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Delaware County Daily Times Newspaper Archive: September 21, 1976 - Page 1

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Publication: Delaware County Daily Times

Location: Chester, Pennsylvania

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   Delaware County Daily Times (Newspaper) - September 21, 1976, Chester, Pennsylvania                              Delaware County ANNIVIMAtT Ui'lauar tTTiL 1876 1976 MOTOR ROLTE 90 CENTS Tuesday, September 21.1976 PRICE: FIFTEEN CENTS Foundation provides money for funding DA's new program to aid witnesses, crime victims By MARTIN HALSTUK Daily Times Staff Writer MEDIA COURTHOUSE-The Delaware County District At- torney's Office has taken a major step in "making the criminal justice system more said Dist. Atty. Frank T. Hazel Monday in announcing the establishment of a Victim-Witness Service Project. The new agency is the first of its kind in the four-county suburban Philadelphia region, Hazel said. Hazel said the county has received from the William Perm Foundation in Philadelphia to establish the office, which will be headed by Wendell M. Clark. Clark is an administrative assistant in the district attorney's office. The Foundation, established in 1945, distributes grants for projects it considers worthy, Hazel said. Grants have been awarded in areas of conservation, cultural programs, housing, medical research and criminal justice. "Every crime involves said Hazel, "My feeling, and the feeling of those in this office, is that we must consider not only the legal problems but the human problems.'' Hazel said the criminal justice system has "in large measure, neglected to adequately consider the truamatic effect and problems encountered by victims of crime and witnesses to those crimes." The new agency will serve a variety of needs. These include psychological counseling, a referral service to community organizations such as Women Against Rape a telephone hot-line to provide immediate crisis in- tervention and limited tran- sportation to and from the cour- thouse. One of the major aspects of the program is the institution of an 'on- call" communication relay for witnesses, said John J. Crane, Chief Deputy Asst. Dist. Atty., who will oversee the department's operation. The procedure has been for wit- nesses, and this would include police, to spend a full day in the courthouse waiting to be called to the stand. Sometimes, because of the delays that often arise during a trial, a witness may have to wait several days. This becomes expensive for the witness, who might not be paid by his employer for the lost time, and for the municipalities that pay the overtime salaries for police waiting to testify, Hazel said. Witnesses now will be notified one to two hours in advance. Also witnesses have had no place to wait. On any day at the courthouse, witnesses can" be seen wandering in the halls or waiting outside a courtroom (where there are no seats In many instances, a witness is not allowed in the cour- troom before being called to testify. And, in those cases where the witness may wait inside, Hazel said, "it's a traumatic experience for a witness to be sitting next to a defendant in the same pew. The lobby of the District At- torney's office will be renovated for a witness-victim waiting lounge, Hazel said. Hazel said the rights of victims are "substantially less than the rights of the people accused of the crime." "Certainly, that same con- sideration should go to people that have been the victims of crime and those that would be called as wit- he said. Another aspect of the program, Hazel pointed out, is that victims will be brought directly into plea bargaining and pre-sentencing talks. "As a result of future public awareness through the Clark said, "we hope that victims as well as witnesses will want to become more involved." The seed money provided by the Foundation will be distributed over a period of three years at the rate of per year for the first two years, and for the third year. "It is our hope that by the third year..., it (the program's funding) will be taken over entirely by the county of Hazel said. Aside from Clark, the director, the staff will include a community organizer, a senior coordinator, a secretary-receptionist and three Clerical personnel. Hazel said the screening of new employes will begin immediately and the office will be operational by Nov. 1. Tinicum Donders inances TINICUM-With budget preparation time approaching, township commissioners Monday night were concerned with finances. New equipment for both the wading pool and waste treatment plant are already anticipated ex- penses in the 1977 budget which will suffer a loss of revenue from the Lester Industrial Complex destroyed by fire. Also, actual real estate income from Westinghouse Corporation is unknown until the outcome of ap- peals f jJed by both the company and the Interboro School District, In addition, the township must hold nearly in 1976 taxes already received from Westinghouse. If the reduction in assessment given the company earlier this year is upheld in ap- peals, that amount must be refun- ded. Commissioners are exploring avenues of additional revenue in- cluding the use of a recent state law which enables them to turn off water