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October 19, 2017

Helicopter, K9 search for Chelsea Bruck

FLAT ROCK, Mich. –

On Monday morning the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, with help from the Michigan State Police, continued looking for clues to where Chelsea Bruck may be.

Bruck, 22, disappeared after a Halloween party in October 2014. She was wearing a Poison Ivy costume; a costume just like it was found near an abandoned building in Flat Rock on Sunday.

A state police helicopter and K9 team spent hours searching the area on Monday. Police did not say if anything else was found, but did say that search was just one part of their investigation. So far, they have followed up on 650 tips, some of which led to them utilize dive teams to search.

Meanwhile, residents and volunteers started lining the streets, hoping to help.

“We were coming out here to see if they’d let us help, just to see what we could do,” said Jessica Derry.

One man found a cellphone that was turned into police, and a volunteer search crew found what could have been another part of her costume.

Unfortunately, detectives said it was not.

“This case has gone on way too long,” said searcher Dawn Nartker. “This is a small community and it’s important to all of us.”

DNA testing will determine if the costume found is actually Bruck’s, but the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department cautions that although Monday’s search was extensive, it does not necessarily mean they are close to finding Chelsea.

Chelsea’s sister, Kassie Bruck, said after nearly 6 months they’re extremely grateful investigators are still working as hard as they are.

“We were afraid they would stop looking months ago,” Kassie said. “So actually the fact that we’re at 5 ½ months and still having these searches and (they’re) going on leads, it’s not a concern that they’ll stop.”

Despite that, nearly 6 months after her disappearance, Chelsea’s family just wants an answer.

“Easter was very hard,” said Kassie. “I was frustrated. You get angry, but today I’m a little more positive and I’m feeling a little better about the situation. It changes every day.”

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Helicopter, K9 search for Chelsea Bruck

PureLife Organic in Cotton Exchange expanding distribution

Victoria Chavez, owner of PureLife Organic, displays PureLife products in her shop located at the Cotton Exchange in Wilmington. Chavez uses recipes passed down from her grandmother to make herbal remedies and has started selling to stores around the country.

Buy PhotoPhoto by Mike Spencer

Published: Saturday, December 27, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 26, 2014 at 8:33 p.m.

When Victoria Chavez fell ill as a child, a visit to her grandmother’s house trumped sitting in a waiting room.

“Every time I got sick, she used to pull out this little box of herbs or literally go to her backyard and start picking out the herbs and plants,” Chavez said.

Herbalism – using natural products for medicinal purposes – would years later become the basis for PureLife Organic, Chavez’s store at 317 N. Front St. in the Cotton Exchange. While Wilmingtonians have been trying out her skin care products and herbal tinctures for years, customers up and down the East Coast are beginning to see the PureLife label on the shelves of their local health food stores.

In 2013, Chavez began wholesaling some of her products, handmade in Wilmington since she opened shop in 2007. Products in her Miracle Skin Relief line of balms, soap, shampoo and ointment ship out to stores in Maryland, Virginia, Florida and elsewhere, as do a variety of her tinctures.

Chavez stresses that the tinctures are not traditional medicine or FDA-reviewed. Some are based on her grandmother’s recipes or of Chavez’s own creation. Her migraine tonic contains feverfew and peppermint, while “Tummy Bitters” is made with chamomile and ginger, among other plants.

“I tell (customers), ‘I’m not your doctor,’?” she said. “I’m here to make you feel more comfortable. … I’m not here to cure, treat or diagnose a problem, and if you keep on being sick, you need to see a doctor.”

Wholesale broker Megan Schlicht said in the year and half she’s worked with Chavez, they’ve gotten PureLife products into nearly 10 shops, such as Salud Healthy Pantry in the wealthy Fairfax County, Va., community. Chavez said another broker sells to Florida stores with plans to expand to Georgia.

“Our independents around here, they like to support small businesses like themselves, and especially support local,” said Schlicht, who operates out of Baltimore and West Virginia. “You set up appointments and go in and present the product. We have to kind of look at their shelf space and what else they’re selling. … Luckily her product is something that’s more widely accepted everywhere because everybody’s going to get bug bites or poison ivy or scratches.” Schlicht said in the coming year she’ll be negotiating to get PureLife goods into East Coast chain stores, such as MOM’s Organic Market with locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

For Chavez, getting calls from customers states away can be surreal. Most of her products were designed with Wilmington in mind – she created “Brain Formula” after a customer who attended Cape Fear Community College asked for an alternative to chugging Red Bulls to stay focused.

“It’s just weird because I’m used to seeing everybody face to face, knowing them, talking to them,” she said. “But it’s nice to see that the stores that carry my product – they believe in my product just as much as I do.”

Cammie Bellamy: 910-343-2339

On Twitter: @cammiebellamy

From: 

PureLife Organic in Cotton Exchange expanding distribution

MISSING IN AMERICA: Chelsea Bruck

Chelsea Ellen Bruck was last seen leaving a crowded Halloween party around 3:00am on October 26th, 2014 in Newport, Michigan.

The 22-year-old was dressed as the Batman character ‘Poison Ivy’ wearing black yoga pants, ivy leaves and a dark wig. Police have released the sketch below of a man with whom witnesses say Bruck was last seen before she vanished. However, the man has not yet been identified and police have not named him a suspect in her disappearance.

Monroe Police have also identified and spoken with four men who were wearing orange security shirts at the party, but have not said if any of them is possibly connected to the case. Police said there may have been more than 800 people at the party, and they are interested in any information from those who may have seen Chelsea there.

The Facebook group, Help Find Chelsea Bruck, has already gained more than 6,500 members. Hundreds of volunteers are continuing to comb the cornfields and wooded areas surrounding the property where she was last seen, but so far have not turned up any new clues.

“This is 100% uncharacteristic, it’s not anything she would do,” Bruck’s sister, Kassandra, told local NBC affiliate NBC 24. “She even told my mom, ‘I’m not staying long. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.’ This has just broken my parents.”

A prayer vigil is being held tonight, November 3rd, starting at 5:45pm at Monroe’s Loranger Square. Participants are asked to arrive between 5:00pm and 5:30pm.

Chelsea is 5’7” tall, 140 lbs. with blonde hair, green eyes, and a small anchor tattoo behind her right ear. Anyone with information that could help in Chelsea’s case is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at (734) 240-7700, or the Monroe county Central Dispatch at (734) 243-7070.

First published November 3 2014, 10:59 AM

View original article:

MISSING IN AMERICA: Chelsea Bruck

Police Use Party Photos in Hunt for Missing 'Poison Ivy'

Police in Michigan on Monday were focusing on clues they received when they asked the public to identify men in pictures taken during a large outdoor costume-party that a 22-year-old woman disappeared from more than a week earlier. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office posted another picture earlier in the week that showed the missing woman, Chelsea Bruck, in costume and smiling with five other people. The nine party-goers in the three photos have all been identified, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office, but Bruck is still nowhere to be found.

Bruck got separated from her friends at the Halloween bash on Oct. 25 and hasn’t been heard from since, according to NBC affiliate WDIV. She was wearing a Batman-inspired “Poison Ivy” costume comprised of black yoga pants and a leaf-covered green top, according to police. Her naturally blonde hair was colored purple. Volunteers and investigators have been scouring Monroe all week, fueled by tips on the “Help Find Chelsea Bruck” Facebook page, and leads called into police. The community has also rallied around the Bruck family by setting up a donation page and organizing a Monday night prayer vigil, according to Redeemer Fellowship Church in Monroe. “We just want her back,” Bruck’s mother Leannda Bruck told WDIV. “We just want her safe.”

SOCIAL

— Elisha Fieldstadt

First published November 3 2014, 9:04 AM

This article is from – 

Police Use Party Photos in Hunt for Missing 'Poison Ivy'

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Lake County Fair’s fare delivers a host of guilty pleasures


Entertainment


Lake County Fair’s fare delivers a host of guilty pleasures

There’s no doubt food is one of the Lake County Fair’s main attractions. With options to satisfy each and every craving, the fair can be called a taste of Lake County.

July 25 5:41 p.m.

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Youth corps gets to the root of Lake County conservation

Mosquitoes and poison ivy are just two of the challenges that accompany tasks like cutting paths through forests for new trails, or cultivating and transplanting native vegetation, or waging the ongoing war against buckthorn and other invasive plants.

July 17 2:05 p.m.

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The College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus is celebrating the season by hosting a new Summer Saturday Events series.

July 17 10:15 a.m.

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Season of the itch: Poison ivy haunts the Hudson Valley

How to spot, avoid, remove and recover from poison ivy


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WHITE PLAINS – Like Jaws, it’s worthy of its own ominous theme song. Yet it sits in silence (The Coasters’ 1959 hit aside), waving in the breeze, lying in wait for contact with an errant ankle or hand.

Poison ivy, known formally as toxicodendron radicans and less formally as a three-leaf, itch-inducing nightmare, is found throughout the region. (Poison oak and poison sumac can grow here, too, but are less common.) It grows on the ground, in hedges, over stone walls and up trees. And while birds eat its fruit and goats don’t mind gnawing its leaves, it seems to exist at least in part simply to vex gardeners, hikers and anyone else who otherwise enjoys the outdoors.

It has three leaflets with smooth or toothed edges and, depending on the time of year, ranges in color from light green to scarlet.

An inadvertent touch from the plant, which contains a toxic oil called urushiol, can result in a blistering rash that itches like crazy and, in some cases, leads to infection and a trip to the emergency room.

Jerry Giordano, senior horticultural consultant with the Cornell Co-operative Extension, is one of the lucky ones. He’s not allergic to urushiol—for now. In a recent field study, he said, “I would be brushing up against it all the time and I never got any reaction to it. But that can change.”

Some things to know:

• Poison ivy is toxic year-round. Even if yanked from the soil and left for dead, the urushiol in its leaves, stem and roots can remain potent for a year or more. Urushiol on clothes is dangerous, too, so wash any pants, socks or shirts that come in contact with the plant.

• Removing poison ivy from a yard or garden can be difficult. “As soon as you see a seedling, you should get it out,” Giordano said. “Look at your property and root it out when you first find it.” Eradicating a mature stand of poison ivy can take several seasons of spraying, often with considerable collateral damage to nearby plants. Don’t burn it, as the smoke can carry the oil into nearby lungs.

• Skin that comes in contact with the plant should be washed immediately with cold water and dish soap or any of several ivy-specific soaps available at drug stores. “Calamine lotion is still a good thing,” Dr. David Amler, a White Plains pediatrician, said. “If you get a more extensive rash, which increases as time goes on, we use oral steriods,” which must be prescribed. “It’s itchy, it’s bothersome, it’s a pain,” Amler said. “You’re scratching all the time.”

The best advice comes from Rockland County Public Health Educator Pat Parke: “Avoid it.”

Twitter: @NPRauch


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Season of the itch: Poison ivy haunts the Hudson Valley

Summer's poisonous plants

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ST. PATRICK’S COUNTY PARK Don’t let nature’s beauty be spoiled by pesky plants. Poison Ivy can grow in both wooded and sunny conditions. In fact, it can grow just about anywhere except wetlands.

Not everyone has a reaction to Poison Ivy, but that can change over time. The oil within the plant is what causes the irritation.

“It depends how much exposure you have with the oil in the leaves,” said Evie Kirkwood, the Director of St. Joseph County Parks.

“Most people get a little bit of a rash, blisters, redness. And it’s really unpleasant especially as the temperatures get hotter and our reaction gets more irritated.”

Poison Ivy can grow on the ground or as a vine on a tree. When it’s in vine form, it’s identifiable because of the hairy stem, which grows thicker as it ages.

The plant can also be spotted by noticing the shape of the leaves. It grows with three leaflets that are somewhat jagged around the ages.

“Usually the left pointing and right pointing leaflets have little ‘thumbs’ pointing to the outside,” said Kirkwood.

“And the middle leaflet has almost like two ‘thumbs,’ like a mitten with two thumbs.”

The good news, there are home remedies that will treat most Poison Ivy outbreaks.

Dr. Rob Riley, of Memorial Family Medicine, says most people struggle with itching.

“A lot of times people will get reasonable relief with cool compresses with a little baking soda in it. Or they can take over the counter medications that contain antihistamines, things like Benadryl and its cousins will often times help reduce the itching.”

Poison Ivy is often confused with plants that don’t cause allergic reactions, like Virginia Creeper and Jack in the Pulpit. Both plants thrive in similar environments as Poison Ivy, so they often grow near each other.

Click here for more information about Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac.

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Summer's poisonous plants

Climate change to boost health problems

Climate change: Now it’s personal.

There will be more itching, sneezing, swelling and gasping for breath as Pennsylvania’s climate shifts and residents are exposed to more poison ivy, stinging insects, pollen allergies and lyme-disease-bearing ticks, and experience increased asthma, respiratory disease and heat-related deaths.

That was the assessment of scientists and physicians at a one-day climate change conference sponsored by the Allegheny County Health Department and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health last week.

They said a silver lining is that Pennsylvanians won’t see the worst of those negative impacts until after 2050. But the bad news, echoing the findings contained in the third U.S. National Climate Assessment released May 6, is that the changes already have begun.

And, they agreed, the negative consequences of climate change brought on by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases will worsen the longer the world waits to reduce those emissions.

Raymond Najjar, a professor of oceanography in the Meteorology Department at Penn State University and an author of the 2009 Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment, said the most recent assessment released three weeks ago shows “some climate change is unavoidable,” and the state will get warmer and wetter. Heavy downpours will be more intense and more frequent.

He predicted that unless Pennsylvania cuts its emissions of greenhouse gases — including nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds — to 20 percent of what they are now, the state’s summer heat index will become 8 to 10 degrees warmer by the end of this century.

Without that level of emissions cuts, the number of days the temperature tops 90 degrees Fahrenheit each year will increase from 10 to 65 and Pennsylvania’s climate will resemble what is found now in northern Alabama.

“Pennsylvania has not done enough to reduce emissions and support renewable energy sources,” said Mr. Najjar, adding that even if emissions are reduced by 80 percent, Pennsylvania likely will see summer temperatures rise by 5 degrees Fahrenheit, giving it a climate resembling that of southern Kentucky today.

City and county officials must start now to adapt policies and programs to climate-altered and expanding public health needs, said Karen Hacker, Allegheny County Health Department director.

“Infectious diseases, ticks, mosquitoes will all increase as the climate warms, as will severity and incidence of asthma, water problems and severe weather,” Dr. Hacker said. “The increases will likely be incremental, but the impacts will collectively be bigger.”

Leonard Bielory, a professor at Rutgers University where he is studying the impact of a warming climate on allergies, said globally longer pollination seasons are expected to increase the duration of exposure and also the number of individuals who develop sensitivity to it.

“Ragweed is responding to climate change on a continental basis, so we’re seeing earlier and later pollen seasons and it moves northward with warmer climate,” he said. “By 2020, we expect to see pollen increase by 20 percent in Pennsylvania, and by 2050 sensitivity to allergens could double from what it is now.”

Dr. Bielory said research shows climate change is also likely to cause an increase in dust mites, stinging insects and cockroaches. The production of poison ivy oil, which causes the itchy skin rash, will increase as carbon dioxide levels rise, weed growth will be stimulated and peanut allergies, which have doubled in each of the last several decades, will continue to increase.

Lyme disease, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the U.S. with 30,000 diagnosed and perhaps nine times more undiagnosed cases, also is likely to increase among humans as the geographic range of the tick that causes it continues to expand, according to Dustin Brisson, an associate professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania, whose research involves evolutionary biology, molecular genetics and microbial ecology.

Peter Adams, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, said warmer air temperatures combined with expected higher humidity “makes the atmosphere more able to do chemistry and produce compounds that could impact human health.”

One of those compounds likely to increase is ground-level ozone, the primary component of unhealthy smog. Methane emissions from increased shale gas drilling, along with nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compound emissions from drilling operations and increased truck traffic, also could rise.

“Depending on how tightly those [shale gas drilling] operations are controlled,” Mr. Adams said, “there could be significant health impacts on Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and even more significantly in the center of the state.”

Clifford Mitchell, director of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said that mitigation policies are important and the public needs to get involved to force emissions reductions, but health officials need to plan now for how a changing climate will impact local populations and communities.

“We need to help people adapt,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We’re going to be doing damage control and we need to figure out how to do that systematically.”

Don Hopey: dhopey@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1983.

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Climate change to boost health problems

Arguments led to neighbor's shooting death, deputies say

A deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office detains Randall J. Smith in relation to a shooting on Northwest 69th Drive in Gainesville on Monday.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun

Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 9:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 12:26 p.m.

Randall Smith was spraying herbicide on some poison ivy along the edge of the drive, a report said, when he heard his neighbor’s truck coming down the road Monday afternoon.

After living next to each other for 10 years, Smith, 54, of 5425 NW 69th Drive, and Michael Carreiro, 47, of 5725 NW 69th Drive, still argued about Smith’s efforts to maintain the easement along Northwest 69th Drive.

Carreiro had threatened him before, Smith would later tell investigators, but no physical violence had ever occurred, an Alachua County Sheriff’s Office report said.

Smith was walking back to his house around 4:34 p.m. when he heard the truck door open. He turned around to see Carreiro walking briskly toward him, so Smith put down his sprayer and put his hands up, the report said.

“What the (expletive) are you doing?” Carreiro yelled at him.

Smith said Carreiro then told him he was going to kill Smith and his family. Deputies said Smith put his hands behind his back and took his gun from its holster.

Carreiro’s last words were a taunt. Smith “wouldn’t use the gun,” Smith recalled Carreiro saying.

Smith fired rapidly from around 20 feet away. One, two, three, four … 12 shots, until Carreiro was still, facedown on the ground with his arms tucked underneath him, the report said.

Smith walked closer to Carreiro and paused for a moment. Then, he fired two more shots into Carreiro’s back, the report said.

Smith called 911 and said he had just shot someone. When deputies arrived, he was still on the phone with a dispatcher and followed instructions to put down his firearm.

Carreiro was lying on Northwest 69th Drive near 14 shell casings. Emergency responders tried to save Carreiro, but he died 17 minutes after the shooting at 4:51 p.m., the report said.

Smith was booked into the Alachua County jail at 12:23 a.m. Tuesday on homicide charges and remains there in lieu of $1 million bond.

In August, Smith filed for an injunction for protection against Carreiro, but it was denied the same day, Alachua County court records show. Carriero was previously arrested and found guilty in 2010 of aggravated stalking, four counts of criminal mischief and one count of fraud, court records show.

Smith also had a concealed carry permit for his weapon, the report noted.

Cars lined Carreiro’s property Tuesday afternoon. A man on the property who identified himself as Carreiro’s uncle would say only that the family was grieving and confused about the situation.

Karen Adamson, who recently moved into the neighborhood, said she had no idea her neighbors were arguing over property lines.

“I’m the newbie in the neighborhood, so the whole thing came as a shock,” she said. “Randy had just welcomed us into the neighborhood, but we still hadn’t met (Carreiro).”

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Arguments led to neighbor's shooting death, deputies say

Archaeology, historic preservation company CHRS Inc. exhumes pieces of the past


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A motorist slows down when he notices the archaeologists from Cultural Heritage Resource Services Inc. in Lansdale have returned to their Delaware County dig site.

Recently snow and extreme cold have delayed this third and final phase of the stratified layer excavation. But today temperatures will reach the 30s, and warm sunlight is shining just right in the area of the Marcus Hook SEPTA train station.

“Find any gold yet?” the passing motorist asks.

Archaeologist Rachael Fowler explains that there is a historical society in town, and its headquarters, The Plank House, was frequented by the infamous pirate Blackbeard because his mistress lived there.

When he was in these parts centuries ago, Blackbeard’s agenda was not likely to involve hiding pirate plunder, Fowler opined.

The approximately one-acre area of the dig, marked off with orange mesh plastic fencing, puts them right on top of people’s back yards.

“We try to be as unobtrusive as possible,” she said of the high-traffic residential area.

The circa 1927 bridge that crosses over the train station is due for replacement. CHRS Director of Archaeology Tom Lewis said that per state law, just as an engineering or environmental survey is required before construction begins, projects of this nature require an excavation for artifacts of historical or cultural significance. Although this seemingly guarantees work for archaeological firms like CHRS, Lewis pointed out that state budget cuts can take that work away.

According to Fowler, most people think the crew of seven CHRS archaeologists are looking for dinosaur bones or buried treasure. In this case, the buried treasure they’re unearthing is artifacts such as antique glass bottles, children’s toys and dish fragments that came from three late 19th century to early 20th century homes that exist only on historical maps and deed records. What they find will be taken back to the CHRS offices on Cannon Avenue, carefully washed off, labeled and cataloged. CHRS has promised a detailed report, likely to be written by Fowler, to both PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Lewis, who has worked for CHRS 29 years, noted that Marcus Hook had one of the first successful African-American communities in the USA, and wondered if these homes might have some link to that history. Continued…

So far, the best proof that there were houses here are the brick-lined privy shafts that have been uncovered. Since the homes that once stood here were built before organized trash removal, “they had to fill it out with refuse after taking the nasty stuff out,” Fowler said, referring to the shafts’ original use as outhouse pits.

“We’ll be able to tell what they threw away. We’ll find bones with butcher marks,” she said.

“The Philadelphia area was pretty into shellfish at the turn of the century,” Lewis said when asked about clam shells that may have been buried for 100 years.

Cultural heritage preservation is something that Mike Rowe has likely tried on the TV show “Dirty Jobs.”

“You’re going to get pretty gross,” Fowler says, noticing that this writer has worn work boots and cold weather outerwear, but not ski pants or insulated pants.

“I’ve been out in days with -18 wind chill. There will be ticks (in warmer conditions). There will be poison ivy. Still, it’s better than my best day at a desk job,” Fowler said.

Despite the cold, and the sloppy, muddy ground, the dig site is abuzz with activity. Discolorations in the soil have been found, suggesting more filled-in holes. Clumps of dirt are being set aside to be shaken through a screen; some will have to wait until they thaw. Archaeologist Adam Richardson has pulled some glass medicine bottles from the ground. That the bottles are unbroken is a lucky find. Lewis is examining the site from multiple angles through the lens of a surveyor’s camera. Per procedure, the entire dig site has to be mapped and graphed, showing grid-by-grid what was found where, and how far down.

Specific areas of the site are referred to as test units, which represent a cubic meter and roughly a ton of dirt. Two people are assigned to each test unit.

The sample of the archaeologist’s tools of the trade include shovels; root clippers; screens; trowels; split spoon samplers, which take a 20-cm. core sample that shows if there are changes in the soil; and an array of measuring tools, including a submeter GPS.

The dig, which began in September, will — he hopes — be wrapped up by April, Lewis said. Continued…

To learn more about CHRS, visit

www.chrsinc.com

.

