Author: Michel Lee

Ghost Members: Members and wannabees are no-shows at school board meetings

By MichelLee The Chester Upland School District’s (CUSD) website shows a list of elected school board members that allows viewers to click on each of the nine members’ names to learn more about them and see their pictures. But you can’t. There are no pictures and no biographical information about any of them. You think you’ll catch them at a school board meeting? Wrong again. Eight of those nine elected members are consistently absent from monthly school board meeting, including its vice president, Joan Neal. The lone attendee is board President Anthony Johnson. The pattern of consistent no-shows is also apparent among both Democratic and Republican candidates campaigning for the expired terms on the school board. Chester GOP Chairman James “Jimmy” Johnson declined to comment about repeated absences among the Republican school board candidates. Chester Democratic CUSD board candidate Fred Green said he and his running mate, Christina Delva, have been “actively involved hosting youth organizations that conflict with the meetings.” “I’ll try to plan the next youth (organization meetings) around the school board meetings so I can attend,” Green told a reporter. Delva did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment, but another reporter said, last month both Green and Delva were seen at an evening youth event at Chester City Hall while the CUSD school board meeting was simultaneously taking place across the city. Apparently prompted...

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This bacteria is common, but bad

By JeanneBennett Spirit staff Pet Advocate Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with leptospira bacteria. These bacteria can be found worldwide in soil and water. Dogs are most commonly affected. Leptospirosis in cats is rare and appears to be mild, although very little is known about the disease in felines. Common risk factors for leptospirosis in dogs residing in the United States include exposure to, or drinking from, rivers, lakes or streams; roaming on rural properties (because of exposure to potentially infected wildlife, farm animals, or water sources); exposure to wild animal or farm animal species, even if...

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State rules against Chester in Right-to-Know case

By MichelLee Last week, the state’s Office of Open Records (OOR) found Chester City guilty for its lack of compliance for requested public information under the Right-To-Know Law (RTKL), as a result of an appeal filed by The Spirit. The appeal came as a result of requests for information that went unanswered by the city for financial records for the budget, salary ordinances, and lists of expenditures that span as far back as Dec. 2016. Under the RTKL, government agencies have five business days to respond to requested information, in writing. If needed, agencies can be granted a...

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Did politics claim Upland manager’s job?

By MichelLee Upland Borough Manager Greg Grillone, employed by the borough since April 2015, was recently terminated from his position because of what borough insiders are calling a case of political skullduggery, The Spirit has learned. Borough officials did not respond to several calls for comment, but The Spirit obtained a text message exchange between two borough officials, prompted after Councilman Ed Mitchell texted Grillone’s cell phone, to offer condolences about his termination. “…How’s the first day of your sanity?” Mitchell wrote Grillone, adding, “…We (will) all offer you great references should you need them. (You’re) a great...

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Residents plead for help against crime

By MichelLee @MichelTheSpirit Nearly a decade after all eyes were on Chester to watch the city’s burgeoning economic renaissance, residents of the once-touted residential development, Wellington Heights on Beverly Lane, filed into City Council chambers pleading for a solution to the ravaging criminal element that surrounds them. Each Wellington Heights resident bought into the dream that came with owning a roughly 1,500 sq. ft., three-bedroom newly built, modern home at, the time, was projected to be the epicenter of economic expansion, paired with an attractive first-time homebuyer incentive of up to $10,000 towards a down payment and closing...

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