Kane to Widen Porngate Inquiry Today
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
Kathleen Kane is taking the stage at the National Constitution Center today to widen her Porngate crusade. But the investigation could be cut short.
She’ll announce a team of special prosecutors to lead a widened Porngate investigation — even though there are questions, given the suspension of her law license while she awaits prosecution on corruption charges, whether she’s even allowed to make such appointments. PennLive reports: “A number of legal experts said Tuesday’s action is both unprecedented and problematic. Any legal action the prosecutors take would likely be challenged by the subjects of the investigation.” Her spokesman responds: “The attorney general believes the appointment of a special prosecutor is a policy decision that doesn’t require any legal consideration and she also retains authority over personnel.” Kane’s announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m.
The latest, revised plans for the old Boyd Theatre site: A 32-story apartment building.
“The developers’ original design—which was panned in the Inquirer as ‘a charmless, bulky stack of rentable units’—was rejected by the Historical Commission’s architecture committee in May,” PlanPhilly reports. “The latest plans call for a 32-story tower with 250 apartments, 50,000 square feet of retail space, and 117 underground parking spaces.” The new plans “sailed through” the Civic Design Review Committee last week.
Cheyney University, the nation’s oldest historically black college, is in danger of losing its accreditation.
The university has been running deficits for years, and has seen a radical enrollment decline since 2010. TribLive now reports the latest bad news: “The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, based in Philadelphia, placed the historically black university on probation Nov. 19 and requested a report by September that outlines the school’s plans to improve its finances.” The university remains accredited during the probation. The news has brought vows of assistance from state officials: “The state will be working with the leadership at the university, which is the smallest of the 14 it owns, to develop a long-term sustainability plan.”
Report: Casino expansion in the region will lead to more closures in Atlantic City.
AP takes a look at a new report from Moody’s, assessing the impact of eight new casinos that are to be built around the region over the next three years. Bottom line? Atlantic City — which lost four casinos in 2014 — could take even more of a beating. “As the number of casinos shrinks, some of the remaining casinos have seen revenues increase,” Moody’s wrote. “But we expect increased competition will keep the heat on incumbents, and that number of casinos in Atlantic City will likely continue to shrink. We expect more casino closures to occur in Atlantic City as some struggle to grow their business and face additional competition.” The service said Trump Taj Mahal, Caesars and Bally’s “are already on the brink.”
Penn State’s has now paid out $93 million to Jerry Sandusky’s victims.
“The university’s audited financial statements for the year that ended June 30, dated Oct. 30, show $33.2 million in new payments over claims related to the former longtime assistant football coach,” Insurance Journal reports. That’s on top of more than $59 million that had already been paid out. The school has now paid or agreed to pay 32 claims related to Sandusky. A university spokesman declined to comment about specific settlements. “Obviously, we continue to be saddened by the pain suffered by all victims of child abuse (and) are committed to helping survivors heal and to educate others about these insidious crimes against children,” the spokesman said.
Other Philadelphia headlines: