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Human Interest - Morrisville Borough

Bridge St. Lane Closure to Begin Wednesday for Safety Improvement Project in Morrisville

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A weekday lane closure is scheduled on Route 32 (Bridge Street) between Pennsylvania Avenue and Morris Avenue in Morrisville Borough,  on Wednesday, July 27, through Wednesday, November 30, from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM, under a local project to improve a safe connection for pedestrians and bicyclists traversing the Delaware Canal Towpath, Penn DOT announced last week.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area because backups and delays will occur. All scheduled activities are weather dependent.

Credit: Diana Munier

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

For a complete list of construction projects impacting state-owned highways in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, visit the District 6 Traffic Bulletin.

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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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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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Cops, Courts & Fire -Morrisville Borough

Morrisville Borough Manager, Councilman Resign, Interim Mgr & New Police Chief Hired

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Tuesday night’s Morrisville Borough Council meeting was filled with comings and goings of officials.

Almost three years to the day when Lower Bucks Source reported Morrisville Borough hired a new manager, Judith Danko turned in her resignation Tuesday.

She was hired months after the tragic passing of Scott Mitchell.

Her resignation is effective as of June 22nd.

Judith Darko
Credit: Kutztown Borough

Danko, whose salary was prorated upon hire, according to borough documents obtained through an open records request, was paid $135 K annually with a performance review clause.  If approved by council, that will bring her yearly salary to $140,000.00 annually. When hired,  she declined to answer question related to traveling back and forth from Morrisville to her home in the Bethlehem area.  A Lower Bucks Source 2021 open records request of her contract did not spell out the specifics of a pay-back plan for the cash strapped municipality at the time.

The Bucks County Courier Times, around the time budget discussions were ramping up, reported the borough paid for Danko’s  hotel stays and Pennsylvania Turnpike fees.

She brought with her  has over 20 years of borough management experience serving Slatington Borough (2017-2018), Freemansburg on two separate occasions for a total of 15 years and Bath Borough for just over 7 and 1/2 years when hired. 

Bristol Borough Manager Jim Dillon agreed to temporarily take on an interim role in Morrisville as he maintains his fulltime duties in Bristol Borough.  Both boroughs are similar in population size.

Dillon did not respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.

Morrisville Borough Council President Helen Hlahol, at Tuesday night’s meeting, thanked Bristol for allowing Dillon to help.

Council also approved the hiring of Richard Ciampa as the new Chief of Police.

In recent weeks, then Officer in Charge William Smith, turned down offers from Morrisville to lead the police department sources told this publication.

The borough terminated former Chief George McClay late last year. 

Credit: YouTube Screen Shot

McClay told Patch.com he reached an agreement with Morrisville for $200 K as  part of  a termination settlement, last month.

Councilman John Vitarelli’s submitted his letter of resignation as third ward councilman  effective June 18, 2024.

The borough is currently taking applications to fill the vacancy.

Mayor Gary Wallace did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story Thursday morning.

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