West Chester Weekly News Roundup

scoops ice cream
March is off to a beautiful start. Hope you’ve found an excuse to get outside.

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

It’s Friday, March 6. There was a murderer at the Quality Inn, while, coronavirus fears invaded the Borough. Saints Simon & Jude was closed due to the flu and I would seriously rethink a meal at the West Chester Diner. Fortunately, we have $1 Cannoli Day and a rocking new record store to look forward to. Grab a drink and let’s get going. 

A murder suspect at the Quality Inn hotel. If you were in the area Wednesday, you probably noticed the commotion. Police, ambulances and SWAT teams all descended on the Quality Inn at 943 South High Street after it was discovered Matthew J. Moser, wanted for the murder of his girlfriend in Lancaster County over the weekend, had barricaded himself inside. The multi-hour standoff finally ended at 7 p.m after police used a continuous spray of tear gas and his mom to lure him out unharmed. Mr. Moser will be returned to Lancaster County where he will be arraigned. 

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. This is a coronavirus update. On Monday it was reported Saints Simon and Jude School was closed due to an outbreak of the flu and stomach virus. That same day a letter was sent from Superintendent Jim Scanlon assuring parents and staff the school district was all over this coronavirus thing. 

A couple things to note: 

  • School closing due to an outbreak is the decision of state and local authorities, not the district alone
  • Nightly cleanings of the schools have been stepped up
  • Sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands frequently
  • If you have questions, visit the Chester County Health Department for more information.  

Latest updates: In other coronavirus news, Pennsylvania is now reporting six presumptive cases of the virus, and West Chester University has banned all University travel and cancelled all classes for the rest of the year. Henderson High School has been closed, cleaned and reopened so has, SS&J and as of this writing there are still no recorded cases of the virus in Chester County.

If you have lingering questions about the COVID-19 or the coronavirus, this is the meeting for you

It’s been a busy year, and I’m excited for 2020.”

-Will Williams, Sustainability Director, Borough of West Chester

walnut street
West Chester needs your help keeping things green and clean.

Can I get a little help here? West Chester Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) is looking for a few friends. In a letter that went out this week from West Chester Sustainability Director Will Williams, he shared the SAC would like to expand their circle of influence by drawing in more members. According to the letter, “The group will consist of four issue-focused teams (Energy & Green Building, Zero-Waste, Environment & Ecosystems, and Transportation) that will allow members to focus their involvement.” 

On the docket for the Sustainability Advisory Committee this year: 

Interested in helping in one of these areas? Here’s the registration form. Of course, like any good friend group, you’ll have to be accepted first.

life skills house
This cute little house on N. Penn will serve as the home of the new Life Skills Transition program (assuming it passes its zoning hearing next week.)

It’s all in the fine print. Back in December, The West Chester Area School board decided to purchase 402 N. Penn Street. The property, they envision, will be set up as a fully functioning apartment where students with special needs can practice daily living skills like budgeting, cooking, cleaning and laundry – that is if they can get an exemption to the Borough Housing code to use the property for educational purposes. The zoning hearing is next week

The program which will be staffed by WCASD personnel will save the district $125,000 a year by allowing them to bring in house services currently being outsourced to the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU). 

There is a flying insect control light device located in the kitchen prep area with potential to contaminate food and equipment.” 

-Chester County Health Department

When there’s a fly in your soup. Some of you may have seen this coming, but the West Chester Diner is now under the watchful eye of the Chester County Health Inspector after being written up for a whopping 11 violations including multiple directives to clean and sanitize, just about everything. 

Just note, they have been out of compliance more than they’ve been in over the last two years and there are plenty of lovely places in town to get the diner experience.  

Also out of compliance this month, Stumpy Hatchet House but mostly because a few unfinished touches, like the bathroom floors and sealing the backsplash. 

henderson
Henderson High School

Time is up. Pencils down. SAT scores for 2019 are in and West Chester high school students have put up some respectable numbers. 

Here are the SAT averages for each West Chester High School:  

  • Rustin scored best among West Chester high schools with an average SAT total of 1200.3 (606.5 Math; 593.8 verbal), 
  • Followed by Henderson with an average total of 1176.1 (586.1 math; 590 verbal) and
  • East with an average total of 1160.3 (581.1 math; 579.2 verbal)

Rustin’s scores placed it fifth among the 14 high schools in the county, Henderson was sixth and East ninth.

The Downingtown STEM Academy students had the highest scores with an average total of 1359 (688.8 math, 670.2 verbal). 

“It left us all feeling inspired and ready to expand on the music we create every day.”

-Liz Shafman, Rustin’s orchestra director

So what are you extra-curriculars? Rustin Orchestra recently hosted four members of the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra for a Philadelphia Orchestra Master Class. The students were able to collaborate with the musicians and test out a few pieces they had been working on since February. 

The warnings. Stay in your lane. Want to get out on your bike now that the weather is warming up, but not sure the best way to navigate busy Borough streets? Never fear, the West Chester Public Library has two free courses on safe cycling coming your way. Choose from March 24 or March 31 both at 5:15 p.m.

Also, watch out for falling power lines

East Boys_PA Preplive
Conference champs! Photo credit: PA Prep Live

The accolades. Congratulations to the East Boys basketball team on clinching the PIAA District 1 5A Champion last weekend. They beat up on Penn Wood – 67-43 – in the finals to secure the title. East will open state play against Gettysburg tonight at 7:30 at Norristown Area High School. Go Vikings!

Also, congratulations to the White family. Thanks to a strong Fast Money performance, the West Chester family took home a $20,000 payout on Family Feud. 

everhart park_winter2020-3
Who’s ready to help keep our creeks clean?

Pay it forward. Grab your waders and prepare to get dirty. The CRC Watershed Association is looking for volunteers to help cleanup Goose Creek. The annual event takes place April 4 as part of the larger CRC (Chester-Ridely-Crum) Stream Cleanup. If you are interested in joining, please register online as soon as possible. (Select Site 112 for West Chester Borough). The cleanup crew will meet at the Public Works Department at 9:00 for coffee and a safety review. P.S. Don’t forget your gloves!

Prefer to put your money where your mouth is? Check out the Chef’s Best Competition on March 19. Sample the food and cast your vote as Ram’s Head, Opa Taverna, Slow Hand and VuDu Lounge battle it out for the title of “Chef’s Best.” Tickets are $60 and all proceeds go to support ACT in Faith of Greater West Chester, an interfaith organization that seeks to empower un- and underemployed West Chester residents. Purchase your tickets here

Hello. To perhaps, the best thing I’ve heard in awhile. Dia Doce cupcakes and Market Street Grill have partnered on a new stuffed French toast cupcake. It is a vanilla cinnamon swirl cake with a gooey cinnamon-maple cheesecake center, a cream cheese frosting and topped with a piece of Market Street Grill French toast. 

Also, welcome, to Charlie & Co. a new barbershop now open on 130 North Church Street. 

And finally, hello to Hop Fidelity, part record store, part pub, 100% too cool for school. Find them at 121 W. Market Street. Stop by this weekend when they’ll be hosting East Branch Brewing. 

Goodbye. To another piece of single-use plastic. I just learned this week, Hillsdale Elementary has introduced bottle-fillers at their drinking fountain. Someone told me our School District doesn’t recycle, so until then I am celebrating all the little wins. Got more examples of school’s in the district cutting waste or greening their campus? Send them my way.  

sunset2
Sun setting on East Washington.

The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? We are popping out of town to explore Pittsburgh. We are going to take in the children’s museum and this restaurant. I’m excited. 

I’m also excited for $1 cannoli day. Yay. 

And attention all you parents of budding thespians – West Chester University’s WCU Live! Performing Arts Series is holding auditions to cast 50(!) local children, grades K-12, in Missoula Children’s Theatre “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Auditions are March 9, 4:30 p.m. 

Finally, it’s official, the third annual West Chester Beer Fest has been added to Facebook. Save the date: June 27 at the Melton Center. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Mark your calendars: 

  • Opus One Dance Project, Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center, Mar. 6-7
  • Introduction to Meditation, West Chester Public Library, Mar. 7
  • Afrobeats Workshop and Master Class, Oscar Lasko YMCA, Mar. 7
  • Auditions for “The Emperor’s New Clothes, Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, Mar. 9 – open to kids K-12 
  • $1 Cannoli Day, Gemelli, Mar. 10
  • Literacy Links Family Fun Round, West Chester Public Library, Mar. 14
  • The Royal Family – a conversation with Jeff Groff, Chester County Historical Society, Mar. 15
  • Social Media Safety Night, Henderson, Mar. 16
  • Kennett Symphony “Compose Yourself” children’s concert, Rustin High School, Mar. 22
  • Levante Beer Dinner, Side Bar, Mar. 23

Ever have one of those days you feel like you’re missing something? Hopefully not, but if I am, you’ll let me know! That’s it for this week. Here’s last week’s Roundup if you missed it and it looks like a perfect weekend to give the County’s West Chester walking tour a whirl. 

Enjoy your week and if you’re not following yet, take a minute. It’s all West Chester, all the time. You know you love it here.

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