Philadelphia: Local News from the Philadelphia Inquirer


Here is the latest Local News from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Montco jury awards $5 million in hospital death
A Montgomery County jury on Friday awarded $5 million to the family of an 88-year-old man who died at Abington Memorial Hospital in 2008 after a misplaced feeding tube filled his lungs with fluid.

City targets homeless with new outreach plan
On any given day, about 700 people are living unsheltered in the streets, train stations, or covered alcoves of Philadelphia. Most stake out space in four Center City locations where the city now wants to focus a new outreach program to connect people with services they need.

Double Dutch makes a comeback – but this time with middle-aged moms
Children may not be jumping Double Dutch as much as they once did but some grown women from Philly have taken up this urban tradition again, saying it makes them feel young again.

Byko: Veteran in trouble for raising U.S. Flags
City claims ‘personal gain’ when there was none

News in Brief
Shootings in Hunting Park leave two men in critical Two men were each left in critical condition in unrelated shootings in the city’s Hunting Park section.

Pa. close to requiring ignition locks for first-time DUIs
HARRISBURG – After being pushed for years by advocates, legislation to require some first-time drunk drivers in Pennsylvania to use ignition-interlock devices is inching toward becoming law.

Philly funeral director fined, loses license for abusing corpses
Almost a year after investigators found rotting corpses buried under trash bags at a West Philadelphia funeral home, the state has revoked the mortuary director’s license.

Local Safety Improvements
Nearly $5.5 million collected from fines for red-light violations at 28 Philadelphia intersections will fund 23 safety-improvement projects across the state. Here are local projects that are receiving funding.

Millions from 28 Philly red-light cameras fund statewide projects
Nearly $5.5 million collected from fines for red-light violations at 28 Philadelphia intersections will fund 23 safety-improvement projects in 18 municipalities across the state, Gov. Wolf announced Monday.

Father and son seek preliminary hearing in homicide case
A father and son charged with killing a man who was their brother and uncle appeared in court Monday to ask that they be granted a preliminary hearing on the evidence against them.

Pa. downgrades city DHS license, citing shortcomings
Pennsylvania downgraded Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) license Monday, citing serious violations of child-welfare laws, including falsified visit reports, sloppy documentation of cases, and keeping children overnight in agency offices.

Phila. School District unveils sustainability plan
The Philadelphia School District on Monday unveiled a five-year sustainability plan focused on reducing the district’s energy consumption, creating healthy environments in school buildings, and educating students about becoming better global citizens.

Romaldo Giurgola; architect was leader of ‘Phila. School’
Romaldo Giurgola, 95, who was a member of an influential group of Philadelphia architects who pushed back against Modernist orthodoxies and helped make the city a hotbed of innovative design thinking in the 1960s, died Sunday, May 15, in Canberra, Australia, where he had lived since 1982.

Officials: Bucks couple severely abused infant twins
When the twin girls arrived at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in March, just two months after they were born, both had broken legs.

Two hikers capturing Philly parks for Google
The job listing on Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation website said the position required the ability to lift heavy weights – and the willingness to walk, for miles, through every park in the city, day in and day out, for six months.

After dip in the Wissahickon, where did black bear go?
After an unexpected guest – a black bear – caused alarm Friday when it was spotted in the Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park, park-goers were left wondering: What happened to the animal?

Joseph Hall, Phila. Fire Dept. captain
One morning in March 1968, Joseph A. Hall was riding on a bus from his Northeast Philadelphia home to his job as a city firefighter at 16th and Parrish Streets.

Parole denied for ex-Penn prof in wife’s killing
Rafael Robb, a former University of Pennsylvania professor imprisoned for killing his wife in 2006, has been denied early release by the state parole board, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Belle Parmet, social worker, family therapist
A life celebration will be held this month for Belle Parmet, 97, of Center City, a longtime social worker, who died in her sleep Saturday, April 30, at VNA Hospice of Philadelphia.

The quiet consequences of corruption
As Pennsylvania continues adding to its catalogue of criminally charged public figures, unintended costs also are likely to grow.

Hear, Here
Frankford nurse creates a better way to communicate with deaf patients in emergencies.

Feibush and Johnson deserve each other, but Point Breeze deserves better
Only the jurors know for sure what went on during the two hours they deliberated the federal case of Ori Feibush vs. Kenyatta Johnson last week.

Two dead, four wounded in separate crimes
Two people were killed and four others wounded in separate, violent crimes that occurred overnight Saturday in Philadelphia, according to police.

45 Number of digital billboards in Philadelphia. 29 Number in Montco. 18 Number in Bucks. 15 Number in Delco.

Tiffany Trump and Naomi Biden graduate Penn, dad and granddad looking on
An army of federal agents, bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs, and local police protected Vice President Biden and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Franklin Field on Sunday night while Trump watched his daughter Tiffany and Biden saw his granddaughter Naomi graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts & Sciences.

Joseph Paul Diviny, 89, science teacher
Joseph Paul Diviny, 89, a longtime science teacher in Philadelphia’s public schools, died Monday, May 9, of esophageal cancer at his home in Mayfair.

Digital billboards glow; residents glower
As she drives through her quiet, darkened neighborhood, Bobbi Jo Broomell sees a glow brightening the night sky. As she gets closer to the source, it flashes brighter, blinks, then changes brilliant colors.

How a fish fryer became a valedictorian at 44
Three degrees in three years. Two commencements within a month – interrupted by starting an Ivy League master’s degree.

Bensalem motel fire kills woman; Philly man charged
A Philadelphia man was charged Sunday with intentionally starting a fire at a Bensalem motel that killed a woman and damaged the building, according to police.

Unsafe buildings and deadbeat landlords prompt Camden to boost code enforcement
Camden officials are hoping to double the size of the city’s Department of Code Enforcement through a partnership with Camden County that would target deadbeat landlords, unsafe buildings, and other quality-of-life issues.

Youth, 16, charged in fatal Camden pedestrian hit-run
Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo on Saturday announced the arrest of a 16-year-old male in an April 25 hit-and-run crash in Camden that killed a pedestrian.

Police ID man charged with throwing railroad spikes off overpass
Male charged with throwing spikes, rocks Police identified Blake Bowers, 18, of North Philadelphia, as the man who threw 8-inch railroad spikes from an overpass in University City that struck three vehicles Friday night.

Val Shively’s Faves
The dollar amounts are Shively’s prices for the recordings. Doo-Wop 45s by Philly-Area Groups “Estelle” by the Belltones, on Grand, Red Wax ($15,000)

Madeleine LeBeau, ‘Casablanca’ actress
Madeleine LeBeau, a French actress who fled Nazi-occupied Europe for Hollywood, where she made the best of a small role as the scorned girlfriend of Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine in Casablanca, died May 1 in Estepona, Spain. She was widely reported to be 92.

Ruth Williams, 75, educator and philanthropist
Ruth Whitmore Williams, 75, of Gladwyne, an educator and philanthropist who lived up to her motto, “Love, teach, share,” died Friday, May 6, of respiratory failure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Renovated historical society expands its story
The Camden County Historical Society is back, and so are “Nipper,” Lord Camden, and former Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison. The society’s grand reopening Sunday will feature a new, permanent display of an original stained-glass window depicting the trademark RCA-Victor terrier.

He’s got four million doo-wop 45s for sale, but browers beware
Val Shively’s R&B Records in Upper Darby is a three-story bop-shoo-bop shrine, stacked floor to ceiling with four million records, mostly 45s by ’50s and early ’60s one-hit and no-hit doo-wop groups beloved by the 72-year-old guy with the four-part-harmony heart seated in a threadbare chair.

Christie’s new challenge: Running Trump transition team
As a presidential candidate, Gov. Christie often told voters they should have one question for Donald Trump. “I don’t care which one of the things he talks about, just ask him: How?” the governor said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “I can answer how, because I’ve done it.”

George B. McLaughlin, high school teacher
When George B. McLaughlin was a student at a small college in North Carolina in the early 1960s, he knew how to share his music.

At Dad Vail, Drexel faithful – and one loud cowbell – came to be heard
On the banks of the Schuylkill, by the Drexel Dragons’ tent at Saturday’s Dad Vail Regatta, there were cheers and shouts of support as a group of racing boats passed by, slicing through the water.

