May 17, 2015 |
The troubled Truebright Science Academy Charter School in Olney will close at the end of the academic year next month - unless it obtains a stay from the court to remain open. A Commonwealth Court three-judge panel on Friday affirmed a state Charter Appeals Board decision that said the School Reform Commission had ample grounds to close Truebright for poor academic performance. The judges said that Truebright had promised that its students would "realize high academic rank" and would score proficient or higher on the state's standardized math and reading tests.
May 16, 2015 |
Not long ago, a father could not cry. He had been diagnosed with cancer in his jaw in 2013, and it had returned last year, and the chemotherapy and radiation treatments had cost him his tear ducts. The fluid backed up, infecting his eyes. So in the middle of April, he underwent surgery. The doctors inserted a temporary tube that ran from his eyeballs to his palate and drained the tears away. "It's always something," Jim Kelly said recently. "But you know what? Oh, well. " He was talking on the phone about the sequence of events, some of them serendipitous, some of them tragic, that would bring him to Philadelphia this weekend, to celebrate good news and a righteous cause.
May 16, 2015 |
Over the seven months since New Jersey political insider John Sheridan and his wife, Joyce, were found mortally wounded amid a deliberately set fire in their central New Jersey home, the official opacity surrounding their deaths has been steadily stripped of every defensible rationale. Now that the conclusion of the criminal investigation is more than a month old, it's clear that the persistent secrecy serves only to cover up incompetence or worse. According to law and logic, continuing investigations are among the most compelling justifications for government discretion.
May 13, 2015 |
During a special meeting devoted to charter schools, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Monday to begin the process of closing two for academic and management shortcomings. One of the schools - Universal-Bluford, an elementary with nearly 600 students - is run by Universal Cos., the nonprofit founded by music mogul Kenny Gamble. In a 4-1 vote, the SRC voted not to renew Bluford's charter for five years. It was the first time a school run by Universal has been targeted for closure.
May 10, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Behind closed doors in the mayor's office, parties interested in the fate of the former Showboat casino hotel met Friday to try to resolve a tangled legal impasse. But when the meeting at City Hall was over, no one - including Mayor Don Guardian and Florida developer Glenn Straub - would say what had transpired, citing confidentiality. Also in attendance were representatives of Stockton University, which bought the shuttered Boardwalk casino with a plan to turn it into a campus, and of Trump Entertainment Resorts.
May 8, 2015 |
DEFENSE ATTORNEYS yesterday lauded the six former narcotics cops on trial, appealed to jurors' emotions, derided the government's witnesses and blamed the feds for their investigation. Jimmy Binns, attorney for defendant Michael Spicer, called his client and the other five former cops "innocent heroes," "the best of the best" in the police department, men "who stand up and carry the flag and uphold the oath that they took," and said in his closing argument that "they will be children of God. " Binns told jurors that when Spicer took the witness stand in the trial, he misspoke when he said he lived for his police job. "He lives for her," Binns said, pointing to Spicer's wife, Donna, who was sitting in the back row of the courtroom.
May 7, 2015 |
SIX FORMER narcotics officers on trial "believed that because they wore a badge, their crimes would never see the light of day," a prosecutor told a jury in her closing argument yesterday. "Quite frankly, sadly, if it were only one accuser, their crimes probably would not be exposed," Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney said. "But over the course of this trial, you have heard from 19 different people. And they're essentially saying the same things. " Eighteen of the 19 suspected or admitted drug dealers contended that the cops robbed them of cash, drugs or personal items, and in some cases roughed them up. The 19th alleged victim, Dontay Murphy, alleged that Officer Thomas Liciardello hit him in the head with the back of a gun, bloodying Murphy's head, after Liciardello chased him on foot.
May 7, 2015 |
Lawyers on both sides of the federal corruption trial of six members of an elite Philadelphia Police Department narcotics squad finally found on Tuesday - the day they began their closing arguments - a point on which they could agree: The decision in this case, they told jurors, should be easy. It would be "absurd," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney, to believe that a disgraced former police officer and 19 drug suspects independently came up with the same detailed lies about a series of police abuses.
May 6, 2015 |
National Real Estate Development has closed on a $141 million construction loan with insurer Ullico for an 18-story residential and retail tower at 1100 Market St., part of the company's $500 million East Market project. The loan will allow the start of construction on the $117.5 million building, which will include 322 apartments, along with a MOM's Organic Market and other shops and restaurants, the company said in a statement. The new tower, along with the redevelopment of the adjacent Family Court Building at 34 S. 11th St., make up the first phase of the East Market project, bounded by 11th and 12th Streets, from Market to Clover.