A motorist slows down when he notices the archaeologists from Cultural Heritage Resource Services Inc. in Lansdale have returned to their Delaware County dig site.

Recently snow and extreme cold have delayed this third and final phase of the stratified layer excavation. But today temperatures will reach the 30s, and warm sunlight is shining just right in the area of the Marcus Hook SEPTA train station.

“Find any gold yet?” the passing motorist asks.

Archaeologist Rachael Fowler explains that there is a historical society in town, and its headquarters, The Plank House, was frequented by the infamous pirate Blackbeard because his mistress lived there.

When he was in these parts centuries ago, Blackbeard’s agenda was not likely to involve hiding pirate plunder, Fowler opined.

The approximately one-acre area of the dig, marked off with orange mesh plastic fencing, puts them right on top of people’s back yards.

“We try to be as unobtrusive as possible,” she said of the high-traffic residential area.

The circa 1927 bridge that crosses over the train station is due for replacement. CHRS Director of Archaeology Tom Lewis said that per state law, just as an engineering or environmental survey is required before construction begins, projects of this nature require an excavation for artifacts of historical or cultural significance. Although this seemingly guarantees work for archaeological firms like CHRS, Lewis pointed out that state budget cuts can take that work away.

According to Fowler, most people think the crew of seven CHRS archaeologists are looking for dinosaur bones or buried treasure. In this case, the buried treasure they’re unearthing is artifacts such as antique glass bottles, children’s toys and dish fragments that came from three late 19th century to early 20th century homes that exist only on historical maps and deed records. What they find will be taken back to the CHRS offices on Cannon Avenue, carefully washed off, labeled and cataloged. CHRS has promised a detailed report, likely to be written by Fowler, to both PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Lewis, who has worked for CHRS 29 years, noted that Marcus Hook had one of the first successful African-American communities in the USA, and wondered if these homes might have some link to that history.

So far, the best proof that there were houses here are the brick-lined privy shafts that have been uncovered. Since the homes that once stood here were built before organized trash removal, “they had to fill it out with refuse after taking the nasty stuff out,” Fowler said, referring to the shafts’ original use as outhouse pits.

“We’ll be able to tell what they threw away. We’ll find bones with butcher marks,” she said.

“The Philadelphia area was pretty into shellfish at the turn of the century,” Lewis said when asked about clam shells that may have been buried for 100 years.

Cultural heritage preservation is something that Mike Rowe has likely tried on the TV show “Dirty Jobs.”

“You’re going to get pretty gross,” Fowler says, noticing that this writer has worn work boots and cold weather outerwear, but not ski pants or insulated pants.

“I’ve been out in days with -18 wind chill. There will be ticks (in warmer conditions). There will be poison ivy. Still, it’s better than my best day at a desk job,” Fowler said.

Despite the cold, and the sloppy, muddy ground, the dig site is abuzz with activity. Discolorations in the soil have been found, suggesting more filled-in holes. Clumps of dirt are being set aside to be shaken through a screen; some will have to wait until they thaw. Archaeologist Adam Richardson has pulled some glass medicine bottles from the ground. That the bottles are unbroken is a lucky find. Lewis is examining the site from multiple angles through the lens of a surveyor’s camera. Per procedure, the entire dig site has to be mapped and graphed, showing grid-by-grid what was found where, and how far down.

Specific areas of the site are referred to as test units, which represent a cubic meter and roughly a ton of dirt. Two people are assigned to each test unit.

The sample of the archaeologist’s tools of the trade include shovels; root clippers; screens; trowels; split spoon samplers, which take a 20-cm. core sample that shows if there are changes in the soil; and an array of measuring tools, including a submeter GPS.

The dig, which began in September, will — he hopes — be wrapped up by April, Lewis said.

To learn more about CHRS, visit www.chrsinc.com.

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Archaeology, historic preservation company CHRS Inc. exhumes pieces of the past

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