Atlantic City Fire Chief Gets $13K-Per-Month Pension

pants-drop

You remember former Atlantic City Fire Chief Dennis Brooks, right? We told you how he was accused of dropping his pants in front of a city employee — and, oh, not incidentally, a video camera as well?

Well, he’s retired. And he’s retiring well.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that Brooks will make $13,000 per month in retirement, his pension after spending 35 years with the fire department there. Read more »

Suit: Cops Broke Down Man’s Door, Beat Him While Looking for His Brother

A Philadelphia man has filed a federal lawsuit against the police department claiming that the Internal Affairs division routinely ignores allegations of wrongdoing by officers.

Luis Gelpi filed the suit this week. His complaint stems from a May 2013 incident in which he says a group of officers raided his home while looking for his brother, Juan. The family had endured and, according to the suit, cooperated during several days of inquiry from officers before the raid.

The officers came to his house on May 8th, Gelpi’s attorney, Brian Humble, writes in the complaint.

“On this occasion, Mr. Gelpi, demanded that the Police Officers named herein produce a warrant, or go away and stop harassing his family and disrupting his life. In response, one of the Defendant Officers ordered Mr. Gelpi to ‘open the fucking door,’” the complaint alleges. “Mr. Gelpi justifiably demanded that the individually named defendants produce a warrant. Rather than obtaining and/or showing a warrant, the Defendant Officers broke the front door and forcibly entered the Gelpi home.”

Gelpi, who according to the suit had his right arm in a full cast at the time, alleges he was thrown to the floor where one officer allegedly hit him in the head, face, and back and twisted his injured arm, while other officers searched his home. Eventually, the complaint alleges, one of the officers announced, “oh it’s not him.”

Read more »

About That Donovan McNabb Tweet

At first glance, this looks like it might be the most Donovan McNabb-ish tweet ever.

Hernandez, if you don’t know, is the former Patriots tight end who this week was convicted of killing a former friend and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. The questions of his future — not to mention NFL career — have been pretty definitively resolved.

Only: Take a second glance at the tweet.
Read more »

The Argument for “Free-Range Kids”

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

It’s been a couple of years now, but the shock still feels fresh: I took my young son to Fitler Square for some morning playtime, and there we found another young child.

Playing by herself.

No adults in sight.

Had she been abandoned? Had she wandered off on her own? Why wasn’t anybody around?

God help me, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I resolved to stay close, keep an eye on her — and if too much time passed, I’d call the police. Luckily, it never came to that: Her father rushed up a few minutes later — he’d brought his daughter to the park, then left her there for a few minutes to grab something from his house nearby. He’d never thought her in danger. I kind of thought he was a giant jerk.

But this probably has some bearing on the story: The father was European — for the sake of neighborly relations, I’ll not identify him more specifically than that — and, possibly, not wise to the panicky “stranger danger” alarmism we American parents are marinated in. Read more »

Court Weighs Challenge to NRA-Friendly Gun Law

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Judges in Pittsburgh on Wednesday heard a challenge to a new state law that lets third-party groups like the NRA sue cities if their gun ordinances are more restrictive than state law.

The law’s challengers, including Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, contend that it was passed improperly: The state constitution requires legislative bills to be about a single subject; the gun bill was passed, though, by inserting its language in a bill originally concerning scrap metal theft. Read more »

Many More Philly Students Are Opting Out of State Exams

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Shutterstock.com

It would appear the opt-out movement has momentum: Philadelphia School District officials said this week that the families of 486 students in grades 3 through 8 have asked to be excused from taking standardized tests — a dramatic increase over the mere 20 who opted out last year.

That growth is “remarkable,” said Kelley Collings, a teacher and activist with the Caucus of Working Educators who has helped lead efforts to encourage Philadelphia parents to opt their children out of standardized tests.

“The numbers are still growing,” she said via email. “As more parents and students understand they have the right to opt out, word is spreading.” Read more »

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