Morning Headlines: Tougher DUI Penalties Possible

New bill would require ignition interlock device after first drunk-driving conviction.

Rsheram | Used under a Creative Commons license.

Rsheram | Used under a Creative Commons license.

Good morning, Philadelphia. The big story today is the deadly terror attacks in Brussels. Here’s what you need to know, locally, today:

The Pa. House has passed a bill to toughen penalties for first-time DUI convictions.

TribLive reports the bill would require DUI convicts to purchase an ignition interlock device for their car after the first conviction; the device requires the driver to pass an in-car DUI test before allowing him or her to drive. Right now, such devices are required after second or subsequent DUI convictions. The bill has the support of a coalition of parents whose children were killed by drunk drivers.  One told PennLive: “This is a bill that apparently has no opposition, but apparently hasn’t passed.”

Atlantic City’s City Hall will shut down next month, the victim of the city’s budget woes.

Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade reports: Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian announced City Hall is shutting down on April 8th at 4:30 p.m. It will remain closed until at least May 2nd, when the city is expected to receive it next quarterly tax payments. Mayor Don Guardian said in a statement employees would not be paid during this time, but that health benefits would continue to be provided. “We are working to ensure that all essential services will continue to be provided from April 8th through May 2nd to the residents of Atlantic City,” the statement said. “Essential services are identified as Police, Fire, Revenue collections, and some divisions in Public Works.

Police are searching for a man who robbed a Rite Aid — with a toddler in tow.

NBC10 reports took place at 4 p.m. March 14: The man took two boxes of diapers, valued at $60, and quickly left the store. When confronted by a store employee, the man reached for his waistband and threatened to shoot. The suspect is described as a black man, 28-30, 5-foot-7 and weighing between 160 and 180 pounds. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and red sneakers with yellow laces.

Philadelphia Police are looking to diversify their ranks with a “Diversity in Law Enforcement Career Fair.”

KYW reports that the event will be held April 9th at New Hope Baptist Church. Why? The department has long been far whiter than the city it serves. “One of the things we have struggle with in the past is making sure our diversity numbers go up,” says Sergeant Robert Ryan with Philadelphia’s Police Recruiting Unit, he said, and added: “We really want the officers who want to give back, serve the community, and be a difference.” A similar job fair is planned for the LGBT community.

Elliot Shelkrot, who helped make the Free Library of Philadelphia “world class,” has died. reports Shelkrot died Monday of complications from heart disease. He led the library from 1987 to 2007, a time when the institution seemed to enter the big leagues. “History will show the period that Elliot served was a time that the Free Library system in Philadelphia emerged as one of the leading library systems in the country,” said former Mayor Wilson Goode Sr. A memorial service will be held Monday at the Central Library.

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