Morning Headlines: SEPTA Key Delayed. Again.
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: SEPTA Key, the transit system’s new farecard system, won’t be ready to go by its expected launch date in April.
PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa reports SEPTA had hoped to begin unveiling the system in April — now, instead, the earliest it’s likely to get under way is June. The system is now two years behind schedule — beset by software bugs and other challenges. SEPTA officials say these things are difficult — Chicago had problems implementing its own farecard technology in 2013 — but this little fact remains: SEPTA is the only major transit system in America still using tokens. A decision about launching in June will be made April 15th.
Villanova is just one game away from the Final Four.
The Wildcats beat Miami on Thursday night, 92-69, to go to the Elite Eight. Now they’ll face the University of Kansas on Saturday for a chance to go to the Final Four. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman writes: “Over the first three games, no one has looked more dominant than Jay Wright’s team. Nova hasn’t even been challenged, as it pounded its three opponents — UNC Asheville, Iowa and Miami — by an average of 24 points per game. Let’s stop comparing this Nova team to those from the past half-dozen seasons, the teams that couldn’t get past the first weekend. These Wildcats are different.” Next game is 8:49 p.m. Saturday in Louisville.
Michael Eakin will be fined $50,000 for his role in the “Porngate” scandal.
Philly Mag’s David Gambacorta reports: A sudden resignation might have saved Michael Eakin’s pension, but the former state Supreme Court justice isn’t getting away scot-free for having shared racist, pornographic and misogynistic emails with his buddies. The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline Thursday ordered Eakin to pay a $50,000 fine to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts within six months. Eakin’s emails “not only did not promote the public’s confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, but drastically damaged the reputation of the state judiciary,” the court wrote in its ruling.
After the Brussels attack, some Pennsylvania lawmakers are urging a crackdown on illegal immigration.
WHYY reports: “The illegal alien invasion that’s happening here in America provides an immense cover and camouflage for those who would seek to do our country harm,” said state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, said Wednesday. He’s urging a mandate that Pennsylvania employers use E-Verify, a system that checks the immigration status of workers applying for jobs. But there is resistance from the business community. Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry: “There have been cases in other states where someone has been terminated improperly because of that E-Verify system, and the employer is liable for back wages, etc.”
Former Eagles’ fullback Kevin Turner has died at the age of 46.
6ABC reports Turner, who played for the Eagles in the late 1990s, died after a six-year battle with ALS. He’d be an activist in recent years, helping look for links between his condition and his football career. Jeffrey Lurie issued this statement: “We lost a special person today in Kevin Turner. He was extremely courageous and inspiring throughout his life. I will never forget how excited we were when we signed him in 1995 and how valuable of a player he was leading the way for Ricky Watters, Charlie Garner and Duce Staley. But as good of a football player as he was, he was even a better man. His high character, kindness and respectful nature stood out to me the most. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
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