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NEWS
February 7, 2014 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
"THE HUNGER Games" is just sci-fi, set in a future we'll probably never see. Right? No decent society would allow its leaders to throw working-class teens into a deadly meat-grinder in order to create an authoritarian public spectacle designed to keep the rabble in line. Keep telling yourself that as you watch the hair-raising documentary "Kids for Cash," based on the notorious case of Luzerne County judges convicted of sending juveniles to a new for-profit prison that they endorsed building and whose developer paid them under the table.
NEWS
February 5, 2014 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
What will they think of me? The question brought Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. to tears. For years, Ciavarella, a former Luzerne County Court judge, had defiantly fought charges that he took kickbacks to sentence thousands of young offenders to private juvenile detention centers. During a moment of reflection while awaiting sentencing for corruption in 2011, Ciavarella broke down, imagining how his own grandchildren would perceive him. "I would hope that they understand that their grandfather screwed up big-time," he said, tears welling in his eyes.
NEWS
January 16, 2014 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com, 215-854-5987
IT'S NOT UNUSUAL for a casino developer to negotiate a benefits agreement with its neighbors once the casino's license is granted - in 2008, two years after they were awarded the first-ever casino license in Philadelphia, owners of Fishtown's SugarHouse Casino signed one. But Bart Blatstein's Tower Entertainment - which wants to open Provence Casino at Broad and Callowhill streets - has been trying to get an agreement with its neighbors signed,...
NEWS
January 16, 2014
  MICHAEL ZAKROFF, 33, of Southwest Center City, is founder and chief operating officer of CashinMyBag.com, a Narberth-based online retailer. The startup buys preowned authentic designer handbags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, women's apparel and men's fashions for cash and pays 50 percent of an item's online value. Clients can cash in online, drop merchandise off at the Narberth location or arrange a personal house call. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for the biz? A: I was a hairstylist on the Main Line for 15 years.
NEWS
January 12, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Years after he took money to send them to privately run juvenile detention centers, a former Luzerne County Court judge must now pay former detainees back for violating their civil rights, a federal judge in Wilkes-Barre has ruled. In an opinion released Thursday, U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo cleared the way for about 2,500 plaintiffs to collect damages from Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., one of two former judges convicted in the "kids for cash" corruption scandal. How much Ciavarella will owe will be determined later, Caputo said.
SPORTS
November 21, 2013 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers had points in four straight games entering Tuesday, a streak that started when coach Craig Berube put center Vinny Lecavalier on a line with wingers Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn for the first time this season. The trio had combined for six goals and 11 points in that 3-0-1 span before Tuesday's game against Ottawa. All three can play a physical game, and Lecavalier is also a smooth playmaker. "When you get pucks deep and have another physical presence with you up in the rush, it's a lot easier," Simmonds said.
NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
For years, Omar Sharif Cash honed a reputation for increasingly violent crimes and escaping prosecution. Cash's criminal career ended in spring 2008, in a violent three weeks when he killed a Philadelphia man and, while on the run, carjacked a Bucks County couple, and killed the man and raped his fiancee. He was arrested shortly afterward. On Friday, it took a Philadelphia jury of 10 women and two men barely 90 minutes to sentence Cash to death by lethal injection for the execution-style slaying of a man polishing his car outside a Frankford car wash.
NEWS
November 14, 2013 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury last week took less than 40 minutes to convict Omar Sharif Cash of murder in the 2008 killing of Muliek Brown. On Tuesday, the panel learned that the crime was far from his first. As the sentencing phase of Cash's trial began, prosecutors delved deep into the 31-year-old's run-ins with the law, including a narrow escape from a potential death sentence three years previously, in an effort to convince jurors that this time he deserved to die. "This is the rare circumstance where [the death penalty decision]
NEWS
October 4, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
WITH Philadelphia recently ranked as the No. 1 city for cellphone thefts, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown is seeking to ban machines that dispense instant cash for electronic devices. A bill she is introducing today would outlaw "automated purchasing machines," which many fear enable thieves to quickly unload their loot and pocket a handsome reward. Newer iPhones can fetch hundreds on the spot. "Cellphone robberies are the crime of today, and far too many of them are turning violent," Reynolds Brown said in a statement.
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