Havertown’s Tom Kelly thought he had all of his bases covered. The former General Manager of WHAT 1340-AM in Philadelphia had taken his Rat Pack-laced “Martini Lounge Radio” show from the airwaves to internet radio in 2008 and applied for a trademark for the name. In 2009, the United States Patent & Trademark Office granted it, giving him ownership of the mark throughout the United States. But now four years later, it looks like AOL might take it all away. Read more »
Back in 2009 and 2010, a wave of burglaries hit pharmacies in the Philadelphia region. Most were Rite Aids. The thieves’ M.O. was consistent: they would disable the pharmacies’ alarm systems by cutting the external phone lines, and then they’d get to work pilfering the drug stores. Local police departments and the FBI eventually landed on a suspect: Philadelphia electrician Harry Katzin.
And so they did what you’ve seen cops and Ethan Hunt types do in the movies a million times. The local office of the FBI stuck a GPS tracking device on Katzin’s Dodge Caravan. And sure enough, it didn’t take long for Katzin to drive his van to a nearby Rite Aid, which was then burglarized, according to court records. Using the GPS tracker, police found Katzin and his two brothers in the van, along with a whole lot of Rite Aid merchandise and pill bottles. All three men were arrested. Read more »
If you were watching Hostages or The Blacklist on Monday night in the 10 o’clock hour, then you missed Fox 29′s investigation into sportscaster (and former Fox 29 employee) Don Tollefson, who is under scrutiny for alleged financial misdeeds relating to “charities” to which he is attached. But you didn’t exactly miss much. Read more »
Ralph Cipriano hates the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as he’s demonstrated through his two decades of reporting on and mudslinging at the local branch of the Catholic Church. But he also hates a miscarriage of justice, which is what he thinks of the convictions of three priests and one school teacher in the Philadelphia Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. And it’s his reporting on these convictions that has resulted in a subpoena landing on his desk. Read more »
The shrunken limbs of children in Europe caused by the 1960s cure-all thalidomide became somewhat iconic of the horror of birth defects, and for decades, the blockage of the sale of thalidomide in the United States was iconic of FDA vigilance and consumer protection. But according to 10 lawsuits filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, fewer bullets were dodged than we thought, and potentially thousands of babies’ deformities can be attributed to pregnant mothers ingesting the drug—not, like doctors and drug companies told mothers, a capricious God.
You may have heard of Philly-based law firm Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. Your father might even work there. Well, their band “Class Action & the Marshall Dennehy Horns” has just made the finals of the “Corporate Battle of the Bands,” hosted by Fortune Magazine. September 28th, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland. Be there. Or wait for us to tell you if Class Action wins. For the record, Blank Rome’s band Alternative Dispute Revolution (great name) was eliminated at the Jersey regional finals in June.
Here’s Class Action in action. Skip to the 9:00 mark for “I Don’t Need No Doctor.” With the bari sax licks and the sparse lyrics, the band brings a little Morphine-style edge to the band’s otherwise bouncy Blues Brothers set.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge Seamus McCaffery has an unusual professional relationship with his wife, Lise Rapaport. Rapaport, for one, is his chief judicial aide. Two, in November, the Inquirer strongly suggested McCaffery got a traffic court judge to fix a ticket for her after she was caught driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Now comes the news that Rapaport, in addition to her Supreme Court job, makes money referring clients to law firms.
If it weren’t a potential conflict of interest enough to be working for a judge and for lawyers at the same time, it turns out her husband has actually ruled 11 cases in which his wife’s clients were involved. And in 8 of those 11 cases, McCaffery voted in favor of those law firms.
For what it’s worth, the couple’s lawyer wrote a scathing letter to the Inky this morning to defend the referrals, and Rapaport’s side-business in general. The letter, however, doesn’t do much to push back against the case (made by several quoted legal experts) that McCaffery had a conflict of interests on his hands. [Inquirer]
Last week, Lee and Diane Beloff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in Philadelphia against a $45,000-a-month luxury drug detox facility where Diane had been a patient. But in case it’s been a while since you’ve heard the names Lee and Diane Beloff, allow me to refresh your memory. Because their history is among the more colorful of Philly lore. Read more »
It’s not easy being gay in Russia. Now that a new law has been passed in St. Petersburg making it illegal to “promote” homosexuality, entertainers are coming under fire for being out and proud and in support of LGBT rights in the conservative country.
Madonna is the most recent target of anti-gay activists. The AP is reporting that the superstar is being sued by Russian activists to the tune of $10.5 million dollars (that’s a lot of rubles) because she was pro-gay during a concert in which kids as young as 12 were attending.
The plaintiffs are using concert footage of the Material Girl stomping on an Orthodox cross and asking fans to raise their hands to show pink armbands in support of gays and lesbians as proof for the case.
Madonna has also been vocal about the imprisonment of the all-female punk band Pussy Riot. The three musicians in the band were sentenced to two years in prison each for protesting against Vladimir Putin. The situation has drawn criticism from abroad, including from her Madgesty, who called on “all those who love freedom to condemn this unjust punishment” during a show in Russia.
There’s been no word from Madonna’s camp on the lawsuit. But here’s a clip of her pro-gay, pro-Pussy Riot speech:
The Milton Hershey School came under fire this year when the board decided it would not admit a student who was HIV-positive. AIDS advocates and civil liberty groups protested the decision and launched a lawsuit saying the decision was discrimination, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. The mother of Ryan White, a young man who was rejected from his school in the 1980s over his HIV status, also came to the student’s defense, reminding people about past stigmas that have no place in education today.
But in a surprise turn, the school reversed its decision and says it will now admit the HIV-positive student after developing a new set of guidelines to address health issues at the private boarding school for low-income students in Hershey, PA., just two hours from Philly.
Milton Hershey School President Anthony Colistra issued a statement that, while defending the school’s decisions, also apologizes. ”Although we believed that our decisions regarding Abraham Smith’s (a pseudonym) application were appropriate, we acknowledge that the application of federal law to our unique residential setting was a novel and difficult issue,” Colistra said. “The U.S. Department of Justice recently advised us that it disagrees with how we evaluated the risks and applied the law. We have decided to accept this guidance.”