January 17, 2016 |
FOR YEARS, workers and union leaders say, they warned Philadelphia School District officials: Keep cutting safety corners and deferring critical building repairs, and someone will get hurt - or worse. That's just what happened this week when a boiler at F.S. Edmonds Elementary School exploded, surrounding school mechanic Christopher Trakimas in flames and leaving him fighting for his life. "Once people are being lit on fire at work in the school district, something has to change," said Ernie Bennett, an official with 32BJ SEIU, the union that represents Trakimas and other blue-collar workers.
January 15, 2016
A BOILER-ROOM explosion at an East Mount Airy public school critically injured a maintenance employee and forced the evacuation of the building, officials said Wednesday. The explosion happened about 1:30 p.m. at Edmonds School, at 8025 Thouron Ave. Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the Philadelphia School District, said that a school employee who had been working on the boiler was taken to Einstein Medical Center. Students at the K-5 school were evacuated to a nearby building for a time, but ultimately returned to Edmonds.
February 27, 2015 |
THEY LOOK MORE like siblings than father and son. They act like it, too, the way they playfully rib each other during a lunch break at a deli near Community College of Philadelphia. When I ask the guys for their business cards, Darryl Irizarry Sr. cracks wise. "I don't get cards," he says, as he watches his namesake, Darryl Irizarry Jr., produce his. "I get calls. " The father, 49, is a building engineer at CCP. When he's not working on equipment, he's monitoring it in the boiler room of a building on the main campus.
December 16, 2013 |
At Camden High School, the city's "castle on the hill," antiquated science lab rooms require most chemistry classes to be taught out of textbooks instead of test tubes. The upper level of the auditorium, deemed structurally unsound 10 years ago, holds boxes of dusty supplies instead of students. A boiler room dating to the 1950s requires weekly fixes, and the load on the electrical system, designed 30 years ago, makes even the most veteran electricians nervous. The 122-year-old building is not the worst in the district among its 26 schools, and it's in better shape than it once was, officials say, but facility issues here are serious enough to land Camden High on the state's list of five schools most in need of immediate repairs.
February 3, 2012 |
EDDIE WRIGHT, a self-proclaimed street preacher from Texas, should get comfortable at the defendant's table because he's headed to trial on charges that he helped imprison four mentally disabled adults in a dank Tacony basement in a scheme to steal their Social Security benefits. During a second preliminary hearing yesterday, Common Pleas Judge Paula Patrick reversed a lower-court decision to dismiss kidnapping, aggravated-assault and other charges against Wright. The reversal came after Assistant District Attorney Erin O'Brien presented additional evidence, including a Social Security disability application listing Wright as a friend and contact for one of the four alleged victims.
December 20, 2011 |
AFTER arriving in Philadelphia crammed with five other people in the rear luggage area of a Ford Expedition, Edwin Sanabria told a packed courtroom yesterday, he was led down to a sub-basement and ordered to sleep in "the little hole. " "At first, I didn't want to," said Sanabria, 31. "Linda made me. " Sanabria, who stands about 5 feet 2 and is slightly built, had sauntered into the courtroom with a multicolored hooded sweatshirt, a black Polo shirt, jeans and black boots.
November 29, 2011 |
LINDA ANN WESTON claims that she doesn't know her birth date, the current year or how to spell "cat. " She thinks that George W. Bush is still president. Yet, Weston is the alleged mastermind of a Social Security and welfare-fraud scam that spans several states and possibly includes dozens of victims. Again and again, for decades, she has duped federal Social Security Administration officials, state welfare employees, police and social workers across the country: * She had scammed at least $7,500 a month - or roughly $90,000 a year - in Supplemental Security Income on behalf of herself and at least 11 others, including four mentally disabled people that she allegedly imprisoned, with little food and no bathroom, in a dark boiler room in a Tacony apartment building.
October 26, 2011 |
Jean McIntosh's Tacony apartment was getting crowded. By early October, she already had at least 10 people - adults, children, two toddlers, and a runaway teen - cramped inside her three-bedroom on Longshore Avenue. And sometimes her 19-year-old cousin, Beatrice Weston, was locked inside a closet, police said. So the four mentally handicapped adult captives her mother, Linda Ann Weston, had brought up from West Palm Beach, Fla., were going in the boiler room two floors below.
October 19, 2011 |
Police have arrested the 32-year-old daughter of Linda Ann Weston on charges of co-conspiring in the kidnapping and imprisonment of four mentally challenged adults found Saturday chained in the boiler room of a Tacony apartment building. Jean McIntosh lived in the Longshore Avenue apartment house for two years before her mother arrived earlier this month from Florida with the four adults, according to McIntosh's landlord. McIntosh told investigators that she knew Weston and her boyfriend, Gregory Thomas, 47, had "extra" people living with them who were mentally challenged, according to police reports.