Scientists’ goal: Make the rare American shad less rare
It is that time of year: time to count the fish. The ones traveling hundreds of miles from far-flung ocean waters. The ones heading upstream in search of a suitable space of riverbed (the Black Rock Dam in Phoenixville is always nice this time of year) to meet that special someone and lay a couple of hundred thousand eggs before leaving town.

Helping community or himself? Fattah trial starts Monday
Last month, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah took his case to the voters, who booted him from office after a two-decade congressional career.

Very Parliamentary, a little funkadelic
IF YOU’RE ever in the state House chamber or watch proceedings on PCN, you may notice a guy always standing on the dais beside the speaker. That guy’s Clancy Myer. He’s House parliamentarian, for like 30 years, basically the referee for fights over rules and procedure in the oft-contentious and partisan 203-member legislative body.

Call it success, with strings attached
IF HEARING the word yo-yo makes you think of the cellist, dieting, or maybe a Bollywood rapper (Yo Yo Honey Singh – he’s really big in India), then you didn’t grow up into the 1950s and ’60s, when the original ambassadors of fun toured the country.

Philly biking is on the decline
The situation may be temporary, but who can say for sure?

Mother, daughter graduate together from Community College
Despite being out of school for decades and losing her parents, an Overbrook Park woman joined her daughter on a path toward college degrees.

Police arrest man suspected with throwing railroad spikes off an overpass, endangering motorists
Police arrested an 18-year-old man suspected of throwing 8-inch railroad spikes from an overpass that struck at least three vehicles Friday night in University City.

Judge rejects appeal by contractor in deadly 2013 collapse
Saying the defense motions were without merit, a Philadelphia judge Friday refused to set aside the conviction and sentence of Griffin Campbell, the demolition contractor in the deadly 2013 wall collapse that crushed a Salvation Army thrift store.

Obama to honor slain Phila. cop
President Obama will posthumously award the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to slain Philadelphia Police Sgt. Robert Wilson III at the White House on Monday, making him the first Philadelphian to receive the national honor.

Philly cops used surveillance SUV marked as Google Maps
A Philadelphia Police Department surveillance vehicle bearing a Google Maps logo seen in Center City on Wednesday was not authorized to use the logo, officials said Friday.

Ex-SEPTA police officer is sentenced to Christmas service
For falsely arresting a nurse on Christmas 2013, former SEPTA Police Officer Douglas Ioven must spend four hours each Christmas for the next four years doing community service.

Officials: Pa. elder abuse up; resources aren’t
Paralleling a national trend, nearly 800 cases of elder abuse were reported last year in Chester County – a 35 percent jump over the previous year, the county said Friday.

Blaze reignites dispute over Montco apartment high-rise
The incident last month at the Colonade, a controversy-plagued high-rise apartment building in Abington Township, had a tinge of déjà vu:

Officials: Illegal units at site of fatal Norristown fire
The Norristown rowhouse that caught fire last weekend, killing two adults and two children, contained illegally rented apartment units, municipal officials say.

Black bear spotted in Fairmount Park
A black bear was spotted Friday morning in the Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park by a man fishing near the Valley Green Inn.

NFL tackle donates $80K to Penn for marijuana research
The only NFL player to openly advocate for medical marijuana has donated $80,000 to fund cannabis research on football players at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University.

‘Divine intervention’ helped N.J. family win $429.6MPowerball
Friday the 13th will never the same for the Smith family, which stepped forward Friday to claim a $429.6 million Powerball jackpot, the largest ever won in New Jersey.

George Carmichael, teacher, naturalist
George R. Carmichael Jr., 86, of Levittown, a high school teacher and longtime naturalist, died Wednesday, April 27, of heart failure at his daughter’s home in Ewing, N.J.

Philly-related artifacts of Annie Oakley, Jefferson are sold
Guns and alcohol are twin American obsessions that have been part of the republic since before there even was one. This week, an auction brought in big dollars for items tied to those national pastimes – with Philadelphia connections.

Byko: Are we seeing the death of soda?
It’s a big loser even before the tax

A Cinderella night for students who got their GEDs
Students who got their GEDs experience a rite of passage with a special prom

Philly Clout: Kenney’s wife hired, fired?
Plus: Kevin Boyle’s wife lands a city job; Clout gets a political rival; the Horn & Hardart can has a social-media meltdown.

Dranoff plans tobuild apartments on Camden’s waterfront
Carl Dranoff, the Philadelphia-based developer who transformed Camden’s former RCA Victor factory into the city’s first luxury apartment building, has plans to build an apartment complex on the waterfront.

Layoffs, firings, other changes for Camden schools
The Camden School District announced another round of layoffs and personnel moves Thursday, affecting 154 teachers and support staff. The state-run district said it was laying off 22 teachers; 27 school staff, including custodians, security guards, and clerks; and 29 members of the central office staff.

As weather warms, Pa. prepares for Zika
With mosquito season weeks away, Pennsylvania officials on Thursday announced how they would confront the Zika virus, including responses to infections picked up in the Caribbean, a scenario that has not mattered so far because there have been no mosquitoes present to carry the virus.

McGinty replaces campaign manager
Katie McGinty, who last month won a tough race to become the Democratic nominee for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania, has changed her campaign manager.

Auditor: Pa. schools may be losing millions on busing
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania school districts may be spending millions too much on busing, the state auditor general said Tuesday. Examinations by his office found 19 school districts in 11 counties paid a total of $54.8 million more for transportation during select periods between 2004 and 2014 than what the state determined was the maximum amount it would consider for the calculation of reimbursements, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said.

Clarke: Boost transfer tax to rehab city housing stock
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke is looking to pump $100 million into preserving Philadelphia’s aging housing stock, including giving owners of deteriorating homes loans for repairs.

Council members: It’s our prerogative
The day after a federal jury found that City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson had wrongfully blocked a developer’s attempts to buy land in his district, several of his colleagues offered a defense.

Catch convention fever at PoliticalFest
Nabbing a ticket to the Democratic National Convention could be tough. Getting one to PoliticalFest is much easier. Tickets went on sale Wednesday for the nonpartisan presidential-history celebration, which was held at the Convention Center during the 2000 Republican National Convention here.

Several hundred mark anniversary of Train 188 derailment
As trains passed in the background, white-flowered wreaths were placed near the names of eight people who died in the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia a year ago.

Philly teacher digs into own pocket to bring in art
For her 50th birthday party last fall, Patty Smith decided not to ask for presents for herself. Instead, the 14-year veteran of the Philadelphia School District asked for a gift for her third graders at Anderson Elementary School.

Theodore Speer Sr.; owned HVAC firm
After turning his heating and cooling business over to his two sons in 1993, Theodore J. Speer Sr. became a docent on the Battleship New Jersey in Camden.

‘Person A’ in Sen. Farnese’s indictment is longtime political aide
The man in the middle of the bribery case against Democratic State Sen. Larry Farnese of Center City is identified only as “Person A” in the federal indictment released Tuesday.

William Diamond, widely renowned as cabinetmaker
William Diamond, 97, of Langhorne, a master cabinetmaker, died Thursday, May 5, of congestive heart failure at Abramson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales.

Philadelphia and Cuba occupy common ground in mural
Art is bringing together on one enormous canvas what Cold War-era hatreds had kept apart for more than a half-century.

Priceless advice for your first job
LOOKING BACK, what do you wish someone had told you before you sat in the human resources department at your first real-world job and faced that pile of paperwork?

Student accuses school police officer of assault
A Benjamin Franklin High School police officer has been transferred while the district investigates allegations that he assaulted a student, a district spokesman said.

Man shot to death in Camden
Authorities are investigating the death of a man fatally shot overnight in Camden. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said police were called to the 1500 block of South Seventh Street shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday following a report of gunshots.

U.S.: 3 doctors illegally sold $5M worth of prescriptions
Federal authorities have indicted three doctors on charges of selling $5 million worth of prescription drugs out of a South Philadelphia clinic that specialized on helping addicts.

