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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Flood Insurance Task Force Issues Report

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The Pennsylvania Insurance commissioner, on behalf of the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force, has presented Gov. Josh Shapiro and the General Assembly with the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force Final Report, which includes recommendations designed to improve the affordability and accessibility of flood insurance, bolster flood resiliency, increase flood risk mitigation, and protect Pennsylvanians from incurring flood damage that often results in thousands of dollars of uncovered losses.

Gov. Shapiro signed House Bill 735 into law as Act 22 in November 2023 after it passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support, establishing the task force and directing it to study flood insurance issues and make recommendations to help improve affordability and expand access to flood insurance coverage for Pennsylvania communities. Act 22 charged the task force with delivering a report with its recommendations by July 1, 2024.

The report’s recommendations encompass key pillars of affordability, risk mitigation, incentives, and education and outreach. The task force is recommending:

• Establishing an Office of Community Rating System Assistance (CRSA) and expanding grant funding within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
• Improving disclosures during the home-buying process.
• Incorporating continuing education credits across professional roles.
• Enhancing education and outreach.
• Incentivizing home mitigation through tax credits.
• Enhancing coverage for water damage.
• Incorporating flood resiliency into building codes.
• Proposing a Pennsylvania Flood Insurance Relief Act.
• Studying further innovative solutions.

The task force’s recommendations are informed by input gathered at five public meetings held over the last six months that included a public comment period, agency collaboration, external stakeholder engagement, and discussions and presentations from experts in the field.

As a strong supporter of this task force, I hope these plans are executed soon, so that we see less damage to Pennsylvanian’s homes from flooding in the near future.

Indoor Flooding in Bensalem

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Falls Township

Bucks Judge Orders Triple Killer Committed for 60-Day Mental Health Evaluation

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The man accused of killing three family members, hours before the Levittown St. Patrick’s Day parade causing it to be cancelled followed by a hours long manhunt, has been ordered to be evaluated at a state behavioral health facility.

Andre Gordon 26, a homeless Trenton, N.J man who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and three counts of second-degree murder in connection to his March 16 rampage in Lower Bucks County has been ordered to undergo a competency evaluation by a Bucks County Judge Raymond F. McHugh.  The evaluation period is not to exceed 60 days, court records show.]

Mr. Gordon is to be committed to Norristown Hospital or Torrance State Hospital under the Mental Health Procedures Act (AKA 302 and 302 b.) for psychiatric evaluation and treatment, said Manuel Gamiz Jr., director of communications for the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. He added the facts about the petition are publicly available at this link. 

Killed in Gordon’s alleged killing spree was his 52-year-old stepmother, Karen Gordon, 13-year-old sister, Kera Gordon, and 25-year-old mother of his children, Taylor Daniel.

3/16/24 Andre Gibson

In May, Gordon was charged with aggravated assault and disarming a law enforcement officer —and eight related offenses stemming from an incident in the Bucks County Correctional Facility.

District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said she is seeking the death penalty, if the case goes to trial.

Marcel Johnson, now 31, is the last Bucks County resident sentenced to death. He was convicted in 2015 for the 2013 killing of five months pregnant Ebony Talley, 22, and daughter R’mani Rankins, 4. Rankins murder is what earned Johnson the death penalty.  The last person executed in Pennsylvania was Gary Heidink in 1979 by lethal injection.

 

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Bucks Co Appoints New CEO of Library System

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Bucks County has a new library system director.

The Bucks County Free Library (BCFL) Board of Directors appointed Dana Barber as the library system’s new chief executive officer at their June 17, 2024 board meeting.

She assumed the role beginning on July 15.

Barber has served as director of the Margaret R Grundy Memorial Library in Bristol Borough for the past 10 years, with a focus on creating strategic partnerships to enhance library services.

She received the 2023 Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Library Association in recognition of her leadership skills.

“I’m looking forward to working with the dedicated team at BCFL to continue to enhance library services and foster meaningful relationships with patrons and partners,” Barber said.

Barber is excited by the new opportunity to share her vision for public library services as leader of the county system.

“Our libraries are vibrant community hubs providing access to high-quality information, essential support and education, and equitable spaces. They truly are for everyone!” she said.

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Martina Kominiarek, has served as the library’s CEO for more than 20 years.

“With Dana at the helm, I’m confident we’ll continue to thrive and innovate, serving our communities in even more dynamic and impactful ways,” she said.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Rep Davis: We’re Addressing Constituent Complaints on Proposed Aqua Rate Increase

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State Rep Tina Davis said recently we have heard your concerns regarding the proposed AQUA rate increase and I have signed on to a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission opposing AQUA’s request.

“Aqua made the request to the PUC, citing the need to improve the system’s infrastructure. While I agree that improvements are needed, customers’ bills currently include distribution system improvement charges, indicating that funds are already being allocated for the infrastructure updates.”

Also, the net income of Essential Utilities, AQUA’s parent company, grew 7% in 2023, therefore, it is apparent that the company is profitable and financially stable, Davis said

What can you do about this? Here is the link where you can file your concerns with the PUC regarding this proposal.

The PUC will also schedule public hearings on the proposed rate hike. Please follow my Facebook and X pages as we will update when the dates of the hearings are announced. she said.

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