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NEWS
April 16, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
In Philly, we don't pick judges based on skill. That's not the way. The process has little to do with merit. It's all about the chance of a lucky ballot spot, and the sway of money and politics. The judicial kingmakers - the Democratic City Committee, the power brokers, the vote-wielding ward leaders - aren't sweating over quality, credentials, and experience. Hey, if you've got some brains, it probably won't hurt you. But if you don't, it's not going to count against you either.
NEWS
April 13, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
THE WOMAN who managed money seized from criminals in Delaware County now has a criminal record herself after allegedly stealing the illicit funds to, among other things, buy her way into Flyers games that she later bragged about on Facebook. Mary Lynch, 48, was charged yesterday with theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, identity theft and related offenses after allegedly embezzling more than $100,000 in drug forfeiture funds while working as a financial administrator at the D.A.'s Office, officials said.
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.
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 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.
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