March 30, 2016 |
A Philadelphia jury returned a split verdict Monday in the trial of a former SEPTA police officer accused of roughing up and falsely arresting a nurse after a Christmas 2013 argument in a Suburban Station doughnut shop. The Common Pleas Court jury of six men and six women deliberated about two hours before finding Douglas Ioven guilty of misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and official oppression involving the arrest of Muibat Williamson. The jury acquitted Ioven, 44, of simple assault and obstruction of administration of law. The assault count involved Williamson's allegation that Ioven stepped on her foot after cutting in line at a Dunkin' Donuts shop in the concourse and later banged her head into an ATM trying to apprehend her. The obstruction charge involved arresting Williamson to prevent her from filing a complaint against him with SEPTA superiors.
March 24, 2016 |
Douglas Ioven and Muibat Williamson both had to work on Christmas 2013. Ioven was starting his shift as a SEPTA police officer, and Williamson was heading home from hers as an overnight neurology nurse at Einstein Medical Center, when they met at a Dunkin' Donuts shop in the concourse of Suburban Station. Christmas only went downhill from there. On Tuesday, both prepared to relive their very un-merriest of Christmases past in a Philadelphia courtroom, where Ioven, 44, went on trial on charges of witness retaliation and intimidation, official oppression, assault, and other offenses for arresting Williamson after an argument about cutting in line.
March 17, 2016 |
THE FIRST TIME, she walked around for 45 minutes to work up the nerve to do it. As someone who shuns the spotlight, approaching a homeless person with an offer of food, a handout, was outside her comfort zone. "I thought people would be resentful," Sharon Suleta says. The first time was nine weeks ago this very night, in the Suburban Station underground concourse. Dragging a food-filled luggage cart behind her, with a socks-stuffed canvas bag over her arm, she approached those who appeared to be homeless and asked, "Would you like a dinner bag?"
March 17, 2016 |
Amtrak and its development partners want to build a new underground concourse linking 30th Street Station with SEPTA's subways and trolleys as the first step in a 35-year plan for the area. The concourse, to be topped by a skylight and lined with shops along its 250-foot span, would be completed during the first half of the 2020s, according to a draft of the 30th Street Station District Plan to be released during an open house at the station Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. The draft is the latest stage in a $5.25 million study, nearing completion after two years, of plans for the station.
July 17, 2015 |
THE MULTITIERED granite steps from the concourse of the Municipal Services Building provide more than just an egress from SEPTA's underground rail line to the Center City streets above. The steps, or rather the cavernous space beneath them, offer refuge from the rain for Philadelphia's homeless. "This is the only dry place we can go in Center City," George Creamer said yesterday after yet another soaker left puddles near his cardboard sleeping mat. "Trust me, I'd rather sleep out underneath the stars, but on nights like tonight, when it's going to rain, there is going to be 20 people down here.
March 14, 2015 |
Two hours behind schedule, Beth Heinly finally located a working electrical outlet in the echoing cavern of the Broad Street concourse and settled in, wearing a puffy chef's hat, to cook pasta. The mac-and-cheese giveaway was Heinly's take on site-specific performance art - meant to engage a space that mostly lies vacant, except for occasional skateboarders, scuttling rainy-day commuters, and covert smokers of marijuana. "I wanted to do a really loving thing in a scary place," she said.
February 5, 2015 |
One of the most heavily traveled pavements in Philadelphia runs not along any street, but through the busy Gallery shopping center. Its basement-level concourse stretches more than three blocks, from Jefferson Station (formerly Market East) to the subway lines that converge beneath the old Strawbridge's building. Each workday, thousands of commuters, shoppers, and others surge through this convenient all-weather thoroughfare, which also provides vital access for the disabled. But with the Gallery, one of the nation's oldest urban malls, soon to undergo a major overhaul, those Philadelphians in their thousands face the prospect that this long-standing right-of-way will be blocked for as long as a year or more.
January 9, 2015 |
BY NOW, the Hub of Hope, Project HOME's seasonal social-service center for the homeless in Suburban Station, should be buzzing with men and women wanting to see a case worker or a doctor or just get a short reprieve from the cold with a tepid cup of coffee or a pair of socks. But in a cruel irony, the Hub of Hope is homeless. In November, the landlord who had donated the space for the past three winters sent word that he would no longer be able to "due to complaints from tenants and brokers.
June 18, 2014 |
The 11 workers who clean the gritty subway concourses under Center City fear that they will lose their jobs when SEPTA takes control of the miles of concourses from the city on July 1. The workers, who do the dirty work of cleaning up after nighttime revelers and homeless people before the morning rush of commuters, work for a janitorial company that is a subcontractor for the Center City District. Under a contract approved last month, the city - owner of the concourses - and the CCD will relinquish responsibility for cleaning, maintenance, and repairs to SEPTA.
May 24, 2014 |
SEPTA will spend about 3 percent more for transit operations in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and it will nearly double its spending on major construction and repair projects, thanks to an infusion of state money. The SEPTA board unanimously approved a $1.33 billion operating budget and a $572 million capital budget Thursday, without discussion. The operating budget, which includes no fare increases, provides money for a pilot program to resume 24-hour-a-day subway service on weekends, beginning this summer.