PECO Substation on Fire in the Northeast

Plus: Ackerman blames Nutter, Camden pays kids to go to school, East Coast mulls evacuations, and more of what the city is buzzing about today

PECO Fire Leaves 20,000 Without Power. A breaker overheated at a PECO substation at about 5 a.m. today. Fire fighters have been trying to extinguish a smoldering fire, and PECO workers have been trying to switch customers over to a backup system because the ordeal has left 20,000 Philadelphians in the Northeast without power, air conditioning and Google—it’s practically 1860 up there right now. The Scoop will have to send the rest of his updates to the Northeast via Pony Express.  [6 ABC]

School Reform Commission Approves Ackerman Buyout in Silence. Yesterday—in a rowdy meeting in which the SRC was met with boos from 100 or so Ackerman supporters—the commission voted to approve the $905,000 buyout of her contract. Afterward, they fielded no questions and abstained from comment. [CBS 3]

Ackerman Blames Nutter, Political Machine for Her Ousting. Speaking of Ackerman, Philly wasn’t exactly wielding pitchforks, but it’s safe to say that she was chased from her post as superintendent. Yesterday, in her first public appearance since the announcement of her buyout, Ackerman shifted blame to Mayor Nutter and the other political influences that prevented her from doing her job as she saw fit. [Inquirer]

Camden Pays Kids to Go to School. A group of high-school students in Camden will get paid $100 for showing up to school as a part of a new anti-truancy program. The kids will get paid on September 30th because the program is funded by a grant that needs to be used by that date. Also, the initiative is being called “I Can End Truancy” or ICE-T. Naming a program after the guy who rapped about killing cops is about as reasonable as trusting kids to show up to a year’s worth of school after paying them out in September just because they signed a pledge. Hooray honor system. [Inquirer]

Cracks Found in SEPTA’s New Silverliner Cars. Three of SEPTA’s new Silverliner cars have hairline cracks in identical spots. It seems as though the cars will be repaired—as opposed to starting from scratch—and SEPTA is sure that the cracks will not pose a threat of any kind. Why does the Scoop feel as though the city should get the Carfax on SEPTA’s “new” trains? [FOX 29]

The Hurricane is Coming! The Hurricane is Coming! Forecasts and projections suggest that hurricane Irene will make landfall somewhere between North Carolina and New York sometime between Friday and Sunday. While a lantern-lighting system worked for Paul Revere when the British were invading, those making decisions in regards to Irene are working toward a more sophisticated system to determine evacuations and other responses to the storm. [6 ABC]