Visit Philadelphia ex-CFO pleads guilty to theft, fraud
The former chief financial officer of Visit Philadelphia, a taxpayer-funded tourism agency, pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling more than $200,000 from the organization over nearly seven years and using the proceeds for personal expenses including high-end restaurant meals, skin care, and furs.

Former crime-victim advocate charged with stealing $15K
A former executive of a Philadelphia crime-victims support group has been charged with stealing more than $15,000 in grant money and spending it on groceries, restaurant meals, gas, hotel stays, and college tuition, authorities said Wednesday.

SEPTA police chief Tasers suspect
SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III used a Taser on a man in Kensington on Wednesday afternoon while responding to a situation involving a group of neighborhood residents and two intoxicated men, a spokeswoman for the transit authority said.

State Supreme Court weighs whether SRC had power to cancel teachers’ contract
HARRISBURG – Did the Philadelphia School Reform Commission have the power to cancel its teachers’ contract and impose changes to their health-care plan during a financial crisis in 2014?

Chesco mom gets jail for injecting teens with heroin
A Chester County mother arrested in October for injecting her 14-year-old daughter and another teenager with heroin was sentenced this week to 41/2 to 10 years in prison.

Clarke floats alternative soda-tax plan
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke is floating an alternative to Mayor Kenney’s sugary-drinks tax plan, several City Hall sources said Wednesday.

Phila. man charged in Blue Route road-rage shooting
Anthony Richardson was driving his Lincoln Town Car on I-476 last week when he erratically passed another car, using the shoulder of the highway, according to police.

Chesco man charged with slaying of girlfriend
A Chester County man was charged Wednesday with fatally shooting his girlfriend with a shotgun during a domestic dispute last week while three children were in the house.

Phila. Holocaust Memorial, the nation’s first, to expand and include park
When it was installed in 1964, Philadelphia’s Holocaust Memorial – a statue depicting figures consumed in fire – was the first of its kind in North America.

William Wolf; loved to learn
William Jesse Wolf, 60, of Lansdale, whose many interests were powered by a thirst for knowledge, died Friday, May 6, of pneumonia at home.

Saving a pocket of enchantment in South Jersey
“Mockernut hickory. Tulip poplar. Beech,” says Lloyd B. Shaw, guiding me through a majestic stand of trees around Laurel Lake.

Christie: ‘Highly doubtful’ he’s on bridge scandal list
Gov. Christie says it is “highly doubtful” that prosecutors will identify him as an unindicted accomplice in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure case.

Auditor general faults Philly schools, SRC for lax management
The Philadelphia School District has failed to conduct background checks of all of its police officers and bus drivers, uses unreliable student-data technology, and is the victim of a “broken” state funding system, according to a performance audit released Wednesday by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

A disabling admissions policy
Michael Anderson needs a personal aide 24/7. Should a museum charge the aide admission?

The Pat Toomey straddle
In a tough reelection bid, Sen. Toomey seems anxious to keep some options open, including one that could be critical to his run for a second term.

A long overdue quest for healing and justice
There is a bill before the state Senate that would do something real – something lasting – for survivors of sexual abuse. Something that would allow so many the opportunity for justice they have long been denied. Something that could help them heal – that could help them ease and carry their burdens.

PATCO officer suspended for platform altercation
A train passenger was pepper-sprayed and hit with a baton and fell off the platform onto live tracks in an altercation with a police officer who has been suspended for his conduct, officials said.

Brothers acquitted in shooting of boy, 11
Two North Philadelphia brothers accused of shooting and seriously wounding an 11-year-old bystander to avenge a street fight have been acquitted of all charges.

Wolf: Playing field tilted against cities
HARRISBURG – Flawed policies, social biases, and a lack of imagination are hurting Pennsylvania’s cities, Gov. Wolf says. Urban residents pay more than they should for utilities, he believes. Infrastructure development follows sprawl. Racism has led to segregation of residents. And even advocates may privately consider cities “a tough bet.”

Allentown engineering exec latest to plead in pay-to-play probe
An Allentown engineering-firm executive has become the latest figure tied to an ongoing pay-to-play probe that has already implicated business owners, political operatives, public officials, and mayors in two Pennsylvania cities.

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