Holiday Heat Wave?

Morning headlines: It's the first week of winter — and it feels like spring.

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Today is the first full day of winter. But it’s going to feel like spring the next few days. And Christmas Eve will be a doozy.

We actually had seasonally appropriate temperatures the last few days, but that’s all over now: Temperatures will reach into the 60s today, and by Thursday — Christmas Eve — you might even consider turning on the air conditioning: “There is a high probability for record-setting warmth up and down the entire Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine [on Christmas Eve],” said AccuWeather meteorologist Rob Englund. AccuWeather adds that Philly’s all-time December high of 73 degrees — set twice in 1998 — is in danger of falling. “Last year we broke a record and hit 64,” CBS3’s Kate Bilo writes. “This year, we laugh in the face of that record and aim for 72 degrees!”

The Borgata says Atlantic City owes $62 million in tax refunds. Atlantic City says it would go bankrupt trying to pay that amount. 

A court has already decided the Borgata casino is owed the refund, and is now suing to get the city to pay up, AP reports. City officials say that Atlantic City would be forced into bankruptcy if ordered such a high figure. “We are simply asserting our rights as a taxpayer to receive a refund of overpayments,” a Borgata spokesman told AP. “We are also disappointed that the city is focusing solely on us its attempt to resolve the situation. Atlantic City has paid refunds to every other (casino) property — except Borgata.” Borgata officials say the company is owed more than $150 million, total, by Atlantic City.

For the second time in a week, a man has been shot to death walking his dog in West Philly. 

Monday’s shooting took place 7:25 p.m. on the 300 block of Horton Street. “Although he was unconscious and lying on the sidewalk, he was still holding onto his dog leash,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said of the unidentified victim, 6ABC reports. Police say they don’t know if the victim was targeted — and NBC10 points out that the killing took place three miles from last week’s incident, where Mark Marshall was shot and killed while walking his two Chihuahuas. No arrest has been made in either case.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court says Gov. Tom Wolf can continue his moratorium against executions in in the state.

Wolf’s moratorium had been challenged by Philly D.A. Seth Williams and a host of other prosecutors across the state, but the court said Wolf has the constitutional power to offer reprieves to death-row inmates, UPI reports. “I am pleased the court upheld the constitutional authority of the governor to issue temporary reprieves in death penalty cases,” he said. “My decision to issue temporary reprieves came after significant consideration and reflection, and was in no way an expression of sympathy for the guilty on death row.”

Justice Michael Eakin offered a tearful apology for his “Porngate” participation Monday, but it’s not clear if that will save his job.

TribLive reports Eakin pleaded for his job Monday. “It is not criminal. It has nothing to do with performance on the job,” he told the Court of Judicial Discipline. “Don’t hold me accountable for what my friends sent. I didn’t open half these things. The three-member panel adjourned without issuing a decision on the matter; it’s not clear when a ruling will be forthcoming.

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