November 30, 2014 |
It's working. It's crazy, but it's working. The weekly nonfiction podcast called Serial , that is. In its debut season, it has become, we're told, the podcast with the biggest audience ever. So its makers launched a fund drive, asking listeners for cash - and they coughed up, and now there's going to be a Season Two. Starting last week, executive producer Sarah Koenig, whose voice has become among the most recognizable in media, began episodes this way: "Before we get to today's episode, I have a question for you. Do you want a Season Two of Serial ?
November 26, 2014 |
ACCORDING TO evidence in court yesterday, 67-year-old Dollie Evans, a Holmesburg woman affectionately known as "Grandma" on her block, was fatally shot in the back of her head because she sold crack cocaine from her home and kept wads of cash. Another woman, Ruby Thomas, 57, who lived in Evans' house, was also shot to death and strangled with an electrical cord, authorities said. Defendant James Mears, 25, was held for trial in the women's Aug. 23 slayings after a preliminary hearing yesterday before Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan.
November 21, 2014 |
With pornographic e-mails circulating among prosecutors and judges, lawmakers accused of taking cash in a sting that wasn't even pursued by the state's top law enforcement officer, and featherweight ethics rules that are rarely enforced, Pennsylvania richly deserves its place, by one measure, among the nation's five most corrupt states. In that context, the gift ban Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has imposed on his transition team, which he promises to carry over into his administration, hits the right note.
November 14, 2014
ISSUE | POLITICS Same old party A prominent U.S. senator was quoted describing the Republican Party as kidnapped by the "radical right" and influenced by "kooks, zanies, nuts, and hecklers, the absolute lunatic fringe. " An apt appraisal of today's regressive, antiscience, antiregulatory GOP? Actually, those were the thoughts of the late Hugh Scott (R., Pa.) in 1964, as reproduced Saturday in another excellent rendition of an Inquirer front page from 50 years ago. Apparently, history does repeat.
November 8, 2014 |
At the Pennsport headquarters of the Golden Sunrise New Year's Association, 54 years' worth of sequins, feathers, and satin are shrouded in plastic sheeting - makeshift protection from the leaks that seem to multiply every time it rains. This crumbling clubhouse - and the 28 staunch members who spend nights and weekends laboring over glittering sea horses, towering scarecrows, and miscellaneous tiki-theme set pieces - are what's left of the Mummers' Fancy Division, which has dwindled from three clubs in 2010 to two in January, and now to just this one. Golden Sunrise may not have the finances to sustain its craft for another year.
November 6, 2014 |
CHRISTOPHER Saravello, a former Philly cop, was federally indicted yesterday for allegedly running an extortion scheme when he was still on the force. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Saravello, 37, worked with three middlemen to allegedly shake down local drug dealers and drug buyers to the tune of $9,800 worth of drug money, Oxycontin and other narcotics. City payroll records show that Saravello joined the police force in 2007. The extortion scheme ran between November 2011 and June 2012, when he was assigned to Chinatown's 6th District.
October 30, 2014
A THOUSAND bucks to you and us (but especially us) approaches the level of real money. To Hollywood biggies' bank accounts, however, that kind of dough isn't even a rounding error . . . it's like spilled change, the kind that we here at Temporary Tattle are not too proud to bend over to pick up when we see it glittering among the discarded gum. And fight you to be the one to pocket it. According to the scandal scroungers at TMZ, who went digging through...
October 26, 2014 |
Philadelphia schools will get a $15 million cash infusion Monday, but the money earmarked to buy books, fund teachers' salaries, and help struggling students may yet disappear. The School Reform Commission on Oct. 6 unilaterally canceled the teachers' contract and ordered 11,200 employees to begin paying for their health-care benefits on Dec. 15, a move officials said would save $54 million annually. But the health-care changes - and the savings - are not a done deal. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is fighting the SRC's actions in court, and a Common Pleas Court judge has issued a temporary injunction that halted the changes.
October 14, 2014 |
THE NOTION of swapping a used cellphone for instant cash at a kiosk attracts a lot of people, but sometimes for the wrong reasons. Cellphone-buyback machines were a subject of controversy last year when City Council tried for an outright ban. Critics said the machines incentivized cellphone thieves looking for a quick buck. The legislation stalled in committee and was never approved. But Council passed a bill Thursday that reached a compromise. Instead of barring these types of machines - which recycle handheld electronic devices and fork over cash in exchange - the city now will allow installation of kiosks, but the placement of each must be approved by Council.
October 6, 2014 |
After years of cutting costs, streamlining operations, and sharing services with nearby Collingswood, the Oaklyn school district is looking at running out of money within two years. A report offering possible solutions is expected by the end of the year - and possibly within the month - from the state's executive superintendent for Camden County, Ann Volk. Oaklyn residents say adamantly that they don't want their school - a town centerpiece - to close. "Having another vacant building in this community is not the answer," said Jen Somers, waiting recently for her twins to be dismissed.