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State/County - Bensalem Township

Cop Killers Death Sentence Upheld by PA Supreme Court

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, again upheld the death sentence of Robert Anthony Flor, convicted of killing Newtown Borough Police Officer Brian Gregg in 2005.

On Sept. 29. 2005, Flor was taken into custody for suspected drunk driving and was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for blood-alcohol testing. There, Flor took a police officer’s weapon and started firing, killing Gregg, and wounding officer James Warunek and hospital employee Joseph Epp.

Credit: Bucks Co DA’s Office

Gregg was 46 years old and had been a full-time officer for the borough for nearly a year after previously working there as a part-time officer.  Flor pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and nolo contendre to 39 other counts, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, and robbery. A jury unanimously voted to impose the death penalty in 2006 for the first-degree murder of Officer Gregg.

That sentence was affirmed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2010.

Flor then filed a petition under the Post Conviction Relief Act. His primary claim was that he is intellectually disabled and therefore legally ineligible for the death penalty. After numerous hearings over the course of several years, Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alan M. Rubenstein rejected Flor’s claim of intellectual disability and denied his petition in 2018.

Flor, 54, appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and today, a majority of the Court affirmed Judge Rubenstein’s decision and agreed that Flor was not intellectually disabled.

“Robert Flor was convicted of killing police officer Brian Gregg, shooting police officer James Warunek, and shooting hospital employee Joseph Epp in 2006 and has been trying to get off of death row ever since,” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. “All he offers are excuses. We will meet him at every attempt he makes to evade his death sentence, which he earned.”

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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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