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2022 in Review: Part Four of Four

October, November and December: Central Bucks School District under fire, political careers of Mastriano and Oz on ice


A Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union complaint alleges discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in the Central Bucks School District, prompting an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

New Hope-Solebury School District launches a capital campaign to build its first-ever stadium complex. In other campaign news, Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman ran successful ones for governor and U.S. Senate, respectively.

Meanwhile, Stephen Michael Capaldi, of Sellersville, was charged with third degree murder in the death of his wife Elizabeth.

Not charged was the 21-year-old man who shot and killed two men in the parking lot of the Steam Pub in Upper Southampton. Investigation reportedly showed he acted in self-defense.

That’s just a few of the stories from October, November and December of 2022. The rest are below.


*New Hope-Solebury School District launches a capital campaign to build its first-ever stadium complex, a dream for the school community for more than 20 years. The new stadium complex will include a fieldhouse with training rooms, a press box and upgraded sound system, a concession stand and pavilion, and fully accessible restrooms.

*Entrepreneur Eric Kretschman, who now owns the currently shuttered but once much-loved Wrightstown Country Store, informs Wrightstown supervisors at a public work session meeting that he wants to undertake land development at the site in two phases. The first phase would involve the conversion of the existing country store/generator sales unit into a single general store. Kretschman also expresses interest in moving forward with the conversion of a residential cottage to the right of the store into a flower/gift shop.

*Yardley resident Colin Frank Petroziello pleads no contest in Bucks County Court in to attempted murder and related charges connected to the wounding of Yardley Borough Police Chief Joseph D. Kelly III during an Aug. 18, 2021 shooting incident at Yardley Commons Condominiums where Petroziello lived.

*Steven Daniels, the former chief of the Buckingham Township Police Department, dies at 75 years old.

*The Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) files a federal complaint against the Central Bucks School District (CBSD) on the grounds of widespread and persistent discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly the trans community.

*Tinicum Township Supervisor Chair Richard Rosamilia provides an update on the current status of the Headquarters Road Bridge issues. Two courses of action are currently under active investigation, including an engineer’s examination of the existing bridge structure.

*Newtown supervisors approve the addition of a flexibility center known as StretchLab in the Village of Newtown Shopping Center. The facility plans to operate seven days a week and include 12-15 employees on three separate shifts.

F*arley’s Bookshop in New Hope is sold to four of its longtime employees, Julian Karhumaa, Charlie Balfour, and Buffy and Katie Hastings.

*New Hope Borough Council views a presentation on the Landing property on North Main Street. Landmark Developers hopes to build a 44-room hotel with restaurants, a pool and a bar plus a space for an artist-in-residence.

*The Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors approves the appointment of PNC Financial Services Group to act as trustee and guide the investment strategy for at least $10 million of net proceeds from the township’s $53 million sale of its sewer system to Aqua Pennsylvania.

Photograph by Kym Baldwin Photography:  Pine2Pink celebrates the launch of its fifth year with an award ceremony and a luminary stroll at Fonthill Castle, which has turned pink for local breast cancer patients and their families.


*Once home to dining spot Cascade Lodge, Durham Springs, which was closed permanently during the COVID-19 pandemic, is purchased by Landmark Developers, which plans to turn the Durham Township property into a wedding venue.

*The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights says it will open an investigation into the ACLU’s complaint against the Central Bucks School District alleging discrimination against LGBTQ+ students.

*Liam Hughes, a 21-year-old man who shot and killed two men who were part of a group attacking him in the parking lot of the Steam Pub in Upper Southampton Township, was acting in self-defense and will not be charged, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announces during a press conference.

*Benjamin E. Rusiloski is officially inaugurated as Delaware Valley University’s 14th president in a ceremony held in DelVal’s Life Sciences Building Auditorium.

*Bucks County residents cast their votes in the 2022 Election. Democrat John Fetterman defeats Republican Mehmet Oz in the U.S. Senate race and Democrat Josh Shapiro wins the governor’s seat over Republican Doug Mastriano. U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick is reelected to another term.

