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Archive: May, 2013

POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 4:14 PM

An annual drug take-back program run by a state representative more than doubled the amout of drugs collected at last year's event, officials said.

The recycling, shredding and drug take-back event, hosted each year by State Rep. Duane Milne, encourages residents to drop off unwanted appliances and electronics, scrap paper and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Milne's event this year, held on April 27, yielded nearly 575 pounds of meds -- compared to just 200 pounds last year.

Since prescription medications carry such potential for abuse, events like Milne's help residents dispose of unused or expired drugs safely. Drug Enforcement Administration events held across the country on April 27 -- otherwise known as National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day -- yielded a combined 371 tons of medication.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 4:05 PM

For the past 22 years, students from around the state have gathered to compete in the Pennsylvania State Academic Competition -- and for the past four years, the winners have hailed from schools in Chester County.

A team of four students from Conestoga High School in Berwyn snagged the top honor this year; participants must answer questions on world history, literature, American history, science, current events and "potpurri" -- anything and everything. This year's winning question hinged on participants' knowledge of sports: the Conestoga team correctly identified the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Americans as the two teams who competed in the first  World Series in 1903.

Students compete throughout the year to gain entry to the state-wide competition on May 3. The winners get a trophy and $2,000 toward their school's scholarship fund.

POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 12:20 PM

After a heated, months-long community debate, Longwood Gardens received the go-ahead from Kennett Township to tear down three historic houses on its sprawing property in southern Chester County.

Kennett Township supervisors voted 2-1 Tuesday to allow Longwood to demolish the houses after tabling the decision several times. The supervisor who voted against granting a demolition permit, township manager Lisa Moore said, had wanted to wait another 15 days before making a final decision.

The three houses date to the 1920s and once housed Longwood employees. Preservationsists say they're prime examples of the work of E. William Martin, who designed a number of buildings in Chester County and Wilmington, Del.

POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 4:07 PM

Chester County detectives have arrested a West Vincent man who, they say, was running "a major marijuana grow operation" in his house.

On Tuesday evening, detectives entered the home of Christian Titone, 54, on a search warrant. Inside, they found 188 marijuana plants -- part of what Chester County prosecutors called a "sophisticated hydroponic grow operation" that included lights, ventilation and an irrigation system, according to court documents.

Titone had also set up a high-tech surveillance system that allowed him to monitor everything inside and outside the house from HD monitors, detectives said. The detectives also found processed, ready-to-sell marijuana in 12 different strains -- with names like "Afrodite Mother" and "Ace of Spades," they said.

POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2013, 6:41 PM

Sunil Tripathi's family hung photos throughout a chapel on the Brown University campus, welcomed friends and family into the small sanctuary and then simply sat in silence.

It's a tradition in Quaker services -- the idea being that anyone who feels moved to speak should do so. And during the memorial service last Saturday, those who knew and loved the 22-year-old Brown student and Radnor native did just that.

Sunil Tripathi went missing about a month ago in Providence; his family said he had suffered from depression and left a vague note that hinted at suicidal intent. But the Tripathis held out hope, marshaling an extraordinary social media campaign and traveling from Pennsylvania to Providence, R.I. to search for him full-time.

About this blog
Aubrey Whelan covers Chester County for the Inquirer. A native of a Philadelphia suburb so small it doesn't have a zip code, she grew up reading the Inquirer and was thrilled to take a job there in fall 2012. Previously, she covered crime, courts and D.C.'s Occupy movement for the Washington Examiner. Aubrey graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she worked for the award-winning campus newspaper and majored in journalism and French. Contact her at 215-495-5855 or You can also follow her on Twitter at

Aubrey Whelan
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