SEPTA Train Strikes Taxi; Service Suspended

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[Update 9:20 am] SEPTA says service is restored.

[Original] A SEPTA train has struck a taxi cab in Conshohocken, according to multiple reports. Service on the Manayunk-Norristown line has been suspended.

NBC10 reports the train struck a taxi that was disabled on the tracks. No one was in the cab at the time of the accident. CBS3 adds that 55 people were on board the train at the time of the accident. Fox 29 is reporting one injury at the scene.

More to come.

Morning Headlines: Wolf Doubles Down on Ed Funding

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Gov. Tom Wolf is still trying to get last year’s education-funding request approved by the Legislature. Now he’s doubling down.

The governor is still trying to get approval for $377 million in ed funding that he requested in 2015 — but now he’s added $200 million on top of that in his 2016-17 budget proposal.”We have a choice in Pennsylvania and we must choose a path that funds our schools, eliminates our deficit, and puts Pennsylvania back on track,” he said Tuesday. But Republicans, who control both branches of the Legislature, sounded skeptical, PennLive reports. “At some point, this administration needs to understand money comes from people’s pockets and not out of the blue,” said Steven Miskin, a spokesman for House Republicans. The ed funding news was the first of what is expected to be three pre-budget announcements before Wolf addresses the Legislature next Tuesday. Read more »

Act 89 Kept SEPTA Trains in Service. Now Funding Is Falling Short.

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Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The state law that has helped SEPTA begin to make progress on its backlog of infrastructure repairs will fall $6 billion short of its funding goal, officials say, but local transit officials downplayed the report.

TribLive reported the shortfall Tuesday morning, the same day PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards was to deliver the news to the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee.  Read more »

Chaka Fattah Jr. Sentenced to Five Years, Taken Into Custody

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Chaka Fattah Jr., son of Philly’s longtime congressman, was sentenced to five years in prison today for his conviction on tax and bank fraud charges.

Fattah, who had served as his own attorney throughout the trial that led to his conviction, was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his sentence. Congressman Chaka Fattah was on reportedly hand for the sentencing.

The younger Fattah — known as “Chip” — was found guilty in November on 22 of 23 counts against him. He had been charged with a variety of offenses, including filing false income tax returns, stealing from the School District of Philadelphia, making false statements to banks in order to obtain loans, and failing to pay federal taxes. Prior to the indictment, he had been under investigation for two years. Read more »

WATCH: Northeast High Girl Turns Video of Her Beating Into Anti-Bullying Crusade

Images from Mia DeJesus' video.

Images from Mia DeJesus’ anti-bullying video.

Mia DeJesus says she was beaten unconscious in a Northeast High School bathroom last week — and to make things worse, her attackers posted video of the incident online to see.

Now the video is going viral — promoted by 16-year-old DeJesus herself, as a statement against bullying.

“I refuse to be held hostage by this video and my fear,” she says in a voiceover. “I will not be a victim.”

Watch: Read more »

Here’s How One Cranky Comcast Customer Got Even

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An anonymous Comcast customer has drawn the attention of the tech industry by setting up a “bot” to automatically tweet every time his Internet speeds dip below levels promised by the company.

Reddit user AlekseyP described his effort in an online technology forum earlier this week, saying he pays for download speeds of 150MB per second. The bot tweets whenever speeds dip below 50MB per second.

“I know some people might say I should not be complaining about 50mpbs down, but when they advertise 150 and I get 10-30 I am unsatisfied,” he wrote. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Temple Stadium Could Proceed Over Neighborhood Objections

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Good morning Philadelphia. Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses last night, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders virtually tied on the Democratic side. Here’s what else you need to know today:

Protests continue, but Temple University is preparing to move ahead with plans for an on-campus football stadium.

CBS3 reports dozens of students were escorted out of a students-only meeting Monday when they protested the proposal, saying it could harm North Philly neighborhood residents. “To say that we’re going to build a stadium, yes that’s great, that’s fun that’s whatever it is but you need to have input from the community,” one protester said. “This meeting there were no community members allowed. It was strictly for students.” But the time for input may be ending. Philly.com reports that Temple’s Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Monday to consider moving forward with the $100 million stadium. Read more »

Here’s What Brandon Bostian Said in NTSB Interviews After the Crash of Amtrak 188

Engineer Brandon Bostian photo via Facebook

Engineer Brandon Bostian photo via Facebook

One of the last things Brandon Bostian remembers about the fateful trip of Amtrak Train 188 is this: Coming out of one of the final curves before the accident at Frankford Junction in Philadelphia he was going too slow — not too fast.

At least, that’s what Bostian — who was engineer of the train when it derailed on May 12th, killing eight people — thinks he remembers.

“The memory I think I may have from that night was that I came out of the 65-mile-an-hour curve. I pushed the throttle forward to accelerate my train,” Bostian told National Transportation Safety Board investigators during a November interview. “And as I approached 70 miles an hour, I have a memory that I backed off the throttle by mistake.” The train, he said, should’ve been going 80 mph — but Bostian had accelerated only to 70 mph.

Then again, that might not have happened at all. “I can’t tell you with accuracy, with certainty, that that was on the night of the incident,” he told investigators. “But in my mind, that’s what I believe.” Read more »

Kenney Appoints NYC Soda Fighter to Lead Health Department

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, left, speaks while New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks on during a news conference in March 2013. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The man who led Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war on sugar, salt and fat in New York City is coming to Philadelphia. Mayor Jim Kenney named him to lead the Department of Public Health on Monday morning.

Thomas A. Farley is known by critics for a brand of “dietary paternalism” that gets the government involved in the food and drink choices of its citizens — but is praised by admirers for helping New York dramatically increase the life expectancy of its residents.

Remember when New York tried to limit the size of sugary soda drinks that could be purchased? That was Farley’s brainchild.

“Dr. Farley’s ‘out-of-the-box approach’ to public health, along with his medical expertise and his experience running one of the largest health departments in the nation will make him a valuable asset to Philadelphia,” Kenney said in a statement announcing Farley’s appointment.  Read more »

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