Philly Lawyers Lead the Baylor Investigation That Cost Kenneth Starr the Presidency


Pepper Hamilton’s Gina Maisto Smith (left) and Leslie Gomez (right).

An investigation by two leading Philadelphia lawyers has resulted in top-level personnel overhaul at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Head Football Coach Art Biles has been “suspended with intent to terminate,” according to Baylor’s website. The university’s board of regents has also voted to remove Kenneth Starr as president. He will continue working as a professor at the university’s law school and transition to the role of chancellor. Starr is best known as the prosecutor whose investigation served as the basis for President Bill Clinton‘s impeachment in 1998Read more »

End the Bikers’ Moral Crusade: Build Better Bike Lanes

To avoid situations like the one on the left, Philly needs more bike lanes like the ones on the right. SEPTA/bike showdown photo courtesy of Matthew Kay; bike lanes photo

To avoid situations like the one on the left, Philly needs more bike lanes like the ones on the right. SEPTA/bike showdown photo courtesy of Matthew Kay via Facebook; bike lanes via, wsfurlan

I rode my bike to work this morning, which I often do when the weather’s nice. Other times I walk or take the subway, and sometimes the bus. It’s an immense privilege to have four really decent ways to commute to work, and changing it up occasionally helps keep the drawbacks of each mode from becoming too annoying.

Walking takes too long, the bus is always too crowded, and the subway is dimly lit and boring to wait for. Biking is really the best way, when the weather’s right. Except that there’s always another biker on the road who you just know is looking for an opportunity to educate his fellow commuters on the rules and etiquette of the road.

Drivers have road-rage; bikers have road-righteous-indignation. Read more »

A.C. Will Face Major Budget Cuts if Christie Signs Rescue Bills

Photo | Dan McQuade

Photo | Dan McQuade

The future of Atlantic City is now in Gov. Chris Christie‘s hands. Or, rather, his pen.

A pair of state aid packages passed the Assembly and Senate today and are now awaiting Christie’s signature. The bills give the city 150 days to come up with five-year fiscal plan for balanced budgets. If Christie signs them, the city would have to cut roughly $100 million in its fiscal plan.

The city will get about $56 million for the 2017 state budget, with the money coming in state aid and redirected casino funds.

Both bills passed the assembly in the early afternoon. The Senate passed them later in the day.

Read more »

Drug-Resistant Superbug Found in Pennsylvania Woman


A terrifying strain of drug-resistant bacteria has made its first appearance in the United States — in a Pennsylvania woman.

The report, posted online Thursday as an accepted paper in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, says the E. coli found in a woman in the Keystone State “heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.”

A woman, 49, came to a Pennsylvania clinic and was found to have a rare strain of E. coli that is resistant to colistin. Read more »

Philly’s Airport Second Most-Breached in Nation

(Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia International Airport.)

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia International Airport.

An Associated Press investigation has revealed the most comprehensive public tally of breaches at the nation’s large airports, and Philly’s airport is tied for second with Las Vegas’s for the most known breaches.

Intruders crossed the Philadelphia International Airport’s fences, gates and other secured areas 30 times between January 2004 and February 2016, according to the AP. The airport shared detailed information on the breaches only after attorneys for the AP got involved, the news agency reports. Read more »

Philly Judge Admits He Lied to the FBI

"Justice" engraved on Philadelphia's City Hall

“Justice” engraved on Philadelphia’s City Hall. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Municipal Court Judge Joseph O’Neill admitted today he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an investigation into wrongdoing in the courts. He pleaded guilty to making false statements during the federal corruption investigation.

O’Neill, 65, admitted that he lied to the FBI on two occasions when they investigated former Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. earlier this decade. Waters abruptly resigned his position and pleaded guilty to fraud in September 2014.

During that investigation, investigators twice asked O’Neill if Waters communicated with him about a case involving Donegal Investment Properties. The owner of Donegal was Sam Kuttab, an ally of Waters, and the FBI had intercepted a conversation where Waters asks O’Neill to “take a hard look at it.” Kuttab pleaded guilty last year. Read more »

Investigators: Organized Crime Dumping Dirty Dirt in New Jersey

Palmyra site. Photo via New Jersey State Commission of Investigation

Jersey Recylcing Services Palmyra site. Photo via New Jersey State Commission of Investigation

The New York mob is cashing in on New Jersey’s loopholes in recycling regulations — and it’s costing both the environment and residents, according to investigators from New Jersey’s State Commission of Investigation.

At a three-hour hearing held Wednesday at the Statehouse in Trenton, investigators said organized criminals are profiting from an underground economy via the improper disposal of contaminated soil and construction debris from New York. A few recycling sites and makeshift dumping grounds in South Jersey are particularly notable, according to the Inquirer.

It’s prompted the SCI to inspect the state’s recycling industry, which has it says been tainted by organized crime for years.

Read more »

Jon Stewart’s New Horse Wasn’t Actually Shot 100 Times With Paintballs

Tracey Stewart stands besides Lily the horse she is adopting during a news conference Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Kennett Square, Pa. The former owner of the horse adopted by Jon Stewart and his wife Tracey that was portrayed as having been shot by paintballs over 100 times, said Wednesday the animal was used at children's finger-painting parties and was never injured by a paintball gun.

Tracey Stewart stands besides Lily the horse she is adopting during a news conference Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Kennett Square, Pa.

It’s not what it looks like – but it’s not great either.

Jon Stewart and his wife, Tracey Stewart, recently adopted a horse from Kennett Square that was believed to have been shot more than 100 times by a paintball gun­ – but now the former owner is weighing in.

Doreen Weston, who previously owned the white mare named Lily, said the former Daily Show host’s new horse was used at her Pittstown, NJ farm as a canvas for children’s finger-painting parties.

Read more »

PLCB Approves Six-Pack Licenses at Gas Stations

Six packs of beer at Pennsylvania gas stations

Yesterday, we told you about Gov. Tom Wolf’s plea to “free the six-pack” at Pennsylvania gas stations. Wolf called for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to approve several licenses that

On cue, today the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved nine applications yesterday. Several were from gas stations asking to be able to sell six-packs of beer (up to 192 fluid ounces at a time). Almost as if this were designed this way, Wolf then released a statement complete with hip graphic (above) declaring victory and praising the LCB. Hrmm. Read more »

Who Uses GrubHub to Order Food from Downey’s?

Downey's - Front and South streets

Downey’s at Front and South streets in Center City Philadelphia. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

It’s been a rough decade for Downey’s.

The bar filed for bankruptcy in September 2010. The next year, inspectors found rat carcasses at the restaurant — two days before St. Patrick’s Day and just before the bar went on Jon Taffer’s Bar Rescue.

Founded by Jack Downey in 1976, the bar was long a hangout for Irish Philadelphians. Downey sold it to his chef, Domenico Centofanti, in 2003. By the time it was on Bar Rescue, the bar was struggling. Centofanti said the closure of Front Street cut his business in half.

“This was absolutely the worst and dirtiest restaurant I’ve ever set foot in,” Brian Duffy, a former chef who helped try to return the bar to its past glory on Bar Rescue, said at the time. “There was trash in the hallways. Dead lobsters everywhere. The walk-in fridge was more like an air conditioner. The products in there were rancid. It was 52 degrees and it’s supposed to be under 40. It’s like throwing a festival for bacteria.”

Downey’s had been named the Worst Irish Bar in America. Read more »

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