Amtrak Safety Measures Finally in Place
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
It’s too late for victims of last May’s deadly Amtrak crash, but the New York-Philadelphia line has been outfitted with new safety technology.
That train was traveling more than twice the speed limit — it was going more than 100 mph — when it derailed going around a curve, killing eight and injuring more than 200 people. The Wall Street Journal reports that “positive train control”system was activated over the weekend; the system automatically forces trains to abide by speed limits. “This is just an added layer of safety,” an Amtrak official told the paper. “The railroad before this was put in place was already safe.” It’s widely believed, however, that a PTC system might’ve prevented May’s crash. One other note: PTC technology will be fully installed on SEPTA’s Regional Rail trains by the end of January.
Three women were killed early Sunday morning in an explosive car crash in Northeast Philly.
Police say the three were in a black Camaro speeding north on Torresdale Avenue when it spun and crashed into a parked tractor-trailer carrying herbicide. Both vehicles burst into flames. “Witnesses on the scene said that he could hear people screaming from inside the car and attempted to render aid to them, but he couldn’t get to the vehicle due to the flames,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Anthony Rinaldi told 6ABC. Two of the three victims have been identified, although not publicly named by police. The third is considered a Jane Doe.
We told you not believe any Pennsylvania budget deal news until a budget had been signed into law. We were right.
Friday afternoon, Gov. Wolf’s office said it had the votes in the Pennsylvania House to pass taxes need to finally pass a long-overdue state budget. Friday afternoon, we wrote: “We won’t believe that a state budget deal has been achieved until Gov. Tom Wolf signs the final legislation.” That’s still good advice, it turns out: Over the weekend, the Pennsylvania House voted down a pension reform bill that was a key part to the $30.8 billion budget deal, complete with new education funding, that Wolf and Senate Republican had hoped to pass.
So what next? AP reports that there’s now again of passing a no-tax “stopgap” budget until agreement can be found on a full-year budget. But Wolf vetoed just such an effort back during the early days of the budget impasse. “We need a full-year budget and the governor is still going to stand strong on his commitment to funding our schools and fixing our deficit and balancing our budget,” Wolf’s spokesman said. “It’s time for everybody to get back to work and fix this now.” Stay tuned.
The Republican presidential candidate Ed Rendell is most afraid of is … John Kasich?
Every once in awhile, we suspect that Rendell —former governor, former mayor, former DNC head — is trolling, well, everybody, and this is one of those times: He told a New York radio station on Sunday that Kasich, the Ohio governor, is the GOP presidential candidate he fears could give Democrats the most trouble in next year’s general election. “In terms of who we fear the most, the Democratic side, just speaking for myself, I would fear John Kasich and Marco Rubio as vice president,” Rendell said. “That would be the ticket I would fear the most.” (According to Public Policy Polling, Kasich is polling around 2 percent of support from Republicans nationwide; Donald Trump is the front-runner with 34 percent.) More realistically, Rendell says Hillary Clinton should win the Democratic nomination easily: “She should essentially have the nomination locked up by March 2.”
The Eagles lost big last night. Is it time to start talking about next year’s quarterback already?
NFL.com thinks so: It says the Eagles are on the short list of teams interest in Washington’s Robert Griffin III, the former Heisman winner who has failed to stick as that team’s starter. “The Eagles make perfect sense,” writes Conor Orr. “Coach Chip Kelly will tell anyone listening that the only way to get a top-tier quarterback outside of the draft is to capitalize on an injury and move in. It’s what he did with Sam Bradford last off-season in an experiment that has yet to completely play out. It’s what Payton did with Drew Brees and what the Broncos did with Peyton Manning. Griffin’s movement skills would also bring a little more liveliness to Kelly’s offense. His injury history would be less concerning than Bradford’s, though not by much.”
Get morning headlines in your inbox: Sign up here.