Blue poppies
Warm up with Longwood Gardens’ Orchid Extravaganza. Image: Longwood Gardens

With so much going on around town. Catch up on what you may have missed.  

Hello, West Chester, it’s Friday, February 1. The town is still under a chill but, let’s just say, it could be worse. This week has been filled with warnings, robberies and heart-breaking reports. I’m hoping for some better news next week. Let’s get started.

The armed robbery. Seven victims were robbed at gunpoint in their W. Walnut home last Friday, both the Patch and Daily Local are reporting. Two-unidentified men entered the home while the victims were playing video games. The robbers demanded cash, cell-phones and marijuana then ran out into the alley. Fortunately no one was injured. Contact West Chester police with any information about the suspects who are described as black men in their early 20s.

Tough news this week for Barclay Friends.

The sprinklers weren’t on. The Bureau of Alcohol, Fire and Tobacco report is out on the deadly 2017 fire at the Barclay Friends assisted living center. While the cause of the fire was not determined, investigators believe the sprinkler system had been turned off, or in their words: “Based on the totality of the investigation, it is the belief of the investigators that it was off during the fire.”

In response to the report, Barclay Friends penned a letter to residents, family members, and the community. In it they state the report: “confirms our worst fears.” They also announced they have taken steps to ensure that a similar fire can never happen again.

“In advance of the reopening of the Cotter skilled nursing building,” Executive Director Linda M. Sterthous writes, “we installed an all new fire alarm system, and all Life Safety systems were thoroughly inspected by multiple local and state authorities—including experts from Pennsylvania’s Department of Health’s Life Safety Division.”

Read more on the investigation.

School start times. Phoenixville School District announced it is delaying its start times for all high school, middle school and elementary school students beginning with the 2019-2020 school year to better align with circadian rhythms. The change is being made after a report from Chester County Intermediate Unit, an 18-month public comment period and growing research on the topic. This will make the second school district in the area to make the change. Unionville-Chadds Ford made the switch this year, “It’s made a tremendous difference for kids,” Unionville-Chadds Ford Superintendent John Sanville tell Keystone Crossroads’ reporter Sarah Hoover, “They’re more alert.” You can read more about the change here.   

Zach Zandi. Henderson soccer-star turned Villanova soccer-star, now has his feet set on professional-soccer star. The local midfielder recently signed a contract with the Bethlehem Steel an affiliate of the Philadelphia Union. The Steel season begins March 9th if you want to see Zandi on the field.

The warnings. If you are going out this weekend, call an Uber. DUI-enforcement will be out in full force for Superbowl weekend. If you receive a call from the Social Security Office (SSO), proceed with caution. Residents are reporting a Social Security phone scam. According to people who have received the calls, the caller states the recipient’s social security number has been suspended due to criminal activity. First, your SSN will never be suspended and while, the SSO may contact you it is only to follow up on an application you initiated. If you did not contact the SSO, they will not be contacting you. If you are unsure, here is the phone number you should call to verify 1-800-772-1213.

Looking for unique game day snacks consider shopping local

The freakin’ weekend. Personally, I can’t look but if you are going to a Super Bowl party this weekend here is how to use local retailers to up your snack game. And Longwood is back with its Orchid Extravaganza. Plus, so much for resolutions, it’s cookie time!

That’s it. Thank you for another great week. The Roundup will be back next Friday. In the meantime, you can find last week’s round up here and if you find you must get outside after this cold snap – check out a local park. There are 12 to choose from. And if you have a second, sign up to get our latest posts so we can talk next week!

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