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State/County - Bensalem Township

Nearby: Northampton Man to Spend Up to Four Years In Sate Prison After Pleading Guilty to Killing Dog, Setting It on Fire



A 50-year-old man was sentenced to two to four years in state prison after pleading guilty on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, to killing his dog last year and then burning it on a barbecue grill.

Nikolay Lukyanchikov, of Northampton Township, entered an open guilty plea to counts of receiving stolen property, aggravated cruelty to animals, possessing an instrument of crime, cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person.

Calling his actions offensive, Common Pleas Judge Raymond F. McHugh sentenced Lukyanchikov to spend up to four years in state prison and also ordered that he could never own, possess, or care for any animals of any kind.

The dog, an 8-year-old greyhound named Bonanza, was rescued in February 2019 from a Macau, China, racetrack that animal rights activists described as “the worst hellhole for racing greyhounds in the world.” He was one of 118 greyhounds saved from the racetrack and cared for by the National Greyhound Adoption Program in Philadelphia.

He was adopted by Lukyanchikov in October 2019 who renamed the dog, Preacher.

The investigation began when Northampton Township police were dispatched at 7:12 a.m. on April 30, 2021, to a residence on Holly Knoll Drive for a report of a firepit and a couch on fire in the front yard.

Upon arrival, patrol officers found Lukyanchikov, the property owner, who was sitting on a bench near the fire. Police observed him throwing fake $100 bills into the fire and squirting it with lighter fluid. They also spotted a 9-mm handgun on the bench, which turned out to be a gun that fired blanks.

Police said Lukyanchikov was “highly intoxicated.”

Once the fire was extinguished, police spotted an unknown animal badly burned and charred on top of a small metal charcoal grill. The animal was later determined to be Lukyanchikov’s dog, Preacher.

A necropsy later determined that Preacher had been shot at least once.

A roommate told police that she heard several shots coming from Lukyanchikov’s bedroom and when she went to the bedroom to see what happened, she found that he had shot his dog. She said she barricaded herself in her room because she was afraid.

Police observed blood on the wall of the stairwell leading up to the second floor, and more blood on the floor and throughout Lukyanchikov’s second-floor bedroom. Police also found several shell casings on the floor, along with several other firearms in plain view throughout the bedroom.

During a search of the residence, police observed bullet holes in the floor of the bedroom and exit holes in the ceiling of the first floor living room.

Police served a search warrant and seized a 9-mm Baretta handgun with an extended magazine and five hollow point rounds.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James said Lukyanchikov was deemed a person not to possess a firearm under the law as the result of a prior involuntary commitment in 2011. Since that time, Lukyanchikov attempted to purchase a firearm in 2019 from a Bucks County gun store but was declined, wrote to the state to have his rights to possess a firearm restored, and asked his roommate to purchase him a firearm but she also refused. He eventually got a firearm by stealing a 9-mm Baretta from a friend’s widow a week before he used the gun to kill his dog, James said.

James told Judge McHugh that during an interview, Lukyanchikov said he shot the dog to put it out of its misery, but also because he was “having a rough day.” This case was investigated by Northampton Township Police Department, led by Detective Thomas Martin, and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James.


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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Bucks Co Appoints New CEO of Library System




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




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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