MALVERN, PA — The most-read Patch story of 2020 in Malvern wasn’t about the coronavirus or bad weather, it was about a group of sex traffickers charged for allegedly operating out of a Lancaster Avenue apartment. Other local crimes topped the readers’ interest list, and then came the COVID-19 stories.
Trafficking Ring Most-Read Story In Malvern
A 14-year-old’s Facebook message to her mother, “I don’t want to be here anymore,” helped uncover a Malvern sex crime ring that the District Attorney’s Office said was run by three men.
In early July, law enforcement rescued one minor sex trafficking victim at a Lancaster Avenue Wawa following the message to her mother. The girl’s rescue then led authorities to a human sex trafficking organization where the girl and another 18-year-old were being held against their will, authorities said.
Read the full story again of the case that was investigated by East Whiteland Township police, Chester County Detectives, and Homeland Security Investigators.
The next scheduled court appearance in the case is on Jan. 11, 2021, before Judge Jacqueline C. Cody.
Local Pharmacist’s Coupon Scheme Was Intriguing
Another crime story was among the most-read. The owner of Malvern’s Kohlerman Pharmacy, Charles F. Kohlerman, IV, 50, was sentenced in March to three years in prison and two years of supervised for one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 14 counts of distributing and dispensing oxycodone outside the course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
In the pharmacist’s scheme, when patients sought to fill prescriptions of brand-name Lipitor and its generic equivalent, Kohlerman enrolled the vast majority of these patients in Manufacturer One’s Lipitor Savings Card coupon program. Under the coupon program, Kohlerman billed a patient’s private insurance and then submitted a secondary claim to Manufacturer One for payment to his pharmacy in a scheme to defraud the coupon program. Read the story here.
Coronavirus, Of Course, Was A Most-Read Topic Back When There Had Been 34 PA Deaths
The next most-read stories were all about the spread of the coronavirus, of course, as readers followed reporting on where cases were showing up across Chester and Delaware counties.
The first Chester County death from COVID-19 was reported in Willistown at the end of March, and the story was read by thousands in Malvern.
The state was under a stay-at-home order at the time, and there were then fewer than 3,000 COVID-19 cases across the state. As Chester County saw its first death, that of an 89-year-old man, there were 146 cases reported in the county, and statewide there had been 34 deaths on March 28 — nine months ago.
As of Dec. 29, 2020, there have been 19,288 cases of COVID-19 in Chester County, and statewide, 15,353 have died from COVID-19.
Malvern Watched Closely As Its Restaurants Struggled
One story topic that Malvern always pays attention to is how its restaurants are doing. Whether they are opening or closing, Malvern wanted to know.
Sly Fox and Bomba Taco and Rum Bar opened in January 2020 and Bryn + Dane’s closed the same month. When the state went into a lockdown in late March, Malvern readers wanted to know what would happen to the non-life sustaining businesses that were ordered to close, if they didn’t comply. The story reported Gov. Tom Wolf said, “Warnings are the first step in the enforcement. If businesses do not comply, there will be further enforcement, which could include citations, fines, or license suspensions.”
Maybe the biggest Malvern restaurant story of 2020 was of Adam Sandler’s visit to Dan-Dan last fall, as he was making a film in Philadelphia.
Great Valley School District Is Always Top News
Malvern Patch readers followed school stories closely and the most-read were stories about how outstanding Great Valley School District is. Readers wanted to know how GVSD students didon the SATs. The district was rated among the top schools in the region by Philadelphia magazine last fall and Malvern read all about it.
The new GVSD superintendent made news last summer. On June 1, the Great Valley School District board named Assistant Superintendent Dr. Daniel F. Goffredo the new superintendent. He replaced Dr. Regina Speaker Palubinsky, who departed to become executive director of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit.