Death Warrant Signed for Rapper Who Killed Philadelphia Police Officer

Office Lauretha Vaird's funeral, January 11, 1996. AP file photo/Nanine Hartzenbusch

Officer Lauretha Vaird’s funeral, January 11, 1996. AP file photo/Nanine Hartzenbusch

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has signed an execution warrant for the man convicted of Philadelphia police officer Lauretha Vaird’s murder.

Christopher Roney, who was convicted of killing Vaird during a January 1996 bank robbery in Feltonville on Rising Sun Avenue, is scheduled to be executed on January 8th of next year. Vaird, who was wearing a bulletproof vest without its protective panels, was killed by a single shot to the abdomen; she was the first female officer killed in the line of duty.

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Comcast’s New App Will Tell You When Tech Is Coming


Comcast has always had customer service issues — this is putting it lightly — but never has it been easier to share stories of bad Comcast service and spread them online (using high-speed Internet service with XFINITY® from Comcast!).

This summer, a customer was left on hold for three hours until Comcast closed. In October, a man said he was fired from his job after he complained about Comcast service.

To perhaps try to stem the tide, Comcast has launched an app that allows you to track the contractor coming for a service visit.

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Meeting Scheduled Monday to Try to Save Revel Deal


A bankruptcy attorney for the failed Revel casino hotel has scheduled a meeting Monday in New York in an attempt to save the deal to sell it to Brookfield US Holdings for $110 million.

Brookfield abandoned the deal when it could not come to an agreement with the power plant nearby that was constructed at the same time as Revel and has the casino as its sole client. ACR Energy Partners, which controls the plant, has not been able to reach a deal with Brookfield.

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The Big Lesson I Learned from Getting Injured

Dan McQuade spiking the ball, kind of

Photo by Mark Stehle, Invision

I accelerated to keep up, and then I felt it pull.

Though I hadn’t done much in the game, I was feeling pretty good. I never played real, organized football, but I had a long “career” of touch football in the street, tackle football at the playground and flag football in intramural leagues. But I hadn’t played any type of football in 10 years. And here I was, playing in a charity flag football game at Lincoln Financial Field.

The game was set up by NRG Energy, the energy company headquartered in West Windsor, New Jersey. NRG was nice enough to invite me to play in the game and donate a thousand dollars to a charity of my choice (One Step Away, Philadelphia’s homeless newspaper). Dave Spadaro announced. Swoop cheered us on.

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Will School in China Invest in Chester Upland Schools?

Chester-Upland School District is one of the poorest in the state. It seems to always be struggling with funding. In 2012, the district actually sued the state for funds, saying it would have to close otherwise.

Now there’s a new plan: An elite school in China wants to invest. Chester Upland receiver Joe Watkins said yesterday he’ll be taking a trip to China to try to work out the details in the coming weeks.

“This is an opportunity for Chester Upland School District,” Wakins said. “To my knowledge no school district in the United State has even sought to partner with what is arguably the highest-performing school in China.” The school in China would invest a billion dollars in Chester Upland.

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HUP Patient Being Checked for Ebola

A patient at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is being tested for the Ebola virus. The patient probably doesn’t have Ebola, but HUP is just checking.

“A patient who recently returned from West Africa is currently being evaluated in a special isolation room at HUP,” hospital spokeswoman Susan Phillips said in a statement. “The patient is stable and we believe the risk of Ebola is quite low.”

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The BBC Has Reported on Philly Jesus

Philly Jesus has crossed the pond.

Philadelphia’s own version of Jesus is actually 28-year-old Michael Grant, a reformed heroin addict who found the lord and decided to dress as Jesus to spread the good word. He began dressing as Christ and walking down North Broad Street sometime around April.

“I prayed for him all the time. This is what I got,” his mother told the Daily News’ Stephanie Farr (in on the Philly Jesus ground floor!) in August.

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Cop in Pulitzer-Winning ‘Tainted Justice’ Series Gets Job Back

Jeffrey Cujdik has his job back.

Cujdik is one of the Philadelphia narcotics officers implicated in the Daily News’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Tainted Justice” series. No charges were brought against Cujdik or any of the cops written about in the series; the Inquirer wrote a scathing piece on the series. (Our own Joel Mathis wasn’t quite convinced.)

But Police Commissioner Charles Ramsay fired Cujdik in May despite prosecutors’ decision not to file charges. Now, an arbitrator has reinstated Cujdik, though he won’t return to narcotics and won’t get back pay. A 30-day suspension will remain on his record.

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Ed Rendell Is OK with NFL Game Being Moved This Time

I tweeted the above joke yesterday. In 2010, a Vikings-Eagles game in Philadelphia was moved to Tuesday night because of snow. Rendell fumed over it, and the incident somehow led to a book by Rendell, A Nation of Wusses.

They’ve gotten quite a bit of snow this week in upstate New York, and Jets-Bills — originally scheduled for Sunday in Buffalo — has been moved to Monday at Detroit’s Ford Field. The NFL made the decision yesterday.

And, thanks to’s Dom Cosentino, my tweet is no longer just a joke: We now know Ed Rendell’s feelings on the move. He’s okay with it this time!

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Complaint: SRC Violated Pennsylvania Sunshine Act

As anticipated, public school activists have filed a complaint against the School Reform Commission, charging the SRC violated the state’s Sunshine Act when it unilaterally canceled the teachers’ contract last month.

The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools and member Lisa Haver filed the complaint. Though the SRC meeting that canceled the teachers’ contracts was done on a Monday morning with little notice, the SRC published an ad in the Inquirer and on that Sunday. The state’s Sunshine Act requires public meetings to be advertised at least 24 hours in advance.

But the lawsuit says those advertisements did not fulfill the Sunshine Act’s requirements.

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