Morning Headlines: Johnny Doc Accused of Punching Non-Union Contractor
Good morning Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today.
Report: Johnny Doc punched a non-union contractor in the nose. Now the attorney general is involved.
Philly.com reports John Dougherty, the politically powerful leader of the electricians union, got into the clash on Jan. 21 at a worksite. Joshua Keese says Dougherty assaulted him and broke his nose; a Dougherty spokesman said the union leader was not the aggressor — and that Keese threw the first punch after threatening Dougherty’s family. “John Dougherty ducked the contractor’s punch and countered with a punch to the assailant’s face,” the spokesman’s statement said. “That was the end of the incident.” District Attorney Seth Williams has — rather unusually — referred the case to his rival, Attorney General Kathleen Kane. (Dougherty backed one of Williams’ opponents in the 2009 primary that put Williams in office.) It’s unclear if charges will emerge: “We are anticipating learning more in the next few days,” Kane’s spokesman said. In the meantime, read Robert Huber’s 2014 Philly Mag profile of Dougherty.
Atlantic City’s mayor says a state takeover of the city would be a “fascist dictatorship.”
NewsWorks reports that the proposal would give New Jersey officials the power to cancel public worker contracts and sell off city assets, including the water utility. “The final piece of legislation that the state presented to us was far from a partnership,” Mayor Don Guardian, said during a Monday news conference. “It was much worse. It was absolutely a fascist dictatorship.” But other officials say Atlantic City could run out of money within weeks. Says one state official: “The local officials appear to be incapable of recognizing the severity and the immediacy of the fiscal crisis that confronts them and unwilling to take the actions needed to prevent a financial meltdown.”
Penn’s student newspaper made a boo-boo — and accidentally helped get a Ted Cruz’s spokesman fired.
Philly Mag’s Mariam Dembele reports: The article detailed an interaction between Republican Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio and a Cruz staffer at the Columbia Hampton Inn in South Carolina. In the video posted with the article, Rubio walks by Rafael Cruz (Ted Cruz’s father) and a Cruz staffer who was reading a book — which was later revealed to be a bible. Per the original captioning of the video, Rubio remarks to the staffer “Got a good book there.” “Yes, sir,” the staffer responds. “Not many answers in it,” Rubio was quoted saying. “Especially that one.” However, Rubio’s camp and others contend that he actually said “All the answers are in there. Especially in that one.” Cruz’s spokesman tweeted the original version of the story however — then later deleted it, apologizing. The newspaper even withdrew its contested transcript of the video. Too late. Cruz fired him Monday.
One man has been arrested, another is sought in a drag racing incident that killed three people.
Philly Mag’s Brett Klein reports: Police arrested 20-year-old Christopher Bloomfield at his home on Knorr Street Saturday in connection with a deadly drag racing accident in July that killed three people. Officials also issued a warrant for the arrest of Ryan Farrell, 20, from the 10000 block of Northeast Avenue, who police say was driving a second car involved in the crash. The cars were heading northbound on Sandmeyer Lane at the time of the incident. Bloomfield is charged with three counts of “Homicide by Vehicle, Aggravated Assault While Driving under the Influence; Homicide by Vehicle and related offenses.” On July 15, 2015, Bloomfield was allegedly driving a 2007 Acura that struck a tree while traveling at a high rate of speed. Three of his passengers — 17-year-olds Yvette Gonzalez and Sabrina Rhoads and 20-year-old Felip Hernandez — were pronounced dead at the scene. A fourth, Bogdan Arutyunov, is still recovering from injuries.
Philly’s Volver restaurant just got the highest-possible travel rating from the Forbes Travel Guide.
Philly Mag’s Arthur Etchells reports: Volvér has been named a Five-Star Restaurant by Forbes Travel Guide in its 2016 Star Ratings. Only 56 restaurants around the world received Forbes’ highest rating. Restaurants that receive the highest rating are described as “outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.” The Forbes guide was formerly the Mobil Travel Guide and has been issuing ratings since 1958. The last restaurant in Philadelphia to receive five stars was Georges Perrier’s Le Bec-Fin. Le Bec also holds the distinction of being the first restaurant to ever recapture a fifth star after losing it.Volver has been open for 22-months now and has seen more than a few tweaks from its early days of only offering ticketed dining via its own web site and exorbitant pricing. Today, the restaurant offers 8 and 12-course menus for $95 and $150 respectively.
Get morning headlines in your inbox: Sign up here.