Mayor Nutter Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

nutter-pot

Starting October 20th, possession of small amounts of marijuana will be a civil offense in the city of Philadelphia.

Mayor Michael Nutter signed Jim Kenney’s marijuana decriminalization bill in a ceremony at City Hall today. It goes into effect later this month.

This isn’t legalization, but most possession offenses have been turned into fines. Those possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana will be cited and fined $25. Those smoking in public will be cited and fined $100, or made to perform nine hours of community service. Cops will also confiscate any weed they find. Thirty grams is just a little over an ounce; most pot smokers make purchases of only an eighth of an ounce or less at once.

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Pa. State Trooper Fatally Shot During Training Exercise

kedra-1 Pennsylvania State Trooper David Kedra was fatally shot in the chest during a training exercise in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania State Police announced. He was 26.

Kedra worked in Troop K, which covers Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. He worked out of the Montco barracks in Skippack.

“He died serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police mourn his loss and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said in a statement. State police declined to release any additional information.

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People Think It’s Going to Snow Because of a 2013 Story

Last year’s winter was quite bad: We got more than 60 inches of snow. The temperature was 15 degrees or colder for 15 days. “It may be hard to remember after the winter we’ve just been through,” I wrote in April, “but things haven’t always been this bad.” I had to look at data to be reminded of what warmth was!

Apparently people are still traumatized by the weather. Because today, a 2013 NJ.com story about a possible March 2013 snowfall has people on social media believing snow is in the forecast for this weekend.

Before we go any farther: Don’t worry. It’s not.

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Nat Turner: Maniacal Murderer or Virtuous Visionary?

Source | Wikimedia Commons

This 1831 woodcut purports to illustrate stages of the rebellion. Source | Wikimedia Commons

A version of this column ran in 2011.

October 2, 2014 — or thereabout — will be the 214th birthday of Nat Turner. I say “thereabout” because blacks, like him, who were born enslaved in this country, including Philadelphia, were considered inanimate objects and therefore were not bestowed the dignity of an official birth certificate. Despite that, most historians agree that he was born on that date in 1800.

It was in Southampton County, Virginia, that his rebellion took place on August 21, 1831, when he and others killed 55 persons to bring about an end to slavery. Did those killings mean that he was a maniacal murderer like Ted Bundy or a virtuous visionary like the colonial patriots such as the Sons of Liberty and the Boston, New York City, and Providence activists who beat, shot, and killed Brits?

Well, let’s talk first about who he was and what he did before we determine what he was.

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Dead Raccoon Rots For Weeks on Philly Power Lines Until Radio Station Report

KYW 1060’s John McDevitt has this tale today: After several weeks hanging above the neighborhood, a dead raccoon was finally removed from overhead lines in the Juniata section of Philadelphia. And who got it down? Well, KYW 1060’s John McDevitt.

Okay, he didn’t go up there himself and pull down the raccoon carcass from the 3700 block of East Airdrie Street. But no one would take down the dead raccoon for weeks until he started to report on it. Neighbors said the stench wafted across the block.

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Flyers Cave, Bring Back Ice Girls After Fans Boo

ice-girls

Last week, we wondered how long it would be until the Flyers caved and brought back the Ice Girls. Less than a week! Last night, during a preseason game, the Flyers announced they were bringing back the Ice Girls. Thus ends the most interesting saga of the Flyers’ offseason.

Tryouts are this Saturday, October 5th, at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey. Per The 700 Level blog, which has the same parent company as the Flyers and pays its writers better than the team reportedly pays the Ice Girls, the team cleaning up ice shavings will likely be a mix of Ice Girls and Ice Boys.

The team still isn’t talking about why it nixed the Ice Girls in the first place, but did tell Comcast SportsNet (also owned by the parent company of the Flyers, also pays a better-than-Ice Girl freelance rate) that “we listened” to the fans’ displeasure with their absence. “When Flyers fans voice their concerns, we listen, because they are undeniably the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in all of sports,” Flyers COO of business operations Shawn Tilger told NJ.com. It’s a good thing Ed Snider wasn’t in charge of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, or he would have shut it down before Dottie Hinson got the chance to do a split and get on the cover of Life magazine.

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Revel Sold, Won’t Become a University for Geniuses

The dream of a university for geniuses at the failed Revel casino is gone.

At auction this morning, Brookfield Asset Management purchased Revel with a bid of $110 million — besting Florida developer Glenn Straub’s $95 million bid for the property. Brookfield, based in Toronto, describes itself by saying it focuses on “owning and operating assets with a focus on property, renewable energy, infrastructure and private equity.”

Brookfield, which manages almost $200 billion in assets, owns the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It plans to run Revel as a casino.

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