her attorney, Andrew Schneider.
November 5, 2003 |
When the military representative arrived at the doorstep of her Levittown home at 9 a.m., Keisha Johnson knew something had gone wrong. His face was warm but serious. He carried a letter. "I shook my head and said, 'No, no,'" Williams said yesterday, recalling the Saturday morning encounter. Army officials said Spec. Maurice Johnson, 21, died in Iraq on Saturday after the car he was riding in was struck by a bomb. His body was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday.
November 4, 2003 |
The little boy now lives with a Bucks County couple who plan to adopt him. He arrived at their home in Perkasie in mid-April, a foster child with a troubling reputation: that he bit people, threw tantrums, banged his head into things when angry. At night in bed, he would tear off his soiled diaper and smear the contents everywhere. But all that quickly changed, said Dawn Moyer, the boy's present foster mother, who testified yesterday in Bucks County Court. One reason for that, prosecutors contend, is that the toddler no longer lives with Colleen Broe, the Levittown woman accused of abusing her foster children: the boy, 2, and a girl, 1. Authorities say that Broe, 34, wrapped the children in duct tape to keep them from acting up. She is being tried on charges of child endangerment, false imprisonment and conspiracy.
October 29, 2003 |
A onetime foster father accused of duct-taping children in his care pleaded guilty yesterday in Bucks County Court. Neil Broe, 42, once held out as a shining example of the county's foster-parent program, pleaded guilty to felony charges of endangering the welfare of children, false imprisonment, and conspiracy. No sentencing date was set. He faces punishment that could range from probation to 10 years in prison. The Levittown man is expected to testify this week against his estranged wife, Colleen, who faces similar charges.
June 13, 2003 |
Forty-six Overbrook Lane seemed perfect five years ago when the Fantinis were hunting for a house. It had a large backyard near a quiet creek. Massive oak trees towered above and stretched shady boughs that sheltered sweet-sounding birds. And the remodeled house came with a wonderful neighborhood and nice neighbors, some of whom had lived in this Oaktree Hollow section since Levittown was built five decades ago. But for several months now, the Fantinis and other neighbors say, a dozen vacant houses have turned their picturesque street into an eyesore.
May 9, 2003 |
For 23 years, Michael Barile was a constable in Falls Township, entrusted with serving legal papers and guarding the local district court. His wife, Tina, also held a position of trust as a baby-sitter in their Levittown neighborhood. Yesterday, in a Bucks County courtroom filled with rage and grief, the Bariles were punished for abusing that trust in one of the worst ways possible: by sexually assaulting three girls in their care. Michael Barile, 46, was ordered to serve 20 to 40 years in state prison for molesting two 12-year-olds and a 7-year-old.
March 7, 2003 |
It doesn't look like much now, but some will tell you it's the birthplace of suburbia. The Levittown Public Recreation Association center, shuttered and surrounded by a chain-link fence, is where William J. Levitt and his team built the postwar development known as Levittown in the early 1950s. By the decade's end, after Levitt's work was done and 70,000 suburbanites had moved into their dream homes, the building was transformed into a striking modernist structure that served as the cultural and recreational center of Levittown.
February 16, 2003 |
The National Council of Teachers of English has recognized two seniors from Neshaminy High School in Langhorne for their writing skills. Angela Kriebel of Levittown and Rachel Share of Feasterville have been awarded 2002 NCTE Achievement Awards for their compositions. Their writings had to "demonstrate effective and imaginative use of the English language to inform and move an audience. " The students were nominated for the award by Joseph Blair, the high school's advanced-placement English teacher.
February 7, 2003 |
Melissa Sweeney did everything right. When her boyfriend called at 3 a.m., afraid to drive after a night of drinking, Sweeney hopped in her car to pick him up. Unwilling to leave her 4-year-old daughter, Jasta Coombs, unsupervised, she strapped the girl into a car seat. "Melissa had finally found out she was in love with him for real," said her mother, Donna Daubenspeck. "She wanted to pick him up. My daughter was so dead set against drinking and driving. " Nineteen minutes later, Sweeney's car was demolished by a drunken driver barreling through a red light at 79 m.p.h.
January 26, 2003 |
With the return of millions of veterans after the Second World War, the nation faced a serious housing shortage. In 1952, Levitt & Sons, a self-styled housing "manufacturer," came to Bucks County with a design for a planned community to ease the shortage. In 1947, the Levitts had turned 4,000 acres of farmland on Long Island into the largest housing development in building history at that time. "Levittown in Pennsylvania was unique in that it represented the final draft of a planned community that they had begun on Long Island," Curtis Miner, senior curator at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview.