First Confirmed Zika Virus Case in Chester County

Zika virus micrograph

Zika virus micrograph image via CDC

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Zika virus in Chester County.

The woman had recently traveled to the Dominican Republic, according to the Inquirer, an area where Aedes mosquitos carry the Zika virus. She is not pregnant, was not hospitalized and has recovered.

The Chester County Health Department announced a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in response to the case. All county health care providers have been issued alerts and information regarding Zika virus risk reduction.

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Woman Stole More Than $650K Worth of Photographer’s Prints

Bree DeStephano (left); McCurry's famous National Geographic cover photo (right).

Bree DeStephano (left); Steve McCurry’s famous National Geographic cover photo (right).

A York County woman was sentenced to nine to 23 months in prison Thursday for stealing more than $650,000 worth of prints and books from the Chester County photographer who shot National Geographic’s famous Afghan Girl portrait, the Inquirer reports.

Bree DeStephano, 33, pleaded guilty in April to three felony charges related to theft and conspiracy for plundering the work of renowned photographer Steve McCurry, according the Inquirer. Read more »

Authorities ID Woman Found in Chester County Pond

Photos Courtesy Chester County District Attorney's Office

Photos Courtesy Chester County District Attorney’s Office

Officials have identified a woman found dead Monday tied to a cinderblock in a Chester County Pond as a 24-year-old pre-kindergarten teacher.

Ryan Stevyn Benjamin of Pottstown was found shortly before noon by a local resident in a section of Pigeon Creek – a small swimming hole just off Zieber Road in East Coventry Township.

Benjamin was identified using tattoos, jewelry and other physical features. Prosecutors believe she was dead before she was thrown into the pond. There are no indications that she drowned and no signs of strangulation, gunshot wounds or blunt force trauma.  Read more »

Suburban Beer Garden Trend Heading to Kennett Square

The Creamery in Kennett Square opens this weekend

The Creamery in Kennett Square opens this weekend

Kennett Square is the next ‘burb getting in on the beer garden game. This Friday, June 3rd, The Creamery pop-up beer garden will open.

The beer garden is located in the completely revamped creamery which had been empty and in disrepair for years. Owner Michael Bontrager collaborated with Philadelphia’s Groundswell Design Group (PHS Pop Up Gardens, Talula’s Garden Spruce Street Harbor Park) to turn the site into “lush, open pop-up space” featuring the beer garden, performance venues, garden courtyards and local art.

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Woman Found Dead, Tied to a Cinder Block in Chester County Pond

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L: A woman was found dead Monday in the pond off Zieber Road. She was wearing the shorts and jewelry shown above. | Photos courtesy of Google Maps and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office

Police on Monday found a dead woman tied to a cinder block in a pond in East Coventry Township, Pa., said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

The woman was located around 11:15 a.m. after a citizen reported seeing a body in a pond off Zieber Road. The pond, which is part of Pigeon Creek, is a popular swimming and fishing hole in the rural area.

The East Coventry Police Department, Chester County Detectives, Chester County Coroner’s Office and fire departments responded to the incident. The cinder block was discovered on the bottom of the pond when units attempted to retrieve the woman’s body from the water.

“Sadly, somebody threw this woman away like a piece of trash,” Hogan said in a statement. “Our first job is to identify the victim. Then we will find out how she died and who was involved.” Read more »

World of Beer Opens in Exton

World of Beer opens in Exton

World of Beer opens in Exton

World of Beer is opening its first Pennsylvania location today in Exton. Since 2007, World of Beer has opened more than 70 locations of its beer-centric tavern concept. World of Beer’s Exton location at 102 Main Street is 3,885 square feet with a 1,000 square feet patio. The bar and restaurant will have 50 beers on tap plus another 500 by bottle and can, with a sizeable number coming from Pennsylvania brewers.

World of Beer also offers “Infusion Towers” in all of its locations. The three-foot tall stainless steel tower allows the bars to infuse beer with herbs, coffee, fruit and other ingredients to create unique beers. For Exton’s grand opening, the bar will offer Liquid Hero Brewery’s Juste Le Bout with strawberries, basil and cucumber.

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DA: Man Stole $900K From Farm to Buy Luxury Cars, Bahamas Trip

Maserati suspect

Clifton Willson is charged with stealing more than $900,000 from a Chester County farm. He spent the money on things like two Maseratis. (Maserati badge logo by Tanner-Gas, via Wikimedia Commons, used under a Creative Commons license)

Clifton Willson worked part-time as a painter at a farm in western Chester County. He was fired from that job earlier this year, when police began investigating his involvement in an alleged criminal scheme.

Today, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced Wilson had been charged in the theft of more than $927,100 from a farm in Willistown Township. He used the money, Hogan says, to buy two Maserati vehicles, a Porsche SUV, a Land Rover, a rental home and a family vacation to the Bahamas — among other things.

“The defendant took advantage of his position of trust,” Hogan said in a release. “He stole checks, forged the victim’s signature, and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars all because of simple greed.” Read more »

Three High School Football Players Charged in “No Gay Thursday” Hazing

Chester County D.A. Thomas Hogan

Chester County D.A. Tom Hogan

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Three football players at Chester County’s Conestoga High School have been charged in connection with a hazing incident, District Attorney Tom Hogan announced today.

CBS3 reports the charges stem from an October 15 incident at the school. Officials say the victim was a freshman athlete. Read more »

Levante Brewing Company Elevates the Craft Experience With Beer and Dogs

levante brewing room 940

The tasting room at Levante Brewing in West Chester.

Dogs and beer have one trait in common—they just make life better. So when I heard that Levante Brewing Company allows dogs in their taproom, I had to go. It isn’t often that I can put my dog, Wyoming, on her leash and head out to get beers with my friends, so to say I was excited is an understatement.

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First Look: Victory Parkesburg Brewpub Is Now Open

The brewpub at the Victory Brewing Co. in Parkesburg | All photographs by Bradley Maule

The brewpub at the Victory Brewing Co. in Parkesburg | All photographs by Bradley Maule

Now that the owners of Victory Brewing have unveiled their newest brewery and restaurant to the public (it opened today for lunch), beer fans can eat, drink and learn at the biggest and most eco-friendly of their two brewery and three brewpub locations. Two years after beginning to brew out of Parkesburg, in Chester County, visitors can finally tour the EPA-approved brewery and relax at the two-story pub part of the brewpub that captivates the eye with 350 seats and a whole lot of reclaimed wood.

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