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Closings

NEWS
May 8, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
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.
NEWS
May 7, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
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.
NEWS
May 7, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
May 6, 2015 | By Jacob Adelman, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 5, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia needs more time to consider the fates of five churches in the Lower Northeast, part of a long-term study of how to stabilize and sustain parishes while demographics shift, finances and congregations dwindle, and buildings leak and crumble. In an announcement read Sunday to congregants at Mother of Divine Grace, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Our Lady Help of Christians, Saint Adalbert Parish, and St. George Parish, all largely in or near Port Richmond, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput acknowledged that the "complex and difficult issues . . . will require further study and discussion before any final decisions are made.
NEWS
May 3, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Federal prosecutors have closed an investigation into claims that officials in Gov. Christie's administration threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief money from Hoboken if the mayor did not approve a private redevelopment deal. In a letter dated Friday, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul A. Murphy said prosecutors and the FBI had investigated the allegations. "Based on the evidence developed during the investigation and our review of the applicable law, we have concluded that no further action is warranted in this matter," they wrote.
NEWS
April 26, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
People who paid a penalty because they didn't buy health insurance last year are nearing the end of their options to get covered and avoid an even bigger penalty next tax season. The special enrollment period - a window the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opened for people who learned of the fine only when they filed their 2014 taxes - closes Thursday. After that, current rules allow consumers to buy insurance from the marketplace only if they experience a life-changing event, such as marriage or loss of job-based coverage.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Family melodrama, morality play, superior spy yarn: FX's superb drama The Americans wraps up its third season 10 p.m. on Wednesday. This season has belonged to Paige Jennings (Holly Taylor), the 15-year-old daughter of Soviet sleeper agents Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell). She finally learns from her parents that they are Russian-born KGB officers who have spied on the United States since the mid-1960s. (And yes, they've killed quite a few people too, Paige.
NEWS
April 18, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Angry over a plan to close a small city high school, several dozen students said Thursday that they would fight to keep Kensington Urban Education Academy open. "As students, parents, and community members, we have been shut out of this process," Essence Whiting, a Kensington Urban student and member of the student organizing group Youth United for Change, told the School Reform Commission at a meeting. The Philadelphia School District wants to merge Kensington Urban, one of four small high schools in the neighborhood, with Kensington Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurship High School.
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