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Challenges

NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
If parents and their adolescent daughters knew that the HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer, they'd be more likely to get the shots than uninformed people, right? Um, no, judging from a University of Pennsylvania study that tested the seemingly logical assumption. The yearlong study of 360 parents and teen girls from low-income, predominantly African American neighborhoods in Philadelphia found no link between knowledge about the vaccine and actual immunization, even though it was available free at city health clinics.
SPORTS
October 21, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop spent a good portion of Penn State's bye week watching film of the Ohio State offense, and that had to mean he endured some sleepless nights figuring out how to stop one of the hottest units in the country. The 13th-ranked Buckeyes (5-1), who will be at Beaver Stadium Saturday night to meet the Nittany Lions, defeated Rutgers, 56-17, Saturday at Ohio Stadium for their fourth consecutive win. During that streak, they have scored 50 or more points in each game (a school record)
NEWS
October 20, 2014 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
In Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) , the Alejandro G. Iñárritu tour de force about to rock the film universe, Michael Keaton's character has a running dialogue with a rumbling, soul-crushing voice inside his head. In real life, the one hearing "demonic voices" whispering in his ear is Edward Norton. The actor plays an actor in Birdman , an egoistic thespian who joins Keaton's troupe in the dark, whirling, furiously funny backstage drama. Making such a movie, as well as Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel - on which Norton worked just before Birdman - "reaffirmed why I like to wait and find things that hold deep interest and excitement," he says.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2014 | BY MATT NESTOR, Daily News Staff Writer nestorm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5906
IN POINT BREEZE coffee shops, Fishtown pubs and South Street tattoo parlors, Philadelphia has a Secret Admirer . Every week, flash fiction, comics, trivia, crosswords and other quirky muses fill Secret Admirer 's four pages in what its creator, David Commins calls "an art project, more than a journalism project. " There are seemingly no rules for Commins' free, DIY publication, except that Monday is production day and Tuesday is distribution day, a task he completes on his bike.
NEWS
October 1, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
CANADENSIS, Pa. - The search area for Eric Frein has shifted daily, with nearly 1,000 law enforcement officers scouring the Poconos woods. Helicopters buzz overhead, and armored vehicles patrol the streets. When residents leave their homes, they cannot be certain whether they will be able to return. Yet the alleged killer of a state trooper continues to evade the police. "I'm surprised the manhunt is going on this long," said Erik Kulick, who runs a wilderness survival school in Pittsburgh.
NEWS
September 20, 2014 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
During most of her 25 years as a public schoolteacher, Jane Ladley did not have much use for the teachers' union, and now that she's retired, she's taking things one giant step further: She's suing it. On Thursday, the 61-year-old former Avon Grove district teacher and another teacher from Lancaster County filed a lawsuit against the state's largest teachers' union, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, over the handling of money they were...
NEWS
September 19, 2014
LABORATORY safety regulations typically dictate that no food should be found within close reach of the experimental action - no one needs nitric acid in their nachos, after all. Drexel's Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, however, is a different kind of lab, one that's earned an exception to this rule since fussing with food is all they do there. The sixth floor of the Paul Peck Problem-Solving and Research Center, at 33rd and Arch streets, is home to the Drexel Food Lab, a collective that lends its brain to corporate and nonprofit clients.
NEWS
September 11, 2014 | By Joe Dolinsky, Inquirer Staff Writer
Move over, ice bucket challenge. Borrowing the basics of the numbingly shared social-media fad, physicians and staff at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Tuesday volunteered to be showered with tennis balls to benefit pancreatic cancer research. The "Bucket of Tennis Balls Challenge" honored Joe Strub of West Chester, an avid tennis player and information-systems technician who lost his battle with the disease four years ago at age 62. While the oft-publicized ice bucket challenge calls awareness to Lou Gehrig's disease and has raised more than $110 million to aid research in just a couple of months, Tuesday's event hopes to call similar attention to a disease that claims the lives of 33,000 Americans per year, according to Dr. Jonathan Brody.
NEWS
September 9, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
For Philadelphia School District principals, teachers, and students, their usual new school year mix of nervousness and exhilaration has been heightened this fall by a cash-starved financial picture. Still, 130,000 students will show up Monday for the start of what will be a challenging 2014-15 school year. They're being asked to live through a second year of extreme austerity that could worsen. The district faces an $81 million deficit, and unless state lawmakers pass a cigarette tax by early October, more cuts, including 1,000-plus layoffs, are possible.
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