Author: Katie Kohler

Delco is prime for human trafficking, group says

Human trafficking isn’t confined to movie plots in which Liam Neeson travels to foreign locales to reclaim his taken daughter. According to Habibah Smith and Joy Medori, co-chairs of Delaware County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (DCAT), Delaware County is a prime location with a vulnerable population. Delco’s location near major roadways, proximity to Philadelphia International Airport, and any number of hotels/motels makes it an attractive location for traffickers. A large middle and lower middle class population is also fertile ground for trafficking, especially those from dual-working and single parent households. “The suburbs are where the money is. Suburban men are...

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Turnout high for annual fair to help families in Chester

On an August day more fitting for the pool or beach, a record crowd of parents and children attended the 12th annual Chester Community Fair & Book Bag Giveaway with “Back to School” on their minds. Macedonia Seventh-Day Adventist Church Elder Tony Heath marveled at the size of the crowd still pouring into the church grounds on Yarnall St. in Chester during late Sunday afternoon. “We know we are well over a thousand,” Heath said about the turnout. “We want to make a difference and make change in the City of Chester. We want to aid people who are in...

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Pioneering prison leader remains guided by ‘humanity’

Hi! How are you today?” the downright cheery uniformed guard asked at the front desk of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Chester. Behind her, a man mopping the floors with the diligence of an Italian grandmother smiles and nods to the group walking by. It’s another day at the “city within a city” at SCI Chester. If SCI Chester is a city within a city, that would make Superintendent Marirosa Lamas the mayor. She isn’t keen on the comparison, as she tends to deflect praise to a staff she repeatedly refers to as “phenomenal.” No one runs a city by...

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Often Given: Help, Not Hope, Chester panhandler prays for more

Exit six off I-95 offers two options. A left sends you into the outskirts of Chester’s Sun Village with dilapidated homes and litter strewn empty lots. A right puts you directly onto Widener University’s campus, a school that recently reached record highs in a national student satisfaction survey and is regularly listed among the best law schools. Frank, a homeless man, sits on the side of the off-ramp, a common sight to the thousands of cars that pass daily. He holds a sign written on a tattered piece of cardboard that reads, “Homeless Anything Helps!!! God Bless” Late last...

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Bad News; Patients complain service still poor; knock no service on holidays

It’s been over three months but 77 year-old dialysis patient Verna immediately recognized the face of a reporter she only met once. “Nothing has changed. I’m still here waiting,” Verna says before a ‘hello.’ On March 22, The Spirit exclusively reported about issues DaVita Dialysis patients at Crozer Medical Center were having with Community Transit (CT), not the least of which were very long waits for shared-rides. “I hate it with a passion but I can’t do no better. I’m sick of it,” said Mary, a Chester resident who was waiting with Verna for a ride on a recent...

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