Comcast Parts With “A–hole” Employee

Ever wonder if Charlie Herrin has regrets?

It’s only been a few months since he took the job as Comcast’s “vice president of customer experience” — or, as we termed it at the time, the “exec in charge of making customers less ragey” — and since then, well, he’s been busy.

The latest incident? Somebody in the company branded a Washington customer an “asshole” — and sent a bill addressed  to “Asshole Brown” to their house. Not kosher.

In a blog post today, Herrin reveals that the employee responsible for the branding, ahem, will no longer be working on behalf of Comcast, which sounds a little bit like when your parents told you your pet collie went to live “in the country.”

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Philadelphia Doctor, Receptionist Charged in Pill Mill Scheme

xanax1 Prosecutors today announced the indictment of two Philadelphians, a doctor and a clinic receptionist, for running a “pill mill” scheme out of offices in Philly and Levittown, Bucks County. Federal authorities charged William O’Brien III, 49, and Angela Rongione, 29, with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

If convicted, both could face a 20 year sentence on the conspiracy charge.

O’Brien, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, is also charged with 26 counts of illegally prescribing oxycodone and Xanax without a legitimate medical purpose. Each of those charges carries with it a five-year term and “substantial fines and criminal forfeiture,” per the federal government. In one example from the indictment, the government alleges an FBI agent received prescription slips for 1,080 pills over several visits.

The indictment says O’Brien wrote prescriptions for oxycodone and Xanax for a fee without referrals or medical examinations. The government alleges O’Brien charged $250 for the first visit and prescription and $200 for each additional visit to get refills. Oxycodone is a Schedule II substance under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which means the government classifies it as having a currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is a Schedule IV drug (legitimate medical use; low potential for abuse and dependence).

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Suspected Trooper Shooter Pleads Not Guilty

The man accused of killing one Pennsylvania state police officer and badly wounding another during an ambush last fall has pleaded not guilty to charges in the case.

Eric Frein was caught after a weeks-long manhunt after the Sept. 12 incident. On Thursday, “the 31-year-old Frein participated by video from the county jail and answered yes-or-no questions from his lawyer, who entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf,” AP reports.

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Wolf Reverses Corbett Order, Bans Fracking on State Parkland

Tom Wolf - Fracking

Photos | Jeff Fusco

New Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is continuing to undo moves former Gov. Tom Corbett made during his last year in office.

Wolf appeared at Benjamin Rush State Park in Far Northeast Philadelphia today to sign an order banning fracking in state parkland, reversing a move Corbett made last May. In his first week in office, Wolf voided two dozen “pending executive nominations” Corbett made late in his term. Today’s moratorium, effective immediately, forbids fracking leases on parks and forests owned or managed by the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

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Cheaters Sometimes Win


Deflate-Gate has turned out to be a brilliant tactical development for the New England Patriots, who I predict will win this year’s Super Bowl.

The Pats have evolved this week from a pack of blatant cheating weasels to the unfairly persecuted, a dramatic transition last seen in Godfather II. In front of a special Senate Committee, Michael Corleone denied he was remotely involved in organized crime, and urged the committee to absolve him of guilt with the same enthusiasm with which they accused him. Meanwhile, Tom Hagen was screaming, “This committee owes an apology Senator!”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulled a similar trick out of his hat a few days ago when he lectured the press and the public about accusing his organization of cheating. Kraft was crafty in his wording, but only an idiot couldn’t see through it. He said “if” the NFL’s investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, he hoped that everybody was prepared to beg the Patriots for forgiveness. Or something like that. He didn’t say “when” the NFL finds no evidence of wrongdoing. He was spitting into the wind. Just like Michael Corleone.

But here’s the thing. Corleone was a gangster. And the Patriots did cheat. And no smoke-and-mirrors, fancypants dialogue can wriggle human beings from hard, cold reality.

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In South Jersey, District Instructs Families How to Opt Out of Testing

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

Haddon Township School District isn’t necessarily against PARCC, the highly controversial standardized education assessment that has been adopted by dozens of states nation-wide. But district officials are telling parents how their kids can get out of taking it. And parents opposed to the test are hailing it as a win.

In a letter dated January 26, 2015 (below), District Superintendent Dr. Nancy Ward outlined Haddon Township’s provisions for parents who wish their children to be exempt from the high-stakes exam, which has come under fire by education advocates in other states: Trisha Kocanda, a superintendent outside of Chicago, wrote an open letter on PARCC, which was later published in The Washington Post. In it, Kocanda said she was “wary. We are concerned about the amount of instructional time it will displace, the impact this will have on students, and the usefulness of the results.”

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Sixers Win By 20 (!) For Ninth Victory


They said it couldn’t be done. In December, one sports book moved the over/under on the Sixers to 9.5. But it is only the end of January, and the Sixers now have nine wins on their own. They will, at worst, tie the 9-73 Sixers for futility in an 82-game season, and that’s only if they lose their final 36 games. That’s probably not going to happen. This Sixers season will not be the most embarrassing NBA season ever, record-wise.

The Sixers jumped out to a 24-4 lead on the Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center and didn’t really have to look back. They held the Pistons to just 69 points — including just 32 in the second half.

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Comcast Bill Changes Customer Name to “A–hole”


Comcast prides itself on innovation, but figuring out new and exciting ways to insult customers probably isn’t what the company had in mind.

Nonetheless: The Brown family in Washington State recently received its first bill since trying to cancel the cable portion of their Comcast account — the bill was addressed to “Asshole Brown.”
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Penn State President Criticizes Freeh Report


Penn State’s president has criticized the Freeh Report that found broad university culpability in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, saying it was overly “prosecutorial” and arrived at “absurd” conclusion.

An association of sexual abuse survivors reacted angrily to the news, issuing a statement urging university officials to “man up” to their responsibilities in the matter.
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