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State/County - Bensalem Township

Bucks Woman Charged with Stealing 365 K from Employer

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A Milford Township woman has been charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the medical company she was an accountant for. 

Shae Kennedy Reber, 43, was arraigned Friday on seven felony counts stemming from the theft of $365,109 from the Michigan-based company and her efforts to conceal her crimes between 2013 and 2019.

Reber’s arrest comes as the result of a nearly year-long investigation into her criminal activity, authorities say which uncovered routine misuse of a company credit card for personal expenses and vacations as well as unauthorized check and wire transfers.

Reber effectively inflated her salary by tens of thousands every year through the use of the unauthorized transactions.

While employed with the company part-time in 2015, Reber paid herself an additional $26,870 in addition to her salary of $61,740, law enforcement officials said.  The following year, while officially earning at the same rate, Reber paid herself an additional $29,514.

When Reber’s employer made her a full-time staff member in 2017, she continued to steal despite more than doubling her official salary. That year, she took home an extra $67,532. Then in 2018, she paid herself $86,820 on top of her $129,000 salary.

In addition to the transfers, Reber used the company debit card to make numerous personal purchases, including trips to Chik-Fil-A, tickets for air travel, reservations at a hotel in Walt Disney World and a weekend stay in a luxury suite in upstate New York, court records show. 

She also used the debit card repeatedly at BJs Wholesale, to pay for a Netflix subscription and to make purchases on iTunes.

To cover her tracks, Reber disguised transactions – including the large-sum transfers to herself – by mislabeling them in bookkeeping software as payments to insurance companies and other groups.

This case was investigated by Pennsylvania State Police and is assigned for prosecution to Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber.

Reber was released on unsecured bail set by District Judge Regina Armitage at $500,000 with a preliminary hearing set for May 5.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Bucks Co Appoints New CEO of Library System

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Bucks County has a new library system director.

The Bucks County Free Library (BCFL) Board of Directors appointed Dana Barber as the library system’s new chief executive officer at their June 17, 2024 board meeting.

She assumed the role beginning on July 15.

Barber has served as director of the Margaret R Grundy Memorial Library in Bristol Borough for the past 10 years, with a focus on creating strategic partnerships to enhance library services.

She received the 2023 Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Library Association in recognition of her leadership skills.

“I’m looking forward to working with the dedicated team at BCFL to continue to enhance library services and foster meaningful relationships with patrons and partners,” Barber said.

Barber is excited by the new opportunity to share her vision for public library services as leader of the county system.

“Our libraries are vibrant community hubs providing access to high-quality information, essential support and education, and equitable spaces. They truly are for everyone!” she said.

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Martina Kominiarek, has served as the library’s CEO for more than 20 years.

“With Dana at the helm, I’m confident we’ll continue to thrive and innovate, serving our communities in even more dynamic and impactful ways,” she said.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Rep Davis: We’re Addressing Constituent Complaints on Proposed Aqua Rate Increase

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State Rep Tina Davis said recently we have heard your concerns regarding the proposed AQUA rate increase and I have signed on to a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission opposing AQUA’s request.

“Aqua made the request to the PUC, citing the need to improve the system’s infrastructure. While I agree that improvements are needed, customers’ bills currently include distribution system improvement charges, indicating that funds are already being allocated for the infrastructure updates.”

Also, the net income of Essential Utilities, AQUA’s parent company, grew 7% in 2023, therefore, it is apparent that the company is profitable and financially stable, Davis said

What can you do about this? Here is the link where you can file your concerns with the PUC regarding this proposal.

The PUC will also schedule public hearings on the proposed rate hike. Please follow my Facebook and X pages as we will update when the dates of the hearings are announced. she said.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Prokopiak Measure to Increase Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program Becomes Law as Part of State Budget Package

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State Rep. Jim Prokopiak’s bill that will help Pennsylvania’s economy by expanding the state Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program was included in a Fiscal Code bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Josh Shapiro on July 11.

Prokopiak initially proposed expanding the Historic Preservation Tax Credit from $5 million to $20 million, starting in 2025 as H.B. 2358. The language of the legislation was added into the Fiscal Code bill, which is part of the state budget package. 

 “Investing in preserving our historic structures does two things,” Prokopiak said. “It not only helps to better tell the story of our commonwealth’s history, but it also is an economic driver as it helps turn these structures into income-producing properties.”

 Every $1 million invested into an historic rehabilitation project generates 6.4 direct jobs and 5.6 indirect jobs in Pennsylvania, which outperforms every other industry, according to Prokopiak.

 Of the 37 states that have a similar tax credit, Pennsylvania had the fourth-lowest cap of $5 million. The increased investment is necessary, as the need for funding is greater than the cap, Prokopiak said. For the 2022-23 fiscal year, 31 projects requesting a total of $12.7 million in tax credits were forwarded to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for approval of the projects’ rehabilitation plan. With the annual program cap set at $5 million, 22 of those projects were ultimately awarded credits, using 100% of the total amount available.

 Prokopiak represents the 140th Legislative District comprising Falls, Morrisville, Tullytown and part of Middletown in Bucks County.

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