March 28, 2005 |
Nearly three months into the spring semester, Army veteran Melishsa Fairman can't afford some textbooks because the Department of Veterans Affairs hasn't come through with her education benefits. "I'm making it, barely. But I'm making it," said Fairman, 28, who is studying business at Tallahassee Community College. About 100 of the 475 students who attend the Florida college with help from the Montgomery GI Bill and other VA education programs are still waiting for payments even though they applied for the benefits in December, said Delorise Robinson, the college's veterans affairs specialist.
December 4, 2004 |
The Nov. 28 Delaware River oil spill continued to take its toll on commerce, causing problems for shipments of consumer goods, bananas, meat, steel, cement and cocoa beans. High wind delayed the cleaning of oil-coated vessels for a time, keeping 20 in port yesterday and leaving some inbound ships with no place to dock. "But it is a lot better," said David Wightman of Wightman Shipping Co., a steamship agent. He said that lifting restrictions on inbound vessels Thursday had helped ease the gridlock.
December 3, 2004 |
Every berth at the Delaware River's major cargo terminals was filled yesterday with ships waiting to be cleaned of oil from last week's spill so they could head out to sea, leaving incoming vessels with no place to dock. But there was a sign of progress late yesterday when the Coast Guard agreed to let cleaning operations, bolstered with extra crews brought to the Philadelphia region, continue at night. And Capt. Michael J. Linton, president of the 70-member Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, said ship traffic could finally be back to normal by late today.
November 27, 2004 |
The great muckraker Lincoln Steffens, who labeled Philadelphia "corrupt and contented" in 1904, might be pleased to know that something has gotten better here in 100 years. Though the city has endured many seasons of scandal in affirmation of Steffens' appraisal, a century of evolution also has raised up one branch of city government to a pinnacle. It is not well known outside legal circles, but the civil division of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court has developed a reputation in recent years as a model of efficient court management and innovation.
August 25, 2004 |
The law's long arm is about to get a little longer in Montgomery County, thanks to a new Internet site that allows residents to see the names and addresses of people named in criminal warrants. Today is to mark the beginning of Montgomery County Sheriff John Durante's attempt to reduce the number of arrest warrants in his file cabinets - with public help. The site, available through a link on the county Web page, www.montcopa.org, will list people wanted on outstanding warrants.
May 12, 2004 |
Philadelphia's recreation centers suffer from significant safety and repair problems - including blocked fire exits, exposed electrical wiring, and sharp-edged play equipment - according to a City Controller's Office audit released yesterday. The audit, which comes as the Street administration is seeking to close numerous rec centers, also found facilities with missing fire extinguishers and pools without lifeguard stands. "You wonder whether taking a child to a playground is hazardous to their health," said City Controller Jonathan A. Saidel.
November 6, 2003 |
In an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday that would give death-row inmates greater access to DNA testing to prove their innocence. The bill was approved by the House, 357-67, and is expected to pass the Senate quickly. It would cost $1.88 billion over five years, which includes money for states to defend people accused in capital cases, strengthen legal representation for the indigent, and eliminate a backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples in crime labs.
September 22, 2003 |
Though nearly 10,000 unemployed Pennsylvanians remain in limbo wondering whether they are entitled to unemployment benefits, state officials say it will take until at least June to clear up a backlog of unemployment appeals cases. New Jersey's appeal system falls somewhat short of national standards, but Pennsylvania's is among the nation's worst, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. Slammed by a tough labor market, the situation is particularly acute in the Philadelphia region, which generates 28 percent of the appeals, but constitutes 40 percent of the backlog.
August 27, 2003 |
Toll Bros. Inc., which sells homes in 185 subdivisions throughout the United States, said yesterday that the market for expensive new homes was strong in the third quarter as profit, sales and backlog surged to record levels. Toll Bros., based in Huntingdon Valley, also said that over the last 16 weeks, potential buyers had placed an unusually high number of deposits on homes to be built in its subdivisions. This "should yield record results in 2004," Toll Bros. said. The home builder's earnings for the quarter ended July 31 rose 27.5 percent to $68.2 million from $53.5 million in the same quarter a year ago. On a per-share basis, the company earned 90 cents for the quarter, compared with 70 cents a year ago. Revenue rose to $693 million from $580.
March 8, 2003 |
The interim chief of police said yesterday that he will focus on improving the department's emergency dispatch system and clearing up the backlog of internal affairs cases. Edwin Figueroa moved into the department's top job Thursday, after Robert E. Allenbach was suspended with intent to dismiss by Melvin "Randy" Primas Jr., Camden's state-appointed chief operating officer, and Mayor Gwendolyn Faison. The chief's suspension with pay followed charges of mismanagement and insubordination.