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A Police Officer Was Ambushed and Shot Overnight in West Philly
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
A cop was ambushed and shot overnight in West Philly.
6ABC reports that a Philadelphia police officer was ambushed last night in his patrol car at 60th and Spruce streets in West Philadelphia. The attack occurred when a man walked up to 33-year-old officer Jesse Hartnett‘s vehicle, then fired 13 shots at the car, hitting Hartnett three times. The officer returned fire, wounding the gunman, who was apprehended nearby. The officer was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital in Center City, where he was reportedly awake and alert prior to undergoing surgery. At an early morning press conference, Police Commissioner Richard Ross said, “It’s amazing he was able to survive.”
City Commissioners Chairman Anthony Clark moves to cash in.
Just hours after being re-elected as chair of the city’s elections board, Anthony Clark filed paperwork with the city pension board to qualify for the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), which will entitle him to an estimated lump sum payment of $495,000 plus interest when he retires four years hence. Clark told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he will indeed retire when his term ends in 2019, but the filing nonetheless drew criticism from both Mayor Jim Kenney and the watchdog group the Committee of Seventy. The reason? Clark reportedly hasn’t shown up for work much during his tenure as City Commissioners chair and he hasn’t even bothered to vote in several elections. Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt called the move “a slap in the face to all Philadelphians,” especially the city workers who actually show up to do their jobs.
The School District honors its top performers.
School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. and Mayor Kenney went to Anne Frank Elementary School in the Northeast to recognize the top performing traditional and charter schools in the district, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Frank was the top performer in the elementary category. Penn Alexander took top honors among K-8 schools, Masterman got the middle school prize and Central was named best performing high school. The district also recognized 14 “peer leader” schools that stood out when compared to schools educating similar populations; half of the “peer leaders” were charter schools. The district chose the schools based on a combination of academic performance, school safety and climate, and academic growth. (You can see how all of the city’s schools fared on the annual School Progress Report here.)
Mayor Kenney moves to cut the prison population.
The Kenney administration has applied for a $4 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation to implement a plan to reduce the city’s prison population by 34 percent over the next three years. CBS Philly reports that the mayor provided few details in his announcement yesterday evening, but said that the strategies for achieving this ambitious goal were developed by all the parties involved in running the criminal justice system over several months with the help of a $150,000 MacArthur grant. Kenney said that many of those now in prison actually need services or treatment for other issues instead.
Toomey blasts Kenney for sanctuary city move.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) has attacked Mayor Kenney for his first-day-in-office move to restore Philadelphia’s status as a sanctuary city. According to PoliticsPA, the senator criticized the city’s move as defying federal law, ignoring a request from President Obama that former Mayor Nutter honored, and needlessly putting the city’s residents in danger, citing a recent incident in which a San Francisco woman was killed when a bullet fired by an undocumented immigrant struck her. In an effort to add a bipartisan tone to his criticism, Toomey also invoked comments former Mayor Ed Rendell recently made on a radio talk show.