Guilty Plea in Brazen Germantown Kidnapping


The man who grabbed Carlesha Freeland-Gaither off a Germantown street won’t be getting out anytime soon.

Delvin Barnes, 37, pleaded guilty today to kidnapping Freeland-Gaither on November 4, 2014. His jury trial was scheduled to start next week; Barnes faces 35 years in prison.

Barnes grabbed Freeland-Gaither of the 100 block of W. Coulter Street. A surveillance camera captured her struggling with the kidnapper, who pulled her into a van. Federal prosecutors said she hit Barnes with a hammer once he got her into the car, but Barnes threatened to kill her if she continued to fight.

He drove to Maryland, where police caught up with him after three days. Freeland-Gaither identified Barnes as the culprit. Read more »

Pennsylvania Court: State Workers Can Delete Emails


A Commonwealth Court panel ruled today that state workers may delete emails in their inboxes at their discretion. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, joined with other news organizations, had sued the state in an attempt to have emails stored for up to two years. The three-person panel, led by President Judge Dan Pellegrini, dismissed the case.

The suit centered on the state’s Right to Know law, signed into law in 2008. The Gazette’s attorneys argued the policy that allowed state workers to delete emails violated the spirit of the law. If a state employee deletes an email from the inbox, it is permanently deleted in five days from the state server.

“Simply, the RTKL [Right to Know Law] governs whether records currently in existence must be disclosed,” the panel wrote in its decision. “Because [the law] provides that nothing in the RTKL affects that policy, PG Publishing has failed to allege facts demonstrating a violation of the RTKL.” Read more »

Wal-Mart Settles With Tracy Morgan in Car Crash Case

Tracy Morgan

It’s been a long road to recovery for 30 Rock alum Tracy Morgan, who was severely injured when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into his car on the New Jersey Turnpike last June. One passenger, comedian James McNair, was killed, and Morgan was rushed to the hospital with multiple injuries—including, reportedly, irreparable head trauma.

Not long after the crash, it was revealed that the driver of the Wal-Mart truck, Kevin Roper, was forced to stay awake for 24 hours, which resulted in him falling asleep at the wheel. After the news broke, Morgan sued Wal-Mart for negligence, and today, the case is finally resolved. Deadline reports:

Read more »

Medical Malpractice Suits Down in Pennsylvania


Fourteen years ago, Pennsylvania started tracking the number of medical malpractice case filings, and now comes good news: the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts reports that 2014 had the fewest new cases ever filed, which is part of an overall decline from the “base years” of 2000-2002. As you might expect, Philly has the largest caseload, but that’s declined almost 70 percent.

Why the drop? Read more »

Judge Declines to Approve Sale of Revel to Glenn Straub

A shuttered Revel in November 2014 (Photo: Dan McQuade)

A shuttered Revel in November 2014 (Photo: Dan McQuade)

You’re not going to believe this.

No, wait, you probably will. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria M. Burns today did not approve the sale of the failed Revel casino to Glenn Straub. The hold-up is a pending appeal by several clubs and restaurants inside Revel that opposed Straub’s purchase of Revel. Burns stayed that sale in January.

Here’s where things get complicated: That sale is actually dead. Straub didn’t complete it. But Revel and Straub then struck a deal for Revel at a lower price. Still, per the Inquirer, the previous ruling means Burns doesn’t have jurisdiction to approve the new sale.

But wait, there’s more. Read more »

Judge: SEPTA Must Run Ads Comparing Muslims to Hitler

Anti-Islam ad SEPTA refused to run

The advertisement SEPTA originally refused to run

A federal judge has ruled that SEPTA must run anti-Islam ads that compare Muslims to Hitler.

Last year, we told you about the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The group, characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, sued SEPTA after the transit authority rejected its ads that advocate for the end of United States aid to “Islamic countries.” Yesterday, a judge ruled in favor of the AFDI, which also goes by the name Stop Islamization of America. It was co-founded by Pamela Gellar, best known for writing the Atlas Shrugs blog. Read more »

Cape May Man Charged With Shooting Whale With WWII-Era Rifle on Boat Named Capt Bob

A pilot whale (Photo | Adam Li, NOAA)

A pilot whale (Photo | Adam Li, NOAA)

It’s like Moby-Dick, except instead of harpoons and the Pequod it’s a decades-old rifle and a ship named Capt Bob.

Federal authorities yesterday charged Cape May’s Daniel Archibald with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The government says Archibald fired several shots at pilot whales, which violates the act’s prohibition on hunting or harassing marine life.

Authorities say Archibald used a Mosin-Nagant rifle to fire at the whales off the New Jersey coast, which it describes as “a World War II rifle that has not been manufactured in several decades.” Read more »

Don Tollefson Trial on Hold Due to Health Scare

The fraud trial of former Philadelphia sportscaster Don Tollefson was halted today after Tollefson was taken to the hospital when his blood sugar spiked. Tollefson told the judge he has type 2 diabetes.

Tollefson told judge Rea Boylan of the issue during a recess, and offered to wait until lunch to go to the hospital. “Matt, Matt, I’m not making this up,” Tollefson said to Bucks County prosecutor Matt Weintraub.

Read more »

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