Morning Headlines: Underground Transformer Fire Knocked Out Power in Center City

underground-transformer-fire-940x540

Photo | Philly 311

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

An underground transformer fire plunged parts of Rittenhouse into darkness. What city officials called an underground transformer explosion caused a fire at the evening rush hour in the 2100 block of Walnut Street. According to a story on Philly.com, the fire knocked out power to about 400 customers in the 2000 and 2100 blocks of Walnut Street; 6ABC reports that the outage even affected last night’s performance of Rain at the Merriam Theater. Several buildings surrounding the site of the fire were evacuated for about two hours. As of this morning, PECO’s outage map reports the probable cause as an “underground cable problem”; 91 customers remain without power, which the utility expects to restore by noon. Read more »

Bridge Inspections to Cause Slowdowns on Philly Roads Starting Next Week

I-95 at Columbus Blvd

Bridge inspections will cause lane closures on I-95 in Center City and other area roads from Feb. 19 through Feb. 28. Photo | Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

If you’re driving during the middle of the day in and around Philadelphia between February 16th and February 25th, be prepared to slow down at the following locations, as PennDOT will be closing lanes on several area roads for routine bridge inspections.

Here’s when and where there will be lane closures, day by day: Read more »

25 Signs From the Anti-UberX Protest That Shut Down Center City

Anti UberX Protest - February 11th

Photo | Mike Meech

About 100 cab and Uber Black drivers shut down traffic in Center City today with a protest against Lyft and UberX outside City Hall. The drivers, who last time circled City Hall for a few hours, parked their cars in the surrounding streets this time for about three hours.

The drivers demanded a meeting with Mayor Jim Kenney, and several signs chastised Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for not paying drivers enough. At one point, the drivers chanted, “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Justice!” (They eventually got the “Now!” part right.) Read more »

Detective: Philly Police Retaliated Against Me for Whistleblowing

Philadelphia Police Headquarters, aka "The Roundhouse." | Beyond My Ken | Wikimedia Commons

Philadelphia Police Headquarters, aka “The Roundhouse.” | Beyond My Ken | Wikimedia Commons

The city has settled a lawsuit with a Philadelphia Police detective who claims his superiors retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on civil rights violations within the department.

Detective Matthew Maurizio filed the suit in spring 2014, claiming he had been punished because he told his superiors about the practice of “icing” — holding arrestees in jail without the probable cause or charges required to do so, in violation of their rights.

The practice is used to shake loose information from the arrestees, Maurizio said in his suit. (See the complaint below.)

“Icing is to induce the held person to speak, to make the person provide a statement about matters the police are criminally investigating, to coerce the held person to speak when the person did not wish to speak to police or would not fully speak with police,” Maurizio’s lawyer, Brian Puricelli, wrote in the lawsuit.

The department, in a written statement to Philly Mag, denied the icing allegations. Read more »

A Toddler, a Cell Phone, and One Big South Philly-Style Brouhaha

A scolding server (left arrow) and troublesome toddler (right arrow) clash at South Philadelphia's B2 Cafe.

A scolding server (left arrow) and troublesome toddler (right arrow) clash at South Philadelphia’s B2 Cafe.

UPDATE 2/12/2016 1:50pm: We watched the entire surveillance video of Francesca Depasquale’s 45-minute visit to B2 Cafe, and we call bullshit. For our full report on that video, click here.

We also got a copy of the video showing the woman who comes into the cafe and threatens the B2 Cafe barista with a bottle of spray cleaner. To view it, go here.

ORIGINAL:

In most places in these United States of America, an unpleasant experience in a restaurant is forgotten by the next morning. Maybe it leads to a bad Yelp review. Maybe. But in South Philadelphia, where shoveled-out parking spots are protected by an unspoken promise of bodily harm and where conflicts sometimes take the form of the “I’m funny how … like I’m a clown?” argument in Goodfellas, things are handled much, much differently. And so we bring you the story of what heretofore will be known as The Cell Phone Incident at B2 Cafe. Read more »

Cops Say This Man Stabbed a Philly Cabbie in Queen Village

Suspect in stabbing of a Philadelphia cabbie

Image via Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police are on the lookout for a man who stabbed a 51-year-old Philadelphia cab driver. Cops released a surveillance image of the man who attacked and robbed the driver.

Here’s what happened, per the PPD: The suspect, believed to be in his late 20s, hailed a cab at Fourth and South streets just before midnight yesterday. He asked the driver to take him to fourth and Christian. But as the cab reached Catharine Street, the man stuck a knife through the partition and put the knife to the driver’s neck. He told the man, who drives for 215-GET-A-CAB, to give him money.  Read more »

Morning Headlines: Kathleen Kane Survived One Ouster Attempt; The Next Has Already Begun

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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

The Pennsylvania Senate fell short of ousting Kathleen Kane Wednesday. Now it’s the House’s turn to try.

The Senate fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to boot Kane, the attorney general who faces criminal charges for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information. Even as that attempt failed, PennLive reports, the House voted to empower a subcommittee to investigate whether articles of impeachment should be brought against her. The investigation could be complete by spring — and, if warranted, prompt an impeachment trial back in the Senate later this year. Kane’s spokesman says the process is “premature,” and that legislators should let the legal process play out. Her trial on the criminal charges is scheduled for August. Read more »

A Philly Guy Got 22 Votes for President in New Hampshire

Ed O'Donnell for president

Photo | Dan McQuade

Last month, Philadelphia magazine talked with Ed O’Donnell, a Philadelphia man who was running for the Democratic presidential nomination. He was only on the ballot in New Hampshire – and he really considered himself not affiliated with any party — but he was going for it, visiting the state late in 2015 to stump for votes.

Last night, Bernie Sanders got 60 percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton got 38 percent. And part of that missing 2 percent went to O’Donnell: He received 22 votes for the Democratic presidential nomination. Read more »

96 Ursinus College Students Now Reporting Stomach Infection Symptoms

Ursinus

About 96 students have reported having symptoms of a stomach infection at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., and at least 22 of those students had to be treated at area hospitals, according to the Montgomery County Health Department, but Ursinus says it is unclear what caused the outbreak.

“On Tuesday evening a number of Ursinus students were taken ill with a stomach infection,” the school said in a statement on its website Wednesday. “Symptoms included prolonged vomiting, and a number of students went to the hospital or to urgent care centers for treatment. As of Wednesday morning, there have been reports of approximately 40 students who have become ill.” Read more »

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