supplies to delinquent sewer rent accounts. About was given as the amount owing from these accounts, according to Finance Commissioner Joseph Kastor. Ex-Chester man wins first round in ballot fight Ridley Park celebrates Benjamin Franklin came to Ridley Township Sunday but be was disguised as Joseph Baransky of the township's business was it the other way around. In any event, Baransky, or Franklin, was one of hundreds who turned out for the bigparade. That's Mrs. Ann Klarman, post mistress at Folsom, who dressed up in colonial clothes for the big event. Chester ministers urge high voter registration By DUKE HORSHOCK Daily Times Staff Writer Cocks, ad- ministrative assistant to U.S. Rep. Andrew Young told about 200 persons attending a voter registration rally at the Calvary Baptist Church Monday to "use what you got to get what you want." Cooks, who explained that Young was detained on the House of Representatives' floor in Washington, D.C., to vote on 26 bills, advised the audience: "If he doesn't ever get here in Chester, you've got to make it, and you have the inspiration already." Cooks was referring to the round of speakers who preceded him with spirited talks about voter registration and the enthusiastic reception by the audience. Rev. Phillip Accooe, pastor of the AME Church, said that a person is not a citizen unless he votes. He said it is a religious duty to elect "those who will guide and lead this nation in the presence of God." Ministers of about 25 Chester churches encouraged participation from their congregations in helping to make the week-long drive to register voters a success. Repor- tedly there are to persons in Chester who are eligible to vote but are not registered. William A. Spingler, Delaware County Council member, said that postcard registration provides an excellent opportunity to vote. "And the only way we're going to get things changed is if people get in- volved and he said. Rev. Johnny Monroe, pastor of the Thomas M. Thomas Memorial Church, said if citizens loved the city, they would volunteer to go door-to-door from to p.m., from Tuesday through Friday, and encourage residents to register. "The power (to make things happen within the system) is in the ballot box, "he said. State Rep. Dave Richardson (201st Dist. in Philadelphia) made a passionate speech urging the people to make politics a profession of in- tegrity by electing only those can- didates who can relate to people. He said Chester needs a and that adults must uphold their voting responsibilities and thereby give good example by acting and making a commitment to the community. Richardson was given a standing ovation. Cooks, who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King on registration drives in the South in the 60's, said that 1976 is a very important year for the country and for Chester. He said there's no "get out the vote cam- paign" in black communities of Macon, Ga., and other Southern cities because 80 to 90 per cent of the people vote. "They outvote the white community, and they're electing people, "he said. Cooks characterized the past eight years as a "period of absolute void in good government leadership with no sense of direction." He said that although some in the audience were attending the rally on a non-partisan basis, he urged support of Democratic Presidential Candidate Jimmy Carter. He said Carter is a man who is compassionate of people's needs. By ELLS EDWARDS Dally Times Staff Writer New Castle County Board of Elections Monday night voted to ignore Delaware Attorney General Richard R. Wier, Jr.'s request that the board disqualify embattled Democratic candidate for county president Edward F. (Pete) Peterson on the grounds that Peterson is unfit to hold public office under Delaware law. As a result, Wier said that he will ask either the state Superior Court or Court of Chancery to remove Peterson's name from the November ballot. Peterson, 53, a former Chester resident and son of a former Chester policeman, has been the target of an investigation by the Attorney General's office following the disclosure last week of his record of sex crimes convictions in Delaware County. Peterson, who served as county Democratic Party chairman for the last eight years until his resignation last spring, contends that a full pardon, granted in 1969 by then- Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond P. Shafer, qualifies him to seek public office in Delaware. Wier, however, said Monday night that he will seek a court injunction barring Peterson's candidacy on the grounds that a pardon does not alter the prohibition against candidates "deemed to have committed an infamous crime" spelled out in Article II, Section 21 of the state constitution. Daily The 10-member Board of Elections was informed of Wier's opinion three hours before its 7 p.m. Monday meeting. The board, however, voted not to decertify Peterson after the candidate's attorney, Harvey Rubenstein, argued that Peterson's name could be removed from the November ballot only by court ac- tion. "Since he (Peterson) was af- firmed by the Democratic party voters in the Sept. 11 primary election, he should not be disqualified at this late date by administrative Rubenstein said. "If the state wishes to prove that his candidacy is illegal, it must be