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Human Interest - Bristol Borough

Bristol Borough Announces Changes to Sidewalk Repair Program, Children Related Events Announced

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Bristol Borough announced changes coming to the controversial sidewalk program it instituted last year after a number of complaints about the overall health of the sidewalks in the small, compacted locality.

Beginning last May, Borough code enforcement officials undertook an initiative to inspect sidewalks throughout the walkable community.

According to LevittownNow.com, borough officials completed walking inspections in 50 percent of the town finding 155 violations with 132 of those homeowners granted extensions to repair or replace the sidewalks.

The sidewalk violations and citations were met with intense push back in the community and on local social media pages. Several posters and dozens of commenters called for the firing of Inspector John Miller and the recently hired code enforcement staff.

The current incarnation of the effort is over, Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe said at Monday night’s council meeting.

“We started a sidewall program based on the course our inspectors went out and took. It’s very clear that if there is a sidewalk that can create a tripping problem …the homeowner has to fix them. It worked but it’s been  a disaster.”

Going on, he said, we just finished surveying the entire borough last week, and we has a meeting with the solicitor prior to finishing, DiGuiseppe said, and now were going to change the whole program and handle it differently. If there is a sidewalk not in compliance – meaning a tripping problem or a danger to someone, the borough will send a letter to that resident whether it’s a rental property or homeowner, stating your sidewalk is not in compliance and that it should be repaired. For some reason you don’t repair it and for some reason someone gets hurt, Bristol Borough is putting you on notice.

“So, we’re not forcing you to do anything” he said, adding the Borough tried to work with everyone on the issue in any way possible.

“We did get a lot of lawsuits and we did get a lot of complaints from people that tripped and busted their face open. We asked people if they wanted to come to Council and talk about some of the things that happened to them. And they really didn’t want to get involved on TV. There were some serious injuries over sidewalks that people got hurt on,” DiGuiseppe said.

Borough Solicitor Jeff Garton said he was going to check and make sure the Borough sidewalk ordinance is consistent with what the council president laid out.

“We’re not walking the streets anymore, We did it one time, it’s over and we’re done with it,” DiGuiseppe said emphatically.


In related Council items:

August 6 will be the Bristol Borough’s National Night Out event  at the Snyder-Girotti Elementary School fields off of Buckley and Beaver Streets, beginning  at 5:30 p.m.

August 7 (a Wednesday) will be Kids Night at the St Ann /St Mark Carnival this year. Bristol Environmental will once again sponsor the event that is free to all Boro children. More details to be released coming soon.

Council tabled the motion to take over the property located at 636 Race Street due to redevelopment interest from Habitat for Humanity.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Borough

Street Sweeper Operations Suspended for Sections of Bristol Borough

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Bristol Borough officials announced late Wednesday that due to paving operations in the west ward, street sweeping would cease for one week and restart operations the week of July 24 on those streets.

“Due to paving, the street sweeper will not be sweeping these streets on Thursday and Friday, July 18th and 19th of this week:  Mifflin St., Linden St., Locust St., Maple St. and Green St.  The regular schedule will resume next week,” said a press release from the Bristol Borough Police Department.

 

Paving work being performed in Bristol Borough Wednesday
Credit: Jeff Bohen, Lower Bucks Source

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Bristol Twp Undercover Operation Nets Alleged Crack Dealer

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A Bristol Borough man is facing serious drug related charges after he was arrested by Bristol Township Detectives following two undercover buys of “crack” cocaine.

According to police, James Edwards III, 30, became the focus of a drug investigation in Bristol Township for distribution of “crack” cocaine.  On May 29, Edwards allegedly delivered .79 grams of the drug to a confidential informant between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.  On the same day, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., Edwards is alleged to have delivered .82 grams of the potent drug to a confidential informant.

Edwards was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Daniel Baranoski on Tuesday on felony two counts of manufacture, delivery, possession of a controlled substance.  He was released on unsecured bail and  is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 31 at Bristol Borough District Court.

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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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