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Human Interest - Bristol Township

Falls Approves Sale of Alcohol at Lincoln Hwy Wawa, Hurdles Remain

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The Wawa convenience store under construction at 530 Lincoln Highway in Falls Township may be able to sell beer and wine once it opens in the first quarter of 2023.

The Falls Supervisors cleared Wawa’s first hurdle Monday night by approving an inter-municipal liquor license transfer by a 3-1 vote with Supervisor Vice Chairman Jeff Boraski voting no. Supervisor Chairman Jeff Dence was absent.

Boraski said that while he was not “overly excited” about the Wawa being built where Arosso, A Touch of Sicily once stood, he “got on board with the plan.” However, Boraski said he wished Wawa had told the board previously about its plans to sell alcohol.

“I don’t like them coming back to us after we’ve already approved that business,” Boraski said.

Citing traffic and the proximity to kid-focused entertainment at Funzilla – which is also in the shopping center – a few residents spoke out against the liquor license transfer.

Supervisor Brian Galloway pointed out that Giant and ShopRite also sell alcohol and have in-store seating areas where customers can drink wine and beer, similar to what Wawa has proposed.

Supervisor John Palmer said he visited convenience stores in Harrisburg that sell beer and wine.

“I didn’t see any abuse going on,” Palmer said. “I don’t see how we can restrict capitalism when it’s throughout our community already.”

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Wawa attorney Ellen Freeman told the board that Wawa operates 15 other stores in Pennsylvania that operate liquor licenses. The company employs a 100 percent carding policy for all customers purchasing alcohol. In addition, Freeman said Wawa uses a card scanner transaction device to ensure that identification is not fraudulent.

“That takes the gray area away,” she said. “It makes it safer for their employees too to make sure they’re operating at a high standard.”

Wawa began selling beer in 2019 and expanding its locations with liquor licenses throughout the commonwealth.

Current locations in Bucks County selling alcohol operate in Richland Township, in Middletown Township and one is planned to open in Doylestown pending approval, state records show.

The local approval is the first step in permitting alcohol sales. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board must also authorize the transfer of the license from Springfield Township.

Similar to other retailers that sell beer and wine, Wawa customers would be permitted to buy up to 192 ounces of beer or up to 3,000 milliliters of wine per transaction. The store would have five cooler doors, as well as beer and wine on the shelves and would have a seating area for up to 30 customers at a time.

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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 -Bristol Township

Randall Ave Bridge Restoration Project to Begin Next Week

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The long awaited and much anticipated work to the Randall Avenue Bridge in Bristol Township will begin in earnest next week, township manager Randee J. Mazur said Thursday.

We have an executed agreement with Haines and Kibblehouse based in Chalfont H & K) in the amount of  $1,085,260.00. The project was originally planned to start June 21st and was pushed back a week by Amtrak to now begin Friday, June 28th,” she said.

Mobilization for the work began earlier today, with  setting up the construction laydown areas. They plan to use a portion of Pitt Avenue that is closed and will set up temporary chain link fence with a lock to secure all materials and equipment, officials said.

The Project Schedule is as follows:

6/28/24 to 7/1/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 3 with nighttime outage on Track 2

7/12/24 to 7/15/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 2 with nighttime outage on Track 3

7/26/24 to 7/29/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 1 with nighttime outage on Track 2

The bridge work, with no delays to the schedule, should be completed by the end of July, Mazur said.

Randal Ave Bridge Closed
Credit: Lower Bucks Source

“Gilmore and Associates is finalizing the abutment project bid and details, should be completed early July and then we will solicit bids for this work.”

If the abutments are ready for work, then with contract awarded, this work could start as early as July or August and is estimated to take three months. The abutments are what is required for the 3.5-ton limit and there is discussion with the work being done that it may be able to be increased once completed. The township manager said, our police department was advised we will need truck enforcement for the bridge to enforce whatever weight limit there is while we continue to work on design and funding for a full bridge replacement.

The 169-foot span bridge in the Edgely section of the township has been closed since February of 2023 after chunks of the bridge fell onto the ground and onto the Amtrak and SEPTA rail lines below. For the 16 months township officials have worked feverishly reviewing solutions, applying for grants, speaking, and meeting with  civil construction companies and leveraging county, state, and federal officials seeking help and support.

A community meeting held by the township in January involving officials from state, federal, and Amtrak offices seems to have put the project in motion. For almost a year there was little to no movement on what exactly should be done, due in part to Amtrak’s specific guidelines and requirements, one official, who asked not be identified said.

The project has gone back to using hi rail equipment for some of the work. H&K has their hi rail inspection scheduled for June 26th. H&K is planning to mobilize today and start setting up the construction laydown areas today and tomorrow (6/20 & 6/21). They plan to use a portion of Pitt Avenue that is closed and will set up a temporary chain link fence with a lock to secure all materials/equipment, Mazur said.

 

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Bristol Woman Charged for Pulling Fire Alarm, Shutting Power at Villager Lodge Motel

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A Bristol woman with a long history of mental health issues and convictions walked into a local motel grabbed a fire extinguisher, discharged its contents and subsequently pulled its fire alarm leading to her arrest early Thursday morning.

According to police, Chrystal Brewington, 33 walked into the Villager Lodge Motel located on the 5300 block of Bristol Pike at just after 4 a.m., Thursday, June 20. She grabbed the fire extinguisher from the wall and discharged its contents in the parking lot. A motel employee implored her to leave the premises immediately. Brewington, not following directions,  returned to the hotel lobby and pulled the fire alarm which led to police and the Third District Fire Company being dispatched to the motel.

Brewington was told to leave again by the establishment’s overnight clerk.

She walked  outside, returning moments later, headed for the breaker panel and shut off the electricity in the motel, the criminal complaint alleges.

Police noted the senselessness of Brewington’s actions since there was no actual fire at the motel.

A second motel employee told police Brewington damaged the alarm system with needed repairs costing $700.00.

She was charged with three misdemeanor offenses- false alarm, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, She was jailed with bond set at 10 percent of $20,000 and tentatively scheduled for preliminary hearing on July 3.

Prior to this incident Brewington was involved in an incident at the Rodeway Hotel in which Alfred Camp allegedly stabbed her in the leg. 

His preliminary hearing was scheduled for today, however case information has yet to be updated online.

 

 

 

 

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