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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Bucks DA: Jury Convicts Mont Co Man for Terrorizing Woman For Over Six Years

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A 33-year-old man was convicted by a Bucks County jury on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, of stalking and terrorizing a Bedminster Township woman for more than six years.

Andrew David Gold, of Hatfield Township, Montgomery County, was found guilty of two counts of possession of a device for the interception of communications, two counts of stalking and one count of harassment.

The trial began on Monday before Common Pleas Judge Gary B. Gilman.

Following the conviction, Gold’s bail was revoked, and he was remanded to Bucks County Correctional Facility until his sentencing, which is scheduled for Nov. 30.

An exhaustive investigation, conducted by the Bedminster Township Police Department and the Bucks County Detectives, found that Gold would park outside the woman’s home at night and use listening devices and binoculars to try to look and listen inside.

On April 19, 2021, a woman reported to Bedminster Township Police that she was being stalked by Gold for several years. Police had already been aware of Gold from several reports of suspicious behavior.

The woman said it began in 2015, when a man, later identified as Gold, approached her while she was standing on a bridge with friends and said, “Hey Kelly,” even though the woman said she had never met Gold.

On another occasion, she said she went into the bathroom of an establishment, and he was waiting for her outside and tried to talk to her. At that point, she told him that she does not know him and asked that he stop approaching her.

The woman said in 2018 she received several vulgar comments on multiple social media accounts through fictitious accounts created by Gold.

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In 2020, Bedminster Township Police encountered Gold on at least three occasions near the woman’s home, which is more than 10 miles from Gold’s home.

The following year, reports of stalking increased with Gold’s car being observed on surveillance cameras in the neighborhood on several occasions. The stalking got so bad that neighbors would call police about Gold’s suspicious behavior, which included following people and using binoculars and listening devices while sitting in his car, and, on one occasion, hiding in bushes.

Police spoke to Gold several times, telling him that his behavior is alarming residents in the neighborhood.

Every time police asked, Gold never gave a legitimate reason for being there. He claimed not to know anyone in the neighborhood.

In late September 2021 and early October 2021, his vehicle was spotted near the woman’s home almost every night, leading to his arrest on Oct. 12, 2021.

Following his arrest, Bedminster Township Police and Bucks County Detectives found that the woman’s name appeared on Gold’s laptops more than 5,000 times. There were online searches on Gold’s devices that included searches for a prior address where the woman had lived, the names of her ex-boyfriends, and the names of extended family members who live in other parts of the country, one of whom the woman had never met.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brittney Kern.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

New LBTQ+ Advocacy Group Fairness Pennsylvania Launches

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Fairness Pennsylvania (FPA), the first full-time statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights program in several years kicked off on Monday, June 3 with Pennsylvania organizers, advocates, and legislators  at the state Capitol.

“We are ready to hit the ground running,” said Sarah Hammond, Fairness PA’s State Director, in a press release. “There are so many engaged activists and strong voices working right now in communities across the state. Our first priority is to identify ways that a new, statewide organization can assist these dedicated activists to move the needle here in Harrisburg and around the state.”

Hammond said. “…FPA is dedicated to promoting equality and fostering nondiscrimination principles in PA so that our LGBTQ+ community can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in our communities across the state.”

In a statement, Governor Josh Shapiro said, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of tolerance and understanding and I’m proud to stand alongside Fairness PA as they work to promote those values and build a better, stronger Commonwealth for all.”

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“No matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, you deserve equal protection under the law in Pennsylvania….” said Shapiro. “It’s long past time we put partisanship aside and pass a nondiscrimination law that protects LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” continued the press release.

Hammond said that an immediate priority for Fairness PA would be passage of the Fairness Act, which would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in the state, according to the press release. The Fairness Act passed in the state House in April 2023 but has yet to be considered in the state Senate. Shapiro earlier this year called on on the General Assembly to finally come together and pass the Fairness Act.

Fairness Pennsylvania can be found online at fairnesspenn.org or @FairnessPA on social media.

For more information, please visit Fairness PA or contact Pete Shelly at pshelly@clearpointpa.com.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Man Charged for Possessing Kiddie Porn

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A Bensalem man stands accused of uploading and saving pornographic images involving children to his Google account.

Michael Dunbar, 55, was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Gallagher Thursday morning on one felony count of child pornography and one count of criminal use of communication facility with his bail set at 10 percent of $300,000.00.

According to Bensalem Police,  on Thursday, April 25, 2024, a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was received.  The tip referenced a particular Google account that had uploaded and saved numerous videos depicting child pornography, including prepubescent boys and girls engaging in sexual acts with each other. Detectives began an investigation and were able to determine that the owner/user of the Google account was Dunbar.

On Thursday, June 20, 2024, Bensalem Detectives served a search warrant on Dunbar’s residence.  The suspect was interviewed, and he allegedly admitted to intentionally uploading child pornography into his Google account after finding the videos on the Dark Web.

Bensalem authorities did not comment about the results of the  executed search warrant.

Dunbar was unable to post bail as of early Friday morning and was remanded to Bucks County Correctional Facility. He is currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 2 and has no attorney of record presently, according to court records.

 

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Health - Bensalem Township

THE Giant Co. & Customers Raise More Than $400,000 For Healing Our Planet Initiatives

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Through its Healing Our Planet initiative, The GIANT Company today announced it raised $403,360 in partnership with its customers to support Planet Bee Foundation™ and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful™. During the month of May, customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores were invited to round up their grocery purchases to the nearest dollar to support each organization.

“Action inspires action and small changes such as tree plantings and pollinator awareness can make a big difference when it comes to helping our planet, so thank you to our customers who rounded up at the register to support these green initiatives,” said Courtney Hopcraft, manager of charitable giving and community relations, The GIANT Company. “Over the four years of our Healing the Planet campaign, more than $6 million has been raised to grow health and sustainability initiatives centric to creating healthier communities and a more sustainable future.”

Announced earlier this month, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in partnership with The GIANT Company announced it will award Healing the Planet grants later this summer to local community organizations for tree plantings across Pennsylvania. Additional funding from The GIANT Company will support Pick Up Pennsylvania and local clean up, recycling and greening events.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to The GIANT Company for their support of native tree planting in their operating areas in Pennsylvania. Funding will also support our Pick Up Pennsylvania program, so we can continue to meet the needs of families, friends, neighbors, civic groups, nonprofits and municipalities working towards a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Cleaning and beautifying communities tends to reduce littering and other illegal behaviors, making it a better place for all residents and providing a foundation for community and economic development.”

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Planet Bee Foundation drives awareness for pollinators and the importance of bees as a pathway to STEM, conservation, and innovations in agriculture. Funding raised by The GIANT Company will support local beekeepers, research programs, and school and community programs.

“On behalf of Planet Bee Foundation, I wish to extend our deepest gratitude to The GIANT Company for their donation, which has educated and impacted over 109,000 youth. Their generosity has sponsored STEM and Agriculture Education programs in schools, provided supplies to teachers, offered grants to local beekeepers, provided education at public events, and maintained beehives in community gardens, exemplifying their commitment to local communities,” said Debra Tomaszewski, founder and executive director, Planet Bee Foundation. “We are humbled and inspired by The GIANT Company’s commitment to sustainability, the health of our planet, and the well-being of the families they serve.”

For more information on The GIANT Company’s Healing Our Planet initiative, click here please.

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