The Philadelphia Police Department is asking for the public’s help to find a man who robbed and attempted to rape a woman at her South Philadelphia home on Thursday. Read more »
Women who say they were pictured on the secret Facebook page maintained by a Penn State fraternity have come forward to talk to investigators, officials say.
“Some female Penn State students have been interviewed by State College police, and a few were able to identify themselves from screen shots taken from the Kappa Delta Rho Facebook page, Lt. Keith Robb said,” the Centre Daily Times reports. “Members of the fraternity have also stepped forward and are assisting with the investigation, he said.” Read more »
SEPTA is giving up the fight: The transit agency has agreed to run anti-Islam ads on its buses rather than continue to fight the American Freedom Defense Initiative lawsuit officials acknowledge they’d probably lose.
But those officials say they’re now revising SEPTA policies to refuse all ads with political content — no matter what the content — going forward. Read more »
The School Reform Commission on Thursday adopted a $2.86 billion “lump sum” budget for the 2015-16 school year, providing the fiscal outlines for leaders as they begin to work on the details of that budget.
The outline — approved unanimously by the commission — assumes that the state and city will step forward with a combined $264 million in new revenues for the year, officials said — subtract an $80 million deficit now expected during the school year and the city’s public schools would still be left $180 million with which to make new investments. But individual schools are being told for now to create a “status quo” budget in case those funds don’t materialize. Read more »
Police are asking for the public’s help to find two men who robbed two women in their 20s in Northern Liberties last Thursday night. Read more »
Twenty-one-year-old Arkel Garcia has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the November 2013 murder of 21-year-old Christian Massey, a man with special needs whom Garcia shot in an attempt to steal his Beats By Dr. Dre headphones. Read more »
I got a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation late last week. “What did I do?” I thought. I panicked, even though I probably shouldn’t have. I have a license to drive, but I don’t own a car — so it wasn’t a red-light ticket. I had renewed my license in January. I had my new one already.
I opened the envelope with a little trepidation. Inside was what appeared to be an identical copy of my driver’s license. “PennDOT’s Bureau of Driver Licensing recently discovered one of our vendors supplied a security feature for the production of driver’s license and identification cards that was defective,” the letter from PennDOT began. “As a result, your recently issued driver’s license or identification card may have been produced with the defective security feature.” Read more »
Yes, it’s true, Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Act passed in 1963. So why is it that, in its recent “Status of Women in the States” report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, our state earned a C+ in the category of Employment and Earnings? Why is it that the median annual earnings of men in 2013 were $12,000 higher than those of women? Why do women in Pennsylvania earn only 76 cents for every dollar a man earns? Why is it that I have to wait till I’m 103 before I live in a state where men and women get equal pay?
The problem, of course, is that most women don’t know they’re being paid less, and no one can sue for an affront they don’t know exists. If they do find out, their colleagues can get into trouble for violating corporate policies around wage secrecy, and they can be threatened with retaliation. And wage discrepancies can be justified by any number of criteria because the current Equal Pay Act’s standards are vague.
Read more »
Whatever else you think of Frank Keel’s lawsuit against David Axelrod over who came up with the idea to blame Republicans in then-Philly Mayor John Street’s FBI bugging scandal, we want you to know this: It’s one heck of an entertaining read.
Keel’s attorney — George Bochetto — has a flair for the written word, and a kind of noir sensibility. If you’re tempted to giggle at Bochetto’s slightly over-the-top description of Keel as a man’s man, getting things done with brashness and style in the dirty world of Philadelphia politics, well, the overall description of behind-the-scenes power struggles during 2003 feels just a bit cinematic. Who is going to make this into a movie?
On Tuesday, Atlantic City’s Chris Christie-appointed emergency management team released its first report. The results were grim.
“The acute financial distress facing the City is imminent and the causes of such distress are not transitory,” emergency manager Kevin Lavin wrote in the report. “Absent an urgent, material realignment of revenues and expenses, this crisis will rapidly deepen and will threaten the City’s ability to deliver and maintain essential government services impacting the health, safety and welfare of its residents.” Christie’s executive order required Lavin and consultant Kevyn Orr, who handled Detroit’s bankruptcy, to issue a report within 60 days.
“It’s actually a lot more severe than we thought when we started 60 days ago,” Lavin said, though he and Orr said bankruptcy was not being considered. Atlantic City has a $101 million city budget shortfall and a $47 million deficit in the school district. The managers recommended $10 million in city cuts, including hundreds of layoffs, and appointing mediators to work with casinos and unions.
New Jersey State Senate president Steve Sweeney lambasted the report: “This report does nothing more than dramatize the fiscal crisis in Atlantic City … Today’s report was 60 days in the making and it reached the same conclusions that we did in November: that decisive action is needed to stabilize Atlantic City’s finances, reduce expenses, protect local taxpayers and reposition the casino industry for future growth.” Sweeney has proposed his own plan that includes a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program for the casinos.
Sweeney is right: The report does dramatize Atlantic City’s fiscal crisis. You can read it at the end of this post. But since it’s essentially just a stop-gap report — another one is due in 90 days — let’s take a look at some of its charts that illustrate the bad shape A.C. is in. Read more »