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Wesley House is first in state to install geothermal energy

Wesley House, the 17-room former mansion at 701 Madison St., Chester, that serves homeless single women and families, is installing a geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that relies primarily on the Earth’s natural thermal energy, a renewable resource, to heat or cool a house or multi-family dwelling. The facility will be just one of a few shelters in the country using a geothermal system and the first in Pennsylvania. Edward T. Coleman, chief executive officer of the Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc. (CAADC) that operates the facility, and John P. DiEnna, Jr., CAADC board...

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Protest over school merger leaves unanswered questions for parents

By JessicaBautista jbautista@chesterspirit.com Several drivers honked their horns for “a better education” as parents and students protested in front of the Chester-Upland School District’s (CUSD) administration building, shortly before its regular board meeting last week. The protest, following a series of tense school board meetings and tough decisions as the school board is forced to cope with a 2011–2012 budget nearly $20 million less than last year, came as a result for the district’s decision to merge two of its “choice” schools, according to parent Christina Wilmer. The district recently determined that because of budgetary issues, merging Smedley Allied...

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New resident wins annual Soap Box Derby

[slideshow id=19] By LorettaRodgers lrodgers@chesterspirit.com Prior to winning the City of Chester’s fourth annual Soapbox Derby on Saturday afternoon, nine-year-old Kenneth Alexis-Ramos was anticipating victory. “I really want to win a trophy so I can put it in my house,” he said. “My family would like that a lot.” And win he did! Alexis-Ramos, who moved to the United States from Puerto Rico this summer, represented the Earl L. Foster Funeral Home and was victorious in every heat of the race. In the final, he defeated a car representing Chester City Council. “This is the most exciting thing that...

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CTC named Coalition of the Year as force for change in Chester area

By JessicaBautista jbautista@chesterspirit.com The Communities that Care (CTC) Network of Delaware County formally received honors last week as the 2011 Pennsylvania Prevention Coalition of the Year and after nearly two decades of humanitarian work, the network has proven it hasn’t been meeting for the sake of meeting every second Thursday of the month. The award was first announced at the annual Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) conference at Penn State University in early June. Neilda E. Mott, CTC network director, accepted the award. Chester was among the first communities in Pennsylvania in 1994 to adopt the CTC model with funding...

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Chester mayor proposes major new community policing initiative to stem violence and disrespect

SPIRITstaff report newsdesk@chesterspirit.com In the wake of recent unrest stemming from the fatal shooting of a young man allegedly by a city police officer, Chester Mayor Wendell N. Butler, Jr. is taking the long view and asking key law enforcement partners to rally for a long-term solution in an unprecedented community policing effort. Reeling from the Aug. 5th shooting death of 21-year-old Daniel “Pooh Bear” Simms, community reaction played out in a meeting of over 100 people last week and subsequent protests over the internet and in person that included a pre-teen using the F-word in addressing Butler and Police Chief Darren Alston, the mayor sent a letter to leaders of the Chester-Upland School District, the Chester Housing Authority, the Crozer-Keystone Health System and Widener University, all entities with separate police and security departments, requesting they participate in the development of a formal effort to provide police officers as role models to elementary students at all schools – public, charter, private and parochial. Butler said he arrived at this decision after “a lot of prayer and deep, thoughtful analysis.” In addition, Butler said… For the entire story pick up volume 4, issue 11 of the Chester...

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