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St. Joseph School re-dedicated in 60th anniversary gala celebration

By LorettaRodgers A dministrators, teachers, students and parishioners gathered last week to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the opening of St. Joseph School in Aston. Following mass, the congregation made its way to the school next door where St. Joseph pastor, Rev. Robert Vogan, presided over the school’s rededication. “May this school continue to be a center where students and teachers, filled with the words of your truth, will search for the wisdom that guides the Catholic Christian life and strive to stand by Christ as their teacher,” prayed Vogan. “We ask you to bless their families and...

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OldChesterPA reunion celebrates the legacy of the City of Chester

By LorettaRodgers I t was a walk down memory lane for Chester natives as current and former residents gathered for the OldChesterPA Reunion last Saturday afternoon on the outside deck at Harrah’s Casino and Racetrack. Hosted by the Chester Historical Preservation Committee, the reunion featured informational tables by the J. Lewis Crozer Library, Chester YWCA, Scott Paper Co., Delaware County Historical Society, and The Chester Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. Cameo appearances were made by “William Penn,” played by character actor/historian Tom Smith, and Penn’s friend “William Wade,” portrayed by...

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Delco DA announces equipment donation and a key departure

                                  SPIRIT staff report News from the War on Crime and Drugs has been bittersweet this week in the office of Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green. On Tuesday, Green announced that equipment used in an illegal marijuana growing operation broken up in Chester will be donated to Cheyney University and a West Philadelphia group to develop an experimental Urban Food Lab. The following day, Green announced the departure of Deputy District Attorney Katayoun Copeland, a key player in the prosecution of...

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Chester set to open Delco’s first prison re-entry center

SPIRITstaff report The Chester Prison Re-entry Collaborative is preparing to make history when it opens the first one-stop prison re-entry center in Delaware County to help people coming out of prison re-engage with the general population. Located in the Crozer Building, 419 Avenue of the States, Suite 407, in Chester, city, state and county officials are expected to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Chester Re-Entry Resource Center of Delaware County on Tuesday, Oct. 11th. The resource center is a result of a collaborative that began last year as the Mayor’s Prison Re-entry Task Force, according to Richard “Tut” Carter, the effort’s operations director and a driving force behind the effort. “In the winter of 2010, the City of Chester was hard hit by rising violent crime, unemployment and staggering recidivism rates,” Carter said. As a result, Chester Mayor Wendell N. Butler, Jr. assembled a diversified group from local government, law enforcement, the faith-based and grassroots communities and prison/re-entry advocates to facilitate and organize a comprehensive plan to address ex-offenders as they integrate back into society after prison, as well as those at-risk groups and individuals likely to fail out of school and become juvenile delinquents.” Carter said since its inception, the collaborative has… For the entire story pick up volume 4, issue 17 of the Chester...

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State to increase CCIS co-pays for families needing child care

  Starting this week, low-income, working families in Pennsylvania will have to dig a little deeper and pay more for child care out-of-pocket as the state Department of Public Welfare (DPW) increases the cost of co-payments for families receiving child care subsidy. Scheduled to go into effect this Monday, the General Assembly mandated the hike, ranging from eight to 11 percent of family income. Families receiving child care subsidy were notified last month. The lowest-income earning families (less than $18,530) will be affected the most, with co-pay increases ranging from 67 to 100 percent. The boost raises the co-pay for a typical family of three earning 150 percent of the poverty level ($27,795 annual income) from $40 per week to $46. The impact of this cost increase to struggling families, “will be devastating, causing parents to leave their jobs in order to care for children, or to place children in unsupervised or substandard settings while they work,” predicts Christie Balka, advocacy director at Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY). Serving approximately 136,000 children each month, Pennsylvania’s child care subsidy program was developed in the late 1990s to help low-income working parents remain in the workforce and move toward financial independence. The co-pay increases are the consequence of an 11.5 percent cut to the child care subsidy program this year. (The overall state budget was cut 3.4 percent.) Over...

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