Every year brings with it headlines that have our readers on the edge of their seats. From the disgrace of a Downingtown School Resource Officer arrested for the corruption of minors to a judge scolding the Borough of Parkesburg for violating the U.S. Constitution, 2019 was no exception.
Here are the top 10 news stories that captivated us this year:
10. Lincoln University Rises to Top 20 in New U.S. News Rankings
September 10, 2019 — Lincoln University’s reputation for excellence in scholarship and service continues to earn the University national accolades. U.S. News and World Report placed Lincoln 19th on its 2020 ranking of the nation’s top 20 historically black colleges and universities. Lincoln moved up eight places after being ranked 27th last year. The announcement marks the fourth consecutive year that the publication has ranked Lincoln among the top 30 institutions.
9. Downingtown School Resource Officer Arrested for Corruption of Minors
July 31, 2019 — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office and Downingtown Police Department announced the arrest of Stefanie Dunne for the corruption of minors. The defendant was a police officer with Downingtown Borough who served as a school resource officer for Downingtown West High School. The victim was a former student at the high school.
8. Downingtown Man Sentenced to Nearly Six Years in Prison for Defrauding PennDOT Disadvantaged Business Program
November 7, 2019 — United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Stamatios “Tom” Kousisis, 62, of Downingtown, PA was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, and a $17,500 fine by United States District Judge Wendy Beetlestone for a multi-million dollar fraud he perpetrated against the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Kousisis was found guilty of wire fraud and related charges after a 19-day jury trial in August 2018.
7. Chester County Attorney Joshua Janis Arrested for Fifth Time
February 16, 2019 — Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of attorney Joshua Janis on charges of defrauding his mother-in-law of $5,000. The defendant already has been arrested three times for defrauding over 30 former clients and once for theft charges relating to his wife as a victim. The defendant was admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania in 2006. His law license was suspended for five years in 2015. The total sum of alleged thefts from former clients is now in excess of $100,000, in addition to the thefts from his mother-in-law.
6. Chester County District Attorney’s Office Serves Formal Notice Regarding Pipeline
September 24, 2019 — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office served formal notice on Energy Transfer L.P., Energy Transfer Operating, L.P., Sunoco Logistics Partners Operations, L.P., and Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (collectively “Energy Transfer Entities”) of intent to bring a civil public nuisance action against those entities regarding the construction and operation of the Mariner East pipeline project. A public nuisance is an activity that threatens public health, safety, or welfare.
5. Longtime Principal Resigns from Octorara Area School District
August 19, 2019 — Dr. Scott Rohrer resigned his position as the longtime principal of the Octorara Jr/Sr High School. The Octorara Area School District confirmed the resignation on their official Facebook Group today, informing members that Dr. Rohrer accepted a position with another school district.
4. Coatesville Woman, Nursing Assistant Receives Jail Sentence for Stealing from Wheelchair-Bound Veteran
September 5, 2019 — United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jacoya Brazzle, 31, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to eight months’ incarceration, five years supervised release and full restitution by United States Timothy J. Savage for stealing money from a veteran patient in her care.
3. Unattended Veterans Service Organized by the Chester County Coroner’s Office
August 17, 2019 — The community is invited to join the Chester County Coroner’s Office at the Unattended Veterans Service at Washington Crossing National Cemetery. The ceremony will be held at 830 Highland Road, Newtown PA, 18940 on Thursday, August 29th at 2 pm. The Coroner’s Office will be interring the cremated remains of nine unclaimed veterans from the county with full military honors.
2. Parkesburg Violated the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause, States Judge
August 29, 2019 — The Borough of Parkesburg sought a judgment of nearly $600,000.00 against Joseph Rzonca, as a fine for exposed Tyvek wrap on a house worth only $130,000.00, according to County Court of Common Pleas documents. “While this demand seems absurd, it is no joke,” wrote the Honorable Jeffrey R. Sommer in his decision.
1. Attorney General Announces Lawsuit Against Chester County Hockey Equipment Supplier
October 29, 2019 — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced a lawsuit against Pottstown-based Monster Hockey Inc. and its president and CEO, Jeffrey Laum, alleging the defendants entered into contracts with consumers to sell hockey equipment and related supplies through its website, but failed to deliver products and failed to refund consumers’ money.
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