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NEWS
September 13, 2010
IN THE LONG history of bashing the DROP program - a history almost as long as the program itself - the deferred retirement option plan has usually been referred to as a "management tool" or a "planning tool. " The whole reason it was created was supposedly to make succession planning easier for department heads. Now we know it's a flawed program, a perk for city workers and elected officials that cost the city plenty and delivers little in return. On Aug. 3, Mayor Nutter heard the results of a report that put the cost of DROP over the last 10 years at about $25 million a year.
NEWS
December 5, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
CITY COUNCIL is prepared to fight the latest invader into the lives, homes and mattresses of Philadelphians - the dreaded bedbug. Imagine now a task force established specifically to address the growing problem of bedbugs creeping into the small fibers of rowhouses across the city. Beyond that, Council will consider a Bedbug SWAT Team to work in conjunction with the Bedbug Task Force. Councilman Mark Squilla said he had bedbugs in April, and according to one witness who testified before the Committee on Public Health and Human Services yesterday, Squilla won't be able to "start relaxing" for two years.
NEWS
January 10, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
The bad news from a new University of Pennsylvania study is that bedbugs are everywhere in Philadelphia. The good news - for now - is that they seem to lie low in the winter. The Penn team analyzed 236 calls to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health between December 2008 and May 2011. It learned that the number of reports was increasing, that they came from almost all parts of the city, and that the bugs caused the most distress in the summer. Michael Z. Levy, assistant professor in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, said that surprisingly little was known about bedbugs - bloodsucking pests that practically disappeared for decades.
NEWS
January 31, 2013 | BY ANGELO FICHERA, Daily News Staff Writer fichera@phillynews.com, 215-854-5913
RANKINGS BITE. Philly is accustomed to appearing on lists it would prefer not to be on, including the June 2012 Terminix report that turned the city's mattresses upside down. An annual list by the pest-control company named Philadelphia the No. 1 most bedbug-infested city in the country. But this month, competitor Orkin released its annual Top 50 Bedbug Cities report - and Philly didn't crack the list. Maybe Philadelphia has quickly gotten rid of bedbugs? Not so fast.
LIVING
July 24, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Is it bigger than a bedbug? If it is, lucky you, I guess; but if it is as big as a bedbug, you'd better know something about the problem you may be facing. Here are some things to ponder and actions to take with the assistance of Terminix and the National Pest Management Association. What are bedbugs? They are insects that lurk in the crevices of mattresses, box springs, and furniture. They emerge at night to feed on the blood of their sleeping victims. While their bites are generally painless, they can leave behind red, itchy welts similar to a mosquito bite.
NEWS
August 15, 2010 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
The American way of life is facing a new threat, one as profound as climate change or pandemic flu. Bedbugs. OK, that's a bit hysterical. But without DDT and the other now-banned pesticides that kept bedbugs in check for more than 50 years, the United States is as vulnerable as parts of the world where the insects remain a plague. From New York to Los Angeles, and everywhere in between, these apple-seed-size vampires are spoiling sleep, vacations, and the bottom line of just about every business except pest control.
NEWS
September 12, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The photo is immediately unsettling. It purports to show bedbugs creeping out of a seam on a bus seat in Philadelphia. It surfaced on social media about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to SEPTA. It quickly went viral. Comments on Facebook included "now I'm scared to catch the bus" and "even more reason to validate my choice to never use public buses. " The photo, taken Friday, prompted SEPTA to pull three buses from service on Route 6, which runs from the Olney Transportation Center to Ogontz and Cheltenham Avenues, said spokeswoman Jerri Williams.
NEWS
June 13, 2013 | By Sean Carlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A man trying to get rid of bedbugs from his Woodbury home accidentally set it on fire Tuesday, injuring himself and a firefighter. Gloucester County spokeswoman Debra Sellitto said firefighters responded to the house on the unit block of Penn Street just before noon to find the second floor on fire. The homeowner, a male who was not named, had apparently been trying to eradicate the bedbugs from his house using a home remedy that included a space heater, hair dryer, and heat gun to "heat" the bugs out, Sellitto said.
NEWS
September 19, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Employees in Philadelphia City Hall's 311 call center were sent home Thursday after a bedbug was found in the office, city officials said. The office, which has about 50 employees who have been busy fielding citizen inquiries in the lead-up to Pope Francis' visit, closed at about 1 p.m. and will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday after the space is treated, according to Mayor Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald. He said 311 staff would continue to take requests for information via email and social media while the office was closed.
NEWS
October 14, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you live in Philadelphia, the Sanitation Department will soon be bugging you to seal unwanted mattresses and box springs in plastic disposal bags before putting them out for pickup. The reason is Cimex lectularius, better known as bedbugs. Many mattresses wind up on the curb because they harbor the apple seed-sized bloodsuckers. (Not saying you were infested, but, for sure, bedbugs are in apartments, hotels, nursing homes, schools, thrift stores, and other places near you.)