*Yardley Borough lawyers and other officials work to settle a federal lawsuit filed by resident Earl Markey, who claimed his First Amendment free speech rights were violated when officials deleted one of his posts from the borough Facebook page. The post has since been restored.

*Doylestown Borough posts a new page on its website, providing residents with information on PFAS contamination in the community’s water supply. While the borough’s PFAS levels remain well below the federal guideline of 70 parts per trillion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent interim health advisory dropped those levels to 0.004 parts per trillion for PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOS.

*Several thieves burglarize a New Britain Township gun store, stealing rifles and pistols, according to authorities.

*Newtown supervisors unanimously approve the preliminary final plan for 45 single-family homes, a Toll Brothers development, located at 435 Durham Road and 107 Twining Bridge Road.

*The Central Bucks School Board hires a Philadelphia-based law firm to conduct an “internal investigation” of a federal complaint of discriminatory school district policies and practices.

*Bucks County’s first Whole Foods Market will open sometime early next year in the Barn Plaza shopping center on Route 611 in Doylestown Township, Brixmor Property Group, which manages the center, announces on its Facebook page.

*Council Rock School Board President Ed Salamon apologizes for comments he made during a discussion of state assessment scores at a previous meeting that many in the district considered misogynistic and offensive.

Photograph by Debby High: Sixth graders from local schools join the annual Veterans Day observance at Palisades Middle School in Kintnersville. State Rep. Craig Staats organized the 34th annual event with Upper Bucks veterans organizations.


*Quakertown Community School District Superintendent Dr. William E. Harner announces his retirement, effective at the end of the school year.

*The Bucks County Commissioners join board members of the African American Museum of Bucks County in celebrating the ground breaking of the museum’s future home at the Boone Farm in Middletown Township.

*Pennsylvania American Water unveils $24 million in upgrades at its Lower Makefield Township treatment plant that company officials say will continue providing the 36,000 people served by the facility with high quality water.

*The Mercantile in Doylestown Shopping Center announces it will close after offering local craftspeople a sprawling area to display their work for the past two years.

*An attack on a Quakertown Community School District student raises staffing level concerns at one school. The student’s mother told board members and administrators her daughter was hunted down by other children during recess, held to the ground and punched in a nearby field. One of the assailants then inserted a pine cone in the second grader’s mouth. It was not clear what the aides were doing, but the assault went unreported.

*Officials from Waste Management presented a $50,000 check to representatives from the September 11 National Memorial Trail Alliance to be used for further development and improvements to the 1,300-mile trail; stops on the trail include the Garden of Reflection in Lower Makefield Township.

*By a vote of 4-0, with the federal government abstaining, the Delaware River Basin Commission approves a final rule prohibiting the discharge of wastewater from high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) to water or land in the Delaware River Basin and clarifying the circumstances in which water, including wastewater, may be exported from or imported into the basin.

*A pipeline improvement project in Upper Makefield is on track to conclude early in the new year.

*Stephen Michael Capaldi, the husband of Elizabeth “Beth” Capaldi, a Sellersville woman who was reported missing two months ago, is held without bail for the murder of his wife of 30 years. Capalidi is charged with third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and abuse of a corpse. He’s expected to serve 20 years to 40 years in prison if found guilty. The reduced charges came in a negotiated agreement that provided Capaldi would show authorities where he disposed of his wife’s remains.

*Plans for the Fonthill-inspired playground at Doylestown Borough’s Broad Commons Park get a boost when local residents Chris and Whitney Chandor contribute $50,000 to the project.

*Over 75 cats are rescued from a Perkasie apartment.

*Palisades School District ratifies a new, five-year contract with teachers and professional staff by a 7-0-2 vote.

*Facing decreasing enrollment, Central Bucks School District will consider closing one or more schools, including Linden Elementary in Doylestown Borough, as well as other changes, officials said.

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

Read Part One of Four >>

Read Part Two of Four >>

Read Part Three of Four >>

2022 in review