done in a court of law." Lower Chi sets earlier curfew Bridge Classified Comics Crossword Editorials Horoscope 22 18-21 22-23 23 6 23 Movies Obits Outlook Sports TV Weather 16 4 8-9 13-17 22 LOWER CHICHESTER -An hour earlier curfew was approved Monday night by Lower Chichester Commissioners. A siren will sound at 8 p.m. and all youths under 18 must be off the streets by then, beginning Friday. Previous curfew was 9 p.m. for the siren and p.m. for clearing the streets. Fines attached to the curfew law are for the first offense; and for the second and third offenses, respectively. In announcing the curfew change, which came in connection with a discussion of township vandalism and plans to assist with the rebuilding of Linwood School, which was destroyed by fire, Rocco Gaspari, president of the township commissioners said: "This is going to hurt some teenagers but curfews aren't made for good kids. Good kids have to suffer for the bad....Really, the curfew is made for parents. It's up to them to keep the kids off the streets." Youths attending school or youth center activities will be given time to return home after these functions, Gaspari said. Parents youngsters on errands am should give them notes, he said. Thomas Gray, spokesman for a group of youths interested in playing a hockey marathon to oenefit restoration of the school, secured township support for the event, scheduled to start between 9 and 10 p.m. Friday. sencHn; fter curfe Gray told me cG.Tjnlssioners he represented 17 youths ranging in age from 14 to 20 who proposed to play hockey as long as they can- hopefully for 40 hours. Donations from area businesses and residents will be accepted during the marathon, which is scheduled at the newly constructed hockey court adjacent to Linwood Youth Center. Gaspari assured Grey the group will get "100 per cent cooperation" from the township. He said: "I think this is a nice gesture from good kids in the township. I only hope some parents and other adults will be there to help supervise." He promised to have the hockey court in playing condition and said he would work on it beginning at 6 p m., Wednesday. Volunteer assistance with the job will be welcome, he said. Gaspari also promised to enlist police aid in securing the area during the marathon. He further reported that several youths recently caught vandalizing the area were fined each for disorderly conduct. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crowley, of 1529 Market St., who accompanied the youths seeking support tor the marathon, commended the firemen, policemen and others who assisted in fighting the school fire. Crowley also proposed organization of a citizens' group to patrol the township and inform police of problems. As murder trial goes to jury Dying girl's statement revealed in court MEDIA COURTHOUSE-The defense rested Monday in the trial of Ralph Bocceila, 24, of the 1000 block Darby Road, Prospect Park, who faces murder charges in the stab- bing death of a 19-year-old Norwood girl last March. The case will go to the jury today after instructions from Delaware County Judge Robert F. Kelly. Cheryl Ann Smith, of the 500 block Devon Road, was stabbed with a kitchen knife while she lay in her bed. She was discovered nude and bleeding from an abdominal wound on the front steps of her neighbors' home in the early morning hours of March. 6. She lived at the Norwood residence with her father, Howard Smith, a Penn Central Railroad stationmaster, who was working at the time of the slaying. The prosecution based its case on Miss Smith's dying declaration to seven persons that Bocceila, whom she had been dating, had been her attacker. Asst. Dist. Atty. William H. Ryan Jr., the prosecutor, called the seven to testify during the trial which began last week. They are Miss Smith's neighbor, Thomas R. McCammon; John Wolfe, an ambulance attendant; Winonah McNichol, a nurse at Taylor Hospital, Ridley Park; and four policemen, Lawrence Wiker, William Nichols, Robert Moore and Joseph Boyer. She died at the hospital about a.m. after emergency surgery. "When Cheryl Ann Smith made the statement, she knew she was Ryan said in his closing remarks to the jury. "She felt the pain, she felt the weakness, she knew she wouldn't make he said. "Don't ignore her." Defense attorney Jarnes P. McHugh told the jury in his sum- mation that the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence, aside from the dying declaration, to link Bocceila to the young woman's death. McHugh pointed out that police found no blood on any of Bocceila's clothes when he was arrested in the home of his mother and stepfather shortly after the Miss Smignt was found. McHugh accused the police of conducting a 'slipshod in- vestigation" into Miss Smith's death. When Bocceila testified in his own defense, he said he had last seen Miss Smith two days before she was stabbed. Bocceila testified he was with friends in the early part of the evening of March 5, and in a bar later until a.m. March 6. He testified he went directly home afterwards. Among the witnesses called to corroborate Boccella's alibi were his stepfather and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Ciocca, and friends who 'testified they were with Boccdla that night.   

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