Union Says SEPTA Train Engineers Overworked

Septa regional rail train

The union representing SEPTA’s rail engineers has asked the Federal Railroad Administration to reject the agency’s waiver from safety rules, saying engineers are overworked and fatigued.

NBC 10 reports:

With one of the busiest travel days of the year on the horizon, SEPTA Union leaders are warning that some engineers are working too many hours, putting riders in danger. SEPTA officials believe the warning is unnecessary however.

“The locomotive engineers are working 14 hour days, six days a week,” said Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) vice president Steve Bruno. “It’s something of an unsafe condition and frankly it’s becoming dangerous.”

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Grand Jury Makes Ferguson Decision

AP reports: “A St. Louis County grand jury has finally reached a decision on whether to charge Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown Jr., several media outlets reported Monday. The panel’s ruling is expected to be revealed during a press conference at the courthouse in Clayton later today.”

This will be a big deal in Philadelphia. Activists have already announced plans to demonstrate here on both the day of the announcement — today, apparently — and the day after. Philly Police have been planning for the protests and meeting with organizers.

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Wolf Seeks Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law

Tom Wolf

The Pennsylvania Independent, a right-leaning website, reports that Gov.-elect Tom Wolf wants to pursue a law guaranteeing paid sick  leave to workers across the state — similar to bills that have been twice vetoed in Philadelphia, but which appear to be closer to passage on third try.

A similar law passed in Connecticut has the support of three-quarters of business owners, the Independent report — but probably because it includes exceptions for small businesses and manufacturers. But Wolf may have a hard time getting that far with the proposal:

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Former Head of Montco GOP Pleads to Indecent Assault

robert-kerns-400Robert Kerns, an attorney and the former head of the Montgomery County GOP, pleaded “no contest” today to a misdemeanor count of indecent assault involving a woman who worked at his firm.

Kerns, 67, was accused of having sex with the woman after she passed out during a night of drinking in October. He was sentenced to two years probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years.
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PGW Sale: Not Dead Yet

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

No, the City Council doesn’t show much sign of budging. And yes, UIL Holdings — the Connecticut company that has spent most of 2014 trying to buy Philadelphia Gas Works from the city, said last week it’ll walk away from the deal when its contract expires at the end of December.

But the PGW sale isn’t dead yet. Close, but not quite.

Philadelphia Business Journal reports that UIL officials are continuing to meet with and lobby city officials, hoping that the sale can be put on the City Council agenda for one of the year’s two remaining scheduled meetings — or that an additional meeting can be scheduled for just that purpose. The Journal talked to UIL spokesman Michael West:
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