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2022 in Review: Part Two of Four

April, May and June: A new leader at BCCC, borough office in Doylestown, amphitheater in Perkasie

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In the second quarter of 2022, Solebury police officers Aaron Soldavin, Brendan Murphy and James Boone were honored for rescuing a flood victim during Tropical Storm Ida in 2021, Felicia L. Ganther became the president of Bucks County Community College, Doylestown Borough unveiled its new administrative offices, and Perkasie got an amphitheater.

Jordan Matthew Kurman, 22, was charged in the stabbing death of his father in Newtown Township, and Trinh T. Nguyen, 38, was accused of killing her two children, shooting them in the head while they were in bed in Upper Makefield.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade prompted hundreds to gather in Doylestown to express outrage at the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Read on for more memorable stories from April, May and June of 2022.

April

*A Buckingham mother joins others to speak out against recent efforts to ban books in the Central Bucks School District and across the country during a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. Mindy Freeman, mother of Lily Freeman, a Central Bucks East High School student who is is transgender, addresses the House Oversight Committee as it examines the work of some groups to remove books from schools and public libraries. Those spearheading the banning are targeting books that discuss racial equity, include minorities as protagonists, discuss LGBTQ+ issues, or have Black or LGBTQ+ authors.

*Solebury Township Police Chief Dominick Bellizzie presents Heroism Commendations to police Cpl. Aaron Soldavin and officers Brendan Murphy and James Boone for rescuing a man “on the verge of losing his life” as he was being swept away in the stormwaters of Tropical Storm Ida on Sept. 1, 2021. The man, found clinging to a tree branch with water up to his neck, is the father of the township’s K-9 officer Matthew Rice.

*Dr. Felicia L. Ganther is inaugurated as the fifth president of Bucks County Community College on the Newtown Campus, surrounded by friends, family and fellow colleagues in higher education from across the country. Ganther, who is formally installed as the head of the public institution of almost 8,000 students, with three campuses, began her tenure in July.

*J. Robert Hillier, the internationally known architect planning to redevelop the 200-year-old Cintra building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the surrounding site, tells New Hope Borough Council he plans to demolish the mansion and construct a replica of the original structure. Engineer Anthony Naccarato tells council members preservation of the structure isn’t an option. Borough council decides it will find an independent engineer to evaluate the mansion, built in 1816, and Hillier will pay for the review. Hillier has owned Cintra since 2013. His new building would include a duplication of all the home’s existing features. He also hopes to build 29 condominiums on the site.

*Jordan Matthew Kurman, 22, is charged with criminal homicide and possession of an instrument of crime in the stabbing death of his father, Gregory Kurman, a Philadelphia-area dentist. Jordan Kurman is found outside the house at 15 David Drive in Newtown Township at about 5 a.m. April 29. He tells police the man who needs medical attention is in the house. Police meet Merridth Kurman, who is screaming for help for her husband. She later tells police her son killed her husband. Jordan Kurman tells his mother that he stabbed his father “for 22 years of abuse,” according to a criminal complaint.

Under water

Photograph by Clare Kovacs:  The canal path beside the Black Bass in Lumberville is under water, after the Delaware River is seen rising over its banks there.

May

*An Upper Makefield mother is charged with shooting her two children in the head while they were in their beds, before attempting to kill her neighbor with a handgun. Trinh T. Nguyen, 38, is charged with three counts of attempted homicide and one count of possession of an instrument of crime. While the two boys, ages 9 and 13, are found alive, they do not survive, despite heroic efforts by law enforcement. Charges are soon updated to two counts of homicide.

*After decades of envisioning a new borough hall and public park on Doylestown Borough’s North Broad Street corridor, the public is invited to an open house and dedication ceremony. The event provides visitors an opportunity to tour the administrative offices at 10 Doyle St., where borough services are now located in the completely remodeled Depression-era building that was long home to PennDOT’s offices and garages. Residents also take part in a dedication ceremony for the neighboring Broad Commons Park on a site that was once home to a PennDOT maintenance facility.

*The sudden death of Warrington Township Police K9 Officer Stephen Plum, Jr. sends shock waves and great sorrow through the department and larger community. Plum, 38, was an eight-year veteran of the force and a United States Marine Corps veteran.

*A kayaker dies after being rescued from the Delaware River in New Hope. Jonathan Gentile, 38, of Pittsburgh, is taken to St. Mary Medical Center, where his father, James, is employed as a nurse. Father and son were kayaking together when Jonathan’s kayak overturned after the pair went over the rapids. James “Jim” Gentile of New Hope performed CPR in an attempt to save his son.

Reproductive rights protest

Photograph by Freda Savana: More than 100 people gather outside the former Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown to call for reproductive rights in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court document sating Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

June

*In an email to families and students, The Conservatory’s executive director and board of directors announce the music school in Doylestown will close at the end of the month, after 34 years. The Conservatory has provided music education services to all in Bucks County regardless of age, ability, or economic circumstances. However, insufficient funding and a dramatic reduction in the number of students, resulting from the pandemic, has made that mission impossible to continue.

*A party is held to celebrate the 10th birthday of The Community Labyrinth at The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown’s cultural district, at the intersection of Ashland and Pine streets. It’s been a decade since Jo Ann Maroney, who lives directly across the street, made it her mission to create the labyrinth to honor her late daughter, Mary Ann, who was murdered in New York City in 1995. She was 24 years old. The free birthday festivities include music, activities for children, and much more.

*Authorities lock down Pennridge High School in response to a domestic incident at a house in East Rockhill Township. Before Pennridge Regional Police arrive at the house, one of the residents leaves carrying two swords and walks down a path on Branch Road. Following a two-hour ground and drone search, the man is taken into custody. He is taken to St. Luke Hospital’s Upper Bucks Campus for a mental health evaluation. Police said the man is facing charges related to the incident.

*Immigrant Rights Action celebrates a half-decade of community building and hires its first paid, executive director to lead the nonprofit organization. The U.S. Department of Justice has recognized the agency as the only nonprofit immigrant services provider in Bucks County, allowing it to offer free legal screenings and consultations, as well as low-cost assistance with basic immigration cases.

*Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck says a 31-year-old woman from Holland, Bucks County, who was found dead in Northampton Township, was strangled. Buck identifies the woman as Samantha Rementer and rules her death by ligature strangulation a homicide.

*Nearly 20 years after it was first proposed, a permanent music venue in Perkasie becomes a reality. With the new amphitheater in place, the borough doubles its popular free Summer Concert Series to 12 performances.

*A former Warrington Township supervisor and 27-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police joins a team helping the U.S. Department of Justice review the highly controversial response to last month’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Mark Lomax, 62, has an extensive law enforcement background, including his tactical operations experience for the United Nations in Liberia and West Africa.

*Hundreds gather in Doylestown to express outrage over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. After 50 years, the right to an abortion is no longer protected under the Constitution. It is now in the hands of each state to decide if a person can have a legal abortion. In Pennsylvania, abortions remain legal.

A wedding suspended

Photograph by Richard Smith Jr.: A drone captured the view over the Delaware for a double wedding weekend in Lumberville.

The Bucks County Herald takes a four-part look at the events that shaped our 2022.

Read Part One of Four >>

Read Part Three of Four >>

Read Part Four of Four >>

2022 in review

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