Officials Prepare for Oil Train Fire

Railroad crews work on one of five derailed tank cars on a bridge over the Schuylkill River, January in Philadelphia. The accident Monday followed a series of derailments involving Bakken Shale crude from North Dakota including one that exploded in Canada, killing 47 people. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Railroad crews work on one of five derailed tank cars on a bridge over the Schuylkill River, January in Philadelphia. The accident followed a series of derailments involving Bakken Shale crude from North Dakota including one that exploded in Canada, killing 47 people. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia emergency officials are preparing for a fiery oil train disaster, NBC Philadelphia reports.

An oil train derailment on the Schuylkill River bridge earlier this year spurred local authorities into action, including a recent training exercise that included seven government agencies, CSX railroad, and the South Philly refinery.

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Report: Philly Paid Out $40 Million for Police Misconduct

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MuckRock, an investigative website that specializes in open-records requests, says Philadelphia has paid more than $40 million to settle nearly 600 police misconduct suits since 2009.

Sound like a lot? The folks at MuckRock think so.

“The numbers dwarf comparable statistics in other major cities for which MuckRock obtained the same data,” MuckRock reported. “For example, the cities of Indianapolis, San Francisco, San Jose, and Austin settled or lost a combined 122 police misconduct cases — compared to 586 cases in Philadelphia.”

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What Happened to 93,000 Pennsylvania Workers?

Let us first acknowledge the good news: There are more people employed in Pennsylvania than there were a year ago. There are fewer unemployed. The unemployment rate, as a result, is 5.7 percent — a number that sounds almost normal for a normal economy.

If Gov. Corbett wants to take a victory lap, we can’t blame him.

But….

There’s one number in today’s labor statistics that is really bothersome, and it’s this: There are 93,000 fewer Pennsylvanians seeking work now than there were a year ago.

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How Will Pa. Supreme Court Deal With Porn Scandal?

Seamus McCaffery and J. Michael Eakin, have both been connected with an ever-growing Harrisburg scandal concerning racy emails send between top government officials.

Seamus McCaffery and J. Michael Eakin, have both been connected to an ever-growing Harrisburg scandal concerning racy emails sent between top government officials.

Now that Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices Seamus McCaffery and J. Michael Eakin have been connected to racy emails in an ever-widening scandal, the question becomes: What next? Is exposure the end of the line, or will some kind of punishment ensue?

The Inquirer reports that three different options have emerged:
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Ebola Fears Keep New Burlco Students Home

Panics aren’t pretty. They’re not rational. But they happen, and they’re happening in Burlington County, N.J. — where two Rwandan students are being kept out of classes today, even though their home is 2,600 miles away from the West African nations where the outbreak is actually taking place.

That’s roughly like keeping kids out of school in Philadelphia because somebody caught a cold in Los Angeles.
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Is Camden on the Cusp of Revival?

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Chris Goodman hasn’t been in Camden very long, but already he’s seen one significant change.

“The first year I was here, there was a big memorial on the lawn of City Hall — a cross for every person murdered,” said Goodman, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy & Administration at Rutgers-Camden; he arrived on campus two-and-a-half years ago. “It was a big deal.

And now? “That’s not there now. There’s a pop-up park.”

Camden has long been known for two things: Violence and poverty. It’s a regular stop on the “ruin porn” touring circuit for journalists chronicling America’s urban decay — just last spring Rolling Stone labeled the city “America’s Most Desperate Town” under the headline: “Apocalypse, New Jersey.”

But maybe things are turning around.

Violence is down. The bond rating is up. A supermarket just opened. The 76ers are opening a practice facility. The city is rebuilding its governing capacity after an embarrassing state takeover in 2002. There are dozens of small metrics, taken together, that suggest this small city across the Delaware River from Philadelphia may be gathering the strength to escape its reputation as one of America’s worst places.

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