News In Brief - September 12, 2007

Chester water district updates restrictions

CHESTER -- Chester County's local water district updated its water restrictions this week.

Lawn watering should be done between 9 p.m. of the scheduled date until 5 a.m. the next day, according to a news release from the Chester Metropolitan District.

The district might recognize exceptions for people with recently installed landscaping or businesses that can't function on the watering schedule.

Under current guidelines, residents may water plants by hand, but irrigation systems and lawn sprinklers will be limited to two days per week, with odd-numbered addresses watering on Tuesdays and Saturdays and even-numbered addresses watering on Thursdays and Sundays.

A property owner who believes he or she falls under the new landscaping exception may apply in writing to the district office, the release stated. The exception allows watering during the first 30 days of turf installation.

Businesses that can't operate under the watering schedule may submit a written alternative plan that lays out how the company would reduce water use by 5 percent to 10 percent.

District users include the city of Chester, Fort Lawn, Great Falls, Lando and Richburg.

York, Chester counties get grants to fight crime

Two local law enforcement agencies will have a new weapon to help combat gang and firearm violence.

The York County Sheriff's Office and Chester County Sheriff's Office are among 16 local and statewide agencies that will receive Project Safe Neighborhood/Project CeaseFire grants totaling $724,888, according to a press release issued Tuesday from the U.S. attorney's office.

Chester County's Sheriff's Office will receive $27,120 for its "Beat the Streets" gang prevention program. The York County Sheriff's Office will receive $58,000 for its "Bullet Recovery System," according to the release.

The grants will help authorities start gang prevention programs throughout the state. The money also will allow law enforcement agencies to continue innovative programs to fight gang and firearm crimes in their respective communities.

Clinton Junior College receives $600,000 grant

Clinton Junior College has won a $600,000 grant to help revitalize the neighborhoods near its campus.

Clinton is one of 14 historically black colleges and universities that will receive such a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grants are designed to help low- to moderate-income residents by helping get rid of slums and by meeting community development needs, according to a news release from HUD.

The money can be used for activities such as acquiring real estate, demolition, homeownership assistance for those with low- and moderate-income, special economic development activities and rehabilitation of residential, commercial or industrial buildings to correct code violations, according to the release.

Grants awarded to the 14 schools will total $8.4 million.

Former S.C. trooper gets probation

ORANGEBURG -- A former South Carolina trooper was sentenced to probation after a woman who claimed he forced her to have sex with him in his patrol car refused to help prosecutors.

T.A. D'Alesandro, 39, pleaded guilty to misconduct in office and was sentenced to two years of probation. He had faced up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

D'Alesandro arrested the woman on Feb. 23, 2002, in Orangeburg County on suspicion of driving under suspension, according to arrest warrants. Investigators said D'Alesandro then took the woman to a secluded area, threatened her and forced her to have sex in the front seat of his patrol car.

The senior trooper had faced first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping charges, which carried a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. But those charges were dropped because the woman refused to help, prosecutors said.

D'Alesandro, who had worked for the department for nearly five years, was fired after the incident, officials said.

Since then, D'Alesandro has served two tours of duty in Iraq, which Circuit Judge James Williams mentioned during sentencing Thursday.