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NEWS
September 19, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Employees in Philadelphia City Hall's 311 call center were sent home Thursday after a bedbug was found in the office, city officials said. The office, which has about 50 employees who have been busy fielding citizen inquiries in the lead-up to Pope Francis' visit, closed at about 1 p.m. and will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday after the space is treated, according to Mayor Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald. He said 311 staff would continue to take requests for information via email and social media while the office was closed.
NEWS
September 18, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
EMPLOYEES AT the city's 3-1-1 Call Center were evacuated from their City Hall headquarters yesterday after they spotted what they suspected was a bedbug on a desk in the first-floor office. An exterminator arrived and confirmed that the insect, which an employee squished and then put into a cup, was a bedbug, city officials said. About 20 employees were sent home about 1 p.m. and the customer walk-in center was shut down for the rest of the day for chemical fumigation, a city official said.
NEWS
September 13, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
On Wednesday, Sarah Brooner says, she rode a SEPTA bus home from volunteering at the Arch Street Friends meetinghouse. She sat by a window, leaned her right arm on the frame, and read a book until she arrived at the stop for her home near Fairmount Park. The next morning, she found bite-like welts on her right forearm. "I couldn't believe it," she said. "I thought, 'Where did I get these?' " Brooner, who is in her 70s and teaches English as a second language at Camden County College, is among those who think a photo that went viral last weekend purporting to show bedbugs on a SEPTA bus seat might provide a clue to the bites noticed after riding public transportation.
NEWS
September 12, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The photo is immediately unsettling. It purports to show bedbugs creeping out of a seam on a bus seat in Philadelphia. It surfaced on social media about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to SEPTA. It quickly went viral. Comments on Facebook included "now I'm scared to catch the bus" and "even more reason to validate my choice to never use public buses. " The photo, taken Friday, prompted SEPTA to pull three buses from service on Route 6, which runs from the Olney Transportation Center to Ogontz and Cheltenham Avenues, said spokeswoman Jerri Williams.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2015 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
'A hotelier's nightmare" - that's what the general manager of the Statler Hotel at Cornell University calls bedbugs. A University of Kentucky entomology professor puts it this way: "Bedbugs are kind of like Ebola with six legs - it causes a really strong emotional reaction with people. " In Philadelphia, their presence precipitated the formation this year of the Bed Bug Task Force, said member Marty Overline, a professional bug battler for 37 years. Chances are that bedbug infestation could get worse next month, when a million-plus people from around the world are expected to descend on Center City for the pope's visit, filling hotels, inns, even private homes offering rooms for rent.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Catalog companies of America, I hear you. I'll bet you're right, too. Scotch probably does seem snazzier in cut-crystal glasses bearing my engraved initials. Thanks for the heads-up! And if I order express delivery, those cuff links made from shotgun shells should be here by Christmas - what you folks call "The Holidays. " They'll look great with that pheasant-feather bow tie that you, Orvis, so thoughtfully have urged on me. Is $149 too much for a bow tie? Not when the feathers are "naturally harvested!"
NEWS
December 5, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council members listened to skin-crawling testimony on Philadelphia's bedbug problem Wednesday before promising to form a Bed Bug Task Force to plan an attack on the pests. The hearing included testimony from city health workers, exterminators, legal services, and First District Councilman Mark Squilla, who described getting rid of bedbugs in his South Philadelphia home. The takeaway? They are everywhere. One exterminator called 2014 the worst year he has seen for bedbugs, and described residents who had to sleep in bathtubs or move out of their homes to escape them.
NEWS
December 5, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
CITY COUNCIL is prepared to fight the latest invader into the lives, homes and mattresses of Philadelphians - the dreaded bedbug. Imagine now a task force established specifically to address the growing problem of bedbugs creeping into the small fibers of rowhouses across the city. Beyond that, Council will consider a Bedbug SWAT Team to work in conjunction with the Bedbug Task Force. Councilman Mark Squilla said he had bedbugs in April, and according to one witness who testified before the Committee on Public Health and Human Services yesterday, Squilla won't be able to "start relaxing" for two years.
NEWS
June 20, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
AN EAST Germantown woman probably won't be sleeping tight any time soon, to hear her tell it. Sabrina Hammond, who lives on Nedro Avenue near 19th Street, filed a civil suit Monday in Common Pleas Court, claiming she was "aggressively attacked and bitten" by bedbugs at a Wissahickon movie theater last September. In the suit, Hammond says the bugs bit her on the buttocks and legs while she was watching a movie at the United Artists Theater on Main Street near Ridge Avenue. The bites caused a "severe shock to the nerves and nervous system" that has prevented her from completing her "daily duties," leaving her with "great financial damage and loss," according to the complaint filed in the case.
NEWS
May 10, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia sanitation division has tried to spread the word about not spreading bedbugs. In December, the city began requiring that mattresses put out for trash pickup be sealed in plastic, to deter dissemination of the resurgent bloodsuckers. Sanitation officials have publicized the rule through water bills, block captains, the transit system, the media, City Council, and at a rally where disposal bags (about $5 apiece at home improvement stores and U-Haul agencies) were given away.
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