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Building Engineer

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NEWS
June 16, 2010 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
William A. Gegan, 99, a retired building engineer who once managed a massive apartment complex in Philadelphia, died Wednesday, June 9, at his granddaughter's home in West Chester. Mr. Gegan graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic High School. As a teenager, he worked for a summer as a building fireman and electrician's helper in a bank. In the 1930s and 1940s, he was an electrician and building engineer for the John Wanamaker department store in Center City. He remembered adjusting the temperature in the cold storage closets in the fur coat department, said a granddaughter, Billie Jo Boughter.
NEWS
July 9, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
Edward W. Duchneskie, 88, who served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II and later worked as manager of mechanical facilities at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, died Monday, July 4, at Virtua Marlton Hospital of kidney failure. Mr. Duchneskie, who lived in Cherry Hill, was born in Camden and worked at an early age to help his family, said his son, John, an assistant managing editor for the Inquirer. Mr. Duchneskie was a teenager when he joined the Merchant Marine during World War II. "He lied about his age to get into the war," his son said.
NEWS
March 19, 2004 | By Susan Snyder INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Philadelphia School District building engineer this week criticized the district for failing to promote minority employees to management positions within its facilities and operations departments. Speaking at a meeting of the School Reform Commission, Kevin McAfee, building engineer at William Penn High School, pointed out that 50 of 58 middle-management positions are held by white men. "How are we going to provide equal opportunity for a school district that is [largely]
NEWS
September 25, 2013 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lincoln High School in the city's Mayfair section was placed on a brief lockdown Friday afternoon after police found several firearms in the car of the school's building engineer. District spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed Monday that Robert McKenna, a veteran employee, was removed from Lincoln and that the district had begun proceedings to have him dismissed. No weapons were found inside the school, but Gallard said McKenna's vehicle was parked on school grounds. The district, he said, had no idea why McKenna had the guns.
NEWS
August 31, 1995 | by Kitty Caparella, Daily News Staff Writer
John Christopher "Chris" Tate, a painter who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, died Sunday of complications from hip surgery in Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. He was 51. Born in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tate grew up in Rumson, N.J., one of three sons of an architect. The three most important people in his life were his father, whom he idolized, his wife and his grandmother. He spent 17 summers with his grandparents in Morocco. After his graduation from Rumson High School, he served two years in the Navy.
NEWS
September 4, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
STRUCTURAL problems at a large Northeast Philadelphia elementary school will delay the start of class for some pupils and force others to relocate to a nearby school for the entire year, officials said yesterday. The problems were found at the Solis-Cohen School, on Horrocks Street near Tyson Avenue, one of the district's largest K-6 schools, with about 1,370 students. As a result, pupils in kindergarten and first grade will be located in the school's annex, a stand-alone building.
NEWS
January 17, 2016 | By Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 15, 1992 | by Leigh Jackson, Daily News Staff Writer
Yasmin Murray has no arms or legs, but the eighth-grader at Albert M. Greenfield Elementary School gets about on a motorized wheelchair, earns A's and B's in her classes, sings in church and plans to be a lawyer. Next year, Murray, who lives in Germantown, will enter Dobbins Vocational- Technical High School as its first physically handicapped student. And for her determination, her vigor and her independence, Murray received the first Special Education Student Award from the Rose Lindenbaum Awardee Society last night.
NEWS
July 23, 1996 | By S. Joseph Hagenmayer, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The Rev. Paul D. Kauffman, 74, an Alabama parish priest with the Josephite Society and a former parishioner at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Camden, died July 14 at the University of South Alabama Medical Center from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Mount Vernon, Ala. A resident of Chastang, Ala., Father Kauffman was leaving Mount Vernon that day after delivering his second Mass of the day and was en route to Our Lady of...
NEWS
June 22, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Threatened with the layoff of its entire workforce, the union representing 2,700 blue-collar workers in the Philadelphia School District has put more than $25 million in projected savings on the table - but the district has stopped talking. George Ricchezza, head of SEIU 32BJ, Local 1201, said he offered five years of no wage increases, reduced benefits, work rule changes, furlough days, and other concessions. "The School District will not even get back to us," Ricchezza said Thursday afternoon.
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NEWS
July 9, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
Edward W. Duchneskie, 88, who served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II and later worked as manager of mechanical facilities at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, died Monday, July 4, at Virtua Marlton Hospital of kidney failure. Mr. Duchneskie, who lived in Cherry Hill, was born in Camden and worked at an early age to help his family, said his son, John, an assistant managing editor for the Inquirer. Mr. Duchneskie was a teenager when he joined the Merchant Marine during World War II. "He lied about his age to get into the war," his son said.
NEWS
January 17, 2016 | BY KRISTEN A. GRAHAM, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
January 17, 2016 | By Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 4, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
STRUCTURAL problems at a large Northeast Philadelphia elementary school will delay the start of class for some pupils and force others to relocate to a nearby school for the entire year, officials said yesterday. The problems were found at the Solis-Cohen School, on Horrocks Street near Tyson Avenue, one of the district's largest K-6 schools, with about 1,370 students. As a result, pupils in kindergarten and first grade will be located in the school's annex, a stand-alone building.
NEWS
February 27, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
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.
NEWS
February 14, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
John E. Joniec, 95, a World War II veteran, retired building superintendent, and, later, a union official, died Wednesday, Feb. 4, of congestive heart failure at the Visiting Nurse Association Hospice in Philadelphia. After his mother died, Mr. Joniec, a lifelong Philadelphian, left school at age 12 to serve as a produce worker, then a horse-and-wagon milkman, to help support his family. He volunteered for the Army in April 1941. He was assigned to the 19th Infantry Division on Oahu, Hawaii, and was awakened at 5 a.m. for guard duty at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
NEWS
September 25, 2013 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lincoln High School in the city's Mayfair section was placed on a brief lockdown Friday afternoon after police found several firearms in the car of the school's building engineer. District spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed Monday that Robert McKenna, a veteran employee, was removed from Lincoln and that the district had begun proceedings to have him dismissed. No weapons were found inside the school, but Gallard said McKenna's vehicle was parked on school grounds. The district, he said, had no idea why McKenna had the guns.
NEWS
June 22, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Threatened with the layoff of its entire workforce, the union representing 2,700 blue-collar workers in the Philadelphia School District has put more than $25 million in projected savings on the table - but the district has stopped talking. George Ricchezza, head of SEIU 32BJ, Local 1201, said he offered five years of no wage increases, reduced benefits, work rule changes, furlough days, and other concessions. "The School District will not even get back to us," Ricchezza said Thursday afternoon.
NEWS
May 24, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham
Waving flags, honking horns, banging drums, and chanting, more than 1,000 people rallied Wednesday in Center City, protesting the Philadelphia School District's plans to transform schools — and possibly lay off 2,700 blue-collar workers. Fourteen people, including labor leader George Ricchezza, were arrested for blocking traffic after they laid down red-white-and-blue "Save Our Schools" banners, sat in the middle of Broad and Race Streets, and refused to budge. Demonstrators around the state, including more than 1,500 in Philadelphia, protested education cuts and the possible layoff of every member of SEIU 32BJ Local 1201, the city schools union representing bus assistants, cleaners, mechanics, and other workers.
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