April 23, 2015 |
COMMONWEALTH Court yesterday dismissed a lawsuit accusing the state of failing to adequately and equitably fund Pennsylvania public schools. The complaint was filed by six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, who said they plan to appeal to the state Supreme Court. "This is a question of paramount importance to all Pennsylvanians, and we always knew this would ultimately be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia executive director Jennifer Clarke, a member of the legal team representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
April 12, 2015 |
Commonwealth Court on Friday upheld a year-old lower-court decision that restored $125.8 million in tobacco-settlement money to Pennsylvania. The money had been stripped from the state's share of a 2003 payment under the landmark 1998 agreement by major tobacco companies to compensate states for their health-care costs related to smoking. "We are very pleased with the Commonwealth Court's decision, which ensures the terms of the [master settlement agreement] are followed by the arbitration panel and that Pennsylvania is fairly treated under the terms of the agreement," Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said in a statement.
December 12, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - With much at stake, lawyers for the School Reform Commission on Wednesday asked a panel of five Commonwealth Court judges to affirm their power to cancel the Philadelphia School District teachers' contract. The law that created the SRC acknowledged that in times of distress, the commission must have at its disposal special powers, argued commission attorney Mark Aronchick. "The polestar is the children, not the protection of some collective bargaining interest that protects the interest of teachers," Aronchick told the judges.
December 1, 2014 |
Aaron Bacote scored a career-high 31 points to lift Old Dominion to a 73-67 win over No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday in Norfolk, Va. Bacote, who entered the game averaging just four points and shooting 16 percent, had scored just 20 points on the season. He made his first eight shots, including four three-pointers, and was 11 for 13 from the free-throw line to top his previous career high of 28. The Rams (4-2) were paced by Treveon Graham's 34 points and never led after the opening minutes.
October 30, 2014 |
Can the Philadelphia School Reform Commission cancel union contracts? The question now rests in the hands of Commonwealth Court. As a result of an agreement reached in the last week, a Common Pleas Court judge has permanently enjoined the Philadelphia School District from unilaterally canceling its teachers' contract. The district immediately appealed the decision. Both sides called the order a victory Tuesday: District officials said it was a fast track to Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, the venue it prefers, widely viewed as more favorable to the SRC's viewpoint.
August 15, 2014 |
NO ONE in court yesterday disputed that, when Philly cops stopped Khristen Jones' car on April 1, they found more than 496 grams of marijuana worth $4,940, nearly $5,600 in cash, a drug scale, a gun holster and drug-dealing paraphernalia. With all that evidence, it would seem that the District Attorney's Office would have no problem securing a conviction and prison sentence for Jones, 37, of Woodlyn, Delaware County. Instead, Assistant D.A. Geremy Johnson agreed with defense lawyer Lonny Fish to drop a felony drug-dealing charge and let Jones plead no contest to a misdemeanor possession charge.
August 14, 2014 |
A study that said more money has not helped city schools is flawed and presents a skewed picture of the Philadelphia School District's reality, a local nonprofit says. The conservative Commonwealth Foundation said in an analysis released earlier this month that while the system's budget had grown over the past decade, its students were still struggling, and that "serious reform" was needed to fix the city's schools. But Research for Action, a Philadelphia-based organization whose mission is to strengthen public schools, found the Commonwealth Foundation brief "misleading, inaccurate, and devoid of context needed for an informed understanding of what is happening in the city's schools.
May 23, 2014 |
Moments after a federal judge cleared the way for gay marriage in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Tim Sabol was sitting with a financial-planning client. Suddenly, his smartphone buzzed. And then it went off again. And then, it just wouldn't pipe down. "My phone was vibrating nonstop in my pocket," said Sabol, 32, from Center City, who has been dating his partner and fiance, Judd Flesch, for 11 years. "But I couldn't check it. " As he walked from a conference room, though, Sabol's assistant rushed up. "Did you hear the good news?"
March 18, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Before the Atlantic 10 tournament, it was believed that St. Joseph's needed at least one win to keep its hopes for a bid to the NCAA tournament alive. The Hawks went a number of gigantic steps better. With all five starters playing 37 or more minutes Sunday, St. Joseph's defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 65-61, to win the Atlantic 10 championship at the Barclays Center. The Hawks (24-9) earned the NCAA tournament automatic bid in winning their first A-10 title since 1997.
November 9, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has asked a court in Philadelphia to overturn a decision stripping the state of a significant portion of its share of the tobacco settlement payments. In a motion filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Thursday, Kane is seeking to overturn an arbitration panel's ruling last month that the state had not met its obligations under the 1998 agreement with major tobacco companies and therefore must forfeit a percentage of its annual payment.