Six Ferraris, Two Rolls-Royces, $1.2 Million In Jewelry Seized in Doylestown Fraud Case

Clockwise from top left: Carla Risoldi, Claire Risoldi, Tom French, Carl Risoldi, Mark Goldman, Sheila Risoldi.

Clockwise from top left: Carla Risoldi, Claire Risoldi, Tom French, Carl Risoldi, Mark Goldman, Sheila Risoldi. Richard Holston mugshot unavailable.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has announced the arrest of seven people — five from one family — charged in a massive insurance fraud scheme in Bucks County. The defendants allegedly conspired to bilk insurance companies for over $20 million. Read more »

Proof That Jersey Shore Beach Access Opponents Are Wrong, Snobs

Photo | Jen A. Miller

There are five — five! — different bathroom stops in this photo of a very visitor-friendly beach in Redondo California. Photo | Jen A. Miller

Over the holidays, I shipped out to Southern California to visit family for a week. Almost every day I was there, I ran along Redondo Beach’s paved running and biking path — not only because it was parallel to the ocean, but also because those beaches had a water fountain, bathroom or both every few blocks.

That area of California is extremely pricey. The median home sales price in Redondo Beach is $800,000, and one neighborhood enclave requires at least $12 million to even think about owning a home there. This is not a crummy, rag-tag beach, and yet the community makes sure that there are plenty of places for pit stops for those who visit there, even if they’re coming in from out of town.

This makes some New Jersey beach towns look insane — and obnoxious — as they continue to try to do everything to shirk beach access mandates.

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Cohen: Net Neutrality Could Scuttle Time Warner Merger

Comcast is the focus of a big Page One story today in the Wall Street Journal, focusing on the company’s power in Washington, net neutrality, and the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. It mostly covered well-worn ground, but we learned a few things, too. Three things that we learned:

President Obama’s favored net neutrality rules could scuttle the merger. The FCC is expected to vote in February whether or not to regulate Internet providers like a utility, as the president supports but Comcast opposes. If the FCC proceeds, Comcast Vice President David Cohen said Comcast will  “see what the order is and to then make a judgment about whether it is sufficiently bad for the broadband business that it would cause us not to go through with the transaction, or whether we’d go through with the transaction and simply have to be more conservative in our investment plans.”
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Wawa’s New App Offers Free Drinks, Food

unnamedNow Wawa is working its magic on your smartphone.

The beloved convenience store chain this week unveiled the Wawa app. And while it’s handy — you’ll be able to use the app as a “gift card” that can be used to make purchases at the store — it’s also, literally, rewarding: Use it often enough, and you’ll be treated to free food and drinks.

There’s now a payoff to being a Wawa fanatic. But you’ve got to spend at least $50 before you accumulate rewards.

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Council Members Back Testing “Revolt”

There’s a “revolt” against standardized testing under way in Philly, and some members of the City Council are backing it.

Seventeen percent of students at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences have opted out of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and other standardized tests, City Paper reports. Council members María Quiñones-Sánchez, Mark Squilla and Jannie Blackwell have now backed those efforts.

“Until we put some limits on this obsession with testing students, we will see protests like that at Feltonville,” Quiñones-Sánchez said in a statement backing the protests. “We stand with families who are making the choice they believe is best for their children.”

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Wolf Goes to Battle With GOP

Tom Wolf

That didn’t take long. On only his second day in office, Gov. Tom Wolf started throwing down with Republicans — voiding some last-second picks for appointed offices that his predecessor, Gov. Tom Corbett, made before leaving office this week.

“Included among the two dozen “pending executive nominations” that were recalled by Mr. Wolf on Thursday were judicial nominations, the nomination of former Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley to Temple University’s board of trustees and the appointment of William Lieberman to the state Turnpike Commission,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

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Winter Weather on Way for Weekend

Forecasters say a nor’easter is on the way to the Philadelphia region and should give us a serious mix of rain and snow this weekend.

“We can expect mainly snow and sleet overnight Friday into Saturday morning,” Fox 29 reports. “On Saturday, by midday we will see snow to sleet, and then Saturday early afternoon to early evening we will see sleet to snow as the event ends. In the video above, the green coloring on the map is rain, pink is a mix of rain and snow, and white is snow.

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Madison Holleran’s Notes Dispel the Myth of the Selfish Suicide

MO-madison-holleran-collage-940x540

Family, friends and scenes from Madison Holleran’s Instagram feed.

The family of Madison Holleran — the 19-year-old Penn student who jumped to her death a year ago — provided her suicide note to People magazine, for publication in its February 2, 2015 issue. It might seem a painful reminder of their beloved daughter’s death, but it was done as part of what has become a beautifully altruistic impulse on their part: to raise awareness of the struggles college freshmen face and to propel dialogue between family members. Her father was quoted by People’s Nicole Egan as saying, “Parents, if you see a huge change in your child and you haven’t discussed suicide with them, open that discussion up.” (See the Madison Holleran Foundation for more information on the mission.)

Her family found two suicide notes, actually. The one in her dorm room read:

“I don’t know who I am anymore. trying. trying. trying,” the note said. “I’m sorry. I love you … sorry again … sorry again … sorry again … How did this happen?”

The second, accompanied by gifts for family members, read:

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Will New Blog Bring WHYY, Philly.com Together?

WHYY Blog Face

WHYY’s new blog covering the mayor’s race is just one piece of what could end up being a unique collaboration among Philadelphia’s most-powerful media outlets.

The blog, NinetyNine, debuted Wednesday at WHYY’s news site, NewsWorks.org, helmed by longtime Philadelphia reporter Brian Hickey. It’s expected to be the first piece of multi-platform coverage of the mayor’s race, which will ultimately be hosted at Philly.com.

“The blog will be our contribution,” said Chris Satullo, WHYY’s president for news and civic dialogue. ‘The blog will also be on Philly.com.”

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South Jersey Police Shooting Draws National Attention

Video of a South Jersey police-involved shooting has drawn national attention, becoming the latest flashpoint in the debate over policing practices.

The incident took place in Bridgeton, south of Philadelphia.

“The video is from December 30th when two police officers pulled over two men in a car,” 6ABC reports. “Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley ordered 36-year-old Jerame Reid not to move before Reid appears to push his way out of the passenger side door. The video appears to show Reid with his hands in front of him as he stands to get out of the car and is shot and killed by the officers.”

“I’m going to shoot you,” Days shouted in the video,  the Associated Press reported. “You’re going to be f—ing dead. If you reach for something, you’re going to be f—ing dead.”

In a statement, Cumberland County prosecutors have said “during the course of the stop a handgun was revealed and later recovered.” According to the South Jersey Times, “Police have not said who the gun belonged to. The video appears to show Days removing a silver object from the car.”

The video was made public after open-records requests by area newspapers. The New York Daily News reports: “The Bridgeton Police Department released a statement Tuesday expressing it was upset over the video’s release, calling it unprofessional and uncompassionate ‘out of respect for the family.'”

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