Flyers Goalie Steve Mason Keeps Posting Shirtless Selfies with His Dog

Two days ago, Flyers goalie Steve Mason posted this to his Instagram.

Cute doggy! Also… it’s a shirtless selfie with his dog. Let me go on the record as pro-selfie — and even pro-shirtless selfie! I myself have finagled a way to post two shirtless photos of myself on this very website, so it would be hypocritical of me to come out against it. Plus, shirtless pro athletes are way more exciting to look at shirtless than I am. Post as many shirtless selfies as you want, Steve Mason!

Well, guess what: He has!

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Federal Officials Blame Conrail for Train Derailment

Image via NTSB

Image via NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board met today to release its report on a train derailment almost two years ago in New Jersey. The blame was placed squarely on Conrail. The NTSB says the train was allowed to attempt to cross the Paulsboro bridge despite a red light showing the rail slide locks were not engaged.

The train was allowed to proceed because Conrail was “relying on a training and qualification program that did not prepare the train crew to examine the bridge lock system,” according to the report. The NTSB also faulted the emergency response to the derailment, which caused a cloud of vinyl chloride to be released into the air. The report says state and local officials, along with Conrail, did not properly prepare first responders for the incident.

An earlier NTSB report said much of Paulsboro was sickened by the release of the dangerous petrochemical.

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You Can Now Exercise While Waiting for Your Flight at PHL

First, pop-up beer gardens. Now, pop-up gyms.

If your flight’s been delayed at Philadelphia International Airport, there’s more to do now than just browse Brookstone and Brooks Brothers. In a gym that’s been moving around the terminals this summer, there are now exercise bikes and elliptical machines! The pilot program is just for the summer, though an airport spokesman says there is an indication the bikes could become a permanent fixture.

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Ex-Sixers GM: ‘Girls in Philly Wanted to Kill Me’ When I Traded Kyle Korver

Photo | USA Today Sports, Mike DiNovo

Photo | USA Today Sports, Mike DiNovo

ESPN’s Grantland has an engaging profile of ex-Sixers guard Kyle Korver today, which speaks of the NBA sharpshooter as one of the NBA’s more underrated players. Korver played with Philadelphia from his rookie year in the 2003-04 season to Dec. 27, 2007, when he was traded to the Utah Jazz.

Here’s what’s fun: The article goes into how Korver ended up with the 76ers. The New Jersey Nets, fresh off an NBA Finals appearance, selected Korver with the 51st pick in the NBA Draft. Korver had spent four years as a sharpshooter at mid-major Creighton University. In order to pay for their summer league team, the Nets traded Korver to the Sixers for $125,000 of Comcast money. The Nets bought a new copy machine with the leftover money from the Korver trade.

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Del. Beach Trinket Shop Owner Loses First Amendment Fight

Jeremiah's via Google Street View.

Jeremiah’s via Google Street View.

The owner of Jeremiah’s, a beach trinket shop in Dewey Beach, has lost a federal lawsuit on first amendment grounds. The Delaware beach town had been fining the owner of Jeremiah’s for its “junkie” displays.

Jeremiah’s, at the corner of Dagsworthy Street and Coastal Highway in Dewey Beach, has three stories of beach goods and other shore town trinkets displayed on the outside of its building. The store began doing this in 2006; in 2008 Dewey passed an ordinance limiting the seasonal displays stores could have outside. The town says the merchandise was a distraction for drivers and could block the sidewalks.

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Driver Plunges into Delaware River Fleeing Scene of Crash

A man fleeing the scene of a car crash at Fourth and Arch streets drove his car into the Delaware River, police say. He sped down a bridge connecting the Chestnut Street Bridge to Columbus Boulevard, went over a barrier and flipped into the river. The incident happened last night at around 6 p.m.

Bystanders who live in the Pier 3 condominiums dove into the river in an attempt to rescue the man. The driver, later identified as 25-year-old Marc Oliverio, of South Philadelphia, was pronounced dead an hour later.

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Historian: Proclamation Naming Pa. State Gun Gets Facts Wrong

A Maryland historian and author, who used to live in Berks County, fired off an angry letter to a Lancaster newspaper recently, and it ran Monday. Patrick Hornberger — a member of the Pennsylvania Antique Gun Collectors Association, the Kentucky Rifle Association and the Arms and Armor Club — believes the recently signed proclamation naming the Pennsylvania long rifle the official state gun is riddled with errors.

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Pa. House Legislation Would Strip Welfare Benefits from Convicted Drug Dealers

Republican State Rep. Mike Regan, who lives in York County, has introduced legislation that would strip welfare benefits from those convicted of drug distribution.

House Bill 2413, which has 44 co-sponsors of both parties, was referred to the Health committee last week. Earlier this year, Regan sponsored a similar bill that stripped welfare benefits for convicted sex offenders on Megan’s Law registration lists. That bill passed the House unanimously, but the Senate has not taken action yet.

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How to Fix the Philadelphia Phillies

USATSI_Ryan-Howard-Eric-Hartline-USA-Today-Sports-Images-940x540
It doesn’t really seem that long ago. It was, though. I was 23 in 2006. Ryan Howard was three years older. And when I went to that game at Citizens Bank Park, Howard did something I’d never seen in person before: He hit three home runs in a game.

And they were off Tim Hudson, too! Though he was having a bad 2006, Hudson was a star in Oakland previously and had already beaten the Phillies twice that season. Howard hit his 50th, 51st, and 52nd homers of the season off Hudson that day with relative ease. As he stood on the dugout steps after Howard’s third homer, Jimmy Rollins shook his head at the scene. He couldn’t believe it. Up in the 400 level, my friends and I did the same. We were Phillies fans, and this new guy — who was just in his first full year in the majors, having played only 88 games in his Rookie of the Year season in 2005 — looked like he was going to win MVP.

He did. The Phillies made the playoffs the next year, and started a five-season run that was the best in the franchise’s history. The Phillies were baseball’s new powerhouse: Five division titles, two pennants and a World Series win. Howard never had a year like his 2006 MVP season, but he followed that 58-homer season with years of 48, 47 and 45 home runs. In six seasons from 2006 to 2011, Howard gave the Phillies six good-to-great seasons of offensive production. He put up great numbers in the 2008 World Series and was MVP of the 2009 NLCS. He had inflated counting stats thanks to the Phillies’ potent offense and was a mess defensively, but he was a star.

He tore his Achilles coming out of the box in the final at-bat of the Phillies’ disappointing 1-0 loss in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS. He was never the same player again, though some said he was figured out in the 2009 World Series against the Yankees. A lot of the other stars of the 2007 to 2011 Phillies had sharp declines along with Howard, but Howard’s decline has been the linchpin, at least in terms of amount of coverage it’s received.

Last Wednesday, the Phillies benched Howard against a tough lefthander. It seemed like a platoon with Darin Ruf was coming, but then came reports the Phillies were looking to trade Howard and willing to pay most of his $60 million contract to do so. Other reports had them ready to release him outright, though general manager Ruben Amaro said the team wasn’t considering cutting him. Amaro said Howard will stay with the club and be a productive player again, but Howard sat again Friday night. Three seasons after losing just 60 games and finishing with the best record in the team’s history, the Phillies are 44-58. Howard’s benching is just the first domino.

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2 Suspects in Carjacking, Fatal Crash Denied Bail

Jonathan Rosa, left, and Cornelius Crawford.

Jonathan Rosa, left, and Cornelius Crawford.

Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Rosa and 23-year-old Cornelius Crawford, the two men charged in the carjacking and crash that killed three children in Tioga last Friday, have been arraigned and denied bail.

The Friday morning incident, police say, occurred when the two suspects carjacked and sexually assaulted a real estate agent in North Philadelphia. Fleeing the scene, the two crashed her SUV into a family of four selling fruit on the street. Thomas Reed, 10; Keiearra Williams, 15; and Terrence Moore, 7, all died in the crash. Their mother, 34-year-old Keisha Williams, was critically injured. The carjacking victim and another woman selling fruit with the family, 69-year-old Thelma Brown, were also hurt.

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