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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Inaugural Juneteenth Day Comes to Bristol Borough

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The planning, recruiting, and publicizing of the first ever Juneteenth Day Festival in Bristol Borough will bear the fruits of the organizers this Saturday beginning at 12 p.m and running until 5 p.m.

Sponsored by The Lower Bucks Juneteenth Committee the festival commemorates the freeing of the last slaves in the south following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln.

Texas was the first state to celebrate the day in an official way when the state legislature recognized Juneteenth in 1980, according to congressional research services.

Live entertainment, music, food trucks, vendors and presentations will be make up the day’s festivities for the free to the pubic event.

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a law making  Juneteenth a national holiday.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Neshaminy Mall Sale Finalized Large Scale Redevelopment Planned Says New Owners

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One of the area’s biggest shopping malls will have new life given to it by its new owners, they say.

As previously reported, Paramount Realty Group  has purchased the 1-million square foot mall which sits at the crossroads of Lincoln Highway, Route 1 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Brookfield Properties. 

Opened in 1968, the Neshaminy Mall has hosted stores such as “Boscov’s” and “GameStop”, but over the years, the mall has started to decline in both visitors and renters. Walking through the mall now is like walking through a ghost town. The AMC theater and Boscov’s are still there, but stores like Macy’s, Friendly’s, and even Rita’s water ice are all gone with the mall dying a slow painful death prior to the sale.

The mall will undergo large-scale construction that will see roughly half of the area demolished in the process, the new owners told the Philadelphia Business Journal last week. 

The plans, which have not been finalized as of yet,  but could include a mix of residential, retail, and medical facilities, according to Paramount Realty Principal Maurice Zekaria, in the report.

Paramount and Edgewater jointly announced that they had closed on the purchase of the 108-acre site from Brookfield Properties for $27.5 million, a far cry from a previous estimated market value of $45.4 million.

Credit: DeZen Graphics

Paramount owns numerous properties in Bucks County, including Marketplace at Neshaminy, which is adjacent to the mall, and Lincoln Plaza in Middletown Township, which they acquired in 2020, according to public records and also purchased Brunswick Square Mall in Middlesex County, New Jersey in 2023.

The former Macy’s was recently purchased by Tony Chowdhurry, who is converting the space to a Fusion Gym in the hopes of giving the mall a “shot in the arm.” 

At the Oxford Valley Mall, Boscov’s was torn down to make way for luxury apartments and is expected to be completed soon.

The ability to shop online, experts say, is the single biggest contributor to the demise of shopping malls across America.

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Health - Bensalem Township

Funding for Bensalem Water Main Replacement Secured

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Bensalem Township will be allotted funding from a $77.5 million loan through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for a water main replacement project, announced Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks).

PENNVEST funding specifically serves projects in Pennsylvania that focus on sewer, storm water and drinking water projects.

The loan will be distributed to 16 municipalities across southeastern Pennsylvania for water main replacement projects.

“I am happy to say Bensalem is included in this vital project in the southeast,” said Tomlinson. “Making sure our water mains are updated means our drinking water is safe and quality service is provided to the consumers.”

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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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