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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

PUC Schedules Hearings on Proposed PECO Rate Hikes

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The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced the scheduling of in-person hearings in early June in southeastern Pennsylvania to gather public input on the request by PECO Energy Company (PECO) to increase rates for electric and natural gas distribution services.

PECO provides electric distribution service to approximately 1.7 million customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and portions of York County, as well as natural gas distribution service to more than 552,000 customers in southeastern Pennsylvania.

PUC Public Input Hearings

In-person hearings have been scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • Thursday, June 6, 2024 – starting at 6 p.m.
    Delaware County Community College
    Academic Building Room 2246
    901 S. Media Line Road
    Media, PA, 19063
  • Monday, June 10, 2024 – starting at 6 p.m.
    Kennett Square Borough Building
    600 S. Broad Street
    Kennett Square, PA, 19348

PUC Administrative Law Judges Marta Guhl and Darlene D. Heep will preside over the public input hearings.  Additional hearings will also be scheduled in the Philadelphia area.

NOTE: Pre-registration is not required to testify at an in-person public input hearing. There will be a sign-up sheet in the hearing room.

Requests for Interpreters

If you require an interpreter, please contact the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge (OALJ) as soon as possible. If you contact OALJ too close to the hearing date, there may not be enough time to arrange for an interpreter. If you request an interpreter, every reasonable effort will be made to have one present.

Hearing Exhibits

If you have any hearing exhibits to which you will refer during the hearing, please email them to OALJ at sdelvillar@pa.gov.  The OALJ will forward the exhibits to the judges and all parties.

  • Exhibits for the public input hearing on June 6, 2024, must be received by Wednesday June 5, 2024.
  • Exhibits for the public input hearing on June 10, 2024, must be received by Friday, June 7, 2024.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the OALJ at 215-560-2105 or sdelvillar@pa.gov.

Offering Testimony at a Public Input Hearing

The PUC offers tips on how to participate in a public input hearing, including:

  • Prepare what you are going to say beforehand. Even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read.
  • Any formal testimony that is offered during the hearing will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision.
  • Understand that parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.

PECO Rate Increase Requests

For electric distribution services, PECO is requesting an annual overall electric rate increase of approximately $464 million. PECO is also proposing a one-time credit of $64 million, resulting in a net electric rate increase of $399 million (25.1%) in 2025.  As proposed, the total monthly electric bill for a residential customer using 700 kWh would increase by $16.67 from $135.85 to $152.52 (12.3%) in 2025.  In 2026, the total monthly bill for a residential electric customer would increase by an additional $2.70.

For natural gas distribution services, PECO is proposing an annual increase of $111 million (23.1%).  As proposed, a PECO residential natural gas customer using 80 Ccf per month will increase from $97.98 to $114.13 per month (16.5%).

A final PUC decision on PECO’s rate increase requests is due by Dec. 27, 2024.

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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.”

Credit: Submitted

“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.”

Credit: Submitted

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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Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia Airport, PA

Last Updated on Jun 5 2024, 7:54 am EDT

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