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ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2015 | By Howard Gensler
WHAT DO the U.S. Mint and the "Fast & Furious" franchise have in common? A license to print money. "Furious 7" revved up the box office this past weekend with a ridiculous $143.6 million, according to Rentrak estimates yesterday. Add in an additional $240 million from overseas (and that's without Russia, Japan and China) and it's time to start planning "Really Furious 8," "Freakin' Furious 9" and "Ramadan Fast 10" (the franchise is international). "Furious 7," now the ninth-biggest opening of all time, also unseated previous April record-holder "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which opened to $95 million this weekend last year.
NEWS
April 7, 2015 | By Sarah Smith, Inquirer Staff Writer
Years before he was one of Philadelphia's dirtiest cops, Jeffrey Walker was a hero. In fall 1998, Walker specialized in drug busts for West Philadelphia's 16th Police District. On the streets, his aggressive work as an undercover cop and his appearance - tall, fit, with dreadlocks - earned him a nickname from drug dealers: Batman. Like any Batman, Jeffrey Walker had a Robin: his partner, Officer Brian Reynolds. In the tough Mantua neighborhood Batman and Robin patrolled that fall, three dealers found an easy way to get rid of the duo. One of the three would get $4,000 to kill them.
NEWS
April 1, 2015 | Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
If elected mayor, Jim Kenney would "end the annual budgetary crisis" for the Philadelphia School District, he pledged in an education policy paper released Monday. Speaking at an early-childhood education center in University City, Kenney outlined a plan to raise more money for the district that said he would not require raising property taxes. He says he would emphasize schools as hubs of the community and provide universal pre-kindergarten programs for 3- and 4-year-olds. To raise new, recurring money for the cash-strapped district, Kenney - a Democratic former city councilman - said he would sell commercial tax liens, institute zero-based budgeting and raise land values on abated properties.
NEWS
March 19, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
The teacher had heard about the books. Thousands and thousands of them, from two dozen city schools shuttered two years ago. Perfectly usable. All sitting boxed up and unused in the basement of the Philadelphia School District's headquarters. Like so many city teachers, she uses fund-raising websites to get the books she needs for her students. Like so many city teachers, she has students who can't bring home their torn-up textbooks because there aren't enough to go around.
SPORTS
March 6, 2015 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers have been outshooting and getting better chances than opponents recently, but their inability to finish the scoring opportunities is a major reason they are still five points behind Boston for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. The Flyers have left some critical points on the table, and they are in virtual must-win situations Thursday against powerful St. Louis at the Wells Fargo Center and Saturday afternoon in Boston, which has two games in hand. In their last five losses - to Columbus, Buffalo, Carolina, Toronto, and Calgary - the Flyers have had a lopsided shots advantage in four of the games.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. is seeking contestants nationwide for its Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs competition, which carries $10,000 runner-up prizes. Grand-prize winners receive a total of $30,000. Applicants have to submit to Comcast by March 15 a 250-word essay on how they would use technology to improve their business. There will be two regional winners in each of Comcast's 16 regions - including the Philadelphia area - who will each receive $10,000. Six grand-prize winners will be chosen from these 32 regional winners.
NEWS
February 21, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - They gave up their city cars. Or, in the words of city resident Frank "@JitneyGuy" Becktel, "HOLY C--- THEY'RE GIVING UP THEIR CARS. " Yes, the City Council of Atlantic City did what many in this turbulence-struck seaside town thought would never happen - they relinquished full-time use of city-funded cars. With Atlantic City in the dual grip of a fiscal meltdown and multiple emergency state overseers, City Council members said the time had come to park the cars back on the lot. "We're not in La-La land," said Council President Frank M. Gilliam Jr. He said the move was symbolic and wouldn't save much money.
NEWS
February 20, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - Financial pressure on Atlantic City will intensify this year as taxable real estate values are expected to plummet to $7.35 billion from more than $11 billion last year. But instead of sharply raising the tax rate as the city has done in each of the last two years to keep revenues stable, the city is taking a sharper scalpel than ever to its operations, Mayor Don Guardian said Wednesday evening in his State of the City address before the City Council. "This year we have no intention of doing that," Guardian said, referring to boosting the property-tax rate.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Group is pressing his campaign to squeeze cash out of the DuPont Co. even faster by making good on his threat to run with three allies against board of directors candidates backed by DuPont chairman and chief executive Ellen Kullman. Bondholders worry that Kullman has already given Peltz more money than is good for them. Peltz's firm Wednesday praised DuPont's nomination of turnaround specialists Edward Breen (ex-boss of Tyco International )
BUSINESS
January 29, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., the Philadelphia pipeline and fuel terminal operator, increased its cash distribution Tuesday for the 39th straight quarter. The company will pay 40 cents per common unit on Feb. 13 to unit-holders of record on Feb. 9, a 5 percent increase over the previous quarter's distribution of 38.25 cents. The boost represents a 21 percent increase over the 33.12-cent-per-unit distribution 12 months ago. Among its projects, Sunoco Logistics is building the Mariner East pipeline to transport natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale region to its Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on the Delaware River.
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